The #1 ‘Must Have’ to Accelerate Your Journey to Making Your Unique Impact

Written by Chelsea Dinsmore November 19, 2015

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“There is no bigger life hack in the history of the world from getting where you are today to where you want to be, than the people you choose to put in your corner. They change everything.” – Scott Dinsmore

In 2012 when Scott released the How to Connect With Anyone course for the first time ever, he was driven by the power of a community. He knew and experienced (first-hand and through others) how important small groups and accountability partners are to propel you forward further and faster than you ever thought possible.

Back then Scott placed two perfect strangers who had signed up for the course in a Mastermind group together. This simple act eventually became one of the biggest success stories that Live Your Legend has ever seen.

After their very first Skype call, these two strangers, Leah and Naz (who are by no means strangers to the LYL community now!), decided to start a business together and have been powering through life and entrepreneurship ever since.

Today Leah and Naz are going to share with you what they say is the #1 reason behind their success in what they do and why it’s the key to having weathered the many storms of entrepreneurship.

And the cool thing is…you can find yourself one of these too!

Take it away ladies!

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Life is not meant to be done alone.

And yet there’s a HUGE misconception out there that those who have ‘made it’ have done it on their own volition.

Have you ever looked at someone ‘successful’ and thought to yourself some version of: ‘Wow. They’re just so much smarter than me’ or ‘They are so damn talented, if only I had that kind of talent?’

The truth is: NOBODY walks this journey to living his or her legend alone. It takes not just immense courage, drive and determination – it takes a team.

It’s no surprise that even Scott built up an incredible team that he leaned on to make Live Your Legend an ongoing reality.

Almost all of the successful people who are currently living their legends have been catapulted and accelerated because they were brave enough to reach out for support. They found an amazing accountability partner, they had people to bounce ideas off of, they formed mastermind groups, or they had powerful mentors.

You see, you might have noticed that you can do it by yourself up to a point, but it’s those big crazy ‘impossible’ dreams that stretch you in every way imaginable and require you to bring out the ‘big guns’.

And since we are all in the business of living our legends, we need the biggest and most effective of them all:

Accountability.

Let’s face it, accountability is a b*tch, but it damn well works.

Why? Because generally we find it easy to break promises to ourselves, but when we make a commitment in front of, or to others it takes on an entirely new level of responsibility and resolve. Plus it’s way more fun to do life with others as you take those incremental steps, those baby steps toward your big, crazy dreams!

We want to share with you how we have used accountability in our lives and in business to propel us forward faster than we ever imagined possible. The simple fact is: we wouldn’t be where we are today if we didn’t have each other. We would have given up on our dreams long ago (a scary thought!).

Specifically we are going to share with you what qualities you should be looking for in your own Accountability Buddy so that you too can smash through the tough spots and realize your own unique impact in the world.

And if you’re participating in the ‘Start a Blog Challenge’ then this is a perfect and pertinent time to get yourself supported with a buddy as you step out of your comfort zone in that challenge.

When the Excitement Wears Off

Have you ever found that when you set yourself a big goal it can be really exciting when you first get going; you feel like you could take on the world and you’re super pumped up?!

But then the first tough patch hits and that original excitement is nowhere to be seen. You feel like giving up. Everything, even the simple stuff, seems like an uphill battle…

Well, finding a kick-ass Accountability Buddy means you stack the odds of winning in your favor because now you have a structure that will serve you in those dips when you want to give up.

We always laugh and say, “Thank goodness we have our ‘off’ days’ on different days!”

When to Fire up the Accountability Burners

Having an accountability buddy is particularly powerful when used for intentional periods of time leading up to a goal that is outside of your comfort zone or that is going to push you mentally or physically (or both). For example:

  • starting your first blog
  • a crazy fitness challenge or event
  • writing a book
  • running your first workshop
  • finding your passion
  • getting your first client (paying or otherwise)
  • speaking at your first event
  • figuring out your next step

And it’s important to note that this partnership doesn’t have to be a two-way street. It’s quite ok to enlist the help of someone for a specific purpose and it’s only one person’s role to be the accountability buddy.

6 Qualities That Make A Kick-Ass Accountability Buddy

Let’s dive into the six factors that make an accountability buddy a kick-ass one!

