What is a Mastermind Group or Peer Group?
A peer group or mastermind group is a gathering of like-minded individuals, who come together on a regular basis to brainstorm, assist, and support one another to achieve their goals. Mastermind group and peer advisory group are different names for what is essentially the same thing. The most common version of these groups is the CEO peer group for small business CEOs. These groups are increasingly being used by business owners for inspiration, motivation, and problem-solving. Belonging to such a group provides encouragement and support. It helps with the isolation factor faced by so many large company executives, small business CEOs and solo entrepreneurs. Membership in a mastermind group can help you to take your business to the next level of success. Groups are built on a foundation of trust and confidentiality. Mastermind groups and peer groups are not just for CEOs and business owners: consider an employee peer group, a Mom peer group, an artists' peer group. The possibilities are endless.
History of Mastermind Groups
Masterminding has existed throughout history. The Founding Fathers were essentially a Mastermind Group. The roots of mastermind groups for business go back to the early 1900’s, and to Napoleon Hill. Mr. Hill wrote about the concept of the Mastermind Group in his best seller Think and Grow Rich, which was first published in 1937. In the book, he wrote that belonging to a mastermind group is one of the 13 steps to riches. Napoleon Hill said the principle of the mastermind involves an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony, to reach a common definitive goal. When two minds come together, an invisible force appears which is like a third mind. When individual minds are synchronized and work in harmony, the higher energy created through the alliance becomes available to every member of the group. According to Napoleon Hill, success depends on individual effort, but you would be deceiving yourself if you believe that you can succeed without the cooperation of others. The mastermind principle was brought to Napoleon Hill’s attention by billionaire industrialist Andrew Carnegie, who attributed his entire fortune to his mastermind group of about fifty people, with whom he surrounded himself for the purpose of manufacturing and marketing steel. Benjamin Franklin set up a mutual improvement club called the “Junto” in Philadelphia in 1727, many years before Napoleon Hill and Andrew Carnegie. The “Junto” included members from diverse backgrounds and occupations, and was meant to debate issues relating to politics, morals, and natural philosophy. Its members also exchanged knowledge of business affairs.
Benefits of Joining a Mastermind Group
Joining a mastermind group will change your life and business in ways you can’t even imagine, and once you get into the flow of the group, you’ll wonder how you ever ran your business – or your life – without belonging to such a group. Here are just a few of the benefits of joining a mastermind group or peer group: Get a new perspective: The others in your group will help you get a new perspective. If you have mono-vision about a problem you’re facing, you can count on your peers to view your situation dispassionately and offer objective input. Find novel solutions: Working on your own can make it harder to deal with problems that have been holding you back. A mastermind group will help you to get a bird’s eye view of your situation, and to think out of the box when it comes to your challenges. Get practical advice: Members of your group will provide practical advice about things you may not be good at. We all have our weak points and participating in a mastermind group can help us overcome them. This guidance can make the difference between failure and success. Set goals and be held accountable for reaching them: You’ll share your goals with other members of the group, and will be held accountable for reaching them. Group members will ask you about your progress in reaching your goals. They’ll offer encouragement and advice if you fall behind in meeting the targets you’ve set for yourself. Have a support system: Being part of a peer group will boost your energy and confidence. It will help you to overcome the isolation factor. Apart from getting help and advice, you’ll also be able to make good use of your own expertise and experience to help group members.
How to Find and Join a Mastermind or Peer Group
Once you decide membership in a peer group can help you (often the biggest and most challenging step!), you'll want to educate yourself about the different types of peer groups. Every group has its own personality and differentiating factors. Some groups do nothing but process member issues. Others provide education or offer foundational programs. Some groups do both. Do some research and see what's available in your area. You can also conduct an Internet search for a virtual group, or even start a mastermind group of your own. Take your time and do your homework to find a group that will meet your needs. The bottom line is you really can’t lose when you participate in a mastermind or peer advisory group that’s a fit for you. Decide what your goals are, find a group that will reach them, and join. That’s all it takes to start you on the fast track to success.