What Are Mastermind Groups? (How to Create & Run One Now!)
Written by Brad Hart Oct 9th, 2020
There you sit, staring into space and wondering why your career is stagnant. Your peers are living the dream. You? Not so much.
“You’ve never received a promotion. You don't get the recognition you deserve. Ever.”
Are you a success-driven, entrepreneurial leader, consultant, or coach ready to leverage your time to generate massive returns?
It's time for a change. Mastermind groups may be your ticket.
Most people, like you, have heard of masterminds. But they don't understand the profitability of mastermind networking.
Let's start with a simple definition of mastermind groups, and then break it down.
Mastermind groups are peer-to-peer gatherings of individuals who share common values and goals. They work together to obtain clarity, promote accountability, and take actions to enhance momentum in their lives and businesses. Napoleon Hill popularized this concept in The Law of Success.
Okay. With the mastermind definition out of the way. Let's dive into some specifics.
What Are Mastermind Groups?
A mastermind group will generally have five to six members, though larger niche groups could operate in a tiered system that supports hundreds of members. Teams will add facilitators and coordinators as membership increases.
Mastermind groups are purposeful collectives of like-minded professionals. They meet regularly (generally once a week or monthly) to brainstorm, teach one another, encourage accountability, and challenge each other. Masterminds motivate entrepreneurs to set lofty goals and leave each meeting with a plan to meet and surpass those targets.
Sound like something that will benefit you?
Goal setting and an implementation plan are crucial. You will brainstorm with fellow masterminders and develop unique strategies through methods like groupthink and mind mapping. Your first goal is to put a dynamic plan into action.
But mastermind groups provide so much more.
As you experience success and share your victories (and challenges) within your group, you will hear your milestones applauded and enjoy a continual process of pressing forward to find solutions for your next benchmark.
The members of successful mastermind groups possess a dogged determination to promote the visions of their peers. Members will be privy to confidential information along the way, which must remain within the group. Confidentiality and trust are paramount.
You don't need a guru to lead your group. Mastermind group facilitators provide consistency and leadership for their teams. Find someone in your niche or area of expertise to do the heavy lifting on the expert content side
Facilitators are not always mentors. They may also be coaches. Creating an environment where growth and change happen is what sets them apart, not their unique knowledge base.
Each mastermind group promotes a healthy working environment. Set up the venue for success. Outline simple logistical procedures. Provide clear guidelines for using the space. Ensure that you have adequate signage for bathrooms, food venues, garbage and recycling, and parking protocols.
Where possible, establish the room's tone and mood with the right colors, candles, comfy places to sit, drinks, snacks, notebooks, and pens.
Every group has a purpose and reason for being. Like many, you are probably asking, "What's in it for me?" Fair enough.
Embrace the Benefits of Mastermind Groups. What's in it For You?
Consider your favorite social activity. What people do you see, where do you go, and what do you do. Everyone brings light into a room. Some by entering and some by leaving! You want only the best and most optimistic in your group.
Each member of your cohort is there for a reason. Their contributions matter. Mastermind groups stretch you in the same way.
Let's look at four (of many) benefits.
- Mastermind groups become your Tribe: Your social activities may revolve around an activity such as pickup basketball. Just as you lean on your team members for support, your partners provide critical backing when you need a boost. If your progress lags, they push you forward. Peers are crucial to your success.
- Continuous accountability promotes good habits. Growth in life involves a constant self-evaluation process, shucking bad habits, and replacing them with new strategies that further your development. Your weekly meetings with peers force you to act on goals. If not, you know that peers will call you out at the next session. Hopefully, with grace and understanding.
- You are looking at challenges from a different perspective. Sometimes you get so deep into a project that you develop tunnel vision. It seems impossible to reach your goal. The thoughtful promptings of fellow mastermind partners lift the veil and reveal hidden weaknesses or roadblocks. Will they always have the right answer? Probably not, but looking at things in a different light may unstick you at a critical juncture.
- Mastermind groups help expand your entrepreneurial toolbox. Your group of five to six members each has diverse backgrounds, experiences, challenges, and solutions to perplexing issues. Don't underestimate the power of mastermind networking built upon hard-charging business partners. Whether you need assistance in personnel, processes, or procedures, you can be confident that someone in your peer group has dealt with a similar situation (or knows someone who did). Please take advantage of it!
Why Join a Mastermind Group.
Mastermind groups for entrepreneurs bring together the cream of the crop. Group dynamics provide a breeding ground for success. Here are a handful of reasons to join other kindred spirits.
- Return to a focus and clarity mindset. Working together to obtain clarity ensures positive outcomes. Are you easily distracted by the next new program or gimmick? Is your brain rushing from one idea to the next without pausing for breath along the way? Your mastermind group nudges you back on target and helps you avoid the next shiny new object. Clarity of purpose and intention is the first step.
- Get a new point of view from people in-the-know. Your mastermind community will evaluate your business plans and objectives from the outside. Together you pinpoint and overcome blind spots. Peers have your back and are cheering for your success (and don't forget your coach's value-add.) The process is groupthink at its best!
