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This site is my online journal that documents my attempts to reach various goals inspired by the principles found in the book, Think and Grow Rich. Join me as I strive to meet financial goals, fashion goals, school goals, hair-care goals, and everything in between. I hope that other young women will relate and find my journey useful to read about; this blog is for me as much as it is for women seeking resources for personal development and freedom. To get a daily dose, follow me on twitter and facebook...and don't forget to follow my blog!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

"Master-Mind" Your Sister Circle

Women know all too well how important "kickin' it" with the girls can be. While our male counterparts are scratching their heads wondering why on earth two or more women are necessary for one trip to the restroom, social ladies know that keeping your very best girlfriends at the ready, all the time, is actually pretty useful for a multitude of situations. When shopping, for instance, it always pays to bring your girl who isn't afraid to tell you that (1) your butt looks saggy in those jeans and (2) you're only buying them because they're on sale. Of course, this is insight you should be able to bring to yourself, but sometimes the extra eye and your girl's particularly keen sense of style makes all the difference in accomplishing your ultimate aim—finding the perfect pair of jeans. I find it particularly interesting then, that many woman don't translate this approach to collaboration when trying to achieve more substantial goals like starting a business. The same thing that makes our personal "sister circles" great—diverse yet like-minded friends who have strengths that compliment our weaknesses—is the same thing that can help us achieve the goals that are really important in our lives. In other words, put your more ambitious friends to work by orchestrating your own "mastermind" group.

Though the term "Mastermind" was coined by Napoleon Hill in many of his books (Think and Grow Rich, The Laws of Success, etc) the "mastermind" concept has been around since people have been around. Call it a mastermind, a sister circle, your inner clique, or your "fav 5", simply put, having an informal group of people with different, complimenting talents working together for you is really the key to achieving any singular goal.

"But I don't have any money to hire anybody," some might protest. A mastermind group isn't about hiring people, but about electing people to help you because you can help them too. Do you hire a friend to listen to you when deciding about what to do with a wayward boyfriend? Of course not; your friend is there for you because she likes you and she knows she can expect that same dedication from you in her time of need. So it is with the people in your mastermind group—helping you helps them help themselves. A prime example of this is an informal arrangement I currently have with a good friend of mine. She's a phenomenal connector in terms of networking and gaining contacts, while I'm a great orchestrator in terms of putting talents to profitable use. When I came to her for help in learning how to meet the right people for my projects, she happily obliged as she needed help with selling her networking skills as services for her own consulting business. Though no money exchanged hands, we traded something even better: our time and devotion for each other. By keeping track of the other's progress and meeting every few weeks just to check in, she and I have collectively gotten a lot farther working together than we could have hoped when previously on our own. For our specific goals, she and I employed our own little mastermind group of two...each other.

One of my favorite examples of a successful, large scale mastermind group online (though they don't refer to themselves as such) is the hair forum at longhaircareforum.com. Literally as often as every few minutes, thousands of Black women from all over the world get together to discuss and help each other achieve, long, healthy hair. If you spend a few minutes browsing the members' picture albums of their hair, the difference between the growth of their hair prior to joining the forum and after is almost astronomical. No one's hair grew any faster after joining the forum, of course; however, being privy to the groups collective knowledge and being held accountable for their individual goals allows virtually every member to retain longer hair quicker than they had been able to on their own.

If you look closely at pretty much any success story, big or small, a mastermind group was operating somewhere in the background, at some point in time. Is collaboration with like minded individuals a part of your strategy for success? Share your thoughts in the comments box or email me at thinkandgrowchick [at] gmail [dot] com.

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