Who Needs an Accountability Partner? Maybe YOU Do!

business woman punching bag

When you work from the comfort of your own home, you don’t have anyone to answer to but yourself.  This is usually why the dream of working from home is such an enticing one.

No boss equals big sigh of relief.

However, unless you are always extremely self-motivated and self-disciplined, you might need a slap in the face every now and then and someone to remind you of why you are doing what you’re doing and ask you the hard questions.   

This is where having an “Accountability Partner” comes in.  My husband is my accountability partner.  He just doesn’t know it.  I remember when I first met my husband; my goal was to get my graduate degree so I could teach at the college level.  I decided to go to a school, which had a definite start date, but no end date since it was catered to working professionals.  It took me four years to complete! My husband really held me accountable during these four years.  Some semesters would go by and I wouldn’t enroll in any classes.  He would say “Why are you not taking any classes? “Do you want to be 80 years old when you finally complete it?”  His encouragement and support really helped me get through a really busy time in my life.  Having that degree helped land me a part-time teaching position at a local college and it is one of the most rewarding things I do.

I talked about the relationships every woman needs to consider having, which included a performance/life coach and multiple mentors, but here is one other person or group to consider using to continue to achieve your goals.

What is an Accountability Partner?

It can be one person, two people or a mastermind group.  This person or group will be the boost you need to keep on keeping on.

A support person is good for those days when you are not feeling very motivated to do anything.  A day when you are looking at the wreck your house is and thinking you need to do one more clean up or organize something rather than work on your business.

Your partner can motivate you to keep going.  They can remind you that cleaning your house doesn’t make you money, but working on your business can make you the money you need to pay someone to clean your house; a person that will hold you accountable to your business, and not to a messy house like the neighbor down the street seems to every time she comes over.

Have you ever asked your spouse “Honey, do you think I should add a Welcome Tab that has an opt-in on my Facebook page?”  No you haven’t (unless he’s in the same business).  But if you have an accountability partner in your work-at-home-business it’s likely that they’ll understand exactly what it is you are asking.

Best of all it’s someone you can stay accountable to.  Decide what top five things you wish to accomplish in the week and share with each other.  Check up with each other throughout the week to ensure you both are reaching your goals.

Skype is a wonderful tool to use for accountability partners.  You don’t have to have the video on if you are still in your PJ’s and it has some great features.  In addition to Skype being free, you are able to drop documents into the chat box for the other person to see.  A very easy way to share your “to-do” list with your partner.

A partner can also provide you with some perspective when you start to feel overwhelmed.  And help you feel not so alone since working from home can be very isolating.

Mastermind Group

Napoleon Hill, of the book Think and Grow Rich describes a mastermind group as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

Don’t you like the way that sounds?  There are all sorts of mastermind groups.  And they can bring different perspectives to the table that you may not have thought about for your business.

You may be asking yourself how to go about creating a mastermind group?  The following are simple steps you can do today, to get one started:

As an example, I will use the Make Money Blogging niche.  And you can be more specific by narrowing it down to maybe Mom Bloggers Make Money Online niche.

  1. Find the most active online mom blog communities.  A few good ones are Circle of Moms, Mom Bloggers Club, and BlogHerMom.
  2. Become a member and create a profile and join a few groups that are relevant to your business.
  3. Find out who appears to be the most active or supportive (maybe it’s not even the most active person) but throw out a post saying that you are trying to create a mastermind group.
  4. The next step is to create your mastermind group on Facebook.  This way you make it easy for everyone to find the group and you can make it a closed group, which is a great feature.
  5. Create simple guidelines for the group and just make sure to check back with each other once a week to share your progress.

If you currently belong to any forums regarding your niche, you could ask a few of your colleagues if they would like to be a part of a mastermind group.

Once you have created your group, you can reach out to others via all the Mom blog networks.  Create posts, defined in three simple points, what your mastermind group is about and ask if anyone would like to join.  Make sure you point out that you would like serious interest only and people that will be partaking in the community or the process.  You don’t want to start a group only to have it go defunct a month later due to you being the only one who participates.  Crickets, crickets.

Let people know that you will approve people on a case by case basis.

Meetup.com is another great place to create a local mastermind group in your community.  This way, you can meet face-to-face and really be held accountable.

Now to You?

Whether you choose to be your own accountability partner or have someone holding you accountable, make sure you have a plan to keep motivated.  As you know, some days are harder than others.  It is always good to give ourselves a kick in the ass or have someone else do it so we can continue to reach our ultimate goal.

How do you stay on track and stay motivated?  Are you someone that can always hold yourself accountable?  How do you do it?

[Top Photo Credit]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lisa Stein owns FreelanceMom.com, is a college business professor and a mom to Gabriela and Elle. Lisa is dedicated to playing a part in helping women and moms run a business they love, help support themselves and their family and create a flexible lifestyle. You can find her online on Facebook and Twitter or at home burning something in the kitchen.