Why business leaders should join Mastermind

01 February 2019 | Columns

Anne Sugar

At the New Year, many business owners pause to examine the vast array of opportunities to push their businesses forward.

Many gravitate towards joining a loosely organised coterie of like-minded individuals with the same goal.

However, many times, even with the best intentions, meetings start to become sparse and non-existent. Then as a result, there is incredible frustration, and goals and activities skid to a halt.

After going through many of these same frustrations, last year I found a consistent means of moving my business forward with the side benefit of building relationships with other interesting leaders. I joined the Trajectory Mastermind Group.

Mastermind is peer-based groups organised to help solve each other's business issues. After some research, I got involved with Trajectory Mastermind, organised by Dorie Clark, author of such books as Stand Out and Entrepreneurial You.

Why join a Mastermind group

There are many benefits to joining a formalised Mastermind group. Research studies indicate a group can help develop and operationalise ideas in a quicker fashion than working alone.

More importantly, a Mastermind group can be a setting where leaders can be challenged and feel uncomfortable in a low-risk environment which allows for the breakthrough of ideas. For example, I came to realise with the group's help that my topic for my TEDx proposal wasn't the right first story for my brand. Now I am considering other topics and will revisit giving a TEDx talk at the end of the year.

Opportunities gained

From my perspective, there is an abundance of opportunities gained by joining a Mastermind group. For example, I met many business owners and leaders that I wouldn't have been able to access otherwise. I met an author from Denmark, an owner of a storytelling company, a founder of a brand consultancy and other like-minded executive coaches.

With this diverse group of team members, there is a greater opportunity for debate and a methodical means for pivoting. In our group, debate and learning was formalised each month with a specific challenge and a call with a designated team member. For example, I had the opportunity to hash out my calendar of topics to write about for 2019 with a fellow Mastermind participant.

Selection process

Choosing a mastermind group, of course, is a personal decision. In my experience there are some guidelines for selection. First, when investigating a potential group to join, think about the type and profile of the leaders involved. Members should fit a similar profile in terms of where they are in the trajectory of their business or income. For example, if you have been in business for 20 years, working with a group that is just starting out will not be a good fit. Then it is time to have a conversation with a Mastermind leader. I looked for a leader that was like-minded and had solved many of the issues in line with my goals.

Another point to consider is: What are the activities and events that are planned out for the year. In my selection process, I looked for means to strategise about revenue-generating activities, solutions for my writing process and the opportunity for lasting relationships.

Finally, I wanted to work with leaders who are like-minded, had similar company issues and opportunities that we could jointly work on.

There are many ways to develop yourself professionally and create a strategic plan for your business. Personally, I have found that joining a Mastermind group is one of the best ways to create that opportunity in an organised and systematic fashion. -www.inc.com

*Anne Sugar is an executive coach and speaker.

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