Entrepreneurs and independent professionals are increasingly using different types of support groups. They want to develop and push their business forward. However, they do not want to overload their partners or friends with their work issues (any more). The capacity of the people in their surrounding to support can be limited and they might not have a business experience in order to provide qualified advice. Hence meny businessmen prefer to meet people who find themselves in comparable situations. One of these types of groups are mastermind groups.
Participating in a mastermind group is an opportunity to speed up your business, share and get relevant feedback from people who deal with issues like you every day. Often these are topics related to marketing, pricing and time management as well as various other topics based on your industry area, personality, regional specifics, etc.
Everyone has the opportunity to discuss with the group what they are currently dealing with and get support, tips, new perspectives and ideas that they would not otherwise find. Participants can draw on a pool of knowledge, skills, experience, and contacts across the whole group. They can boost their motivation to finish an ongoing project or charge with energy to start a new one.
Especially with freelancers who often work from home office, another great benefit of the mastermind group is that it brings a sense of belonging and the possibility of inspirational social contact.
Group meetings are run on the basis of a guided discussion and brainstorming. The group uses the synergic effect of collective work. Since participants mostly deal with similar topics, they benefit even from those discussions that are not directly related to their case. Meetings are usually moderated by a facilitator who keeps the structure of the discussion, watches over time, and ensures that you get the most out of your participation. The facilitator may be an experienced participant or an external professional.
At the end of each meeting, you have the opportunity to commit to fulfill a concrete task until next time. The extent to which it gets fulfilled by you will be revised at the beginning of the next session. With commitments you make in public like that, it may be easier for you to deal with demanding or delayed tasks. Between meetings, group members often have the opportunity to be in touch through a secret or closed facebook group.
The form of mastermind groups varies. For example, it can be set up so that each member has 15-20 minutes for their affairs, and everyone always comes to the line. Another option is more concentrated attention. For example, participants give an hour to discuss one member’s topic. During the three-hour meeting, 3 members will be on the line. Others have the opportunity to get feedback at another meeting. People are gradually taking turns that way. A specific format of the mastermind group is a one-time meeting, where one person gets attention and everyone else works on his topics.
I personally prefer continuous collaboration in a permanent group. I facilitate meetings of groups that meet regularly and where everyone gives and takes in some form. The prerequisite here is that everyone participates every time and that the meetings are closed. Group closure and meeting confidentiality are important to create a safe environment so that we can talk openly talk about successes and good practices as well as failures and lessons learnt.
Mastermind groups may also vary depending on whether members are recruited from one or more inrustry areas or whether the group is targeted at beginners or advanced entrepreneurs. Their format also depends on whether people meet in a big city, smaller town or online.
To open the first mastermind group for freelancers in Třebíč 2017, I was inspired by the excellent article on mastermind groups by Pavel Ovesný. In the autumn of 2019 I will start a new six-month run of a mastermind group for freelancers and owners of small businesses that will meet once a month in Třebíč. The group will be multidisciplinary. For the time being, we have interested members e.g. from the area of human resources, accounting, copywriting and interior design. The capacity of the group is 7 participants. We still have a few vacancies. For a good balance, we especially welcome men (no, not a dance course :). If you would like to join us and speak at least some Czech, please fill in the contact form.
For English speakers I am considering opening a similar format and timing of a master mind group in Brno. If you’re interested or know of someone who might be, get more info and contact me here. I will provide more information on the group soon.
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