At the recent relaunch of Real Women Atlanta Magazine, I connected with its publisher, Charmaine Moss and many other fabulous women who are rocking their dream of running their own business.
In Georgia, 38.2% of business owners are female (Metroatlantaceo.com, 2020) and according to the Census 2020 results, this number is projected to increase year-on-year.
“Deciding” to run a business is easy.
“Running” a business successfully is no joke.
According to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 50% of businesses fail by the end of the 5th year.
Top challenges faced by small business owners include:
• Lack of support and guidance (no clear roadmap)
• Lack of accountability (being your own boss has its advantages, but it’s also hard to motivate yourself all they time).
• Isolation – no one to talk to who REALLY understands the journey you’re on.
If you are a business owner, then I’m sure your business simply started as an idea. From there it grew and you (yes, Y.O.U.) are often the number one fan of your own crusade, right?
This passion and self-drive for your business can take you a fair way in the great game of life but if you find yourself spinning in circles, it may be time to reevaluate what’s really going on.
Let’s be real, as smart women we start a business because we want the lifestyle, freedom and flexibility that we believe comes with being able to craft our own days. But if you’re like most business owners, at some point, your business stopped helping you have a life – and instead, your business became your whole life. For example, you feel guilty when you need to step away to run an errand or grab a latte, right?
Flash back a few years, I had been working around the clock on my speaking and coaching practice – helping female leaders reignite the fire and drive to excel while thriving personally.
Back then, even though I was a few years into building my business, I realized I was slowly going nowhere. The truth was, if I wanted to be successful, I needed to get help and fast.
I found my immediate network of friends and family offering advice that although had good intensions, did not really serve my business or the journey I was on.
So, investing in expert business mentors with a track record of success helped provide clear direction. As things started to fall into place, I realized something was missing – the joy of being surrounded by other women who were also on a similar journey.
Joining a mastermind group (a community of people who share a common goal or objective) was the missing link I didn’t know I needed.
Mastermind groups come in all shapes and sizes and I found the right one for what I needed at the time, a group of powerful black women all small business owners from different parts of the world. Being part of a community of women who shared a passion and a common goal was uplifting and empowering.
We met twice a month with our mentor as a guide. In between sessions we found accountability and support in one another as we traversed the successes and sorrows of being small business owners.
Each quarter, we met for a 3-day deep-dive business intensive in a beautiful location; the summer of 2019 was no exception when we met in Paris, France.
Imagine 3-days of deep business work, in a fabulous location with smart black women from around the world – it was simply magical.
Being part of a business mastermind continues to be my secret weapon as my business continues to flourish.
Because I have received so much value from the groups that I have been part of I now love hosting my own – supporting female business owners launching a speaking, training or coaching business avoid the same mistakes I made.
Benefits of our mastermind sessions include:
1. New ideas. Many heads are better than one. It is a great way of brainstorming solutions to a challenge, instead of having to go through the muddy water alone.
2. Support. Getting emotional support and encouragement from a mentor and community of peers who intimately identify with the journey you’re on.
3. Social circle of like-minded women. Surrounded by other business owners just like you, it means a new level of thinking as you elevate to greater levels of success.
4. Accountability. Everyone in the group knows what you’re working on. They’ll hold you to doing the work to turn your dreams into reality.
For small business owners with big goals, mastermind groups could be the missing ingredient to take you from where you are to where you want to be.
Remember, when smart, powerful women get together, businesses bloom!
Kafi London is a global speaker, facilitator, mentor and podcast host who helps female leaders re-ignite the fire and drive to excel while having more fun along the way.
Kafi is the founder of the global brand, Smart Women on Fire offering in-person and virtual experiences to help female leaders thrive personally and professionally.
Connect with Kafi:
• Website: smartwomenonfire.com
• LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/kafilondon/
• Podcast: smartwomenonfire.com/podcast