This year has been game-changing for my business in so many ways. Before I get into it, let me preface this episode by saying I’m about to get real when it comes to numbers, because I think it’s incredibly important to the story. So, if finance talk makes you uncomfortable, you may want to skip this episode.
However, I would encourage you to dig into those feelings to understand WHY you maybe don’t love talking about money. I know it can feel icky on the surface, but the reality is there is power and freedom in understanding the numbers behind your business, and it can make all the difference in how you’re spending your time. Plus, money can be the source of some really big wins, and those should be celebrated! So, let’s talk all about why I joined a mastermind in 2019 and how it’s completely changed my business for the better.
A Little Back Story
At the end of 2018, I decided I was putting $5,000 away for education. I had spent money on education in the past, but I put away this amount more thoughtfully. I wasn’t just going to buy a couple courses here and there, but instead I knew I was going to plan and put this amount towards something, possibly all in the same thing, to make a big impact on my business.
Simultaneously, I was reconnecting with a friend of mine, Jasmine, who I had met over 10 years ago when I was interning for a health and fitness blogger. Over the years, Jasmine and I stayed connected over social media, interacting here and there, but not super closely. Jasmine later on bought my presets, and we sort of reconnected through that. I began following Jasmine a little more closely and saw her promoting this mastermind she was running, called Women of Woo.
I reached out to Jasmine and asked her a few questions, though still not really knowing what it was, and Jasmine replied back saying she thought I would be a really good fit and that she had some ideas for my business. That was really all I needed to hear. I mean, I had known her for 10 years, and I trusted her. Even though we joke now that I literally had no idea what I was signing up for when I committed to the mastermind, it has been amazing – it has changed not only my business, but also my life.
A Bigger Mission
When I left my job, I was really nervous that I was going to lack purpose. The company that I worked for did and still does a really good job of making sure that you aren’t just working for a paycheck, but you are contributing, whatever that may look like. Even though I was just working in marketing, I felt my purpose was so much deeper than that, and I really struggled with that when I left. It was a lot of pressure thinking that now I work for myself, and I need to find this purpose on my own. Yes, pretty pictures are nice, and I think they are important. But I also thought that there are kids starving in Africa, and I was just a photographer. There was just so much missing from my mission. I knew it was bigger and felt it was bigger, I just couldn’t put my finger on it.
The description for Women of Woo is: a business mastermind for spiritual women ready to use their abilities to grow their businesses and change the world. This mastermind was everything I didn’t know that I needed, because it helped me find my mission and my bigger purpose (that is probably a story for another podcast). It is just interesting it has all come full circle.
A big part of the first couple of months of the mastermind was spent digging into my “why.” It got uncomfortable for me, and I got really mad at Jasmine because she would say, “Why do you do what you do?” I would give her a vanilla answer, and she would say, “Cool, why?” And I became so frustrated because I didn’t think it was that deep, but it was, I just didn’t know it. But having Jasmine there to push me through that uncomfortableness has made all the difference in my business because now I know my mission and my purpose. It’s so much easier to do things that matter to you when you are aligned with that.
My mastermind experience has been amazing! It has been deep and heavy and joyful, and all the things. Next I am going to share some of the tactical things a mastermind can bring to your business, but know that for me, it has been a lot deeper than that.
A mastermind group offers a combination of brainstorming, education, accountability, and support, in a group setting to help your business. There are different versions of masterminds, and I personally believe it is best when the group has a leader. You have to have somebody who is sort of leading the way, structuring it, bringing everyone back to the mission of the group and each individual business. I think it would be challenging to not have a leader. As I mentioned, Jasmine is the leader of my mastermind.
I would also say that masterminds are going to have some type of common thread. With my group, it is that we are all spiritual women, whatever that may look like – just believing that there is a higher power and purpose, and that is sort of what we line everything up to. This spiritual piece has been really important to me and given me that higher sense of purpose.
What It Looks Like
My mastermind has a Facebook group, which is where we meet on a daily basis in a non-formal way. People share and post, often asking for support or guidance, or just wanting to share more with others on something specific. We also meet bi-monthly on a zoom call. It has been eye-opening to listen to other women share where they are at in their business. You get ideas for your business, and you get the opportunity to offer advice if you’ve had that same experience before.
