Napoleon Hill introduced the concept of the mastermind in the early 1900′s. In his classic book, Think and Grow Rich he described the mastermind process as:
“The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”
Essentially, you give up your own agenda, and contribute to the greater good of the group as a whole. As you help others, they will, in turn, help you. A mastermind session gives each member the opportunity to brainstorm, work out solutions, and hold each other accountable to achieve goals.
This is most successful when members remain objective and non competitive. Masterminding is a cooperative exercise, and requires that members be like minded in spirit.
Most business owners and entrepreneurs find themselves isolated when obstacles present themselves in their business. They have no one to turn to and, after becoming frustrated, find themselves unable to achieve their goals.
There are variations of mastermind groups, which are typically small. (3-8 members) A larger version is sometimes referred to as an entrepreneurial think tank. A large number of business owners meet at regular intervals, to receive input and to rework business plans. Rather than spending an hour per week, as you may do in a smaller local group, think tank members spend as long as a week away at a working retreat.
The act of removing yourself from daily operations is often enlightening, and results in a surge of new business.
Think tanks provide mentorship and support, which is priceless for startups, as well as larger entities.
What should you look for in a mastermind group?
- Make sure there is a like minded spirit of cooperation between participants.
- Include those with the desire to achieve success
- Members should have a mixture of skills to offer support to each other in various areas.
- Meetings should be scheduled on a regular basis. This might be once per week, once per month or every couple months (as in a larger group)
- Establish trust and rapport between members.
- Give each member a safe environment to work out issues and make mistakes.
Have you been part of a mastermind? Let us know what your experience was. Please leave a comment.