"There's always a challenge. If there's no challenge, you're missing. You have to have a challenge. That's how you grow."
Achieving anything worthwhile is difficult, especially when you decide to do it alone. Human beings are tribal creatures, and most of us can benefit from some form of structure and community to turn our biggest dreams into reality.
In today’s special episode (Part 1 of 2), my Chief Miracle Worker and guest-host, Chip Franks, is talking with our friend, Akshay Nanavati, about the game-changing power of having an “accountability buddy” — someone who challenges you to move beyond your comfort zone, provides you with the extra support you need, and helps you to grow and improve in order to achieve your goals.
Akshay is the author of FEARVANA: The Revolutionary Science of How To Turn Fear into Health, Wealth, and Happiness, where he explores how to transform potentially negative feelings into incredible strengths, and has been recommended by Seth Godin, Cal Newport, and even His Holiness The Dalai Lama.
Today, Chip and Akshay talk about the benefits of having an accountability buddy, why you need one as a high achiever / entrepreneur, and who that person should and shouldn’t be. You’ll also learn what it takes to initiate and build this type of relationship.
- How an accountability partner provides love – including tough love – to light a fire under you, support you, and kick your ass when you need it.
- Why accountability relationships often fall apart or fail – and why clear structures and frameworks help you succeed.
- Why your accountability partner doesn’t need to believe in the same things as you – but does need to be just as ambitious.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION
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COMMENT QUESTION: What is your big takeaway? Write it in the comments below.
Chip Franks: Well, hello and welcome again, Achieve Your Goals listeners. This is once again Chip Franks. Hal’s Chief Miracle Worker. And I am here with the one and the only I’ll let him say his name.
Akshay Nanavati: It’s Akshay Nanavati.
Chip Franks: Yes, author of FEARVANA. And hopefully, you’ve had a chance to listen to our last podcast where we talked about accountability and accountability partners, and why that’s important. And the process that you want to go through is actually what we’re going to talk about today. Not just talk about it but dear listener, oh, I’m excited for myself. Personally, I’m excited for Akshay and excited for you because this is actually in a workshop that we’re doing today. Akshay and I are starting our own accountability with each other and you are going behind-the-scenes, behind-the-curtains here to see what we talked about and this may get a little personal on both of our parts, and it will almost certainly get messy. So, yeah, one of the things that I want you to realize or think about as you’re listening to this is that it doesn’t go really smoothly a lot of the times or maybe it will. I mean, Akshay is brilliant. So, I mean, I might just lean on that today but it’s not always a perfect process. So, we’re going to just dive in and kind of see what happens here and set up an accountability program that works with us.
And, of course, you can take what you will from it, see how we do it, and decide if it works for you or if you’d like to do something different. All of that is perfectly valid and perfectly great but I’ve listened to I think I counted it up, Akshay, like about 6,000 hours’ worth of podcasts in my life.
Akshay Nanavati: Wow.
Chip Franks: Maybe more. And I don’t think that I’ve ever heard a podcast quite like this. We see the format that we’re doing. So, I’m hoping that this is something new and different and innovative and it’s not just information that you take down but it’s actually seeing some folks go through it and have the experience and get to learn from it hopefully by doing it. And as we get into this, my hope for this, Akshay, and I just talked really briefly. We honestly don’t have even a format for today so you can experience the same type of thing but Akshay said that he, well, actually you can tell. What were your intentions for the call, Akshay?
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. You know, my intentions were to get started on the accountability process with you, to get started on our regular accountability calls, and just have the value of that of our regular connection of the accountability and, of course, to share the process with the listeners because it’s hard figuring this out. And as we spoke about in our last podcast, there’s tremendous value in an accountability buddy so we’ll get into that now. But just sharing that process because as we talked about that, we intentionally came to this call without any preparation to our conversation here without any previous preparation. So, we could kind of riff off each other and have this be really alive, behind the scenes look of how the process is created and how we go about doing this because I think that’ll be a really of immense value, and ultimately, so anybody listening can create their own accountability structure and get the incredible benefit of that in their own lives.
Chip Franks: Yes, that’s awesome. And I completely and totally agree with that. And you just alluded too at the end, what we hope from this and our highest aspiration for this podcast is that it helps you actually do it yourself. You find someone out there that might be a good accountability partner, and we talked about that again in the last podcast, so to find someone that can help hold you accountable and that you can serve them and add value to their life. And of course, that sounds cliché, add value, but the whole purpose is to elevate our lives. And this is a fantastic way to do it. And I’m super excited about this because, Akshay, I know that you are a serious student of life and you’re an extraordinarily disciplined person. Yeah, I think that I can rely on that to help push me too because, again, I’m not going to want to disappoint you, my dear friend, by telling me, “No, I didn’t go running this morning.” Yeah, that’s kind of what we’re going to get to but, please, as we go through this, think about how you feel about it and the fact that you will hopefully be doing this yourself.
And if you can just make that quick commitment that if it seems right to have an accountability partner, that you’re going to make an effort, a good, strong, well-intentioned effort to actually do this in your life and just give it a shot and I know from some past experience and I know Akshay knows that getting a great accountability partner and a method because my methods haven’t been real strong with this that it’s going to bless your life. So, let’s do that.
Akshay Nanavati: That’s a game-changer. Yeah. Let’s do it, brother.
Chip Franks: Okay. Well, Akshay, I have some blank pages. I have my journal here. I have my Spider Man pin that my wife gave me for my birthday. How do you suggest that we get started?
