Joining a mastermind was one of those ‘aha’ moments that changed the course of my business. (Actually, to be honest, it wasn’t so much an ‘aha’ moment as it was a ‘Dammit, why didn’t I do this years ago?’ moment…!)
For so long, I’d been trying to go things alone, thinking that there was honour in struggling onwards by myself. And, if I’m honest, there were parts of the whole Mastermind concept that I wasn’t overly keen on. For example, I’m a total introvert (in the true sense of the word) – meaning, I need alone-time like I need oxygen. Did I really want to share all my learnings in front of a gaggle of other people? Would it really be a learning environment I could thrive in? And on top of that, I’m a busy mum of two – could I really sneak away to focus solely on myself and my business?
I needn’t have worried. Turns out, the short answer to all three of the above questions was a resounding YES. Without a shadow of a doubt, joining a Mastermind was the catalyst that triggered so much growth in my influence and revenue, and it ensured I stayed motivated, inspired, and on track (not to mention sane!) in my business journey.
As I discovered, the benefits of joining a Mastermind are many:
Let me tell you, there ain’t nothing like having to check in with your fellow Masterminders (not to mention your coach) to keep you on track and accountable in your business. I consider myself a highly disciplined person and I’m experienced at kicking procrastination in the butt, and yet none of it compares to the powerful motivation of knowing that I have to tell my ‘sisters’ precisely what I’ve accomplished that week/month/quarter.
This whole online entrepreneurship thing can be a lonely road – often times, it’s just you, your laptop, and your unwashed hair. (#KiddingNotKidding) So having a circle of women around you who actually get what you’re going through is priceless. And to be clear, it’s a different type of support compared to what you’d find in your average Facebook group or business community – the intimate environment and tight bonds ensure that it’s a completely safe space to share, learn and grow. In fact, I’ve formed relationships in my various Mastermind groups that I have no doubt will last for life, and that have helped me in my business exponentially.
Simply put, there is no faster way to learn than witnessing your Mastermind buddies’ business experiences up close and personal. It’s one thing to understand the theory behind something, or to have read a book (or gone through a module) on a particular topic. It’s another thing entirely to get a front row seat to witness someone pulling off an epic achievement – or, of course, experiencing a major struggle. I’ve gleaned some of my most valuable business lessons EVER in this way.
Growth by osmosis
You know that old saying, ‘You are a product of the 5 people you hang out with most’? It totally applies to your business too. When you as a business owner are regularly hanging out, connecting, and learning with other people who are highly motivated and achieving awesome things, that kind of behaviour and level of achievement becomes your new norm; it rubs off on you. This applies to both your relationships with your fellow Masterminders as well as with your leader/ mentor/ coach. Further more, in a Mastermind environment, you often get behind-the-scenes insights into the coach’s business, strategies and lifestyle that you’d never get through an e-Course or in a normal coaching relationship.
Sustained focus and motivation (meaning: big-time results)
Most Mastermind programs run over an extended length of time – say 6 months to a year. This provides an ongoing anchor for you over that entire time frame to maintain your focus and motivation so that you can actually follow through and achieve things (rather than petering out after a 6-week e-Course or 3-month coaching package). For me, maintaining this intensity of focus and motivation is worth the price of enrolment itself, and I’ve found it to be a sure-fire trigger for profound and ongoing results.
So now that you know how a Mastermind can help you achieve your goals and reach your potential, how on earth do you decide which one to pick?!
Here are 6 questions to ask when you’re considering a Mastermind program…
1. Is the leader where you want to be in a few years’ time?
Ideally, the leader should be where you want to be a few years down the track. If they’re waaaaaaaay ahead of you, then they might not have been immersed in the circumstances unique to your level of business for too long, making them unrelatable.
And if they’re too close to where you are now, then they don’t have enough experience under their belt to see the big picture, anticipate roadblocks, and understand the shortcuts to success.
(PS – This principle applies to hiring any coach, not just a Mastermind mentor.)
2. Is the program targeted?
Some Mastermind programs are about generic, all-round business growth, which is fine… if you want generic results. If you’re after uncommon results – meaning, if you’re looking to be an exception, an outlier, a success story – choose a program that’s targeted to the specific area where you most want to focus your energy and concentrate your results.
3. Is the program strategy-based or skills-based?
There’ll always be an overlap here to some extent, but try to ensure that the Mastermind you choose is highly focused on strategies rather than skills. Skills get out-dated fast and are often better outsourced altogether, whereas strategies are transferrable, scalable, and can be applied to all areas of your business – now and in the future.
4. What is the size of the group?
A small group – ideally 8-12 or so – will ensure that you get personal attention and that your issues get enough time in the spotlight. I always worry when I see large Mastermind groups, because I know how much time and energy needs to go into each and every participant – a bigger group can mean that you’re just another face in the crowd.
5. Does the leader actually walk their talk? Have they actually achieved what they say they’ve achieved?
It’s an unfortunate reality of the online world that it’s very easy for people to *ahem* embellish their experience, expertise and credentials. Steer clear of anyone who doesn’t have a proper, proven track record – for example, clear case studies, detailed success stories, and ACTUAL testimonials (not merely glowing sound-bites from their biz friends).A cool tip: Check their email newsletters (or blog posts) from 6 months ago – Have they been consistently ‘on message’ over that whole time? Or have they flip-flopped through 15 different products between then and now? If it’s the latter, they might need a few more years’ experience under their belts before you entrust them with your business strategy (not to mention your hard-earned dollars!).
6. Do you resonate with the leader?
Ultimately, this is the most important point of all – no matter how fancy someone’s sales page is, or how glamorous the retreats sound, you’re never going to learn much if you don’t actually resonate with them on a deep-down level.
Some clues to help you figure it out: Do you always read their blog posts because they’re so full of useful tips? Do you find yourself nodding along in agreement with their message? Does their worldview and life philosophy align with your own? And, when all else fails, my favourite question of all: What does your gut say? Tune in to its wisdom and you can’t go wrong.