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Leadership

Masterminds: What the Heck Are They?! (And 4 Reasons to Join One!)

Whether you need advice or want to develop relationships with other women entrepreneurs, mastermind groups are a great resource.

If you’ve been wondering what the heck masterminds are, you are definitely not alone! There’s actually a very good chance you were part of one at some point in your life and didn’t even realize it.

I first heard the term “mastermind” a few years ago at a conference. I realized that I’d been participating in them (under different names) for close to a decade without even knowing it.

So, what are masterminds?

A mastermind is a small group of peers who come together to harness the power of collective problem-solving. More brains working together are likely to arrive at a much more impactful solution than one (or even the two that you get with 1:1 coaching).

Over the past decade, I’ve participated in masterminds focused on topics like human rights, millennial leadership, money mindsets and women’s entrepreneurship. These masterminds have given me so many amazing relationships and “wins.” They gave me the confidence to leave my job and take an around-the-world trip without something else lined up, introduced me to my bookkeeper, and referred me to Dreamers and Doers (a collective of “extraordinary entrepreneurial women”).

I have also had the joy of facilitating masterminds for dozens of leaders in ESG, social impact and sustainability since 2019, and it is so much fun.

Because I realize this concept is still new to many people, I wanted to share my top 4 reasons to join a mastermind.

4 reasons to get involved

1. You’re on a small team (or a team of one), and you’d love to add more brains to your extended team.

So many of the women I know, whether they’re in-house or entrepreneurs, do very big things on a very small team – or as a team of one. Those of you who do have teams may want a sounding board for the challenges you’re experiencing that don’t include your boss, your co-founder, your client or your direct report. Masterminds are great at providing new perspectives on those challenges and coming up with better solutions than those you might reach on your own.

A mastermind can give you access to a diverse collective of other qualified perspectives. Women who can tell you whether their net-zero emission targets are for 2030 or 2050, and why. Women who can point you to a brilliant designer, copywriter or bookkeeper. And women who can share how they prepared to present to their board, or how they got featured in Fast Company, and how you can, too.

2. You’re longing for more genuine relationships with other amazing women in the impact space (or you want dedicated time and space to nurture the relationships you already have).

We are much more inclined to help people with who we have real relationships. While it’s totally possible to build real relationships through one-off events, I found that some of my deepest personal and professional bonds were born through seeing someone with some consistency over the years.

For those of you who already know a number of other amazing women in this space, I have heard time and time again how challenging it can be to take the time to prioritize consistently reaching out and getting together. That’s where a mastermind comes in. It gives you a dedicated schedule and accountability for prioritizing the relationships you want to nurture for yourself as a human and as a leader.

3. You’d like to support other people in advancing their careers and making their dreams a reality, but you’re not exactly sure how.

If you’re reading this, there’s a pretty good chance that you’re a very generous person who has been working for some amount of time to make the world a better place. And there’s also a high probability that you’re someone who already gives back in countless ways and truly enjoys contributing to other people’s dreams.

Still, it can be hard to know where and how to be most helpful. That’s where a mastermind comes in. It’s a space where you can ask for help in solving your own challenges and realizing opportunities in front of you. It’s also a space for you to offer support, wisdom, guidance and expertise to other people you genuinely care about who are also on missions to address the major challenges facing humanity.

4. You want to take the time to think big picture about your life and work, but it’s been hard to prioritize it.

When you’re continuously putting out fires at work, living through a pandemic and processing multiple crises a day in the news, it can be extraordinarily challenging to carve out the time to really take a step back and think about what you want.

If you feel like you want some strategic direction in some area of your life, your career or your business strategy, but you’ve been having a difficult time dedicating brain space to thinking through it, a mastermind can offer you that space. It’s a forum to chat through your ideas, thoughts and feelings. You’ll meet with other people who have been there, who support you and who may see what a badass you are more clearly than you can see it yourself.

A mastermind is time held on your calendar for you to show up, invest in yourself and put the important work of identifying your desires and goals at the top of your to-do list.

Want to learn more? Read our story on Michele Meek of the Mastermind Failure Club, a group that combines ambitious goals with community support.

Author Lis Best

About the author

Lis Best is an impact-focused coach for women, environmental, social and governance (ESG) consultant and speaker. Best works primarily with female entrepreneurs who focus on climate action, mindful consumerism and women’s financial wellness and leaders in the impact space.  She uses her training as an executive coach, yoga teacher and modern healer to help her clients create the lives and careers of their wildest dreams. Girls Club, her five-month mastermind for female-identifying humans in the impact space, is currently taking applicants.