If you’re like most creative professionals who work independently, your mind is always whirling with new ideas, new projects, new goals. But that can get dizzying! So it’s important to balance that with stability, which often comes in the form of other people!
Those other people can be an accountability buddy, a small group of colleagues and/or a mentor – whether formal or informal – people with whom you share struggles, brainstorm ideas, work on your professional development, and celebrate successes.
It also helps to have some structure. So here are 6 steps to help you put a strong accountability process in place, from Jenny Poff, founder of the Designers Roundtable and the upcoming Designers Retreat (to be held in Nashville, this June 25-26 – enter by 5/22 to win a free ticket):
- Find a Creative Colleague: Best results come from having a partner that understands your industry. Find another independent creative with whom you would not be a direct competitor. You can better relate to each other’s struggles and more effectively celebrate success (because you know how hard the work is).
- Be Transparent: You both have to feel confident that your ‘accountability meeting time’ is a safe, filter-free and confidential zone. Be honest, be real, be transparent with one another. Chances are you may be stuck in your own head and are missing valuable perspectives that you can’t see. Be receptive to hearing different ideas and solutions about the same problem. You will be amazed at how seeing things from a different angle will generate more clarity and results.
- Set Tangible Goals and Deadlines: Accountability is only effective when measurable and trackable goals are set. Brainstorm your business development to-do list. Then prioritize the tasks and set deadlines so you will be able to determine with your partner which tasks you want to get done in the shortest time frame.
- Push Your Limits: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable” and reach outside your comfort zone. Your accountability partner will help you stay realistic, but also help you be a successful entrepreneur and take healthy risks to aid in the growth of your business.
- Regular Check Ins & Meetings: Block out time weekly/monthly to check in on each others’ tasks and goals to make sure you really are setting aside time to work “on” your business, in addition to “in” your business.
- Be Cheerleaders For Each Other: You are each other’s coach and inspiration. One reason the Designers Roundtable has grown so strong is because we all trust each other and champion each others’ successes. The return is knowing you have people cheering on your business, celebrating the small and big successes! Give support and you will receive abundantly.
- Don’t Give Up: Getting into the rhythm with someone can take time. Set a timeframe to get in sync as well as a time frame to accomplish your goals. Otherwise you will be “chasing the carrot” and not experiencing the sense of accomplishment. It’s crucial to set tangible goals and more importantly a time frame.
Having an accountability partner or group will help ensure you take your business seriously and that’s what makes it grow!
If you need help, check out these links for more info about the group and the upcoming event, June 25-26 in Nashville: