In the last two posts I’ve told you that you (1) Need smart and supportive people around you to build and grow a profitable business and (2) I’ve defined what a mastermind group is and how it’s the best way to surround yourself with the smart and supportive people you need. Today let’s talk about how to actually start a mastermind group!
Why You Should Start A Mastermind (instead of waiting to be invited into one).
|Pro’s Of Starting a Mastermind
|Con’s Of Starting a Mastermind
As you can see the pro’s highly outweigh the con’s of starting a mastermind. So I think you should take the initiative despite the con of having to put in the work to start the group and create your own!
To get started here are three phases I believe you need, to have to a successful mastermind:
Phase 1: Find the right group of people
Phase 2: Start + Consistently Attend Group Meetings
Phase 3: Nurture Member Relationships
Let’s dive a bit deeper into each so that you can get a head start on creating your mastermind group!
PHASE 1: FIND THE RIGHT GROUP OF PEOPLE
In order for your mastermind to be:
- Worth your time
- A source of useful feedback
- Taken seriously
You must start with the right group of people. This is absolutely the most important step in the process of starting a mastermind. If you get this step wrong nothing else will work and the group will eventually fall apart.
Here is a short look at my process for finding the right people to be in your mastermind.
Step 1: Decide who you want in it
Consider the type of industries you want to get feedback and insight from. Also consider the ages and lifestyles you want to get support from. Usually the more similar the lifestyle the better the group will work out because your schedules will be similar. Ex: A mom’s schedule is very different from a 20 year old’s schedule! Get clear on what kind of people you want to commit to spending time with!
Step 2: Decide on the group size
I always recommend an even number of people no less than 4 and no more than 8. Pro’s to less people is that you get more attention, con of less people is you have less feedback, brainstorming and different ideas.
Step 3: Find your members
Now you have to actually find your members! Start with who you know, then who your friends know, then search in facebook groups, and on pinterest.
Pro Tip: Don’t ask in facebook groups “does anyone want to join a mastermind with me?”. You’re looking specifically for the type of people you said that you wanted in step 1. Get specific and find them with the search function.
Step 4: Interview Potential members
Once you have a list of potential members talk to them! You’re going to be investing a lot of time into these people. You want to make sure you have a good vibe and can foresee a long term friendship with them!
Step 5: Get Members To Commit
Before you get members to commit it’s important they know the rules and guidelines of this group so that they take it seriously. Send them the rules so they know what they are signing up for, I even sent my mastermind a contract so they signed on to commit to the rules!
I have a step by step checklist of this process that you can save to your computer or print out so that you don’t miss a step. Check out the Mastermind Quickstart Checklist here!
PHASE 2: START AND CONSISTENTLY ATTEND
Once you’ve found the right group of people it’s time to schedule your meetings and get them started off on a good note! While phase 1 is most important for setting yourself up for success, phase 2 is most important for making sure you actually get what you want out of the meetings! Aka = fresh perspective, new ideas, valuable feedback.
Step 1: Schedule Your Regular Meeting
Find a date and time that works for everyone in the group on a long term basis (at minimum for the next 90 days). I have so many people tell me their masterminds only meet once a month. That means in one year you are only talking to these people 12 times. Small businesses change so quickly. For a mastermind group to be effective I recommend meeting on a weekly basis!
Step 2: Tech to set up and run meetings
Make sure your meetings are scheduled in everyone’s calendar that way no one can miss a date. Then decide on the tech you will use to actually have the meeting, in my opinion video chat that can be easily recorded and shared with the group after works best. I personally use google hangouts, it’s free and works just fine for these meetings!
Step 3: How to run the first meeting
First impressions matter! You want to make sure you create a safe and comfortable space for everyone to have a good vibe on the first call. Send out what the agenda for this first meeting will be prior to it. Really give everyone a chance to introduce themselves and dive deep into getting to know each other. This will give everyone a good understanding of who is in the group, what kind of business they own, and just make them feel comfortable before diving into their business struggles which may be hard to discuss with people who don’t know each other. So focus of the first session = introductions.
Step 4: Regular meeting agendas
It’s important to have the same agenda for every meeting so that people know exactly what to expect every time. This will make everyone comfortable and will help you get as many things done as possible while you’re actually in the meeting It also strays from anyone who may try to go off course during meetings. An easy agenda format is: [Wins] + [Hot Seat] + [Action Steps].
PHASE 3: NURTURE MEMBER RELATIONSHIPS
While masterminds don’t have to last forever I definitely prefer them to be long term. It’s how you get the best results because members really get to know each other, each others businesses, and how to help you stay clear on what you want and don’t want. So in order for a mastermind to be long term just like in any long term relationship you have to nurture your member relationships!
Step 1: Communication After Calls
While hopping on the phone weekly for a group meeting is what qualifies the meetings as an official “mastermind”, we all know a lot can change from week to week. So communicating between calls when you have a burning question, a total meltdown, or just need to hear some kind words, is an important part of the mastermind experience. You can communicate between calls in a variety of ways, some include: a private facebook group, a group text, or a slack channel.
Step 2: Coordinate An in Person Meetup
While this isn’t necessary for everyone I can hands down tell you when I had an in person retreat with my mastermind everything changed for the better. We got so much closer and our relationships are now much stronger. Meeting in person really solidified our friendships and trust. So I absolutely recommend meeting in person even if it’s just for one day. Video chatting is great but there’s nothing like in person business brainstorming and hugs!
Pro Tip: Make time for fun + relaxation! Everything doesn’t always have to be about business! Our retreat was heavily business based and we now know next time we need to schedule in “fun time” to give our brains a rest!
Step 3: Keep members Engaged and Excited
I definitely think you need to have a regular agenda to make your meetings effective. But think of ways you can keep everyone excited by changing things up every now and then. Maybe that means bringing a guest speaker into your meetings or having members teach a class on their area of expertise during meetings. Or just making a separate time to have a “life catch up” session! Because life never stops and sometimes you don’t have time to talk about it during these short meetings!
Starting a mastermind really has changed my business and my life. Being a Digital Boss is really lonely, and creating a mastermind gave me the support I needed to see that I wasn’t alone, while also fueling my motivation and creating space for new opportunities. If you have a business I’m confident in saying you need a mastermind!
For the step by step process of how I started a mastermind with the perfect group of ladies for me check out the Mastermind Quickstart Checklist!