Yesterday I participated in my second “Jelly” and once again it was a great experience. According to the JellyInHouston site, a “Jelly” is “an every-so-often casual co-working session. Anyone is welcome to come, bring your laptop, art supplies, or whatever, and work alongside other creative, fun people.” For people who work from home, but sometimes miss the camaraderie of co-workers, jellies can be invaluable.
In attendance at this last Jelly were some of my favorite Social Media experts including Erica O’Grady, Dayna Marcum, Laura Mayes, and Marc Nathan along with some up and comers in the Houston technology scene including our hosts Mark Schmulen and David Lyman of NutshellMail. I also got to make some new friends including Brent Williams of aptconnect, Jeremey Barrett of Nokia and web designer Aaron Belafonte.
At the first Jelly I attended a couple of weeks ago, we all mainly worked by ourselves, but this Jelly was more collaborative. First I got to spend some quality time with Marc Nathan getting good advice about my company’s new focus on CRM consulting and self paced courses (don’t worry we are still offering Outlook coaching and HuntressPro). And then there was this great impromptu group discussion about Social Media that reminded me a bit of one of my brother Bill Hibbler‘s favorite topics – Mastermind groups.
Bill’s definition of a Mastermind group is “a support group that can advise, encourage and inspire you, helping you focus on your goals and achieve them faster.” These groups also are great for people who are home officed because they give you the ability to bounce your ideas off of a group of people who care about you and will hold you accountable to your goals. To learn more about Mastermind groups, check out my brother’s book that he co-authored with Dr. Joe Vitale called Meet and Grow Rich.
What struck me at the last JellyInHouston was the potential for Jelly to become or at least spawn a Mastermind group. There we all were brainstorming about Twitter business applications and debating about the level of web 2.0 adaptation around the world while Erica was streaming us and Mark Schmulen was attempting to load mobile twitter on my antiquated Crackberry (thanks for trying Mark!). I find the JellyInHouston crowd to be very inspirational and energizing because everyone seems genuinely interested in everyone else’s success and it would be difficult to convey how much I have learned from this group.
One of the charming things about Jelly is that you never know what it will be like from time to time while Masterminds by contrast are most successful when they stick to a regimented format. As someone who participates in a plethora of networking events and is a member of at least two groups that meet regularly my experience has been that a nice combination of regimentation free-form networking has been a good thing.
So I encourage all my readers in Houston to check out the next JellyInHouston and all my readers from elsewhere to seek out a Jelly near you. And at the same time, I would welcome the opportunity to discuss creating a Mastermind group with some my fellow JellyInHouston participants if any of you are interested.