Episode 5 – with Rachel Flower (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

In this episode I’m speaking with Rachel Flower. Rachel is one of the UK’s most respected business advisors.

A commercial lawyer with over 15+ years’ experience, in 2009 she started a family – and in pursuit of the holy grail of work/life balance – took the plunge into entrepreneurship. She founded Serenwood, a niche consultancy offering practical commercial support to small business clients.

Rachel’s personal passion is empowering & inspiring other female entrepreneurs, especially working mums, and she is the mentor & coach of choice for ambitious women wanting to build, grow and scale sustainable and impactful businesses.

During our conversation Rachel talks about feeling the need to be an extra good girl as she was growing up and how that led her to become a lawyer (rather than the actress and singer she truly wanted to be). Fortunately for us, once she reached her thirties Rachel decided to connect with her inner bad girl and make some powerful changes in her life.

Find out  more about Rachel and her work at: http://www.serenwood.co.uk

Episode 4 – with Carrie Stepp (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

In this episode I’m talking with Carrie Stepp. Carrie is a Midwestern country girl who’s full of heart & branded in technology. 

Her life’s purpose is Master Teacher so she’s on a bold mission to inspire, enlighten and empower others to rise higher. She’s invested 22 years as an Award-Winning Digital Course Developer, designing thousands of digital courses for world-class clients including Samsung, Ashley Furniture, John Deere, and Best Western, to name a few.

She’s an International Best-Selling Author, Inventor and Intuitive Creator. As a thought leader specializing in transformative personal and professional development, she’s on a bold mission to turn your fantasies into reality!

During our conversation Carrie shared how tuning into her inner guidance at the young age off 17, led her to make a life-changing decision and put her on a completely different path than she imagined when she was growing up.

You can learn more at CarrieStepp.com.

Be careful what you wish for? Here’s how to move through fear and manifest your heart’s desires

Recently I received this question from one of my clients:

‘When I think about manifesting something I start to panic. I keep getting the words ‘Be careful what you wish for’ come to mind.

I worry that unless I get every detail right and cover every eventuality that I might technically get what I ask for,  but it isn’t actually what I meant or wanted.

Can you help?’

This is a great question! 

‘Be careful what you wish for’ is part of our cultural psyche. Many of us were told this when we were growing up – by parents, grandparents and teachers. And these words can have a powerful paralysing effect.

When you’re consciously using the law of attraction, the most important thing is to be as free as possible from resistance. However, if you’re trying to be careful and ‘get it right’, then you automatically slip into a place of resistance and this is the dilemma.

But fear not. There is a way to move out of resistance and become a master of manifestation.

The fact is you’re constantly manifesting regardless of whether you’re doing it consciously or not. (You can’t NOT be using the law of attraction).

What you have in your life right now is evidence of your manifesting to date.  One of my mentors uses the phrase ‘Having is evidence of wanting’.

Hmmm, interesting.

And challenging.

Particularly if you feel that what you have in your life right now doesn’t reflect in any way what you actually want. Wtf is going on there?

The truth is that if you’re having trouble manifesting what you think you want, then something else is at play. And that something else is your subconscious mind – the deep, mysterious part of your mind that holds all of the patterns, programmes, fears, enchantments and beliefs that have been created during your lifetime.

Some of this ‘stuff’ is helpful, protecting you from danger and making sure you don’t have to tackle every task like it’s the first time you’ve done it.

And some of it, not so much.

The tricksy thing is that the very nature of your subconscious mind means that it’s generally out of your awareness. (If you were aware of everything in your subconscious mind, you’d shut down quicker than an overloaded computer server).

So we need to find ways of bringing our subconscious stuff into our awareness, so we can manifest in a clearer, more powerful way.

Fortunately I have some ways for you to do this. As a witchy hypnotherapist, I spend much of my time delving into the subconscious. And I’m going to share some fairly simple techniques here with you now. You’re welcome!

Heads up: You don’t have to work through all of these tips unless you feel especially called to. Start with the one that feels most compelling for you right now and take it from there.  This is an evolving process. Have fun with it.

Tip One

Look at anything you’ve consciously used the law of attraction to create and reflect on how it actually manifested.

How is it different from what you hoped for/expected?

