What is a Mastermind?
A couple of days ago I was asking in an online group about what masterminds people were or had participated in. Surprisingly (to me) a lot of people did not know what a mastermind even is.
Given I think masterminds are:
a) critical to your business growth; and
b) an amazing regular revenue stream for your business; and
c) a sh*t load of fun to run and participate in
I thought I better start this blog by talking about what exactly is a Mastermind?
The term mastermind was made famous by Napoleon Hill in think and grow rich where he stated that a Mastermind is:
“Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose”.
In modern terms Masterminds are groups of people who come together to work towards common goals.
Masterminds can be paid and led by an experienced leader or they can be group led and free. I personally feel that the facilitation by a leader and the financial investment is critical to get results from the experience.
Modern Masterminds as I see them in the business world generally bring together:
- a coach or facilitator and some of the following:
- 1:1 coaching
- Group coaching
- Group calls
- Forum community
- Online content
- Live events
The key factor is that while there is often a leader or facilitator they are really just creating the space and facilitating an experience for the ‘Mastermind” to come together, support each other and put their heads together to work on their common goals.This is not an ego trip for the coach, they are not the most important person in the room. Click To Tweet
I told my girls at the start of this year – you may have thought you joined this mastermind for my coaching, strategy or materials but you will leave knowing that the sisterhood you created was the most important and game changing aspect of this mastermind and this year.
“Every mind needs friendly contact with other minds, for food of expansion and growth.” – Napoleon Hill
Masterminds are differentiated from online group programs by having live events and they are different from e-Courses for the same reason plus the inclusion of live 1:1 or group coaching.
Masterminds are generally a premium experience.
But what makes a really epic mastermind experience?
Well I just got back from running my Ultimate e-Course Mastermind Retreat in Palm Cove, Northern Queensland and I’ve been thinking about just this based on my own experience running and participating in Masterminds.
The 5 critical factors for an epic mastermind experience
Not everyone will agree with me on these but this is what I have found to be the differentiator between good, great and downright disappointing!
1. Specific Outcome
A lot of coaches will disagree with me on this but I think the best Masterminds are super specific and have a specific outcome and common goal. I find general business masterminds a bit weak on the value front (and rather frustrating!) as everyone is at a different stage with different goals.
I created the Ultimate e-Course Mastermind because I thought how amazing would it to be to bring together a group of women all working towards the same goals – to create and launch their e-Courses. This keeps our learning and discussions focused and it means that they are all learning from each other’s specific experiences. And e-Courses are my zone of genius so it just makes sense.
Hint. a specific Mastermind concept is a much easier sell to your audience than a generic “business” mastermind
2. Amazing Live Events
Some Masterminds will just be online experiences but honestly I think of these as more “Group Coaching” than Mastermind.
To me the live events are the absolute heart of the mastermind experience and where all the juicy breakthroughs occur plus the live hot seats are like nothing else.
What’s a hot seat I hear you ask? Not as scary as it sounds! It is where you come up to the front of the room and introduce yourself and the key area you need help with (related to the mastermind). The group then provides input and ideas so much greater than you would get from a 1:1 experience and the coach should facilitate the discussion and help to summarise the findings and recommend final actions.
Ultimately most entrepreneurs and women in general do not take time away from their kids and spouses and business to focus on themselves.This time away is when we get our most creative ideas and biggest breakthroughs. Click To Tweet
They are critical to our sanity and our success.
3. Gifts and Experiences
I LOVE giving my Masterminder’s gifts!
So much that I do it all year such as when they join the program and at our three live events.
I’ve given things such as custom designed notebooks, beautiful prints, a necklace that we all wear to connect us as a group, a beautiful planner, oracle cards, crystals and much more.
I also love providing experiences such as gorgeous dinners out, massage at the retreat and amazing guest presenters and workshops.
We were lucky to have FIVE guest presenters at our retreat including:
- Rachel MacDonald of Bright Eyed and Blog Hearted,
- Marnie McDermott my Kinesiologist to talk about Launch Mindset
- Samantha Hannah to do a brand styling masterclass
- Sarah Wilder to run her Biz Power Animal Creative Workshop
- Jenny Hassam to run a PR masterclass
Now of-course this is all costed into my premium experience but I think this is a big factor in what makes a good mastermind a great one.Masterminds - It's all about the EXPERIENCE. And who doesn't like to be pampered? Click To Tweet
4. Holding the space – no matter what
Masterminds have the ability to bring forth all of people’s blocks, anxieties and deepest fears.
They force us to see ourselves clearly and recognise our true magnificence.
and geez us women like to cry!!
Every single live mastermind event I hold I have participants have any where from a few tears to complete melt-downs and frequently this occurs during our 1:1 coaching too.
Being an amazing mastermind leader is about being willing to hold space for your mastermind group no matter what.
Yes it can be hard and emotional but it is critical that you let them know that you can handle it and you are there for them.
I once had to have an emergency kinesiology session after a Mastermind hot seat because it was so distressing. But you know what I felt so privileged that someone felt safe enough to be that real and raw in the moment.Honour your participants and the space you have created. Click To Tweet
5. Mixture of soul and strategy
No matter what the topic of your mastermind whether it is marketing or design or copywriting based you must have a mix of soul and strategy.
Yes people come to you thinking they want access to your specialist skills but what actually comes up is so much more deeper and is general about their mindset, their blocks and their upper limits.The best masterminds are a mix of the serious strategy and soulful spiritual work. Click To Tweet
As an example at our recent retreat we did oracle card readings, group meditations and mudras, participated in a biz power animal creative workshop and had two sessions on mindset in addition to three launch masterclasses and a range of more hard business skill sessions.