I went to Texas for the sole purpose of attending the RV Entrepreneur Summit, a business conference for people who want to create a location-independent livelihood while living and traveling in an RV. Attendees fell everywhere on the spectrum. I met new RV Life dreamers—people who were in the planning phase whose implementation was still a few years away. I met those who have been living and working on the road for years. And everything in between.
One presenter was 12 and I talked to people in their 70s. You wouldn’t think a 12-year-old and a 70-year-old would have much in common (unless they were related), but it was amazing to watch differences fall away when a common passion existed.
Every person I spoke with at the Summit was passionate about making money while living in an RV. Some were exploring ideas for ways making a living. Others had their idea but came to the conference hoping for implementation ideas. Those with established income sources were looking to grow their business.
Like all good conference, information overload began by the end of Day 1. And grew exponentially from there. I got the most out of the sessions related to blogging since, as you well know, I am a blogger. Many ideas and strategies I hope to implement in the coming months.
But, also, like all good conferences, the single best thing was the people. I met SO many.
Why I Attended
One hope I had for the conference was to find a few people with whom I could start an accountability group. I have had some experience and success with such a group. My decade-long writing group was a type of accountability group, where each month we were accountable to show up and to show up prepared, having read other’s work. When it was my month to turn out, the group expected me to do so without excuse.
They kept me accountable to my own commitment and goal and that, in turn, kept me accountable to my dream of writing a novel. And it worked. I finished a novel which had been a dream since college.
During the first day of the conference, I asked a couple of those great people—the ones with whom I made the strongest connection—if they would be interested in joining together to create an accountability group. Each person enthusiastically said she was.
But as I reflected about those I’d asked, I was forced to admit I may have asked the wrong people. The two most important things that relate to the success of a group are:
- the people in the group and what they can bring to the group, and
- what you bring to the group.
In my mind, it was so clear what I wanted out of the group. I want to take this blog to the next level. I want to learn more technical aspects of programming and website management. And I want it to have a wider reach and to generate income. In other words, I long for the day when I can support myself by my first love. Writing.
That’s a lot to ask of a group. I know. But it’s what I wanted.
The people I asked came to the conference in the beginning of the planning stage. They wanted to transition to the RV life in the next few years. They were considering blogging as a possible vehicle for income. And since I was a couple of years ahead of them, I felt confident I could offer them a little of what I learned since I started this journey in 2014.
But I worried about whether we were really a good match. Don’t get me wrong. They were lovely passionate people and I’m certain we will stay in touch. But the more I thought about where they were in the journey vs. where I was, I realized they simply were not the right people for the group I envisioned.
On the second day of the conference, I attended a workshop on Mastermind Groups. I heard stories of the power of Mastermind Groups and how it had changed participants lives. The presenter, for example, had been in his group 10 years. When he started he was a dog walker with one client. Today, his dog walking business employs 20 including a manager so he can spent more of his time traveling in his RV and pursuing other passions. He attributes his success to lots of hard work and his Mastermind Group.
That evening or maybe the next at one of the social gatherings, I spoke to a woman who also attended the session. I told her I wasn’t sure about the term Mastermind. It seemed so lofty to me for what was, essentially, an accountability group.
What is a Mastermind Group?
She set me straight. I had it wrong. She spoke of how and why a Mastermind Group—a good one, anyway—is so much more than accountability. It’s about support, encouragement, feedback, problem-solving and collective intelligence. And, yes, accountability too. But accountability is just one piece of the picture. Not the entire picture.
As it happens, that woman has been a full-time RVer for more than a year and came to the conference wanting to do more with her website too. Can you guess what happened next?
We had the makings of a Mastermind Group.
I actually knew a woman I thought would be a good fit for us. When I met her early on, I learned she wanted to work on her blog as well. We kept running into each other. She says the universe kept putting us in each other’s path for a reason. Even though she had to get out of another group she had reluctantly committed to (because she didn’t think it was a good fit), she was excited to join us.
Things Went Quick From There
The three of us stayed in the area for several days after the conference. So we met to create the framework of the group. I thought this would take some time to hammer out and it would take another few weeks to each create our goals. I assumed we’d start the group a month or so later.
We were each so clear about our own goals and needs and what we wanted from a group, we agreed on the structure of the group design in an hour on Tuesday, two days after the end of the conference. We had our first Mastermind Group session on Friday, five days after the end of the conference.
At this writing, we have also had our second meeting. This time it was over the internet since we had disbursed. It works. I’m indescribably excited to work with two amazing women on our similar and dissimilar goals. I feel enthusiastic and inspired. And they have already provided me with resources to help me progress.
I no longer feel uppity about saying I’m in a Mastermind Group. I am proud to say I am in one. And to say I’m excited for the ways I can improve this blog and your experience as a reader of this blog is an understatement.
The conference was valuable in so many ways but the cost alone was worth it just to meet my new Mastermind partners.
If you participate in a Mastermind group or have in the past, I would love to know your experience. At some point in the future, I will share the results of my involvement in the group. Plus, I hope you start seeing them.
I want to give a shout out to Joe Henricks who was the conference photographer. All the photos in today’s post came courtesy of him. He also runs The Giving Print where you buy one of his prints, but he gives you two. One for you and one to give away.