Akshay Nanavati: So, I mean my thoughts, see, with you and me we kind of know each other already but just for anybody listening, if you’re speaking to somebody, first off, is just like coming into the conversation why we want to work with each other, what we want to do, and set just the why behind it. Like you and me kind of, because we already know each other and maybe I can just go, I can just start there for anybody listening like coming to you, I would say that, “Look, I really respect you, Chip. I love you as a brother as a friend and I honor you in terms of your work ethic, your drive, everything I know about you and just our connection.” So, I know the value of the accountability system which is why I’d love to create that with you. I currently do have an accountability buddy who you also know, my buddy Anthony Balduzzi, but I think there’s tremendous value and more accountability and I get so much value out of connecting with you in our conversations that I’d love to set up the structure with you and, one, obviously hold you accountable to your goals and keep you on track. And if you falter, God help you, my friend, because I will come after you.
Chip Franks: Akshay, do you know where I live right now?
Akshay Nanavati: You want to make sure I don’t know because I will come after you. Now, I kid but, yeah, to support you and of course to get your support on my own targets as well because I’ve already gained so much from our friendship and brotherhood so far, and I’m excited for just continuing that adventure together.
Chip Franks: Awesome. And I will add that and these are the reasons why I like to work with you is that I know the caliber of person you are. I know your fierce intellect and your giant heart and your level of discipline and drive. And I love that and I feel that interacting with you is going to some of that will rub off on me as well. But here’s the thing and I think that maybe everyone doing an accountability needs to think about this too is what are you going to give to it? And what I hope to give to you and what I think I will give to you is love and an extreme fiduciary that I want the absolute best for my friend. And again, that can mean a hug and encouragement and it can also mean a swift kick in the ass if necessary and that is it. Personally, I think just knowing you, you tend to be extraordinarily hard on yourself. What I’m hoping with this accountability is that I can soften some of that up, and not to lessen your results, but to give you a more joyous experience of it and that’s my grand hope for it so, my friend, Akshay, will be treated well.
Akshay Nanavati: I love it. Thank you, brother. It means a lot.
Chip Franks: So, that is the why.
Akshay Nanavati: Awesome. Yeah. I think there’s tremendous value in just setting the stage as you speak to somebody. Again, for anybody listening, you’re setting, “Hey, here’s what I want. Here’s how I can be of value to you, what we want to create together.” And then creating the structure, as we talked about last time. And so, the way I do this, currently, the structure I have is I do a once a week call for 30 minutes. Now, we talked about last time. You could do daily check-ins. I have a very clear structure. In fact, I have my notebook here that I log everyday, three to five steps that every night I log, okay, three to five things I’m going to get done the next day.
Chip Franks: That’s awesome. Do it the night before.
Akshay Nanavati: Do it the night before that I track, okay, here one of my top three to five targets to get done the next day. And sometimes some people can do like a text message check-in or a five-minute call. I know some people do that on a daily basis, but I feel like a weekly but, again, it depends where you are. There’s no right, wrong, good, bad on the journey and I’d love to get your thoughts whether you want to do. For me, a daily call would be a little harder because if I’m going to India, I don’t mind doing daily checks but I’m also open to like just doing the weekly 30 minutes structure which what I currently do, and this is where you and me can kind of co-create this.
Chip Franks: Yeah. I like the idea of a weekly structure and something that I think about with it too is doing it in midweek and I like that idea because a lot of people do it Mondays or Fridays or whatever and that leads to a lot of cramming for it. And if you do it in the middle of the week, you can enjoy your weekend still and if you have other things to accomplish, it gives you space on both sides to get things done. Yeah. So, that’s something. I think we had talked about Thursday actually getting started and as we’re recording this podcast, that means tomorrow and just behind the curtains again we’re recording this the day before Thanksgiving. I know it’s going to be released a lot later but, yes, he and I are starting accountability on Thanksgiving where I will probably eat too much. So, that’s going to happen but I am completely open to the weekly call and I think 30 minutes is good. Yeah. And you can tell me like I don’t have a set format for it. I have some ideas but I would like to find out your format with Anthony and then we can take it and either adopt that completely or change it as we see fit or discard it if it’s a complete waste of time, which it isn’t.
Akshay Nanavati: So, what we’ve worked and I’ve had accountability partners before and everyone has constantly fallen through, except my accountability relationship with Anthony. We’ve had that consistently for a year and it is on point. So, I can say safely that this works wonders. Now, with Anthony, he’s currently on his honeymoon so I have forgiven him and I’ve allowed him to take this time off of my accountability. I said I’ll let it slide with the honeymoon. So, we’re not doing our call tomorrow but what we do is even if we miss a Thursday, we do a WhatsApp voice check-in, just an update. So, the way we do it is we do a 30-minute call and it’s very, like showing up on time and ending on time. Like just almost no matter what. Now, probably something serious is going on and if there is something that, we can set up a time to say, “Hey, look, I’m there for you. Let’s set up a time to come to do another call,” if there’s something that either one of us needs but otherwise we show up and we both like, I mean, honor that. We’re going to show up right on time, not a minute late because our time is our bond. It’s our word. And we do 15 minutes of one person, 15 minutes of the other.
And the way we do it is we kind of check-in on whatever and this is where you have your areas, I have my areas, and Anthony and my case, our areas are very similar but we do like fitness. That’s a big area of my life. I know you’re starting to run as well. So, fitness, business, personal/relationships so this is where you can say, “Hey, one of the things I want to held accountable too is in your case, you know, maybe it’s going on a date once a week, spending time going on a trip once a quarter,” whatever it may be, you set a target to outline. And then the other thing we do is sort of a spiritual, “Hey, you know, I had a great meditation,” and that’s if there is something to report because sometimes with goals, we have clear tracking measures like what are the outcomes. With spiritual sometimes there is no clear outcome, but depending on our need, we like to just report. You know, like, in my case, when I went through the seven-day darkness retreat, I just shared about that experience with them or in his case, he had some beautiful meditations recently so he was just sharing that with me.
