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5 Reasons Why Every Entrepreneur Needs A Mastermind

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5 Reasons Why Every Entrepreneur Needs A Mastermind

As an entrepreneur, we are always looking for ways to grow our networks and hang around other entrepreneurs or decision makers. A popular technique you have probably already heard of is joining a “mastermind”.  

A mastermind is a group of people that support one another and offer constructive feedback on different business situations like goal setting, achieving those goals, breaking through barriers, providing breakdowns on new wins, and most importantly a group that grows and goes after their dreams together.

There are many different variations to masterminds with some being paid or non-paid, some having as low as 4 members and some having as high as 500 members, and different masterminds can offer different levels of value. Any mastermind should offer you a certain set of basic principles and opportunities to make it worth your time and/or money.

In this article I am going to breakdown the great things about being a part of a mastermind and what it can do for you and your business. If you are not already in one, this article will give you some clarity on why you should start looking for one to join. If you are in a mastermind already you can use this as a checklist to evaluate how good the mastermind is that you are a part of.

“When a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual brain in that group.” – Napolean Hill

1. Dominating your goals

Most masterminds are based around taking your business to the next level through weekly goals. You may already set goals individually and take steps to achieve them but adding in a group of people you have to report to adds a whole new element to goal setting that will surely knock your goals down faster.

As an example, if you have a 6 month goal of quitting your corporate job to work on your business full time then you will work backwards to see that come to fruition. Everyone in the mastermind will make their own 6 month goal and then working backwards will make weekly goals to eventually get to the 6 month goal.

Writing it down is all very easy but actually taking action to make it happen is the hard part. That is when the accountability piece of a mastermind really starts to help you dominate your goals. When you have a group of people you have to report to that are not scared to rip into you if you have not taken any action, you will be much more likely to do whatever needs to be done. As well, if you have hit certain roadblocks the group will brainstorm ways to get past that barrier. All the members have been through different experiences and it is more than likely someone in the group has already hit that barrier and knocked it down and will be able to help you get through it much faster than if you were alone.

 

2. Increasing your rolodex

Entrepreneurs should always be connecting with new people and growing relationships because that is essentially what marketing is about. Some masterminds could have 4 people and some as high as 500+. However, your network will grow much greater than the only members of the group. It will grow to the members plus all the people they know.

For example, if you’re looking for someone specific to complete a certain job for you, if no member in the group can do it they will all look to their own personal networks and offer a recommendation. This doesn’t just have to work if you’re looking to hire someone, it could work if you’re travelling somewhere and want some advice or to meet up with someone. Even if you want to interview someone in a particular industry, or maybe you want to write for a certain publication or need additional advice. If you think of just day to day life and meeting new people, increasing your rolodex can lead to things you never even imagined.

“This is the habit of creative cooperation or team-work. Synergy results from valuing differences by bringing different perspectives together in the spirit of mutual respect.” – Stephen Covey

3. Winning new business

Everyone in the mastermind is on a different journey and probably has different expertise. If I am a social media expert and Sally is a web designer I will use Sally for my website because she is in my mastermind group and I will also refer her to my network because she is really good at designing websites and I have a relationship with her since were both in the same mastermind.

Some masterminds may cost you money but you can look at it as an investment. It is an investment in you but it is also an investment in your business since you will likely win new business being a part of the group.

 

4. Growing with like minded people

As an entrepreneur, I am sure you know very well we all have a fair amount of doubters. I prefer not to think of them as doubters but as people who just don’t get the journey you decided to go on. It is a journey to real freedom and monumental achievements. Most people do not think like an entrepreneur because they don’t understand the lifestyle. I get asked all the time the most annoying questions like “what do you do all day?” or “how do you make money?”. The most annoying one when I first started out as an entrepreneur was definitely “how long are you going to do this for?”. The worst part is you can’t even answer these questions because the person asking them will likely have no idea what you’re talking about or can’t understand the thought process and lifestyle you have. How long am I going to do this for? Well, MY WHOLE LIFE! I am an entrepreneur and that is what entrepreneurs do.

It is crucial as entrepreneurs we surround ourselves with other entrepreneurs who just get it. I am not saying to abandon all your other friends but you need to develop relationships with other like-minded people you can grow with.

I am going to guess and say that being an entrepreneur is by far the biggest thing on your mind and a lifestyle you feel passionate about. A mastermind will allow you to talk about your business and get good constructive feedback and also support from the group members since they know what you are going through and how bad you want to achieve your dreams. For example, say you have a new book coming out, well I guarantee everyone in the mastermind will likely write a review for you on Amazon and probably get a copy of the book.

