Impact Learning for Change

PhilFnd_tm-1 (2)Since inception, The Philantrepreneur™ Foundation (TPF), a 501c3 organization, has set out to have an impact in the nonprofit sector by building awareness of effective strategies and providing the tools and knowledge to increase the strength of organizations. A constant challenge for many nonprofit’s, if not all, is securing funding for the organization. Adding to this challenge was a change in the marketplace causing diminished corporate, government and donor support, plus if secured, these funds are often restricted and cannot be used for day to day operations, a vital component which attributes to success. These conditions should be a call to action for nonprofits to rethink the role earned income can have in their survival strategies. There is a proven strategy available that creates effective, sustainable long-term funding - Social Enterprise (SE).

Why then are there so few nonprofits utilizing these proven SE strategies to secure unrestricted funding? A few key factors impacting use could be attributed to awareness of the strategies, negative myths, understanding the potential for success, and how to design and implement the system. TPF aims to impact these attributes and here are two valuable resources.

First, The Philantrepreneur Foundation in partnership with Social Enterprise Ventures will impactheaderpresent IMPACT Learning 2015, a three day immersion guiding nonprofits through the key elements of marketing and the process of implementing a social enterprise business plan to create unrestricted, renewable streams of earned income. Learn the steps to become self-sustaining and self-sufficient easing the reliance on outside funding and grants.  Some of the key points we want to share are:

  • Defining Social Enterprise
  • Marketing planning and execution (both traditional methods and via digital media)
  • Leveraging a nonprofit’s assets into earned income
  • Conducting market research
  • Costing, feasibility, and breakeven analyses
  • Sales and financing
  • Business plan development
  • Collaborating with other individuals and organizations

This is a call to action to get the training to take your organization to the next level.

Impact Learning 2015 - October 26-28, Sunset Station, Henderson (Las Vegas area) Nevada. Registration is open and for all the details on the schedule of presenters, accommodations and more visit: http://PFImpactLearning.info.

Philantrepreneur_Vol3-2015_coverSecond, TPF dedicated its Summer 2015 edition of The Philantrepreneur Journal to exploring SE concepts and strategies. Grab a digital copy: The Philantrepreneur Journal.

Learn more about The Philantrepreneur Foundation, visit: TPF

Are You Headed for Doom?

 Are YOU headed for DOOM?

6 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs (and Nonprofits) need to readjust their thinking

There is a special kind of person out there who comes with the burden or pleasure of distinct character traits. Most of the time, those traits and qualities are admirable and serve them well, but in the instances we will be discussing - it can lead to total failure! I am talking about passionate entrepreneurs, and under that title, I include nonprofit leaders or founders who most people consider and generally think of as two separate animals. However, realistically, they are cut from the same cloth. It makes no difference if you chose the path of entrepreneurship or nonprofit leadership; you share the same underlying tenant - to solve a problem through a structured enterprise.  With that said, let’s agree to a basic fundamental concept position, (which might require a needed mindset shift for some - a good thing) as a nonprofit, you are an entrepreneurial enterprise. So moving forward, I will make references to being an entrepreneur and in unique instances note differences applicable to the nonprofit sector.

Let’s Change the Failure Stats!!

Entrepreneurship is a way of life, a choice that oRecipeForFailure-graphffers unlimited possibilities to those who truly believe in it and live by it. At the same time, if misunderstood, entrepreneurship can be a total waste of time. It is not something you can fake your way through; you either do it right or spend time convincing yourself that you are making progress or it will get better. There are no easy ways around it, stop looking for the simplest path, look for the correct path.

The statistics on the failure rate of entrepreneurial enterprises is alarming. What’s even worse is the number of enterprises existing in survival mode, never really reaching their full potential. Sadly, a large percentage of closures and staying in survival mode is due to poor choices - choices that could easily be changed with a little knowledge and understanding of what you need to do as an entrepreneur. Is this article meant to scare you, yes to a certain degree, but more important, it is meant to alert and help you retrace your steps to hopefully get you headed back in the right direction before your entrepreneurial or nonprofit journey goes up in flames!

