Goals can be stupidly simple. The hardest part is knowing how to achieve your goals. Knowing what decisions to make, who to follow, what books to read, and the people who have the skills you lack is all you need.
There’s one problem: where the heck do you find everything you need to achieve a goal? There are two levels:
- Join a group chat.
- Join a mastermind.
I was chatting to a friend the other day about masterminds. He kept saying to me “but a mastermind is nothing more than a group chat.”
This is, in fact, a lie. The two couldn’t be more different from each other. Group chats are amateur. Masterminds are for mastery.
My first encounter with a mastermind
“Yo man, can you show up to my mastermind next Monday?”
That’s how it all started. One of my mentors has run a mastermind for years. One morning he asked if I could speak to his mastermind about my blogging journey. I had no clue what to expect, so I just prepared a few notes and joined the Zoom call.
There were about twenty people on the call. They all seemed deeply engaged and took notes the whole way through the meeting. I was introduced to the team and the virtual stage was mine. I told my story and then allowed plenty of time at the end for questions.
The questions I got were simply brilliant. The members of the mastermind seemed to pay attention and were eager to learn. It struck me how peculiar it was that they all had the same unstoppable mindset. I shrugged off my experience with this mastermind and thought nothing more of it.
Second time lucky
After being a writer for so many years, another writer I admire asked me to join their mastermind. Like a teenager who knows everything before they’ve turned thirteen, I said no. This was the one time I used the “hell yeah or no” technique and it later backfired on me.
A year or so later I began to feel alone in my writing journey. There was so much to learn and hearing about people’s experiences, secondhand, through blog posts all the time, seemed like it wasn’t enough.
I messaged that writer I looked up to and said “Hey mate, can I still join your mastermind?” Thankfully he said yes (legend!).
By joining this mastermind, everything changed for me. Here’s what I got:
- Access to people who had the same goal as me
- A shortlist of high achievers to call upon
- Access to an annual overseas trip with people I can learn from
- Answers to problems I can’t solve myself
- Friends for life
Understanding what a mastermind is, is key. It seems many people don’t know the difference between a group chat and a mastermind and therefore are separated from the benefits a mastermind can give you.
What Is a Proper Mastermind?
It’s all in the title. A mastermind is a way to join multiple minds together to create something greater than any individual part.
I often tell people my writing is a collaboration and it’s true. Behind the scenes are other writers, entrepreneurs, publication owners, editors, superfans and web developers who all contribute in some way to my work.
A mastermind helps you find the right people. Because there are people all over the internet and the screening process will take the rest of your life.
Here are the features of a proper mastermind.
Anyone can join a Facebook Group, but not everyone can join a mastermind.
Filtering the noise in your life helps you reach mastery. The people who form a mastermind are normally curated down from a bigger list. A mastermind is typically made up of less than 100 people. (The best ones I’ve seen contain thirty or less.)
Every trait of the people who join is taken into consideration.
There is an application process via a Google Form that requires you to talk about yourself in detail. You note down your goals, your experience, what you do for work. Everything about you is put under a microscope and up for debate by the owner and members of the mastermind.
The point of the application process is not to discriminate but to ensure that the right mix of people with similar interests are put together.
There is a mastermind for everybody. You just have to find the right one for you.
It costs money
A mastermind is serious. It costs money. My mentor’s mastermind is thousands of dollars every year to join. I initially thought it was a huge waste of money until I attended. Only then did I appreciate the power of curation and the price tag that comes with it.
You don’t appreciate something that is free.
The more money you have to give up, the more you’ll take the mastermind seriously.
It’s run by someone who cares
The leader of the mastermind is important. If their goal is only to further their own interests, then the mastermind will typically die a slow death.
The point of a mastermind is for everybody to grow together. There is no supreme leader that everybody worships. My mentor who runs a mastermind is obsessed with the members.
He does the best he can every week to serve their interests. Most of all, he celebrates the wins of people in the mastermind, which shows others what is possible so they too can have their moment.
There is one thing everybody has in common
The mastermind I’m in is full of writers. We all have similar goals: to write better, to write more, to touch people’s hearts with emotion, to inspire others, to earn a living from writing.
A common theme is what makes a mastermind great. Find your tribe by thinking about your interests.
The format of a mastermind (what you can expect)
There are many different ways to create and run a mastermind. For those who have never been part of one, here’s what you can expect:
- A monthly video call with all members.
- A presentation from one handpicked expert a month who has achieved a lot in an area everybody in the mastermind is interested in.
- An annual trip to an overseas location where everybody can meet in person and share experiences together, leading to lifelong bonds.
- A daily instant messaging channel where members post thoughts, ideas and questions.
- A heavily curated library of content that the owner of the mastermind has originally started and the members have added to over time.
If you are struggling to reach a goal or feel like you’ve hit a plateau, a mastermind can be a great way to find your “second wind,” as former Navy Seal and marathon runner David Goggins puts it.
Achieving goals by yourself is hard work. Many of the obstacles and setbacks you’ll encounter have been solved by others. Why not pool together minds just like yours (and greater), so you can reach your goals faster and find the missing answers you’ve been searching the internet for, for years. For now I’m happy being part of a mastermind. One day I might create my own, who knows.
A mastermind is a way to discover the momentum you can achieve when a group of human minds are curated for a common goal.
Together our minds are better. Join your mind with others to reach mastery. Or if that all sounds too woo-woo, think of it this way:
A mastermind can help you find people who have the skills you don’t want to learn.