Sometimes, the most difficult part about being a solopreneur is keeping yourself accountable. When you're the boss of yourself, there's no one looking over your shoulder to see if things are getting done. Of course there are clients, but since they pay the bills, getting their work done isn't usually the challenge.

Growing your business and achieving your goals is often the biggest challenge solopreneurs face.

As a business owner, you know all (or almost all) of the things you need to do to make your business successful and prosperous. For example, you know you should:

* Keep your website up to date
* Network strategically
* Have a plan for marketing your business
* WORK your marketing plan
* Stay abreast of trends in your industry
* Outsource non-revenue generating tasks
* Keep your financial records in order
* Invest in continuing education opportunities
* Apply what you learn

...and the list goes on.

But, while your to do list and wish list get longer, there's often no one holding you accountable to make sure you get things done. That's where a mastermind group comes into play and can be the critical piece you are missing to move your business ahead.

Business GroupThe basic principle of a mastermind group is that like-minded professionals join forces and commit to helping each other accomplish their goals. As a group, you celebrate each other's victories and support each other in times of need. One of the essential players in a successful, profitable mastermind group though, is a strong leader.

The leader of the mastermind group should be someone whose success you admire. In other words, they need to be successful themselves first to be able to give you the direction you need to create the same type of success in your business. Think about it, would you want to learn from a ski instructor who's never been on the slopes?

Here's what you want to look for in a potential mastermind group:

* A strong, seasoned and dedicated leader that has created the same results in their business that you want to create in yours.
* A group of like-minded professionals - While they don't all have to be from the same industry, it helps if there is some common ground for support and they are at the same general place in their business.
* Regular access to the leader and other members - A forum is a great way to interact with the group and get fast answers to your questions. It needs to be a safe place, where no question is off limits. You also want to have regular interaction with the group through virtual and live meetings.
* A structured program designed with your needs in mind - Having structure is necessary to ensure that each individual receives what they need. There needs to be clear expectations for the leader and each group members, which creates a supportive environment where each entrepreneur can thrive.

There are many benefits to participating in a mastermind group. First, you receive ongoing support in your business from people who know and understand what you are going through. While your family may be cheering you on, even the most supportive family can't understand all the moving pieces in your business.

Second, you have friendly yet professional accountability. While you won't get beat up over not accomplishing your goals, a good accountability partner and/or mentor will help you identify why you didn't reach your goals and then help you overcome those challenges.

Third, you get real life education while avoiding common pitfalls. Working with a successful person as the mentor of the mastermind group will save you time, money and needless aggravation. Their insights and experience will help you avoid common pitfalls and give you the support you need if you've made a few mistakes. And, ultimately knowing someone who has "made it" is a great motivator and will keep you inspired.

At the end of the day, you are still solely responsible for your success. However, that doesn't mean you have to do it all yourself. Consider joining a mastermind group to reap the benefits of collaboration and help you leap ahead towards accomplishing your business goals.

Author's Bio: 

Sydni Craig-Hart, The Smart Simple Marketing Coach, teaches solo service professionals how to attract more clients, create more money and work less in their business. Known for her simple, integrated approach to marketing, she also has the unique ability to find untapped profit centers in her client’s businesses so they can increase their revenue NOW. Visit for your F.R.E.E. marketing tools and to schedule your F.R.E.E. "Profit Breakthrough" session with Sydni!