The Lonely Entrepreneur

Building your company is great. Well… not always. Specially if you are building your enterprise from the ground up and alone. No one is there to tell you what to do. No one to listen to your struggles.

“What about friends and partner?” you will ask. They are of great help. They will support as much as they can. But when they are not entrepreneurs themselves they can’t fully understand your daily struggles. But that is totally ok, and normal.

A solution: the Mastermind Group

Earlier this year I was invited to a Mastermind Group by the founders of an innovation startup based in Holland. And it helped with getting out of this entrepreneur loneliness. The vision of external parties completely unattached to your projet is very valuable.

But what is this thing?

It is a regular meeting with people who have a common challenge or objective. During this session past actions, learning and struggles are shared. Then goals for the next month are listed. Everyone is helping each other with propositions and an outsider vision.

People run Mastermind Groups for every topics possible: fitness or personal life challenge for example. We do it for startup building. There must be 1’000 ways to run a group like this. This is how we are doing it.

Meet regularly

This is absolutely key. We meet every month via a Skype Conference call. Same day, same hour. Our session last for 1 hour (generally). Lately, we made sure that our productivity coach from Belgium (a team member) would keep a sharp eye on the clock (he has a buzzer, so each member knows exactly when he is out of speaking time).

Capture your goals

The group is there for you to share struggles but also to move forward with you business. Each month we review last month goals and define new ones for the upcoming month. Peer “pressure” helps in trying to achieve them. Misplaced pride ? ?

Sharing content and tips

A closed Facebook group is used for sharing the daily tips and findings. There, we also announce updates on meeting times, members, whatsoever. Additionally we store our monthly goals in a Google Drive document, along with some useful documents for the group members.

Group members

Having the good group members is very important. I think, being in a similar stage in your challenge allows you to feels really among peers. You could advise including more senior profiles to help lift the less experienced ones. But everyone needs to win something from the group. I’m not sure it would really benefit the seniors in this case.

We have a good skill/horizon mix too. Apart from the 2 mentioned above we have a concept designer and a cookie baker from Greece.

Timetable of a meeting

To organise your own group, just follow the following time plan.

  • 5min: Welcome: Hi, Ola, Bonjour.
  • 10min: Win: Everybody shares their victories of the last month. Building a positive vibe.
  • 35 min: Hot Seat: Focus on one person at the time. What did you learn? What works well? What are you working on? What are you struggling with?
  • 10min: Goals: Did you reach your goals from last month? What are your goals for next month?

Voilà!

Even though I’m not so convince by the name (I find it pretentious), it is a great tool. Are you ready to set up your? Do you already take part in one? I’d love to hear your story

Additional resource

Yann Graf

I am an experienced Digital Strategy Consultant based in Switzerland. After over seven year respectfully crafting and improving the digital presence of Terre des hommes, Nautilus and G-Star Raw, I am now a freelancer. Please have a look at my Portfolio