So you’re working your tail off as an entrepreneurial side-hustler and putting some serious blood, sweat, and tears into your projects.
And you seem to be making progress toward your goals, so it’s proving to be a worthwhile effort.
The only problem?
It’s lonely as an entrepreneur.
Even if you have a team supporting you, living the life of an entrepreneur (more like solopreneur) can make you question yourself.
- Am I making the right decisions?
- Is this the fastest way to accomplish what I want?
- When will I be able to scale my ideas?
- Does my audience even care about what I have to offer?
We all get bouts of self-doubt -- but they don’t have to be faced alone.
Starting a mastermind group is a great way to foster a supportive network between like-minded people, make progress toward a common goal, and come up with the best solutions -- and you can do this all while turning it into a profitable business opportunity.
But before we talk about how, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of everything you need to know when starting your own mastermind group.
What is a mastermind group?
Mastermind groups are collectives where like-minded people provide advice and support towards a common goal and help solve specific problems as a group.
They’re sometimes also referred to as advisory groups or success teams, and it’s not uncommon for members to view them as peer-to-peer mentoring.
Though my favorite term for mastermind groups goes back to the day they were born. Napolean Hill, who authored The Law of Success and Think and Grow Rich, originally conceptualized mastermind groups as “mastermind alliances.”
Napolean Hill defined these alliances as:
“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
While Napolean Hill defines the group as having two or more members, experts recommend keeping modern mastermind groups somewhere between four to 10 members to ensure they don’t lose focus on their goal.
But that isn’t to say that they can’t, or don’t, exceed that volume.
As an example: Dean Graziosi, known for his real estate investing and business scaling, has grown one of the leading mastermind groups, called Organized Brilliance, and accepts 42 members per series.
So as you can see, mastermind groups don’t have hard limits on their volume -- as long as their goals and purpose are satisfied by their growth (or shrinking), they’re performing the desired function.
But before we go any further, let’s briefly cover some ground on what a mastermind group is not.
It is not:
- Group coaching - One lead coach doesn’t answer to each member’s problems, but rather, each member provides feedback and brainstorms solutions in support of group members.
- A class - The members can vote for bringing in occasional new teachers and guest speakers, but it is not led by a single instructor.
- A networking group - There’s much more to a mastermind meeting agenda than exchanging referrals. The mastermind group is goal-oriented and works toward a common agenda.
So, now that you have some background on what a mastermind group is (and isn’t), let’s take a quick spin through the benefits of mastermind groups for creators.
What are the benefits of an online mastermind group?
Back in the day, there were limited options when it came to meeting locations for like-minded people. Without virtual meeting options, they all had to happen in person.
But today, thanks to technology, we have remote options. As long as you have internet access, you can meet up from anywhere in the world.
It’s become a popular way to connect with people in the professional world, in particular, and that isn’t likely to slow down anytime soon.
And nowadays, all the online tools you need are at your fingertips, which makes it much more convenient to conduct an online vs. in-person mastermind group.
To give you a better understanding of the many advantages, here are six key benefits of running an online mastermind group:
Benefit #1: Flexibility in location and chosen members
As I mentioned earlier, without being location-bound, you can meet from anywhere. But it’s not just about convenience: you’ll also enjoy significant time and money savings when your mastermind group operates online.
In the U.S. alone, workers in top cities saved as much as 343 hours and $555 in gas annually by conducting work remotely.
The only thing to coordinate with an online mastermind group is your meeting time.
And another huge benefit to this flexibility is being able to choose the most talented and relevant people to join your mastermind membership, regardless of where they live.
Plus, with that flexibility in choosing members who are truly the best fit for your group, you also reap the advantages of collaboration, which we cover in the next two benefits.
Benefit #2: Various perspectives and golden solutions
You know that phrase, “too close to the fire?”
That can happen when you work toward a goal alone and don’t interact with other people. Bouncing ideas off of other people gives you alternative angles to use during your brainstorm sessions, which means more honest, creative ideas, and stronger brainstorming power.
And what comes of all those wonderful differing perspectives?
By joining forces and collaborating with other minds, perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences, the combination of insights frequently resolve in those magical solutions and best ideas -- something that would otherwise take forever to achieve, or worse, not happen at all.
This is the heart of the mastermind group, where you truly benefit from the “two heads are better than one” concept.
An older but still valid study found that there’s an 81% positive correlation between collaboration and innovation, and 54% of people get their best ideas while talking to colleagues.
Also: people are more likely to stay motivated in a collaborative environment, as collaborators stick to their task 64% longer than people who work alone.
Not only do mastermind groups provide you with novel and innovative solutions through collaboration and diversity -- they also give you access to a whole slew of additional resources, which brings us to our next advantage.
Benefit #3: More resources
The beauty of working closely with like-minded people is having reliable access to relevant resources when you need it from people you trust.
And who doesn’t appreciate people you can trust? It’s one of the six core components of any healthy relationship.
So if you need a certain skill set that’s not in your wheelhouse, either someone directly from your group will know how to do what you want to accomplish, or they’ll know someone credible who does.
Your mastermind group widens your network to a greater wellspring of relevant skills and resources.
So with all that magic happening between collaborators, is there more to enjoy from starting your own mastermind group?
Yes, friends. We’ve got two more for you.
Benefit #4: Accountability
With regularly scheduled meetings, an official agenda (more on creating an agenda later), and actions items to complete, your group of like-minded members will hold each other accountable for making progress toward their goals.
Your mastermind peers will keep you focused and on track -- after all, multiple eyeballs and brains working toward something together mean more attention on your main objective.
Plus, you don’t want to be the only who isn’t contributing or pulling their weight. That would be embarrassing.
Ken Wallace founded MastermindJam on the premise of his four core pillars, the third of which is accountability:
- Pillar of trust
- Pillar of candor
- Pillar of accountability
- Pillar of curation
When it comes to accountability, Ken says:
“A good mastermind will insist on accountability from each member… Masterminds that don't insist on true accountability are short-lived and a waste of everyone's time.”
He elaborates, explaining that if no one in your mastermind group has ever asked why you aren’t reaching your goals, you need to find another group.
And he would know. After all, his mastermind group is built with the group that needs accountability more than most -- fellow entrepreneurs.
Here’s a quick view of his MastermindJam membership:
Sara Christensen, who runs Kickass Masterminds, echoes a similar sentiment about accountability:
“When members achieve their goals, our groups celebrate fiercely with them. When they don’t, the facilitator leads the group in asking questions about what isn’t working and getting this person they help they need to succeed.”
Sounds good, right?
But if accountability isn't enough to seal the mastermind deal for you, there’s one more benefit to consider.
Benefit #5: A supportive network
The purpose of being involved as a mastermind member is to both benefit from and provide value to the group.
The rule of reciprocity applies where each of your members wants to help one another reach their fullest potential in exchange for receiving the same.
The basic idea behind this rule is the more you give and contribute to your colleagues’ success, the more likely they’ll want to return the favor.
It’s a concept that applies universally, by the way. Reciprocity is at the heart of how gift incentives and reward programs work: when you offer the customer something for “free,” they’re more inclined to stay loyal out of obligation.
For example, the offer you see below from ButcherBox is a perfect demonstration of reciprocity-in-action for a membership-based program.
But getting back to our point -- with the reciprocal relationships you build through your mastermind group, you can anticipate camaraderie, confidence boosts, ready access to resources, and potentially even uplifted moods.
Founder of Marketing Personalities, Brit Kolo, told me that joining a mastermind group is the best investment she’s made in her business so far, and had this to say about the supportive community within masterminds:
“Business growth is just the beginning of the incredible effects ... I've also grown as a human being, a leader, and a CEO. The other business owners in my mastermind group have become lifelong friends, and I do not say that lightly.”
It’s more than just a feeling for Brit, by the way.
With the wisdom, support, and friendships she’s gained via her mastermind group, Brit massively grew her company in 2018.
Would it have been possible without a mastermind group? Probably. Would it have been as seamless or fulfilling? Unlikely.