How can I effectively participate in a Mastermind Group?

Possibly the most important and profound action you can take to create change, transformation and success in your life is to build and participate in a “MasterMind Group.”

What is a MasterMind Group,  you ask?

A MasterMind is a group of people who have common interests and goals, who meet  on a regular basis to support each other in growth and development toward actualizing those interests and goals. It’s a dedicated group of people who share at least some values, perspectives and objectives in common, who understand that the power of the “group mind” is exponentially more powerful than the sum of the individual minds from which the group is composed.

The first person I know of that explicitly described the concept in detail is Napoleon Hill (in his book “Think And Grow Rich”).

Hill said that no individual can achieve great power with out a MasterMind. My experience (and the experience of every powerful person I know) confirms this idea.

To me, one of the most “magical” powers of the MasterMind is that it affects you on a subconscious level… without you having to “do” anything.

We humans are programmed by everything that happens around us. We tend to be MOST programmed by what we see, hear, and experience others doing.

Not what we read, not what we think, not what we feel. We’re influenced by the OTHERS around us. We literally become those that we surround ourselves with.

Want to know how much a person makes per year? Find their five closest friends and average their incomes. That’s the answer.

Want to know how healthy a person is? Find their five closest friends and average their health.

Want to know what a person’s aspirations are?

You get the picture.

So how does one create a MasterMind group, and how does one make sure that they’re doing it “right”?

Here are a few pointers, based on my experience:

1. Make sure most of the people in the MasterMind are FAR beyond you. At least 3-5 years down the road you’re trying to travel. 5-10 years is even better. This isn’t a non-profit organization or a charity event, so don’t treat it like one. You’re in this to GROW. (All the while knowing that if you grow to your full potential, you’ll be able to do much more effective charity work later in your life.)
2. If you do allow others who are behind you on the road to success in your chosen area, make sure that they have MASSIVE POTENTIAL. You’d better be feeling in your gut that they’re a super-star, and it’s only a matter of time before they pass you.
3. Meet regularly in person. If you are located in different geographic locations, it’s fine to meet by phone often. But get together live, in-person regularly.
4. It’s great to have a few different MasterMinds for different parts of your life. A physical-health based MasterMind can be just as valuable to you personally as a financial MasterMind. Again, just make sure that the members are beyond you.
5. Make sure that the people you invite to the MasterMind can add massive value to the OTHER MEMBERS. Remember, you’re inviting people who are beyond you. They’re going to get a lot more value from the group and the other members than they are from you. Carefully select members who will get value from each other. Keep yourself out of the equation mentally.
6. Be the “hassle remover” for the group. Handle the schedule. Handle the details. Do the annoying administrative stuff that noone else wants to do. You be the one to set up the teleconference bridge meeting line, or the meeting space reservations. You be the one to walk next door and tell the neighbors to be quiet because they’re disturbing your meeting. You be the one to go out and get more drinks for the group because everyone is thirsty.
7. Remember, the value to you isn’t the tangible things you’re going to get. Don’t focus on material gain. What you’re going to get is the personal GROWTH that comes from being around evolved beings. Let the others have the perks and material rewards of the group. You sit back like the “dumb fox” and allow your mind to receive the higher-level transmissions that are coming from the others around you.

Here are some questions I got when I Twittered about creating a MasterMind, with my answers (I tried to answer many of the questions I got above, but here are a few that will help fill this out a bit):

Q: How do you build or “fill up” your group?

A: Start with one or two people that you think would be great “anchor” members of the group – people you might know or have some influence with. Once you get them, tell other members that you’re inviting about these anchors – and connect up the benefit of MasterMinding with those anchors. Again, keep yourself out of the equation. Use the power of each individual you attract to attract others. Be patient. Wait until you have a good core group before starting. Don’t just let people in because you’re in a hurry.

Q: How do you conduct the meetings?

A: A good starting format would be to create a group with 6 members. Meet weekly for 60-90 minutes on the phone or in person. Each week, ONE of the members is the “focus” of the meeting. Start off by having that member share: 1) Their biggest challenge, 2) Their biggest opportunity. Next, the other 5 members of the group brainstorm to help that person reduce or eliminate their biggest challenge, and take advantage of their biggest opportunity. You, as the “organizer” or facilitator, makes sure that no-one hogs the mic, that everyone is heard, etc. Key here is all 6 minds focused on ONE person’s situation, challenge and opportunity.

Q: How do you keep your MasterMind members motivated and involved in the group?

A: If you have to motivate and involve them, then you’ve probably chosen the wrong members. Let them go, move on, and find members who are self-motivated – and who have a natural bent toward contributing and being involved. Trying to change people who don’t want to be changed is hard, unrewarding work. There are enough super-stars in the world that you’ll have no trouble finding them to be in your MasterMind.

In the “final analysis” there’s nothing more important to your growth in life than having intentional MasterMinds – and there’s no skill more valuable than the ability to create MasterMinds, facilitate them, and nurture them.

For more on the topic, I highly recommend Napoleon Hill’s book “Think And Grow Rich” – and get the newly-published “Original Version”. It has many important elements that were removed from later versions. (This is the one to get: Think And Grow Rich – Restored And Revised)

Please add some suggestions or comments to this post and let’s start a conversation going! I would love to hear some interesting tidbits from your experiences in participating in masterminds.

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