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The Beginner’s Guide To Mastermind Groups – Part II

By Ellesse

If you’ve been searching for a particular mastermind group to join, tendency is, you’re looking for a needle in a haystack.

Why do I say that?

Well, because even though masterminding has been a widely established concept and informally practiced in many business organizations, they’re usually manifested in the community as special interest groups, networking teams or even health clubs. Googling or asking around if there’s a mastermind group for you to join is likely to be futile not because they don’t exist. But rather, because they’re embedded in many larger clubs and online forums that most people overlook when they’re conducting the search. And it certainly doesn’t help that most, if not all effective mastermind groups are strictly by invitation only.

mastermind groups
In my opinion, finding the right mastermind group to join is only part of the strategy. Knowing why you’re participating is the real deal. Here are 5 steps I think you should review when finding a group to join. Especially if you’re just starting out.

(1) Understand Your Own Goals & Objectives

I know this is going to raise some eyebrows. But isn’t this the reason why you’ve joined the mastermind group for? To help you brainstorm your goals & objectives? Wrong.

You don’t join a mastermind group to help you search for your bottom line. That’s more like personal coaching. Instead, you join a mastermind group to bring focus on the subtasks you’ve to go through to attain your goal. Let me illustrate using an example.

Say, your goal’s to lose 20 pounds in 6 months. You’ve drafted a goal plan which includes tasks such maintaining a healthier diet, working out regularly etc. The mastermind group itself – which in this case can be a ‘Trim & Fit’ club per say – keeps you engaged with things you need to do to lose that weight. And if you’re stuck, that’s where your team members come in. To give you advice such as switching to a different diet plan, workout routine or even trying other natural slimming therapies.

As you can see, members in this ‘Trim & Fit’ club are very sure of what they want to achieve : lose weight. They certainly don’t join it only to realize it’s actually debt consolidation or business startup issues they’re concerned with, do they?

I know this sounds a bit far fetched but look around you, how many people you know are networking for the sake of networking? Or how many of them join groups just because their friends are members too? One of my friends was like that. He was recently fascinated with the Law of Attraction and participated in a special interest group which his friend belonged to. Even after a few sessions of trying to bend a spoon with his “mind power”, he clearly didn’t know what’s the point of doing what he did. Was it to practice focusing his thoughts so that he could leverage this same energy in his business? Or plainly just for fun?

If you’re not clear of your goals, not only are you wasting your time, you’re very likely to find yourself in the wrong company too.

(2) Get Connected to the Grapevine

Once you’re aware of what you want to achieve, jump into the midst and find the biggest party. For example, if you want to lose weight, sign up for the biggest downtown gym membership and interact with other members whenever you’re there for a workout. At the same time, register into those online forums for fitness buffs and post some insightful feedback or interesting questions. And get to know the persons behind those regularly updated health & fitness blogs you’ve been following and write them some comments or personal emails.

While doing this, it’s very important to focus on the value you’re creating. If you’re just saying “hello” every time you see someone in the gym, not only is it difficult to leave to an impression, it’s basically of little constructive value to the other party. Instead, try asking the other person how to use different equipments in the gym or how he developed those awesome looking muscles and you’ll begin a more memorable conversation. It allows you to judge if he possess the knowledge you’ve been seeking for and also lay the foundation for any inquiries you may have in future. Likewise for online forums and blog comments.

In fact, that’s how I got myself into one mastermind group. I’ve been following a very popular and insightful blog for a while. When the blogger decided to start a mastermind group on a goal I’ve been working on, I responded immediately. And it certainly helped that I’ve been exchanging a few personal emails with him slightly before this recruitment.

By pushing yourself to the forefront and mingling with potential masterminding leaders, you’re raising your profile so that you do get recognized for your contribution. At the same time, you’re making your search easier. Because the people you ask may well point you in the right direction. Even if they may not belong to any mastermind group themselves.

(3) Send Out the Vibes

How do you know if there’s a mastermind group in the brewing? Well, observe and if need be, ask!

Assuming you’ve been contributing to the community, you’re very likely to hear such news faster than others who’re not. In my case, since I’ve been reading the feeds of that blog for quite a while, I clearly had a time advantage. Alternatively, you can get off the backseat and ask around.

While doing so, it’s very important to know who you’re asking. Try seeking out the community leaders first as they’re likely to be the top of the grapevine and can save you a lot of time weeding through. They can also help you send out the vibes and connect you with a group that’s recruiting.

And well, if you really really can’t find any mastermind group for the particular goal you’re seeking, the other option is to start one yourself! I will elaborate on this in part III of this guide. So do stay tuned if you’re interested to find out more.

(4) Assess Your Choices

Great. After some scouring and connection, you receive one invitation to join a new mastermind group. Do you accept it immediately? Most people are often too flattered to say “No”. My stand is, “It depends”. Considering whether to accept a membership invitation should depend on :

  • How Closely Aligned Is It To Your Goal

    Yes again. But in a slightly different context. Say your goal’s to lose weight while the mastermind group’s objective is strength training. Though they belong to the same Health & Fitness niche, the focus can be quite different. Be aware of what you’re getting into especially since if the time commitment is high.

  • Whether You Akin To The Leadership

    This is by far, one of the other more important consideration. How comfortable are you with the leadership style? Some mastermind group leaders prefer to let their members run the show after setting the framework. If you’re someone who prefers to be led step by step, perhaps a more disciplined top down approach is something you’re more comfortable with. Sometimes, your faith in the leader’s ability to run the group and his authority in the niche has a part to play as well. That’s the reason why I signed up for that blogger’s group. Because I’ve absolute confidence in his brand and ability to spearhead the project. So far, I’ve not been disappointed.

  • Whether You Can Live Up To The Commitment Level

    Well, if the group reviews on a weekly basis and you can’t afford the time, shouldn’t you look elsewhere? Likewise if you can’t afford the monthly membership fee for some premium mastermind groups.

  • Whether There’s Any Previous Accolades

    This would be one of the least likely considerations. But some mastermind groups are periodically accepting members on an ongoing basis. So, determining if this is worth your time and money (at times) could be as easy as checking with the existing or previous members.

(5) Take the Plunge!

You’ve done the research and everything looks good. But before you sign on the dotted line, here are some 3 golden rules to bear in mind:

  • Don’t Just Open The Mind But Close The Heart

    Many join the mastermind groups to brainstorm new revolutionary ideas, but neglect the fact that such groups are still made up of people. Absorb or refute the new knowledge or advice where you deem fit but do in a diplomatic manner. Shower attention on your fellow members just like how you would loved to be taken care of. Remember, the spiritual connection of a mastermind group is natured from the heart. Not just the mind.

  • Don’t Just Say The Words But Lose the Action

    If the group’s creative and dynamic, many new and exciting ideas can be generated. But it’s easy to get fascinated by all the frenzy that you overlook the execution. Say all you want but grab the most interesting idea, put in that little bit of effort and make it a reality. Even if you fail, it’s ok. You may have lost some time and resources perhaps. But what you’ve gained is much more valuable. That is, experience.

  • Don’t Just Receive But Never Give

    If you’re a somewhat inexperienced member in the team, tendency is, you’re usually on the receiving end of someone’s kindness and generosity. Reciprocate it with a word of thanks, a gift or even better, your skills and knowledge. No matter how little you think you know, there’s definitely some way you can give it back. And when you start giving, you realize you end up getting more. More experience. More exposure.

Update 27/12/07 : For your convenience, here’s the list of articles in this Masterminding series :

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