How to run a mastermind efficiently and effectively

Written by Brad Hart on Jan 26th 2019

Here is the document I use to prep people and myself for my local free mastermind. In the event, I add some additional logistical information, such as address, parking instructions, no pets, bring a healthy snack, etc. 

I go through these points quickly at the beginning of each mastermind for about 3-5 mins to make sure everyone is on the same page, and that saves way more time than that later, trust me!


Ok, so it’s a working title, and I love alliteration. 

But really, that’s the intention for this evening. 

A space where conscious co creators (entrepreneurs) can come together and collaborate, creating more for everyone instead of just competing with one another. 

But also keeping one another crushing challenges and achieving their goals through the CAST of characters they show up as: 





This type of group work is life changing. 

It's a really powerful framework that I've perfected over many years, being a part of 25+ masterminds and starting 7 myself. Thousands upon thousands of people have transformed their lives and businesses through this model.

I’ll be sharing some of my ground rules to make this a successful evening, and hopefully continue to have these as an ongoing service to the community while I’m in town. 

First and foremost: This is NOT the Brad Hart show! I am hosting and facilitating, but if I do my job correctly, this will run very smoothly with only minimal input from me, and ideally the group is the star of the show. 

The aim would be for us to share our desires as they relate to what we wish to create in the world, in a judgment free, collaborative and inclusive space.

The group for this event is here [LINK FB GROUP HERE], please RSVP here [LINK TO THE RECURRING FB INVITE] so we know how much food to order, etc. 

Feel free to bring snacks! Welcome, and encouraged :) Or if you prefer, we accept Paypal and 

Venmo to recoup snack money as well. 


The Code of Conduct is as follows: be kind and considerate, play full out, take notes, keep an open mind, and don’t sugar coat. Confidentiality is a must, do not share anything outside the group without full consent of the person who shared. 

Sometimes being kind is not being ‘nice’ or coddling someone, it’s helping people come to the right awareness level to make the shift that’s sometimes obvious to everyone, except them, AND to be able to do that with the patience, grace, compassion and understanding that we would all expect from the members of such a high vibration community. 

Two fun acronyms to start us off: SEEDS and CROPS

SEEDS= Seek in Every Encounter to Diagnose, create Space, Serve, Support and Solve

CROPS= Connect them to Resources, Opportunities, People and Systems/Support that will help them further their mission faster.

Other fun masterminding questions/ coordinates to get rolling:

30 seconds: What’s your name and who do you serve? 

30 seconds: What are you grateful for right now? What are you celebrating (one thing each, keep it tight)

What is your biggest challenge right now in life/business? (funny how one affects the other)

How can we best support you right now?

Ask clarifying questions, clarify and verify that everyone is on the same page what the problem or challenge is.

Be cognizant when people start to drift off topic or segue inappropriately. 

There are three types of questions to ask: 

Chunking up questions: in order to zoom out and see the bigger picture

Chunking down questions: in order to drill into the details

Segue questions: To change the topic entirely

Usually people ask segue questions when they are uncomfortable themselves with the line of inquiry. 

In other words, someone else is on the hot seat, and they are about to have a breakthrough and get really clear on the true nature of their challenge, but it makes someone else in the room uncomfortable. When this happens, you must notice it with your sensory acuity and gently remind people to stay on topic, chunking down/drilling down until you hit pay dirt. 

CLARITY is the number one most important thing in the mastermind. 

When everyone present is clear on the problem, then solutions are natural and easy. 

A problem well stated and understood is half solved. Usually, you’ll notice, that the answer comes out in the questioning process, but if you’re not clear on what the problem IS, it’s exceptionally difficult to solve it, as you end up adding further complexity/and or solving a problem that’s adjacent or a symptom, but not the actual root cause. 

Keep suggestions tight, to the point, if elaboration is needed, set up a sidebar for after the meeting. I will be helping keep the group focused and make sure that everyone has their share of time. It’s more important to get clear, THEN we overwhelm the problem with possible solutions. 

Most of this can take the form of “Hey, come see me after I have something for that.” Or “hey I know exactly who you should talk to next, let me make an introduction afterward.” Or something of that nature. 

