Over the last 10 years I have heard about the concept of a mastermind group. In the last couple of years, these groups have either become more prevalent, or I am just paying attention more. I believe both are true.
So, what is a mastermind group? In short, it is an alliance of like-minded individuals who desire to improve themselves. The purpose of mastermind groups is for the participants to raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals, brainstorm ideas, and support each other with total honesty, respect, and compassion.
I joined a mastermind group about six months ago. There are eight of us in the group. During this time, I have seen myself (as well as the other guys) grow personally, in business, and in family relationships. I didn’t think a mastermind group was for me. But, I got to a point where I wanted to stop being static in both the personal and professional areas of my life. I yearned for self-discovery and decided to try something new. Once I joined my mastermind group, I still remained reluctant. That hesitancy diminished very quickly.
Everyone experiences doldrums in life. You get stuck in routines and habits that are not healthy. Or you know there is more for you to get out of life, but you don’t know how to move forward.
Mastermind groups have been around for centuries. Have you ever heard of and/or read about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table? They were a group of like-minded men who had the same ambition to be better as leaders and to maintain order and success in the Kingdom. More recently, Napoleon Hill re-introduced the idea in his book Think and Grow Rich.
Experts say you are the sum of the people you associate with. If you hang with dolts you will become a dolt (look up the word; a good one to have in your vocabulary). If you mix with intelligent, motivated, kind-hearted people, odds are you will become more like them. As it says in Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpens iron, as one man (person) sharpens another”.
If you answer yes to any/all of the questions below, joining a mastermind group could be a great addition to your life:
- Do you feel stuck and you have felt this way for a while? Do you feel stagnate, not moving forward in areas of personal and/or career growth?
- Do you want to learn and expand your personal and industry knowledge? (Hint: find a group with diverse industry backgrounds.)
- Do you want to be held accountable by a group that has your best interests at heart? (Hint: close friends/family may not push us enough.)
Things to consider when joining or starting a mastermind group:
- Payment is required to join for “skin in the game”. I had a hard time wrapping my head around this, but people are more likely to commit to something if they pay for it. Human nature is such that people are less invested when things are free…easy come, easy go. The group I am in charges a fee to join. As a result, I am motivated to show up for calls, participate, and give input.
- What you want out of this group. Do you desire personal accountability, learning, creating community? Make a list of your desires.
- Be vulnerable. Take the time needed to build trust among those in your group. Be willing to open-up. Ask for help. Be prepared for tough feedback and remember the group wants to help you to grow into a better person.
- Be transparent. As you feel comfortable, let people know who you really are as person. Again, build that trust and be willing to put yourself “out there”. It can be an uncomfortable feeling at first, but the trust you build is foundational to your personal growth and the effectiveness of the group.
- Be available to members of your group. If they call or email, take or make the time for them. You will be asking for the gift of their time, too.
- Be a “giver” and a contributor to the group. Don’t be a “taker” all of the time. Put the needs of others first.
- LISTEN well. Remember there is a reason why you have two ears and one mouth! Work to strike that balance between talking and listening.
- Show up for all meetings. As we all know, the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it. A mastermind group is no exception.
- Keep a notebook of ideas and notes of conversations for future reference. There will be plenty of nuggets of wisdom to reflect on. Keep that notebook handy and review it often.
If you decide to join a mastermind group, build time into your schedule to look back, reflect and ask questions such as, “Am I a better person today than I was “X” months ago”? Ask your wife or a close loved one the same question. Ask the people in your mastermind group for a status check. Growth will come fast for some and slower for others. The main point is that you and the group move forward together.
Is a mastermind group for you? Only you know the answer to that question. My hope is that this article has been helpful. I’m here to offer additional assistance any time.
To Your Success!