Running your own business can be lonely, and it can be all too easy to get caught up in the overwhelming business of day-to-day survival and lose track of your long-term vision. This is where Mastermind groups can come in and help – both in connecting small business owners to each other and brainstorming solutions and suggestions together.
Rosie Kaplan is a Mastermind group facilitator and a business and life coach through www.rosiekaplan.com. She also holds sessions for Shut Up & Write, a group for struggling writers who meet fortnightly to get focused on all kinds of writing using the Pomodoro Method.She’s passionate about the many ways the Mastermind groups can help small business owners encourage each other, be a sounding board, hold each other accountable, create an environment to test new business strategies, and so much more.
Rosie started running Mastermind groups 10 years ago when she was feeling isolated building her food production business. They were very helpful, and after she sold that business and wanted to start another one, she set up another Mastermind group. Four years ago, after moving back to Australia from Waiheke Island in New Zealand, she decided to become a professional Mastermind mentor and trained under professional Mastermind organizer, Karyn Greenstreet.
Today, Rosie runs her own personal Mastermind group that runs weekly and organizes 14-week programmes for solo entrepreneurs. As a trained facilitator, she makes sure the sessions are on-time, focused, goal-driven, and productive.
At Shut Up & Write, Rose facilitates fortnightly meetings for people struggling to get themselves writing. After briefly checking in and saying hello, she sets a timer for 25 minutes, and everyone mutes themselves and just writes. A five-minute break follows, then another 25 minutes of writing – and the process repeats again.
Why 25 minutes?
“This pattern of working in 25-minute sections followed by a break comes from the Pomodoro Technique. It’s a productivity system invented in the 1990’s by Francesco Cirillo (called the Pomodoro technique because his timer looked like a tomato – Pomodoro in Italian!) The 25-minute bursts train your mind to focus for short periods which increases your motivation and keeps you creative.”
Rose has also worked in the film industry, as an artistic director at a glass slumping company, as a coordinator of Waiheke Home Care Hospice, and more.
Advice that Rosie wishes she’d been given when she started her business:
- Get into a long term facilitated Mastermind Group.
- Social Media is going to be huge, learn to embrace it now.
- It’s going to be a roller coaster – learn to enjoy the ride.
Rosie’s advice for someone who’s thinking about starting their own business:
- Get into a long-term facilitated Mastermind Group – the people need to be at your level or just a bit ahead.
- Get clear on who you want to work with.
- Manage your money. Learn to read profit and loss and cash flow sheets. Look often at what is coming in and what is going out.
- Work to your strengths. Try and keep the tasks you are not good at to a minimum.
- Learn to be comfortable with selling. Remembering that we all sell all the time might help. If you aren’t sleazy, you won’t come across as sleazy!
- There is far too much information out there, it can be totally head-under-the-covers overwhelming. Pick a source – like HerBusiness – and don’t get side tracked. If it looks too good to be true – 10,000 new list members in a week – it usually is!
- Be willing to do the inner work. That may even mean having a meaningful conversation with your inner critic, to get her inside.
For Rosie, these knowledge areas and skills are essential for anyone starting in business:
- Social Media – all of it, including understanding Facebook Ads and Google Analytics work.
- Have an easily-managed website. It needs to be simple to navigate and simple for you to make changes to it on your own.
- Writing good content. Get some editing help if you’re not confident with it.