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Article Teaser: There are a lot of reasons for the Big Gulp- lack of business knowledge, lack of marketing knowledge, fear of failure, financial pressures, even fear of success. Yet the Big Gulp is really about isolation and lack of support. The trouble is that while there are many different ways to get support, only certain kinds of support really work to move you forward.

Keep reading below...

Why Your Business Needs A Peer-Led MasterMind Group

Copyright (c) 2006-2017
(See This Article in its Original Format.)

My friend Ken, who teaches at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine, describes the 'Big Gulp' that most new doctors face.

The 'Big Gulp' is what happens when the new doctor has been through years of school, amassed a six-figure medical school debt, and graduated with her friends and colleagues. She excitedly rents a space to open her medical practice, hangs out her shingle, and waits for clients.

Gulp. Big Gulp.

Even if you aren't a doctor, I bet you know the Big Gulp.

There are a lot of reasons for the Big Gulp- lack of business knowledge, lack of marketing knowledge, fear of failure, financial pressures, fear of failing her patients, even fear of success.

But, as a doctor might say, those are just symptoms. They aren't the true cause of the Big Gulp. What's really happened is our young doctor friend has been kicked out of the nest to fly on her own. She's spent years with mentors, colleagues, classmates, clinics, and study groups, learning and growing the whole time. Can you imagine becoming a doctor, a good doctor, a confident doctor, using a home study course? The Big Gulp is really about isolation and lack of support. The trouble is that while there are many different ways to get support, only certain kinds of support really work to move you forward. The support that many business owners end up getting falls into one of two categories:
  • Knowledge acquisition.

    This includes books, CDs, even live classes. But it's all information, and doesn't actually give you the support to integrate knowledge and follow-through with it.
  • Maintenance support.

    Maintenance support is a shoulder to cry on, friends who will commiserate with you about your situation, an empathetic colleague.

    I'm a big believer in both of these- you should get plenty of them. But, on their own, they won't move your business forward. So, what will?

    Enter: The MasterMind

    A MasterMind is a peer-led group that comes together to combine some elements of information and maintenance support, but also has what I call 'Progressive Support.' Progressive support includes a critical element: compassionate accountability.

    Compassionate accountability comes from folks you trust enough to be able to tell you the truth, to nudge you forward, to support you moving into uncomfortable areas of learning and application.

    Compassionate accountability is NOT what drill sergeants dish out, nor is it what your nightmare coach from whatever high school sport you tortured yourself with did to you. :)

    You can get Progressive Support from certain types of classes, and I recommend taking those classes (heck, that's why I offer them myself. Plus, I'm taking one with another teacher, too.)

    But, don't rely on classes as the be-all, end-all. Instead, you want a peer-led MasterMind group.

    There are three simple reasons why you want a MasterMind group as a foundation in your business.

    1. It's free.

    Classes cost money. Money is an important element in any business, and there are many things you need to invest in. But, getting your basic, foundational support for free as a give and take with trusted colleagues builds a whole different level of relationship.

    2. It can last forever.

    What if a class you are taking ends and you don't find another one? A Mastermind group can last for years, and provide consistency and perspective no matter what you are learning, or what your business is needing.

    3. It's peer-led.

    In a class situation, you are paying someone to lead. But, as a business owner, you need certain strengths in leadership. A peer-led group gives you the opportunity to both lead and be led. It develops needed aspects that may never come up when you are paying someone to lead you.

    My MasterMind group is the biggest key to why my business has been so successful. Without my MasterMind, I can name at least a dozen major successes (including finishing my book, and getting the Business Oasis up and running) that wouldn't have happened, or would've taken a LOT longer without that support.

    So, I hope I've convinced you. Let me give you some pointers to starting your own Mastermind

    Keys to a Powerful Mastermind

    Although the MasterMind for the Heart booklet goes into much more detail, here are some starting points.
  • The People

    Obviously, without members, you aren't anywhere. You don't need more than four, and you should look for the following characteristics:

    1. You like them.

    2. Their business is in -roughly- (very roughly) the same place as yours.

    3. They have skills, abilities and knowledge that are outside your experience.
  • The Commitment

    You will want to make at least a one-year initial commitment. A MasterMind is a living, breathing organic structure, and it will take time to get through the bumps. Don't expect miracles from the get-go.

    But, by making a one-year commitment, you'll be able to get into a groove with each other.
  • The Structure

    My own MasterMind combines partnering up one-on-one for individual help, as well as our group conference calls. And the daily check-in done on a private forum.

    Incorporate those three structures: group meetings, individual one-on-one time, and a convenient place for a quick daily check-in, and you've got a lot of the basics in place.

    Now, stop doing it all alone, and go ye forth and MasterMind.

    My very best to you and your business,

    Mark Silver


    About The Author: Shop Amazon - Top Gift Ideas
    Mark Silver is the author of Unveiling the Heart of Your Business: How Money, Marketing and Sales can Deepen Your Heart, Heal the World, and Still Add to Your Bottom Line. He has helped hundreds of small business owners around the globe succeed in business without losing their hearts. Get three free chapters of the book online: http://www.heartofbusiness.com

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