Joining a mastermind group has been part of many successful entrepreneurial schedules. From Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Edison, and Henry Ford to Bill Gates, gathering with like-minded business owners has been a hallmark of rewarding undertakings.
Initially coined by Napoleon Hill of “Think and Grow Rich” fame in 1925, mastermind groups have stood in the gap as a method for finding solutions—brainstorming if you will—to everyday business challenges.
Tapping into the “wisdom of crowds” lends itself to uncovering previously hidden angles and more suitable solutions than those conjured up by oneself…not to mention opportunities to accelerate life-long learning.
The Great Expectations
You may anticipate several opportunities when joining a mastermind group. Among the probabilities are
- Accountability: The regularity of the group meetings, sharing commitments, and reporting progress (generally 1-2X per month) creates a responsive structure.
- Collaboration: Goals are accomplished more easily through cooperation, contribution, and respect.
- Feedback: The willingness to give and receive advice forms a basis for—and enhances—improvement. After all, growing your small business in a silo is bad for business.
- Resources: Tools such as workbooks, checklists, and information are readily available to strengthen your business.
- Support: Progress towards goals is more manageable with encouragement, help, perspective, and advice.
- Facilitation: A well-run meeting guides productivity and success for its participants.
- Structure: Each meeting is organized and optimized around a specific agenda that creates flow and reduces the risk of chaos, confusion, and running overtime.
These expectations are foundational to the most successful mastermind groups.
Finding Your Perfect Match
As the appetite for new ways of working together grows, joining a mastermind group that fits your business requires forethought and due diligence.
Logistics like location, time, and cost are essential to consider; however, you’ll find they are less likely to influence fit or your satisfaction.
Here are a few questions to ask to ensure the group meets your unique work style and needs:
- What are you looking to achieve through the mastermind group?
- Who is facilitating the group (i.e., experienced facilitator or member of the group)?
- What is the proposed structure of the group meetings (i.e., free-for-all or coordinated)?
- What support is available between scheduled meetings?
- What arrangement is available for connecting with group members outside the sessions?
- What is the primary focus of the mastermind group (i.e., general or specific emphasis)?
- Who does the group target (i.e., size of business, time in business, # of employees)?
- What types of resources, if any, are made available to group members?
Jim Rohn, author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker, once said, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
Doesn’t it make sense to join a mastermind group that enhances you and your business?