Now let’s explore the several key indicators that can inhibit and deter your success. Here are 6 indicators to help assess whether your actions are headed for doom. These indicators also help you make choices that are beneficial or have a mind shift related to who you are and what your real role is. As you go through the list, be honest with yourself and note each of the signs currently present in your strategies.

6 Key Indicators

Create Value and Avoid Survival Mode

One of the most obvious signs that you are headed for doom and that you are starting off on the wrong foot is if your primary motivation is to acquire wealth (funding) rather than first creating and demonstrating value. If money is the focus, it is time for some serious soul searching because the drive for money can impact your message, conduct, and even how you treat people.

First, create innovative products and/or services, fill a need for your target market and solve that special problem people are experiencing. Make it about the service and the impact you can have. The universe will reward those who seek to give before they get. The purpose of entrepreneurship is not the accumulation of money, but the creation of products/services to serve and help make the world a better place for all.

Wealth is a result of consistently providing solutions to the problems of humanity.

If you doubt me, go ask Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Mark Zuckerberg and similar entrepreneurs. These are people like you and I, people who simply followed their passion (purpose driven) rather than following money (survival driven) and yet made a great fortune. Your ‘house’ has to be in order before you go after the money.


2 Inadequate Knowledge (Low Business IQ):

An entrepreneur on the path to failure won’t see the need to develop a business IQ. Once again citing #1, the focus will be “show me the money”, and you will ignore a proven fact: how much you make is a function and directly correlated to how much you know. Thus, they will forget that a business just like every other discipline requires certain competencies (knowledge, skill and experience) in order to remain functional.

A special note to nonprofits – the competencies demonstrated in the business sector are often over-looked as not being applicable in the nonprofit world. However, especially in this environment of tight funding and ever decreasing funding sources, it would be wise to take note, study closely and learn the skills needed to implement business strategies as a standard practice.

So what do you eventually get? Uninformed, out of sync, out-of-date, ineffective and inefficient systems whose strategies are not suited for the current market place. This is dabbling your way through the ever dynamic and changing world of business and in the end, failure becomes inevitable. Why? Because as an entrepreneur, your ability to do is perpetually limited by what you know. In other words, you are the engine of your business.

So, to have more means you have to keep learning more! In the TQM model, which stands for Total Quality Management, a successful system utilized for decades has as a core value ‘continuous improvement’. How do you continuously improve? There are several strategies indentified, such as collecting data, but the most applicable strategy to an entrepreneur is consistently focusing on personal development and self improvement through reading (books, blogs, magazines, etc.), attending seminars, business development trainings, executive mentorship or coaching programs, and membership in business clubs or networks. Stay current with trends and especially what your competitors are up to?

3 Capitalize on YOUR Strengths – Dealing with the I Can Do It Myself Syndrome

This is one hard thing that many entrepreneurs struggle with. It may be a key indicator that you may be heading for doom. The indicator targets utilizing your expertise effectively, or perhaps you are being affected by the, I can do it all by myself syndrome

First – YOU are NOT the end all - get over yourself; however, you may be affected by the, I can do it all by myself syndrome – a very common disorder in the entrepreneurial sector. As an entrepreneur, your success or failure will be a result of how well you maximize your strengths. Learn to delegate; for some, that is extremely hard. The list of reasons why you aren’t delegating could go on for days, resources, funds, I’ve heard them all. However, look at it this way, the value you really bring is the ability to utilize your strengths. These are the activities you naturally enjoy doing, would naturally do for free if given the opportunity, and have already established expertise and a solid level of competency. This is how every great entrepreneur made their success; doing what they love and loving what they do. They are not jack of all trades and masters of none. They focus on their strengths and don’t waste time trying to master a skill set where eventually the outcome is mediocre at best. Stop doing what someone else can do and start focusing on only those things you do exceptionally well.

How do you focus on your strengths? There is a limit to what an individual can achieve alone, thus the need for teamwork. An entrepreneur on the path to destruction is the one who will never empower others or seek the help of others. It may be out of fear that they might outshine you or you haven’t spent adequate time recruiting and/or researching the resources and help you need. Great things are seldom achieved alone.

