Being a small business owner or entrepreneur can be lonely. It can be hard to stay motivated. It isn’t necessary to struggle this way. Add a coach, mentor and mastermind group to your success toolbox! I’ve already written about mentoring and coaching in articles and on my site. It’s time we discussed the power of mastermind groups!

Mastermind groups are small (6-8 people) and made up of peers and colleagues who are on a similar path as you. Most groups are not local because this helps you avoid the potential issue of working on ideas with competitors. So instead, groups meet by phone for an hour or 90 minutes monthly to do goal-setting, brainstorming and to review action steps.

Members should be in a similar situation (affiliate marketers, entrepreneurs, freelance writers, etc.) which allows everyone to gain from the exchange of information and support. Additionally, they should also be equally experienced. You do not want newbies feeling lost or the more experienced members feeling bored.

Mastermind group members must be able to keep their commitment to the group! This is crucial. They should also respect the other members’ privacy and be prepared to commit to an ongoing appointment for group meetings and value that time. To hold members accountable to keeping appointments, some groups charge a fee.

When joining a group, inquire about the facilitator. This person’s primary role is to ensure conversation continues, stays on track and everyone gets involved. The facilitator is not a teacher and should not be doing coaching. They can certainly offer opinions if asked, but that is not their primary purpose in the group. It helps to have someone who is trained in group dynamics and/or has facilitated before.

In the first few meetings, groups should explore what their individual value systems are. You cannot build a success plan if you don’t know what you value in life and what you need for your own personal happiness. For many people, more time trumps more money. Everyone has a different set of values and they should not be judged. Having members understand your values allows them to hold you accountable for setting goals that don’t conflict with those values.

After value systems have been defined, mastermind groups should begin setting their individual goals. It is crucial that group members are capable of BIG dreams, bigger than they’ve had in the past and dare to say them out loud! Goals should be actionable with target dates that are short-term. They must mesh with values. The group will hold members accountable who’s action steps and goals routinely go unmet and ask them if this is truly something they want.

The biggest value in working with a mastermind group is the power of many minds working to support your ideas, your goals, your dreams and values. Many engaged minds can generate more ideas and contacts than one person alone. They support you, hold you accountable and point out your blind spots.

Add a mastermind group to your success toolbox! I guarantee you’ll see results.

 

by Steven Schlagel