What is a Business Mastermind and Do You Need One?
Business mastermind groups were first mentioned in Napoleon Hill’s classic business book: Think and Grow Rich.
He suggested that business owners and leaders regularly meet with a small peer group to discuss current business challenges, share ideas, experiences and connections and grow together.
Since then, Mastermind groups have taken on many shapes and forms. With some having a small group of peers as advocated by Hill, while others host meetings involving hundreds of leaders. Some are online, while others are in person. And groups can meet on a weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually depending on the members and their objectives.
But what is a business mastermind group exactly, and do you need one?
Let’s take a closer look.
What is a mastermind group exactly?
Mastermind groups are different from coaching or training, as there is no fixed learning agenda.
Instead, peers create a collaborative environment that ensures all members meet their business objectives through a combination of brainstorming, knowledge and experience sharing, feedback and accountability.
Members of the mastermind challenge each other to grow towards and achieve their business goals.
Since most business owners and leaders are at the top of their organisation, having the feedback, insight and encouragement of a group of motivated peers is powerful. This also helps combat any feelings of loneliness, overwhelm or doubt.
Having access to the minds of other successful business owners, also helps you to fill the gaps in your own knowledge or experience. Peers can help you see your challenges from new perspectives, provide ‘thinking partnerships, and help you brainstorm new or better solutions to your most pressing challenges.
Most mastermind groups are lead by an experienced facilitator. However, in some cases, the members take it in turns to lead the group sessions.
Is a mastermind group right for you?
As mentioned above, masterminds can vary greatly. So, what do you need to consider when finding the perfect group for you?
Firstly, you need to know if a mastermind is the right option for you. If you are looking to build your business knowledge and know how, then skills training on a specific topic or a business coaching programme might be a better fit.
However, if you are looking to grow together with like-minded leaders, then a business mastermind could be a perfect option.
In which case, you need to consider your:
Commitment: Mastermind groups only succeed if all members of the group are committed, not only to their own success, but to the success of other members of the group.
For this it’s essential that you are willing to show up and participate fully in all sessions, and to work towards your goals in-between mastermind sessions. Business mastermind groups are not a dip in and out kind of affair, you’ll need to be sure you can commit for six-months or more.
Willingness to share: Mastermind groups are all about members giving and receiving advice and ideas. You must be sure, therefore, that you are fully comfortable with giving your peers the benefit of your own insights and experience and that you are ready to receive advice from others.
You will be required to brainstorm ideas, play devil’s advocate from time to time, and share your experiences and expertise freely.
Readiness to grow: The value of business masterminds is their ability to accelerate your personal and business growth. They offer you a significant shortcut as you don’t need to figure things out alone or make mistakes.
Instead, you can learn from the experiences of others, avoid costly pitfalls, create stronger plans, and move straight into meaningful action. But only if you are ready to dive in and do the work.
Ability to work in a group: Business masterminds rely on each member of the group providing each other not just with advice, but also support, understanding and compassion.
Respect for your peers is essential if you are to be a catalyst in their ongoing growth and development – and if you are to benefit from the same. You will also need to commit maintaining confidentiality within the group too.
Timing: If you have a pressing challenge that you need to resolve ASAP, then a consultant might be a better option. However, if you are looking for steady and continual growth, then a mastermind could be perfect.
Next consider how much time do you have to commit to a mastermind. Would you prefer a group that meets weekly, monthly or quarterly? Knowing your own preferred timings will help you find the right group for you.
What to look for in a mastermind group?
Does a mastermind still feel like a right fit for your personality and objectives? Here are some things to look for in a business mastermind …
Leadership: The best mastermind groups have strong leadership, often from someone with extensive business knowledge and a clear commitment to your growth. They will also be a skilled facilitator; someone who is able to guide the group’s discussions to ensure that discussions are deep, meaningful and balanced.
Peers: Consider who your peers are. Who would you love to learn from and grow with? You want to find a group filled with people who will challenge you to dream bigger and achieve more, and who have complementary skills, knowledge and network to your own.
A mastermind group full of people exactly like you might not be the route to strong growth. At the same time, you don’t want to be surrounded my people who don’t get your business or believe in your vision.
Timing and agenda: As mentioned above, you want to be sure that you can commit to your chosen mastermind. Think deeply about the time you have available and the kind of agenda you feel comfortable with.
Having a discussion with the group’s leader or attending a sample session will help you determine if a group has a structure that would suit your needs.
What can you expect from your mastermind?
While mastermind groups can vary in design and scope, here’s how I have structured the Dream Clients Flow mastermind group. This structure is fairly typical, so provides a good start point when considering if a mastermind is right for you.
Celebrating success: Many of the business leaders I work with are highly successful – yet they often miss this as they move from one goal to the next. Starting each session by sharing successes, therefore, provides a moment to stop and appreciate the impact you are creating.
This builds your motivation and confidence, allows the group to learn more about you and your goals, and sets the tone for a successful mastermind session.
Hot seat sessions: Each member of the group gets to take to the floor and put their question or challenge to the group.Each hot-seat session follows this structure:
Clarifying questions: peers ask questions to ensure they fully understand your question and have all the information and context needed to provide you with the best insight and advice.
Brainstorming and advice:then the fun really begins. Other members of the group will share their experiences, ideas and expertise to help you resolve your challenge and move swiftly towards the attainment of your goals. In just 20-minutes, you can gain years’ worth of experience and avoid costly errors, greatly accelerating your growth.
Action planning: once everyone has received their ideas and advice, it’s time to determine what your next steps will be. By sharing this with the group, we can keep you accountable and provide you with additional support and encouragement as you move forward.
Mid-month check-ins: To help with accountability and ensure everyone feels fully supported as they move towards their goals, I provide a mid-month check in. This is a chance for the group to update the other members on their progress, celebrate any wins, and ask for any additional support or insight that they may need.
Critical thinking and goal setting: To support the success of the group, I’ve created some bonus tools to help the group sharpen their critical thinking and goal setting skills. This ensures that all members of the group have the ability to set themselves clear and challenging goals, and support others in achieving their desired outcomes.
Your Dream Clients Flow Mastermind
I created the Dream Clients Flow mastermind to support women who have an established business to continue to grow and thrive.
I’m an experienced facilitator, trainer and coach with three-decades of experience in marketing, communication and leadership. While it’s the members of the group who provide the insights and advice in each hot seat session, where relevant, I will also share the benefit of my own knowledge and experiences too.
Click here to learn more the Dream Clients Flow unique and intimate business growth experience, and how you can apply.
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