mastermindSince 2013, I’ve created some Mastermind groups, inspired by U.S. bloggers’ way of doing things. (http://www.smartpassiveincome.com, http://becomeablogger.com and http://www.internetbusinessmastery.com )

As an entrepreneur, let me share why Mastermind groups are important to me.

 

What motivates entrepreneurs?

Before I explain why I use Mastermind groups, let me address concerns common to entrepreneurs.

First of all, an entrepreneur needs to sell products or services; it’s a necessary goal. An entrepreneur also must choose the way to earn his livelihood. Markets can change quickly, so an entrepreneur needs to be adaptable. Being able to adapt, to figure out a new market, to understand needs, and how to fill them are the Holy Grail of business.

However, how can an entrepreneur remain relevant? How could you enlarge your network to find partner customers you can trust? A Mastermind group helps entrepreneurs answer these questions.

 

What a Mastermind can bring to you

A Mastermind group gives you access to a collective intelligence. It provides answers to important entrepreneurial questions, including –

  • Knowledge : Sharing knowledge is the key for every mastermind. As you share your knowledge with others, you may, in turn, receive valuable information for your business, and faster than by any other means. The reason? You can use the Internet to find information on a subject about which you know little, but how could you search for something you don’t know exists? Mastermind groups allow people to share accurate information with each other.
  • A community: Being part of a group helps you to make good decisions based on the valuable advice of others.
  • A network: How could you multiply your network? The best way is to help others, thereby adding them to your network. This will be more than a network; it will be a connection to suggestions.
  • Mutual promotion: Members of a Mastermind group can help each other find customers.
  • Getting new idea: By sharing situations, idea comes to mind. Share with others your ideas, and you will get lots of good ideas for your business in return.
  • Mutual coaching: The Mastermind is the right place to commit and share you goals. Others are also here to help you to reach your personal and professional goals.

 

The Mastermind arrangement

A Mastermind group should include people with similar success and experience levels, and, if possible, in different fields.

Mastermind groups are a win-win arrangement. If there is a real gap between the skills of members, a person with a higher skill set may not benefit from the input of someone with less-developed skills. In that case, a new member might be encouraged to work along with a more successful person to find inspiration. A great facilitator might be paid to play that role.

 

How does it work?

A Mastermind session is a brief virtual meeting that usually involves three to six people.

Each person is in the “hotseat” for 10 minutes to answer the following questions:

  • Did you achieve your previous objectives? What methods works well (i.e. best practices, methodology, etc.)?What difficulties have you faced, and how do you recommend handling them? (If answering the question will take more time than the 10 minutes allotted, another meeting should be arranged.)
  • What Internet link, podcast, or video did you find inspiring?
  • What are your S.M.A.R.T. goals for the next Mastermind session?

Once every person has been in the hotseat, an open discussion takes place.

A typical Mastermind session takes an hour to 90 minutes, depending on the number of participants. I hold a session every two weeks, but the schedule depends on the group.

 

Simple rules to keep in mind

  • Be engaged: Be present at a minimum of three sessions. Why join a group if you do not intend on participating?
  • Confidentiality: Everything that is said in a Mastermind group should be kept within the group. Members need to be trustful, which makes them willing to share their knowledge.
  • Avoid competitor: Sharing ideas with a competitor usually is not a good idea, although it could be interesting if a competitor works in different field. In that case, sharing ideas may be mutually beneficial.
  • Share you goal: This is one of the main reasons to join a Mastermind, as it leads to mutual coaching. Commitment is required in order for the relationship to be beneficial.
  • Be friendly: People join a Mastermind to give and receive help, so if you find it difficult to work with others, a Mastermind may not be right for you.

 

Why don’t have a try ?

I’ve built two Mastermind groups in France. Now I want to join an American one to get feedback from another culture.

Had you heard of the Mastermind principle before reading this blog? Have you used it? Feel free to share, comment, or ask questions. I’ll answer.