From listening to loads of podcasts with super successful people, there are probably 3 things that they have in common:
They keep a journal.
They participate in a mastermind group.
I’ve been involved myself in some “mastermind groups”, but I find that mostly the ones that I’ve been involved with have not been effective.
In one skype group that I joined we had a couple of calls and then it faded out. We would consult each other on skype from time to time, but then later that faded out to.
Another mastermind I joined was a pre-existing one, but I found the group very big, seemingly secretive / not willing to share and that it lacked focus. Also I think the goals and stages that we were at were very disparate.
Probably the most successful “mastermind” that I’ve been a part of is with just one other friend who I met through a conference. We’ve been totally open with each other and are vested in each others success and that conversation is one that I cherish and is mutually beneficial.
I think though there is probably more room for me to benefit from a mastermind group.
Benefits of mastermind groups
The benefits of masterminds are potentially many.
Probably top of the list is friendship. Entrepreneurship can be a lonely path and it is great to share the journey with a close group of friends.
Also another key aspect is sharing of knowledge and different perspectives. Sometimes we become trapped in our own cognitive biases and it takes someone from outside to help guide us to a different view point and discover things we weren’t previously aware of.
It also is great for accountability and motivation.
Lets create the ideal mastermind group
So here are my thoughts for the ideal mastermind group for myself…
One week is way too frequent and intensive. Two months is far too infrequent.
For my personally I think the sweet spot would be either once per month or one per fortnight.
This wouldn’t be too onerous a commitment and would allow time in between to see progress.
Number of Attendees
From my negative experience being in a massive group, I think it is better to have a small and intimate group, which still benefits from a wide variety of perspective.
I would say that the ideal number of attendees of my mastermind group would be between 3 to 5 people (at a stretch).
Level of Members
The level of members should be judged by income, just because that is an easy marker of business success.
I would want to be in a group with people at least at my level or more successful.
Characteristics of Members
I would say that the most critical characteristic would be openness and a willingness to help others. This is a super important mindset. We should all be in the group to benefit ourselves, but even more so to help others.
In my case I think it would be better that most of the attendees be in the same type of business (apps / games) because the advice would be much more targeted and relevant, although it could be very interesting to have someone involved from a different industry to bring in a different perspective.
The participants would also need to be super ambitious. We should all be there to see how we can 10x to 100x our existing businesses.
Paid or not?
Thats a dilemma. I think having members pay to join the mastermind can be good, because it significantly increases the skin in the game and will help ensure attendance and dedication to the group.
But, I think that main point is that the group has to be dedicated. If that can be achieved without payment, that can be totally fine.
Having a paid mastermind could potentially be part of a coaching type offering on a blog.
How to run the sessions
The sessions should have structured agendas so that they are most effective.
Chris Ducker recommends that mastermind attendees go through the following key points:
- One thing that is currently working really well in their business activities.
- One thing they needed help on, were struggling with, or wanted to brainstorm on.
- One resource, such as a blog, podcast, service, product that they believed others in the group would appreciate knowing about.
An alternative way to run the sessions, advocated by Pat Flynn:
- Beginning: Each person, one-by-one, talks briefly about their goals from the previous meeting.
- Middle: A predetermined person in the “hot seat” shares, in detail, any number of issues, complications, questions and concerns about his or her own situation. The rest of the members then respond and contribute to the discussion by offering suggestions or comments based on their expert knowledge and/or experience.
- End: Each person, one-by-one, talks briefly about the goals that they want to accomplish by the next meeting. Also, the next “hot seat” person is determined so he or she can be ready with questions for the group.
I think that it can be potentially good to alternate the agenda and add in different exercises.
For example, a lean coffee type method can be used for determining the agenda on the fly, or a members could take turns presenting about areas that they are strong in.
Keeping in touch
In addition to the meetings, it would be good to have a way to communicate between meetings, ask questions and help out.
Some groups I’m in have used skype – but I find this very distracting. Also in my mastermind group there should be a “no spam” policy, keeping conversation only on topic and not bombarding the group with inane messages.
I find that Facebook groups can be quite good for this, so that is definitely a good option.
How to find people to join the mastermind
Building up an audience, whether through a blog, podcast or other means, is a great way to connect with like-minded people (in fact, that’s one of my main reasons for trying out blogging).
Going to conferences and business events and their parties can also be a great way to find people who are on the same path and see who you connect with.
Also by joining online groups such as Facebook groups or forums you can also get to know people and see whether there can be a good fit.
Whatever the case, I think before someone joins my mastermind, I would want to get to know them, to have had several one-on-one conversations and see that I connect to them. That is really important for me.
High Level Paid Business Masterminds
I’ve tried to collate here a list of several high-level business masterminds. These can by very pricey (25k per year is pretty standard) but they can expose you to a whole group of high achievers who you might not get to meet otherwise.
James Schramko’s high end offering is the “Silver Circle”. The cost is about $1,200 per month I think and involves weekly group calls. Like most of these types of masterminds it also includes access to a live event held in Sydney around March, “SuperFastBusiness Live“. BTW – don’t quote me on specifics, these details may be a bit off.
Joe Polish is a master marketer and runs a high end mastermind (one of those 25K per year ones…).
I particularly like this sentence that probably sums it up:
Have you advanced beyond your network and circle of friends?
You’re already successful, but are you always the smartest person in nearly every room you walk into.
If so, it’s time for you to join other like-minded experts.
John Carlton is a household name amongst copywriters.
According to his sales page, the group meets 4 times per year and the cost is a measly 15K for the year.
Ryan Deiss also runs a 25K mastermind and like most of these types of groups they meet 4 times per year with each meet up going for 2 days.
He also offers 5 “emergency” 30 minute calls with the big honchos who run the mastermind (Ryan Deiss, Frank Kern, Perry Belcher or Roland Frasier).
There are also a host of other benefits from joining, including access to all of Digital Marketers products and access to their live events for no extra cost.
There are up to 100 “companies” present in the meet ups, but they split up into smaller discussion groups.
At least from the sales page, this seems like the most organized and structured of these high level mastermind groups.
How much do you need to be making to be eligible? On the FAQ it states: As a general rule, your company must at least be run-rating $1,000,000 in revenues to be eligible for membership.
Dan Sullivan’s Workshops
Dan Sullivan is one of the biggest names in copywriting and online marketing.
The 10x Program costs $25K Canadian and is aimed at entrepreneurs who have a minimum net personal income of US/CA$500K in the last tax year. There is one meeting each quarter (one day only).
Other notable events
There are some other events and masterminds worth mentioning.
Two are invite-only – Yanik Silver’s Maverick1000 and the Summit Series. The Summit Series especially is one I would be very interested to attend. These events involve a combination of travelling around somewhere interesting in the world and rubbing shoulders with incredibly interesting and successful people from different walks in life.
Ryan Daniel Moran from FreedomFastLane runs a mastermind which I believe is relatively new – no pricing advertised on the sales page.
There is one event that I was just recently at which Carter Thomas from BlueCloudSolutions ran for the first time and I can say was ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! If you are an app entrepreneur (or even not just apps – we had people from other fields there), Carter’s BlueCloud Hawaii event is one that I can personally vouch for as being a great way to meet amazing entrepreneurs.
Do you know of other high level mastermind groups that I’ve left off this list?
Please add it in the comments below or share your experiences!