How to Use Mastermind Groups to Grow Your Career or Business

If you haven’t heard of them, they are the proverbial meeting of the minds: consistent, regularly scheduled meetings of liked-mindedness. Women professionals especially, are increasingly joining business masterminds given their ability to easily form bonds and farm relationships as well as their desire for deeper connections to grow their careers.

Uncover your Blind Spots. Co-Create Solutions to get you Unstuck.

Originally introduced by Napoleon Hill discussed in his classic “Think and Grow Rich” the theory behind masterminds is that when you bring together an intimate group of folks (usually kept to five or six members, for maximum effectiveness) who share common challenges each with a very specific goal in mind, the channeling of like-minded energy in the room, will inevitably create a space which allows for the spawning and co-creating of powerful solutions for one another. These take the shape of inspired on-the-fly next steps, which if on your own was unable to see for yourself, until you opened about where you are stuck, seeking external support.

“No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].” – Napoleon Hill on the principle behind Masterminds.

Brainstorm and Attract Results Quickly

On an energetic vibration level per the laws of Quantum Physics, the powerful results bubbling from this type of forum, are delivered at the foot of each member before the mastermind ends, guaranteed to always show up. That is, it’s impossible for anyone to walk away without receiving clarity around what the next best step is for them to take, nudging them directly towards their Breakthrough Goal. The number one benefit to joining a mastermind is that you see results quickly; the solutions come rushing in as soon you open it up.

Trusted and Confidential

As humans, when struggling with a situation, we are less likely to reach out and lean on others for support. There’s a level of pride and fear of failure inevitably holding us back. Shifting your mindset however, working in a supportive, small group in collaborative mode, masterminds lay out some firm ground rules that put those concerns to bed. Up-front, everyone signs-on to share a sacred space which is confidential and safe.

Commit to Thinking Bigger about yourself

After going round-robin where each member has had time to present their situation, discuss and gain valuable feedback from the group, they are asked to make a commitment to something they normally wouldn’t commit to if they weren’t part of the group. This not only stretches you to a new level, but becomes your new normal where you are consistently maximizing your potential throughout the mastermind experience without looking back; this is full accountability.

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What Business Should You Put Up?

Business 2What steps should you take when deciding on your business venture? If you have the financial means and does not are what happens to your money, you can do a trial and error. If the business did not work, you close it and open another one until you hit your goldmine. But this is not reality. How many of us were born with the silver spoon in our mouth? For the very good 99 percent of the population, we have limited financial resources. If you are in the 1 percent of the population, chances are you will be working in your family’s business either by choice or by force. Likewise, in any business venture, time is of the essence. Time is one of the most important resources of a business. A great business idea must be done immediately; otherwise, someone else might do it and you lose the chances of earning huge amount of money from the idea. Besides, our world is changing very fast. A great idea today may easily be overshadowed by an innovation. Thus, while the idea is needed by customers at this very moment, you must jump in and do it.

Choose the product or service that you are very much interested in.

Choosing what business to put up is just like choosing what job to apply to or deciding on your career. You always must look for a business or job that you have a great interest in or are very passionate about. This way, you do your business or work on your job like it is not your job or business but something that you can’t avoid doing. Your love for what you do makes you feel that you are not working at all. Being passionate on what you are doing will make you push and do your best amidst any issues that may come your way.

Choose to do a business that you have the skills for.

Of course, you can choose to hire people but if you are starting a business for the first time it will be best if you know at least something about the product or service that you want to market. A friend of mine put up a beauty parlor. She does not know anything about hair styling, make-up or nail care. But just because she thought that she can easily find people capable of doing this, she put up her beauty parlor business.

Unfortunately, despite her consistent dedication and hard work her business folded up. The hair cutters and stylists she employed would take leaves and never return. Even the loyal customers that she was able to develop stopped coming to her parlor because she couldn’t provide the services they need. If she knows how to do the services she offers or at least learned to do them instead of completely relying on her employees, she could have provided assistance when her hair cutters go on leave for prolonged periods of time. Knowing how to do the job will also allow you to select the best applicant to employ. Of course there are various reasons why a business will fold up but if you have knowledge of your product or service you will have better chances of making your business a success.

These are just two steps but are the most important things to consider when choosing what kind of business you should set up.

How to Select a High Quality Freight Broker

There are several reasons to use a freight broker, perhaps you have purchased an item across the country or need to get an item (s) shipped to your customer and you’re looking for an easy, cost effective way to get it done. Whatever the reason may be, this guide has been put together to help you select a high quality freight brokerage company.


Do they have a Freight Broker Bond and operating authorities?

