How to Start a Mastermind Group in 7 Easy Steps

Group conversation
Photo courtesy of plantronicsgermany on flickr

It’s approaching a year since I started participating in my first mastermind. I can’t put into words how beneficial this group has been for me personally and professionally.

I have been meeting regularly with my friend Anthony Tran from Marketing Access Pass that I met while taking Podcasting A to Z – an online training course with Cliff Ravenscraft.

I stumbled my way into it, however the steps that led up to us forming our mastermind group are easily repeatable – and stumbling is not a requirement =].

How I Stumbled into a Mastermind

I already had a desire to form a two-person mastermind with someone who had similar interests in business and digital marketing. However, that was not my mission while taking the course.

The craziest part about how it all started was that the thought of Anthony and I staying in contact after the course was first mentioned by Cliff. When that happened, it caused me to take a deeper look at what Anthony was all about. I then quickly realized that Cliff was spot on wit his recommendation.

After about a week or so into the course, it was becoming more and more clear that Anthony and I had a ton in common. He and I had already been actively networking with the other members of the group, which in hindsight should have been a light bulb moment for me.

This made for an extremely easy transition to meeting regularly after the course. We both were interested in the idea and we made it happen.

How to Start Your Own Mastermind

The basic idea is to identify others that share similar goals and interests. If you already have someone that you find yourself speaking with on a regular basis, that might be a great place to start.

Here are the steps that occurred organically in my case, however they can easily be reproduced. Follow the seven steps below and and you will have your very own mastermind up and running in no time:

  1. Identify your reasons for forming the mastermind group. Give some thought to the core objective for the group. Try to nail this down as much as possible. This will provide you with a decision filter to help ensure group members are onboard with the objective for the group.

  2. Decide on the desired size for your group. It would be ideal to max out your member count at 6-8 members, which should be manageable if you are running one hour meetings. Remember, it is perfectly fine to start out with only you and one other person – this is exactly what I did.

  3. Decide on a list of characteristics each member should possess. This will help you narrow down group member candidates. You want to try to make sure the group has the proper dynamics to to achieve the best results.

  4. Create a list of the individuals in your network that are ideal candidates. Now, based on the criteria you created in the previous step, jot down as many people in your network you can think of that meet your group member criteria.

  5. Send group member invitation(s). You don’t have to be super formal for this step if you don’t want to. However, make sure the tone of your invitation is consistent with the tone you won’t others to bring to the group. For example, if the person is a close friend, a phone call or text message may be all that’s required.

  6. Finalize group meeting formalities. This would include how scheduling will be handled, meeting format, what tools will be used to manage the meetings online and/or offline, etc. There will be subtle differences in what is required to host the meetings depending on whether the meetings will be hosted in-person or online. Just be sure to plan accordingly.

  7. Host your first meeting. Once you have confirmed your group member(s), it’s time to schedule your first meeting and go for it.

Last Words

I hope you have decided that “yes”, I do want to start a mastermind group. If so, remember that it may take some time for the group to find a rhythm – but stick with it. It’s likely that there will be ups and downs at times. However, strive to be persistent and before you know it you will find yourself wondering – why didn’t I do this a long time ago.

If you have decided to start a mastermind group, I’m interested in hearing about your next steps in the comments below.

3 Reasons Why You Should Join or Start a Mastermind

Group Discussion
Photo courtesy of smannion on flickr

Have you ever found yourself stuck in your career or your business and stumped about what to do to take things to the next level? Understanding and applying the Mastermind Principle might be just the solution for you.

I’m sure you have heard the phrase “two heads are better than one”. If you haven’t, the concept is pretty straightforward. When trying to solve a problem or brainstorm ideas, the more people you have thinking about a solution to that problem the better.

The reason this is true is because each person brings a unique perspective and set of skills, talents, and abilities that will allow them to add value that otherwise would have been non-existent.

So, what is the mastermind principle?

