In my last post, we dug deep into what a mastermind really is, and what makes them so damn magical — especially for coaches, creatives and solopreneurs. You can read all about that right here.
In summary, here’s the gist:
A mastermind is a group of people that get together to help each other achieve their goals, and man, can they be transformational.
There are so many different ways masterminds work. Some are paid, some are free, some are a tiny group of people (3-5), and others are larger (into the hundreds!).
Either way: Masterminds are a great place to swap resources, get support on the bad days, cheerleading on the good days, and offer plenty of opportunity for collaborations, vent sessions, asking ‘is it just me, or…?’, and more.
Earlier this year many women in the Betty Means Business community participated in a survey (if that was you, thank you again!!). Reviewing the results of that survey, I noticed something interesting: It seems there’s a massive myth currently circulating about mastermind groups.
The myth is: You have to be at a certain point in your business to benefit from a mastermind, or be eligible for one, to be welcomed into one, or even to start one!
(When we asked our community about it, close to a third of people had taken this myth seriously!)
I’ll be straight with you: That’s just not true, and it’s high time the myth was busted.
Yes, in many masterminds that are focused on business building participants are usually at a similar point in their business. For example, people in a mastermind may all be on track to 6 figures, or just starting out in their business, etc.
BUT some of the best mastermind groups I have personally been in have actually included women with significant variance in their business revenues, the length of time they’d been in business, their industries, and their experiences.
So: What made those groups so powerful and wonderful?
It was the combined commitment and energy – as well as the richness of diversity – that everyone brought to the table in that mastermind.
So, while being at the “same level” of business is nice in a mastermind, what really matters most is how committed your fellow participants are and the energy everyone brings to the table.
I sincerely believe you can benefit from a mastermind at any stage of business. In fact, if I were starting a business over again from scratch, joining or starting a mastermind would be something that I would do immediately.
In fact, it’s something I wish I had done earlier in my business.
(BTW hang tight for an upcoming post all about exactly what I’d do if I was starting from scratch or doing over!)
… Between you and me? It took some serious warming up for me to finally join a mastermind.
You see, I used to be a lone wolf in business and prided myself on my ability to work in isolation and get a lot of stuff done by myself. But the truth is, I wasn’t having fun.
Over time I realised that I’m not immune from the universal truth I see repeated again and again in the personal development space from the greatest teachers about the importance of enjoying the journey.
Connecting with like-minded women who “get it” is the best way I know to inject fun into business building and really bump up the level that I’m enjoying the adventure of entrepreneurship.
Another myth about masterminds? That they’re all year-long group programs taking place largely online with a crazy high price point.
While those types of masterminds can be incredible, here are a few different kind of masterminds you can join:
One-off masterminds or retreats: These are less of a commitment compared to longer-term masterminds, but can still be super valuable. In these types of masterminds you may head off for one or three days and connect with a group of like-minded people at a certain event, or a retreat location, etc.
Monthly meetup masterminds: These are a bit more casual, and might even be as simple as a catch up over a cuppa every month.
A free Facebook group mastermind: These tend to be larger than the average mastermind group. Some are really massive, but they can be a really great first step in terms of building a network, collaborating with people, getting your brand recognised, and asking for help with stuff.
Paid mastermind programs: The best ones of these are usually by application only, because the leader of the mastermind group curates the right mix of people. This curation, along with having a dedicated leader who facilitates the group, brings about some of the biggest benefits of these types of paid programs.
Private invitation-only masterminds: These aren’t part of a paid program or a larger community. They’re typically tightly held, rarely accept new members, and invite new members to join only via personal endorsement and/or on consensus from existing members.
The beauty of masterminds is that they can take so many different forms. With so many kinds of masterminds out there, it can be tricky to figure out which is the best option for you. The good news is that finding the right mastermind for you requires only one very simple thing: asking yourself the right questions.
Here are 7 questions I recommend you ask yourself BEFORE joining any mastermind.
Question1: “What do I want to get out of a mastermind?”
Is it social connection? Advice? Resource sharing? Support? Fun get-togethers?
The more specific you can get with your answer, the better off you’ll be. Different people have different interests and different needs at different times in their business, so consider yours.
