Surely you’re hearing the word “Mastermind” used all over the place – it’s kind of a hip buzzword in business right now. 
 
But, hold up, because most times people use the word “mastermind,” they’re really not even talking about a true Mastermind. 
 
Which begs the questions: what is a TRUE Mastermind Group? 
 
You’re going to hear from five full-time Entrepreneur CEOs sharing their understanding of what a Mastermind Group is. Then I’ll give you my definition and some uber-important things to look for if you’re interested in joining a Mastermind. 
 

To watch the video instead of reading the blog, click here. 

Sara: Welcome to this really rad bonus episode. Now, if you’ve ever wondered what a mastermind is or what it can do for your business or what people experience when they are in a mastermind group, keep on listening because you are going to hear from a handful of full-time entrepreneur CEOs telling you their experiences and what they think a mastermind is.

Then I will be back with you towards the end of the episode to give you the down and dirty full rundown of what a mastermind is, what it’s all about, and what you would experience by participating in one. Let’s hear from our awesome entrepreneurs now. 

Nadja: Hey, this is Nadja with Network Titan Solutions where we help you harness the power of systems and procedures so that you can spend more time growing your business instead of being stuck in the weeds.

My definition of a mastermind 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, but 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.

Sara: Now you’re going to hear from Justin Williams, who is half of the dynamic duo at Legendary Marriages where they have help couples of legendary marriages.

Justin: 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, but it was this idea of people 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?”

I think that’s the biggest most important element to me, is creating a group that is strategic and focused on moving the ball forward, on creating wins for each other.

Jen: Hi. Jen O’Deay, copywriter, owner of Feel These Words writing services business. What is a mastermind? A mastermind is… Well, first of all, I’ve never joined an actual mastermind, so I’m giving you my hypothetical understanding of masterminds, and though she didn’t ask me in any way to say this, I have gotten a very good view of what a mastermind group is like from Sara’s Entrepreneurial Mastermind Show.

A group of curated, like-minded entrepreneurs, business owners, brought together to pull each other through, give ideas, offer strategy, shed light on the blind spots that sometimes we can’t see as we’re so close to our own, that’s what a mastermind is to me.

Amy: Hi. This is Amy Paris Jackson of Amy Paris Photography. I help successful online business owners create a lasting impression and uplevel their business through custom-branded photos.

My idea of a mastermind is a group of people 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.

Megan: Hey. I’m Megan Seeley, The Goal Designer. I am a productivity coach for moms, and I help them do the things they want to do for themselves, guilt-free.

What a mastermind is to me, it’s a smallish group of people who have similar goals or at a similar stage in business, and they are able to give and receive honest, truthful, actually helpful and constructive business advice.

Ways to help them move forward, and 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.

Sara: So good. Thank you guys for sharing what you think a mastermind group is, and so much of that is very true, and so much of that is the experience that people get in mastermind groups, so I really appreciate you guys sharing. Thank you.

Now, here at Kickass Masterminds, we define a mastermind group as a group of business owners who get together with a common goal of contributing their skills to help the group and its members succeed. It’s really about peer mentoring where entrepreneurs are pushing and supporting each other and holding each other accountable.

Now, I think it’s really important to define what a mastermind group is NOT because there are so many things out there that are being called masterminds that really are not masterminds.

In fact, I saw something the other day where a dude was selling a daily accountability email where he would email you and you would email him back and calling that a mastermind. That is not a mastermind group at all. That’s a pretty cool accountability email. Not a mastermind.

Two other things that are not a mastermind group are group coaching and DIY mastermind groups. Now, a lot of group coaching experiences will be called a mastermind. The difference between a real, true mastermind group and group coaching is, in group coaching, there is one guru, one coach who really leads and manages the mastermind under their philosophies and their teaching. Oftentimes, there’s curriculum and classes, online classes that go with those type of masterminds, but really, it’s about that one teacher coaching in a group environment, that one teacher providing content. It’s not about what the group brings to the table. It’s not about the power of the collective of the group itself. It’s more about the coach doing their coaching.

Those are all well and good, but they’re just mischaracterized a lot of times as mastermind groups.   

 If you are looking for a mastermind group and you come across a coach or a guru who’s leading that, just dig into that a little bit deeper and figure out, is this going to be about the power of the collective group and what each individual group member needs at that point in time, or is it more about the coach teaching and going through their process and really layering their philosophies into a group coaching kind of situation.

The second thing that is not a mastermind is a DIY accountability group. Now, I see these come together all the time, especially in Facebook groups. Somebody who is well-meaning and enthusiastic will generally say, “Hey, who wants to be a mastermind group?” and they’ll pull together all the people that raise their hand that said, “Hey, I’m interested. I’m interested,” and they’ll try to piece together a group, but oftentimes, the person leading the group isn’t skilled in facilitating that group, they have no methodology or process for leading the group and making sure that the group is productive, and they haven’t really curated the group.

Oftentimes, also, it’s newer entrepreneurs that are in those groups, and they tend to be regurgitating information to each other like, “I saw this in a course,” or, “I read this in a book,” versus, “This is my first-hand experience with this.” It’s just a different kind of a thing. A mastermind group is not group coaching, and it’s not DIY group of well-meaning people getting together to hold each other accountable.

There are three main things about a true, real mastermind to keep in mind. There is the curation, the facilitation, and the methodology.