Unless there’s a lot of time left after the clarity portion, it’s rare that all solutions can be presented in the time allotted. Remember, this is a free mastermind setting, not a deep dive. The number one goal is clarity, anything else is a bonus. After that, people can put accountability and support structures into place on their own time. This is why I limit hot seats to 10-12 and the total group size to 20, because otherwise we drift. 

If people are verbose remind them that we only have a limited time and we need to keep moving, but you have an hour afterward for general networking and to propose additional solutions. Make a note and follow up with that person afterward. 

This works best when everyone has seen it play through 2-3 times, and don’t worry, people wont ‘get it’ at first... that’s natural, just gently remind them to keep an open mind, and they’ll quickly see how powerful this framework is for destroying problems in their tracks. 

Challenges and Celebrations: It’s ok to share wins, celebrations and gratitude as well! We’re not always plagued by challenges, and I certainly don’t invite that as the only possibility. 

But we do ask that you hold yourself accountable to bringing to the space whatever you would like the collective time, energy and attention of the group to be focused on. Sometimes, things are going great, and you just want to create even MORE momentum!  

Promises: When you make a promise to someone in the space, write it down, and take an action right then to either complete the loop or at least get the ball rolling, putting it in the calendar with an invite to that person to follow up.

Use the 200% rule: promise 90% less, but seek to deliver 110% of what you promise.

Whatever you promise might be minor or trivial to you, but could possibly change the game for them, so creating agreements, not expectations, and follow through is key. 

Use the time afterward (3 hour session: 2 hours masterminding, 1 hour open networking) to gain contact info, calendar items and follow up. 

Doing this will create specific, considerate, immediate value for another human being, and change your life for the better as well. 

Examples of which include, but are not limited to:

Holding space

An ear to listen

Emotional support 

Fun, a joke, something silly.

A connection

A resource

A book (or a quick synopsis)

An opportunity

A system or tool they could use

An event they could attend

A course they could take 

A group, tribe or mastermind they could join

A mentor to connect them with

A rockstar service provider they need

A trip or travel they could go on

A person who would change their life

Always use the double opt in method when making intros and never just land people in each
other's inboxes.

This is how you develop relationships with people and help them. No strings attached. No expectation. No waiting for the other shoe to drop. 

Show them who you are, an abundant individual, and add value without reservation. 

You'll be SHOCKED at how this comes back to you in waves. 

Especially if you're operating from a place of service and gratitude. 

Ready to give and receive in abundance.

Literally 20x what you put out will come back. 

But I’m probably preaching to the choir here. 

Also, one last thing. We all sell things. To sell is human, but please do not sell to this group in the container we are creating. 

If someone raises their hand and says “hey, I want to have a chat about what you offer”, by all means, create a follow up discussion for after the group meeting, but let’s keep this group container focused on masterminding, not on selling our wonderful products and services to one another.

That can always be a part of the follow up conversation, or whenever the time is right. 

Cool? Cool. 

Ok, that’s enough for now. Excited to hold this space with you all!

See you soon,



PS - Please RSVP on the weekly recurring invites on the Facebook group.

Optional: You can place bets with people that they will accomplish a task by a certain date. 

They put up an amount of money (other people can add to the kitty as well to cheer them on) that will motivate them not to lose the bet. 

If they win, they get all the money back. 

If they lose, the money goes to a charity that can be voted on by the mastermind membership.
Suggest 3 options as leader and take a FB poll to set that standard. 

NOTE: This really works but can be sticky and tricky to manage, so I wouldn’t consider doing this until you’ve been running the mastermind at least 6 months consistently and people know you, like you and trust you not to skip with their money. 

Or you could simply not take their money as well, but it’s way more effective when held in escrow. 

The biggest bet so far someone has made is $3000 and they completed it. 

Most bets range $500-$1000 

The amount is only relevant in comparison to how much it would suck for that person to lose it.

Rich people should bet more. I’ve had people bet their rent money, but damn skippy if they didn’t deliver on their promise to themselves. 

Worst case, they learn a lesson, and a charity gets a nice donation to help move their mission forward faster.


Sometimes it’s on you as the leader to make sure that:

People participate by asking questions and suggesting solutions

The questions are thoughtful and relevant, and help people either chunk up to see the bigger picture or chunk down into detail for clarity. 

Don’t segue off topic for no reason

Tell us more about that?

What would life look like if this was solved?

Has anyone else ever experienced X? (Great to show people they are not alone in their struggle)

Who would be the perfect person to solve this?