There have been times where I’ve joined masterminds because I’ve been craving new friendships and community. Other times, I’ve joined because I knew I needed more accountability to stay in momentum and take steps in my business that were out of my comfort zone.
Question 2: “Where am I in my business now?”
Get really honest with yourself about where you are in your journey right now. Perhaps you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in business for a while, or you’re ready to double your revenue next year, whatever it may be.
Seasoned entrepreneurs may (but not always!) need different things to newbies, so get really clear about where you’re at in your business and how much experience you have.
Question 3: “What do I want to talk about in a mastermind?”
Do you only want to talk about business, and if so, do you only want to talk about a certain part of business?
For example, maybe you only want to talk about marketing, or maybe you only want to talk about improving your coaching skills. Maybe what you’re really interested in is becoming a better leader and managing teams. Maybe you’re happy to talk intimately about your personal life.
While that last topic may seem unrelated to your business for you, I’ve been part of some incredible masterminds where everyone in the group believed that, for us women, life is business is life and everything is intertwined. While the focus of the group was on supporting each other to build our businesses, for us that also meant discussing our relationships, home life, family and other stuff outside of work.
Maybe that’s not your bag, and that’s okay — but that’s also why being clear on the topics that you are comfortable discussing is really important.
Question 4: “What can I contribute to the group?”
Not enough people ask themselves this question before joining a mastermind. Like I mentioned earlier, in the most powerful masterminds everyone is invested in everyone else’s success. To make that investment manifest, it’s great to think about what kinds of things you could contribute to the group.
Now, this doesn’t mean you must be able to share a practical service or open doors to a specific kind of market. For example, it might be that you’re happy to talk candidly about your experiences. It may be that you empathise strongly. You may have a personal interest that could be very relevant; like a deep knowledge of tarot or moon cycles or something that brings a fresh perspective to the group.
Think it over, I bet you’ve got so much more to offer than you initially think.
Question 5: “What can I commit to?”
Are you up for group calls a number of times a week? Or would you prefer once a month? Could you travel a couple of times a year to retreat in person? (Side note: I think real life face-to-face connection is unbeatable.)
Think it through, and take the commitment very seriously.
Question 6: “Am I seeking a mastermind that is very structured, a mastermind that is facilitated by a leader, or something that is looser or D.I.Y.?”
Being clear on the kind of structure that you’re seeking (or lack of structure that you’re seeking) can be really powerful. There’s no right or wrong here; people flourish under different conditions. The key is simply to know your preference. For example, you may be drawn to bookending your workweek in a structured way, or desire a more flexible space where you can breeze in and out when you need something.
Question 7: “How do I want the mastermind to feel? What kind of energy do I want the group to embody?”
Now I know that sounds a little bit esoteric, but energy is important. In the best masterminds I’ve been in, there’s been this mutual feeling of soul connection. The interactions, relationships, and “vibes” just work.
So consider: Maybe the kind of energy that you want to experience might be something that makes you feel really inspired and full of creativity. Maybe you want to feel like a part of a mastermind that’s super collaborative and feminine. Perhaps you might want the mastermind to feel goal focused and accountable.
There are lots of different angles that you can take here, so it can be really helpful to think about what your priorities are around the kind of energy that you hope to find in that group.
I know at this point I may be sounding like a mastermind tragic. For the record, if you decide a mastermind’s not for you, that’s more than OK.
They require time and effort and they’re not for everyone.
I will, however, suggest you consider one of my favourite ideas from Napoleon Hill’s book, Think and Grow Rich, which is basically:
“When two or more people gather to invest into each other, a third spiritual mind is formed in the group.”
That’s a perfect summation of the beauty of a mastermind. When people who are genuinely invested in supporting each other to lift each other up and achieve their goals come together, they are creating a powerful environment of success that’s bigger than something any of them could create in isolation.
There’s no denying that being part of something like that is pretty awesome!
And before I go, I want to invite you to share your thoughts in the comments: Are you considering joining a mastermind? Why or why not?
What do you think is the #1 thing holding you back from joining?
And if you’re a part of a mastermind – what’s one thing you really love about it… and another you don’t?
I l-o-v-e reading what you share, so don’t be shy! Let’s swap notes. <3
This post may contain affiliate links. For more info, you can check out our disclaimer policy here.