The Ultimate Guide to Create Your Mastermind

ultimate guide to create your mastermind
A mastermind group is like your own personal board of directors: a group of committed members dedicated to your success.

Essentially, a mastermind is a recurring meeting of committed members, in which each member is dedicated to the other’s success.

 

Here’s what a mastermind can do for you (and how I’ve benefited myself):

  • Help you achieve your goals by holding you accountable
  • Help you brainstorm new ideas and breakdown roadblocks
  • Provide a different perspective on your business that might create a new revenue stream
  • Bring in years of experience you may lack
  • Challenge you to cut the B.S., and
  • Expand your influence and network.

 

In this post, I’ll share how I was bombing in my online business endeavors… and how a mastermind turned everything around.

Also, as a “thank you” for reading this article, I’ve made some awesome bonuses available to help you jumpstart your mastermind, including 15 places to find mastermind members and free access to an in-depth course on how to make your mastermind.

How I failed without a Mastermind Group

A few years ago, I was failing epically. After writing this article, I calculated that I lost out of $30,000 of income because I did not start a mastermind earlier.

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Inspired by Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income podcast, I began to create Web sites with the hope that I would receive “passive” income. Unfortunately, I never received a dime, and then I failed at a bunch of other online experiments.

Why did I fail?

When I ran into roadblocks with my online projects, I gave up too quickly. What I lacked was accountability.

I needed to improve my perseverance and productivity. I thought a coach would help me stay accountable, but I didn’t have any extra money to pay for a coach at the time. Then I heard Dan Miller of 48 Days talk about masterminds in his 48 Days podcast.

I immediately reached out in online entrepreneur communities to find potential mastermind group members.

Benefits of a Mastermind Group

I formed my first mastermind group, I saw huge increases in my productivity, income, and accomplishments.

Here are a few examples:

  • I launched a podcast called “The Leadership Dojo,” which reached 40,000 downloads within two months
  • I started coaching other masterminds about podcasting, which added more than $500 in monthly income
  • I gained three new coaching clients, which was an awesome improvement over zero.

I would not have the success I have today without my mastermind group.

 

Everyone Benefits From Accountability

You cannot do life alone. My buddy Kyle Musser says it better I could:

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Thanks, Kyle. Successful people have known this since at least 1000 B.C.:

“Surely you need guidance to wage war, and victory is won through many advisers.” Proverbs 24:6

Every great leader has had others to confined in.

Every U.S. president has a cabinet of advisors, made up of experts in various fields.

Businesses and nonprofits have boards of directors. Benjamin Franklin created the Junto group of local businessmen for the purpose of a “structured form of mutual improvement.”

J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis had a group called the Inklings that met weekly at a local pub to discuss their writings.

“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” – Jim Rohn

You need to increase your average.

Let’s get started.

Building Your Mastermind

I mentioned Napoleon Hill at the beginning of this post. He further defines the mastermind group as “two or more people who work in perfect harmony for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

The members must be of similar standing in life/business. A millionaire businesswoman wouldn’t meet with a group of starting mommy bloggers, and an established business owner wouldn’t meet with startup bootstrappers.

But, how do you actually find potential mastermind members?

Who’s Right For Your Mastermind?

The most important consideration in forming your mastermind group is that everyone shares the same ideals.

A mastermind works best when the members are of the same mind (principles). That way, suggestions made are already aligned with values and ethics.

You should hold potential members to the same high standards to which you hold yourself.  Remember, it’s all about mutual accountability. 

What might happen when a mastermind includes  people who aren’t on par with the standards of the group?

Let’s imagine the mastermind meets for the first time, and one person is missing. At the next meeting,  three people are missing.  After a few more weeks, the mastermind only includes you.

I don’t have to imagine it.

This is exactly what happened with my very first “mastermind” (though I wouldn’t call it that now).

Curious as to what standards to set for your group?

These are from my own mastermind group:

  • Treat others with respect
  • Always be courteous of members’ priorities and time (never be late)
  • When you’re wrong, admit it quickly
  • Challenge other members to be the best they can be
  • If you disagree with someone, try honestly to see things from the other person’s point of view
  • Begin with praise and honest appreciation

We didn’t make these principles up. They come straight from “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.

 

How to Find Members

To surround yourself with the high-quality members you are looking for,  consider creating your mastermind from scratch.

This gives you the best chance of finding people ready to commit to your success (as much as you commit to theirs), rather than relying on someone else to put it together.

There’s a little risk involved, of course. Every worthwhile endeavor involves risk! To reduce the chance of a false start, here’s a step-by-step formula.

 

How to Find the Right Mastermind Members

There are two different ways you can find the right members.

One Look in Communities

The best way to find mastermind members is to look in communities you love. It’s likely the people who believe in the same ideals and like the same things as you are already there.

Here’s an example:

In January, I created a mastermind sign-up form where people in the Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Group on Facebook could ask to be paired with other like-minded individuals.

In the single day the form was “open,” more than sixty people signed on.

By the time I actually removed the link (whoops!) more than 130 people submitted their information.

Message received: people want to help community members.

You may just need to ask.

Check out the bonuses below for a sample questionnaire (the same as the example above).

Two: Ask For Referrals

You’d be surprised how many recommendations you may get when looking. I occasionally receive requests to join masterminds and usually it’s because someone recommended me to the group.

An easy way to ask for referrals is by befriending Facebook group admins. Start a conversation over Facebook. After you established a relationship, ask them if they know anyone who would be interested in joining a mastermind.

This process may take longer to form a mastermind. However, you’re more likely to find high quality members this route vs. posting in groups.

At the end of this article, I share 15 additional places to look for potential mastermind members.

