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We all want to be more disciplined. We all want more out of life.

If you want to be achieving more and you feel like you’re falling short, accountability is the missing piece.

While we touch on the benefits of accountability partners and how to find them, we focused the majority of this episode on how to increase discipline with an accountability partner and how to get the most out of the relationship.

The first step is finding someone compatible who will also push you. The second step is being purposeful about your relationship and taking full advantage of their assistance and leveraging that for maximum discipline.

Highlights, Takeaways, Quick Wins
  • If you don’t know what your values are, you can’t find someone with similar values.
  • Find someone fairly comparable to you to be your accountability partner.
  • While you can have multiple accountability partners, it’s good to have one primary accountability partner, you can always go to.
  • Your accountability partner’s different beliefs can rub off on you.
  • One conversation can be so powerful just by helping come up with a new idea.
  • Don’t make a decision without running it by your accountability partner.
  • You need other people’s perspectives and the clarity they can provide from their experience.
  • Discuss small goals too, not just big ones.
  • If you have small goals with your accountability partner, you can be productive in what would otherwise be wasted time.
  • Don’t let distance keep you from having an accountability partner.
  • You need an accountability partner you don’t work with to avoid conflicts of interest.
  • Be on time to meetings, be serious, and be committed.
Show Notes
  • 06:11 Sean: What’s the benefit of an accountability partner, either in your current situation, Matt, or in general for someone?
  • 06:19 Matt: There are so many reasons for an accountability partner. Personally, in the last couple of months, it has helped me make more money. That’s one good thing. Another thing is time—I’ve been waking up earlier because I feel like someone’s watching over my shoulder and I’m letting them down if I hit the snooze button. I get up, get going, get in the massage chair, maybe go for a 30 minute run, and then start going over the plan for the day and how we’re doing on stuff. I start talking to the assistants and get it going.
  • 07:17 Sean: Who is your accountability partner?
  • 07:20 Matt: This random dude that I’ve known for what seems like a million years now. I think people know him as seanwes.

What to Look for in an Accountability Partner

  • 07:41 Sean: We didn’t want to go completely into finding an accountability partner and all that stuff because we do have other resources for that, but as a quick recap, I break it down into three things if you want to find an accountability partner. If you already have one, we’re going to be talking more about that. For the people that don’t have one, there are three things—values, levels, and places. The first thing you want to do when finding an accountability partner is to establish your own values.

If you don’t know what your values are, you can’t find someone with similar values.

  • 08:38 Make sure you know where you stand. You want to find someone else who has similar values to you. You don’t want to be conflicting on things. The second part is levels. Imagine there are ten levels, and 1,000 hours in your trade is one level. If you’ve put in a couple thousand hours, you’re a level two. We could probably break this down a little bit more, but a lot of people who want an accountability partner look for someone who’s way better than them. They want the best of the best, but really, you might be better off finding someone comparable to you as far as your level. It’s not an exact science, but that’s a rule of thumb I go by. Find someone fairly comparable to you to be your accountability partner, so you have similar struggles and you can grow together.
  • 09:34 Matt: You want it to be somebody who’s motivated, and you can see that they’re moving up. They’re putting in the time. Also, they’re making progress. You don’t want someone who’s just reading and reading, making some steps, but somebody who’s actually made some progress.
  • 09:57 Sean: These things I’m talking about here I’ve done a couple of seanwes tv episodes on (Related: e76 Why You Need an Accountability Partner, e77 How to Find an Accountability Partner). If you want a whole podcast episode, we did one on the seanwes podcast (Related: e107 Why You Need an Accountability Partner & How to Find One). That goes more in depth. Today, we’re talking a little bit more about discipline. In that episode, I talk more about the difference between a mentor and an accountability partner. A mentor is someone who is way beyond you. They could be a level ten.
  • 10:44 They could be a level eight or nine, or maybe even beyond ten. Typically, they’re multiple levels beyond you. The thing that’s really important here is that you don’t seek out a mentor. You don’t ask people to be your mentor. If you’re asking someone, that’s coaching, and you should be paying them. Mentorship is where the mentor reaches out to you and they are offering, they are giving. What they’re giving you is invaluable. It’s coaching, it’s something you really can’t put a price on. To ask someone to give you their life’s advice for free is inappropriate. It’s not the way a relationship like that should be built.

