The Power of a Business Mastermind Group

Mastermind Group

Mastermind groups are a relatively new concept to most business owners. A mastermind or peer advisory group is designed to help people navigate through challenges using the combined intelligence of others. How does it work? A group of smart, goal-oriented people meets on a regular basis to tackle problems and challenges together. These people lean on each other, share advice and connections, and conduct business together when appropriate. What are the benefits of joining such a group?

Challenging Yourself

Do you want your business to grow beyond your wildest dreams? You need to join a peer advisory group; it will challenge you to grow your company to its fullest potential. In day-to-day life, it is very easy to get distracted – when this happens you lose track of your goals and your business suffers. However, a peer advisory group would keep you from straying too far.

Accountability

As a human being, you need to be held accountable for your actions. Otherwise, you will just do what you want regardless of how it affects the business. At the end of each peer
advisory group meeting, you will have objectives and an action plan that you need to work on before the next meeting. The group will hold you to account for everything, because it takes true discipline to achieve anything in life. Being held accountable by your colleagues will help you keep your focus and succeed in your business.

Lasting Connections

The life of a business owner can be quite lonely. However, if you share your aspirations, challenges and dreams with a team of like-minded people, it will be less lonely. As you spend more time with your peers, you will share ideas and develop strong connections that can last a lifetime. Whether you are looking for lifelong friends or not, you will form lasting bonds with some people.

Brainstorming

As a group, you will be able to share your ideas and come up with better ways of dealing with challenges. If you are not sure which direction you want to go next, seek advice from members of the group. You might be surprised by how helpful your new group mates are. Consequently, you should not be reluctant to help your new team members.

Better Decision Making

When you are alone, it is easy to dismiss an idea as silly. However, with the support of a Mastermind Group, you will be able to make decisions easily. You will have your own due-diligence group to boost your confidence when you need to make an important decision.

Feedback

Get feedback on how to solve problems from successful individuals in your field. If you are facing financial challenges or dealing with staff issues, let your group know and ask them for help. Maybe one of the members has dealt with a similar issue and can offer solid advice. Remember that every person in the group has the same goal: to grow his/her business. There is no hidden agenda – you should all work together for the betterment of your businesses.

Support

Are you going through a hard time? Sure, you can discuss your problems with a close friend or family member, but they would not understand. When you are in a peer advisory group, you can discuss your challenges with a group of like-minded individuals who understand. Some of your colleagues might even be in the same boat. Therefore, you will never lack alternative suggestions on how to deal with your problems. Moreover, you will get sound advice that will stop you from making the same mistakes that your mastermind colleagues made in the past.

Expanding Skills

Each person in a peer advisory group has unique skills and connections. Therefore, it is safe to assume that everyone is an expert at something, and as you forge new connections with them, you will pick up new skills. If you all agree to teach each other something new, you will be armed with the necessary skills to make your business succeed. In such groups, individuals tend to raise the bar by challenging one another to implement goals and brainstorm ideas.

Hot Seats

What is a hot seat? The principle behind it is that each person gets a chance to present his/her biggest challenge to the group. In turn, the group will provide a series of solutions and options to follow up on, and the individual in the hot seat leaves with more ideas. If the mastermind group is too large, not everyone gets a chance to take the hot seat. However, the person in the hot seat might be dealing with the same issues as you, so pay attention. This might help you to gain clarity on the challenges you are currently facing.

Helping Others

When you give a person advice and he or she succeeds because of it, you feel a sense of gratification. Furthermore, offering advice to others gives you the perfect opportunity to forge new and lasting connections. When you help people, most of them will want to reciprocate in any way they can. Therefore, you should think of helping others as a way of earning future favors.

New Business Ideas

The generation of new business ideas is the biggest benefit of joining a peer advisory group. You will come across new ideas that are perfect for your business. The idea may not even be related to your business, but it might jump start something in your brain. Just being in the same room with superior brains in the business world should be enough to give you new ideas.

Increased Profits

The objective of a Mastermind Group is to help you to take advantage of opportunities that come your way. Once you start doing so, your profits will soar and your business will become a great success.

