Talking Peer Support With Miceál O’Kane
Business mastermind group specialist Miceál O’Kane has given a powerful insight into the benefits of setting up, and taking part in, a mastermind group.
Miceál, of 7th Venture Consulting, pointed out that peer support has been used through history to help individuals achieve more together.
“Mastermind group is just a fancy term for a group of people who get together with a shared goal. They give each other feedback and keep each other accountable for achieving their goals.
“All the most successful people have had mastermind groups in one way or another. A corny one is King Arthur and the Round Table, but also people like Henry Ford or Thomas Edison or Benjamin Franklin.
“If you look at modern start-up and scale-up and unicorn businesses, a lot of them have been in mastermind-type groups. They call them accelerators, and that’s the same idea.
“It is said that we’re the average of our five closest friends in terms of how much money we make and how successful we are, so the people you surround yourself with will impact on what you focus on, what’s important to you and what you are trying to achieve.
“That’s what a business mastermind group does.”
Miceál, who is a mentor and 7th Venture Consulting Interim CFO and COO, has also been involved with helping start-up companies.
“I personally have a long history of starting companies myself, scaling them up and selling them on.
“The last four years I’ve been working with over 85 companies, helping them to figure out how to build their business from scratch and build their business if they already have a sound basis.
“That’s something I really enjoy.”
Why is it so important to get the initial set-up of a company right?
“At an early stage if you start off a couple of degrees in the wrong direction that has a massive impact, whether you have the wrong agreement with your co-founders or shareholders or if you’ve gone the route of trying to get funding from people before you’ve even tried to sell.
“In a more stable company, maybe with ten staff or 50 staff, the founders are often busy trying to do everything. So they, as I call it, ‘leave money on the counter’ as they don’t maximise the business they have in terms of efficiently and profitability.
“It often helps to have someone else, whether that is someone like myself or a group of like-minded people who meet periodically, to share ideas and keep each other accountable.
“It gives that space outside your business to think about your business, to share ideas from people who have done it before. This allows you to implement this in your business and can be hugely impactful.”
Miceál explained that every businesses could improve by managing some common mistakes.
“I know from personal experience, through businesses I have started, what can be improved.
“I’ve found that every single business I have encountered had room for improvement. That could be a very simple conversation about how to do things differently or it could be a piece of work about changing the organisation or bolting on another business.
“There seems to always be room for improvement.”
He also talked through the process of setting up a mastermind group.
“The first thing you have to do is pick your topic. All mastermind groups are based around a specific topic, a niche within your industry you can attract people to.
“For some it is business development or fitness or financial planning, it doesn’t really matter what the topic is as long as you can find people within your niche who are interested in that topic.
“It can be absolutely anything but ideally something you have a keen interest, and a skill, in so you can add value yourself.
“The other thing you need to do is find the right people. You have your topic but what kind of people do you want? What kind of people are going to contribute and add value as opposed to people who are in there to compete and pull down the group.”
To discover much more about mastermind groups and Miceál’s work see our full video interview.
Miceál O’Kane – micealokane.com
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