Posts Tagged ‘Successful Business’
A MasterMind Group is sometimes known as a peer group mentoring forum or a Boardroom forum.
These groups simulate the many different roles that it takes to run a successful business and giving a business owner independent advice from people with no hidden agenda.
I often get asked, “Why would anyone want to join a mentoring group with people who know nothing about each other’s businesses?”
There are three excellent answers to this:
1) The product or service a business delivers may be different but the process of running and growing a business has many generic activities. Almost everyone who starts a business has had experience of other businesses and brings many skills and lots of expertise to a group.
2) The process used in the most successful MasterMind Groups produces a situation where solutions are created from the combined efforts of the group members and do not rely on one person’s pre-existing knowledge.
3) One of the major benefits of a well run MasterMind Group is accountability. The members commit to certain actions and keep each other on track.
If people have heard of MasterMind Groups its usually in relation to Napoleon Hill’s book “Think and Grow Rich”.
Hill established that many of the successful people he interviewed in the 1930s attributed part of their success to meeting with a peer group on a regular basis to discuss ideas and create new solutions to problems. He describes the process as ” When two people come together to discuss ideas it is a s though a third person appears with ideas that the others would not have thought of on their own.”
What do a potter, a metalworker, a doctor an engineer and a preacher have in common?
There are many wonderful examples of MasterMind Groups working to create success for their members but for me, one of the most powerful examples occurred long before Napoleon Hill wrote his famous book.
When the potter is Josiah Wedgewood, the metalworker is Matthew Boulton, the doctor is Erasmus Darwin, the engineer is James Watt and the preacher is Joseph Priestly the ideas produced quite literally changed the world.
Steam trains, electricity, canals, mass manufacturing, the discovery of new gases, processes and materials accompanied dramatic social and educational reforms in the middle of the 18th Century that brought about the Industrial Revolution and great wealth but for the original group of friends the support they gave each other was crucial.
Known as the Lunar Society because they met when the moon was full to aid their journeys, these men worked together to break down physical, social and educational barriers.
The internet has brought down even more of these barriers and made it easy to collaborate, to produce great ideas and to take the idea of MasterMinds to new levels.
When Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich” he meant think as in develop the ability to think, to process ideas and solve problems. By rich he meant not just monetary wealth but knowledge, discipline and fulfilment of potential.
All of this is achieved by mastery of the mind.
A Master Mind Group is exactly that: an opportunity for you to develop mastery of your mind, to think and grow rich with the support of a peer group.
If you would like to join us or have questions about how to get involved, just give me a call on 07711 705038.
David F Smallman, Managing Partner of Pathfinder Team Consulting, invited participants in The Inspired Group to ask him any question about business. These are his answers:
Q. What advice would you give someone in their first year of business?
A. Don’t lose the passion. Ever. Not even in your 42nd year.
Q. Is it wise to use an untested business model?
A. No. Get it tested.
Q. How do you make sure a new idea doesn’t get stolen before you develop it?
A. Keep it out of the public domain until you’ve had it patented, trade marked etc. Non disclosure agreements are hard to enforce.
Q. What is the best way to price your services?
A. Price the project according to the value to the customer. This may mean that you charge two very different prices for the same work. Charge 25% up front, then two further instalments of 25% and 50%. In over 40 years in business we’ve never had a significant bad debt or had to waste time chasing money. Cash flow is vitally important and this way, your expenses are covered before you start.
Q. What is the single most important ingredient in creating a successful business?
A. Passion (as above)
Q. What one channel would you choose to market a business?
A. It depends on the type of business:
Manufacturing – distribution / sub contractors
Service Provision – figure out how your customers/clients like to buy and meet them there
Accounting / Financial services – traditional routes are still working
Q. What will the future economic power of the UK be like?
A. Look out for a debate between David and Phil Jones of Excitant Ltd on this topic. David recommends reading The Big Short by Michael Lewis.
Q. If the three essentials of business are producing the product or service, managing and marketing, what time should a business owner spend on each.