If you’re approaching someone levels above you and asking them for their thoughts, that’s coaching, and you need to pay them their rate.

  • 11:34 Otherwise, a mentor relationship is where the mentor is offering this to you. They want to give back. They want to pay it forward and invest in you. Understand the difference between a mentor and someone who is your accountability partner. The third thing is places, and this is where you can go to find people who can be an accountability partner for you. This can look like meetups, conferences, the Community or other online communities, and different groups you can join. That’s typically where you find these types of people. I don’t know if you’ve had similar experiences or different experiences—where do you go, Matt, to find people who are similar to you?
  • 12:20 Matt: Kind of the same thing. Meetups, conferences… There are a lot of people at conferences that I end up keeping up with. I’ll tell them my story and they’ll tell me their story, and their story is pretty similar, so we keep in contact. If I run into a problem I might run it by them, because we have the same way of doing business. It’s pretty much the same thing. One time I was at local coffee, and I met a guy who ended up being one of the big flippers here in San Antonio. We ended up going over some of the plans for one of the houses I was working on, and now he’s a good friend. We give properties to each other. We trade and do business, and he’s a good accountability partner, too.

How Many Accountability Partners Should You Have?

  • 13:20 Sean: Brookes askes, “Should you have multiple accountability partners for different types of work in your life?”
  • 13:31 Matt: I think that’s good, to have multiple accountability partners. Some might be stronger at different things. It’s good to have one primary one, though, somebody’s that’s close to you that you have access to. You want to be able to call them whenever. Obviously, you don’t want to be calling them at midnight saying, “Hey, I have problems.”
  • 13:53 Sean: But you could.
  • 13:55 Matt: Use it like it’s an expensive call. It’s a jewel. Don’t burn it out. You want to have one person, because this is your accountability partner. It’s just like my accountant. This guy calls me every day asking me if I’m going to buy a piece of gum. “Do you really need that, Matt? Are you having a meeting or something? We could have used that $0.25 to put towards the house.” He’s saved me a lot of trouble. He saves money for me for different things in the business. He pulls out a small amount, like $2, $30, or $40, for different things, and he puts them into different accounts. Recently, one of the trucks broke down. He said, “No worries, it’s not going to affect our bottom line. I’ve been putting away $40 every two weeks for stuff like that.”

It’s good to have one good accountability partner, but it’s good to have other people you can go to about things in their area of strength.

  • 15:43 Sean: I would echo the same. You don’t want overwhelm when you have a problem or you want to start something. You think, “Who do I tell?” That should be immediately clear. If it’s not, you have too much. Maybe they’re not different enough areas. It should be very clear and you shouldn’t have any hesitation going to your accountability partner.
  • 16:12 Matt: You need to clear that up in the beginning, because you can’t move forward without knowing who to go to. Obviously, it might be good to run certain things by a couple of people, especially if it’s a big decision. If it’s the small stuff or improvement stuff, you need to have one person at the same level or higher than you so you can go to them and talk it out.

Benefits of Accountability Partners

  • 16:33 Sean: Before the show, Matt and I were talking about beliefs, and he was telling me some things that had rubbed off. Do you want to share those, Matt?
  • 16:47 Matt: Gary Vee is always saying, “Listen to people.” When he travels, he’s always creeping over nine year old kids and seeing what they’re doing on their phone. He’s not a creeper, but he’s gathering data on what certain demographics are doing on their mobile phones. It doesn’t matter who I’m talking to, but I’m always listening. I can hardly remember anything anymore because I have so much stuff in my head. When Sean and I first met, I honestly didn’t think we were going to meet again. I thought, “It’s some guy that’s just an artist. Not even in my industry.” I wasn’t at the point where I needed to be when I first met Sean, because I thought, “I don’t need him. Why do I need to listen to an artist? Yeah, he’s good, but he’s not doing anything near what I’m doing.” Over time, now I don’t think like that.
  • 17:58 Now I say, “Everybody, I don’t care whether you swing a hammer or have a cooking show, I want you to be in my group!” Everybody has some different perspective. One of the great things Sean has told me in passing was that for products, or things in general, you want to charge people full price or give it to them free. Never discont. At first, I was skeptical. I was doing a lot of discount stuff, so I thought, “No, what I’m doing is working. Your advice is good for you, but it’s not working for me.” Then I started thinking about it and I realized, “This guy’s got a point. If I have 10 people buy at a higher price, I don’t need the other 30 of them.” I started doing that. Believe it or not, I’m making more money now.

