Mastermind Groups Overview
The term ‘Mastermind Group’ was first coined by Napoleon Hill in his book, Think and Grow Rich. It refers to a group of four peers who meet on a regular basis to exchange ideas and contacts with the purpose of helping each other be successful through everyone’s unique perspective, knowledge and diverse experiences and contacts.
For your Supernova Mastermind Group you can create a group where each member is from different industries or you can create a niche mastermind where the four people are uniquely qualified in one industry. The Mastermind Group serves as a four-member support team and resource for growing your business through the different perspectives, unique knowledge and diverse experiences and contacts of your peers that are in industries different than yours.
How do you go about putting together a Mastermind Group? You first choose one person that is a close friend and has similar aspirations to your own. He or she is someone you would invite over for a Sunday barbeque and that your families enjoy spending time together. He or she could be a neighbor, former classmate or colleague. The two of you choose a third person and then the three of you choose a fourth. It is important you choose people who are comfortable sharing their feelings and concerns with a group. Commitment to confidentiality is also very important.
It is a good idea to formalize some rules for your group and have these guidelines written up and signed by everyone. They can include confidentiality of information presented, required participation, the meeting place, follow through on goals you set, open and truthful sharing and having an assigned 'leader' to keep everyone on task. It is important to have a regular meeting time and place that everyone can put on his or her calendar. It also can be important to touch base between meetings to make sure everyone is following up on the actions discussed at the meeting.
The structure for meetings is based on personal preference. However, these are a few of the suggestions that have proven to work over time.
1. A 90-minute monthly meeting with everyone sharing. First 15 minutes would provide an opportunity to check in by sharing successes or wins during the last month and a brief recap of their progress. Then each member would have 15 minutes to share their goals/challenges and get feedback and suggestions from the group. This would be an opportunity to bring up important business issues and get advice and support that would help you move forward. The last 15 minutes would allow each member to state his or her commitment and actions that they will take that month to move toward their goals. This kind of structure would require a moderator to make sure everyone was heard.
2. A 90-minute monthly meeting with one person presenting. Each person would have 5 - 15 minutes to check in and update everyone on his or her progress for that month. Then the balance of the time is spent on one person who presents their project/business and gets feedback on it. In this scenario, each person takes turns being the focus of attention for the rest of the session thus every four months each individual would have a turn to present.
3. Yearly the group goes to an out-of-town location for 2-3 days and combines regular sessions with a guest speaker and other activities like golf or tennis.
Similar to a peer advisory board, there is a synergy of energy, commitment and excitement that participants bring to a Mastermind Group. However, a Mastermind Group can be more effective because of its size. It takes courage to participate but the rewards are many. Participants find they raise the bar by challenging each other to create and implement goals and support each other with total honesty, respect and compassion. They are each other's devil's advocate and a catalyst for growth. Many high-powered business associations such as YPO use this technique to their advantage. The time is right for financial advisors to get in the game and leverage this technique to their advantage.
We will discuss niches in the next step but briefly a Niche Mastermind Group focuses on providing an all-encompassing service to similar clients. For example, my CPA is in a Mastermind Group that consists of a banker, a business broker and a venture fund capitalist. If you are seeking a way to purchase, sell or fund a business the four of them could do it for you. Another FA we worked with is in a Mastermind group specializing on doctors selling their practice. They have a person to do the business evaluation, a lawyer who draws up the papers for the sale, a realtor that is involved in the sale of their present location and a CPA who specialized in helping doctors with tax issues associated with the sale of a practice. The FA’s role was to be the expert on what to do with the proceeds of the sale.
• Choose the first person to be in your group
• The two of you choose a third and fourth person
• Write out some guidelines for the group
• Meet monthly with an agenda
If you need help read Chapter 7 in The Supernova Multiplier
If you don't already have a Mastermind Group start assembling one by writing down what you would like to get out of one and choose one candidate to approach. The two on you can work on the rest together!
Ask yourself these questions: Do we communicate well? Are we both in a position to help each other professionally? What will the guidelines be for our meetings?