Benjamin Franklin was one of the most influential biographies I read while researching productivity. He was a man of action–someone who had an idea and truly made it happen. One of those ideas manifested in what he called “Junto,” which means “together” in Spanish. Junto was a club made up of diverse peers that met every Friday night simply for the purpose of mutual improvement.
The Junto Club elements
- Each member was responsible for producing talking points on morals, politics, or philosophy and present a thesis on a topic of their choosing once quarterly.
- They debated with the sole goal of attaining Truth, rather than winning an argument
- Rules included speaking with respect and voicing opinions warmly and amicably.
- Topics were decided in advance, encouraging preparation and informed perspectives.
A couple years ago, I felt like I was missing something. I finished a week going through the motions but didn’t feel like I accomplished anything that was meaningful to me. Yes, I earned a paycheck, but I didn’t feel like I was working towards anything in particular. I felt “busy” all week, but couldn’t tell where all that time was being spent, so I decided to perform an audit of my time, both at work and at home.
I soon realized that much of my time after work was spent at faith activities and wasting time on social media. Although I greatly value time and growth with other believers, I realized I was saying “yes” to every event simply because my calendar was technically open. I could be more selective, reserving time for other projects and interests, and investing in people outside of my built-in community.
I also noticed how often I filled the void of unplanned time scrolling social media. Before I knew it, my quick check-in had turned into long stretches lounging on the couch when I could have been working on a plan.
In an effort to be more intentional with my time after work, I joined a Meetup group that discusses business-related books and supports each other’s respective businesses. We now hold each other accountable which has really pushed me to follow through on my goals. I have met people who are completely different from me in both life stages and interests, but surprisingly we have formed strong friendships, bonding over a common mindset. Since surrounding myself with other entrepreneurs, I have felt more like myself and less frustrated that my time was out of my control.
These are just a few of the benefits of connectedness and finding a group of like-minded individuals who share the same passions. Have you ever been a part of a group with a similar purpose? I encourage you to seek out other goal-oriented people. If you’re not sure where to start, join our Facebook group that is just getting started: Magna Community.
While an online community is a great please to start, nothing can replace face-to-face connections. You never know when you'll be the one that has the word or suggestion someone else needs to hear. You have so much to offer, so get out there and connect!
Further Reading: Create a “Mastermind Group” to Help Your Career by Dorie Clark
This is a great article on how to form your own Mastermind group. The structure outlined in these steps is very similar to Benjamin Franklin's Junto group.
"Getting to the top of your field is a challenge, but it’s easier with the support of a strong peer network. A group of trusted colleagues – often known as a mastermind group – can provide honest feedback, help you refine your ideas, and share insights and leads. They can also inspire you with their successes and support you when you face setbacks. Most of us have some helpful professional contacts, but if you want to be part of a community of people focused on helping one another, you’ll likely need to take action to create it.
- Identify your ideal group makeup
- Choose members wisely
- Set ground rules
- Develop a structure"