Your accountability partner’s different beliefs can rub off on you.

  • 19:32 In the beginning, I also didn’t understand the no debt mentality that Sean has. I couldn’t wrap my head around that, because I wouldn’t have some of the opportunities that I have without borrowing money from private lenders. It made me think, “What if we used money from other businesses that we have as the lending for buying the houses?” Technically, it’s lending, but it’s in house lending. It’s the one company’s money. Once we started doing that, we weren’t paying the debt rates. We were paying the in house rate, which is nothing. We started making more money there, because we weren’t paying someone else.
  • 20:33 If you’re a true hustler, you know there’s ups and downs. It’s not all Lambos and pizza parties. Sometimes, you’re faced with difficult decisions, whether you’re going to throw down $50,000 for an employee or different things. The nice thing about having an accountability partner is that you can meet with them and talk to them about it. After talking to them, you’ll feel better and be able to gather yourself and keep on going. That is one thing I tell everybody they have to have. If you can have an accountability partner who can keep on encouraging you and keep you going up and up, that makes it perfect all in itself. My favourite thing, because I’m a crazy happy person, is the celebrating. I’m an extravert, so I like to have people around to celebrate different things. I call it a “rolling in the money party”, Sean calls in a “hustle party”, but it’s the same thing. It’s not about the money, it’s about the success.
  • 21:59 I think back to when I was making $35 a day, and that was a success to me. That was huge. When I got my first seven figure check, that was huge. We had a party. It’s not about the money. For the different stepping stones and points in life where you keep on growing, it’s really nice to have an accountability partner, because they’ve seen you from the beginning when you were making $35 to where you’re making $350,000. It’s kind of nice to have that person there. That’s what I’ve got for benefits. What would you say are a good three or four benefits from an accountability partner?
  • 22:55 Sean: It’s going to be different from person to person. I don’t naturally celebrate successes, which is kind of good, because I don’t lament the failures as much. I’m pretty even keeled. It’s good to celebrate successes, especially when you have employees. You want to keep morale up. Even though it’s not as fun, the discipline aspect is also a benefit. Like Matt and I were talking about before the show, when you’re working on a project, you want to do a new thing, or you have an idea, you’re thinking, “Maybe I should hire this guy. Maybe I should partner with these people. Maybe I should launch a new version of this or produce a new version of that,” before you do something, you run it by your accountability partner.

Without an accountability partner, you’re doing things based on the echo chamber of your mind where you reinforce your own beliefs as well as your blind spots.

