• Entrepreneurs Share How Mastermind Groups Have Impacted Their Businesses

    Big thanks to the contributors of this round-up article! Participants answered entrepreneurs share how mastermind groups have impacted their businessesthe following question:

    How has being in a mastermind group impacted your business?

    My MasterMind Group is the business equivalent of those friends you can count on to tell you if you look bad in those jeans (and what to wear instead), and who will show up at the front door with great take-out and a good bottle of wine if you’ve just been dumped. I’ve been in my MasterMind Group of five business owners for three years.  We are located from coast to coast within the U.S. and talk by conference call for an hour and a half on the first and third Fridays of each month.  We follow the following three guidelines for our group:

    1. The group is a place to let down our façade and be real. If business truly stinks at the moment, say so. If you are scared of something or intimidated by a business challenge or even a client, say so.
    2. Give and receive candid and honest feedback. Nobody grows otherwise.
    3. Be specific about what you want, especially if you are just sharing and don’t want feedback!

    Our rough agenda for meetings is as follows:
    1. (5 mins) Everyone toot their own horn–share with the group a success, no matter how minor
    2. (30 mins) Each discuss a current issue in their business that they need immediate help on, no more than 5-6 mins each, including statement of the problem and suggestions from the group
    3. (30 mins) Deep dive into one of our businesses. We rotate each call, so each quarter each person gets at least one opportunity to lay out a particularly thorny issue in his/her business that we can all dive into and offer help.
    4. (30 mins) If time permits because sometimes we get very focused on business issues — Professional development–We pick a book, topic, whatever that is germane to our business development and professional growth and dive into it, having done the reading, researched the topic, etc. beforehand to facilitate solid discussion.
    - Jenny Schade, President, www.JRSconsulting.net

    I belong to mastermind group we call, Mind Our Own Business (MOOB). Our members are from Covington, Kentucky – Grosse Isle, Michigan – Gary, Indiana – Naples, Illinois and Leamington, Ontario, Canada. We meet quarterly taking turns being the host location. We are in the branding/graphic design industry. The host is responsible for setting the agenda. Members can add to it. We meet on a Friday for the entire day. Typically we arrive the Thursday night before and leave the following Saturday. We’ve been doing this for over eight years now.

    For me MOOB has been instrumental in the development of my branding process which is my differentiator. It has allowed me to expand my business to predominantly a consultancy, which now represents the lion’s share of my income. Even during the recession, they were among my best years. The group inspires me and we all act as a sounding board for opportunities. We typically have home work for the next meeting. We’ve been doing it for so long now, we are as much great friends as business colleagues.
    I hope this helps your story. If you use any of my info can you direct me to the link so that I can promote within my circle of influence.
    - Ed Roached, www.TheBrandingExperts.ca

    My mastermind group is composed of 11 people – “The Power of Eleven”. Each participant represents a business from a different industry, so there are no competitors within the room. All discussions are confidential. We meet 3x/year. Each mastermind is 2 days. Each member has one hour to present or talk in front of the group. The topic is completely open and up to the presenter, and since the members are in completely different industries, the presentations are likewise varied and span a wide range of business issues.

    The group has absolutely benefited me as well as all other attendees and participants. After each 2-day session, I have easily 8-10 actionable ideas that I likely wouldn’t have thought of which impact my own business. Plus, meeting 3x/year allows members to gauge their progress and report back to the rest of the members on their issues or successes. Not to mention, the tremendous benefit of being able to call on the other members of the group anytime outside the mastermind sessions for help, networking or follow-up.
    - Mike Sprouse, http://www.mikesprouse.com

    Our Master Mind group meets weekly and has done so for over 15 years; two members have missed only three sessions in all this time. The purpose of our MM group is the accumulation of wealth and well-being for our members. We follow the format suggested in “Think and Grow Rich” and other writings of Napoleon Hill. We meet at a member’s office, which rotates. We adopt a particular subject or theme monthly: i.e., accounting, the art of delegation, how to recruit, coach and retain employees or similar project. Members recommend certain educational books, tapes, videos which are digested and discussed at our meetings, which last for two hours; punctuality is encouraged. Our leadership rotates. Outside projects have ranged from establishing a haven for battered wives to helping the homeless. We limit membership to five; we turn down 10-15 applicants yearly; our members eagerly help establish other groups at no charge.

