Mastermind groups have made a massive difference in my business.
In the video above, part of my Online Business Expert Series, mastermind expert Cliff Ravenscraft joins me to talk about how to find a great mastermind group.
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Masterminds can be a game-changer
There was a time in my life when I was a single mom with two young children and a business that needed to support the three of us.
But “support” wasn’t enough for me — I wanted it to support us in comfort.
I wanted to have enough money to do nice things for my kids. To treat them once in a while. To make both needed repairs and nice-to-have updates to the home we were living in.
To squirrel some money away in a savings account so we’d have a cushion for emergencies.
To have money to invest in my retirement fund.
In short — I had big plans.
Way bigger than the revenue I was bringing in at the time.
I knew how to run a reasonably successful business.
What I had learned in the years I owned my design and marketing practice had gotten me to where I was then — I was a talented designer/marketer who had a reputation for reliable, quality work in the community where I lived.
But I knew I wanted a lot more.
I sensed that the behaviors, thinking, and actions that brought me to that point were not going to take me to the higher plane where I wanted to go.
And so I went in search of a solution.
Master whats? What are mastermind groups exactly?
I don’t remember how I first heard about mastermind groups.
But I was willing to take a chance on a once-a-month meeting with a group of peers to talk business.
It couldn’t hurt! And it might help.
Fortunately, I landed in the capable hands of Karyn Greenstreet, a nationally known mastermind expert — and someone I’m now honored to call a friend.
Something happened when I joined Karyn’s group in 2004.
It wasn’t immediate. But over time, it began to feel kind of magical — especially when I look back at what played out in my business.
Meeting once a month to share success stories, talk about challenges, and get ideas and guidance from this smart group of colleagues helped propel my business to earnings levels and recognition I’d only dreamed about.
The encouragement I felt after each meeting — and in the weeks in between meetings — helped me to feel supported in my business like never before.
My earnings tripled.
And I felt so buoyed up by the group that I was able to make a major pivot in my business — from an offline design and marketing practice to a digital business.
I have become a twice-published author, a keynote speaker, and someone who is well respected in the online world I now inhabit.
It’s pretty amazing, actually.
Not all mastermind groups are created equal
Mastermind group experiences run the gamut from disheartening and unhelpful to encouraging and supportive.
My experiences have fallen in the latter category and have been universally positive.
I think I know why. There are a few crucial components a mastermind group should offer you.
If you find one but it doesn’t have these, keep looking.
3 signs your mastermind group rocks
When you belong to a mastermind group that is humming away, supporting you like a finely-tuned machine, here’s what you’ll experience:
1. Your shared burdens are cut in half
I’m not sure why sharing your challenges with a group works so well, but here are my theories:
- The simple act of putting your situation into words inspires solutions. I like to call this “talking your way to the answer.” Often the best solution comes right out of your mouth while you’re explaining the challenge to your peers.
- Talking about your struggles helps you feel less alone — everyone is dealing with something no matter how perfect things may look from the outside. You may know this intellectually, but sharing challenges in a group drives this point home.
- You gain confidence about difficult decisions. When you need to make a difficult decision, you can easily get feedback, guidance, and support that you’re making the right one.
2. Your results are multiplied
It’s true: Many minds really are better than just one.
Group members bring their life and professional experiences to each meeting. What that means for you is that you have a rich resource you can tap — but not a faceless knowledge base!
Your mastermind consists of people who care about your success. They want to see you push through to the next big thing.
Another plus: group members have built their lists of vendors, resources, and connections over time. Their network is your network.
3. Accountability happens in public — and motivates you to get things done
One of the most compelling reasons to join a mastermind is you are ready to go beyond your current level of achievement.
You’re ready to ramp it up!
Stating your goals to the group means they’ll check in with you to see if you’ve accomplished them. Yikes!
If you find it difficult to keep yourself on task, this kind of public accountability can work wonders.
3 paid mastermind group essentials
Are the best mastermind groups paid or free?
In my experience, members who make a financial commitment take their mastermind group participation seriously. They show up for meetings. They participate. They are all in.
Paying to belong becomes a filter of sorts.
In a paid group, you know you’re with people who are successful enough in business and serious enough about their growth that they are willing to pay to go to the next level.
Here’s what to look for in a paid mastermind group …
1. The best mastermind groups are carefully curated
Members are “within range” of each other in terms of experiences, stages of business, and goals.
It’s not fair for business owners who are looking for help with complex problems to be paired with people who are just getting started.
And vice versa — beginners won’t get much out of hearing about problems they aren’t even close to dealing with.
2. The best mastermind group members are “givers”
Members who are invited to join the group are “givers” who believe there’s enough to go around for all of us. They don’t hoard resources, advice, or knowledge.
When a group member needs support, they give.
And they’re confident that they’ll be able to tap the same support in the future.
3. The best mastermind groups have an effective group leader who sets the tone
Leaders facilitate meetings so they run smoothly. They keep the discussion going, and encourage those who are quiet to contribute.
Effective leaders manage any issues that come up both in meetings and outside of them.
Efficient leaders make sure admin tasks like meeting announcements, replay posting, etc. happen on a regular basis.
How to work smarter to achieve your goals
The best-quality paid mastermind groups ask a lot of their members. They require:
- Serious financial and time commitments
- An attitude of service toward fellow group members
- An expectation that you’ll show up 100% for your business
Mastermind groups can take you and your business to a place you can’t even imagine today.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on January 17, 2018 and has been updated with new content.