One of the key components of starting and running a successful business is making sure you are not reinventing the wheel. The web is, of course, the greatest repository of information ever known to humankind. However, searching for knowledge is a tricky thing.
The first issue is that, the answers we find are directly related to the questions we ask. If we are asking the wrong questions, or the un-important questions, the answers aren’t going to help us. The second issue is, it is well known that due to the way the brain processes information, we focus on those bits of information that are closest to the answer we are hoping or expecting to find. Therefore, the harder we concentrate on one or two specific answers, the more likely we are to miss obviously helpful pieces of information that are just slightly out of scope. Thus, these two concepts of asking better questions and looking at possible depots of information with an open mind, are both important and challenging to do on one’s own.
In certain times, and especially in certain professions, the idea of mentorship and apprenticeship was a key element toa person becoming an expert in their chosen area. If you wanted to make violins, you would study with a violin maker, and learn the trade until you too became a master. In today’s world, it’s different. You graduate from college (hopefully), and now you send out resumes or you decide to start your own business. The right decide our lifestyle is a key element to our society. Yet, the right to self determination often means that we jump feet first into new situations without a mentor or guide to help us. That’s where Mastermind Groups come in.
Mastermind Groups are, at their most informal, a collection of individuals who share some sort of common ground in business and can therefore advise and support each other’s growth and success. Often times, due to the nature of competition, it’s necessary for members of a group to be spread out geographically. For instance, you’re probably not going to form a mastermind group with a competitor. However, someone the next state over may be more than happy to share ideas. In addition, it’s possible to form Mastermind Groups where people share the same vision and spirit, but express that in different professions.
Some mastermind groups get a little more structured, with scheduled monthly meetings, and dues that go to the person responsible for setting up and running the group. Others are strictly casual, over drinks occasionally. The ability to share resources, strategies, and such is incredibly valuable. In addition, if someone in the group has demonstrated great success in their profession and it’s the same or close to yours, you can approach that person to be your mentor.