  • 24:04 You can’t see everything from your perspective. Getting someone else’s perspective with a different vantage point is very valuable. Even just talking through what you already think and believe, they can point out one little thing that makes you go, “Oh!” Just before the show, I was catching Matt up on all the things, because for the last two episodes we did a doubler and it had been a while since we’d talked. I was giving him updates and we were talking about different projects, and he gave me some ideas in that time, just in that few minutes recapping things. I may end up launching a whole new thing just because of what Matt shared with me.
  • 24:47 Matt: I think that’s huge. You kind of already know what you’re going to do. Everybody has a plan, even if it’s just a mental plan, but it helps to talk to somebody else, because they’re going to point out some different flaws, hopefully. They’re not going to give you some biased, yes-man opinion. That’s what you have your mom and dad for. You want someone who wants to pick it apart until there’s nothing left, unless it is a good plan. If there’s a few blind spots, you want them to point those out. They can give you ideas you didn’t even think about.
  • 25:22 Sean: That happened to me. I was talking to Shawn Blanc, and some of the listeners may know him as one of the speakers at seanwes conference. I was having a phone conversation with him about the conference, and I had certain ideas for how I was going to do the conference and who it was going to be available to. Long story short, it was just going to be a conference for Community members. The rest of the podcast listeners who haven’t joined the Community, it’s not like we haven’t told them about it, but they haven’t joined, so there’s a lot of things they miss out on. This was going to be one of them. That’s just the reality. Take your Community experience to the next level and get in person with people—that was my plan.
  • 26:05 Through conversations with him, I realized that there are a lot of people who are invested in what we’re doing, but they haven’t joined the Community for one reason or another. Maybe it’s because they’ve never joined an online community, so they don’t understand the benefits of it. It sounds like this weird vague thing to them and they can’t imagine it, but they have been to conferences. They know conferences, it’s a tangible experience, and they understand the value. This conference could be an entrance point for someone. It could be the very first thing for them. All along, I was thinking, “A conference is a bigger deal than a membership, so surely the membership would be the entrance point.” I was thinking in a limited sense. That conversation with him led to a longer conversation with my team, and ultimately, bundling membership with the conference ticket.
  • 26:59 Anyone can go sign up for seanwes conference, and they get a year of membership. It solves both problems. Everyone has the membership, so it’s not just an event you’re going to. You can still talk with every single person you meet and continue the conversation in the Community, but it’s not exclusive to people who already have membership. It opens things up. It’s a new entrance point. That all came from one phone conversation, getting a different perspective on things.

One conversation can be so powerful, because it can make you come up with a new idea.

  • 27:32 Matt: It comes back to creative thinking. You can’t possibly think about every single angle, because people are busy. We come up with our perspective and that’s about it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but think about it. If everybody throws in a spice, it’s going to come out that much better. Whenever I’m running a big project or something like that, I usually run it by a few people and hear what they have to say. They usually shoot it down, and that’s good. Or, if it is something good, they’ll help me revise it.

Seeking Advice

  • 28:25 Sean: If you want to get the most out of an accountability partnership, you need to stay accountable—not just at the meeting, but throughout your life, your work, and your business. You need to see them as a lifeline and not be afraid to call them up in between the meetings. Keep them posted on things. Don’t go make a big decision and launch a project in between calls and say, “Oh well, there isn’t a call right now, so I’m just going to do this.” You’ve got to keep them in mind. Take advantage of that. The discipline aspect is don’t make a decision without running it by your accountability partner. Matt was talking about how, eventually, you kind of know what the other guy’s going to say.
  • 29:18 Matt: After you’ve been with this accountability partner and you have a really good sense of his beliefs, and from talking about different scenarios and problems you have, over a couple of years, you get to really know that person. I tell Sean about him being the devil on my shoulder with a pitchfork, and we laugh, but it’s a reality for me. When I go and have meetings, I’ll meet random people, and I’ll joke with them about how, if they’re really good at what they do, maybe we could partner up and they could join my company. One of the benefits is that they get access to some of the funding.
  • 30:08 One guy said, “Yeah, that would be great to expand,” and so on. It was just in passing, after meeting with him. I met with him recently because I needed his services for one of the houses. We’ll call him James. Basically, James runs a recycling center where they take different building materials, scraps, and trash, and they dispose of them safely. I never thought about it, because I just took my stuff to the dump or sometimes they have stuff that people thought was trash that’s actually reusable. I was talking to him about some of the stuff we need to get rid of, and I said, “You know, James, maybe one of these days we can set a contract aside, so whenever you get these extra supplies, you send them over to my warehouse. We can always use it.”
  • 31:09 He kind of jokingly said, “Let’s put some contracts together right now and get it done.” At that moment, when I was about to say, “Yes, let’s draw it up,” guess who popped up? Right when I was about to say yes, this voice popped into my head saying, “Is this really what you need to be doing right now? You’re trying to focus on your businesses as they are and grow them as a whole, and you’re also trying to get to some down time on this hammock. This is your goal right now.” I said, “You know James, I would love to do this, and I really think that this would benefit both of our companies, but at this point, I don’t think we should do the contract. We’re getting ready to wind down, so we’re trying to minimize the work we’re doing right now. If we do these contracts, it’s going to take some time. This is not going to help us hit the pause button.”
  • 33:05 I was really surprised at his response. He said, “Oh man, I totally understand. Whenever you’re ready, we’ll be here.” I was thinking that if we didn’t go for the deal right then, it would go away or he would raise the rates. That’s what I was thinking.
  • 33:19 Sean: You did the same exact thing for me, Matt. You probably don’t even remember right now, but you’ll remember in a second. I wanted to hire someone, and I could have forced it to happen because I really wanted this person. The funds were not in place. We could have done it, but we would have shortened our runway, and I want to make sure I’m taking care of people. I was struggling, because this person was in a place where they were considering doing something else. They were ready for the next thing, and they were entertaining these possibilities. I thought, “If I don’t get them, they’re going to go in another direction, and that’s going to be that.” We met, we got out the whiteboard, and we wrote down a bunch of things and a bunch of numbers. I saw that we had to say no right now, buckle down, and get the work done.
  • 34:26 I told this person that I had this goal, and I hit 94% of my goal. I said, “I really want to fudge the numbers and say ‘Let’s do this,’ but I told myself that this was my goal, and I hit 94% of it. If I had hit the goal, I said I was going to be able to hire you, but I didn’t, so I’m not. I can’t right now. I don’t have a timeframe for you. I can’t say that I for sure will be able to at this point or that point. I don’t want you to be strung along, so don’t wait on me. If you want to choose the next thing, make your decision. I want to be real and level with you. I want to hire you, but I also want to take care of my people.” This was with Matt’s help and advice helping me work through this. It was before I went on the retreat where, from advice from these other guys, I’m realizing that I hired too fast this year.