Masterminds are also great for not going insane thinking you are the only one that hasn’t been brainwashed by the corporate system.

 

5. Finding a mentor

Another great way a mastermind may benefit you that is often overlooked is it could springboard a mentorship opportunity. Masterminds could have people performing at a lower level and a higher level than you. In my experience it is good to position yourself in the middle as you can help people and you can get help.

I have personally interviewed over 50 millionaires and billionaires and they all say helping people teaches them more about themselves than anything else so being able to help people in the group will be very beneficial.

As well, you will be able to get guidance from higher achievers and surrounding yourself with them will give you a better chance of getting to the next level. They will cut your learning curve in half and a relationship could form outside of the group. This relationship could eventually become a mentorship which is vital to any entrepreneur’s success.

“Associating with like-minded, success-oriented, joyful individuals -a Dream Team- is one of the most amazing success tools that exists. Anyone who achieves great success -anyone- must have a Dream Team.”- Robert G. Allen

 

Thank you for reading my article! I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below!

Eric Sciberras began his entrepreneurial journey selling items out of his school locker. His desire to grow as a businessman propelled him to start businesses in the event and nightclub, and fashion industries. His focus turned to online business when he realised its potential. He is currently founder and CEO of E Sixteen Media Inc where he helps multi-million dollar businesses and high profile entrepreneurs grow their brands online and creates his own digital products. You can check out his video content at ericsciberras.com.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Gayatri Mantra

    May 11, 2016 at 4:02 am

    There are of course more reasons

  2. Flint Herold

    Sep 26, 2015 at 2:37 am

    Awesome article!; and fairly in depth. 🙂

  3. Fredrick Wambua

    Aug 15, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Hi Eric?… First off, many thanks for this greatly insightful article. I’m a mastermind speaker, and i’ve graced/led quite a number of conference, here in Kenya. I was also a speaker at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

    I just grasped an idea out of everyone who’s commented. I do not have nor know any mastermind group, so why dont we (You, Lawrence, Mary, Cedric and I) create our own group. I believe we have alot we can share; starting small aiming for bigger results. Whats your take?…and the rest

  4. Cedric Rusike

    Jul 11, 2015 at 1:16 am

    Great article and very informative. I am currently part of a mastermind group and it has pushed me to become a better entrepreneur. Unlike your experience I am the least experienced entrepreneur in the group but they are all very supportive and keep me accountable. We usually schedule calls every month for an hour, our group is not big right now only 4 members. But what I find helpful with our group is that we assign a self help or entrepreneurial book every month . We then discuss the book for about 20mins and how it may apply to our lives , businesses etc. I highly recommend being part of a mastermind group.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Jul 12, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      Thank you for the comment Cedric. Small masterminds are awesome and the relationships you can make with the other members can become one of your greatest assets. I wish you great success.

  5. Mary Lou Green

    Jul 10, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Hi, Eric!
    Thanks so much for this well-written post. I hadn’t thought about joining a mastermind group, so this gives me some good ideas.

    As a serial entrepreneur, I like feedback. I think the mastermind group can help take away the loneliness and/or isolation that can happen when we are driven to design a product to solve a particular problem. It’s helpful to hear the stories and reactions from others instead of telling ourselves the same old story.

    How exciting to have personally interviewed over 50 millionaires and billionaires! I taught fifth and sixth graders for 18 years, and I agree that I learn more about myself every time I share information. It’s always helpful to find out what you don’t know.

    In the last 40 years, my husband and I dedicated ourselves to solving everyday problems in unique and entertaining ways. Our friends have served as our mastermind group whenever we develop a new product. They are excellent at giving us what they think and feel instead of what they think we want to hear, and it’s been so valuable to get their reaction to a new product in its early stages.

    Hope you have a great weekend! I am going to share your post on our DennisandMaryLou Facebook page so others can think about this valuable strategy.

    Warm regards,
    Mary Lou

    • Eric Sciberras

      Jul 12, 2015 at 8:51 pm

      Hey Mary,

      Thank you for reading the article and your great comment. I agree with you feedback is awesome from like minded people that you know are looking out for your best interests.

  6. Lawrence Berry

    Jul 7, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    This is some great information. Here is listed some great reasons you should join a mastermind community. I personally have never heard of this, but I will look for some in my area. I have recently joined toastmasters to help me connect with others professionals and public speakers. I think finding a mentor can be very beneficial for anyone on their road to success. Thanks for sharing this information.

    • Eric Sciberras

      Jul 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      Thank you Lawrence. I would check out Meetup dot com or Linkedin Groups or even Google mastermind “group + City”. Toastmasters is great too for networking.

