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MastermindI belong to a mastermind group for women business owners.

There are 7 of us.  5 of us are solopreneurs.  We represent a variety of service industries (i.e., finance, PR, business consulting, and law.)   I’m the only lawyer.

We meet once a month for 3 hours.  Each woman gets 15 minutes to bring her biggest business problem to the table where we help her “group think” an answer based on our collective experiences. 

Everything said during our meetings is confidential.  This allows us to be open and honest about our real issues.  In return, we receive sincere guidance, encouragement, and sometimes a kick in the pants every once in a while.  

I don’t know who came up with the original idea for the mastermind, but bless them. 

Being part of this group allows me to see my business in ways that I never could on my own.  I leverage off the hard-earned lessons of others.  I get honest feedback on my current struggles and my plans for the future.

I leave our meetings with a laundry list of action items, helpful insights, and a renewed sense of purpose.  Hands down, it is the BEST thing I have ever done for my business.

Why?

1.)  I get answers to my really tough business questions.  The women in my group are my unbiased Board of Advisors that I can reach out to when I struggle to figure things out.  They offer me answers, a second opinion, perspective, validation, and tough love, all without judgment.

2.)  The group takes the loneliness out of solo practice.  Sometimes I feel pretty isolated even with my wonderfully supportive husband, family and friends.  They don’t always understand the things that I’m struggling with, at least not in the same way as other small business owners.  They offer me friendship, a shoulder to cry on and moral support because they’ve been there too.

3.)  The mastermind makes me accountable.   As a solo, the only person I have to answer to is me.  If I want to wallow in “I don’t know how to do marketing” self-pity for 6 months because I don’t want to do what it takes to get clients, fine.  But I can’t bring that attitude to the mastermind!  I’m going to get called out on it.  

4.)  It guarantees that at least one day a month I work on my business, not just in my business.

If you are a solo attorney working by yourself every day, all day, you need to find other business owners to talk to. 

Does it have to be a fully organized mastermind group?  No, but there should be one or two people you meet with regularly to talk shop.  I have a friend who has a consulting business and we meet up about once a month over lunch to talk about things.

I do have plans to start a mastermind for stay@home attorneys, so if you might be interested in a group like that, let me know in the comments below, or email me privately at stayhomeattorney@gmail.com.