If you hang out in any of the TpT seller Facebook groups or listen to business podcasts, chances are you’ve heard of the concept of masterminds. But what exactly is a mastermind, how do they work, and how can they be beneficial for your Teachers Pay Teachers business? I’ve been in a TpT mastermind for going on two years now, and I can’t wait to share all of the benefits I’ve gained from working with other sellers. This post will be the first part of a series about masterminds, so make sure you check out the other posts about how to find or start a TpT mastermind and how to operate a mastermind group.
What is a mastermind?
A mastermind is a group of people who meet regularly to support and learn from one another. Members usually serve as a sounding board, share ideas, and help hold each other accountable. If you’re reading this post, I think it’s safe to assume that you’re thinking about joining or creating a mastermind of your own, and that’s great!
Before you get started though, it may be helpful to think through the benefits of a mastermind to help you determine whether it’s the right call for you and your business. So without further delay, here are the benefits of joining a mastermind for TpT sellers.
Mastermind Benefit #1: Surround Yourself with Others Who “Get It”
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I hate explaining what exactly I do for a living. Even when I give a simple explanation like, “TpT is basically Etsy for teachers,” I still get a lot of confused looks, even from close friends and family. Because we work in kind of a strange industry, just having people around who 100% get what you do without having to explain anything is refreshing.
Other TpT sellers understand the roller coaster of emotions that comes with starting a TpT business such as questioning yourself during a bout of imposter syndrome, the negative feelings of getting your first bad review, and the immense pride and happiness that come from reaching a TpT milestone. It’s easy to feel isolated and alone in this business, especially since most TpT shops are one-woman operations. TpT seller Facebook groups can be really helpful when it comes to not feeling lonely, but a smaller mastermind will offer deeper connections.
Mastermind Benefit #2: Gain New Perspectives, Strategies, and Ideas
The best part of being in a mastermind is getting access to more brains than just your own. And this is valuable for ANY question you have in your TpT business. Like I mentioned earlier, I’ve been in a mastermind group going on two years now. Within our group, I feel like we’ve discussed so many different topics, business strategies, and ideas for our stores. Not sure which thumbnail design is the most attention grabbing? Ask your mastermind! Want to learn new tips for how to grow your email list? Someone in your mastermind is probably already doing it successfully!
The ability to come together and have multiple perspectives inform a question or challenge you’re having is incredibly valuable. Your mastermind friends may also be able to give suggestions for programs, courses, and other tools that can make your TpT life easier. This benefit is also something specific you’ll need to think about as you’re joining or forming your own mastermind, so look for more discussion in the next post!
Mastermind Benefit #3: Build a Network
Another benefit of participating in a mastermind is that you can build a network that leads to new opportunities. In our mastermind, we often share opportunities to join giveaways, hashtag sales, workshops, bundle sales, and other ways to grow our businesses with each other. If someone in our group doesn’t know the answer to a particular question, chances are someone at least knows another seller who would. Lean on these connections to find and share opportunities to make the most of building a network.
Mastermind Benefit #4: Give and Get Feedback
It can be hard to get feedback on your resources and content as you’re creating them. Your friends and family might not know what kind of feedback to give, and your teacher colleagues probably don’t have the time. But a mastermind is a perfect group to ask for feedback! Not only will they know what they’re talking about, they’re more likely to give honest feedback and helpful suggestions you may not have thought of. You can take advantage of these feedback opportunities with hot seats.
In a hot seat, one member of your mastermind voluntarily shares a piece of work in order to get feedback on it. Other members of the group are responsible for looking at the work, offering feedback about what is working, and sharing opportunities for improvement. Not everyone likes the feeling of being in the hot seat, but we’ll discuss norms you can use in a future post about how to operate a mastermind.
Mastermind Benefit #5: Be Each Other’s Cheerleaders
One of my favorite parts of being in a mastermind is that I have a built in group of people who are also invested in the success of my business. Soon after we formed our group, we all shared our social media links and started following each other. Now every time I post something on Instagram or Facebook, almost everyone in my mastermind likes it or interacts with it in some way. And of course I do the same for them! We also refer customers to each other. For example, if someone asks me about something I don’t make like a virtual field trip, I know to send them to my friend Michelle instead. I love the feeling of helping fellow TpT sellers whenever I can!
Another way we are each other’s cheerleaders is we celebrate one another’s successes. It’s a group norm to share any time something good happens in our business. Some of our latest celebrations are really big and include things like achieving a TpT milestone, getting to retire from teaching, and buying a new car paid for by TpT earnings. But we also share smaller wins like selling a big bundle, or adding X amount of people to our email list after a particularly successful lead magnet. What you’re celebrating isn’t important, but the fact that you’re taking the time to do it together in your group is!
Mastermind Benefit #6: Personal Satisfaction and Fulfillment
It might surprise you to know that another one of my favorite parts about being in a mastermind is having the opportunity to share my skills and knowledge with other people. I’m no longer in the classroom, and I honestly really miss teaching. To be clear, I miss the good parts of teaching like creating lessons and interacting with students. I do not miss all of the other stuff like dealing with parents, questionable admin, grading, disrespect from society, low pay, and everything else that makes teaching really difficult these days.
But if you’re like me, joining a mastermind might be something you consider to be personally fulfilling. I feel good when I can share a tip or tool to improve someone else’s work. I care about everyone else’s TpT businesses almost as much as my own, so helping a mastermind friend succeed feels like such a win!
Mastermind Benefit #7: Hold Each Other Accountable
I think accountability is one of the most important benefits of a mastermind. Most people join mastermind groups because they have a goal to improve their business. In order to hold each other accountable, you will need to share your goals within your group. We’ve done this in a few ways in our mastermind such as sharing goals around a particular topic (e.g. getting more traffic from Pinterest) or a particular time frame (e.g. earnings goal for a sitewide sale). You can increase accountability by also having members share the strategies they’ll use to help achieve their goal, as well as a timeframe for completing it. I’ll talk more about ways to keep each other accountable in a future post about operating a mastermind group.
Mastermind Benefit #8: Grow Together
I’ve alluded to this benefit several times already, but I don’t think it can be overstated. Mastermind groups help you increase sales and ultimately grow your business. It’s not just a single factor that leads to growth, but a combination of things. When you have a group of people sharing ideas, offering feedback, and cheering you on, all while also holding you accountable, it’s almost impossible NOT to grow! There’s just something about knowing a group of people has your back and wants to see you succeed that makes everything feel possible. I swear sometimes my mastermind has higher expectations and goals for my business than I even have for myself!
Mastermind Benefit #9: Create Lasting Friendships
Finally, I’ve saved one of the best benefits for last. Depending on how your mastermind operates, you’re almost guaranteed to get a few friends out of the deal. Not only do we see each other virtually every week, but my mastermind friends and I have also shared some important life events together from cross-country moves, retirements, births, and deaths to everything in between. We’ve learned so much about and from each other that I would honestly trust them with my life.
In a job where I don’t have built-in colleagues and the work can be isolating, my mastermind group is like a breath of life sustaining fresh air in the form of human contact! I love them so much that I’ve even made it one of my goals to meet every single one of them in person. I’ve been lucky enough to meet up with three already, and I can’t wait to meet the rest. I wish the same for you and your mastermind friends!
I hope you enjoyed this post and that you’ve gained some insight into the benefits of joining a TpT mastermind. Do you see yourself joining a group? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! And make sure to check out the related posts about joining a group and operating a mastermind for more about how to make the most of a TpT mastermind experience.