16 Apr The Huge Business Benefits of Mastermind Groups
Two years ago I decided I’d like a place to go where I could meet regularly with successful colleagues I trust and respect that were in similar businesses-a place where we could brainstorm and share ideas, resources, advice and even partner on projects.
So I began reaching out to a small group of women who, like me, have successful online marketing and coaching businesses and whose reputations I respected. I explained what my goals were for the group and why I thought it would be advantageous for each to join. To my surprise, most said yes immediately. Each of these women are solo-preneurs with outsourced teams, but like me, they were looking for the same type of support I was proposing. One of our main goals was to help each other dramatically increase our online success.
Since then we’ve met monthly by teleconference and we communicate regularly via a private Yahoo group. Not only have we become friends, but valued business advisors and collaborators. We share our best resources, best practices, best marketing ideas, best systems and best connections. We’ve done numerous joint ventures with each other and all of our businesses have grown substantially. Occasionally we get a chance to meet in person at a business conference and it’s always like spending time with an old friend. And yes, we have fun!
I like these women. They are smart, open, collaborative, focused and successful. They don’t make excuses; they are confident. I’ve learned so much from them and I hope I’ve given as much in return. We make money together and we give each other support. When we’re perplexed or have a business problem, we have a place to go to get honest feedback and direction.
Mastermind groups can help you grow your business on so many levels. But like everything else in business, you need to be clear about your goals and strategy before you either form or join one. Here are a few tips that will help guide you.
- Get clear about what you hope to get out of a Mastermind Group. Make a list of your goals so you can be clear with prospective members.
- Decide how your group will meet. Possibilities include:
– a private Yahoo group which allows each member to e-mail all the others,
– a private Facebook group which allows you to upload your photo and have a forum,
– a tele-conference group,
– a group that meets in person
- Decide how often the group will meet.
- Decide the maximum number of members you want to have in the group. Keep in mind that once it becomes too large it looses the feeling of intimacy and familiarity.
- Decide if there are attendance requirements. Will it matter if some people are fairly active and others aren’t?
- Decide what benefits members will get by devoting time to participate in the group.
- Decide if there are any group rules.
- Do periodic surveys once your group is up and running to determine if the meeting times are the best for everyone, if members want to add or revise goals, if members have specific topics they’d like to discuss during meetings, plus include any other questions where members opinions would be helpful in improving the group.
People tend to stay active in a Mastermind group if they are getting something of value out of it. That’s why it’s important to make sure that both you as the group leader, and the members are really benefitting from your interaction.
As small or solo business owners, we don’t have a board of advisors with whom we can brainstorm ideas. A great Mastermind can serve that purpose. You can also have sub groups within the larger group that focus on helping each other in some way or in doing joint ventures. This is what has occurred in our group.
Overall a great Mastermind group can improve you focus, give you fresh ideas and perspective, help you feel supported in numerous ways and can really improve your bottom line.