I woke up this morning and realized that every week for as long as I can remember I have been attending or hosting a mastermind group.
If you're not familiar with the term - Napoleon Hill explains mastermind groups as “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony." Simply put, it's a when you meet up with like-minded people to discuss the efforts of your career and personal goals
It started in Melbourne where my Uni friends and I would meet up every Monday at a cafe and talk business over coffee and cake.
Then during my time at Stanford, after a very inspiring motivational speaker came in and gave us a wake up call on a Friday afternoon, I invited my classmates to join me on the following Monday night to talk about our business ideas. So we'd meet and spend a few minutes each pitching a startup concept to get feedback from everyone else who attended.
Then at the end we would do a joint brainstorm activity which I called RapidFire to really get the ideas flowing. It wasn't so structured at the start, the first one only had 4 people - but by the end of it 30-40 people would attend what we called 'Motivational Monday's' and I was lucky enough to be able to get representatives from Disney, Facebook and Apple to join in these brainstorm sessions and share their expertise with all who attended.
In the same way, I've been actively bringing together the Marketing and Sales folks from my current Techstars cohort in Boston where we meet every Wednesday and talk about what we tried that week, what we learnt and what we need help with on our existing startups. I might be biased, but I'm definitely not alone in saying this meetup is actually the highlight of my week.
There is something rewarding and exciting about sharing knowledge and hearing from others who are going through a similar, or vastly different journey. Every week I learn something new, and I feel good about helping others with tips and tricks from my area of expertise.
I see mastermind groups as an outlet for your creative thinking, and a place where you can say what you want and get feedback from others who may know more than you... or bring another viewpoint. By no means do I think I was ever the smartest or the most diligent in the room but I was definitely the most dedicated to learn from others. And that's what matters - not thinking you know everything, but willing to learn everything.
So, if you're not part of a mastermind group, I highly suggest you find a local one or create your own today. Let me know how it goes, and maybe I can join yours one day too.