In case you haven't yet noticed on this blog, Hacking Your Education: Ditch the Lectures, Save Tens of Thousands, and Learn More than Your Peers Ever, is a great book. It's worth checking out if you're interested in ways to continue learning, to get an education without spending a ton of money on college, or to do things that help you figure out your passions and what you want to do with your life, The idea of an accountability buddy also came from this book, where you have someone (or maybe a small group of people) hold your feet to the fire in regards to your goals and/or your to-do lists.
Losing Your Accountability Buddy is Tough
About six months ago, the coaching program with my business coach ended, and I think things went downhill since then. The most valuable thing that my business coach provided me was accountability, which is difficult to have by yourself when you're an entrepreneur or self-employed. You can't rely on your clients and customers to do this, and you may not necessarily have a boss or business partner to hold you accountable if you're an entrepreneur or self-employed. Without an accountability buddy, all you have is yourself and when you only have yourself, it gets easy to put off a task, to make an excuse, or to say that you're going to do something else that's equally productive instead.
I loved having a business coach to hold me accountable because I know that she cared about me, and I cared about her. When it came to my goals and to-do lists, I was much more motivated to get things done because I was left with two choices when I didn't do something. I could either tell my business coach I didn't do it, or lie to her about doing it. Since I never liked either of those choices, the best option was always to do what I needed to do and what I set out to do. After all, there's nothing to it but to do it! I lost much of this motivation when my coaching program ended, as I no longer had someone who was going to ask questions and to check up on these things.
I Have an Accountability Buddy Again
Starting in January 2014, I'm restarting my business coaching with my business coaching (I'm only putting it off because I need to save money for my end-of-the-year expenses, such as the holidays and my coworking membership). Even through I'm not officially under her tutelage for another two months, just knowing that I'm going to have to talk about these next two months in January and show something for myself is enough to keep me productive and pushing forward. I haven't been this motivated in a long time, and it's great to be energized with visions of accomplishment. What I really need is a trusted adviser who can keep me on track without micromanaging and who can who can ask the tough questions without being condescending or placing blame. My business coach fits the bill, and is also wonderful because she's shared with me several great resources that have helped me improve my business and business knowledge.
I do have a few goals set for the next two months, so it's not as if I'm wasting this down time. I do need to refine these goals and actually get them down on paper, but I at least have an idea of what I'd like to achieve in these last two months of 2013. I can't believe the year is almost over! I've come a long way, so I need to do what I can now so I can go further in 2014. An accountability buddy can help me with this.