Over the years I've been a part of several Business Master Mind Groups. These groups are usually made up of business people either in the same or similar industry or at the same business level. Some groups I've been in have lasted only a month or so as we worked on a specific project together. Some have lasted longer as we discuss and work on more general business topics and projects. The Master Mind Group I am in now meets in Manhattan once a month and is one of the most productive ones I have been in.
First lets define the term Master Mind Group. From Wikipedia: "A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members. The concept was coined in 1925 by author Napoleon Hill in his book The Law of Success, and described in more detail in his 1937 book, Think and Grow Rich. In his books, Hill discussed the idea of the Master Mind, which referred to two or more people coming together in harmony to solve problems." A Business Master Mind Group can be as simple as a few people getting together to discuss their businesses and help each other. Some groups are more organized and have a leader, an agenda, meetings, and follow up calls.
Why consider joining a Master Mind Group? Feedback, accountability, and fresh ideas are the main reason for me. Feedback on ideas and new products from my peers has helped me avoid costly mistakes. Accountability to the group keeps me from overextending and over promising. I know I will have to report back to the group and explain my progress. Fresh ideas come from brainstorming and questioning the status quo. Fielding questions about why I do something a certain way gets me thinking in new directions or confirming that what I do is right. It keeps me from going stale.
If you're interested in finding a master Group that is right for you Meetup.com is a place to start. You'll find many business groups listed. Try narrowing your search to your area or industry. Also check business organizations such as the National Association of Business Women, and Score. Ask your colleagues and keep your eyes open in your network. That's how I found "Beyond Solo - Inner Circle" , a membership group that puts solo or small businesses together to discuss business issues and the tools you need to grow your business. Or google 'find a master mind group in my area' and you'll get lots of referrals.
However you find your Master Mind Group, whether it is casual over coffee or it is an organized group, you will surely benefit. I know I have :)