This last year has been one of massive growth, change, and perspective shifting for me. You too? It seems it’s in the air. A big piece of my business building puzzle was the elusive “mastermind”. I’d seen so many mastermind groups (both paid and unpaid), heard about the benefits they offer, and even jumped into a membership forum to try to piece together my own support.
Lemmetellya, nothing has had a bigger impact on my business than the current mastermind group that I finally found myself in. So much so that I’m often asked, “Val, how are you staying supported and inspired thru all of the twists and turns of entrepreneurship?” My answer is two fold: 1) lots of yoga and 2) my mastermind group.
Since finding a mastermind group that I really fit into took some doing and I’m often asked how others can find their dreams-come-true mastermind of their very own, I thought I’d lay out the steps I took to get there.
- Invest dozens (hundreds?) of hours in online forums and a Groups building relationships with like-minded people.
- Narrow down your favorite online pack to 4 to 6 people.
- Buy an early-bird ticket to a conference because you heard one other person you kind of know is going too.
- Convince the rest of your favorite people to also attend that conference.
- Room with one of those people who you’ve only ever chatted with in Facebook groups and Skype’d once or twice with. Convince yourself that she won’t think you’re a weirdo.
- Stick together like glue at the conference and ignore all of the rules about changing up seating arrangements so you can always sit at the same table.
- Realize your life is incomplete without these women and insist on creating some kind of ongoing group experience. (Hint: this is your mastermind forming now!)
- Find the organizer-type people in the group (ahem: my hand is raised) and have them create a structure for the mastermind to live on after you all leave that hotel.
- Come up with a fun name so you feel like an instant secret society.
- Take over the world (or at least feel like you could if you really wanted to).
That’s it! (insert all the sarcasm emojis here)
As it turns out, finding a mastermind and turning it into something useful is hard work and also rather organic. Prior to this group forming I had reached out to 4 other women trying to startup a mastermind but it never really panned out. I know now that the other group didn’t work so that this one could.
Formally, our structure is this:
- We have a secret Facebook Group for regular communication, brainstorming, accountability, and friendship building.
- Our group at the conference was 10 women. We split that into 2 groups of 5 and did our best to spread out talents amongst the two groups. Some of us have overlapping abilities so we were mindful to share the love there.
- Each mini-mastermind has a group call once every two weeks. Honestly, I’m not positive what the structure is in the group that I’m not part of but my group does a hot seat for one person each week and the other 4 are there to provide feedback and offer, well, masterminding the topic. The hot seat person sets the agenda and sends it out in advance so we make the most of our hour together.
- We are in the early stages of planning a full group retreat. It will be nearly a year since we formed by then and we want to maximize what we are building with an entire week devoted to our group.
Informally, we lean on each other for business ideas, advice, and occasional grievance airing. We also all sometimes drop off the face of the earth for a week or so and then check back in with the entire group. Life happens, it’s okay. Since we are all roughly in the same stages of our business building (which I believe is key to our success as a whole), we are able to understand each other and speak a common language.
Collectively, in a little less than 5 months since we got together, we have built and launched 3 online courses, hired 6 new employees, started a podcast, been podcast guests, worked with each other and for each other, promoted each other’s exciting new things, and dramatically increased our revenues.
The best part of the mastermind we’ve built is the sisterhood and support. When you win, you have nine other women cheering for you. When you lose, you have nine other women supporting you and building the plan with you to get back to winning. #youarenotalone
Forming this mastermind has been the #1 influence in the growth of my business and my personal growth over the past few months. But what if you can’t travel to a conference right now and find those dreamy mastermind buddies? All hope is not lost. You could:
- attend a Meetup in your city
- start a new Meetup in your city (side note: nothing says “I’m the authority on this subject” like hosting a group on a particular topic)
- find a Facebook Group and get to know a few members well enough to build a mastermind on the side
- join a paid community and post a request to form a mastermind
- work from a co-working space in town and get to know other business owners there
- attend local networking events and find people just like you
- keep an eye out for free “get out of the office” days aimed at entrepreneurs in your area (I met one of my greatest local business friends, Krista Sanford, at a sparkspace hosted event called Get It Done Day)
- take an online course and form a mastermind group with some of the other course participants
The options are endless.
Finding and building a mastermind takes work to start, commitment to continue, and courage to believe in. Are you in a mastermind? Tell me how it’s impacted you personally and professionally in the comments below. Are you looking for a mastermind? Tell us that too! Wouldn’t it be cool if your next mastermind group formed right here in these comments? Let’s make it happen!
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