As of October 1st, 2013 Freight brokers are required by the FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) to have in place either a BMC-84 or BMC-85 freight broker bond in the amount of $75,000 U.S Dollars in order to maintain an active operating authority. The BMC-84 is a surety bond provided by an insurance company who is willing to guarantee the 75K in case the broker defaults on payments. The insured (broker) will pay a yearly premium of $1,000 to $12,000 in order to get this insurance in place. The BMC-85 removes the insurance company and is put in place by the broker themselves or a bank by putting $75,000 into a trust fund. The main benefit to a trucking company is that they have a bit more of a guarantee that they will get paid and that a less reputable broker isn’t going to take the money from the customer and run without paying the trucker. The benefit to the shipper is very similar in the idea that they don’t have to fear that after they pay the broker the trucking company is going to come after them later if the broker takes off. This has helped reduce the amount of fraud in the industry as the broker now has to be financially stable before they even start. This is all fine if your in the USA or using a U.S. based broker but if you’re in Canada its a little different story. Currently the only province in Canada that regulates freight brokers is Quebec, who requires brokers to be registered with the CTQ. However in order to get active authorities the FMCSA stated that Canadian Brokers need to obtain the bond as well. This has left many brokers Canadian brokers in a grey area as the U.S. says they need it while Canada says they do not. Even if a Canadian broker wanted to get a bond it is very tough to find a U.S. or Canadian insurance company to quote it or offer it for a decent price. In conclusion, it is a good idea for all brokers to have it as it is beneficial to everyone and chances are if a Canadian broker has obtained a bond they are extremely financially stable.


Do they have proper insurance to protect your goods for transport?

Chances are that the trucking company the freight broker or Freight brokerage company hires for you will have more than enough insurance to cover the value of your goods in the case of an accident but it is a good idea for the broker to have insurance as well. You will want your broker to obtain proper insurance l just in case the trucking company is running with expired insurance or the broker forgets to check the trucking companies insurance in the first place. Either way you want to make sure you are covered. A reputable freight broker will have this insurance in place and will likely provide a copy of it before you have a chance to ask for it. You will want to see a minimum of 1 million liability, 250k cargo (unless the value of your goods is higher of course) and an errors and omissions policy is always a good idea.


Can you find non bias references or referrals?

A good freight broker will likely have reviews on Google about past shipments, however keep in mind that these may be higher on the negative side as a person who had a good experience is much less likely to take the time out of their schedule to write a review in the first place. The best place to start would be from a friend or college who is in the shipping business. Chances are they have used one or more freight brokers before that should be able to point you in the right direction. The broker may also be able to provide references but unless it’s from a big reputable company it is likely not going to be very useful.


Has the freight broker ever done this before?

Another important part to look for is if the broker has any experience brokering freight. You will want to make sure they know what they are doing as moving freight isn’t as simple as calling a trucking company and sitting back. They may have experience in moving dry van freight but no experience moving Agricultural equipment. Different types of freight have a lot of different requirements to get it shipped. If the item is crossing internationally you will want to make sure the broker has experience doing that as mistakes may end up costing 1000’s of dollars. An experienced broker will be able to answer pretty well any question you may have about moving freight.

These are just a few of the key areas to look at before choosing a freight broker to move your freight. A broker that scores well in the above 4 areas will ensure your shipment is moved fast, on time and on budget.

The Power of Business Cards

It may come as a surprise that, in today’s highly digitized world, business cards are still highly useful networking tools. A good card is like a good suit or even an office: it’s not necessary in the strictest sense of the word, but it signals to other professionals that you’re the genuine article. Your business cards should be an extension of your professional persona, one that reminds the holder of why they got your information in the first place. When tailored to your personal brand, they can be a gateway for professional opportunities. For such small pieces of paper, business cards carry a lot of weight. Here are some tips to help you get the right print.

Don’t Skimp on the Stock

One of the easiest ways a print shop can make business cards more affordable is by reducing the thickness, or stock, of the paper used. While fiscal responsibility is always an important principle in business, this is one area where you shouldn’t cut corners. It’s more than a piece of paper; it’s a lasting reminder of that first impression. A flimsy piece of paper sends the signal that the professional it represents is flimsy, too. You want to convey success with your card, even if you’re just getting started.

Size Matters

The standard size is 2 inches by 3.5 inches-stick with that. A lot of people these days are trying to reinvent the wheel when it comes to size and shape, making pieces that are bigger, smaller, circular, etc. While these might be memorable, they’re also likely to get cut if they don’t fit neatly into a wallet or holder.

Include a Visual Cue

Your card should remind the holder of who you are and link back to some memory of where and why they got your info. If you or your company has a pattern or color scheme, incorporate that. If you are in a business where you trade on your personality (salesmen, attorneys, realtors, etc.), it’s a good idea to include a photo of your smiling face in order to convey the winning personality that has made you a success!

Keep it Simple

Even with a photo or color scheme that serves as a visual cue, don’t over-complicate things. Your business cards represent you; they don’t speak for you. You don’t want something that requires people to search for the information they need. Ultimately, the information should be quick and accessible so that the holder can contact you, not get caught up in the paper.

Raised Text

This one is optional and, admittedly, a bit more expensive. But it’s worth it in certain contexts. If you attend networking events where people trade their info left and right, something that stands out sensually can make a huge difference. If a potential client has 20-plus cards, the feeling of that raised text as they leaf through could make the difference between a connection and the recycling bin.