As an Entrepreneur, you need to be taking part in an Entrepreneur Mastermind.
There are very few things out there that offer you a similar return on the time investment you make in a Mastermind group.
It can explode your growth as an Entrepreneur and make your journey to success a world apart from if you instead decided to go it alone.
Today's post is going to break down everything you need to know about Entrepreneur Masterminds. This is my most comprehensive and single lengthiest posts to date, clocking in at 4,154 words, which is a reflection of how strongly I feel that every Entrepreneur needs a Mastermind.
Enjoy, and let me know in the comments below if you have any questions!
Let's start off by defining what an Entrepreneur Mastermind is in the first place.
Napoleon Hill, famed author of Think And Grow Rich, is credited with introducing this concept. Most people know Hill thanks to Think and Grow Rich, but he actually started mentioning the idea of a Mastermind back in his first few books, starting with The Law Of Success in 1928.
He referred to it as a Mastermind Alliance, rather than a Mastermind Group, as it's more commonly called today. He argued that when two or more people got together to support one another in achieving goals, it created a third entity – the Master Mind.
Essentially, a Mastermind is a group of people who meet regularly to discuss their goals and support one another in achieving those goals. It's a place where you can gain incredible feedback, expand your network, and get encouragement from other like-minded individuals.
There are a number of different ways a Mastermind can benefit Entrepreneurs, and it will vary from group to group and even from Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur within a particular group.
Having said that, there are typically a couple of common, key benefits Entrepreneurs get from taking part in a mastermind. What follows are the top 11 reasons every Entrepreneur needs a mastermind.
Similar to how I pointed out in my post on finding a Mentor that mentors can provide a great deal of motivation, taking part in an Entrepreneur Mastermind is also incredibly motivating.
Seeing others around you take massive action and overcome their challenges immediately makes you think about your own problems differently. You'll start to realize that every obstacle presents an opportunity, and you'll feel compelled to find opportunities within your own challenges.
The other thing that makes this even more powerful is when you have Entrepreneurs in the group who are at different points in their business.
Having Entrepreneurs who have “made it” helps provide your brain with the proof it needs that success is possible, while having people at a similar point in their journey to where you are provides you with camaraderie.
Start or join an Entrepreneur Mastermind and you'll quickly cut any motivation problems down to size.
We've all heard it – “your network is your net worth.”
But many of us don't take the necessary amount of action to meaningfully grow our networks. That's partly because it's a lot of tough work. Business cards, remembering names, networking events, small talk…it get's tiring.
That's why I'm always on the lookout for ways to short-circuit or “hack” this process. I've mentioned in previous posts that having a strong personal brand is one of the best ways to do this because it means people often seek you out.
Outside of having a strong personal brand, another great way to build your network is by taking part in an Entrepreneur Mastermind. The reason I love the networking component of masterminds is that it's such a leveraged activity.
Because you make meaningful connections with other plugged-in entrepreneurs, it has the effect of exponentially growing your network. You suddenly have access to everybody in the networks of each individual person in your mastermind.
When you meet with your group, if you mention a problem you're facing, odds are that another person in the group knows somebody in their network who can help you.
A fraction of the effort with equal, if not better, results. That's my kind of networking.
Everybody has blind spots. But as Entrepreneurs, ours tend to be even more pronounced.
When we start a business, many of us have a tendency to think our idea is a lot better than it actually may be. We can be a little romantic with our ideas.
This can be a good thing because it gives us the motivation to keep going when things get tough. But like anything in life, it's only good in moderation.
Getting unbiased, objective feedback from others is the best way to make sure you're not missing things when it comes to your business plan or a particular product you're launching.
This does require a few things are in place first, though. You first of all have to be willing to hear others out and accept criticism. It doesn't mean you have to agree with everybody's input, but you at least need to hear it out with an open mind.
It also requires that you provide meaningful feedback to others in return so that it's a two-way street.
This can be one of the single best benefits of Entrepreneur Masterminds because you get your ideas picked apart by a handful of people, each with a different take.
