Why Even Introverts Need a Mastermind Group
Less than a year ago, the word ‘mastermind’ to me meant a black leathery chair, a stressful spotlight and… John Humphrys.
Then as the word started popping up in books I was reading (Napoleon Hill’s classic ‘Think and Grow Rich‘ being one) and podcasts I listened to.
It turns out, a mastermind is actually just a group of people who all have goals or aspirations they’re trying to achieve.
The group meet to discuss ideas, work through problems, support each other, share resources, and basically help each other achieve their goals.
It was actually the day after hearing this Amy Porterfield podcast I set about putting my own mastermind group together. Until that time, I thought it would be impossible for me to be in a mastermind group.
I didn’t know anyone in a mastermind, and any I found online were either for the super-elite or simply full.
What I realised from Jaime on Amy’s show was that I didn’t have to be the one waiting for the invite, or selling organs to pay for it.
I could set up my own mastermind group – a group of peers who were at a similar place in their business.
Thanks to the Princes Trust Enterprise Program*, I knew plenty of amazing business owners who I fit the bill.
I started emailing and making calls, and within a week, I had 5 other savvy business owners to bounce ideas off, support and learn from.
*If you don’t have a group of businesses you can reach out to, consider your peers online – fellow Facebook group members, bloggers, any businesses you’ve connected with on social media…
But let’s back up a bit… why did I feel the need to join a mastermind group?
I’ve never liked team sports…
I always do my best work alone…
Plus, don’t too many cooks spoil the broth?
Well that is definitely what the introvert in me thought to begin with.
But as I discovered more and more successful people who absolutely swore by their mastermind, I had to admit: there must be something in it.
I also knew from being part of a few private Facebook groups, that there was something special about a limited number of people who genuinely wanted to scratch each others backs.
(Well, not literally.)
The other problem I was facing in my business at the time was lack of support in ‘real life’. As much as I love my friends and family: none of them even owned a business – let alone an online one.
Trying to bounce ideas off them around email lists and algorithm changes would have been like trying to tell me about the rules of Cricket. It doesn’t interest me and leaves me confused.
So my mastermind itch became increasingly intolerable and I am SO glad I finally scratched it.
These are the reasons I think anyone (even introverts) need a mastermind group:
Particularly when you work for yourself, in a grand old business of one, there are days when you need reassurance. I do anyway.
It might be just having someone else to moan to about taxes, or someone to tell you ‘I know it’s hard but I believe you can do it’ – just having that come from someone in a similar boat makes a huge difference for me.
I know friends and family support me, but having someone who can fully relate is invaluable.
If you’re familiar with Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies you’ll know where I’m going with this.
Some of us are superb at getting things done just because they’re on our to-do list. Some of us just need to know why they have to do the thing.
Others rebel altogether.
Others just need someone to be relying on them – to hold them accountable. To text them “Where the f are you?!” when they don’t show up.
I think sometimes we all need a bit of a push from others. Having a mastermind meeting in your calendar – whether it’s in person or on a call – can be a game-changer in everything from hitting goals in business to just doing that thing you’ve been putting off for weeks.
3) Unbiased feedback
A problem I’ve always found (even as a child holding drawings of mangled cats up to my parents) is where to get honest feedback.
I can’t say I’ve always found criticism easy to take – but I still value it. I might not follow all the advice I’m given – but I’ll consider it.
Trying to get an outside perspective from someone who 1) isn’t close to your business and 2) doesn’t love you SO much they couldn’t hurt you is key to improving anything you’re working on.
4) New perspectives
Just like getting feedback from unbiased peers, getting ideas from those who aren’t even in the same industry as you is huge.
It brings fresh, unique perspectives into your business you wouldn’t find no matter how many hours you spent mulling over a problem.
NB: I wouldn’t recommend joining a group that is SO far removed from what you do: for example, physical product sellers might be best suited to a different group than those selling services. I also recommend starting with a group who are at a similar place in their business, in terms of profit for example.
5) Tools & Tips
One of my favourite parts of any mastermind meeting is the excitement that surrounds a shared resource. I think last meeting (may be the last two…) I was banging on about my love for Periscope, which I think convinced some of my fellow masterminds to get on board with the live video content 😉
I’ve also discovered loads of books, apps, plugins and tricks that my group has shared, and I love that we do this without fear that someone else is going to know ‘our little secret’.
I think that’s the key to any successful mastermind group: never come with a scarcity mindset. There is enough of the pie for us all to have a slice (plus seconds) and if you don’t agree: GET OUTTA THE CAR (as Chalene J would say.)
Plus, a few more reasons why I believe masterminds are especially great for introverts:
6) It teaches you to talk about yourself
Amazingly, even though I set up the mastermind, on our first meeting I didn’t even introduce myself. I asked the group to explain what they did, what they were currently struggling with and what they could bring to the table.
Somehow we called the meeting to an end by the time it got round to me – typical introvert fail! I think I secretly wanted that to happen though 😉
Since then I’ve become much more vocal about my business, and it really wasn’t so bad. In fact, it was hugely encouraging and every meeting it gets easier to have everyone’s attention.
7) It’s flexible
Even when I’m not feeling up to talking too much about my own struggles, I can kick back and listen. The perfect introvert indulgence.
This allows me to do what I do best: listen to what others are struggling with, and then offer my advice. For some reason, this doesn’t feel awkward at all – it never does.
(Probably why I’d rather help others to promote themselves rather than myself!)
So if you are having a more ‘quiet’ day, know that it’s more than OK to take a back seat and show up as more of a giver than a taker.
8) You can do it from the couch
Not all masterminds can meet up in person, and thanks to Google Hangouts, Skype or services like Zoom – you can totally do this from your office or a coffee shop… or at home in your PJs.
Yes, I do think that meeting up in person is beneficial, for accountability as well as how much more people open up, but I don’t think location should restrict you.
I love the idea of connecting with mastermind members all over the world, and we should totally take advantage of our ability to do so.
Pssst! If you’ve made it this far you’re probably game for giving this mastermind stuff a try 😉
I put together this FREE cheat sheet that explains my top tips for making the most of any mastermind.
Are you a member of a mastermind?
Would you consider joining one or setting one up?
Let me know in the comments below, or email me with any questions: hello[at]catrosedesign.com