As an entrepreneur, it’s very important you understand that you have no exclusive right to what is being done through you. Whatever it is you have in your mind to create is not entirely yours to dominate. You are only a vessel through which an idea, innovation or product/service is being launched.

4 Lack of Focus

In # 3, we discussed the need to focus on your strengths. We will now drill down even deeper with an internal self assessment of ‘how’ you work. Are you trying to do more than one thing – or everything at once, eventually not achieving excellence in any.

The great Albert Einstein notably stated:

“Genius is the ability to focus on one particular thing for a long time without losing concentration.”

The term multi-tasking has become commonplace, with some wearing it as a badge of honor. Most entrepreneurs are creative, big idea thinkers with multiple things occupying their mind at once. However, is multi-tasking an effective or efficient way to tackle the numerous projects on the ‘to do’ list. NO! Why – because it lacks focus, becomes disconnected and disjointed. The best way to tackle numerous items is best described in the riddle I am sure you have heard.

What’s the best way to eat an elephant? One bite at a time…

Make a thorough list of what needs to be done and prioritize the needs. Create an atmosphere to focus, set schedules for correspondence, project development and other tasks…. and stick to it. You will be surprised how fast you make it through your ‘to do’ list when doing one item at a time. This also ties into #3, the art of delegation.

5 Lack of Vision (Shortsightedness)

An entrepreneur who does not think about tomorrow is on the path to doom. If you cannot literally visualize far into the future - beyond today, then you are on the path to destruction. A recent disheartening conversation with a local nonprofit brought this point crashing to the forefront. They already knew that in a few months, their funding would run out. Their solution was to wait until 30 days out and make an emergency plea for funding. That is not planning for the future; in fact, that is not planning at all. First, why would you want to go into business just for today’s sake alone? The essence of entrepreneurship is to perpetually be of service to humanity; therefore, you must never cease to ask and be able to answer this question; “What can we start doing today to meet the needs of tomorrow?” Not having this consciousness is the reason why most entrepreneurs fail in business. You must keep thinking about the future, keep improving their game, put systems in place for sustainability and make a succession plan.  This way you do not end up being eaten up by those businesses that are consistently creating the future today.

6 Poor Money Management (Incoming, Outgoing, Investing and Extravagance)

Boy, I could write an entire book on this, but for simplicity sake, I will keep it to the basic elements. Being an entrepreneur means being able to do more with less. An entrepreneur on the path to failure doesn’t use money correctly and has habits of being excessively flamboyant, wasteful or spending money irrationally. Thrift or frugality is a requirement for your entrepreneurial journey if you hope to become successful. How else do you intend to succeed if you cannot judiciously manage the resources in your disposal?

Outgoing funds (expenses) need to be classified into two categories; urgent expenses and important expenses. Your urgent expenses are recurring expenses, meaning they are periodic in nature. Your important expenses are capital expenses; meaning they are not periodic in nature, but are necessary for the continuity of the business. They are expenses made today in order to secure the future.

Some important capital expenses that should take priority are things that enhance the professionalism and functionality of your brand. This includes marketing elements such as a professional logo design, website functionality, and quality business cards and collateral. It also includes budgeting for professional growth and exposure gained through affiliations, networking, and training, all elements that demonstrate you are a viable, professional and cutting edge organization.

One pitfall often observed is that as a business begins to grow, there is an urge to start showing off the success by acquiring symbols of wealth. I’ve even heard some say it is a necessity to demonstrate business acumen and when they drive up in a luxury vehicle, it validates that their business does good work. Only quality products and services will validate your company’s value, which brings us full circle to Indicator #1 – Create Value.

As funds come in, it is especially important to create a system of reinvesting to fund ongoing and recurring capital expenses.  A couple of strategies that will actually help build wealth within an organization is placing yourself on salary, and making it a priority to put aside and redeploy all excesses created by the business back into the business.

For more information on The Philantrepreneur Foundation and its resources, visit http://thephilantrepreneur.com or http://PhilantrepreneurFoundation.org

 

Culture of Learning

A Culture of Learning values continual professional development as vital to ensure continued competency, use of the best and most effective strategies, and demonstrating leadership in your profession. It should be embraced as an ongoing and consistent process and established as a core value internally and externally.

