Who can help you make your boat go faster?

Part of my weekly routine is a call on a Friday afternoon with my ‘Business Buddy’.  I thought it might be worth telling you a bit about this as we both find the process extremely helpful in keeping us focused on how we’re doing.

The starting point for this exercise is to ensure that you know what your goals are – what you are trying to achieve with your business and what are the smaller steps you need to achieve to get there?  This is key because without them you won’t know what to put down for your weekly actions.

Once you have these things written down in a way that suits you (spreadsheet, picture-style poster, written points) you can then find a Business Buddy who will help to keep you focused on achieving your goals. 

Business-BuddyThis is a mutual relationship and doesn’t involve payment, so you need to find someone who has the same mindset as you and who also wants to benefit from such a relationship.  Your Business Buddy doesn’t have to be someone who knows the ins and outs of your business or has years more experience than you in business.  They don’t have to be in your industry and they don’t have to be in your locality.  My Business Buddy lives about 200 miles from me and is someone I’ve only known for about 18 months, but after getting to know each other we ‘clicked’ and felt we were of a similar mind-set and could support each other as we tread the bumpy path of running a business together.

When you have found your buddy, you then need to agree the ‘rules’.  It’s entirely up to you how structured this relationship is, but we’ve found that keeping the call at the same time every week and having an agenda for the call helps immensely.  In fact, it is often in doing the preparation for the call that we find most value – and without a structure that wouldn’t happen.

We split the call into 2 halves so that we get equal time and input each and each half follows the same agenda:

  • Successes for the week
  • Challenges during the week
  • Opportunities received during the week
  • Update on actions for this week
  • Set Actions for next week

We will both spend some time before the call thinking about these 5 areas and jotting down notes and as I’ve mentioned, it often becomes obvious at this stage that what has felt like a bad week actually hasn’t been as bad as it seems.  Equally a good week might not have been as productive as it felt.  We also can reflect on why we haven’t got our actions completed, if that is the case, and understand what has been getting in the way.  This helps us to make changes to our behaviour/diary/expectations for the following week.

It has been said that our calls are ‘fluffy’ and we do understand that we are not as hard on each other as a paid coach might be, however there is massive benefit in reflecting on the week and we both know that we wouldn’t do that without the call .  Also, it’s sometimes just nice to discuss things and mull over some points with a like-minded person.  It’s very lonely when you work on your own and having a chance to chat things through often helps add some perspective.  I suspect that might be a woman thing, but if that is the case, it definitely has value for women!

And of course the action plan is a massive help as you have to really think about the key things you need to achieve during the next week and then you have a list to keep reminding you what you should be doing, rather than what you naturally get tied up in day-to-day.  As you have to report back at the end of the week there is great incentive to keep coming back to the list and making sure you’re working on the right things.

I would really recommend that you think about getting a Business Buddy.  Spend some time thinking about who you might want to partner up with and what you’d like to get from the relationship and then simply ask them.  My buddy arrangement got set up last year when I was on my ‘Will It Make The Boat Go Faster’ course and I had to do something there and then to start making my boat go faster.  A simple text asking the question has led onto a really useful business relationship and a friendship.


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