By Karyn Greenstreet
Posted in:Starting Your Mastermind Group
Napoleon Hill wrote and taught extensively for decades. Throughout his career, he advocated the use of mastermind groups as a way of taking your personal and professional life to the next level.
In his book Think and Grow Rich, he talked about something called a “master mind 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.”
Why does he call it a master mind alliance, compared to the more modern phrase, mastermind group? Hill originally said that when two people got together, a third mind, the Master Mind, was created. To him, it was a separate force in the conversation. Over the past 85 years, it’s morphed from “master mind alliance” to “mastermind group,” but the meaning and underlying principles are still the same.
In 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 mastermind 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.
Napoleon Hill recorded a 13-part television series in the 1960s, reviewing his Master Keys to Success principles. In this television show, he says one of the keys is a mastermind group:
“Now here are some interesting facts about the mastermind which give you an idea of how important it is and how necessary that you embrace this principle and make use of it in attaining success in your chosen occupation. First of all, it is the principle through which you may borrow and use the education, the experience, the influence, and perhaps the capital of other people in carrying out your own plans in life. It is the principle through which you can accomplish in one year more than you could accomplish without it in a lifetime if you depended entirely on your own efforts for success.”
When starting a mastermind group, or joining an existing one, look for these three hallmarks: friendly, growth-oriented, and willing to share information.