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A mastermind is a group of people who share similar goals working together to achieve them. A mastermind for business is a great way to keep yourself around like-minded people who understand you and your mission. I’ve been a member of masterminds at different stages of my business. They’ve been helpful for support and accountability. Whenever I have a burning question about how much to charge, how to overcome a mental block, or how to grow a part of my business, the members of the mastermind have been there to guide me. Here’s how to get the most from a mastermind:

Open Up

We all want to seem like we have it all together. A mastermind isn’t the place to talk about only your successes. Let your guard down and talk about your struggles. A key purpose of the mastermind is to work together to come up with solutions for each business. The members of the group may be able to recommend resources and new ideas that could change your business for the better. If you’re not transparent about what’s going on, you won’t know if they can help.

Meet Regularly

You have to meet with each other regularly for the mastermind to work. You could do it weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. In the beginning, the meetings should be pretty frequent. The beginning is when you’re getting to know each other, asking questions, and discovering the help that each member needs. Waiting too long to have meetings can make it feel like each one is a reintroduction. You should be working together progressively towards goals and not chit-chatting every few months.

Give It Structure

A mastermind that works isn’t a free-for-all. This is a waste of everyone’s time. You have to have a schedule and structure for your meetings. A popular structure is having everyone explain what they’re working on at the beginning of the call. For the rest of the call, you put one member on the “hot seat”. That one member discusses in detail what they’re working on, what’s going well, and what’s not going well. The rest of the group members chime in to give them advice or support in what they need. The hot seat rotates for each meeting.

Hold Each Other Accountable

There has to be accountability for the group to be productive. Otherwise, it could turn into a weekly meeting where you’re talking aimlessly. There should be a bit of loving pressure from group members to push you in the right direction. Have a note taker of the group that jots down what people are working on so you can circle back on it. Creating a private mastermind Facebook group is a good way to keep communication and to-do lists organized.

How can you find a mastermind?

Sometimes paid masterminds are sold by thought leaders within industries. Each mastermind I’ve been apart of has been free. I’ve been invited to them from networking. You could form your own mastermind by reaching out to a group of people you know also running businesses. It could be a group of online business owners or people you meet in person. Masterminds take a bit of effort to set up, but they can be remarkably helpful once they’re up and running.