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 A group that meets regularly to work on your business, to help you with ideas on growing it, solve problems and keep you accountable.  That’s a mastermind group, a powerful place for Soulful Entrepreneurs.  On this episode I’ll share some ideas on an effective group, what to expect, where to find one and even how to form your own.

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On your Mark! Get set! Shine! Welcome to illuminate together radio, the place where inspiration, creativity, passion and adventure connect on the airways to help you create the life and business of your dream.

Here’s your host and fairy godmother, Michelle Spalding.

Good afternoon everyone! Hello! Welcome! Merry Christmas! I’m really excited.  This is our last show of the year and I’ve got a lot to cover this afternoon.  Today, we are going to be talking about the power of mastermind group, and how a mastermind group can be pivotal in creating the success that you’re wanting in your business and in your life.

But first, I’ve got a bit of a brag story.  Last week, in our episode, we talked about some budget building, budget-friendly business building ideas.  And one of the participants, listeners I guess is the proper word, took some of that advice, took action and it immediately paid off.

So, I am just tickled to see that and was so excited to see the email and to get a follow-up response from her thanking me for giving her the idea to go back and reconnect with people that she had already been doing business with, that already knew and loved her and rather than focusing outside and really trying to find all new people, she was taking that advice and building on those relationships with those people that she already knew.

Anyways, I just had to brag and tell you about that.  I’m so excited that it paid off for her.  So, I’m chatting with you guys from Florida.  I don’t know if anybody’s been watching the weather, but it’s been lovely down here, not so beautiful up in the North, but trust me, I’m praying for you guys.  There’s still plenty of room down here, so come on down if you get sick of that snow.

Okay, again today, we’re going to be talking about the power of mastermind group, and how participating in a  mastermind group is one of those great things to help you create something truly remarkable in your life or your business as well as in the lives of others.

You see, a mastermind group is something that’s more of a give and take relationship.  It’s not one of those where you go for coaching and you get an undivided attention of one individual for whatever time they have allocated.

A mastermind group is a group where you, a facilitator, as well as a group of people, come together to focus on each other’s businesses and growing their businesses.

Now, sometimes mastermind groups are also helpful in situations outside of business. I personally have never participated in one, but I have heard of them and I’m sure that the applications are very similar.  In a business setting, there are so many people who are working on your particular issue for the set period of time that the group has agreed upon.

Now, in a mastermind group what you’ve got is 6, 8, 10 people maybe that are giving you ideas, giving you feedback, and best of all giving you support to help you grow your business, to help you solve the challenge in your business, to maybe get over a hurdle, to get clarity on something.  And they are one of those things that are absolutely amazing.  And as a facilitator, a long-time facilitator of mastermind group, I can tell you they are also just extremely magical.  There is just something so beautiful about a group of people, totally being genuine and authentic and really trying to help one another.

Now, what else also happens that I think is extremely powerful at a mastermind group is when your participating in a mastermind group and one of the other participants knows somebody outside of that mastermind group that they can introduce you to, to help you even further.  Maybe you’re coming to a mastermind group to grow your business, to increase the number of speeches that you give this year, and you’re looking for some help on where to find places that you can go and speak at, where to find people that will pay you to speak if that’s the avenue that you want to take.

Maybe you’re looking for ways to get your foot in the door into some clubs or some organizations that are looking for people that are looking for a particular topic that you’re known for and that you’re very passionate about.

One of the best ways is to have an introduction for me to say, “I have a friend who would be great for this when an opportunity comes up at a meeting.”  Well, in a mastermind group, I’ve seen this happen, time and time and time again.  The mastermind participants who has that desire to get out, to speak at an event, to put themselves out there brings it up at the group, the group strategizes with him on places they can look for, for those opportunities, maybe some ideas on some groups, etc.  But somebody in that room also knows somebody, and they make an introduction, and that my friend is extremely powerful.

The reason I know this to be definitely true is that’s how I ended up getting my first real speaking gig, if you will.  Many years ago, I was participating on a mastermind group in Central Florida with one of my dear friends Rhonda and a couple of other folks and I said out loud at this group that I wanted to get out and speak to promote  a business that I was working in.  And she knew some information about the business, made notes and we all strategized on places that I can go and do that.