There's strength in numbers.
When you can successfully collaborate with somebody or perhaps even multiple other people, the result can be something that's greater the sum of each of its individual parts.
Maybe your skillset is product development, but another person in your mastermind is a Facebook advertising genius. And maybe another person is great at organic social media growth. Now all of a sudden you have the makings of a really strong team, capable of launching a product to much greater heights than any of you would be able to do on your own.
The best thing you can do to give yourself a great shot at a successful partnership is to take some time to analyze your strengths. Determine how exactly it is that you could fit into a potential partnership. What unique skill set do you bring to the table?
Once you understand this, whenever possible make it known to the group that you do possess this skillset (obviously without sounding like a conceited prick). You simply want others to know how you might benefit them.
Then, just be a great listener and keep your eyes peeled for any opportunities that present themselves. Collaborations are one of the single biggest reasons why Entrepreneurs need a mastermind.
If you can't find a way to do a joint venture with the others in your group, maybe there's at least a way for you to cross-promote each other.
Perhaps you're one of a couple social media influencers in the group and you can each shout each other out and engage with each other's content, creating exponential growth for each of you.
Or maybe you have a healthy snack company and one of the people in your group operates a supplement company, there could be some opportunities to cross-promote each other's products on social media, as the two would have similar audiences but cross promoting wouldn't cannibalize each other's sales.
You have to be a little creative here, but luckily for you, number 1o on this list shows how being in an Entrepreneur Mastermind helps you be more creative in the first place!
The people who win the most in life are the ones who provide the most value to the largest number of people.
As I mentioned earlier, it's important that this is a two-way street. You need to go into this with a giving mindset as opposed to a taking mindset. Think how you can directly benefit the others in the group. Not only will it make you feel good, ultimately, the more you help others the more you'll receive in return.
Having a big network doesn't do you any good if the connections aren't at all meaningful. When you truly make a difference in somebody's business and life, you'll create a lifelong ally who will want to support you long into the future.
If you're not always making an effort to learn, you're probably moving backward.
The good news: there are lots of ways to soak up new information.
The bad news: most are esoteric and tough to contextualize.
Back to the good news: being part of an Entrepreneur Mastermind is one of the single best ways to be exposed to new ideas and new business models.
Even though I quickly realized Corporate America wasn't for me, one of the things I did enjoy about my job as a Private Banker was seeing how my wealthy clients had made their money. I was always fascinated by how many different ways there were to make a dollar – or, more importantly, lots of dollars.
The good news is I still get to enjoy that type of insight thanks to the mastermind I take part in.
If you're anything like me, the trick here is to not get caught up in shiny object syndrome (which I cover in my post on the mistakes Entrepreneurs make).
While it's incredibly insightful to see how others have grown their business and their income, you have to be selective in how you implement aspects of others' business models. Otherwise, you'll start getting pulled in all sorts of different directions.
Having said that, if you can be thoughtful and structured in how you introduce these new strategies, it can result in your business plan being much more well rounded.
The saying, “show me who your 5 closest friends are and I'll show you who you are” couldn't be truer.
Just by consistently spending time with other successful Entrepreneurs you'll naturally start thinking differently. Ultimately, we get what we tolerate. But what we tolerate is largely reflective of what we see others tolerate.
If the people closest to us make poor dietary choices, we'll be much more likely to see that as tolerable behavior, so we're likely to start making those same choices ourselves.
On the other hand, though, if we see the people around us only eating healthy food, we're likely to be more strict with our diet. The science here is pretty conclusive.
This same concept applies to your business. If you consistently spend time with people who are working diligently on their business, you're going to be more likely to do the same. You'll subconsciously see it as the only
When you know you've got two weeks left until your next Mastermind meeting, you're going to find another gear.
You'll be determined to keep up the progress so you can deliver a good report to your fellow Entrepreneurs.
One of the single biggest characteristics of successful entrepreneurs is accountability. Now, this starts with holding yourself accountable on your own. But where you may fall short, it's hard to overstate the help that can be offered by others in this regard.