Now that you know why you need to be part of a peer advisory group, you should think about joining organizations that run them, including Virginia Council of CEOs, Entrepreneurs Organization, Team Nimbus, C12 Group, Renaissance Executive Forums, Sage Executive Group, and Vistage. The owner of 1-800-Got-Junk, Brian Scudamore, grew his company’s revenues over a five-year period from $201,532 to $8,057,563. He has won many awards since and been featured on CNN, Oprah, and CBS. What was his secret for success? He joined a small group of entrepreneurs. According to him, ‘the value of peer networking turned out to be more than great business advice’. Brian says that his
peer network enabled him to expand his business. Before he joined a Mastermind network, his profits were low. Why don’t you join a Mastermind Group too? There is no losing; you can only win.

7 Networking Tips I Don’t Always Agree With, Explained

Improve Your Networking Skills — Right Now

Networking is everything – it helps your chances of employment, increases your contacts and can help improve your business. Here are some tips and tricks to help improve your networking skills. Read More….

Well, I guess I stretched it a little bit when I said I don’t agree with all 7 of the networking tips.  The reality is I agree with every one of them, I just don’t think they go far enough.

Get off your computer – I don’t believe computers is the place to network.  Networking is about building relationships.  While the computer can be a useful tool, it is not an optimum medium for relationship building.  On the other hand, it is a great tool for research and I think that is important to your networking efforts.  Computers can help you target your networking.

• Figuring out who do you want to meet

• What events give you the best opportunity to meet them

Forget that you’re working – I agree; once you meet the person you came to meet.  Then you want to get to know them and give them a chance to know you. Your objective is to be able to meet with them again and that will have more to do with how they feel about you then it does how they feel about your product/service.

Set goals – If you do your research, a goal of meeting one of two key people can have a significant impact on your business.  That is where the preparation really pays off.

Mind your manners – Keep remembering, we have two ears and one mouth.  If you can listen twice as much as you speak, you will always make a great impression, and you will walk away knowing the person you just met that much better.

Elevator pitches still matter – Now I really don’t know if I strongly agree with this one. I’m from the school of “they don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”  I think in most networking situations, most people are trying so hard to be heard that they usually aren’t listening. So no matter how good your elevator pitch, there’s a good chance it really won’t be heard. Make the most of the situation by being a great listener, learn what they do, what they want/need and how you can help them. That how you can open their door to you the next time.

Play to your weaknesses – the problem isn’t follow-up. The problem is building relationships is more that a 1 step process and most of us don’t have a step 2 and step 3 and so on. There’s nothing to follow up until all the steps have been completed. When you meet someone, during the conversation decide what step 2 is, confirm and schedule it with them, then put that on your calendar. The probability of you taking that step is much greater.

Don’t hang on to business cards – I agree, I agree, I agree.  Stacks of business cards create a false sense of security.  Do something with them or throw them away. If you are targeting your networking, you are not going to come home with that many anyway.

7 Networking Tips I Don’t Always Agree With

This is a great article on Networking from Forbes Magazine.  I would like everyone to read through and take notes.  I don’t agree with all of them and next week I will be adding my 2 cents.

Bill Davis – Team Nimbus of North Carolina

Improve Your Networking Skills — Right Now

Networking is everything – it helps your chances of employment, increases your contacts and can help improve your business. Here are some tips and tricks to help improve your networking skills.

Get off your computer –  feels obvious at this point, but we’ll throw it out there: you can’t effectively network solely from your desk. Yes, email and social media can be a good way to make initial contact, but if you want to really initiate true forward momentum in the relationship, get them in the 3D world as soon as possible. Suggest going to lunch or coffee or accompanying one another to an interesting industry event. However you do it, taking a new professional relationship offline as early as possible is the single best way to set yourself apart from the constant flow of internet noise.

Forget you’re “working” – Whether you’ve just been introduced to someone at an industry event specifically for networking or you struck up a conversation while in line for coffee, once you’re engaged with someone in a professional conversation, allow yourself to become lost in the interaction. Thinking about how this new relationship might develop and become important to you and your business can distract you from the current moment…and being a distracted, dispassionate conversationalist is no way to lock someone into your network. It’s great to be strategic about meeting people, but once the interaction has been initiated, just talk. And listen. You know your business and your industry well enough to let the conversation happen organically. You’re almost assured to have a better time – and make a better, lasting impression – if you do.

