One of the absolute most important help mechanisms available today is the mastermind group. If you’re not a member of one, then I want you to drop everything right now and read this post.
OK, everything dropped? Do I have your attention?
OK, then. Let’s move forward…
The idea of a mastermind group was first introduced by Napoleon Hill in the now-famous book Think And Grow Rich. He describes it as:
The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.
The idea is simple. Take two or more people who have the same goal, join them together, and form a group which is much more powerful than the individual alone.
Also from Think And Grow Rich (chapter 10 if you want to check it for yourself), he says:
In a preceding chapter, instructions were given for the creation of PLANS for the purpose of translating DESIRE into its monetary equivalent. If you carry out these instructions with PERSISTENCE and intelligence, and use discrimination in the selection of your “Master Mind” group, your objective will have been half-way reached, even before you begin to recognize it.
So, you have your own innate desire. Couple that with plans, intelligence and persistance… AND your mastermind group. These are all components to your success. And, as he says, your objective will be halfway there already before you even realize it.
That is the power of being part of a mastermind group.
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What Are The Benefits?
Above I tap into the philosophy of the mastermind group, and I believe Napoleon Hill did a pretty good job of pegging the spiritual reasons why it works. But, what about the real world? What are the practical benefits of being part of a mastermind group?
- Mutual Support. When things get difficult or you get a little discouraged or overwhelmed as you move toward your goal, the group can help keep you up and on point.
- Different Viewpoints. There are so many possible things to know that no one person can know it all. So, with a group of like-minded people joined in a group, you have acces to a much larger pool of experience and knowledge than you would otherwise have. It offers different perspectives. They can help you think of things you forgot about. It is incredibly valuable.
- Shared Resources. Not only does every member of a group have their own knowledge that you may not have, but they have their own resources, too. Perhaps they have an “in” with somebody you want to talk to and they can make an introduction. Perhaps they have access to software you want to try. Perhaps they have experience with a solution to a problem you have.
- Accountability. Many, many people get a lot more done when they have to report to somebody else what they’ve gotten done. Nobody wants to be the one reporting they got nothing useful done. 🙂
It all adds up to being a HUGE support network for you as you build and expand your business. And, it is SO much more rewarding than trying to sit there and figure it out all by yourself.
How Do You Get Into A Mastermind Group?
The idea behind mastermind group members is to have MUTUAL support. For this to happen, everybody in the group needs to be more or less on the same page with regard to the general direction they’re heading.
It is NOT a requirement that they be in the same business as you. In fact, it is actually a good thing when you’re not in the same business. But, there needs to be some common reality there. For example, it would make no sense for me (as an internet business owner) to be in a mastermind group with somebody who owns an auto mechanic shop. The concerns of his business will have very little in common with the concerns of mine, so we wouldn’t be of much help to each other.
You also want people to have a similar drive and commitment. A group will fall apart if there is one or two solid action-takers while the others sit there and try to sponge off the others and doesn’t contribute anything. For the group to work ideally, everybody would be on a similar level.
Where can you find these people?
Well, any place where you can network with others with similar goals to your own. This includes networking events, conferences, Meetup groups, etc. But, it can also include online medium such as forums, social media groups, etc. It isn’t a requirement that you guys be in the same city. These days, you can have meetings remotely.
My Own Experience With A Mastermind Group
I have been a member of a mastermind group here in the Tampa Bay area for some time now. We all originally met through a public Meetup group that I organize here in the area. A few of us who had met at the Meetup decided to eventually form our own, private group.
While I won’t get into the exact people who are in this group, I will say that we all have the same goal. All of us run online businesses, however we don’t all do the same thing. One runs a business which, while primarily online, works with brick-and-mortars on their marketing. Another does a lot of 1-on-1 consulting, but in the area of business. One is a software developer in the online marketing space. One runs a similar business to mine, but in a very different market. One is in the fitness niche.
The point is… we’re not in the same markets at all. Yet, it works and works well.
For me personally, this group have been awesome. We all have different viewpoints to bring to the table, and the outside perspective is very nice to have. Hardly a meeting goes by (and we meet every few weeks) that we don’t all pick up a resource or some awesome idea off of one of the others in the group.
We also hold each other accountable. None of us wants to show up and say we didn’t do anything useful. Its just… embarrassing. 🙂 And, we always end off a meeting by declaring what we intend to accomplish by the next time we meet.
The group is a support network, too. Every business owner goes through times when things seem a little grim, where we’re feeling overwhelmed, or a little lost on what to do. And, the group chimes in… sometimes with a little “tough love”. And, you pop out of it.
Being part of a mastermind group is easily one of the most important factors I have in being where I am in my business.
I’m fortunate to be able to meet in person with them every 2-3 weeks. But, what can you do if you don’t have that option? Or if you don’t have any potential contacts for forming such a group?
Consider Joining The Academy Mastermind
One of the benefits of my Blog Marketing Academy program is access to the mastermind calls.
Here’s how this works…
Every two weeks (barring some odd scheduling issue, of course), we hold a live mastermind call via GotoMeeting. In the future, I may explore another platform (Google Hangouts, perhaps), but for now, GotoMeeting works pretty well.
Everybody’s microphone is enabled (unless you purposely mute it). So, this isn’t some kind of top-down presentation where I’m lecturing you guys. This is a fully interactive, TWO-WAY conversation among members and with myself.
It is about as close to an in-person mastermind meeting as we can do without being in the same room together.
The topics discussed in each call vary, because it is all determined by the people on the call. So, it is a very free-flowing conversation. I’ve done “hot seats”, I’ve done blog critiques live on the call, I’ve answered technical and marketing questions. But, also cool is that I don’t have to personally answer every question, because many times other members chime in with their own feedback – which is AWESOME! 🙂
Many times, I learn about new tools and sites from other Academy members. So, this group is as much for my own benefit as your’s. 🙂
What I haven’t yet announced inside the membership area is that I intend to “systematize” the calls some more, to ensure that everybody who comes gets the most benefit. This means setting “ground rules”, giving members a checklist before the call, setting up after-call reporting to set goals (for accountability reasons). We may even schedule “hot seats” before the call begins, because as more and more people join the Academy, it is probably going to get more difficult to go free-form as we’ve been doing.
When I put together the Academy program, it was important to me to include a MASTERMIND component.
I know how important it has been for me, and can be for others. And, I wanted the Academy to be a place where members can get all the components for success. Not just information, but the support as well.
You can join the Academy before June 1st in order to enjoy the current rates. Those rates are increasing on June 1st.
A BIG part of why the price is increasing (and may increase yet again in a few months) is because of this mastermind. The value of membership gets bigger over time, and that is reflected in the enrollment fee.
Right now, calls are held in the afternoons on Wednesdays, but I’m going to be introducing an evening call for people who can’t attend in the afternoons. Details on that are forthcoming.
By now, I hope you can see some of the thought that has gone into this. And, I look forwarding to seeing you in our next mastermind call.
Have you experienced the benefit of a mastermind group, whether remotely or in person? Did you find it helpful?
P.S. Remember, Academy pricing increases on June 1st. Join before then to enjoy current rates.