Maybe you’re already a part of a mastermind group, have been in a mastermind group in the past, or maybe you’ve asked yourself once or twice “How do I run a mastermind group for my community?”
Being a part of a mastermind group is something every entrepreneur should prioritize. The support, accountability, and in many cases the life-long friendships that a mastermind provides are unparalleled.
But before we dive into all things mastermind, let’s first answer the question: What is a mastermind?
What is a mastermind?
The term mastermind was first conceptualized by Napoleon Hill in 1925. He wrote about it first in his book, The Law of Success, and went on to discuss further the importance and power of the mastermind in Think and Grow Rich.
There’s a great clip on YouTube where you can hear Napoleon himself give his mastermind definition, but to quote directly from it:
“An understandable definition of the mastermind is this: It consists of two or more people who work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
He goes on to share “interesting facts about the mastermind” to help others understand how powerful a mastermind can be in helping you reach success.
Now that we have a solid understanding of just how long the mastermind concept has been around and what the mastermind definition is, let’s dive deeper.
This is your guide for all things mastermind, where we’ll be covering:
- How to find an existing mastermind group to join
- How to create a mastermind group among your peers
- How to run a mastermind group for your community
Throughout this guide we’ll also be covering things like:
- How to run a mastermind online versus in person
- A growth strategy for your mastermind group
- Logistics, like mastermind group rules, mastermind members, mastermind hours, formats for a mastermind, and more!
How to find an existing mastermind group to join
The first step to finding an existing mastermind group to join is to get clear on your goal for joining a mastermind group and have a good understanding of the type of group that will be best for you.
Maybe your goal is to go from 6-figures in revenue to 7-figures in revenue this year. Or maybe you’re interested in gaining more visibility online in order to grow your reach.
And maybe you’re looking for a more intimate type of group with 8-10 people versus a group of 100 or more members.
Getting clear on your goal and understanding the type of mastermind group you want to join is important because it will make your search much easier.
3 Ways to find an existing mastermind group
Once you’re clear on your goal and the type of mastermind group you want to join, it’s time to start your search. Here are 3 ways you can go about finding the right mastermind group for you.
1. Follow your top 5 online mentors closely
Chances are at least one of your top 5 online mentors runs a mastermind. Start doing some research to figure out if someone you’re already following and look up to online has a mastermind group you can join.
2. Put it out there
Start talking about the fact that you’re looking for a mastermind group, and be sure to share specifics about what you want to see, experience, and gain by joining. When you let the universe know what you want, you open the door for it to happen.
3. Ask your peers
You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. So if you’re looking for a mastermind group to join, then one or more of the top 5 people you spend the most time with is likely either already in one, or knows of one that might be a good fit. So just ask those who you know, like, and trust if they have recommendations.
How to create a mastermind group among your peers
Deciding to create a mastermind group among your peers gives you a lot of flexibility not just in the type of group you create, but also with how the group is set up and run.
This is a great option if you’re ready to make a commitment to bring a group together and you already have several peers who are working towards similar goals or who have similar interests.
One example is a mastermind group I’m currently a part of. Several of my peers who live in the same community that I do – and who are also running online businesses – had talked about the power of a mastermind group and whether anyone was currently a part of one.
While some of us were a part of other mastermind groups, we decided to all fully commit to creating our own right here in our community. Given our similar interests and goals for growing our business, we knew it would be a great fit.
We’ve now been running the mastermind group with weekly meetings for nearly one year, and it’s going great!
How to run a mastermind group for your community
Creating and running a mastermind group for you community not only positions you as an expert and authority figure, it also gives your community a platform and space to come together.
The impact of creating and running your own mastermind is unparalleled. You’re not only giving your audience more access to you, but you’re also giving them access to one another.
This high-level experience means you can also charge a high dollar amount investment for members to join. Of course, you have to be sure you’re able to follow through on that high-level experience.
Entrepreneurs On Fire’s mastermind group
To give you a couple examples of what a mastermind group might look like, I’ll share some details about the setup of our first mastermind group, Fire Nation Elite, and also our most recent mastermind group, The Revenue Crew.
Fire Nation Elite
Fire Nation Elite was the first program we ever launched. It opened in July 2013, and we ran the mastermind group for 2.5 years, until December of 2015.
We capped the group at 100 people, and we had an application process for people to join to make sure everyone who joined was a great fit.
Fire Nation Elite consisted of a membership site with recommended resources and bonus trainings, a private Facebook group, and monthly live group calls with John.
The Revenue Crew
The Revenue Crew launched in September 2018 and ran for 1 year until September 2019.
We capped the group at 8 people, and we had an application process for people to join. Again, this was to make sure everyone who joined was a great fit.
The Revenue Crew consisted of a private Facebook group and weekly live group calls with John.