The Philantrepreneur Foundation

 Our mission - Building Capacity through Education and Professional Services…. Here’s WHY!

core valuesMaking Professional Development a Core Value

Training and professional development have rapidly gained traction because enterprises large and small have come to realize that a 'culture of learning' will directly translate into new abilities that can be applied on the job and potentially extend into their personal lives.

A recent article published on the Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog emphasized the merits of organizations that purposefully make professional development a core value. Contributors and experts in the field Robert Kegan, Lisa Lahey and Andy Fleming make the case that work and life aren't necessarily part of a rigid dichotomy, where one area is the source of frustration and stress and the other is the pinnacle of relaxation and calm. Instead, the team argues that the workplace should be a resource of professional and personal growth. HBR explained that businesses with a focus on talent management realized that this approach to professional development must be universal and habitual. In other words, workers from every level need training, it must be encouraged and it must be a continual process.

The Rise of the Learning Culture

A recent report by Deloitte helps put this shift in business culture into context. The study, "Human Capital Trends 2013: Leading Indicators," looks at the modern workforce and recognizes the rise of the talent economy. Globalization, competition and an interconnected workforce are the overarching drivers of the trend toward developing highly talented employees. Peter Pintus, instructor in graduate level organizational development and leadership programs at University of the Rockies, explained that companies need to support a development culture to remain competitive. Accordingly, Pintus identified several positions that are gaining prominence to help businesses foster this type of perspective such as an Executive Coach or Chief Learning Officer. The Executive Coach roll is to focus on leadership and strategic skills, while the Chief Learning Officer would take an active approach to implementing a culture of learning by establishing training initiatives and opportunities for growth.

Not all organizations, especially the growing entrepreneur and nonprofit sectors, have the capacity to internally hire an Executive Coach or employ a Chief Learning Officer. However, that should not be a deterrent to establishing a culture of learning to build capacity. Look for and take advantage of external resources to fill the gap. In fact, entrepreneurs and nonprofits especially should consider these external resources as not only needed services but consider them as a part of your organizational team.

Article Author – Dr. Victoria Boyd, President/Founder of The Philantrepreneur Foundation, has a long career in professional development and education. She is the publisher of The Philantrepreneur Journal and host of The Philantrepreneur Radio Show. www.DrVictoriaBoyd.com

The Philantrepreneur Foundation is a nonprofit organization with a mission to Build Capacity through Education and Professional Services. For more information on the resources and services of the Foundation visit: http://thephilantrepreneur.com or http://PhilantrepreneurFoundation.org

Additional Resources:

Radio Show - www.Blogtalkradio.com/Philantrepreneur

The Philantrepreneur Journal - http://www.joomag.com/en/newsstand/philantrepreneur-journal-jan-2015-vol51-jan-2015/0335544001418828085

Philantrepreneur Foundation Class Schedule!

The Philantrepreneur Foundation is dedicated to success! 

News Flash_blueEntrepreneurs, Nonprofits, Individuals gain the tools to be effective and efficient.

Two educational opportunities presenting best practices, latest trends and effective systems for successful business or organizational management.  Learn or refresh the tools you need.

Click here to explore the calendar with complete 1st Quarter Schedule.

1st Tuesday NPO Training - Starts Feb 3rd!! The main reasons that the failure rate is so high is not because of lack of funds as one might assume but specifically the failure to implement management and operational systems within the organization to effectively and efficiently do the 'business' of being a nonprofit. Learn the must have elements, more sophisticated funding strategies and more to be effective creating and implementing viable plans - Register Here!!

3rd Tuesday Training - In just 2 Days - January 20, 2015 the first class launches! And what better place to start than with the topic Strategic Thinking. Before beginning any Strategic or Operational planning process, the act of Strategic Thinking should come first. Learn to encourage and support innovation as a strategic maneuver. A beneficial process for both entrepreneurs and nonprofits. Register Here!!  

BENEFITS

Are you pressed for time, money and resources? Don't have the funds to hire a consultant but need to know how to increase effectiveness and efficiency? The Philantrepreneur Foundation has the solution with training, support and resources to go from surviving to THRIVING.

