Is a mastermind right for you?
Chances are, your mom wasn’t referring to this quote when she told you as a teenager that if you were hanging out with the “wrong crowd” that you were going to get in trouble. But it’s EXACTLY that principle – both when you were a teenager, and now as an adult!
If you’re surrounding yourself with struggling business owners, it’s like the blind leading the blind, and it’s not terribly likely that any of you are truly going to succeed. However, if you surround yourself with high achieving, hard working, successful entrepreneurs, you’re likely to be more successful yourself.
It’s the principle of “A rising tide lifts all boats.”
So, I want you to pull out a notebook and I want to ask you right now:
- Who are the five people you spend the most time with?
- When you have a problem in your business or your life, who do YOU turn to for guidance and advice?
- Do you have a board of directors or a group of like minded women who are helping you see the next steps in your business when you’re stuck?
If you said no to any of these questions, this article is for you! If you said no to ALL of these questions, I encourage you to RUN, not walk, to the nearest qualified mastermind you can find!
Maybe you’ve been thinking it’s time to join a mastermind. Maybe you’ve looked into a number of masterminds, but just don’t have the $20,000 price tag (many masterminds are $25,000 for one weekend, many are $25,000 for 2-4 events a year).
Maybe you have NO idea what a mastermind is, and are thinking, “Amy, I sure wish you’d cut to the chase and tell me how to get involved in one so I can step off this merry go round of business frustration.”
The concept of a “mastermind” was first introduced by Napoleon Hill in the 1900’s and detailed in his book Think and Grow Rich. Napoleon Hill was commissioned by millionaire Andrew Carnegie to determine some of the key factors in the success of his friends. Carnegie gave Hill unprecedented introductions and access to his millionaire/billionaire friends, such as Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, John D. Rockefeller, and Cornelius Vanderbilt (and quite a few more).
Each of these uber successful men had some “secrets” to their success, but the one thing that came up over and over again what that this group of men had a group of “thinkers” that met regularly and served to offer thoughts, advice, and insight in life and business – much like an informal board of directors!
Hill’s description of a mastermind is:
“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony…no two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind”, also known as, the Mastermind.
Here are five of my top reasons a mastermind can accelerate the success of your business faster than anything else you may do!
Business Mastermind Benefit 1 – Dreaming Bigger:
My first exposure to a “mastermind” was back in 2001 when one of my finance clients, a long time Ford dealer, was describing an event called their “Top 20 meeting” that brought together the top 20 dealership owners quarterly to share ideas, marketing, training, issues, and more! Remember that I just said that Henry Ford was part of a mastermind in the early 1900’s. His leadership and passion for the concept carried through his business, to his franchisees, over 100 years later!
As an employee for the first 15 years of my business, it never seemed like something that I needed in my life. But after leaving corporate in 2010, I realized that if I truly wanted to build a business that supported our big life, I HAD to get some guidance. I was floundering. I had launched two businesses, had a staff of about 25 at the time, and felt like I was BURIED in decisions, with no real guidance of what to do next! I started looking for coaches, advisors, and mentors – anything I could find to get some camaraderie and guidance in my business! I knew that if I didn’t do something quickly, I was going to burn myself out and that the business (and I) was going to fail! Failing was one of my BIGGEST fears! I would literally wake up at 3 am with nightmares and the sweats, afraid that I had destroyed my family’s financial security!
After tons of research, I joined my first “mastermind” in 2011. It was a combination group coaching program and a four time a year single day mastermind event. It was one of the best things I ever did for my business! I immediately had almost an external “board of directors” who were invested in my success!
In our mastermind, we would have the TOUGH conversations, and it was one of the only places in my life and business that I could get BRUTAL honesty. I don’t know about you, but when I first launched my business, I felt like no one understood me. No one in my family had ever run a business. My friends were either moms or employees. And as much as my husband wanted to help me, he was just too close to give me advice that I appreciated (even if it was great advice)!
The first meeting we had in my mastermind, it became that the direction of my business was ALL WRONG! I was involved in a licensing company that wanted to franchise, and I was on a fast moving train toward being part of a franchise – something that was completely against everything I stood for!
A year later, because of my mastermind, the licensing agreement had been rescinded, and I was on the path of creating my own brand, my own vision, and my own legacy!
I don’t know that I would have had the foresight to see this path without my mastermind group. And I feel pretty confident that I wouldn’t have had the courage to completely blow up my business as I knew it to build something so much bigger! It is the single biggest impact on my business – all because of my amazing group of ladies that helped me dream bigger, see more, and take action!
Business Mastermind Benefit 2 – Fresh Perspective:
About a year later, on a Saturday afternoon, we were sitting in La Valencia Hotel in La Jolla, California, having one of our all day mastermind meetings. Most of us had been together for about a year, and we had a few new women join our group.
One of our brand new members had been part of a family business for years, and it was obvious that the family business was no longer serving her long term goals.
We had never met her before. It was PAINFUL to tell a brand new friend that a long term business relationship with her family wasn’t good for her! Because of our conversations, she made a HUGE transition in her life – one that her husband had been encouraging for years!
She left the family business and built her own business and her own brand. She has been WILDLY successful and has more freedom and more business opportunities than would have ever been possible in the family business!
We were vacationing together a few weeks ago (almost 5 years after this initial meeting) and she pointed to that conversation being one of the biggest impacts in her business!
Business Mastermind Benefit 3 – A similar community that supports you!
A couple of years ago, my business was going through huge transitions. I had decided to set off my “golden goose”, the business that was bringing in almost seven figures of revenue each year!
