by Mark Simon
What is a mastermind group? A mastermind group is a collaboration of people who regularly meet to improve themselves, their business or anything else. There are five components to a successful mastermind group which are outlined below.
Successful mastermind groups have a concentrated focus, and the group should only admit people who are concentrating on the relatable topics. The members of a mastermind group should have similar interests, but this doesn’t mean that the mastermind group should exclude people that don’t all participate in the same profession. If your mastermind group is about graphic design, don’t exclude people who are experts in the field yet work in a separate industry. The diversification in experience could lead to a different perspective, which could lead to a myriad of new ideas.
The people you invite into a mastermind group will make or break the group. Mastermind group members either bond together or polarize away from each other. You want superglue bonds. Every member doesn’t always have to agree with each other during meetings though. Healthy group discussions are often educational and progressive. Encourage discussion but be wary of condescending attitudes and passive aggressive commentary. Resentment will ruin the group dynamic.
Before you start inviting people, you need to choose a suitable meeting location that will foster a positive environment. Make sure that members don’t have to yell in order to have their statements heard. If your group cannot meet in person, there is an alternative solution.
Contemporary communication technology platforms enable members to participate in meetings despite not being able to physically attend. You will need a computer with a webcam, a video and sound card, and internet access. Here are some different online avenues to set up an internet discussion:
- Local – Meetup.com
- Phone – Freeconferencecall.com
- Online – Google Group or Yahoo Group
- Video – Skype
It is very common to use a combination of these services; such as using a group for announcements and then phone, video or physical location for the actual meeting.
Once you have a group together the mastermind meeting should take place at the same time on a regular basis; usually weekly or monthly.
In addition to a meeting location, there must be an easy way to communicate & share information between members. This will include the next meeting date and time, resources to be shared and follow up on, and progress of items discussed during the last meet up. Google & Yahoo groups are great for this. You can also setup a private forum using vBulletin or phpBB. Setting up a forum requires a bit more technical knowledge, and you will need to purchase the software. Google and Yahoo are free services.
Once you have a group of people, meeting location and a way to disperse information to all members each meeting must have a set agenda. Depending on your group, this agenda may be free flowing or highly structured. Regardless, a successful meeting is dependent on knowing what is going to be discussed before the meeting. Here is a rough agenda that you can expand on:
- Roll Call
- Review topics from last meeting
- Individual Status Reports
- Roundtable Feedback
- Topic Overview
- Open Discussion
- Set Action Items
Things to Avoid
Before you go out and form your mastermind group, there are a few things to adamantly avoid during the formation & ongoing meetings of the group.
- Too many people
- Not following the agenda
- Cancelling without rescheduling immediately
- Cancelling twice in a row
Keep in mind that a mastermind group may not stick around forever and that’s fine. Sometimes things run their course then dissipate. Share your experience with mastermind groups in the comments below.
Mark Simon is the SEO Director for Underground Elephant where he focuses on generating mortgage leads and other lead generation activities for highly competitive verticals. He is known to be obsessed with guest blogging and twitter.