For anyone who doesn’t know what a mastermind is – it’s a small group of people (usually 3 to 6) who meet and talk with some frequency to help each other improve and achieve their goals. The whole point is to share advice and brainstorm ideas.
I used to think they were for hugely successful and experienced people. They are not. Masterminds are about a collective of driven people, helping each other out to be the best they can be.
I recently led my very first mastermind group and I wanted to give you an insight into what it was like and the value being part of a mastermind can bring.
Leader Of The Pack
Some masterminds (but not all) have a facilitator. Somebody that keeps the talking on track and moves on the conversations when needed. A mastermind is about everybody in the group, not just one person, so a facilitator ensures that everybody has equal air time. It’s about balanced and equal participation for every member in the group. The facilitator can be somebody who is perceived as the ‘expert’. In my case, I am a ‘Marketing Expert’. The mastermind was very marketing led because of this.
I’ve been involved in masterminds before. One has been long-term and the other for a fairly short period. I got huge amounts out of both and both had facilitators.
The other benefit of a leader is to keep the discussion on topic. It can easily dissolve into chit-chat. I absolutely love chit-chat, but we are not there to do this. It’s a focused two-hour session. We keep it that way.
The mastermind I trialed was a 1-month ‘sprint’. One two-hour session, every week for four weeks. These were face-to-face sessions. I was the facilitator. Everybody in the group gets to go in the hot seat and gets involved in the conversation. That’s the power of peer brainstorming. The strongest value of being in a mastermind is being in the hot seat. It forces the person to gain clarity and provokes creativity. After every single session people walk away with many more ideas and solutions they could not generate on their own. That’s why people come to a mastermind group. This is why the groups need to be smaller. Listening to somebody else’s hot seat also gives you ideas too. It’s not a mastermind if there isn’t a hot seat.
The power of such an intense period of time was mammoth. It was a phenomenally productive time of exchanging ideas, critiquing each-others’ stuff, setting and accomplishing goals, debating the finer points and generally supporting and helping each other to figure things out.
We also had a Facebook group to support the weekly sessions. This was used in between the sessions for little questions that would come up in between or wins that each person had achieved.
At the start of each session, everybody was given a minute to have a moan. Everything was discussed from disillusionment to romantic stuff to playground antics. This was the only time chit-chat was allowed!
There were some really amazing discussions over the four weeks. The people in the group really connected and they all definitely got far more knowledgeable about each-others’ businesses. They were able to give better input as a result of this.
Don’t Underestimate Emotional Energy
You can really get a boost from a mastermind. Some of that is in the form of support when you’re down. We all have down days. There are times when you have to make big decisions. There are times when you are working your hardest, but nothing is making a difference. Having people to lean on during these times is so important. People who don’t own their own business don’t really understand the challenges. A mastermind group can really help you to keep going when you are struggling. Being able to share frustrations with your mastermind group gives you real, solid encouragement. This is exactly what the biz girls community does. The mastermind group did this at an even deeper level.
The other side of this is that amazing discussions generate wonderful positive energy. When brilliant suggestions are made and you have gained clarity or are doing some new things – it truly feels fantastic. It gives you a real boost and really fires you up.
The four-week mastermind was a very intense experience, but very powerful. The results were incredible. Everybody really brought their best to the table. Everybody cared about each-others’ businesses. It was quite lovely to see other people get as excited for other-people’s business as they are for their own.
This first mastermind group will always feel quite special to me. There were some incredible results. I respect all of them. I’m rooting for them all to succeed, and I’m really thankful for all their support.