Mastermind groups – How to start one!
All the others have a mastermind group…
You might have heard of great people talking about how much value they get from their mastermind groups. You may even have wondered how to get into one or start one. How to start your own mastermind group is what I want to share with you in this post. I am basing this on my own experience, so be sure to know that there are probably a thousand other ways to do this.
The real easy answer on how to start a Mastermind group is to find at least 2 other people and start helping each other with your business challenges. But I do want to give you a more in-depth answer, so here we go.
There are many different types of Mastermind groups. They can differ in the choice of topic, on structure, if they are free or paid, how many people are in them, how often they meet, and a lot of other things. This post will focus on unpaid Masterminds with a business focus.
How my mastermind group started
I kinda felt alone in my own Solopreneur business and had been looking into Mastermind groups for some time. I was not quite sure what to expect from one or how it would work. This is when I was watching a youtube live video from Pat Flynn. In the comments, they were talking about a new slack community they had started to support each other as business owners. I Started by joining the Slack group they had made for it. It was great, but also there were too many people to get really personal and specific about your business.
I was then speaking to another business owner in the group about the idea of having a smaller group meet weekly online. We wrote back and forth for a while about the idea, the rules, the schedule, and the people we wanted to join.
After setting up the base rules (you can see them later in the post), we started reaching out to people from the slack community we thought would be interesting to have in the group. We ended up being 5 people in the group – based on the fact that an uneven number is great if we disagree. That has not really been an issue.
We found the time that fits everyone, figured that we would use Zoom for our weekly meetings and discord for our chat channel (there is no limit on the number of messages in the free version like in slack).
About a year into the Mastermind group 3 members have changed, but we have an amazing group. The people who stopped did so for different personal reasons, and that is totally fine. We got some new great people in. In another post, I will let you know about the process of adding new members to the group.
Things to consider before your first meeting
The topic of the Mastermind group – As I mentioned, this post (and site) is focused on business, and even small business, so I’m thinking that will be the topic of your mastermind group. However, it might be a great idea to consider if you want to narrow it down even further. It could be authors, speakers, e-commerce owners, or something else.
There are pros and cons to both. One is that keeping the topic broad gives the opportunity for very different backgrounds in the group. That’s what we have in my group. This can be amazing to get different perspectives on a challenge. The con to this is when Andrew talks about drilling machines, I tend to get a bit lost. That means that it can be hard to give very specific advice.
Form of meeting – You should decide if you want the meetings to be online, in-person or over the phone (I know, but some people still prefer this). If meeting in person it could also be beneficial to decide if you are doing it as a walk-and-talk meeting, or if you are meeting at a specific place. That could be a specific café or maybe you meet at the member’s houses in turn. For my group, as we are based in different parts of the world, we meet on Zoom.
Frequency of meeting – The next thing is how often you want to meet. This can depend on a lot of things. It is easier to meet via Zoom, than in person (for most people). Meaning that if that is the form, you would probably meet more often. Some meet quarterly, some monthly, weekly, or even daily. My impression is that weekly is the. most used, but whatever fits you and your group. If you are the one setting up the group, figure this one out, and then find people who want the same as you.
Length of meeting – Like with the frequency, it depends. Both on the number of people in the group, but also the structure and how often you meet. We meet once a week for at least one hour. If you only meet once a quarter, you might want to plan a day or half a day for the meeting. Some do whole weekends.
How many people – The number of people depends on the time you have, and how deep you want to go. I would say that if you one have an hour and follow the hot seat approach, then five people are a max. You want to have enough time to get to everyone’s wins, and also have time to give valuable feedback to the person in the hot seat.
The tech – When you think about the set-up of the group, also think about the tech. As you have seen my group is using Zoom, Discord, and Whatsapp to communicate. Are those the platforms you want to use, or are you better with using a Facebook group or something else altogether? Here also think about the expenses, is having a zoom subscription something one of you already have, or is it an extra cost – who is paying? Be clear on this from the beginning, so that no one feels like that gets stuck with the bill.
Ground rules – Lastly, make some ground rules in your group. Something that everyone feels makes sense, and helps elevate the group and the idea of the group.
Here are the ones we have in my group:
#1. Attendance is mandatory (other than family emergencies etc..)
#2. Whathappens in Vegas stays in Vegas
#3. Be able to both give AND receive constructive criticism.
Other posts on Mastermind groups:
Always remember – Have fun and Get Shit Done!