    When a member commits to a goal, it is supported mentally by each member; we want each member be as successful as we ourself wish to be. Individual goals are recorded with an established time line; weekly progress is reported. If the goal is not achieved within the time frame the member often choses to go on the ‘hot seat;’ he or she must answer any question as to why the project was not accomplished. This often gives him or her insights into faulty planning, unrealistic attitudes or other correctible issues.

    Has this MM been effective? At least four members have become millionaires; others have enjoyed great success in their chosen field, still others have undergone drastic and permanent personality changes resulting in saved marriages, rescued friendships and aid toward better citizenship. At least twenty-four new MM groups have sprung from our group. Napoleon Hill emphasizes that we help others at this level without financial gain.
    - Pete Peterson, Executive Sales Coach, Entrepreneur, Author, www.Sellingwithapurpose.com

    I participate in a business mastermind group and I have made and saved thousands of dollars in my business with the resources in our group. Our mastermind meets once a month; we all take turns sharing our business accomplishments and what we’d like feedback on. Each person gets abot 25 minutes to respond.
    - Christine Pembleton, Speaker, author, coach, http://www.christinepembleton.com

    Our local chamber of commerce started Mastermind groups as a service to the members. We meet monthly. Each goes around the room giving their recent successes, their business issue that needs resolving. 5 guys, non-competitive and we meet for 4 hours.

    I’ve cut my phone bill, hired new staff, saved on travel, put employee reward systems in place. It’s been a great experience.
    - Ted Jordan, STEM program mgr Funutation Tekademy LLC, www.funutation.com

    I am a part of a roundtable group through an organization called The Entrepreneur’s Circle. Our roundtable meets monthly, typically the 2nd Tuesday of each month – and operates with a structured agenda, that consists of with reading our Confidentiality Agreement, a warm-up exercise (to get the creative juices flowing) and then into a presentation.

    The presentation, which is performed by one of the people in the roundtable, is not a presentation of products and services (although it could be), it’s more about something that is happening in your business – a challenge, a problem or as we most recently discussed, an exit strategy.

    The presentation is the majority of our meeting – we allow the presenter to create the picture of the challenge and then allows the group to ask questions, get more info and ‘chew on the idea’. Our group is a very diverse of business owners – some young, some older; no employees, 70 employees; different industries, different backgrounds, different experiences.

    I can’t speak for everyone in our group, but I’ve benefited from the group’s experience in multiple ways – one of the highlights was when I was presenting about a client report that I wanted to produce and forward to my clients. I was stuck on a section having to do with visually explaining to my clients how their data backups were running. I was very tied up in trying to get an exact answer to my question, while the group was almost unanimous in simply saying, keep it simple. Now, rather than trying to figure out complicated math formulas to come up with a number that no one cares about has been replaced by a green checkmark or a red x. Very simple – would have taken me months to figure this out without them.
    - Chris Meacham, President and Client Technology Officer, www.nowitworks.com

    I am part of a mastermind group with four other professional speakers. The speaking industry is unique and can be a very solitary existence and having friends in the business with whom I can share thoughts, ideas, and best practices allows me to not feel alone.
    Our group is still new, and we meet once a month by phone for an hour. Everyone shares some “good news” or a quick issue with which they need advice, and then we focus on one member for the majority of the time. The person who is on the “hot seat” brings a problem, challenge or marketing dilemma with which they want input. The rest of the group brings their unique perspectives and helps the person fine tune the direction they seek.

    While we have only been meeting for four month, I look forward to the interactions as even when we are focused on another speaker’s business, there are ideas that come into play that can benefit my own efforts to grow my company. Too often people re-invent the wheel, but when you are surrounded by smart people who understand your challenges, the big hurdles are just seem smaller.
    Thom Singer, Speaker, http://www.thomsinger.com

    Over the past 10 years, I have had the honor and privilege of being a part of and leading some of the best Mastermind groups in the country.   I think the best ones meet at least 3 times a year for 2 days where each member of the group gets to spend 45 minutes to an hour just getting help with issues and challenges in their business. A short break is taken in between every other person and you just go around the room like that for 2 days – its intense but business owners and enrepreneurs get so much out of it.   The results have been tremendous – people have doubled, tripled their businesses and more. The results of these groups really depend on the members going back and implementing suggestions and stuff they learned from the group.
    - Diane Conklin, Co-founder Complete Marketing Systems,
    www.CompleteMarketingSystems.com

    Our mastermind group is a law firm marketing group for attorneys, and consists of 11 non-competing firms across the country. We meet three times a year in person for 2 all-day sessions, and in addition each month we also have a 1 hour group phone conference and a 1 hour one-on-one phone coaching session.