Now, the curation is all about putting the right people together in the group. This is what I hear most times from people, “Who’s going to be in the group,” or, “I’m worried that I’m going to be the smartest person in the room,” or, “I participated in the mastermind before, and I was way ahead of everybody else who was in my group.”

Now, 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, and it’s the right mix of, how should I say, alchemy and analysis. You have to get the people together that are on similar trajectories and who are bringing complementary things to the group.

A big part of matching the right groups together is analyzing and looking at all of the nitty-gritty things about the individuals, what they can bring to the table, what they want to accomplish, but another big piece of it is really intuitive. That is finding the right people that are going to gel together so that they can trust each other and form deep friendships, and they can really go to that next level with each other so that they can be honest and real and vulnerable and go to those juicy deep places that are really going to help them springboard their business to the next level. A good, true mastermind group needs to be curated.

It also needs to be facilitated by a person who professionally facilitates these groups. Again, there’s a lot of well-meaning people who are pulling mastermind groups together but don’t have experience in group dynamics and in groups working together on how to make those the most effective.

You need a professional facilitator to be 100% responsible for facilitating the group and for being responsible for all the logistics around a group because there are a lot of logistics. There are documents that are shared, there are notes that are to be taken, there are resources that are referenced. There are just the nitty gritty of “I’m going to be late” or “I can’t make it” or “when are we going to meet?” There’s a lot of those logistics that go into managing a mastermind group, so having a professional, dedicated facilitator makes the group run a lot more smoothly.

Lastly is a methodology. There’s not one right way, but there are right ways to run a mastermind group and wrong ways to run a mastermind group. A lot of that has to do with the group itself. Here at Kickass, we have a methodology for managing and running mastermind groups, but sometimes the groups, because of the individuals in the groups, need a little something different.

We have a methodology that’s flexible enough to give us that framework, to give us that platform that we know is a proven process for people to get the most out of their mastermind groups, but also has that flexibility so that when the group itself needs something, it can flex, it can shift so that the group is getting exactly what they need out of that.

Now, some things that are not part of a true mastermind group that, again, I see people saying are part of a mastermind group are things like curriculum. There is no curriculum. There is no class. There is no specific training that comes as part of a mastermind group.

Sure, there might be experts or people inside of the group that has expertise in certain areas or guest speakers that come in and teach, but it’s not a specific prescribed curriculum. It’s really based upon what the individuals need at that moment in time, and that’s a really important piece. A really important part of a good, true mastermind is that 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 or need to get more information about driving more traffic into your funnel or into your website, into your sales page, whatever it might be, if that’s top of mind for you, that’s top of mind for you. You might not want to know about customer service at that point. You might not want to know about website development at that point. If you have a problem, if you have a need, that’s what you need to be focusing on, not what a prescribed curriculum might be offering you up at that point in time. A mastermind can provide that platform for getting solutions to whatever problem, whatever challenge, whatever opportunity is facing you at that point in time.

Now, the last thing I want to mention about masterminds and what is a mastermind group is that a mastermind really allows you to take advantage of this whole concept of one plus one equals three. Now, what the heck does that mean? What it means is two or more brains and set of experiences together doesn’t just equal the collective of those two or more brains. It actually creates the opportunity and creates the environment where magic can happen and where ideas can flow and solutions can come that are more powerful than the individuals. That’s why Napoleon Hill really coined the term mastermind because if you’re taking, let’s just call it, two brains together, putting them together in one mastermind, that mastermind is actually way more powerful than the sum of the individual parts.

There’s some alchemy in there. There really is some magic. There’s some X level type of thinking and ideas and solutions that come together when you’re able to bounce ideas off of people and you’re able to use the power of that collective, of the one plus one equals three, to come up with something even better than you could have on your own.

The long and the short of it is really a mastermind group when properly curated, facilitated, and managed through a methodology and through a process that works is a group of your business besties, people that you can call on kind of 24/7 to support you and help you to accomplish whatever it is you want to accomplish in your business.

Now, obviously, I am a huge fan of masterminds. It’s why I’ve been running and managing them for more than eight years. If you have any other questions about masterminds that I did not answer in this episode about what a mastermind is, please come over and find us on Instagram. Find me on Instagram. Ask the questions. I will be sure to get back to you. We are on Instagram @kickassmasterminds. Pretty simple, @kickassmasterminds.

Thanks for listening to this episode, or watching if you watched the video. We’d love to have you back for another in the future. Thank you.

CONNECT WITH THE ENTREPRENEURS ON THIS EPISODE: 

Nadja Williamson – Helps small businesses streamline their systems and processes to improve customer experience!

WEBSITE 

INSTAGRAM 

 

Justin Williams – Justin and his wife offer coaching, courses and community that equip, empower and challenge couples to find a way over, around or through every challenge, and create a great marriage full of teamwork, adventure and passion.

WEBSITE 

INSTAGRAM 

 

Jen W. O’Deay – Writer who walks the line. Copywriting & content. She helps business owners build the key to conversion—genuine connection. 

WEBSITE 

INSTAGRAM 

 

Amy Paris – Amy Paris Jackson is an image specialist focusing on custom website photos for entrepreneurs who are looking for unique and branded photos.

WEBSITE 

INSTAGRAM 

 

Megan Seely – Productivity Coach helping moms create more time for themselves, guilt-free.

WEBSITE 

INSTAGRAM 

 

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