Why having an accountability partner can save your new business

Having an accountability partner or business buddy can help you in building your new business even help you bring that business to succeed even faster, or helping you not fail with it.

All the new tasks

When starting a new business, all of the tasks can be a bit overwhelming at times. Other than doing what you actually do in your business, there is also the administrative work to be done, as well as marketing and sales. And even though what you do in your business is very important, you can’t forget about all the other stuff. Someone once told me that no matter what I choose to work with, there are always going to be tasks I don’t like, but they still need to get done.

A great way to make sure you get even the most boring and difficult tasks done is to plan them, and then have someone help you stay accountable to get the tasks done.

What is an accountability partner

An accountability partner is someone who helps you stay on track with your tasks and your business. Someone you tell your day-to-day or week-to-week tasks for your business, so that they can hold you accountable for reaching your goals.

It is someone who will both cheer with you when things are going great, but who will also push you to not get lost in the celebrations, but keep moving and developing your business.

Why it works

The reason this works so well is that a lot of people have a hard time staying accountable to themselves, but have no problem staying accountable to someone else. Gretchen Rubin wrote about this in her book The four tendencies (affiliate link).

You may know the feeling of having a to-do list of a hundred things, but can’t seem to figure out where to start. So instead of actually starting on a task, just any random task, you end up in fromt of the TV or on YouTube, or something very unproductive.

If you have someone who you told you’d get a specific amount of work done in a specific time, it is much more likely that you will start on these tasks a lot sooner.

How does it work

You can either have a friend, another business owner or a paid accountability partner to help you.

Let’s go with the scenario of you finding another business owner, you can be each other’s partners, and create accountability for each other.

There are some things you need to agree on in advance:

1 – How often do you want to communicate – daily, weekly or bi-weekly

This depends on multiple things, of cause your schedules, but also how big the tasks you set out to work on are. If one of your tasks are to develop your website, then a daily check-in might be unproductive. However if the tasks are long the line of setting up an ad, or write first draft for your about page on your website, a daily check-in could work.

2 – set a specific amount of time

Depending how often you choose to ‘meet’, set a specific amount of time – be respectful of each other in this aspect. And if you have something more time-consuming to talk about, ask in advance if your buddy has the time. This also goes the other way, if you are pressed on time, let your partner know, so that you can reschedule or you can agree on a shorter meeting that day.

3 – How do you want to communicate – in writing, by phone, video or in person

Some people like to just write each other once a day via a chat, this could be on Facebook, in Slack or something some other app. Others make a short phone call and then some use a video service. I use Zoom with my accountability partner (she is super nice), whom I meet up with every week for a 1-2 hour call. Mind you we also talk about other stuff than just business, but we always help each other stay on track. If possible, some people also meet in person. If you would like to do this, be aware of the extra time this takes up. Maybe you can meet in person once a month or once very three months. Some even have a strategy weekend together every six months or once a year.

4 – Aligning your expectations

It is important to align your expectations, and be careful that it does not end up being a coffee session rather than a business meeting. Like I wrote above, my accountability partner and I, we also have time to small talk, and have a bit of fun in our calls, but it is also important to keep on track. For some people the business part is more important, they don’t want the small talk, and for others that part is really important. Be sure that you agree on this before you start.

5 – A system to see each other’s progress

Some people also like to be able to see each other’s tasks doing the week, or to have something to refer back to when ever they talk. With my first partner I just did this simply by e-mail, so each week we would write each other an e-mail with a list of tasks we were going to work on doing the week. When we talked we could then just go through that list, to see how much we had accomplished during the week.

Can I have more than one

Yes, you can have more than one accountability partner, though I do not necessarily recommend it, as you would be going over the same stuff multiple times.

If you choose to have more than one, I would recommend that you have a different focus with each one. One could have focus on the strategic parts of your business and meet once a month, and another on the day-to-day tasks and meet daily or weekly.

Some people also use their accountability partner for idea generation, or to get feedback on ideas and projects they are working on.

Where can I find a partner

Like I mentioned earlier, there are multiple options for having an accountability partner. You can ask a friend, one with or without a business of their own. Some people also look for accountability in other aspects of their lives, like to reach a fitness goal, or to learn a new skill. So if you know of someone in your private network struggling with reaching a certain goal – ask them if you should help each other out. If it is around a topic that can be difficult for some people to talk about, like losing weight, be sure that they are actually wanting to lose weight.

You can also look in the professional network groups on Facebook, in slack or maybe you have a local network that meets up regularly, where you can find someone to talk to more frequently. Before contacting people, know if you would want a partner who is working with something similar to what you are working with, or something different. There are pros and cons to both.

The last option is to choose a paid accountability partner. If you choose to go with this option, it is important to find someone who is a great match for you. Some accountability partners have a coaching approach, some have a mentoring approach, some have a soft approach and some a more direct approach. Its important that you know what kind of method works best for you for getting the best results for you and your business.

The benefits of having a paid accountability partner

There are some benefits of having a paid accountability partner. When teaming up with a friend, it might be hard to get valid feedback on ideas or projects you are working on, and there is always the risk of it being more small talk and less accountability. So this can end up being really time consuming, and not as productive business-wise. Also the friend needs to be as motivated as you for this to work.

The same goes for choosing another business partner where you help each other out, you need to be equally motivated, and you need to value each of your businesses equally.

With a paid accountability partner, YOU are the focal point. All the time is focused on helping you plan and work on your business, and creating your dream business and dream life.
You do not need to spend time and energy on someone else’s goals or business. Time you could otherwise be spending working on your own business and towards making it a great opportunity for you.

If you are thinking of working with a professional accountability partner, feel free to write me to book a free 30 minute call, to see if I can help you.

When working with me, you get a mentor kind of approach, where I always do my best to guide you and help you along the way. I am very direct and call things as I see them – But I do it with love, and to help you drive your business as far as possible in the right direction within the shortest amount of time.

Diana Lund - 80/20

Always remember – Have fun and Get Shit Done!

Diana Lund