Master of My Domain
Recently I was in Austin, Texas at the home of two very successful business owners, and a bunch of other amazing entrepreneurial women, attending a 2-day business mastermind.
The term “mastermind” was one I was certain almost every business owner and solopreneur would be familiar with. After all, if you listen to business podcasts, follow any professional speakers, or travel in networking circles, it would be impossible not to have come across it.
And yet, the more I told people I was attending a mastermind, the more they asked “what’s that?” I was flummoxed, because the people I was talking to are go-getters, self-improvers and business leaders. Surely this would be in their realm. How could they not know something I presumed was part of the entrepreneur’s lexicon?
When You Assume...
The reality is, I made an assumption. I assumed that because these people seemed to be just like me, they’d know what I know, have read what I read, listened to what I listened to and just be on the same page. But this is not how the world works. My bad.
So why do we talk to our customers, audience or clients as if they know everything we know?
One of the biggest reasons your message may not connect is because your audience feels like they aren’t in on the joke, so to speak. That what you’re saying isn’t what they’re familiar with and it makes them feel excluded.
See Me, Feel Me, Hear Me
We all want to feel included. We all want to feel seen. And there’s nothing worse than when a company or a person seems to speak down to you. That's why jargon, acronyms and other industry-terms are killers in content and message. You’re instantly alienating those who don’t know. The more we can step outside our industries and talk to everyone like they’re our parents, or our kids — clearly, concisely and simply — the more our message will make sense to those it’s intended for. This doesn’t mean you dumb it down or remove important words that demonstrate your subject-matter expertise, but it means having someone outside your world reading it and “getting it” immediately. If your parents or child can understand your message, anyone can.
The most important response from anyone reading your content is “this company is talking to me. They understand me and my problem.”
So, what is a mastermind? (Did you think I was going to leave you hanging?) It’s a peer-to-peer mentoring group aimed at helping people solve problems with advice from the other members. Coined by Napoleon Hill in his 1925 book The Law of Success, it was fleshed out in more detail in his 1937 book, Think and Grow Rich. But these days the term mastermind is usually reserved for business owners as a way to help grow their business and drive success. Typically the intimate group is hosted or run by someone who is prominent in certain business circles and open to only a select few.
I’m so excited to be a part of this group and I’m sure I will share more about it in the next newsletter. Hopefully you’ll see the fruits of my labor and be the beneficiaries of this expertise and guidance as my business develops.
Have you participated in a mastermind? Drop me a line and let me know. I’d love to hear all about it.