August 23, 2016 at 12:09 am #29679
I thought I would share my accountability letter from Reflection Pond here to… well… keep me more accountable by going public where it matters. This letter is a work in progress, and I hope to refine it further with your input and thoughts. What did you put into your accountability letter? How has it helped you during your toughest climbs up the mountain? I’m going to keep searching out all the moments where I stood in my own way, try to identify what I was feeling and thinking, and think about ways that I can overcome inertia, paralysis, fear, laziness, etc. (AKA RESISTANCE) when I encounter them…
I cribbed and modified parts of the letter at the end of this very helpful post.
You know what you want to achieve: freedom and meaningful work. To get freedom and meaningful work you gotta create a successful location independent online business. To create this, you need to do the work to make it a reality. To do the work, you will need a plan, and you will need to show up every day to execute this plan. A lot of things get in the way of that daily effort and I hereby agree to the following things to improve my accountability to myself and increase my chances for success in creating a profitable online biz.
Thing 1: I will not let a missed day convince me that I’m not cut-out for this, worthless, lazy, fundamentally flawed, etc. OR, that the goal was always too big to handle, and too difficult to shoehorn around the demands of 9-5 and family time. I will respect myself by refusing to engage in verbal self-abuse, and I will find positive ways to comfort and support myself when I’m having a hard time. Specifically, I will…
- Write or think of one thing I’m grateful for having accomplished with the biz so far;
- Look at any of the work I’ve already done and smile to myself, do a little celebration dance, quietly affirm my creative powers, etc. anything to celebrate my creativity;
- Remember that a missed day is also an opportunity to come back to the thread, refreshed after a short break;
- Empathize with my own fears: starting with a blank page can be such a scary, paralyzing thing… on the one hand there is limitless possibility… on the other hand there is the possibility that all that possibility will be limited by what you build!
Thing 2: I will not sacrifice my own needs to make other people happy, or do for them what they can and should be doing for themselves. When there is a conflict between my biz plans and what other people want me to do, I will negotiate to find a reasonable solution that allows me to do what I need to do for myself. I will also…
- Put together a solid work schedule, so I know when I can plan to work on the biz, and for how long (with my change in schedule come fall, Working Together will occupy a “weeknight window” from about 9pm to about midnight, give or take);
- If Working Together has to occur outside of the weeknight window, then I will make sure it is planned well in advance so I can plan familial responsibilities around any commitments;
- If I manage to squeeze some Working Together into other windows of opportunity during the day or the weekend, I won’t get bummed out if I get interrupted. To help with not getting bummed out, as soon as I see an opportunity to work, I will get right to it and try for at least one pomodoro of focused effort.
Thing 3: I choose to be in charge of my own decisions and behaviour. I will not talk, think, or act as if my children, spouse, cravings, or subconscious “made me do it” or stood in the way of me doing it. I will ask myself what’s most important to me at that moment and make my decision. If I don’t like the consequences, I will try something different the next time. A few more things to remember here:
- Along with my gumption and my “genius” (who I do not possess, but only court at times), I alone am responsible for my success;
- If I slack off in any area of life (career, family, biz) it will only compound on the other areas, making them more strained for time, energy and commitment… I will work on what matters first, and if there is time to surf the net afterwards, then so be it (I’m betting there won’t be).
I hereby endeavor to listen to my own own self-talk, identify the thoughts, attitudes or behaviours that are getting in the way of my success, and refine this written contract with myself to do things differently. I will aim to be as specific and practical as I can be, and be sure to come back to this letter when I’m having problems.
Stefan MoralesAugust 23, 2016 at 3:31 pm #29711
Bravo Stefan. This is so powerful. I know from personal experience how important these contracts are. I can tell you put a lot of heart and energy into it. My one suggestion is to choose to allow the process to be a fun, creative adventure. Take stress out of the equation as much as possible. Be a child again and play!! That will make something magnificent.
With reference to the accountability contract: A client of mine literally just created a two year contract for herself and for her course.
