What is a Mastermind Group? | Mastermind Definition Overview

You may have read Napoleon Hill’s book called “Think and Grow Rich?”  He popularized the mastermind concept that many minds are powerful and harmonious when working toward an ultimate goal.

This is essentially the spirit of a mastermind group.  To help each of the group members.  Napoleon Hill really embodied the mastermind spirit.

There are many well known and successful pioneers that have been part of their own mastermind groups.  You might have heard of Henry Ford, John D Rockefeller, or Charles Schwab.

These pioneers learned that by coming together, new ideas & concepts were born from participating in these mastermind groups.

It is not enough to just meet up with some people and call it a mastermind group.  You should definitely have a process, some rules, or some type of framework for structuring your mastermind groups.

Ideally, having a common goal should also be identified.  This goal can evolve and change, but focusing on a common one will help to establish the mastermind group.

How Do You Create A Mastermind Group?

The best way to create a mastermind group is to find other business owners or entrepreneurs that have similar industry backgrounds.  You could also find others for a masterminding group that shares some common challenges but has experience in different industries. 

An example would be to start or join a group of small business owners in the same city.  Ideally, this would be great as you may have different expertise, yet you may serve the same locals.  There are many synergies in working with mastermind groups like this.

Another example would be to find others in your particular knowledge space.  Maybe you are a lawyer and you find a group of other lawyers in different states that have the same or similar customer base. 

Creating a group should start with some basic networking either in person or virtually.  Facebook has been prioritizing groups lately, so there is definitely a group for the audience you serve.

mastermind group format

How Do I Find a Mastermind Group?

Finding a mastermind group will take some of the same efforts as creating a group.  It is best to network and finds others in your space or vertical.

Strike up some conversations and ask if anyone knows.  Search on Linkedin and see if there are local groups or groups in your expertise.  

At the time of writing this, my goal was to establish a framework for local businesses to meet since most of us are practicing social distancing and facing the same challenges.  

Feel free to reach out to me if you are having a hard time locating a group in your area and i will do my best to help point you in the right direction.

What Do You Do in a Mastermind Group?

The simple answer is that people in the mastermind group can discuss and share ideas to help each other’s business or ventures grow. 

It is ideal to have a mastermind group agenda that everyone agrees upon to be more efficient.  It helps to have this structure and stick to it to ensure optimal success for your master mind.  

You have to also be willing to fully participate and discuss problems that you truly need help with.  Just make sure you all decide what the common goal is even if that changes as the group evolves. Having accountability structures in place will go a long way towards success.

what is a mastermind group

Mastermind Meeting | In-Person or Virtual Online?

We are definitely lucky to live in a time when connecting with people is as easy as pulling up an app on your cell phone.  Connecting with folks in person does serve its purpose and is suggested for mastermind groups.

At the time of writing this, the world is going through a temporary shift as we all practice social distancing.  During this period, online virtual meetings are being used almost exclusively.

It is always best to do what the mastermind group members feel best.  You may also be limited to find people in your area where you can meet regularly.  

Some successful mastermind groups do a hybrid approach.  They may meet virtually during the year and schedule a planned weekend or short conference in person at a neutral location.  

This approach is awesome if you like to travel and also meet in person with like-minded people.  Make it a destination getaway and productive in-person meeting.

Check out zoom for an easy way to connect online.

Why Have a Mastermind Group Agenda & Rules?

Most people see the value of having a map.  We might all turn to Google or Apple maps to get to places we don’t know how to get to.

This is also true when you form a new master mind group.  All the members have their own sense of what works and doesn’t work.  Leaving the group to some loose agenda might not be practical or efficient.  Having a set of rules and an agenda will keep things going and moving forward.

While there is no hard data that shows that having an agenda is more effective, it still makes logical sense to have a common goal.

Check out this video for more detail on the agenda and rules:

Mastermind Group Rules to Play By

It is always good to have some rules in place to help keep it structured and effective for all the members & mastermind partners.  

You all can definitely add additional rules as you collectively see fit, but it is a good idea to start with these rules.

  • No direct sales pitches.  This is not the time to ask for the sale or market directly to someone.  It doesn’t mean someone can’t ask you for your expert help offline. In fact, you might find collaboration with your other group members.
  • Attendance Requirements -  In order for this to be successful, everyone should commit to attending the meetings.  Missing a weekly meeting once a month might be ok with everyone, but missing more than that is not helpful to the group.
  • Attention - We are only asking for 1 hour of each members.  Obviously, there are fires to put out and some of us have children at home, so there is some leniency in those situations. The goal is to help each other & focus on one another during this time. No cell phone or email during the meeting.
  • Full Participation - We all have our comfort level of conversing.  Let’s try to keep it balanced - no dominating the conversation or on mute the entire meeting
  • Confidential -  What is discussed by each of the members stays in the group.  Do not share any information with anyone else. Let’s also refrain from gossiping about people outside of the group as well.  In extreme cases, you can even have a non-disclosure agreement that everyone must sign.
  • Honest Feedback - It is vital to give and also receive honest feedback in a constructive manner.  The spotlight seat is really effective when you get down to the truth. Be respectful, give it and be willing to have an open mind receiving it.
  • Designate a Facilitator or Leader - You can have the same leader each week or rotate it.  The leader is the one to remind folks of the meeting and make sure the meeting times are kept so we can start and end on time.

Mastermind Group Meeting Format & Agenda

This is an agenda that was structured for about 5-8 people.  You may find that you need to play around with the times allocated for each person if your group is larger.  

You could also make the meeting a little bit longer if you have a larger group to allow for enough time.  It is ideal to keep the 30 minutes for the person in the SOS or hot seat.

0 - 5 Mins - Wins & Warrior Wounds

  • What victories or challenges did you overcome this week?
  • What challenges or struggles did you have this week?
  • Very brief and not a deep dive into the issues.  Keep it to 30-second brief statements for each individual.  Almost like the headline for the week

5 - 15 Mins: GA Score - Goals Accomplished for the Week

  • 1 win for each person 
  • What did I commit to last week?
  • Did I accomplish this?
  • 1-2 mins per person

15 - 45 Mins: SOS - Spotlight Obstacle Seat - Specific questions for Your Challenges of the Week.

The person in the Spotlight seat- pick one topic that you want to bring up.  Prepare ahead of time what you need help with. This does 2 things:

  1. You might actually solve your own issue while preparing or writing this question and thereby you can bring up something else.  
  2. Secondly, it helps to take the burden of it off of you.  Doing this might not fix it right away. However, it certainly will help lift some temporary burden as you know you will get help during your spotlight

Some others things to consider:

  • What challenges did you have?
  • Ask detailed questions.  Very specific questions like, “How should I price this?, What should I communicate to my customers? 
  • Get everyone’s opinion in the group.  Someone may be an expert and will give you the best information for that specific question.  However, someone outside of that expertise will look at it from a different perspective. Utilize each member’s opinions and buy-ins.
  • This time could also be used if you have an idea for a new project and you want to 

45 - 59 Mins - COMINS for the week ahead - Current Objective & Most Important Next Step

  • What does everyone have for next week?  Discuss 1 objective for next week.
  • What is the next step that will have the greatest impact?  Discuss what is the most important step to accomplish or move closer towards this objective.

59 - 60 Mins - Who is Next in SOS?

  • We want the next person to be ready for next week’s turn.  
  • The leader of the group for the next meeting needs to also email the rest of the group the day before to remind everyone.

Final Thoughts

The most important next step is to find a group and get started.  They don't have to be perfect from the get go, but getting a group formed and started is the first step.

Do ti in the spirit of helping out someone else and you will be rewarded.

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