I am still pinching myself .

Last week I spent the weekend in New York City in a room with 11 incredibly smart and successful people. We were there to collectively grow and develop intelligence by using peer to peer mentoring and Mastermind methodology facilitated by an expert in our field.

Not only was I among some of the industry thought leaders in leadership and personal development, but the Mastermind was being facilitated by Best Selling Author and Brand Strategist, Dorie Clark.

As a newly published Author, Professional Speaker and Though-Leader on Women’s Leadership and Empowerment, I was in nerd heaven. I couldn’t wait to soak up and learn from every person in the room.

So what is a Mastermind?

Masterminds are relatively new to people even though the phrase was coined by Napoleon Hill in his book “Think and Grow Rich” many years ago.

Is a Mastermind right for you? Here are the Five Important Lessons that I Learned that may help you make that determination.

#1. Quality of Experience and Knowledge is Crucial to all. Most Masterminds are led and facilitated by an expert member that invites and vets participants to make sure the group has the right mix of experience, expertise and are within a certain level of professional development that can be mutually beneficial.

Although at first glance I felt a bit out of my league, (hello Imposter Syndrome!), my knowledge and experience fit in nicely within the group. I felt comfortable enough to share and explain how I developed my Empowerment Framework with the group on the second day which was a novel concept to many.

#2 Cross Pollination Speeds Topic Discussion. Even though our expert, Dorie Clark, was very knowledgeable on most of the topics, we had a diverse mix of backgrounds and personal experiences that were able to take the topic and discussion farther.

Learning the different ways that others had implemented or maximized strategies enriched the discussion. We were able to cover a week’s worth of agenda items in two full days. Remember this nugget when you are faced with a large project at work and would prefer to “work by yourself.”

#3 A Willingness to Help Others is Rewarded Two-Fold. One of the magical elements of a Mastermind is the generosity of spirit within the collective group. As each of us shared needs for connections, resources or introductions within our own personal network, there was always a willing participant who knew the perfect bridge to connect them to with a willingness to assist.

No one achieves wildly audacious goals without the help of others. This was a nice reminder that when you give to others, you are rewarded in kind.

#4 The Most Powerful Agenda is the one Created by the Group. As a workshop facilitator and professional speaker, I am used to creating the content ahead of time and answering questions at the end. This experience taught me that the most powerful agenda is the one created by the audience.

On day one, Dorie asked the group what lessons and topics we hoped to discuss and learn over the next 48 hours. As each person called out a suggestion, she placed a checkmark when others agreed that was on their mind as well. Within 30 minutes we had filled up two white boards with a personalized agenda which resonated with all.

By asking the members what they wanted to learn, she was able to customize the needs of the group. I will take this lesson with me as into future workshops and my own Mastermind that I will be hosting in early 2020.

#5 Discomfort of Environment Reaps Massive Growth. When I was invited to participate in the Mastermind, I said yes before I allowed my Imposter Feelings to talk me out of it. As the day approached, I was feeling equally excited and somewhat insecure about my readiness to contribute to this impressive group and meet an author that I had admired and learned from for years.

Once the group began to get to know one another, all of that pre-anxiety dissipated and I was so glad that I did not allow my fear of the unknown to keep me from a chance of a lifetime.

I raised the bar on my self-identity that weekend, and as a result, my confidence and resolve for growth was strengthened. Being uncomfortable and out of my environment was monumental to that growth. Say yes to something when it equally terrifies and excites you.

You won’t be disappointed.

Angela Hosking is the Author of Woman on Top: Lead Like a Lady Boss and is an expert on confidence building, women’s empowerment and leadership and is the Founder of Her One Tribe, LLC. Download your FREE copy of Confidence Hacks for Leaders here.