I’m a member of a Mastermind Group that has been operating for close to 2 years.

Collectively we have more than 100 years of business experience, which has led to; 2 shortlisted businesses in the 2016 Bendigo Business Awards, 2 International Stevie Awards, greater success cashflow & client retention/growth, increased opportunities to showcase products/services, plus of course increased sales. We are a dedicated and knowledgeable network of people that can provide great business advice and support to each other.

Our group was created almost by accident. I saw an opportunity to continue networking with some well-respected and like-minded business owners I had grown to know, like and trust. Gradually our group evolved to include a variety of industries, with the same focus to achieve greater success in our business. We now draw on each other’s varying backgrounds for the benefit of our own businesses.

What is a Mastermind group?

A Mastermind group is a group of like-minded and trusted business owners who have a common goal to support each other in business growth and success. Simply put a group of peers who meet regularly to brainstorm ideas, celebrate success and hold each other accountable.

Why should you be part of a mastermind group?

Mastermind group members should all have the same values, and with a variety of knowledge and experience will bring;

1. Solutions to problems you may be having in your own business

2. A sounding board for you to discuss ideas or concerns.

3. A different perspective on overcoming certain hurdles.

4. Opportunity to hold you accountable for your goals.

5. Expand your professional network.

6. Learn about new business ideas, resources or news that you may not otherwise have been exposed to.

7. Reassurance that you are not on your business journey alone.

Tips for a successful group

1. Choose your group or members carefully. It is key to the groups success that you have some alignment with common values, drive & ambition, commitment, and goals. Plus, you need to like and trust each other. How can you open up about your business circumstances without mutual respect?

2. Set regular meeting times. Because everyone’s time is valuable, ensure your meeting runs to time and each attendee has equal opportunity to talk about their business. When you fail to value each other’s time and instead focus on your own agenda, the collaboration disappears.

3. Follow an agenda.It is important that the time taken away from your day-to-day businesses remains beneficial. Have specific questions/topics for the meeting and share the agenda ahead of time so all members can prepare and participate equally.

4. Have common and agreed guidelines for the group. This could include; inviting new members, setting an agenda, meeting time and location, members choosing to exit the group, membership costs, etc. You may choose to document these decisions, and share them with new members as they join your group.

5. Refrain from negativity. Members attend to be improve their businesses; negative comments change the meeting mood. Take any internal concerns between members offline.

Participating in a Mastermind Group is not necessarily an alternative to mentoring or coaching, but should be seen as a complimentary activity to support your ongoing business success.

If you have your own Mastermind experience or tip to share, I’d love to hear about it, please share it in the comments below.

by Sam Spence – Owner & Principal Executive Assistant, Executive Virtual Associate.

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