Fast forward about a month later, I get a phone call from her and she tells me about a client she’s working with.  She’s writing a copy for this client and this client, is putting together a real estate boot camp.  And she thought that my topic was a perfect fit based on the information that she had gathered and wanted to know if I would like it to be introduced.  Well, of course the answer was absolutely yes and then some fear set in like, “How am I going to do this?” But at the very same time, I put myself out there and I said yes.

She made the introduction, I spoke to the individuals, I agreed to fly out to New Orleans to speak in at that mastermind group, I mean at that boot camp, I had my first experience on stage.  Now, no one in that room knew that, and it was really funny.  It wasn’t until probably about four years later that I even confessed to the person that had invited me out there that that was my first real live speaking in front of a group of that size.

But, the really cool part about it for me was even though I wasn’t sure that I could do it, I was so honored and so fortunate to have this person that introduced me to the right place, to the right person.  That person, my friend, Rhonda who introduced to me to the people running the event, who had confidence in me.

And in addition to her introduction, it was her confidence in me, her belief in me, that I also know helped me overcome my challenges.  So, a mastermind group is an extremely powerful organization if you will.

The first time I heard the word mastermind was in reading Napoleon Hill’s book, “Think and Grow Rich.”  The author talks about the power of a mastermind group in his other book, “The Keys to Success.” Those are two fantastic books.  If you haven’t read them my friends, I do highly recommend them, “Think and Go Rich” and “The Keys to Success.”

And a lot of people specifically in the social business world hear the world rich and are turned off by it.  I’m not sure why.  Their unique reason might be, but collectively many people associate rich people with arrogant, rude etcetera.  Napoleon Hill’s book is actually a metaphysical book, I believe.  It has a lot of metaphysical principles in it, a lot of principles that are applicable to just about any business.  I can’t personally think of one that it wouldn’t apply to.

But in his principles of the mastermind group, he summarizes it as a group of like-minded individuals coming together for the purpose of helping each other create something bigger and better than what they could do individually.

It’s for many people, a way to meet new people.  It’s a way to get the help that they need, but it’s also a fast track.  There’s so much, so many resources online, and we’re all just – we go out there and we Google something and we’d look for something and we find the information, but having someone in a group kind of give us that shortcut, hold us accountable and also have faith and believe in us is something that is for me, truly magical.

I’m going to read from you an excerpt from Napoleon Hill’s book where he talks about the mastermind group.  And what he says is each person in a group becomes vested with the power to contact – connect I’m sorry – I’m going to start that over.  My apologies.  I’m living with the cold I’m getting over.

Each person in the group becomes vested with the power to contact with and gather knowledge through the subconscious minds of the other members in the group, this power becomes noticeable, evidence in itself in the form of more vivid imagination in the consciousness of what it appears to be a sixth sense, metaphysical my friends.  It is through the sixth sense that new ideas will flash in to the minds of the entire group.

If the entire group has met for the purpose of discussing, a given subject, ideas or something else concerning a specific topic, that subject will come pouring in to the minds of all present.  These ideas take on the nature and form of a subject  dominating in the mind of the individual, the minds of those participating in the mastermind become as magnets, attracting ideas and thought stimuli of the most highly organized and  practical nature.

And he goes on from there.  In kind of summarizing this, or in rehashing it, what Napoleon Hell was saying to us was something mystical, something magical happens when the group is together focusing on one specific thing, but the connectivity of all of those individuals actually creates a sort of a large magnet.  We all have heard about the law of attraction and what we think about we attract.

Imagine, six, eight, ten people thinking on a solution to your particular challenge and attracting ideas that can help you solve them.  That is how powerful mastermind groups is.  And that’s why it’s one of the things that I actually really, really love to facilitate and host, and also to participate in.

Now, when you’re participating in a mastermind group.  Obviously, you got to show up, you got to be genuine, you got to be authentic.  But I have no doubts, that the people listening to this, the soulful, heart-centered, spiritual entrepreneurs, that’s no problem for each and every one of you.

When you’re choosing a mastermind group of course, though, it’s very important that you align with a group that have those same, the same belief, those same underlying core ideas that are going to help you.  The last thing we want to do is join a mastermind group and then realized that the ideas are not at an alignment with our core belief.

Part of  finding a mastermind group is interviewing if you will the facilitator to make sure that the participants that are already in that group or that are going to be in that group as it’s being formed are going to be like-minded enough for you to get the results that you’re looking for.

Now, by like-minded, that’s a similar spiritual or soulful belief.  It doesn’t mean that they’re in the same business.  I mean you wouldn’t want two massage therapists or a group full of massage therapists all in the same area in a mastermind group.

