I'm still reeling from the long day I had yesterday with the Mastermind group I'm in. We've been meeting together for about a year now, usually by phone for a quick hour (once a month) but, three times a year, in person. And yesterday was one of those live-in-person-in-your-face days. Down in the bowels of a big hotel in LA we sat down to work together, to discuss the state of the entrepreneurial world we live in, to give each member time to stand up and put a personal business issue on the table, to get the comments, challenges, support, love, and bright ideas for our own businesses. And to give, in equal measure, to each person in the room.
I am a big believer in personal retreats, and I'm a big believer in putting your time and money out on the line to have the opportunity to hear about other people's businesses, to starkly state what is going on with your own business, to get challenged and called on your stuff, and to get the wonderful amalgamation of ideas, resources, and help from each other. In a good group, there is bare honesty. There is no time for positioning or fakey stuff. In fact, a good group will catch you and call you before you even half-way get the dishonest or fake stuff out of your mouth. I'm blessed many times over to be in this group. We know each other, like each other, trust each other, and love each other too much to let any one of us get away with being less than we are called to be.
So, yesterday, it just happened that we had a magical day. Everyone was thirsty for the day, everyone is facing honking big personal challenges, everyone is stepping up to a much bigger vision of themselves and their business. Let me say that again. In order to step up to the vision you have for your business, you will be challenged to step up and handle your personal stuff. You cannot do one without the other. And a good Mastermind group will hold you to both, knowing that you can't be half-assed about your growth. It is worth every penny I pay, the time away from business, the plane fare to do this. Seven other people have my back, and at the same time are asking me, “What in heck are you doing THAT for?”
I just love being in a room with people who will put it right out there on the table, no matter what, who have this truly deep commitment to exposing their thoughts and plans and visions and are willing to take the suggestions even if they are rigorously proposed. We all are kind, but we say it as we see it and we challenge each other. There is laughter but there are tears, too.
I’m honored to know these people, to sit in the same room with them. I love their brightness and their willingness to put it out there, to create something out of nothing but their own vision, which is often felt as a calling. It fed me. The more experienced I get in life and in business, the harder it has become to find places that feed me. In this group we get it that when we talk about our work, we talk about our soul at the same time. The two begin to merge until one's work is literally a part of one's spiritual practice. This group understands that. And that's why I pay with my money and my time, and will fly anywhere to sit with these people.
I'm truly excited to be the creator and visionary of my own work, and I love more than anything to sit with others who are creating work from their own inner visions. I see a group of new, energetically savvy, intuitive-based entrepreneurs that is emerging rapidly to help solve the many issues that face us. For me, it was delicious to have a day of talking and listening. Sometimes, words didn’t matter, it was the energy, the vibration, the vibe in the room . This group gets it that there is no standing still and no status quo. Even if it upsets them, or scares them, they step up. Their brightness is amazing. You can hardly get a sentence out and 4 other people are nodding and taking off on the tail of it, enlarging and supplementing and feeding it back with new ideas. There are no blank stares and “let me think about that.” It is quick, lots of movement, energy flying. Everything is noticed.
I pay for what I learn, the support I get, the opportunities I have to support others, the challenges I'm given. I pay to stretch myself and get out of my own head. All truly successful solo professionals do this. We don't whine about the money, we cough it up and we come out to play. It's like putting your life and your business on super-oxygen for a day. At the end you have a zillion ideas and resources, but you're kind of gasping for breath. Those of you reading this post who are in the group, thank you. I can't wait until September when we see each other again.