There’s a great quote from business consultant and bestselling author Chu Chin-Ning that goes like this.
“When you compete with a person, you only have to be as good or better than the person to win. If you compete with yourself, there is no limitation to how good you can be.”
It’s easy as entrepreneurs to get caught up in the rat race of competition—to see others in and around your market as foes. This is a limiting mindset and one that can inhibit you from growing as an individual and a business owner.
To be a good leader, you need to set your ego aside and acknowledge the power of collaboration. Seek out a mentor or, better yet, discover the benefits that come with from creating a mastermind group of like-minded entrepreneurs.
Encouragement and Positivity
Think of a “mastermind group” as you would a book club. These are fellow entrepreneurs you meet regularly with to freely discuss industry trends, setbacks, risks, and opportunities.
Dig through your network and pinpoint individuals you respect and admire. They may represent various industries and stages of business development—and honestly, the more variety, the better.
From this group, you should walk away feeling energized and encouraged. With conversations that foster constructive criticism and a positive attitude, you’ll find yourself better equipped to turn problems into solutions.
When you’re knee-deep in your business all day, every day, it’s easy to lose touch with reality. This is why customer feedback is such a crucial part of long-term growth—it reflects on the effectiveness of a product or service when out in the real world.
From a leadership and business-building standpoint, mastermind groups help serve a similar purpose. You can step out of your head and see a problem or solution through an entirely new lens.
If a group fitness class can encourage you to show up at the gym more often, a group of like-minded entrepreneurs can help you make a habit out of professional development. Continued learning is an investment worth making for entrepreneurs but acting on it is easier said than done.
In committing to a mastermind group, you’re no longer in your business journey. Those in the group will hold you to certain expectations and help you work beyond the internal doubts holding you back.
Aside from helping you move past mental blocks, a mastermind group can be a great way to discover opportunities for cross-promotion. This could translate into a merger, an introduction, or joint marketing partnership. You should want to contribute just as much to the group as you receive from it.
If you’re a young entrepreneur (in high school, college, or university) in the Ontario area looking for a way to jumpstart your new business, check out the Summer Company program. Like a mastermind group, it’s a great way to interact and learn from local business leaders.