The Power of One Times Infinity

Five hands gripping a ring of waterBack in the day, I ran a website called The Inspired Solo. (Someone else runs it now.)

I had a great tagline for that site: “The Power Of One.”  That tagline, to me, spoke volumes about how powerful each of us can be, far more so than we individually suspect.

But since that time, especially in the last year or so, I’ve come to modify my philosophy a bit.

Yes, solo business owners can do amazing things. We have the benefits of speed and agility. We can go try things without having to get buy-in from steering committees and the finance department. We can be responsive and agile.

All that’s still true, but what I’ve learned is that even the most energetic and highly-focused solo can turbo-charge her efforts with a little help from her friends.

Or, to put it another way: a small group, helping each other with individual goals and challenges, is much greater than the sum of its parts. 

This truth was hammered home to me in a huge way last week.

First, some background: for the last several months, I’ve been blessed to be part of a small group of five other women business owners and bloggers, which we rather tongue-in-cheek-ily named “The Blog Posse.” We do twice-monthly phone calls where we reveal our successes and challenges, focus on two members in the “hot seat” where we focus in more depth on specific challenges, and close by stating individual goals we want to achieve before the next call.

And quite recently — last week’s call, in fact — we got a taste of how powerful a group like that can be. One of our members, Tea Silvestre of The Word Chef, was looking for a title for her email newsletter.

Now, Tea’s a branding wiz. Seriously, the woman can come up with some amazing branding suggestions. Give her a theme and she’ll roll for miles with it.

But Tea was struggling with the newsletter name, and wanted some input. So, we spent her hot-seat time brainstorming out loud. We were all wandering around our respective kitchens, looking for visual clues and inspiration.

I don’t even remember who said PB & J first. But within minutes, it was all just there … 

This? Is how mastermind groups roll. It doesn’t even matter who comes up with what. Five already gifted, creative women working together on a common problem came up with a little bit of genius much more easily, cohesively, and quickly than we might otherwise have done.

Tea wrote about the mastermind branding experience on her blog, and you should totally read it. Here’s my favorite quote:

I told them I wanted something tasty. That would extend my brand, while at the same time sticking to my readers’ ribs. Something that could provide a little yummy comfort, and also feed the small biz soul.

It didn’t take them long to hit on The PB&J as the metaphor for all that.

I’m going to be writing and thinking a lot about this small group support concept over the next few weeks. I’ve got something simmering on the mental back burners on the topic, and (as so often happens) serendipitously have been asked by a client to help her and her “posse” get their own group going, so it’s kind of everywhere for me lately.

But here’s my question to you: If you have a small group already, tell me how you and yours interact in the comments below.

  • How do you guys share material with each other?
  • Do you do guest posts?
  • Promote each other’s work?
  • Do mastermind calls?
  • If so, how are those calls structured?

I’m really curious — I don’t think there’s “one right way” to approach mastermind and other small groups for business support, and I’d love to hear about approaches and teams that do things differently from what I’ve described here.

So tell me how you and your posse roll!


Photo credit: Elhenyo’s Pictures


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Tea Silvestre February 21, 2012 at 3:43 pm

((clapping hands in glee)) I love how our group ripples out far and wide. Go get ’em, Annie!

Sharon - ParkRideFly February 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm

Love this story, Annie – this group constantly inspires me.

Annie Sisk February 21, 2012 at 6:26 pm

RIGHT?! Sorry for shouting but it tickles me every single day, and I keep finding new awesome things to love about it. 

Annie Sisk February 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm

Exactly! A dropped pebble in a pond – that was precisely the visual image I had in mind when I was searching for a good image for this post from iStockPhoto. (Though I kind of love the one I went with ultimately, too… and you’ll note it has precisely five hands. :D)

Michelle Church February 21, 2012 at 10:20 pm

I am so there with you.  I think the key to a group like this is definitely the people in it.  When people come together and learn one another and then have the ability to connect and unselfishly give, it’s such a beautiful thing. I have some thoughts about it too that are stirring inside that I want to share for our next blog carnival.  I cannot wait to read all the post there on that topic…this is gonna be the best one yet!  Love ya!

Annie Sisk February 25, 2012 at 2:18 pm

Totally, Michelle – cannot wait! 

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: