“The more accountable I can make you, the easier it is for you to show you’re a great performer.”
Mark V Hurd – Former CEO of Hewlett Packard
I have harped on and on about the fact that I am an introvert through and through, so working on my own suits me. The problem with working on my own? I have no one to answer too. And at the end of 2019, I have been craving that human connection. This is one of the reasons I have had to cull the number of membership groups I’m in! I set out to be intentional in being open and honest in my plans to grow. This is how I have incorporated others holding me accountable in conjunction with being the captain of my own ship
1. Getting out and meeting people
My first port of call was to reach out to the various
circles I have put myself in. One thing that I am really keen on is that
whenever I work with a new client, wherever possible, I will have that first
session in person. The main reason for this is to a) meet them face to face
(often for the first time) and b) I just think you get so much more done when
you are there and can get excited together.
I reached out to my circle.
I put a shout out to say I was wanting to have some co-working / brainstorming / strategy planning sessions. These would be mutually beneficial, and two fabulous women wanted to do the same. One I have known for about 3 years in a personal, non-business capacity. We work in completely different ways, albeit from a similar industry background; and working together on each other’s problems really helped me. This was for two reasons. One – she knows me on a personal level. Two, she came at my blocks with a totally different perspective so some who are in my industry would. From this session, the seeds of my 2020 strategy were sewn, something which I am continuing to work on.
Session two was with a relatively new business buddy, but who lives down the road from me. With her, I was able to use terms that she understood straight away; she knows my audience and peers and also what I am capable of in a business sense. With her, I was able to plan collabs and big-picture stuff. She was able to brainstorm what was needed in the industry and how I could provide it. This in turn has fed into my 2020 strategy. Having two honest peers to feedback to me that my ideas weren’t convoluted revved up my passion for them.
2. Hiring a specific coach
Since January 2018, I have yearned to host a podcast. I gobble up any content I can in this format and I want to contribute to that online space. In my previous business, I was not in the right industry to host a podcast. When I transitioned into the work I currently do I found that this yearning got bigger. However, I couldn’t move forward as my idea just wasn’t solid enough.
Step in Alice Benham, Digitial Marketing and Podcast Coach.
I realised that I needed specific coaching to enable me to move forward, and this has really worked for me. The more specific the better! I am still working with Alice, and will reflect when we have finished. But the little dot of an idea I had when I was starting has become a fully fleshed business idea now, with offshoots and maybe even a potential second business to run alongside Zoë Dew Consulting. Just goes to show what having the right coach for you can do. If you feel your business acumen is lacking in a certain area, seek out the one person that can help you with that particular obstacle. We’re always being told to niche our businesses, same should go for the people we hire too.
3. Being present in my social media
When I pivoted to Zoë Dew Consulting, I did the work on “where my ideal clients were hanging out”. It just so happened that they were hanging out on my fave platform, Instagram. And in pivoting I was able to release my true personality on the platform. I use it to give anyone who cares to watch an insight into my business and how things are going for me. I give them permission to come into my phone and talk to me one on one through the content I share. In doing this, I have found out that my audience like polls. So I give choices on what I am going to do next, which then holds me accountable.
The majority of my enquiries now come through Instagram. When I have some time away I really notice the effort that it takes to get back to where I was before. Social media is one of the areas that is non negotiable in my business activities. Using it as an accountability tool is great to provide me with the routine and affirmations that I crave.
4. Having that one person
I have had a few “accountability buddies” over the past two years, and something has always been missing. I couldn’t put my finger on it. After some self-reflection, I work a hell of a lot better when I have goals to work towards. But crucially (and this is important) they have to be set by someone else. A woman I totally respect in business who I have known for just over a year approached me to become accountability partners. I jumped at the chance but told her what I needed to make it work.
We set a date in the diary and now meet virtually every two weeks to discuss our goals. These aren’t plucked from mid-air. These are things that we discuss together. Then I will purposely tell her what she needs to achieve and vice versa. By having this partnership I am holding myself accountable to someone that I respect. Also, I want to do well for and for me that is the magic sauce that makes this work.
5. Setting intentions in everything I do
In June I watched a really interesting webinar which sits in the topic that is affectionally known as “woo woo”. In the past I have been skeptica. But I have now learnt that is because there are some charlatans out there. They peddle the Law of Attraction is the only way to make money. Actually it is only one of the 12 Laws of the Universe. All of the laws work together. When you start to study it, it becomes clear that every law has a place in life and business. I am not coming out and saying I’m a manifesting babe. I’m just saying that I accept it a little more than I used to.
Anyway, back to the intention. After watching this webinar, I made a tiny decision to start living my life with intention. This means that everything that I do in business has a purpose and an end goal. Since making this change, I have seen way more happen in my business than ever before. This ties back to my social media, my accountability partner, the coach I have…everything. If I decide I want to make something happen, I will plan the way I’m going to do it and take my audience with me. Doing this means that I will make it happen, because I don’t want anyone to call me out for not being an action taker.
Holding others accountable
Thing is, through all of this activity, I have found myself holding others accountable all the time. Whether in the membership groups I’m in, through my client work or even just with friends, I enjoy helping others realise their potential. Gather is a new concept that I will be launching soon, tying together accountablity, productivity and success. The community aspect I crave will be served in a Facebook Group (Gather Online). The face to face element will be served through my podcast (Gather Offline) and in person events (Gather Together). 2020 is the year of Face to Face and through the pillars of accountability, productivity and success we will go on this journey together!