Recently, I’ve had a few conversations, where people have questioned why I believe so much in the power of mastermind. They are either already in some form of peer-to-peer support group, or have tried a mastermind before, but for some reason didn’t feel it worked for them.
So, I’ve put together this comprehensive guide on Getting the most from Business Mastermind
I’ve been involved (in some way or another) with Mastermind for most of my business life.
I first ‘fell’ into it (quite by accident) when a fellow business owner asked if I could ‘stand in for him’ at a monthly meeting as he was unavailable. He told me a little about the event, and I naturally presumed it to be some kind of networking event. But was a little put out when he told me I wouldn’t need to take lots of literature or knowledge of his business! “Just go, sit in my seat, and see what happens,” he said reassuringly.
Knowing him as well as I did. I knew sometimes not to question. And so dutifully went along not really knowing what to expect.
I met a small group of like-minded business owners, who offered me a warm welcome, made light conversation about my business (whilst the last were to arrive) and was then invited through to a meeting room by the host.
We all sat around a large egg-shaped table, in a nice spacious room with plenty of light, and 2 or 3 different flipchart easels!
The host welcomed me, and started by reminding everyone (and instructing me) this was a ‘Chatham House Rules’ meeting and ensuring everyone agreed that what was said in the room, would stay between those in the room. Upon agreement. He invited a lady to my left to “Begin“.
For my benefit of me, she very briefly told me about the sector she worked within, her avatar and the size of the business! And then proceeded to share one of the most harrowing experiences I had ever heard of within the business. As to how a key supplier to the business was making unprofessional advances towards her with the offer of more favourable terms! One, I was horrified this could happen to anyone in business, but also shocked to hear how openly she shared it during this meeting.
However, what I then witnessed, blew my mind. As each person in the room offered guidance, advice, suggestions, and recommendations. They shared their connections, and made email introductions to people that could help. Within minutes of her sharing, the entire room sprung to life in working collaboratively to both support her and find practical solutions she can apply there and then to protect both her and the business whilst challenging the supplier whilst not impacting their business. It really was a sight to behold, and something I’d never witnessed before.
After around an hour of working on it. There was a clear plan of action in place that was to everyone’s agreement and had already begun to be implemented. She calmly thanked everyone for their input. Before we broke for a coffee!
As we re-entered the room. My attention turned to a gentleman sitting opposite me. Again, he briefly shared who, what, where and how he worked. Before declaring he has some financial problems with a growing aged debtor list. And again, the entire room began by asking some really probing and quite personal questions. Before offering help, support, guidance, and advice. Both from their own professional experience, and from the practices within their own businesses. And again, within the hour, he had a proven plan on how to address the problem, with a forecast of how long this will take to resolve, and the assurance of ongoing help throughout.
Then the host turned to me and said “Now you’ve seen the format, Are you ready to take to the Hotseat?”
Nervously, and not really knowing what or how I agreed
He continued “What is the one biggest hurdle/challenge you are currently facing, which once resolved will make the biggest impact for both you, your family and your business? How can this room be of service to you today?”
I can count on two hands the number of months I’ve not attended a Mastermind (Local, National and International) since then (over 15 years ago) and can see when I didn’t attend, as a direct reflection on the speed or stagnation of growth within my businesses.
I learnt all I could about the history and evolution of Mastermind, and have either attended, participated, hosted, co-hosted, or been a guest speaker/facilitator at well over 500 events since then.
There is simply nothing quite like it, for the speed of growth (both personally and professionally) you will get from full participation.
These days, I often go and present a hurdle or challenge I’m not yet facing! – “Once I get to X, How will I manage Y” so that I am prepared and ready to embrace each and every challenge I face.
But Mastermind is so much more than this. I now know I make bigger, better, quicker decisions because I’m no longer making them alone.
And that is the real magic of Mastermind – You are not alone.
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