Post by Blog Manager Robbi Hess
In the BlogPaws Community Influencer Group we recently hosted a Time Management/Goal Management Challenge. One of the topics that arose from there was the idea of having an accountability partner. How to find a blogging accountability partner and how to set up the expectations for the relationship.
Here are my top seven ways to find and work with a blogging accountability partner:
Pet bloggers might want to look outside of the pet blogging realm to find an accountability partner. Why? Having someone with a perspective outside of the pet industry might help you see things you hadn’t originally and help you overcome hurdles you weren’t even aware of. If you have a cat blog and you find a dog blogger with whom to work — great! If you blog about ferrets and you find someone who is in the pet industry but who blogs mainly about topics that relate to social media or lifestyle topics in addition to pets — fantastic! That being said — you can have more than one accountability partner. Consider having three or five and then you’ve built yourself a mini-mastermind group. Ideally, keep the group to fewer than five because it could get out of control size-wise. Also with five or fewer, each person will get time to speak, share and ask for accountability.
Remember that being an accountability partner is a “volunteer gig.”
You will get as much out of the relationship as you put into it. You need to be willing to be a part of the group and be a pet blogging accountability partner. You need to be secure enough to ask for help. You have to be able to take personal responsibility for what you bring to the group and to offering suggestions and viable solutions to those in your group. The group needs to operate on a good give-and-take model.
Why do need or want to be in an accountability group?
What is your motivation? Did you need someone who can brainstorm with you for new ideas you’re considering launching? Do you need someone who can hold you accountable to meeting deadlines or launching products or simply getting blog posts written? Are you looking for a person who can toss around ideas on how to regain control of your day and your schedule and your tasks?
Write down your goals. Make note of your road blocks. Know what measurable goals you want to reach and let the group know how they can help you achieve that. Bring interesting information to the group. If you find a link that pertains to someone in the group, share that. Build a “resource library” for those of you in the group. Prior to the first meeting, send out an email to everyone so that you can all share a brief piece of information so you can hit the ground running on the first call. Use that first email as a “getting to know you,” type message. Tell who you are, what you do, why you do it, for how long you’ve done it and what you hope to achieve and what you’re hoping to get out of the group.
Look for someone who will challenge you, but not make you feel apologetic.
Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be a good fit for your accountability partner and you might not know that until you’ve spent a week or two together. You have to be strong and brave enough to say, “Hey I don’t think this is working for me.” You may not have to give in depth details and can just leave it at that. An accountability partner that doesn’t suit you will become an emotionally draining event and won’t further your business or your objectives. If you find the person you’ve chosen makes you feel as though your ideas and goals are ridiculous, then jump ship. Regardless of whether your accountability partner embraces your business idea to open a ferret grooming business it not the case – it is whether he or she can help you realize that dream through the accountability and measurable goals you’re asking for.
Commit to the relationship.
If, after the first couple of meetings – whether telephone, video or in person – you feel the relationship is going to work out, then make a commitment to that person. Commit to a six- or nine- or twelve-month relationship. This way you can truly dive into your goals and you can even set goals with those relationship “deadlines.” If you meet one month and then don’t meet again for two months and then rarely touch base, this is not an accountability relationship that is going to serve you. Your accountability relationship needs to be ongoing – I recommend at least twice a month phone calls – weekly, if you have the time.
What will you do on the call?
Set them for one hour. During the hour you (if there are two of you) will have 30 minutes. You can share your successes and those goals you might not have reached for the first 15 minutes of your 30; you can use the remaining 15 minutes to set goals for the following week, or brainstorm ideas… whatever you feel you need that week. You will, of course, need to set aside longer accountability calls if you have more people in the group. Ask the group how long they can devote to the in-person or phone meetings and then go from there. Perhaps everyone can only commit an hour and you decide to use an instant messaging chat function between calls or communicate via email. It needs to be a majority rules type relationship.
Do you have an accountability partner? What tips can you offer to others on how you made it work? Do you need an accountability partner? Ask for one here, or go to the Community and join the discussion in the Influencer group.
(Photo Shutterstock dog with notebook)