In the company I co-founded, we often worked on group projects. We believed that software was an art best practiced in groups, as a variety of viewpoints was necessary to work through hard problems. Sometimes, though, we got projects which weren’t large enough to justify putting multiple people on the project. In the beginning of our company, those were the projects that we did the worst on. We sent someone off, riding away like the Lone Ranger, to conquer whatever demon our customer faced. Oftentimes, that person only solved problems after going down endless rabbit holes and staying awake countless nights banging away on the problem.
We realized that if we were going to survive, we needed to figure out how to help people on solo projects, as they weren’t going away. We came up with the concept of the accountabilabuddy. Yeah. It’s a mouthful. The accountabilibuddy was the person that you turned to who wasn’t a part of the project but who would hold you accountable for continuing to move forward and who could help you identify when you were going down a rabbit hole and drag you out of it so that you could move forward.
Oftentimes, in our personal lives, particularly in our financial lives, we go down rabbit holes. We pay off the credit card only to slip and suddenly find yourself back in the hole. I’ve been there. I paid off all of my excesses in living when I lived in Germany and got myself completely out of debt only to find myself confessing to my soon-to-be fiancé that I had a five digit (not including the decimal point) credit card only eighteen months later.
There are some people who have the personal discipline and fortitude and strength to win those battles individually. I salute you. You’re stronger than I was. For the rest of us, it’s a constant internal struggle. We don’t know what we need to do. We need reassurance. Most of all, we need someone to hold us accountable for our actions.
That’s where the accountabilibuddy comes in. If you don’t have one, you need one. You need someone to help you with your plan. They can help you formulate the plan, or they can help you stick to it. They don’t let you make excuses when you slip, but hold you accountable and give you a hand up to get back on track.
I don’t care who your accountabilibuddy is. It can be your spouse, your best friend, your sibling, or you can hire me. However, if you’re fighting the battle alone, it’ll be a lot tougher than if you are fighting it with an accountabilibuddy by your side.
Do you have someone fighting the battle by your side? How does that person help you? Tell us about it in the comments below!