What does this tell you about your underlying beliefs? For example, say you manifested a new client but then they backed out or became a pain to work with, it could signify a belief that your work isn’t good enough or making money has to be a pain or come at a cost.

The key thing here is to find your own meaning.

Once you have brought these beliefs into your awareness, you can begin to shift them. Actually just bringing them into your awareness and shining a light on them is a big step towards changing them.

You can find out more about how to transform limiting beliefs here.

Tip Two

Reflect on something you have in your life right now that you feel you really don’t want – maybe some debt or a lack of clients. Ask yourself:

If there was a part of me that actually wanted to experience this, what need is it trying to meet?

How do I benefit from this situation?

What do I gain from having this?

Now you might be thinking, ‘Nicola, are you crazy? There is no way I benefit from having zero clients or a shedload of debt.’

But humour me. Give this some time and dig deep. If there was some kind of gain here, what would it be?

Maybe there’s a part of that needs to feel small and safe so it creates a limited financial situation for you to do this?

Perhaps you were brought up in a family that had a lot of debt and it feels familiar to you? If you were financially abundant, perhaps you wouldn’t quite fit in with your family or friends?

Maybe deep down you worry that you’ll be criticised if you make a lot of money/do well in your business, so you unconsciously repel clients?

Spend some time writing down all the possible ways you benefit from your current situation. In a similar way to tip one, just doing this will begin to create a shift.

To take this a step further, think about the part of you that has manifested this situation – the part of you that most is most likely trying to protect you in some way.

Imagine what this part of you is like. What does she look like? What kind of things does she say? Who does she remind you of?

See if you can find a way to send this part of you some love and appreciation for all the hard work she’s done up until now. Let this part of you know that you’re ready to experience something different. You can either do this in meditation or as a letter in your journal.

Find out more about how to work in this way in my book, Heal Your Inner Good Girl.

Tip Three

When you’re thinking about manifesting something and start to worry or the words ‘Be careful what you wish for’ come to mind, ask yourself, ‘What are my fears around this? What am I worried might happen if I manifest this goal?’ and write it all down.

Getting it out of your head and onto paper is very powerful and you can also burn your list of fears too and ask for them to be released from you. You might like to try my special full moon releasing ceremony to super-charge this process.

So there are three ways for your to start bringing your subconscious ‘stuff’ out into the shiny light of your awareness. This is powerful work and it helps to adopt a playful approach to it.

Your next steps.

Want to know more about how you could dive deeper into this to refine your manifesting capabilities and dissolve the old, subconscious patterns that have been holding you back?  Click here to access my calendar and schedule a time for us to have an initial exploratory conversation about working with me in my private coaching practice.

Want to be part of a community of like-minded women who are creating their own versions of an unbound life? Click here to join my free Facebook Group – Unbound Living.

Want some more content to help you manifest your goals and dreams? You’ll probably like this.

Episode 3 – with Esther Copeman (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

In this week’s episode I’m joined by Esther Copeman, the Founder and Managing director of the spiritually inspired skincare company, Concept: Skin Ltd. Having gained over 10 years experience as a Pharmacist and a pharmaceutical chemist, she decided to create products that would work in harmony with the skin, the mind and spirit. 

Her approach to skin care is to seek out ingredients that are as natural as possible and tailor them to help deliver the highest skin care goals that can be achieved alongside promoting balance to the mind and spirit.

This combined approach ultimately enables people to be beautiful and confident on the inside and on the outside.

As with all of the recovering good girls I interview for this podcast, Esther’s story is fascinating. During our conversation we talk about how finally decided to let go of compromising and started to create her own unbound life.

Find out more about Esther and her work at: http://www.conceptskin.co.uk

Episode 2 – with Claire Westwood (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

hyigg-ep-2-coverartIn this episode I’m joined by Claire Westwood – The Seaside CEO (Creative Expansion Officer!)

Claire is a trailblazer for creative individuals making a difference. She’s a coach, mentor, inspirer and navigator for coaches, creatives, healers, and heart-led entrepreneurs on a mission. She is a maverick –helping individuals to live at their highest level of brilliance.

Reinvention is possible at any age – Claire is 50 and was surfing on her birthday and on the zipwire the day after. It’s all ahead of you…..

