The phrase “accountability partner” is quite broad and encompasses a lot of territory. At its most basic, an accountability partner is someone you set up a formal relationship with, who will help provide support for your online business creation and growth. He or she is an unpaid consultant, someone you agree to work with to provide mutually beneficial support.
In its simplest terms, it's like having a business consultant who you don't pay. Instead you trade for each others consulting services. You make it your goal to help each other to succeed.
Accountability partners are like personal trainers for your business – different trainers have different personalities and different specialties. And you have different needs, too. If you're at the beginning of your business creation, you may need someone to help cheer you on. As you become more experienced and confident, you may need someone to push your boundaries and tell you when you're slacking.
Here are the main roles accountability partners can fulfill:
This type of partner can boost your confidence, give you assistance when you need it, and help you celebrate your successes. Think of running a marathon and having someone to hand you a cool drink at Mile 5, hold up a sign with your name on it at Mile 16, and greet you with a towel and a bag of ice at the finish line.
Co-travelers are at approximately the same point in their journey as you are. They're like students in the same year in high school or college; you're learning the same topics and implementing the same strategies and tools. Sometimes you help them, sometimes they help you, and sometimes you just muddle along, secure in the fact that you're both in the same place. (Picture a “Study Buddy”.)
Everyone from Oprah to Olympian Michael Phelps has a trainer or coach who pushes them just a bit farther than they think they can go. Drill sergeant accountability partners serve as a whip-cracking, rear-end-kicker to keep you on task to the goals you've set and committed to.
Shoulder to cry on.
Every once in a while (hopefully, a very LONG while), things go nuts. Plans derail, projects fail, or you just want to tear your hair out because of technical issues. When Murphy's Law proves true, you may just need to vent to someone who knows what you're going through. That person can be your accountability partner.
Wondering what headline will convert best? Need some thoughts on what to offer as an opt-in “bribe” on your new mailing list? Trying to figure out the shortest path between Point A and Point B? Grab your accountability partner and start brainstorming.
Some of these roles probably appeal to you more than others. It all depends on your own personal needs and personality. Remember that your accountability partnership is determined by you and your partner – it can incorporate whatever you decide, including 6 AM jogging buddy, lunch date, or blogging partner.