Episode 37 - Mastermind groups

In this episode, we discuss the value of mastermind groups, how to get your own group started, and how to run them. We are huge fans of mastermind groups, and believe they are one of the most important tools to have in your tool box. We also discuss accountability partners.

Accountability Partners

Accountability partners are best when you are trying to achieve a particular goal, like getting up early or getting particular tasks done. Just remember that as an accountability partner, you are not just accountable for yourself, you are also accountable for the person who is your partner. When you are first starting out, or if you have a lot on your plate, this might not be a good option for you. This is why we are big fans of mastermind groups. The accountability portion is spread out among the members of the group, so there is less pressure on each individual member of the group. 

Mastermind Groups

A mastermind group is like a board of directors for your small business. The purpose is to be a sounding board for the other members of the group. This is not just a butt-kicking group. There are paid mastermind groups, and organic mastermind groups. Paid mastermind groups are typically lead by a guru who has built his or her business to the point you want to get to. Organic mastermind groups are a group of people who are at different stages of their business, but are all trying to grow. We like variety in our mastermind groups, with people from different industries, and different areas of expertise. You should also consider having people from different areas of the country, especially if your goal is to be a nationwide brand. 

How to form a mastermind group

  1. Look for people who are going to be honest with you. You need people who are really going to help you grow your business, and sometimes that means telling you things you do not want to hear. You are also looking for people who can accept constructive criticism.
  2. Take the lead.
  3. Figure out if you will have an online group, or a local group.
  4. Decide what types of people you want to be in the group. We recommend that everyone in the group knows what they want to do, or have an established business. You want members who are beyond the initial brainstorming mode.
  5. Approach people who you know are helpful, honest, and consistent. When you ask, make sure you know what you would like them to do, and what the benefits are for them.
  6. You can post in online groups. Just make sure you talk to anyone who is interested to make sure he/she will be a good fit for the group. Also make sure everyone's schedule works with the meeting schedule.
  7. If you create a local group, you may need to explain what a mastermind group is. This should not be a referral group. This is a business building group.
  8. Your group should be no more than six people. Anything more than that is really hard to run and the individual members do not get the attention they deserve. If you have six people, plan for 90 minute meetings. 

Running a mastermind group

  1. Create a secret Facebook group and add each of the mastermind members into the group. This allows you to do updates between meetings and share things you are working on. This helps keep the meeting times down because people have been sharing updates between meetings.
  2. Set up a Google Hangout, copy the link, and post it as a pinned post in the Facebook group.
  3. Ask everyone in the group to post a weekly update. Many groups do this on Monday or Friday.
  4. Set up your meeting schedule. Every two weeks seems to be ideal. Every week is a lot for most people, and once a month hinders a close bond between the members.
  5. Have rules for adding or removing members of the group.
  6. Determine your meeting format. The three formats we have seen are: one person in the hot seat, everyone gets equal time, guest participant.

Don't wait for someone else to start a group or approach you. Start your own. It's not that hard. If you need some accountability, check out the Small Biz Life Community on Facebook.

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