“Without doubt, the most common weakness of all human beings is the habit of leaving their minds open to the negative influence of other people.” – Napoleon Hill
Mastermind groups have been around for centuries. Many people attribute the popularity of the mastermind to Napoleon Hill’s classic book Think and Grow Rich. Hill studied the richest men of the early 1900’s, and wrote the book as part of his research. One of the common practices of those wealthy men was that they all took part in a mastermind, helping each other solve problems and move forward in their goals.
These days, women, creatives, and right-brain entrepreneur types are designing new models of the mastermind – and the results are even more powerful and holistic than the masterminds of the early 20th century. As someone who is self-employed, an artist, an entrepreneur, and often alone – I’m a huge fan of this model (in addition to coaching) because it connects me with like-minded people.
Otherwise, it’s just too easy to get isolated and stuck. And grouchy!
But what exactly is a mastermind? And how do you know if it’s for you?
Below are six elements of a mastermind group. This will give you an idea of how they work and whether or not you’d like to form a mastermind, or join one.
1 – A Mastermind moves you forward.
Support groups are wonderful because they can help heal a trauma or addiction. A mastermind group, however, is not a support group.
A mastermind is about moving you forward and helping you achieve a dream or a goal. Even if the goal is simply “an authentic happy life,” the mastermind group is about forward motion, not healing the past. This is why many people who try to form casual masterminds wind up disappointed. To sustain forward movement, all members have to hold that level of energy, and set an intention to keep that momentum! This is not always an easy task!
2 – A Mastermind Group is about positive mindsets. Whining is not an option!
In a Mastermind, each person gets an allotted amount of time to present her vision to the group. The person presents her current goals, dreams, and, of course, challenges. She might shed some tears, as this is a natural expression of energy release. But there is little room for whining or staying stuck. Some mastermind groups allow for a five-minute whining period. But then the focus moves back into getting unstuck. Mindsets are a huge part of the mastermind.
3 – A Mastermind Group is not about making sure you’re comfortable.
When you join a Mastermind group, you know it’s not going to be about hanging out in your comfort zone. In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons people want to take part in a Mastermind! They know that success rarely comes from inside their comfort zones. Masterminds are effective because they require you to expand beyond your old limits.
4 – A Mastermind Group holds you accountable.
My Conscious Creative Platinum Coaching and Mastermind Group will meet in person three times this year. After our first meeting in April, it became clear that not one of these women will show up for the next meeting without having accomplished the next steps of her dreams and goals. That’s because group energy is powerful.
The group is a “team.” Team spirit is contagious. And there’s wisdom in accountability!
5 – A Mastermind generates ideas and resources.
When a circle of people gives their full attention to one person and her dreams, all kinds ideas are generated. Resources and connections are often discovered in the process. This is a huge benefit to taking part in any group.
6 – There is a mystical quality to the Mastermind.
If I neglected to mention the mystical, I would be hiding a major element of the Mastermind. Napoleon Hill put it this way: “No two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third mind.”
In other words, the intention of the group creates a higher intelligence that is guiding the group and moving it forward. I don’t discuss this much, but I have felt it in my Platinum group, as well as in the Mastermind group led by my coach. The awareness of this “third” mind helps me trust that even when things get uncomfortable or scary for me or one of the participants – there is something bigger happening.