If you are the parent of a toddler or know someone who is, then you’ve likely experienced those moments in life where your child (or children) are throwing a fit over literally nothing or will not obey even though you’re trying to get them to do something they want to do.
It can be insanely frustrating.
To be honest, I experience these small moments about 2-3 times per day with our three year old and 2 year old. More times than I would like to admit, I lose my cool. I yell. I send them to a time out. I dole out punishment based on how mad I am, not how grievous the offense is.
But I’m slowly getting better at this.
You see, my wife and I are part of a community at our church of other parents. We meet weekly and encourage one another and talk about our wins and failures. We study materials that make us better parents, adults and general people. We hold each other accountable. It’s been incredibly rewarding and helpful for us to grow as parents and as people.
But when it comes to business, many of us assume we have to go it alone and continue to jump from fire to fire, idea to idea and failure to failure.
For the longest time, I assumed that I needed to play with my cards held tightly. That I shouldn’t let others see my insecurities. That everyone else was competition. But I was wrong.
I kept hearing about mastermind groups from people that I respected. People who’s businesses were flourishing and had the respect of their teams and customers. How being in a mastermind had changed how they did business.
So I reached out to several people and asked them if they would like to be a part of a mastermind group with me. We’d hold each other accountable, provide help and answers to questions we had faced before and, most of all, learn from each other. Thankfully, they said yes. In fact, they brought friends. Soon, we were meeting every other week and things started to happen.
Mastermind groups are great accountability
The first thing we started to do was explain where we were in our businesses. We all have things we’re working on and need to be held accountable for. Sometimes, we just don’t feel like writing that 1000 lines of code to finish a feature on an application or client site. Or maybe we’ve been slacking on writing blog posts. Or doing our bookkeeping. Or literally anything. Those are the times that a mastermind can reach in and say, “Get off your butt and get working!” We all need that sometimes.
Mastermind groups are great because you self report what you want to get done between one meeting and the next. Then they hold you accountable throughout the gap between meetings and at the meeting. If you continually don’t meet your goals, there are consequences. Several groups I’ve spoken with said they even kick members out for repeated failures as this demonstrates a lack of investment in the group.
Personally, I’ve noticed a huge increase in the amount I get done with my own business each week because I know my group members are going to be asking about tasks. It’s motivation. It’s helped me to keep moving in building my business when I could have easily stalled out like I have done in the past.
Mastermind groups let you be your real self
Showing others your real self is the only way to begin to fix your real problems.
One of the biggest challenges I saw in starting our group was being real. Both my ability to be real and believing that my group mates were being truly real with themselves and us. But as we’ve gotten to know one another, it’s become obvious that each person is in the group to grow, to succeed, and to be honest about what they are facing, struggling with and succeeding in. It’s allowed me the freedom to let them see the real me and be open where I’m struggling. Showing others your real self is the only way to begin to fix your real problems. Having someone in the business world that I can do that with has been a huge burden lifted and has allowed me to grow as a business owner and leader.
Mastermind groups can kick your butt when needed
While we haven’t had to do this too much, I have no doubt that if I was repeatedly failing to meet my deadlines and not showing up to meetings, my mastermind group would politely, but forcefully, tell me to shape up. Part of being in a group is being fully invested and holding each other to the highest standards. Everyone gets sick, has family emergencies, and life happen sometimes. But the expectation is that you show up to all meetings, do what you tell the group you’re going to do, and be a person of integrity. When you don’t do that, you should expect someone else of integrity that cares about you and your business to help you own it and correct it.
Mastermind groups can prevent you from needing to fail
While no group or anything else can prevent you from making mistakes all the time, I’ve been so thankful to my group for answering questions and asking them in ways that have prevented me from making mistakes in my business. I’ve asked ethics questions, marketing questions and even coding questions and gotten great advice every time.
Failing can be an important part of the growth process. Just look at Slack. That came about due to the failure of a gaming messaging platform. But failure and mistakes can also be expensive. Learning to miss them from others wisdom can be the difference between a thriving business and a financial failure or collapse. So don’t be afraid to learn from failure, but also be ready to ask questions and even provide wisdom from your own experiences, both wins and fails.
Mastermind groups are an awesome way to meet people completely different than you
Our group has people who are just starting out. We also have someone who has been in business in many different industries and roles for years. We even have a co-owner in a New York start up. It’s a diverse group. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Learning from people in different industries, platforms, locations and stages of life has been awesome. But this doesn’t mean you can’t gather with a group of people who are all in the same stages. Just be sure to bring in people occasionally to make sure you aren’t falling prey to group think. Even with our diverse group, I’ve been thinking about proposing that we bring in guests every few months to ask questions of and receive external wisdom from.
Meeting several new friends and colleagues through my mastermind has been awesome. As I get to know these people even more, I can’t wait to see how they and their business grow and succeed. We’re hopefully in it for the long haul and we’d love to hear how mastermind groups are helping you succeed.
If you’re looking for a group or have a group that is looking to add more people, I’d love to help you connect with others looking for the same. Simply comment below or drop me an email.