How to Start a Mastermind Group

“Surround yourself with people who are going to lift you higher. Life is already filled with those who want to bring you down” -Unknown

I’ve been talking a lot lately about my mastermind group. Not just on my blog, but in my life too. Some of my co-workers think my groups are crazy. Others ask me how I started them.

So here’s a step by step guide on how to create your Mastermind Group.

1) Determine why you want to start a Mastermind Group

This is your “Why”. You need a “why” to guide your purpose and process.

Ask yourself:
Do I want my business to become more profitable?
Do I want to enhance my leadership ability?
Do I want to increase my productivity?

Once you have your why, you can focus on what your group’s purpose is.

2) Determine what is the Mastermind’s Purpose

Answer the following questions:
Will the group members be in the same industry or will they be from different professions?
Will we have a certain goal in mind?
—Will it be to increase social following? Enrich customer experience? Enhance the leadership qualities of each member?
Will you charge to start this mastermind group?
Who will be the leader?

Once you have a purpose for your group, you can begin to attract like-minded individuals.

3) Find participants

Screening applicants is difficult.

A comforting thought for you: Those who truly believe in the Mastermind’s purpose will stick with it.
Those who don’t believe will fall away.
Be prepared to have people join and then promptly exit. Don’t be discouraged by this. Rather, think of it as a trail through fire.
After the fire, a refined group will be produced.

-Where do I find my future members?
Search for communities in your niche and start asking.
If you want to start a mastermind group on a niche website, then I would recommend going to Pat Flynn’s Niche Site: Duel 2.0. If you want to start an entrepreneur group, go to 48 Days Community.
Find where like-minded people are, interact in the community, and start asking. That’s how I meet every one of my entrepreneurial mastermind members.

Another great resource is MeetUp. Meet Up provides groups that meet in your local area with a common interest. A few groups will focus on businesses in your area. This could be a great way to make contacts and handpick all stars for your Mastermind.

You don’t want a non-contributing member. You should interview each member before asking them to join.
Here are some questions for you to ask each candidate:
Why do you want to participate in a mastermind group?
How do you plan on contributing to the group?
What is your vision for your business?
Where do you see yourself and your business 5 or 10 years from now?

4) Set up the meeting place

Maybe you live in a big city with hundreds of entrepreneurs. I don’t have that privilege. I live in Norway, Michigan. Norway is a small town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan (AKA nowhere).

A social, physically present mastermind group is the best option. However, you may not be able to pull this off.
I know that Pat Flynn and Cliff Ravenscraft meet online. I would highly recommend meeting online because it’s free and it’s cheaper than going to a common destination.

My groups use Google Hangout. It’s free (for up to 10 people, I believe) and it works well.

If you’re interested in learning how they operate., you’re welcome to sit in a meeting with us. We meet at 9PM EST on Monday. Just email me if you’d like to learn how we operate (alexmichaelbarker (at)

5) Determine your price point

I’ve given this a lot of thought. I decided not to charge for my first group because I’m new at starting masterminds.

What value will you provide the members? That will determine the price.
For example, when you purchase a lawnmower service, you place value on the service. You pay for the service, you save on the cost of equipment, you save on time not spent mowing.

If you charge, how much?

Count the cost. How many hours do you plan on working for this group? How much do you want to be paid per hour?

Let’s say you start a group that meets twice a month. You spend 4 hours prepping for each meeting. That’s 8 hours per month.

If you want to be paid $50 per hour, that’s $400 total.

Say you want eight people in your group. That’s $50 ($400/8 members) per month for each member.

Set how many hours you want to contribute to the mastermind. Then determine the number of members you want.

About the Author Alex

Tom Dixon says September 11, 2013

This is a cool concept, Alex….looking forward to seeing where you take it.

Dan Erickson says September 12, 2013

Great idea, Alex. I agree that this could be difficult. As a musician, it can be very challenging to get four or five great players together to work together on a regular basis.

    Alex Barker says September 16, 2013

    I just spoke with a theater business owner last night about the difficulty involved. I should write more about how to bring people together regularly!

Brian Knight says September 22, 2013

Great post Alex and very informative. As a member of your group I can say it has been crucial in getting me to take action. Mastermind groups provide the accountability you need to succeed. I have appreciated the diligence and persistence you have provided in leading our group to where it is now.

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