One of the best things I did to develop my business and also grow as a person, was being part of a fantastic mastermind group. If you haven’t already tried it, I’d highly recommend you make this a priority.
In my case, our mastermind group took the form of 4 women, each with various types of online businesses (non-competing but with some similarities), who met in person once a month. Over the course of many years, the format changed and the focus shifted, as our businesses grew and our needs changed. But each meeting always managed to deliver some value, and in the long run, this was one of the best uses of my time and energy.
Here are 5 reasons you should be part of a mastermind group:
1) Accountability – don’t kid yourself, you need this!
Sure, we’re all highly motivated, diligent people, but at the end of the day, big businesses have accountability systems built in for a reason. Employees have it to their managers and the CEO has it to the board of directors and shareholders. For smaller businesses, the value of having someone hold you accountable cannot be underestimated. Last meeting you said you were going to map out a sales plan, can I see it? Last meeting you decided you were going to hire an accountant – how are they going?
Accountability is important, not because we don’t work hard, but because we all have things that we tend to procrastinate on and put off until later. Sometimes they’re important decisions, or sometimes they’re actions we know we need to be taking, but somehow never find the time to do them.
Accountability is a key part of being more productive and having a trusted group that won’t stand for your excuses can be the missing ingredient.
2) You now have a Brains Trust
You may not be able to afford to employ the top people in all areas of your business, but having an A-grade brains trust can fill in the gaps in your knowledge (because no-one’s an expert on everything). Deciding whether to hire another person, having a problem generating leads, got a difficult customer? Run it by your brains trust (aka Mastermind Group). And even when we think we know the solution to a problem, remember we all approach problems with our own particular biases – so if it’s a big decision, get some unbiased input and check you haven’t overlooked a valid alternative.
3) A recurring Motivation Session
Separate from the accountability piece, I always found my mastermind group to be extremely inspiring. There was a sense that we were all in this together and yet there was also a sense that if he/she can do it, I can too. It was often really useful just to be able to talk to my mastermind group in ways that I couldn’t talk to staff, and to realise that we were all struggling with similar problems. I left each meeting with a renewed sense of my vision, determined to play at my highest level.
4) Expand Your Network
There’s no doubt that there are times when knowing the right person makes all the difference. By having a mastermind group, you can often gain access to their networks when something relevant comes up. Of course, this should only be done in an appropriate way but sometimes this makes all the difference.
5) Hang out with Great People
The above points should be more than enough to inspire you to start or find a mastermind group, but there’s actually more. In my case, and I believe many others, the mastermind group has become a group of friends I hope to have for life. I’ve found enormous satisfaction in helping others when I can and anything that takes me out of my own problems deserves a lot of credit. There are not many opportunities you have to have people in your life that really know you, including all your fears and insecurities, and love you anyway. I may have been lucky, but I do believe that the nature of a mastermind group lends itself towards these kinds of outcomes if you let it.
I’m planning to write more on Mastermind Groups, so if you’re interested, let me know and I’ll schedule these soon (how to find/start, how to structure, etc).