Being an entrepreneur can be exciting, fulfilling, and absolutely terrifying. There’s always a million and one things to do. Your success (not to mention income) is entirely dependent on you. You’ve gone from a department full of coworkers to your beloved Pekinese, Petunia, and a potted fern named Fred. For many business owners, especially women, support systems are often few and far between.
Are you hyperventilating yet?
Put down the paper sack. You don’t have to go it alone. You can breathe easier (or just breathe) with the support of a handful of like-minded women ready to help solve your problems. It’s not too good to be true, it’s… a Mastermind!
Masterminds – the Start
Originally introduced in the 1930s by Napoleon Hill, a Mastermind group, or “alliance” as Hill dubbed them, gives credence to the old adage “two heads are better than one”. According to Hill, “a mastermind alliance consists of two or more minds working actively together in perfect harmony toward a common definite objective.” That objective is a successful, thriving business for you and your fellow group members, not to mention a balanced and happy life.
So what can you expect in a mastermind?
Experts suggest that goals (think of them as promises) should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound. Want to know what helps ensure you meet your “time deadlines”? Tell someone. Not just Petunia or Fred the fern. You need to tell a human being. It’s much more difficult to break a “promise” to someone else than it is to yourself. Goals are practical, wonderful, and necessary. However, without accountability, they mean nothing.
A mastermind will help you create SMART goals, and will hold you accountable for reaching them.
If you have ever had coworkers, you know discussing and sharing ideas is the best way to generate new ones. People just work better when they’ve got someone to bounce thoughts off of. But now, it’s just you and Petunia. Sure she’s adorable, but she doesn’t provide much in the way of genius marketing or accounting suggestions.
How about 4 or 8 other people who can approach a problem with fresh eyes and provide creative solutions to your issue? Yep, that’s a mastermind.
Entrepreneurship (especially solopreneurship) can be an incredibly lonely road. Hopefully, your family and friends are supportive, but unless they’ve been where you are, unless they’ve carried the responsibility of a business on their shoulders, it may be difficult for them to provide the type of support you need.
A mastermind group gives you access to people who are either going through the same things as you or have experienced them in the past.
Sure it’s wonderful to receive. But nothing makes you feel like more of a rock star than solving other people’s problems. You’ve got quite a few nuggets of brilliance to share with the others. Don’t hoard your brilliance by working in a silo, share it with other people who can benefit from your experience and insight.
Mastermind groups can help you take your business and your life to the next level. If you’re convinced, stay tuned for how to pick the perfect mastermind group. If you aren’t convinced you need a mastermind group just yet, sit Petunia down and ask her opinion.