The Value of Participating in a Mastermind Group

by in Inspiration, Marketing Your Business, Productivity Tips

Mastermind

If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a Mastermind group, the premise is simple: a group of motivated people get together, share their accomplishments since the last meeting, set goals for completing new ones, and brainstorm with other members to address challenges.

The advantage to this kind of group is that it holds everyone in it accountable. If you slack on making progress toward your goals, you'll have to explain to the group at the next meeting why you didn't get anything done. A lot of the excuses for not getting things done we present to ourselves internally don't hold up when we have to explain them to other people.

Over the years I've participated in multiple variations of a Mastermind. Most of them were informal, and we didn't call it a Mastermind, but they followed the premise of one. I've found them to be incredibly motivating and a big help to keeping me on track for achieving progress in my business.

Getting involved with a Mastermind group

The easiest way to get involved with a Mastermind group is to start one yourself. It could be as simple as a few friends having a phone call once a month, or as formal as setting official meetings and using a project management software like Teamwork or Trello as a group.

Most of the Masterminds I've belonged to over the years have been Internet-based. We'd “meet” at regular intervals via MSN Messenger (back in the day) or Skype. We'd talk about what our goals for the next gap between meetings were, bring up any problems we had for group feedback, and discuss what we'd done since the last meetup (or what we hadn't done and why).

What kind of people should make up the group?

The biggest characteristic I want in every Mastermind member is motivation. The point of the Mastermind is to move my business forward and to do that I need people who have the same goal levels and the same commitment to obtaining them.

Finding people in like industries is very helpful, but not a make or break requirement for me. Almost everyone in my local Mastermind invests in real estate, but our meetings focus on our business(es), our goals overall and the tasks we need to complete to achieve them. We discuss and set goals for both real estate and other topics.

One member of the group is a real estate agent in addition to being an investor. Another owns a landscaping business that funds his real estate investments. I own a marketing agency and do affiliate marketing in addition to investing in real estate. I'll often discuss goals I have for those businesses, even though the other members of the group don't directly relate to it.

I also aim to find like minds with different skill-sets. Two of our members are strong in all things marketing and the Internet. One is strong in real estate financing knowledge. Another is strong with managing employees. Another has extensive experience with rehabbing properties (and the contacts to go with it). One is strong with business development and management. One is very assertive. You get the idea.

What kind of people shouldn't be in your group?

While the qualities I look for aren't set in stone, there are two qualities I don't want: ego and negativity.

If a person focuses on being the smartest person in the room (ego), their ability to truly contribute to the group is limited. Hearing the challenges faced by other members helps us all learn; a person with a big ego usually doesn't want to admit to having any challenges.

Negative people are a cancer to a Mastermind, and as soon as you identify someone as having that quality, the person should be ousted from the group. These are people who constantly find excuses for themselves, offer up excuses for other members or approach every problem with a defeatist attitude. There's a quote by Jim Rohn that says “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Make sure your circle consists only of positive people.

Managing the group

Since my current Mastermind group is local and we meet in person (we call it The Mastergrind). We try to meet up every two weeks, but at a minimum, we meet once a month.

We use Teamwork to manage what needs to be done between meetings, with a task list setup for each person within the group – adding tasks to achieve what we stated we'd get done in the last session.

We also have a knowledgebase installed using the WP Knowledgebase plugin on a domain that is only viewable by logged in members. We use the knowledgebase to keep track of questions that come up in the meetings and their answers.

An example: I invest in real estate, and there is a concept referred to as a “ghost renter” that can affect the ability to get financing for a property. Other members of the group also invest in real estate, so we have a knowledgebase entry explaining all of the “rules” surrounding ghost renters.

Components of each meeting

We typically meet at a restaurant and give ourselves a few minutes to catch up on a personal level while we're waiting for everyone to arrive and placing our orders. But then we get down to business.

We go over the list of tasks and goals everyone gave at the last meeting and ask for status updates on them. Be it that they are completed, how the progress on them is going, or what obstacles they've hit in executing them.

One thing we also do at every meeting is ask what struggles or challenges people are having in their business, and everyone is required to come up with at least one item. Assuming you have individuals with different strengths and weaknesses, you'll often find solutions to solving whatever issues you might face. Be it needing a particular kind of contact or needing ideas for specific steps you can take to reach a goal you've set.

Once we've completed the two components above, we set goals of things to get done before the next meeting. We're focused less on general goals like “I want to grow my business” and more on the specific tasks we need to complete to move closer to those general goals. We set specific tasks to complete between meetings to bring us closer to our overall objectives.

Getting to work

Between meetings, we all work on the tasks we've identified as needing to be done. When your Mastermind consists of the right people, you'll be surprised at how much motivation it provides, and how much more productive you become.

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About the Author - Rae Dolan

Rae (Hoffman) Dolan aka "Sugarrae" is the CEO of PushFire, an online marketing agency specializing in SEO audit services and search engine optimized web design. A veteran affiliate marketer, some of her current projects include Custom Comet (a promotional products company) and Audrey Micah Investments.

 

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Loretta July 14, 2017 at 12:41 pm

Having people you can talk with, brainstorm with, and who will hold you accountable and give you honest feedback is so incredibly valuable. I think if a person isn’t sure about whether they want to join a focused mastermind group, maybe try out joining something like a Facebook or a private forum that offers a sort of mid-level masterminding can be a good starting point.

I find that being part of a mastermind group you’ll not only see your own productivity increase and reach your goals faster, you’ll find yourself helping and cheering on other people in the group as they progress on their goals. It can be a really rewarding thing and it makes you feel a bit more connected to the world if you’re working from home and on your own a lot of the time. There’s no reason to go it alone when there are plenty of people on the path to travel with.

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