Mastermind group members and Facilitators share stories of how mastermind groups have changed their lives.
Have a mastermind group success story? Submit it here!
A seasoned entrepreneur in the life-sciences area, in his mid-fifties, brought to the mastermind group a situation of personal/professional conflict. On the one hand, his “baby,” an early stage biotech firm with large promise, had progressed substantially over the past few years and the company’s technology could one day alleviate suffering of millions.
On the other hand, there were extreme financial pressures on this entrepreneur as the private investor in the venture had refused to forward payments and the entrepreneur had not received his monthly salary for 7 months. If he were to abandon the venture and seek out other opportunities, he explained, the company would likely falter or perhaps closed down, and with it the dream and the “big vision”. If he were to stay on and attempt to ride out the waves he would further drain his economic resources, which were already strained as his children had grown up, one having recently married and on his own, the others still in need of his support.
The mastermind group went to work to “brainstorm” possibilities for the entrepreneur, but what actually happened is that in somewhere in the process one participant’s question “hit a sensitive nerve”. This question asked how the entrepreneur viewed his financial “commitments” to his children as they grew up and “left the nest”. The question, which would sound just like another ordinary question in another setting, took on unusual power for the entrepreneur who stopped “in mid-air” saying,” this is a very interesting question, I had not looked at it this way before.”
It was not the “creativity” of the brainstorm that brought focus to a conflicted situation, but the timing, setting, support and power of association that the mastermind gave to this entrepreneur at this particular time in his life, career and conflict. The brainstorm had become a mastermind because it was willing to dig deeper than technicalities and “things” into such things as values, paradigms and the inter-connectedness of our lives.
Ronnie Dunetz, MBA
Business, Life and Mastermind Coaching
I really have great respect for each member of our group. Knowing when we bring something up we will get honest, thoughtful, and insightful answers is wonderful — whether it is getting called on crap, a great suggestion, or some rah-rah support.
In most cases there are great lessons for me in just listening to and pondering the others’ concerns and thoughts.
I like rubbing elbows with small business owners who are intelligent, motivated, and can understand what it is like to have your own business. I like this group in particular because I always trust that their opinions and comments will come from an honest, constructive, and loving place.
Sometimes just a little thing that was said can make a big difference in helping me to initiate change or get a better understanding of myself.
Dr. Susan Burger, DC
I think what is most important about this group for me is this:
Through this group, I have learned and continue to learn how to belong to a community with varied life experiences, perceptions and beliefs, and still stay true to myself. For a long time, my need to belong to a community meant that I suppressed important parts of ME. When I recognized that I needed to reclaim those parts of myself, I lost a lot of the members of my former community because it was no longer a fit. I wondered for a time if it was impossible to have both.
Through this group I see we CAN have both. I see that when we find the right community, then individuality is actually enhanced by belonging to it.
I love metaphors so I’ll describe it this way. This community supports me as I learn how to fly, reminds me of my flight plan when I get off course, and calls me on it when I’m scared to take off.
And moreover, I get to cheer you on as you fly too. Watching all of you is a source of energy. When you all move forward with your lives, it actually gives me power stay in touch with my own vision and to move forward with my own life.
Two years ago I decided I’d like a place to go where I could meet regularly with successful colleagues I trust and respect that were in similar businesses—a place where we could brainstorm and share ideas, resources, advice and even partner on projects.
So I began reaching out to a small group of women who, like me, have successful online marketing and coaching businesses and whose reputations I respected. I explained what my goals were for the group and why I thought it would be advantageous for each to join. To my surprise, most said yes immediately. Each of these women are solo-preneurs with outsourced teams, but like me, they were looking for the same type of support I was proposing. One of our main goals was to help each other dramatically increase our online success.
Since then we’ve met monthly by teleconference and we communicate regularly via a private Yahoo group. Not only have we become friends, but valued business advisors and collaborators. We share our best resources, best practices, best marketing ideas, best systems and best connections. We’ve done numerous joint ventures with each other and all of our businesses have grown substantially. Occasionally we get a chance to meet in person at a business conference and it’s always like spending time with an old friend. And yes, we have fun!
I like these women. They are smart, open, collaborative, focused and successful. They don’t make excuses; they are confident. I’ve learned so much from them and I hope I’ve given as much in return. We make money together and we give each other support. When we’re perplexed or have a business problem, we have a place to go to get honest feedback and direction.
North Carolina, USA
I have to tell you what a difference your mastermind group has made in my life, both personally and professionally. Being a part of such a wonderfully warm and supportive group of other self-employed people has been priceless.
Knowing that there is a group of professionals who jump up and down when I have a success, or brainstorm a solution when I hit a brick wall, or who share resources when I have a question, or who help me sort things out when I feel overwhelmed, or who can relate when I just need to vent—these all mean so much to me. I am sure that I would not be as close to reaching so many of my goals without this group.
To think of the many self-employed individuals out there, doing it on his or her own and the time they waste, the trial and errors they go through, the wrong moves, and untapped resources—I am so thankful I am not one of them (any more)!
New Jersey, USA
As a solo practitioner, I find it invaluable to have other professionals who know my WHOLE story (personal and professional) with whom I can share my business plans. I have no one here to bounce my ideas off of, and having access to everyone’s support any time I need it is wonderful.
I think our mastermind group is special because it is virtual. Because we communicate by email and phone calls, there is an element of anonymity. I know a lot has been written about how people abuse the anonymity that the Internet offers, but in this case I think it allows us to reveal more about what’s going on in our businesses and lives in an environment that feels safe. That level of communication leads to a feeling of support and friendship that is quite genuine, despite the distances between us.
The group has helped me to envision a business that takes full advantage of opportunities that exist, without limiting myself to my own perception of my capabilities. The overall spirit of this group seems to be “You Go Girl!” and that is exactly the kind of encouragement I need to grow my business and think about it in ways that don’t always occur to me.
CEO and joint owner of a company in the technology area shared with the mastermind group the managerial and emotional challenges he was facing in having to dismiss a large number of employees in this company in the very near-term. This CEO openly shared that this act which was forced upon him due to a huge loss of revenue from international sales stemming from the world financial crisis. He was very concerned about having to dismiss so many people, it was something that did not sit well with him and his values as a manager, a leader and as a human being. Many of his employees are people who have been with him for years, some have disabilities, others are advanced in age, and still others are actually family relations.
The CEO requested a mastermind discussion around possibilities and alternatives in and around this topic of difficulty for him. The group ostensibly “brainstormed” various angles and points, but in essence it was a true “mastermind”. Some 15 people linked up with this CEO in listening, “being there”, generating “brainpower”, leveraging experience and allowing this CEO to benefit from the group’s power of association, empathy and focus. Within 30 minutes, a few ideas for this CEO had emerged, others became better focused, some fears were allayed and commitment to certain actions (of the CEO) was strengthened. The 30 minutes touched all in the group, who themselves are managers of others. It touched them in that unseen but ubiquitous space of “manager/human being” that so many of us know. Technically, it was a “brainstorm” to benefit only one person, but at another level it was a brainstorm for all 15 participants in the room.
Ronnie Dunetz, MBA
Business, Life and Mastermind Coaching