Build Your Own Team Audacity: A Board of Accountability for Your Entrepreneurial Dream
Posted on April 12, 2012
One of my biggest challenges as an entrepreneur – my fear of imperfection! Yep, that’s right. The Audacity Coach herself is so afraid of imperfection that she struggles to finish anything. There. I said it. (deep breath)
You’d think that a life/career coach would know better and be able to get over this fear. You’d think that because I have expertise in organization, productivity, and prioritization that I would be able to muster the discipline to get things done. But like most overachievers I know, I want everything I do to shine like the top of the Chrysler Building. It’s not that I think I’m perfect – far from it. It’s that I worry about others judging my work so much that I keep myself from launching new and exciting projects.
Oh, and do I have a crap load of unfinished projects! There are dozens of things that I want to create for my business – books, articles, meetups, workshops, self-guided programs, audio programs, handbooks, promotional items, videos, etc. And like every other entrepreneur I know, I also have several personal projects I keep permanently on the backburner. I’m surrounded by half-to-almost complete projects that rarely come to fruition.
Here’s my oh-so-flawed project development process, or as I should call it, my perfectionism loop:
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- Start a project | revved up and raring to go
- Brainstorm and outline my ideas | still enthusiastic
- Start putting together the big pieces | enthusiasm begins to wane
- Start seeing how impossible it is that the project will turn out perfect | start losing steam
- Pick at the project without making any significant progress | self-loathing sets in
- Move on to new project | utterly deflated by another unfinished project
Now I’m lucky enough to have people in my life who have decided that this is no longer acceptable. They are pushing me to get over this perfectionism nonsense. They enjoy quoting me to point out that I’m not taking my own advice. (ouch!) “Perfectionism is just a convenient excuse for Procrastination!” So about a year ago, I decided to stop suffering from my crippling perfectionism and did something drastic: assemble my very own Board of Accountability!
Here’s how I did it: I selected seven projects I intend to complete in the next 90-days. Then I broke each of them down into milestones and set deadlines. Then I shared my plan with seven different people asking them to track my progress, including close friends, coaching and speaking colleagues, a former client, my coach, and a mentor. I like to call them Team Audacity. Together, these people bring all of the skills and perspective I need to help me produce quality work without getting stuck in my perfectionism loop. They all know exactly where I should be on my timeline and I check in with each of them at pre-planned intervals.
This has been a serious game changer! Now there are people from different walks of life who are poised to help me push through self-doubt, procrastination, and overwhelm so that I can finish what I’ve started. Even better, five of these accountability relationships are reciprocal. I’m helping them get their most important projects done, too! Now armed with my Accountability Team and my newly adopted mantra, Better Done Than Perfect, I’m no longer letting the fear of imperfection hold me back. Watch out! 🙂
Establish Your Own Team Audacity
Stop suffering from crippling perfectionism and procrastination. Add real accountability into your life by drawing on the strengths and support of others. More than a personal cheerleader, an accountability partner is there to track your progress, keep you motivated, and ensure that you don’t quit. Perhaps you do not need to have a whole team of people like mine and just one person will do. But everyone could use someone to push them along their short-term goals.
Assemble your own accountability partnership(s)/team using the following guidelines:
- Choose the right kind of people as accountability partners. It will do you no good if you invite people who are likely to let you off the hook. Ask people who are willing to hold your feet to the fire.
- Set a short accountability period and then if it works out well, repeat. If not, part ways as accountability partners.
- Choose Ambitious and Audacious goals for your accountability period. If you’re going to do this, do it right!
- Set tangible milestones so your accountability partners can easily tell if you’ve done it or not.
- Schedule your accountability meetings in stone, rescheduling only under dire circumstances.
- Follow through with the commitments you make!