One of the best aspects of operating as a solo practitioner is, well, being solo. The autonomy of choosing our projects and, for the most part, how we work is a fulfilling way to make a living. We provide value and combat isolation by collaborating with our teams and interacting with clients. And, of course, the best set of fellow pros around in our Solo PR Pro premium Facebook group.
Still, even the most self-motivated among us can feel stuck, stagnant, or simply need variety in our sounding boards. Have you ever tried a mastermind group? The concept of masterminds dates back to Benjamin Franklin, who in 1727 formed a “Junto,” where he and others with a variety of skillsets would meet each week for conversation and inspiration. The term “mastermind” emerged in Napoleon Hill’s 1937 book, Think and Grow Rich.
Mastermind groups can help us hone in on those areas of our businesses we’ve meant to work on, but it keeps getting pushed to the bottom of the list. They can also be excellent vehicles for professional development as we learn from professionals from all sorts of backgrounds.
A recent Forbes.com article by Sarah Kathleen Peck outlines the benefits of masterminds:
- Regular connection.
- Networks beyond your own to tap into.
- A trusted circle of colleagues to help you make decisions.
- A chance to learn from other businesses and leaders.
- A confidential space to discuss challenges and problems.
- A laboratory to learn and experiment.
- A reflection of your own wisdom and expertise as you help others.
- And potentially long-term friendships and connections.
Not only can a mastermind group enrich you cognitively, the connections you make may also create new business opportunities.
Where can you find mastermind groups near you? Here are a few resources:
You can also check with local chambers of commerce or similar business groups, or you might consider forming your own.
If you do decide to create your own mastermind group, Score.org has guidelines on building a successful experience:
- Choose members wisely
- Set ground rules immediately
- Have a clear agenda and structure for each meeting
- Decide upon a group leader
- Share evenly
Have you participated in a mastermind group? Share your experience with us.