Looking to Accelerate Your Growth? Find Yourself a Mastermind Group.
“You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn
One of the keys to a successful life is surrounding yourself with people who challenge you and help you grow. For most of us, we’ve made our relationships based on proximity or convenience. But in order to grow, we need to take an honest look at the relationships in our lives and ask ourselves if the people we surround ourselves with help us grow or hold us back. This is where a mastermind group can accelerate your growth.
If you aren’t familiar with a mastermind group, it’s a group of people who meet to help each other problem solve. These groups may be formed based on similar interests or skill sets.
The Inklings are one of the most well-known examples of a mastermind group. The group consisted of a group of authors who met on a regular basis to brainstorm, discuss their work, and help each other further refine their writing. They conducted meetings without an agenda or rules with the intent of sharing their unpublished work for discussion and feedback. Two of it’s most famous members, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, both attribute their literary success to this group.
In fact, Lewis and Tolkien were friends who also participated in heated debates over their work. They held nothing back in providing feedback to each other, and both became better authors for it.
If you want to accelerate your growth in life, find yourself a mastermind group. Even if you think it’s not for you, I promise it is. I never thought I would be the type to join a mastermind group, despite hearing the countless benefits. Being an introvert, I usually avoid these situations at all cost. But I took the leap and found a mastermind group was pivotal in launching and growing my business.
The mastermind group I’m in consists of other moms of young children who also run business. It’s an amazing combination of openly discussing not just the business aspects of our lives, but how to manage work and motherhood. They’ve been my unbiased business advisory panel. Our discussions involve a combination of problem-solving, coaching, and feedback. After diving in head first, here is what helped me make the most of this experience:
1. Practice radical honesty and transparency.
“ I want independent thinkers who are going to disagree. The most important things I want are meaningful work and meaningful relationships. And I believe that the way to get those is through radical truth and radical transparency. In order to be successful, we have to be independent thinkers- so independent that they’ll be against the consensus. You have to put your honest thoughts on the table.” -Ray Dalio
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned is that no one can offer meaningful guidance unless you’re completely honest about what you’re struggling with.
At any time before this, I would have entered this situation allowing my ego to dominate and thinking I had something to prove. That I needed to put on a certain persona that would indicate that I had everything figured out.
I felt nervous the day before my group started, and when I explored why I realized this was the problem. I was going into this situation to learn all I could, to be a sponge. I had nothing I needed to prove other than a willingness to take in new information. Going into this group trying to maintain an image of “having it all figured out” would stunt my growth. And really, no matter what level of success you achieve you’ll never have it all figured out.
Instead, my nerves melted away and I walked in with a completely open mind. After all, if I don’t let my guard down and be honest how can I learn anything?
Above all else, be vulnerable, honest, and share your struggles.
A good mastermind group creates the perfect environment to be open without judgment. If you aren’t honest about your reason for being there and your problem points no one can offer you constructive feedback. The goal is to learn from those around you, and if you enter the room trying to impress everyone that will never happen.
2. Learn by proxy.
You learn by listening to others in the group and the struggles they’re going through as well. Take in every discussion, even if it’s not relevant to you at the moment. You never know when you might face the same problem in the future. Be open in sharing what has worked for you, and what mistakes you’ve made to help others learn as well. A mastermind setting helps you shift from passive learning to active learning.
No one wants to show up to a meeting without progress to report on. Having a regular time and place to meet with others to share your progress will keep you accountable. And even when I wasn’t at meetings, I found myself more motivated to take steps forward knowing I had a support group throughout my journey. It’s easier to get out of your comfort zone when you know you’ve surrounded yourself with people who will celebrate your success and help you learn from your failures.
The mastermind group I joined runs in 6-week sessions, but many of the relationships I established in the group have continued well beyond our meetings. I’ve formed new friendships and meaningful business connections as a direct result of my group. Healthy relationships are pivotal to success in any area of life. You never know where the connections you form in a group might lead in the future.
Go find yourself a mastermind group today and watch your growth soar. It might take some trial and error to find the right fit. But when you find it, you’ll know. If you can’t find the right group, start your own. Some mastermind groups run only for a short amount of time, others for years. But the lessons learned and relationships established will likely last you a lifetime.