In our conversation, Claire talks about the unique path she’s taken in her life blending together her background in nursing, performance and now coaching to create her dream business and help others to do the same.

Find out more about Claire and her work at: http://www.facebook.com/TheSeasideCEO/

Episode 1 – with Sophia Lennox (Heal Your Inner Good Girl Podcast)

hyigg-ep-1-coverartIn this episode I’m joined by my dear friend, Sophia Lennox. Sophia is on a mission to help women overcome self doubt, live a meaningful life and create confidence with soul. Born and bred in the Highlands of Scotland, she now splits her time between her home city of Inverness, and Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. She provides private coaching, mini workshops, and teaches yoga. She’s also a recovering good girl.

During our conversation Sophia shares her experience of walking the tightrope of growing up as an archetypal good girl and becoming an officer’s wife, a pair of transformational orange trousers and how googling ‘giving it all up’ led to her living the unbound life she’s living now.

Find out more about Sophia and the work she does at: http://www.sophialennox.com.

How to break out of the ‘just enough’ money cycle

break out of the just enough money cycleVery often when I first start working with my money mastery clients, they tell me that whatever they do, they can’t seem to make more than enough in their businesses. 

They feel like they’re struck in a cycle of making just enough money to cover their basic expenses with little (or nothing) left over to spend on the things they’d really like to buy – travel and holidays, personal development, treating their families and getting the support they want (and need) in their businesses.

Every month feels like a grind to pay the bills without ever getting to the point when they feel abundant and spacious.

I completely get this. For the first few years of my business, I felt like my income was on a rollercoaster and I never seemed to be able to make more than enough. It was exhausting!

It felt like really hard work to attract new clients and when I did, they would always opt for a payment plan, rather than paying in full upfront, so I constantly felt like I was playing catch up in my bank account.

By shifting my mindset and beliefs around money and my value, I was able to move out of the ‘just enough’ grind and generate a stream of engaged, committed, ideal clients, most of whom choose to pay-in-full. And it’s through this very same mindset and belief work that I help my clients to do the same.

So, what can you do if you’re stuck in a cycle of ‘just enough’ right now?

Here are my top tips.

1) What are the potential negative consequences of having more than enough?

This might seem like an odd question, because why wouldn’t you want to have more than enough money? But often when we’re up-levelling, there can be unconscious fears about what the effects may be.

  • Perhaps you secretly worry that people won’t like you when you have more money?
  • Or you fear that the extra money will cause you stress?
  • Maybe you think that you’ll get criticised for having (and wanting) more?

When these fears and worries are unconscious, they bubble away under the surface causing you to self-sabotage and hold yourself back.

To break out of the ‘just enough’ cycle, you need to bring all of these potential negative consequences out into the open, shining a big ol’ light on them, so that they lose their power.

Take some time to journal on the question: ‘What’s the worst that could happen if I made x amount?’

Give yourself at least 15 minutes and write down everything that comes up for you (however irrational it seems). By bringing these unconscious fears to the surface, you can begin to challenge and move past them.

2) Look for where else ‘just enough’ is showing up in your life

If you’re struggling with ‘just enough’ in your income, it’s likely that this pattern is showing up in other areas of your life as well. So ask yourself, where else am I putting up with ‘just enough’?

  • Maybe it’s something simple, like waiting until you get right to the end of your shampoo before buying some more?
  • Maybe you rush around and make just enough time for yourself, so you end up feeling exhausted?
  • Maybe you’re just visible enough in your business, so although some of your potential clients are vaguely aware of you, you’re not reaching as many people as you’d like?

There are SO many ways you can be reinforcing the ‘just enough’ pattern and this will always be reflected in your income.

Start allowing yourself to receive more than enough in as many ways as possible. Often this doesn’t need to cost much (if anything). 

  • Buy a new bottle of shampoo in plenty of time to replace your current one.
  • Schedule some regular ‘me-time’ in your calendar.
  • Challenge yourself to be more visible than feels completely comfortable.

All of these thighs will shift you into a ‘more than enough’, abundance mindset.

3) What’s the underlying belief that’s keeping you stuck in ‘just enough’?