LIVE Training - Offered every 1st and 3rd Tuesday it is designed to be:

  • Convenient: Make professional development a part of the workplace culture. Plan continuous improvement for you, staff or the entire organization- a key ingredient to success.
  • Affordable: For only $25 or less get quality regular and systemic training facilitated by experts in their field.
  • Content Value Driven: Designed by career educators and professional trainers each class is packed with useful tips, strategies and insight. The goal is to build capacity within individuals and organizations so that we can all have greater community impact for sustainability and growth.

REGISTER via the Calendar - Stay abreast of the trends and strategies that will impact the future.

Membenefitsw_swooshAre you Philantrepreneur Foundation member?  Remember ALL classes are FREE as a member benefit!

For only $9.97/month or $97/year have access to all of the classes plus all the additional benefits.

Explore our member benefits and sign up today!!

A Nonprofit FOR Nonprofits!

Tis' the season... on many levels.

You probably heard the buzz about the new kid on the block - The Philantrepreneur Foundation. If not and you support, work in, volunteer, want to starting one, started one, have community partners, donate to or sponsor a nonprofit - I think that just about covers everyone - it benefits your interest to know that there is support for nonprofit to gain the needed services and training that will build their infrastructure so they can THRIVE.

So what are we doing and planning?

With a mission to BUILD CAPACITY THROUGH EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL SERVICES, our emphasis it get the knowledge and expertise connected with those that need it. We do that through several channels.

PhilJournal_JAN15_d5i_cover-1The Philantrepreneur Journal - Did you get your copy of the just released January 2015 issue? It is full of tips, strategies, insight and new features. Plus for every issue or subscription - ALL proceeds go to The Philantrepreneur Foundation - Our Gift of Knowledge to you in turn becomes your gift to support our mission. Click here for the January issue.

Volunteers needed!! Education and Professional Services

Our unique Ask an Expert services and Nuts & Bolts Training series are two of our main programs. We seek professional volunteers to share their expertise and knowledge. Become recognized as an expert resource in the AAE Directory, or become one of our Training Facilitators. Your skills and knowledge are needed.

To learn more and get started visit our Volunteer page.

Finally, with 2015 just around the corner it is time to plan for success. Do you have a plan on how you or your business can have a greater impact in the community. Just like a business plan, did you know you can develop a cohesive and aligned strategy that has purpose and profits as unified goals? If you would like to discuss strategies for your business - contact me to set an appointment.

Have a great Holiday!!

So much news!!

So much to tell you!!

It’s hard to contain the excitement at times. You know that feeling when you’ve been working on several projects and they finally come together – all at once.

That just about sums up my last few weeks and it is exciting, informative and useful news that can benefit you too! So let’s get excited together!

foundation_topThe Philantrepreneur Foundation is now an official 501c3 tax-exempt organization and we are extremely proud of our efforts to build a strong community. Our mission to “Build Nonprofit Capacity Through Education and Professional Services” is the core of our WHY. I heard a quote recently “… if you are not willing to learn… you will fail”. It is not the lack of funding that causes nonprofits to struggle or die. Rather ineffective and inefficient systems and operations. As a life-long educator, learning is my passion and the core of the Foundation’s mission. The Foundation will provide access to training, access to professionals and access to resources so that nonprofits, individuals and even businesses can learn and understand effective systems and strategies, and stay abreast of current trends and laws. All things needed to maximize effectiveness and efficiency to go from surviving to thriving. Strong nonprofits make strong communities making it a win-win for business and growth. How do you access all of these benefits. Become a member today at an extraordinary $9.97/month.

The design of The Philantrepreneur model is utilizing a congruence of interest to support both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. We offer a unique opportunity for valuable marketing and provide needed community support via our ADS FOR A CAUSE. For every ad placed 50% of the cost goes directly to the Foundation and is tax-deductible Meaningful Marketing at its best. Visit http://thephilantrepreneur.com/marketing-ads/

smalldonate We Need You To Have Greater Impact! 

Strong nonprofits mean strong  partners and communities. Donate today or become a Business Sponsor. Learn how your business can be a training sponsor - we seek venues, supplies, even trainers for the 2015 schedule.

