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What Is A Mastermind Group And Do You Need To Join One?

Updated on August 11, 2012
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When Rachael isn't in her studio dyeing yarn (her real job), she's called to her passion for writing, and so here she is : )

If you're in business, or about to start your own business you may have heard about Mastermind groups.

A Mastermind group is a group of business owners who meet regularly to discuss their businesses, hear about others businesses and share ideas and strategies.

They can be immensely rewarding, offering a supportive, confidential and safe space for expanding not only the goals of your business, but also you personally.

While the Mastermind concept might seem new, Mastermind groups were actually recommended as a key to success in Napoleon Hill's Think And Grow Rich, written in the early 1900s. He made mention of many a successful business that had benefited from the owner participating in Mastermind groups, including the great Henry Ford.

How A Mastermind Works

A Mastermind group meets at least monthly, if not more regularly.

Each meeting is structured around sharing the goals, successes, challenges and ideas of each business owner and the collective group are there to support, collaborate and exchange information.

Mastermind groups are action oriented and accountability is an important aspect of each meeting.

Participants are expected to provide evidence of forward movement and ongoing business focus, so that they can expand their success. A Mastermind group is not an opportunity just to come for a coffee and a chat.

Mastermind groups are often held in person, but they can also be conducted via phone or other communication mediums such as Skype.

Benefits Of A Mastermind Group

Raising Your Standards

There's a saying, "You're only as successful as the company you keep", so it stands to reason that the more successful, intelligent, motivated and positive people you spend time with, the more you will demonstrate these characteristics. When we surround ourselves with like minded peers, it is easier to remain focused on, and in the flow of setting and achieving goals.

Accountability

An important part of any Mastermind group is setting clear and actionable goals, and then feeding back on your progress with those goals. Without doing so, it can be easy to stall the progress of growing or improving your business. However, when you announce to the Mastermind group what you will do in the coming weeks to progress your business, you can bet that the group will follow up on how you went. That accountability is priceless because many business owners get caught up on working IN the business, or with creative endeavors, and lose traction on actually making things happen.

Time Efficiency

Why spend time trying to figure something out, when a person who has already learnt about that thing can tell you all about it? In a Mastermind group you can take advantage of the lessons, skills and feedback that others have already learnt on their path to success, thus reducing the amount of learning you need to do on your own.

Collective Wisdom

Napoleon Hill wrote "No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind." A Mastermind group will normally have a varied range of business and industry types represented. Likewise, there will be a wide field of experience in different aspects of business. The benefit of this is that you are able to call on the wisdom of the other members of the group, to help you solve problems in your business that you may not have experience in.

Understanding and Support

A Mastermind group is normally incredibly supportive. Members of the groups are usually accutely aware of what it takes to run a business, and the challenges of getting a business running successful, so will be able to provide support, encouragement and understanding that only other business owners can provide, and is usually lacking in our immediate social circles or family support.

An Outside Look In

When you are working in and on a business, it can be incredibly difficult to step back and look objectively at what's going well, and what's not going so well. When you get close to something, when you invest time and energy, it's not always easy to remove yourself enough to really see what's going on. Peers in a Mastermind Group on the other hand will be able to more easily share with you what they see from a distance, and offer advice and support to deal with the part of your business that might need a different approach taken.

Connections

One of the great added benefits of being in a Mastermind group, is the connections that are made not only with the other members, but also those that are extended from each members own circle of influence. It's not uncommon to have members refer their Mastermind peers to other connections they have, or likewise, to refer their connections back to a Mastermind member for business. Ultimately, your network is multiplied by the number of Mastermind members you have in your group.

What Kind Of Person Will Get The Most Benefit From A Mastermind Group?

  • small business owners, entrepreneurs, CEOs, solo-preneurs
  • any who has a strong desire to expand, grow and improve their business
  • a business owner who wants to create a successful, forward thinking business
  • someone who wants to draw on the collective wisdom of like minded peers
  • people who need accountability to remain focussed and advancing towards their goals
  • business owners who are passionate about business, and want to share that passion with others
  • anyone who gains more from a support group, than they would working on their own
  • those looking for inspiration, ideas, support and motivation when things get tough

Investing In A Mastermind Group

The biggest investment you'll make in a Mastermind group, is time.

Most groups meet at least once a month, if not more often, and you can expect a meeting to be a few hours long.

If you are not willing to invest a good couple of hours, regularly, then a Mastermind group won't work for you.

The other investment you may be required to make into a Mastermind group, is a fee.

Not all Mastermind groups charge to belong to them, but if you want to get into a group with the big hitters you will find that they have a large yearly fee which reflects the calibre of business person involved in the group. There are some Mastermind groups which have fees in the 10s of thousands, and others in the 100s of thousands.

Of course, if you don't feel ready for, or need, that kind of investment, you can always find a local group that is either free, or charges a minimal rate. Choose a Mastermind group that is appropriate to your level of business, and desired investment.

And if you create the Mastermind group yourself, or arrange for it to come together with other business owners, you might decided that there is no fee at all.

Important Points About Mastermind Groups

It is important that the members of your Mastermind group have similar goals, and be at similar levels in their business. While it might be helpful to hear from business owners at higher levels of success, it's likely that they won't get enough out of working with those who are still in the earlier stages of their business and will exit the group. If you want to gain knowledge from higher level business owners, consider inviting a guest speaker for the meeting so that they can share some of their wisdom before you continue on with the rest of the meeting.

Don't let your group get too big either. Once you have too many members, it not only becomes difficult to arrange the meetings to suit everyone, but it also means that the meetings will be longer and more complex as everyone tries to share their ideas, challenges and successes. Once the meetings are too long, they become too time consuming for people to commit to and members will start to drop off.

Also, be selective about your Mastermind members. Don't just let anyone in because they are at a certain level in business. You need to avoid anyone who will bring negativity or a toxic energy to the group. You also want to screen people who will be overbearing or selfish about their purpose in the group, dominating conversation or not giving back to the group as whole and only taking support for themselves.

Lastly, try to keep your meetings scheduled for a consistent day and time. If you can lock the meeting into a regular slot, then members have less of a reason for booking other things into that time. For example, if you meet once a month, make the meeting the same time, on the first Monday of each month, or, if you meet weekly, make it the same day and time every week.

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