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For the last year I’ve been a member of a $14,000 a year Internet Mastermind group, setup by Yanik Silver, who’s one of the most respected online entrepreneurs in the world of marketing.
You may or may not be familiar with the mastermind concept – either way please pay attention to what I’m about to tell you. This is extremely important, and if you take note, this tip will be worth your entire annual subscription for many years – that’s a promise. Oh, and don’t worry about the money, you’re not going to have to fork out 14 grand.
Let me first explain what a mastermind is.
A mastermind group commonly consists of anywhere between 4 and 18 members who have the same goal of expanding their business. Personally, I believe between six and twelve members is the sweet spot. You definitely don’t want any more than 18, and that’s probably pushing it.
At each meeting (we meet three times a year), each member is expected to share their best strategies, techniques, and be willing and eager to help everyone else take their business to a much higher level. When each member contributes in that way, the results are fantastic. In Yanik’s group, literally millions of dollars have been created simply by following this concept of being willing to share. When everyone is willing to give out, they receive back ten fold.
Obviously the dynamics of the group are important. There needs to be some kind of synergy between members so that everyone respects each other. In other words, I don’t believe you should have a mix of newbies and experienced sellers in one group – that would be frustrating to everyone, like a class of students where some feel held back while others are out of their depth.
I can confidently tell you that the mastermind concept has made a bigger impact on my business compared with anything else I’ve done in recent years. Why? There’s a number of reasons. First, you surround yourself with a team of expert consultants that analyse your business, take it apart, and then re-build it to be much stronger. They see things you would never have picked up on in a million years, which when implemented help you take it to another level. That kind of independent analysis is extremely important because we all get too close to our businesses; we all assume we know the best way of doing something, when often there’s a much better way that was staring us in the face all along – we just didn’t see it.
Secondly, there is accountability. At each meeting, you are expected to share your progress with the group. Without that accountability, you can roam free, and things get done when they get done. Knowing that you are answerable to the group for what you’ve accomplished since the last meeting is a strong motivator, and it provides the deadlines that many of us need.
Thirdly, there are the joint venture opportunities. As you get to know the other members, you’ll see natural ways to work together, and the partnerships that are forged can be extremely useful. In our group, I’ve teamed up with a number of members on projects where we’ve combined our strengths to produce and market all kinds of products and services, both on and off the eBay marketplace.
Lastly, there is positive reinforcement. It’s no secret that when you surround yourself with successful people, you become more successful. It makes sense, and it really does work that way.
By the way, there are many other benefits that I haven’t talked about and that space simply doesn’t allow, but I hope by now you understand the power of the mastermind concept.
So let’s get practical. How can YOU benefit from this information? Firstly, I suggest you read the book, ‘Meet and Grow Rich’ by Joe Vitale. He goes into depth about how the mastermind meetings should be run. Then, research your nearest Independent Business Advisor Chapter on dankennedy.com – get yourself along to their meetings, and start participating. I recommend Dan Kennedy’s groups because they are well structured and run. As an alternative, there are other groups like Chamber of Commerce, Breakfast Clubs and so on. These are not true mastermind groups, but they still have value.
I also urge you to setup your own local group. We’ve done that here in Salt Lake City and it’s working extremely well. We have six members and we get together every other week in a meeting room at our local library. How did we all meet in the first place? I met two of the members at a national marketing seminar, and then we each suggested someone else that we knew. It’s a great group and I know I can speak for everyone in saying that it’s an extremely valuable part of our business now. There’s no fees involved, we work on the basis of freely sharing each others experience, and that works well. No one has taken advantage of that, but if they did they would be warned and then out in a heartbeat if they continued to take without giving back.
Are you interested in starting up your own business? If so, you should carefully consider writing a business plan. The thought of preparing a business plan tends to fill most business owners with dread; it can be a difficult, stressful, and time consuming process. For this reason alone you may want to think about seeking assistance.
One of the many ways that you can seek help to write your plan is by hiring a professional, who in this case is a professional business plan writer.
What Is a Professional Business Plan Writer?
Before deciding whether or not you should hire the services of a professional business plan writer, you should first clearly understand what they are. In most cases, you will find these individuals to be experienced, professional writers who are well versed in business terminology and who can effectively understand the needs of businesses. It is important to understand when writing anything, even a business plan, that it is the wording which makes all the difference; the words used can be the difference between success and failure. That is why a large number of small business owners turn to professional writers for assistance.