I was waiting for you to ask that question =]. I was introduced to this concept when reading a book by Napoleon Hill titled “Think and Grow Rich”. Take a look at the video below as Mr. Hill himself explains the basics.

Now that you have a better idea of Napoleon Hill’s Mastermind Principle, let’s start digging on how you can leverage this principle to supercharge your career or business.

My Mastermind Group Experience

I have been apart of a two-person mastermind group for almost a year now. It has been instrumental in helping me get clarity in my career and business.

I have found it extremely valuable to have someone I can share the intricacies of my vision and how I plan on making that vision a reality. Those types of conversations are not appropriate for everyone.

Having an outlet to vet my business strategy has been extremely valuable.

There have been times where I have been completely scatter-brained, and my group member was able to reel me back in and help me refocus.

What is a Mastermind Group?

A mastermind group is when two or more people meet regularly providing accountability and collectively focusing on how they can better themselves personally, professionally, and financially – just to name a few.

The idea is that each person is actively involved in the advancement of the other members of the group. The same level of importance each member places on themselves to achieve success is shared with the other members.

Meaning, each member has a genuine desire to help the other members of the group succeed. This focused synergy on the common goal of success produces at domino effect that literally has the ability to change your life.

Here are three of the benefits of being apart of a mastermind group:

  1. Provides you an opportunity to leverage the experience and expertise of other smart people. We can only draw from our own experiences when we are at it on our own. However, the power of a great mastermind group will repeatedly provide you with insights you could not have come up within your own.

  2. Provides accountability that will motivate you to take action. We all need someone to help us stay on task at times. I’m sure you can recall at least one time when a good kickin’ in the paints was just what you needed. Not taking action means, you have to report to the group that you did nothing – and I don’t think anyone would like having to do that.

  3. Provides you with a sense of camaraderie. There are very few opportunities to recreate the feeling of being apart of a group while pursuing a common goal, like in sports – it should be the same in business, but often that’s not the case. The bonds you can form with your group are priceless.

Last Words

Being a part of my first mastermind group has convinced me that they are vital to expediting your success. It has also been a pleasant surprise to experience the “team-like atmosphere” that I recall from my childhood.

I played sports growing up and never really gave much thought to the fact that I enjoyed the team aspect of sports so much. If you have never participated in sports, have no fear. If you are strategic about the people that are included in your group, this sense of camaraderie is inevitable.

Has the thought of participating in a mastermind group peaked your interest? If so, I would love to hear about your plans to join or start a mastermind group in the comments below.

3 Steps to Getting More Done and Achieving Wild Success

Time Lost by Matt Gibson
Time Lost by Matt Gibson

Success is one of those things that we all desire to achieve on some level. In most cases, it all starts with a dream.

I’m sure you can recall a lifelong dream that you would love to experience. If your dream has already sprouted into reality, you are one of the minority. The sad truth is, that is not how it works out for most people.

The reality of achieving success is more straightforward than you may think. We all can have different ideas for what we consider success to be, which means success can be realized in different ways.

We first have to start with clarifying the definition of success. So, what is success? For the sake of this post, let’s define success as the following:

Success – the accomplishment of an aim or purpose

Now that we have defined success, think about what success means to you. Once you have determined the success you desire, you have to give yourself permission to dream, or dream again if this is familiar to you. Let’s start with thinking about what your dream life would look like 15, 20, or even 30 years from now.

Whatever that dream life is to you, you should consider that to be your vision. Now, let’s talk about how to turn that vision into a reality.

Here are the three secrets to achieving wild success and realizing your dreams:

  1. Commit your vision to writing. Dreams become more concrete once they are written down. It’s like putting a stake in the ground and owning up to whatever is required to make that dream happen.

    You can do this by simply brainstorming in detail what would have to be true in order to feel your dreams have come true. Remember, think BIG and don’t limit your thinking.

