People have used mastermind groups for as long as they have communicated with each other. But it was Napoleon Hill in his best-selling book Think and Grow Rich who provided clear definitions and popularized the concept.
Napolean Hill called the mastermind principle “the master key to the attainment of your major purpose in life”. What sets masterminds apart from other types of groups is participation.
Every member of the Mastermind Group must be an active participant. You must put effort into being a part of any mastermind in order to reap the benefits.
Read on in our FAQs for Mastermind Groups for a better understanding of how joining a mastermind can change your life.
FAQs for Mastermind Groups
- What is a Mastermind Group?
- What a Mastermind Group is Not
- Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group
- How to Start a Mastermind Group
- Who to Invite to Your Mastermind Group
- How to Run A Mastermind Group
- Facilitator Role
- Mastermind Cost
- How to Find a Mastermind Community
What is a Mastermind Group?
Hill’s definition of a mastermind group is “two or more people working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite goal”. The ideal mastermind brings all of the expertise to accomplish that goal into a peer relationship.
Each of the masterminds members should be valued for their knowledge and contributions.
You can launch your own without any experience if you are strongly motivated. But it can be much easier if you use a facilitator with experience and a framework from which to work.
Think of your mastermind as being similar to an advisory board for your business. Many an entrepreneur who has earned well over a million dollars recommends using mentors to speed up and increase business success.
Your mastermind group are your mentors and you are theirs.
It is very important to not be so busy working in your business that you neglect spending the time you need to invest in improving and strategizing.
Being active in a mastermind group is an excellent way to focus on how to grow your business instead of only the day-to-day operations.
What a Mastermind Group is Not
Strictly speaking, courses and classes are not mastermind groups. If the same individuals are always presenting and the members are a passive audience, it is not a mastermind. There needs to be a peer-to-peer relationship where everyone is active.
Coaching programs, whether individually or in a group, are also not mastermind groups for the same reasons. True masterminds are typically very small (2-10 members with 5 on the average) and very focused.
Large mastermind communities are similar, but not actually the same. They are a good place to find mastermind groups to join or peers to start your own.
Reasons to Join a Mastermind Group
Many people ask what do you do in a mastermind group. The primary function is to get clear on your goals, develop plans to achieve them, and have others to hold you accountable to your goals and deadlines.
If you make lists, but then don’t use them, or set goals you never meet, a mastermind group can create the discipline you need to succeed. Get out of “shiny object syndrome” where you keep reading and researching and never act.
A mastermind can be what you need to finally take the actions required to go beyond your limitations to greater success.
Benefits of a Mastermind Group
Having a group of respected peers to keep you motivated and on track is a great benefit of being active in a mastermind. Your trusted mastermind group can keep you pumped up and increase your self-respect.
Most of all, you need accountability partners. When others in your mastermind know what you planned to accomplish by a particular time, you are more likely to get it done.
Masterminds need to ensure they hold each other to their commitments.
Benefits of mastermind groups include:
- Diversity in backgrounds
- Broader business experience
- Exchange of knowledge
- Enlarged network of connections
- Creative ideas
- Emotional support
- Increased productivity due to shared processes
As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know”. The way to find out is to bring together a small group of people with a broad range of knowledge to apply to your goals.
Why reinvent the wheel when a member of your mastermind group may already know a simple approach?
How to Start a Mastermind
Next, let’s cover how to create a mastermind group. It is extremely important that every member respect each other. They need to know that the other members will keep what is discussed confidential.
Mastermind members must be committed to the process and willing to do what is agreed upon. Unless you are starting a local group, they can be located anywhere in the world.
Who to Invite to Your Mastermind Group
Choose members wisely because it is essential that you get along with minimal conflict. All mastermind members should be equally committed to participating.
They must have similar energy and motivation and be willing to invest the time and attention necessary for success.
You need people who will be honest with you, but in a tactful way that won’t derail your confidence or cause you to doubt yourself.
This is where using an experienced facilitator can benefit your group. They should be proficient in mediating and project management.
How to Run A Mastermind
There needs to be a leader in any mastermind group. That person sets the tone for what happens and how quickly. They need to encourage all the members to participate. You may find that one or more of your original members just isn’t as into it as everyone else.
Anyone who is not active should be encouraged to either get serious or choose to leave. Do this early on if possible so that you can bring in a replacement and get them up to speed on what you’ve all done so far.