There’s usually an underlying belief about yourself and your place in your world that causes this ‘just enough’ thinking.

  • Maybe you think that you’re not good enough to have more than you actually need?
  • Or that you don’t deserve it?
  • Perhaps you were told it’s greedy to want more when you were growing up and you’ve carried this belief into your adult life, and business?
  • Perhaps you don’t feel worth more than enough?

What are the beliefs that are keeping you stuck in this ‘just enough’ cycle?

Again, take some time to journal on this. Bring these limiting beliefs into your awareness because you can then begin to challenge them.

And if you want some extra help to shift these limiting beliefs, I’ve put together a special tapping routine using Emotional Freedom Technique to help you get out of just enough thinking.  You can watch the video and tap along right now..

If you’d like to get access to more content and trainings like this, I’d love to welcome you over in my free online community, Unbound Living. Click here to join us now.

How to grow your business (and income) when it feels like you’re NOT motivated by money

6-ways-to-grow-your-business-and-your-income-when-youre-not-motivated-by-moneyHow do you find the desire to grow your business when it feels like you’re NOT motivated by money?

This might seem like a strange question! Why wouldn’t you be motivated to make more money? That’s what you’re in business for, right?

Well if you’re anything like me or the money mastery clients I work with, then money is only ONE of the reasons you’re in business amongst other juicy stuff like being able to express your creativity, being of service, having freedom and flexibility, getting your message out to the world.

And sometimes it feels like money is at the bottom of the pile. Maybe you’re making enough (even if it’s JUST enough), you manage to pay your bills each month and perhaps you’ve even got some savings left. So the desire to take action and make more money isn’t that strong.

You tick along.

But there’s something within you that KNOWS you could be, do and have so much more.

There’s something within you that KNOWS you have important work to share with the world.

There’s something within you that KNOWS you’ve been holding back up until now.

And it’s frustrating. Because you can’t seem to get out of the starting gates.

You feel energised for a few days or even weeks and then you find yourself procrastinating and feeling stuck.

You have a good month financially and think you’ve cracked it and then the next month it’s crickets again.

It’s not about motivation to make money. (It’s never just about the money). It’s about motivation in general.

So, here’s how you tap into that motivation when you’re a soul-led, heart-centred woman in business.

1. When you think about the money you want to make, focus on the way it will FEEL to have that money, as well as the specific amount. 

Think about the experiences you will have, how you’ll feel freer and be able to be generous with yourself and others. For most of my money mastery clients, it’s never about the ‘stuff’ they can buy, but the experience and feeling of abundance. When you tune into the feeling you’re wanting to create, you’ll naturally feel more motivated.

2. Think about the IMPACT you’ll be having when you’re allowing yourself to receive more money.

I know your work is important to you – it’s not just something you do just for the money (that’s a given) – and the more you make, the more of a difference you’ll be making. Isn’t that motivating?

3. Check in with your beliefs around money.

Are you resisting making money because you secretly believe it’s wrong to want more?

Did you pick up the message that money was bad in some way when you were growing up and have you carried this belief into your business?

Maybe you think it’s unspiritual to focus on money and you feel kinda icky when you come to charging a good price for your services?

It’s time to challenge these old, limiting money beliefs! Actively look for people who are making a BIG difference with the money they’re making and think back to point two – the more money you make, the more of service you’re being. It’s a win-win.

My free 7-day Money Mastery Kickstarter Challenge has been designed to help you transform your relationship with money once and for all. Click here to get started right away.

4. Break any big money goals down into manageable chunks.

If you’re thinking about having a six-figure year and you’ve never made this much before, it could feel out of reach.  When a goal feels unreachable, it can be tricky to get motivated and take action. SO chunk your big money goal down.

For example, to make 100,000, you need to make 8,333 per month, just over 2,000 per week or 400 per day (assuming you work 48 weeks per year and 5 days per week). Which of these figures feels most motivating to you? For me, monthly amounts feel good, but perhaps a daily figure feels best for you?

5. Maybe you’re thinking too small?

It’s possible that the income goal you’ve chosen isn’t juicy enough to motivate you. For me personally, when I was thinking about making £5k per month, I couldn’t get excited about it, so I would be a bit half-hearted in my action-taking. When I started to focus on making £10k per month (and beyond), I tapped into more motivation and my business has moved to a new level. I might not always reach my monthly goal, but I make FAR more money and attract more opportunities than I was doing before.

