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Tips & Talk 31 – How to Start Your Own Mastermind Group
6th October 2021 • Gift Biz Unwrapped • Sue Monhait
00:00:00 00:16:38

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Women together talking about their businessesMasterminds. Perhaps you've invested in one before that included a professional moderator and was timebound - a few months or even a year. These is the traditional structure of a formal mastermind. I'm talking today about how you can create your own local mastermind group. It brings a level of support that will prove to be a powerful resource to move your business forward. And it's free! I've also created a blog covering all the points I bring up in the podcast. To read or print this out for your own mastermind development use, you can access it here. Join my FREE Gift Biz Breeze FB Community where you'll have the chance to learn and hang out with other inspirational makers just like you. If you found value in this podcast, make sure to subscribe so you automatically get the next episode downloaded for your convenience. Click on your preferred platform below to get started. Also, if you'd like to do me a huge favor - please leave a review. It helps other creators like you find the show and build their businesses too. You can do so right here: Rate This Podcast Apple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsSpotify Thank you so much! Sue Know someone who needs to hear this episode?

Transcripts

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Hi there.

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It's Sue.

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And thanks for joining me for tips and talk day.

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These are bite-sized topics that I pull from community questions and

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things that I'm observing in the world of handmade small business.

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If you'd like to submit a topic,

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DME, over on Instagram at gift biz unwrapped today,

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we're going to talk about masterminds and more importantly,

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how you can create your own mastermind.

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I think that probably a lot of you have heard about

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masterminds. It's like,

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oh my gosh,

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they're going to cost thousands of dollars.

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Sometimes masterminds are tens of thousands of dollars.

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And this isn't for you.

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I'm going to tell you about how you can make your

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own mastermind,

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what the elements are,

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what the advantages are coming from your girl who has done

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this. I have been part of a local mastermind for 20

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years. Truth is it's just disbanded,

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but that's because of lifestyle changes.

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People moving businesses,

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completing their lifecycle,

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et cetera.

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A mastermind is a group of people getting together.

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You can do this either virtually,

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but I really think the very best thing is in person.

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And that's what I'm going to be talking to you about

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right now and helping each other,

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grow your businesses.

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The value of doing this is a few things.

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Number one,

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you learn from other people.

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Number two,

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you get a chance to strategize,

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kick around ideas with people who aren't just friends or family,

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people who are also trying to grow their own business.

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And they may have some ideas that can apply to you.

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They may have done some things that you're thinking about and

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give you some cautionary tales or some advice to way to

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go back and forth and talk about what you're planning to

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do. So you don't feel all alone,

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you know,

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as a solo entrepreneur,

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just being all by yourself.

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And then the third thing is accountability.

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Because once you create a plan and you tell everybody in

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your mastermind that you're going to do it,

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then the trick is actually following through and taking the action.

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Those are the values of masterminds learning the ability to do

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strategic planning with people who get it and then accountability.

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And guess what?

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You don't need to always join an organized mastermind where you're

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having to pay money into the system to get the advantages

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that a mastermind can bring.

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I was mentioning a minute ago that I was part of

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a mastermind here locally for years,

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at least a decade.

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I'm not even sure if it was more than that.

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And I'll tell you something.

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We went through selling businesses,

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having people being sued,

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buying businesses,

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some personal things too,

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like adopting a child from overseas,

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let's see employee problems,

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all different types of things we talked about.

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You can imagine within the 10 years of being in a

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mastermind, what ended up happening as we progressed in time,

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we all knew each other's businesses.

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So well,

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we could celebrate the wins.

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We could be there for support with the challenges,

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but we had each other's backs.

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And how awesome is it?

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When you have a group of people,

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you can help in an instant because you know their businesses

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so well.

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So let me share with you here.

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Some steps of what to do,

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if you are interested in creating your own mastermind.

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The first thing that I would look at is the selection

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of people who you want to reach out to,

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to be part of your mastermind.

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My advice here is not to select people who are in

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the same industry as you.

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Why? Because different industries provide different opportunities for learning.

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And so people will bring more information to the table for

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you. For example,

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in the mastermind that I had,

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we had me.

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And at that point I was in my gift basket business.

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When I first started,

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of course now I've evolved to my other businesses,

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but I also came with a corporate sales and marketing background.

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We had an organizer,

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she came from corporate HR.

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So now there's another layer of experience that we can tap

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into. Then we had an orthodontist,

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by the way,

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she's the first woman president of the national orthodontic association,

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shout out to Robin.

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She was also a professor at a local university.

