Yesterday I met with my actor mastermind group. If you are your business, a group like this is important to have.
The concept of the Mastermind Group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900’s. In his timeless classic, “Think And Grow Rich” he wrote about the Mastermind principle as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” (via Wikipedia)
As an actor (and this, of course, applies to other industries) it is hard to live in a minor market, because you don’t have access to the things that places like NYC and LA offer. There aren’t casting directors that you can constantly take workshops from and get in front of. There aren’t an abundance of acting classes. There aren’t managers or a ton of agents to work with. You don’t have opportunities for as many auditions and if you do, you have to put them on tape for the most part. With that said, in such a small area, we are very lucky to have a couple of coaches and agents that have decided to make Jacksonville home.
I recently visited NYC and prepared a scene for a casting director at the Actors Connection. I had great feedback. If it would have been a real audition, I would have gotten a call back. Everyone else in the class had redirects and notes which I was expecting, but my scene was on point. Guess what? This casting director won’t use me. I don’t live in NY. She goes directly to NY agents for casting and would feel bad about making me travel such a distance for a low rate and a call back. I get it…but I told her not to feel bad, because I seek out opportunities like that. Who knows, maybe one day something will come along and she’ll pull my headshot file and put my word to the test. Let’s hope she believes me and believes in me!
What I’m saying is, you can be the best at what you do…not even necessarily the best, but sometimes if you aren’t in the right place at the right time or have circumstances that lessen your opportunities you just have to work harder than everyone else. As an actor, you already have to work harder than everyone else. You have to be in classes at all times working on your craft. You have study television shows. You have to market yourself. You have to network. You have to make you own opportunities, etc. It’s the same ambition of starting off in a mailroom working towards becoming CEO.
That, my friends, is where a mastermind group comes in.
A mastermind group isn’t made up of just anybody. It’s made up of people with the same mind-set that have good ideas and that you trust. It’s a support system. It’s a brainstorming group, an accountability group, a fire starter group. In my group, we each have different backgrounds, we are different ages, we’ve had different education, we started acting at different times. However, we all have one common goal. We all want to be working actors.
We also all see ourselves as equals. Everyone’s feedback and involvement in the group is necessary.
The one thing that we don’t have working for us is consistency. When living in a small market like ours, we are all constantly traveling and on the go and it’s hard to line our schedules up. For the accountability factor, consistency is key. We are working towards that. In order to make opportunities for yourself, and to become a group of powerful people each meeting is meant to count. We are starting to make things count by creating actionable items which we are each accountable for.
A mastermind group can be a positive step in growing any business. You don’t even have to be in the same industry as your peers. I was listening to The Tim Ferris Show podcast the other day and even though he isn’t an actor, some of his best practices still apply to me. Everyone starts somewhere and it takes time and dedication to get to the level you want to live at. If you don’t surround yourself with the same kind of people, then it’s harder to maintain the necessary focus. Sometimes without meaning to and without you even realizing it, your family and friends can be your worst enemy and can cause you to slip. If anything, having a group that you meet with on a weekly basis will motivate and encourage you to be your best self.
Do you have a mastermind group? How has it helped you?