The Power of Masterminds

The Power of Masterminds: Introducing the Change Maker Collective

Do any of these sound familiar to you?

You’ve been running your business for a while and have a steady(ish) stream of clients but you can’t seem to break through to the next level in your business.

You want to make time for planning and goals but you’re always so busy with the day-to-day that you never quite get around to it.

You you have a secret big dream for your business, such as speaking on stage, writing a book, or building a solid waitlist of clients but you can’t imagine when you’re going to find the time to do it and now when anyone asks you about it you say “maybe next year…”

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got.

I know exactly how you feel, because I’ve been there too. Running a busy not-for-profit alongside growing my own consultancy, being a mama and a wife and a friend I constantly felt that there was never enough time in my day. I felt so frustrated, because I had big dreams and big goals that weren’t getting realised because they seemed impossible to find time for.

One day, I found that I had simply had enough of letting everything else in my life dictate how I spent my time. Something had to change and I knew that I was the only person who could change it. I decided it was time to take back control, laser in on my goals and start creating the business and the life I truly wanted to lead.

I learnt that I had exactly enough time in every day as long as I was willing to focus on the things which moved me closer to my goals.

I learnt that saying no to the wrong things, battling through fear of missing out and shiny object syndrome, allowed me to say HELL YES! to all the right things that came along to fill their place.

I learnt that by choosing the right small actions I could leverage big outcomes which moved me exponentially closer to my goals in less time with less effort.

And now I help people just like you do the same thing.

One is the loneliest number

But I didn’t do it alone. As I levelled up to the life I wanted to lead, I made sure that I surrounded myself with people who were also working for their big goals.

For me, the difference between achieving my goals and planning to achieve my goals was making sure that I had the support of other people. Masterminds, groups of people who come together to inspire each other and hold each other accountable, have always played a powerful part in my business. I have been in several different mastermind groups over the years and all of them have helped to push me out of my comfort zone towards the place I need, and wanted, to be.

As I worked with other entrepreneurs, I noticed that a common thread amongst all of them was that they felt alone in their business. They were successful, they were working so hard for their clients, they had such amazing dreams for the future, but they felt isolated.

More and more frequently I found that I was asking my clients “where does your support come from?” and often recommending to them that in addition to the work we were doing that they might also want to join a mastermind group. But it wasn’t that easy for them.  Either they didn’t know the right people or they had tried masterminds before and found themselves in groups that didn’t help them for one reason or another. Some had joined groups with less experienced business owners and found that they were then in the role of coach or guide at every session without anyone who could provide guidance on their challenges. Some had joined groups with friends and meet-ups turned into fun chats rather than powerful accountability sessions. Others had tried paid masterminds only to find that the facilitator was barely present and provided little input on what the group was doing.

I realised that the structure and format which had been so beneficial to me, simply was not available to others. And I also knew that I could change that.

Making the change

By combining the most powerful elements of the masterminds I had been in, together with my strategic knowledge of how to structure your business to achieve your goals I knew that I could create a group experience which would measurably increase people’s results. With my background in community building, I would also be able to bring together the right business owners in each round to ensure that they every group was as matched as possible in terms of experience and goals. I also instinctively knew that it was essential to keep the groups small so that everybody felt heard, everybody got individual focus on their business and nobody got left behind.

I called this new hybrid of masterminding and mentoring The Change Maker Collective because I wanted to establish from the outset that this is a place in which we come together to work as a team. No more isolation, no more loneliness, no more figuring it out by yourself. From the moment you joined The Collective, you would know that you were part of a shared, collaborative experience.

How The Collective creates the change you want to see

Each round of The Collective begins with an in-depth planning session, where we find your focus (spoiler alert: it’s not always what you think it is!) and map out the actions you will take to achieve your goal in the next 12-weeks.

Every month we have a group mentoring call with planned hot seats to bring individual attention to your wins and challenges. We draw on the knowledge and wisdom of all the members in the group to work on your business and leave you ready to tackle the next steps.

In between, we stay connected through our online group and pop-up Power Hour coworking sessions where we come together for one hour to cross an item off our to-do lists before saying goodbye and getting on with the rest of our day.

Combining focus, planning and accountability along with peer support and mentoring makes The Collective a powerful place for you as a business owner to be.

Everyone is rooting for you to succeed, and if you’re having a bad day, everyone is there to gently guide you back on track. As the facilitator of The Collective, I make sure that I am fully present with guidance, advice and cheerleading. You are no longer on your own. You are part of something bigger.

Is The Collective right for you?

My goal for The Collective is to fill it with the most interesting, goal getting, supportive business owners.

You will know if it is the right place for you if:

  • You are fed up of building your business alone and thrive in the company of others
  • You are ready to make more impact, more income and more influence
  • You know that you do better when you say your goals out loud and have others around you to help keep you accountable.