What a Professional Business Plan Writer Can Do For You
When it comes to searching for a professional business plan writer, you will find that different writers perform different duties. For example, a large number of writers will merely take your ideas, which you have already thought out and developed, and present them in a professional matter; they will just present your plans in a more professional way than you could.
Then there are the professional business plan writers who will work with you to develop your plan from the inception of the basic ideas for your business to the finish document. Naturally since more work and time goes into to assisting you with developing a business plan from the bottom up you will probably find that the services of these writers cost more than traditional ones.
It is important therefore that before you start your search you be very clear in your own mind as to what level of support and input you require.
Why Hire a Professional Business Plan Writer?
There are a number of different reasons why small business owners turn to professional business plan writers. One of the key reasons is of lack of experience when it comes to putting ideas on paper and not knowing what format a plan should take. If you have never created a business plan before you can easily find yourself staring at a blank piece of paper for hours on end!
Although it is relatively easy to learn how to create your own plan, it can be a time consuming process to undertake the research and get into the appropriate mindset. With the right experience, a professional business plan writer will be able to create a detailed, professional business plan in half the time that it would take you to create the same plan.
How Do You Find Someone?
If you are interested in acquiring the services of a professional business plan writer, you have a number of different options. One of those options is to search for someone locally. Dealing with a local business plan writer is great, especially if you want to deal with someone face-to-face. Your search can focus on your local government business advice centers or even asking fellow business colleagues. If there is a writing group or circle in your locality then you can approach them for potential names.
The only problem that you may find is that not all areas of your country will have professional business plan writers. This means you may have to turn to the Internet for assistance. By conducting an online search you will find a large number of professional writers who specialize in creating or writing business plans.
What Should You Look For Before Hiring?
When choosing a professional business plan writer it is important that you don’t choose either the first person that you come across, or the cheapest. If a well written business plan is crucial to the success of your plans then you must be careful in your selection. Your business plan may not only be used for your personal guidance, but it may also be used to attract financing for your business and that is why your plan must look professional, be detailed and readable.
Before hiring a writer, you should request samples of previous work and also ask to see testimonials from business owners who have used their services. This will help to ensure you are getting your moneys worth and that you end up with a business plan you can proud distribute.
As with any contract you enter into be very certain what you are getting for your money. Does the contract include the provision for free updates or unlimited revisions before the final version is agreed? Will you be charged per word, per page, or by the hour? Make sure you fully understand the deal.
By following these points you should be able to decide whether or not a professional business plan writer can assist you. Whilst they can be an additional cost you may not be able to afford, in the long run it could be the best investment you ever made.
You will find a complete guide on how to write a business plan in my e-book ‘The Secrets of Writing a Killer Business Plan’.
You can now get your credit report without paying a dime. And unlike before, now it is truly free. No longer do you have to sign up for a “free” credit report by signing up for “credit monitoring protection service” for a low annual fee of $79 a year! The days of dodging the annoying charges and service fees for a free credit report are over.
Under the 2003 Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act, you have the right to a free copy of your credit report within a 12 month period from the big three credit report bureaus (Experian, Equifax and TransUnion). The goal of this new government act is to ensure that Americans have the right to stay informed about what these three credit reporting bureaus say about you without having to pay for it. Since identity theft, fraud and errors are quite common today, why should you have to pay for a copy of a report to fight back against these problems?
Here are the 3 ways to get your free annual credit report:
1) The three credit reporting agencies have created a website to request your annual credit report. Go to www annualcreditreport.com to order your report.
2) Call (877) 322-8228 to request your free credit report.
3) Complete a form from the Federal Trade Comission, http://www ftc.gov/bcp/conline/include/requestformfinal.pdf and mail it to: Annual Credit Report Request Service, P.O. Box 105281, Atlanta, GA 30348-5281.
If you go directly to the three agencies or use any other type of service you may end up having to pay or sign up for the subscription services I mentioned above! Make sure you use one of the 3 methods I have listed to get your annual free credit report.
You can get the reports from all 3 agencies at once or stagger the reports from each one during the course of 1 year. The advantage of staggering the reports that you receive is to keep track of how any major changes in your financial picture affect what is on your credit report. For example, if you plan on getting a second mortgage over the coming year, or applying for student loans, ect. it might be wise to get a report before and after these major events!
This new Act does not supplant the other methods you can take advantage of to receive a free credit report. If you are applying for unemployment or been denied a loan, or need a credit report in order to get a job, you still have the right to obtain a free credit report.
Take advantage of this new government regulation and make sure all of the information listed by all three credit reporting agencies are correct. Any errors or omissions can reduce your credit score and end up costing you a lot of money when you apply for any type of credit.