#130: Find Support and Accountability with Mastermind Groups, with Laura Poole

Today’s guest is a freelance editor from Durham, N.C. Laura is the owner of Archer Editorial Services. She exclusively provides editing to university presses. She also develops and conducts training for editors and publishers.

As defined by the Success Alliance, mastermind groups offer a combination of brainstorming, education, peer accountability and support to sharpen your business and personal skills. A mastermind group helps you and your group members achieve success. Members challenge each other to set strong goals and, more importantly, to accomplish them.

A mastermind group is not a class, group coaching, mentoring or networking, although it can have aspects of each of those things.

Laura became a certified life coach several years ago, which is where she was introduced to mastermind groups. Her mastermind group, called The Quad, started organically via a Facebook chat when she connected with several cool people she kept meeting at conferences. She later realized her group had been functioning like a mastermind group.

The Quad currently has seven members (despite the name) and was formed in 2015. Most of their communication is still through Facebook chat, but they also created a secret Facebook page to share resources.

The Quad has helped Laura with her business goals. Some of the benefits of her mastermind have been honest feedback, being challenged by the group, fresh ideas, accountability, a “kick in the pants,” brainstorming sessions, celebrations of each other’s wins, and support in tough times.

Because of the mastermind group, Laura and Erin Brenner teamed up to buy Copyediting.com, which they reinvigorated. The business broke even and then started making a small profit. After three years of owning it, they sold it to ACES–the Society for Editing.

The Quad is all editors, all freelancers except for one, and all women. A mastermind group could be all people in your industry or could be people from various industries. You would get different benefits from each group.

It’s important that everyone in the mastermind has the same intentions for what the group is and a similar scope of what they want to achieve.

The Quad has held in-person and virtual retreats together since 2016. At the in-person retreats, they invited a well-known person in their industry to have dinner with them.

For their retreats, the members collect data about their own business so they can measure how it’s going. They analyze whether they hit their goals, where things need to change, what they learned.

The Quad’s retreats include a “technology showcase,” where they teach each other certain tech skills. They also do “power hours” of administrative tasks and have one-hour “CEO time sprints,” focusing on the bigger goals.

To start a mastermind, look around you—who do you think is cool and interesting? Just start reaching out to people you want to get to know better. First, see if you “click.” You don’t have to immediately ask them to join your new mastermind group.

To communicate with your mastermind group, you could consider Facebook chat, Slack, Discord or Zoom. It’s important to talk through the format and your communication goals and expectations.

When you are thinking about joining a group, ask about the structure, member expectations, and communication timeline and format.

Biz Bite: Schedule CEO Time


Archer Editorial Services Inc.

Laura’s training and courses

Laura’s book, “Juggling on a High Wire: The Art of Work-Life Balance When You’re Self-Employed

Episode #22 of Deliberate Freelancer: How to Create a Better Work-Life Balance, with Laura Poole

Laura on Twitter

Laura on LinkedIn

Laura on Instagram

Join the Deliberate Freelancer Facebook group.

Support Deliberate Freelancer at Buy Me a Coffee.

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