How to Set Up A Successful Mastermind Group
Living the life of a solopreneur can feel lonely at times, which is unfortunate because there are so many amazing people out there living that life, too. What if you could get together with a few of them and bounce ideas off of one another, support and encourage one another, and just be amazing together?
That's where mastermind groups come in. I can attribute my success, in large part, to the ladies in my mastermind group. I truly believe that anyone who is trying to take their blog or business to the next level should be in a mastermind group, so I want to break down the steps to show you how to set up a successful mastermind group of your own.
First, let's start at the beginning by answering the question:
"What are mastermind groups?"
Valid question. Some people hear the term but don't understand what this means. You might visualize a group of nerdy scientists sitting in an all-white lab room plotting to take over the world.
In reality, a mastermind group like what I'm in looks more like this:
A group of 5 boss ladies hanging out daily in a private Facebook group, sharing the good, bad, and ugly of running an online business, promoting one another's content, offering feedback on each other's ideas, and being the support system each woman needs. Plus, they meet once a month to hash out their big, scary goals and brainstorm ways to make them happen.
There is usually a lot of laughter and goodness involved, too.
"Who can benefit from mastermind groups?"
Another great question. My honest answer is not the short & simple "everyone", because I do think some people with the wrong intentions can bring down an entire group.
Masterminds are great for people who have a goal or seven. *wink* They have something they are working towards, and they need a support group to help them get there.
But it's more than that. Mastermind members are also really encouraging people who get kicks out of seeing other people make it happen.
Masterminds are not for self-serving people. The giving is a two-way street. << tweet this!
Now that you understand what they are and who they're for, let's talk about creating your own mastermind group, because that's the next logical question, right?
How to Set Up A Successful Mastermind Group
Every successful mastermind group has 3 key elements: a Purpose, People, and a Plan. Take one of these elements away, and your mastermind group won't be very effective.
THE PURPOSE OF YOUR MASTERMIND GROUP
This is the "why" of your group, the heart and soul of your group. You need to be very clear on the direction and meaning of the group you wish to create before you go about finding the right members and creating a plan.
A few reasons why you might want a mastermind group might be:
- Accountability for goals: If you've got big goals for your blog or business, and need people who speak the lingo to help you achieve them, a mastermind group could be perfect for you.
- Growth and engagement: Perhaps you are trying to get more targeted readers to your blog and more engagement on your social media channels. Partnering with a few bloggers in a similar niche could help you do just that.
- Working through the nitty gritty: If you're an idea person, like myself, sometimes you need people who think like you do to help you work out the details of all of your ideas, and help you decide if your idea is actually worth pursuing in the first place. Mastermind groups are amazing for this!
- Support, encouragement, and understanding: Sometimes you just need your people. You need people who understand your season of life, your brand of blogging, your struggles. Mastermind groups are great for that, too, because let's be honest, life behind a computer screen can get a bit lonely from time to time.
Define the purpose for the mastermind group you wish to create and what you hope to get out of the experience, then move on to the second key element.
THE PEOPLE IN YOUR MASTERMIND GROUP
Let's be really clear here: A mastermind group is NOT a large Facebook group with a ton of voices trying to be heard above the noise. It's meant to be a small group of people all focused on one purpose.
A successful mastermind group should have somewhere around 5 people in it at most. This will become more important when we get into the plan. Keep it small to keep it active and intentional.
You probably have one or two people who come to mind as soon as you decide you want to create a mastermind group. These people are your existing support group, your existing sounding board, and people you already turn to with questions about your blog or business. If you trust them, and you think they would be interested in being an active participant in this group, invite them in!
When selecting people for your mastermind group, consider the following:
- Will these people be an active participant in the group, both online and offline? A successful group, as you'll see when we get into the plan, will meet regularly. You need to be sure the people you invite will take this seriously and make the meetings a priority.
- Can they be trusted with your business secrets? As you get deeper into a relationship with your mastermind group members, chances are you'll be sharing things like income, pageviews, statistics, successes and failures, negative feedback, etc. The people you invite into your group should be very trustworthy, and should be willing to share just as much insider information with you about their business.
- Are they good communicators & collaborators? Depending on the purpose for your mastermind group, you want to be sure the members are easy to get in touch with, and will be honest with you, good or bad, about the ideas you bring to the table. You don't want a bunch of "yes men" in your group because you'll gain nothing. And if you want to kick it up a notch, you will want people who would be great partners to work with on future collaborations for your business.
When I created my mastermind group, I invited one of my closest and most trustworthy friends to join me. Then, she and I each chose one other person whom we thought would be a good addition and each invited them. After a few months, I made a suggestion to add one more person, and we put it up to a vote. I only invited member #5 after receiving a thumbs-up from all of the other members in the group, so as not to step on any toes.
We were very selective with the people we chose for our group, and it has honestly been one of the best experiences of my career so far. These women have all become my closest friends, and I get just as excited about their accomplishments as I do my own. This is the kind of camaraderie you should have in a close-knit mastermind group.
After you have your people sorted out, you need to lay out the final element:
THE PLAN FOR YOUR MASTERMIND GROUP
This is where you get into the nitty gritty and finer details of your mastermind group. Since you are the one who started the group, you will be expected to be the leader, which means you will plan the format of the group.
The most successful mastermind groups will have regular meetings attended by all members. It's up to you how you handle those meetings, but don't overlook them. You also need to determine how you will communicate with one another between meetings, and what kinds of support you'll provide to one another.
For example, you will need to determine:
- Monthly meetings or more often?
- Online meetings or in real life?
- Private Facebook group, email chains, Slack group, or something else?
- Weekly prompts, or free-for-all?
For my mastermind group, we meet via Google Hangout once each month for at least 2 hours. There are 5 of us, so we allow ample time for each of us to talk about what is going on in our businesses right now, and what we need help with. And new for 2017, we're also working through our Powersheets together to stay on top of our goals.
We have a private Facebook group and have open dialogue all the time in there. We talk about anything, free from judgment, and in complete confidence. We also have a weekly thread that I start on Sundays in which we add anything we'd like help promoting throughout the week.
Decide what works for you and the members of your group, but definitely create structure and a set of guidelines to keep everyone in check. Things will go a lot smoother when everyone is on the same page.
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