The best investment I’ve made in my professional development

Last year I made the biggest investment in my business and my own professional development yet.

I joined a paid mastermind.

Don’t worry, I had no clue what that meant either.

My mastermind is led by a successful entrepreneur who’s walked in our shoes, and I’m one of five like-minded business owners at similar stages in our businesses. We have “hot seat” phone calls once a week where we pose challenges and share ideas, one-on-one coaching with our leader, three in-person retreats throughout the year, and guest experts who share their entrepreneurial journey with our group.

It’s a year of intensive professional and business development, and it is well worth every penny.

A mastermind is not a one-and-done course where you forget everything you learned once you dive headfirst back into your busy work routine. If you’re thinking about joining a paid mastermind, here are the three best things I’ve taken away from mine:

1. A tight knit community. I now have a tribe that I can go to, no matter how challenging my day, and seek advice, support, or encouragement. Most of these colleagues have been there, done that, in a way that my team hasn’t. I’ve been given the confidence and clarity to make the toughest and most important decisions for my business and life with this tribe behind me.

2. Accountability. It’s so easy to toss ideas around in our heads while driving to the office or chatting with our spouse, then let the ideas disappear into the ether. A mastermind has helped me turn those ideas into reality. For example, I’d thought for months about adding to my team (I even found notes on my phone from a year ago stating that goal!) but my Type A, control freak nature held me back. Once I told my mastermind about this idea, they provided the push I needed to make it happen. And they were right there for the virtual high-fives when I reported back that my team had tripled.

3. Fresh perspective.  My mastermind leader has intentionally brought together a group of diverse people focused on a similar goal – to grow their business with intention. Each member has a unique skillset and network, and all is fair game to share with the others. We’ve made introductions to Facebook Ads strategists, web designers, accountants, and even clients because we all understand that competition is the devil!

So, you may ask, why can’t a group of people just get together, be accountability buddies, and slap a “mastermind” label on it?

You certainly can! BUT, there are two key reasons that structured masterminds are significantly more successful and impactful to your development.

  1. When people make a decision to invest their hard-earned resources into something, they will remain more committed to completing the program and “getting their money’s worth”. A free monthly coffee chat with other leaders at the local Starbucks is great but because you have no skin in the game, one missed session turns into another and another until you’ve completely dropped out. Talk about the total opposite of accountability! If you’ve invested in a paid group, you won’t miss a call unless it’s an absolute emergency. Trust me.
  2. Without a leader, a group of people gathering to “talk shop” veers quickly into a bitch session about a challenging board chair or unstable team dynamics or an annoying funder and it’s hard to come back from that. A mastermind leader ensures that everyone gets their time in the hot seat and often brings guest speakers to the group for enhanced learning.

If it wasn’t obvious, I’m a HUGE proponent of paid masterminds for professional and personal growth, knowledge gaining, and networking.

If you want to know more about masterminds, how you can benefit, my specific experience, or how much they usually cost, go to the bottom right hand corner of your screen and click the chat box. Your message will get to me instantly and I’ll drop you a note right back!