Our Story

How Real Estate Lessons Led to an Innovative Business Model That’s Helping Individuals and Organizations Implement Mindful Accountability

When Ali Schiller got her real estate license in 2006, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It was a boom time for selling homes and while Ali was successful, she noticed something missing— an opportunity for a deeper accountability structure across her organization.

Ali piloted her observations with a few colleagues at her San Francisco-area real estate agency. The group met once a week and discussed how to accomplish their goals while asking each other, “What’s holding us back?”

Several years later when the Great Recession had devastated the real estate industry, Ali’s small group had weathered the storm. Her manager was so impressed that he asked her the secret to their continued high sales. 

“What we were doing was helping each other adapt to the changing market in real time,” she says. “Having the accountability structure supported us in making changes that otherwise would have taken much longer.”

Ali had an idea. If her accountability framework helped her colleagues stay productive and adaptable to change, then maybe she could help others in different industries.

She left real estate and launched a business helping others achieve their goals, aptly naming it Accountability Works. 

The company evolved with the addition of Marissa Boisvert, who brought years of experience as a coach using mindfulness practices studied at Duke Integrative Medicine. 

“It was really a shift in thinking,” says Marissa. “Our approach is much more about learning and using that information to make your next steps or commitments. It’s about what is going to move the needle. It’s a practice. It doesn’t end — whether you’re in our program or not, you’ll take it with you.”

Their partnership led to redefining accountability as an act of mindfulness. Their signature Mindful Accountability™ framework was born and their vast list of clients includes small business owners, entrepreneurs, real estate agencies and creative professionals.

With their success, Ali and Marissa imagined expanding Accountability Works to train and enable companies of all sizes to benefit from their company’s tools and techniques. 

Ann Catrina-Kligman, whose 20-year career included working from startups to large enterprise organizations, joined Accountability Works to help achieve that goal.

Ann has extensive experience building and delivering employee experience-centered programs that make it easier to communicate and collaborate while fostering a sense of inclusion and belonging across teams and organizations. 

“Regardless of where employees are working, they’re seeking a deeper understanding of why their work is important,” Ann says. “They want to understand how they contribute to the bigger picture and how they can make an impact while also benefiting from greater flexibility and autonomy. Mindful Accountability enables a supportive culture of accountability that’s oriented around connection over compliance.”

The team’s framework has demonstrated proven results by:

    • Developing self-compassion and emphasizing learning and growth
    • Generating consistent habits, changing negative habits and freeing up mental energy
    • And building a sense of community around goals with the exchange of best practices and resources

Ali says she’s excited about what the future holds for Accountability Works and how it’s benefiting individuals, small businesses and now larger companies.

“We’ve come a long way since those meetings with my real estate colleagues all those years ago,” Ali says. “It was the first step in our company that has led us to where we are today – helping individuals and companies maximize their potential through mindful accountability.”

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