Earlier this month was a sad day for me – the last of the regular Mastermind meetings that I attend. A couple of years ago five networking acquaintances decided to get together once a monthly for a “”Mastermind” type meeting. I was one of the five; the others were an administrator, an accountant, a marketing guru and an online retailer. The marketer got busy and dropped out after a few months, but the rest of us met up once a month to support each other in our business ventures. We set ourselves challenges and goals and were accountable to each other; we also used the meetings to brainstorm new ideas, garner opinion and unleash our emotions when things weren’t going so well.
Over the two years we’ve all had our fair share of successes and failures, peaks and troughs, and we’ve learned to trust each other enough to be able to be honest about how our businesses were going. There have been tears shed and emotions shared, and we’ve become good friends as well as business colleagues. I know I would have struggled a lot more in business without the support of my Mastermind mentors.
This month marked the last meeting, for a number of reasons. One person has found a dream job working within a big company and no longer has the time free; another is moving away. It wouldn’t be worth continuing with just two of us so we decided to call it a day and went out for a slap up meal (actually, a late Xmas dinner) to celebrate the end of an era.
While we were out we heard some sad news about a local business owner who had taken their own life. This person was not known to any of us, though we all knew of them, but it was sobering news and it made me realise how lucky we were to have such a great support network in place.
So how is your support network? If you do a lot of networking you’ll probably know plenty of people, but do you have anyone to talk to when times are tough as well as when the going is good?
Mastermind groups are a great way to support each other and also to give yourself some accountability in your daily life. It’s all too easy to make excuses to yourself when you set goals and fail to achieve them. Not so simple when you know you have to be accountable to other people! Mastermind groups also give you a platform for trying out new ideas, brainstorming your business and sharing knowledge to find fresh new solutions. And above all they are very supportive, because they are the one place you know you can be honest about how things are going.
Perhaps you might like to get together with some trusted business friends and form your own Mastermind group so you can support each other. If you’d like to ask me about ours, feel free to do so in the comments below.