Logistics of creating and running a mastermind group
You know the power of the mastermind group, and you have the exact steps to take if you want to:
- Join a mastermind group,
- Create your own mastermind group, plus
- Examples of what a mastermind group might look like if you were running it for your community
Now let’s talk logistics.
How do you figure out stuff like:
- Running a mastermind online versus in person
- What a growth strategy might look like for your mastermind group
- What your mastermind rules look like
- How to attract the right mastermind members
- Setting up your mastermind hours
- Format for a mastermind group
- Should you have a private Facebook group?
We’re going to break down all of the logistics for you right now.
Mastermind online versus in person
You can run a mastermind online or in person, or you can setup your mastermind to be a combination of both.
If you run a mastermind online, a typical setup might include weekly or monthly live group calls and a private Facebook group.
Some online masterminds also include access to a membership site where there are additional training materials like video tutorials and recommended resources. It just depends on what type of group you’re creating and what you want to offer.
If you want to run an in person mastermind, a typical setup might include a 2-3 day itinerary with a combination of hot seats, group trainings, and connection time for the group.
Doing a combination of online and in person events for your mastermind group is a great way to accomplish a lot. Your online meetings will provide the consistent and ongoing connection and support, while the in person events will provide a deeper connection through the power of physically being in a room together.
Growth strategy for your mastermind group
Whether you decide to run an online or in person mastermind (or a combination of both), you need a growth strategy to help you fill your mastermind.
Keep in mind that depending on the type of mastermind you’re creating and where you’re currently at on your journey, filling your mastermind might be as simple as putting up a sales page and sending an email to your existing email list.
However, if you’re just starting out, or don’t already have a following, then filling your mastermind is going to require a few additional steps.
Here are 4 steps you can take to get started with a growth strategy:
1. Know exactly who you’re creating the mastermind group for
First and foremost, before you even think about how you’re going to fill your mastermind, you need to be precisely clear on who you’re creating the mastermind for.
The individual you’re creating your mastermind for is your avatar, and you can begin to define your avatar either by asking yourself who it is you’re looking to serve with your mastermind, or you can think about the actual problem you’re trying to solve.
In either case, work backwards to find out information in both of these areas. Once you know who it is you’re looking to serve, it’s time to find out what their current struggles are.
Or, if you’re starting out knowing what the current struggles are – i.e. the actual problem you’re trying to solve – then it’s time to envision the individual person (your avatar) who might be experiencing those struggles or that problem right now.
2. Have a landing page for your mastermind group where people can sign up
Setup a landing page on your website where people can learn more about your mastermind and sign up. Include details that will help them decide whether or not it’s right from them.
Depending on your process for accepting new members into your mastermind group, you might have a place where they can submit an application, sign up for a phone call with you, or invest to join right away.
3. Create content to promote your mastermind group
Now that you know exactly who you’re creating your mastermind group for and you have a landing page to send them to where they can learn more and sign up, it’s time to start creating content to lead people there.
Depending on you current business setup, this could be as simple as adding your landing page as a call to action to existing content (like blog posts, podcast episodes, or videos).
If you aren’t currently creating content for your business right now, you could also start sharing your landing page via social media.
4. Create a system for how you’ll welcome a new mastermind member to the group
Once you start accepting new mastermind members into your group, it’s important you have a process for onboarding them. The onboarding experience will be your members first impression, and oftentimes this either confirms or negates that they’ve made the right decision to join.
Be sure you have a system setup that will confirm they’ve made the right decision. This includes making sure they have all the information they need to get started, join your private Facebook group, meet other members in the mastermind group, and so on.
Having a set of rules in place that members agree to before joining ensures that everyone is on the same page about the purpose and goal of the mastermind.
Mastermind rules can be as simple as:
- Be committed
- Show up to every meeting
- Provide support
- Always be prepared
Or mastermind rules can be more complex. It’s up to you and the type of mastermind group you want to run.
Attracting the right mastermind members
Attracting the right mastermind members goes back to knowing exactly who you’re creating the mastermind for.
Do not skip the step of defining your avatar and getting to know their biggest pain points and struggles right now.
Your responsibility with your mastermind is to help them go from where they are right now to where they want to be. And you’re not going to be able to accomplish that if you don’t focus on attracting the right members.
Setting up your mastermind hours
Typically a mastermind group will plan to stay together for an extended period of time: anywhere from six months to an entire year or more.
The frequency of the mastermind – or how many times the group comes together to meet – is up to each individual mastermind to decide. An ongoing mastermind with committed attendees will usually meet once per week, and at minimum should be meeting once per month.
If you’re doing in person mastermind events, then they can be one-off experience. For example, a 2-3 day event.
Formats for a mastermind group
There are multiple formats for a mastermind group, and here are a few options we’ve found success with.
