Sales Masters Guild Mentor, Toby Acton, introduces us to the Mastermind Peer Groups he holds in Essex, but first answers the question “What is peer mentoring?”
I have been mentoring people in various businesses for more than 18 years and I have long appreciated the value of peer mentoring.
Over the years I have been asked on more than one occasion “what is peer mentoring? And what are Mastermind Peer Groups?”, so let’s answer these questions:
Napoleon Hill first raised the profile of mastermind peer groups in his seminal book “Think and Grow Rich”, published in 1937. He spoke in that book of his discussions with Andrew Carnegie who used a mastermind group of up to 50 people to help him build a massive steel empire which amass one of the largest fortunes in history.
And there are many examples of other industry leaders working together with mastermind groups to build their businesses:
Henry Ford met regularly with the likes of Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and President Warren G Harding for brainstorming and motivational sessions to further advance their ideas and business interests. The nicknamed themselves “The Vagabonds” and the aim of their sessions was to allow the free exchange of ideas and experiences.
Mastermind groups are not just for business. In the 1930s and ‘40s a gathering of literary writers in Oxford called “The Inklings” included amongst others C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkein, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams. They met to read and discuss each other’s ideas and unfinished works and without these sessions perhaps we would not have such masterpieces as the Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings series.
Walt Disney had his “Nine Old Men” who together refined the work of animation and created 40 years of incredible iconic films.
President Theodore Roosevelt had his “Tennis Cabinet”, a group of businessmen, diplomats, military aides and conservationists who as well as enjoying outdoor pursuits together, discussed and debated the issues of the day and planned what would become US government policy.
However, the concept was not even new to the 20th century. More than 200 years earlier, Benjamin Franklin had “The Junto”, a group of “like minded aspiring artisans and tradesmen who hoped to improve themselves while they improved their community.” Even, King Arthur had his Knights of the Round Table! The table was round so that there was no “head of the table”, none of the members could claim precedence over another. They were equals; they were peers.
So, it is a well know and proven fact that when single minded ambitious people come together for a common cause amazing results will always follow. Which is why my mentored peer groups are so powerful for those that commit to jumping out of their day to day life once a month to work on their business.
Here are some of the keys to helping you and your business by being a part of a mastermind peer group:
Synergy and Dynamics
The concept is simply that many heads are better than one and that each member of the group learns and grows by association with the others.
As the late Jim Rohn always said: “You are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.”
The synergy and dynamics formed by a group of like-minded, ambitious, focused business owners meeting together on a regular basis is extremely powerful and allows them all to progress their businesses forward at an accelerated rate through the sharing of ideas, challenges and new concepts.
As well as the faster personal business growth from working with like-minded ambitious people, the members of my monthly peer groups tell me that they find multiple other benefits, including:
- They get accountability via their own Personal Mentor and their peers driving them to succeed
- It is a safe place where they feel that they can be totally honest about their business without fear
- They have total support to overcome any challenges on their way to success
- They get training and ideas on more productive and effective techniques for business
- They gain more business as the members cross-pollinate and refer clients to each other
Many of us do not progress forward in business at the rate that we should simply because we do not have anyone holding us accountable, anyone making sure that we are staying focused on the things that we know will make a difference to our business and our ultimate success. But it is not just accountability to myself, my mastermind peer mentoring group members love being accountable to each other and to themselves. They encourage each other and congratulate each other on their progress and successes. Each month they state what specific things they are going to do over the next 4 weeks to accelerate their sales and income growth and the following month they come back and update on progress – and they are honest, good or bad, they let the other members know how they have fared.
And the interesting thing is that it is not about great quantum changes, it is normally just about little nudges, small 1- or 2-degree changes, to keep them on track and to form more profitable outcome-driven habits to get greater results.
Often in business you can’t be honest about your business and your fears and concerns. When out networking, everything must be “fantastic” and you may not be able to share your fears at home with your family. My Mastermind Peer Group members know and understand that “what is said in the room, stays in the room” and that they will receive support and understanding from the other members. Needless to say, this aspect ties in very well with the accountability and being honest about progress and focus.
Support with challenges
Members of my groups very quickly gain a realisation that they are not alone in business and others share similar challenges and are looking for similar solutions. By bringing together business owners from different sectors, different backgrounds and at different stages in their business “journey”, together with my 20 plus years of business experience, we engender an environment where together we can solve just about any challenge that we might come across. Additionally, within The Sales Masters Guild we have a multitude of mentors with a wide array of experiences in various businesses added to the pool of talent and knowledge.
Tips and training
I have lost count of the number of times I have shown my group a different way to go about things or a tip for greater productivity and they have told me how useful it is. Many of these types of things come about from having an outside perspective and just being able to look at things in a different way – to think outside of the box. Often, as business owners we can be guilty of having our heads down in our business and being blinkered and not looking at the bigger picture. It is invaluable to have someone, or a group of people, to help you with this outward perspective. By meeting as a group, we pool the experiences and ideas of many and methods that one uses in their business can benefit another – indeed, many times I have learnt things from my mentoring group members!
Very swiftly the members of my mastermind peer group gain that all-important “know-like-trust” formula and start doing business together and providing referrals to each other. By meeting together monthly they gain a far deeper understanding of each other’s businesses, expertise and values and true friendships form which, as we know, always leads to the potential for more business to be shared.
So, in conclusion, Mastermind Peer Mentoring groups work on so many levels from greater personal business growth and learning together, to mutually solving challenges and gaining accountability to drive business forward.
As well as running Mastermind Peer Groups for my clients I am also a member of such a group as I fully appreciate the benefits of learning from and being inspired by other successful and ambitious business owners.
These Mastermind groups have worked and benefitted their members for many years and will continue to bear fruit and drive business forward long into the future.
You can find out more about Toby and book onto any of his Mastermind Peer Groups from booking page or his Sales Masters Guild Mentor page.
Toby Acton is a Sales Masters Guild Personal Business Mentor.
For more than two decades, Toby has been running his own businesses, with interests in a variety of diverse sectors including IT, market research and property. He has also mentored and trained many hundreds of people on how to build their networking marketing businesses and to develop their personal brand.