Mastermind your way to success

MastermindI belong to a Mastermind group and I’m surprised at how few people know about this as a means of developing your business.  Everyone I know who has taken part in a Mastermind group over a period of time has got enormous value from them, so I thought I enlighten those of you who don’t know about them, or have heard about them and only have a vague idea of what they’re about.

Mastermind groups can be formed for a variety of reasons; I know of groups that work:

  • On business development
  • On personal development
  • To develop a specific skill set
  • As a virtual board for a group of solo entrepreneurs

A Mastermind can be as few as three people and as many as eight.  Given the structure of the Mastermind process and the time that it takes to work through it, more than eight is likely to be unwieldy.

Let’s take business development as an example, and probably the most common reason for a Mastermind to be formed.  Generally, the process works like this.

The session starts by reviewing what each member has achieved from the action plan they created at the end of the previous session – this usually takes only 5 minutes each.

Then, in turn, each person:

  • Describes their current challenge to the group
  • The other members of the group ask questions to clarify the situation and find out more information
  • When there are no more questions the other members of the group provide feedback and suggestions for the member with the problem
  • That person then identifies what they plan to do next.

It’s wise to plan a specific time frame for each person so everyone gets an opportunity to put their issue up for examination.  The group I’m in has five members and we meet once a month, after about 15 minutes reporting on progress we then have about 40 minutes each to get through the four points above.  This usually works quite well, occasionally someone runs over a bit or someone gets what they want quicker, but an afternoon session works very well for us.

A colleague of mine attends a monthly session for professional speakers an this is usually a full day.  There are six or seven people and they get longer – about an hour each.  Their focus is more about developing their speaking career and they share a lot of expertise in the speaking arena.

Some people run Mastermind groups for which you pay a monthly or annual fee.  This is often about commitment – a friend of mine who has long been a big fan of Mastermind groups once said “Treat your Mastermind group as being as important as your best client.”  What he meant was that it shouldn’t be an appointment that you cancel when you get busy or when someone wants to meet you during that time.  The value you get from a good Mastermind group is going to help your business at least as much as a valued client.

The same guy also said “Choose people for your Mastermind group who love you enough to give you support – and to tell you when you’re talking rubbish,” (actually he used a much ruder word than ‘rubbish’!)

If you want your business to do better in 2014, find some like-minded business people and set up your own Mastermind group.

Written by Lesley Morrissey

Lesley Morrissey

I’ve written since I was at Primary School and achieved ‘fame’ by having a poem read on the BBC Schools programme at the age of 9! Since then I’ve written features for newspapers and magazines and, this century, commercial copy for businesses big and small.

The aim is to persuade my client’s target audience to take action so copy needs not only to be in their ‘voice’, but also to be written for the reader full of juicy benefits.

In other lives I’ve been a training manager, an HR manager, a quality director and a speaker.

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