Wish you had a group of business besties you could turn to any time you had a question about your business? What if those same people held you accountable on reaching your goals, brainstormed new ideas with you, and helped you make big decisions? Sounds amazing right? Good news – it’s not too good to be true. Millions of business owners are a part of groups that do just this on a regular basis, in one word this group of supportive friends who help you achieve your goals is called a mastermind.
THE MASTERMIND PRINCIPLE DEFINED
Napoleon Hill writes about the “Power of the Master Mind” in his book “Think and Grow Rich”. He defines a Master Mind as: “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” He goes on to talk about the power of surrounding yourself with intelligent people, and working with those people to get to where you want to go faster than only using your mind.
He brings up Andrew Carnegie as someone who was consciously using mastermind groups and who attributed his entire fortune to the knowledge and power he accumulated in his master mind. I say consciously because there’s a chance you may have once been in or are currently in a mastermind without even knowing it. For example if you’re on or have been on a team working towards a common goal, that can be considered a mastermind! Or you may be talking to friends on a regular basis and getting their feedback on things your struggling with, this can also be considered a mastermind!
For myself though and for you as a Digital Boss I define a mastermind as: a group of people who get together on a regular basis to offer support, feedback, and new ideas, that will help you progress from where you currently are. In my personal mastermind the focus is almost always on our business goals. Depending on the group that you’re in you can decide if you want the focus to be on business and/or life goals.
WHAT A MASTERMIND GROUP IS
You now know what a mastermind group is: a group of people who get together on a regular basis to offer support, feedback, and new ideas, that will help you progress from where you currently are. But what does that actually mean? How do you make things happen with this group of people?
An effective mastermind group should have four things:
- An initial leader
- Commitment to attending all meetings
- A regular agenda with hot seats
- Group feedback (as opposed to mentor only feedback)
The Initial Leader
I say initial because I do believe that someone should take the responsibility to put the group together, coordinate and schedule the calls, and keep everyone on track. But in my experience it’s better for the group dynamic if after the initial meeting everyone knows there is no leader and that everyone is equal in their knowledge, what’s expected of them, etc. For my personal mastermind I always schedule and set up the calls, but a different person leads the calls every week. This way the responsibility of leadership is even and everyone knows they are important!
Commitment To Attending Meetings
The most important part of a mastermind after initially starting the group is to make sure the group meets on a regular basis. The only way you can move forward in business or in life is by committing time to actively making a change. For my personal mastermind we meet for 1 hour every week, it’s what’s worked best and it’s what I highly recommend.
If you’re meeting once a month or even every other week, things change so fast in business, and you’ll feel the need to “catch everyone up” before you ask for feedback. By meeting on a weekly basis you avoid that “catch up” time because you’ll always be well informed and in the know of what is going on in your co-members businesses and lives.
Having A Regular Agenda + Hot Seat For Meetings
Now that you’ve committed to your weekly meetings, you need to have a set agenda in place so that each meeting is easy, effective, and worth everyone’s time commitment. I’ll talk about the Mastermind Meeting Agenda more specifically in my upcoming post “How To Start A Mastermind”.
For a quick agenda summary, in your meetings you should:
- [Beginning] Have everyone say 1 win they’ve had in the last week (start positive)
- [Middle] Have one person be in the hot seat* this is their time to:
- Talk about their struggles and challenges
- The group dives in with support, feedback, and brainstorming
- [End] Everyone ends with committing to 1 action (end with accountability)
*Simply put a hot seat is when one person is the center of attention for the majority of the call. It’s their chance to talk about everything going on in their business and to have everyone in the group give feedback and focus on one person’s business. This is where the magic happens!
I will discuss the difference between peer lead and mentor lead masterminds in a future post. But for this post the focus has been on peer lead masterminds, meaning you put together a group of your peers and look to each other for feedback, advice, and brainstorming. In a peer lead mastermind it is important that you get different opinions and feedback from the group, this happens during the “hot seat” time of the agenda.
WHAT A MASTERMIND GROUP ISN’T
To prevent from any confusion I want to get clear on a few of the things that a mastermind isn’t!
A mastermind is not:
- A Course/Class
- Don’t expect to come to a mastermind for weekly education on one topic. While everyone in the group may be working towards something broad like “growing a business”. You won’t be attending weekly meetings to have someone teaching you. You are there for support, accountability, and new ideas not to take a class on one subject.
- While everyone in the group has your best interest at heart, they are only giving you their own knowledge, life experience, and advice. They are probably not trained coaches or strategist so receive the information with an open mind. Also these meetings (because they are peer lead) are about the members giving each other advice, not one person (i.e. a coach) leading the group.
- Hangout time/Girl Chat
- A lot of masterminds fall apart because the members don’t take your scheduled meeting time seriously and instead of following the agenda end up making it a time to just hangout and catch up. While there is nothing wrong with hanging out with friends and catching up, that’s not what a mastermind is for. A mastermind is for purposefully moving your business forward by getting the feedback you need to make better and faster decisions.
So friend, now you know what a mastermind is, what happens during mastermind meetings, what a mastermind isn’t, and a bit about why you should start one! For more step by step details on how to start a mastermind look out for the next post on “How To Start A Mastermind”.