This week’s Member Spotlight features Pam Yang and Margo Aaron, freelancer “accountability partners.” We overheard this pair asking each other questions and swapping advice at our Pop Up Coworking Space, and just had to find out more!
You guys met at a networking event, but how did you become “accountability partners”?
We were both freelancing but weren’t 100% clear on where we wanted our freelancing careers to go. Worse, we were having trouble scaling. We decided to become accountability partners when we realized we were struggling with the same things in the same field.
How do you make sure you’re a good fit personality-wise?
Part of it is gut. But your accountability partner isn’t your “friend,” they’re more of a business partner. We each liked how the other listened carefully, asked incisive questions, spoke assertively (sugar-coating is never helpful!), and offered new perspectives to old problems.
How has having an accountability partner improved your business?
Having someone hold you accountable for results on a deadline is a game changer. It keeps you from getting “stuck in your head.” We’ve shut down ideas that weren’t working, tested new ones, created new revenue streams. When someone is holding you accountable, it’s harder to hold onto bad habits.
What’s one way your partner has pushed you to learn and grow?
Margo: LISTENING. I used to go into prospect meetings and verbal vomit with my “brilliant” solutions to their problems. Then I’d never close the sale! Once I started asking more questions and listening instead of talking, I got more clients.
Pam: NETWORKING. If you build it, they will not always come. You have to go out and find your prospects. Take that coffee meeting even though it may go nowhere, pitch someone even if you think you have no shot… life isn’t a clear path and neither is business development.
What’s the one piece of advice you’d give to freelancers around keeping themselves on task?
Our favorite mantra is: “Beyonce and Obama have the same number of hours in their day as I do.”