When it comes to building a business, most entrepreneurs focus on tasks related to starting and scaling their businesses. The endless to-do lists, late nights researching “the” answers in various Facebook groups and on Google, and going through the periods of trial and error marketing, networking, seeing clients, and building your practice’s systems...they're all part of the journey. Oftentimes, self-care is falls to the wayside, leaving you running on fumes or, worse, on empty. The feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing is so bright that it blinds you, and you feel alone in your journey, despite the thousands of other practice owners at your fingertips on social media.
What you’re missing, aside from a lack of self-care, is something that so many entrepreneurs ignore: their support people. Now, I don’t mean support people in the regular sense, like family, friends, or other practice owners you know in your city that you see at networking events or on social media. Instead, I’m talking about a core group of people that know you and are on a similar journey (similar in their place along their own business building journey, not necessarily in a similar business). Self-help author Napoleon Hill coined the term “mastermind group,” and it’s gained popularity in the B2B realm. For many, masterminds that are built by other business owners can be disorganized and expensive, and many of them simply do not provide you with enough time to actually process your business. Others are unequipped to provide you with exactly what you need for success.
So, start your own mastermind.
Masterminds can be highly effective, not only in business building but, more importantly, in reducing loneliness and the feeling of going at entrepreneurship alone. Masterminds allow you to learn, grow, get support and ideas from other business owners, and gain instant access to a space designed to process the wins and struggles of entrepreneurship with others who have been there before.
Masterminds that you set up yourself can benefit you and the group because:
- They are free to you and them.
- They are led by you and other participating members, so topics can be curated and aligned to your needs.
- The group members can control the duration, schedule, and organization of the mastermind.
Masterminds are limitless. You can organize masterminds locally and in person, or you can organize them digitally and with people from around the globe. You can focus on a niche with business owners from the same business type or keep it general with members of varying business types. The key is to figure out a few things before inviting people:
- Do you want a niche group, i.e. all solo or group practice owners like you?
- Do you want a variety of members, like business owners from various industries? Although, initially, it may seem unhelpful to have other business types involved, business owners of other industries often see things differently and inspire innovative ideas outside of their own industry.
- How long do you want the mastermind to run (e.g. 6 months, a year)? Review and be clear about the term in the event that group members want to continue.
- How often and when do you want the mastermind to meet? Weekly? Twice per month? Monthly?
- Will the meetings be in-person or digital?
When you figure these things out, it’ll guide your decisions on where to find other people to join. Start asking on social media. Get into Facebook groups and post on your Facebook page. Email the business contacts you have. Ask if there’s anyone looking to join you in a peer-led mastermind group to get support. There are many people seeking support and a sense of community within the business world, and you can help to ensure that everyone wins.
Once you establish a group and have a handful of group members, consider these things as a group:
- How do you want the meetings to be organized? Some do 60-minute sessions with 15 minutes are for check-in, a hot seat of 30 minutes, and another 15 minutes of goal setting. Others do 90-minute sessions with 20 minutes per person for a personalized hot seat. There are a lot of options available!
- What are the group rules? Even among friends, you’ll want group rules. What happens if someone has been missing meetings chronically? What if someone wants to stop? Do you invite someone new mid-mastermind or continue?
Masterminds can rejuvenate you when you feel stagnant in your business. It can revitalize your motivation, and it can reduce your burnout. So, go find your group!* The content of this post is intended to serve as general advice and information. It is not to be taken as legal advice and may not account for all rules and regulations in every jurisdiction. For legal advice, please contact an attorney.