Category Archives: Mastermind groups entrepreneurs

7 Reasons You Want a Trained Facilitator

Photo by Stefan Stefancik
How is it Different?

As a facilitator, one of the most consistent questions I’m asked about my mastermind groups is, “Is it a networking group?”

While there’s no doubt that networking certainly occurs between the members of the mastermind group, relationships are built and cross referrals happen on a consistent and regular basis.

But at the end of the day, true mastermind groups and networking groups are very different. In a networking group you’ll meet lots of people and it’s really up to you whether you build on those relationships; and have coffee with people outside the regular meetings, or talk to each other about your businesses.

There may also be educational sessions, but nobody’s holding you accountable to make sure that you apply what you’ve learned. But a mastermind group is significantly different. A mastermind group is about accomplishing your goals and holding you accountable to build and grow your own business. And the only way that that’s going to happen is to have a skilled and trained facilitator at the helm.

Here are seven more reasons why having a skilled facilitator is so important.
  1. Not the Chairperson of the Board

A trained Mastermind facilitator knows how to bring out the discussion. They know how to make sure that no one person overwhelms the conversation and monopolizes the group’s time while others sit back quietly, not speaking.  And not being heard.

They will make sure the meeting moves according to the agenda but draw out participation from everyone.

Trained facilitators know how to keep the Mastermind groups structured and moving so that there is value for every minute spent in the Mastermind.

  1. Unbiased

Having an “outsider”, as trained facilitator will also ensure you that you have an impartial and unbiased individual guiding your group. When you have a facilitator who is not a part of your organization, and is completely unbiased yet cares deeply about the success of each individual member, than members of the Mastermind group feel comfortable in confiding with the group. The outside facilitator makes the Mastermind group of safe space to speak honestly, opening without fear of reprisal or embarrassment.

  1. Have Your Success Top of Mind

A trained facilitator also has the skill set to make group members successful.  Mastermind group members grow their businesses at a much greater rate than individuals who are not in Mastermind groups.  If you want your investment to pay off join a group with a trained facilitator.

The facilitator doesn’t answer to a corporation whose agenda must be met.  They have a vested interest in individual member success.  Every member’s.  No other business group environment can equal that claim.  Gymnastics teams yes, business groups – you’re not going to find anything comparable.

  1. Not Your One-to-One Coach

While there can be elements of coaching in a mastermind group the facilitator’s purpose is to make sure that all of the members participate, and help all members with value-adding suggestions; giving resources so that each member has a plethora of information they can apply to their own businesses.  In our groups sometimes the “homework” assignment for one translates into similar goals for the rest of the members.  There’s a good deal of anticipation for the next meeting, “How did yours go?”

Trained Mastermind facilitators are knowledgeable about goal setting and accountability. They know how to make it much more effective than simple brainstorming sessions.  If you want to get things done, be in a Mastermind group with a trained facilitator.

If you want to accomplish your goals you’ll get better “bang for your buck” by going with a group that has a trained Mastermind group facilitator.

  1. It’s a Dirty Job – But Someone’s Gotta Do It

It isn’t a dirty job. Not at all, not even close.  But it did get you to keep reading!

Your facilitator will take on all the logistics of your meeting: time, place, refreshments, note taking, follow-up, message boards, PR, meeting agendas, honestly the list goes on.  And we love doing it.  Even the administrative parts of everything behind the scenes is an aspect that makes for healthy, thriving and productive groups.  Thriving productive groups are comprised of thriving and productive individuals.

  1. Celebrating Your Success

What a party!  We have the same pride in our individual member’s successes as we would if they were our kids.  Like peacocks puffing their chests out.  It’s like, “We did that together!” when one person achieves a milestone, or a goal.  Whether it’s learning to do their own accounting or landing the most elusive client for a six-figure project.  Every success is a celebration. Just writing this blog makes me look forward to our next meeting!