 

Hooray! My next book just went LIVE. It’s called HERE’S HOW I DID IT!: World’s Top Experts Share Their Stories, Insights and Perspectives.

Hereˊs How I Did ItI’m one of the 20 experts featured in the book and I have a FREE copy for you!! Published by my friend, Raam Anand he’s allowed me to give away free copies to my network so, go ahead and download the book BEFORE he lists it in book stores (a few days left). Click here, put in your email address and get the download. Then tell me what you think. I also urge you to read the chapters from other CO-AUTHORS as well. We all are sharing our insights in this book.

 

WE Cycle

Are you familiar with the concept WE and ME cycles?

Are you a business owner, entrepreneur or nonprofit?

You rely on attracting a target audience know as customers, supporters and donors, right?

If you haven't heard about this marketing theory - one which we at The Philantrepreneur have researched and use several of the premises as the basis for our model - If you don't understand where you've been, how are going to know where you are going... and plan for it. We ground much of the meaningful marketing value on the theory of We and ME cycles.

pendulum book coverThe theory is detailed in the book Pendulum by Michael Drew and Roy Williams. After reading it, I not only understood some of my own yin and yang traits but it actually made sense and validated my WHY.... oh no... another concept - we won't get into the WHY theory here. I encourage you to research the WE and ME cycle concept.  It takes a 1,000 year journey - comparing and contrasting - and finally concluding - history does repeat itself.... so learn from it.

 

However, the reason I bring this up. We are so excited, Pendulum author Michael Drew will be our featured article for the Spring edition of The Philantrepreneur Journal!! The focus of the issue will be marketing so we will be working with him over the next few months to get his insight and thoughts on 'being' a Philantrepreneur, the importance and application of the WE and ME cycle and the impact it has on meaningful marketing.

Haven't sign up for a Journal subscription yet? You won't want to miss a single edition. Have you visited the new website? Do it today. Here's the link:

www.ThePhilantrepreneur.com

Renew, Refresh & Launch

When is too much information too much? NEVER!!

As an avid reader and follower of Entrepreneur.com, INC.com, Forbes.com, Success... etc.... you get my drift, I love to absorb and share the tidbits of info and tips they constantly post. I am sure it influenced the decision to create a digital publication, radio show and website as centers for information.

2015And even though it seems like just yesterday they were introduced, we gained momentum and grew. They say the new year is the time to start fresh... so we're starting 2015 early as we RENEW, REFRESH AND LAUNCH!

 

RENEW

Yes, we have renewed our commitment to building bridges between the business and nonprofit sector - and increased the ways we do it. 

The Philantrepreneur™ will continue to believe that building relationships empowers and strengthens both sectors.

If you don't understand it, we'll teach you ~ If you want the benefits, we'll implement it ~ If you have a story, we'll tell it.

REFRESH

They say the new year is the time to refresh... we did it early! Available now is our refreshed website that provides easy access to everything The Philantrepreneur™ offers - Consulting, Resources and The Foundation. Exciting layout continuing to be filled with valuable information and resources for for-profits and nonprofits. The HUB directory expands regularly, Get Listed to also be included as a featured resource.

Visit today and often, explore the areas of service, support and exposure, plus ways to immediately have community impact. We need you and want your engagement.

Areas Designed to Serve Your Needs.

  • Consulting support to implement systems.
    • Develop your Congruence of Interest using The Philantrepreneur Model
  • Resource HUB for every area.
    • Management and operation products and services,
    • Exposure through Meaningful Marketing - ADS FOR A CAUSE
    • Journal subscription
    • Radio Show Archives

LAUNCH!! foundation_top

Serving the community with education and support

 

This is the most exciting element. Launching The Philantrepreneur Foundation, emulating our model, and being able to serve our purpose of having community impact by building capacity in the nonprofit sector. Please visit and see how you can have community impact too!

