1. plan and direct (an ingenious and complex scheme or enterprise).
The world keeps changing. It changes so fast that if you are an entrepreneur trying to stay on top of your game, it can feel exhausting trying to keep up.
Something that doesn’t change is: when you have advocates to help you along you will get to where you want to go much faster than if you try to do it alone.
I hear it all of the time – musicians constantly lament: “If only I had a manager,” or a booking agent or a record label, a publisher, etc.
And my entrepreneur clients call and say – I wish I had an investor, or a marketing manager or a publicist, etc.
When you are growing it is hard to get these things. However, it’s a lot easier to get them than you might believe. Maybe you won’t get a full time person to take over, but some golden nuggets of advice, a choice article placed in the right publication, or that tip that makes all of the difference can come from surrounding yourself with people who have knowledge and who know other people… Enter your Mastermind.
What is A Mastermind?
A mastermind is a small group of people who meet regularly (one to two times per month), brainstorm together, create goals, make lists, talk about objectives, and keep each other accountable so that that everyone moves their goals forward. Over time, I have discovered that it is so much more than that.
Before I go any further I want to tell you about a Mastermind that my friend Ilyana and I co-founded a few years ago. It’s called Ladies Social. It's a group of 28 women who are invited to come Mastermind with us. Some come to every meeting, some have attended only once or twice. We do the same thing every meeting (see below for details) and this group of women has helped me get through the best and the worst times of my career and my personal life, because what it provides is a place to be heard and a place to receive honest and loving feedback. It is a reminder that people do have your back, and this is the best part of all. We have supported each other through quitting jobs, finding jobs, divorces, pregnancies, and projects that felt insurmountable. We have laughed and cried together (and at the holidays we have been known to bake hundreds of cookies). For these women, their energy, their expertise, and their time I am extremely grateful.
Men, don't stop reading! – Don’t let the words “Ladies Social” throw you off – you can do this as couples or make it co-ed! The point is the support you get.
Setting Up Your Mastermind
I suggest you create a group of 6 to 10 people. Or you can do it Ladies Social style and choose a core group and ask them to invite friends who they think will be wonderful additions. They do not have to be in your business, and it may actually be better if they are not. They also do not have to be reaching for the same types of goals.
- Choose fellow masterminders to invite that you admire and who will commit to showing up regularly.
- Choose strong self-starters – people who know how to get the job done, who perhaps own their own businesses, who kick-butt at their jobs, who are successful their relationships, and in their ability to achieve the true art of living.
- Set a date and time to meet every month- for example, the first Sunday of the month at 3 PM - Don’t break your commitment – you need to keep this consistency to achieve results.
Completing One Goal is Crucial!
Be careful when setting your goals. Start with ones that you can achieve within the first month (redesigning your newsletter, re-writing your pitch, booking one engagement) so you come out of your first meeting accomplishing one victory.
Please read my previous article on how to set goals and achieve them here:
Here’s What to Do at Each Mastermind
Come to each meeting with an agenda. At Ladies Social we have created a routine that we repeat at every gathering.
The format we stick to is simple yet POWERFUL, it goes like this:
We each go around and one at a time contribute the following:
A. Start with Gratitude: What I am grateful for in my life is
B. What I am up to / working on / how I earn my living these days is (specific project, insight, plan, a place where we are in need of feedback)
C. What I request from the group is ______________.
We each get 10- 15 minutes and provide constructive feedback as we go. Magic has manifested from our group over the 2 years since we started, and tight bonds have been formed.
Start on time and socialize, or chitchat when you are all done. We usually have light snacks and champagne at the beginning, but we keep the social hour to a set time – then we get started!
Document What Unfolds
One person should be in charge of writing measurable goals, actions, thoughts, contributions and results with dates set for each one. The scribe will e-mail the notes after each meeting so that everybody can keep up-to-date. Add a reading list of books and links to articles that may be helpful to the group on your Google Sheet. Books on time management, sales, marketing and meditation are on our list and we do book swaps from time to time.
Set check in times to stay on track. Between sessions, be in touch with your buddy a few times to make sure intentions are being met. Keep notes on a Google Docs that you can all update in real time when you have a success or want to share something.
And Finally…Have Fun
The last piece of advice I’ll give is- This process should be fun as it moves you forward. Ladies Social is something we all look forward to every month, and I am delighted to encourage you to start one today!