When I started coaching entrepreneurs, I wanted to keep things small. I found two pilot clients, and that was as far as I wanted to go back then.
I didn’t anticipate the value my experience brought to those two clients. Their businesses began to take off, and word began to spread. Soon enough, I was taking on more clients. But as you may know, business coaching services have a “ceiling” on the amount of time you can devote without becoming unhealthy.
I didn’t want to spend every waking hour on work. That’s what led me to mastermind groups. It was the same kind of work; I’d still coach and mentor people. But I’d no longer do it totally by myself. The substance of each session wouldn’t depend on my ability to figure out solutions.
Reasons to Quit Coaching and Start Masterminds Online
I have nothing but respect for business coaches, and to this day, I still privately coach a few clients myself. But each model comes with advantages and disadvantages.
Coaching one-on-one does take you much deeper with individuals. You get to know all kinds of interesting things about them, that might take much longer to learn in a mastermind. Having a fatherly heart, I love to take younger men into my counsel and help them grow. I wish I’d had a coach of my own as I rose through the ranks of entrepreneurs.
But coaching is also taxing. More than knowing the right answers, you really need to come up with the right questions. All on your own. It’s been said that coaching is about helping people realize the answers and gifts that are already inside of them. You don’t have to impart talent; you have to call it out. If you have trouble knowing what to look for, you could end up disappointed.
Not to mention, I figured out that the more referrals I got, the closer I stepped to the old saying of “Owning a job instead of a business.” This is a problem for many, many entrepreneurs. Technically, they own a business. But practically, they are their hardest-worked, most underpaid employee. That isn’t the purpose of entrepreneurship. Particularly if you’re like me and want to own a “lifestyle business.”
The Mastermind Difference
While there’s no shortage of hard work starting an online mastermind group, my scaling experience kicked in once I got started. It led me to discover that I could duplicate the experience, without additional prep time.
When you’re coaching a private client, all of your preparation is unique to them. You have to review what you discussed in the last session. You have to orient yourself toward their specific business, industry, success stage and so forth.
But with a master mind group, you can follow a formula. The coaching and advising takes place, but it’s organic. Many times, it doesn’t directly involve you. The other members will take turns talking each other through issues and difficulties.
As with the 87 percent success rate for franchises, the more you can follow a predictable “system” that’s proven to attract customers, the further your business can go. In the mastermind business, we’ve found you can “prepare once, and execute several times.” It’s now so established that I, personally, don’t do much preparation. The members take turns leading each meeting, and being the man in the middle.
Myth: Cash Rich, Free Time Bonanza
One thing that masterminds online are not is a ticket to a lavish lifestyle of leisure. I’m working as hard as I ever did in any other business. So if you’re thinking you’ll get to post photos of yourself next to the Lamborghini in Bali by doing this, I encourage you to look elsewhere.
Having said that, I did 35 years of brick-and-mortar business. Retail and office settings, limited to my footprint in Nashville. Those are great models, and we have plenty of members who own businesses like that. But for me, I’d reached a point I wanted to be more mobile.
If you have a healthy marriage, it’s because you’re invested (and invest-ing) in it. I wanted to do more traveling with Robin. Both our daughters are now fully grown and raising families of their own. I wanted to have more time to be available to my grandkids. As you know, I’m an extroverted guy who loves meeting new people and building relationships. That also requires free time.
So the mastermind business will not free up time to be “fat, dumb and lazy.” (I haven’t found a lifestyle that does … most retirees report being busier than when they were working full-time).
In fact, you should prepare for one of the most focused, intentional existences on the planet. To start and grow a mastermind group means you’re getting in the business of changing people’s lives for the better. It’s no small task! I just think you spread the workload and multiply the results when you do it this way.
To make your journey even smoother, I want to encourage you to consider The Mastermind Playbook as one of your tools for starting a group. There’s nothing like having a proven formula to follow when you embark on a journey like this. That’s exactly what we’ve put together.