It might be difficult for them to really show up and be vulnerable and be fully authentic for fear, maybe not even at a conscious level, but a subconscious level of giving up their secrets and worrying that someone might – it might jeopardize their existing business.

So, you want to look for a mastermind group with a diverse group of individuals, different walks of life as far as business goes, but same, similar core beliefs.  A mastermind group is designed for holding you accountable.  When you go in to a mastermind group, you’re going to be setting specific and actionable goal.  I’m going to tell you that when you’re around those six either ten people and they’re giving you feedback and they’re giving you ideas, they’re also going to ask you what are you going to do before our next meeting.

You have to create an actionable goal on something that you’re going to do and maybe you don’t know exactly which of those ideas you’re going to take but you have a goal.  “I’m going to attract X number of new clients.  I’m going to increase my revenue by X number of dollars.  I’m going to get appointments to meet with X number of new prospects.”

Whatever it is that your goal is, you’re going to put that actionable goal in writing and commit to it in front of this group.  And your facilitator will be making a note of this and that he or she will then hold you accountable for it and remind you of it at the next meeting.

A mastermind group is designed to also to challenge you to stretch beyond what might be familiar, what may be kind of getting you a little bit out of your comfort zone, but looking at things that you could – at things that are in a slightly different light, and then of course acting so that you can move forward with them quickly.  You get these ideas from people maybe in your industry haven’t been touched yet.

In a massage therapy industry, I was reading a mastermind group a while back, and one of the participants was looking for ways to increase her revenue but she didn’t want to increase the number of hours that she worked.  So, we brainstormed and strategized in the group, and one of the participants mentioned  selling more products or services to those that she already worked with.

And she thought about it for a little while and then realized that a lot of them asked about the music that’s played in the background when she’s giving the massage.  A lot of them were interested in the different oils, and the different aromas that were being used.  So, she started offering those items.

That idea came from somebody outside of her industry.  Might she have thought about it later on down the line? Possibly.  Might someone else in her industry have started doing it and she noticed it?  Yeah, maybe.

But the point here was she was in the right place at the right time, given information, was able to quickly implement that and increase her revenue. That’s the power of a mastermind group.

And of course the beauty of it was that those ideas came from people who actually, genuinely cared about her business growing in a way that was in alignment with her belief.  You get into a group to feel the positive energy of other people, people that are happily thinking about your business and you and always looking for ways to improve it.

One of the really cool things about a mastermind group, often happens after the mastermind meeting is over.  We sit in these rooms and the participants who is in the hot seat, as they call it, who is getting their business looked at by the 6, 8 or 10 other individuals.  When their time is up, another participant goes in to the hot seat.

But what happens a lot of times is the masterminding after the meeting.  The masterminding on Facebook if there is a private Facebook group or a forum if that’s what this particular mastermind group uses, you get a message from one of the other participants, 3, 4 or 5, 6 days maybe even weeks down the road.

And that person has been thinking about something in your business, something that you said for that length of time.  For me, it’s just it – It’s an absolutely beautiful thing.  It’s so amazing that people can come together, all of us wanting something individual for ourselves, but still looking at things, looking for ways to help our fellow business person, our fellow masterminder to improve their business.

You’re also given a place where you can brag.  It’s very difficult when you are a business owner or an entrepreneur and maybe your friends aren’t or maybe the people in your family aren’t – don’t understand the passion that you have and the way that you run a business.

But when you are participating in a mastermind group, your mastermind group is a place for you to come and brag, just as I did at the very beginning of this show where I told you about one of the listeners last week taking something that I shared and running with it to improve her business, you can do the very same thing at a mastermind group.

When you come back, you are in the hot seat one week, you take this action or you create this actionable plan, the next time you come back, you report and that’s where you get to brag, that’s where you get to say, “I did this and here’s the result.” A lot of times our families are like, “Yeah, that’s nice, whatever,” or our friends who aren’t in business don’t understand why such a small increase could make us so excited or the fact that we set five meetings and we got one client was a great feeling for us.

But your participants, your fellow masterminders absolutely will.  And then, they are going to encourage you to see and try new options, to really dig deeper and to the potential that you have within yourself.  The purpose of a group is to give each other support and to hold each other accountable for agreed upon action.

