Category Archives: Starting Your Mastermind Group

How Many Members Should Be In a Mastermind Group?

I’ve been running mastermind groups since 1995, and I’ve seen groups of all sizes. There are some questions you need to ask yourself before deciding how many members should be in your mastermind group:

  1. How much total time is available at each meeting? Meetings need to have a begin and end time, and many meetings that run over 90 minutes can run out of steam without frequent breaks. Yet breaks also cause interruption of the energy levels. So first decide how long each meeting will be, then go on to Question 2.
  2. How much time should each member get to be in the “hot seat” to talk about their problem, challenge or decision? Members need time to first verbalize their situation before masterminding can begin in earnest. Some members are quick and can sum it up in five minutes or less. Others need 10-15 minutes just to set the stage. THEN you need time to mastermind after that. We did an experiment in one of my mastermind group meetings recently: we had a non-timed meeting, just to see what would naturally occur. Thirty minutes per member was our average time for each hot seat.
  3. What other items are on your agenda? Remember that your meeting typically includes some sort of opening and closing, as well as possible guest speakers, training or other events. Allow time for those in your agenda, then plan accordingly.

In my mastermind groups, I tend to look for 4-6 members per group. Less than four and the energy level can drop (though I know several very successful mastermind groups with three members in them!), and more than six members will probably cause you to run out of time. However, if you’re doing half-day or full-day meetings, you may be able to include more members.

Napoleon Hill and Mastermind Groups

What did Napoleon Hill have to say about Mastermind Groups?

In his book, “Think and Grow Rich,” he talked about something called a “mastermind alliance.” He goes on to describe a mastermind group as, “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

In his book, “Master Key to Riches,” Napoleon Hill says, “Every mind needs friendly contact with other minds, for food of expansion and growth.” To Hill mastermind groups are established to help create an environment that nurtures and supports growth.

Notice how he uses the word “friendly” throughout his discussion of mastermind groups? Hill believed that a harmonious groups of two or more people who come together for a specific purpose, or around a specific topic, bring forth the power of creativity and support that you can’t find when you go it alone. Napoleon Hill feels so strongly about this that he says in Your Magic Power to be Rich, “Maintain perfect harmony between yourself and every member of your master mind group. If you fail to carry out this instruction to the letter, you may expect to meet with failure. The master mind principle cannot obtain where perfect harmony does not prevail.” That’s a strong message about what makes a mastermind group succeed or fail.

In Hill’s book, “The Law of Success,” he adds another element to the idea of a mastermind group: the group helps to organize useful knowledge, creating a virtual encyclopedia from which each member can draw information.

When starting a mastermind group, or joining an existing one, look for these three hallmarks: friendly, growth-oriented, and willing to share information.

By the way, have you seen Napoleon Hill’s videos from his TV show in the 1960s? You can view them all of Napoleon Hill’s videos here.

Want to learn more about how you can start a mastermind group? Click here.

A 90-Day Mastermind Group: What An Idea!

Most mastermind groups last at least six months, and many last for years. But some people have concerns about starting or committing to a long-term mastermind group. After all, how long should your mastermind group live?

Here’s an antidote to the commitment problem: start your mastermind group and limit it to 90 days. In this way, members can get to know one another, mastermind and brainstorm together, and see if it’s a good “fit” for everyone. After the 90 days are up, the group can vote whether to continue or not.

I just finished leading a 90-day mastermind group that ran from June to August. One mastermind group member wrote, “The group support really helped me to look at my business differently and to think through my business strategy to attain a better approach to marketing and to fine tune the services that I offer to my clients!” All in 90 days.

Here are some key points to consider:

  1.  How often you meet. Because you’re only going to be meeting for 90 days, you have a shortened horizon for people to get to know, like and respect each other. Consider meeting every week or every two weeks during those first 90 days so that people have the maximum exposure to one another and have a chance to connect as a group. In my Leap Year group, we met twice a month for three months.
  2. Extreme commitment. Since your mastermind group will be of short duration, everyone must attend every meeting and you need written guidelines about the rules of membership. As the mastermind group facilitator, it’s your job to schedule the meetings and post the dates and times, and ask everyone to block those times out of their calendar in advance. In this way, people are agreeing to attend every meeting and participate fully in every meeting.
  3. Length of meetings and Hot Seats. There’s always a toss-up between the value of shorter mastermind meetings versus longer ones. However, when you’re trying to provide great value in a short amount of time, consider lengthening the meeting time to longer than you might normally offer. A good rule of thumb: allow 15-30 minutes per member, per month. In our mastermind group, meetings were 90 minutes long and everyone rotated in the Hot Seat (most Hot Seats were 20 minutes). It was my job as the Facilitator to make sure everyone got equal chance to be in the Hot Seat.
  4. Decide if you’ll have an online message forum. Because the group is only meeting for 90 days, there’s a lot of energy and activity among the group members. An online message forum allows the members to communicate with each other between meetings, so that brainstorming, action planning, and implementation support occurs 24/7 throughout the 90 day mastermind group.

A 90-day mastermind group can kick-start the members, gain rapid connection, and show fast results. This keeps members coming back for more!