Third quarter is almost over! In some ways, I’m caught off-guard at how fast the year flew by. In others, I feel like it’s been a long climb to get where we are.
Looking ahead, you know how time flies. Blink once and we’ll be gathering for Thanksgiving and Christmas with our families. But we also have a presidential election and unresolved issues like COVID-19 and riots fighting for our attention.
Times like these are when I’m so glad for the members of my mastermind groups online. If I’m ever tempted to forget the value of being part of one, I take a look around at how our members handle the hurdles life throws at them.
Life can get pretty hairy. But the advantage these men and women have is most people face them alone, or surrounded by friends who aren’t able to help them. I changed my personal lineup decades ago, and life has never been the same.
The funny thing is, most members of our mastermind groups are entrepreneurs. You’d think anyone looking at their lives and struggles would ask, “How do you handle it so well?”
The secret of masterminds is not business coaching services, although you do get some coaching in the process.
It’s not leadership training, although I’d say nearly any of our members makes an excellent leader.
No, the secret of masterminds goes back to the old saying, “The strength of the pack is in the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is in the pack.”
Speaking of that, we have some openings in some of our “packs” that meet on Mondays, in the afternoons and evenings (Central Standard Time). Click here to apply to join one of our groups.
This isn’t just for men, either. My wife, Robin, and my daughter, Brooke, have been busy throughout the year organizing our first four groups for women in Iron Sharpens Iron. If you’re a lady looking to join a mastermind, click here.
Why “Self-Made” Doesn’t Cut The Mustard
As a Christian life coach, I’ve counseled a few men free of the idea that they’re “self-made.”
Don’t get me wrong, I love people with drive and initiative. I am a driven man who takes initiative with people. It’s just that we rely on so many things we take for granted every day; things that we can’t come up with ourselves.
I can’t manufacture the air I breathe, or the blood in my veins. I have a background in the construction business, but I have zero desire to maintain the heat, electricity, plumbing and internet in my home.
It doesn’t matter that I grew up on a farm; I’d rather somebody else slaughtered the hogs, picked the peaches and milked the cows. I love truck drivers, but I don’t dream of becoming one so I can truck my own food from farms to grocery stores.
You see where I’m going with this? “Self-made” is not “self-made” at all. We rely on other people for everything in our lives. Why should our individual success not enjoy the same support from other people?
If you follow what I’m saying here, you can imagine what’s next. How do we pay for the houses we live in, the utilities we use, the food we eat … but somehow think our hearts, souls, minds, marriages and families will get by just fine without growth?
No wonder we’re so starved and dehydrated, as leaders of families and businesses! No wonder we’re confused, disoriented and chasing the next idea fairy instead of staying focused.
How Online Mastermind Groups Keep You On Track
Let me tell you about two great expressions I heard from one of our members, executive coach Dennis Volpe. He said that among your friends, you should have people who will Always Answer Your Call (AAYC) and people ready to be your Quick Response Force (QRF).
I love military terms like that, don’t you? But after I heard them, I realized - we have many members who have those kinds of relationships with each other in Iron Sharpens Iron.
It made me think of that same wolf / pack example. My inner circle’s made up of guys who will take my call anytime. It also has men who can drop everything they’re doing to help me out of a bind - when I’m confused, hurt, lonely or wrestling with personal issues.
That’s what our masterminds online are meant to be - the quick response force who will always take your call.
Another way we describe these groups is as your personal “board of directors.” It’s sometimes helpful to think of yourself as the CEO of a life, family and business where you have an “ownership stake,” but God is the real Owner.
This is more like being a steward, but you’re charged with decisions that lead to profitability and growth. If you’ve ever read the Parable of the Talents, it’ll tell you how much rides on our shoulders.
Wouldn’t it be easier to have eight or ten other pairs of shoulders to help you carry the responsibility? Man, with all the huge decisions I have to make that affect so many people … I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without them!
Life is a near-death experience.
Marriage is a verb.
And business is a mental sport.
But if you think you’re going to dodge the bullet by playing the Lone Ranger, we have a saying back home that goes, “You’re cruisin’ for a bruisin’.”
Listen, we’re deep into 2020 now. As “normal life” gets further and further in the rear view, you’ve got some decisions to make. There isn’t enough margin left to keep going it alone.
We’ve got one quarter left to turn the ship around in 2020 - even if it’s just for you, personally and professionally.
Come out from hiding, and join us in the Iron Sharpens Iron Mastermind.
For men, click here to join one of our Monday groups.
For women, click here to be part of one of our newest groups, launching September 28th.