Be A Joiner – Mastermind With Your Peers

Are you a member of a local interior design or design related organization? If not, I’d advise you to consider the opportunities you are missing and take another look at what is available in your area. This type of networking is not so much about marketing (although that can be an added advantage) but more about developing relationships to help each other.

The majority of interior design firms are small with one owner. What if there were other professionals with whom you could share challenges, brainstorm solutions? By networking with others within your professional field, you will be able to identify individuals who share your values and whose firms may have a similar business culture. These are people and firms who might become excellent mastermind partners.

The idea of the Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. In his classic book, “Think And Grow Rich” he described the Mastermind principle as “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”

You have often heard that “two heads are better than one” so just imagine how creative 10 “masterminds” could be at solving a business challenge. What about using those masterminds to brainstorm approaches to growing your business, coming up with marketing ideas, and so much more? Many describe it as having your own board of directors. And of course it’s not just about your firm but you will be creating a community of supportive colleagues who meet regularly (in person, via phone, video conferencing, etc.) to support each other and brainstorm new possibilities, help address challenges and of course set up accountability structures to keep you focused and on track.

Just as in business – “hire” slowly, “fire” quickly. You won’t develop your mastermind group overnight. Look for highly motivated people willing to make a commitment and to ask for and give help and support. Think in terms of your screening process and use that to identify your first members. Do they have a business mission or vision statement? Do they have written goals – and what are they? What is their commitment to moving their business forward? Are they willing to block out time to participate in the group? And remember, fire quickly. You will probably have a few members who don’t live up to the expectations set by the group so be prepared to ask them to leave or they will have a negative effect on the rest of the group.

Identify a facilitator for the group and remember it’s not about “control” as this group should operate like a board – there is a leader or facilitator to guide the group without controlling the group.

And in the words of Napoleon Hill, “Deliberately seek the company of people who influence you to think and act on building the life you desire.”

This year’s Genius Exchange Mastermind (a peer group of $250K revenue+ businesses) is scheduled for July 13-14 at the Denver Ritz-Carlton. The event will focus on simplifying your business with systems, processes, software and outsourcing. Discover how to expand your business with the latest marketing strategies to attract more ideal clients and earn more bottom-line profit.

The Genius Exchange is your annual opportunity to work on your business and get valuable NEW information to grow your business and yourself with the help of other business owners like you that are willing to openly share their experience and insights.

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Drue Lawlor

Pearl Collective Coach Drue Lawlor is a long time Pearl Collective coach. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the Strategic Business Transformation Coaching program. The program led the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Drue is also a regular contributor to the Pearl Collective Resources library of interior designer business articles. Outside of Pearl Collective she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.

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