You’ve heard that you should create your own mastermind. I agree: are one of the most valuable “go-to” resources you can have for your business. They are your go-to biz besties, your sounding board, and your shoulders to cry on throughout the life of your business. For me, creating my own mastermind has brought me a group of people I lean on most when making big decisions–or celebrating wins.
Let me tell you about my mastermind and how you can have your very own.
My mastermind group consists of four women. We all own our businesses but have also worked in jobs outside our current industries. That means we each bring more knowledge than just those from our immediate endeavors. As a group, we have skills in sales, marketing, consulting, human resources, education, and research. We are or have been in travel, orthodontics, medical, media, publishing, organizing, advertising, and gifting industries.
The focus of the group is not networking but to help each other build our businesses, and we didn’t become such valuable assets to one another overnight. We first met years ago and started sharing information about ourselves and, over time, developed a strong level of credibility and trust with each other. We meet once a month over a long dinner and each of us gets a chance to talk about something happening or of concern in our businesses. If there is someone with a serious situation, we may devote the whole meeting to that topic. The point is, we talk business and don’t drift off (for too long) into non-focused issues.
Together we have helped each other talk through topics like selling a business, HR challenges, staffing problems, marketing opportunities, reviewing business strategy, gender relation issues, morality questions, profitability concerns, an overseas adoption, and many others. We have all grown professionally from our involvement in the group. And we are now all friends too–a big bonus!
The value of our mastermind comes from knowing there are people to turn to who know a lot about the evolution of our businesses and who we are confident will have our best interests at heart. I also know I can call my mastermind in an instant if I need an emergency meeting. This has strengthened me as a business owner  and has built my confidence in decisions I’ve made along the way. It’s also so rewarding when I can help someone else with an issue. The entire experience is…priceless.
And guess what? You can create your own mastermind group just like mine. Here are my suggestions as you go about selecting participants and conducting meetings.
- Selection – Look for people who come from different industries and have had other careers. This brings depth to your conversations. You are also more assured that someone in the group will have experience/insight itnothe various issues that may arise.
- Size – Four to six people is ideal. Don’t go for size but for quality of members.
- Personalities – Make sure, as best you can, you select people who are different from each other but are compatible. You want to encourage various views but ensure that everyone will be open to ideas contrary to their own. Also, select people who won’t monopolize the conversation.
- Gender – I would suggest you keep it to all women (or men accordingly.) There are discussions that come up that are just handled easier and more openly that way.
- Meeting Place – My suggestion is meeting in person if you can, at a restaurant or coffee house. You want everyone focused. In an home environment there will be unintended distractions and each member might be distracted by notifications and the people who share their space.
- Location – Meet somewhere where you won’t be known. The last thing you need are multiple people coming up to the table to say hello. It reduces your quality time and ruins the flow of conversation.
- Atmostphere – Along with the location, have a place where your conversations won’t be overheard. The acoustics should also be such that you can hear each other without having to speak uncomfortably loud. That ruins the natural course of thought and continuity.
- Schedule – Select a consistent time each month to meet. That way everyone will have it in their calendar and can plan around it as much as possible. There will be times when everyone can’t attend. Have the meeting anyway. Dynamics change with fewer people and valuable converations will arise.
- Topics – When you create your own mastermind, it’s best for each member to consider what they’d like to discuss before the meeting. Some months there may not be anything of issue, but face it, as a business owner, we’re always working on or planning something.
- Celebrate Successes – When one of you overcomes a problem or achieves something – celebrate!
Having a trusted mastermind group has been pivotal to the growth of my business, and it’s something that anyone can start. When you choose the right people to join you on this journey, you can all grow and thrive together! So go and create your own mastermind today!