The Most Sacred Hour of My Business Week

It’s early Wednesday morning as I write this. I’m starting to feel like someone has pressed fast forward on the last few months, because it seems like every time I look up, another week has gone and I’m still in the thick of it.

But I’m stoked. I just got back from the raddest SUPKids trip to Italy and I have a long stretch at home to enjoy the summer (well, 6 weeks, which is pretty long for me !). My workload has been crazy, to say the least, but I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m super grateful for the journey that my 2 businesses are taking me on.

But one thing has been particularly interesting recently. Recognising that when your workload grows substantially, you have to choose what to compromise on. I know, I know, we’re supposed to be able to do it all right ? We’re supposed to be able to do the work, stay fit, have fun & take time out for ourselves. Ba ha ha ha…. Yeah right, maybe in Disneyland, but right here right now ? I’m learning to strip it all back and focus on what’s most important.

And I’ve realised that actually, it’s pretty amazing what happens when you take it back to basics. I’ve got to admit and say I went a little too far (ha ha literally working, eating, sleeping…) and that didn’t go so well for me, but I’ve been able to plug in some good stuff (time in the ocean, much-needed hang outs with friends & investing time & energy into nutrition) and recognise the impact those small tweaks have had on my health & happiness.

But there’s one thing that I never gave up. One business related item that never got taken off my list. And I figured you might be interested to know what it is.

Every Wednesday morning, at 8am, I have a call with my mastermind buddy, Lucy. What’s a mastermind buddy ? Well, for me at least, it’s someone you connect with on a regular basis to talk business.

The concept of mastermind groups came from a guy called Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. He wrote about the mastermind principle as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

And for me, the introduction of this call into my weekly routine has been one of the biggest game-changers for my business. Lucy and I have walked through some pretty big stuff together. Business launches. Business fails. Hiring & firing. Negotiating big deals. Learning to say yes. Learning to say no. Big picture strategy stuff. Day to day decisions that have the potential to make or break you.

This one hour a week has become sacred for us both.

And if you could make one decision today that would change your entrepreneurial path forever, then starting a mastermind might just be the answer.

So I figured I’d share a few thoughts with you:

Finding the right person

You’ve got to find the right fit. That might mean you need to kiss a few frogs before you find the right person. Because let’s be honest here, you need to trust this person 110%. You need to know that this person has your back and that you have theirs. You need to be able to have the heavy conversations as easily as the light ones. You may not agree on everything, but finding someone with similar values helps. And if you can, try finding someone who is in a similar place to you in regards to building their business — or at least, not someone a million miles from where you are (by this I mean, don’t mastermind with a complete newbie if you’re running a growing business that has been established for 5 years, and likewise, don’t ask someone who is light years ahead of you to be your mastermind buddy). The relationship needs to be mutually beneficial if it’s going to last. Oh and if possible, do it with someone who does something different to you, to get a fresh perspective on things.

Commit to it 100%.

Lucy and I have our weekly call pretty much no matter what…. haha I’ve done them from crowded airport lounges, I’ve done them when my personal life was falling apart, I’ve done them at 5am in the morning on the other side of the planet…. we both recognise the impact it has had on our businesses so we make it a priority. Pick a day and a time and stick to it. Decide whether it will be in person or via Skype/phone. For us, it had to be Skype and it had to be early morning, and if for some reason, it just can’t happen, we immediately make a plan to reschedule within the next few days.

Group or buddy ?

The traditional mastermind concept is actually focused on pulling together a group of people, not just one. Personally, I think having a mastermind buddy works better than a group — only because you develop a real connection and become each other’s business besties. Plus on an hour long call, you both get plenty of time to talk through your stuff as opposed to just getting a few minutes in a big group. Try both out and see what feels like a good fit for you.

Agenda or free flow ?

Again, this is an important decision to make. Lucy and I started off with a set agenda :

1. Hello
2. Check in on previous goals/projects that were discussed
3. One thing that was currently working really well in our business
4. One thing we need help on, are struggling with or want to brainstorm on
5. One resource, such as a blog, podcast, service, product that we believe others the other person would appreciate knowing about
6. Set any goals/deadlines for accountability

But after a year or so, we dropped it, only because we have a good flow and don’t need it anymore, but I definitely recommend it to anyone starting out. Our calls are an hour long, and these days we find a really natural way of splitting that time between us. It definitely took a bit of time to get that flow, and anytime we feel like we need a bit more structure, we can use the agenda to get back on track.

Keep it professional

When you are sharing the in’s and out’s of your business on a weekly basis, it doesn’t take long for a pretty epic friendship to form. Lucy and I had worked together previously and we were already good friends, but the bond that we have formed since masterminding together is pretty damned special. But here’s the thing : Even though we’re super good friends, we don’t talk about personal stuff on the call. At times, we’ve even jumped off the call and called each other back later in the day to talk about personal stuff, to make sure that our mastermind calls stay on track.

Have a wild card up your sleeve

We’ve also got an emergency plan haha ! By that I mean, that if the shit has hit the fan for either of us work wise, then we can ping the other and throw an extra call in to help talk stuff out. There have been times when one of us has realllllly needed this. It doesn’t happen that often, but holy smokes, when it does, the knowledge that you have someone in your corner, ready to talk stuff through is worth its weight in gold.

Yikes, that ended up being a pretty long one post, but hopefully, one that will be useful to you ! If you have any other questions about masterminds, ping me an email or hit reply to this post and let me know ! Oh, and if you are unsure as to whether starting a mastermind will be a worthwhile investment of your time, I say Go ! Find your people… I promise it will blow your mind.