When was the last time you got pumped about your business? I mean so excited you thought you were going to explode.
If it’s been a while, or if you’ve never experienced this sense of business euphoria, now might be the time to start a Mastermind Group.
What is a mastermind group?
A mastermind is a gathering of people, working to simultaneously move several businesses forward.
The world of freelancing, consulting and products can be a solitary one, and a mastermind group can be your salvation.
Similar to a business coach, a mastermind can help you through the difficult times. But unlike a business coach, a mastermind is a group of people all pushing in the same direction.
I absolutely know that I would not be where I’m at today if it weren’t for my participation in a mastermind group.
More specifically, what is a Mastermind Group?
A mastermind group usually consists of 3 to 7 people, but nothing is set in stone.
My own mastermind group had 3 members. For us this was a good number. We had a developer and author who was doing well with self published books and courses. A creative director who was moving into productised consulting and myself.
We came from different backgrounds and were at different stages in our careers. But the crossover of skills and experience was just right.
The logistics and format of a Mastermind
All groups vary, but it’s normal to meet anything from once a week, to once a month. It depends on the needs of the group and the free time you have available.
Regardless of how busy you are, always make time for your Mastermind. A stressful week or month can be put into perspective with a great Mastermind session.
My group met once every two weeks. This gave us time to work on things and see results.
Our meetings would go something like this:
- Sit down, say our hellos and briefly chat about everyone’s week.
- We would each get 15 or 20 minutes in the hot seat. We’d talk about our progress over the last two weeks and bring up any problems we were facing.
- After each hot seat session the rest of the group would jump in with any thoughts or advice.
- Before the meeting ended we’d talk about our goals for the coming fortnight.
- Wash, rinse and repeat.
In the beginning we wrote down everyone’s goals on a per meeting basis. But we soon realised we weren't that kind of group. We found more value in our feedback sessions. Every group will be different.
How do I find a Mastermind Group?
The best way to find a mastermind is to start your own.
It’s not as scary as you might think. I’m sure you already know people who are doing well in their space. If you don't, reach out to people you think would be a good fit. You don't need a previous relationship with someone to start a mastermind group.
One thing to bear in mind; I'd advise against starting a group with friends or business partners. A mastermind is a place of trust, a place to tell all. You might not feel inclined to open up about your business troubles with a bunch of friends. And you may not feel comfortable discussing certain issues with your business partner.
Having a mastermind that is separate from your personal and work life is important.
Perhaps most important of all. Be (one of) the least experienced members of the group. By surrounding yourself with more "experienced" people you'll learn more, in less time.
This doesn't mean the other members need to be rock stars. They just need to have more experience or success in other areas than yourself. This is why who you ask to your group is so important.
The great thing about a mastermind is that you can mix and match skills to make sure everyone in the group benefits.
In my mastermind group, the developer and author was much further ahead in terms of income, sales and subscribers. But he had less experience with design, user experience and the world of SaaS (thank you Nusii)
It was through this interesting cross section of skills that we could help each other move forward.
Getting unstuck, together
I've spoken before about my Shiny Object Syndrome, but earlier this year it nearly put pay to everything. I couldn’t stay focused on anything long enough for it to pay off. I was unsure whether Nusii would even survive.
It was thanks to my mastermind's faith in Nusii that it exists today. At the time it was another project on a list of possibilities. 10 months later, and after more than one verbal ass-kicking Nusii is on track and the apple of my eye.
I’m a huge believer in accountability. If you need to get something done, tell your mastermind group about it. No one likes to let others down. Being on the hook will help push your business forward.
If you want to get pumped about your business in 2015, start a mastermind group. You’ll be amazed what it can do for your business and just how much you can help others with theirs.
Let me know about your experiences in the comment section below. Is there anything that’s holding you back from starting a mastermind group? Let me know!