How to Get the Most Out of a Mastermind
4 Tips to Help You Optimize Your Mastermind Experience
I recently formed a mastermind group with some fellow writer friends.
You know what a mastermind is, right? According to Napoleon Hill, who wrote Think and Grow Rich, a mastermind is defined as:
“coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
There are four elements to Hill’s definition:
- coordination of knowledge and effort
- a spirit of harmony
- a group of at least two people
- a specific goal
My mastermind group has had one meeting so far and we’re still defining our shared goals. But we’re off to a great start.
To get the most out of this group — that is, to grow into my potential as a writer and entrepreneur — I’ve established four habits for every mastermind meeting.
Brainstorm Ideas Ahead of Time
Before each meeting, I take some notes. My mastermind meets monthly. In my journal, I reflect on how my month has gone and what my goals are for the coming month.
For example, I might write that in the last month, I wrote twenty stories but I’ve only edited sixteen so far.
Or that in the coming month, I want to submit my articles to three new (to me) publications.
By writing my thoughts down, I know I’ll remember them at the time of our meeting. That beats ending a meeting and then realizing that I had more to talk about.
Be Honest About Your Struggles
I was very honest at my last mastermind meeting. I said, “I’m not making the income I want to make right now.”
I was raised to not talk about money. I understand why my parents taught me that, and to be fair, I didn’t go into specifics. But I did admit to my fellow mastermind members that I want to increase my earnings from writing.
I’m glad I shared my struggles with them because they had some suggestions for me that will be helpful going forward. Things like:
- diversify your income streams
- consider writing for smaller publications, to reach a different audience
- start your own publication to reach more readers
By sharing my struggles, I learned more than if I had kept them to myself.
Ask Thoughtful Questions
I like to generate questions during my brainstorming session before the meeting. If there’s something I don’t know, I ask. If there’s something I think I know, I’ll ask about other members’ experiences.
For example, at our last meeting, I asked about any copyright issues associated with turning blog posts into eBooks on Amazon. I learned about the importance of checking the Kindle Publishing platform’s rules about copyright and to follow those.
Might I have figured that out on my own? I’m sure I would have. But having the conversation sped up my learning process. And that’s one of the key benefits of a mastermind group.
I don’t only ask questions about myself. I also listen carefully and try to ask thoughtful questions about what my friends are experiencing with their writing.
In our first meeting, I also asked questions about how we want to organize ourselves as a group. I want our experience to be as helpful for all of us as it can be, so it’s important to get everyone’s input into what we’re doing.
Offer to Help
Last but certainly not least, I offered to help my fellow writers in any way I can.
Going forward, I hope we will critique each other’s blog posts and stories and find other ways to help each other progress as writers and entrepreneurs.
If a fellow member has a question and our group doesn’t know the answer, I’m willing to go the extra mile and do some research or brainstorm how they might find the answer.
And I expect the same level of commitment from the other group members.
A mastermind is a place to come for support, guidance, and help. I’m glad to be able to help my writer friends grow their careers as they help me advance mine.
Our society paints a picture of the writer as a lone ambassador of truth, sitting in her office (okay, let’s be honest, his office) bringing forth wisdom from within. People think writing is a solitary practice.
Sometimes, it is.
But as an entrepreneur, I don’t want to be alone. I don’t want to go days, weeks, or longer without interacting with other writers.
For one thing, I’d get lonely.
For another, I’d miss out on the benefits of sharing my experiences with and learning from other writers.
I can’t afford to do that. So, I formed a mastermind. And I’m doing my best to make the most of it.