I was doing what most people would consider ludicrous. I was eliminating the established and proven business that had a huge team that did much of the work. Instead I was going all in on my consulting business, which was new, had no income, and no clients.
What my business mastermind girls understood that no one else did at the time was that I was EXHAUSTED! I was running three businesses at the time. I had a staff of about 30. My payroll and rent expenses were INSANE and although I loved the business, I had been running it about six years, and needed a break! The problem with building an almost seven figure business is that it’s a monster that continually needs to be fed – otherwise it’s going to explode!
The business environment, competition, marketing strategies, pricing policies – everything was changing! In order to go to the next level, or even just continue on the current path, the business was going to need much more than I had the energy to give.
On our calls, I would sit with these ladies, and I would describe the feelings of stress, frustration, lack of sleep, and worry! They knew that I was one bad piece of news away from a full nervous break down! They were the ones that were providing the clarity and problem solving support when I was just TOO tired and stressed to see it!
Today, I’m running a six figure consulting business that mostly allows me to work 4 days a week. I took almost a month off at the holidays to spend them with my family! This was NOT something I could do when I was running three different businesses! Although I was using my gross income as a scorecard for my success, I wasn’t doing anything or anyone (most of all me) justice in trying to juggle so much! But I needed people that would help me with that clarity!
Business Mastermind Benefit 4 – Building Your Network
If you haven’t noticed already, my mastermind groups have been some of my absolute biggest supporters of my business and change! But in addition to the advice, support, and guidance – an informal board of directors is a huge benefit for almost any business owner.
But one of the other HUGE benefits that comes from a close knit mastermind group is that you become the ADVOCATES for your friends’ businesses! When I launched my book, I launched it to Amazon best selling status – BECAUSE of the support from my mastermind girls promoting it for me.
Every time we launch new programs and services, our mastermind women are the first people we reach out to for promotional support!
Also, some of my most valued business relationships have been introductions from my mastermind partners. When you truly take an interest in the success of your community, it is almost second nature to make introductions and referrals.
Recently, I was looking to up my LinkedIn game. One of my current mastermind relationships made the necessary introductions to get me the support and resources I needed to begin this process!
One of my business coaches, Todd Herman, says that “Business moves at the speed of relationships.” A mastermind will help you build those relationships that will MOST help you grow your business – quickly!
I met another very cherished friend from my mastermind experience. Although our businesses were very different, we each had a number of significant similarities in our businesses… one of which was we each had retail like locations. Another was that we each had a fairly large staff.
On our calls, and in our quarterly meetings, we often found that we were experiencing similar situations in our business. We each felt like our staff costs
Business Mastermind Benefit 5- Accountability
My mastermind has created accountability for me in so many examples that I can’t even begin to describe them all. But I’m going to start with just two PRIME examples of how my mastermind group provided the accountability I needed to accomplish some BIG things in my business!
First, when I started my book, “The Great Escape”, I started strong. I wrote about 50% of the book within just a couple of months. But then it sat, unfinished, with very little effort or time for almost a year! I still really wanted to finish the book – but I just was struggling with making it a priority!
During one of our mastermind calls, they called me out on my lack of progress! They knew this wasn’t like me. But because I was stuck, I was apparently choosing to stay stuck!
With a little bit of tough love, they got me to commit to FINISHING the rest of the first draft of the book in less than 4 weeks! Every single week I was receiving emails and phone calls asking me how things were going. And in less than 4 weeks, the book was done, and sent to the editor! If it had not been for that accountability, I may never have finished my book – but I KNOW I wouldn’t have finished it in four weeks!
In addition to the accountability to get something done, by having a community that follows the progress of your business and comes together with the express purpose of helping you – the longer you are together in your mastermind experience, the more context and history there is to actually help each other see the blocks and action steps!
One time I had an issue with staffing my fitness studios. By that time, I had one person who had been masterminding with me for almost four years! One afternoon as we were sitting in a suite in Scottsdale with a glass of wine, she looked me in the eye and said to me, “Amy you’ve been having this same type of challenge for almost two years now. This is no longer an issue with your staff. This is an issue with YOU!”
OUCH!!!! It was PAINFUL to hear that, and it was PAINFUL to try to accept that. But when you have people that love you, care about you and your business, and have seen the challenges and progress (or lack thereof), they can help you see what you may have missed on your own!
That one piece of advice caused me to completely overhaul my staff, and do something scary! I eliminated most of my part time staff and brought on more full time support – including a full time manager. It increased my staffing costs by about $15,000 per year, which was SCARY!
However, making that change brought more stability to the team, more stability to the staff, more stability to the clients, and more stability to the sales process. That ONE change increased sales by about $80,000 per year over the next three years!
This one piece of tough love actually ended up saving me a TON of headaches – and brought in about another $65,000 per year of NET income!
But the biggest thing about my mastermind experience is that of just my initial group of about eight women, two of them are still two of my VERY best friends seven years later! These are the women that I travel all across the country to spend time with and share ideas with. And seven years later, they are STILL the women that I pick up the phone and call when I’m struggling with a challenge in my business!
If you’re thinking that you might want to participate in our Women Business Accelerator Mastermind – join our waiting list! We will ask you a few questions about your business so we can pair you with the RIGHT people!
Since launching my business in 2010, I have participated in a mastermind for five different years, and I have participated in quarterly Accelerator programs for two years! I can honestly say that these groups have single handedly been the absolute biggest drivers of all growth in my business…. If you need this type of growth and are ready to commit to a group of business owners that will help you grow your business by leaps and bounds (and provide the support you know you need in your business and life) – apply now!