You can add mastermind participants later if they are willing to catch up and your leader assists them in doing so.
Most importantly, you need scheduled activities. Mastermind members need to commit to attending every meeting and doing what the group agrees to do. The leader may have to send reminders to keep everyone on track.
Besides regular meetings (typically weekly), many groups like to have a place to interact regularly between meetings. That can be in a Facebook group, Skype, Slack or something similar. Decide where you are going to interact regularly and get everyone on board.
Think about your favorite groups. The ones that keep your interest and get the most traction are the ones where the leader and regular members share often and encourage interaction. Your mastermind will blossom if all the members regularly contribute.
Examples of Mastermind Group Activities
- Sharing a video tutorial on how to accomplish an upcoming goal
- Brainstorming ideas on a specific agenda topic
- A weekly goal-setting session to measure progress
- Fun polls are very popular and keep members engaged
- Offering training to members who want to become leaders of additional mastermind groups
Masterminds typically have a paid manager or facilitator. Larger Mastermind Communities will often also have volunteer moderators. The kind of task a volunteer might perform is sending out reminders to attend an upcoming event.
The main reason to use an experienced facilitator is to provide structure, processes and rules to keep all members on the same page.
Facilitators of mastermind groups should have soft skills, especially in communicating tactfully and keeping members interested in participating.
The same framework can be used across many different mastermind groups. It gives the group a place to start and provides specific tasks to be completed.
The facilitator uses it to keep members on track. The best facilitators encourage members to accomplish more than they believe they can.
Another common question is how much does it cost to participate in mastermind groups. There is no one answer to that because some are free while others are paid programs ranging in price from very inexpensive to thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars per month.
The paid versions are sometimes not really mastermind groups so much as they are networking communities with comprehensive courses. Dan Kennedy’s hot Magnetic Marketing Gold Membership program is an example of one of these.
How to Find a Mastermind Community
The best way to start your own targeted mastermind group is to join and get active in a Mastermind Community. Fortunately for you, that is easy today because we launched the BizSugar Mastermind Community in January 2019 as part of the “new” BizSugar.
With over 15k members and growing, the odds of finding others willing to work together to reach each others’ common goals are excellent. Simply join at the link above and introduce yourself. We hope to have you as our visitor there soon.
During the upcoming year, we’ll be facilitating mastermind groups who can use our platform and resources at no cost.
As the Mastermind Community Manager, I’ll be happy to participate in your mastermind or just be available to train you on how to use the platform yourselves.
Mastermind Group Examples
While I founded a Skype group I call “Blogger Mastermind”, it is not in actuality a mastermind. It is more a place to ask for help, get support and share knowledge. But it lacks the goal-setting and accountability of a formal mastermind group.
What it is though, is a way to find people with similar goals in your niche to start a mastermind.
For example, I acted as a mentor to two members to assist them in creating a 5 person mastermind to grow their websites. With that goal in mind, we chose 3 other serious bloggers in their same niche.
Each of the mastermind’s members had different strengths which they shared with the others in weekly meetings.
We benchmarked their current stats, trained them on keyword research and anchor text and set goals with target dates.
They learned so much so fast from each other that one tutorial led to another. Next, they:
- Launched over 100 video tutorials on Learn to Blog Hangouts
- Published books
- Offered paid courses
- Sold an SEO guide
- Started a Facebook Group that has 4,270 members today
It is sometimes possible to find a local mastermind group in your location, but most likely you would need to start your own. Ask local business owners you know or those listed with the Chamber of Commerce.
Examples of Mastermind Group Goals
Start with a specific goal in mind. Here are some examples to give you an idea how a mastermind could benefit you:
- Local small businesses who want to use the internet to increase their customer bases.
- Ecommerce site owners interested in increasing their website traffic, brand loyalty or profitability.
- Bloggers who want to learn to monetize their sites.
- Entrepreneurs who want to know how to launch a digital startup.
- Freelancers who need to develop processes for finding clients, managing work and creating deliverables.
- Membership groups working together to find ways to increase user participation.
Once you’ve chosen your goal, choose your team members. The closer your goals are aligned and the wider your areas of expertise, the more benefit you will gain from founding or joining a mastermind group. Everyone from the CEO on down can benefit.