Have you ever started a project and lost interest in it before it was finished? Cut out a pattern of material to sew a dress and never did the sewing part? How about buying the paint to update the trim on your house and the bucket and brush are still in the garage?
We all at some point in our lives have started something that we never finished. Some of us are better at not finishing than others. Raise your hand if you fall into this category. Ok, you can put your hand down now.
Many of us have heard or participated in activities or organizations that use accountability to help motivate, or at least keep participants on track to achieving their goals. Jenny Craig and Weight Watchers come to mind. I’ve used Jenny Craig in the past and it was very successful for me. That weekly weigh-in kept me from cheating on my diet too much. Plus, seeing the numbers on the scale descend was also a great motivating factor.
I’ve never done Weight Watchers but I've heard from my friends who have that they have similar accountability. There are group meetings and one on one coaching sessions to help their members stay motivated through accountability.
I bring this up because as I observe the universe through other entrepreneurs and business networks, and also through the guests I interview on my podcast, I see one common thread - partnerships. I’m not talking business partnerships per se as much as human partnerships. Partnerships between
an entrepreneur and their supportive families or a spouse or sibling you can bounce ideas off of.
I think about Napoleon Hill who wrote “Think and Grow Rich”. I consider this book one of the original “self-help” books. It’s personal development for the business minded. Or the open minded. Or just as an interesting read from almost 100 years ago that still resonates today.
I bet if you asked 8 of your successful business connections, most of them would admit to having read it. Especially if those 8 people are in Mastermind groups. If you don’t know what a Mastermind group is, google it or better yet, read the book. Here, though are the 13 principles outlined in that book:
Lucky 13. I’ve leave it to you to research each principle.
I’ve met people that re-read this book every year. I also know a bunch of people in Mastermind groups. Some are in more than one Mastermind group. That says a lot. What’s the one thing that stands out to me from having a partner, being a member of a Mastermind group, or participating in a support organization?
I’m not talking about having them hold your feet to the fire. I’m talking about encouragement. We are a social species and out of that comes community. That’s what being social is all about – community; it’s a human support group. And support equates to community.
Think of a colony of ants. They get so much done when they work together. Consider doing tasks at home, alone, like installing a new ceiling fan. It’s kind of a bummer doing it by yourself. It’s up the ladder and down the ladder and up again and oops I dropped the screwdriver so it’s down the ladder again. Not my idea of fun. Plus, if there’s no one that you’re accountable to in hanging that new ceiling fan, it may stay in the box for a very long time.
So why should you pair motivation with accountability? Because we can get more done, attain higher goals, and gain more success with accountability from “our community”. We are just ants in a much larger body. But we still work better together. Mostly.
There are times when you work in a group and there’s some dead wood. By dead wood I mean someone who, for whatever reason, doesn’t do their fair share. The rest of us get annoyed and either pick up the slack for them or start forming grudges against them. Not a healthy environment. Time to trim the dead wood.
But what if we were kept accountable and motivated by being in a support group such as a Mastermind? What if we had others to bounce ideas off of, get insight into how we can improve our marketing efforts, learn from other people’s experiences and challenges, and build a brighter, more successful future? Sound good? I thought you might think so.
Since I first heard about Mastermind groups I’ve wanted to join one. Each time I discovered that someone in my networking community was in a group I asked about joining. I never found a group that was taking new members. So I asked myself, self, is it my breath? No actually it was the premise that each group started with a select group of people and chose to only allow those original members. I believe that’s why some people are in more than one group – they found others who wanted to join or were in a different industry and decided to spawn a new group. There’s no rule that says you have to only be a member of one Mastermind group.
I’m in the process of starting a Mastermind group. I’m studying the Mastermind principles and putting together a plan. I’m pinning Mastermind things on Pinterest, googling up a storm, and reading all I can about Mastermind groups. You know, learn from others who have done it before.
I’ve also gone through an intermediate step in starting and running a Meetup group for podcasters. We're an eclectic group. I’ve heard that leading a Meetup group is a good activity to work towards Masterminding (is that a word?).
Not all of the people in a Meetup group will have the same level of commitment though. That’s a good way to vet the people in the group; to see if they are going to contribute to its success. The Meetup members might have very different goals that don’t necessarily translate into having and running a business. They may just be there to learn or socialize. And that’s ok. We all have to start somewhere.
Are you working your plan? What keeps you motivated? How's your accountability?
Make a promise to yourself: You promise to hold yourself accountable until such time as you have others to hold you accountable and keep you motivated. How can you achieve this? With 13 distinct plans, or principles.
- Plan to use your wishes and desires for success as an entrepreneur to keep you motivated to continue reaching for that brass (or gold) ring. (Desire)
- Plan to have faith in the process and know that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. (Faith)
- Plan to create a list of goals and read them out loud as a form of auto-suggestion and manifestation. (Auto suggestion)
- Plan to use your education, skills, and abilities to create your reality. If you don’t know something, plan to find a way to learn it. (Specialized knowledge)
- Plan to use your imagination and creativity to generate and implement ideas for business growth and opportunities. (Imagination)
- Plan to create milestones and set deadlines to achieve them. If you don’t achieve them by their due date, review, reassess, and reschedule them if needed or back burner them. (Organized planning)
- Plan to make informed decisions based on researching information and not depend on knee jerk responses. (Decision)
- Plan to persistently work towards each goal until achieved. (Persistence)
- Plan to keep the company of like-minded peeps to gain inspiration by learning by their examples which will motivate you to reach higher. (Power of the Master Mind)
- Plan to make friends, engage, and influence, or at least to try to influence people. How are you doing? Is it working? Are you charming them yet? No? Bummer. Keep trying. (Transmutation)
- Plan to use mindfulness to quiet the voices in your head (no, not those voices) to clear out the cobwebs and reach a state of nirvana. Or at the very least, reflect on the things that you want to manifest. (Subconscious Mind)
- Plan to exercise your brain learning more, creating more, and complaining less. Visualize and picture not only the things that you plan but to also move through those scenes as if they were not dreams but reality in order to actualize them. To take action by implementing your milestone goals, one task at a time. (The brain)
- Plan to use your intuition, hunches, and gut feelings to change your universe by turning your subconscious into your conscious. (The sixth sense)
Those are some pretty awesome plans to keep you motivated and accountable. What do you think?