Although each type of female entrepreneur will find a masterminding group and situation that meets her unique needs and desires, every entrepreneur should carefully consider several topics when creating or joining a mastermind group, to ensure she receives the maximum benefit.
Create agreements up front. Before officially starting a mastermind group, the potential mastermind partners should agree on the rules of the group, including logistics and expectations. For example, when, where, and how often will the group meet? How long will the group last? How will the group create an environment where partners feel safe being vulnerable? How will partners support each other? Can members come and go? How does each member feel about sharing outward, about networking and about referring each others’ business? When a group discusses the answers to these questions at the beginning, everyone knows what to expect.
Define the purpose of the group and find likeminded members. Whether a mastermind group is designed to provide entrepreneurial partners with emotional support, or to provide members with ideas for growing their businesses, the purpose of the group should be clear from the beginning so the people who participate all want to give and receive the same type of support.
Consider the entrepreneurial types of the group’s members. Jane Dough should mastermind primarily with other Jane Dough business owners, because they will all be interested in moving quickly and implementing what they share to grow their businesses. Tenacity Jane should partner with entrepreneurial types who can show her the next best steps toward success. Go Jane Go should mastermind with business owners who are conscious of her tendency to serve others, and who can ensure that she gets the support she needs even as she tends to want to support others. Merry Jane should mastermind with other Merry Jane business owners who understand her time constraints. Finally, Accidental Jane would benefit from meeting with entrepreneurs who are willing and able to meet in person.
By keeping in mind these important considerations, any entrepreneur who wants to start or join a mastermind group will discover an enriching, enlightening experience – and will help the other partners in her group do the same.
Michele DeKinder-Smith, is the founder and CEO of Linkage Research, Inc, a marketing research firm with Fortune 500 clients. She parlayed this entrepreneurial knowledge and experience into founding Jane Out of the Box, a company that provides female entrepreneurs like YOU with powerful resources, such as educational blogs, teleclasses, newsletters, and books. Michele was recently named to the National Association of Women Business Owners national board of directors for a two-year term. Buy a copy of her latest book, “See Jane Collaborate,” which contains more in-depth information about this article’s topic, at http://www.seejanecollaborate.com/ Take your Jane assessment to determine your own business type at http://www.janeoutofthebox.com/