Every business coach and motivational speaker will tell you that when people achieve huge success it is rarely about a single massive action that they’ve taken. The route to attaining your goals is about taking small actions consistently, each and every day.
To this end, we are often encouraged to find friends and colleagues who can hold us accountable. Trusted collaborators to whom we declare our goals, spell out the actions we are are going to commit to taking, and who then hold us accountable (with love) to make sure we carry them out. An accountability partner is so valuable, as it can really motivate us to turn up and take the action when we might otherwise find an excuse, and very soon, the habit becomes an ingrained ritual that needs little or no will-power at all.
So how do you find your accountability partner? It can be anyone really, the only qualification is that this is someone who you are in close contact with, on at least a weekly, but a preferably daily basis. It can be your best friend or someone you live with, but just recently I found a group of countability partners via Instagram.
March Meet the Maker on Instagram
This March, the creative entrepreneur Joanne Hawker lead her fourth annual hashtag campaign, #MarchMeettheMaker. Aimed at creatives, the campaign encouraged us to post on a particular subject each day. She shared a series of prompts in advance so we could plan ahead, and celebrated and acknowledged participants along the way. Separately I created a Facebook Group of 30 creatives in my area who were all keen to take part so we supported each other. It was this group of ladies that I felt most accountable too. If they were going to show up, then I needed to too!
Posting every day isn’t easy - especially if you aren’t used to Instagram. The pressure to create a beautiful photo with an engaging caption each time took a surprising amount of time and effort. There were times when I really didn’t feel like doing it, but I knew if I didn’t, I’d be letting both myself and my teammates down. Often the post was the last job of the day, just making it online at 11 o’clock at night before I finally went to sleep. But then a funny thing happened. It became easier. I started enjoying it. Not only that, I realised how interesting and varied my online story had become. When previously my feed had been a bit one-dimensional and directionless, now I was looking at a feed that has nuance, depth and authenticity. And my following has shot up too, buy almost 30% in one month.
The real benefit though has been in my business and creative practice. Joanne Hawker has her own business as an illustrator and sells pins and cute stationery. The prompts for posts she gave covered many aspects of a business that a creative entrepreneur needs to consider such as packaging, customer feedback, reducing waste, and so on. Being made to think about these areas each day helped me identify the areas in my own business that need working on, and through the joys of social media, has also helped me find people who can help me.
So a big thank you to Joanne Hawker for her wonderful campaign and thank you to all my creative friends from the Hampshire Women Business Group for being my accountability buddies and helping cheer each other on.
What is next?
I’m addicted now. With March coming to a close I realised I was going to miss having a daily prompt for what to post on Instagram and by extension, what to focus on with my business. So I searched around and found, *gulp* THE 100 DAY PROJECT
Come up with a project to do EVERY DAY for 100 days. Use the hashtag #the100dayproject and follow what everyone else is doing. It kicks off April 2nd. You can find all the details here: THE 100 DAY PROJECT I’m already really excited. Fancy joining me?