Masterminding: Benefits and Considerations for Three Types of Businesswomen
Participating in a mastermind group is an excellent way for female entrepreneurs to offer and receive support as they work together toward a common, specific goal. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, first defined the mastermind as a “coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.” Continuing research delves into the intricacies of business collaboration – and reveals important steps to follow. Professional market research of more than 3,500 women in business, has shown that each of five unique types of business owners has a unique approach to running a business and to handling the other details of her life – and therefore each one has a unique combination of needs. This article outlines three of those types, and details the benefits they should expect – and considerations they should make – when participating in a mastermind group. Jane Dough is an entrepreneur who enjoys running her business and generally, she makes a nice living. She is comfortable and determined in buying and selling, which may be why she's five times more likely than the average female business owner to hit the million dollar mark. Jane Dough is clear in her priorities and may be intentionally and actively growing an asset-based or legacy business. It is estimated that 18% of women entrepreneurs fall in the category of Jane Dough. For Jane Dough, masterminding is really about creating connections with her peers. Because Jane Dough business owners are likeminded in terms of how they do business – typically, they are strategic and growth-focused – when they work together, they learn quickly from each other. They share ideas, make connections and develop joint venture relationships. Therefore, it is crucial that Jane Dough business owners mastermind together, rather than with other entrepreneurial types. Other entrepreneurial types will often want to learn valuable "how to" information and explore individual topics in greater depth. Jane Dough, however, usually wants a quick "what to do in this situation" (strategy) discussion and then she will want to move on to discussing other issues, trusting she and her team can figure out the "how". Jane Dough's style makes for a faster-paced and more directive mastermind than other Janes might enjoy, while Jane Dough, in her turn, might become impatient if the group is very focused on sharing detailed 'how to'. Go Jane Go is passionate about her work and provides excellent service, so she has plenty of clients – so much so, she's struggling to keep up with demand. At 14% of women in business, she may be a classic overachiever, taking on volunteer opportunities as well, because she's eager to make an impact on the world and she often struggles to say no. Because she wants to say yes to so many people, she may even be in denial about how many hours she actually works during the course of a week. As a result, she may be running herself ragged and feeling guilty about neglecting herself and others who are important to her. Go Jane Go has great potential to elevate a mastermind group – to create a nurturing and fostering environment for its members. For this type of entrepreneur, who is so committed to serving other people, a mastermind group may present a draining situation if she falls into supporting the group, rather than getting the support she needs and deserves. If and when a Go Jane Go business owner decides to participate in a mastermind group, then, she must get clear on her own business objectives, and remain true to those throughout the mastermind process. Accidental Jane is a successful, confident business owner who never actually set out to start a business. Instead, she may have decided to start a business due to frustration with her job or a layoff and then she decided to use her business and personal contacts to strike out on her own. Or, she may have started making something that served her own unmet needs and found other customers with the same need, giving birth to a business. Although Accidental Jane may sometimes struggle with prioritizing what she needs to do next in her business, she enjoys what she does and is making good money. About 18% of all women business owners fit the Accidental Jane profile. Accidental Jane business owners typically are solopreneurs building their businesses through word of mouth. Therefore, Accidental Jane business owners would benefit greatly from a mastermind group committed to sharing referrals and recommendations. Accidental Jane is typically confident, and would benefit from masterminding with similarly confident business owners who feel comfortable passing on and receiving referrals and recommendations. While masterminding can prove a powerful, effective means of reaching business goals – whether it’s business growth or personal development – that power and effectiveness is multiplied when the mastermind group fits with each business owner’s needs, desires and habits as defined by her entrepreneurial type.