There are braintrusts and founts of wisdom to be had all over the internet. There are also scary, rip-your-vocal-folds-outta-your-throat-the-minute-you-say-something-wrong types of groups as well. You can find people dotted along a spectrum from completely blasé to stalkers who want to know your every move. It’s the danger of the wide open internet plains of freedom. So, how do you harness some of the good energy and relieve yourself of some of the negative energy? Create a mastermind.
What is a Mastermind?
Mastermind groups are relatively new to most people, even though Napoleon Hill created the concept around 75 years ago with his book, Think and Grow Rich. However, they are quickly becoming the trendiest of the trends with internet business types. The basic gist is that mastermind groups offer a combination of collective goal-setting, peer brainstorming, accountability and support in a group setting to create the success you want. Participants are encouraged to raise the bar by challenging each other to create, implement, imagine, and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. If you were (or are) in one of those magical voice studios in which everyone encouraged each other towards their goals, asked probing questions, and celebrated everyone’s successes while comforting each other through the trials, then a mastermind is a way to keep that goodness flowing post-academia.
I decided to create a mastermind group for divas because it was something I needed in my life. Living in the middle of the country can feel a bit isolating, in my musical niche, and I wanted to connect with other divas about bigger ideas. I wanted to be pushed by people who knew the field. I craved a place to ask, “hey, is this thing that happened super weird?” I desired some challenges with accountability partners. Talking about things like dealing with teachers/students, overhauling websites, the financial side of singing, and even ‘leaving singing’ all had to be on the table. My most desired element is creating a group that is close enough to be able to share beyond surface level but isn’t only full of your closest friends who aren’t willing to push you outside of your comfort zone.
Some basic ideas behind a diva mastermind
I won’t be sharing the names or any specific details about the divas in my mastermind to help protect their privacy. But, I wanted to share some of the activities that we do or have considered to help you think about how to create your own inspiration and accountability group.
Since our diva mastermind is a private group born out of #29DaystoDiva, I try to propose a weekly challenge. The weekly challenges are often prompts from #29DaystoDiva seasons that would be reminders to update, re-imagine, and grow so we can crush those little actionable steps on our way to Diva Town. The idea would be that these group projects could be a framework for our time in the hot seat each month. Or, that they’re just ways to keep “showing up” in our work.
We have a #HotSeat in the group which is designed to give each of us accountability to our goals. I think one hot seat per person per month has been a good starting place. When it’s your turn in the hot seat, you share the progress you’ve made toward your goals since your last hot seat presentation. The hot seat posts are some of my favorite ways to stay connected with the divas in our group. They are really the way that we each get to know the other’s aspirations and personality.
Office Hours can be an ideal way to set up a recurring meeting time in which the mastermind members all virtually chat for a few minutes about what’s going on in their careers and what they’re working on. Each member is responsible for running an “office hours” get together. Busy lives and busy schedules can make getting together for “office hours” difficult so it is not a requirement for running your own mastermind. But if you’re able to have everyone make the commitment, then it is a sure-fire way to build trust.
A mastermind is designed to share information with each other that may help with short and long-term goals. Information could be anything from technical information, monetization ideas, audition information, and more. Our diva mastermind constantly brings me new ideas and inspiration.
This is one of the biggest benefits of the mastermind. When you have a group of divas that are actively encouraging each other to reach various goals, imagine the leaps and bounds each participant could make. The field of classical singing doesn’t have to be “every soprano for themselves” when you create a powerful engine of mutual support.
Create Your Own
Do you already have a mastermind group? What makes it run like a well-oiled machine? What has been the biggest benefit you’ve discovered? I am incredibly grateful for the inspiring women who have joined me in our group. They are mighty, energetic, compassionate, musical, and astonishing souls.
The internet and social media can be a very intimidating landscape. It can also be an unparalleled way to find your tribe. Having a mastermind group allows you to be more honest about the ups and downs that make up this calling or career path. You take the benefits the internet gives, like smashing geographic barriers and connecting over similar interests, and mix that with the benefits of an intimate group. This diva mastermind is a lifehack if I’ve ever found one.