Find everything in one location - www.ThePhilantrepreneur.com 

Why You Need an Accountability Partner

 

The Philantrepreneur LOGO-1

I can do this…. I can do this…. Do you hear yourself saying this over and over? Are things getting done or piling up? Is there a sense of overwhelm? As entrepreneurs the nature of our existence and the term solo-preneur defines our working model. We get used to living in a silo. One of the best assets a beginning entrepreneur often overlooks is creating or engaging in a support system. Can you achieve your goals on your own? Yes, but why would you want to, it so much easier with an Accountability Partner (AP). EVERY entrepreneur NEEDS a support system. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs give credit for their success to their support system. It is a means to bounce ideas, get feedback and most important stay connected and grounded. In addition to an AP, you have probably heard the terms Accountability Coach and Mastermind Groups in similar context.  So let’s define each and get clarification on how an AP is different from an accountability coach or mastermind group.

Let’s start by defining what is an Accountability Partner? An AP is a two-way relationship where both participants are engaged in keeping the other on track toward reaching goals and creating a life and business by design rather than default. Having an AP is a great first step to building a support system as an interactive collaboration for mutual benefit. It is a partnership, a one on one relationship with another like-minded individual, from a different industries or at least separate focus areas. Your mutual goals generally are accountability, responsibility, idea sharing, creativity, brainstorming, and motivational support, however as the relationship develops it may evolve into whatever is agreed upon. It is a collaboration and partnership where both participants gain equal value from the relationship.

In comparison, an accountability coach, just as the name implies there exists a hierarchy of the coach to client relationship. One individual is there to guide and keep the other accountable, set benchmarks and goals. The coach is not there to provide the answers but to guide the process of discovery. The ICF’s (International Coaching Federation’s) definition of coaching is, ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential’.

On a larger scale is the mastermind group which offers a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support in a group setting to sharpen business and personal skills and achieve success. Participants challenge each other to set important goals, and more importantly, to accomplish them. It offers many of the same features of an AP but in a group setting which may be initially uncomfortable for some, especially if just starting out. The group requires commitment, confidentiality, and a willingness to be creative, brainstorm ideas/solutions, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. Mastermind group members act as catalysts for growth, devil’s advocates and supportive colleagues.

accountability roadsign

 

Do I really need an Accountability Partner?

6 Things An AP Will Do For You 5 Signs You Need an AP
1.Get that extra push you need in your businessSometimes you just need that extra little push. Maybe you're stuck on whether or not to move forward on a certain project or maybe you're not sure if it's even a project you should be working on. On a normal day, you would probably hem and haw over what direction to take and spin your wheels but an accountability partner will be there to help you make a decision and get things done.

2. Someone to bounce around ideas

It's nice to have an accountability partner(s) when you're stuck and not sure how to proceed on an idea or maybe you need help deciding on whether or not to sell a product for a certain price, what website to focus your attention, etc. Working online can be lonely at times and sometimes spouses/family/friends just don't understand the type of help you need. Connecting with someone who does understand is a big deal.

3. Someone you can stay accountable to

At the beginning of every week, you'll share your 3 biggest tasks for the week with your accountability partner(s). It's really nice to have someone to tell when you have accomplished those tasks. Or on the flip side it's nice to have someone there if you're starting to feel overwhelmed and they can bring you back to reality. It's great to know you have someone there that is counting on you to take action!

4. Someone to share accomplishments with

Did you make a big sale? Finish a project? An accountability partner is the perfect person to share those exciting times with.

5. Someone who can be totally honest with you

There are times where you might feel that you are choosing the right project or path in your business but you're really not. In this case, you need someone who will be honest and who feels comfortable telling you like it is, in a nice but firm way.

6. You drastically increase your productivity

As mentioned above, having someone to stay accountable to makes you achieve more than you thought you ever could. You are focused on the most important tasks and are less likely to be drawn to all the mundane and most importantly non money making tasks. You will find yourself much more productive!

1. You habitually start and stop.Do you set a goal, get revved up, pursue it with gusto for a week or two and then let it die? If so, an accountability partner is what you need. When you have someone to answer to – someone who is going to hold you to your word – you’re less likely to give up in the middle of something. A good accountability partner won’t let you give up just because the path gets rough. They’ll offer a shoulder to lean on, but will eventually push you back up and on your way.