  1. Full Circle

We’re talking about trained facilitators here, right?  So we’re talking about people who have spent their own money and time to complete a course or certification; an investment in themselves so that they can translate that into an investment into you. If you’re a member of a group and your success is stemming from your facilitator’s skills – then tell someone.  Tell a lot of someones.  Give credit where it’s due.  Your facilitator succeeds when you succeed. It comes back to them full circle.

Strategic Thinker – Sometimes You’re Not Born That Way

Photo by Jonathan Simcoe

A friend of mine, who I found to be the consummate strategic thinker, was a sales and franchising expert. He spent years consulting with people who had sunk their saving into franchises because they were sold on the promises of making money “in their sleep”.  Now they were overworked and in debt.

I’m not saying buying into a franchise is a poor choice.  Not at all.  If you’re prepared, educated, have the funds and are ready to put it a lot of hours.  Practice being a strategic thinker. Think intentionally before you commit.  That’s true of any business decision.  And strategic thinking doesn’t mean you mull over it endlessly.  It means look at the decision from every angle – top, bottom, sides and end to end.  In his article Are You A Strategic Thinker? Test Yourself, Peter Walsh lets you answer for yourself.

Let’s just bring it into a smaller scope for the sake of this blog – your individual business.

Rather than constantly reacting to everything that comes up, keep it a list of the regular questions that your customers, clients, friends and contacts are consistently asking you. Do people at networking events ask you the same questions over and over?  Then the strategic move would be to answer the questions before they are asked. Be prepared with what you need to say, or do, in order to answer your client’s questions.  Anticipate them.

Sometimes the biggest barrier to strategic thinking is simply having the time to think at all. people who allow themselves time to quietly think and reflect upon choices and “the big picture” find ways to connect what would never otherwise have been connected at all and therefore come up with the most brilliant ideas, or comfortably decide which projects to pursue. Like Bill Gates’ famous “Think Weeks”.

Practice being a critical thinker – and not one that’s easily sold on every idea that’s thrown your way. Some people are easy targets for every “shiny object” that’s set before them. Practice saying “no” and giving yourself time to reflect and do research.

The solopreneurs and entrepreneurs I work with nearly always tell me that in one way or another they feel alone, isolated, even “in a silo”.  The best way out of that stifling position is to join a mastermind group. There, in the right group that is, you will feel empowered, energized, respected, trusted, and valued. And you will exercise your strategic thinking.

Most successful strategic thinkers are not born that way but they learned to exercise their strategic thinking “mental muscle” and the best place to do that is in a mastermind group. In a mastermind group you can get honest feedback and fresh ideas from other individuals. There you can verbalize your thoughts and gain clarity from others.  Leaving you the opportunity to make informed decisions.

“Internal” mastermind groups that are within a single organization, work well to develop and enhance strategic thinking.  They are most successful when lead by an outside facilitator who has no bias within the company.

Mastermind groups where not everyone belongs to the same company, or the same industry, are the most beneficial way to do this. In a group of people from different disciplines and different levels of expertise you will get new and fresh ideas in the least homogenized fashion.

There you will also find accountability where your feet are “held to the fire” in the most supportive way so that if you tend towards “analysis paralysis” you’ll be forced to make decisions. That force is what exercises your muscle. It’s a little uncomfortable but over time it helps you think better faster, stronger and more clearly.  Before you know it, voila, you’re a strategic thinker.

 

 

 

Why Entrepreneurs and Solopreneurs Should Belong to a Group

Belonging to a group gives a real sense of well…belonging.

Do you wish to excel as an entrepreneur or a solopreneur? I bet you do, well, in that case, you need to digest every detail of this piece. You must have heard of the popular proverb that says “two heads are better than one.” Well, quiz any successful man or woman who has excelled in one endeavor or the other and he or she will tell you the proverb is very true. Little wonder then, that goal oriented individuals in particular and humans, in general, tend to form or belong to a group of people who are like-minded to help them achieve their goals.

