As Seen in AMEX Open forum, USA Today, The Charlotte Observer, America's Premier Experts, the Daily

As Seen in AMEX Open forum, USA Today, The Charlotte Observer, America's Premier Experts, the Daily

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Mastermind groups - it's all about accountability and new ideas

Entrepreneurs should belong to a mastermind group

I have been a full-time entrepreneur almost 2 years at this point, and I love what I do.  A large part of my love for this job js that I can set my own schedule, make my own decisions, and strategize at my leisure about my company selling Slip-On Dancers.

While that's nice and all....

I realize the power of having accountability in my business life.   

I'm NOT talking about my own self-imposed accountability to my customers, I'm talking about how I go about holding myself accountable to achieve business objectives I have set forth for company.  Sometimes, it is really easy to just get yourself lost in the weeds of your company, take back tasks you've delegated already, or just let the company coast for a while, taking care of things as they come up instead of trying to be ahead of the curve.

What I needed was a buddy to whom I was accountable for taking business actions

For me this came in the form of group business coaching, through People Biz courtesy of Count Me In and American Express Open.   Everyone assigned to our group declared what their goals were and then, over the next months, we slowly checked off the boxes, doing the hard work to move our respective businesses forward.  The disappointment factor weighs heavily here in that, if you told a friend you WOULD have something done, aren't you more likely to actually make the time to get it done?  Procrastination all of a sudden has a backstop. 

It's nice to have a network, but your business will probably perform better if you have a network to whom you are accountable

There are lots of mastermind groups out there that cost lots of money, but I believe you can get most of the benefits just by reaching out to a few other entrepreneurs who you trust and start one yourself.  

Get help when you need it

In addition to the accountability benefits, you also can get other people's input on problems you're having in your own business.  I like this quote from Henry Ford taken when he realized he could not accurately answer the attorney's questions because of his lack of formal education. 
“If I should really WANT to answer the foolish question you have just asked, or any of the other questions you have been asking me, let me remind you that I have a row of electric push-buttons on my desk, and by pushing the right button, I can summon to my aid men who can answer ANY question I desire to ask concerning the business to which I am devoting most of my efforts. Now, will you kindly tell me, WHY I should clutter up my mind with general knowledge, for the purpose of being able to answer questions, when I have men around me who can supply any knowledge I require?”
In many ways, I feel like my mastermind experience has given me a similar feeling that, should I need to know something I don't, I CAN get the answer pretty quickly by relying on my network and largely my mastermind group.

In short, entrepreneurs are headstrong, like to do their own thing, and feel like they can take on the world, BUT they'll do better if they leverage the psychological power of being accountable to friends for goals they want to achieve.

Do you belong to a mastermind group? What have you gotten out of it?  Leave a note in the comments.

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