The idea behind a mastermind group was first brought mainstream by Napoleon Hill in his book “The Law of Success” in the 1920’s, then later elaborated on “Think and Grow Rich” in 1930.
He defines it as the following…
“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”
“No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind] .”
Sign me up.
Of course, mastermind groups can be applied to anything from gardening to investing, but we’re going to keep an online entrepreneur lens on this for you to make sure this hits home.
The concept is fairly simple. You band together with 2 or more people with common goals and varied strengths to combat obstacles and accomplish goals.
Think about a group of Affiliates that all run Native Ads, or ecommerce marketers trying their luck at sourcing products and building out their own brands.
All the same headaches, but multiple people coming together not to be successful individually, but as a team.
The brain power and learning speed of a mastermind group will dominate that of a lone marketer.
Mastermind Group Benefits
The main benefits of mastermind groups include:
1. Sharing Skill Sets
Having everyone in the group share the same strengths defeats that purpose. Try to find multiple people with different skill sets, so you can leverage it against your own weaknesses.
2. Hold Accountability
An effective mastermind group holds everyone accountable through organized action. Don’t just make plans, get organized, share tasks for the week and report back as a group. You’ll feel 10 times more responsible to follow through if you know someone’s expecting it.
3. The Spiritual Component
It’s not what you think, this is more that when you come together in a group with a general purpose to level-up, you’re then in turn opening yourself up to better ideas than you thought possible. You’re positioning yourself in a lane that’s more susceptible to greater success.
4. Avoid Pitfalls
Since you’ve teamed up with others going through similar situations, there’s a good chance many have failed and learned their lessons. You get a second hand experience at these, and the lessons they’ve learned, positioning yourself ahead by avoiding them as best as possible.
5. Add Value for Others
It’s the ‘give and you shall receive’ model. If you show up ready to share your strengths, you can believe that those in your group will be even more ready to help you when the time comes. Be generous, for it will come back tenfold.
How to start an Online Mastermind Group?
The benefits are clear, but where do you start to form your own mastermind group?
We spoke to industry veterans who are highly experienced with forming and chairing masterminds. Some have been in groups that have lasted well over a decade.
Here are the four steps they define as essential to a successful Mastermind Group:
Step 1: The Goal
Why do you want to mastermind?
Don’t say to make money. BE SPECIFIC. Is it ecommerce? What about ecommerce?
Do you want to learn how to master a specific traffic source? Build a brand? Scale? Etc. PICK ONE.
The goal will be the name of your Skype/Telegram group. This will remind everyone what they should be focused on.
Step 2: The Team
Establish a team the size of 5-8 members.
You want to be sharing everything with one another. Keep it tight-knit and personal with a small group size. But large enough to have a range of opinions and skill sets.
Members need to be:
- All on the similar level as you.
- All with similar work hours (both amount and timezone).
- Ideally a range of skills, e.g design, programming etc.
Step 3: The Structure
This is how you make everyone adds value and helps to establish the spiritual component of a mastermind.
There needs to be a structure put in place to ensure calls are productive and that everyone is held accountable.
Here’s some Pro Tips for your mastermind group structure:
- Assign a new chairman every week. They will be in charge of organising the weekly call.
- You will organise a checklist of topics to cover, and stick to them.
- The point of the calls are not to catch up on how your weekend dates went.
- Assign a new timekeeper every week.
- They will be documenting every important point discussed in the call so everyone can refer to them later.
- Everyone should have equal time to speak and share.
- Hold all comments until everyone is finished speaking.
- Set a SCHEDULED time for a Skype call every week if possible.
- Use Dropbox and assign a folder to each member.
- Use Google docs for weekly topics and other important announcements.
- Set an amount of money you must spend every week on testing.
Step 4: The Rules
If you don’t learn to cut the fat, the mastermind will fail.
In all masterminds there is always at least one straggler not contributing.
This brings down everyone else.
The easiest way to deal with an uneven share of work is by setting clear rules:
- Write a google doc “contract”, clearly stating the expectations and terms and conditions. Get everyone to sign it.
- If you miss a call you get a yellow card. If you miss two calls you get a red card.
- Red cards means you get kicked out of the mastermind.
- There should never be an excuse to miss a call since times are scheduled every week to cater for everyone.
Finding Mastermind Group Members
Not sure where to find your members to create your mastermind group with?
Think of the endless groups online either on STM Forum, Facebook, or reddit and put together a post sharing your goal and have people reach out if they are interested. Or else attend conferences like Affiliate World who create dedicated niche networking events to help fast-track connections and is the perfect hunting ground for mastermind groups.
But be sure to stick to your guns and do not just let anyone in.
If it takes a few weeks to establish your mastermind group, it will be well worth the wait.
Mastermind Group FAQ
How do I find a mastermind group?
Start with a post in relevant Facebook Groups, Subreddits or in premium communities like STM Forum. Ask if there are existing masterminds looking for motivated members to join. Explain what your goal is, your strengths and what you will bring to the group.
How much do mastermind groups cost?
Self-organized mastermind groups with a common shared purpose are free. But that does not mean they do not hold as much value as a $5,000 mastermind. The value from a highly curated mastermind will tenfold that figure.
How do I start a mastermind group?
To summarize the points above into a simple 4-step process:
- Step 1: Define your specific goal. What do you want to achieve? The goal will be the name of your mastermind group.
- Step 2: Establish your team. 5-8 members that are on the similar level as you, with similar work hours (both amount and timezone) and ideally possess a range of skills.
- Step 3: Create the structure. Schedule a set time, assign a new weekly chairman and timekeeper, define the week’s agenda. The aim of the game is to keep this time efficient and productive.
- Step 4: Define the ground rules. Start with a contract and the consequences if the group rules aren’t met. You must trim the fat if members slack off and pull down the group.
How do you structure a mastermind group?
The mastermind group will need to be a minimum of five members but a maximum of eight to keep quality, accountability and shareability high. Assigning a new chairman and timekeeper every week for the calls.
Members need to be of the similar experience as you and work similar hours (timezone and commitment) and ideally members should bring a range of skill sets to the table.
What happens in a mastermind group?
A mastermind group combines several minds that share a specific goal and varied strengths to combat obstacles and achieve the goal together as a team.