Mastermind – Your Small Business Secret Weapon with Sarah Deshaw
You likely know this from experience. You’re working hard, running your business, and a fellow business person drops some trendy new lingo, and you make a mental note to look it up later. When you finally find a moment to stop, you can’t remember the word! Then you dig through the latest articles and sign up for the newest webinars to find that word or phrase and gain more information.
For me, it was this way with the word “Mastermind”. It has such a commanding sound, and seems like something good for an entrepreneur, right? So, what exactly is it?
The idea of a mastermind stems from Napoleon Hill’s book, THINK AND GROW RICH.
Hill’s description of a mastermind group goes like this: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
With limited experiential knowledge of masterminds, I asked friend and entrepreneur, Sarah Deshaw, an online educator and mentor to creative entrepreneurs to tell us her firsthand experience.
1. What is a mastermind group?
Sarah spoke; “A Mastermind Group is a group of people who get together to help and be helped in an agreed upon topic area. 3 to 10 is ideal.” Typically, one person is chosen to lead, keeps track of time, and helps set clear actionable goals. “At a recent mastermind I conducted I used this strategy, and all of the members were able to walk away from the event refocused, and with actionable goals set to move their business forward. I’ve found most times when entrepreneurs are stuck, it’s due to a lack of clarity, so having a leader who will ensure everyone walks away with an actionable plan is very important.”
Everyone, including the leader, gets 20 minutes to share their business goals, where they feel stuck, and they can receive open-ended feedback around the table. Sarah explained, “There’s no pressure to share, but another can contribute what they think could help that person. You can think of it like group therapy for small business!”
“It is generally more beneficial to get a group together who are equally yolked”, but she added that perfection isn’t the goal. “It is amazing to see how someone with little experience can bring as much to the table as someone with lots of experience as long as they are confident enough to speak up.”
2. How do you put a mastermind group together?
All it takes to start a Mastermind are people interested in getting and giving help – people who are willing to be open about where they are struggling, and in regards to sharing information and experience to help others break through where they are stuck.
Sarah said, “I had an upcoming trip to Birmingham, and I had a small group of women I met at a business group. I had their email information saved, so I sent out a group email inviting them to meet up and talk shop. The important thing is to keep it uncomplicated, and go ahead and take action. Just as much as you could use community, accountability, actionable steps, and encouragement, so could they!”
3. Why you or your business would benefit from a mastermind group?
Masterminds work on the assumption that everyone has something to offer. Every businessperson has dealt with hundreds or thousands of situations or struggles where they have had to overcome, big or tiny. Masterminds provoke questions and answers based on experience. “Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur coaching through a group mastermind is truly an amazing, brilliant, and inexpensive way to raise the tide for all boats and gain community and accountability, which increases the odds for success”, she added.
“Every time I’ve attended or put a mastermind together, I am reminded that we all have similar struggles as business owners, but it’s so encouraging to my entrepreneur’s heart to see others keep going in spite of their struggles. It’s so easy to assume other people are rock stars or business gurus from social media, but it gets me out of overwhelming paralysis to know we are all in this together.”
Masterminds have provided Sarah with community, support, and actionable steps to take from entrepreneurial sisters who understand, have been there and have had their breakthrough. “I went to a mastermind event in New York City with Melanie Duncan. We all came strangers and left dear friends. How can we not become closely knit when you are talking about intimate topics such as business struggles?”
Sarah Deshaw is an online educator and mentor to creative entrepreneurs.
Click the link and visit Sarah at her cozy home on the web. There, you’ll learn more about her journey to freedom through entrepreneurship. Be sure to get on her e-mail list for resources, coaching availability and course offerings! And, if you’re an instagrammer! Instagram/ Sarah Deshaw