Experiment with some different income goals and see which one truly excites you.

6. Have fun with it!

Don’t get too hung up on the numbers, try and see it as a bit of a game. As I mentioned in point five, experiment with different income goals and ways of reaching them. Reward yourself for every step along the way. By doing this and adopting a playful attitude, you can’t go wrong because you’ll enjoy the journey as well as the destination.

So, that’s six special ways to move out of procrastination & stuck-ness and tap into a new source of motivation in your business. If you’re ready to breakthrough to a brand new level of  income, click here to download my free 21-day action plan to do just that?

The 3 Key Lessons I Relearned From Writing My Book

Heal Your Inner Good GirlThis time last year, I started the process of writing my first book, Heal Your Inner Good Girl.

I’d wanted to write a book for the longest time. Ever since I was a little girl, I’d dreamed of being an author. I’d even started writing books before, but never got past a few pages.

If you’ve ever begun a creative project, or got a new idea for your business, you’ll know there’s a BIG difference between taking the first, tentative steps and actually getting it finished.

So, what made the difference for me this time? What were the key points that meant I actually completed my book and released it out into the world?

I’m sharing my top 3 lessons here with you.

I say in the title that they’re lessons I ‘relearned’. As with all of the most important lessons in life, we learn them over and over again in different ways. Each time we reach a new level of awareness. And that’s why I wanted to share them in context with you here.

1. Trust your guidance and inner knowing

Can I tell you a secret? The Universe is ALWAYS sending you signs about your right next step. That’s why you get so many ideas coming to you – in the shower, when you’re out for a walk, in the queue at the supermarket.

But very often, although we get excited about that initial idea, pretty soon we can get disheartened and distracted. (Hence my numerous previous attempts to write a book!)

Fortunately this time, I was very strongly guided to write Heal Your Inner Good Girl.

This time last year (September 2015) I was in a pretty low place. Things were very slow in my business and I was completely unsure of the direction I wanted to move in.

Desperate for some insight, I ended up booking an angel reading with the wonderful Isobel Gatherer. During this reading I was very clearly guided that I needed to write a book. And I was told that I already had more than enough content to fill it.

The fact that I’d been wanting to write a book for so long and that the instructions in my reading were so clear meant that I had no doubt that this was the right next step for me.

I just knew that writing my book was what I needed to focus on. And although it took a little longer than I initially imagined, write my book I did.

You don’t have to wait for a low patch to listen to your inner knowing. If you have an idea that keeps coming to you, take action.

There’s some more to say here about trusting your own process.

Before I actually started writing my book, I read a lot about how to write the perfect book for your business. And to be honest, I kinda got stuck here.

I knew that I had an important message I wanted to share. And I knew it related to my business in some way (helping women to create the perfect money-making mindset). BUT I also knew that what I felt called to write about in my book was much broader than simply money mindset.

As I was out for a walk one day, the title of the book – Heal Your Inner Good Girl – just came to me. I loved it. And I knew that I had a lot to share around this idea.

So I decided to trust that even though this maybe wasn’t he perfect book for my business, it was the perfect book for me.

In Heal Your Inner Good Girl, as well as having a chapter on money, I share my personal story and talk about areas such as creativity, goals, relationships, people-pleasing, anger and knowing what you really want in life. So, even though it’s not obviously 100% aligned with the work I focus on in my business, it kinda is!

Although I focus on money mindset and business coaching with my clients, the idea of healing your inner good girl and living in a more unbound way applies to this too. So maybe I’ll write another book which speaks more directly to what I do in my business, but for now I was happy to throw the rule book out and write what was already there in my heart. (And I encourage you to do the same if this frees you up to create).

2. Get an accountability buddy

I’ve written about this before, but it’s SO important. When you’re working on any challenging project, accountability is key.

By the end of last year, I’d pretty much written a first draft of my book and I thought I was nearly there. Little did I know that getting the initial draft done was the easy(ish!) part.

The nitty-gritty of transforming what I had into a final, ready-to-be-published manuscript was set to be super-challenging.

