Six Ways Group Coaching and Masterminds Fast-Tracked My Business Success

I have always intuitively known that I thrive better in a group environment, and yet almost 17 years ago I chose to start a business – a solopreneur-type business – which would see me working by myself, for myself, a lot of the time.

I chose to start consulting as a PR consultant in an effort to create more work/life balance for myself and as a gift of time to my young family who really needed one of us parents to be around more than our busy careers allowed.

I jumped into this business of mine completely oblivious to the many new challenges working for myself would present. One really big one – that deters a lot of people – is the part where you have to be highly self-motivated and work alone a lot of the time.

  • Goodbye “water cooler” talk.
  • Goodbye impromptu lunch dates.
  • Goodbye easily collaborative work environments.
  • Goodbye on-site tech support (that reason alone had me consider becoming an employee again more times than I can count!)

Hello me.

  • Hello creating a home office environment conducive to work.
  • Hello hustling, hustling and more hustling to keep clients coming in the door.
  • Hello branding myself, building a website, and being entirely reliant on me to get the job done.
  • Hello running brainstorming sessions solo.
  • Hello exhausting my poor husband when he got home from work with all my workplace challenges and accomplishments, day in, day out.
  • Hello to celebrating wins with private parties in my office with no one to hear me except my dog or a sleeping child in the next room.
  • Hello to being satisfied with pleasing me, myself and I and not having anyone else to share those challenges or wins with.
  • Hello to the life of a solopreneur.

Looking at this list, one might wonder why you would go into business for yourself at all. That’s the topic of another blog post, but for me, the reward of more control of my time, more control over my client work, more control over the creative and the strategy, and more flexibility have all kept me coming back for more, year after year.

Accelerate your business to the next level with a group mastermind.Click To Tweet

I have learned to put quite a number of supports in place to make the solopreneur lifestyle really work for me.  A big one is being a part of a group of like-minded solopreneurs who work together in a cooperative environment to build up each others’ businesses, together.

Think of it as coopetition.

In the early days of my PR business, I was part of founding a group in Calgary through my professional development association called the “Indy’s”.  We were a group of independent consultants who met monthly, in person, to learn about different aspects of running a business. I would create big networking and professional development days and launched a webpage with my local CPRS chapter to advertise the services of all of us Indy’s. It was a wonderful initiative that really served to build each of our businesses and build camaraderie in the Public Relations Consultant community in Calgary.

When I became a coach, I discovered there were a lot of online and virtual teams who help and build support for each other in many ways. I found myself in one even before I trained as a coach, when I was considering how I would add this new service to my established PR consultancy.

I’ve never looked back.

Six ways group coaching and masterminds fast-tracked my business success.Click To Tweet

Here are six ways that being in a business-building mastermind community helped grow my business from day one:

  1. Test New Ideas
    The value of testing new ideas with a group of trusted advisors and confidants cannot be underrepresented. Very few new entrepreneurs walk confidently into the room and announce their wares without testing the market first, and who better to test them with than a small group of colleagues whom you trust?
  1. Maintain Structure
    The plague of many a business owner is time management. Being efficient and purposeful with your time is key to your business success. Having a group mastermind environment where you have a standing appointment in your week with accountability and tasks you are committed to achieving, will help you keep the big picture of business building going.
  1. Maintain Accountability
    One of my favourite parts of being in a mastermind is the accountability I’m forced to maintain. I have to do what I say I’m going to do, otherwise, my well-meaning mastermind cohorts will call me out. We often, consciously and unconsciously, delay doing things that we aren’t comfortable doing. It can be different for everyone – it could be promoting yourself or it could be establishing an accounting structure. Whatever it is, being accountable to your colleagues will help you cultivate the skills and develop the courage you need to get the job done.
  1. Build Community
    The value of supporting other like-minded entrepreneurs who are also supporting you helps in the lonely world of marketing when you might feel like a fly on the surface of an ocean of competitors. There is no other you in this world, so let’s build you a business that makes you incomparable. What makes you stand out? Your trusted colleagues will help you figure that out.
  1. Learn From Others
    I love watching other entrepreneurs in different stages of their business journeys as I tackle my own stage of business growth. Seeing what lies ahead, and being able to offer support to those at an earlier stage than mine has the double effect of learning and giving, at the same time.  Both of which produce wonderful, positive, karma and good will. It is scientifically proven that positive emotions build confidence and give you energy. A good mastermind will help that happen for you.
  1. Share the Journey
    For me, knowing there are others out there going through the same thing provides great satisfaction and immeasurable benefit. I am a gal who loves to go it together, not alone, and sharing wins and success, losses and hurts, with my mastermind colleagues is something I will always be grateful for.

I credit the value of masterminds and group programs I have been in with different coaches and mentors over the years who have each provided great value in different areas of my business growth.

New ideas, structure, and accountability – just three of the ways a group mastermind can accelerate your success.Click To Tweet

What do you need to accelerate your business to the next level? What could a group mastermind program do for you?

If you are a new(ish) business owner looking to build your business in an effective small group (8-person) environment that will give you the accountability, lift-off, and momentum you need this fall, look no further than my Accelerate! Mastermind for new and emerging entrepreneurs. Cultivating new entrepreneurs is one of the things I love to do most. I invite you to join my community to gain the support, skill, and structure you need to get you to the next level. Click here for more information and to move your business forward. We start on October 9th!

EDITOR’S UPDATE: That fall Mastermind was so successful, all of our participants are renewing for another season. We are accepting just three more members to join our dynamite group. The next cohort launches March 5, 2019. Is this the season you invest in yourself and in your business through a hands-on, group program? Let’s connect to find out!

To your success, in business, and in life,

Susan Elford

PR Launchpad Guidebook ABOUT SUSAN ELFORD

Susan Elford is a Leadership Coach and PR Strategist who especially loves to work with women who want it all: a fulfilling career or business while living a full and satisfying life. Susan helps her clients get real about their strengths and celebrate and promote them so they get more of what they want: success at work; success in business & success in life.

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