The Accountability Strategy You Can Use Today

Image of Help NoteHow do you stay on track with the goals you set?

Who is there to prop you up when life can leave you punch drunk with drama and stress?

If you don’t include anyone else in your venture or invite them to join you along the way then it’s like going on a roller coaster without using the lap bar.

You’re going to fly off track (it will likely hurt less in business).

Mastermind groups

Look at your Twitter stream. Look at your Facebook friends. Check the “regulars’ in your email inbox.

Who are the people you can identify, right now, that have an interest in you. You want to contact a couple of them and let them know you value them and would like to include them.

Try something like this in an email or shorten it for direct message:

Hello [insert name],

Hey there I hope all is well with you these days.

I just wanted to drop you a line to say that I value your opinion and enjoy having you [as a Twitter follower or Facebook friend] as someone I can reach out to on occasion .

Recently I’ve started a project that I’m passionate about but I need encouragement to stay on course.

Would you mind hearing about what I’m doing so that you can help keep me on track when I start to slack off? All I’ll need is the occasional email, direct message, and/or Skype call to make sure I report to you that I’m keeping on task.

Message me back when you have a moment, please, and we’ll take it from there!

Signed  ~Me

Now, this isn’t a perfect template. I’m giving you ideas on how you can approach someone in your current circle of friends and followers. The point is, having a mastermind group or accountability partner is a major help.

Our group

Danny Iny, Paul Wolfe, and Caleb Wojcik and I are all in a mastermind group. You’ve likely seen Danny guest-posting his well-written and researched content on sites like Problogger and Copyblogger lately.

Paul, he’s a savvy guy for all things video marketing. I recommend you visit Paul’s site and opt-in for his 10 module course on How To Write an Ebook if you find you’re stuck creating your first (or next) ebook.

And there’s Caleb who’s working to educate twenty-somethings about personal finance – no easy feat!. This is a topic that deserves a lot more attention than it receives and Caleb’s the guy for this mission.

We meet every other Saturday on Skype to discuss our goals. We have a hot seat session at the beginning of our call to see where we all stand. Did we meet our stated goals?

Why or why not?

What will we accomplish in the next two weeks?

Then we chat about what we think of our future projects. It’s great. It holds us accountable to each other and we have victories to share on the next call.

Consider finding a group, even if it’s just one or two other people and open up a call. Flesh out your projects, your ideas, your desires for the future. You may be surprised what you come up with next.

Stay accountable

Give a mastermind group some thought for your project. Think about all those retired projects and dreams that you packed away. The ones you were excited about but then “shelved” because you just couldn’t get them done while living your life.

Write down your goals and pick up the phone or compose a new message to reach out to your accountability partner. Then work diligently to make sure the next week of experiences is one you’ll be proud to share with the group.

Feel free to contact me here if you’re lacking a support network and we can chat.

Do you have any accountability tips or hacks you can share?

Photo: dimi3


22 Responses to The Accountability Strategy You Can Use Today
  1. Danny @ Firepole Marketing
    June 13, 2011 | 3:55 pm

    Hey Jon, thanks for the shout-out to our little group!

    I agree with you completely about the importance of this sort of accountability – knowing that you’ve committed to someone that you will get something done makes a huge difference!

    (Hell, just in the last two weeks, I wouldn’t have pushed myself as hard if I hadn’t committed to you guys that I would get all four tasks done!)

    It’s a pleasure being in the group with you, Jon – it’s exciting to see that we all grow faster because of it. )

    • Jon
      June 13, 2011 | 9:38 pm

      You bet, Danny. It’s a great thing to have and I’m glad we’ve been keeping at it. We will grow and benefit from all this work together. The sum of the parts…

  2. Adrienne
    June 13, 2011 | 7:53 pm

    Now that sounds like a fabulous idea Jon. Nothing short of perfect coming from you my friend.

    I have no doubt that all 3 of you guys are able to keep everyone on tract. Really appreciate this tip. Might have to give this some serious thought!

    As always, awesome post. Thanks again my friend.

    Adrienne

    • Jon
      June 13, 2011 | 9:40 pm

      Hey Adrienne :)

      Glad you like the idea – it can certainly help keep you on track. We’ve also pitched ideas at each other and helped flesh them out more before taking a leap so it’s quite useful having these sessions.

  3. A. Leigh Edwards
    June 14, 2011 | 11:47 am

    Hi Jon,

    What an outstanding idea! Thank you for sharing this innovative idea. When you have an accountability partner there’s no turning back…You MUST walk your talk!

    • Jon
      June 14, 2011 | 9:42 pm

      Hey welcome and thanks for stopping by!

      Exactly – setting up these accountability partners pushes you past the point of no return. Get it done :)

  4. Catarina
    June 14, 2011 | 1:33 pm

    Agree Jon, it’s super important to have a support group to give you pep talks and ask for help when you get stuck. Good luck with your mastermind group.

    • Jon
      June 14, 2011 | 9:43 pm

      Thanks, Catarina, it’s working well so far. The support group comes in handy even when you’re missing your goals. You make sure that if you have a slow week you aim high the next and knock the next week out of the park.

