In a stormy business climate, a new app helps entrepreneurs leverage the buddy system


The surprise collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in March 2023 was a stark reminder for entrepreneurs: the universe can snap its fingers at any moment and throw unforeseen obstacles in its way.

Whether you had money in SVB or not, if you’re trying to start (or start) a business, the waters you’re swimming in just got stormier.

That memory is one of the reasons I’m excited to see a ray of sunshine that former Navy SEAL and author Alden Mills just brought to the world this week: a social app called GoalBud that draws on psychological research to empower people help overcome obstacles to their goals using a “swim buddy” system taught in Navy SEAL training. As any SEAL will tell you, when thrown into troubled waters (figuratively or literally), the best way to be resilient is to be resilient with someone.

Mills is known for his books Be unstoppable And Unstoppable teams, and for inventing the successful exercise product The Perfect Pushup. (Disclosure: Mills and I have the same speaking manager and created a course together at my company Snow Academy.)

When I first came across Mill’s work on goal attainment, I was struck by how the principles he teaches sum up why working toward big goals is often so difficult: It’s lonely to climb a mountain alone.

Entrepreneurs often feel they are on their own; You have to prove to people (and to yourself) that they’re not crazy about getting up and running. Oftentimes entrepreneurs just don’t have the resources in the beginning to build a team to lean on, but even when business is booming there can be a wall between the entrepreneur and his village.

And when a storm hits, staying the course can feel lonely and exhausting.

3 principles of social goal setting

GoalBud works on the idea, as Mills puts it, that “you can achieve anything by setting a goal, building a team, and making commitments,” even when surprising obstacles would normally derail someone.

These are the three steps that GoalBud takes users through:

1. Set a goal (whether corporate or personal, e.g. fitness-related).

2. Build a team of people who can be your “target friends”.

3. Make commitments and let your target friends help you fulfill them.

The research on why social goal setting works

When I asked Mills what his principles are Be unstoppable character into the design of his app, he shared the following with me:

says mill:

“Professor Steven Kraus of Harvard University and Dr. Gail Matthews of Dominican University recognized the need to explore why we are not achieving our goals. They ran a four-week study of 267 people, and guess what happened? An alarming 118 participants failed to complete the study. The 149 graduates were randomly assigned to one of 4 (+1) groups, which were asked to complete the following tasks:

  • Write down your goals
  • Write down your goals and make a plan
  • Write down your goals, make a plan, and tell a friend
  • Write down your goals, make a plan, tell a friend, and commit to weekly updates

“As part of their study, another group was asked to simply ‘have a goal’, but I excluded that from our discussion as without a goal we would have nothing to discuss! Just telling yourself you have a goal isn’t “Not enough to get you there. If you’re serious about achieving your goals, three essential steps are required to ensure success. By far the most successful individuals in the study were those who formed what I call a Goal Team To stay accountable for their mission, they shared their goals with a trusted partner or small group of friends, committed to a plan, and agreed to provide their Goal Team with weekly progress reports to submit.

“These three pieces of the puzzle: achieving a goal, building the goal team, and making commitments around day-to-day actions are the keys to becoming unstoppable. The greatest goal I’ve ever achieved is to be a father and raise four boys.

“It’s one thing to tell people, ‘I’m going to write a book. It’s another thing to ask someone, hey, will you help me write the book? The final piece to complete this circle. Say I commit to you that I will write 250 words. Every day. Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays. Once you’ve done that, the commitment is a promise.

“You must understand and accept some human truths. We are imperfect. You will fail. You will make mistakes and that is part of the journey and the process. However, the more you can learn about why you weren’t able to commit that particular day, and using that as fuel to help you fulfill more of your commitments, will only strengthen your resolve to achieve , which you have never achieved before.

The world already has many social networks – online and in person. But GoalBud is the first social app I’ve seen that’s totally dedicated to helping us get together better. And as the news of the next week (and the next week after) will surely show, there will always be unforeseen obstacles in our paths. Why not use a buddy system to help us get through them?

Shane Snow is a bestseller authorsought keynote speakerAnd CEO.

follow me Twitter or LinkedIn. Cash my website or some of my other work here.

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