Everyone has challenges in their business. Sometimes you have a firm handle on how to meet the challenge, other times… not so much. When you come across obstacles where you don’t know how to move forward, it can be immensely beneficial to have a place where you can discuss it with peers that understand what you’re dealing with. A safe place where you can talk about your thoughts and ideas, even fears, without ridicule and where you know what you say will stay within the group.
That’s actually the basis for a mastermind group. Mastermind groups are groups of professionals that come together to brainstorm, solve problems, set goals, plan for the future, and keep each other accountable. The success of these groups depends on the members wanting to accomplish two things, to take their business to the next level and to help others do the same.
Mastermind groups can have a particular industry specific focus or, more often than not, have members from different industries that are at a similar stage of growth (such as startups) so that there are no worries about sharing information with the competition. (By the way, some of the most original solutions come from outside your own industry.)
Mastermind groups have facilitators who run the meetings, make sure that everyone has a voice, help the group stay on task, and summarize the work required for the next meeting. While the facilitator has great experience in business, they are there to get the group to come up with their own solutions and should only provide suggestions when the group needs additional help.
Meetings (online or in person) can run the gamut as to how often they meet. It could be a one shot/one day meeting, once a year, quarterly, monthly, every 2 weeks, or weekly. The length of the meeting usually depends on the frequency of meeting (a once per year could take 2-3 days, whereas a weekly might only need to be 60-90 minutes.
The typical meeting agenda looks like this:
- Call to order – This is sometimes formal, sometimes not.
- Catch up – Each member reports how they did on meeting goals set from last meeting.
- Education – A brief educational presentation on some business topic that can benefit all of the members. This isn’t as common, but it really depends on the group.
- Member focus (also called Hot Seat) – Each member has a turn to express the challenges they are facing at the time and may say what they think they might do, then each of the other members will ask questions and/or offer suggestions as to what they think the solution might be.
- Goal setting – After everyone has had a turn discussing their individual challenges, they then commit to a goal(s) to accomplish by the next meeting.
- End meeting
Does this sound like something that you’d be interested in? Do you need help growing your business? Do you feel you need to find others that understand the position that you’re in and demands that you have? A mastermind group may be the solution for you.
To find one that is right for you, ask other business people in your area or do an internet search to find the right one for you. Remember that you can find mastermind groups that are held online or in person.