So, those are kind of our key areas that we check in on. That’s up to each person like that’s up to you. You could say, “Hey, I want better,” or, “No, I’m not better,” or whatever. It isn’t really your goal but in your 15 minutes, you check in on your thing saying – this is what I said I would get done. So, in the first call, we would just say, “Hey, here’s where I’m at. Here’s what I want to get done next week.” But moving forward after that, we say here’s what I got done last week. Here’s what I’m going to get done for the rest of the week because we’re checking on Thursday so Thursday through Sunday and here’s what I will get done until our next call, and essentially that. And if we need some help, we ask for it. We’re very clear. We get on the call. This is not a social call. So, another thing, when we get on the call, we are not here to chit chat. We’re here to say, “All right, hey, what’s up, buddy? All right. Let’s get right into it.” That’s one of the key things that I cannot stress enough. That’s why it’s worked with Anthony. Many previous accountability calls, it’s because it becomes a social thing and we’re not here to chit chat on this. We can do that offline. We’re friends. Obviously, we are, so are Anthony and me but this is not that friend time. This is the accountability time.
Chip Franks: It can easily go off the rails.
Akshay Nanavati: Exactly. And that’s happened before in previous masterminds and accountability calls and that’s what destroys it. This is not that. So, yeah, and then we just check-in and I might ask you, “Hey, Chip, I need some help around something,” or even if I don’t ask for it, if you hear something you call me out, like, you know some of my patterns. Am I being very hard on myself? You can call me out. Or if like, for example, one time Anthony’s called me out. Sometimes I’ve been too soft on myself and he’s literally just called me out. At times I told him like, “Hey, I hear a lot of victim in your voice so stop that like you’re being a victim and that’s not who we’re going to be.” So, I can call you out. You can call me out. We know that it’s all just coming from a place of love so we don’t need to qualify that with each other. That paradigm is already set that if I say something harsh to you or if you say anything harsh to me or harsh, it doesn’t obviously just have to be harsh. It can be loving but whatever it is, we know that it’s coming from a place of love and that really doesn’t need to be qualified anymore. And that’s kind of how we do it, 15 minutes each person.
Chip Franks: That’s wonderful. And I like that. It’s a fitness, business, personal, and relationships in one bucket and then spiritual.
Akshay Nanavati: That’s kind of our bucket, which sometimes I might add it’s like an adventure thing like I have adventure trips coming up but that kind of falls into fitness. So, again, we kind of choose our categories based on who we are and anybody listening, whatever matters to you in your life. You choose your 15-minute and once you get into the flow like once we do it once, twice, it’ll just like with Anthony, it’s very streamlined. And who starts first doesn’t really matter. Sometimes he starts first. Sometimes I start first. It just doesn’t like whoever.
Chip Franks: That’s awesome. I like that. Something I’m just thinking of. It’s coming up right now. I like meetings that start with a quick win as well.
Akshay Nanavati: Love it.
Chip Franks: Yeah. So, that’s something I just liked because it starts me on a good note.
Akshay Nanavati: I love that. That’s a great thing. So, I think let’s do that. Let’s start maybe one person goes quick win and then the other and then the one person starts in accountability. What do you think?
Chip Franks: I think that sounds fantastic.
Akshay Nanavati: And it quickly means – sorry. Go ahead.
Chip Franks: Yeah. Well, a quick win means something that’s happened that we’re excited about or that we love or a blessing or something that we can stop and just be grateful for.
Akshay Nanavati: Love it. And I also think to that point, a quick win means we shared quickly, like, again, this is where we do not delve off the rails telling like a beautiful story about like none of that. This is not that time. Another time but we come in and say, “Hey, this happened. This was an awesome win. Fantastic.” Like, you know, just on point. That’s the key thing which is the biggest distinction why this one has worked and my previous ones haven‘t.
Chip Franks: And to that point, because this will be a little new for me, this is, of course, old hat for you and you’re going to feel intuitive in doing this but I’m just going to have a stopwatch going or my phone timer on just so I can kind of keep pace with the call.
Akshay Nanavati: Love it.
Chip Franks: So, yeah, if we’re going off rails and I know you’re going to keep me on the rails anyways so, yeah, we need like a big red buzzer sound or something.
Akshay Nanavati: So, a timer is a great way to start for anyone listening too especially when you’re new to it. Even in the mastermind, sometimes I’ve set a timer where you like each person gets that. When the timer buzzes, the other person stops talking. This is again, you don’t finish your train of thought, you’re just like, “I’m done.” Like, you really have to honor this and be disciplined about it because that’s where otherwise it goes off the rails. So, we can set a timer for one minute quick win each and then 14 minutes to delve in. I love it.
Chip Franks: And for me personally, and these can be different I guess for each of us. I mean, you and Anthony have the same ones but fitness, I’m going to change to health. This is just more overarching. Business, I can keep this business but I’m thinking about actually, you know, calling it impact. I think that impact is helping other people but it also can be a financial game plan as well. And then I would separate relationships and personal just for me because I just know myself right now. I don’t always take time to myself for personal things that I enjoy and I love or a hobby that I do or taking time or even getting a massage. I’ve been wanting to do that for like the last year as part of my daily routine and I used to do it and I loved it and I just haven’t incorporated that again. So, yeah, I’m thinking personal and then relationship are two different buckets for me.
Akshay Nanavati: Got it. Okay.
Chip Franks: And honestly, my relationships right now are on point. I mean, that’s the area of my life I feel awesome about, my marriage, my kids. Just real quick, I have a date with my son. I had a date with my son yesterday for most of the day doing what he wanted to do and I have a date with my youngest daughter today. We’re going to go shoot arrows at an archery place which is kind of off the wall but that’s…
Akshay Nanavati: I love it.
