My recent article about mastermind circles generated lots of response. I got emails, Facebook comments, and some direct Twitter messages, asking me how to create a Mastermind.
I Googled around but found very little useful advice on the internet. Most of it was nice in theory – but not at all true to what my real-life experiences have taught me.
So, in honor of my trip to Texas today to meet with my mastermind – here are a few tips based on my experiences, both as a creator of – and participant in – mastermind groups.
Create a Mastermind Tip #1:
Let Desire Trump Ego.
If you want to create a successful mastermind group, the first thing you have to do is let go of the fear of looking like an idiot to people who don’t know you.
I’ve created two mastermind groups from scratch in my life and both times I had to suck it up, and put the word out there. I had to be the one to make it happen.
Most people aren’t willing to step out and tell the world they want to create a success circle. Because, after all, if you’re so great, why aren’t people just showing up and forming a circle around you?
The first group I created was a Life Makeover Group – at the encouragement of Cheryl Richardson. At the time, I was already successful as a performer and musician. Only problem? I was tired of the isolation. People can clap at you all day long – but you still need people to listen to your ideas, to support you in your growth, and to pick you up when you get a bad review.
So, I swallowed my rock-star pride and posted signs all over my town. On the sign, I wrote down EXACTLY what I wanted. I wrote down the kind of people, what we would focus on, and of course, my phone number. I thought they’d come beating down my door because I loved this idea so much. But, after several weeks, only two women joined me.
It was perfect.
We made it last a longer time than most impromptu groups like this. They were both proud of me for getting over myself and making the group happen! (Me too!)
Create a Mastermind Tip #2:
Get Seriously Clear.
Before you create the mastermind, get clear about what you’d like it to be. You’ll want to do this at the first meeting, of course. But it helps if you see yourself as the creator. As such, you have to get some of the details in order.
Here are some things you’ll want to get clear about:
– How often will you meet and for how long? (My recommendation is once a month, or every other week. And I’d keep it to two hours tops.)
– How many people will be in the circle? (My recommendation is no less than 3. No more than six.)
– Do you want a core focus for the group? (Creating a new business, work/life balance, creating wealth – you can choose!)
– Other things to consider: How long will each person have to speak and share? Will there be a whining limit? (Yes, you can set a timer – and let the speaker have at it!) Will there be food? Who will bring the food? Will you meet at houses of the members? Or at a café?
Create a Mastermind Tip #3:
Give it a Name.
Clarity wins. Not just some of the time. ALL of the time.
Consider if someone approaches you and says, “Hey, I’m thinking of putting together some people to get together and talk about, you know, being more successful. I got the idea from this chick whose blog I read.”
Then, think about this: “Hey! I’ve begun an exclusive success circle called “The Big and Bold Creative Success Mastermind.” I’m in the process of choosing members who are go-getters and really want to commit to making big shifts in their lives and living more positively. Wanna come to the first meeting?”
You will also be able to pre-qualify people with your clarity. If your clarity and your purpose threatens people (believe me, it will), then they will run far away from you. Let them go (and revisit #1). You’ll find the perfect people in time. Just stick with your clarity.
Create a Mastermind Tip #4:
Schedule meetings in advance.
At the first meeting, schedule at LEAST three months of meetings in advance. A few weeks before the last of these meetings, schedule a “Review Meeting” – and during that meeting, schedule out the next three months, as well as check in about changes to format, etc.
When you schedule your meetings in advance, you are not counting on “inspiration” and whim. Face it. You sometimes won’t “feel” like going to your group meetings – but those are often the BEST times to go. And when they’re in your calendar, then you’re more likely to show up.
Create a Mastermind Tip #5:
Allow for Fun, too.
Mix it up a bit. Every now and then, have a dinner meeting and do some fun sharing activities. I discovered Vision Boards because one of the two women in my mastermind had us both over to her house to do one. She had just learned about them and gotten great results. We played music, chatted, and just enjoyed each other’s company. It’s easy to get all strung out by your goal-oriented thinking. But you need to connect and enjoy the people in your group on occasion, too.
Create a Mastermind Tip #6:
Don’t fear variety.
There’s a temptation to seek out people exactly like you. For instance, artists often think that they have to be in masterminds with other artists.
Here’s the problem: Other artists may not be able to see beyond your issues into the solutions because they are living the exact same paradigm and have similar challenges. So, you might just end up sitting around complaining to each other. (I’ve heard from several artists that they’ve dropped out of masterminds for this very reason.)
When you’re in a group with different types of people in different professions, you get different success stories and different perspectives. Don’t get caught up in the ego-trap of thinking that everyone has to think just like you do. Too many people go nowhere because they stay stuck in their judgment of everyone else’s choices in life.
Create a Mastermind Tip #7:
Shut Up and Lead.
When I write about my Conscious Creative Platinum Coaching and Mastermind Circle (or, “Platinum Group”), I’m referring to a coaching program I created. It’s a year-long investment, and each participant is paying for one-on-one coaching and in-person masterminding three times during the year. I participate in a similar mastermind with MY coach, Sheri McConnell.
These models are so effective because each person has invested, not only her energy, but her money. Let’s face it. Monetary investment is quite an ass-kicking motivation. You’re less likely to blow off appointments and meetings if you’ve got some serious cash in the pot.
That being said, my experience with many free masterminds is that most people don’t sustain their motivation for very long. They give up easily. They let life and all of its to-do’s get in the way. And pretty soon, your mastermind crumbles.
If you want to start a mastermind, then you need to be brave, and step into the leadership role. Check in, call people to remind them of meetings, set up a Facebook group, etc. You have to be very willing to be a motivator, an inspirer, a leader.
And this takes us back to Create a Mastermind Tip #1. You might have to try a few times to get the right members and the right kind of people for mastermind success. So, if you can do that and not take it personally and get a solid group together, then you will NOT be sorry. The rewards are huge.
Leave a comment below if you’d like to let this community know about a mastermind group you’d like to start!! (Or leave a comment below if you plain old just feel like leaving a comment!)