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REGULARS

ANGELLA'S ADVICE

Finding an accountability partner

Having an accountability partner can be very powerful if you find the best fit for you and remember to use it wisely.

More and more I hear from colleagues that they are working with an accountability partner but it doesn’t seem to be going so well. Perhaps they chose a “good friend” and it just seems to fall flat. I always suggest not using a “good friend”, you simply are too comfortable with them. An accountability partner is someone you will meet with about goals you have set for yourself. Think of this person as the one you answer to, the one you must say, “I didn’t get the job done”. Now will you have an easy time telling your “good friend” this? Most likely you will, people often fall into the trap of thinking she is my friend she will let me slide.

When choosing an accountability partner, choose someone who will kick your butt. Who will motivate you to work harder, who will inspire you to do your best and then some.

Once you have decided to work with an accountability partner, there are a few questions that will help you get the most out of this new relationship.

   •What are you hoping to get out of each meeting? If you are looking for someone to help you solve all your business problems, you need to seek out a coach or mentor. An accountability partner’s goal is to help you stay on task with what you want to accomplish. Yes, they may brainstorm occasionally with you on ways to achieve your task if you are stuck, but their primary focus is not to help you accomplish your tasks.

   •Is your accountability partner organized and dedicated? If they are the type of person who is always late, or never seems to have their stuff together, you will fall into this trap with them. You need someone who is going to meet with you on a set schedule and hold your feet to the fire. If they are not as committed as you are, you will easily get off track.

   •Do you respect this person? You will be spending a good amount of time with them over the next few months, sharing personal details about your business. Do you feel comfortable that they will keep your confidential information to themselves? Are they as committed to their own success as you are?

Once you enter into a relationship with an accountability partner understand that there are guidelines you two should put in place.

  • Schedule one call/ meeting a week.

  •The call/ meeting should run around 30 minutes.

  • Schedule the call/ meeting for the same day and time each week.

  •Do your best to show up! Don’t casually reschedule.

  •Be on time and come prepared.

  •Calendar your calls/ meetings at least 90 days out. This supports your mutual commitment.

  •Clearly define each person’s role, and put it in writing.

  •Track your achievements.

  •Agree that this is neither a social call nor a ‘bitch’ session.

Each call/ meeting should follow the same format.

  •Start the call with a recent ‘win’ from each of you.

 • If there is something frustrating you, and you need to ‘get off your chest’ set a timer for no more than 2 minutes!

  •Discuss your top three business issues/goals and the action steps to move them to the next step.

 • Discuss your prospecting activities from the prior week.

 •Choose one aspect of your business to review together and then work on improving that skill set. Discussing a chapter in a business book is a good plus for this area.

 •Set the top three action steps you will take before the next call to move you in the direction of your goals.

 •End the call/ meeting with a brief positive or motivational quote.

An accountability partner can be an added value to you if you use them correctly and find the correct one for you. Make sure you are doing your part as well by bringing value to your partner and expect it in return. Don’t be afraid to hold your partner to a higher standard and expect it in return. Lastly agree that at any time, if the relationship is not serving either of you well, you will have a conversation and cancel the partnership without drama or judgment.

Angella Luyk is a national award-winning business owner at Angella Luyk LLC, Midnight Janitorial, and One Stop Janitorial and Office Supply. She understands what business owners go through and wants to help end the struggles with proven techniques. For more information check out her website angellaluyk.com or send her an email successhappnes@angellaluyk.com Bring her donuts and she will provide the coffee. Connect with her today and start taking your business to the next level.

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When we talk about women history and the legacy they leave behind, it always makes me feel proud to be one of the leaders that can share and highlight those who are part of my culture, my community, my family. In fact I feel we are re-writing history, one Latina at a time. This month we share the story of one of the successful Latinas that have changed the lives of many young people in the Rochester community, specially Latinos. Nydia Padilla-Rodriguez, founder and artistic director of Borinquen Dance Theatre (BDT) have been raising the bar and opening doors for her community for over 36 years.

Nydia is one of 7 sisters and 3 brother. She was born, raised and educated here in Rochester New York. She earned both a bachelor’s degree in dance and elementary education, a master’s degree of science in education and administrative certification at Brockport State University. She has been in this community advocating for children to be educated in a way that they can be successful and productive as they should be, especially with a focus on Latino students and any other student that has been oppressed because of their background, social and cultural differences, ensuring that there is a voice on behalf of our youth. Nydia currently works as an administrator with the Rochester City School District and uses BDT to follow her passion of working with youth and using arts as a vehicle.

A trailblazer since she first learned to dance at 6 years old. Nydia’s oldest sister was the one who actually thought her how to dance salsa, bachata and cha cha cha. Nydia was always fascinated with the Latino style dancing and by age 13 she began to take ballet, modern dance, ballroom dance, etc. with John Gravascu dance. She is an original member of Garth Fagan’s “Bottom of the Bucket” Dance. She began to travel all over the world when she joined, that exposure and being part of that cultural group open her eyes to realize that there are so many resources out there that many of our young people and their families, especially Latinos do not have access to or they don’t even know that these resources exist. She feels that she has a responsibility to expose our community to those resources. Seeing the high drop out rate of Latino students in high school, Nydia decided to use the arts as a vehicle to try to get them to understands that education is a key ingredient to their success but using the arts as a way for them to get collected.