At the end of every meeting in the mastermind I take part in, we document on a Google Doc what each of us expects to have done by the time our next meeting rolls around.
Then, right at the top of the next meeting, we immediately go around the group getting a progress report from everybody. If you're not where you said you'd be, there better be a good reason for it. Otherwise, we publicly shame that person.
Okay, just kidding. But we do give them a tough time about it. This has been one of the most helpful aspects of our mastermind because it really puts the pressure on to deliver. I'd highly recommend incorporating this into your mastermind if possible.
When you're getting input from a variety of different people, each of whom come from different backgrounds and has different perspectives, it can spark your own creativity.
Being exposed to new ways to think about a problem can allow you to better put the puzzle pieces of the solution together.
After all, creativity is typically the product of combining other, often unrelated ideas into one new idea. This is why some people refer to creativity as ideas having sex.
So that leads one to conclude that in order to be more creative, you need to expose yourself to more and better ideas.
Masterminds are one of the best ways for Entrepreneurs to do this.
Being an Entrepreneur inevitably provides you with some challenging moments.
When faced with these, fighting the good fight all by yourself is entirely too difficult. Point blank, you need the support of others.
Getting this support is one of the top reasons Entrepreneurs need a mastermind. Not only do you get encouragement and empathy, you get it from others who can truly relate to your struggle.
People who haven't pursued entrepreneurship themselves or haven't been close to an Entrepreneur will rarely understand the challenges we face. So to be able to not just get support, but also get it from people who can actually relate is a powerful thing.
They can help you get past your obstacle not just with empathy, but also with tangible solutions that worked for them when they faced a similar obstacle.
So if you're having a tough time with something, speak up at your next mastermind meeting. Odds are, somebody there knows just the right thing to get you moving again.
So you've decided you want to take part in a Mastermind. Great! Now you have a decision to make.
There are two main ways to get involved in a Mastermind: either join an existing Mastermind or start your own.
Let's look at each.
There are a couple of ways to join an existing mastermind.
Some groups will be harder to join (if not impossible) than others. Some are paid and some are free, some are open to anybody and others are invitation only, so it really varies from group to group.
If it's a more exclusive group, focus on how you can actually bring value to the rest of the group. what unique skill set do you possess that might currently be in short supply within the Mastermind.
If it's a paid group you're going to want to do some homework first and ask yourself what exactly it is that you want to get out of working with the Mastermind. A majority of paid Masterminds focus on a particular subject, so if you're going to fork over some money (usually it's a little more than “some”) you should be very clear on what gap you're trying to fill in your skillset, connections, etc.
To get you started, here's a list of some top mastermind groups available for Entrepreneurs.
If you've been following this blog from the start, you know I'm a big believer in Real Estate Investing.
Dean Graziosi is one of the best Real Estate investing coaches you'll come across and his Organized Brilliance Mastermind is one of the largest Masterminds out there. If you're looking to get started in Real Estate Investing, this is a great place to start.
If you want to perform at the highest level possible, look no further.
Brendon Burchard is the real deal when it comes to success experts. He's literally started an institute whose sole purpose is studying high-performance individuals and scientifically breaking down their habits. His high-profile endorsements are seemingly endless – Tony Robbins, Oprah, Jack Canfield…the list goes on forever.
Brendon gets daily requests for speaking or coaching gigs worth over $100,000 (cough, cough, why you should start your personal brand), so obviously it would be impossible to accommodate all of them. In order to get around this, he created an incredibly exclusive (and incredibly expensive) high-performance Mastermind. If you've seen some solid success as an Entrepreneur and are ready to make a big investment in your future, Brendon's Mastermind might just be your best bet.
Dan Sullivan founded Strategic Coach in 1988 and has gone on to become a sought-after and exclusive coach. His 10x Ambition program is designed for already successful Entrepreneurs looking to take things to the next level.
