Bookworm! That’s the best word to describe me in my “spare” time. I love to read because it allows me to instantly learn from the experience of others. In marketing – and in business in general – I think learning from others has been one of my greatest keys to success.
One of the best books I ever read was Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. Hill is created by many for creating the concept of the Mastermind Group. Hill once said, “Analyze the record of any person who has accumulated great fortune, and many of those who have accumulated modest fortunes, and you will find that they have either consciously, or unconsciously, employed the mastermind principle.”
For the last four years I have been part of a Leads Group in town. We meet weekly to discuss new business leads. Additionally, we discuss problems we may be having in our marketing and sales efforts and share ideas to improve in those areas. The group is made up of 15 individuals from different businesses in town, and over the last four years, it has really helped me to learn the community. It has been a local mastermind group of sorts for me.
Last year I went to a conference in Las Vegas called Author 101, where I was introduced to the concept of a mastermind group on a global level made up of people entirely dedicated to building and developing their internet business. Considering we have two internet businesses, I thought $2500 to join such a group might not be a bad idea. I signed up.
My group was made up of six people from three countries (The United States, Scotland, and Canada). I was the only one in my group from Texas. The other two Americans were from California and Nevada. We were lead by an industry expert out of New York named Nat. For one year, we called each other bi-monthly and held each other accountable to our goals. More importantly, we served as resources for each other in growing and developing our businesses. Nat’s expertise was critical in leading the group, but the insight I learned from others was equally as valuable.
Surprisingly, the Mastermind Group helped me to come up with ideas not just for our internet businesses, but it also helped me greatly in my role as a marketing consultant. From our conversations each month, I took away ideas it would have been almost impossible for me to come up with on my own. I also learned to avoid doing mistakes that had cost my fellow group members lots of money thru their trial and errors. Perhaps the best part of the group membership was being able to get a global perspective on things and having a fresh set of eyes from outside of our business offer new insights.
Over the course of the year we were together as a group, I realized Napoleon Hill was right; the mastermind principle is an important key to success. Think about it. The reason we go to conferences is so we can get ideas from others. The reason we read books is so we can borrow ideas from others. The downfall with those things is they’re usually one way conversations. We don’t have an ongoing opportunity to bounce our ideas off of the books or conference presenters. We never really get to have good, ongoing, conversations that could take us to the next level. Being part of a Mastermind Group is well worth the investment.