Why Belonging to a Mastermind Group or Coaching Program Could Be Exactly What You Need
By Pat Rigsby
There's a popular saying that says that two heads are better than one. The truth to this old adage is one of the reasons that there are more fitness professionals than ever participating in mastermind groups and coaching programs.

Napoleon Hill is credited with popularizing the concept of the mastermind group in his book, Think and Grow Rich, and the wisdom of participating in masterminding or receiving coaching has never been more relevant. Think about the power of having multiple people working together to propel you to success and reach your potential as a business owner. That's what being part of a mastermind group or coaching program can do for you.

Why Participate in a Mastermind Group or Coaching Program?

If there is any group of professionals that should appreciate the value of joining a mastermind group or coaching program, it's personal trainers. Each day personal trainers are charged with the responsibility of coaching their clients to achieve things that they likely wouldn't have achieved without the support, knowledge and accountability the trainer provides. Mastermind groups and coaching programs are essentially offering the same accountability, support and knowledge for personal trainers that trainers are doing for their clients. 

Here are a few examples of the benefits that mastermind groups and coaching programs provide:

• Increased Focus and Productivity: Having the accountability of a group or coach will increase your focus and productivity, resulting in more quality work getting done in a shorter period of time and goals being achieved faster.

• Reduced Procrastination and Fewer Excuses: Working with a mastermind group or coach means that you are held accountable for your actions. There is a sense of not wanting to disappoint or disregard your fellow group members' or coach's time and so you are more likely to follow through when you know someone else is counting on you. 

• Increased Confidence: There is a power of speaking your intentions or thoughts out loud to others. Sharing your ideas and asking for help from others builds your confidence and propels you forward.

• A Changed Perspective: Sometimes our biggest "aha moments" come when we are looking at the challenge of a peer. We're working on their issue, and when we walk away, we then see our own situation differently.

• More Vision and Fresh Ideas: Vision and innovative ideas are a recipe for success. If you have ever been part of a "brainstorming" session you understand the power of the process. Two heads are better than one, and a coach or mastermind group can bring a whole new scope of vision and fresh ideas to the table. A good coach or mastermind group will provide ideas that can easily take your endeavors to the next level.

• Reduced Sense of Overwhelm: Feeling overwhelmed is a very common emotion for emerging entrepreneurs, especially when being forced to learn new skills and presented with such a high (initial) workload. A supportive, assertive and encouraging coach or mastermind group can significantly help prevent this condition and provide you with moral support.

• Access to a Broader Range of Expertise: A good coach or mastermind group will give you access to expertise in a variety of areas, usually areas that by gaining your own degree of expertise will allow you to move your business forward.

• Higher Standards: A coach or mastermind group will inevitably improve the quality of your business. An extra pair of eyes, more ideas and the peer pressure that comes with coaching or masterminding will ensure that you're reaching your potential as a business owner.

• Get Valuable Feedback Quickly: When you have a burning issue you can bring it to your group and get instant, honest feedback and advice.

Hopefully by now I've sold you on the benefits of working with a coach or joining a mastermind group. If so, then the question is, "Which do I choose?" This is a question I often get from fitness professionals interested in enrolling in one of our programs, and there are a variety of considerations when making the decision.

What is your budget? Working with a coach or joining a mastermind requires an investment. While coaches may work with you through calls and emails, you will usually have to travel several times per year to participate in a mastermind, so you should factor in those additional costs as well.

Can you commit? For the masterminds that we run, the expectation is that each member will add as much value to the group as they derive from it. This means not only being in attendance at most meetings, but also truly being present for the other members so that they can benefit from what you have to share.

What do you need? Are you looking to improve a specific area of your business? If so, a coach with expertise in that topic is likely your best bet. If you're just looking for a way to improve your business as a whole, the combination of benefits that masterminding provides might just be what you are looking for.

Who is the coach/facilitator? All coaches and mastermind groups are not created equal. You need to find a coach or facilitator who has the expertise you need, shares similar values to your own, and has a style or personality that resonates with you. 

How do you work best? Each coaching program or mastermind group will have its own unique characteristics and dynamics. Some coaches provide almost 'on-call' access via phone and email while others set out a single scheduled call with clients each month. Some mastermind groups have regular correspondence between live meetings while others simply offer two to three meetings in person. If you are someone that thrives on regular accountability or needs the freedom to bounce ideas off of a coach regularly, be sure that the program or group that you choose provides that.

Whether investing in a coaching program or a mastermind group, there isn't really a right answer. Either has the potential to be of significant benefit to you, and if you choose the right one it can literally transform your business. But like any investment, this is not one that should be treated haphazardly. Research the program or group that you are considering. Talk to people who are current or past participants. Compare what you are looking for and what the program or group provides. If you do your homework and choose the right solution, it could be the best decision you make for your business.

Pat Rigsby is business coach to fitness professionals and CEO to several of the most successful brands in the fitness industry, including the fastest growing personal training franchise in the world, Fitness Revolution. You can learn more about the coaching programs, mastermind groups and franchises he offers as well as access a number of free business building resources atwww.FitBusinessInsider.com.