Mastermind Your Practice

Are you thinking about creating or joining a Mastermind Group?

There’s no better referral source than a Mastermind Group because all of your introductions will be high-quality and the probability of closing them is going to be dramatically higher. These referrals are going to be a great fit because the members of this group know you the best. Every person in your group is going to have very high credibility. These are the best of the best. And like a good wine, this will just get better over the years.

An example of that in action is from an advisor we have worked with over the years:

"This is an excellent way to make deep friendships, but it can be hard for people because they’re so busy. It’s not golf; you really get a chance to share business challenges with each other and help each other to solve them and create that third mind. We are very selective about who we choose to bring into our small group. It's important to get it right the first time. You want people who are like-minded with positive energy and a positive attitude about helping each other build their businesses. If there’s not that collaborative process, I don’t think it works. In one group I have been in for twenty-five years, we still answer the 3 questions:  1. What’s new; 2. What do I have to give; and 3. What do I need?"

There are a variety of ways to organize your group, but the constants I’ve found that balance everything are structure, leadership, people willing to share their goals and their obstacles to reaching those goals, a confidential climate, and an 85% attendance minimum. You should also have unanimous acceptance of new members, and you have to be consistent about firing people. That doesn’t mean that that person can’t continue to be a friend or a COI but they just can’t be part of the Mastermind Group.

My friend Bill Cates has six overarching principles that will guide you through the process:

  1. The concept of the mastermind is that third mind. It’s hard to solve problems and come up with solutions in a vacuum. It can happen sometimes. Sometimes just walking down the road we have an “ah ha moment.” What I’ve learned is that if we have a problem, an issue, there’s a good chance there are other people who’ve had the same problem, same issue. We just need to find out who they are and we need to tap into that. That’s the power of broad networking and making sure we know a lot of people in our industry and outside of our industry as well. We get an industry-think sometimes that we have to be careful about. For me, I have three Mastermind Groups. One group I’ve had for a long time.
  2. The whole idea is to share an idea, something that’s working.We have different agendas different times it seems, but the basic principle in most meetings is to bring an idea that’s working for us that we share with others. We talk to each other and review each other about that idea. How can I make that idea apply to my business? Sometimes someone will say X and it triggers Y in our brain. We don’t know why it triggers another idea. It relates somehow and we make that investment in time worthwhile.
  3. We bring a challenge. One of the keys of a good functional Mastermind Group is the willingness to put our ego at the door and not try to be there to impress everybody and to come with a challenge.
  4. Come open-minded and with a little bit of vulnerability and be willing to take on other thinking and not “pooh-pooh” somebody’s idea too quickly. One of the things I’ve also learned that’s helped me with the mastermind is that if somebody is having success with something—let’s say they’re doing Supernova. I see someone’s having success with Supernova but I can’t seem to make it work. I’m struggling to making this happen. What’s the difference in George having success and me not? It’s my beliefs, my belief system. I’ve got a limited belief; a mistaken
    assumption somewhere along the way that’s keeping me from somehow engaging in a process that other people have proven to work. That’s the mindset we need to bring to the Mastermind. We have limiting thinking.
  5. Remember, we all have blind spots. One guy in my Mastermind Group calls it a scotoma (that’s the medical word for a blind spot). Another guy says, “it’s hard to see the picture when you’re in the frame.” It’s the value over time of these other people that builds these trusting relationships where you know each member of the group has your best interest at heart. Any kind of critique, constructive criticism or questioning of your assumptions is coming from the place of wanting you to be successful. That takes time to develop. Time is a critical element. Then we can start to see those blind spots that maybe we kind of sensed were there but didn’t really know. We don’t know what we don’t know. That’s one of the powers of the groups, to find those blind spots and dissolve those things away for each other. Pretty much every Mastermind Group I’ve gotten into has started purely on the business level, but has always gotten to the point where we started to talk about other stuff in our life. It’s all blended anyway.
  6. That being said, some incredible friendships build from these things as well. I have one group, we meet quarterly for a full day; we used to meet monthly; we’re local. I have two other groups that meet twice a year and we’re in different parts of the country so we rotate around where we meet. Those usually are day-and-a-half meetings to get a lot of good work done. Whenever someone thinks they’re the smartest person in the room, they always discount the advice from other people. There are probably some people reading this nodding their head because they know somebody like that. Other people are wondering if they suffer from that phenomenon. You have to all be committed to each other’s growth. You have to be committed to leaving your ego aside and not trying to impress each other. Some of that slips in, I get that. We’re sharing wins with each other, but it has to come from that place of caring about helping the other person and also looking to get help.

Read more about Mastermind groups and other acquisition techniques in "The Supernova Multiplier" by Rob Knapp.

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