How to Set Up and Run a Mastermind Group to Improve Fast & Effective

One of the most useful things i have had in my life is Mastermind groups. I have been in 4 or 5 groups. The total time in different groups adds up to 4+ years so i have some experience that i can share. I will tell you that a proper mastermind group can improve your output with 20% - 80%.

I will explain clearly what the benefits are of a mastermind group, who you should have in your group, how to find those people, How to hold a meeting, get some meeting recommendations and what tools you need to use.

This is just going to be a guide for all those people who i talk to that are interested in a mastermind.

Take your time with this post and implement all the actionable content. 

1. Benefits of a Mastermind Group

Accountability Towards the Other Mastermind Members

This is probably the biggest thing and super useful for most people. Most people are not really held accountable these days. And that’s to bad. Cause it is really useful when other people hold you accountable.

Today’s society is more like 10 people shouting they gonna do shit and than 1 month later no one has done anything. So this is a major benefit of the mastermind.

You set your quarterly goals and ever week you should have goals that reflect those. If they don’t than your mastermind members should talk to you about it and if you're not making them they should make sure you’re getting there.

Motivation eachother

It’s really beneficial to constantly talk to people who fail in their life. I’m kidding haha it’s not really so. It’s only inspiring to see what not to do.

So having a group of people around you that inspire and motivate you is really good. Its also good to associate yourself more with those people and less with lower productive people (if that is the road you want to go to.

Insights and advice 

The third big benefit of having a mastermind is that you can get insights and advice on your problems and situations.

1 mind can only think so much. You are just limited in the amount of solutions you can generate. For extra solutions it’s really helpful to talk with smart experienced people.

I just had a call with my mastermind and one of the members was lacking purpose for the last couple of weeks.

We were able to examine the problem and look for a solution so the next quarter he would be able to do some more things that are in line with his bigger purpose in life.

Super useful and something you are probably not going to be able to do on your own (or it will take way more time)

2. Who Should the Mastermind Members Be? 

This is really important. If you don’t select the right type of people you will not have a good mastermind and it will fall apart within a couple of weeks/ months.

Another negative part about not selecting the right type of members is that a lot of frustriations are going to be build up.

You can see it like the following: Let’s say you have a house where you live with 4 other roommates. You can like and love all the roommates and have the best for them. But when you have 2 members who don’t clean up after themselves you’re going to dislike them and get frustrated by them. This is not that they aren’t nice people. It’s just that your expectations are not similar with them.

Okay so let’s jump into this shit. The members need to have the following 3 things:

  • Similar Drive & Commitment

  • Diverse Skillset

  • Problem Solver

Similar Drive & Commitment 

The biggest thing is that you have a similar drive and commitment. One of the main purposes of a mastermind is that you try to push yourself and others to achieve the things they want.

Let’s make a super random comparison to try to illustrate what happens when those are not matched. Let’s take cars. Some people’s attitude and drive is like a Koeningsegg (Yes, i like this care a lot based on the fucking name it has hahaha)

And than you also have people who have a super slow Smart.

So what happens when you try to push the smart car to the limits a super car has? it fails.. and how big does it fail? IT FAILS HARDDDD.

So all the other supercars will look at the slower car and get frustrated from trying to push it to go harder.

I’m not sure if it’s bad that other people have lower drive and commitment. but it is what it is. Not much you can change about it right now.

Do you need to have the same goals?

Nahhh, this is not neccesary. Everyone can focus on their own goal and type of goal. Some people will have big personal goals to make gains in the person they are. Others will focus more on business and work and trying to create something for the future.

It also varies from time to time. Some people focus on something for one quarter of the year. And than focus hard on something different the other quarter.

Very Specific Masterminds

Next to general masterminds you can also have super specific masterminds relevant to one subject.

This clearly has 1 beneficial goal. To learn and get better at 1 specific part.

Let’s say you’re an English teacher. And you job is to educate a certain type of group. That’s not the easiest job. There is a lot to learn and to gain to become a really effective teacher.

How to get the attention of students? How do you anticipate on the group dynamics? What learning material is the best for which type of students? What type of homework should you give and what kind of tests should you give your student.

You get the point. There are a lot of areas in this situation that can be improved. When you have those challenges it’s really effective to create a mastermind and help each other get to the best result possible.

How To: Test Drive & Commitment

Look at the goals they are setting for themselves. Are they absolute pussies about it? Are they willing to put money on it. Are they doing the right stuff or are they avoiding the tasks that REALLY need to happen?

