Last week I was having lunch with a friend of mine in Boston and he was asking me how to break into consulting, and speaking.
When I thought about it, I realized that there were so many opportunities and what I call "right place in the right time" moments that had come my way that made it easier for me to get into consulting or speaking.
But one of the biggest things I realized was that the common denominator was people.
I have found that relationships with others and the ability to add value to others are the basis around business. In fact, most successful business people credit their success to relationships with others.
I've been lucky to be a part of great startup communities and have learned from some of the best entrepreneurs in the game. But things really changed when I got an accountability buddy to tackle some of the things that I had been struggling with for months.
For example, do you feel like you start a diet and then fail every single day?
Do you promise yourself you are going to wake up and read a book every morning?
Until it becomes a habit, an accountability buddy can be the difference between success and failure.
How do you pick an accountability buddy?
There are many ways to do this, but what I have found works best is if there is someone who is in your city, and shares a similar goal or vision as you do.
When I tried doing the slow carb diet with one of my best friend's Jon, it was a lot easier to do it because there was someone I saw every day who was pushing for me to fight through the days I just wanted to quit and eat a slice of pizza. People that are apart of your support system can be great people for this, but be careful that you don't get too comfortable.
If you don't have someone in your city, you need to, at the least, find someone who shares the same vision for what you want in life. For example, my friend Divya shares the same love for meditation as I do, and values waking up early. Divya is the perfect person to have as an accountability partner because she has a shared vision as I do.
Here are 2 ingredients that I have found work best when looking for an accountability buddy:
1. Share a similar vision or goals
2. Are going to tough it out with you and not give up
It can be hard at first, but once you have this accountability buddy you need to determine some boundaries and set a basic way to hold each other accountable. For example, with Divya and I, we have a rule where we both are up and out of our beds at 5:30.
We automatically text each other asking if the other person is up, and if they don't respond, we call till the other person wakes up! After doing this for about a week, I can never fall back asleep past 5:30, but Divya and I still hold each other accountable.
What are examples of bad accountability buddies?
In short, these are generally people that don't have a shared vision or goal that you have. I also think (depending on who you are and what you react best to) having someone who will be upset if you don't make it on time, or will keep you accountable is often the best person.
I have tried this with roommates who are naturally on the lazier side and have failed multiple times because they don't' have the ingredients for successful accountability buddies. Similarly, people that truly look out for you such as a significant other or family member don't work as well in my experience.
Here are 4 powerful things that changed when I got an accountability buddy.
1. Someone was always waiting
Every day my alarm rings at 5:25 AM. It doesn't matter whether I am in Dubai, Mumbai, or Boston, I need to wake up because my accountability buddy is waiting for me. Because I don't want to disappoint them, I sometimes wake up at 5 AM and wait because I don't want to be the loser who doesn't call in.
In fact, there have been a few times where I don't call and my buddy got frustrated because I didn't respond or pick up the phone. That feeling of having someone always waiting for you can be nerve-wracking, and can be natural motivation to nail your goal.
2. I surrounded myself with aligned thinkers and doers
It is extremely invigorating to wake up and immediately do something worthwhile with people who are aligned with where you want to be in life.
For example, I wake up, brush my teeth, and start meditating at 5:50 AM, every single morning. Afterward, I would usually have a call to discuss what we felt during our meditation, and having a call with someone who is aligned with where you want to be is motivating.
I found that those people are ones that I can usually depend on upon, relate to, and even go to for struggles I am having in my day. For example, with my friend Jon, we would constantly talk about how difficult slow carb was.
And for us, that was extremely helpful.
3. I had a different level of discipline
Waking up at the same time every day has a certain level of commitment and focus that I otherwise wouldn't have felt.
Like many navy seals mention, doing something productive or something that moves the needle every morning is the start of a successful morning for most people.
4. My routine started to formulate
One of the most important things that successful entrepreneurs do is have a set routine.
I read a fantastic book by the founder of Dilbert who discusses how he failed his way to success. One of the biggest takeaways I got from that book was that developing a routine is incredibly important to being successful.
20 years from now, I want to develop a certain level of routine where I don't need to think about what I am going to do next, and what optimizes for what I care about most.
In other words, I know at 6:03 AM I am meditating on my meditation chair. There is a certain level of clarity that comes with knowing and being in control of your life.
5. I finally figured out what worked in my life
As most of you know, I love A/B testing life.
This just means I love taking life and continually test what works for me and what doesn't. The importance like this, similar to marketing, is to test what works to find out what to keep and what to chuck.
For me, accountability buddies are my go to way to accomplish my goals
It's very similar to having a personal trainer who is constantly waiting for you every day. If that works for you, develop that system and make it work in your favor!
4 powerful things that changed when I got an accountability buddy was originally found on chiragkulkarni.com