Why Should I Network? The Benefits of Accountability

“True love does not only encompass the things that make you feel good, it also holds you to a standard of accountability.”
~Monica Johnson

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Penny Rosema, Negotiations Expert

In the last year or so, my business has really started to grow. I mean, it was doing OK, just limping along in the first four years, but last year? Wow! It has really started to move. I’m getting projects done, the new website is up, and I even started my own YouTube video channel. What changed in the last year, you might ask?

I got kicked in the seat of the pants.

You see, my lack of progress those first four years wasn’t because I didn’t know how to do the things I wanted to do. That information has been out there for a while now, just waiting for me to take up the hammer. It also wasn’t because I didn’t think it was important. I’d heard voices on many sides telling me it was time to get these things done. And though I might claim it, it certainly wasn’t for a lack of time. I somehow found the spare moment to keep up on the various television programs I like to watch. No the reason was much simpler and more profound.

Amelia "Mimi" Brown, Sales Maven

Amelia “Mimi” Brown, Sales Maven

I couldn’t keep a promise to myself.

Each day I would say,”I’m going to work on this” or “Today I’m getting busy on that” and somehow it just wouldn’t get done. I’d get hung up on email or Facebook or whatever and before I knew it, the day had passed with nothing of real substance getting accomplished.

Then I got chatting with a couple of my fellow members of the National Speakers Association. Penny Rosema, an expert on negotiation with decades of experience, and Mimi Brown, sales maven and organizer of vision board experiences, each suggested to me that we become accountability partners. It took a while, but when I discovered that what I told these two I was going to do tended to get done, I started telling them I was going to get serious things done.

Do I still miss sometimes? Yep. But they are there each time to encourage me and, when necessary, give me that kick in the pants I mentioned above. They don’t yell or make me feel bad. They just ask me if whatever I failed to do is really important and, if it is, what I’m going to do differently this time that is going to give me a better chance at success. How could I not succeed with them in my corner?

By the way, this isn’t about me promising them I’m going to get something done. This is about me promising myself — with them watching. They keep me from violating my trust in myself.

Are you feeling like you are spinning your wheels. Look around in your network for someone who understands what you are trying to do and might be a step or two ahead of you. You’ll be surprised what having them watch you promise yourself will do for your success.

Are you using an accountability partner? What have been some of your experiences?

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Greg Peters, president and founder of The Reluctant Networker, LLC, is a business networking specialist. He works with trade associations on both the local and national level to create a culture of better connections and greater opportunity. Find out more at www.TheReluctantNetworker.com or gpeters@thereluctantnetworker.com.

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