2. You never get started.

Do you set goals and dreams, but never act on them? That’s another indication that you need an accountability partner. Many of us have some pretty big ideas. That’s great, now take that idea a step further and actually plan to do those things? An accountability partner can get you in the habit of setting and achieving goals for yourself.

3. You procrastinate.

Remember when mom would kick you out of the house because she didn’t want you wasting a beautiful day sitting around doing nothing? Well, an accountability partner can help jump start you into action. Maybe you’re stuck in a dead-end, mental block, fearful or any number of reasons that procrastinators choose. Your accountability partner can give you the kick in the pants and the motivation you need to make a change.

4. You settle for less than you should.

There’s a difference between being humble than being foolish. People who are foolish, feel they have no worth and simply accept what is offered (if anything) than what they are worth. Your AP will recognize your value and the potential for more. Often others see more than we see ourselves. Your AP will get you on the right track to move forward.

5. You’re indecisive.

Sometimes, after we experience failure, we find it difficult to make decisions for fear it’s going to be the wrong one. The result is that we end up paralyzed while opportunities pass us by. An accountability partner can provide you with mentoring and insight that you’ve never had before. They can often see the forest while you’re preoccupied with looking at the trees.

Remember that an accountability partner isn’t there to tell you what to do; they’re there to provide motivation and assistance when needed. It’s a great resource to have because, while we may not mind disappointing ourselves, we generally don’t like letting other people down – especially when they’re looking after our best interests.

Selecting and Establishing Partnership Parameters

  1. Be careful who you pick. Have you ever tried to be an exercise partners with someone, only to have them rarely show up, be perpetually late, and have a never ending line of excuses? To create a valuable partnership, you have to find someone who is as committed to their own success as you are to yours.
  2. Pick a time that works. Select a good time that works for both of you and stick with it. Begin by having weekly call, many like Monday’s because it can set the tone for the rest of the week. Meet at exactly the same time, put it on your calendar so that you’re less likely to forget or miss the appointment. Make it a priority.
  3. Set a good length for the calls. Remember the length of the call must accommodate an equal share of time on each other’s goals. In the beginning, you may worry that calls will be too long, but to get the value and result desired ample time is needed. Generally calls that run around an hour will give plenty of time to talk about accomplishments and challenges for both of you. By knowing how long to expect, you won’t book things too close to the call time. You never want to feel rushed.
  4. Be consistent. You and your accountability partner must honor appointments with each other. Recognize the value and how much it helps your forward progress.
  5. Plan your agenda. Planned calls are much more productive and get way more out of the conversation. Usually no later than the Friday before calls (if on Monday), email each other our respective lists, which include updates, what we’ve done, obstacles and things to discuss (if we’re having any particular challenges that we need help with).
  6. Rely on the agenda. It’s easy to go off on tangents, but try to stay close to your agenda so that you get the most out of the call. Generally, run through the lists, make suggestions and provide feedback to each other.
  7. Split the call. Always cover what’s been going on and what’s to come for both partners. It is not necessary to  stick to set time frames, but might find it to be helpful to dedicate the first half the call to one person and the second to the other.
  8. Be ready to learn. There’s rarely a call when you won’t have “homework:” A solution or idea to look into on the recommendation of the other person. Have pen and paper ready to take notes so that you don’t forget things by the end of the call.
  9. Be ready to help. It’s likely that your partner will want you to review something here and there, so be available and try to follow up quickly. Remember that the purpose of this relationship is to help each other move your visions forward, and by being willing and ready to step up for your accountability partner, you’ll both reach your goals more quickly.
  10. Don’t wimp out. Be frank and direct with your partner. Don’t sugar-coat your opinions and say what you think the other person wants to hear. The only way you will get real value out of this relationship is if you can count on each other to be upfront and honest. If you think the person is doing the wrong thing, making a bad choice, or even lagging behind, say so.

 

Can you see why this type of partnership is crucial?

The value of having an accountability partner really can’t be felt or described accurately until you begin the process and start benefiting from the results. On a daily basis you will do more than you ever imagined. It is motivating, inspiring and provides a sense of pride as you recognize your own progress and becomes even more fulfilling as every opportunity arises to share accomplishments and progress with your AP.  Oh and by the way, you'll be serious about making money.

 

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