Women entrepreneurs are a different breed. We are passionate about our businesses and our work. Traditional women's groups and business groups, however, are often unable to fuel the fire and enthusiasm that women entrepreneurs thrive on. So I was delighted when I heard about Kellie Kuecha, her organization Women That Win and the MastHERmind programs she presents.

Kuecha's MastHERmind curriculum was inspired by the Mastermind concept first described in Napoleon Hill's classic book, Think And Grow Rich. In 1908, Hill was commissioned by Andrew Carnegie--then the richest man in the world--to interview 500 successful people to discover and publish a formula for success that the average person could duplicate. Hill conducted research for more than 20 years. His 1937 book, still in print, has sold more than 30 million copies. It continues to influence our collective thought, and current literature and teachings on prosperity and success. Hill's 13 principles for success, enumerated below, are incorporated into the MastHERmind curriculum.

  1. Desire. Hill believes that a burning desire is the starting point for all achievement. Do you have a burning desire? Have you ever had one? I believe the most successful people live their lives as a series of desires, passions and accomplishments.
  2. Faith. In this context, faith is about visualizing your desire and believing you will attain it.
  3. Auto suggestion. Todcay we call this concept "affirmation." This is the practice of repeating positive thoughts to influence your subconscious mind. An affirmation should be in the present, even if you don't have it yet. So if your goal is to create a multimillion-dollar business, your affirmation would be, "I am in the process of building a multimillion-dollar business." As your plan becomes clearer you would say, "I own a multimillion-dollar business."
  4. Specialized knowledge. Those who pursue knowledge and professional competence are more confident, more competent and more likely to succeed. How do you continue your professional education?
  5. Imagination. As you go about your day, think about ways to do things better.
  6. Organized planning. Every goal needs a plan. When you have a plan in place, you always know what to do next.
  7. Decision. Hill finds that successful people are able to make decisions promptly and change their decisions slowly. I believe it is not the outcome that makes a decision good or bad, but the process used to reach that decision. Hill sees the decision-making process as a way to tame procrastination.
  8. Persistence. Don't quit. And don't take no for an answer. Instead, find a way around your obstacles. This takes us back to imagination.
  9. Mastermind. According to Hill, a Mastermind team is a small group of people who come together with dedication to a shared goal. Masterminding is engaging in focused conversation and brainstorming with others. Typically, the issue at hand is business-related, but the mastermind process could be used to solve almost any dilemma, project or experience. Masterminding works because five heads are better than one. The process allows us to share our knowledge and experience.
  10. The mystery of sex transmutation. This is the ability to switch the mind from thoughts of physical expression to thoughts of some other nature. Additionally, Hill finds that almost every successful person has a supportive person (a love interest) to count on.
  11. The subconscious mind. Hill talks about using your mind to visualize your future as you want it to be. And he talks about following your hunches--the messages you get from your subconscious mind.
  12. The brain. How much of your brain's potential do you use? Maximizing your brain power means thinking through your problems instead of reacting emotionally.
  13. The sixth sense. According to Hill, when you master the first 12 principles, you can go through the door to the Temple of Wisdom and tap into your sixth sense: the infinite intelligence.

The Mastermind concept has intrigued me for nearly 20 years. So when asked to join one of Kuecha's MastHERmind groups, I knew I wanted in. Kuecha's 16-week MastHERmind curriculum is designed to take the team participants, their careers and their lives to the next level. Each week we focused on a different aspect of our lives and our businesses, ranging from finances and sales to philanthropy and community involvement. By the end of the program I had developed a new perspective of my business and myself. I was clear about where I wanted to go, both personally and professionally, and how I would get there.

However, the best part of the experience was the connections I made. These women and I share an interest in business and, thanks to the MastHERmind process, now we also share a strong bond with one another.