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Here's Why Professional Peer Groups Are Worth the Investment 

By Michael Loban, 4 minute read

The other day, a fellow chief marketing officer (CMO) asked me point-blank If I thought my professional peer groups were worth the money, I had spent to participate in them. This wasn't the first time I was asked this question, as many of my colleagues are considering joining one or more professional peer groups and the membership fees can feel exorbitant if you've never participated in one before. 

I belong to three separate professional peer groups: Tony Robbins Platinum Partnership, Entrepreneurs' Organization and Genius Network. So, I'll share with you what I told my colleague when he asked me this question. 

Let me be clear. I don't work for these peer groups, nor do I have anything to gain by sharing this with you. My testimonial is purely from my desire to help you, as you look to take your life and your business to the next level. 

The Right Peer Group Can Be the Difference Between Incremental and Exponential Growth 

Simply put, no one needs a professional peer group. If you're happy where you are in your career and your life, then you're one of the lucky ones. It's when you have a sense that you're so much more than what's currently reflected, that peer groups become enticing. 

Most executives don't have easy access to a carefully vetted group of success-oriented individuals who are all looking to learn and grow from each other. Participating in the right peer environments can be the difference between slow incremental growth and the kind of exponential growth that changes your entire outlook on what's truly possible in your life and career. 

Like anything in life, what you get out of a peer group depends largely on what you put into it. From my understanding, part of the reason the membership fees are so high is to separate those who are serious about wanting to take their careers and businesses to the next level and those who are either dabbling or "just curious." 

Just One Breakthrough Can Make All the Difference 

I can honestly say with certainty, that my participation in the three peer groups I chose has been worth my time and my financial investment. Each has delivered substantial increases in both my professional and personal growth development. 

You only need a single shift in your thinking to make a peer group worth the investment of your time and financial resources. 

In each of my peer groups, I have access to a diverse group of incredibly successful experts who all work in different industries that I wouldn't normally associate with. When we discuss a particular problem (personally or professionally), my peer groups draw on all of their decades of experience, which can help me shift my perspective and save me hours obsessing over a problem that one of my peers has already solved. 

Your Psychology and Physiology Impact Your Outcomes 

As an entrepreneur, I'm a problem solver. I see an issue and I figure out how best to solve it. What took me longer to figure out was how to "fix" my own emotions so that I could work better with my team and have better sensory acuity around the needs each member had -- especially when they wouldn't verbalize these problems directly to me. 

When I joined the Tony Robbins Platinum Partner group, for example, it was incredible to see hugely successful leaders willing to be vulnerable and talk about some of the same problems I was having. The answer wasn't about being smarter, nor would more business experience have helped any of us. Together, we learned the power of emotional mastery and how our psychology impacted our abilities to inspire and encourage the outcomes we wanted to see in our teams. 

Likewise, our physiology (or our "state") impacts our work, whether we are aware of it or not. For example, when working on a complex problem, just standing up or walking while working through the problem does wonders for activating my ability to be more creative. If a co-worker is in a terrible emotional state, I learned to have them take a walk with me as they talk out their problems. 

I credit my peers for really helping me internalize the idea that "motion creates emotion" and for helping me realize just how powerful my emotional mastery has positively impacted my company's growth and success. 

Learn How to Master the Art of Fulfilment 

Moreover, none of your success matters if you haven't mastered the art of fulfilment. One of the greatest lessons I learned from my peer groups is to combine play and work. Who cares how successful you are if you're unfulfilled? The best peer groups expose you to new ideas that allow you to apply the concepts and increase your output -- all while having fun and enjoying your life. 

Having a powerful peer group is about having colleagues who help you ensure your enjoyment of both your success and your journey. It doesn't have to be lonely at the top! The art of fulfilment is about going beyond the typical constructs of what it means to be successful and digging deep into the joy and happiness that come with sharing your life with peers who understand and appreciate where you're coming from and where you are in your journey -- both in life and in business. If your business success feels empty at times, it's so important to embrace what's driving that fulfilment void.

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