I just returned from a long weekend in Todos Santos, Mexico where I joined a group of entrepreneurial women for a mastermind retreat. It was a beautiful weekend full of good food, relaxation in the sunshine, meditation on the beach, morning yoga, and strategic planning workshops. I left overflowing, ready to tackle 2014.

Our last night we went around the circle saying our favorite part of the retreat. For many of us, it was the fluidity of moving between the student and the teacher. We each took turns sharing our gifts and receiving the talents of others.

Many of us think that masterminds are expensive and something beyond our reach – something we’ll do “as soon as” we’ve made more money, are farther along in our business, or are “ready” in some other way.

twitter_32However, I realized after this retreat that there is so much collective wisdom in our existing networks. Think of your friends and family members – how many have skills, knowledge, or experience that you would like to learn from?  Yet we don’t take the time to really learn from each other. We google instead. (tweet it)

There is real beauty in learning to both give and receive. Often we are heavy on the giving. It’s so refreshing and rejuvenating to receive, especially when it’s given out of love.

You already have free access to a mastermind group – you just need to pull the right people together.  Here are a few tips.

Create your own Mastermind

Create a group of four to six. Ideally, choose people with different talents. Between the six of us, we had two yoga teachers (technically four), two life coaches, a masseuse and a chef – not a bad combination! Look at the people you know and think about what you would like to learn from them: cooking, organizing, finances, gardening, art, fitness, etc.

Book a weekend on the calendar. You don’t have to go somewhere fancy. Choose one person’s house and have a sleepover.

Create a schedule. Ideally, each person leads one session or contributing their gift in some way each day. What worked really well for us is that we each led a session each day, but we left the scheduling loose so that we could check in with our energy levels. The evening before we would make a game plan for the next day, and then check in with each other throughout the day.

Allow alone time. Especially if you’re doing personal development work, make sure that there’s some down time for people to relax and integrate and be alone.

Work during dinner. Each night at dinner, have a question that each person answers during the meal. This helps the conversation go deeper than your usual dinner chit-chat. It also allows each person to have time devoted to them to celebrate and support.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • What 3 things are you most proud of in the last year? Take turns toasting each person’s accomplishments. So often we don’t make the time to celebrate.
  • What are your 3 goals for the year?
  • What are you working on and how can this group help you?

Keep the momentum going. Plan for quarterly or semi-annual retreats to reconvene as a group and continue to learn from, grow, and support each other. In between retreats, keep in contact via email to check on each other’s progress and see how you can help each other.

Over to you…

Have a great idea for a DIY mastermind? Leave comments below – mastermind it out!  If you end up creating a group,  pretty please post pictures to my Facebook page so I can see them!

Cover Photo Credit: jcl34 via Compfight cc