What’s great about this challenge?

Who would you need to be for this to be a piece of cake?

Does this show up anywhere else in your life? 

Tell us what you’ve tried so far?

You’ll know you’ve asked a great question when the energy shifts in a person’s body, or the room lights up with pleasant sounds from the person on the hot seat or the other participants in the room. 

Other things to consider when running a mastermind: 

You’ll want to have some snacks for people (since it’s a free mastermind, encourage people to each bring something pot luck style) 

Get a basic digital timer on amazon or use the timer on your phone 

Have plenty of water 

Have signs telling people to take off their shoes, where the bathroom is, what areas are off limits, etc (you don’t want to have to interrupt the flow to tell people where things are) 

If people arrive late (it happens) encourage them to grab a seat with a smile and a hand gesture 

People should sit in a circle facing each other, so that nobody’s back is to anyone, in whatever way that makes the most sense given the space. 

During the networking time, make sure people know what time they are expected to leave (especially if it’s in your home and you have a strict bedtime, otherwise people will hang out forever) 

This way, if it starts getting toward that time, it’s easy to say “hey gang, it’s just about that time, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here” 

Finally, have fun! This should be a joyous part of your week, which you look forward to and so does everyone else. 

It took me about 8-9 months to really get my local free mastermind dialed in, but it’s conferred so many benefits to the community and myself I can no longer picture my life without it now. 

I’ve had so many opportunities open up and amazing things happen as a result of leading this mastermind that I can’t really believe it. I’m so grateful for it every single day, and the people who attend often really get to be like a family. 

It’s so gratifying to see people come week after week and keep crushing their challenges, evolving and growing. All in just 8-10 minutes of dedicated time per person, per week! 

I don’t know of a single other method that allows so many people to have such massive breakthroughs in such a short period of time. 

At the end of each person’s time, I always ask them a simple question: Do you feel supported right now? They always answer yes. You can’t help but feel that way when all eyes are on you and everyone in the room is pulling for you. 

Finally, if people are new, during the networking time, I’ll make it a point to make sure I have their contact info, and ask them if they enjoyed it and if they would come back again. 

I’ve also, never had anyone say no. The compliments are endless, and a little embarrassing sometimes, but these breakthroughs make all the difference to that person, so never underestimate the amount of value this mastermind group can add to their lives. 

It’s really a magical experience that I’m incredibly grateful to have the opportunity to share with you in this book and free mini course. 

My goal is that at least 1000 other people start mastermind groups of their own and stick with it for at least 1 year. If the average size grows to even 10, that’s 10,000 people who will be deeply transformed by this work. 

And not to mention, the leadership qualities you gain are mind boggling. Knowing that at any time you can command the attention of 20 people and get them to work together without being the “guy in charge” but simply a facilitator for the process gives you a sense of confidence across all areas of life that is next to none. 

I’ve hosted webinars with 3000 peoples, spoken on stages large and small, given countless presentations and done more live online events than I can count... I credit masterminds with giving me the sense of community, leadership confidence, belonging, worthiness and purpose that we all crave in life. 

When you marry that with a give first mentality, there is no limit to the heights you can achieve. 

My goal is to start a mastermind with 6-10 billionaires who are committed to global systemic change. 

In that room, I simply want to facilitate from a place of spirit, not ego, and listen to what these incredible men and women have to say. Perhaps add a question from time to time, perhaps posit a problem to discuss, but mainly, just facilitate. 

I have seen the process work so many times that it’s a foregone conclusion that it will solve any problem with clarity, accountability, support and trust. 

But it’s up to you to sharpen your saw to become the leader that can make that happen for everyone.

You will win, and you will learn, but as long as you never give up, you will make this a part of your life for the long term, helping a lot of people, making a lot of money (both directly if you choose to start a paid mastermind and indirectly through connections and opportunities) and most importantly of all...

...having a lot of FUN!

Click here to learn more about how to add $100k+ in profit to your business in 5-10 hours a month by building a mastermind group.

Brad Hart

Brad Hart helps people start and grow successful mastermind businesses. He is an expert at helping people create their own mastermind programs using a fundamental framework and making things super simple to understand. If you're interested in starting your own mastermind business as a primary (or additional) way to create more income and impact then definitely reach out and request a complimentary clarity call today.


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