That was a big thing for me when joining a mastermind – I didn’t want a photographer specific mastermind group. I’m sure they are great, but I felt it was important to me to work with women in other industries to get ideas. There are ideas out there that haven’t even come into the photography world yet. I’ve connected with women who do something completely different, and yet we find things in common within our businesses to connect over and brainstorm ideas about. I would definitely recommend joining a group that has multiple career paths or businesses inside of it.
We also get a 15 minute private coaching session with Jasmine every month. Depending on the level of your mastermind membership, you may get more than that. For this round of the mastermind, I paid more to be a VIP, when means I get more one-on-one time with Jasmine, so I have a few one-hour calls, along with the 15 minute calls.
Lastly, during each round of this mastermind, we do a retreat (I just returned from ours in Sedona!). It’s a fun time to meet up and get together but also do workshops and dive into our businesses a bit deeper, on the business side and also spiritual side. It is fun to get together in person, though I appreciate that the majority of our mastermind is online, as that’s just where I am at in life right now. I can join a zoom call with no bra on, and that’s pretty great.
Accountability and Support
Within the mastermind is a coaching element and a workshop element, but at the end of the day, it’s an accountability group. There is someone, or many someones, to cheer you on and remind you why you are doing what you are doing.
This mastermind has been a game changer for me in my ways. I tend to be strategic but in a forward thinking way, which sounds good, right? I’ll catch myself saying that I have my 5 or 10 year plan in place, but I have no tactics in place to get me to what I want to do. I just think it will somehow magically happen in 5 or 10 years. But having Jasmine, and these other women, in my corner, I now have them to push me to answer the question “why.” They help me ask, “You’re going to do it in 5 years? Why can’t you do it now? What are you waiting for?”
Jasmine has been especially helpful in this. The workshop I recently hosted was actually her idea. She suggested it, and I am pretty sure I replied that I wanted to do it someday. I continued to come up with excuses like “but ___” or “what if ___”. Jasmine in turn would tell me to do it now, and if there is a problem, she would remind that we would address it and then do the thing again. In my life now, I try to hold things up to that standard of “Why am I not doing that now? Is this something I can just do now, and then afterwards evaluate how it went?” It might go well, and I’ll find myself being glad I didn’t wait 10 years to do it.
This mastermind has really pushed me, and I think no matter what kind of mastermind you are in, that’s the goal. There’s that accountability and that connection with others who are cheering you are and saying “you can do it.” As business owners, and I think especially as women, we often don’t see our own genius. We don’t see our own strengths, and we take them for granted. They are such a part of us, we don’t see them as strengths. And so when you join a group with others who are all connected by a common thread but also different, they are able to pull out those strengths and remind you of them.
Show Me the Numbers
I mentioned I was going to talk finances and numbers, and I got a little excited about all the other details, I forgot to discuss that yet. So if you have been waiting for that, here it is.
At the end of 2018, I decided I was going to invest $5,000 into education. By the end of 2019, I will have actually invested 3x that amount into education, in this specific mastermind this year. But it paid for itself within the first month and a half of the year. The amount that I have invested in this mastermind is now what I make on average every single month, and it’s only going up.
Yes, that’s magical. But it’s not magic, it’s hard work. It’s knowing my niche and my zones of genius, and that is due in major part to the work we’ve done this year – myself and Jasmine, myself and the other women in my mastermind, us as a whole. And to me, it’s a no-brainer – if you can invest that amount of money and then turn around and start making that amount of money. My income didn’t increase a couple thousand dollars; it doubled and tripled every single month. At the end of this year, I was hoping to be making $10,000 months, and I hit that in January and haven’t stopped.
If something like this can propel your business, I think it is something worth considering. It has changed everything for me. Beyond the business stuff, the friendships I have made with these women is something I will have for the rest of my life. And even though I have been a photographer for 8 years, I feel like I’m finally doing what I’m supposed to be doing. I know who I’m serving. I’m crystal clear, and that is pretty cool.
If you have any other questions about what it might look like to join a mastermind, feel free to reach out! I would love to help you get some clarity if you are considering joining one. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org