A few years ago, I received a message from an online entrepreneur:
“We’re starting a mastermind group, would you like to join?”
I didn’t know what to expect, and wasn’t really sure what a mastermind is supposed to do, but I knew the sender and the other members, so I figured I’d give it a try, and –
That decision, to become part of a mastermind group, is probably one of the 10 smartest things I ever did.
I stayed in the group for years, until it finally fell apart due to circumstances, and I’ve missed it ever since.
Until a few months ago, when I joined a new mastermind, and now all is well with the world again.
If you’re new to the concept, or if you’re not convinced why a mastermind would benefit you, let me put some thoughts into your mind:
At heart, a mastermind is the combined intelligence of a group of people, which is greater than the sum of the parts.
I think it was Napoleon Hill who coined the phrase, and the idea is that any time there’s 2 or more people together, what you have is a mastermind.
And if you create or join one and you take it seriously, it’s enormously powerful.
1: A mastermind is a group of likeminded individuals, who have a few things in common. Examples: You’re all in business, you’re there to help, you share an ‘action-beats-complaining attitude’, you all have a willingness to ask for help and to receive feedback, and so on.
Put simply: You’re there to help and support each other, and you’re all committed to it.
2: It’s like having a 24/7 back office. There’s always someone awake/at work in the chat, where you can ask questions, get feedback, get help.
Being an entrepreneur can be lonely, and a mastermind fixes that.
3: If you pick people with varied but complementary skills and experience, you get a powerhouse of help and ideas, each time you get stuck or have questions.
4: You get accountability. While members usually end up as friends, the point isn’t to just be friends: the best masterminds are where people give each other permission to say the things a friend wouldn’t say.
You can get called out on procrastination, or excuse-making, or other ways in which you hold yourself back.
Very powerful, so long as there’s an agreement that it’s mutually allowed.
5: It helps you to elevate your business prowess and acumen.
By way of osmosis, each member grows by adopting thoughts, habits or attitudes that work for other members.
In the end?
A mastermind will help you move your business forward, faster.
And that’s worth the commitment.
Doing it is real simple:
One hour per week on Skype.
Each member checks in (2 to 3 minutes) with successes and failures of the previous week, and states what his goal is for the coming week.
Next there’s a spotlight or hotseat for one member, where an issue is put on the table, and all the others pile on to offer advice and suggestions.
At the end of that, the person in the hotseat comes away with plenty of ideas to get moving again.
To get started, 3 people is a minimum, and in my experience, 6 or perhaps 7 is the limit.
(If you have that many people, you might want to do two 20-minute hotseats per session, so as to keep weekly rotation flowing faster).
It’s not a frivolous thing though:
For it to work, all members need to treat it as a fixed weekly appointment, and only in special cases should a member skip attending.
You might be able to find a mastermind online and apply for membership, but if you look around your network, you can probably find 2 or 3 people to start your own group.
And again, it’s incredibly powerful – something you won’t know fully until you’re in a mastermind.
Thing is, as a solo entrepreneur, you shouldn’t go it alone – and you don’t have to.
There’s people out there like you, whom you can help and who are willing to help you.
Get ‘em together, and let the helping begin.
Spurn this advice if you like, but know that you’ll be missing out on growth, support, help and development, both personally and businesswise.
Also published on Medium.