I just returned from another seminar in New York City given by Peter Shankman the founder of HARO or Help a Reporter Out. His seminar, entitled Shankminds, is a day long mastermind group which brings together entrepreneurs, from a variety of backgrounds, who listen to the most pressing problems that are presented by each participant and then provide their suggestions on how you can move to the next level in your business. The process is quite interesting and is very productive and allows you to view what is sometimes obvious to others but somehow escapes your critical eye. So what was the big take away from this event for me?
Each and every day we come into contact with people that can provide us with tremendous insight. We meet people with various types and levels of expertise, educational backgrounds, experience, creativity and the ability to help out those around them. I was fortunate enough to meet a very entrepreneurial branding expert who was an amazing font of information. I was able to discuss a number of my business development issues with her and she immediately provided me with some very insightful, helpful and clever branding and marketing strategies. How many people are there around you that could provide you with the same type of assistance? How many people do you know that could benefit from your expertise and experience?
One of my favorite self-help books, Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich talks about the power of the mastermind alliance. The importance of such an amalgamation of like-minded entrepreneurial individuals cannot be sufficiently overstated. If you were to put together such a group of people, and meet on a regular basis, then you could gain the insights, experience and expertise that you might otherwise have to pay tens of thousands of dollars to obtain. So why are you not looking into this very valuable resource that can help you get to that next point in your business growth and development?
A great place to start is to develop a list of people who have the quality and attributes that would make for a great mastermind alliance member. Who are your go to experts? Who are the people on your email lists, customer or client lists, people in your social circles, or those in your community who are held in high regard that you could invite to be a part of a group that could meet on a regular basis either in person or through a teleconference? If you are going to form a mastermind alliance that will meet telephonically then you can make a list of your competitors in different parts of the country who you could connect with and invite to your group who could provide you with the best practices of what they are doing and you could share the same information with them so that both of you could benefit from this information without impacting your local markets.
In order to attract these talented individuals, you need to be in a position to show them what's in it for them. What other individuals will you have in your mastermind alliance that could add value to each new invited participant? How would this be a productive use of that person's time? What is the format of the meeting and how will it be run? You need to develop some type of compelling reason as to why the individuals that you invite would want to become a member. You need to have a limited number of people that can present very valuable information at each meeting so that each participant is able to take away some important tip or technique that they can utilize in their business.
The contacts that you will make, the information that you will receive, the energy that will be shared, and the accountability that will be required of each participant in the group will be invaluable. This will present a regular opportunity for each member of the alliance to review their best practices, what is new and exciting as far as methods, apps, or programs that people are utilizing and requires that each member of the group regularly prepare for these meetings. It provides each member with a group of accountability coaches and forces people to get tasks done that might otherwise fall by the wayside or require additional amounts of time.
I have participated in these groups and have been quite impressed with how much more productive I can be. I'm always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to do business because I want to share this information with my fellow group members. I advise the group what project or task I intend to complete by the next meeting which forces me to make sure that I get this done because members of the group will point out my lack of follow through which only makes me feel like I have not lived up to my responsibilities to the group. Please consider putting together a mastermind alliance because the benefits are tremendous and the energy and contacts that you will take from this are exceptional.