Working with an accountability partner is the-the best technique for long-term business success in pro audio because:
- It’s easy to slow down and give up and say, “I’ve tried everything and nothing is working.”
- It’s easy to forget to contact new potential clients when you are busy with work.
- It’s easy to feel isolated and alone when you never meet with your colleagues.
You have an accountability partner.
[the following is adapted from Ryan Eliason]
- Inspiration – Hearing your partner’s successes and failures will keep things in perspective. When you realize that other people are sharing your struggles and your journey, they become less intense.
- Keep focused on your vision, goals and priorities – Your partner will be aligned with your goals and remind you when your focus strays.
- Staying in action – Apathy is a killer. Regular forward motion is the cure.
- Building integrity – Your partner will hold you to your word.
- Celebration! – Build momentum by celebrating regularly.
Finding a partner
It may benefit you to meet with someone in the audio industry, but as you’ll soon see, this exercise is more about building integrity and forward momentum and less about networking and knowledge exchange.
I met my accountability partner in Ryan Eliason’s business coaching program. Pavel works in software development in Australia and knew little about my business and my life when we started. A year and a half later, we are still meeting weekly and I can easily say that it’s the longest lasting benefit I received from that program. Thanks Pavel!
The first place to look would be any local groups of entrepreneurs who are interested in supporting each other for long-term success. Business networking MeetUp groups are great for this. Try to find someone reliable who agrees with your ideal frequency and format. It will also help if they are at a similar point on the path as you, but it’s not necessary.
Suggested frequency and length of sessions
Split the time equally. Be efficient. Avoid giving advice.
- Weekly 30-40 min call
- Bi-weekly for 60 min
- Monthly for 60-90 min
- Combination of longer and shorter calls
Keep small chat to a minimum. Connect briefly then move to structure.
From last week or month (depending on how often you meet)
- What would you like to celebrate?
- Did you do ______ (specific action commitments from your last meeting)?
- If yes, great!
- If not, do you want to recommit to those actions?
- What are you learning?
For next week or month (depending on how often you meet)
- What two short-term goals would you like to set?
- One business goal.
- One lifestyle, well-being, or personal goal.
- What specifically will you do next? Every goal needs at least a first action.
- Wrap up by scheduling your next meeting.
- Take notes on your own commitments as well as your partner’s commitments. Have the notes handy at your next meeting.
***This structure is a suggested guideline. If you and your partner want to create a modified structure, go for it! If you create something that works really well, I want to hear about it. Comment below.
- Keep your agreements with your partner.
- Show up to your appointments on time.
- Keep everything your partner shares completely confidential.
…for the supporting partner
Listen for their greatness
- Hold them as naturally resourceful and capable of overcoming any challenges.
- Believe in them.
- See them as having amazing potential way beyond where they are now.
Hold the space
- Stick to the structure of the call.
- Don’t get stuck in tangents, instead, ask the question again.
- Don’t try to be a good coach or consultant, there is more power in simplicity here.
- Don’t work too hard, let them do the heavy lifting in the conversation.
- Keep track of time.
Do not give advice
- You do not need to fix them.
- You do not need to help them solve their problems.
- Advice is overrated. People usually find advice somewhat annoying, and rarely helpful.
- Whatever goal or challenge your partner is working on, don’t get sucked into focusing on it and problem-solving with them. Instead, focus on their goals and next actions.
Do not make them wrong
- Do not make anything wrong about the person or what they are doing.
- Trust their process and their journey. Let go of your ideas about how things should be.
Instead, suggest actions
At the very end of the call, once you have completed everything else, if you think you had a brilliant idea that might help them (something to do, someone to call, etc.) then, ask their permission to make a suggestion. If they say yes, keep it brief. For example, “Have you tried this?”, or “I suggest calling Mr. X. They might be a good resource for you.”
Guidelines for the partner being supported
Share powerfully, vulnerably and authentically.
- This is not your time to look good or be impressive or keep it all together.
- This is also not a therapy session. The goal is not to have a witness or support for darkest shadow and hidden feelings.
- This is not a time to get sympathy or to seek agreement or validation.
- Instead, the goal is to speak from your heart. Summon your inner wisdom and power. Use this time to get really clear about who you are, what you’re most passionate about, and what you’re committed to.
- Don’t focus on the problem. Instead, focus on your vision and your goals. Focus on what you need to do to get where you want to go. Focus on your inspiration and your passion.