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Success Advice

Why You Should Prefer Emails to Phone Calls if You Want to Be More Productive

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productivity tips
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“Email” and “productivity” rarely go together in a sentence. Emails have been declared as one of our largest time wasters. A McKinsey report stated that people spend around 2.6 hours each day responding to emails. That’s 13 hours a week, 52 hours a month and over 60 days a year! Imagine what you could’ve achieved in 60 days!

Emails also negatively affect our cognitive resources. When we think of responding to them while doing other important tasks, it takes up to 23 minutes and 15 seconds after being disrupted to return to full attention to a current task. Imagine how much our cognition and productivity gets fractured when we get distracted over and over again.

Constant emailing also drains us mentally. And at the end of a day, we realize that we’ve achieved nothing worth mentioning. With a phone call, you can sort issues and solve problems quickly, right? In theory, you’re right. But we live in a practical world where many variables come into play.

Below are three variables that make phone calls adversely affect our productivity, and why emails are a better alternative:

1. Wasting Time

Most “five-minute conversations” can quickly turn into 35-minute calls because people ramble about irrelevant aspects. This derailment, several times a day, severely limits the limited time and energy you have for important tasks.

Emails, on the other hand, force writers to streamline their thoughts and stick to the point. Emails can save you plenty of time and energy because you avoid lengthy phone calls. The constant strife to keep your own emails short and crisp also makes you a clearer thinker, which rewards you in other aspects of your life.

“It’s better to waste money, than it is to waste time. You can always get more money.” – Hal Sparks

2. Inaccurate Responses

An unexpected phone call can catch me caught off guard on a topic. I might respond emotionally or give an answer that doesn’t do justice to what I want to share. In a world dominated by panic buttons and fire-fighting, these don’t just stress me out but the caller as well.

Emails give me flexibility to prepare a coherent response and share it when I’m satisfied. If I feel a surge of emotion, I can sleep over the thought and share a better (more rational) response the next day. Many page-long email responses to emails that upset me have turned into a simple “thank you for your email” the next day.

3. Constant Back-and-Forth

Phone calls often are ineffective to solve business problems. Accounting for multiple people, their views, their timelines… One phone call can quickly turn into three.

Emails are quicker and more effective than even conference calls. They let you communicate with multiple people at the same time. You can share information, assign tasks and give status updates while being as specific as possible.

You must be wondering, “What about back-and-forth emails then? Why do we waste precious time on them?” Yes, email has earned a bad rap. But it’s not because of the medium; it’s because we handle it ineffectively.

A Better Approach to Emailing

For most people, constantly refreshing the inbox is part of the daily to-do list. It keeps them busy and gives them a kick of dopamine – the feel-good chemical.

Ironically, this quest to remain busy makes people compromise on taking action that can move them forward. Using emails prudently, rewards you with plenty of energy and mind space to focus on tasks that truly matter.

Here are three steps that benefited me without succumbing to the side effects of email:

1. Checking Them Less

I check emails just 3 times a day – at 9:30 AM, 12:00 PM, and 4:30 PM. If you don’t have the luxury to do the same, you can start by checking your emails for ten minutes at the end of each hour. Most senders expect a response in a little over an hour. So they won’t mind a slightly delayed response. This gives you 45 undisturbed minutes each hour to work on your core tasks.

2. Responding Quickly

People delay responding to emails at least 37% of the time, which turns finding emails and responding to them into additional tasks that cost time and lead to attention residue. Most emails take under two minutes to respond. When you can respond to an email, do so instead of putting it off. This won’t just put your mind at peace, it’ll also reduce the number of “did-you-see-this” follow-up emails in your inbox.

“I do love email. Wherever possible I try to communicate asynchronously. I’m really good at email.” – Elon Musk

3. The If-Then Technique

The If-Then technique helps you address multiple scenarios at once. For instance, an email that says, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM?” becomes, “Can we meet at 3:00 PM? If not, please advise three other times that work for you.”

This technique is also effective when you want to suggest ideas or provide instructions on alternative steps. For example, “Here’s Plan A. If it doesn’t work, connect with [name] and ask for [specific information]. If you don’t get what you need, inform me.”

I’ll admit. This sounds like more work in the current moment, but it drastically cuts down the number of trail mails, confused correspondences, and fire-fighting instances that occur due to miscommunication.

The If-Then formula is the single most effective technique I’ve learned from The 4-Hour Workweek. All of this doesn’t mean that you abandon phone calls, In fact, it’s better to use the phone for sensitive topics or if an email conversation gets dragged. But remain mindful to not let phone calls waste your time.

