Many entrepreneurs use a Board of Advisors when starting a new project or venture. It can be helpful to have a group of people who can share insight or feedback for the idea and provide a sounding board for the entrepreneur.
But it’s hard to know who to approach when you are first starting. And you may not have the “people capital” established yet to know how to ask a group of talented entrepreneurs, bankers, accountants, lawyers and other small business experts to support you with your business. (Plus it takes time to coordinate schedules and plan the agenda!)
So I’ll recommend using an accountability partner as you start your business.
An accountability partner is a coach, mentor or sponsor who keeps you on target with following your goals. Think of them like a fitness trainer – they provide coaching for when you are working out, motivate you when you get tired and keep you disciplined when you’d rather do 8 reps instead of 12.
I used one exactly in this manner when I first started working out (again!) a few years ago. A friend who was super committed in the gym sent me emails and texts to see how my workout had gone for the day. Since I knew she was excited about working out and I needed motivation – it became a great tag team system. I refused to want to share bad news in my updates – that I didn’t have time, energy, blah..blah..blah.. to work out. So I stayed on course and worked out for 30 days straight.
I’m happy to say that I’ve been pretty consistent about wanting to work-out ever since. Sure I have my bad weeks – or even months! But whenever I fall back into the slump, I pick the phone and ask for my touch base emails or texts again. It works like a charm.
If you are thinking this may be a good tool for you to ensure you stay on point to accomplishing your goals for 2011, identify someone in your warm network who would be willing to follow-up with you every week or month on your business goals. (Exercise and other types of goal might take on a daily schedule -but most small business projects won’t benefit from a schedule like this).
The accountability partner becomes your coach – listening and asking questions to help you stay on focus. They are not necessarily there to provide feedback. That’s a separate step. You want them to listen to what you accomplished and what you want to achieve before the next touch base. You can connect either via phone or email.
So think about someone that you would like to nominate and reach out to them. If they accept share 1-2 goals that you want to achieve by the time you speak to them again.
Share with us what happens!