Fortunately for me, I’d been telling people left, right and centre that I was writing my book (so there was no going back!) and one of those people was the gorgeous Jess Baker who was also in the process of writing a book.  Jess contacted me over the Christmas break to ask whether I wanted to team up as accountability buddies to keep us on track during the book-writing process.

Of course, I said yes and I’m SO glad I did. Jess and I checked in with each other over Skype every single week to see how we were doing.

We set goals, shared our challenges and celebrated our successes. I can honestly say that if I hadn’t had Jess as my book buddy, I’d probably still be floundering around trying to finish Heal Your Inner Good Girl.

I can’t overstate the importance of having an accountability partner and checking in regularly (once a week might seem like a lot, but it’s SO easy for time to drift by with no real progress being made).

So, find yourself a friend, a coach, an acquaintance or a mentor who can hold you accountable and harness this super-power to get your shiz done.

3. Feel your fear of criticism (and do it anyway)

In Heal Your Inner Good Girl I share a story of when I was a little girl and a teacher described my work as ‘absolute rubbish’ in front of the whole class.  It was a formative moment for me, one when my inner good girl came to the fore and warned me to be far more careful with what I shared in the future.

That experience (amongst others) basically taught my younger self that it wasn’t safe to be me.

And this is a belief I carried with me for much of my life. So I held back, second-guessed what it was ‘okay’ to share and generally tried to keep my head under the parapet. And maybe you’ve been carrying the same belief?

But of course, when you’re releasing any sort of creative project into the world (or running a business for that matter), sharing yourself and your work is part of the process.

When I came to actually finishing my book and publishing it, I stalled. I kept telling myself and my book buddy that it needed more work, it wasn’t clear enough or that I should write more words.

But when I came to read through the final draft for the upteenth time, deep down I was happy with it. I knew it was okay. I knew it was complete. So why was I stalling?

Mr H actually summed it up perfectly one evening as we were having dinner. I was talking about my resistance to finishing Heal Your Inner Good Girl and speculating that it was my dislike of endings that was getting in the way. But Mr H pointed out that it was actually my fear of being back in the classroom and having that teacher call my work out as ‘absolute rubbish’.

Yes! That was it.

I was terrified of releasing my book out into the world and someone saying, ‘Well Nicola has written this book and it’s abolsule rubbish!’

In that moment, I resolved to acknowledge that old fear and say ‘Fuck it’. I decided that the message I wanted to share in Heal Your Inner Good Girl was far more important than any criticism I might receive. And I was ready to put it out there.

So, if you have a fear of being criticised (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), tune into your bigger vision. What’s the message you’re here to share with the world? What’s the work you’re here to do? Don’t let this old fear hold you back. We need to hear you.

So, that’s the story of Heal Your Inner Good Girl and the lessons I (re)learned along the way. If you’d like to grab your own copy of the book (either in paperback or Kindle), click here to purchase on Amazon.

The 7 things you need to consider before joining a mastermind

Copy of The 7 things to consider if you're thinking of joining a mastermind groupWhen I first started my business 6 years ago, I was under the mistaken impression that being self-employed meant I had to do it all by myself.

And even though I was pretty quick to get help with things like my website, when it came to sharing the challenges I was experiencing in my business, the fears and doubts that came up on a daily basis and the constant questioning about what I should do next, I kept ALL of this to myself.  And it was exhausting.

I was operating in a vacuum, not letting anyone in, using pure will and guesswork to try and move forward in my business. (Sound familiar?)

Sometimes I would make progress, but then I’d hit a wall again and I’d feel like I was back at square one.

It was only when I went to a couple of business events in 2012 that I realised what it was like to be with a group of other people who were all building their own businesses.

  • I heard other women talking about exactly the same challenges I had been experiencing. (Ah, so I wasn’t the only one!)
  • I gleaned golden nuggets of information that I could implement straight away in my business.
  • I listened to inspiring stories of women who were walking the path that I wanted to (and creating gorgeous abundance along the way).
  • And I was able to ask some key questions that got me moving forwards to where I am today.

It was at one of these events that I was inspired to join my first online group mastermind. And I dived in at the deep-end. It was a year-long experience with weekly calls and to tell you the truth, it was probably a bit much for where I was at the time.

