When Margo Aaron and Pam Yang met at a networking event in February, it took them less than five minutes to decide they should become “accountability partners.”
At the time the two were taking the same online course to help launch their marketing and branding businesses, and both felt tapped out going it alone.
Aaron, the founder of Argotics, and Yang, the founder of Dear Zero, were in need of someone to provide guidance and hold them to their commitments. They decided to try a new kind of mentorship to take their success to the next level.
“When we first met, we quickly discovered we were struggling with the same issues: how to scale our businesses,” Aaron explains to Business Insider. “We’d heard the term ‘accountability partner’ thrown around in our entrepreneurial circles, but weren’t too keen on the idea of being ‘set up’ randomly with someone.”
A little more than a week later Aaron and Yang met for coffee to ensure they were a good fit and to strategize how they’d go about their partnership. They discussed where they each were in their business growth and where they wanted to go. After deciding to test out a weekly hour-long discussion, they soon saw value in their accountability partnership.
“We now talk every week, and something feels missing when we don’t,” Yang says.
Partnerships of this ilk have been a mainstay in the positive-habit-building realm for some time now, and it’s catching on as the secret weapon for success in the business world, too. The main difference between accountability partners and mentors or sponsors is the duality of the relationship—each person holds their partner accountable to their goals.
“Accountability is a powerful factor in habit formation, and a ubiquitous feature in our lives,” writes Gretchen Rubin in her book, Better Than Before. “If we believe that someone’s watching, we behave differently.”
This article was originally published on Business Insider. More by Business Insider on Levo: