Since you’re reading this blog post right now, I have a feeling you’re one of the many creative entrepreneurs out there who’ve been hearing that Masterminds are the bees knees, but you can’t seem to find one!
You might even be a little unsure as to what a Mastermind truly is, and trust me, you’re not alone in that.
Use this blog post to help you find the perfect Mastermind for you and feel confident that you know what one is, what goes into it and how you can maximize your time within in a Mastermind.
First and foremost I need to start by telling you that NOT all Masterminds are created equal and no two are exactly alike. Which is part of what makes finding one so difficult.
Let’s start with a definition of Mastermind to level the playing field. My favorite definition comes from the book, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill and it states: “The mastermind may be defined as coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
Basically, when two or more people gather together with a desire to grow individually and in partnership with others, magic happens.
Okay, it might not be magic, but it’s a sharing of knowledge, experiences and creative thinking in a group setting that allows each member to grow at an expedited rate.
This is the best and most beneficial part of participating in a Mastermind;
you will grow your business quicker as a group than you ever would by yourself. You will amplify your knowledge, creativity, and growth as an individual because you’re not relying solely on your brain to make these things happen.
In my opinion, this is magical.
Inside of a Mastermind, there’s an energy that takes place when more than one brain connects and collaborates together, and that energy is then gifted to and benefits everyone who participates. (It acts like an extra brain!).
“BY SHARING OUR EXPERIENCE, EXPERTISE, AND ADVICE WITH ONE ANOTHER IN A FORMALIZED STRUCTURE OF REGULAR MEETINGS AND IN-PERSON EVENTS, THE TIME WE HAVE TO SPEND “FIGURING IT OUT” ON OUR OWN IS NEARLY CUT IN HALF. THIS ALLOWS US TO GROW FASTER AND ALSO AVOID MAJOR OBSTACLES ON THE PATH TO SUCCESS.”
- Amber Lilyestrom
So let’s break it down even further. Like I said, not all Masterminds are created equal and no two are alike.
First of all,
These masterminds are free, pulled together by your own like-minded peers and serve as a networking and sounding board for each individual.
I have been in several Peer Masterminds, and I want to share these few pitfalls with you before you say yes right away...
The pitfalls to a Peer Mastermind:
When something is free, you get less involvement, engagement and participation.
When there’s no clear leader, you get chaos due to a lack of structure.
When there’s no clear structure, you get a lack of trust and involvement from each member.
Peer Masterminds can easily turn into “sob fests” or “complain time” for other members who are struggling. (And this benefits NO ONE. In fact, it actually brings you and your business down. If you are in a Peer Mastermind like this, get out now. Don’t wait, just politely excuse yourself from the group and take that negativity out of your life.)
The benefits of a Peer Mastermind:
You can collaborate and network with your Mastermind peers.
Some of these peers could turn into life-long friends.
You may learn new ways of looking at your business and gain new ideas.
You may grow your business if you have a super dedicated group.
The difference between a Peer Mastermind and a paid Mastermind usually comes down to invested participation, leadership and structure.
On a personal note: after participating in several Peer Masterminds, I will only join paid Masterminds from now on, because I value more highly the structure, leadership and engagement that a paid Mastermind offers.
A paid Mastermind, is brought together by a leader and is often made up of like-spirited members pursuing their own personal growth in partnership with others.
The difficulties of a Paid Mastermind:
They often cost 5-figures to join
Some are more of a teaching than a collaboration style
The benefits of a Paid Mastermind:
Expedited learning and growth.
Amplified learning and growth through several minds and new connections.
Often leads to lifelong friendships.
A clear structure in place for participation with an end goal in mind for all of its members.
A safe, structured environment to facilitate trust, vulnerability & true personal growth (as well as professional).
Often lots of extra goodies too.
Types of Paid Masterminds:
There are several styles of paid Masterminds (and still more variables than just these).
The E-Course Style Mastermind:
This kind of Mastermind has a set curriculum, like an e-course, and helps move its members through a structured timeline of learning.
Mastermind meetings are often held monthly, and consist of going over what was learned together as a group.
These Mastermind meetings often hold “hot seats” for individual members to get specific and individualized coaching.
These Masterminds groups are often large, usually 20-40+ people.
Examples of this kind of Mastermind include: Amber Lileystrom’s Mastermind, Stacy Tuschl’s - The Profit Mastermind. (Both of these Masterminds include an individualized learning model through 1:1 coaching and in-person retreats - which is a HUGE bonus.)
The Collaborative Mastermind:
This kind of Mastermind is all about the people. It’s set-up to be individual driven with a goal of connecting with and getting to very specifically each and every member of your group.
This kind of Mastermind meets you where you are, and talks specifically to your needs. It often runs 6-12 months and has a big emphasis on accountability.
These Mastermind groups are often smaller, no more than 10 people.
These Mastermind meetings often host a “hot seat” (I call mine a "heart-seat" because we dive a little deeper in my Mastermind), but since the groups are smaller, every person will get their opportunity to share.
This kind of Mastermind group is very focused on the individuals and providing accountability. Plus it often includes an in-person event as well monthly meetings.
The Retreat/Conference Mastermind:
This kind of Mastermind is usually condensed down to a weekend (2-3 days tops).
This kind of Mastermind is often a focused retreat, with lots of relax time and paid guest speakers to teach the group.
These retreats usually have a larger group that is split into subgroups so you might be able to connect on a deeper level. (These subgroups can be run by either your peers or a retreat leader).
This kind of Mastermind is focused on expedited learning but does not have accountability.
The High-Roller Mastermind:
This kind of Mastermind is usually 12-months long and is set-up to help you earn your next 6-figures or get you to 7-figures. (You must already be making 6 figures to apply).
This kind of Mastermind is all about the networking and collaboration.
These meetings are monthly with usually several retreats included throughout the year.
As a quick synopsis, any Mastermind group you join should offer these things:
A condensed learning curve to maximize your growth via a group effort.
Collaboration and support to aid in the expansion of your business or brand
A new network of like-spirited and growth-oriented individuals
But the most important thing...
you should feel connected to the leader.
You will learn more from someone you like and who’s either in the same business zone as you, or a few steps ahead.
Some FUN FACTS:
Did you know that C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein were in a Mastermind group together? They called themselves “The Inklings” and they were a literary discussion group, associated with the University of Oxford, between the 1930’s and 1949.
Walt Disney also had his own Mastermind group that he formed with his head animator called, “Nine Old men”. This group co-created many of the Disney classic films like Peter Pan and Cinderella.
Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs joined forces and created a Mastermind group, in which they called themselves “The Vagabonds”.
Information sourced from “The 5 Most Popular Mastermind Groups Of All-Time” by Jullien Gordon
See? Masterminds are pretty amazing, and some of our biggest and brightest thought leaders in history had their own Mastermind groups as well.
Okay, but fun facts aside...as you hear of or look up Mastermind groups to join, you need to be able to determine which one is right for you. AND the only way to do that is by figuring out exactly what you WANT and what your VALUES are.
Ask yourself these questions:
What are you hoping to achieve by joining a Mastermind group?
Do you prefer large groups or small intimate ones?
Are you looking for more collaboration, idea generating and/or problem-solving Mastermind meetings or would you prefer a Mastermind meeting in which you sit back and simply learn?
Do you want a set specific curriculum or would you rather learn from a more broad scope?
Do you want to be able to hide inside of a group or do you want to be seen, known and participate as an equal member?
It’s important you get your mind square on the things you desire from a Mastermind and THEN do your research on the Masterminds you may like to join.
Once you've found one you like, here are 3 important questions to ask the Mastermind leader:
What is the mastermind group purpose, mission & vision for each member?
For instance, I'll answer these questions for my Mastermind, The Brightly Immersive Mastermind:
Purpose: to provide a brave safe space for creative, leading driven women to pursue their dreams and live a life that lights them up!
Vision: to make your dreams a reality! With more dedicated support, accountability, connection (lifelong friendships), collaboration and clarity.
Mission: to provide the community, accountability, knowledge, freedom and creative thinking necessary to make these dreams a reality.
In short, I want to help you make your dreams a reality and I want you to grow your confidence as you make it happen.
While, yes, I would love for you to apply to my Mastermind, I believe in giving as MUCH information up front, so that you can make a well-informed decision.
Go through the steps I listed above and actually answer the questions. Click on the links to the other Masterminds I’ve linked above for examples to compare and contrast, so that you can make a well-informed decision that's best for you.
Should you need just a little more fire under your butt to help you know that Masterminds truly are the bees knees and worth every penny, here’s another quote (from one of my favorites) for your convincing:
“Coming together with kick-ass people and sharing your resources, your ideas, your connections, you know-how, your enthusiasm, and your snacks can take you all much further and way faster than if you were working on your own. Surround yourself with generous, creative, big thinkers and you’ll maximize your opportunities to get rich.”
- Jen Sincero, “You are a Badass at Making Money”