She basically hired herself in exchange for shares to do a specific set of jobs (create a series of eCourses) and she is treating it just like she would a client. She is gaining MASSIVE MOMENTUM. So perhaps a next step you want to do.
Draft up terms and stipulations and what your shares percentage will be from profits of eCourse sales.August 24, 2016 at 11:53 am #29781
Wow Stefan, very powerful! Thing 2. It just. It could have been written by me for me.
How did I not do this? I should have written it down instead of just thinking it through. I think I will go and do that tonight. Put it to paper and post if somewhere near my desk.
Thank you, thank you for showing me just how valuable this accountability letter can be.August 26, 2016 at 8:01 am #29841
Awesome Deanna. Did you manage to make some time to write up your accountability contract? Would love to see it… to help you stay true 😉
See what you’ve started Stefan!?August 29, 2016 at 9:32 am #29885
I admit, Bradley, that I never finished it. I started it. It was feeling very heavy and my excuses were really fighting with me. Every time I came up to an excuse and tried to find a way around it, more popped up. It was exhausting. I promise to go back to it. This week is light for me in the way of personal/work obligations so I’m going full steam ahead on the course (and will complete this accountability contract..) Meet me here Wednesday evening and you will see it. 🙂August 29, 2016 at 8:20 pm #29915
Thanks for the helpful suggestion Bradley! I agree re: fun, creative process. I just spent a small amount of money on an ad hoc lighting kit from Home Depot: some clip work lights, some daylight balanced LED bulbs. I also ordered some cheap light stands from amazon to righ everything to. All in the name of creating videos for the ol’ youtube channel to help build up my brand. I plan on using video for fun (and profit) 😉
And Deanna! I look forward to reading your letter and getting some ideas/inspiration from it! Thanks for the kudos!
SAugust 29, 2016 at 8:39 pm #29919
It’s a date Deanna. Like Stefan, I’m pumped to see what you write.
Given all the resistance you experienced, it’s clearly the right contract to write 🙂
The medicine is already working it’s magic on you. Unwinding all that no longer serves.September 16, 2016 at 12:55 pm #30352
How’s your climb going Stefan? What do you need for support?
GO TEAM!September 17, 2016 at 3:49 am #30392
Thanks for asking Bradley! Things are going really well with all the Working Together stuff! But a lot of it is outside of the development of the eCourse right now–I’ve been busy getting my newsletter established, setting-up interviews for the podcast (and recording a few too). I’m getting near launch capacity with the podcast, as my goal was to have 5 recorded episodes to launch with and 5 in my back pocket to create some runway.
Also, the last couple of weeks have knocked my wife and I onto our heels: we have two little guys (one 2 and one 4) who are going to daycare and preschool starting this month, so every weekday has been a total GONG SHOW. This is my first rodeo, but any parents who work 9-5 can totally relate with how crazy September is.
All that to say, I am accountable to come back to my Mastermind Group at the end of the month with a structure for the eCourse, as well as about 30% of its content drafted. YIKES! Sooooooo I’m going into rapid prototyping mode right now with the thing, and hope to have bits and bobs that I can try validating online in a couple of weeks to help get feedback from my target audiences.
So, the long and the short of it: I’ve been away, but now I’m back. 🙂 Do I need support? Nope. It all depends on me!September 19, 2016 at 5:51 am #30425
This is all awesome stuff Stefan.
I can only imagine the gong show this time of year must be, especially being the first time. Lots of new learning and rhythms I’m sure.
Love that you’ve gotta have the course outline done by the end of the month. That’ll put some fuel in your flow to get you in design mode.
Exciting about the podcast. That may be a perfect Walk in the Park for you, to introduce folks to what you’re passionate about and doing. Curious what the show is going to focus on?
Can’t wait to see what you come up with for everything!
Thanks for sharing!
October 2, 2016 at 5:11 pm #30635
- This reply was modified 7 years, 5 months ago by Bradley Morris.
Andy FreistMountain Guide@andyfreist
Right on Stefan!
I’m curious to know how writing this letter has benefitted you since you wrote it back in August?!
Any juicy insights or epiphanies you’d like to share?
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