When you are starting – and growing – a new business, you need support, accountability, and fresh ideas. Being in a mastermind group is one way to get all three. If you’ve ever wondered about the pros and cons of being in a mastermind group or about how to get one started, here are some ideas:
Pros of being in a mastermind group:
- You have people you can bounce ideas off of.
- You have folks who will hold you accountable for doing what you say you’re going to do (and accomplish).
- You have others’ networks you can tap into.
- You help the members of your mastermind grow in ways they wouldn’t grow without you (and that feels great!)
- You have people who have no vested interest in whether you do well or not, who have your best interests at heart, and so will tell you the truth.
- Your growth is accelerated by being part of the group.
- Your mistakes are either lessened (or at least the pain is lessened) because you learn from others’ mistakes–and then help them in the same way when you have made mistakes and can share your wisdom.
- You share a trust and camaraderie that is related to your business and that may or may not be related to any other part of your life.
Cons of being in a mastermind group–and I think I’ll call them “cautions” rather than “cons,” because if you don’t attend to these cautions, then none of the “pros” from above apply:
- Consider “where” people are, i.e., in terms of their business direction, intention, overall maturity, knowledge, determination, etc.
- You want to be in a mastermind group with people who are in the same range as you are. If you are with people who are “below” where you are regarding the above-mentioned considerations, then you will be their mentor. If you are with others who are far above where you are, then you are less likely to be able to help them and it becomes an uneven situation. You will constantly be beholden to them and they will feel cheated because they’re not with someone who is on their same level.
- Be circumspect about who is in the group to begin with–and who you let in (if you admit others) as you go along. If you have a group that works well, then adding someone can change the dynamics of the group in a way that might not work. The mastermind group I’m in is 3 people and we have decided that three is our number and we won’t be expanding – ever.
- Set up guidelines for how you will run your group. How often will you meet? How long will you meet? What time frame will be involved each time? It helps to have structure rather than just “getting together.”
- If you are part of a group that doesn’t work, or that no longer works, then take yourself out of the group and find another one (or start another one).
Consider this general advice:
- Form a mastermind with one other person and grow (slowly if at all) from there.
- Consider any mastermind group a trial at first.
- Interview each other.
- Agree to certain non-negotiables.
- Find out if you’re “on the same page” philosophically, ethically, etc.
- Get together, get started, and then watch your growth.
- If you are pushed by your mastermind group–that’s good.
- If you are pushing the others in your group–that’s good.
- If you are all growing and learning and changing–that’s when you know it’s working!