When I left my corporate job to become an entrepreneur, I was unprepared for it. I became overwhelmed, lonely, and consumed overnight.
Where I once knew my part of the big picture, I suddenly was the big picture. I had peers I could get advice from, vent to, and find support, but now I was alone. I previously worked during the day, ballroom danced at night and visited with friends on the weekends, and now, suddenly, all I did was work.
What was a new opportunity quickly became a nightmare. I wish I had known about Mastermind groups then. If I had, I would have sought one out and joined immediately. I think these groups are an entrepreneur’s secret weapon.
Mastermind groups were first mentioned in Napoleon Hills’ book Think and Grow Rich. He suggested that entrepreneurs create a small group of peers to discuss challenges, share ideas, and support each other.
Today, one Mastermind group can be very different from another. However, they are a collaborative environment where like-minded people can brainstorm, share knowledge, give feedback and advice, and often provide accountability. Together, the members help each other grow towards their goals.
Because entrepreneurs are often alone in their business, a group of people from whom they can get feedback, insight, and motivation can be powerful. It can help curb that overwhelm, isolation, and pressure we feel.
A mastermind group is suitable for everyone. If you are wondering if you would be a good fit, here are a few things to consider:
Growth Focused: If you are looking for education, you might want to look elsewhere. Although a group can include the learning content, this is not the primary purpose, and any learning should be considered an add-on. If you want to build a skill or specific knowledge, I recommend you find training/courses for your needs. However, if you are looking to grow with like-minded people, then here are some things to consider:
Commitment: When you join a mastermind, you are committed not only to your growth but also to the growth of the members. Therefore, make sure you can commit to the meetings, show up to them, and are willing to participate.
Be willing to share: Mastermind groups are successful when members are willing to give and receive advice and ideas. You have to be willing to share your experiences and expertise and be willing to brainstorm. You also need to be open to feedback from other members.
Be open to growing: With a mastermind group, you are no longer alone. You have a group of people to provide ideas, feedback, insights, share experiences, and more. As a result, you grow as a person as you learn from others and about their backgrounds, options, and experiences. Your business will also grow with a mastermind group.
Able to support and cheer on fellow members: My mastermind groups start each meeting with a celebration. As entrepreneurs, we don’t take the time to celebrate wins enough, and there often is no one to celebrate with or pat us on the back. We do this for each other. When something has been challenging, and a member has done it, we are excited for them. We also offer support and compassion when things are hard. When a key employee is lost, a family emergency impacts our businesses. We get what it’s like and hold space for each other.
Make sure it fits: This is relevant in a few ways.
First, a mastermind is a longer-term, continual growth type of business support. If you need something quick, you might want to look for a consultant or a professional in the area you need help with.
You might want to talk to a coach for help with mindset and other issues.
Finally, check the frequency, date, and length of the meetings will work for you. A mastermind can be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. And the frequency may impact the length of the sessions. For example, quarterly masterminds might be longer meetings (a day or even a few days).
As mentioned, no two mastermind groups are the same, and if you have determined that a mastermind group is right for you, then the next thing is to look for the right group.
Some things to consider are:
Facilitator: who is facilitating the group? You will want someone with whom you resonate and will ensure that everyone has a seat at the table.
Members: who is at the table? Make sure that the people are like-minded and will help you grow. Look for a group with varied members. You will grow most from those with varied education, experience, and backgrounds.
Agenda: What is the agenda or structure like? Think about what you want from the group and ensure you get it. Here are some agenda items to consider
Celebration: as entrepreneurs, we are so goal-focused that we don’t stop to celebrate. Look for a group that celebrates and cheers each other on.
Hot seat moments: Mastermind groups offer “hot seats” (I prefer to call them power seats) where you can bring something to the group. How frequently will you get a chance to present your power seat item?
Accountability: Is there a built-in component of accountability? How is it handled?
Goal setting/check-ins: Is there any structure around goal setting and the process for doing check-ins between meetings?
Consider how important some things are over others. What are must-haves, and what are the nice to-haves? See if you can attend a trial meeting to see what the group is like before committing.
Review the contract so you know what the commitment is and how to exit if it is not working.
Embarking on the entrepreneurial journey doesn’t have to be a solitary road. When chosen wisely, mastermind groups can be the secret weapon to combat loneliness, overwhelm, and propel you toward success. Joining forces with a community that celebrates your victories and shares your challenges can make all the difference on your entrepreneurial path.
If you are looking for a Mastermind, I invite you to look at the Acuity Path Growth and Clarity Membership. Each includes a Mastermind group, access to our monthly working sprint and business clarity planning session, and more. Learn more here: https://acuitypath.ca/accountability-groups/
“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire.”Napoleon Hill
“Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire.”
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