Joining or starting a Mastermind Group is a powerful, creative and supportive strategy to implement for your business and personal development.
Who could benefit from participating in a mastermind group? The short answer is everyone. That is, anyone who is really serious and committed to the group and its purpose. Mastermind Groups can meet in person, on the telephone, or even online. Try Google+ Hangouts or one of the several online video conferencing solutions like join.me and Go to Meeting.
Some established networking groups may also provide some of the benefits of a mastermind. For example, LeTip and BNI are two business networking organizations that are primarily focused on giving and receiving qualified referrals and business tips. Toastmasters is another excellent organization comprised of local clubs that develops your public speaking and leadership skills. Consider joining or creating a Facebook or LinkedIn group comprised of other real estate or business professionals.
Mark Sivek founded the No Excuses mastermind group in 2004. It is a group of 5 real estate professionals that meets every Wednesday to preview their own listings, tour real estate projects or developments, attend a real estate training course or event and/or support a local business (coffee shop, restaurant). Each week one of the members takes the lead to plan and facilitate the tour and agenda.
No Excuses epitomizes the power of the Mastermind and the members reap the benefits including:
- Mutual support of each other (emotionally, personally, and professionally)
- Sharing of ideas, information and experiences
- Continuous self-education
- Discussion on meaningful topics and challenges
There are two excellent books that include information about masterminds. The first one is the classic by Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich. Chapter 10 is entitled “The Power of the Master Mind.” Hill defines the mastermind as:
“coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
Hill also discusses the two characteristics of a mastermind – one economic and the other psychic.
“Economic advantages may be created by any person who surrounds himself with the advice, counsel, and personal cooperation of a group of men who are willing to lend him wholehearted aid, in a spirit of perfect harmony.”
The psychic characteristic deals with the basic understanding that the human mind is a form of energy.
“When a group of individual brains are coordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through the alliance becomes available to every individual brain in the group.”
The second book we recommend is The Power of Focus: How to Hit Your Business, Personal and Financial Targets with Absolute Certainty by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen and Les Hewitt. The authors outline four main action steps to make the idea of a mastermind group a reality.
Select the Right People. Limit the group to 5-6 people. Choose people who are likely to create synergy – ambitious, open-minded, goal-oriented individuals who have a positive outlook.
Everyone must make a commitment. This is critical to the success of the group. Commitment means showing up physically, mentally and emotionally. It also means participating and contributing. The real benefits emerge when there is a high level of trust among the members and an environment that allows everyone to share.
Decide where, when, how often and for how long you want to meet. Some groups meet weekly others monthly – it’s up to all to you. Choose a location where you won’t be interrupted or distracted. Make an agreement to turn off cell phones during your meeting and other applicable ground rules.
What to do and discuss at your meeting. Here are some considerations and suggestions:
- Always have an agenda.
- Start and stop the meeting on time and stick to the agenda.
- Elect and rotate the responsible party for the meeting.
- Ideas for content include success stories, recent challenges and resolutions, specific topics as it pertains to your business, individual goals, and business tips or resources.
How can you get started?
Just Do It! Find some like-minded, committed individuals and meet. Take the initiative and personal responsibility and you will soon enjoy the rewards of the mastermind. For those groups that meet in person or on the phone, typically a once or twice a month meeting is scheduled.