Total Reading Time: 6 minutes.
In 1936 a man by the name of Napoleon Hill published a book that would go on to become the bestselling non-fiction book of all time. Within this book, Think and Grow Rich, are 13 steps for achieving anything (even riches), and living a fulfilled life.
One of the most important steps in this book is forming a mastermind. I’m going to tell you exactly how to form your own, how I formed mine, and what I’ve learned from the process.
When I first read the book years ago, it didn’t quite click. But since becoming a solopreneur, the principles have become a complete guidebook for my life and business. It’s opened the door to more eye-opening material and personal growth.
More than anything, my mastermind group has created huge shifts and tangible changes in my life.
Benefits of Having a Mastermind Group
There are too many benefits to list when it comes to being in or having a mastermind group. Nonetheless, to give you an idea, here’s a short list:
- You are tapping into the collective knowledge and experience of the entire group.
- You will begin to take on the habits, attitude, and nature of your group. This will happen automatically because you are the average of the five people you interact with most — so choose carefully.
- A harmonious, inviting, and safe place to truly be yourself.
- A place strategize your biggest opportunities and celebrate your wins.
- A place to process your thoughts, challenges, and get outside your own head.
- True accountability partners.
- A way to finally break through into your full potential and get honest feedback and criticism from trusted people.
- A group of trusted advisors and an entirely new level of friendship.
- It may open your eyes to a new way of living and a different set of priorities.
- Probably a more productive way to spend your time vs. trying to have intelligent conversations at a bar.
Steps to Creating Your Own Mastermind
Don’t overthink this part. The most important thing is that you identify people who are looking to elevate themselves, and naturally create value for others. When initially starting you only need a handful of people.
In fact, having more than five people may cause issues since you’re in the early stages of the process. These may be people you already know, but it’s not necessary that you know them well.
Also, they don’t all have to be within your network. People you approach may already have others in mind and will want to bring them in (as was the case when I approached a friend).
- Make a list of 10 people you know that would create a positive, harmonious environment and could all work toward one definite purpose.
- Ensure that each person can work with the other (harmony is the key here), and eliminate anyone who’s lifestyle or goals may be too different. e.g. diversity of thought and style is good, but if the majority of the group wants to retire working a corporate job, while one outlier wants a freedom lifestyle, there won’t be harmony.
- Approach these people and ask if they’d be interested in the idea of a mastermind group. Explain what it is, the benefits, and your expectations. [Arman’s tip: I approached these people through email and evaluated responses]
- Evaluate the responses. You should know right away who is most interested and will bring the most value to the group.
- Pick the best ones and make them your initial founding members. Introduce everyone, and begin to lay out the ground rules and expectations.
- It is important that as a leader you empower everyone in the group and remember to get out of the way. Each member should feel equally important and comfortable with bringing their thoughts and expertise to the group.
How to Run Your Mastermind
No one mastermind is like the other. The group’s nature, environment, age, gender, lifestyle, etc. will determine its style, and it will continually evolve.
What’s important is that there are ground rules and expectations in place. Above all, the group should be harmonious and must work toward one definite purpose — even if that purpose is to individually grow your wealth, health, relationships, and happiness.
Below I’ll share a recommended and proven structure for running a mastermind, as well as details on my own. Again, if you decide to change things that’s fine. Remember that you can always adapt as you move forward. Keep it simple at first.
1. Determine the foundation of your mastermind.
Will you meet in person? Conference calls or video chat? How long are the meetings (set a max time)?
2. Determine the structure.
How often and when will you meet? [Arman’s note: My group does conference calls once every two weeks, at the same time every time. We also do two in-person mastermind retreats per year, with the main one being in December to do an annual review and planning.]
3. Break the ice.
If the group doesn’t all know one another well, you’ll want to give each person time to speak during the meetings in the beginning. This will help everyone become familiar with each other’s style, goals, and personality. You want to make sure everyone is comfortable and knows that this is a place they can be honest.
4. Determine the meeting structure.
Go around the group and have each person bring up one recent challenge/issue they’re facing, and one opportunity. As a group, comment on both pieces and give them the insight they need to solve the issue and take advantage of the opportunity.
Make sure everyone is stepping up to offer their knowledge and resources to help that person take maximum advantage of the opportunity.
5. Create alternative meeting structures.
Here’s another way: Pick one person for the call and do a deep dive on a challenge and opportunity. This is essentially the same structure as before, but with more time to really dig into the topics and help that mastermind member. [Arman’s tip: You’ll get a lot more out of this style and the real “magic” of the mastermind shines here]
6. Do a recap at the end of each meeting.
Finish each meeting with a summary of each person’s next steps and how you’ll hold each other accountable. Make sure to begin the next meeting by reviewing the previous meeting’s action items.
7. Set up rules for attendance.
Create an incentive (positive reinforcement) for attending the call and being on time. Come up with this as a group. Alternative, you could create a “punishment” for missing a call, and this may work better depending on the group.
People will miss meetings and you want to prevent this as much as possible. In small groups, it can affect the meeting. [Arman’s tip: If someone misses the meeting, they should add a certain amount of money to a group fund. Use the funds for your mastermind retreat at the end of the year].
As you can see, this doesn’t have to be complicated. With a little work you’ll have your own mastermind, and I promise that you’ll be elevating your life and playing at an entirely new level.
As I write this, I’m preparing to fly for my mastermind group’s end-of-year retreat. We’ll be spending two full days in a beautiful cabin where we’ll review the previous year, celebrate our wins, and strategize for the coming year.
This is one of the key secrets to success. The more I’ve surrounded myself with winners, the more clearly I can see that it’s not your knowledge or skills, but the people you surround yourself with that make the difference.
Are you going to create your own mastermind group now? Do you already belong to one? If so, I’d love to hear about it and learn about some of the benefits you’ve experienced.
Photo credit: Upgrading — CC license