I want to talk about why you might someone to smack you around every once in a while. I know it sounds a little funny, but a lot of you are entrepreneurs, you’re out there making your own business and making things happen. One of the most important things that has been massively helpful for me has been when you let and encourage someone else to smack you around a little bit. I want you to have that opportunity too so let’s talk about what that means and what that looks like. For the better part of 2016, so maybe about half of this year, I’ve been fortunate to be part of an accountability group. It’s got some great real estate investors in it who are doing some amazing things. When I get into those meetings, I feel like the least successful person there. That’s an awesome thing to hop on a meeting who are doing the same thing as you are but they’re doing it at a much higher level. This group is not just about saying “look at how cool I am,” it’s about letting them smack me around too if they feel the need. The thing is that at the end of the day, as entrepreneurs all too often we rely only on ourselves to get motivation. For many of us it’s a one person team, or maybe two or three person team for a few of us. We don’t have a ton of people around telling us and calling us out. Especially if we own the business, our employees aren’t going to the ones who tell us and smack us a little bit to get us back where we need to be. That’s what an accountability group is for. It’s a group of people who get together on predetermined basis, like my group gets together every week, to help you and hold you accountable for what you’re doing and achieving your goals. Every week in my group we set forth a series of goals about what we’re going to accomplish in the next week. Not only do I feel more responsible for getting things done when that happen. When you’re alone, you can keep telling yourself, “I’ll get it done later” because the only person who knows is you. You’re the only one that knows what’s going on. But if you have someone else, to hold you accountable, then it changes. Instead of just “I’ll get it done later,” it’s “if I don’t get this done they’re gonna smack me around a little bit.” Just having somebody else who knows and might smack us around a little bit will help us actually push through some of our biggest problems and goals. This group meets weekly and we discuss what happened in the past week and what’s going to happen in the next week. It’s not a time for us to sympathize  with each other, it’s a time to ask “why didn’t you get your stuff done? What are you doing about it? How are you going to get it done?” Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and things in life going on that are more than we can tackle and that’s ok if that’s the reason why. That group is holding you accountable if you’re just creating excuses for no reason. No one is going to get where they want on excuses. This doesn’t happen that way. Get a group of people together, and make sure it’s small. My group is 4 people. If it gets too big, then it’s hard to coordinate schedules, if you have too many people then the time you’re going to spend letting everyone talk is going to end up not being a good use of your time. So find two or three other people that you look up to, can help you, you can help them, and are in the same niche as you. This is important. They don’t necessarily have to be close to you though. Like for my group don’t invest in the Buffalo market like I do. They all invest in other markets and I like that because, 1 I don’t have to worry about helping my own competition. I don’t worry about that too much because in Real Estate investing, my competition can also be people who can help our business, we buy a lot of whole sale deals from folks. The bigger reason why I like to have people from other markets is because they bring unique experience, they bring their perspective from a different market and things that are working there that I might not have thought about in my market or just never even occurred to me. These things are great. Find a couple people and make a schedule and stick to it as much as possible. I know we’re all busy, but your accountability group should be a priority for you not because it’s going make you money by meeting, but it pushes you further and gets you out of your comfort zone. Do something different. That’s what we want to see and that’s what the point is. It’s not just to meet every week, but to smack you around a little bit so that you actually get things done. We need someone pushing us to do these things and an accountability group can be that for you if you set one up. Sometimes it’s ok to break the schedule too. We can’t always meet weekly. For example, for the past few weeks, we’ve all been traveling, the boot camp has been going on, lots of things, so we haven’t been able to meet but we try to at least send an email with what got done that week, what didn’t go so well, and what you’re working on next week. That way we all know exactly what’s going on with each of us and helps us push ourselves to the next level.

Make sure that the group you form is people that you respect and can trust. If you bring someone into your group and you start talking about what’s going well and not so well, these need to be folks that you trust in your business and trust to give you good advice. I’m not saying that everyone in the group needs to be bigger or better than you are, but there should be some sort of mix in the group. Some people who are doing well in parts of the business that you’re not, and you’re doing well in a different area that they’re not. That way your experience comes in and compliments each other.

The last and most important thing about your group is that there be no BS, no bars, no cuddling, this is not a participation trophy kind of thing. Not everyone gets to win, you need someone to hold you and smack you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. More importantly, as a member of that group you need to be able to smack somebody else if they’re not doing what they said they were going to be doing. You need to be holding them accountable just as much as they are holding you accountable, because if you don’t then why are you even doing it? Why did you even waste the time to get the meeting set up, meet the folks. This is not a participation trophy, that does not work. Be hard when it’s called for. You don’t have to be a jerk about it like “What the hell is wrong with you, you’re an idiot!” In my group, if I don’t get things done they ask “why didn’t you get it done, can we help you get it? What’s going on that’s preventing you from getting this done and is there something that we can either reallocate resources, provide an idea, simplify the process, is there something we can do to help you get from that point to where you need to be at?”

Accountability groups are super important things out there. If you’ve been following along with my Real Estate business in 2016, my dad and I started this business back in 2008 and we’ve been working on it. It’s gone well, but honestly it hasn’t gone gang busters by any means. I’m happy with what we’ve done, but the last few months of just this year alone, having that group holding me accountable for what I’m doing and pushing me even further has allowed us to really grow. If we look at our business this year, just based on our current volume in doing and buying and seeing, we’re going to hit a record number of properties, probably record numbers of profits not only in terms of numbers but also in terms of actual ROI, we’re going to see a lot of growth happening and all of this, well I don’t want to say all of this, is because of the group it’s because I’m more focused in what we do and that group has helped me achieve that focus and helped hold accountable for what I should be doing and what I say I’m going to be doing. That, more than anything else has been a huge thing of where we’re at and where we’re heading this year. We’re seeing all kinds of growth, we’ve got more properties, we’ve bought two in the last week and two more that we’re buying in the next two to three weeks. We’ve got wholesale deals coming out, we just has an amazing conversation with a private lender who’s going to be funding at least one of our deals right now to start out with and probably more to come, he’s got deep pockets and looking for someone like us to work with. But if you don’t put yourself out there and make this stuff happen, this stuff isn’t going to happen for you guys. You have to take action, you have to implement, you have to make this work, otherwise it’s not going to. No one is going to grow your business for you, and even if they did, they would deprive you of the satisfaction of making that work.

I push you guys to be better. An accountability groups are a fantastic way to get where you need to be a heck of a lot faster. Not to say that it’ll happen overnight. Anyone who tells you they can build you a business overnight, it’s bullshit. This doesn’t happen overnight. You can build those things over time, you can build whatever you want, but it takes time. Very few folks are overnight successes. For every one of those, there’s a million that are not. That’s what I want to leave you with. Don’t focus on “I’ve got to get this done!” have your group help you hold you accountable, smack you when you need it, and you need to be willing to smack someone else in your group. Tell them “you’re not doing what you said you were going to be doing, step it up! Get your game on. Make it happen.” Otherwise, what’s the point? Why did you join the group?