You need other people’s perspectives and the clarity they can provide from their experience.

  • 35:42 Matt: We already know, in these different scenarios, what we should be doing. If it was up to me and I didn’t have this voice in my head, the clarity that this other opinion brings, I know that I would probably be making decisions that would work. We force it, fudge the numbers, and make it work with heartache and stress, but when you think about it, you don’t want to be putting yourself through that. It’s not the best scenario. By having an accountability partner who voices their opinion, eventually, it’s going to stick in your head. When you get into this sticky situation where you want to jump in but you know you shouldn’t, the little devil pokes you and says, “It’s just not time.” You say, “Okay,” even though you should be strong enough to make the decision.
  • 36:54 Sean: At this point, when you feel like you know your accountability partner well enough to know what they’d say, is there danger of never even talking to them when maybe you should? You fill in the blanks, but maybe they had something different?
  • 37:07 Matt: For sure. Even when I was talking to this guy, I thought, “Maybe I should call Sean. This would help us bring in extra revenue, because we could sell some of the supplies to other investors.” You have to make sure that line of communication is there. Like Sean said, you’ll get to a point where you know what they say, but you don’t know what they’re going to say, the full story they’re going to tell you. I always tell my brothers, “Let’s not tell mom, because she’ll give us a speech.” Whenever I know what Sean is going to say, I think, “I don’t want to call him and tell him what’s going on. He’s going to give me this long speech and I’m going to be here for an hour, and I already know what he’s going to say.” Maybe I should, because it would be good to hear his speech, even if it is something I’m expecting. There might be some extra stuff that will help me.

Call your accountability partner even when you think you don’t need to.

Even if you talk to them for 5 minutes, that 5 minutes could help you.

