Working Women Masterminds

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Chances are, if you’re working, you are involved in some kind of business group, association or club. It may be specific to your industry, gender or general interests, but in all cases, the idea is to help you in your career or personal goals. The concept is not new. As a matter of fact, author Napoleon Hill created it about 80 years ago with his book Think and Grow Rich. The idea was to design a group to help people navigate challenges using the collective intelligence of others.

Today, they are known as Mastermind groups, peer-to-peer mentors helping each other solve their problems with input and advice from the group members. In particular, women have been helping women for a very long time and Mastermind groups afford them new and exciting opportunities and connections.

A group of like-minded women (and/or men) meet on a regular basis, perhaps weekly, monthly or even daily if deemed necessary, to identify problems or issues and work on them together. Tackling the challenges together in a structured setting allows them to lean on each other by not only sharing their collective wisdom, but their connections when appropriate. Groups are typically kept at a small number, say around ten. Most, if not all, women who experience this type of mentoring say it is one of the most important avenues to success in their careers and wonder why it took them so long to get involved.

Why is this and why should you participate in one of these groups? Let’s take a look at a typical process for a Mastermind group today.

First, you are most likely going to be screened before joining the group. Don’t worry. It’s not a clique and this isn’t designed to pick friends; it’s just important that you meet the qualifications, knowledge and level of experience to become an integral and successful member of the group. After all, your desires and needs should match your chosen group. Otherwise, it won’t be as effective.
So yes, you will find comrades with varied interests than you, but the difference certainly plays to your advantage in this close-knit group. All discussion is normally confidential and each member turns into a valuable advisor to every member, not to mention a free advisor. Suddenly, you have lost that feeling of loneliness and gained the invaluable reward of mutual trust and even friendship.

Then you should experience a collaboration of some sort. Perhaps another member needs your expertise on a marketing project and feels reticent to approach anyone in her office, but you own a marketing firm. Matches like this can result in new, bold achievements as well as solid networks.

Now, you are on your way to fast-tracking that network. Women know how important networking is to their careers and by joining a Mastermind group, you will achieve quicker results. And naturally, you will stretch your mind because you are surrounded by novel ideas and the women who provide them. You will find skill sets unlike your own and together, with all the experience and connections in the group, the sky’s the limit.

Some Mastermind groups are international, some local. A quick search on the internet reveals many groups looking for members to join: Women’s Business Mastermind, Women on The Leading Edge, Women’s Business Alliance, Women Business Owners, Women in Business Mastermind, Women CEO Project, Meetup, the Success Alliance. Anyone looking to join a group should have little problem finding one and connecting. But it’s important to remember to match your own skill set, experience and knowledge base with the group’s members. If not, your needs will not be met and you will grow discouraged with the group. If you find yourself stuck in a group because you are the most experienced one and feel guilty about leaving, don’t. The group works well only if every member is contributing equally and achieves a certain level of success.

Groups exist for almost every interest: entrepreneurs, solopreneurs, freelancers, family and generational business owners, purpose-driven business owners, investors and professionals, leaders and change makers, inspiration seekers and people in just about every industry out there. Even so, some women cannot find a group that appeals to them so they start their own group. It’s not too hard to do, given that the internet affords us video conferencing and group meetings. You don’t even have to live in the same town to participate. On the other hand, you could travel overseas for a week-long Mastermind session!

The choices are truly endless for anyone interested in joining, initiating, organizing or operating a Mastermind group. And in so doing, women everywhere are empowering each other economically, personally, spiritually and culturally.

Opportunities are falling from the sky for anyone looking to catch them. ■

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