Having your own business usually means departing from the corporate environment. While this may be an attractive prospect for some, it does come at a price: indeed, having no more co-workers or direct supervision also means no more immediate feedback on projects, nobody else to bounce ideas off, and nowhere to turn when problems arise.
Stephanie Chandler, a regular Forbes contributor, solved that problem by creating a Business Mastermind Group: she gathered a few of her fellow entrepreneurs, and they all agreed to hold weekly meetings where they could interact about their successes, challenges and opportunities. She therefore re-created the “missing link”: a space where, just like at the office, she could share ideas, ask for advice, and contribute to other people’s projects, but this time as an entrepreneur.
A Business Mastermind Group may hence be helpful to any entrepreneur, but, according to Stephanie, some things are critical for it to each its intended goals:
- Choose the right people; Ideally, entrepreneurs you respect, and who are at a higher level than you are; you may hence learn from their mistakes.
- Have some structure: Agree on a meeting time and format, and stick to it; breakfast every week, bi-weekly Google Hangouts or Skype session, or whatever will work best for your unique group.
- Have an agenda: Know what you will be talking about, who will be talking about it, for how long, and so on. Rotate the responsibility of getting the agenda ready between members, and make sure you allow every participant to contribute to the conversation.
- Do not forget logistics: Where will you be meeting? Who will be getting lunch, or breakfast?
- Have members sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement: It may put all participants’ minds at ease, and allow them to speak more freely about their business.
- Put some processes in place: How will you allow new members? Up to what number? Will you be collecting fees? Who will open the bank account? Will you have officer positions?
Of course, these are just guidelines to be adjusted as see fit; still, according to Stephanie, the more seriously every member will take the group, the greater and more efficient it will grow!
For more information, please read the whole article at: http://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2011/12/01/the-power-of-many-start-a-business-mastermind-group/
Have a nice day, and stay WISE!