Chip Franks: But anyways, that’s fun and that can be in the relationship bucket but personal I’ll definitely want to keep for me. And then the last part, spiritual, I do agree with that and you said that specific goals and, yes, I think that goals are obviously very important and that’s a big reason why we’re doing this but also just a way to be. And spiritual for myself I know I’m going to be reporting like was I a godly person? Did I help like I should? Where are the areas where I’m feeling uncomfortable or where are the areas that I’m feeling comfortable and that one can be a little more woo-woo and not cut and dry type of thing. I’m real big on that because we always have a to-do list but we don’t always have a to-be list.
Chip Franks: I love it.
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. So, the to-be is good so those would be my buckets and for everyone listening, this is where I’m starting. Maybe it’s not where I’m finishing. We can always see exactly what happens with it but those are the ones that I’m writing down right now and I know we can get started with that.
Akshay Nanavati: And then one other thing that we will do for sure that I think is arguably a must is that, I mean, right now we’re kind of starting on Thanksgiving month. We don’t have to actually do this right now but for this month, as we also kind of go into the holidays so I understand sometimes things will be different but every quarter before the quarter starts or during that first week, we map out, I’ll create a Google Docs that we both share with each other and we list our quarter targets. A lot of researchers show the best way to set goals is the 90-day timeframes. Too much longer than that we don’t think that far ahead. Not too much short. So, we can break down that 90 days into one month, one week, and one day, which I do, but we both should be able to see each other’s quarterly. Obviously, I mean, the trust is implied that almost goes without saying but for anybody listening, that has to be clear that like we trust each other, we’re open with each other, we’re authentic, we’re completely open, nothing hidden here. But we will create a Google Doc where we both put down our quarter targets, what we want to accomplish in our key areas and we’ll write that down.
And then throughout each week, as we do our accountability, we’re checking in. If suddenly, let’s say, four weeks, five weeks, six weeks into the quarter I’m hearing you and you’re talking about things that are nowhere near on your quarter targets then that’s on me to check in on you, “Hey, what’s going on? You know your quarter targets said this, but you’re doing this and same thing with me.” Ideally, we want to create like the vision of what it’s all about ultimately is alignment, alignment of thoughts, words, actions, mind, body, spirit with our mission. And so, the accountability is to ensure alignment, alignment with our mission, alignment with our goals, with our targets and alignment with what we’re doing and who we’re being is that in alignment with those things.
Chip Franks: That is wonderful. I’m thinking about this and this is something that I do in some mastermind calls and coaching calls with folks but the format that we do is a quick win. And then we also talk about our biggest challenge that we’re having right now. After the biggest challenge, we can mastermind on that. And the idea is like a kind of a hot seat, like, “Oh, have you tried this or that?” or, “Oh my gosh, I had that same problem until I read this book,” or whatever it is to actually create that change. And then the last part is the commitment, what am I committing to doing with that? And what I’m wondering is, is there a place in that for the biggest challenge or I don’t know if you do that with Anthony right now or…
Akshay Nanavati: Well, I have done that on masterminds as well. In this case, we do it if it comes up so like if there’s something, “Hey, I got this challenge. Any thoughts?” Sometimes, like our last week’s check-in was basically, “Hey, I crushed all my goals this week and that was basically for both of us.” That ended up being a 20-minute call, not even a 30-minute call because we both didn’t have much to say. We were just like I crushed this and sometimes you’ll have that, sometimes you’re not like that’s the thing with this is it’s not just about getting things done and being productive. It’s also the being. It’s also, “Hey, checking in with the spirit, checking in with who we’re being.” So, we can perhaps not set it in a – like the way we’ve done it and we can try otherwise but the way we’ve done it is we don’t set that as a structure because again, just like you in masterminds, I have done it that way. What is my challenge? But in this, we don’t set it that way. If it’s needed, we bring it up.
Chip Franks: Got you. As long we have challenges, we just know what we need to do and we just need to put our nose down and…
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. Exactly. Sometimes, especially again, where we’re at and everybody’s at a different place. Again, there’s no right, wrong, good, bad, but especially where we’re at sometimes it’s like I might have a challenge. I mean, there’s always a challenge. If there’s no challenge, you’re missing. You have to have a challenge. That’s how you grow but I might know exactly what I need to do for that challenge. It’s there. I’m facing it. I know what I got to do and move forward, right? And maybe I’ll say something around and you offer a different feedback or maybe I’ll ask. Because where we’re at, like where I’m at, I’m at a good place where I know my targets and getting them done and moving. It doesn’t mean I don’t have challenges. It doesn’t mean I always know what to do. But like even when I don’t have systems for figuring out those things, right? So, I’m moving forward in a consistent way. That’s why we don’t specifically set that structure but if it comes up, it comes up. And there’s many. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times it comes up with Anthony. You know, he’s far along in his building funnels in his business so I’ll ask him stuff, “Hey, how did you do this?” He’s also great at nutrition. So, I’ll ask him, “How did you do this? What thoughts do you have on putting this in my diary?” like he’s an expert at that. So, stuff like that I’ll ask him when it comes up and he’ll, of course, do the same so similarly try that.
Chip Franks: That’s fantastic. Alright. So, we get on the phone tomorrow. We’re doing this. We haven’t necessarily set our quarterly goals but with each other, I have some and I can send them over or we can talk about them or whatever. But tomorrow we get on the phone, we’re saying we’re going to do a quick emphasis on quick win, and then we’re going to get right into it. And so, let’s say you go first. How’s it going down? You go through each of your buckets. I mean, what does it look like for you, an example?
