The beginning stages of business can be ridiculously overwhelming.
Especially as a Solopreneur.
On top of the already epic challenge of learning everything, you have to battle with the isolation and loneliness of working for yourself.
You have no one to talk to, no one to confide in and no one to bounce ideas off.
The loneliness gets dangerously defeating.
It makes it difficult to maintain motivation and remain confident in your ability to make it all work.
But have no fear, there is light at the end of the tunnel.
After my first year in business, determined to stop feeling so alone and like I wasn’t making any progress, I decided I needed some extra accountability and peer-support.
So I set a new goal.
I was going to find myself a business bestie.
What is a Business Bestie?
A business bestie is the same as an accountability partner or a goal buddy.
It’s someone who can provide you with some much-needed solidarity and keep you accountable for what you say you will do.
You can share your goals and progress with them and more importantly, your failures and challenges.
It’s a level of support in your business that is blissfully free from embarrassment and shame.
Your business bestie is right there in the trenches with you, battling the same problems as you are.
They understand your struggle.
They know what you’re trying to achieve
You can rely on each other to survive.
How to Find Your Business Bestie
There are three essential steps to finding yourself the perfect accountability partner.
All three are super simple but might take some extra effort for you to jump out of your comfort zone (especially if you’re an introvert).
Step One: Make a list of five potential people.
Run through all your existing relationships (personal and professional) and see if anyone matches your desired criteria.
Remember, a good business bestie will
- Have similar goals to you;
- Be in a similar stage of growth;
- Have contrasting talents and gifts;
- Be able to learn from you (and vice versa).
If you can’t come up with a list of 5 people you already know, then check out some Business Facebook groups and see if anyone is interested.
Here is a sample post you can tweak and use to find your person.
I am looking for an awesome goal buddy who can help me create some accountability for my business goals.
I want someone willing to catch up once-a-week to go over what our goals are, what we achieved, what sucked and what we need to do next.
I’m hoping for someone who has different strengths to me so that we can provide each other real value.
My three biggest strengths are…
- Blah, blah
- Blah, blah, blah
My ideal meet up arrangement is….blahdy blah blah.
If you’re interested, let me know in the comments or send me a DM.
Ps. Please no sales pitches or coaching propositions. I am looking for a peer-to-peer relationship that is mutually beneficial so that we can grow together.
When you have your top five list, pick the person you value the most.
Don’t settle for mediocre.
Find someone who is as passionate as you.
Step Two: Reach Out And Set The Meeting
Whether you find someone in your current circle or you look further afield into the dark recesses of Facebook groups, you still need to make the first meeting happen.
So the next step is to reach out to the person you choose and tee up a time to meet.
Make sure you both know what time, where and how it will all go down.
Will it be in person? Via Skype? Audio or video? How will you meet? How often will it be?
You also want to plan what you’ll talk about, so stick with this simple framework for your discussion:
- What went well this week?
- What was your biggest challenge?
- What would you like to improve?
- What is the goal for next week?
My advice is to schedule the first meetup as soon as possible so that you don’t chicken out.
And make it early in the day to reduce your likelihood of cancelling.
Step Three: Show up and stick to the plan
You did the groundwork; you found your person and created your plan.
Now you need to show up and start making conversation.
Developing your relationship with your business bestie shouldn’t feel like a chore or just one more thing to add to your to-do list.
It should be fun, rewarding and offer you a chance to get all your grievances out in the open, as well as get clear on your goals and the vision you have for your business and your life.
Accountability can be the difference in hitting your goals this month or spending your days twiddling your thumbs and making no progress.
So make it happen.
11 Poor (But Common) Excuses for Avoiding Accountability
I get that being held accountable can be intimidating and scary.
We start thinking about hard it will be to follow through on what we say we will do, and how difficult the task might be to accomplish.
But instead of thinking about all the things that could go wrong, shift your thinking to all the things that could go right.
Wouldn’t you prefer to improve your results, make faster progress and thrive off the feeling of partnership?
Here are eleven common excuses for putting off accountability and why you should quit using them now.
- You don’t want to make an effort – can you afford to keep going without extra support?
- You don’t know what you will talk about– considering you both run businesses; you could start there. Plus I gave you the simple discussion framework above.
- You’re scared of accountability – aren’t we all, but would you prefer to make zero progress?
- You’re afraid to reach out – pick someone you already know.
- The Introvert excuse – control the process; from selection through to meet up requirements and find someone who is in-tune with your character and approach.
- You don’t know where to look – post a ‘help wanted’ ad in your FB groups. You’re bound to get a bite.
- You don’t think you could keep up with the routine of it – just start with the first meetup; in person, over the phone, over email; you choose. Start with one.
- You’re scared of the commitment – If it doesn’t work out, you can dump them. This isn’t life or death; it isn’t even love or loss.
- You’re not great at networking – again, pick someone you know already, or ANYONE you have made contact with online that you clicked with – I found my business bestie at the dog park!
- You don’t have the time – but you have time to scroll through Facebook?
- You don’t think you need it – are you where you want to be with your business right now?
Let’s face it; you need accountability to move forward.
And the more excuses you make, the longer it will take for you reap the benefits of having another level of support on your business journey.
Now that you have the steps to make it happen, all you have to do is take the leap to follow through.
- Make your list of potential people.
- Reach out and set a meeting.
- Show up and stick to the plan.
It’s that simple.
Ps. If you’re struggling to stay focused and looking for some more helpful hacks to boost your productivity, you can grab your free productivity toolkit here.