In the summer of 2014, I sent Paul Jarvis and Jarrod Drysdale an email, asking if they wanted to start a mastermind group together.
Shortly after, we started meeting for weekly Google Hangouts. We've done these meetings consistently since then (the only change is that we now meet monthly instead of weekly).
I was recently asked by Bryan Dubno about how a mastermind works:
I’m thinking about getting a small mastermind group together where we could all get together every week. I haven’t been part of one before, so I’m not entirely sure what the format should be. Does anyone have any experience putting something like this together? Are there any useful resources out there?
Here's a quick description of how we started our mastermind, and how we run it week to week.
Wikipedia's definition is pretty good:
A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer mentoring concept used to help members solve their problems with input and advice from the other group members.
If you're an entrepreneur, you probably want to start a business mastermind group. My definition of what I've seen most bootstrapped founders run is something like this:
I thought we would be a good fit because, in 2014, we were all going through transitions:
We did our initial call, and we all agreed that we had good chemistry.
Finding a group is tricky. For a mastermind to work, members need to align in the following areas:
There are services like Mastermind Jam that will match you, but I've never used them.
I think the most effective technique is to get out and meet people. This way, you'll have a variety of folks you could invite to join you in a mastermind.
Here are some places I've made meaningful connections:
Initially, we ran our mastermind meeting weekly. We scheduled it as a recurring event in Google Calendar (every Thursday, at 3pm Pacific). Nowadays, we don't feel the need to meet every week, so we do it monthly.
However, the format has always stayed the same. Our agenda will look something like this:
There are three different sections:
We'll record all of our notes in a Google Doc. (This is important, see below)
Now that we've been doing this for 5+ years, we've seen how the mastermind has positively impacted our lives.
The mastermind has given us a safe place to discuss the hard parts of life and business. It's enabled us to share information and to support each other. Its provided accountability, and motivated each of us to press on.
Because we write notes for every meeting, we have this amazing record of our individual journeys, from 2014 until now. That Google Doc has given us insight into:
It's an incredible document. It shows the power of people coming together, with intention, to help each other.
If you're building a business, even if you're a solo founder, you can't do this alone. A mastermind can provide you with the community you'll need to go the distance.