Written for EO by Steven Dudley, mindset and performance coach for entrepreneurs and competitive athletes.
Forums, also called mastermind groups, hold a special place in the world of entrepreneurship. Forum can provide value for any niche group, but it is especially valuable for entrepreneurs.
From my personal experience, the hardest and yet most imperative part of the entrepreneurial journey is the fight between the ears. If left unanswered the self-sabotage, the impostor, the self-doubt, the self-reliance and the resistance will pay a massive toll.
At the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO), members can join the right EO Forum for them. Every EO Forum is led by a trained moderator, respects confidentiality, provides a safe environment, and follows gestalt communication practices.
Forum is an amazing way to navigate and manage your mental health. Here are the two main ways that Forum can help you with your mental health issues.
1. The Inner Fight
The biggest battle for all entrepreneurs is the one that happens inside our own heads. The mix between constant change, heavy-duty emotions and monumental daily decisions leaves entrepreneurs feeling no one can understand their issues. So, it’s natural that many of us keep everything locked away inside our own heads—leaving a fight between right and left hemispheres, pre-frontal cortex vs. amygdala, feelings vs. data, money vs. emotions, practical vs. creative, risk vs. guarantee, change vs. constant and the list could go on.
This inner fight for what is right causes a lot of mental stress, anxiety and overall unhealthy thoughts for us entrepreneurs. Only until you turn the internal voice into an external voice will you make progress. It always makes sense in your own head but until you can explain it to the outside world, it’s incomprehensible. This is one way forum can serve your mental health.
2. Lonely Island
Forum is essential for entrepreneurs because of the loneliness factor that affects us all. To bring that inner dialog out into the open is very powerful. It creates a space for you to finally not feel alone and to gain comfort that someone else is dealing with the same issues that you’re dealing with. It gives entrepreneurs an understanding that everyone has a voice inside their head and you’re not crazy. That’s why a trusted forum or mastermind group is so important.
To feel heard and seen is a powerful tool that all entrepreneurs need—a support system so you don’t feel alone on an island.
I have experienced, seen and heard the best and the worst of forum. When forum works well, it is lifesaving, quite literally. I have facilitated, coached and been a part of the best Forums and mastermind groups in the world. I have seen people take a step back off the ledge because of their peers. I have witnessed businesses grow by ten times in a month because of experience sharing.
I have been part of hundreds of breakthrough moments, and I have watched a whole team of adults mentally break down to their most vulnerable state and then collectively rise higher than they were before. In my opinion, every entrepreneur should experience the power of forum even if it’s just for the mental health benefits.
Steven Dudley was a semi-professional athlete before moving on to an entrepreneurial career in the wellness space. He built and sold two businesses in Denver, Colorado. He openly talks about his mental struggles along his journey, and now he is helping his fellow athletes and entrepreneurs conquer their own mental battles. He is a mindset and performance coach for entrepreneurs and competitive athletes, as well as a forum facilitator and author.