Now, some mastermind groups that I’m familiar with, none that I’ve participated in will — if the person doesn’t do the thing that they’re supposed to do, maybe they have to buy lunch, or wash everyone’s cars or do something embarrassing.  That’s up to the individual participants in a group.  That’s how they want to hold anyone accountable.

What I will tell you is that the group has to have people in there that are continuously working towards solving their problems or their challenges or sort of creating or accomplishing a goal.  The last thing you want in a mastermind group is for someone to repeatedly show up, repeatedly sit in the hot seat, and repeatedly give information and inputs from the others in the group yet take no action.

It becomes a drain on the participants, a waste of their time and in most people’s opinions, the person who’s not taking actions could and should be removed from the group, so just you keep that in mind.  Don’t be that person.  If you have a crappy week or a crappy month, and you go back to the group and you report, “Look, I didn’t do anything, but here’s why.” The group’s going to work with you, but if you continuously do that, you’re not upholding your end of the mastermind group and what it means to be a member of a mastermind group.

An investment in a mastermind group can vary.  Sometimes, mastermind groups are free, notice there’s few businesses that will – they, on the business person, you’re a business person, a couple of other people will strategize and sit down together and form a mastermind group.  Those are often very loose groups.

A mastermind group really and truly should be lead by somebody who is a trained facilitator, that trained facilitator is able to keep everyone accountable, to encourage the group, to keep them moving through the various people in the hot seat.  That mastermind facilitator also encourages the group after through the Facebook or forums group as well as they are the one that call that person aside, and ask them , “Hey! What’s going on?” if that person is not participating on a level that they usually have been.

And of course whoever is a trained mastermind facilitator, they should be compensated for that.  It’s a huge responsibility, but also a real blessing and something that’s really exciting to do.

Some mastermind groups might also expect you to complete an application.  There might be some questions like why do you want to do this or what do you expect from it, what can you offer, what are your strengths and weaknesses, and have you ever participated in any other mastermind groups, so they know your level of experience and why you may or may not be a good fit for this particular group.

I mentioned that some groups may have a private forum or a Facebook group and that’s a great place for people to mastermind after the mastermind meeting.

And a lot of times you’ll see in one of those situations, somebody will be working on a solution to one of  the challenges that they brought in to a mastermind group and they have taken the inputs from the rest of the group and has come up with a plan and they post it and then they continue to get feedbacks from others.

So again, more ideas come together to really and truly help whoever it is that has posted that challenge to even create better results.  Additionally, sometimes between meetings, things come up and that’s a great place for that to always be put forth.

Participation in a group should never be taken lightly. And I just kind of want to wind up today’s show with that.  When you participate in a mastermind group, you got to show up, you got to be respectful, you have to turn off your phone, tune out everything else that’s going all around you because that’s exactly what you would expect from other people participating in a mastermind group.

Obviously, [inaudible] is always appropriate, but casualness never is, others are depending on you, not only to take full ownership of your part, but to really put forward every amount of energy that you have, every bit of resources that you can garner for solving their particular problems.

When it’s not your moment in the hot seat, that’s not your time to check your emails, to check in your Facebook, or to send a retweet.  Your task is it’s your time to strategize and help others.  So, your participation in this group can never be taken lightly.  And if it is, the facilitator and the group may vote to take you off the island, to vote you off the island.

So, real quick, depending on when you’re listening to this broadcast, I do host mastermind groups both local and virtual.  I got this social mastermind group that meet regularly, so check my website.  If that’s something that appeals to you, there are groups like I said that meet locally, we meet virtually, various different formats, so check it out.

Again, soulful mastermind groups on my website, just Michellespalding.com/mastermind.  I will be off for the next two weeks and we’re going to be returning on January.  And at that time, I’m going to dive in to a topic that I love called, driving soulful businesses.  More importantly creating a thriving soulful business, how sharing your talents with the world in a way that it helps you create enough revenue for you to live the life that you want and to share that with others.

Nothing shameful in making money. There’s nothing shameful in making money, there’s nothing wrong with following your passion and doing the things that you love and that’s what we’re going to talk about in that episode.

So, until then I want to wish a very merry Christmas and the absolute happiest of New Year.  This is Michelle Spalding, your fairy godmother signing off for now.  And I want you to remember, you are here for a reason.  You have something absolutely special and totally unique that makes you exactly who you are and the world needs that.  So, get out there, shine, share it.  It is up to us to be the change that we wish to see in the world.  Make it a great day.  Tah tah for now.

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Duration: 29:40