1. Being 100% Committed

Commitment is the foundation of any powerful partnership. You must both be 100% committed to not just your own mission and goal/s, but 100% invested in your partner’s success and impact. If you’re not inspired by what your partner is working on to some level, the partnership is almost guaranteed to fall short. Declare to each other what your commitment or ‘stand’ is for each other (e.g. “I 100% commit to helping you finish that 5K, I 100% commit to being a stand for you to achieve your goals no matter what and to doing everything in my power to take action toward my own goals”).

Having this commitment stated up front means that no matter what highs and lows are experienced along the way, the commitment stands strong.

Finding the perfect accountability partner can take some time and perseverance, decide on a commitment trial period or set time (e.g. 3-6 weeks) to see how well the partnership works.

Key points:

  • Share upfront what you are committed to for your own mission as well as what you are committed to regarding your partner’s success.
  • Decide on a commitment period that works for both of you.

2. Honesty and Truth

There is no question that we have what can only be described as an ‘uncomfortable’ friendship and business partnership. Why? Because we tell it like it is to each other. We have created such a safe space in our relationship that we can bring 100% truth and honesty to all of our communications. When something is ‘up’, we air our frustrations quickly and do not let them simmer (even if it’s with each other).

Honesty and truth are absolutely crucial and can take some time to cultivate. You need someone you can feel comfortable ‘hanging it all out there’ with. A space of zero judgement.

Sadly, these two qualities can be hard to find so don’t immediately gravitate toward a friend or the first person that comes to mind. Start looking within communities that already uphold these values because often even our supposed closest friends let us off the hook for fear of hurting our feelings.

Key points:

  • Give each other full permission to bring 100% truth and honesty to the relationship against a background of being a contribution to each other.
  • Take your time to find an awesome partner and don’t rush into accepting anyone, this is an important role.
  • Set the example first by being courageous enough to be truthful with your partner, often that is all that is needed to open up communications more fully, especially in the early days.
  • Always lead with love and genuine care for your partner when being authentic with them.

3. Compassionately Challenges

So now that you are 100% committed as well as bringing a real sense of truth and honesty to the partnership, you can begin building on this further by being what we like to call ‘compassionately challenging’.

This basically means you pay almost zero attention to your partner’s excuses and reasons for not fulfilling their commitment AND you challenge them to greater heights, to think bigger and to get a little crazy. After all, listening to someone’s reasons simply leads to a reasonable life and clearly none of us want that! We want unreasonable lives, right?!

This will take immense courage from both of you and you must from the outset grant 100% permission to lovingly challenge each other. It is almost always through a challenge that we become stronger and grow. So start to hold each other in such high regard that you don’t care for their excuses or what they haven’t done. All that is required is your focus to getting each other back into action again.

We have even been known to say to one another when a deadline is looming and one of us is ‘not feeling it’: “I don’t care for your thoughts and feelings right now, you committed to getting this done and you’re damn well extraordinary, so how can I support you in achieving this goal?”

Perhaps an extreme example, but we promise it works every time!

Key points:

  • Practice challenging your Accountability Partner’s views of what they are capable of.
  • Do not entertain reasons and excuses, simply ask ‘What can you take from this experience or set back?’ or ‘What will you do differently going forward to hit the target?’
  • Remind your partner that you see them as the true leader that they are and that you only challenge them because you love them and have a commitment to them (refer back to #1 Quality above).

4. Values Integrity

Having a commitment to follow through on what you say you’re going to do is paramount for this to work. To be clear: this is not about perfection. This is about giving your word to challenging tasks or goals and doing everything in your power to fulfil on that promise. If you or your partner does not value integrity then you will simply give your word to things to look good and then never follow through. It’s pretty easy to see how that will end!

Key points:

  • Lead by example by following through on your own commitments.
  • Be realistic in terms of what you can achieve in one week. Integrity is cumulative – the more you keep your word, the more you will keep your word. Get some quick wins on the board in the early weeks and gradually make promises that scare you.
  • Remember that integrity is not about always keeping your word. It’s about making a promise and honoring your word by taking as much action as possible to keep your promises and commitments.
  • If you break your promise (i.e. you don’t fulfil on a commitment) then simply acknowledge that you fell short of achieving it and let your partner know what you are committing to this week to get the job done.

5. Cares Deeply

There is simply no point having an accountability partner that either you don’t care for, or whose project or mission you aren’t interested in. Being 100% committed will be even more challenging. It is super helpful to find someone who cares about similar things to you and who genuinely cares about you as a human being.

Key points:

  • Make it a habit of asking: ‘How can I support you?’
  • Find someone who shares similar values to you.
  • Go out of your way to make a difference to your partner.