  2. Translate your vision into goals. Goals allow you to break your BIG dreams into manageable chunks. Be sure to create S.M.A.R.T goals. A smart goal is specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound.

    For example, I will increase my annual income by 25% by the end of this year.

  3. Take action today. This is often the hardest part. However, after you have broken your BIG vision in to goals, you have increased the odds of making it happen. To prevent overwhelm, select the one goal that means the most to you and focus on it until it’s completed.

    Review this list regularly and keep track of your progress. Feel free to pursue additional goals as you get into the swing of things, but don’t take on to much. You will be amazed at how much you get accomplished with this approach.

I challenge you to take action and walk through these three steps. If you take action, your probability of success drastically increases. Be committed to your dream, translate those dreams into goals, then simply make it happen.

Please share your experiences in the comments below as you apply these steps in your journey to achieving the level of success you desire.

I look forward to hearing what things you are able to accomplish by deciding to go for it.

How to Start Any Project in 4 Easy Steps

Project Success by Ken Fager
Project Success by Ken Fager

Why is it so hard to start a new project or venture?

Well, it’s hard when you have to start anything new. There is a link between starting something new and the changes that the new venture will bring. If we are unaware of that link, it will be harder to overcome the feelings of overwhelm, which are perfectly normal.

Most people hate change. For good reason, it’s uncomfortable. Things are much easier when you know what to expect. The only way you can know what to expect is if you have some experience with similar projects. However, in those occasions where the project is new territory, you have to come up with a game plan. I know, some people are allergic to planning anything. If that happens to be you, hear me out. You might find this approach acceptable.

Let’s walkthrough the steps to starting any project:

1. Relax and Take a Deep Breath

This first step is key, because it allows you to set the tone for the remaining steps. It’s important to understand that the sky isn’t falling. If you are not careful, fear and anxiety will prevent you from ever taking that first step and getting started.

2. Brainstorm Tasks to Complete

The rule is that you must write down EVERYTHING that comes to mind for your project. Avoid analyzing your thoughts because that will stifle your creativity. The goal in this step is quantity not quality.

There are several approaches to brainstorming. So, pick the one that best suites you. You can go low-tech using a pencil and paper or high-tech using a digital tool like a word processor. Even though I’m more of a high-tech guy, I still find myself being more productive at times using nothing more than pencil and paper.

Give yourself a set time to brainstorm, for example, three minutes. If you happen to have a timer handy, it would be ideal to set it for your desired brainstorming time. Now you are ready to start. Check the clock for your start time, or simply click start on your time and start brainstorming.

Ok, times up. You should have a list of potential tasks to be completed for your project and you’re ready for the next step.

3. Create Your Action Plan

You have already done all the hard work of getting all your thoughts on paper. This is the easy part. You have to review your list of tasks and create your project outline. This outline will show the order your tasks should be completed.

There will obvious relationships that jump out at you from your list of tasks. Be sure to organize them in the order in which they should be completed.

For example, if you were brainstorming getting dressed in the morning. You wouldn’t place putting your shoes on before putting on your pants.

Keep it simple this first time around. This list of project outline has allowed you to produce your custom action plan for your project.

4. Just Do It

The planning is done, and its’ time to take action. This is where most people stumble. However, you have taken the necessary steps to increase your odds of completing this project. All because you have a plan.

We all have lives that make us feel at times that everything around us is spinning out of control. In most cases those feelings are true. However, there are ways to fight through the clutter and regain control and perspective. I know that overwhelmed feeling. I also know that if you completed each of the steps outlined here, you are ready to overcome your overwhelm.

Take Action

Focus on one item from your action plan at a time and forget about all the other tasks. This will allow you to have laser focus on the task at hand. Once that task is completed, you can move on to the next item. Repeat this process and before you know it, you will be ready to take on your next project.

I wish you the best. Please enter the project you are about to start below. I would love to see what exciting projects you are about to launch.