Day 8: My Mastermind Group

Alright guys, another late entry but only because I needed to power nap after being up for 36 hours straight. So with my body feeling a little bit better I’m back to tie up some loose ends as well as fill you guys in on the progress I’ve made so far today.

After feeling absolutely shattered on the train (from spending most of the night trying to finish my podcasts) a quick stop in Starbucks had me walking out with a White Chocolate Mocha Triple Shot in hand, leading to the welcome arrival of a nice caffeine buzz for the better part of the morning. With this second wind I set out to review my progress. To date, I’ve made positive changes in the way I operate day to day, I’ve created the concept of my BIG idea and I’ve recommitted myself to being ready to leveraging the future of opportunities that crop up. Logically, I’m fully aware that one of the next steps is to align myself with a Mentor and then secondly, put together the members of my Mastermind group.

For those of you not aware of the concept, let me explain. What many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs swear by, is a concept that no man is an island unto himself. This means that if you intend to be successful in your given endeavour, you must be prepared to eliminate your weaknesses through the strengths of others. A rough example would be a business owner who is instinctively creative and has no shortage of great ideas floating around the office. Though talented in this respect, a shortcoming of time or project mismanagement within a production environment would be negated by employment of someone possessing strong analytical and management skills. This collaboration of effective creation and controlled implementation creates a strong amount of leverage typically unavailable to each individual separately.

This concept is the basis of having a Mastermind group. Analyse your weaknesses, find others with strengths to negate those weaknesses and leverage this new combination of knowledge and talent to your own ethical ends.

With this in mind, I took some time out to reflect on what I recognised as my own strengths and weaknesses. Before too long I realised that there was little that I could do to honestly assess myself when I didn’t thoroughly understand what all the pieces of the chess set were, just yet. It was the catch of not knowing what I lacked simply because I didn’t completely understand what was required. This is partly due to my limited knowledge of the industry I intend to compete in (hence the importance of having a Mentor within your given industry).

It actually reminds me of something that happened to me less than two years ago.

After just returning with my wife from China, as she was carrying our first child, I remember attending the small business Expo held in Green Lane, Auckland at the time and listening to a speech by Rod Drury, founder of Xero. Knowing Drury’s association with Sam Morgan (founder of TradeMe), I politely asked him after his delivery, what would be required in order to apprentice under Mr. Morgan. His reply was that Sam was extremely busy with a number of other projects he was mentoring over and that though it wasn’t the magic bullet, the best thing to do initially is to “have an online presence”. He illustrated this point by typing his full name into the Google.com search bar, then pressing the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button. After doing this, the page redirected to his blog and he pointed out that Internet presence counted for a lot and would be the first step in getting a face-to-face meeting with Sam. Now, granted he could have been simply fobbing me off in an attempt to get rid of the 24-year-old 3-D animator, four days fresh from China but I took the experience as an opportunity to learn because it illustrated the fact that if I want something, showing social proof that I intend to get it will serve me well when setting up JVs or joint ventures with power players in any industry.

It’s this lesson from Rod that I intend to exploit in order to get every person I want, in my Mastermind group. Now, to be fair, I’ve only thought of three people and they all have a sales and marketing background so clearly there is still a lot of thinking to do in order to create a Mastermind group that is strong, robust and destined to succeed. Accordingly, the work starts now. You see, what a lot of you may not realise is that as well as being a great vehicle to share my thoughts and create a dialogue between like-minded individuals, this blog in and of itself is the social proof I intend to use to attract what I want and prove myself. It’ll be like the quote I mentioned yesterday:

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

With this in mind, I have no doubts that I, as a student, am not ready. But the difference between the me of today compared to the me of yesterday is that one word I talked about on Day 5, Kaizen. Once it’s used in just the right way, that’s when the fun begins.

In summary, I want to reiterate that every time I’ve said something to the effect of ”conceive and achieve” or “open your mind to accept what life is trying to give you”, I’ve never meant just blindly hope for good things to happen. A quote that comes to mind is “Faith without works is dead” which reinforces the point that although I have complete faith that I am going to keep my promise, I am empowering that promise through this process of internal and external daily growth and development, which really when it all comes down to it is what life is all about. Remember that saying about the three types of people:

“There are three types of people in this world: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who wonder what happened.”

I, for one, am tired of watching so keep checking back for new updates as I go through this process in real-time. Again, sorry for going off on a tangent, I may have to start putting a disclaimer up about how every new entry is never really described fully in the title… I promise I’ll work on that. So, my hope is that you too will see the value in appreciating the working side of your own pursuit of Self Development and Personal Success. It’s that much more clearer for me when I put it in perspective as a necessary step in getting closer to my promise with myself, my family and now of course, you. All the best in your pursuit of your own promises and once again, I wish you well on your Journey To and Of Success.