How to Increase Discipline With an Accountability Partner

  • 38:29 Sean: Call them up any time you want to do something. Go talk to them. It’s not just should you do this or not. Let’s say they go, “Alright, we’re doing this.” Once you are, they’re now expecting results. Now you have them on your team and it’s not like you went rogue and started some project. They know about it and they will ask how it’s going the next time you talk. They can keep you on track.
  • 39:02 Matt: They’re going to expect some results. If you were that other person, you would want to hear how it’s going. You wouldn’t want to hear some sad story about how they’re still researching. Don’t be that guy.
  • 39:21 Sean: The second thing to increase discipline with an accountability partner is what Matt said—discuss small goals, not just big ones. What did you mean by that, Matt?
  • 39:32 Matt: When we first started meeting, Sean, something that helped me jump into bigger goals was taking care of the small ones. This accountability partner brings those out of the woods and shows you how to take those smaller goals into your plan. These are goals you can actually achieve every day, week, or month, and they all amount to helping toward the bigger goal you’re wanting to get to. One thing that really helped me when we started meeting was the price thing. It really made me try to be creative and think, “How can we get to full price?” We’re not at full price. We’re at a discounted price.
  • 40:29 Eventually, the next time we met, I was at the point where I thought I knew how I was going to do this. I hadn’t executed yet on the full price, but I had a plan on how we could get that done. By accomplishing those small things, those small goals, you eventually get to the bigger goal of charging the full price, and ultimately, the full goal of making more money out of it. Talking about the small things to get to the bigger goals really helps with an accountability partner, because those are reachable goals. The next time you meet, or even in the middle, you should have gotten those things done. It helps you get out of that mentality of messing around in your extra downtime.
  • 41:28 Sean: The small goals can kind of fill in the gaps. If you have this big massive goal and you think, “I can’t really work on that right now. I might as well waste time.”

If you have small goals with your accountability partner, you can be productive in what would otherwise be wasted time.

  • 41:47 Matt: I told one of the guys I took under my wing who was working a lot and really tired, “Why don’t you wake up a little earlier than usual, even though you’re working long hours, and go for a little run? On this run, I want you to just think about what’s going on and get some clarity on it.” That really helped him get his health in a better place. He wasn’t as tired and he was stronger, so his mind was a lot clearer, because he wasn’t waking up and scrambling to start the hustle. He had a plan broken down in his head for what he needed to get done, and he was mentally prepared for the day.
  • 42:39 Figure out those small things that will help you get to these bigger goals and, ultimately, to the biggest goal. That really helps. You and your accountability partner can talk about it. “Did you get these three or four small goals done?” I don’t like letting people down, so if I didn’t get those goals done, I think, “Man, I could have worked harder. I let my accountability partner down.”
  • 43:16 Sean: I like the advice you gave that guy about waking up earlier and going on a run. A lot of us think of exercise, going to the gym or going on a run or a walk, as time to listen to a podcast or audio book. I like what you’re saying about just thinking. I always talk about getting the most out of the charge of sleep by producing as the first thing you do in the morning instead of consuming, like checking email, reading feeds, watching videos, or reading books. Consuming zaps that charge you got from sleeping. That was something I was kind of worried about with your two week challenge (Related: e32 Matt’s 2-Week Challenge). I will get on the physical stuff once my toe heals. It’s getting better. I broke my toe recently.
  • 44:20 That was one of the things I was concerned about. I thought, “If I run, I’m going to listen to a podcast, and it’s going to kill that energy.” I like this completely clean slate, no consumption, it’s just thinking time. That way, I can develop and build out a plan for the day and the week. I really like that idea.
  • 44:45 Matt: For people in general, it would be good to wake up with that clarity. I always wake up with something that’s going to inspire me and get me going for the day. When there’s so much going on, it is good to wake up and just think. Just get some clarity on what’s going on. As Sean knows, there’s so much stuff going on that it’s just endless. It’s good to gather your thoughts, especially when you wake up. That’s really helped my friend out, and it’s something he’s been keeping up. It started out as a small, temporary goal to help him figure out what he needed to get done. It’s really crucial to set up these small goals, because if they’re benefiting you in the long term, you can keep them.