A. In a 60 hour week (which most business owners admit to working)
Marketing 55% – 33 hours
Making 35% – 21 hours
Managing 10% - 6 hours
Anyone spending more than 6 hours managing a business needs to streamline or outsource and ask themselves if they using this as an excuse not to do the marketing.
Similarly, when marketing, use the same equation:
Existing customers 55%
Short term prospects 33%
Long term prospects 10%
Q. Should we strive to continuously make our services or products better?
A. Excellence can sometimes be the death of a business. Quality is what is good enough to satisfy the customer.
Q. Is social media providing businesses that use it with an advantage?
A. Many big businesses just haven’t got it yet but many smaller businesses are using Social Media to great advantage so it gives them an edge in engaging, listening and providing what customers want.
There are more questions and answers on the LinkedIn discussion http://lnkd.in/Hw4QVb
Questions that David didn’t have time to answer:
Is there a particular hobby or pastime associated with business success?
Is there a difference between leadership and management? (See http://lnkd.in/xMdyjG for this discussion)
What is the best strategy to cope with a business failure?
What’s the difference between a coach and a mentor?
I’m often asked this question and one of the best explanations I’ve seen recently is this article was written by Mark Boyd, Marketing Manager at School For Startups http://www.s4s.com
Want to be a successful entrepreneur?
Try to be born into a wealthy family that starts and owns successful businesses. That almost always seems to work well. Growing a company from the ground up requires a broad set of skills, and there’s nothing like discussing corporate mergers and intellectual property rights over the dinner table to prepare you to launch a successful enterprise as soon as you leave school. At least that seemed to work well for Bill Gates. But, for most of us, it is too late to choose a Mother and Father. That means you’ll have to find a good Mentor instead. Nothing shortens the road to personal and financial success for an entrepreneur more than some early hand holding by someone who has built a business from the ground up. Why?
Because you can’t teach what you don’t know . . .
An effective mentor should have the following properties:
They have owned and operated a successful business, and they have demonstrated that they have the skills you need to master in order to succeed.
They have some experience in running businesses similar to the one you want to run. It doesn’t need to be an enterprise in the same industry, but if you are planning to sell products it helps if your mentor has some insight into product design and product sales. If you are selling services, it is handy if they can help you come up with manpower management solutions.
They’ve dealt with their fair share of disasters and disappointments. More than half of the skills required to build a successful business are related to dealing with the unknown and turning unpleasant surprises into unexpected opportunities. Furthermore, most very successful business professionals have had to start multiple enterprises in order to reach their current positions.
They need to understand the true evolution of a business. A business starts with a simple idea which becomes a business model. They’ll understand the dangers inherent to each stage of a business, and be able give you some guidance to alleviate the growing pains. They won’t tell you to just write a business plan and take a loan . . .
They’ll be honest. They’ll happily admit that they don’t know something they don’t know. They’ll tell you when they think an idea is unwise. They’ll offer their advice and then happily watch you make your own mistakes.
They’ll be almost as proud of your successes as you are.
And they’ll open up their Rolodex to offer you access to some of the resources and relationships they used to build their own successful enterprises.
While your boss may be your mentor, your mentor is not your boss. He is not your teacher. He is your advisor and your slightly senior compatriot. He is your coach and your confidant. One day, if you are very lucky, you will find he is your friend. Finding a good mentor can make all the difference between success and failure when it comes to starting a business. It will almost certainly change the course of your life forever. If you are starting your first business, and you don’t have a mentor to guide you, perhaps it is time you set out to find one. It may be one of the best business decisions you ever make . . .
Published in the S4S blog 23 Aug 2010
I don’t have a Rolodex but I do have a vast network of contacts, I’m a she and not a he and if you ask for my advice you’ll get it but you may not always like it. If you want someone to offer you soft words and assurances that you can have whatever you want I’m not the right mentor for you. I don’t deal in fluffy thinking and I know that businesses work irrespective of whether you are passionate about them or not. If you want straight talking based on 30 years in business and a sound knowledge of what makes people tick, you’ve come to the right place. Call me.