  5. Dr. Bob Clarke
    June 14, 2011 | 3:38 pm

    Hi Jon,

    I’ve actually been using an accountability strategy since I started. I’m a huge fan of Mastermind groups, but I’ve also had a single accountability partner who has helped me keep on track.

    There are now quite a few training courses that have adapted this concept and have students pair off as “running buddies” or accountability partners. It helps them keep on track during the trainings.

    Thanks for the great reminder on the importance of being held accountable. It’s just way too easy to justify not doing something when going it alone!

    • Jon
      June 14, 2011 | 9:45 pm

      Howdy, Dr.!

      We can be so self-sabotaging on our own, amazing isn’t it? I haven’t noticed that training courses have been pushing the accountability factor lately. That’s a good thing and I’m sure it helps reduce the product creator’s support ticket count :)

  6. Jane | Find All Answers
    June 15, 2011 | 4:09 am

    Jon,

    This is a wonderful idea. As long as we have someone who needs our report and a deadline that is a great push. Accountability really boosts us in the right direction.

    How did you guys became part of the mastermind? Was it a private call among yourselves?

    Cheers,
    Jane.

    • Jon
      June 20, 2011 | 9:27 pm

      Hey Jane,

      You’ll appreciate this: the mastermind idea all started with a blog comment :) It was on Danny’s site and I had made mention of something in passing and then Danny jumped right on making the suggestion a reality. We emailed back and forth about other members that we thought would be a value-add and contacted them. It all just worked itself out after that comment!

      A nudge is all we need sometimes.

  7. Marcus Baker
    June 15, 2011 | 6:06 am

    Hi Jon,

    Awesome advice and I love the template by the way!

    I am part of a Mastermind group that meets once a week and we do much what you do in your group so I know that it works really well.

    I enjoy listening to what the others are doing and if there is a way for me to support them in some way which they all do with me too. It’s such a simple concept but very effective.

    Great that you wrote about this Jon.

    ~Marcus

    • Jon
      June 20, 2011 | 9:29 pm

      Thanks, Marcus. Yeah the template is just a foundation – anyone may edit at will.

      It’s always great to hear of another person leveraging the power of a mastermind group! Great stuff.

  8. Jayne Kopp
    June 15, 2011 | 12:19 pm

    Jon, great advice. having an accountability partner is very helpful. I have a coach, but I do think that even a small group of people on top of my coach would be a helpful addition because I would also be ‘giving back’ as well.

    I loved the idea of your template to send out. It is a great way for people to build relationships and help one and other along.

    Thanks for the great reminder and suggestions for those who feel alone.

    Jayne

    • Jon
      June 20, 2011 | 9:34 pm

      Coaches are great too, Jayne. Some people can’t spare the coin for a coach so a group of peers works well in place of paid mentoring.

      You aren’t alone :)

  9. Jeanine Byers Hoag @ Dressing My Truth
    June 15, 2011 | 4:27 pm

    Hi Jon! I completely agree with you about the value of being in a mastermind group. The support is invaluable!!

    But so is the accountability. I have been in several wonderful mastermind groups, but the smallest has been my most helpful of late. I have a writing buddy and we talk every week about where we are in our writing projects.

    As I was writing the ebook I just published, she kept encouraging me along the way and reminding me that the point is to get it published (because I wrote one over a year ago that I never launched). I was SOOO grateful to be accountable to her about whether or not I got it done and so proud when I finished & published it!

    So you’ll get no argument from me! Mastermind groups are the way to have the kind of accountability you need.

    • Jon
      June 20, 2011 | 9:37 pm

      Yes, absolutely invaluable.

      Well you’re buddy did right by you. She knew that the main hurdle was publishing it. That alone is the biggest accomplishment. I won’t lie, there are a solid half dozen or so projects parked on my hard drive that may never see the interwebs. But that’s okay, I’m shipping new products now and apparently so are you! Congrats to you (I saw your post announcing your book).

      Keep publishing!

  10. Dev @ Blogging Tips
    June 17, 2011 | 11:21 am

    Hi Jon,

    What a fantastic idea, you’re sharing here. I first heard about Mastermind groups from Pat Flynn but never paid much attention to it.

    You all guys are doing great work.

    Thanks for sharing this awesome post, my friend.

    ~Dev

    • Jon
      June 20, 2011 | 9:38 pm

      Hey Dev! Mastermind groups are quite helpful. Depending on the type of project you’re engaged in I suppose they may or may not be of use. They do require a block of time to commit to but it’s time invested (not time spent).

  11. Diana Simon
    June 19, 2011 | 8:02 pm

    Hi Jon,

    I think accountability is very powerful and can get a person into action.

    I started an accountability partner program online but there was little response. I have tweaked it and now it’s on an individual basis.

    It’s great you have an mastermind group and Danny rocks. I just connected with him recently and he’s guest posting everywhere. I will check out the rest of the people in your group.

    All the best,
    Diana

    • Jon
      June 20, 2011 | 9:40 pm

      Those individual basis programs can sometimes turn into a movement all unto themselves so keep tweaking :) I wish you well with it and yep, Danny is a group asset for us. You’re posting high-quality and useful info at your site – just wanted to say I’ve noticed (and commented).

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