The Power Of Masterminds [Guest Post]
The power of masterminds is great topic we all need to consider, as we’re growing our business and nurturing our clients. We’re pleased to welcome Becky Mollenkamp to the Boss Mom blog as a guest writer on this topic.
Last year at this time, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. That greatest news, however, was followed 10 weeks later by the worst—I’d suffered a miscarriage. Understandably, I fell into a depression. My work as a freelance writer suffered, and soon paying gigs were decreasing as my medical bills were piling up.
In a panic, I took a 9-to-5 job (after a decade of self-employment). It was in my field, but it in no way reflected my passions or goals.
I realized almost immediately that I’d made a mistake and needed to be my own boss again. But how? I felt overwhelmed by my situation, was unsure how to improve it, and lacked the confidence needed to make big changes.
The good news about my less-than-perfect day job was that it was so simple I had plenty of time during work hours to read articles and listen to podcasts on entrepreneurship. I began to notice a theme among successful business owners—they all belonged to mastermind groups.
I dug deeper and discovered Napoleon Hill introduced the concept of masterminds to the masses in his famous book, “Think and Grow Rich.” Basically, he says, a mastermind is when two or more like-minded people get together regularly to discuss their challenges and brainstorm to find solutions.
“When a group of individual minds are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy through that alliance becomes available to every individual in the group.” Hear more about masterminds in Hill’s own words.
I was certain a mastermind could be the swift (but loving) kick in the butt I needed to re-boot my writing business and be my own boss again. When I couldn’t find a free group in my community, I took the bull by the horns and created my own.
Two months later, I left my ill-fitting day job and returned to self-employment. That was five months ago. Now, I’m on track to have my highest-income year since 2009. Even better, I’ve never had a clearer vision for my professional (and personal) future, nor a better road map for how to get there.
The Power Of Masterminds
I’m busier than ever with work and expecting my first baby (a boy!) in June, but I almost never miss my weekly mastermind meetings.
It’s that valuable, and here are a few reasons why:
- Camaraderie: The life of an entrepreneur can be lonely. Even if you get nothing else from a mastermind, you’ll receive invaluable emotional support. It’s a safe environment to vent your frustrations or express your fears about owning a business to a group of people who truly relate and can reassure you that you’re not being crazy/ungrateful/trivial/etc.
- Perspective: As a boss, you make decisions all day, every day. Acting quickly and confidently is important, but it can also be dangerous when there’s no system of checks and balances. Your mastermind peers can help. Run an important issue by this informal board of advisers, and you’re sure see your situation in a whole new light, and feel assured you’re making the best decision for yourself and your business.
- Education: A great mastermind includes a members from different personal and professional backgrounds. In addition to getting varied perspectives on your business issues, this also allows you to learn all sorts of new skills and perhaps benefit from their network of suppliers and referrals.
- Action: Your group should help you find clarity around your vision, create an efficient plan for achieving it, and then share valuable ideas and tactics as you execute. Tapping into the group’s collective wisdom and accepting their assistance can reduce your learning curve and accelerate your growth at a pace you may not believe.
- Accountability: If you’re anything like me (an “obliger” in Gretchen Rubin’s Expectation Types), intentions don’t always equal actions. Your mastermind peers will regularly ask what you intend to accomplish, and then check to make sure you deliver. Having a group you respect hold your feet to the fire is great incentive to get shit done.
See for yourself the power of masterminds by getting involved with one.
Are you all pumped up about joining a mastermind? Search for a virtual or in-person group on Meetup.com, by asking your Facebook groups for referrals, or reaching out via email to those you respect in your own network. If all else fails, start your own! Get my tips for starting your own mastermind (and a free startup worksheet) here.
Before jumping in, make sure you find a group that makes sense for where you’re at in your life and career, and that includes people with whom you gel. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time with this group of people, and you want to be certain they are the right crew to help you level up your business, and your life.
Becky Mollenkamp is a content marketing strategist helping B2Bs develop effective communications plans to turn prospects into customers. She lives in St. Louis, Mo., with her fiancé, three dogs, and—soon, her baby boy. Connect with Becky in the Boss Moms Facebook group or on LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.