Working from home as a solopreneur is something that brings with it the luxury and freedom of setting the schedule (and wearing the wardrobe!) of my choosing. There is also the isolation and void of having no one to bounce ideas off of and no one to be accountable to. I don't have a boss hanging over my shoulder expecting resutls by 5 pm. Of course, I have clients that expect results, but as long as they're delivered in a timely fashion, it doesn't really matter if I perform at 6 am or 6 pm or midnight, right? Wrong... if I want to have any kind of a lifestyle.
Last week I made the leap and "got" an accountability partner. My partner,Anne McAuley, is involved in the same field of expertise that I am and that's a boon as we know the obstacles faced in that career path and we can help each other brainstorm and our connections feed off of each other. We sent messages to each other of the items to which we wanted to be held accountable and when we got on the phone we hashed them out, set goals and planned for another talk. I think it's going to work!
Here are the reasons I decided it was time to seek out an accountability partner:
- If you want to propel your business forward in 2013, you might need a bit of a shove to make it happen. Are you stuck on not knowing where or how else to market yourself and your services? An accountability partner might have great ideas and insights you'd never considered.
- A brainstorm partner. Having someone you can go to when you need to brainstorm -- whether it's a blog topic for a new client, the best way to set up your editorial calendar, or whether a project you're considering is even a good fit -- helps you connect and uncover new avenues.
- As the name so clearly states... having someone to be accountable to is a big part of it. If I sit at home and say "I should write a newsletter" the only one listening in the Diva Poodle Henrietta. If I speak it out loud to Anne, she is going to ask me about it when we speak next. Knowing I have to perform and report to someone is a motivator.
- Your own cheerleading section. If you are an entrepreneur and you reside with a non entrepreneur, he or she may not understand how BIG your successes are when you reach them. An accountability partner understands every hard won success and will raise a virtual glass of wine with you!
- Increased productivity anyone? While the joys of working from home and being self employed are myriad, it is easy to slip into periods of time when you spend far too many hours on Pinterest looking at crafts that you will never complete, playing Words with Friends, or simply trolling Facebook to see who's having more fun than you are! Knowing that you could reach out to your accountability partner and say.... "Help!" is a stress reliever and can enhance productivity.
2013 is going to be a year of change and growth in my business and I have taken the first step in that process. What will you do to grow your business this year?
Robbi Hess, Social Wordsmith, is a professional blogger, social media consultant and creative thinker. She works with entrepreneurs providing professional writing services including: web copy, newsletters, guest and ghost blogging and long letter copywriting. She is also a speaker on the subjects of time management, writing and productivity. “Helping entrepreneurs find the ‘write’ words!”