How do you run a mastermind?

Welcome readers! In this blog, we will cover:

  1. What is a mastermind?
  2. What happens in a mastermind group?
  3. What makes a good mastermind group?
  4. What should I charge for a mastermind group? / How much does it cost to join 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.

What is a mastermind?

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,” he wrote. “It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”

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.

What happens in 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 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 I charge for a mastermind group?

I’ve seen masterminds cost anything from $100/month to $1 million per year. Here are some things to consider when you’re pricing a 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?

How much does it cost to join a mastermind group?

Per the answer above, it varies dramatically.

What’s it like to be in my mastermind?

Since I would prefer some of my current mastermind members answer that question, I must first introduce you!

…and now on to their feedback…

My favorite part about Q1 was…

Eloah: The constant forward movement! I really appreciated the pace, and I made a huge progress sorting out my finances.

Lisa: Creating my master plan for 2021. It’s helped me focus my energy.

Carrie: Enjoying a community with other awesome creators.

This mastermind structure is unique because…

Eloah: There is so much support going through things that I would otherwise avoid.

Lisa: I am able to build relationships with entrepreneurs who understand my struggles, fears, and uncertainty, as well as my vision, growth and bigness.

Carrie: of the shared accountability and commitment.

My biggest learning in Q1 was…

Eloah: how to be unstoppable

Lisa: that having a road map is important, even if you are not 100% sure where you are going; accountability and personal integrity are my biggest assets and tools; I am a badass, even when I might forget; I am a leader, even when I feel invisible and insignificant; and I offer tremendous value to my clients, even when things don’t go perfectly.

Carrie: that I can trust my peers to hold my vision when I forget

If you’re considering this structure, you should know…

Eloah: that your life is about to change for the better and that it is never too late to give your life a new direction that feels right for you!

Lisa: It is what you make it. Although Megan is an amazing leader and facilitator with an incredible arsenal of tools available for us, it really is up to each participant to be engage, aware, alert and vulnerable. The deeper I go with my own practices and learnings, the more my business will benefit.

Carrie: you have value to both give and receive

What I appreciated about Meg as a leader in Q1 was…

Eloah: Geeez!! Everything? She is such a badass-take-no-shit-and-love-you-beyond-limits human being! She’s also great fun and a pleasure to have around!

Lisa: her heart and her ability to hold each individual to their highest self and potential. Even when I think I am failing, I feel like celebrating because of Megan’s incredible outlook that does not see results as right/wrong or good/bad but as a metric to see what’s working and what I can tweak to improve. My business is bigger and has more direction as a result.

Carrie: the special blend of playfulness, accountability, insight, and kindness that holds the group together.

Click here to read more about my business mastermind program!

What are you taking away from this blog post, reader? Share below in the comments!

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