By Maya Lynn Harris
I met Kellene during a coaching course I was taking. We were each encouraged to partner with someone else taking the course that you can work with throughout the training. It was supposed to be a temporary connection. But that one connection in 2016 has led to a 6-year friendship that has been one of the best decisions I’ve made as a business owner. Kellene has become my accountability partner and I believe that every entrepreneur needs one.
Entrepreneurs often face challenges alone. When I launched my tutoring company, LAMA, I did not have a team and did not know anyone in the industry. A mentor suggested that I seek out an accountability group. I was hesitant at first, but decided to listen to his advice. When I finally secured a partner, I found that I was able to share my ideas and concerns with someone who understood my vision and WANTED to see me win! I was equally invested into her ideas and concerns. It was a win-win for both of us.
My ability to maintain a positive presence on social media is important. You attract what you put out so even when I am having a bad business day, I need to stay professional online. My accountability partner hears ALL of my complaints and I heard hers! We are able to talk through issues, laugh a lot, and come up with solutions together. This is a much better option for our businesses. An accountability partner will act as that shoulder to cry on. Then shake you up and push you to move on!
Our ideas always seem great…to ourselves. When I am in creation mode, I’m laser-focused on bringing my ideas to life. Of course, those ideas always sound AMAZING, especially when I’ve put a great deal of work in. So having someone to bounce ideas off of helps me to make sure that audience will understand, appreciate and need what I’ve created. We make sure our content is user-friendly. I can call Kellene and bounce an idea off of her and she’ll give real, useful feedback. “I like that, Maya. But isn’t that similar to xyz that you did last year? Do you want to bring that back or try something new?” Her input has saved me a lot of headaches and money!
We bring different experiences to the table. “I don’t know what I don’t know. But I DO know that someone else knows!” I never want to be the smartest person in the room. I WANT to hear other perspectives and learn from other’s experiences. Listening to stories and advice from people who truly have your best interest in mind can only make your business stronger. While we are both in the community building industry, our backgrounds are very different. As an educator, I tend to share ways to teach concepts to different types of learners, which she has been able to use in her courses. Coming from a corporate background, Kellene has really helped me look at the broader picture of ways that I can grow my business using different channels that I never knew about as a teacher! Having an additional point of view when making decisions in your business help you to create when you clients need and not just what you think they need.
You have a clear understanding of each other’s work and trust each other’s with your vision. I have a great team, but few people know my business like my biz bestie/accountability partner. She’s been there from concept to launch to expansion. And I have followed her business from the beginning as well. We participate in each other’s workshops and join each other’s social media groups. Not only does she understand my vision, but she has also helped me to expand it. We share new initiatives with each other and act as referral partners. Her network is mine and mine is hers. It has been the strongest business relationship that I have, and we have not paid each other a dime. We do this to see each other grow! That’s why it was so important for me to not rush into connecting with an accountability partner. It is a relationship that grows over time. You may not find the perfect partner or group immediately. But once you find your tribe, each of you will benefit from each other!
Seek out an organization that will not only support your accountability group but will also train you and your partners on how to get the most out of this unique relationship! It will be the best investment you’ve made for your business yet!