Meetings And Why They Still Matter

Entrepreneurship and all that it implies for many will leave them filled with excitement and wanting for the adventure. Then, once they begin, they become frightened, panicky, or down right abstinent in continuing the path.

What once looked like a thrilling adventure seems to turn into a form of free-fall into a lonely abyss because of the lack of a support structure. Before, all one wished for is that they could channel Greta Garbo’s immortal line “I want to be alone” and work in peace versus the almost suffocating one finds inherent working for an organization where peers abound. Many lull themselves into thinking: If I strike out on my own I’ll be rid of having to deal with these people! Matter of fact – any!

However, sometimes the peers you totally disagreed with, and argued profusely, and couldn’t wait to jettison as to never deal with the likes of these others again; may have been exactly the push back you unsuspectingly needed to make your own arguments more salable to not only others – but to oneself, and never realized it. (I’m not talking about a boss or co-worker as depicted in some sit-com or movie. We’re adults and should know what I’m trying to express here.)

Believe it or not. Being in business where you are now the “boss” and answer only to yourself and need no approval process to do (or not do) something, can be a very daunting (if not scary) period until one gets comfortable with it. And if not worked through properly “comfortable” never shows.

This is where isolation can really hurt far more than help. And in today’s world of “connectivity” many think they can get the support or input they need that replaces “face to face” meetings or interaction with people. I believe you can’t.

In today’s age of instant connectivity anywhere/anytime one sometimes assumes they are “connected.” That’s true in one sense, yet lacking in another.

Napoleon Hill years ago described and recommended what he deemed the “Master Mind” group throughout his books over the years. One thing that is as true today as it were then is the group met.  Meeting didn’t mean they traded ideas via the mail, or telephone, or any other means of communication they had at their disposal.

They too could have had a conference styled call or some other way of communicating at a planned event, but no – they met in person – face to face. (just to be clear – the telephone was just as revolutionary and “disruptive” in its effects as say the “phone” is today)

The act of sitting down and meeting with other like-minded people (whether it’s just one or a group) is not only a recommended exercise in today’s world of entrepreneurship or business. I believe it should be viewed as a sacrosanct event.

There is something lost when the face to face interaction is cavalierly viewed as no longer “important” and can be replaced by smart phones, web chats, et al. Yes, those interactions can be useful and more. However, as a complete replacement? Sorry, I believe you lose something in the process over time which inevitably makes one less effective in their overall communication skills going forward. And what might be worse in other ways – fosters and hardens an isolationist type mindset where one draws further and further into seclusion.

There are times when we all need to “be alone.” Yet, one needs to be aware when that “being alone” has turned into a defensive mechanism to avoid any type of outside criticism or push-back.

There are specific requirements as to what constitutes a true “Master Mind” group and this isn’t the article to go into all of them here. (I would suggest reading Hill’s definition found in any of his books) However, the first step in the process and one that fortifies the process is actually meeting with other individuals where the exchange of ideas can take place.

At the very least once a month at an agreed upon time (in advance) where ideas for business will be exchanged where everyone (and that does mean everyone attending) will partake in the discussion bringing something to the table.

You don’t need to meet with others who are in your direct line of business. (and I would actually encourage you to do the opposite) i.e., Seek others in differing fields such as bakers, software, accounting, tattoo shop owner, you get the idea.

The idea of sitting face to face and discussing ideas as well as challenges with a group of like-minded individuals is worth 100 times more than the same time spent “online” in all its varying forms.

There’s a time and a place for each, but knowing the value of when to do them, as well as not, is what separates the successful from all the rest. (On an aside – lawyers and tattoo shop owners have more in common if they’re in true “business” than one would think. Think about it.)

Don’t allow yourself to become an island in a sea of “connectivity.” Get out and not only put the phone down – but turn it off for an hour as you discuss challenges, opportunities and more face to face with other like-minded entrepreneurs or business people.

The rewards gained in just that one hour meeting might provide an actionable insight that pays dividends for years going forward.

It’s far too easy to become isolated in today’s world of connectivity anywhere, anytime. “Connected” means just that connected.  “Connected” doesn’t mean true interaction. It just denotes connected, nothing more.

We all work better, get more out of life, as well as gain and retain useful information when we’re face to face meeting and discussing challenges, as well as other insights with other like-minded people.

There is no replacement worth its salt at this time. Period.

© 2014 Mark St.Cyr