The Power of the Mastermind Experience - Building Deep Relationships

We introduced the mastermind format into Network In Action very early on because we knew the value it could bring to the members. The most important thing when it comes to networking is building deep relationships. In 2014, I realized that I didn’t hate networking—I just hated the way it was being done. Thus, an idea was born, and I began my first Network In Action group. After about sixteen months of running the group myself, I went home and told my wife, “These people are so close; they love each other so much. We don't even have to focus on networking or building relationships because it’s happening on its own. But I don't think we can sustain just being a wine club. We must do something bigger than this.” I knew the mastermind model was what we needed.

Think about this: When the military sends soldiers into training, those soldiers go through exercises together to build camaraderie and to build their connection with each other. In some ways, that becomes a matter of life and death for them. We have built these same principles into our monthly meetings and into our culture. We go through exercises each month with our members and in our leadership meetings where we're delving into the problems and struggles in our businesses, as well as our successes, and all of a sudden, it connects people so much deeper. This is an important key to building relationships—but it’s more than that.

With everyone coming from different backgrounds, there is so much wisdom and experience that can be shared to help the next person. That’s what we’re doing every month with NIA. When we get together, there is so much talent in the room. Maybe someone is struggling with the financial part of their business but somebody else there has experienced that before and can help them figure it out. Or maybe one person is good at marketing and somebody else is really struggling in that area, so they have a conversation and problems get solved. We help each other by sharing the mistakes we’ve made and our successes. By bringing people together and working on all these different pieces of business, you’ve got a team of people lined up to support you and to learn from you.

If you don't think you have something to offer, you’re wrong. You just have to show up and let the magic happen. All of us have gifts, all of us have strengths and weaknesses. You may not even know what value you have until you get here; but then, all of a sudden, the magic happens! There's not a better feeling in the world.

People might join Network in Action for the referrals, but they stay for the business solutions. So often, we join these networking groups to get referrals and to grow our businesses and move the needle on our bottom line. That's happening, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The business solutions are happening in all the ways that our members put a need out there and the group can fulfill that need. The diversity in the gifts we have to offer is what makes NIA work so well. At Network In Action, we truly believe that; we see it happening every day. Each one of these franchise owners have come from a different place and background. Among them, we have about twenty business coaches, another twenty people who still own additional businesses, five PhDs, two attorneys, two Navy SEALs, and a Marine fighter pilot! All of these individuals have been successful in their NIA franchises.

Some of our franchisees have kept their full-time jobs while they’ve successfully built and managed multiple groups. Then, we have another third or so of our franchise owners who came into this with an existing business where they wanted to increase the size of their network. They added the NIA franchise to their portfolio and have kept their coaching practice or strategic management firm or digital marketing company or law practice—whatever it is they’re doing—and they're building those businesses by running their NIA networking groups and simultaneously creating another revenue stream for themselves. Then we also have a number of our franchisees who have said, “You know what? I know this is what I want to do with my life,” and they have jumped in and made this their exclusive full-time gig.

Regardless of these different personalities and backgrounds, they all have value to bring to the table. The same is true for each of our NIA members worldwide. This is why I have asked each of the franchise leaders in this book some of the same questions across the board. You will see a lot of different answers to those questions, and each of those answers is packed with value and wisdom. That is the value of a professional leading your networking group.

Some of the most common questions I have asked these leaders are how they would rate their experiences as a franchise owner in the areas that matter the most. Anyone who’s looking to own their own business today probably has one of three priorities, or some combination of all three: being able to control their time and their schedule, having the ability to create and control an income stream that's commensurate with how much work they’re putting in, and being able to wake up every day and spend their time doing what they love to do. The latter has become even more important to folks since COVID. I’ve asked these franchise owners how they would rate their satisfaction in these areas on a scale of one to ten because I know how important they are to you, too. As you read their answers to those questions, you’ll see that our franchise owners are happy, and they’re happy in the areas that matter most. They're enjoying what they're doing. They love helping people, they can control their income, and they have control of their time.

I don't know how anyone could get a better life than that!

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NIA's Major Differences: Professional Leadership
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