The term Mastermind Group has become a little overused & confused recently but it originally referred to a group of like minded people meeting together to help each other to grow, personally & professionally
So What Is A Mastermind Group?
Author Napoleon Hill is often credited with first introducing the concept of a Mastermind Group in his groundbreaking 1937 book ‘Think And Grow Rich’.
It’s likely that Mastermind Groups had been in existence long before that…they may just not have had that name.
A Mastermind Group is a group of like-minded individuals who regularly meet to share ideas, support and assist one another.
In his book, Napoleon Hill noted “No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.”
Or in modern parlance, when two or more people put their heads together to solve a problem, the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts…
Hill defines a Mastermind Group as “a coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
That’s a bit ‘Woo Woo’ for my liking – but you get the idea…
“Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress: Working together is success.” Henry Ford (a member of the original Mastermind Group).
A good Mastermind Group should be working to a defined goal that all members buy into at the start.
How Will A Mastermind Group Benefit Your Small Business?
In his book ‘Mastermind Groups: The Fastest and Safest Way To Grow Your Business’ respected author and business mentor Moe Nawaz cites a Dunn & Bradstreet survey which revealed that 90% of Small Businesses that fail do so because of a lack of skills and knowledge on the part of the owner.
A Mastermind Group will address this by pooling the skills, knowledge and experience of all members for the benefit of everyone in the group.
Other benefits of a Mastermind Group include;
- Accountability – don’t want to show up to the meeting not having achieved what you said you would – embarrassment but also feeling that you have let the group down – in the extreme as Mastermind Groups demand full participation you risk being thrown out!
- Personal Growth – you don’t only benefit when you are having your challenges discussed, you benefit by assisting others and in doing so realising the value you have to contribute
- Sharing resources, knowledge & experience
- Being exposed to different points of view & diverse opinions/experiences
- Support & engouragement – it’s often lonely being a small business owner!
- Synergy – the spirit of collaboration really will mean the group takes on a life of it’s own to generate unexpected & innovative ideas
Funnily enough it’s not about networking – although inevitably business will be shared within the group that’s not the purpose of a Mastermind Group, it’s much more about coming together to benefit everyone in the group.
“You can get everything in life you want, if you’ll just help enough people to get what they want” Zig Ziglar
Does A Mastermind Group Have A Set Agenda?
A good Mastermind Group will also have a set agenda for each meeting, a typical agenda could be;
- Recap on the goals set at the last meeting
- Hot Seat – where members get to seek the advice of the group on a particular challenge they face
- either 1 member is chosen in advance of each meeting & given an extended period to discuss their challenge in depth
- or each member is given a quick 15 mins Hot Seat at every meeting
- Celebration of recent successes
- Setting goals for the next meeting
What Sort Of Business Will Benefit From A Mastermind Group?
Mastermind Groups are particularly suited to Small Businesses;
This is because they are often nimble and have flexibility, with the business owner being able to make quick decisions about the business without needing to consult with anyone.
The downside to that is small business owners are often isolated so get significant benefit from bouncing ideas off those who may have had relevant experiences & whose opinions they trust, or being exposed to new ideas.
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.” Albert Einstein
But I’m Not Good Enough / Big Enough / Experienced Enough?
Don’t put yourself down!
Many business owners have this natural fear but you’ll be surprised what knowledge and experience you have tucked away that the Mastermind will bring to the surface to benefit the members of the group.
A good Mastermind Group should ensure that members are in a broadly similar stage with their business, so if this is the case you’ll have a wealth of knowledge and experience to bring to the group and have no reason to feel as if you’re not good enough.
Who Is A Mastermind Group For?
A Mastermind Group is for you if you are;
- Committed to the group and to it’s members. You see the group as being pivotal to the success of your business
- Open Minded – you are willing to accept all ideas put forward, however outlandish they initially appear
- Problem Solver – You won’t rest until all options have been explored to solve the problem
- Respectful – you respect the opinions of others, even if you don’t agree with them at the time
Who A Mastermind Group Is NOT For
A Mastermind Group is for NOT you if you are;
- Know It All – you’ve been there, done that and no-one can teach you anything new
- Comedian – you aren’t willing to get serious about your business
- Cynic – like the Know It All, constant negativity will soon become a drain on the group
- Distracted – you can’t stop playing with your phone or commit to being 100% ‘present’ in the meeting for the full duration
- Fence Sitter – ‘Yes Men’ who aren’t willing to challenge or offer their own opinions won’t benefit the group or get as much out of it