One of the biggest and best investments in me and my business, was joining my first mastermind in June 2014. My business has evolved since I started in 2012. The most dramatic change started as the result of a conversation with my business coach in September 2014. Over the next four months I completely TRANSFORMED my business.
How did I achieve such success so quickly? I had invested in a business mastermind, hosted originally by Suzanne Dibble. Now I organise and facilitate the group of women in business who first met in June 2014.
The truth is …overnight success is very rarely ‘overnight’. Behind every overnight success, there are 100s and 100s of hours of hard work and graft that lead to that ‘overnight’ success. Like me, so many women in business feel, sometimes for months and even years, that they are ‘on the tipping point‘.
I credit much of my success today to my first business mastermind group: several appearances on Sky News; publication in City AM, The Mirror, Evening Standard, appearances on BBC Radio, Finaliset in The Coach Academy Life Coach of the Year … and so much more.
What is a business mastermind?
You may well be asking … what is a mastermind? Put simply, a mastermind is a group of like-minded peers sharing their skills, knowledge and experience to work towards a common purpose. For a mastermind group to be successful, it’s essential that everybody contributes. It doesn’t work if you are several steps behind (or ahead) of the other group members. You don’t want to feel that you are providing all the answers or that you’re the brightest in the room. Similarly you don’t want to feel you’re holding everyone back.
The group dynamic is really important. The group members need to be at a similar stage in their business, with similar ambitions for growth and success.
It doesn’t work if half the members want to earn just enough to cover costs, and the other members have their eyes set on £2M turnover within 2 years. You simply can’t relate to one another and the challenges you’re facing.
It’s important that the members have similar values. If one person values integrity above everything and others don’t, there’s bound to be a clash or conflict.
Let’s explore what my clients love about belonging to a mastermind and what’s important to me too.
Break free of the isolation
Running your own business can be lonely. You may feel isolated if you mainly work from home. Often you feel like you are struggling on your own, grappling with the big decisions.
The women I often talk to or coach, agree that it can be hard when you have been used to working in a corporate environment. In the good old days of working for a law firm, there was always somebody to chat to at the coffee machine or over a sandwich – another manager, another department head. It was so helpful to get 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.
When I first started my business, I really missed that teamwork, that ‘in it together’ feeling, that sounding board to bounce ideas off.
Support from like-minded women
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 calls, but also women who you know you can call at any time 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. It’s harder to think strategically.
Even though I am a coach myself, and even though this is how I help other women, sometimes it’s hard to know what decisions to make; where to focus my energies and attention. My mastermind women remind me when I am repeating myself. They point out if I am making the same decision (or mistake) 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. None of the members is in a conflicting or competing business which of course means we can be open and honest with each other. We all bring our own perspective to the discussions.
Accountability to get stuff done
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.
You don’t want to be the one at the next meeting mumbling about what stopped you or got in your way.
Mindset to give you confidence and self belief
More than anything, when you belong to a positive and supportive group of women, all working towards a common purpose (business growth and success), that is SUCH an incredible boost to your mindset.
Your positivity, self-belief and confidence grow enormously …. here’s this set of women who are 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. It’s our lived experience. We don’t always value what we find really easy.
However … 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 those lapses in self-belief and confidence, the nagging self doubts.
Creativity to produce even bigger and better results
You just couldn’t believe the incredible creativity and brainstorming of ideas and options that you get when you take the hot seat. Every meeting, you bring a challenge to the table and everybody else gives their ideas and thoughts on how to overcome that challenge, based on their unique skills and experiences.
Maybe you want help with your marketing campaign; or you are struggling with the copy for your brochure; or you don’t know how to structure your online course; or you don’t know how to get started with publishing a book; or finding speaking gigs.
Everybody looks at your business ideas and plans from a different perspective. So it’s not just me trying to tackle those challenges and make those decisions on my own. I have 5 or 6 incredible business minds ALL focusing on my business. One idea sparks another idea sparks another idea. The creativity boost is brilliant. (Even my business name The Confident Mother came from a mastermind hot seat).
Why join a mastermind?
Yes it’s a serious investment – potentially. This is what I love about belonging to a mastermind and what it has done for me:
- helped me break free of the isolation
- stopped me going round and round in circles
- prevented the frustration and overwhelm
- provided powerful accountability
- encouraged me to think more strategically
- pushed me beyond my comfort zone
- improved my mindset and confidence
- boosted my creativity.
I absolutely believe in the power of masterminds and peer groups. When like-minded women gather together, magic happens and the result is always the sum of the parts. It’s not just about the skill and experience of the facilitator. It’s the power of the individuals too.
As you can tell, I love masterminds. They come in all shapes, formats and price points too. From £99 per month on an ongoing basis to £50,000 for 12 months membership. From 6 members to 50 members. Some meet in person, others are fully online. I prefer the more personal experience of working with a limited number of business owners over a fixed period of time. I also advocate joining a mastermind that feels like a significant investment. There’s nothing like spending £10k on joining a mastermind to focus your mind on the task in hand!
If you like the sound of a mastermind, and you’re an ambitious woman in business who values integrity and professionalism, and you’re ready to invest in you and your business, let’s talk. Maybe I’m not right for you or you’re not right for me … but let’s at least have a conversation to explore it further.
I’m vigilant about who joins my group because the group dynamic is crucial to the whole group’s success. 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.