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. So, if it was me going first, I would just say and, again, this is where we don’t have like in our case because we’re very on point it’s not very like structured. Every call might be a little different but we both look, I mean, I’m keeping an eye on the time so I know that, “Hey, like in 14 minutes or whatever, I’ll stop talking.” So, I’m keeping that eye on. We don’t have to catapult. We both are pretty on point but I’ll just be like, “Last week I just got back from my travels.” In our case, it’s their first call, kind of fill in what’s been going on in my world. “Got back to my travels. Did interviews with Aubrey Marcus, Dr. Drew. That went really well. Had a great, great time on the five-day road trip or take some time off with the girl that I’m kind of seeing now. And so, I got my personal, my trainings. My training was a little slow that week, but that’s okay. It was a conscious choice. No regrets about that. And so, now moving forward as we get into December, I’m heading off to India on Monday but here’s my weekly targets for the rest of the week in terms of my mileage.” I have it written down and I’ll just kind of read off what my mileage targets are because me running is my fitness goals.
So, I’ll read off my weekly mileage targets and say what I’m looking to get accomplished in my business as well. So, I got a few things to finish up with these, with the marketing funnels, and the updates with that, but a lot for me is personal stuff because I got a lot of errands to run before I head off to India. So, I’m just kind of packing and finishing up some stuff before I head to India just kind of errands because I’m gone for two months. So, we’ll just kind of check-in on some of those things.
Chip Franks: So, when you do this, do you say, “Okay, here’s my business things. This is what I promised and this is what I did.”
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah.
Chip Franks: Okay.
Akshay Nanavati: So, we’ll start with wherever, whoever wants to start. There are no specifics. I’ll say sometimes, “Alright. So, first thing, training, here’s how many miles I’m in so far. Here’s what I got done for the rest of the week. Here’s the gap if any or I’m crushing it if I am. Business, here’s what I’ve got done, here’s what I’m going to get done. Personal, I just had five days with this girl I’m seeing in Joshua Tree in Phoenix. It was beautiful. All is going well. And then spiritual, hey,” or sometimes spiritual could be productive, like all kinds depending on what I might say. “Hey, you know, I’ve noticed my morning routine hasn’t been on point in the last few days with traveling. Now traveling is not an excuse. So, I really need to develop a system to navigate and be on point with my routines even while traveling, which is what I’m working on. But I have noticed that my morning routine hasn’t been as on point with my travels. But I cannot be using traveling as an excuse with especially with how much I travel. If I’m going to keep traveling, I got to maintain my systems regardless of that.” So, that’s kind of how I would go on. And then I might ask, “What do you think? Are there any thoughts?” Or you might hear something, you know, you will say it.
And sometimes we’ll just ask questions so, “Hey, I heard this.” You might ask me, “Okay, so what’s your goal for the next week?” Right now, what I’ll do is maybe by tomorrow, if not today, I’ll start the Google Docs and we can start at least if not this quarter, we can discuss the next few calls. We can just get into the flow of it and then quarter one of 2020 we can start mapping out onto our Google Docs.
Chip Franks: Absolutely. That sounds awesome. And I will be at Best Year Ever Blueprint so I’m going to have all of that written out.
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. Quick thing also, we haven’t established our time. Let’s do that real quick and we’ll put it on the calendar as a weekly call. And one thing again like we will know that sometimes things do come up but we got to be on point about saying it ahead of time. Like I might say, “Hey, I’m going to be on a flight or something or the other,” and if that’s the case, we ensure that we still do a WhatsApp voice check-in.
Chip Franks: Okay. I completely agree with that.
Akshay Nanavati: We both agree on that and are on the same page.
Chip Franks: Yeah. And do we have a timeframe? Is it just the night before? Or what?
Akshay Nanavati: In terms of…
Chip Franks: With that? Like, if we know we’re not going to make a meeting.
Akshay Nanavati: Ideally, again, if it’s a worst-case emergency, obviously, it’s understandable, if something serious goes on last minute, that’s a different beast. But generally, otherwise, we should know ahead of time, not the night before. And if we don’t, that’s something we can hold each other accountable to. Hey, I’m noticing that you’re living your life very reactively. What’s up with that? You know because, ideally, if you want to be great, if you want to be successful, you need to be proactive, not reactive. So, if we’re noticing that, “Hey, how do you not know what you’re going to be doing the next day?” That’s living very reactively, right? That should be mapped out already. I’m not saying you need to have mapped out six months in advance but, I mean, at least a week, at least three days. If I don’t know what I’m doing tomorrow, that’s not a good sign that I’m reacting to life, not being proactive to life.
Chip Franks: Hey, just real quick, like just as a format here, are you spending about seven minutes or so going over what you promised last week, what you actually did, and then maybe another seven minutes of you and your accountability partner interacting over that? And then you…
Akshay Nanavati: Sometimes it’s interacting. Sometimes it’s literally one person talking to the most times. In our case, and again, we can experiment with you and me but with Anthony and me, in our case, we’ve gotten to a flow that it just fits and it works because we both are just really on point with it. So, sometimes we’ll have more of a conversation and other times is literally just one of us talking for the whole time. And then maybe at the end, I’ll say, “Okay, do I feel good?” I’ll ask him. I’ll ask, “Hey, is there anything else?” And he’ll often say, I’ll often say, “Okay, I feel good about it. I understand what you got going on this coming week. I feel like there’s no gap.” So, like I’m really hearing you because I’m coming with a full – when it’s your turn to talk, I’m fully listening to you. My life is your results. So, if I don’t get something, it’s like my results are failing. Like, that’s how it is and same thing with vice versa. Like, if you say something that’s unclear to me, it basically means that my own results are failing. So, I’ll say like, “Okay, I’m very clear what you’re doing this week, as if it’s my own targets. You know what I mean?” So, and if I’m not, I’ll say, “Hey, I’m a little unclear about this. Can you clarify this?”
