I have interviewed over 1100 entrepreneurs and business owners on the secrets of their success and one of the things that I find many of them do is find support from being a member of a business mastermind. The mastermind concept was first talked about by Napoleon Hill in the 1930s when he described it as ‘the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.’

Owning a business comes with a heavy burden of responsibility. Every day you are faced with making decisions and often the choices made may be nothing better than a guess based on gut instinct. As well as this you have to figure out how to organise your time to be most effective. While you may have created a business for independence and lack of accountability to other people ultimately, we all become accountable in business to our family, our employees and other people who support us in our business. There is an immense psychological weight that comes with owning your own business. Often business owners have no one to turn to for support, advice or opinion and feel alone on their journey. With all of this weight on their shoulders, they somehow have to make the right decisions with a constant awareness of the consequences of bad decisions. However, there is another way by using the power of a business mastermind.

A mastermind is a group of 5 to 9 people who share a common objective, for example growing their business, who meet on a regular basis to help and support one another. Each member of the group should contribute their wisdom equally to the group and offer mastermind members access to their personal network and resources. When the group meets, they will focus on a commonly agreed topic and all members get to benefit from the conversations that take place.

A business mastermind group is a safe place where the like-minded members share intimate business secrets with the community and get the benefit of the wisdom, thoughts, knowledge and support of the group. Being a member of a mastermind group also creates a sense of connectivity with other similar people who ‘get it’, there is a sense of camaraderie and shared understanding. It is an incredibly powerful way of networking and forming strong friendship bonds with other like-minded entrepreneurs in a trusted circle of colleagues.

Joining a business mastermind requires a moment of honesty and the part of the entrepreneur because you have to be willing to share what does and doesn’t work within your business and you also have to be willing to take advice from other peers in the group. Furthermore, you must also be willing to be held accountable for any commitments that you make to the group. Without this level of openness, authenticity and willingness to grow and learn neither the group nor you will benefit from your involvement in the group. When you join a mastermind, it is also important to have goals of what you intend to achieve during your time in the mastermind and then use the power of the mastermind to help you achieve them.

Being a member of the right mastermind group, you become incredibly focused on your goals and objectives and you are much more likely to achieve them faster than you would otherwise do and therefore your business will move forward at a faster pace. When you have ideas or challenges you can use the power of the group to brainstorm them and get feedback, insight, ideas, suggested resources, different perspectives, solutions, new possibilities, questions, help and at the same time you learn from the other members. You also benefit from being potentially introduced to people in other mastermind member’s networks who can provide the right advice quickly. You get multiple perspectives on what it is want to solve and you also get real clarity on how you can achieve it – you take a lot of the guessing out of making decisions.

Within a business mastermind group, there is a shared sense of we are in this together and everybody is rooting for your success. Because you make commitments to the group and the group wants you to succeed this creates incredibly powerful accountability with a ‘push’ and ‘pull’ effect on you ensuring that you do what you say you are going to do to make a successful outcome more likely.