01 Oct Matermind Case Study: Natalie Guerin
What’s It Like In The Hot House Mastermind Group?
You can’t beat hearing about an experience from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. When Natalie Guerin from www.pebble.uk.com, a virtual assistant for premium clients, offered to write up her experiences of her first two months in the Hot House masterminding group, one of the Coaching Garden offerings, I jumped at the chance. Here she sums up her experience of joining The Hot House and what it has meant for her and her business….
My first two months at the Hot House
Earlier this year I realised that I needed a business challenge. I didn’t know what this challenge was going to be, but I did know that it needed to fit in with my existing business and clients, a successful business that I am lucky enough to love.
I met Paula at a breakfast meeting and she mentioned the Hot House. I wasn’t exactly sure what joining this group would entail, but I knew, having spoken with Paula, that it was something that I wanted to investigate and set about to learn more. Within a week I had signed up, and within 10 days I was sitting at my first meeting.
Preparation for the Hot House
During the brief time between meeting Paula and my first Hot House meeting I focused on what I wanted from this group. I knew that if I joined the group with a vision in mind Paula would enable me to reach it.
I looked back at my career, and thought about what I did and didn’t love about roles I have had along the way. The one thing that kept springing up is that I love to support people.
- As a Virtual Assistant, I support entrepreneurs and small businesses on a day to day basis.
- As a friend, I am often called upon for advice and guidance.
- I am known as someone that is trustworthy, dedicated and encouraging.
What could I do with these skills?
The answer became quite obvious. I wanted to support Virtual Assistants, helping them reach their business dreams. My vision was to create a Mastermind Group for Virtual Assistants. With that the VA Mastermind Group was born.
My first Hot House meeting
At the first Hot House meeting we carried out a psychology exercise looking at common themes within jobs we had previously done. From this we delved deeper to see if any of these themes were things that we loved doing but were not included in our current business. The outcome for me was that I did like to mentor and encourage people yet this was not something that I was currently doing. It confirmed to me that I was indeed ready for a new challenge, and that the mentoring and guidance side of the VA Mastermind Group would provide the challenge I was ready to take on.
We were each allocating some time to concentrate on our business. It was so insightful to learn about other’s businesses, and the highs and lows each of us was facing. It was great to be able to talk through ideas that could help other members thrive.
During the time concentrated on Pebble, my business, I looked at my current business offering, VA Services, and discussed the vision of the VA Mastermind Group. We talked about things that were currently working, what could be improved, what new skills I would need, and how I was going to reach my business goal. Some big objectives were agreed upon.
One of the biggest learnings I took away was that sometimes we are so engrossed in our business we don’t see the obvious. Talking with people on the outside of our business, people who see things with a completely different viewpoint, perhaps more in line with our clients, is so insightful. For some reason, I thought that the VA Mastermind Group should stand aside from Pebble as it would attract a different client base. Quite rightly I was questioned on this – why would I start a new business rather than build on one that I have been running successfully for over 10 years, and one that was known within the market. The two could quite naturally sit side by side within the same business.
I left the meeting on a complete high. During the long journey home, my mind was buzzing with ideas, and when I got home I was so motivated I set to work. Within a week I had:
- met my mentor and talked through my plans
- briefed my copywriter about the VA Mastermind Group
- trained myself on how to edit my website
- updated my website and Linked In profile
- drafted a full business plan, together with a launch date
I did put off my Facebook live. It was the one thing I was really dreading. I am very comfortable talking with a group of people, but talking to a video did not appeal to me at all. I left it to the very last minute, the morning of my second Hot House meeting in fact. But I did it. And it really wasn’t that hard. In all honesty, if I had not listed this as an objective I would never had done it. This proved to me that the Hot House meetings were beneficial.
My second meeting
The psychology exercise that took place was focused on where we are now, versus where we want to be, and how are we going to get from here to there. This was all carried out through drawing with our non-dominant hand. I am not too sure why this was important, but it seemed to be. (editors note: it gets the right hand, more creative side of the brain working!)
This exercise was even more insightful than the previous one. When I joined the Hot House I expected it to help me fulfil my business dreams. I am sure that it will. What I didn’t expect was for it to help me realise, and hopefully fulfil, my personal dream too.
I left that meeting knowing that I wanted a complete lifestyle change. My job was perfect. But my lifestyle wasn’t. This had been bubbling around for a long time. But this exercise proved that it was time to make a change. A big one. I wanted to move from my lovely flat on the seafront to a house in a more rural area with a garden, my own front door, and the dog that I always dreamed of.
In the next few days I considered this further and decided that I was going to make this change. My flat is now on the market and I am hoping to make the move some time soon.
In less than two months I have launched a new strand to my business, and I have decided to take the steps needed to live the lifestyle I dream of. Two fundamental decisions in a very short space of time.
These decisions would probably have been made at some point. But when, who knows. Coming along to the Hot House has enabled me to document what I want to do, list the actions required to enable the changes to take place, and carry out the objectives.
The psychology exercises have drawn my dreams to the surface, and the practical step of objective setting has let me proceed with the actions needed to reach my goals.
I have moved a huge way forward in a very short-time. Yes, there is a long way to go, but I know that the more I come along to these sessions the more I am going to learn and the closer I am going to get to living the life I dream of, whilst running a business that I absolutely love.
Oh, and I didn’t even mention the unusual venues that we meet in. Somewhere different each month, but always over tea and cake. A lovely, fun, productive, inspiring afternoon that I always look forward to.
Natalie now offers both her VA services to premium clients and a mastermind for Virtual Assistants. You can find out more at: www.pebble.uk.com.
You can find out more about joining The Hot House Masterminding group here