Why you need an accountability partner

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Ah, the life of a realtor. Being your own boss is the best, right?

No more annoying bosses telling you what to do and dictating deadlines for boring projects. Now, you set your own deadlines!

Except you don’t — it turns out that being your own boss is way more challenging than you thought it would be!

The hardest part is doing the stuff that you perceive doesn’t have an immediate payoff (even though it does). For example, fixing your website, improving your listing presentation, working on a course, or any other items in your great pile of projects.

After all, we tend to get into the habit of simply reacting to whatever is happening every day, and there never seems to be enough time to get to the big stuff.

But if you spend 100% of your time reacting to things and 0% working on larger projects to advance your business, you are a lousy boss!

If this describes you, the first step is to admit it. You don’t have to go to a meeting or anything. Just repeat after me:

“I’m a lousy boss of myself.” 

Say it out loud.

Congratulations! You’re on the road to recovery. The second step is to learn and implement some basic organizational skills. One of the most critical organizational skills I constantly preach (I know, I know) is honouring appointments with yourself.

‘Honour’ is the critical word (just as you would honour an appointment with your best client or an appointment with your dentist).

But why is it so difficult for most agents to honour appointments with themselves?

There are two main reasons:

1. We’re hard-wired to put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own.

2. Big projects seem overwhelming, so we invent (hundreds of) excuses not to do them. 

Number two is about your lazy brain (we all have one). Your logical brain knows that the longer you procrastinate, the longer it will take you to start reaping the benefits of completing those big projects. But the lazy brain usually wins out.

Making and honouring appointments with yourself seems simple and logical, yet we constantly self-sabotage.

So, what’s the solution?

How about an accountability partner? 

I won’t get into too much detail in this tiny space. Instead, consult ‘the Google’ for best practices on choosing a partner and structuring your meetings, but here are my top three rules (which I learned by doing the opposite):

1. Always follow a strict agenda, whether meeting in person, over Zoom, or on the phone.

Start on time, end on time, and know the agenda before you start.

2. Don’t allow your meeting to deteriorate into a BS session.

You can schedule a BS section at the end, but it’s business first. 

3. Set firm but realistic weekly goals.

When you do this, your accountability partner serves as your ‘boss’ in a way (and vice-versa), which is a good thing! To accomplish your weekly goals, you can use appointments with yourself. The more tasks you complete, the more you’ll realize how powerful this tool can be.

Start by finding a partner, decide the ground rules, set a meeting time for the same time every week, and start setting goals. Then, you can use appointments with yourself to ensure you meet your weekly targets. 

If you do this consistently, you’ll be astounded at how much you will get done before the end of this year. 


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