I’ve been struggling with my new book, but not in the way that most people mean that. It’s not that I have too few ideas or too many ideas. I’ve got millions of ideas and I know how to cull them. It’s just that I need something specific to happen with this book, and I need to craft it well to make that work. No, not a bestseller. Been there. But in the process of this, I’ve learned a lot and I want to share some with you.
I’m Not A Group Kind of Person, I Think
For most of my life, I’ve been averse to mastermind groups or things like it. I’m not good at clubs. I don’t attend any regular meetings of any kind. One reason is that I worry that if I get involved in something like this, maybe I’ll hog it and try to make it all about me. I worry also that maybe all the ideas will be bad. Or that people will be pushy. Or that I won’t get a turn to share.
In short, I guess I have a lot of hangups about mastermind groups or the idea of groups of people gathering to solve challenges.
What’s funny is that I run a group of sorts. But it’s more like private group coaching and sharing. It’s not structured like a mastermind. There are a few hundred people in it, for instance. And I ask those folks for ideas, but then again, they come to me looking for answers. And the challenges I solve for them are ones I’ve mastered. Obviously, my own problems are likely at some weird and different level, right? Maybe.
You’re Not Supposed to Have All The Answers
I just got done interviewing Aaron Walker, who among other things, runs incredible mastermind groups. After we stopped recording (it’ll be on my podcast shortly), I asked him a question about my new book. He smiled and said, “This is exactly what people do in Mastermind groups.” Oh.
We know this. You know this. We’re not supposed to have all the answers. So why do we get all wrapped up and forget this?
For some, it’s ego. They aren’t ready to accept that they don’t know everything. (Not my problem.) For others, it’s fear. They are afraid of what they’ll learn or what they won’t learn or something else. (Definitely me.) Another reason we don’t turn to others is that we hear this loud voice shouting “You’re going to figure it out. Just give it some more time and thought.”
This might be weird to say but I think most of us aren’t really good at thinking. Or thinking in a useful way. And I mean me, too. When you actually “sit down” to think about something, doesn’t that become when you least think about the issue? Our heads get really messy at this moment.
Be Open to The Possibility
The big lesson I learned is that I have to open myself up to the possibility that bringing my questions to others can help me, and help others in the process. The same is true for you. And you and I will deliver stupid questions plenty of times, but more often than not, our questions will help us, help others, and give others the opportunity to do something good for someone else.
Bring Good Questions
The better your questions, the better someone will be able to help. I don’t mean the “longer” the question. I mean the better. Give someone something they can work with.
For instance, when it came to my book, I asked a bunch of CEOs whether this book was something they specifically would buy and whether the ideas in it were something they were dealing with. That helps me get past the “oh that’s cool!” when someone’s trying to be nice.
What makes a question great? It allows the other person to answer from their expertise. It allows you to narrow down a solution to your challenge. It affords you answers that get you thinking in new ways.
I plan to ask more questions and be willing to reach out to more people for their advice. I hope you try the same. I suspect the results will be worth it for both of us.