Environment is everything.
The people who you surround yourself with are the biggest influence on your life. They are either a negative influence holding you down, or a positive influence lifting you up.
"You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with."
The easiest way to do something you don't believe you can do is to surround yourself with people who are already doing it.
One of the most effective ways of surrounding yourself with people who have a hugely positive impact on your life, is joining a Mastermind group.
Most successful entrepreneurs and business leaders participate in numerous Masterminds throughout their careers. If you're self employed or dream of quitting the 9 to 5 to be your own boss, you need to be in at least one Mastermind group.
Here's five reasons why..
1 - Support
Whether you're a contractor, freelancer, artist, blogger, app developer, coach, therapist, personal trainer or tech entrepreneur, making a good living doing something you love isn't easy. If it was, everyone would be doing it.
So unless you're some kind of superhuman you're going to need support.
A Mastermind is a facilitated peer support group that provides exactly the type of support you need at any particular time. You can access this support system monthly, weekly, or in some cases daily.
2 - Advice & Feedback
A Mastermind is made up of people with a shared purpose or focus, who are consequently at different stages of the same journey.
So being in a Mastermind group is like having your own personal board of directors giving you great feedback and advice about your problems and goals...because they share (or have shared) the same problems and the same goals.
A good Mastermind is facilitated by someone who has completed the journey and can act as a guide and mentor to the group. But most often it's the feedback and advice you receive from your peers that's most relevant, timely, and helpful.
Accountability is a great motivator.
Often the only reason you finally do that important thing that you've been putting off forever, is so that you don't have to face your friends yet again and watch them all roll their eyes and shake their heads as you tell them "I still haven't done it yet."
A Mastermind group brings instant accountability. Each of the other members becomes your accountability buddy, prompting and cajoling you to walk your talk.
So when your human tendency to get distracted, procrastinate and fall back into old habits threatens to derail your progress, there's plenty of people around that you really, really don't want to let down...so you're far, far more likely to actually take action and do what you need to do to succeed.
Peer pressure has it's positive side.
Your time management is a mess. You're finding it hard to get new customers. You're spending all your time on admin. Your competitors have bigger marketing budgets. These are just few of the typical problems faced by the self employed.
Mastermind groups utilize the 'Hot Seat' process, where each individual member has the opportunity to share their most pressing or persistent problems and have the entire group brainstorm solutions and action plans that can literally transform your business.
If two minds are better than one, 12 minds are exponentially better!
An incredible level trust and mutual respect develops between Mastermind peers.
Members are usually more than happy to cross promote to each others social media and real world networks. More than that, members often become clients and customers of other members. Joint ventures are regularly conducted and occasionally Partnerships are formed.
Put simply, Masterminds represent a massive opportunity to do more and more business with people you know, like and trust.
The key is finding a Mastermind that matches your lifestyle, career or business goals.
For example, I run The Ikigai Mastermind. Ikigai is a Japanese word which means "That which you love, that which you are good at, that which the world needs and that for which you can be paid.
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do,"
So everyone in our group has a lifestyle/career/business goal to make a good living doing what they love, while also helping to make the world a better place.
If you're looking for a Mastermind group with a different focus, all you have to do is Google it. There's a Mastermind out there for everyone and everyone should take advantage of this of this uniquely empowering environment.