A business coaching group I participate in through Jennifer Lee’s, The Right Brain Business Plan, challenges business owners to get tough things done by partnering up with an accountability buddy. I can tell you from personal experience that this works!

Of all the things I do to run my business, I’d have to say that my least favorite thing is networking. The dressing up, traveling to the venue, making business small talk with strangers…blegh, it gives me the all overs just thinking about it.

So, I made a commitment to my accountability buddy that I would network with eight new people by a certain date. And when I attended a small business expo last week, I actually exceeded my goal way ahead of schedule!

Sure, I had to fight my inner saboteur, kicking and screaming to get my butt out the door (actually, it was more about trying on 10 different outfits, checking email, doing dishes, cleaning the catbox, etc.). But as soon as I got to the event, I signed up for speed networking and did a 45-minute session.

Boom! It was that easy. I ended up chatting with almost a dozen new people doing that activity alone, not to mention the other opportunities I had to meet new people just wandering around the trade show floor.

Now, I’ve been to many trade shows and conferences in my career including doing time playing booth bunny. The problem is that as a small-office-home-office solopreneur, it’s way too easy to get caught up in client projects and the day-to-day operations. I forget how important it is to get out there and just talk to people. And I can’t tell you how many times an event I’ve put on my calendar gets deleted because of the million and one excuses I come up with to skip it and stay glued to my Mac.

Stating my specific intention to my accountability buddy made me take my commitment to myself and my business more seriously. And with my original commitment fulfilled, I’ve already got another, slightly more ambitious one to accomplish within the next few weeks.

What you could accomplish if you had an accountability buddy?

Mary Maru