With those questions you can test specific members on their Drive & Commitment.

Diverse Skillset:

  • To get the best advice, you need to have people who are good in things you are not good at

When you struggle with things it’s good to have someone around who is really good at something so they can give you good advice. Let’s say you have an issue with exercising. than it’s really useful if you have someone in your mastermind who is a gym freak. If you’re having problems with work than it’s useful to have someone around who is really good at working with people.

The best thing would be to have 100 people in the mastermind but that’s not doable. So that’s the reason why it’s good to have people in your group who are good at multiple subjects and subjects than you’re not a pro in.

Problem Solvers:

  • Bitching ain't that useful. Solving shit is where the magic happens

One thing that girls have very often is that they just want to vent their frustrations. This is really weird for guys because when this happens than the guy wants to find the solutions to the problem.

This is a big thing with masterminds. Although there is some venting going on. In general you want the meeting to be about solving everyone's problems and getting them further.

Being able to solve a problem is not everyone's specialty.

Most people who follow the 9-5 path have a tendency to not be able to think too much outside the box. These people are no good fits for a mastermind member. I’m not saying every 9-5er can't be added value. I’m just saying you need to screen for their problem solving capacity.

These are the 3 things that you should look for in people. When you establish a group you can have test runs and do a testing period for a while. When people don’t seem to fit explain why they don’t fit and that it’s nothing personal. They will hate it and impact them negatively probably. But maybe it triggers something in them to become a better person and a better mastermind member.

A last note is that different people match with different people. The fact that 1 group doesn’t work out doesn’t mean none of the members fit or they are not suited for a mastermind. It just means that the group chemistry didn’t work out.

Changing Groups.

I have been in 4-5 Mastermind groups. They all had their own benefits and side effects. It is quiet normal for a mastermind group to end at a certain stage. This has to do with multiple factors.

  1. Yea you’ve told me that before.

After you’ve been in a mastermind for over a year you kinda know what the other people are all about. So you already got a lot of the value out of the group. It than can happen that you fall into the same questions with the same answers.

This is not beneficial so when this happens then you should just put an end to it.

  1. People getting demotivated

motivation comes and goes. And so do mastermind members. When someone is not motivated anymore for a while (let’s say 4 weeks). It’s about time to warn them and then remove the person. It’s not beneficial for the person nor the group to keep that person in the group.

3. Finding Mastermind Members

In this chapter we are going to discuss how you can meet potential members. We are going to discuss the following points

  • Don't have to meet in real life

  • Forums / Facebook groups

  • Friends and friends of other members

  • Where your work related people hangout

  • Don’t be a bitch about it.

You don't have to meet in real life

A big thing is that you don’t have to meet in real life. Therefore your pool of potential members becomes pretty big.

A side note with this is that it is pretty handy to be in a similar time zone with the other members. Having a 6 - 12 hour time difference is really annoying. Definitely if that means 1 member needs to wake up early and he is not that good in waking up early (been there haha)

I’m currently in a mastermind where at least 1 member is always in another country. So we always just have calls.

Forum / Facebook groups

There are a lot of not interesting people on facebook. There are also a lot of very interesting people on facebook. Purely cause almost everyone is on facebook haha.

Facebook groups have been a good method for me to meet like minded people over the years. There are groups for almost everything.

So join a couple of groups and mingle with some like minded people. PM them and after a couple of conversations you could pitch them if they are interested in joining / setting up a mastermind group.

Friends and friends of other members

An easy pool to find capable people in might be the friends you have and the friends of current members. Only do this if you feel like the group is lacking people.

Screen your friends very hard on the points we discussed earlier. It’s harder to pull out a friend than a person you dont know that well.

Where your work related people hangout

I do SEO. So since Matt Diggity was advocating there are a bunch of SEO’ers in Chiang Mai that was the place i moved to. Great choice and indeed there were quite a few SEO’ers.

From that place i met people i’ve been in masterminds before. Also people who i just have contact with on a regular basis

Don’t be a bitch about it.

Last point is that you shouldn’t be a bitch about not finding members, not getting accepted to masterminds, getting removed from them or removing someone. Grow up, nobody has time for the touchy feely bullshit.

4. Meeting Format

Now let’s talk about some elements that you can implement and some elements that you NEED to implement.

