#66 – Elevate Your Game With Mastermind Groups

What you will learn

  • What mastermind groups are and why they're useful
  • The 3 different types of mastermind groups available
  • What you can expect to gain (or lose) from a mastermind group
  • The pros and cons of each type of mastermind group

In this week’s podcast, we’re on the topic of mastermind groups.

Particularly, we’re discussing why masterminds are a good idea (and when they’re not), the different types of mastermind groups that are out there, and the pros and cons for each.

What Exactly Is A Mastermind?

There really isn’t a single definition, but in a broad sense, it’s about being part of a group that has some connection with your work. The idea is to share knowledge and boost overall productivity for each member within that group.

Masterminds are not for everyone, but if you fit into either of these 3 categories then it’s likely you’ll benefit from joining one…

  • You lack clarity/vision with your business
  • You have a vision, but you’re not giving it the attention it needs
  • You’re working alone / have no business partners

So with that said, let’s look at the different types of mastermind groups available to you.

#1: Accountability

An accountability – or what Mark jokingly refers to as an ‘accountabilibuddy’ – mastermind is generally a small group of 2-4 people that schedule regular calls or meetups.

The idea is to share goals with the intention of setting both rewards and punishments based on the completion, or incompletion of those goals. This is crazy effective for getting stuff done, particularly if you work alone and usually have no one to call you out.

Mark is a fan of this system and even uses it for other, day-to-day goals. For example, his dentist told him to floss every day and Mark knew it would be a challenge to stick to that. As a result, he implemented a monetary forfeit for each day he didn’t floss.

After a while, these things become habit and consistency is no longer a chore. The saying goes, “it takes 21 days to build a new habit” — and we’ve actually found this to be pretty accurate.

The Pros

The immediate benefit of this kind of mastermind is that you can do it with anyone. They don’t have be an expert in a particular field or even have a passion for what you do. It’s more about taking action as opposed to the mechanics of your (or their) business.

Also – as is often the case with mastermind groups – you’re giving away very detailed and sensitive information about your business, and it’s not ideal to share that with direct competitors. You can avoid all of that with this particular type of mastermind.

Finally, it’s 100% free. You just need ask someone you trust, or look in the relevant places online. If you’re a member of Authority Hacker Pro or The Authority Site System, our own Facebook group is a good place to start.

(If you’re not a member, click either of the links above to learn more.)

The Cons

As mentioned before, masterminds aren’t for everyone, and accountability groups are no exception.

If you know what you’re doing and you’re able to execute without the need for external motivation, this likely won’t benefit you.

Aside from that, it also requires a certain level of honesty. If you put a forfeit in place, it’s your responsibility to own up when you fail to accomplish a specific goal. If you cheat the system, you’re really just cheating yourself.

One way to get around that problem is to have some kind of proof element. Depending on what the actual goal is, it could be screenshots, selfie or maybe even an eye witness. If you can’t provide proof, it should be an automatic fail.

Overview

  • You can do it with anyone
  • Doesn't involve sharing intimate details of your business
  • It's 100% free
  • Not ideal if you already know what you're doing, and are able to execute
  • Requires a certain level of honesty to make it work

#2: Network Mastermind

A network mastermind is usually a much larger group. This could be anywhere from 50 to several thousand members.

It’s also focused around a specific topic, whether that be narrow or broad. A good example of a network mastermind, again, is the Authority Hacker Pro Facebook group which is about building authority sites.

Other examples include:

This type of mastermind also tends to have entry requirements. Often monetary. This is to prevent an imbalance of value givers, and value takers. The logic behind this is that people become more ‘involved’ when they’ve actually invested something.

The Pros

Possibly one of the biggest benefits is being able to make high value connections that, ultimately, will help further your own business.

On top of that, everyone is expected to provide value which means you get access to lots of great information. And, because it’s in a more private setting, people tend to be a lot more open about what’s working in their business.

Finally, many of these network masterminds host free – all expenses paid – events around the world, so you can make those important connections face-to-face with other members.

The Cons

Depending on the size of the group, it can feel a little ‘cliquey’. What you find though is, once you do meet a handful of people, introductions start happening and it really opens the floodgates.

Another thing to be aware of, is perspective. While a network group offers a ton of value, being surrounded by the same beliefs on daily basis can result in you developing a narrow perspective. It’s important to be aware of that for obvious reasons.

Competitors can be another issue here. You’ll often find close competitors in the same mastermind group and this can cause a conflict of interest between members. You’ll often find certain groups lean in one direction, and a good example is Dynamite Circle which is largely made up of FBA sellers.

Lastly, as I said above, you’ll probably have to pay to get in. Not necessarily a bad thing though, because it does increase the overall quality of the group.

Overview

  • Potential to make high value connections
  • Access to very detailed information about what's working for other people
  • Some groups host all expenses paid trips around the world
  • Can feel a little cliquey when you first join
  • Can narrow your perspective
  • Direct competitors can be an issue if they are part of the same mastermind
  • You generally have to pay to join the group (not always a bad thing)

#3: Private Mastermind

Private masterminds are a whole different ball game.

These tend to be small groups, anywhere from a 3-4 member and possibly up to 15. They’re much more focused on a specific topic – like membership sites, for example – and they only discuss aspects of business that are directly related.

The key to a successful private mastermind, is having everyone at a similar level in terms of knowledge and experience. If certain members are getting a lot more value than others, it’s doesn’t work. Everyone needs to benefit.

The Pros

It’s not uncommon for private masterminds to organize things like retreats, structured days/weeks and even high-level presentations.

Most private masterminds also host something called a “hot seat”. Each week, one member shares their business, current goals and even their struggles while the other members simply listen. Afterwards, everyone takes turns to give their feedback and ideas.

The nature of these groups allow for a more personal, relevant and friendly experience for each member, and that’s something you just don’t get with other types of mastermind groups.

As for cost, it’s very affordable (if not free) so there’s no real financial barrier if you’re looking to get involved with this.

The Cons

In contrast to the above, any imbalance in a private mastermind can be destructive. If value isn’t equally offered then it can lead to resentment and ultimately splitting of the group.

You also can run into issues with potential competitors, so it’s not like you can jump into a private mastermind with anyone and expect it to work. It’s probably wise to do some vetting beforehand.

Finally, they’re also harder to find. You generally need to know someone or browse through a network mastermind group for opportunities to join.

Overview

  • Access to retreats, structured days and presentations
  • Get detailed feedback and advice on your business specifically (hot seat)
  • Conversation is a lot more relevant to what you're doing
  • It's more personal / friendly
  • Any imbalance of value in the group can be destructive
  • Can run into issues with potential competitors
  • Can be harder to find in comparison to the other types

Conclusion

Mastermind groups offer a number of benefits that – for the right person – can really elevate your game and allow you to break through previously impossible barriers.

Whether it’s purely for motivation, accountability, support, or even knowledge — you can use this page to narrow down which type of group is suitable for you.

Are you part of a mastermind? How has it helped you?

Let us know in the comments.

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5 Comments

  1. I agree that the name is a little odd or hypey, but I do not think Napoleon Hill was thinking that way when he used it in his famous book published in 1937.

    An early form of Mastermind Groups was Junto by Benjamin Franklin. Franklin organized a group of friends to provide a structured form of mutual improvement. The group, initially composed of twelve members, called itself the Junto. The First time I was introduced to a Mastermind Group many years ago was in the 1937 book Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill.

    Wikipedia References

    Junto https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junto_(club)
    Think and Grow Rich (100M copies sold worldwide) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Think_and_Grow_Rich

  2. Following up with what Mark and Gael suggested in the podcast, we are looking for a few others to join an ongoing mastermind group.

    The mastermind has been going for over 2 years now. It is specifically focused on holding each other accountable and on growing blog/passive income/authority sites.

    The only thing I will say is that we’ve had some issues in the past of new bloggers joining and then dropping out of both the mastermind and blogging within their first 6 months, so we had been looking recently for people who are a bit further along and a bit more dedicated.

    We are ideally looking for new members that have been blogging consistently for a decent while and are working seriously towards it being their full time job. I had previously broken the 1k/month threshhold for several months and the other member is consistently topping those earnings. If you’d be interested please reach out to us at:
    [email protected]

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