Create a questionnaire

Regardless of how you identify potential mastermind members, you’ll need see if they’re a good fit for what you have in mind.

The best way to do this is through a questionnaire.

You may feel awkward about sending a stranger a questionnaire. It may seem imposing.

Soften your approach by saying, “Use this questionnaire to indicate days of the week you could meet.”

What questions should you ask?

Ask questions about their business, accomplishments, and goals. This will give you a good sense of what kind of person this member may be and whether or not you should invite them into your group.

I recently added a questionnaire testing a person’s GRIT to a mastermind coaching group and it worked very well to identify the right members.

Those who receive a high score (5 is the highest) are highly likely accomplish goals. You want 5s in your mastermind.

After the potential candidate completes the GRIT assessment, invite them to report their GRIT score on the questionnaire.

 

How to host mastermind meetings

Okay, so now you have a potential list of candidates.

From that, hopefully you make the right choices and create a mastermind group that will last for at least six months.

What’s next?

Of all the options available to host a meeting, I recommend the one resource that’s both free and (relatively) easy to use:

Google Hangout

Here’s a video tutorial on how to use Google Hangout for your mastermind meetings.

Mastermind Pro Tip:

Practice with Google Hangout before your first event.

Trust me. Your first meeting will be clunky (because not everyone has tried Google Hangouts). Expect your first meeting to be only a meet-and-greet.

 Other hosting tools of the trade include:

 

How to structure mastermind meetings

This is the secret sauce of masterminds.

Productive meetings create golden opportunities and revelations worth millions. Every group is different, but here is a basic template for how a typical meeting should run:

Sample Agenda 

8:00 p.m. – 8:10 p.m.

Each member reviews last week’s accomplishments and goals.

8:10 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.

One member enters the hot seat and other members address his or her specific query.

8:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Each member states his or her goals for next week.

If your meeting is weekly, you could have two members enter the hot seat. Experiment. It’s your mastermind, so find out what you like best.

Benjamin Franklin’s Junto group asked 24 questions during the meeting.

 

Roles for mastermind members

Assign a few roles to members in order to keep your mastermind group meetings running smoothly.

Leader : Creates the mastermind group. Responsible for finding and keeping members.

Organizer : Responsible for organizing the Google Hangout and Facebook Group (if any).

Secretary : Responsible for taking the minutes of the meeting. Extremely important if you use a Facebook Group or Google Community. Notes should be posted in the group so that everyone can hold each member accountable to the goals stated in the previous meeting.

Hot Seat : This position is rotated to a new member every week. More on this role below. 

In order to keep things interesting for everyone, it’s a good idea to periodically rotate roles among members.

 

What is the Mastermind Hot Seat? 

When you’re in the hot seat, you open yourself to let your fellow mastermind members take an under-the-hood look at your business.

The more open you are with the group, the more it may hurt… and the more likely you’ll hear the advice you actually need.

This is when you sweat. 

Nothing is more nerve racking than exposing your work to others, at least for the first few times you enter the hot seat. It does get easier over time, especially as trust and familiarity grow in the group.

Here’s what you can expect to be asked when you’re in the hot seat:

  • What have you accomplished with your business since the last meeting?
  • What are your goals?
  • What is holding you back from “success”?

Obviously, more questions will spawn from these questions.

Here a few revelations I received while being GRILLED in the hot seat:

  • I need to stop endeavors that don’t make me money, such as my last podcast
  • I need to hire experts to fill the gaps in my own skills
  • I chase too many opportunities
  • I need a process to help me make better business decisions
  • I need my own personal board of directors (people who hold a stake in my success)

 

How often should your mastermind meet?

This depends on things like everyone’s availability, levels of commitment, and the number of members.

A good friend of mine masterminds with me every two weeks. It’s just me and him every Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. And I love it.

He calls me out on my crap and I inspire him to push harder. It’s a great dynamic. Two weeks works for us because we are both extremely busy with our day jobs, families, and online businesses.

 

What happens if you start to lose members?

This happens in nearly every mastermind. Schedules change, priorities change, life happens.

At the beginning, when you’re first vetting members, set an expectation of a minimum commitment of, for example, six months. Hopefully this discourages ineligible members before you even start.

 

Should your mastermind last forever?

No. People change. So should your mastermind.

As you start your first mastermind, your network will begin to grow. You’ll find other interesting people who may show interest in joining a mastermind. Always keep your “feelers” out there for awesome people to mastermind with.

 

Need some help? Here are a few bonuses to guide you along

Creating a successful mastermind can be challenging. You may not find enough members, or the right members for that matter.

I hope I provided you with some great info to get you started, but you probably have more questions, right?

 

To make this process even easier for you, I’ve got some bonus content for you.

  1. I created a list of 15 places to find potential mastermind members
  2. I made my Udemy course “Hangout and Grow Rich : How to Make Your Mastermind in 30 Days” free to you.
  3. I created a template questionnaire to use when reaching out to potential mastermind members.

Sound good? To get these bonuses, click the button below to sign up.

 

 

What’s stopping you from creating a mastermind? Have you started a mastermind yet? What benefits has it brought to your life and business? Let me know by leaving a comment!

About the Author Alex

7 comments
Elizabeth Parker says April 2, 2015

LOL @ Kyle’s second rule … very true.

Crystal Wachoski says April 2, 2015

Great information. Thanks

Greg Vance says April 2, 2015

Alex – Great information! Thank you for putting together!

Geekdad248 says April 3, 2015

Treat others with respect and never speak poorly of others – I wish people followed this rule more just generally in life

ronley says April 4, 2015

Thanks for putting this great piece of info in one place!

Comments are closed