Last year I joined an accountability group for my business. It was a group (4 of us) of New York City entrepreneurs meeting once per week on the phone to help keep one another on track and accountable for the work we said we were going to do.
I loved the concept and was sad when the group ended due to, I’m not exactly sure what to be honest, and we lost contact.
Fast forward to now, and after having coffee with a fellow entrepreneur recently, we’ve decided to start a new group, this one meeting once per month in person. I’m excited.
I’m also excited because we introduced Accountability Partners in our StartUp FASHION Community, and our members are taking advantage of the opportunity and loving their partners!
If you’re thinking about getting yourself an accountability or joining a group but not sure, here are some reasons I freakin love the idea.
- If you get the right partner, someone who is really committed to helping you as much as you’re committed to helping them, it’s a total no-bullshit situation. As accountability partners, you will each vow early on that you will not sugar coat things. That when your partner said they were going to work on something, and then didn’t, you’re allowed to call them out on it.
- As a fellow entrepreneur, your partner knows firsthand what you’re going through and can put themselves in your shoes when giving feedback, just like you will with them.
- Your partner will offer realistic advice based on the fact that they are either going through or have gone through something similar at some point. While you each may know that working late into the night all the time is not good for your health, you each also know what it means to build something from scratch and the dedication and time that goes into it. So the advice takes into account things like this.
- Sometimes you just need someone to listen; you don’t want advice and you don’t want feedback, you just want someone to be there. You can be that person for each other.
Here are some absolute musts that need to happen in order to make accountability partners a success.
- You have to listen. Meetings are not excuses to talk about yourself for an hour. Give the meeting structure by giving each of you an allotted amount of time to talk and then switch.
- You have to create a schedule and stick to it. There are no real excuses for not making it. By making your meeting the same day/time each month, you’re able to plan other things around it. If you treat the meetings as second to other things, it will never work. It has to be the other way around.
- You each have to respect each other’s privacy. There can be no discussing anything the other person shares with your significant others or fellow entrepreneurs just because they don’t’ know each other. That’s not cool.
When it comes to finding a partner or group, think about someone who is also building a business, not necessarily in fashion (though it could be). Who in your life could make a good partner?