Masterminds and Mentors

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that you can’t live long enough to learn everything from your own mistakes.

Hello, Starr here, and it is Thursday of our week-long Writer’s Life series on getting launched into 2013. And when it comes to making mistakes to learn from – I’m a master. Sometimes, I’m amazed at the things I didn’t know when I launched my copywriting career.

But there’s a solution, and you should employ it sooner rather than later. It’s called finding a mentor – and at the very least, becoming part of a mastermind group or finding a copy buddy. It will save you enormous headaches!

The idea of a mastermind group is not new. It was first described in the 1937 book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. It involves two or more people coming together to work toward the same purpose. By combining skills, they create a community where each member is encouraged and empowered to make progress.

As copywriter Steve Roller puts it, “Freelance doesn’t mean flying solo.” Read his article Who's At Your Roundtable? for more details of the serious power that being part of a mastermind group can have in your life.

Another way to slash years off your learning curve is to get a mentor. Personal interaction with someone who has been where you are going is invaluable. And the practice of mentorship is ages old. Mozart looked to Joseph Haydn as a mentor, even though he was already enjoying considerable success.

For me, finding mentors happened naturally. I found both of mine – Don Mahoney and Mark Ford – by going to AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. It’s the fastest shortcut to success I know, and you can read my letter about it here.

Master copywriter John Forde considers having a mentor to be critical. He suggests finding one “yesterday.” For more help on doing that, check out this article, “How to Find a Mentor You Can Trust,” by Joshua Boswell.

But even if you are just starting out and don’t think you are ready for a mentor or mastermind group, Bootcamp is still the best place to find a copy buddy, someone who is on the same level. You can provide each other with accountability as you learn. In fact, you can get started now by going to the AWAI forums to read more.

If you have thoughts or questions on finding a mentor, a copy buddy, or forming a mastermind group, please post them here. There’s still time to get a running start on 2013!

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Published: December 27, 2012

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