As a business coach for over 25 years, I can attest to the power of a good business peer group. There is nothing better than sitting down with a bunch of your peers and going over your pain points, brainstorming your next big project, or simply learning from others about what has and hasn’t worked for their businesses. You leave the meetup feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle whatever comes your way.
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Not only have I seen it work in my own business, I’ve seen it work for thousands of my own clients who have traveled across the globe to attend mastermind sessions each year. But as we all know, times have changed. More and more companies are moving to a 100 percent remote work force and spending more and more time isolated in their home offices. Lunch meetings are becoming less frequent. The peer group networking events are giving way to infrequent newsletters or online forums.
I have heard from many that their personal business peer groups have started to fall apart, and a lot of business owners are starting to struggle as a result. So today I wanted to share some tips on how to revitalize your peer group and get things back on track.
1. Reach Out to Other Groups in the Area.
A mastermind group is only as good as its membership. And if you find yourself in a group where many attendees have stopped attending your meetups or moved away, it may be time to recruit some new group members. Try connecting with your local trade associations and other networking groups to see who might be interested in joining your group. Chances are, they too are suffering from some member attrition and looking to fill some spaces in their own group as well.
2. Make Attending Meetups as Easy as Possible.
Some of your group may be excited to get back together in person, while others may be hesitant to attend live events at this time. So it’s important to take the pulse of the group and find out what the group as a whole wants. You may find that holding a mix of online and in-person events satisfies the most business owners. Or you might consider holding a hybrid event, where a designated group member moderates questions and comments that come in from the online group during an in-person event. Get creative and don’t be afraid to try a few things to see what works best for your group.
3. Connect With a Mentor or Adviser Team
If you are still struggling to find a good peer group, think about reaching out to a mentor or a group of other business owners that you admire and ask them to be on your adviser team. This can be as structured or as flexible as you want it to be, but the end goal is still the same: having a group of people that have been in your position to bounce ideas and solutions off of. Begin by listing 12 entrepreneurs you’d most like to be on your advisory team and reach out to them.
4. Find a Business Coach.
As more and more peer groups are disbanding due to the work-at-home cultural shift, more business owners are seeking the help of a business coach. It is an investment, but if you are struggling to find a peer group that meets consistently and holds you accountable, this could be a really good option for you.
Working from home doesn’t have to mean isolation. If you are really serious about becoming a better business owner and leader, there are still many opportunities to connect with peers or mentors who can help you get to the next level. The key is knowing where to look and how to cultivate those relationships so that everyone wins. Good luck!