Starting A Mastermind Group
12th June 2017
Starting A Mastermind Group – Are you sure you’ve thought it through?
Considering starting a mastermind group? Congratulations – this is one of the best business decision you could possibly make. But before you jump right in and start your group you need to know the cold hard facts. You need a realistic expectation of what’s required, what are the pro’s and the con’s and if it’s actually the right decision for you. Without knowing all the information you may blindly attempt to bootstrap your own group and then be bitterly disappointed if it doesn’t work out how you anticipated. This is not to say that you will not succeed but you have to have a clearer overall picture to get the most out of your time and effort. This blog is more a warts and all guide to the pitfalls you may encounter, the highs and the lows of the process and to evaluate early if it will the right thing for you.
There are now so many blog posts and templates with advice suggesting you start a mastermind.
YOUR AUDIENCE/REACH – Do you have the network already? #1 and the most important question. Why? Because if you don’t already have a large network of acquaintances and connections or a ready-made audience to tap into then it’s going to require a lot of extra work. Remember one of the primary aims of starting a Mastermind group is to increase your average. So if you don’t have connections that are above you (in terms of skills, attitude and habits then you need to find these people)
INVITE AND ATTRACT – Who do you invite? It’s critical to invite the right kind of people. Driven people with the right attitude and commitment – avoid flaky, overworked and stressed people – they will just bring that baggage with them. Vet them really carefully. How do you attract them? – Sell the benefits NOT the features. Explain WIFM (What’s In it For Me) and talk up the help, connections, accountability aspect of your Mastermind. How do we create critical mass quickly? By creating a referral network. Ask each new member if they know 2-3 possible ideal candidates and grow it organically. You could also try LinkedIn, your existing customers, friends, mentor, or as a last resort Facebook groups you are in.
How do you attract them? – Sell the benefits NOT the features. Explain WIFM (What’s In it For Me) and talk up the help, connections, accountability aspect of your Mastermind. How do we create critical mass quickly? By creating a referral network. Ask each new member if they know 2-3 possible ideal candidates and grow it organically. You could also try LinkedIn, your existing customers, friends, mentor, or as a last resort Facebook groups you are in.
YOUR EXPERIENCE – Do you have the right experience? Masterminds are not coaching, so if you want to run a group you need to ask yourself what skills to you bring to the table? Will you be the facilitator, organizer, motivator, content provider? ALL of these. If yes to all then you’re in for quite a lot of extra work. Try and find people within the group that will take up some of the responsibilities to share the burden.
YOUR MOTIVE – Why do you want to start a Mastermind group? Question your motives? Is it Ego, Altruistic, Fun, Challenging, Pay It Forward, Help Other, Serve. You need to be really clear on your objectives because there is a lot of behind the scenes work involved –so having your motivation crystal clear will help you with the obstacles when they occur.
TECHNOLOGY STACK TO USE – Facebook Group (A big no no) Slack, Zoom, Google Hangout, Skype, In-person meeting (where, when) As well as the technology stack what else is required to support your group? Agendas, checklists, cheat sheets, schedules etc. You can incorporate these after the group has actually started but it helps to be aware that they will be required at some stage.
FRAMEWORK AND AGENDA – Do you have one? Is there a specific focus within the group or an outcome at the end? Either way you will need to ensure that you have a framework. Duration and frequency, hot seat, check-in, goal review and goal setting, open floor, guest expert or presentation. These are just a few of the activities that could be part of your agenda.
WHAT TO CHARGE – What will you charge for your group? What value to you bring that people will pay for? Is $5 or $300 a session reasonable? This comes down to the value you intend to create for everyone and how that is perceived. The more you charge the more you will need to under-promise and to over-deliver. If you are charging a fee then get regular feedback from the group so you can adjust if required.
THE HIDDEN BENEFITS (Highs) – Learn, grow, deeper connections, friendships, trust, opportunities, development, endorphins, and oxytocin
THE HIDDEN WORK (Lows) – Frustration, additional work, time, effort, cost, sacrifice, paperwork, planning, preparation, disappointment
Still want to start a mastermind group? The reality is it will probably cost you a minimum of several hours a week. Are you better prepared for the additional work and the highs lows? Hopefully you now have enough information to make an informed decision and still want to start one – which is awesome.