If you want a Mastermind with more of a social twist to it, look no further than IVY Social University. IVY is an organization that does 100+ events each year in each of the cities it operates in. These range from seminars to workshops, dinners, volunteering events, and even international getaways.
Once you've really started to make progress as an Entrepreneur, it's time to start really leveling up.
YEC is one of the best places to make that possible. It's an exclusive, application only Mastermind that has some steep requirements (must own a business that does over $1MM in annual revenue or has over $1MM in financing).
It's not cheap either, but you get to network with some incredibly successful Entrepreneurs who can open up entirely new doors for you. Usually, the results you get out of it make the cost seem like a small investment.
Want meaningful, helpful connections and a sense of community? Genius Network is the Mastermind for you.
They do have some pretty strict application requirements (you'll have to have some entrepreneurial success under your belt), but if you're accepted it can be an instrumental tool in your growth as an entrepreneur. Because the application standards are so high, you end up being surrounded by a really powerful group of people, each of whom brings something unique and valuable to the table.
If you make it through the application process and are accepted, it's important to focus first on giving. How can you help the others in the group? By doing this, you'll make meaningful alliances and people will naturally want to help you back.
Okay, so you either can't find the type of Mastermind you want to be a part of or maybe you're struggling to get accepted into the right one.
Not to worry! With a little networking and ear-bending, you can create your own Mastermind and you'd be surprised how easy it can be.
The first step in creating your Mastermind is to start with the end in mind.
What do you want to get out of your Mastermind? Equally important, what do you want your members to get out of it?
If you don't have a general structure or theme in mind, it will be impossible to attract the right people. Without the right people, there's no point in a Mastermind in the first place.
When you first start out, a little planning goes a long way.
Starting in your immediate network is the best way to get the ball rolling. The idea is to leverage your existing connections to get in touch with progressively larger, more meaningful connections.
Ask yourself who's the most successful, influential person you know who would definitely be interested in your mastermind. Then, do whatever it takes to get them on board. The key here is understanding it only takes one to get things started.
Once you have them on board, ask them who the most successful person in their network is. Or, if this first person is pretty well known, they may not even need to personally know the next person you go after. The key is that the next person you go after knows the first person you got on board.
Now that you have the next person in mind, you approach them and say, “Hey, I'm starting an Entrepreneur Mastermind with the following benefits (yes, you may need to sell them on it a little), and the reason I thought you may be interested in it is [insert the first person's name here] is going to be joining in.
The idea is to leverage the credibility and influence of the first person to hook the second.
In doing this, you can continue to approach bigger, more influential people and before you know it you're talking with some incredibly successful people. It helps to remember that almost everybody wants to improve themselves and surround themselves with other winners, so attracting the right people is not as difficult as you think.
This is the key to getting the most out of your Mastermind – the higher the quality of the members, the better the results. 90% of the effort and time it takes to get your Mastermind off the ground should be spent on figuring out how to get the right people into it.
Yes, rules suck. But, there are a few rules you should put in place in order to give your Mastermind the best chance at being successful:
You've finally got your group together – great! Now what?
This goes back to having that strong vision for your Mastermind before you even start. How is it you want your members to benefit? How is it that you want your members to contribute? Is your Mastermind more general or niche specific?
There are a couple pieces that need to be addressed at each meeting:
Look at you! With a little hard work and some leveraged networking, you put your own mastermind together.
The key now is to be consistent and always remember that value reigns supreme. You'll need to continue to find ways to ensure each meeting provides every member with tangible value. Otherwise, the Mastermind will fall apart.
The more you give, the more you receive.
Whether you decide to build your own Mastermind from scratch or join an established Mastermind, I strongly believe that it's one of the single best things you can do as an Entrepreneur.
It will challenge you to think differently and question your assumptions. It will hold you accountable. It will expand your network. And lastly, it will keep you motivated.
I implore you to go take action on this right now. Don't wait – the benefits are too important to pass up.
Alex is a serial entrepreneur, coach, and active investor who drives growth and scale for his portfolio companies.