I first heard about mastermind groups in 2012. The idea seemed like a good one and so I thought I would find a group. However, I had no joy to start with. How do you find a group? How do you know it will help and how do you get an invite into a group? I gave up, but in 2013 I was approached by a group and offered to join them. It was a free group and I thought why not?
You see the thing is this, I should know by now that most free things come with some provisos. This group took up more time in helping to run it, manage the diary planning, changes in dates, venues and generally the unorganised nature took up time, money and patience. I gave it a good try, but after a few months I had to say it wasn’t working . Now I’m not saying free never works. I am in a mastermind group now which is almost free (we pay for the room hire and food) but it is a small group and we all have the same job and so are all happy to take it in turns running the sessions. The previous group had no overall leader or leader per session and so I found I got very little from the group.
Over the last few years I have tried different approaches for myself as a group member and as a group leader. My best experience is a paid for group, run by a mastermind leader who ensures smooth running of the organisation and ensures the day is beneficial to all. I love it. I am committed and it really helps me and my business grow. In the meantime I have been running groups for other organisations, using learning and masterminding combined to develop women in business. This year I started my own group. I combine the traditional mastermind with learning about business and mentoring support between the sessions. The ladies in the group love it, saying it’s the best thing they did for their business (to read more about it click here)
So is masterminding right for you?
Well, hopefully you can see that there are many different types of mastermind groups. You can look for one that suits your needs, or even try building one for yourself. Here are some questions you could ask yourself and the group before you join.
What do you want to gain from a group?
Do you want support, encouragement, knowledge, structure, leads, inspiration etc? Check if the group could give you that.
Who is organising it and what experience do they have?
Check out the organiser. Are they experienced in running a mastermind group? What training have they had and do you feel they will run it professionally in an open and safe way with confidentiality at the core of the sessions?
Do you need to learn or have training and will the group give that?
On the whole NO. Mastermind groups are not about training and structured learning, although I add this into my sessions (well as a lecturer in business growth and female enterprise I guess I would) as do many of the other high fee mastermind groups. But remember, most self-managed groups don’t have training and you will need to decide if the ideas / support and advice being offered is suitable for you.
What is the commitment?
It’s important that everyone in the group is committed as it is the development of a supportive group which adds value to a mastermind group over and above training courses or mentoring. However, if people are not signing up to be committed to the sessions and each other then you may find yourself involved in a group which you feel isn’t as committed as you are.
How do I know it is confidential?
The groups are about sharing experiences, ideas and problems so make sure there is a confidentially agreement for every group member. My groups have to all sign and I remind them at every session. Check with any group how confidentiality will work and make sure you feel comfortable with it.
How are members recruited and can new people join?
Some groups are run as rolling groups, ie, people can join at any time and leave just as easily. This can make them less cohesive and effective. Make sure you are happy with the arrangements. For example, I recruit people to my groups and don’t allow anyone to join who doesn’t add value or suit the group. I also run them for a fixed six month block of time and don’t allow anyone new to join once we have started.
Must I attend every session?
On the whole mastermind groups like you to attend every session. I appreciate people may have other commitments, be ill etc and may miss the odd session, but as this is for your personal development there needs to be a commitment to attend, Not attending can affect the flow of that and future meetings for yourself and others.
If you have any other questions about masterminding or in particular one of my mastermind groups, drop me a line