How to Start a Mastermind Group
Masterminds and accountability buddies are all the rage lately. After we wrote about masterminds in this post a month ago, I’ve gotten a TON of emails and questions about them so I’m excited to take you through the ins and outs of masterminds, how they work and how you can start your own.
You’ve been hearing all about Masterminds and how magical they can be. You love the idea of entrepreneurship not being as lonely as it feels. You want to feel like you are “normal” and that people get you.
Masterminding can be a great way to get people and businesses better “behind the curtain.” It’s a way to get support and feel encouraged by people who are at a similar level (or a little bit further along) in business and who understand the roadblocks, challenges, and celebrations you might be experiencing as well. It’s so much better to do it when you have people who can support you and cheer you on.
Napoleon Hill is often thought of as the father of masterminds. His definition of a mastermind alliance was one where there is “a friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.” On top of a friendly space, he noted that “every mind needs friendly contact with other minds, for food of expansion and growth.” To Hill mastermind groups are established to help create an environment that nurtures and supports growth.
Why join a mastermind?
When you’re in a mastermind where there’s a good synergy of members, magic can happen. You earn and gain trust of one another, learn to be vulnerable, supported and seen. You have the comrades who “get” you and the daily struggles, it helps to battle the entrepreneurship blues, and to get feedback about what’s worked or not, to get sounding board advice when you need somebody to help you hash an idea out.
In order to have a healthy, thriving mastermind, there are a few secrets worth sharing!
Who do you want to include in your mastermind? Here are some things to consider:
- The size of the group
- If the people will be in similar or different industries as you
- How do you identify where they are in business
- Their personality – outgoing, shy, attentive, assertive
- Who would have connections that would be helpful for members in the group
- What kind of achievements would you want other members to have
- If the group members have similar goals appropriate for their industry
If you’ve ever been part of a group project, you know that there are people who take on various roles. You want to make sure that there are clear guidelines and rules around how to handle the awkward stuff before the awkward stuff even happens!
Here are some things to consider:
- When each meeting will be held (ex: first monday of every month at 9am-11am eastern)
- What is expected from each person
- How each call is organized
- How often people will get a “hot seat” session (more on that later)
- How many calls somebody can miss before they are asked to leave
- What does somebody need to do when they feel like the group is no longer serving them and they would like to leave
- What happens if there is an open seat and you’d like to invite somebody new to the group once it’s established
- What are the goals for the collective mastermind
- Who is the “point person” if there are admin things that need to take place
- How do you communicate between sessions (A slack channel, facebook group, email)
- What’s the spirit of the group – supportive, how to deliver criticism or feedback
- How you create a safe and vulnerable place
Here’s how a Hot Seat works
A hot seat is when one person from the mastermind is in the spotlight. They answer the questions:
- What are you working on currently?
- How’s it going?
- What is working well for you?
- Where do you need help? How can the group support you?
What are my first steps for starting a mastermind?
- Get clear on what type of people you want in your group.
- Start asking people who you admire and who you believe would add value to your mastermind. Give them a reason for joining and let them know what the commitments would be.
- Have one conversation at a time. Whether it’s via email or via phone, make sure that each person you add is getting folded in with the consensus of the people you’re bringing in. Or if you invite a few people at a time, make sure that they are people that would be like-minded enough and could be the “core” decision makers to start and add people as each person says yes.
- Keep the members updated as you bring more people into the fold.
- Once you have the number of people you desire, have a getting to know you call that’s a bit longer than a standard call. I recommend you use zoom or google hangout for the meeting.