When actors and actresses have to bulk up for big movie roles, they rarely go it alone.
They work with nutritionists and personal trainers, specialists in their fields who put their reputations on the line by agreeing to coach them. It’s not as simple as giving them a meal plan and an exercise routine and leaving them to it.
They check in with them every day, spot them at the gym and chart their progress over time.
And there’s a reason for this. I’m an optimist, but I also think that human beings are inherently lazy.
- We procrastinate and put things off, and we follow the path of least resistance.
- We put in the bare minimum that we think we can get away with so that we have time to relax in the evening with a glass of wine and a Netflix special.
Entrepreneurs, business owners and freelancers might beg to differ, but the truth is that none of us is immune to this inertia.
That’s why Gary Vaynerchuk is constantly talking about hustle.
If people were already doing it, they wouldn’t need the reminder.
It might seem as though startup founders have little in common with superhero actors like Jason Momoa, but you might be surprised.
We all need a little accountability to keep us on track, and with remote work becoming the norm, it’s never been more important to have someone who’s got your back.
Having someone to hold you accountable helps to keep you motivated, making sure that you hit your targets and that you put the work in along the way to make it happen. At the most basic level, we don’t want to let people down when they’ve expressed their belief in us and gone out of their way to offer advice and encouragement.
At a deeper level, it’s psychological – once we commit to a goal and we share it with someone, it somehow becomes more tangible than it ever was inside our head.
The easy option is to ask a friend or a family member to hold us accountable, but in my experience, that rarely works.
When people are close to us, they don’t want to rock the boat or to say anything that might upset us.
These are the people we should turn to when we need emotional support and a shoulder to cry on, not when we need a kick up the backside and someone to shout, “Just do it.”
In my own experience, I know that I tend to flit from one idea to another, and I’m lucky to work with a talented team of freelancers that I can rely on to take my ideas and to turn them into reality.
I’m also lucky that they don’t rely on me to hold them accountable because I’m too busy to chase people and to check in with them every day for a progress report. I trust them to hold themselves accountable, and this has had mixed results.
Some people have greater control over that inertia than others, and it’s the people who fail to hold themselves accountable who deliver shoddy work, miss deadlines and ultimately lose my business, as well as my respect.
There’s nothing wrong with flitting from project to project and never holding yourself accountable, as long as you recognize that that’s how you work and you take steps to combat it.
That’s one of the reasons why I created GrowthMentor.
It’s a service that I created because I knew that I’d use it myself, and one of the main reasons I wanted to use it was so that I could find a mentor who’d keep me on track and help me to focus my energy.
Remember the scene in the original Star Wars movie when the Death Stars destroys Alderaan?
If you look closely, you’ll see that the space station’s super laser works by focusing multiple laser beams into a single, more powerful beam that can destroy a planet.
That’s how an accountability partner works – they help you to focus your efforts so you can have the biggest possible impact. Although they won’t help you to blow up a planet.
2020, the year that changed remote working
Probably the second most used hashtag this year so far this year has been #RemoteWork. Everyone has been talking about it and how to make the most of it.
Remote working has its perks, but it also has its disadvantages, one of which is that you don’t have bosses and co-workers sitting next to you and making sure that you’re working when you’re supposed to be working. The added flexibility of remote working is offset by the extra opportunities for you to skive off when you’re supposed to be working or to prioritise the tasks that are the most enjoyable instead of the ones that are the most important.
Speaking personally, I know the difference that an accountability partner can make, and I think it’s naïve to expect that you’ll always be able to motivate yourself and to get things done without someone pushing you to do it.
We all have our off days, even if it’s only one day a month, and when you’re operating at the highest levels, you simply can’t afford it.
Having an accountability partner can make the difference between success and failure.
The only real question is: who’s holding YOU accountable?
Check out our Accountability Program