Hands up if it feels like you’re hearing the term “mastermind group” a lot right now.
You probably are. It’s a pretty hip buzzword in the business world these days.
Hands up if a clear and consistent mastermind group definition seems hard to find.
That’s because most of the time when people drop “mastermind group” in conversation, they’re not even referring to a true, real deal mastermind.
They’re talking about a course, or a coaching group, or a DIY accountability group.
THOSE ARE NOT MASTERMIND GROUPS.
So, what the $!#% IS an actual mastermind?
Best to ask people who KNOW what a real mastermind looks like because they’ve been a MEMBER of a real mastermind.
Here’s a mastermind group definition from four kickass entrepreneur CEOs and real-life mastermind members.
Mastermind Group Definition: Business Besties
“My mastermind group definition is a structured group of peers, business peers, that will help hold you accountable, that you can bounce ideas off of, that aren’t a bunch of yes-men, so they will actually tell you the truth about whether or not one of your ideas is bad …. Basically, your business besties.
A kickass mastermind, to me, would be a group of peers that will help take me to the next level by becoming a better version of myself.”
Nadja Williamson, Founder and CEO, Network Titan Solutions
Helps small businesses streamline their systems and processes to improve customer experience.
Mastermind Group Definition: It’s Gotta Have a Strategic Element
“The first time I ever heard of a mastermind group was when I read Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill probably 10 years ago.
It painted this picture in my mind’s eye of this amazing group of people, a community committed to each other in a business context … coming together to support and encourage each other, to hold each other accountable, to share the wins, the losses, the good, the bad, the ugly of what it looks like to build a successful business. It’s this idea of looking for the greater good together.
I’ve been a part of a few of them in my career. The reality is, they’re few and far between.
There are a lot of folks who think they know how to create it, and it ends up being a love fest, and that’s good.
We need encouragement, we need acknowledgment, we need places for that, but it’s gotta have a strategic element where we say, ‘What’s the problem that we’re going after today? Who’s got the floor? How are we going to serve them?'”
Justin Williams, Co-Founder and CEO, Legendary Marriages
Offers coaching, courses, and community that equips couples to find a way through every challenge and create a great marriage.
Mastermind Group Definition: Working Together For That Common Goal
“My mastermind group definition is a group of people who are at various points within their business journey that get together for support and guidance and accountability.
You’re able to work together and bounce ideas off of each other and learn from those that are further along and help those that aren’t quite at the same point, but either way, everybody’s working together for that common goal, which is to succeed.”
Amy Paris Jackson, Founder and CEO of Amy Paris Photography
Helps successful online business owners create a lasting impression and level up their business through custom-branded photos.
Mastermind Group Definition: People Pulling One Another Up
“What a mastermind is to me — it’s a smallish group of people who have similar goals or [are] at a similar stage in business, and they are able to give and receive honest, truthful, actually helpful, and constructive business advice.
In return, they’re getting the same sort of feedback on their own business. You’re creating relationships, and you’re moving the needle forward in your business, whether it’s mindset or tactical or whatever.
Have you ever seen the GIF of the woman who’s standing there, and then she reaches out and pulls another woman up, and that woman then reaches down and pulls the other woman up?
That’s kind of the visual embodiment of what a mastermind is to me. I just think it’s people pulling one another up and supporting one another and helping them to get to where they want to go in life and in business.”
Megan Seeley, Founder and CEO of The Goal Designer
A productivity coach for moms, helping them do the things they want to do for themselves, guilt-free.
So, What Makes a Mastermind a Mastermind?
I once saw a dude who was selling a daily accountability email that he called a mastermind. The gist was that he’d send a mass email, and you’d email him back.
Cool accountability email, bro. But a very inaccurate mastermind group definition, to say the least.
Like all those smart peeps described above, a true mastermind group is made up of full-time business owners who come together to give and receive honest and constructive support, advice, and accountability.
For a mastermind group definition to be true, the mastermind needs to have three specific elements: curation, facilitation, and methodology.
Here’s what I mean.
Curation is all about putting the right people together in the group.
It’s what I hear most often from people who are curious about joining a mastermind.
“Who’s going to be in the group?”
“I’m worried that I’m going to be the smartest person in the room.”
“I’ve been in a mastermind before, and I was way ahead of everybody else who was in my group.”
The curation of the group is NOT to be taken lightly.
Mixing the right people together to get that right group dynamic is so incredibly important.
The group needs to avoid issues of mismatched levels of experience, incongruent trajectories, and incompatible personalities. Members need to bring complementary things to the table.
Mastermind curation comes down to science + intuition. A big part of matching the right people together is analyzing all of the nitty-gritty things about the individuals, what they can bring to the table, and what they want to accomplish.
Here at Kickass Masterminds, we developed and use Kickass Matching, our 50-point curation algorithm, to start the process.
Another big part of curating a great group is intuition. That is, that x-factor to finding the people who are going to gel together so that they can trust each other, form deep friendships, and get to that next level with one other.
That’s where they can be honest and real and vulnerable and go to those juicy deep places that are really going to help them take their business to the next level.
A good, true mastermind group needs to be curated both on hard facts and intuition to ensure that it’s right.
A real mastermind is facilitated by a professional who has a background in group dynamics.
There’s plenty of well-meaning people who are pulling mastermind groups together, but they lack the experience of managing group dynamics and ensuring groups are effective.
Masterminds need a professional facilitator who is 100% responsible for facilitating the group and for being responsible for all the logistics involved. And trust me, there are a lot of logistics.
There are sessions to be recorded, documents to be shared, notes to be taken, resources to be referenced.
There are topics to be promoted, prodded, and paused.
There’s the housekeeping of managing the “I’m going to be late” and “I can’t make it” and “When and where are we meeting this week?” messages.
A professional facilitator not only keeps things running smoothly; they keep things running effectively.
There’s not one right way to run a mastermind group — there are several right ways and plenty of wrong ways.
In a real mastermind, there is no curriculum. There is no class. There is no specific training that comes with being a part of a mastermind group.
If a mastermind group definition includes a training component, it’s not a true mastermind.
A true mastermind is based upon what the individuals need at that moment in time, and that is a really important piece. Think of it as “on demand” learning and growing.
People need specific things at specific times in their businesses, and a mastermind that’s structured properly can accommodate that.
For example, if you are at a point in your business where you need to learn about driving more leads into your sales funnel, that’s top of mind for you. You might not want to learn more about customer service at that point.
A good mastermind can provide that platform for getting solutions to whatever problem, whatever challenge, whatever opportunity is facing you at that specific point in time.
To do that, the mastermind’s methodology needs to be flexible.
At Kickass Masterminds, we have a defined methodology for managing and running mastermind groups, but it’s flexible enough that it can shift to make sure the group is getting exactly what they need, when they need it.