• Sumo

What have Henry Ford, Sir Richard Branson and Benjamin Franklin have in common?  They embrace or embraced the principles of Masterminding. No doubt there are many other traits in common across this group of great men.

Nowadays, it is difficult to find a highly successful entrepreneur who does not belong to a Mastermind Group of some sort. Why?

Whereas the principle of Masterminding can be traced back to biblical times and Ben Franklin belonged to such a group, called a Junto, it was Napoleon Hill brought the concept to life in his timeless classic “Think And Grow Rich”.

He says”The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.”

He continues…

“No two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind [the master mind].”

Personally, I like Aristotle’s way of putting it “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” In other words together we can achieve more than all running separately.

“Yeah, yeah, I know all that” I hear you say. “But how?”

Let’s first understand the need.

Being the owner of a business, particularly a relatively small business, can be lonely. You may not have co-directors or even senior managers to discuss and share ideas. Frankly, even if you do, their agendas may not be as neutral as someone from outside.

So, myth or magic? Does Masterminding work and when doesn’t it?

It works

I listen to wise words from many entrepreneurs, marketers and success gurus and at some time or another they all mention their Mastermind groups with great admiration and affection. It definitely works (for them).

The key to success is the chemistry of the group. Along with this, like-mindedness, similar business philosophies and probably a similar stage of business development are all key factors in the group being successful.

Some prefer to belong to a group from within their own industry, but more commonly, a diversity proves powerful. This is my preference, again for relatively small businesses, as each member will bring a different set of skills and experience. In larger companies, senior staff can bring the range of skills, leaving the business owner to Mastermind with others with a much closer perspective on their industry, if that floats your boat.

When it doesn’t work.

I have belonged to a number of Mastermind groups over the years, particularly during my time in America. But one such group I joined was formed by an organisation whose business was solely creating Mastermind groups.

It sounded like a great concept, but the flaw was that they were not discriminating and grouped together basically whoever applied. Advertise, grab a handful of applicants, charge them a fee, throw them together and let them get on with it. And that is exactly what the first meeting felt like. I had nothing in common with half the other attendees. There were too many in the group, 23 as I recall, which meant in a half-day meeting, only about 8 managed to get any attention.

The organising company made quite a lot of money in a short space of time and folded after 6 months. I wonder why.

Consideration, money!

We now hear a lot about high-end Mastermind groups. Platinum groups were the fee can be $100,000 a year. Appropriate for those who might expect to develop extra millions of dollars of profit from such groups.

There are also groups who get together and charge nothing. If already close colleagues and highly experienced, this can work very well. But again, I have been in Mastermind groups who cluck like headless chicken. (I’m thinking that mixed-metaphor doesn’t really work, clucking is the one thing a head-less chicken is not going to do…but you get the idea.)

Marie Forleo, a highly successful coach, who runs a 7 figure business (and offers high-end programs) talks about creating value of 10x the fees charged.

For more information about Masterminding, click here