Chip Franks: So, we’re going to do the Jocko Willink Extreme Ownership of the others results.
Akshay Nanavati: Exactly. Yes. So, when it’s your turn, when it’s my turn to speak, I’m owning my stuff. When it’s my turn to share about me, I’m owning my stuff and you’re owning my stuff and when it’s your turn, we’re both owning your stuff. And I need to be just as clear about your goals as you are. If I’m not, it means either you’re not communicating it, I’m understanding it or something, and we need to make sure we’re on the same page. And so sometimes, Anthony will say, “Where we currently are at?” It’s almost always being like I got it and there’s rarely gaps. In our case, as we get into flow, there might be. Well, that’s cool. We’ll figure it out as we get into it.
Chip Franks: Okay. I got this.
Akshay Nanavati: That make sense?
Chip Franks: Yeah, absolutely. I’m excited to get started and to try this. And I think we’ve, yeah, we’ve kind of been over the rules of this before. I’m not a rules person. I generally don’t like rules, we know that, unless they are extraordinarily, they serve us very well. So, the rules for this.
Akshay Nanavati: Freedom in structure, freedom in discipline.
Chip Franks: Absolutely. Yeah, there is. Rules. Everything we say is in complete confidence.
Akshay Nanavati: Absolutely.
Chip Franks: Yeah. Just like Las Vegas, what happens in this conversation, stays there. We have a fiduciary for each other. And like you said, Extreme Ownership of each other’s outcomes in our own outcomes, obviously. And the last one is we honor each other’s time with this so we are on time and get that. Those are the three rules that I came up with and I don’t know that we need any more.
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. That’s it. Yeah. And one thing about the 15 minutes too like let’s say something’s going on in your world and you’re going above like sometimes we’ve had calls where maybe I’ll go 20 minutes and Anthony will be 10 because he crushed it that week and I was struggling with that. That’s also okay. That’s where we kind of co-create that but we honor, but if it’s something really serious, I might just say, “Hey, man. Let’s do our accountability, but I’d love to speak with you offline.” Or maybe I’ll say, “Like this horrible thing happened. Would it be cool if I take the whole time and just get your coaching?” Like that, I don’t think it’s ever happened with Anthony and me but I’m just kind of saying like that’s on a very serious scenario. Obviously, if it’s something that serious, we honor that because we’re coming from a place of full love for each other. But again, that kind of can be co-created as things go about.
Chip Franks: That is wonderful. Great. Akshay, you and I are setting up for tomorrow, for our first accountability meeting but we’re doing it Thursday tomorrow and I have a full house of people. So, I kind of need to do it early.
Akshay Nanavati: And so, let’s set a time and just stick to that time consistently so we ought to keep recreating it.
Chip Franks: All right. Well, and I meant to ask you though, you do this on Thursdays with Anthony. I mean, do you want to do the same day accountability for both of us or do you want to stagger that?
Akshay Nanavati: I would love to do that. If it works for you, I’d love to do just kind of back to back. So, Anthony and me do mine 9:30 Eastern Time if you’re that good for 9 AM Eastern, 8 AM your time?
Chip Franks: Okay. 8 AM in my time. You know, that’s going to be tough just because I have kids going to school and everything.
Akshay Nanavati: Okay. Do you want to do maybe 10 AM?
Chip Franks: 10 AM? Yeah. Let’s do it that way. That’s 9 AM my time and if it’s on Thursdays, then that works.
Akshay Nanavati: Okay. So, I got 10 AM to 10:30 AM Eastern Time, 9 AM to 9:30 AM your time, and I’m putting in and every week accountability call with Chip.
Chip Franks: Okay. And we are going to do that on my Zoom channel.
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. Okay. So, one more thing which we can co-create about this if it’s cool. We can do on Zoom. Sometimes I tend to be running while I do my accountability calls like I’m running in different… So, if that’s the case, I’ll call you or for right now because Anthony and me we do it via Skype so we do video as well because it’s always nicer to see a person. So, we’ll do a Zoom and if it’s not Zoom, we’ll do with your Zoom Room. And if it’s not, I will let you know ahead of time and just request that, “Hey, can I call you instead?”
Chip Franks: Absolutely. That that will be fun.
Akshay Nanavati: Does that work?
Chip Franks: Yes. Actually, I’m thinking about tomorrow, by the way, Thursdays at 9 AM would be great normally, and that’s 9 AM my time. Is that correct? 9 AM
Akshay Nanavati: Yes, 10 AM Eastern, which actually reminds me while I’m going to.
Chip Franks: Because tomorrow might be tough with that because kids might be up and awake and walking around and my sweet son, Alec, might be joining our call.
Akshay Nanavati: Got you.
Chip Franks: So, as sweet as he is, that’s not the time for a social…
Akshay Nanavati: So, and this is actually a really good thing. Listen, like we can co-create like one week if on the circumstance. So, tomorrow, would you like to do it earlier?
Chip Franks: If we can do it earlier tomorrow, that would be great.
Akshay Nanavati: Actually, tomorrow I’m not doing with Anthony because, again, he’s on his honeymoon so I will allow that one slide. I know, right? So, in this case, I’ve allowed it to slide with Anthony, but would you like to do 9:30 or even earlier?
Chip Franks: Let’s see here. Earlier for me if it’s all possible. Yeah.
Akshay Nanavati: Do we say 9 AM Eastern, 8 AM your time tomorrow?
Chip Franks: Yeah, let’s do that.
Akshay Nanavati: Okay. So, for tomorrow I got us at 9:00 and then moving forward the following Thursday, at which I will be in India but that time still works is 10 AM Eastern.
Chip Franks: Awesome. I have that.
Akshay Nanavati: Tomorrow I got us at 9 AM in the Zoom Room.
