Have you ever wondered how to start a mastermind group (and maybe why you should – or what it even is?) Not that long ago, I was in the place of having heard of the power of mastermind groups, wanting one, but not knowing where to start. Starting a mastermind group has so significantly benefited my business (and me, personally) that I wanted to share everything you need to know to reap the same benefit in your own life!
For years, I had heard about mastermind groups from other entrepreneurs.Initially, I thought it was a reprisal of Pinky and the Brain, just coming to life in the world of business. Mastermind was not a word I was familiar with when it came to running a business, and honestly… I just wasn’t very curious about it.
Within a few years, I’d started to see and hear the term in enough context that I had a rough idea of what a mastermind group was: a group of like-minded people working together to achieve their goals – my then-definition—and though I still had lots of other questions about this concept, I didn’t pursue it.
Around 2015, a friend of mine shared a newsletter resource with me called The Useletter. Put out every Saturday by Amy Andrews, the Useletter contained 5 tips for entrepreneurs every week, and I was instantly hooked. And somewhere along the line, Amy mentioned that she had a mastermind group, which was the first time I remember thinking, “I should really look into that.”
Probably within a few months, Steve Scott, a writer I follow both for his insanely simple habit and productivity hacks and for his self-publishing genius, also mentioned masterminding. With two entrepreneurs I greatly admired onboard the mastermind train, I knew this was something I wanted to explore.
I could list many more brilliant entrepreneurs who’ve used mastermind groups to build their businesses, but that’s sort of beside the point. Take my word for it when I say that, if you give it two months and do it right, a mastermind group will change your business.
For my group, it’s safe to say that we all started seeing the gold mine of value this offered within the first half hour of our first meeting. Yes, it was legitimately that powerful. I’ll write more below on how to actually run a mastermind group, but here are some reasons why starting a mastermind group is the best thing you can do for your business in 2018:
The biggest obstacle I faced when thinking about how to start a mastermind group was actually my own ego. I was worried that starting or joining a group would leave me vulnerable and exposed when it came to my weaknesses, and that the people I respected who were in the group with me would ridicule me for not having my act together as a businessperson.
I guess the truth is that my mastermind group did make me vulnerable and exposed… but rather than laughing at me for my weaknesses, the members of my group leaned in. They opened up about their own weaknesses, lent me strength from their many stores of expertise, knowledge, and talent, and relied on me for what I could offer from my own valuable background. Instead of leaving me feeling weakened by sharing, I began to feel reinforced.
When you’re ready to start your own mastermind group, here are the steps:
Because Brady was the driving force behind starting our mastermind group, he took the initiative in researching structure. I’ll spare you the details, but ultimately, he landed on Pat Flynn’s, and since it works well for us, it’s what I’m going to recommend:
Tons of great things have come from this structure. Some of us are more chatty than others, and the time constraint means we won’t be formally meeting until all hours of the night (though we tend to hang out for an hour or so afterward anyway). Some of us come prepared and others don’t, but the allotted time has always been plenty for even an underprepared member to talk through their challenges.
One of the greatest – and most surprising – things about our mastermind group was how much I benefited from hearing other people’s solutions that weren’t even intended for me. For instance, Pro of IE Photo Rentals has made some great recommendations to Brady that I’ve been able to implement for myself.
Hopefully, by now, you’re convinced that a mastermind group is the way to go if you’re looking to level up your business. If you do start a mastermind group, I’d love to hear from you on how it goes for you… and if you don’t, what’s holding you back? Let me know in the comments. (And feel free to ask any mastermind-related questions, too!)