When I first became a member of Wealthy Web Writer, I really, really wanted to be a copywriter. And, as someone who has a background in online marketing, web writing was perfect for me.
But, for some reason, I just couldn’t get serious. I wanted to be successful, but I struggled with telling myself “No” when I wanted to skip studying or writing in order to do something a little more … fun.
A TV show I wanted to watch? My website could wait.
A three-day weekend at the lake? I could contact that potential client next week.
A colorful sunset? That article could wait until after dark …
See the pattern?
I just kept putting off my success — and the amazing things that were sure to come when I achieved my goals — for small, temporary pleasures.
Now, you should understand, I was aware of exactly what I was doing, but I made myself feel better by saying, “There’s always tomorrow.”
I figured I could have some fun now and just work at my J.O.B. one more day to make up for it.
But, days turned into weeks, and weeks to months, and before I knew it, a year had passed. And, I still hadn’t finished the copywriting program, set up my website, or done anything else that would bring me success. I was all talk and no action.
But, finally — luckily — something clicked inside of me and I’d had enough. I was frustrated watching new copywriters come in and pass me by. I was bored watching dust settle on my copywriting materials. And, I was tired of working for The Man.
And, I knew things had to change if I ever expected to reach my goals.
Since I was serious about being a successful web writer, I figured I better get serious about knocking items off my to-do list. So, I thought long and hard about what would actually make me move forward in my business. For me, it was someone else to answer to: an Accountability Partner.
I needed someone who was in a similar place in his career, knew what I was working toward and why, wouldn’t let me off the hook, and wanted me to do the same for him.
At the time, I had a few copywriting buddies who were also always talking about success, but not doing anything about it. But, I only had one who would give it to me straight.
I approached him with my idea. He didn’t take much convincing (he was very enthusiastic about it) and we began a relationship that would strengthen our commitment to our businesses — and weaken our excuses.
Obviously, I recommend finding an Accountability Partner — especially if you’re letting procrastination ruin your future. So, here’s what to look for when making your choice:
1. Someone who understands what you’re working for and why.
If your Accountability Partner doesn’t understand why you want to work at home, make good money, and have all the other benefits that go along with being a web writer, she’s not the right person for you. If she’s content working 9-to-5 and thinks everyone else should be, too — look somewhere else.
She’ll let you get by with excuses far too often and she’ll undermine your success. When you’re discouraged, she’ll say things like, “It’s okay. You did your best. At least you have a job. You might hate it, but lots of people don’t even have jobs … ”
You do not need someone like that!
You need someone who will say, “Get up, dust yourself off, and try again. No one said it would be easy, but it will be worth it! Remember why you’re doing this? Because you hate your J.O.B. You hate schedules and meetings and office politics. You want to write from your deck, the beach, anywhere but an office.”
2. Someone who won’t let you make excuses.
Excuses will consume your life — if you let them. That’s why it’s important to find an Accountability Partner who knows this, and knows the difference between an excuse of “the dog-ate-my-homework” variety and one of real merit.
If your excuse is the flu, you might need an extension on your daily commitment. But, if your excuse is American Idol, you need someone firm enough to tell you staring at the TV for an hour is not the best use of your time and will not help you accomplish your goals.
Plus, a really good Accountability Partner will make you feel good about working when you want to be playing.
3. Someone who is in a similar place on his success path.
When your Accountability Partner is working toward a goal similar to yours, you’ll both experience the same ups and downs. You’ll know how to help each other during the down times and you’ll understand how amazing the ups feel.
Plus, seeing your Accountability Partner achieve small successes along the way will keep you motivated and working so you don’t get left behind.
Once you find an Accountability Partner that meets these three suggestions, here’s how to make the most out of the relationship:
- Decide how often you’ll check in with your Accountability Partner. I like to check in daily, but this could be weekly depending on how fast and often you’re working.
- At your check-in times, let your partner know what you accomplished during the previous period, and what you’ll be working on during the next day or week. This holds you accountable because once you say what you intend to do, any attempt to get out of it will just be an excuse.
- When you’re tempted to do something other than what you committed to do, remember you’re not only letting yourself down, you’re letting your partner down, too. Plus, think about how you’ll feel admitting you watched TV instead of moving your business forward … Especially, when he tells you he missed the big game so he could get that much closer to his goals.
- Decide if you’ll have a reward system. This could be something you’re “allowed” to do if you get a good report from your Accountability Partner — like go see a movie, take a day off, or get a massage. Or, it could be something you give each other if you both reach your goals — like a gift card.
To reach a whole new level of accountability, make your reward hinge on both of you reaching your goals for the week. If one of you slips up, neither of you gets the prize.
That’s pretty much all there is to it. You want to choose the right person and decide together how your accountability relationship will work. Other than that, just hold each other to your goals and get ready for success.
Because of my Accountability Partner, I am more productive and I procrastinate less. I don’t let myself have fun until I accomplish the task I committed to doing that day. I focus on one path and don’t let myself get distracted by shiny things. And, I have someone to bounce ideas off of and turn to when I’ve had a rough day.
What about you? Do you have an Accountability Partner?
If so, how has it helped you?
If not, head over to the Wealthy Web Writer forums where we’ve set up a special topic dedicated to helping you find your own Accountability Partner.