Why?

As a mastermind ‘virgin’, a whole year felt too long for me. I found myself drifting away from the group towards the end and didn’t make the most of my investment.

I wasn’t clear on my intentions for joining the mastermind. I was really inspired when I heard about the group and jumped in immediately, without thinking about what I really wanted to get out of it. So I wasn’t as focused as I could have been.

I held back from receiving the support I really needed. I was pretty sporadic in showing up for the calls, I didn’t ask for the help I actually needed (I was terrified of feedback!) and I still tried to go it alone much of the time (even though I was paying for my membership).

Saying that, when I look back, I still learned a lot from my first mastermind experience. It was the first time I’d taken my business online (and I made some sales of my first ever online programme – yay!) And I made connections that still continue to this day.

Since then, I’ve been in a number of mastermind groups and I’m a LOT more intentional about how I use them. The coaches I’ve worked with and groups I’ve been part of have been key in transitioning my business from a face-to-face hypnotherapy practice to an online business that enables me to be 100% location-independent (and that’s why Mr H and I have been able to take the opportunity to move to the States over the course of the next year).

So if you’re thinking about joining a mastermind group as your next step, here are some key points to consider:

1. How big is the group?

I’ve been in masterminds that have had thousands of members and others that have been as small as 6 people. Both have their place. In a larger group, you’re able to access a whole treasure trove of collective wisdom, but it can be challenging to make yourself heard and the faster pace of a big group can feel overwhelming. A smaller group gives the opportunity for deeper connections and can feel like a safer space where you can share more openly.

2) Is it paid or free?

Again I’ve been in both types of masterminds here and in my experience, when people invest money in a mastermind, they’re more committed to the process. Unless there’s a very clear intention, free masterminds can end up feeling unfocused.

3) Is there a clear leader?

Masterminds can either be run by one clear leader who brings the group together, or they can be more laissez-faire with the members running it themselves. Both can work well, but personally I prefer to have a leader who can maintain the focus of the group, hold a safe space, offer support, make suggestions and answer questions.

4) Is the group purely for mutual support or is there a teaching element?

Some masterminds will be a place where people working towards a similar outcome are able to share challenges with each other, ask questions and celebrate wins. Whereas others are set up with the aim of offering support and teaching the members about a specific subject – for example, my Unbound Business Mastermind has a strong teaching element where a new module is released each week to help you grow your business (and your income) in the remaining months of 2016. What do you need/want?

5) How long is the mastermind?

Masterminds can range from a short, intensive experience of, for example, four weeks, up to a year or longer. Some may run continually with people dropping in and out along the way. As I mentioned above, for my first mastermind experience a year felt like too long, but at the moment I’m part of a group that’s going to be running for around 9 months and it’s perfect for where I am right now. How about you? You want the group to run for long enough to feel that you can get stuff done and not so long that you lose focus and momentum.

6) What’s the structure of the mastermind?

Some masterminds can simply be a Facebook group where people are free to share challenges and ask questions. Others are more structured and may include all or some of the following:

  • Online forum
  • Group calls
  • Hot-seat coaching
  • Q&A
  • Educational content
  • Accountability

Personally I love to have more structure. I have a natural tendency to ‘go with the flow’, which is fine but but not when it comes to getting stuff done! Think about what works best for your personality and intentions for joining the mastermind.

7) Is the group set at the beginning or can people join at any time?

For most masterminds that are due to run for a set period of time, the group will be selected at outset and no-one can join once it’s started. This helps to build trust and connection within the group and creates a safe space. In other more open-ended masterminds, members may join or leave at any time, so it feels more free-flowing. This means that you have the opportunity to connect with different people at different times. Think about what would work best for you right now.

So there you are – 7 key points to consider when you’re thinking about joining a mastermind.

And if I’ve piqued your interest about the power of masterminding, I’m now taking applications for the next round of The Unbound Business Mastermind which starts in mid-January and runs for 3 months (with pre-work and bonuses in Nov/Dec).
This will be a small group of between 4 and 8 women who want to step up and create their dream businesses in 2017 whilst having the support of both myself and the group. Membership is by application-only, so if you’re interested in joining us, click here to go to my contact page and send me an initial message.