Entrepreneurship can be a challenge. And no challenge is fun going alone. If you are running a successful business, chances are you aren’t alone, you have employees. But you may be alone in how you make some of the decisions.
Masterminds are a great way to get honest feedback, help refine your ideas, and share insights and experience. They can also help to inspire you with their successes and support you when you face setbacks.
I haven’t been involved with a Mastermind, but what I do find is that they are similar to accountability groups. I have been in those on and off for most of my life. If you are looking to get start your own mastermind, here’s some ideas to help you out.
Prep work for your Mastermind
Identify your ideal group makeup. Make a list of the people you’d most like to have in your group. Depending on your preferences, it can be a mix of people in the same industry or it could be a mix of people in different industries but perhaps the same professions.
Choose members wisely. In a mastermind, you are going to be sharing a lot of intimate details of your business. Finances, product roadmaps, marketing plans, everything. It’s important that you take time to get to know people that you are going to share these details with. Make sure that you take time to fully vet the people you are thinking about including in your mastermind.
Create ground rules. Once you’ve identified the group of people that are going to join your mastermind, it’s important to set some ground rules. You want to make sure that everyone knows exactly what they are getting into. If as a group you have specific goals and values, that will enable people to make an informed decisions about whether they want to participate or not.
Set a frequency and structure. That last thing that your group needs to decide on is what the structure of the group is going to look like. How often are you going to meet? Will it be in person? Will it be on the phone or a video call? How long will you meet for? What does the structure of your meeting look like?
A Mastermind Framework
I was having dinner a couple of months ago with some friends and throughout our dinner, they explained how their masterminds were structured. What I found interesting was that none of them were in a mastermind together. And yet, the structure of their mastermind groups were very similar.
When I’m putting together the idea of how you should structure a mastermind, I think of 9 key components to building out the structure of your group. Now for the most part, these are high-level, with an exception of the first one.
- Have regular meetings. Weekly.
- Hold the meetings on the same day, at the same time.
- Expect each person to attend the meeting unless they tell you ahead of time that they are not going to be there.
- Meeting in person is awesome, but with technology, a video call works as well.
- Set specific goals at the end of each meeting and write them down. Share them with the group.
- Spend the first few minutes going around the group, letting each person give an update on their progress of their goals.
- Respect each other’s time and be on time, prepared and ready to discuss. At the end of the time, be conscious of everyone’s time. If you are really crushing it as they say, feel free to go over the time a bit. But otherwise try to end on time as well.
- One person is going to be in the “hot seat” each week, where the rest of the group is actively listening and engainge with help to reach their goals.
- The person that is in the “hot seat” should make sure that they everything is in order prior to the meeting. Meaning that if there’s any documents you want to share with the group, you’ve sent them out ahead of time so others can use the meeting time to ask questions.
When you use this framework and put this type of structure in place from the first meeting, you’ll help the group be more successful. Be sure to ask for feedback from the group though. You never want to just dictate what the group should be doing. It should be inclusive.
As simple as this framework sounds, it’s often a team effort to get you in the place that you want to be. You are in control of what you get out of the group. It’s important that you put in just as much as you want to get out of it.
Are you already in a mastermind? Share some of your best practices or tips and lessons learned in the comments.