Do You (Master)Mind?


I do.

There are different formats for “masterminding,” but the core idea is: get a bunch of smart, trustworthy people together and hash out business problems. The whole of many brains and much experience gathered together is greater than the sum of its parts alone.

Some of the most enjoyable masterminding I’ve done over the years is at the annual SOBCon conference in Chicago. Between 100-150 motivated business people and entrepreneurs get together to not merely listen to presentations, but also to brainstorm real-life business challenges around small tables.

SOBCon table

This past week, I decided to attend a one-day event in Boston – one of a series of mastermind groups that Peter Shankman is putting together. The next one is in Salt Lake City, and you’ll have to contact Peter or his lovely assistant Meagan Walker for details about the rest of the year’s events (note: Meagan runs the operation. Everyone knows that…).

Shaving is optional…

The format was interesting – you sit down at a table with 4 other people you don’t know, and each person gets 21 minutes to present their business and its challenges. Then the others at the table ask questions and suggest solutions, in a creative and quite unscripted manner.

During the breaks, Peter also gives advice about some on-line tools and processes he uses. Helpful stuff. He also convinced me to use Uber for the first time, to get a ride back to my hotel…(great service)!

Like all of us, I get encapsulated in my own little world, and my vision accordingly narrows. So to gain affirmation and direction from folks who didn’t know me from Adam was really quite helpful. Now I really need to consider how Clarity Therapy needs to be extended into a longer-term coaching model. Hmmmmm….

I also use Google+ Hangouts to “meet” virtually with a small but growing group of geographically-dispersed entrepreneurs who mastermind together and seek to create referral opportunities. It’s a powerful model and one that creates very high-quality professional relationships.

For a one-day mastermind session, it may be less crucial to try to accomplish highly-selective curation of individuals. But for an ongoing group, you definitely want to hand-select your trusted advisors. Having an appropriate “entry fee” of some sort helps ensure that you have motivated people who actually want to invest in themselves and others.

How about you? Do you have a mastermind-type group to help you guide and grow your business? How have you put together your “board of advisors“? Please share your advice in the comments!


Related blog post: Baby, It’s Warm Inside (this network)!

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