If you want to pursue a meaningful life, place a premium on your time. Do things that create time for you to pursue meaningful actions and avoid doing what pulls you away from them. In the knowledge economy, this is the key to success.

Do you prefer email or talking on the phone? Share your thoughts below!

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4 Questions You Need to Answer Before You Reach the Level of Success You So Desperately Crave

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It’s normal that every person in the world wants to reach success and happiness. Yet, everyone defines both of these things differently. For some, success is making a whole bunch of money while for others this can be to become a good parent. Happiness is defined differently as well. Some people need to own a jet, boat and 3 cars to be truly happy, while others are happy just to be able to wake up in the morning.

It doesn’t matter how you define success and happiness, the truth is, you want to achieve them both. But, to be able to reach success and happiness, you need to answer 4 questions for yourself.

Here are the 4 questions you need to answer before you can achieve success and happiness:

1. Where Are You?

No, not geographically. It doesn’t matter where you live. What matters is where are you in life. Where are you in your way to success and happiness. Let’s say you are lost in the woods. You know exactly where you want to go, but you don’t know where you are. Even a map doesn’t help you with that.

The same is true in life. You may have a goal, but until you truly define where you are in the moment, you can’t move toward this goal. So, step 1 on your way to success and happiness is to define where you are right now.

“Successful people do what unsuccessful people are not willing to do. Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” – Jim Rohn

2. Where Do You Want to Go?

When you define where you are in life, then you can think of where you want to be.

There’s this saying:  When you don´t know your final destination, you´ll end up somewhere you didn’t want to be. Until you don’t know clearly where you want to be in life and who you want to become, your life doesn’t have a true purpose.

Without purpose, there´s no motivation. Without motivation, there´s no energy. And without energy, you´re not living, you´re just existing. I am sure you know someone who looks like a walking corpse everytime you see them. Do you think this person lives a successful and happy life? Most likely not.

So, step 2 on your way to success and happiness is to clearly define your goal. What do you want to accomplish and who do you want to become?

3. Why Do You Want It?

Okay, you know the basics. You know where you are and where you want to be. But, as Rocky Balboa said, “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.” And as you already know, life usually doesn’t go according to your plan. There will be hard times and to overcome those and not give up, you need to know WHY you do what you do.

You need to know WHY you want to accomplish your goals. When you answer this for yourself, you don’t struggle so much to motivate yourself. You will be motivated every minute of every day.

So, as a step 3, sit down and think of WHY you want to accomplish your goals. What’s the big purpose?

“We can change our lives. We can do, have, and be exactly what we wish.” – Tony Robbins

4. How Are You Going to Get There?

And finally, how are you going to get there? What’s your plan? You may know where you are, where you want to be and why you want to do it, but until you truly understand how you are going to get there, there won’t be much success and happiness in your life.

For example, you want to become a bodybuilder. You want to do it because you want to have big muscles and you want to look fit. But, you have no idea how to work out, how to build muscle and how to lose fat. Do you think, you´re going to be happy? No. As Tony Robbins says, “true happiness comes from progress.”

To make progress, you need to have a specific plan; how to get from point A (where you are) to point B (where you want to be). So, as a step 4, sit down and make a specific plan for how you’re going to get what you want in life.

In order to reach success and happiness, there are 4 questions you need to answer for yourself. Without answering them, you´re not going to  get ahead in life, you´re just bouncing around. Success and happiness never come from just bouncing around in life.

Good news is, that these questions are really simple. It won’t take much time to answer them. Just be aware of where you are and where you want to be. Don´t forget to understand why you are pursuing your dream and finally, how are you going to get what you want.

Answer these 4 simple questions today and you won’t struggle with finding success and happiness in life anymore.

Which one of the above 4 questions resonated most with you and why? Share your thoughts and ideas below!

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The Empathetic Heart: How The CHO of VaynerMedia Is Changing The Way We Work

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Claude Silver CHO of Vaynermedia
Image Credit: VaynerMedia

A month after I had joined LinkedIn back in July of 2018, I sent Claude Silver a connection request and began following her content. One day she made a post saying “Ask and you shall receive, what can I do to help you today?”. I commented on that post asking for a 5 minute interview and to my surprise she agreed by asking me to send her a message (I was given a full hour). This was the first example of pure kindness I witnessed from Claude.

The first message you see on Claude’s website is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something. That message spoke to me on an emotional level, and I believe it will speak to you too. I wanted to know how she created such an amazing culture, what being a “culture carrier” meant, and how the employees at VaynerMedia have been changed by her work there.

A culture carrier in Claude’s own words is “someone who is aligned with our values, I can’t teach someone to be kind they have to already be kind. The process of developing a culture carrier takes about 6 months. It’s about bringing people together and having strong core values of kindness and empathy.”

