One of the best business investments I made in 2016 wasn’t actually a monetary one. It was an investment in time. But time really well spent! I’m talking about my mastermind group!
This was the first time I was ever a part of an organized group with the intention of building each other up in a business sense, and I can tell you now it has been pivotal in the growth of my brand. So much so that I want to tell you how we did it so you can create one of your own!
How our Mastermind Group got started
It all started in June of 2016. I am a member of the popular Facebook group run by Heather Crabtree for women entrepreneurs, Savvy Business Owners, and last June an industry peer and friend, Lauren Grove, put up a post about her need for someone to connect with for accountability and bouncing ideas off each other. I loved the idea! So I commented on her post saying I felt a similar need and would love to form a mini mastermind together, even though I had no idea what that was like.
Before we officially began, it was clear that Lauren and I were on the same page about one key thing: If we formed a mastermind group and invited others in, we wanted to ensure they were on a similar business “level” as ourselves. The point wasn’t to be exclusive because you know we love all the people, but we didn’t want it to become a mentorship program. The entire goal of forming a group was to be for the benefit of everyone and there is a difference between someone who has been in business for 1 year and still in a growth phase versus someone who has been in business longer and is in a profit mindset.
After deciding what would qualify someone to be apart of the group, Lauren and I had our very first call in July. I was actually on vacation! Ha! But I was really excited about this idea and about connecting with Lauren. We talked about our struggles in our businesses and immediately started giving each other ideas on how to rectify what was going on, and we made action steps for what to do before our call. When we hung up, I had a renewed sense of passion for what could be and knew we were onto something here.
The Duo Became a Mastermind Group
Fast forward to August and a road trip and our duo would become a trio. Lauren and I were both speakers at Cultivate Retreat and driving up to North Carolina from Florida. Another speaker and friend for the event, Laura Foote, was heading in from Tampa, so we decided to make a carpool of it and make the trek altogether. And we talked all 7 hours of that drive! Like real deep 30,000 foot talking (the kind Laura is known for!). Lauren and I pretty much didn’t give Laura a choice, she was added to the mastermind! 😉
Soon after that Laura told us about a super smart gal she really enjoyed connecting with, Lauren Carnes, and encouraged that we bring her into the mix. We did and she is amazing! Lauren C. is like the missing half of my brain. She sees things in a way that I can’t and it truly challenges me to analyze situations further before reacting.
With four ladies in the mix, we knew we needed a little more organization than just setting a call time and hoping for the best. (Because we could talk for four hours straight!) Remember, the goal of this entire thing was to establish connection for accountability, ideation, and execution for our businesses. Lauren G. told us about a previous mastermind group she had been apart of and how they actually had a timed space for each member to talk and then a timed space for the other members to encourage, help, and work through whatever was going on for that specific gal. Sort of like a hot seat with a clock.
Creating Structure for the Mastermind Group
It seemed like a good idea to us, so we created a structure for our calls around that idea. We would give each friend 10 minutes to share and then have about 10 minutes for the group to speak into her thoughts. And since 10 minutes is really not that long to talk through all the biz things one may be going through, we set up a Mastermind Slack channel so we could pop in thoughts and updates during the week as a sort of prep for our focused call together.
The structure worked and we began a bi-weekly schedule of calls that quickly became my favorite work day!
Sometime later another industry friend we all followed on social media, Christina Scalera, put out a post on Instagram about her desire to be in a mastermind group. I remember a call the four of us were on where we all talked about how Christina would be an amazing addition to our group and discussed how we could convince her to join us. Christina was newer to the creative industry, but we all knew she was a force to be reckoned with! I sent her an email basically begging her to be apart of our group and she said yes! #fangirlmoment
Our group felt complete!
Over the past year we have certainly all helped each other in big ways for the benefit of our businesses, but what I love even more is that we are just real life friends. We know each other’s stories and care about everyone’s personal lives alongside our business bubbles. Our mastermind has been a catalyst for action and growth in my business and a home for sweet friendship outside the digital walls of MMC.
5 Tips to Help You Get Started with a Mastermind Group
If you asked me how to grow your business, I would tell you over any course or other type of investment you can make for your business to first get plugged into a group of like-minded and similar level industry peers and start pouring into each other. To ensure that it benefits the entire group, use this checklist to build it well:
- Define the goal of the group. Is it for accountability and ideation? Make that known!
- Define qualifications for who can join. Think number of years in business, production levels, brand awareness, experience and etc. You aren’t being mean by setting parameters here!
- Brainstorm some industry peers you think would be a great fit. Invite them! They may not have anything like a mastermind in their business!
- Create a structure for your calls. How long will each member have to share? How long will the group have to help him or her? You don’t have to be super strict about it (unless you are all super Type A and like that sorta thing ha!), but some structure will help you not go for hours so you can actually act on what is shared and get work done!
- Set up a space for in-between call communication. We use Slack and it has a phone app. This is great for when we have quick ideas or need someone to look at a design mock-up or prep the group with the full story of what we need help with before our call. And it is just fun 😉
I hope that is helpful to get you started! Here’s to good growth and good friends!
Are you a Mama who is looking for a Mastermind Group? I’ve got a little something (read full experience!) coming in 2018 just for you! Get on the waitlist by signing up here!