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Then we also had a travel agent and gosh,

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how that industry has changed from 15 years ago.

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So you can see that by bringing people in from other

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types of industries,

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you're layering on the value and the knowledge that'll be around

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a table for a mastermind.

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First thing is the selection of the people.

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Second thing I would suggest is size somewhere between four and

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six people.

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The reason for that is you can have a very small,

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intimate discussion.

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I know masterminds can get up to 12,

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18 people,

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which is fine.

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If it's more structured and you're actually paying for that structure

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where you have a moderator,

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but if you're putting your own group together,

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keep it smaller.

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Four to six would be my advice.

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Personalities is the third point.

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If you're the one who's putting this together,

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you can reach out and we're Nate and organize people who

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you already know personalities don't have to match,

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but they should blend together.

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So they should be compatible because there will come times as

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you get to know each other better,

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where you might challenge each other and say,

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Hey, I think you could be doing more than you're doing.

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Or what do you think about doing this?

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I know you're afraid to do it,

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but make a commitment,

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go to that craft show next weekend,

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you know,

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or, or whatever the case might be.

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And you want to have compatible personalities to be able to

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do that.

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The next thing after you have invited people to be in

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the group.

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So let's say you've selected your four to six people and

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they've said,

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yes. So yay for you.

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Now let's talk about where you would meet the big value

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here is meeting in person.

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What we did is selected a local,

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no, not local well local,

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because it was easy enough to drive to,

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and we'd talk over dinner,

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nothing wrong with talking business over a glass of wine and

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a nice meal,

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have a meeting place that all of you will look forward

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to going to,

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and I suggest that it not be right in your hometown

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or right in a popular location.

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You want it to be where you can grab your own

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table off to the side where people aren't going to be

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coming up and saying hi to you every minute,

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because this should be considered a business meeting.

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You're strategizing with other people about their businesses,

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right? So you want it to be uninterrupted time,

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albeit fun,

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entertaining time,

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which is what you can do.

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You know,

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if you're doing this over a meal that's location,

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you want to make sure that it's an atmosphere that allows

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some level of privacy.

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Because if you're talking about something that's personal,

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you don't want the table over to be able to hear

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that. Now with social distancing lately,

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that's become less of an issue,

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but it's something to think about when you're thinking about a

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location. Now you've picked your location.

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Let's talk about the schedule we used to meet monthly and

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monthly. I felt was a really good timeframe because it was

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enough time for people to accomplish things that they decided they

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were going to get taken care of and done.

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And then they can report back within four weeks.

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Right? But it's not too much where you're going too far.

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Like if you met quarterly,

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I don't think that that's enough for a mastermind.

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So monthly,

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I think is perfect.

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And what we did is we said the second Tuesday of

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every month,

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something specific,

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so we could get it in our calendar right away.

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Everybody knew that that was the date.

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And I'll tell you,

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we were so committed to each other.

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That pretty much nothing overrode those dates,

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unless like you're out at a show which you can't change

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the dates of a show.

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Something happens with illnesses,

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that type of thing.

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We were really,

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really committed to being there for ourselves,

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but more for each other,

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by being able to put those dates in your calendar,

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right from the start,

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you're more likely to be able to honor those dates.

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Okay. So you all get together around a table.

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Now, what are you going to talk about?

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The best thing to do when you're just starting,

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obviously, as you have to learn about each other and gain

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a level of trust with each other,

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go around the table.

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Talk about your businesses a little bit about your family,

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because business does include personal life.

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Obviously get to know each other.

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And this takes a little bit of time.

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And over the course of meetings,

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your trust will develop and then talk about where your business

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is and what you're trying to achieve,

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or what your biggest challenges next.

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And then get feedback.

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It's like being on a hot seat where you are now

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talking about your business and you're offering up a topic to

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everybody that the table to give input on what ideas might

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they have brainstorming and conversation at each meeting.

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And this is another reason why you want to keep it

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between four and six people at each meeting,

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everybody gets to talk,

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okay? So everybody is giving help and everyone is getting help

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for their situations.

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And then when you get really comfortable,

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then you start holding people accountable.

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So you say,

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all right,

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this is what you said you were going to do by

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next time we meet,

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I want to know if it's done.

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And so then there's linkage between each meeting because one person,

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what they said they were going to do,

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then the next time you follow up and say,

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well, how did it go?

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What stumbling blocks did you have?

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Is it all done?

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What are you moving onto next?

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So that's where that whole accountability comes in.

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There are also times maybe where you'll decide we're going to

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tackle a topic that we all need to do.

