The Power in an Accountability Partner

scottqmarcusHi, this is Scott Q Marcus. He's a Thinspirational Speaker – check him out!  (

He's also my friend.  

And now he's also my accountability partner. Sounds important, I know. Because he is.

We were sitting beside each other at an NSA lab, learning about selling from the platform, and we both bought a system to help us publish books online through Kindle. It was a pricey investment and we knew it would require a lot of work. We also knew ourselves well enough to know that chances were good we would never actually get around to doing it. 

Sometimes even the best intentions can't stand up to a busy life.

So we decided to go through it together. I don't think either of us realized what a brilliant move this was until we actually started meeting (on the phone) every week to report our status and set new goals.

I have a very packed schedule, with a list of things to do longer than my arm, and each of them holding their own weight in priority. But there was something about knowing that I had a call scheduled with Scott that made me put that project top of my list every week. Granted, I'm often doing it "last minute" – but I'm doing it. And that's the point.

This lab was in January, and it is now March. I am convinced that if I didn't have an accountability partner, I would not have started the project yet, and would have this bubble hanging over my head of pressure, accompanied by the ever constant phrase, "I really need to get started on that publishing project."  Along with "I really need to clean out the basement" and "I really need to start watching those exercise tapes I bought back in 2004."

I am convinced that when this project is completed and a raging success, I will have Scott to thank.

So what about you? Are you staring at a project that needs to be completed? Want to ensure it gets done? Then get your own accountability partner. Here are some guidelines to get you started:

1. Find someone who is working on a project very simliar to yours. It helps when you are both talking the same language and going through somewhat of the same journey.

2. Find someone who has a schedule similar to yours. If you work nights and he works days, it won't work.

3. Respect the time. Agree on a brief session. Sessions that last two hours will eventually be too much of a chore and you won't stick with them. Thirty minutes or less should do it. You are reporting on your progess, stating any concerns, and setting goals for the next session.

4. Make sure you don't ramble in your sessions. This isn't therapy. A little chit chat is fine. And occasionally you will discuss an issue not related to the project. But stick to the point of the session. While it may "feel good", if it's not productive it's not productive.

5. Do the work. Respect your partner and actually work on your goal. Don't lie and say you did it. The only one you are hurting is yourself. Do what it takes to put this project in your top priority slot.You'll be glad you did.

6. Have fun. Like everything else, projects are much more fun when you put a postive spin on it. If you have to do the work, you might as well be excited about it.

Okay, gotta run. This motivational speaker has homework to do!



Motivational Speaker Kelly Swanson - called one of North Carolina's funniest women by Our State Magazine. Kelly lifts the spirits of audiences from coast-to-coast using humor, storytelling, and lives of the characters from Prides Hollow - Kelly's make believe small town. This unique approach to motivational speaking allows Kelly to break through communications barriers and connect directly to the audience's imagination.
Her powerful stories and wacky wit will make you laugh, remind you that you matter, show you how to see beyond your obstacles, and teach you how to stand up and stick out in a crowded market.
To book motivational speaker Kelly Swanson:
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  1. I am SOOO proud of you Kelly! I was with you at that lab and saw you and Scott start this journey. That's what separates you from others in this crazy business of motivational speaking – you take ACTION.  The biggest step was commiting to an accountability partner.  Nice!  I can't even find my notes from that lab….

  2. Thanks for posting this story Kelly. I'm really pleased we're working with each other. I know for a fact that I would not be pushing forward so much if it wasn't for having to check in with you.

    Scott "Q" Marcus

    CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist),

  3. Oh fabulous Kelly. What a fantastic system! Motivational speakers are generally pretty good at giving advice but sometimes forget the "how to" part. THIS is a GREAT "how to" part!!! Thanks!


  4. I am proof positive that an accountability partner works wonders.  The Wellness Director for Sarasota County is also working on her motivational speaking career while working a full time job so we got together to see how we could support each other at this stage of the game.  We help each other get very specific with our tasks and check in every 2 weeks.  Her task is writing a book and mine is filming 3 exercise videos.  She's making steady progress and I'm set to film my first Flexibility and Balance video next week at the county's studio!  It's working!

  5. Powerful stuff Kelly!  In my program "Escape From Someday-Isle" I encourage participants, after they set a Goal, to engage a "Goalie" (essentially an accountiblity partner) because I believe that is the best way to succeed.  Congratulations to you and Scott!  

  6. This outstanding blog got buried in my email. Rock-star strategies for keeping yourself on path. This motivational speaker can certainly learn a few things from this blog. Thank YOU!

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