Running your own business is one of the most amazing, feel-good, high-power things on the planet…
… And coincidentally, one of the most isolating ways to work ever…
When you’re working for yourself (and mainly by yourself) — whether you’re solo, or have a team that’s scattered around the world — the work you do adds up to many, many lonely days.
And when you’re isolated? Aside from the fact you may realise you’ve been wearing the same yoga pants for a week at a time, overwhelm sets in — particularly when you start feeling like you’re the only one that’s REALLY invested in your business or invested in your vision.
Then, the weight of the responsibility of all of the decision making, all the strategy setting, and all the stress of a situation starts collapsing in on you.
It can turn “living the dream” into “stuck in the quicksand!”
And when that happens? Things can get super overwhelming, super quickly – and then exhaustion and anxiety set in.
Can you relate? I’ve definitely been there myself. More than once.
And here’s the thing, lady: While we all should be reaching out for help at this point…. I understand if you may not want to.
You see, I used to think that wanting to connect with and lean on others for whatever reason (to brainstorm ideas, commiserate about how hard the road is, have someone tell me they believe in me, etc) was a sign that I wasn’t cut out for being in business.
I assumed needing help must mean that I was a bad business owner and wasn’t cut out for being an entrepreneur. So many people seemed to be doing just fine on their own! Was I stupid? Too needy? Ugh.
Spoiler alert: Nope, I wasn’t stupid, needy, or not cut out for business. In fact, these days I’m clear that it’s human nature to yearn for community and AVOID total isolation.
As time went on and I eventually worked up the courage to reach out, I discovered: A like-minded or tight-knit community is priceless on this journey.
…. And that’s exactly why, when I joined my first mastermind, my business completely transformed.
Today I want to share a bit about what makes masterminds absolutely fantastic for business owners – and why, if you haven’t yet, you may want to consider joining one yourself.
But first! Let’s define what a mastermind is:
A mastermind is a group of people that get together to help each other achieve their goals. Masterminds can be focused on a huge range of topics; though in the circles I move masterminds are often about helping members achieve their business goals.
There are so many different ways a mastermind works. Some are paid, some are free, some are a tiny group of people (3-5), and others are larger (into the hundreds!).
But what happens in a mastermind exactly?
A huge range of stuff could be going on in a mastermind on any given day, but here are a few of my favourites:
Brainstorming: Got a launch coming up? A program you’re trying to market? Struggling to close clients? Thinking about pivoting your business? Put it by your mastermind group, and their collective insight and wisdom will be gold as you decide what to tweak and shift.
Sharing resources and opportunities: Reading a great book? Finished a great program or course? Wondering how to go about setting up an affiliate program? Watching a mastermind buddy launch a new product and want to know how they set it up? Masterminds open the doors so you can see behind the scenes into other people’s businesses, and swap priceless tools, insights, and collaborations.
Solving problems: If you’re having trouble with a team member, or struggling to bring a concept to life, or don’t seem to have enough hours in the day to keep up with your social presence, etc? You guessed it: open up about your challenges to your mastermind group and see what comes back — and let them cheer you on as you tackle the solution.
Staying accountable to your goals: Masterminds can be a great forum to declare your intentions and your goals. Things always feel more real when you say them out loud, and sharing them with your mastermind crew is a great way to come up with new ideas and be inspired, and also to celebrate your successes, other people’s successes, and really feel like you’re part of a community.
Getting the love and support you need: When you’re having a really shitty week, or something just hasn’t gone the way you thought it would, or there’s a troll attacking you? It’s great to have people that get it, can empathize, and rush to support you.
In the very best masterminds I’ve been part of, there really is a sense that you’re not alone and that everyone is highly invested in helping each other succeed.
Masterminds are safe, confidential spaces where you can say what you really mean. You can speak freely and openly, and not be worried that your ideas and strategies are going to be stolen, or that if something embarrassing happens or you share an insecurity, it won’t be broadcast.
Here are a few other magical aspects of masterminds that I love:
Masterminds are the absolute best place to connect with people who really get it.
I know your family and friends outside the world of entrepreneurship are fantastic. We love them. They’re super helpful and they want the best for you… but they likely still don’t completely get it.
Most people don’t understand what coaches, creatives and solopreneurs like us do, so creating opportunities to connect with people that are clued in is incredible. When you’re talking with people who understand the ins and outs of the industry, you feel totally supported and understood — and you have a base to run to when the going gets tough (or to celebrate when the going gets awesome!).
Masterminds offer fresh eyes and fresh insights – which is totally game-changing.
When you’re deep in it, it can be hard to get perspective or see all your opportunities. Getting fresh insights from other trusted sources about how your business looks and feels to outsiders can be so illuminating.
Imagine how powerful it would be to get detailed feedback from trusted sources about, for example, your brand, your new sales page, that problem that feels utterly insurmountable to you, your unique strengths etc. If you share an offer that you’re about to release, the way that people in your mastermind group understand the offer and what they think about the value of it is crucially important.
Masterminds plug you into a hub of new ideas.
It’s bloody exhausting and totally stressful, not to mention really limiting, to rely solely on your brain and your experience for all the solutions to all the challenges you’ve been facing in your business. Being your #1 idea person, strategist, and support system can keep you treading water, and slow you down on the path to your goals.
Access to new ideas and opportunities to brainstorm with people changes everything. Having a group of people who are totally invested in helping you, who are sharing generously and without holding back about ideas that they have for you and ways that they would deal with something if they were in your shoes, is invaluable. The stuff, the goals and new ideas that come out of that, are so inspiring, and really light a fire under you like nothing else.
A mastermind group can give you accountability.
When you verbalise or declare what your intention, your goal, your vision is, and put it out there in something like a mastermind group, you invite people to hold you accountable to your goals and your vision.
Even on the days when it’s scary for you, when you don’t feel like doing something, when it feels overwhelming, your mastermind will have your back. It makes it so much easier to take action, to stay motivated, and to feel more of a sense of urgency about progressing in your business.
And finally? A mastermind can give you the social support, and sense of community and connection so many entrepreneurs crave.
I’ve come to the conclusion this year that most of us just aren’t having enough fun. Prioritising fun and happiness is, in fact, critical for our health, well-being and the success of our business.
Yep, research indicates there is a link between how happy we are in general with our success in business… But it seems to me that many of us are missing this powerful ingredient in our businesses!
Instead, many of the coaches, creatives and solopreneurs I talk to are overworking, constantly worrying about their business, working in isolation, and putting their happiness on hold.
Is that you too?
When the mix of personalities and energy is right in your mastermind group, the opportunities for socialising, connecting, playing and creating a sense of community, can change everything.
Think about how much richer your day would feel sending/receiving text messages, quick emails, private messages on social media every day with your business besties: pepping each other up; telling each other that you think they’re doing a great job if you’ve seen an Instagram story; sharing NSFW gifs in your private Facebook group.
This is how being part of the right mastermind group can transform your business and your world.
I hope this post inspires you to think about how you could welcome in more help, caring community, support and fun in 2018. Remember, you don’t have to go it alone!
Now I turn the mic over to you, woman!
Are you a part of a mastermind? Is it something you think you’d be interested in?
Drop your thoughts in the comments below 😉