Accountability Partners

by Motivation, Productivity

We all have friends (or at least I hope you do!). We all have family. We have colleagues, peers and acquaintances. We have Accountability Partners. 

Wait – what? You don't have an Accountability Partner? You don't even know what that is?

That's okay. I didn't either. Then I didn't think I needed one because I loved what I was doing. I'm a pretty disciplined person. I like privacy and autonomy but I also like feedback and praise. When I used to have a boss I wanted her to let me do my thing but tell me I did a great job. Thankfully most of my bosses were like that.
When I started my own business I lost the connection with people. Even though I worked from home for 13 years and traveled solo for a decade, I still had a virtual team that I could bounce ideas off of, vent to when needed (probably more than they would have liked), and whine about the car rental of Middle Earth at DFW airport. I ended up telling my husband every last thing I did all day long to prove I was doing something all day or for him to say “good job” (and mean it).  This wasn't really working for me and was boring as hell for him. I realized what I needed was an Accountability Partner.
This happened organically with Melissa. Melissa Gheen is a Productivity Coach specializing in attorneys. We went through our Productivity Coaching certification at the same time through the Productive Environment Institute. We hit it off immediately and have been partners ever since in growing our businesses. In some ways we couldn't be more different but certain aspects of our personalities are very much the same. We meet weekly and have an agenda or list of topics that we want to cover. We share ideas and information but we also share our struggles, tears, whines and wins. When one of us feels like giving up, the other person is there to let her cry or vent and then tell her to put on her entrepreneur panties and hit it. Melissa doesn't curse. Ever. When she gets mad I tell her we can be like Key and Peele and the Obama Anger Translator! Guess who is the translator?
Seriously….I don't know what I would do without her and our texts and emails to each other could often be mistaken for love letters. My business coach said “Your friends and family will support you, but they won't always get you.” I know exactly what that means now and am so thankful I have someone to get me and understand what I'm going through.
We are in the same Toastmaster's International club and give feedback to each other on speeches and evaluations. Getting constructive criticism from someone you KNOW wants you to kick bootay is imperative.
Toastmaster's District Finals - Melissa came to cheer me on.

Toastmaster's District Finals – Melissa came to cheer me on.

Why am I writing this? Because even though I am confident, capable, intelligent, energetic, persistent, determined, dedicated and unstoppable, it doesn't mean I don't have my moments. Having someone to lean on, text, call, email, play games and eat arepas with is priceless when you are on a journey that is challenging and full of the unknown.
If you need a coach and partner to take you on a journey that is scary, challenging and full of the unknown because all you know is overwhelm, stress, feeling tired and like you're on a never ending treadmill of planes, trains and automobiles, give yourself 30 minutes Strategy Session. Let's turn your whines into wins.
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Your Weekender Snapshot and Tim Ferriss’s Five Bullet Friday are my favorite emails I receive.
jim west

Principal and Managing Director, GFF Architects