Psst. I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
I have a salon. I spend every Wednesday in the company of brilliant and insightful people. We talk about whatever. Sometimes we talk about our business, our goals, our successes, and our struggles. Sometimes we talk about our own growth and the epiphanies we had that week. Sometimes, we think as many as seven impossible things (before breakfast!)
Wednesday is my favorite day of the week, because every Wednesday I make a point to connect to peers and mentors, share progress, cheer each other on, and generally cross-pollinate ideas.
I see it as crucial to my process as diet, sleep and exercise.
And you could do it too. It’s easy.
On Wednesday, I clear as much off my plate as I am able, and I spend an hour on the phone with each of my partners. That’s it. Personally, I tend to spend a significant chunk of time writing, processing ideas and goal-setting afterwards, but I suppose you wouldn’t have to.
1. Find someone you can learn from, who is supportive and challenging. And it helps if they’re on the same trajectory. It doesn’t really matter where on the trajectory they are because you’ll each have relevant experiences, but rarely will they duplicate.
Do choose people you feel some personal connection with. I have three people in my salon right now. One* is a client and a lifecoach who became a friend, and the other two are those impulsive connections I sometimes make with strangers.
One I bonded with over a shared experience of being compelled by a Vision that basically bullied us around and wouldn’t let us rest.
The third was even more ephemeral than that– we speak the same language of magic and metaphors and I basically cajoled and bullied him into letting me phone him every week. Not that I’m recommending that. 🙂
2. Float the idea past them. I like weekly meetings because it challenges me to make things happen in shorter time frame. (cf Parkinson’s Law) I definitely would not go longer than a month. If they can’t commit, honour that. They are being honest with you about their constraints. It’s not a priority for them and you should respect that.
What this means is that you will likely ask a lot of people before you find one who is in the same headspace as you. Don’t be discouraged. This means you have a diverse group of peers!
3. Set expectations. Tell your potential partners how you envision this alliance, and ask for their input. Point them toward this article if you like. Set a short term goal as a test case. In the past, I’ve had salon partners where we only talked while one of us was planning a project, and as soon as that project was done, the salon withered.
That’s as it should be. If the goal is reached, another can replace it, but if not, let it go. This is a tool, not a therapy session. If you’re not making progress towards something you’re just kvetching.
The progression doesn’t have to be concrete; it can be rather vague. For instance, figuring out where you want to go next is a soul-seeking sort of purpose that benefits from high-level input and constant scrutiny.
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. This is as true professionally as it is socially. Choosing quality salon partners gives you a support system, traction and progress, and provides you with a source of high quality input and experience. And who can’t use more of that, right?
What do you think about your own salon? Good idea? Can’t spare the time? Too much effort to manage? Let me know in the comments.
And please retweet if you think the concept was interesting. If other people find it half as worthwhile as I do, I want to spread the word!
*I’m not naming names because, well, it’s not my place to say.