Who's At Your Roundtable?

Steve Roller here, with your final edition of The Writer's Life this week. We've been talking all week about using strategies from the corporate world to make your freelance business stronger.

I have one more tip today, but just to recap …

  • On Monday, I suggested a three-tiered approach to keeping a steady cash flow.
  • Tuesday, we talked about the importance of keeping score, including seven key factors you should track.
  • On Wednesday, I gave you seven steps to attract new business and the seven components of a powerful strategic plan.
  • Yesterday, we took things one step further with the idea of polishing your "corporate" image.

Today, I want to give you one last secret. This is probably the biggest thing I've done to move my business forward.

Three months ago, I joined a mastermind group. I wish I had done it three years ago.

For too long, I tried to do everything myself.

I reviewed my own copy, which isn't a good idea. I didn't have an accountability partner to keep me on track. I didn't ask for help on challenging projects, and I didn't celebrate with anyone after successful projects. I didn't let anyone (except my wife) know what my plans and goals were.

I flat out didn't stretch myself … until a fellow AWAI member asked me to join a mastermind group, what I like to call my "roundtable."

It happened by coincidence about a week after I had a phone conversation with my old sales manager. He and I were reminiscing about the good ol' days, and he reminded me of our organization of nine sales reps in Wisconsin and the monthly meetings we used to have.

There was serious power in coming together as a group, sharing success stories, and challenging each other to improve. There was an energy and an expectation level that caused each of us to do our best. More than anything, there was a sense of camaraderie that kept us all going when things got tough.

Since the end of October, I've gotten all those things back from my copywriting mastermind group, and I've never been more fired up about the direction of my business.

I won't divulge the members of my group or our super-secret name. But I'd highly recommend you join or start your own if you want to take your business to the next level. Find other copywriters who are at a similar level as you through the AWAI forum, COS, or PWA. Follow these best practices when organizing your group:

  • Five to 10 people seems to work well
  • Weekly meetings at a designated time (we're spread out across the U.S. and Canada, so we do ours by conference call)
  • Equal participation among members
  • Accountability through progress reports
  • Careful selection of members
  • Commitment to group and individual success
  • High expectations
  • Positive and uplifting
  • Equal parts of instruction, accountability, and encouragement

Freelance doesn't mean flying solo. If you can find like-minded, ambitious copywriters who are at a similar level, a mastermind group can quickly accelerate your growth.

Have you ever been in a mastermind group, either with writers or other professionals? Did your business increase because of it? You can leave a comment here, including if you'd like to develop your own mastermind group. (Perhaps you can connect right here in comments on this post.)

Let me leave you with one last thought from one of the greatest business minds of the 19th century and all of history, Andrew Carnegie:

"People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing."

Use the ideas from this week's series to build a solid freelance business, but make sure you enjoy the ride, too.

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Published: January 13, 2012

17 Responses to “Who's At Your Roundtable?”

  1. This sounds fun and productive - what a combination! I will definitely find my own top secret round table! Thanks for the great suggestion!

    DeAnnJanuary 13, 2012 at 2:20 pm

  2. I am very interested in being part of a mastermind group such as the one Steve is mentioning here... is anyone out there interest as well - or there already groups looking for another excited and motivated member?

    Guest (Barbi )January 13, 2012 at 4:32 pm

  3. Hmm. I'm either the only one who is sitting home on a Friday night, or I'm the only one who isn't already in a mastermind group. I'll check in another time to see if anyone else posts.

    Liane FJanuary 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

  4. Nice series this week Steve!

    Cindy CyrJanuary 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

  5. What is COS or PWA please?

    Guest (Christina)January 14, 2012 at 4:40 pm

  6. Thanks for all your insights Steve!

    Guest (Zo)January 15, 2012 at 12:19 am

  7. Jim Bowden here I'm definitely interested in joining a round table. Who will clue me in re details?

    Jim BowdenJanuary 16, 2012 at 10:45 pm

  8. Al Peters here, having just got started on AXAI program and seeing your email on this roundtable and mastermind groups, am interested in finding someone that is in the same situation as myself in starting out to be someone they were not before, Have generally not failed at what I have done before, and having been in 3 wars to serve our country, and being a mechanic most of my life after Vietnam, I have been self employed for the last 30 years and am looking to enhance all of my businesses

    Guest (al)December 27, 2012 at 7:34 pm

  9. Totally interested in a Mastermind group. I want to make this work but do find that I need help along the way. Want to be part of group who wants to work, encourage, motivate and succeed. Thanks much!!

    PatriciaDDecember 27, 2012 at 9:08 pm

  10. I'm very interested in joining a mastermind roundtable with other professional, success-minded people who are willing to delve deep into copy like I am. I recently finished the Accelerated Program, and if anyone is interested in joining me, let me know!

    DerickMarch 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm

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