A mastermind group can be a great source of inspiration, encouragement and accountability for your business. Of course, you’ll get the most out of a group when you put care into assembling the right people and developing an agenda that meets everyone’s needs. Sometimes this is easier said than done, especially when you have numerous requests from other business owners who want to talk shop with you.
With that in mind, here are my thoughts on creating a mastermind group with real benefits:
Be incredibly particular about your membership. Taking plenty of time to solicit group members is well worth it, considering how difficult it can be to remove a problematic member later.
Keep the group small. Any more than about four or five people and you won’t have time to adequately address everyone’s concerns within a given meeting — and when your group meets only a couple of times a month (or less), waiting weeks for your turn can be frustrating, to say the least.
Look for business types that complement your own. You don’t need to be in the same service category (in fact, diversifying may be much more helpful than putting together a group of all photographers or all DJs) but the other business owners should be able to relate to your specific challenges, whether they’re related to marketing, talent retention, operations or something else entirely.
Look for genuinely smart, savvy people. This should go without saying, but it’s amazing how many people in the wedding industry are great at providing their particular product or service, but terrible at business. If you don’t respect your group members’ business acumen, and feel they have something of value to share, then they’ll only be wasting your time, no matter how gorgeous their videos are or how good their food tastes.
Find people you can trust, and back it with a confidentiality agreement. Obviously, you’ll want your group to consist of people you know won’t betray your trade information to your competitors, and who won’t judge you for your struggles. For everyone’s peace of mind, however, it’s smart to get everyone to really commit to respecting one another’s privacy and confidentiality.
Set a regular agenda. Each mastermind group is different. Some like to include “homework” such as reading a business book outside of class or putting together presentations on a rotating business, while others prefer to use their group solely to address each member’s current projects and concerns. As a group, everyone should agree on a standard agenda that will be followed at each meeting, so that everyone can be prepared and the time is well spent.
Honor your commitment. This means not only showing up every time (we all have conflicts sometimes, but a group won’t function if its attendance isn’t consistent), but also putting genuine thought and effort into helping your fellow group members. Phoning it in won’t do them, or you, any good.
Considering forming your own mastermind group but have questions or concerns about how it can benefit your business? Then please feel free to email me or leave a comment!