Almost every single person I meet who is contemplating coming along to a Boardroom Mastermind group for the first time will invariably say to me something along the lines of “I am not sure what I can contribute” or “I don’t think that I have anything to offer”.
I do know how they feel.
When I first encountered Boardrooms I was completely intimidated by the expertise in the room. In awe of the day rate charged by some of the people who had come along. Convinced that I knew nothing of any real value that anyone else would be interested in. I was determined that it was going to take me at least six months to get to grips with the process and probably a bit longer to learn not sweat over how I was going to put forward my issue. Petrified of being interrogated to the nth degree a la Dragon’s Den (holographic memories of draconian PE teachers loom up before me!) And that, I decided, was before I was going to even contemplate opening my mouth and ‘pretending’ that I knew what I was talking about.
Little did I realise.
My determination to sit on my hands, keep my mouth shut and just observe to learn lasted about 20 minutes. However .. I got to the stage where I was convinced that I must have blinked and missed something. All I could see was a glaring gap in the information provided and I really didn’t understand. I couldn’t stand it any longer and just had to admit that I was confused and needed clarification.
And then the lightening bolt of understanding struck.
I hadn’t missed anything. I had wrongly assumed that what I could see as being absent was something that I believed was ‘common sense’, so common knowledge and therefore common practice . It was then that I realised that the many years that I had spent in business were completely different to everyone else’s which meant that what I brought to the table was unique and to the right people immensely valuable. Just because I hadn’t made my millions and was driving the life of my dreams did NOT mean to say that I had nothing to offer.
Subsequently I began to realise the true value of connecting with other like minded business owners and now nearly two years later, that value continues to grow as my understanding of what others have to offer grows too. There is always so much more hidden behind the company profiles that we are so used to seeing.
Despite the fact that many of the people I speak to recognise the fact that they need and want to be able to tap into the expertise of their own Boardroom group, the anxieties about what their own contribution might be is often the thing that will stop them from joining in. Interestingly not everyone thinks of what they can get out of their investment first.
It does not take long talking with people to discover some of the nuggets of wisdom that I know from experience will be immensely appreciated by the group as a whole. It is amazing what each and everyone of us can really offer given the opportunity to share what we know.
Just because something is easy for us to understand does not mean that it will be easy for everyone else. As such there is a tendency to undervalue our expertise just because it requires so little effort on our part by comparison to other things that are a real challenge.
Question is how do we find out what it is that we can contribute to those around us?
What do you think is really easy to do in your business and perhaps might be undervaluing as a result?