    The purpose for our group meetings and monthly phone calls is to learn top marketing and management techniques, and share proven marketing methods to fine tune our own efforts in order to grow and manage our firms more effectively. Each phone call is an intense learning session. Working as a team brings a constant flow of fresh and creative ideas and provides insight and suggestions to implement strategies that will yield results.
    - Richard P. Console Jr., Managing Partner Console & Hollawell, www.consoleandhollawell.com

    I have participated in business mastermind groups in one form or another for the last 20 years. I am not a current participant (only a facilitator), but I can tell you that Ford purchased a business that I built from ideas that came from one of the first mastermind groups in the autosalvage industry. I really owe almost all of my over the top success to that group, which started in 1989 and continued for a decade, with 10 peers, meeting twice annually.

    I have since written a book to share the mastermind group techniques that help me build that business. (you will find info on the book at my site, its due out in about 10 weeks) I run a special kind of mastermind group for entrepreneurs that is different from most in that it involves sharing of metrics (including financial)among participants in the same industry. We require a non-disclosure agreement and limit participants to non-competitors by taking members from different geographic markets. I call this technique peer benchmarking and its main advantage is that the solutions generated are in use and working for someone in the same industry. I am not aware of any other groups like this, where they focus on metrics.
    - Ron Sturgeon, www.rdsinvestments.com

    I am a member of a “Mastermind” group (we call ours a Roundtable) which meets once a month for 3 hours. We have seven business owners (has varied between six and eight) along with a facilitator. Our agenda or format basically consists of one of the members presenting an issue or topic for about 90 minutes. This topic may range from requests for marketing feedback, help with employee issues, new product development or any other topic that the member deems important and believes that the other members may have relevant experience. That is probably a key element for our group in that we share common experiences as for how we’ve dealt with similar issues rather than just offering up random opinions. Beyond the main presentation, each member will take about 10 minutes to share what has happened during the month so that they can get quick assistance if needed/desired.

    Beyond the monthly meeting, we also have a weekly e-mail “check-in” that allows us all to keep track of our fellow members, their progress toward any stated goals, early alerts to any issues and an ability to “reach-out” without waiting for the formal meeting.

    As for how our firm has benefitted – I have been a member of our Roundtable for approximately three (3) years. During that time, our revenues have tripled during a difficult economy. While our growth is certainly not entirely due to our Mastermind Group, it has certainly provided us the guidance, reassurance, and expertise to facilitate such growth.
    - Parker E. Elmore, President & CEO, http://www.primorisadvisors.com

    I joined a MM group that re-started about 3 months ago. We meet every other week and rotate facilitation. The facilitator is responsible for finding an inspirational piece to open with, whether quote, video clip, or something else. We sometimes have a topic-of-the-day; if so, we devote 20 minutes or so for that. The rest of the time we spend with each member taking about a quarter of the time (there are four of us) to do:

    - update since last meeting
    - how they did on their goals set at that time
    - what their goals are for the next meeting.

    This group has been essential to my recent business upswing. I have my first national show in a week, and without this group, I’d be nowhere as ready as I am. The other members keep me focused, give me great ideas, and a place to vent frustrations. As a solo entrepreneur, that is one of the biggest challenges. Networking groups can do a little of that, but not much, as they are more about presenting a ‘together’ image. In MM, if things are going badly, I can say so. I love the group and the structure and focus it’s brought me.
    - Ramona Abbott, Owner/Artist, www.WristRocks.com

    I have been a member of a Mastermind group for two years. We meet on the first Thursday of the month and each of our 8 members gets the floor for 15 minutes. They share an issue that they are facing in growing or managing their business for about 5 minutes and for the remaining 10 minutes of their time the other members ask questions and offer suggestions.