Chip Franks: That’s great. And of course, that’s 8 AM Central in the Zoom Room and that’s great. So, we’re going to hit the ground running and we will have, at least for me, the five buckets that we talked about. So, health, impact, personal, relationship, and spiritual. I’m going to go over with you what some of my goals are and what I’m doing with that. And then of course, for the next week, we check on did we do that?
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. Being this is our first call, we don’t actually have to report our previous. We’ll just say, “Hey, here’s what I got for the next week,” and kind of take it from there.
Chip Franks: Okay. We are ready to start. I mean, I feel good about this and I want to hear what your goals are and all of that, which is really good but we have a little time here. I’m wondering if you can go over and talk about like what the quarterly call looks like or where it’s going over your quarterly goals, how that experience is.
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. So, we don’t specifically set once a quarter but actually, that might not be a bad thing to do is start at the quarter, do an hour call, and kind of discuss what our quarterly goals are, make sure we’re both on the same page. What I do is we just create a Google Drive document and say like here are the buckets and here are my goals. For each fitness, it might be like – and then there’s two kinds of goals, right? There’s a process goal and a result goal. So, a result goal might be, “Okay, I want to run 100 miler.” Like a process goal might be, “I want to meditate every single day.” So, that’s process versus result. And we both keep track of this on our Google Docs and we both have access to it, obviously. And then, what was I going to say? Yeah. So, we put the goal and other thing with the goal, yeah, this is what I want to say. Another thing with the goal is, especially when it comes to a result goal is to set a good, better best goal, not just one target. I think this is a big mistake people make in goal setting is you set one target, like, you know, for example, I’ll make 100 miles, like in a week, whatever it may be, instead of saying…
Chip Franks: That’s like maybe too low for you.
Akshay Nanavati: Instead of saying that, it’s far more valuable to set a good, better, best goal. So, it might be I’m going to run 60 to 100 miles or 80 to 100 miles. The good goal is one you kind of know you can achieve but it’s going to be still a stretch. The better goal is, obviously, a little bit better but the best goal you should not be hitting your best goal 100% of the time. If you are, your best goal is too low. So, that’s the vision. When we set goals, we’re setting the goals with the range. I think there’s a research to validate this too but I’ve discovered this over years of goal setting and researching and studying and all figuring this stuff out. That setting a range goal is far more valuable and again, your best goal, you should not be hitting consistently. If you’re hitting 100% track record in your best goal, you and me can hold each other be like, “Hey, you’re not aiming high enough.”
Chip Franks: Yeah, that’s great and by the same token, I would say that there has to be like a minimum bar goal as well.
Akshay Nanavati: So, that’s the good.
Chip Franks: That is good. Yeah. And a lot of people I know, especially at the beginning of the year, everyone flames out because they set these gigantic goals and it’s really big and they’re motivated and they’re excited in the moments and then, you know, February 1 comes around and it’s…
Akshay Nanavati: More people have failed.
Chip Franks: Yeah.
Akshay Nanavati: Key thing there, yeah, is that like motivation is not our driving factor. I think motivation is often false. It makes you feel good in the moment but it’s not about that. It’s about drive. And that’s why structures are valuable, hence, accountability system is one kind of structure, keeping track of my targets daily. And this is something I use on a paper like I have a notebook that I use, so I’m old school in terms of tracking my daily. I just prefer doing it on paper. But as I said, somebody listening can do it, can send a text if they feel like you need it. You know, this is where you have to determine where you are. Like, for example, we’re not going to say, “Hold me accountable to brushing my teeth in the morning,” right? That’s a habit, right? So, things that are just basic, we might not need it. And so, depending where you are, you create support structures to get to the point that then you don’t need to anymore. When you’re a kid, you might have your mom telling you to brush every day or whatever, right, until you no longer need to do that. So, if some people need daily, “Hey, I’m going to check in every single day and send you my top five list,” cool. I don’t need that because I do it and I hold myself accountable to it like a machine with my daily notebook here that I just track every single night, every single day.
I mean, I literally have it everywhere I go like that’s why I’m holding it as I talk to you right now because it’s next to me. I’m always looking at what are my targets. Because the point of this is if at any point during the day, I don’t know what to do, something is wrong. Like, I can just look at my notebook and, “Oh, here’s what I got to do.” Get it done. And that rarely happens that I don’t know what to do because it’s also scheduled. It’s in my calendar. Here’s what I’m going to do for the day and you don’t have to think.
Chip Franks: That’s awesome. Yeah, generally, when I’m on point and honestly right now, I don’t have it but I usually work off of an ideal schedule. Like if everything were perfect, like I do my deep work time here, I spend my time with my wife here, and I do that and that’s one of the things I will get done before the beginning of the year. And we can talk about that with our accountability.
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. We’ll set our Q1. As we get later in December, we’ll set our Q1 targets.
Chip Franks: Awesome. Hey, man, I’m just curious about this too and this can be one of the last things. Have you or do you think that there is value in discussing what if it’s not working and what happens there? Because I know in businesses, especially people get into partnerships, and stay in them from far too long, often…
Akshay Nanavati: Absolutely.
Chip Franks: To get a partner and that’s why we leave.
Akshay Nanavati: No. Great point. Glad you brought it up. Absolutely. If this is not working for one of us, either one of us, let’s say so, and let’s be honest with each other. We have to create that space for honesty and love, “Hey, this is not working. Why it’s not working? Here’s potential improvement,” whatever it may be. And because again, we’re starting this so we’ll have to co-create. There might be something different that we just, I mean, we’re already doing something different than I’m not necessarily doing with Anthony, like starting with a win. We’re starting off the bat with that like that’s something that we don’t necessarily do in that structured way with Anthony. And that’s cool, right? Like there’s not like what we do with what I do with him is the right way. There is no right way. Here’s what works. And so, we set that. We co-create that and we’ll only figure that out like this, again, a valuable friend listening is that you only figure it out when they’re actually doing the thing. Right now, we’re setting the structure but in the planning of it, you can only figure out up to X like only in the actual doing of it that will we be able to know, hey, this is working, this is not, that kind of thing.
