Everyone (hopefully!) has read the book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It's a business-owner's classic and it's jam-packed with valuable tid-bids. But probably the most influential parts of the book is where he discusses the concept of mastermind groups. Surrounding yourself with other like-minded folks. A place to bounce ideas around, make connections, solicit feedback and sounding board for tough decisions you're facing. Since then, the concept of Mastermind's feel into a slump. But they've always been there. A Mastermind can be anything from meeting some friends for coffee regularly or paying to be in a high-profile group. In general, it's a group of people working together toward a common goal and vision and without it, life it hard. There's something about a Mastermind group that gives business Owners, CEO's, Founders, you-name-it, a place to go when they hit a tough spot.
"Strong networks of peers and partners is what sets companies apart"
Live Your Legend has a great resource to use when starting a Mastermind group. Remember, though, it is only going to be as good as the folks in it. So choose wisely and be slow to include additional folks. Think of it as your board of advisors.
So what is it about a Mastermind that is so valuable? In the many years I've ran my own business and worked with many other small businesses, I've tried to pay attention to what sets apart the winners from the others. One of them is a strong network of peers and partners. Something I've hear more and more of lately is, "your network is your net worth". And it's a fickle thing to describe until you've seen the difference. But here are 3 reasons that a strong network is a must-have for any successful small business:
- It's a safe place for ideas, questions, problems, discussion and feedback. You aren't always going to want to bounce ideas around with your co-workers or employees. So this is the place to do it. Additionally, the value of getting a second or third opinion from someone NOT connected to the problem can be immensely valuable. We talked earlier about thinking outside the box, and this is a great place for it.
- A place to turn for assistance. We all know that one friend that 'has a guy' for everything. Need a car? He's got a car guy. Need a new driveway? He's got a concrete guy. Need legal advice? He's got a legal guy. Need a CPA? He's got an accounting guy. See where this is going? I've literally turned to Instagram to find people around the country that can help me out. Guess what the magic is about this, though - if that steel fabricator didn't have an Instagram page, I wouldn't have found them. They made money on a job just because they post pictures on social media. And this is going to walk us nicely into the third item…
- A broader footprint for your self. Albeit self-centered, part of growing and sustaining business is being able to market your company. And what is marketing? Getting your name, brand, projects, and anything else in front of prospective clients. The best way to do that is to spread your footprint as far as it can go. I've seen millions of dollars spent by a client just because they got a good referral for a subcontractor. Millions. Of. Dollars. MILLIONS.
Want to get a Mastermind started? My advice: keep it simple, make it easy (otherwise it won't happen) and be consistent. And for goodness sake, if you haven't read Think and Grow Rich, do that ASAP!