    The group has benefited my business by suggestions for expanding my service offerings and packages, marketing strategies and financial planning. Its really amazing how when we first started we often would discuss tactical issues, how to manage time, software we use etc, but now find that we are mostly dealing with strategic issues around hiring, positioning etc.
    - Jann Mirchandani, Owner and Chief Marketing Officer, Marketing Cafe
    www.WestchesterMarketingCafe.com

    I am the co-founder of a Mastermind Group started in the fall of 2009, now operating for a year and a half. We decided that 6 members was a good and feasible size for giving each member reasonable air time, which we time to be fair, in a 2.5 hour period, so as not to take too much time away from running our businesses. We meet every 2 weeks. Each member gets 20 minutes, including questions and member input, to discuss an issue they are dealing with currently and ask for input and feedback. The issues can be big picture or very specific. A day in advance, each member submits a “prep form” stating the issue they want to discuss, background on the issue or challenge, how they have followed up their commitment from the previous meeting (accountability), up to 5 accomplishments since the last meeting they are proud of, and opportunities (optional). After operating for a year with only verbal ground rules and understanding of the non-threatening environment we adhere to, we spent time drafting and approving a written document, which sets out our philosophy and approach and the specific way we operate. We hadn’t had any problems with the original group, but we wanted to have something not only for ourselves going forward, but also to give to potential future members. After a year we assessed the value of the group to members. Two members decided to leave since they were no longer serious about building a business as a high priority, and we are interviewing potential new members. We have a good sense of the kind of person we are looking for as a good fit. We continue to meet as regularly scheduled.

    Having a trusted and committed and regularly group has helped each of us to stay focused on what we want for our businesses, what are viable business models for each of us, always looking for next steps, and being accountable to ourselves, even when there are no external deadlines. The accountability piece is super-important for making progress. In addition to those items, some specific things I have gotten out of the group are feedback on modifying my branding, a sounding board for speaking and book writing topics and titles, accountability on being more strategic on my social media, and regularly looking at my priorities, as I always want to do too much and focus is critical. Another way I find the group valuable is in being able to help the other members with my business development, management consulting and organization effectiveness stills and experience. The “giving” is an important aspect for all of us. In fact we have found some members, including the two that have left our group, did more giving than getting. There needs to be a balance.
    - Phyllis Weiss Haserot, President, Practice Development Counsel, www.pdcounsel.com

    My mastermind group is simply amazing. We have ten business owners in a variety of industries and meet once each month for five hours, plus two off-site retreats per year. We begin with what’s changed since our last meeting, which takes two minutes each to share personal and professional successes. Then we spend about 20 minutes discussing business items, such as upcoming retreat plans. After that, each member gets 15 minutes in the spotlight to share a business issue or challenge and get feedback from the group.

    It has been incredibly powerful to watch how our members’ businesses have evolved and grown. I also love that it’s a safe place to get advice and do some creative brainstorming. Though it can be difficult to take a full day away from your business, I always find that this is time well-spent. The group forces me to really focus on my goals, and in the week leading up to our meeting I’m always filled with anticipation. We have also formed powerful friendships that I know I’ll have for life. If you’re not yet in a mastermind group, make it happen! It will be invaluable to your business.
    - Stephanie Chandler, Author, Speaker, Publisher, www.StephanieChandler.com

    Filed Under: Business DevelopmentBusiness GrowthRound-Up ArticleSmall Business

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    About the Author: Stephanie Chandler is an author of nine books including Own Your Niche: Hype-Free Internet Marketing Tactics to Establish Authority in Your Field and Promote Your Service-Based Business and The Nonfiction Book Marketing Plan: Simple Strategies to Build Your Audience and Sell More Books. She is also founder and CEO of Authority Publishing, specializing in custom book publishing and social media marketing services, BusinessInfoGuide.com, a directory of resources for entrepreneurs, and the Nonfiction Authors Association, a marketing community for authors. She has been featured in Entrepreneur magazine, BusinessWeek, Inc.com, and Wired magazine, and she is a contributing blogger for Forbes. For author and speaker details, visit http://StephanieChandler.com. Subscribe to Stephanie Chandler's blog feed here.

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    1. Great article, with many wonderful posts and ideas shared here. I also, run an online mastermind groups network for those who wish to start – run – build – manage their own group online…hold their meetups online, too @ our site: http://imindlive.com over 300+ members now and growing daily!

    2. [...] Article  Entrepreneurs Share How Mastermind Groups Have Impacted Their Businesses [...]

    3. Paul FosterNo Gravatar says:

      It’s wonderful to hear about all the successes. I have participated in a somewhat similar group since January, 2007. In our experience, when we are open to reflect and explore the beliefs and behaviours we are personally creating, we can break through the self imposed barriers.
      When we complement that with some good business knowledge and experience, it truly becomes a world of abundance.
      My hat it off to each of you for having the courage to explore your potential.

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