MastermindSome years ago, I was part of a mastermind. It disbanded when the leader moved across the country and we felt, at that time, that trying to continue our connection with the tools available at the time, would be very difficult. And to be honest, as much as I enjoyed it, I didn’t really see it as the incredible tool for personal and professional growth that I do now, and so therefore was not motivated to find a way to keep us together.

That has changed. I recently attended a conference on podcasting in Las Vegas and while there, caught up with a handful of friends from high school. While several of us had been in contact with each other via social media, phone calls and the very occasional letter, we hadn’t see each other in person in many years.
I did not realize how dry my well was until it was filled by friends and fellow podcasters on a similar quest as I.

I had been missing the connection I lacked for several years but was consciously unaware of it. Now that I was conscious, I needed to make a change.
How many of us are on a personal adventure to create something and share it with the world? So often, when we have our heads down and our hands in the dirt, we are in our own little heaven. We are consumed by our joy in our activity.

But we eventually lift our heads and come up for a break and find ourselves alone. As every entrepreneur knows, the creation of our project is often easy for us. It is a burden of love. It is the rest of the business that seems to create a weight on us. Unfortunately, that is why so many entrepreneurs don’t achieve success in various projects; because they don’t really want or know how to do anything but the creation of the project.

Raising my hand.

I needed focus. I needed to determine what my overall goal was and what the steps to achieving it would be. I needed somebody I respected to hear my ideas, which I thought were brilliant, and tell me if they really were. I needed somebody that I respected to ask me if I did what I said I was going to do, and if not, why not.
I can get all that from hiring a coach, but hiring a coach doesn’t fill my other need… to be useful. To help somebody else and offer my own ideas and make suggestions. I was starving to feel a part of something. I was starving for that connection.

At the Vegas conference,  I heard about Masterminds again and in the back of my head I made a note to think about that. Over the next few days I was so inundated with the word; in emails, timelines and feeds, that I finally looked up at the ceiling and said, “OK! I get it!”

A couple days of reading and listening to whatever I could on Masterminds and I had written out my bylaws for the group I was forming and invited my first two members.
This is what I’m expecting from my mastermind, and what you can expect from yours;

  • We have something in common and the reason for the group.
  • We each have something different we bring to the proverbial/virtual table.
  • We are 100% committed to our group and make it a priority, scheduling other priorities around it.
  • We keep the details of our group and our meetings in the strictest of confidences.

This is just a few expectations. This particular mastermind is formed in order to help its individual members grow professionally. I know of many masterminds with purposes very different, including; health and weight loss, grief support, and parenting.

If you are not already involved in a mastermind, I  encourage you to find or create one. There is a ton of information out there now. You can write the by-laws that suit your needs and hand pick the members that you will click with and who also would likely click with each other.

If you find yourself alone in your work and projects and often are talking to the dog about whether you should put an effort into a Twitter post or LinkedIn article, you really might want to give some serious thought to a mastermind.

If you are already in a mastermind and have any great stories or tips to share, please do.

I am a humorous and inspirational speaker and writer, but Storytelling is my love. I am an open-networker and invite you to connect. Please feel free to join the conversation on Facebook and follow me on Twitter @Dachia.

Photo by Ambro. http://www.freedigitalphotos.net