Set goals – Don’t focus solely on your big picture goals. It’s important to set smaller, attainable goals that measure the success of each piece of your business, all of which feed the larger overall goals. “Landing two new clients this month” is not a networking goal. Even if that is your end game, set benchmarks relating directly to your networking efforts (like, “I will get 5 business cards at this luncheon”, or “I will set-up 2 coffee dates with new contacts for next week.”) Watch how, when applied to all branches of your business, these mini goals not only fuel your sense of constant accomplishment, but quickly add up to fulfilling those overarching goals.

Mind your manners – Networking might have it’s own additional set of rules and customs, but all of society’s normal, mannerly expectations still apply. Try to listen more than you talk, be thoughtful in your interactions and generous with your time when you can. Being perceived as professionally weak is something to avoid, but trust us – that never happens as a result of having good manners.

Elevator pitches still matter –There will always be a reason to sell what you do in a very short window of time. It will always play in your favor if you maintain the ability to do that in a way that manages to cover who you are, what you do, and why it’s relevant. Try to come off as casual, efficient, and not forced or pushy. Easy, right? We know it’s not, which is why you should practice ahead of time. In a mirror. Repeatedly. And, like a resume, elevator pitches need periodic updating.

Play to your weaknesses – Do you always mean to follow-up with people you meet, but by the time the appropriate follow-up window arrives, you’ve already moved on to something else? Factor this into your day-to-day organization. There are loads of apps and online/mobile tools that can bolster your networking arsenal. For example, if you know you’re prone to having a memory lapse about following up with new contacts, plan ahead. Set an alarm to go off the following week right when you first enter that person’s contact info into your mobile. And speaking of which…

Don’t hang onto business cards – As soon as you leave a networking event or meeting or walk away from a chance encounter with a promising contact, immediately enter their business card info into your mobile device. Nothing sadder than a misplaced business card. Well, perhaps print shops don’t think so.

The Day After the Kick-Off is When The Real Fun Begins

100-Days-to-Abundance-smallYesterday, was a big day. It was the Kick-Off Announcement Day for 100 Days to Abundance. A winning program for small business owners and sales professionals that I am reintroducing to the market.

The announcement went out to almost 2,000 people. The $349.00 program has a great track record of success and during the Kick-Off period I’m offering a whopping discount of $249.00, which means anyone signing up by March 29th will pay the same price as participants in 2008/2009 – Only $100.00. (The promotional code is: Retro100)

That may sound like plenty to fill the program. It is necessary, but it is not sufficient. Or another phase that captures it is “You drive for show and putt for dough (money).”

Here’s what I mean. No matter how valuable or successful 100 Days to Abundance is or has been, it is an intangible. It is an experience. It is not a product, so you cannot touch it and the description will never be exact. So no matter how much flash and discounting is done in the marketing, there is still going to be a pretty good believability gap left. If you own a service business or sell a service, you know what I mean.

So let me tell you what day two (putt for dough) looks like. I call that the KLT day. I fact it goes on until the last day of the program. KLT= Know, Like & Trust. People want to do business with and through people they Know, Like and Trust. Remember the 2,000 people I sent the emails to on Kick-Off day? That’s right. I need people they KLT to tell them about 100 Days to Abundance.

Day two was spend asking previous participants of 100 Days to Abundance to help me by sharing their experience with at least 5 of their friends and associates.(notice I asked people that KLT me.) I know this worked because as I was writing this blog my phone rang, and someone who has received an email from a previous 100 Days participant called to ask me a few questions about the program. They said they’d register right after dinner… And they did!!! Then I sent an email to the key person in a number of small business groups I am associated with and asked them to share it with their members.

The seats in 100 Days to Abundance will be filled by word-of-mouth by the people the participants Know, Like and Trust. Its the most effective client-acquisition tool I’ve found.

How do you close the believability gap for the service you provide your clients?