Remember the film Meet The Parents starring Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro?
There’s a scene where Robert DeNiro’s character, Jack Byrnes, is talking to Ben Stiller’s character, Greg.
Jack tells Greg about The Byrnes Family Circle Of Trust. It’s a circle where only certain people are welcome and if you don’t “behave” you’ll be removed.
It’s a ridiculously funny scene in the film and it got me thinking -
Do you have a Circle Of Trust to support your big bold business goals?
Sometimes we call it an accountability group or a mastermind but essentially the principle is the same: A safe and supportive space for like-minded people to grow and succeed.
So, that’s the topic of today’s post: The Benefits Of Having A Circle Of Trust. We’ll be exploring the following:
What a Circle Of Trust Is
How to join a group or start your own
The benefits of having a Circle Of Trust as an entrepreneur
Alright, are you ready? Let’s do this!
So, What’s A Circle Of Trust?
It’s a group of like-minded, equally ambitious people that can support you, offer insights, tips and ideas. The group is designed to offer encouragement and hold you accountable so you stay on track and keep moving towards your goals.
How Big Should Your Circle Be?
It can be as small as just you and another person or as large as you feel comfortable. I think somewhere between 3-5 is good but one of my accountability groups is home to 12 incredibly passionate people and the energy and level of productivity in the group is insanely good!
I think understanding how you work best is important here. If large groups of people makes you feel uncomfortable then opt for a smaller group. The size of the circle isn’t as important as the people in it.
The Circle Of Trust Sweet Spot
The aim is to create or join a circle with people you like and respect. They can be from all walks of life, at different stages of their entrepreneurial journey and from different industries. I find the more diverse the circle the richer the experience.
Trust Is Key
The key is to make sure you surround yourself with people you trust - hence the name Circle Of Trust. You want to be able to lean on them and ask for support when you need it.
You need to know that your questions and concerns can be shared freely and will be received with respect and compassion. It’s also important that you do the same in return - bring as much to the table as you receive.
If for any reason you don’t feel safe to share and be yourself then you should leave and find another group that can meet your needs.
Decide On The Details
Once you’ve found your posse or tribe of kind-hearted and ambitious souls then commit to a time and place to meet. This can be virtually or in person.
You’ll want to decide on the duration and frequency of each session and how they will be structured.
In one of my groups, we have two co-leaders. The first orchestrates the sessions and guides us through each stage of the meeting.
The second sets the tone and energy for the session with a brief meditation and stillness practice at the beginning. This resets our minds and bodies for the session and is both calming and energising so we can support and share on a higher level.
I’d also recommend setting up channels of communication outside the scheduled sessions so you can cheer each other on between your calls. Something like a WhatsApp Group or Facebook Messenger works really well.
And here’s the thing, the Circle will only thrive if everyone is committed to making it so. So, show up, be present and engaged.
So by now, you’re probably thinking, “OK, Nat, this sounds great but how do I get started?”
Well, here are some ideas:
1. Search online. Look on Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and YouTube and see what’s out there. When you apply to a group be sure to read the group’s rules.
2. Make sure the energy in the group feels right and that you like and respect the other members.
3. If you’d like to set up your own group then go for it! My only suggestion would be to avoid starting one with a close friend or family member. The purpose of the group is to offer honest feedback and that’s not always possible if you’re talking to your best friend or your mum. You want to remove the likelihood of you making excuses to justify not hitting your goals!
4. Set the conditions and purpose of the group. It should be clear why you’re meeting and what the outcomes are for each member. It’s great to also set a timeline for how long the group will run. It can be for 3 months, 6 months, or a year or more. It doesn’t matter but setting a timeframe is a good idea.
5. Have a structure to the meetings and make sure that everyone feels seen and heard.
6. Set up a system where people can share what’s tripping them up - A Google Form is great or a Hot Seat is another way to submit questions and receive specific feedback. It’s also equally as important that The Circle Of Trust is a space that welcomes and celebrates people’s wins.
OK - now before I jump off, let’s quickly look at the benefits of being part of a Circle Of Trust:
When you join a circle of like-minded people you become part of an exclusive community that offers instant and valuable professional support to help you focus and grow. You get to build relationships and fortify connections with other professional people and together you expand your skills, knowledge and experience.
The journey to setting up your online business will sometimes feel hard and the tasks laborious. It’s easy in these times to give up and lose momentum but when you have people around you going after their dreams and not giving up it lifts your mood and energy. A Circle Of Trust can keep you motivated and energised so you stay on track and achieve success.
On of the benefits to being part of a Circle Of Trust is that you set goals and make a plans to achieve them. It’s easy to forget goal setting when you’re a solopreneur however when you’re part of a circle with dream-seekers and action takers you’ll be setting, tracking and achieving your goals with other people.
Safe And Supportive Environment
The group leader (and every member) should ensure that the environment is safe and supportive. This means everyone feels seen, heard and valued. You should feel comfortable sharing and being yourself.
As you participate in the group on a regular basis you will realise your potential and how much you have within you to succeed. You don’t need to have the confidence or be an extrovert to join a Circle Of Trust however there’s a likelihood that you’ll grow in confidence and experience growth professionally and personally as a result.
The chances are you’ll be part of a group with people with different skills, knowledge and experience. With this comes access to a wealth of resources and contacts. Members of the group can share books, resources, and contacts to assist your growth and aid your success.
When was the last time someone genuinely celebrated your success? Well, your Circle Of Trust is where you can be lifted up and cheered on as you hit your goals. It’s not about the size of your wins but rather that you have a place to share them with people who will encourage you every step of the way.
Alright, there you have it - The Benefits Of Having A Circle Of Trust to support you as you start and grow your online business or embark on anything important in your life where you’d like to see measurable and meaningful results.
And, guess what, you can surround yourself with online influencers, mentors, leaders and game-changers in your industry or in the area of personal growth you’re looking to improve right now. Sign up for their emails, listen to their podcasts and learn from them.
When you do that you’ll be creating your own virtual Circle Of Trust. In fact, if you haven’t already, sign up for my emails! They’re a weekly dose of inspiration and motivation to help you succeed in business and in life. And guess what? You’ll have me in your Circle to cheer you on as you learn, build, grow and impact the lives of those around you.
Love Nat x