“I think that dance was always a way for me to heal, it its kind of spiritual. If I was upset about something or had fear or not content with a specific situation my way of dealing with that it was thru dancing. I just feel that it is part of my spiritual and what God put me in this earth to do. For me it was very instrumental in sharing that with others, to use that skill as a way to work with others”, shares Nydia.

Nydia does not like to talk about herself since she is the kind of person that does what it has to be done, and never does it for recognition. As a humble person, she believes in working hard. She comes from a family where the values and morals were installed in her, and she proudly carries that legacy of what her parents did for her. She has successfully ran Borinquen Dance Theater since its inception in 1981 not only educating young people about our history but it is also educating the rest of the community and our own community about what is Borinquen, about Puertorricans. A lot of people do not know that Borinquen was the original name of Puerto Rico.

Nydia says, “A lot of the kids do not understand why is it that some of us may look black, Tainos, white, European. Even the customs represent the fusion of African, the Tainos, the Spanish European that makes us so unique. My goal is to change the negative image some people have about Latinos in a way that they can just learn about us, embrace us, embrace diversity and understand why we come in all colors and why we believe we are rainbow people. And that we do not want to deny our roots and our ancestry. And for that reason, I just believe that everything I can do to continue to expand that vision not only in the Rochester community but wherever we travel is important. We need to share the history of where we come from in a non threatening way using dance, poetry, theater and the arts”.

Nydia also talks about having plan A and B in life. Sharing with her students that she loves dancing but in order to be successful in life she needed to have option A and B. She chose to go on to teaching and then became an administrator but still having that passion to work with young people using the art as a way to connect them to education because her goal ultimately is to expose those young people to real life situation. It always amazes Nydia to see her students come in being very shy and soon after they develop that sense of belonging, improve their self esteem and see themselves as the beautiful human being they are and at the same time know that they have work hard for what they want.

BDT starts them as young as 8 years old and go up to 24. The program is set up that once they meet the criteria of keeping their schools work up the part (GPA of 2:50 or higher), their school attendance is good, and they learn at least 7 or 8 dances, then they receive a little stipends. This way, they also learn and understand work habits, the importance of being on time, to get along with others even if they may have differences. They build team work, understand group dynamics, learn how to spend their money. Nydia feels proud that these young people also build their portfolio so that when they do transition to college, they have something to show that they have the discipline and they were able to create a balance with keeping their academics in check as well as being involved with the performing arts company. Not only that but they are representing Rochester as a role model because when BDT travel outside to perform they are representing Rochester in a positive manner. Nydia says, “One of the things that I admired is that many of our dancers when they graduate from DBT and move on to college, they stay in contact and they come back and serve as either peer instructors, or work with me during the summer to help out with the younger group. This is something that I admire because it shows that they are giving back in a way that is positive. And they can use that skill to make some money while they are pursuing their college degree. They always want to come back, especially when they are on break or in summer vacation”.

“when I see them grow from being 8 years old up to college and witnessing that emotional, social, personal development that’s why I continue doing what I do, that in itself, makes me feel that I am doing something right”, says Nydia with pride.

Nydia has been recognized and BDT has received many awards. She is very grateful and honored when she receives those awards but she shares with us, “in all honesty those award are a piece of every single student who have participated, parents who are also part of supporting what I am doing, the board members, many volunteers from the community that have always been there giving their time and support Borinquen and the funding sources that make it all possible. For me they all deserve a piece of those awards and that’s how I embrace those award with the understanding that is not just about me, it is about all of us coming together unified as a community supporting this program”.

Being part of the history of Rochester and the Latinos there is something that Nydia takes pride on. Some time ago the Rochester Museum of Science received a grant to focus in the Latino archives in Rochester, NY and she was approached because she was the only professional Puerto Rican performing art in Upstate New York, they decided to submit programs and information about how they started, their vision. Nydia excitingly shares  “now we are part of the Latino archives in Albany, actually that was very important because that allows me to keep the legacy going, whether I am here or not”. “And for those that might be interested to learn more about History of Rochester, NY and how Latinos have contributed in Arts, Legal, or Education, Government, or any other profession, and this is important to us to make sure this is very well documented, and we submitted as much information as possible to ensure that we are part of the History of Rochester NY”.

At the 36th Anniversary Community Performance, Nydia and her crew have a very interesting program since the political climate have made some of her dancers concern and it is creating some fear in the kids but she is trying to address that by again using the arts. This mayor event will take place on April 29 and their theme is Together We Dance, United We Soar (borinquendance.org). “The purpose of that theme is to try to get not only our young people to think how important it is for all of us to come together regardless of our race, or religion, or color, or our believe, it is to show them that when we come together and we unified as a community, we can overcome the fear that have been impose on many of our Latinos”, says Nydia. She is hoping that everyone from Upstate New York and the surrounding areas come in and support.

All year around, Nydia looks for that support by having community members volunteer, even if it is jut to support DBT the day of their big performance or to serve on their board, or to help with fund raising events or to be a custom designer, or do photography, or marketing. Whatever skill that anyone has and they are willing to be part of what Nydia does, she is open. “We always need that kind of support to sustain what I am trying to do for our young people”, says Nydia who is also constantly recruiting and looking to change our young people’s life. For Nydia leaving this legacy is what give purpose and meaning in her life.

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