Humans have always possessed a sense of belonging, be it in schools (where students who aim to excel academically form study groups), in offices among colleagues or even in the larger society where we have different social groups such as various dance groups, supporters club of a soccer team, etc.

And there have been several instances where individuals attribute their academic success, business growth or source of happiness to being a part of a group. This, therefore, underlines the fact that, it is very important for every individual to belong to a group. However, it is important to note at this point that,  the fact everyone should belong to a group doesn’t mean an individual should join a negative group such as a gang or a cult.

In case you’re wondering what group you should belong to as an entrepreneur or a solopreneur. Then, you should be looking forward to finding and joining a Mastermind Group. This is the point where I expect you to be engrossed with this article to enable you discover more about Mastermind Groups and how they can help your business to grow.

According to Napoleon Hill, author of the timeless self-help book, Think and Grow Rich (1937) “ a Mastermind Group is the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony”. In other words, when a set of people (usually from different industries) comes together to form a group with the specific purpose of achieving common goals and success, such groups are known as Mastermind Groups.

With that said, let’s now take a look at the benefits

  1. Support:

You are surrounded in a community with people of like minds. They help you in achieving your goals and offering support to you. As the founder of High Stakes Mastermind Groups, I’ve realized I find it particularly exciting to help others achieve their set goals. Support is never in short supply in Mastermind groups in general and in High Stakes Mastermind Groups in particular, as members of the group who you become friends with automatically are there to offer support to you during meetings.

  1. Accountability

A Mastermind group allows the opportunity to regularly know how others are doing which helps you to remain focused on achieving your goals.

When one member of the group fills the others in on a challenge he/she is experiencing, the other members of the group put heads together to proffer solutions that can help the challenged member over his/her challenge.

  1. Resources

The fact that each member of the group specializes in different fields or industries provide you with the opportunity of receiving powerful tips on how to excel as an entrepreneur or solopreneur.

So, if your desire is to have yourself surrounded, encouraged and inspired by great minds or individuals who have succeeded and know what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur in different industries. Then, you should belong to a mastermind group, and there is no better group than High Stakes Mastermind Groups to serve this purpose. For information on how to be a member visit http://www.StephanieAngelo.com/ and you can be sure to have fun growing your business and masterminding.

 

 

 

 

 

Master Mind Reader – What’s the Real Magic Behind Masterminds?

Can You Read My Mind?

Here’s a little personal information, mind you. My husband and I use a laundry basket, which is in our closet, but he also has a large laundry bag that he hangs behind the closet door. In it he puts his extra dirty, grimy, clothes that we don’t want mixed with our better clothing in the laundry basket.

Last Saturday after I started the extra dirty laundry from his bag, he got upset with me because I had “forgotten” a pair of his socks and some shorts. “Where were they?” I asked him.  “They were in my cabinet.” I asked, “How was I supposed to know they were in there?”  He said, “I always have my last things from the day before in the cabinet and I put them in the bag on Saturday morning.”

Well, this was news to me. I asked him, “I have I ever seen you do that?” knowing perfectly well the answer was ‘no’.  He said, “I don’t know.” I asked, “How was I supposed to know that you do that then?”  His answer, “Well I do it every weekend.”  “Do you know what I use to separate my eyelashes every morning after I put on mascara?”   “No, how would I know? I’m not clairvoyant.”

“Well, I said, “I do it every day.”  I know perfectly well he’s never seen me do it.

So here we have a problem of somebody expecting another person to have extrasensory perception (ESP).  I don’t have it.  I facilitate Mastermind Groups – I am not a master at reading minds.

The same is true of your Mastermind members. They aren’t Fortune-Tellers. You have to explain what your goals are and what you’re trying to achieve. Only after you are open and verbal about it can your fellow Mastermind group members actually help you. If a member doesn’t have ability to speak, then a written/printed form is used.  In either case, your fellow Mastermind Group members can’t read your mind. They don’t know what you need. Only if you are open and honest and willing to have a discussion help is there to be had.

