The Beginner’s Guide To Mastermind Groups – Part I
Thanks to Napoleon Hill and his 1937 classic Think & Grow Rich, the concept of masterminding have taken the world by storm.
Successful businessmen – whether the richer industrialists from the early 20th century to the modern day’s business powerhouses – have all confessed to using mastermind groups in a way or another. In case you think this is an exclusive innovation in the commercial world, look around you.
Housewives participate in weekly gatherings to learn different food recipes from one another. College students leverage study groups to work on their term papers. Even seemingly innocuous kids have worked with their classmates to grow their baseball card collections! Amazing, isn’t it?
Perhaps you may be thinking “So what? What has that got to do with me?” Well, think about it. Are you experiencing goals stagnancy and need some fresh ideas to spruce up things? Do you have difficulty with daily motivation on your goals because none of your friends and family support what you’re doing? Have you been searching for someone with a specific skill to partner on a particular project? If yes, a mastermind group can jolly well be the breakthrough you’re looking for!
Why do I say that?
Many months back, I was quite fortunate to be able to join a couple of online mastermind groups. All for slightly different purposes. Not only have I benefited tremendously from the synergy, I’ve got to know a bunch of like minded friends. From all walks of life. From all nationalities. All working for similar goals. What did I give up to join these groups? Well, other than a few hours of my time a day, I don’t think I’ve sacrifice much. In fact, the benefits outweighs the costs so much that I’m glad I’ve done this after all!
So, What Exactly Is A Mastermind Group?
According to Napoleon, the Master Mind is defined to be the
… coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between 2 or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.
In other words, it’s 2 or more people working towards a common goal. They’re just like goal buddies. Except that the commitment to meet up regularly and “officially” is stronger. The way the group is rounded up is also more stringent. So, don’t be surprised if you find that you actually need an invitation to join certain groups. Because at the end of the day, it really depends on what the leader’s intention is when he first started it.
But no matter how different each group can be, some characteristics are still inherently similar:
Synergy Within A Common Goal
Needless to say, every member must have a similar reason for being there. The difference is, by working on your own individual goal, you’re actually helping the others with theirs. For example, your goal is to be able to earn $x from your home based business every month. By seeking advice on your own business frustrations during the weekly meetings, you’re actually encouraging the rest to consider different business conditions and scenarios. Which can affect their own operations in time to come.
Varied Experience, Expertise & Skill Sets
Member demographics differ but there’s a very high chance that everyone is of diverse backgrounds and experience levels. Junior members benefit from the greater industry experience and advice of the senior mentors. Senior members can tap on the unique skill sets of junior members. There’s this theory about joining a group whose members are already where you’ll like to be in your life – or who are at least a level above yourself. My only question is, why would these people allow you to be in their circle if you’re not already where they are? Well, unless you pay a premium for it. Like a membership fee. Otherwise, the safer bet is to leverage on your existing skill sets and sell it when there’s an opportunity.
High Accountability & Standards On Quality
Whatever you’ve promised to achieve with the group is held accountable. You’ll be asked to state your goals, justify them and review your progress on a weekly basis. Imagine being caught in a situation when you’ve nothing new to update since the last meeting. Will you be spurred to action so that you’ve got some progress on your bottom line? Probably very likely, isn’t it? The groups I’m in don’t hold anyone custody for anything. Nor do they hold weekly meetings of such sort. But I guess at the end of the day, it really depends on the mode of the operandi. And how comfortable each team member is, with the way things are pushed forward.
Strong Giving Spirit
An amazing attribute I’ve seen in the groups I’m in is that most of the members are very generous. They’re very willing to give. Their knowledge. Their time. Even their resources at times. In fact, the more they give, the more they receive. For example, there’s this guy who’ll constantly go the extra mile, give encouragement, positive feedback without the others asking for it. Whenever he has a task for the group, many will step forward and offer assistance.
Limited in Size
Though the ones I’m in are relatively large online groups, traditional masterminding work best with 5-6 people in a team. Anything smaller loses its group dynamics. Anything bigger becomes difficult to manage. The use of online technologies such as forums, social networking tools etc have made it much easier to manage bigger groups. But in my opinion, a close knitted small team exudes stronger spiritual synergy and flexibility. Which far outweighs the numbers you get from big groups.
Update : For your convenience, here’s the list of articles in this Masterminding series :
- The Beginner’s Guide To Mastermind Groups – Part I
- The Beginner’s Guide To Mastermind Groups – Part II
- The Beginner’s Guide To Mastermind Groups – Part III