My involvement with mastermind groups allowed me to realized how valuable it is to have an ‘inner circle’ - a group of people who have your highest and best interests in mind. Are you in a mastermind group? If not, consider building one. Here are some ideas to get started:
1. Size matters. Determine the number of members to ensure success. I participate in two mastermind groups. There are two of us in one group, six in the other. Deciding what works for the type of mastermind you want to be a part of will be the first step in making it happen.
2. Recruit your dream team. If you are building from the bottom up, collaborate with an associate. Then have each draw from each others network to build a dynamic group that is more diverse than your usual ‘circle’.
3. Character counts. Select a group who has members that actively participate and bring value to the table. Time and time again I have seen people with good intentions completely fail to perform and provide value to their peers. People with great character tend to only commit to the things they can contribute to in a meaningful way.
4. Talk about this, for that long. Decide the frequency of meeting and the agenda for each meeting. One group I was in had a very formal agenda for each meeting, with a specific topic for discussion. Every participant was responsible for bringing valuable information on that topic to share with the group. Another was less structured, yet focused. Determining “the rules” ensures that everyone in your group is accountable for success.
5. Show up. Success comes from 100% participation. Without a rigorous commitment, the group will lose its power and sense of importance. I have stepped away from groups that did not demand a high level of expectation and commitment from its members. My time is valuable and so is that of your peers. The best groups know this, and act like it.
6. Give before you get. Focusing on others first is the surest way to get the most out of your group. You will gain a great deal from participating in the group you help create, by choosing to give before you get. When everyone gives, everyone receives. When everyone takes, there’s nothing left.
7. The power of two. The most powerful mastermind group I am in is with one other business owner. We have set rigorous expectations for ourselves and our commitment to personal and professional development. Together we literally catapult our businesses ahead. This is tricky simply because mastermind groups aren’t intended to be just social – and with one other person things could get lax. So make sure if you choose a two-person mastermind, you partner with someone that shares your level of commitment.
In addition to my weekly mastermind with a colleague, I am fortunate enough to be a part a six-person group of professionals that meets monthly. Together these two groups have offered me sage advice, shed light on my blind spots, and offered encouragement on a host of topics. Since I began my weekly mastermind two and a half years ago, my design business grew nearly 300% in one year.
I’ve learned first hand the power of surrounding yourself with people who are up to big things. Seek out and contribute to a mastermind group where each person gives to the others and you’ll find something very powerful at work. It’s a secret to success that could change your business, and your life in amazing ways.