Back in the ’80’s, I had my first experience of a Mastermind group through a course I took. Its a concept that was developed by Napoleon Hill in the ’30’s. Since then, I’ve enjoyed such a group for a time, sometimes formal, sometimes a more informal group, perhaps as part of a discussion group. Its an excellent way to keep on track and not get lost in the noise of negativity so common in our culture. Ties in nicely with Marc Allens concept of working in Partnership I spoke of here. Today I received a newsletter from Juliet Austin outlining the main points of a Mastermind nicely. Its surprisingly powerful if you have a solid group.
“What is the Mastermind?
Napoleon Hill in his 1937 book, “Think and Grow Rich”, defined the mastermind in the following way: “The coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.
From a business perspective, what this means is that when two or more people work together to help one another move forward in their businesses, they will accomplish more than they would on their own.
Many of the most successful people in the world utilize the principle of the mastermind and attribute their success largely to the implementation of this practice.
If you are looking for ways to excel in your success, becoming part of a mastermind group is seriously worth considering.
Benefits of a Master Mind
o You have access to ideas, knowledge, and resources that you would never have on your own.
o You will achieve more in your business in less time, with less effort and less money than you would otherwise.
o You will learn from others who are already more successful than you.
o You will get support and guidance that will help keep you motivated and propel you to set better and bigger goals.
o You will tap into the power of the “group energy” which is more powerful than any energy you can create on your own.
o Solutions to problems will be resolved more easily.
o You will benefit from the accountability factor. People are known to perform better if they have others to be accountable to.
o You will become more brilliant yourself as you learn from others.
How To Set up a Mastermind Group
There are many ways to be part of a mastermind. You may choose to work with a group led by a business or marketing coach, or you may set up a group on your own. If you choose to the latter, the steps below will help you in setting up your mastermind:
1. Determine the Size of the Group: Although mastermind groups can be any size, a group of 3-6 people is likely best. You want to be sure that everyone gets their needs met and that there is enough time to discuss everyone’s ideas or problems.
2. Select Members Carefully. Choose people who are at least at the same level as you or higher in terms of the success they have achieved. The more successful your groups members are, obviously the more you are going to get out of it. You don’t want people in your group that will hold you back.
Also, make sure you feel comfortable and like the people you decide to have in your group. You want to choose people with whom you can build trust with or the mastermind will fail.
3. Get a Commitment from Each Member. Masterminds work best when a commitment is required from each member. Members should agree to attend all meetings unless an emergency prevents them from attending. If members do not show this kind of commitment, your group is going to have a high risk of falling apart.
4. Frequency of Meetings. If you want to be sure that you build and maintain momentum, it’s probably a good idea to meet at least twice per month.
5. Length of Meetings. Although the length of your meetings is largely up to you, 1-2 hours s ideal. It will depend on how many members you have and how much time you allot for each member to share their business concerns and plans.
6. Maintain Confidentiality. You must ask for complete confidentiality of members in order for people to feel safe enough to share their challenges and ideas.
7. Structure of the Meetings. Choose a timekeeper for each meeting and then decide on how much time each person has for sharing. You can either have a set amount of time for each person at each meeting, or you can have members negotiate for how much time they want for a particular meeting.
8. Keep Meetings Positive. Your mastermind should not be a place where people complain about what is not working. Of course you want people to be able to share their problems, but it should be in the context of getting help to make positive changes.
9. Start Meetings By Sharing a Success. This serves as are inforcement of member’s personal successes and reinforces to the group that it is working.
10. Allow Members to Take Turns. In Expressing Their Problem, Challenge or Idea. The other group members then listen and brainstorm solutions and ideas.
11. Discussion Topics Can Be Professional or Personal. Problems discussed can be focused on your practice or on personal issues that relate to, or are currently impacting on your practice in some way.
12. Members Commit to an Action Step. Each member who spoke at the meeting will then make a commitment to an action step that he or she will take as a result of the ideas offered by the group.
13. Accountability Reporting. Each week the members report on the action steps they committed to and whether they achieved them or not. ”
Juliet has some other articles here, focused around her business, marketing for therapists and healing professionals. Her Members program is focused around a Mastermind model for supporting this group. Also, check out her blog.
(I’m not in that business area but I have taken a couple of her excellent workshops)