How to set up a mastermind group

This post is a response to a reader question following last week’s post on why you need a mastermind group.

John Soares posted a comment on the post:

Matthew, I’m a solo guy who’s been interested in getting into a good mastermind group for a while.Currently I’m checking out local people in the Mount Shasta area, which has a surprising amount of talent given the rural population.

I’d love it if, in a future post, you could share how to make a mastermind group function properly and how to get the right people in it.

Well John, thanks very much the question.

First of all, lets look at finding the right people

If you’ve already searched on for an existing group and not found any suitable group,  your best bet is to start your own.

I’d start with a blank sheet of paper and think of all the people  you know who can help you with your business. Maybe that’s customers, suppliers, your accountant, your bank manager your lawyer and suggest to them that they you form a group to help each other.

Don’t ask people just because they are the same as you. Get together people, from different backgrounds, with different opinions who will challenge you and not just agree with you.

The important thing is you need to think about what you can offer each of the potential group members. Not just what they can offer you. There needs to be something in it for them too.

Don’t forget, people lead busy lives and it might be worth your group meeting virtually by conference call or chat room.

I once went to a Business Networking International Meeting it was quite clear to me that the power of this group laid in the accountability that the group members have in finding referrals.

By meeting regularly you create the accountability with the group which is so vital to it’s success.

Structuring the meeting

The first meeting will undoubtedly be setting the ground rules for the discussion. ie each person has 2 minutes to explain their problem then 15 minutes of questioning and opinion  by the group members before moving on to the next person. How long each member of the group has is what the ground rules are for. It needs to be fair.

Depending on time you might want to feature a couple of businesses each week who have an indepth Q&A session…just a thought.

You might want to ‘elect’ one person to be the chair of the group and another to be timekeeper.

Start with each  person recapping  about their goals from the previous meeting. Then each person sharing in detail  whatever issues, problems, queries or concerns they are facing.

Then the rest of the group members contribute to the discussion with suggestions or comments based on their knowledge and/or experiences.

At the end of each session, each person should take it in turn to talk about the goals that they want to achieve by the next meeting.

There’s many different ways you can run this,  having a group of 6-8 is probably a good size based on logistics of getting people together and making the group manageable.

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