5 Keys to Making Your Mastermind Work

By Jane Atkinson

I’ve been a part of some amazing masterminds, and I’ve been a part of some snoozers. Perhaps you can relate?

Some of you are running your own masterminds, so I wanted to lay out what 10 years of putting together my Inner Circle Mastermind has taught me and the best practices that we use:

1. Common ground

Each member of the group is at a similar level and has something special to share. One of the total game changers in my business was putting my clients into three buckets: Emerging speakers (we direct these folks into our 12 week course), Intermediate speakers (these are our Inner Circle Mastermind candidates) and Seasoned Speakers (I typically work with this group in private coaching). That clarity has allowed us to be crystal clear on who belongs in the mastermind and who does not.

Ask yourself: Are the members of my mastermind all roughly at the same place in their business, or will the group be exhausted trying to bring someone less experienced up to speed?

2. Virtual face to face

I have to be honest, Zoom has totally transformed my business. Back when my groups used to meet via teleconference, the bond was never even close to what it is today. Seeing people eyeball to eyeball makes a huge difference in how connected you feel and the energy that transmits from the group. That energy is what keeps people going in between mastermind calls.

Ask yourself: How many times do we need to meet in order to keep our momentum?

We typically meet twice per month and this works quite well for us.

I recommend that you set your dates and times on the first call and stick with them. Trying to accommodate everyone for every call is like trying to herd cats. If you’ve got 50%, that’s enough to move forward. If you find they aren’t making the call a priority – that’s a red flag.

3. Real face to face

Remember the story about me launching my mastermind about six years ago and right before I was set to fly to Dallas to meet with my group, my Dad passed away. Of course, I was devastated. But, I was also lucky because my old boss Vince Poscente agreed to step in and run the program for me that weekend. I met with my group monthly via phone (no video then) for 11 months and I have to say, although I enjoyed them, I never truly bonded with that group. Vince bonded with them, but I did not. There’s nothing more powerful than face to face and that’s why I try to meet with my group at least once per year, and often twice per year.

Ask yourself (and your group): How impactful would it be to set aside a weekend per year to meet and grow my business?

I think getting out of your own space to really think about your business is imperative to flourishing.

Speaker Mastermind

4. Focused Agenda

Many of my private coaching sessions last only 30 minutes. How do we get away with this? With massive focus. Clients do their homework ahead of time (and send it to me) which helps them get focused and I prepare for their questions. In our mastermind, we meet for one hour and we ask that people come to the table prepared. That allows us to move through each mastermind members’ issues quickly. Set your time and stick with it.

Ask yourself: What is the most important thing that this group does for its members?

Ensure that enough time is set aside on the agenda for this item.

5. Structure

Your agenda (and how much time each person has) should be clear. I recommend that on your first go around to share your “wins”, things that can be celebrated, to set the tone for the meeting.

If you have a huge mastermind, then you might need to be super quick about this. Our groups never go beyond eight people as I find that too many; typically four to six, is a good number for a call. With that said, I do know groups of 20 who meet for an entire day and it’s very successful – there’s never only one way to do things.

Ask yourself: What are our three key elements to our agenda?

Trying to cover more than three areas in my experience is difficult. You might consider these things as a starting point:

– What are your wins (things to celebrate)?

– What are your 30 day goals?

– What can the group help you with (question or sticky points)?

Another bit of structure that you can put into place is how people show up. Be clear that no one needs to be the super hero in this group. Unless they are the leader, if they aren’t coachable and aren’t willing to show their vulnerable side, it’s unlikely they will walk away with anything from the group. You’ll also want to set the stage for an equal amount of time for all so that no one hogs the forum.

Mastermind Wins

Masterminds can be an amazing way to move your business forward.

Make sure that someone sets the tone of the group, ensures that you move from person to person quickly and keeps you on track for time or you might just find your mastermind is a big old drag.

Hopefully these few tips will help you make the most of your masterminds.