1. Mastermind Hot Seat
The mastermind hot seat is an opportunity for one member of the mastermind to have the spotlight for a specific amount of time.
During their time in the hot seat, that individual member will share a current struggle or roadblock they’re facing in their business and ask the other mastermind members for their feedback and recommendations.
If you’re running an intimate mastermind with 8 members and your mastermind runs for 1 hour, 1 time per week, you might format your sessions like this:
- 3 Minutes: Overview of meeting, welcome from the leader
- 16 Minutes: Each of the 8 members has 2 minutes to share a win they’ve experienced in the past week
- 20 Minutes: 1 of the 8 members is in the hot seat for 20 minutes
- 20 Minutes: 1 of the 8 members is in the hot seat for 20 minutes
Given the format above, if you’re meeting once per week, for 1 hour, that would mean each of the 8 members will have a hot seat one time per month.
If you’re running a bigger mastermind, hot seats can still be incredibly helpful – even if everyone is not able to have their own hot seat. Sometimes the group will receive more value from hearing someone else in the hot seat due to the collective sharing and brainstorming it elicits.
2. Mastermind Accountability Ask
The accountability ask is an opportunity for individuals to discuss the #1 goal they’re trying to reach right now, the deadline they’ve set, the plan they have in place, and how the group can can help support them.
If you’re running a larger mastermind with 10 or more members, and your mastermind runs for 1 hour, 1 time per week, you might format your sessions like this:
- 5 Minutes: Overview of meeting, welcome from the leader
- 50 Minutes: Depending on the number of mastermind members, you might break into groups of 10 members. Within each of those groups, all 10 individuals will have 5 minutes each to share their goal and make an accountability ask.
- 5 Minutes: Specific instructions on how to follow up with your group in order to fulfill one another’s accountability ask.
Given the format above, you would be giving all members of your mastermind the opportunity to make an accountability ask each week.
3. Mastermind Brainstorming Techniques
Brainstorming techniques are a way for the mastermind group to share the things they’re working on right now and request help by way of brainstorming.
This might include brainstorming ideas around your podcast name, your opt-in giveaway, ways to increase engagement on social media, or any other number of things pertaining to the launch, growth, or monetization of your business.
The best brainstorming techniques are to make sure everyone comes to the table with a solid explanation of what they’re trying to accomplish. They should also have a way to clearly describe where they’re currently at, plus be able to explain the things they’ve already tried.
Should you have a private Facebook group?
Running a mastermind is one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences you’ll have as an entrepreneur.
As the leader of a mastermind, it’s important to realize that it’s just as much about the people within the mastermind creating relationships and trusting and supporting one another as it is about your members having access to you.
Many of your mastermind members joined because they want access to you, but the mastermind will get its power and meaning based on the relationships, trust, and support the members are able to provide to one another. There has to be a balance.
Having a private Facebook group is the best way we’ve found to create this balance. It not only gives your members a space to consistently be in touch with one another and to feel like they have a place to go for support, but it also gives you a space to provide value and support to everyone within the mastermind.
Setting expectations for your mastermind
As we wrap up this complete guide on how to run your own mastermind group, I want to express the importance of setting expectations for your mastermind and give you a few examples.
Expectation #1: Commitment
Because the mastermind is meant to motivate, inspire, support, and help everyone within reach their goals, naturally, being a part of a mastermind is a commitment.
If the members within the mastermind aren’t committed, then it doesn’t work.
Expectation #2: Trust
Being able to trust the members within the mastermind group – in addition to the group leader – gives everyone permission to open up and be vulnerable. This is a key to making sure everyone experiences the biggest impact possible.
As the leader, you’re responsible for making sure everyone feels comfortable and that the group shares the understanding that what is discussed within the mastermind group stays within the mastermind group.
Expectation #3: Communication
Hopefully with commitment and trust comes a comfort level where everyone can openly communicate and discuss any potential issues or concerns.
Be sure your members know that there is a place they can go to voice concerns.
Expectation #4: Encouragement & support
There will be tough situations, experiences, and feelings that are shared within the mastermind, and everyone must be on the same page about the expectation for encouragement and support.
Constructive criticism should always be welcome, but be sure to set the tone for how encouragement and support happens within the mastermind.
Be sure you set the right expectations, guidelines, and rules for your mastermind ahead of time to help your potential members know if they’re a good fit. This will prevent unnecessary trouble down the road.
Expectation #5: What the mastermind is here for
Finally, everyone within should be on the same page about the purpose, goal, and mission of the mastermind. Back to what Napoleon Hill said, the true power of a mastermind is this:
“It is the principle through which you may borrow and use the education, the experience, the influence, and perhaps the capital of other people in carrying out your own plans in life. It is the principle through which you can accomplish in one year more than you could accomplish without it in a lifetime if you depended entirely on your own efforts for success.”