I am attracted to accomplished, energetic, gutsy, entrepreneurial out-of-the-box thinkers, so it is always exciting to have the chance to hang out with such people.
I’ve had the good fortune of participating in a mastermind group for a couple of years. My group is the outgrowth of a business development program I participated in, and the greatest value I derive comes from my relationships with colleagues I truly admire. My mastermind group also serves a practical purpose – it’s a sounding board for marketing ideas I have for my coaching, workshops and teleseminars.
In addition, I recently completed a four-week teleseminar program for physicians and healthcare professionals who were eager to come up with or flesh out ideas for a business. What excited me most about leading the group was the interactivity of the participants. People were as generous with their ideas and their feedback as they were eager to learn.
The teleseminar program reminded me that the brain power of a group is far greater than the sum of the individual parts. It’s this reminder that prompted me to write about mastermind groups this month, in the hopes of encouraging you to consider joining one, or creating one yourself.
Just what is a “Mastermind” group?
The “Mastermind” concept has benn around for centuries and was described by Napoleon Hill, author of “Think and Grow Rich”. It is based on the belief that many minds working together will have better success in helping each “mind” achieve its goal than one mind working alone. Hill wrote: “No form of human exchange is more profitable than the exchange of ideas. If I give you a thought in return for one of your thoughts, each of us will have gained a 100% dividend.”
A successful Mastermind group will contribute something to each member over time, and encourage the members to make requests of each other – opinions, contacts, new angles on ideas, opportunities to work together if there are synergies, and even emotional support for taking courageous steps.
Masterminding is all about Abundance!
My personal mastermind group consists of four professionals, all with our own businesses – a good size for a Mastermind group. I have often come away from our monthly hour-long meetings with a churning mind and a special affection for our members and their generosity.
How to start a mastermind group
If you’re interested in creating a Mastermind group, here are some steps to take:
- Identify what you want your group to help you accomplish – what need a Mastermind group fills for you.
- Consider what you have to offer to a group.
- Identify the characteristics you want your members to have and find two people who fit the bill. Choose people who are at the same “stage”, or face similar challenges as you.
- Invite them to an initial meeting and, if it goes well, ask each of the two others to invite one more person, who they believe will fit in well and enjoy the experience. Keep the group to eight or less, to allow for absences and also individual “center stage time”.
- Meet at least every 4 to 6 weeks by phone, or in a comfortable location, and plan on being together for two hours in order to have enough time for each person to reap the benefits.
- Hold each other accountable. It’s this accountability that will move you all forward.
- Be brave in the group. Make requests, and lay bare as much of your soul’s needs as possible. Give honest feedback. Be authentic.
- Be prepared for surprises – the results may stun you with the energy that is created.
- Have fun – you will come to love these special people!
Resources to help you form a Mastermind group.
1. A Bridgeline to call in to, if you choose to meet by phone. There are several good free options (you only pay for the cost of the call and some permit you to record the meeting – also free). One of you will need to take the role of “host”.
2. Meet and Grow Rich: How to Easily Create and Operate Your Own “Mastermind” Group for Health, Wealth, and More by Joe Vitale and Bill Hibbler
3. Think and Grow Rich: The Landmark Bestseller–Now Revised and Updated for the 21st Century [ABRIDGED] by Napoleon Hill and Arthur Pell
If you’d like to participate in your own mastermind group but don’t have the time to form and facilitate one, please let me know here – I’ll be delighted to put a group of energetic, bright, like-minded people together and run one or more Entrepreneurial MD Mastermind Groups!