It’s really up to you how good of a Mastermind Group participant you are. The group is not there to solve all your problems. The group isn’t there to do the work for you. Studies have shown that people who are in Mastermind Groups and put as much into the group as they expect to get out of it are 15% more likely to accomplish their goals than people who are not in a mastermind group.

Goals have a way of falling apart when you don’t have someone to hold you accountable. When nobody is looking, you may take it easier on yourself. Nobody is watching, you think, so if you fail, it’s not a big deal.

Mastermind groups are like having your own Board of Directors. Except you’re not obligated to do what they tell you – they exist for you. That’s the truly cool part. It’s not just having one accountability partner, but many. They offer you professional relationships where the members support, empower and hold each other accountable for their actions. That is the way that members help each other to achieve their specific goals by coming up with thoughtful, useful and timely information that will add value to the lives and careers of group members.

As a member, you’re being backed by and collaborating with some of the strongest, smartest and best thinkers and leaders out there – the people in some of the top leader and executive roles available. Not only are they helping you by feeding your mind with positive energy and fuel to reach your goals, but you’re helping them, as well.  Some people think, “I have nothing to contribute.  These people are way more accomplished than I am”. Well, allow me to stop you right there.  Everyone has something of value to give, over and over again.  We’ll even empower you to contribute- because it’s the cornerstone of your own accountability. Through accountability we help you master your goals. That’s where the real magic is.

What’s your opinion? What do you think about what I’ve recommended above?
Since I’m not a master mind reader you will have to tell me in the comments below!

Oh, and about those eyelashes – I use a little eyelash comb.

 

Clear (Life) Vision – Pun intended or meaningful figure of speech?

Focus on Your Life’s Goals and Vision

Do you have the vision to see what you’re doing? Is a clear life vision  a p un intended or meaningful figure of speech?

Recently I had coffee with a young woman that I know from an association I belong to. She’s an artistic person and therefore a little bit different from most of the people I meet who work in financial businesses, own restaurants, or are in health care, or retail.

Meeting an artist isn’t something that happens to me all the time and I really enjoyed speaking with her. But as we talked about her business I really couldn’t pinpoint exactly where she wanted her future to go. Like most artists she wanted her artwork to be seen on the walls of homes and businesses worldwide; but the big question was, how was she going to get there, and what was it going to do for her?  What did it mean for her future and for her life.

I wondered, do people who start a business have a clear vision of what exactly is the business supposed to do for them?  Clear vision. Hmmmm.

When I wrote my own personal business plan I wrote very specifically not only what my vision for the business was for my clients, but exactly what I wanted my business to do for me.  It’s a part of goal setting that cannot be overlooked.

And those are two very different ideas. My clients know what my vision is for my business and how it affects them.  My unique selling position has everything to do with what benefits them. But, they don’t know what my personal vision is for what my business does for me, nor do they need to. With one exception – I’m able to work the number of hours I choose and earn the amount I want.  I’m able to model the outcome and set the example that my clients want for themselves.

I look at my business plan every single day to make sure that I’m staying on track with my own goals and that my business is doing for me what I intend it to do.  It’s a habit I strongly suggest. Like an appointment with yourself.

If you’re wondering what I mean by my personal vision for my business and what it will do for me; it can be anything as specific as paying off your mortgage, within a specified period of time, being able to go on a dream vacation, buy that bright red Alpha Romeo 4C Coupe, or have the money to move your elderly parents to a high-end full care facility.

Maybe it’s not monetary. It might be to limit the hours that you work each week so that you have time for yourself or time to volunteer in your community.

Whatever it is, when you go into business for yourself you must have a very specific plan and a Life Vision of what exactly the business is supposed to do for you.

Do you have the vision to see what you’re doing? Having trouble defining what that is? Give me a call and we’ll talk about it. It’s easy to get clear vision focus when you have somebody to help you.