Three months ago, a good friend passed on a 44 page eBook about “Mastermind Groups.” On the surface, it explains a mastermind group as 12 (or less) people meeting once a week, reading books, and sharing life together. However, the more I read, the more clear it became that the proposed idea was more than a glorified book club or holistic mens group. At the core of this mastermind concept was a culture of intentional relationship, investment, and advocacy that captivated me.
So, three months ago, five guys & I started an experiment with the idea. We get together every Friday, smoke cigars, and make it our primary goal to care just as much about the professional, relational & spiritual success of the one next to us as we do our own. Since then, four of us have doubled our income, five of us have launched new businesses and all of us have found a new level of fulfillment both professionally and personally.
Obviously, I’d highly recommend starting a group. However, my recommendation wouldn’t be just because of the career implications. Yes, the potential of doubling income and launching new endeavors is great and certainly a decent motivator. But, here are five far-more-worth-while reasons for you to start a mastermind group…
1. Advocacy breeds confidence.
At the heart of the idea of “advocacy” is this choice to see another person for the best version of who they are, regardless if they see it themselves, and relate to them accordingly. We have built our Friday group on this idea and I’ve yet to experience anything more empowering in my professional pursuits. Their belief in me and affirmations in how I think have injected me with a previously unparalleled confidence in life and career.
2. Life favors those that pursue it intentionally.
There is something innately powerful about a small group of people being intentional about their lives and growth. Sometimes we read articles or listen to podcasts during the week and discuss them together. Other times, we invite local entrepreneurs to come share their thoughts and lives with us. Regardless, every week I walk away inspired by my friend’s and mentor’s careers, relationships, and their spirituality within both.
Even beyond self-development, we all know that our intention and passion often have a strong say in creating our reality. We all, also, know how easy it is for passion to die. The brilliance of a group like this one is the natural accountability to keep your passion alive and moving until it turns ideas into reality.
3. Life is at its best when shared.
“Happiness isn’t real unless shared.” -Chris McCandless (Into the Wild)
I have the tendency to forget, in the midst of a society that grossly overvalues production and undervalues connection, that relationships are actually the point. The mastermind group has challenged that tendency. Its given all of us a context to track and share our lives together.
4. Collaboration is the new competition.
As young professionals, its easy to want to hoard your experiences and knowledge to keep a leg up on your peers. However, the culture of our group, and the mastermind concept, promotes the free exchange of ideas, relationships & opportunities.
The results of this mentality have been fun to watch. One member was introduced to a company through the group that offered him twice his current salary. Two sets of our members have launched two companies together in the past 3 months. At least one person every week brings a new idea or project to the table for consulting from the group – who offers all the knowledge and experience they have freely.
5. It Pays to Give.
Every week, I’m given the opportunity to lend my voice and affirmations to five other people’s success. There are few substitutes in life that hold as much significance and fulfillment as that.
I also reached out to the guys in my Friday group and asked them what it has meant to them. Their responses were too good not to share.
“The critical thinking involved in our group, tough questions, and challenging ideas has caused a few new wrinkles in my brain and created a whole new sense of confidence for me. I find myself being more outspoken and appreciated with ideas and execution at my job, marriage and life.”
“Since we first started, I have seen a huge spike in my income. And I know that’s not by accident. It’s been a shift in mindset.”
“The most amazing thing about our Friday afternoons has been the accountability. Having a full time job makes it challenging for me to pursue other side endeavors. But, knowing that I will be meeting up with 4-5 other dudes that I admire and respect at the end of the week, keeps me pushing through apathy and excuses. It’s challenged me to continually think outside of the box, without throwing the box away.”
“It’s significantly helped me sharpen my focus and has kept me accountable to it. Just being with these guys and the guests we bring in has taught me how to think entirely differently, entirely more successfully.”
I hope the concept of a mastermind group and our experiences with it have stirred you. We’re very much still in experimental mode with our Friday group, but if you have any additional questions about how or what we do from week to week, please feel free to ask them in the comments below! And be sure to download Dan Miller’s book “1+1=3: How to Start Your Own Mastermind,” (search for book at bottom of page) which is packed full of his incredible insight on the issue.