The concept of a mastermind group is much older than most people would think. Namely, it was described and analyzed by one of the pioneers of self-help – Napoleon Hill. He looked at the most successful businessmen of his time (and those before) and he discovered that they almost invariably collaborated with other people in a similar situation and used these connections and occasional meetings to improve themselves and become more successful.
Mastermind groups (or simply masterminds) have been present in the world of business ever since and every now and then; they capture the imagination of the general public. But, can they really be that effective and can a mastermind group help you become a better businessperson?
Will a mastermind group help you grow your business?
Multiple Points of View
Running a business can be a solitary endeavor. Unless your life partner is very understanding or if you have a co-founder, the chances are that you will be living in a bubble where you will be constantly under pressure and where things can get very lonely.
In such an environment, it is easy to get set in your ways and you start seeing everything from a very myopic point of view.
As part of a mastermind group, you will be exposed to numerous points of view and while you may not agree with most of them initially, you will slowly start to see a certain logic in what other group members are saying and how they are doing things.
Let’s say that you run your average B2B software company and you have a sales team of 5 people. You have been running your company in the same way for the last 10 years and you have had some success. You think it is the best it can be. Then, after a couple of mastermind meeting, you start directly and indirectly learning about other ways your sales team can be managed and guided to success.
No one is pressuring you into anything. You just pick up a thing here and a thing there and all of a sudden, your team is selling 50% more every quarter.
It all comes down to hearing out someone who does things differently. Not necessarily better, but differently.
This non-aggressive exposure to different points of view is perhaps the biggest benefit of being part of a mastermind group.
A mastermind group will usually feature members from different industries and different niches. For a business owner, having access to such specialized advice is simply invaluable.
Just as an example, let’s say that your company is facing a copyright legal case and you don’t even know where to start. Now, let’s say that your mastermind group features a lawyer among its members. You will be able to pick their brains and to get advice that would have cost you thousands and that would take months to get.
A mastermind group is not about getting services for free, but the advice you will be able to get will just make your life so much easier.
Especially considering how specific and how expertly this advice will be.
Networking. Networking. Networking.
Besides tapping into a wealth of knowledge and very specific advice, being part of a mastermind group will also do incredible things for your business network. Namely, as mastermind groups become stronger and as time goes by, it is common for group members to help other members get access to other people in their business network.
All of a sudden, besides knowing this fantastic 7 or 8 people, you are getting access to a massive network with dozens, if not hundreds, of members, all potentially helping you grow your company in ways you never even dreamed of.
Moreover, your business will start popping up in other conversations your group’s members have with their other business acquaintances. Your business will be recommended and this will only open doors for you in the future.
The best thing about it all is that all of this will grow even more in time, providing more and more benefits for your business.
Networking will always be a crucial part of a successful business and mastermind groups can do spectacular things for you and your company in this respect.
Validating Your Ideas
When you run a business and have no one to turn to, certain ideas can seem better than they actually are.
Let’s say that your business has grown somewhat over the last couple of months and you need to hire new people. You found that your bank is offering a half-decent loan and it seems that finding a new office space and expanding is the right idea. Unfortunately, you do not work out all the ins and outs and you end up with a cumbersome loan that hinders all of your future growth plans.
Your idea seemed much better than it actually was, but you simply had no one to run it by.
When you belong to a mastermind group, it becomes very easy to validate your ideas and to determine whether they truly are as good as they sounded to you last night before you fell asleep.
In fact, most mastermind groups will gladly go over a specific idea as part of a meeting and approach it from many sides, covering innumerable facets to the idea and identifying all of the possible problems that might arise.
In addition to this, you will often hear other members’ ideas that you might apply to your business in some other way. This is especially useful for business owners who have been in a certain industry for a very long time and who think they have thought of everything.
There is much to be gained from mastermind groups and if you are not part of one, it might be time for you to start looking or setting up one.
A mastermind group needs to follow a certain structured program where the members will be carefully selected, where everyone will participate and where you will be covering the matters that should do with running your respective businesses. It is not an excuse to get out for a few drinks every now and then.