If this sounds like you then we should talk. Participation in The Collective is by application only to ensure that the right business owners are matched to the right groups. I want to talk to you about the goals and dreams you have. To apply for a place in the next round, fill out an intake form and we will schedule a time to talk about your goals and your dreams for your business and how that fits with the life you want to lead. If the Collective is the right place for you to be then you will be matched into the next round and we will start working towards your goals, together. Are you ready?

P.S. If you are in your first couple of years of business and are still working out the structure, systems and strategy for your business then The Collective will not be the right place for you right now. I would encourage you to look at The Change Maker Programme which is more focused on the early stages of business and the core skills you need to have in place during that phase.


If you want more systems and strategies to help you work on your business instead of in your business, then you'll love my Notes for the Curious. It's published every two-weeks and delivered straight to your inbox. Notes for the Curious is a curated digest of everything I am learning and loving about running a business and living a life on purpose. From time management, to goal setting, community building to confidence boosting as well as systems and tools to make your life easier, we will cover it all.

Fill out your details below to receive the next edition. 

Do You Want to be a Tugboat or a Lighthouse?


I was sitting having coffee with another business owner when she said “and then I realised, I don’t want to be the tugboat in my business, I want to be the lighthouse. Do you know what I mean?”

I made a vague “mmhmm” noise and stirred my coffee quietly as she continued talking.

I did know what she meant.

But I didn’t know what it meant for me.

Later that day I found myself Googling “lighthouse vs. tugboat” and coming up with various variations of a self-help parable doing the rounds on the internet.

The parable asks the reader to visualise a tugboat, Its role is to lead other boats safely to shore. It pulls them, it drags them, and eventually, hopefully, it gets them there. Now imagine a lighthouse. Its role is also to guide boats safely to shore but it does so in a dramatically different way. The lighthouse doesn’t pull or drag, it stands tall on the shore beaming out light to guide the ships home. How the captains of those ships choose to follow that light remains their choice and responsibility. The lighthouse cannot change that, it can only stand firm beaming out its guidance like a beacon.

Are you a tugboat or a lighthouse?

All too often we show up for our clients and our businesses as their tugboats rather than their lighthouses.

We do the work, we pull and we drag them to where they want to be, often irrespective of where we think that they should be going. We forget that we have the expertise, that we have been hired by our clients for that expertise, that part of being able to charge rates which accurately reflect our expertise is in our skill as an experienced guide for our clients.

Think of your last business branding experience. When you brand your business there are lots of options and routes available to you to go from where you currently are - no brand or old brand - to where you want to be - the new brand. One option is to hop on over to Fiverr or Upwork or 99Designs and get someone to give you a logo. If you are disciplined and the odds are in your favour then you are going to end up with a new logo that you like, maybe even love. You won’t have paid very much for it, it probably took a lot more of your input to get it right but it does the job you want. Congratulations, you have reached the shore.

Now consider what happens when you hire a branding expert to (re)brand your business. A branding expert knows that branding is more than a logo, they will take the time to understand your business, to get to know you as the leader of your business and understand your vision for the future, they will present you with options and a wider range of implementations, they will work with you until your whole business reflects your vision. They cost a lot more than getting someone to design you a logo on Fiverr. It is a different way to reach the shore but congratulations, you’ve still reached the shore.

Becoming the Lighthouse

If, after reading the story above, your first thought was “That’s me! I’m the tugboat!” then your second thought was probably “but how do I become the lighthouse?”

There are some professions where this is easy. Take coaching as an example, coaches should always be the lighthouse, it is what they are trained to do, to offer guidance to their clients without imposing a prescribed direction on them. It’s what their clients expect of them.

However, if you are in a profession where you provide a service for your clients it may seem harder to break free of being the tugboat. For example, if you are a copywriter you may feel that you are doomed to live a tugboat life, pulling and dragging your client’s visions into words that engage other people. How could you possibly be a lighthouse when you actually have to do the work if you want to get paid? After all, you can’t just stand there and tell your client how to do it themselves, that’s not what they hired you for.

Take a moment though to consider what your client needs. Did they hire you just to churn out words or did they hire you to guide them so that you can write the best, most impactful, most engaging copy for their business? How often do you value (and charge for) your expertise at that level? How do you communicate the fact that in this, your zone of genius, you know more than your client about how to get their project to shore? There is a huge difference as a client between hiring someone to polish up your words (tugboat) and hiring someone to craft your vision (lighthouse).

Which one do you want to be?

Which one does your business need you to be?

If you are operating your business in tugboat mode then I am confident that this is part of the reason that you feel drained. It takes a lot of energy to pull and drag things to a successful conclusion. Maybe you have also been attracting the wrong clients to you because you are showing up as the tugboat and that’s all they want (or think they want). It is almost certainly keeping you trapped in the day-to-day of your business and not allowing you to create and implement long-term strategies for growth.

If you’ve accidentally become the tugboat in your business when what your business really needs you to be is the lighthouse, then it's time to make a change. Here’s what you need to do.