6. Natural Rapport

You know those people who you just seem to naturally ‘click’ with? That is natural rapport. It’s an ease in relating to one another and is really the ‘X’ factor in any relationship. If you find this, like we did, then grab a hold of it with both hands!

Natural rapport just makes the journey a whole lot more enjoyable and fun. There is nothing worse than working alongside someone that you don’t have rapport with. Sometimes it’s just not possible and you should move on and find someone who you do click with.

Key points:

  • If you find someone where relating to each other comes very easily then the rest of the qualities above will be easy to cultivate and agree to.
  • This involves a good dose of ‘dumb luck’.

What to Avoid When Looking for an Accountability Buddy

So now you have the top six qualities to look for in your buddy but it’s just as important to know what to avoid. The red flags, if you like.

You see, accountability is not just showing up each week to kick someone’s butt. In fact, it is far from it. An accountability partnership is a powerful relationship when you take the time to A) find the right person for you and B) be clear on the commitment and expectations.

So here are just a few of the things on the ‘what not to look for’ list to be aware of:

1. Friendship vs Authenticity

There are likely plenty of people in your life that come under the ‘friends’ banner. You know, the ones who will tell you, “No! Don’t be silly! Your butt doesn’t look big in that!’ The sad fact is that most of our ‘friends’ just tell us things to make us feel good. Essentially these are inauthentic relationships (but that’s a whole separate post!) and they have no role to play here. The cool thing is, when you do take the time to find the ‘right’ person to be your accountability buddy, they will likely become one of the deepest and most authentic friendships of your life.

2. Sympathizing vs Compassionately Challenging

Steer clear of anyone who leans into the space of sympathizing with your reasons and excuses. Sympathy is essentially when you show feelings of pity and sorrow for someone else’s challenge instead of speaking to their innate strength. What we are aiming for here is finding someone who is a compassionate challenger. Sympathy has its place, but not in the accountability setting. You DO NOT want someone who will easily let you off the hook.

3. Scolding vs Supporting

Scolding has no place and serves no purpose here (or anywhere really!). All it does is shame the other person and make them feel bad. There is a misconception that accountability has to involve aggressive, mean behaviour and communication – it’s simply not true. Find someone who is supportive of you when you slip up (and you will slip up when you’re playing BIG). Someone who asks ‘How can I support you?’ not ‘What’s wrong with you?’

Where to Find Your Accountability Buddy

So now that you know why an Accountability Buddy is important, when to enlist the help of one, what qualities to look out for and embody yourself, as well as what NOT to look for, you might be asking ‘Where do I find one of these kinds of people?!’

The perfect place to start is within communities of like-minded people, whether online or in-person, such as:

The Nuts and Bolts – How to Run Purposeful Accountability Check-Ins

So now that you’ve found your awesome Accountability Buddy, how do you make your meetings or check-in calls really count?

What you don’t want is for your accountability check-ins to turn into a friends catch up. Of course that can form part of it, but time is precious and you’re on the call for a reason. Get to business!

Nuts and bolts:

  • We recommend meeting weekly or bi-weekly so that you can stay in momentum together.
  • Agree beforehand on the exact time and dates you will meet. Lock them in your calendar.
  • We suggest your calls run for approximately 20-30min and follow the below format:

Accountability Call Format

  1. Celebrations – share something from the past week that you would like to be acknowledged for (followed by some virtual high-fiving, of course).
  2. Share what hasn’t been accomplished from the past week and how you intend on rectifying.
  3. What is your most crucial task for the upcoming week?
  4. Specifically what are you committing to getting done before next call?

Note down the commitment/s and follow up on the next call – own up or follow up!

Top tip: Check in daily using an awesome free app called Voxer – small snippet update/check in to keep you in momentum during the week or leave a motivational message.

So remember, having an Accountability Buddy is crucial to stack the odds in your favour when you are driven to live your legend… there is simply no more powerful tool we’ve come across to speed up the journey.

Let the search begin!

Leah & Naz

P.S. Don’t forget! It’s not too late to join the free Start a Blog Challenge and is the perfect opportunity to enlist the help of a powerful accountability buddy!

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“It was 18 months ago when I came across Live Your Legend and it just completely blew my mind. I was living this life thinking I have to kind of just do this. Then it was like a kid on Christmas Day with my wife thinking ‘we don’t have to do this anymore.’ It was literally a life change. It opened so many doors. Thanks for everything you’re doing.”

- Simon P., Singapore