How Accountability Should Go

  • 45:44 Sean: Allison says, “I pay someone to help me a few hours a month on the side, and as a result, she has become, in some ways, an accountability partner. Is that not ideal? Do those two roles mix or no?” There are two routes here. It sounds like she’s paying someone to do some jobs, and this person has become an accountability partner of sorts. At first, I thought she was saying that she’s paying someone to be her accountability partner, which is kind of weird, because that’s coaching. The difference between coaches and accountability partners is one way vs. two way. The coach is there to help you—accountability partners is a mutual benefit. You’re checking up on them, they’re checking up on you. In seanwes podcast 107, there’s an accountability meeting breakdown.
    1. It has to be regular.
    2. It has to be scheduled.
    3. The meeting needs to be structured.
    4. Take notes.
    5. Be friendly, be human, don’t waste time.
    6. Recap the last week—how did it go with the thing you said you would have completed by this meeting?
    7. Ask them, “What are you struggling with right now?”
    8. Ask them, “What are you working on?”
    9. Ask them, “What will you have done by the next time we talk?”
    10. Take turns and write down the commitments you both made.
  • 47:41 Allison has hired somebody for something else and this other person has become an accountability partner. This could work, but be aware of the risks. It’s a little bit weird. It’s mixing things a little bit. With accountability partners, no money is being exchanged. However, you also have this other relationship where she’s working for you, and things could get weird. It could hinder her willingness to be vulnerable in the accountability meetings. It could cross over to where she thinks, “If I do this project, it might affect the work she’s paying me to do,” or, “If I don’t do the work, is that going to make our accountability meeting weird or vice versa?” That’s what concerns me.
  • 48:32 Matt: The whole thing I like about accountability partners is that it’s somebody who’s going to give you unbiased advice and feedback. I always tell my accountability partners, “Pick me apart. If there’s something I’m slacking on, tell me.” In the beginning, I used to think, “That’s kind of offensive,” but no, that’s a flaw. We aren’t trying to be perfect, but we’re trying to get rid of the flaws. You want somebody to tell you the way it is without anything holding them back. If I asked one of my employees to give me feedback, some of them have that attitude because they’ve been working for me so long so they’ll just let me have it, but they know I write their checks.
  • 49:18 They won’t let me have the whole feedback on what they’re really thinking. Personally, I wouldn’t do that. I would try and stay away from family or friends, especially someone that I’m paying, because that’s going to skew their answer a little bit. It might work, it works different for everybody. I wouldn’t, because I want somebody to give me their unbiased opinion.
  • 49:50 Sean: I would say the same thing. I’d caution against it. If someone isn’t already in it, I would recommend against it. I’m pretty much all but saying stop.

Remote Accountability Partners

  • 50:02 Scotti said, “I meet with Eric and Terence each week via Google Hangouts. You definitely don’t need to meet one-on-one, face-to-face.” There were some people saying, “What if I don’t have anyone in person? Can I do it on the internet? Can I do it remotely?” He’s saying yes. “I get so much value from those guys. The hardest time is just aligning the schedules due to the different time zones. My accountability meetings with Community members has transferred to having accountability people in my health and spiritual environments, and having people keep you accountable in all aspects of your life, not just business, has been extremely helpful in staying focused.”
  • 50:45 If you don’t have someone in your local area, you can totally do it remotely. I do think there’s benefit to being in person, and you should try, even if you live in different states or countries, to meet once a year in person. That would be a really good idea. Don’t let distance keep you from having an accountability partner. You can make it happen, just get it on the schedule.
  • 51:08 Matt: It’s kind of almost the same thing. You’re just wanting somebody you can communicate with and run ideas off of, somebody with whom you can set up those goals. They don’t have to be right there. Like Sean said, there are some benefits to physically having that one -n-one time in person. There’s something about it that makes you feel like you have to get things done. You have to be there—you feel accountable.

Avoid Business Partner Accountability Partners

  • 52:15 Sean: Felippe asks, “Can your accountability partner be your business partner, or does it need to be someone outside of your routine or your business?” I have had business partners and I have had accountability partners. I have also had accountability of sorts with people in my own company who are not at a partner level. You need to have someone separate as your accountability partner. It’s great to have meetings with your business partner. You absolutely should be talking about goals and challenges. It would be very similar to an accountability meeting, but that’s a business partnership meeting, and you should continue doing those.

You need a separate, outside accountability partner from your work, because there’s conflict of interest.

