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#126: When Community and Accountability Resemble a Dumpster Fire

Introduction

Welcome back to the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast. Today I had something planned for you. You know, we’ve been talking about the concept of community and accountability on the podcast here for a few weeks, and I was planning to continue right along in that vein of content. But then last week during our live masterclass for course creators to help them get that course finished, launched and out into the world, I had a really interesting question come up. And so I scrapped what I was gonna talk about on today’s podcast, and I really want to bring that question to you guys. I want to talk about it. I want to bring it out into the open because I think it’s so important that we don’t hide the stuff that isn’t so pretty about community.

So today we are going to talk about one of the attendees question. And the question that she asked was, you know, what about when it doesn’t go well? She had just been part of a community, part of some accountability work and it just didn’t work. It kind of self-destructed. And I thought that was such a really such a good question. It was a really great reminder that we have to be cognizant that with good there is also going to be the challenges.

So that’s what we’re going to talk about today. We are going to talk about that question I got asked how I responded, and kind of where you can go from there.

When Community Goes Awry

Last week we were in a live masterclass, and I firmly believe that when someone asks a question, even if it’s uncomfortable, that you need to answer it, right? So I couldn’t ignore this question that one of the guests asked. She said, you know what? I’ve been part of an accountability group community, and it has kind of self-destructed. It has come to the point where we had to close it down, it wasn’t working, it wasn’t good.

And what one of the things I was offering and what I was talking about in the masterclass is that in order to get your course finished, you really need to have a community for accountability. And here she was telling me that her community for accountability had gone up in flames. So you know what the fact of the matter is, is that it happens. 

And what I said to her, well along the lines of what I said to her was that there are going to be times when communities just don’t work. And there are going to be times when the accountability that you really need and desperately want doesn’t happen the way it’s planned. And I say this because I’ve spent the last few weeks telling you all about how important accountability and community are in your business, and I’ve kind of glossed over the fact that sometimes it just isn’t awesome. 

Today I want to dig into that a little bit more. I think that it’s important to know that you do have to research your group. You do have to find the right fit of people, and that might take some experimentation. We talked about the fact that you need to think about what you need from a group. You need to kind of go out and research what’s available. You need to vet it and you need to try it out. But even when, when you try something out, you can get to the point where you realize, this is not what I thought it was. 

And so I want you to know that it’s okay to stop. It’s okay to say, this is not my community, this is not my accountability group. And to say, I’m going to keep looking because I know what I need is out there and I’m going to find it. So please don’t think that just because a community or an accountability group doesn’t function that they all are like that because they’re not. 

I’ve told you all in the past, and I’ll tell you again, I am part of an accountability group. We co-work at 6:00 AM three days a week. It is amazing. Sometimes there’s two of us, sometimes there’s 10 of us, and we have this rhythm that allows us to really get things done. But there’s a lot of openness and honesty about saying, you know what, today I’m just not feeling it, and I had a squirrel moment, and no one jumps down anyone’s throats about it. It’s a, Hey, okay, so you had one of those days yesterday wasn’t like that. Tomorrow’s not gonna be like that. And the rest of today doesn’t have to be like that. So we just kind of support one another in the moment, and that’s what community is all about.

Now, what happens when you find yourself in a group that is kind of, for lack of a better word, a dumpster fire, or perhaps it is self-destructing, it’s not working well, or you are in a group and everyone else thinks it’s working well, but it’s really not working for you. What do you do? 


This is so tough, especially for my empaths who are listening because you feel it deep in your belly and your heart and your soul, and it hurts. It’s hard because you don’t want to disappoint anyone, and you feel everything so deeply that it’s tough to know what to do. So here is what I do when I find myself in this situation. You guys can take the pieces of it that you like, leave the pieces of it that you don’t. So first up, I really check in with myself to figure out what do I need? And am I getting it? What do I need? Am I getting it through this group? If the answer is no, I’m not getting it, then I really look hard. The next question I ask myself is, what am I gaining by remaining in this group? And what is it costing me to remain in this group? Because a lot of times if I’m not getting what I need, then chances are the costs far outweigh the benefits, and I’m going to find a way to say that I need to leave the group. And a lot of times that’s what happens.

So I’m not afraid to say, you know what, guys? I really appreciate you. I appreciate all that you’ve put together what you’re doing. But for me right now, this is not fitting my needs. And so I think I’m going to take this time and find, do a little bit of soul searching and find what I really need before I continue moving forward. I want to thank you genuinely for your time, for all of the energy and efforts you’ve put into this, and I wish you all the best. There is nothing wrong with taking that approach. So really assessing what you need. Are you getting anything out? Are you getting those needs met? And then do the costs outweigh the benefits of staying? If the costs outweigh the benefits, it’s time to leave. 

