Moving Yourself Forward: Garden Geeks, Communications Careers, and Masterminds

Mastermind MeetingTable.jpg

by C.L. Fornari

Recently I got an email from another GWA member who was lamenting that she wasn’t capitalizing on all available opportunities to share her work. I commiserated that we all feel like we could and should be doing more. I went on in my reply to say that one way we can do better at moving forward, is by being a part of a mastermind group.

Simply put, a mastermind group is a gathering of two or more people who share the same goals and agree to meet frequently to help each other out and spur each other on. You might band together with garden communicators who all need to update their websites or blogs. A group of photographers might form to explore new software or file sorting systems. A group of unpublished writers might unite with the goal of writing book proposals and sharing information about query letters or editorial contacts.

Do you think that self-publishing or iBooks/ebooks are in your future? Maybe you have a new book coming out and want to be inspired about how to better market your efforts. Or perhaps you are a speaker and wish to create and market two or three new presentations in the coming year. No matter what your goals, you are likely to move forward faster by participating in a mastermind group of like-minded individuals.

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The research that goes into learning new things can be formidable. When you’re part of a group the background investigations and information gathering can be divided up. Each member can be assigned a task or given two or three items to look into before the next meeting. Once the inquiries are finished and choices are made, the mastermind meetings can switch gears and provide accountability for taking action on the information gathered.

If you think this might be worthwhile here are some general guidelines for creating a successful mastermind groups:

  • Decide on a specific goal for your group. Focusing on a particular objective is important.
  • Post information about the group you’d like to form on the GWA Facebook group or on the new GWA members-only forum.
  • Don’t think big! A mastermind group works best if there are only 4 to 8 members. Not everyone will participate in every meeting but if too many people are in the group the conversations will be too long.
  • Set a regular time to meet monthly via conference call or Skype. Knowing that you’ll be reporting back to your group will help you stay focused in between meetings.
  • In advance of the first meeting, agree that nothing that is shared in the group can be considered public information. Keep these conversations confidential. Every member should also decide that such groups work best when it’s “all for one and one for all.” A mastermind gathering must support each individual, knowing that the good karma and connections created will pay off for everyone.

I’m currently meeting regularly with two other garden communicators in this fashion. In the future I look forward to sharing our experience with others in GWA. But in the meantime, if you are now, or have ever been, a member of a garden communicators mastermind gathering, let us know how it’s working (or not!) for your group.

Meet the Author

fornari_photo (2)C.L. Fornari is a garden geek who fell into communications as a way to put a somewhat legitimate framework around a serious case of plant lust. Her garden at Poison Ivy Acres can be found on Cape Cod, and her website/blog at GardenLady.com.

Author: Staff @ GWA

GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators, formerly known as the Garden Writers Association, provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication. GWA members includes book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, free-lance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more. No other organization in the industry has as much contact with the buying public as GWA members.

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