  • 53:20 It’s the same thing with Allison. It’s too close, and you can’t totally be vulnerable and real without worrying them. Even if it doesn’t affect your business relationship, if you worry that it might or if they do, it can affect both relationships negatively. You need that outside perspective, that place where you can go talk with someone.
  • 53:53 Matt: I don’t have any of my business partners or anybody I do business with as my accountability partners. The way I think of it is that we’re just managers of our businesses. I don’t want to go to somebody else in the same business, who has the same opinion. We’re already talking about it and setting those goals, putting that plan together. It’s best to go outside. I’ve learned that it’s best to have an accountability partner that’s in a different industry, because they’re not familiar with your business and how it works. They’re going to give you a totally different perspective.
  • 54:35 That’s great, because you already have the knowledge of how your business works, and you have business partners and people you work with that are going to tell you how it works in your business. By having an accountability partner that’s not in the same industry or business, they’re going to give you feedback that’s totally different, from a different angle, that might help you.
  • 54:56 Sean: Felippe’s business partner is Rafael, and he’s in the Community as well, and he said, “I knew this would be the answer, but I think it’s good for people to listen to it too.” They’re remote, they’re business partners, and they’re keeping each other accountable. Basically, keep doing what you’re doing, but think of that as your partnership meetings, and also get outside accountability partners.
  • 55:28 Matt: When I was talking about doing this contract for this partnership with this guy, I asked some of my other business partners about it, some of my investors that help me do what I do, and they were on board. They said, “Let’s do it.” They’re thinking about themselves, that this is going to increase their bottom line. That’s the problem with asking someone in your own business—they also have a stake in it. Had I followed the advice of these guys, I would have done it. I thought about it from a third party perspective, and it was a totally different angle and answer. You have to think, which is the best possible answer for what I’m going through right now?

Schedule Your Meetings

  • 56:28 Sean: You’ve got to have this thing scheduled. Whether it’s remote or not, figure out the time zones, because you have to be dedicated to this. You have to be on time, you’ve got to be serious, and you’ve got to be committed. Remember back in the day, where you would set a meeting with someone and they would just be there? Now, you have 30 messages between when you set a meeting and when you’re actually there. “Hey, are we still meeting next week?” “Yeah, we’re still meeting next week.” “Okay, I’ll text you next week and make sure.” You text him, “Are we meeting this week? It’s tomorrow. Are you going to be there? Oh, it’s today. I’m on the train. I’m coming over. Yeah, I just go here. I’m ten minutes late. Don’t worry, I got coffee. On my way over.” What is this?
  • 57:20 There should not be that with your accountability partner. Treat it serious. Just know, “I’m going to show up Tuesday at 7pm, and they’re going to be online on Skype.” Or you have the same meeting place, the same seat. If someone’s taken that seat, you’ve got the backup seat. Know and be there.

Schedule goals and meetings with your accountability partner—take it seriously.

  • 57:46 Matt: Otherwise, you’re not going to make any progress. So many people I’ve been meeting with or talking to lately say, “Matt, I’ve plateaued at my business.” I say, “What do you mean? You can’t. There’s no such thing. You’ve got to break through that.” Basically, there was no discipline there. They were burned out.
  • 58:49 Sean: How many people think that reaching a plateau is, “I guess I’ve exhausted this. I guess I’ve made it. We’re coasting now, it’s easy. We did the climb, here we are, alright.” No! If you hit a plateau, you have another level to go up. That’s an indication that you’ve hit a ceiling—you’re a balloon floating up that has hit the ceiling, and you’re thinking, “This is my home now. I guess this is where I’m going to live. I guess this is where balloons are supposed to go.”
  • 59:50 You need to break through the ceiling. You’re a balloon. You’re supposed to fly, to go up. Your business is supposed to grow. If you hit a ceiling, that means you need to break through. The plateau is an indication that you need to find an accountability partner, find a mentor, pay a coach, or whatever. Break through that, because if you can, you’re going to increase. You need to think of it that way. Think of the future. Think of it as an investment, even if it means paying a coach $2,000. You’re going to break through to the next $20,000.
  • 1:00:37 Matt: I’ve been there. I’ve done that. Before I had my mentors and my accountability partners, I used to think I was at the ceiling all the time. Then I realized that this is just the beginning. With all the chaos and the burnout, you can stop being creative and stop thinking about the next thing. It’s good to have those accountability partners and mentors to help break through that. Coaching is super valuable, too. I tell people, “If you want to get ahead, put some money on the table and get a coach out there who has done this already, who’s going to accelerate your business or your position, wherever you’re at.”