What happens if these are your really good friends? What if you have developed relationships with these people, they’re your friends now, but from a business sense, it’s not working. That’s trickier, isn’t it? Because you have these friendships, you want to maintain them. So in this case, what I would suggest is have an open and honest conversation and let them know where you’re at in your business, what you need. And if everyone’s friends and you all can work together to figure out how to meet everyone’s needs and adjust things, that’s fantastic. If the conversation comes about and it’s decided that you know what? You only have limited amount of time to work inside your business each week. And if you need different things, it’s okay to say, you know what? Let’s get together for a coffee or for something else, whether it’s online or in person, and maintain the friendship. But in terms of my business, I have to make a bus business related decision here and that it’s going to be to leave this accountability group. Like I said, it’s hard. It’s hard when here’s the other side that’s tough. 

You might be in a community or an accountability group that is meeting all of your needs. One that’s wonderful. But in order to get to that next step, you need to do something different. So I recently said goodbye to a community that I was in, and it is probably one of the hardest decisions I’ve had to make. It was a big part of my week. It provided me with motivation, inspiration, it helped me with mindset. It did all of the things. It checked all of the boxes. But in order for me to take that next step in my business, I needed a different resource and I couldn’t manage both of them at the same time. So I said goodbye to something that was really working well, so I could say yes to something else to say yes to that next step.

My point in telling you all of these things, I just wanted to have a really raw open conversation with you today, is that sometimes the groups are gonna work, sometimes they aren’t. Sometimes the mix of people changes over time, and it’s not really your jam anymore. Sometimes it’s not quite what you thought from the very beginning. And it’s okay to say no thank you, or to say it’s goodbye for now, or to say, I’m ready to move on to the next level, to the next step in my business. And for that I need new resources. And so please don’t ever feel like when you encounter a group or a community that you’re a part of that’s no longer working for you, that it has that, that there’s something inherently wrong with the whole concept of community or accountability groups.

I want you to know that there is something out there that will work for you, for your needs, for your business at this moment in time. It does take a little bit of patience occasionally to find that thing, but it’s worth it. It’s worth it because now you have a group of people who have your back. They are invested in what you’re doing. They want to know how it’s going, what’s happening. They’re gonna check in on you. When you don’t show up, they’re gonna say, Hey, you doing okay? What’s happening? We missed you. And having that kind of accountability and community makes being an entrepreneur so much richer. It takes away the loneliness of it, and it adds in this dose of excitement and momentum and purpose.

If you, like my attendee at my masterclass last week, are thinking, yeah, I’ve been part of groups before, accountability pods, and they were not the best. I would encourage you to keep looking. Don’t give up. Don’t give up after one or two. Keep trying because the group of people that you’re after, they’re out there, they’re waiting, they’re ready, and they want to work with you too. So keep trying.

Go back to some of these earlier episodes on community, the last few, and remind yourself about the process for finding a community that’s going to fit and suit your needs. Remind yourself about the need for accountability, how it can help you in your business. And remember that being part of a community is not permanent.

You can and should, as your business grows, and evolves, shift and grow your communities, what you’re a part of and what you are investing your time, your energy, and your money into. So I hope that’s helpful.

Action Item

Your action item for this week, I think, is to explore how you feel about community. What comes up for you when you think about accountability and working with other people and having accountability to someone?

What comes up for you? And if it’s some of these more negative responses, these negative experiences like my attendee had and shared, I want you to imagine a future where you have found the right group or the right accountability set of people to work with and how that would make a difference in your life and your business. If accountability and community are rock and awesome in your world right now, then this week, I’d like you to take some time to thank those people for what they offer you and how they support you. Because you know what? When we are able to offer our gratitude and our thanks, it just tends to spur things on in a new way. So go ahead and thank those folks in your life who are in your community, who are helping you, who are helping you stay accountable and helping you on that journey of entrepreneurship.

Conclusions

There you have it. There are pros and cons to community. There are ups and downs, and there are kind of the dumpster fires that happen sometimes with community, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. And I think that’s the important concept I really wanted to share with you today, is that you don’t have to feel stuck. You don’t have to feel stuck. You can say goodbye to a community that’s not working for you, even if it’s one you run. You can either hand it over to someone else or close it down. You don’t have to stay in the community, nor do you have to keep a community open and running if it is not serving your purposes.

That’s it. A real raw, just open, honest podcast episode. I hope that this resonated with you, that it kind of touched your heart and made you think a little bit about communities and accountability. 

I want to thank you so much for joining me on today’s episode of The Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast. If this did resonate with you, if you’re going away from this episode with an aha moment, a light bulb moment, or a ugh, that’s what I’ve been feeling, please leave a review on your favorite podcast platform and go ahead and screenshot your phone. Grab a screenshot of you listening to the podcast, post it to your IG or Facebook stories, and let other people know that this resource is out there for them too.

And I will see you back here next week for another episode of the Entrepreneur Mindset Podcast, where a focus on mentoring, community, and implementation removes the overwhelm of building your successful and profitable business and adds in a dose of momentum. 

Until next time, have a healthy, safe, and happy week.

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