There are so many benefits of joining a mastermind group. I have been a member of both free peer-to-peer mastermind groups and paid groups over the years. One thing I have learned is that joining a mastermind group can profoundly change your business and your life. There really is no downside if you have the right group of people. What if you don’t know of a group you can join? Start your own!
Here are a few tips to get you started.
What is a Peer-to-peer Mastermind Group?
Block Quote: According to Wikipedia, the concept was coined back in 1925 by Napoleon Hill in his book, “Think and Grow Rich”. In his book, he wrote about master-mind principles as, “The coordination of knowledge and effort of 2 or more people who work toward a definite purpose in the spirit of harmony”.
So, a peer-to-peer mastermind is a group of people that come together to solve problems and learn how to overcome roadblocks in their businesses with the help of the other members in the group.
This type of mastermind involves brainstorming, the sharing of knowledge within its members, accountability, and the support of its members in a group setting in a way that helps you and the other members of the group. You can set big goals, and challenge and encourage each other to accomplish those goals. Accountability is one of the big reasons for joining a peer-to-peer mastermind group. There is power in having someone hold your “feet to the fire”.
You don’t get this sense of community with just a single accountability partner.
Principles of a Mastermind
It’s important to understand that there are certain principles the members must agree on in order to have a successful group. Some of those would be commitment, confidentiality, and the sincere ability to receive advice and ideas from the other members.
What the Members Get from Joining a Mastermind Group
- They get ideas and solutions to problems
- Validation that they are on the right track or have made the right decision
- The support of a network that is intimately familiar with your business
- The sense of belonging to a community or exclusive group
Who Should Consider Joining a Mastermind Group?
I think everyone should join a mastermind.
I was invited to join my first mastermind group in a rather unusual way. My friend (who I only knew through Facebook) wasn’t a member of the group, but she knew there was an opening in this real estate investing mastermind group. Someone was leaving the group and she thought I would be a good fit. So, my friend recommended me to another member of the group who was also her friend. (She was kind of the middle-man). Do you see the connection here? I had developed a friendship through Facebook, which led to me being invited into this mastermind.
My First Group (Almost a Decade Ago)
There were 6 people that made up the group. There happened to be 3 men and 3 women. We were all real estate investors, but we all had different business models. We all were at a similar level where our businesses were concerned. Here’s the important thing to note; we each had very different or unique skill sets that some of the others didn’t have.
For instance, one person was really good at social media, so we learned a lot from her. Another person was a virtual wholesaler. At that time virtual wholesaling was a cutting edge strategy. He chose that strategy because he lived in a non-disclosure state which meant he couldn’t obtain any type of real estate list like most others could; lists like absentee owners. One man only invested in multi-family properties. He was also skilled in creative finance strategies. I brought my knowledge of marketing and probate investing. We were all real estate investors with many things in common, but we also had different skills, knowledge and investing strategies. That should be one of your goals when inviting people into your group.
We also lived in different states which is important when it comes to this type of group. Since you will be sharing personal details of your business, having a competitor in your group wouldn’t work. Remember that confidentiality is important.
To Recap a Bit…
When choosing members of your mastermind group they should:
- Have similar interests and businesses (only real estate investors)
- Be at a similar level of business; no more than one step above or below where you are
- Be a person committed to change and open to new ideas
- Want the support and guidance of a peer group
- Be 100% “all in” when it comes to setting aside time to attend and participate in the meetings
Nothing derails a peer-to-peer mastermind group faster than have member(s) that aren’t committed and fail to show up.
How Does a Mastermind Group Work?
When I was in my first mastermind, we had our meetings through a platform called Free Conference Call. Today, most groups will meet monthly or bi-monthly on a video call using Zoom or a similar platform. How often you meet is something that varies from group to group, but it should never be longer than monthly so that the people don’t lose interest. Video calls themselves allow for a much deeper connection to the other members. I have built lifelong friendships through these types of groups.
When you’re setting up your own group here are some things you need to decide on.
- Who will be the facilitator? (More on that in a minute).
- How many people will be in your group? I recommend no more than 5 or 6 otherwise the meetings are too long.
- How long will each person have for their “hot seat” time?
- What type of screening criteria will you use to new add members?
- How often will you meet?
- What platform will you use for the meetings?
- Will you have one or more “in-person” meetings in addition to the regular calls?
What a Mastermind Group Isn’t
A mastermind group is not a coaching group, a group coaching program, or a networking group. There will be plenty of opportunities to network cross-promote each over the course of time, but that’s not the primary purpose of this type of group. Masterminds have a focused agenda.
What is a Facilitator and what are their Duties?
The facilitator of a peer-to-peer mastermind group is the leader of the group. They are the one that has the task of keeping the agenda on track. The facilitator is not there to coach. This person should also keep notes about important points as each person has their time in the “hot seat”, and they should note the action steps that the member intends to take before the next meeting. (Remember the part about a countability?)
When it’s your turn to get your hot seat, this is the time for you to discuss your business and any challenges you are having. Generally, there is a set amount of time allotted for each member. During this time, you can ask for any help you need, and you can discuss the challenges you are experiencing in your business. This is where the magic of joining a mastermind happens. Everyone sees your problem or challenge a little differently. This is what makes their suggestions so valuable. Because they aren’t so caught up in the emotion of the problem, they can often see a path forward that may not be obvious to you. They may have also experienced the same situation or a similar situation in their own business.
As I mentioned before, the facilitator will note any action steps the member intends to take before the next time they meet.
How Long Does the Meeting Last?
This is for each group to decide. However, if you have a 6 person group and you give everyone 15 minutes, that means the meeting will last about 90 minutes. 15-20 minutes might not seem like a long time, but that amount of time actually works well most of the time. It’s been my experience that not everyone will have a lot going on during every call, so that makes it possible for others to have more time for their hot seats. It all works out for the most part.
Anytime a group of like-minded people get together, you have a unique set of skills, connections, and experiences that allow great things to happen. Joining a peer-to-peer mastermind group will not only push you to set bigger goals, but it will actually help you accomplish those goals. When the members are no more than one step ahead or behind in the others in the group, this ensures that people can give and receive roughly the same value from the group.
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Have you ever been in a mastermind group? Tell me about your experience.
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Hi Sharon, yes I attend the Chicago REIA meetings. I work with Hugo. Unfortunately I won’t be attending the event. I’ve gone to others’ in the past and they’ve been very beneficial for networking and learning. Doing our first Master Mind this weekend, so it should be interesting!
Sounds great. That explains why I didn’t see Hugo.
This topic seemed to come at the right time. I’ve been meeting with a group of peers that I met at a local investing group in Chicago. We do a zoom call every Sunday night. It’s kind of been unofficial but now after hearing this, I want to pitch the idea to the group to turn this more in to a master mind with more structure. Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Joseph – I think you should do that. What investing group are you part of? Chicago REIA? I will be in Chicago later this week for Andrew Holmes’ 3 day event in Schaumburg, “Building an Empire”.