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There was a point where I was talking about my business

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plan and everyone else's like business plan.

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What's a business plan.

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Why do you need a business plan?

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What is that?

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Anyway? And I have a whole different feeling today about business

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plans than I did then,

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but that led into each of us creating a business plan,

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not just to have on paper,

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to put on a shelf,

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never to look at it again,

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but to use as a working document,

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to guide our business forward for the year.

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That was a really interesting year.

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When we did those,

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you can see that you can start with topic that you

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are all going to share or each individual person what you're

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encountering in your business,

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where your challenges are and what are the next steps.

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We went through a whole bunch of different types of things

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that you may never encounter in your business,

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but how great is it to be able to be supportive

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and willing to help another person with what's going on in

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their business and knowledge,

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intimate knowledge,

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I'll say behind the scenes of other businesses strengthened to you

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as a business owner as well.

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Obviously there's a level of trust.

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We never signed a nondisclosure agreements.

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You may decide that you need to,

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but the value of this,

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I cannot overstate when you get to the point where you

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can be so honest about your businesses with each other and

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how much you can help another person move their business forward.

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And they can give you advice and confidence so that you

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can move your business forward.

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And the final part to all of this is celebrating your

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successes. When you have a group of people who know how

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much work it was to reach a new milestone in your

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business, not only that,

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but they might have contributed to helping you get there.

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The feeling of success for all of you at the table

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in the mastermind is great.

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I mean,

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I was sometimes even happier for other people's achievements than my

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own because I knew how hard it was and what an

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obstacle it had been for them to be able to get

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to where they were.

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So these are all benefits of creating your own masterminds.

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And I don't mean to say here or discount in any

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way, masterminds that you might invest in.

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I think there are different things you can get out of

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those types of masterminds.

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Then you can get with creating your very own local mastermind.

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So let me summarize again,

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what the steps would be and the different points to creating

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one for yourself.

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So you're the leader you're taking control.

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You're going to create a mastermind.

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The first thing to do is the selection of people.

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Look for people who come from different industries and possible multiple

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backgrounds within their past experience,

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because they're just bringing more information to the table that you

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guys can tap into.

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Secondly, size,

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keep it four to six people.

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Third personalities doesn't mean that everybody is a similar match of

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a personality,

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but everyone blends together.

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Like you don't want someone who's dominating.

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The conversation is always talking.

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You also want people who are all givers in one way

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or another.

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Oh, I forgot to talk about this earlier.

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Gender, something to consider.

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We were an all female group it's not necessary,

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but it's something to think about as you're forming the group,

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how you would feel about that,

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whether you would want it to be all one gender or

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not. If it matters,

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whatever, then we talked about the meeting place,

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something that is convenient and a fun place where you're looking

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forward to going to a place where you're not going to

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get interrupted by people who know you and come to your

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table and interrupt you all the time,

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then set a schedule.

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I personally liked the monthly and put it on the calendar.

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So everyone knows that these are dates.

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We are committing to each other as a group.

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Like I said,

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we were over dinner.

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So our meetings were two and a half,

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three hours,

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but maybe you have a time limit.

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It's an hour and a half a timeframe where you can

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get into the issues deep enough.

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And that also everybody gets a chance to talk.

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That's really important.

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Then topics you go around.

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And if you don't have a specific topic that you're working

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on, then have everybody talk about what they've achieved within the

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last month and then where their challenges are or what they're

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working on for the next 30 days.

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It could be something big.

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It could be something little,

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it could be part of a project.

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It really depends on where everybody is at that time.

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And then of course celebrating the successes.

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Michelle's asking what if you're a newbie business owner and you

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feel you have nothing to contribute.

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This is a good point,

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Michelle, and something that I didn't bring up,

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I find that masterminds are best if everybody is somewhat at

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the same level in business.

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So if you're a business newbie,

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then I would match up with other people who have been

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in business for a year or less.

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When you don't do that,

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when you have more established business owners and then newbies,

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what happens is most of the time the established people are

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coaching and there's not as much value for that other person.

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The best thing is to try and keep it on the

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same level of time into a business.

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As you possibly can.

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You don't have to wait for someone to invite you into

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a mastermind.

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You don't have to wait to have enough money to join

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an already structured mastermind.

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You can control this yourself and reap all the benefits that

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a mastermind can offer.

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That's a wrap.

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I'm a get to the point kind of girl.

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And this is what you can expect from these quick midweek

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sessions. Now it's your turn go out and fulfill that dream

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of yours.

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Share your handmade products with us.

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We want them,