- Join a cohort with similar interests. Are you an entrepreneurial leader, consultant, or coach? No matter your niche (productivity, wealth growth, small business), you can participate in a team with real-life experience. In essence, a mastermind group provides a tribe of mentors. Though you may come from different backgrounds, each player will challenge you and improve your game.
- Take your goals to the limit. Masterminds don't limit themselves. You set big targets and see them only as recommendations. For those who disparage your goals, you say, "go big or go home!" What does that mean for you? You are all-in. Nothing can stand in the way of your success. Excellent team support makes this happen.
- Life is short so enjoy it. Mastermind groups rally around common values and share a deep bond. In this environment, participants draw closer to one another and feel safe. Over time you develop solid relationships and become more vulnerable. Your newfound comfort and openness within your mastermind tribe encourage you to let your guard down and truly enjoy yourself.
How to Start a Mastermind Group: Do it Now!
Right about now, you have questions. You know why you should join a mastermind group. But what's your next step?
Maybe you are wondering how to start a mastermind group.
Let's look at four considerations.
- Choose a mastermind niche.
When you think about your life in ten years, describe your future! Picture where you want to be. Now, list the expert skills you own that are transferable, and how they will help get you there. Will these skills be the key to your enduring success?
Describe your "why." What painful life experiences have molded you? You overcame them. What tools can you provide to spare others the same pain? What problems do you like to solve? If you could make their lives easier, how would you do it?
With the right perspective on your niche, it's time to put the pieces together.
- Select the best mastermind niche system.
It's all about the right systems. I once heard that you have a choice in life between a framework and hard work. The framework/system works when you work it. If there's a thing that needs to happen, there's a process for it.
So if time is valuable to you (and it should be), consider investing in the right systems for the outcomes and results you want. Then work the system!
Be willing to develop a framework from scratch, or invest in those who can teach you a usable system.
- Explore online mastermind groups: the wave of the future (and present).
Mastermind groups online are more straightforward to build than physical ones. Logistics being the prime reason. Earlier, we addressed the multi-faceted requirements related to a physical space. Online takes that away.
It's just easier to get many people on a zoom than it is to place them all in the same room at once. Time constraints and geographical barriers no longer exist.
- Follow the Money: You can make money by running a mastermind group.
Mastermind group participants often ask, "should I pay to be in a mastermind group?" The short answer is yes. Ponder three reasons they should be glad to pay!
A well-planned and executed mastermind group requires a significant commitment on your part: time, organization, planning, and active presence. It can be grueling to run an outstanding mastermind group without the proper systems and processes in place. If you deliver value, your clients should compensate you for that.
A thriving and vibrant mastermind group requires dedication -- both in attending meetings regularly and participating entirely. You work hard to assemble a cadre of high-performing teammates. That is priceless.
Are you a subject matter expert? If so, factor in your education, professional development, and experience. You deserve generous compensation for your depth of knowledge and insight. You can also bring other experts in to share their wisdom -- nobody ever said you have to be the star of the show!
Starting a mastermind group is straightforward. Here's how to construct a basic framework for ongoing success.
How to Run a Successful Mastermind Group.
You checked all of the boxes needed to start up, but how do mastermind groups work? Answer this and experience unmitigated prosperity.
- Guard your time. Meet regularly and consistently. While there is no standard time allotment, most groups find that 60-90 minutes is perfect. Though not all groups will use a fixed agenda, start and finish times must be 'etched in stone.' Note: You may want to enforce a strict 'no phones' policy unless told in advance of a potential emergency phone call.
- Decide on your meeting format. Mastermind group rules and guidelines will conform to the mindset of each cohort. Some groups profit from a formal schedule. I have found that an agenda is an excellent way to keep things on track, especially if you have a speaker or special event. It also gives the type-A's a method of tracking where they are in the process!
- Will your group have a formal facilitator? Or will you select a motivated player to get the ball rolling and monitor pacing to keep things on track? Optimally this is your call as you orchestrate activities based upon your preferences and comfort level.
- Show respect for all mastermind members. Each should have equal time to address issues. Watch out for that one lone 'time thief.' You know the one. He has something to say about every matter and jumps in without an invitation. Some groups find that a timekeeper helps manage the length of interactions. Don’t be afraid to cut people off if they are going long, as time is the key resource and should not be wasted. All participants should be briefed beforehand so this doesn’t come as a shock.
- Keep your eyes on the prize. You are bringing people together who share mutual values, goals, and are working together to obtain clarity, promote accountability, and take actions to enhance momentum in their lives and businesses. Help them achieve that goal!
- Provide a helping hand. Permit members at each meeting an opportunity to share what they are working on, lessons learned, and roadblocks. Working together, we will make our mastermind partners stronger.
Are You Ready to Create Mastermind Groups? Take the Next Step!
We've given you the answers to your most frequent questions about mastermind groups. But we have just touched the tip of the iceberg!
No matter your place in life (entrepreneurial leader, consultant, or coach), you now possess the knowledge needed to move forward with creating a mastermind group.
Grab a free copy of The 8 Minute Mastermind, launch your mastermind group, and make it profitable in record time.
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