One of the most powerful tools ever used by successful people is the mastermind group. Napoleon Hill first talked about mastermind groups in his classic book Think and Grow Rich. And it’s the one concept people most reference when they credit any one thing with helping them become a millionaire.
Here is my story about my mastermind and a few tips on how to create your own.
What is a Mastermind Group?
Andrew Carnegie had a mastermind group. So did Henry Ford.
In fact, Ford would mastermind with brilliant thinkers like Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, and others in a group they held at their winter mansions in Coral Gables, Florida.
You might be asking, why start a mastermind group?
Hill, Carnegie, Ford, and Edison all knew, as millions of others have discovered since, that a mastermind group can focus special energy on your effort—in the form of knowledge, resources and spiritual energy, too.
Napoleon Hill Mastermind
While you must always do the work of becoming a great success, a mastermind group can harness and maximize the spiritual focus behind your success.
It’s this spiritual aspect that Napoleon Hill wrote about extensively.
In fact, he said that if we are in tune with THE Mastermind—that is, God, the Universal Power or whatever term you use for the all-powerful life force, we have significantly more positive energy available to us—power that can be focused on our success.
The definition of a Mastermind Group is simple. A mastermind group is made up of people (usually 6 to 8) who come together on a regular basis—weekly, biweekly, or monthly—to share ideas, thoughts, information, feedback, contacts, and resources.
By getting the perspective, knowledge, experience, and resources of others in the group, not only can you greatly expand your own limited view of the world, you can also advance your own goals and projects more quickly.
They’ve been used by some of the most successful people throughout history.
We all know that two heads are better than one when it comes to solving a problem or creating a result.
So, imagine having a permanent group of five to six people who meet regularly for the purpose of problem-solving, brainstorming, networking, encouraging and motivating each other, and holding each other accountable to taking action to achieve their goals.
A mastermind group can be composed of people from your own industry or profession—or people from different walks of life.
It can focus on business issues, personal issues or both. But for a mastermind group to be powerfully effective, people must be comfortable enough with each other to tell the truth.
Some of the most valuable feedback I have ever received has come from members of my mastermind group confronting me about over-committing, selling my services too cheaply, focusing on the trivial, not delegating enough, thinking too small, and playing it safe.
How Does A Mastermind Group Work?
What’s an example of how this works?
You’ve probably seen bumper cars at a local theme park or carnival.
This life force is similar to the web of overhead cables that link those bumper cars to their energy source.
While you may be a single bumper car, you have a cable going up that connects you to that greater source of energy which provides the power you need to move forward.
Here’s the deal:
In the same way, “mastermind” is both that power coming to us from above, but also that power which comes to us from each other.
Together, we know more and can focus more energy than any one of us can alone.
The Importance of Networking & Mastermind Groups
The more time I have spent consciously building and nurturing my business network of advisers, colleagues, clients, students, and fans, the more successful I have become.
Businesses and careers are built on relationships. Relationships form when people meet and interact with each other in an authentic and caring way.
Developing genuine relationships takes work. Here’s a video about masterminds and the importance.
How Do I Start a Mastermind Group?
Assembling a mastermind group is easy.
Choose people who are already where you’d like to be in your life—or who are at least a level above you.
If your goal is to become a millionaire, you won’t get much help if everyone in your mastermind group is making $60,000 a year.
Of course, approaching successful people can be scary.
In fact, you might be thinking, “Why would anyone want to be in a mastermind group with me if I’m only making $60,000 a year?”
So, why would they want to mastermind with you?
The answer is that many people at a higher level will want to become involved simply because they then get to play at a game they might never organize for themselves.
The other people you’re going to invite are people they would like to be around, too. But you won’t know until you ask.
Start by making a list and working your way down.
Running a Mastermind Group
Start by meeting together and then adding other selected, unanimously agreed-upon individuals who will work in total harmony for the good of each other and for the good of the group.
1. 4-8 People: Your Dream Team should consist of 4-8 people. Most people find that 6 is the ideal number.
2. Meet Weekly: Meet weekly, if possible, for an hour to an hour and a half. This meeting must be held sacred as a life-enhancing priority. The meetings should be upbeat, enriching, encouraging and beneficial to each individual and the group’s purposes. I always start our meetings with a prayer or an invocation. You could also start with an inspiring story.
3. Play All Out: Each member must agree to play all out — to openly share ideas, support, contacts, information, feedback, and anything else that will help advance the individual and group goals.
4. Start With Positive: Start by having each member share something positive and good that happened since the last meeting.
5. Share Problems or Opportunities: Next, have each member share an opportunity or problem they have experienced since the last meeting and ask for whatever support they would like on it. Appoint a time-keeper to make sure that everyone gets the same amount of time. This is important if you want your group to last. Everyone must get value at each meeting.
6. Share Appreciations: End by sharing appreciations and acknowledgments.
I’ve created a How to Create a Mastermind Group PDF that you can download here to get you started. From using it, maybe you’ll end up with a local columnist instead of the publisher — someone who might be a lot more helpful to you in the long-run.
If your goals are centered around a specific subject like starting a new business or investing money, you might start a mastermind group centered around entrepreneurship or investments.
Of course, the ideal mastermind group brings together people from different professional arenas — people that are “above” you and who can introduce you to a network of people you normally wouldn’t have access to.
Business Mastermind Topics: Template Questions to Ask Your Group
Ideally, a mastermind should be conducted weekly or every other week. Try to keep each meeting to a specific format to make sure everyone stays involved.
There are plenty of discussion topics you can ask in a mastermind group. The questions you will ask will ultimately depend on what your group focuses on.
Here are some basic questions and discussion topics to get your mastermind talking:
- Ask for spiritual guidance or help with a problem Ask for assistance and what you plan to get out of the meeting.
- Share what’s new and what good things have happened since your previous mastermind.
- Negotiate the time you need. If you need more time to solve your problem, or solve someone else’s, ask for it.
- Listen to others and brainstorm solutions. Ask questions after the person is finished.
- Commit to something that you wouldn’t normally do if it weren’t for the group. Ask yourself what goal would really push you and help you get the most out of the mastermind group.
- Show others gratitude. Express gratitude to others, ask others how to improve.
Start Your Mastermind Today!
While the benefits of a mastermind group with people outside your field may not seem obvious now, the truth is we all tend to get “stuck” in our own field of expertise, doing things the same way everyone else in our industry does.
But, when you assemble people from different industries and professions, you get lots of different perspectives on the same subject.
The ideal size of a mastermind group is 5-6 people. If it’s smaller, it loses its dynamics.
If it’s bigger, it gets unwieldy—meetings take longer, some needs go unmet and personal sharing is minimized.
Going through the process of participating in a mastermind group, you, too, might find yourself in a whole new role as a teacher or advocate or coach of sorts – leading people in the group to resources, ideas and new thoughts that can help them.
That’s what professional trainers do every day like those in my Train the Trainer Program.
Use the steps I’ve outlined for you to think about how you can benefit from a mastermind.
I’ve created a FREE Mastermind Guide that details how to start a mastermind group and run your own.