I was leading my Mastermind 2.0 group – one of my lovely groups of 13 private clients. We always do some fun celebrating on the second night of the mastermind. This time the plan was to go bowling.
Then the snow hit – 8 inches to start. We waited 30 minutes for the cars to pick us up before the drivers called and said they were stuck on the bridge and couldn’t get to us.
I thought quickly and called the manager of the Soho Loft where we meet. Thankfully, he agreed to let us come back and have dinner there. Within 30 minutes we had ordered Thai Food for everyone, picked up wine and Prosecco and ordered chocolate tarts from my favorite bakery.
With an assortment of Rihanna and Bossa Nova music playing in the background we settled in amidst the falling snow.
It wasn’t long before we were all bonding – the first round of tell everyone something that no one knows about you was clean. The second round – a little saucy. And the third round – let’s just say we’re all much closer now!
As the snow came down and conversations sprang forth, I realized how isolated we all are as entrepreneurs and how much we need people in our lives who push us forward and encourage us to keep going even when it all seems so hard.
In fact, four major lessons were obvious to me:
1. You have to go with the flow and think fast on your feet. The night ended up being perfect. Plan B ended up being as good or better than Plan A. I could have cancelled the night – my clients would not have minded. But that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. Be open to Plan B.
2. You can’t do everything on your own. Within five minutes of being in the room – one of my clients suggested a Thai restaurant and the other took everyone’s orders. Two other clients started taking drink orders. I was on “after dinner treats” duty (a particular specialty of mine). I just needed to ask for the help and they were happy to jump in (yes, my clients do rock).
It made me realize how important it is to ask for help. Not only does it cause a group to bond together – it also makes everyone feel useful.
3. You need a support network of HONEST colleagues. Each of my clients had to do a 10-minute talk in front of the group for this particular mastermind meeting. They then got feedback. It was a particularly nerve-wracking and emotional experience for them all. During the dinner, I watched as the women gave each other feedback and support. Here’s the key: they weren’t blowing smoke.
The feedback was real and honest. Here’s where you shine. Here’s where there is work to be done. That is what every entrepreneur needs – a group of people who are willing to hold her to her greatness – and tell her the truth along the way.
4. It’s good to be vulnerable. In my industry it’s easy to pretend that everything is perfect. It’s easy to show pictures of your huge house, your perfect kids and your big life. I mean after all, in the personal development industry – you are showing people how to live – so your life has to be perfect right?
We all know the truth is that everything is always a work in progress. If your business is great, you are usually working on your health or your friends. It’s constant work to keep it all in balance. That is the art of living.
But in so many of our environments we have to pretend that everything is OK.
What I loved about this mastermind experience is that it was a safe space to be vulnerable – to admit fear, worry and anxiety – to ask questions and reveal that nagging self-doubt.
When you can reveal your vulnerability, your fears, your worries and your concerns – they don’t seem nearly as bad. It’s like coming into the daylight. When you can see something – you are much less afraid of it.
I loved watching that very transformation happen – all while NYC was being covered in a mound of soft, white snow.
By the end of the night there was a peace and happiness in the room that was palpable (the wine also contributed here) – and a feeling that anything was possible.
Who knew that a snowstorm on a Friday night could create such a lovely experience and teach such great lessons? Go with the flow. Ask for help. Surround yourself with the truth. Be vulnerable. And most importantly – get lots of chocolate tarts. Those are the ingredients to true wealth and transformation.© Copyright 2013 Monica Shah