3 Ways To Create An Epic Entrepreneur Mastermind Group

By on March 3, 2014

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Mastermind groups are one of the crucial puzzle pieces to the success picture that can catapult you further, faster. Napoleon Hill in his famous book Think And Grow Rich devoted an entire chapter to the importance of the mastermind group and lists it as one of the key steps to success. He credits learning the mastermind principle from none other than millionaire steel baron and entrepreneur Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie made his millions when he sold his Carnegie Steel Company to JP Morgan for $480 million in 1901. Hill said in his book that, “the Master Mind principle was first called to my attention by Andrew Carnegie… Mr. Carnegie’s Master Mind group consisted of a staff of approximately fifty men, with whom he surrounded himself, for the definite purpose of manufacturing and marketing steel. He attributed his entire fortune to the power he accumulated through this mastermind.”

Successful entrepreneurs from the past century up until today all tout the benefits of joining a mastermind group. Perks like expanded networking, cross promotional opportunities and ideas, creative and diverse feedback in a laser-focused setting and brainstorming with other brilliant minds are just a few of the many reasons why masterminds launch you to success so much faster than going it alone. However, what if you don’t know where to start? How do you find a group? Or better yet, how do you start your own group and make it productive, valuable and consistent?

Here are three simple steps for creating your own mastermind group to ensure the best in success.

Find Your Tribe

Before you can be in a mastermind, you need to find one. There are several options if you’d like to join a group that exists already, for example check out your local Meet Up options, however you should give serious consideration to starting your own group. To do so, consider doing some researching and seeking out individuals that you’d like to have in your mastermind. Here are a few guidelines on who to consider.

  • Make it diverse, different ages, business niches, genders and experience can add a lot to your group. You don’t want a mastermind of all one sex, all one age, all one industry. That won’t get you innovating. Mix up the diversity of the group to utilize the different experiences, backgrounds and expertise of your group members.
  • Keep your group small: no more than five or six individuals maximum. Start with a list of ten people you’d like in your group, assuming several will not be able to join or commit. Over asking ensures you’ll end up with a list of about five or six who will actually commit to the mastermind.
  • Research individuals that are slightly “out-of-your-league.” While there should be people of all levels, having a few individuals that it feels a little uncomfortable to reach out to means you’re pushing yourself to include the best. Make sure you reach out to them in a respectful well-organized way so you aren’t wasting their time. A good way to get respected people in your group is to follow the advice in the next step.

Formalize The Structure

Too many times masterminds are created between a group of friends or acquaintances with good intentions but bad structure. There needs to be a formality to your group to ensure it lives on in perpetuity and maximizes everyone’s time efficiently. If you can structure the parameters of your group before you reach out to group members, you can give them a document that will show them the value of what you’re trying to create while holding them accountable for maintaining that structure if they join. This needs to be a written, shared document all members agree to uphold. Here are some suggestions to consider when drafting your mastermind group structure.

  • How many members are in the group, and if members leave, how are new members added?
  • When does the group meet, weekly or bi-weekly?
  • How long are your meetings and who is accountable for setting the timer to keep it on target?
  • What is the agenda and meeting structure like?
  • Does organization or agenda creation switch between group members or is one accountable for each meeting?
  • Will the group meet over the phone or online or in-person?
  • How are documents and ideas shared? Google hangout? Facebook group?
  • What is the policy for absences from group?

Require A Strict Commitment

Speaking of absences, once you have the parameters of the mastermind in place and you’ve reached out to members, make sure you require a strict commitment from everyone as a requirement of joining. A mastermind group will not be effective if people habitually skip meetings, don’t come prepared, chitchat during this time or otherwise treat the group lackadaisically. Get each group member’s feedback when you initially form the group on how it will run, who will do what and make sure the commitment is made by all, to all, for the continued success of the mastermind. When treated like the important business success tool that a mastermind is, your group can help everyone involved rocket launch their success together.

 

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Matthew Toren

About Matthew Toren

Matthew Toren is a serial entrepreneur, mentor, investor and co-founder of YoungEntrepreneur.com. He is co-author, with his brother Adam, of Kidpreneurs and Small Business, BIG Vision: Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right (Wiley). He's based in Vancouver, B.C.