  • Clear a couple of hours, preferably half a day in your schedule to focus on your business.
  • Identify all the areas where you are behaving like a tugboat instead of a lighthouse.
  • For each area which you identify as a tugboat area, write out what that area would look like if you were the lighthouse. What would change in how you run that part of your business, how would clients interact with it, would your pricing need to change, do you need to outsource or hire someone in to take over, do you need to communicate these changes, if so how will you do that?
  • Now, take a planner and start to schedule in everything you need to do, or hire others to do,  in order to change your course. Remember, you’re still heading for shore, you’re just changing the way you get there. It’s time to chart your own course instead of letting the demands of your business lead you there.

Successful business growth requires strong leadership. Be a lighthouse, not a tugboat.


If you want more systems and strategies to help you work on your business instead of in your business, then you'll love my Notes for the Curious. It's published every two-weeks and delivered straight to your inbox. Notes for the Curious is a curated digest of everything I am learning and loving about running a business and living a life on purpose. From time management, to goal setting, community building to confidence boosting as well as systems and tools to make your life easier, we will cover it all.

Fill out your details below to receive the next edition. 

Why I Do What I Do

why I do what I do and you should too by Emmy McCarthy

I believe that everybody is capable of creating an impact.

Everybody is capable of creating change.

Everyone has the opportunity to leave their mark on the world.

As a lifelong introvert, being an observer and a listener on the sidelines is a normal state for me, even so, I don’t want to exist in isolation. I still need to feel that what I am doing has purpose and connects me with other people.

I don’t want to wait to live the life I want, I want to live my best life right now.

Running your own business is scary. You worry about money, you worry about your clients, you worry about not having enough clients, you worry about growing, you worry about staying small, you worry about what other people are doing and whether you are doing enough. You often spend more time worrying than you do enjoying the process of designing the life you want to live. A life that helps other people live better lives too.

I know you do, because I hear the exact same things from my clients over and over again and I promise you, I’ve suffered from those same worries myself. Being a listener means that people feel safe to bring their worries to me, they tell me they feel scared, or unsure, they tell me how high they are setting the bars for themselves and yet they still never feel like they are doing enough. They tell me that they feel scattered and unfocused, that they are busy all the time but never quite sure if they are working on the right thing or if what they are doing will bring the results they truly desire. They wonder where the time they have goes and they worry if they are spending enough time with the people they love, doing the things they really want to do. Mostly though, they worry about what they will have to sacrifice to make an impact on the world, and they worry that the cost of that sacrifice may be too high for them to bear.

I do the work I do because I know that small changes can create great impact

and I also know that we don’t have to spend every waking minute consumed by what we do in order to make a difference in the world.

I know it because I’ve lived it. I was the person who pushed themselves to the edge, who believed that you had to keep doing more and more if you wanted to succeed. I built something which people tell me changed their lives. But it came at a cost.

I was so busy doing everything I thought needed to be done that I forgot that if you truly want to create ways to serve others, you have to look after yourself. You have to put on your own oxygen mask first. I learned my lessons the hard way. Now I do the work I do to make sure that other business owners don’t have to make the same mistakes I did.

Changing the way that we work, developing strong structures and systems in our businesses, building, growing and inhabiting supportive communities means that not only can we make an impact, and an income  - because we deserve to be paid for the work we do, especially if that work changes things for the better - we can also do more with less.

Doing more with less means developing better results for our clients, creating more time for ourselves and the ones we love without sacrificing our goals or our income. It means doing the work we are truly called to do, and living the life we want to lead instead of believing we must do one or the other.

Doing more with less allows us to say no, to set boundaries and hold them, to only do what will move us forward instead of what will hold us back. Most importantly, it allows us to redefine our own success and set our goals in alignment with it.

Everybody is capable of impact but we can’t do it alone.

We need support, we need systems, we need the people who have gone before us to reach their hands back in order to lift up the people who are coming up behind them. In short, we need community.

The world needs people to stand up, stand together and be counted. We need more people to use their best skills and talents, people who are prepared to step forward and say, “I can help. I can help you solve that problem. Together we can build a solution that works”.

This is what I know to be true if you want to see change happen, you have to act.

You need to stop waiting for permission, it’s time to create the change you want to see in the world.

It’s what I’ve done, it’s what my clients do.

And if you need someone to walk beside you while you make your change, someone who will share the lessons they learned the hard way so that you can shorten your learning curve, who will help you implement the systems and processes which enable you to grow a sustainable, profitable business, someone who will be your cheerleader, your shoulder to cry on and the person who will keep pushing you to achieve more, then it’s time for us to talk.

Let’s start turning your small, secret hopes and dreams, into big actions, right now.

It's time to run the business you truly want to run and to make the impact (and income) you need to build your legacy for the world.

What are you waiting for?


If you want more inspiration, systems and strategies to help you create the business that you truly want to run, then you'll love my Notes for the Curious. It's published every two-weeks and delivered straight to your inbox. Notes for the Curious is a curated digest of everything I am learning and loving about running a business and living a life on purpose. From time management, to goal setting, community building to confidence boosting as well as systems and tools to make your life easier, we will cover it all.

Fill out your details below to receive the next edition.