Gary Vaynerchuk, co-founder of VaynerMedia, is often referred to as a combination of hustle and heart. With the hiring of Claude and the work she has accomplished within the company, it speaks to the level of empathy that can be felt throughout the entire operation.

Although business can be a challenging, tough, and often cut-throat terrain, by putting employees first and providing honest feedback the company has grown to include offices in New York, Chattanooga, Los Angeles and London, and continues to dominate the market.

Below we’ll see 3 different ways the CHO of VaynerMedia is changing the way people work:

1. By being unafraid to share her own story

Claude has been an influential part of breaking the stigma surrounding vulnerability in the business arena. Not only does she openly share her own story, but she sits down with employees to better understand their vulnerabilities and how to use characteristics that previously would have been considered weaknesses as strengths.

When asked what her biggest adventure to date was she replied “Having Shalom (her daughter). I have had an amazing life, I moved, worked hard, landed an amazing job and fell in love but it didn’t come without its challenges.”

Claude is openly gay and is living proof your sexual orientation doesn’t matter. Nothing matters but your character, your track record, and if you leave people a little better off than before you met them. From Claude, business leaders, employees and entrepreneurs can learn to be more open both on social media and in person, allowing them to build more meaningful relationships and connect on a deeper level. A deeper connection can mean more leverage but it also means a more lasting impact on the world.

“Everyone has something they can share. I’m not famous. I don’t have anything that would be newsworthy, but I have stories.” – Tafta Johnson Watson

2. Committing to a strong value system

VaynerMedia has some serious values for such a large company and those values are expected to be upheld by every employee and visitor. Values like kindness, empathy, honesty, hustle and the art of not complaining.

With Claude holding the title of Chief Heart Officer, she is the guiding light for others. When recruiting, she says she “takes the time to evaluate an individual’s talents but most importantly their own heart”.  

Gary Vaynerchuk is quoted as saying:”To me, there’s no debate that kindness is a strength. And it breaks my heart to know that so many people believe it’s a weakness. So many people are afraid that other people will take advantage of their kindness or make them feel “used.” But the truth is, those who take advantage of your kindness are weak on the inside. Feel bad for them, don’t let them make you feel bad about yourself“.

Both Claude and Gary teach aspiring entrepreneurs that it is okay to live with an open heart and that having the strength to commit to and live with a strong value system, will be a powerful tool during the hustle journey. It also allows you to go to bed at night actually liking the person that you are, nothing will kill a business faster than going to bed at night and hating yourself.

3. Listening with action

As mentioned above Claude’s slogan is: People need people. People need people that listen and then do something.  As a woman who wears many hats, she is also an Outward Bound Instructor, taking individuals on amazing adventures in the outdoors.

Taking action on any given day can mean a number of different things but it speaks to her own character and driving force that she is able to not only guide people through the world of office politics but also through the serene and sometimes challenging wilderness.

Claude cultivates an environment of trust by first offering individuals her own trust. It is a huge and vulnerable action that leads to a relationship of love – heart – and productivity. Listening as an action is something that has the power to change an entire organization from an unproductive, toxic environment to one that promotes creativity, passion, inclusion and positivity.

“Relationships are leverage. If you give value to someone else first, you have leverage.” – Gary Vaynerchuk

To get the truest sense of how Claude was changing the way people work, I asked her co-workers to tell me what working alongside Claude has done for them. Here is one of the answers I received:

“During my time working alongside Claude, I’ve really come to appreciate her example of being a good listener. As a society, we tend to praise the power of speaking. But Claude demonstrates on a daily basis that the most important thing everybody wants is to be heard.” – Steve Babcock, Chief Creative Officer VaynerMedia.

I tried looking for images of Claude on her website and I think it speaks to how focused she is on holding space for others, because I couldn’t find a single full sized image of her to use. I googled. Writing this piece has opened me up to evaluate my own values and the way I connect with people in my daily life.

From this article, it is my own hope that entrepreneurs come to the understanding that although tenacity and true grit are really important, the whole of what Claude represents is something to strive towards. The “soft” skills you develop are humongous strengths and to truly impact an entire organization.

What’s the last random act of kindness you did for someone? Share with us below!

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The 7 Secrets of High Achievers Revealed

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We all have goals in life, but very few of us ever learn to consciously set, work on and see our goals through. In our naturalness bias, we marvel at those who have set and reached their goals thinking they have some esoteric abilities that we don’t. We overlook that the final product is the result of a series of mistake-ridden, unrecorded pains. What if we could learn from the process, the habits and rituals of the high achievers? (more…)

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