Not ready for the scorn and ridicule you might face, were you to make your goals public and then fail to achieve them? Then maybe what you need is a partner rather than a whole community of people monitoring your progress. There are a few types of partners, so let’s review the different kinds and the advantages of each:
1.    A Buddy. A buddy is someone who’s in the same situation as you and is striving towards the same goal. You might be working to launch your first internet businesses, or lose weight, or train for a 5K. The key is, you’re doing it together. Buddy partners are great because they understand exactly what you’re experiencing, because they’re going through it, too. You can help each other over the obstacles you encounter, and you work to motivate and inspire them as much as they motivate and inspire you. The one drawback is that you might come up against challenges that neither of you really knows how to handle.
2.    An Accountability Partner. An accountability partner is like a buddy, but you’re pursuing different goals. You meet regularly to talk about your respective goals. You’re not aiming for the same ultimate goal, but you still might be able to help brainstorm or provide perspective.
3.    A Mentor. A mentor is someone who’s walked the path before you and can give you the benefit of their experience. Mentors are typically not paid, but are a more personal, informal relationship. But because it’s a little bit loosey-goosey, you may find that when you need your mentor the most, you can’t “demand” their time.
4.    A Coach. A coach is basically a paid mentor. Because the relationship is a professional one, there are better-defined boundaries and expectations. You know you can rely on him or her for a certain amount of time, a certain day of the week, or via e-mail. The drawback is obviously that you pay for the relationship, but most people will testify it’s well worth the investment. Often, people will feel more accountable to a coach because you don’t want to waste your money (think about paying for a personal trainer; you’re less likely to skip your workout if you know you’re paying either way!).
There are many options for finding a partner that’s right for you. You may even find having a few different kinds of partner relationship make you that much more motivated, as each person will bring a different skill set to the table.
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