Many people are concerned about starting mastermind groups for fear that it will be a lifelong commitment. Others are afraid to start a group that lasts only a month.
Never fear: there are no mastermind group police haunting the hallways, keeping track of how long your mastermind group stays together. I’ve been in mastermind groups that have stayed together for only 60 days (on purpose), and I’ve been in groups that met monthly for NINE years.
First decide for yourself how long you would like to be in a mastermind group. Can you commit to 60 days? Longer?
Ask the other participants what they can commit to. You can always start with a short commitment and then vote to keep the group going longer after the first commitment time has passed.
I suggest that the minimum time should be 60 days, or four meetings. You need time to connect to one another, to form trust, respect and rapport. If you go for a short-term group, meet more often — like once a week or every other week. This gives you plenty of time to get to know one another, to mastermind together, setting goals, making plans and implementing them towards success.
My personal preference is for mastermind groups to last for at least a year. This gives you time to plan and implement large goals: real, measurable steps to success in your life. Everyone will see progress and success during the course of that year. While 60 days might be okay for a short project, a year-long mastermind group will give you time to think about success in all areas of your life and make some major changes. A year-long group will help you dig deeper into problems, solve them, and unravel the places where challenges persist. It allows for everyone to support each other and hold each other accountable as well.
Whether you decide to meet together for two months or twelve months (or more!), commitment is key. Every member has to make the commitment to the full duration of the mastermind group. Pay close attention to commitment issues, as well as the other reasons why mastermind groups fail.
I think there is a natural lifecycle to groups, so don’t blame yourself if your group starts to break apart. Take time to share thoughts and feelings about how the mastermind group helped each member, and perhaps have a final meeting to officially close the group and move on.