One of the biggest and best investments in me and my business, was joining a mastermind about 18 months ago. As I’ve shared before, my business has evolved since I started in 2012. The biggest evolution, took place between September 2014 and January 2015. I completely TRANSFORMED my business in those four months after I joined my first business mastermind in June 2014.
How did I achieve such success so quickly … much of the credit goes to being part of a successful peer group of women in business, my mastermind group. We still work together today, with me facilitating. Overnight success only appears overnight on the surface. In reality, for every overnight success, there are 100s and 100s of hours of hard work and graft that lead to that ‘overnight’ success.
What is a business mastermind
You may well be asking … what’s a business mastermind? Put simply, a mastermind is a group of like-minded peers willing to share their skills, knowledge and experience to work towards a common purpose. What’s important for a successful mastermind is that everybody contributes. For me, the group dynamic is so important. The group members need to be at a similar stage in their business, with the same vision and ambitions for growth and success. For example, The Confident Mother business mastermind is aimed at women who have been in business for at least 6 months – but it wouldn’t work if half the members want to earn just enough to cover costs, and the other members have their eyes set on £500,000 turnover within 2 years.
I’ll cover what to look for when picking a mastermind in a future post. First let me share what I personally love about belonging to a mastermind.
Break free of the isolation
Running your own business can be lonely and you may feel isolated, especially if you mainly work from home. Often you can feel like you are struggling on your own, grappling with the big decisions. The other mums I talked recently agreed that it can be hard when you have been used to working in a corporate environment. In the good old bad days of working for a law firm, I could always chat to another manager, another department head at the coffee machine or over a sandwich, to get their thoughts and feedback on just about anything: staffing issues, project running over budget, brainstorm ideas for new initiatives, discover how other departments or users were coping with the new technology. I don’t know about you, but I missed that teamwork, that ‘in it together’ feeling, that sounding board to bounce ideas off.
When you have encouragement and support from like-minded women in business, it is incredibly powerful and uplifting. And not just a random collection of women in business, but women who over time, really understand and ‘get’ your business – its nuts and bolts, its strengths and weaknesses, your goals, your vision. Women who really really want you to succeed. Women who support you at the in person meetings and group Q&As, but also women who you know you can call any time you want to get their thoughts and feedback. It’s just like having your own mini board of directors.
Stop going round in circles
Stop going round in circles with your business ideas and plans. Sometimes when you are so close to the decisions, the ideas, the plans, it’s difficult to see the wood for the trees. It’s difficult to get clarity and focus on what you need to do next. Even as a coach, specialising in confidence, sometimes when it’s your own business, it can be hard to know what decisions to make; where to focus your energies and attention. The women who support me remind me when I am repeating myself. They point out if I am remaking the same decision I made two months ago. They don’t let me go round and round in circles, getting cross, frustrated and feeling overwhelmed. There’s no pussyfooting around. No rudeness either but we call a spade a spade. The fact that none of the members is in a conflicting or competing business, is a big advantage. They have a different perspective.
There is nothing like group accountability to give you the push that you need to get stuff done. It’s easy when you work on your own to make a plan, decide on the actions …. and then let the energy fizzle out. However if you have told a group of peers “I will make contact with 5 new potential joint venture partners before the end of the month” or “I will create material for a new course on procrastination so that I am ready to launch on 1 April”, then you WILL get it done. Otherwise, you’ll be sat at the next meeting mumbling about what stopped you or got in your way.
More than anything, when you belong to a positive and supportive group of women, none of whom have hidden agendas because we are all working towards a common purpose (business growth and success), this boosts and bolsters your mindset. Your positivity, self-belief and confidence grow enormously because here’s this set of women who can be objective about you, your strengths, your talents, your skills and your experience. So often we don’t recognise our own skills and strengths. We take for granted our talents … because it’s who we are. You listen when somebody else tells you that you are amazing, clever, experienced, special and talented. It means so much more. Being part of a mastermind stops the lapses in self-belief and confidence, the nagging self doubts.
I have always valued the incredible creativity and brainstorming of ideas and options that you get when you take the hot seat. Every member of the mastermind has a different business (it wouldn’t work if we were competitors), different skill sets, and different experiences. Each will view your business ideas and plans from a different perspective. You are getting the benefit of 5 or 6 heads to focus on dealing with the challenges and decisions in your business.
That’s what I love about my business mastermind and what it has done for me: helped me break free of the isolation, stopped me going round and round in circles getting frustrated and overwhelmed, powerful accountability, improved my mindset and boosted my creativity. Simply through working with a group of like-minded ambitious women in business.
If you like the sound of this, find out more about The Confident Mother Business Mastermind here. I’m vigilant about who joins the group because the group dynamic is crucial to the whole group’s success, and that’s why there’s an application process. Don’t worry if you don’t fit all the criteria. Better to have a conversation than to miss out.