Developing You — The One Input Every Business Needs

Mastermind, Peer Advisory Group

What self-development really means for entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurial straight talk

What are the benefits of professional fraternity?

  • Stepping out of your comfort zone. It’s lousy, it’s, well, uncomfortable. In short, it sucks, but when we are bold enough to consciously step out of our operational comfort zone, we’re rewarded with new acumen, new skills, and sometimes even new business. You’ve reached a certain level of maturity when you know that in turning to face your demons, you realize they’re only half as big as you thought they were. The battle is half won already, and you will win it, you can see now. It’s what the Wild West would have called “try”, as in, “He’s got a lotta try,” talking about the bull rider who gets up and gets back on. It’s guts, tenacity, that’s what it looks like-exiting your comfort zone.
  • Optimizing your self-awareness. Rather than sitting alone at times, mentally berating yourself for mistakes or perceived shortcomings (a harsh inner critic most entrepreneurs have to learn to silence), group participation creates an enabling environment where those issues can be productively resolved. That’s an important one, because while we might slap ourselves on the back for being aware of issues we’d like to address, that’s not the same as addressing them! Joining with others with that aim gives you the opportunity to take an honest look at the areas of your life that you want to improve. It’s what provides substance to aspiration, it’s productive.
  • Allowing you to achieve and feel great. That’s right. So much literature abounds on how to manage stress and live a successful, upbeat life, when the common practice of professional fraternity provides mountains of that architecture. It was Fred Rogers who said “In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” What do you want to do in your arena, how will you define your participation in your chosen field? Those are actually deep questions, because they concern how you spend your time, which is indicative of how you value your time. Very few things make you feel as whole as a human being, as simply engaging others in fraternity to spend some time pondering your issues. Very few things. That’s simply how we’re wired.
  • Developing your strengths. It was J Krishnamurti who said that even a hermit is only a hermit in relation to the rest of us. Everyone is related along myriad pathways to one another, especially in business. Since that’s really the core of business-people needing things from other people-it makes complete sense to optimize interrelationship, especially when it comes with professional counsel. New tech tools can bedazzle, and business really is morphing in the digital era, but that tool still blows them all away. And not for the sake of nostalgia, but on cold, hard business metrics. Buy all the digital gadgets you want, but nothing beats being confident about your participation in business, which is exactly what fraternity gives. Confidence sells, it makes money, because it has legitimacy. Clients know it, they feel it.

A man with a steely gaze once said…

Who’s Your Peer Advisory Group?



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Jeremy Shapiro

Jeremy Shapiro


Jeremy is the Facilitator of the Bay Area Mastermind, an Entrepreneur, an Advisor, and a Cyclist. He rides long distances for craft coffee and vegan pastries.