How to Use Mastermind Groups to Help Your Business Evolve


When I started my first business, I thought I had thoroughly researched the name, but after about a year, I discovered that I was frequently shortening it. The shortened name’s trademark was registered to another company, and if I continued to use it, my company would face some restrictions.

I used the mastermind concept to find the right name and then tagline to transform my company’s brand. It saved me a lot of money and time, and I got something far better than I could have gotten alone. Let me first explain what mastermind is, and then I’ll tell you how to use it for small, focused projects or to help grow your entire business.

What exactly is a mastermind?

Napoleon Hill (Master Mind) coined the term “mastermind” in his book Think and Grow Rich to describe how the most successful people rely on their peer groups to help them develop solutions and strategies for their problems. Henry Ford and Andrew Carnegie are two examples.

Ideas flow when you spend time with people who think similarly to you. Have you ever been to a coffee shop where a new business idea is born? I sometimes cancel meetings to spend time with these people because the energy between us is greater than the sum of our two separate points. As if a veil has been lifted, our ideas are magnified, or our ability to see opportunity is enhanced. It’s an incredible experience, and when I leave these meetings, I’m inspired to implement new projects or products.

How does it function?

Individuals can be both confident and self-conscious at the same time. We can only see from our point of view. That is why we seek the opinions of others. People in a mastermind group are chosen to complement one another. You are not seeking the advice of an unwitting spouse but of someone who has agreed to perform at their peak to bring their expertise to your requests, and in exchange, you will get your knowledge and perspective to theirs.

A good mastermind group, like group coaching, should have a facilitator and rules to help manage the group dynamic. Participants should be evaluated for their ability to fit into the group and should sign a contract stating their commitment to the group. The best participants are as interested in seeing the growth and success of the others in the group as they are in seeing their own. I’ve discovered that by adopting this mindset, a participant will gain much more information and ideas from the group because every issue, struggle, or idea can be applied to a similar situation in their business. Other members’ responses and suggestions will make their process more valuable and functional.

When forming a mastermind group, there are several important factors to consider.

Some key points include; * A group should consist of a minimum of three participants \s* You should set a regular meeting time (e.g., once a month for 3 hours) \s* You should sign a commitment contract which states things such as I will attend all meetings. I commit to one year; I will bring positive energy to support the success of the members of this group; I will follow through on the actions I promised in the meetings, and so on. If it is not a facilitated mastermind, assign someone different to watch the clock, keep people on task, and start and stop turns at each meeting.

What are the advantages?

Two significant advantages to joining a mastermind group are tangible and intangible.

Benefits That Can Be Seen

I immediately saw some tangible benefits when I re-branded my company name and tagline. I planned to bring a list of business names I had researched to my BNI meetings in four weeks. I’d tell people something important about my company’s brand and then ask them to circle their top three names. I also solicited feedback and suggestions. Every week, I could compile a list of the leading names and receive new names to evaluate. I’d combine the new terms with the top three from the previous week and talk about something unique and essential to my company’s brand the following week. After four weeks, I narrowed it down to a clear winner. It met all of my branding requirements and spoke to my client’s needs. It was not the one I had initially chosen, but superior. This method was used for my tagline and was modified for my second business. This was a great example of how mastermind groups provided me with tangible benefits.

The benefit I received was the varied input of many people representing my target client’s perspective. I developed a brand image that spoke to the corporate C-level people (e.g., the CEO) I needed to reach.

Other advantages include a business plan with an implementation structure and accountability to help them meet their goals and grow faster. There were unique marketing ideas tailored to the members’ specific target market to reach more clients. Emotional support and strategies were implemented to assist a member in overcoming stressful HR, financial, or client-centered issues, so they did not fail. One final significant advantage had reminders to help a member stay on task, complete a project, and achieve their goals to make more money.

Intangible Advantages

I’ve seen new business owners arrive at mastermind with a negative self-image. They are experts in their field, but they are unsure of their worth as business owners. Within a year, the group helped them recognize their value, boost their confidence, and reach the point where they could pitch and win contracts with Fortune 500 companies.

Intangible benefits support your mindset, emotional investment, unconscious behavior, and needs to feel fulfilled and balanced. They are difficult to quantify, but they will hinder your company’s growth without assistance.

How is it used in everyday situations?

I believe you understand this by now, but just to be sure, let me give you some examples of how you have most likely used the mastermind concept.

* At school, your teacher assigned a task to the class and made time for discussion. You effectively used the power of a mastermind to understand better what the study could be as you all brought your ideas on how to manage the job, strategies on how it should unfold, what it should look like, and what the outcome should be. I guarantee it was better than the teacher assigning you a project based on his ideas.

* If you’ve ever committed to doing something, such as quitting smoking or losing weight, you’ve probably started by telling a few people about it. These people would keep you focused and on task by asking you questions like “how’s the quitting going?” or “you look great; how much weight have you lost?” This is why Weight Watchers is so successful.

* When you volunteer on a charity board of directors, a non-profit steering committee, or an advisory board at a college, you join a group of people dedicated to helping the entity function and thrive. Although it is a one-sided mastermind, the concept is similar. The group applies its collective experience and knowledge to improve the entity’s functioning and attract more investment and volunteers.

“No two minds ever come together without creating a third, invisible, intangible force that may be likened to a third mind,” Napoleon Hill writes. As a result, the adage “two heads are better than one” should be revised to “two heads are better than two.”

Barb Stuhlemmer has been working in technology for more than 20 years. She has witnessed nearly every aspect of the business through various positions, industries, and responsibilities.
Barbara’s website has more information on mastermind groups and how her genuine enthusiasm can help a business find the answers to increase income and profit.

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