If you’ve watched any of my videos, or have talked to me one-on-one, you might be surprised to learn that I am a very shy, introverted person. (And, the true definition of an introvert – meaning, I recharge best when I’m alone.)
So, it’s safe to say that I don’t mind being alone all day, everyday. I’m not a fan of meet-ups and networking in-person. And, just being honest here, I really only like to go to retreats or conferences with someone.
But, I just had an amazing experience of meeting online friends in-person for the first-time.
In the fall of 2015, I joined a group coaching program. It was the largest (and scariest) investment I had ever made in my business. Looking back, it was also one of the best investments I ever made, and I truly don’t know where I would be without this group. (Would I still be charging 1/3 of what I am now? Would I of had the confidence to launch my YouTube channel and podcast?)
We were in this program for six months, and then it ended. Well, “ended” meaning the coaching and the workshops ended, but the conversations continued in full force. Thankfully, our coach (more like, mentor and friend) let us stay in this Facebook group together.
Fast forward to this year, and we decided to plan a mastermind retreat for us to get together.
Setting it all up
In case you are thinking of meeting up with your own mastermind, I thought I’d give a little insight into how we organized everything, and made it all happen. (And when I say, “we” organized, I really mean the two girls who took charge in making all of this happen.)
Because we live all over the country, there wasn’t exactly a “central” location for everyone, so we focused on fun cities that have an airport. We also wanted this to be a fun, intimate experience, so instead of a hotel, we rented an AirBnB. (One person paid for it, and we all paid her our share.)
We had a loosely outlined schedule, with time for hot seats, going out to lunch, and then talking about specific topics that we all wanted to discuss. The schedule was helpful in keeping us on track, but not too rigid.
For a year and half, we have been messaging, emailing, Skyping, and texting. Some of the girls had met in person at other conferences, but personally, this would be the first time I would meet any of these girls in person.
As a shy, introverted person, I wanted to share with you the powerful experience of meeting this amazing “online” friends in-person. There were three things that really stood out to me during our long weekend together…
Connect with your tribe
I am so thankful to have a support system of family and friends who cheer me on in this entrepreneur journey. But, none of them truly understand what it’s like to be a business owner. Being with this group gave me the chance to be surrounded by people who are just. like me.
It’s interesting how you can talk to people every week – email, text or Skype – but being with them face-to-face changes everything. This wasn’t a “highlight reel” situation like you typically see on social media. This was a close-knit group, where we shared failures and struggles openly.
Find your strengths
Sometimes it’s easier to just talk about things face-to-face. It’s like when clients want to discuss things on the phone, instead of emailing everything back-and-forth. When we got to hang out, and really connect with each other, we were able to see even MORE of each other’s strengths.
During this retreat, one of the girls and I decided to collaborate and offer a joint service package. We’ve known each other for almost two years, have known what each other offered – but didn’t see the chance to collaborate until now. Other ladies discovered that they needed to create a personal brand, outside of their business.
Speaking of finding your strengths – apparently, I am much more sassy in-person than I am online 🙂
Ideas and plans
Two heads are better than one, right? When you get a room full of business ladies, new ideas are endless! On the flip side, this can also be a great time to weed out the bad ideas – especially considering it can be difficult to give constructive criticism online.
One of the best parts of having a room full of business friends is that there will be wide range of experiences and knowledge. Not only does everyone have their own expertise, but each person will have different experiences and input with launching, pricing, clients, hiring, etc.