How do you run a mastermind?

run a mastermind

Welcome readers! In this blog, we will cover how to run a mastermind:

  1. Why should you run a mastermind group? What is the purpose?
  2. What happens when you run a mastermind group?
  3. What makes a good mastermind group?
  4. What should you charge to run a mastermind group?
  5. What’s it like to be in my mastermind?

What gives me the credibility to write this? I’ve been designing and running group experiences for the last 15 years, including international retreats, group coaching programs, and my own my business mastermind. Of everything I’ve created, I’m most proud of my mastermind program. It’s a support structure based on accountability, compassion, and participants holding each other to their highest potential (please note that this does not always mean working harder or working more).

And, while I’m still learning, I’m delighted to share my knowledge with you on how to run a mastermind.

Why should you run a mastermind group? What is the purpose?

One of my favorite authors, Napoleon Hill, first coined this concept in his book The Law of Success (1925). He then elaborated on the idea in Think and Grow Rich (1937).

The purpose of a mastermind group, Hill said, was to leverage the brilliance of your peers in order to reach your goals.

“No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”

Napoleon Hill

According to Hill, when a group of people come together with “a definite purpose” (such as growing a business) and “a positive mental attitude,” they constitute “an unbeatable force.”

To put this to modern-day language, a mastermind is a group of people who know what you’re up to, respect you, offer you feedback/advice, and call you out on your bullshit. You can depend on these people and you meet regularly to discuss your projects. I believe there is tremendous power in this type of community for generating collective success, and that is the reason why I choose to run a mastermind.

What happens when you run a mastermind group?

While structures vary, a good mastermind group will include regular meetings in which people support one another through brainstorming, giving advice, challenging one another and checking in on each person’s progress toward their goal.

In my mastermind group, coaching is also an option.


What makes a good mastermind group?

A good mastermind group requires:

  1. A common goal: What, specifically are you all working toward? Is it growing a business? Improving health or self-care? Something else? There must be a shared mission.
  2. Clear agreements: How often do you meet? Can group members skip calls? Spend time going through the nitty gritty and co-creating your agreements so you have guidelines for participation. The idea here is not to be rigid or create an environment in which people are bad/wrong for breaking an agreement. This will inevitably happen. Instead, decide how you will handle this.
  3. Regular check-ins on group dynamics: Agreements are only useful insofar as group members embrace them. Regular check-ins can keep agreements top of mind and can help make sure any conflicts or miscommunications are resolved before they grow into a larger issue.
  4. People who aren’t afraid to challenge one another: Your mastermind members need to know what you’re up to and to remind you of the badass that you are when you feel daunted, disappointed or unsure of the next step. If group members are more concerned about “playing nice,” than being compassionately candid with each other, the mastermind may plateau.
  5. A solid base of mutual respect and compassion: One of my favorite agreements from my 2021 mastermind is “We assume the best about one another.” Practicing unconditional positive regard and assuming that others are genuinely interested in you reaching your goals is key to building trust and welcoming challenges.
  6. A good leader who is compensated for their leadership: I’ve run and participated in many masterminds. In my experience, the structure is difficult to maintain unless there is a clear leader and that leader is paid. People typically give their attention and commitment when money is involved. If you are participating in a peer mastermind group, I recommend paying the person who is in charge of logistics. If you are participating in an organized mastermind group with a mentor/coach/consultant, I recommend looking for a group in which you pay the amount that inspires you to show up 110%.

What should you charge to run a mastermind group?

I’ve seen masterminds cost anything from $100/month to $1 million per year. Here are some things to consider with pricing when you run a mastermind program:

  1. Who are your ideal mastermind participants?
  2. What level of investment will ensure that these participants are ready to show up 100%?
  3. Running a mastermind is a serious commitment, and your time is valuable. You will facilitate calls, coordinate with many people’s schedules, and ultimately be responsible for group dynamics. What compensation would have you show up 100% for the people you serve?

What’s it like to be in my mastermind?

Check out this blog post to read what current members have to say about their experience, and my mastermind hub to learn more about how to sign up!

What are you taking away from this blog post on how to run a mastermind? Share below in the comments!

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