Like if something for example, if I’m showing up two minutes late, even if it’s two minutes late every single time or even once, call me out like two minutes is unacceptable. Unacceptable like not even two minutes late. What do we say tomorrow? We’re setting, what do we say it is? It’s 9 AM my time? Yeah, I need to be there at 9:00. At 9:01 is unacceptable and you call me out on it if I show up that way.
Chip Franks: Yes. I love that and that’s what you get to when you have an accountability buddy who’s a former Marine. I learned that growing up. My dad is a Marine.
Akshay Nanavati: Roger that. So, you know, but this matters. Just where we’re listening, it’s not about the one minute. What really is about is honoring your word. If you can’t honor your word to somebody else, you’re certainly not going to do it for yourself. So, you’re honoring your word like you’re giving me your word, I’m giving you my word. My word is my bond like to you, to myself, and if we can’t honor that, we’re never going to hit our targets. We’re never going to get anything done. If I’m not going to support you, I’m not going to support my own goals.
Chip Franks: This is awesome. Hey, man, I am smiling right now. You can hear me on the podcast, but I have a grin because this is going to be fun. Akshay, I love you and I’m excited about this. I think that this is going to be, I know it’s going to be a blessing in my life, and I hope I’m able to make this a blessing in your life for doing this as well.
Akshay Nanavati: I have no doubt. Yeah.
Chip Franks: Yes. And listener, as you hear this, again, you’ve got to experience us just making this little messy and going through it. Although it wasn’t too messy. I give us props for that. It was all right. You are set up for tomorrow for our first accountability call. And what I challenge you to do is as you’re listening to this, get that accountability partner in mind, if you haven’t already done it, and approach them about being an accountability partner. You can forward these podcast episodes to them, let them listen to it, and get started on it. Just get started. So just again, it’s not enough to think about this or have it as an intellectual process, but you actually have to do it. Or I shouldn’t say you have to do it, but you choose to do it. You get to do it. And that’s awesome. Akshay, I wanted to give, once again, a shout out to you and I appreciate your time on this. So, I just want to honor you and thank you for doing this, Akshay. It means a lot, not just that you did the podcast episode, which is why wonderful, obviously, but that we’re going forward with this wonderful accountability sessions. I’m looking forward to that. I know it’s going to be a blessing in my life.
And, folks, I’m sure you heard this on the podcast but Akshay is just one of the most brilliant, most caring, most awesome people I know. He is not motivated, he is driven, and he wants to make an impact in life. And I know we talked about this on the last episode but you can go to Fearvana.com. That’s F-E-A-R-V-A-N-A.com to find out more about Akshay and specifically about his work. And, Akshay, if you want to tell folks just real quick about what you do, and how you can help them, I know that they’d appreciate that.
Akshay Nanavati: Thank you. No, I appreciate that. I mean, what I do with Fearvana, the whole idea is helping people ultimately live a happier, more fulfilling life by transforming their struggle, their pain, their experience of the challenges and hardships into an opportunity and to experience a bliss and ultimately, enlightenment itself. The fundamental ethos is that we find inner peace by seeking out and embracing that worthy in our fight and in our war. And that’s what I help people do is transform their struggles into bliss and creating the structures, the resources, the tools, the insights, the awareness to do that.
Chip Franks: That’s wonderful. And I’ve read the book, Fearvana. It is magnificent, and he also had the Dalai Lama give a shout out to the book and write the foreword to the book which is just absolutely amazing. And, Akshay, you have a course. I imagine it’s available on Fearivana.com as well on how to get publicity and how to get momentum with someone if they have a thought leader business, if they have books, if they have podcasts, other things that they want to get out to the world.
Akshay Nanavati: Yeah. If anybody has a brand they want to get out, happy to share how I was blessed with some success in that area in building Fearvana from scratch. So, definitely had some
on Fearvana.com so we can work and help with that.
Chip Franks: That is wonderful. Well, Akshay, thank you, sir.
Akshay Nanavati: Thank you, brother. I’m really excited. You know, one thing just to add is like the accountability buddy structure and the relationship will be one of most valuable relationships you have. I already love you. I already care about you a great deal and I’m excited to now continue our friendship and our brotherhood in this way as well. It’s going to be a beautiful journey.
Chip Franks: This is wonderful. And just thinking about it now, it’s one of the best things you can do for another person too as an act of love, as an act of being a friend of support for someone. I mean, this is fantastic. So, thank you for doing that. I honor you for that. Thank you. And Achieve Your Goal listener, thank you so much for listening. We’d never take that for granted. Again, go out. Get your accountability buddy. And you know what, I’m just doing this real quickly. If you, again, go to the Miracle Morning community and go to Units on that, we’re going to set up a place for accountability. And you can find an accountability partner, you can put out a classified ad, if you will, on a Facebook post there looking for the right person, and the qualities that you’re hoping for on it. And then also, we can chime in with useful ideas or the fact that we’ve actually done it or that we’re making a commitment to it and can work with that commitment. So, look for that at the Miracle Morning community on Units. And if you’re in a different country, it’s sometimes called modules or other things, but just check for that and we can hold each other accountable on our accountability. So, how about that?
Akshay Nanavati: Love it. Love it.
Chip Franks: That’s wonderful. Folks, have a fantastic day and always remember, you are loved and you are deserving. Thank you.
"My word is my bond to you and to myself. If we can't honor that, we're never going to get anything done. If I’m not going to support you, I'm not going to support my own goals."