Chit Chat Time

Here you can add a lot of different things. Wanna chat for a bit before the meeting or jump right into it. You can decide what you do exactly. I’ve been in groups where we start instantly and i’ve been in groeps where we could chat for 15 - 30 minutes beforehand. it really depends on preferences and

3 Weekly Wins

You want to be depressed? Nah, me neither. So don’t focus all on the negative. You like to hangout with negative people? Nah, me neither. If people are very negative i have 2 solutions.

  1. Make them realize they are being negative

  2. Cut the fuckers out of your life.

The effect of implementing the “3 Weekly Wins” into your mastermind meeting is to set some positive mode and focus on some good things.

Last week goals

You need to evaluate your past performances. This is a important thing to do. When you set goals you need to know how you are performing. If you don’t keep track of your performance than goal setting is kinda useless.

You need to feel good about yourself when you are on track with your quarterly goals. And you should feel shit when you don’t hit the goals or are not on track.

One important thing some successful people use is to make sure they are not to happy with where they are.

This is something i see time and time. When you get happy with the position you are at it is really hard to move. So here you get 2 options.

  1. Be happy with where you at and improve slowly, stagnate, or move back.

  2. Be unhappy with what where you are and you are likely to move.

Someone who is hungry goes to get food. Someone who isn't hungry is not gonna eat.

To illustrate i was talking with someone who had big issues with his sleep. His sleep was totally fucked and he rated his sleep 20%. The guy really works hard on improving himself so with some actions he got his sleep to 40%. This was a HUGE change for him.

But then came the trap. He was kinda okay with the 40%. While when you think about it objectively you see the amount of improvement possible. So even though it’s AMAZING that you just Doubled your outcome, it is very dangerous to be to happy about it.

Here is a video about why you shouldn’t push for happiness

Next week goals

Set some fucking goals for yourself. These goals should be based on your monthly OR quarterly goal. You NEED med term goals.

You should put a penalty on not making certain goals.

You could put a reward on goals as well. I think the best system is probably to have a system like this.

10% - 70% - Penalty

70% - 80% - Safety section

80%+ Reward section.

These percentages are just made up on the spot but you get the fuckign idea. If your baseline for the amount of hours worked (and you track hours with toggl. Not with start and end time cause you piss away at least 20 - 30% of your time away in useless breaks where you fuck around on your phone and jerk off)

When you never set a punishment on a goal than you should just get the fuck out of here. Close this fucking website. You’re not worthy to read this shit if you can’t even dare to put some skin in the game.

Do you need punishments?

Do you have to put punishment on everything? naaahhhh. that’s not necessary. But it’s always fun to see. I fuck up a lot of the things i don't put money on. So when i have a task/ goal and fail it like 2-3 weeks. I’ll just put money on it cause i know it will get done. That’s how you manage it.

Questions to ask:

Here are some questions you can ask and use during the sessions.

What are you avoiding.

One powerful question to ask when coming up with your goals is to ask yourself / or your mastermind members “What are you avoiding” or “what are you putting off”. When you ask yourself that question than you really know you’re avoiding. Sometimes it’s something you’ve been putting off for a whiiiileeee. And sometimes it's the thing that happened yesterday and you're trying to forget.

What are you working on?

This can spark some conversation about their current course of action. When you got some time you can go into depth about what someone is exactly doing and figure out if there are flaws in their plan or suggestions you can give.

What do you need help with?

This triggers them to start thinking of potential help they could use regarding their goals.

And there are many more questions you can come up with.

5. Meeting Recomendations

Same day meeting

It’s really recommended to have a same day same time format. You need to create the habit to have a certain time singled out in your agenda.

Have a meeting leader

It’s really useful to have a meeting leader. Just to give clear guidance to the meeting and remove the empty parts of switching between members. You can have the meeting leader role change meeting by meeting. It’s also good training for people to lead a bit more who aren’t leaders at all.

6. Tools to use

To work with your mastermind group you need some tools. At Least 2 tools are needed. 1 tool is to communicate with the other members of the group. And the other tool is to document goals en potential other items. For communication we’ve used Skype and Messenger.

For documentation we use Google Sheets. Google sheets is the easiest for goal documentation with a group since it’s really easy to work in with multiple people at the same time.

This will occur when you are on the call and discussing goals.

Mastermind Document

For the mastermind document you don’t need much. So what do you need? you need a document where you have the members in each column.

Than you need to have 4 - 10 rows for every week. Split the weeks with some sort of barrier and label it the certain week.

Below a screenshot of how we do it.

Mastermind File