Guest Expert Blog Post from Cathy Demers
Being in a mastermind group rocks! There’s no doubt that the collaboration, synergy and accountability that comes from gathering together with your peers in a mastermind group is powerful beyond measure. It is almost guaranteed to help you and your business grow in ways, and at a speed, you may not have thought possible.
Add to that, the fact that the vast majority of extremely successful business owners got that way with the help of a mastermind group, and it’s no wonder that right now people around the world are gathered together in mastermind groups – because they work!
Sadly, I’ve spoken to hundreds of people who have been in a mastermind group (or several) that failed. They were then were faced with the time-consuming task of finding or building another group, hanging in hoping to squeeze some tiny bit of value for their time, or giving up on having access to the power and support of a mastermind group altogether.
One of the most common reasons a mastermind group fails is because the group contains the wrong mix of people to start with. Unless someone has been designated the job of sifting through the credentials of people who are available to join, and ensure there is a good match for everyone in the group, it will start off on the wrong foot. Because that task requires time and effort, almost all mastermind groups are formed based on only a minimum of criteria: a potential team member is available and wants to join. Not a good start for a truly productive mastermind group.
The second most common reason a mastermind group fails is because the commitment of individual members of the group changes over time.  It’s inevitable that, for some of the members, their business goes in a different direction, life interferes, they no longer make the meetings a priority, or whatever. If this happens to more than one or two members of your group…you may soon find yourself spending time in meetings that would be better spent elsewhere.  When it comes to “masterminding” size does matter. Too big and the group is in effective…too small, or poorly attended, and you miss out on valuable information, support and collaboration.
While there are certainly more factors that lead to mastermind group failures, it’s important to mention another important one: a lack of leadership or structure. The symptoms of this appear in many forms but most notable are rambling conversations and stories that are off-task and unproductive, lack of accountability, control-freaks who hog the “mic” , helpers who support others but get little support for their own businesses, and participants who find they have to “put their elbows up” to get any attention at all. Such mastermind groups are doomed to fail.
So, what do to about it?
First, ensure that the mastermind group you join is a good match for you based on criteria that is important to you. Not geography (who lives within driving distance) or availability, but important criteria such as type of business and market, levels of business growth and experience, and similar challenges and motivation.
Second, join a mastermind group “system” where there is a steady supply of new members who are just as committed as you. Such a system should not only match you up with the best team members for you at the onset but if for any reason your group starts to fizzle or is no longer working for you, you can be placed in a new group without lifting a finger – so you can spend your precious time growing your business.
And third, you want your mastermind group to have some structure. Not so much that it stifles creativity, but enough to keep the group on track and highly productive. You don’t want to be stuck running each meeting and you want mastermind system where the groups have good guidance and an experienced facilitator to ensure everything runs smoothly and productively.
The power and synergy of a mastermind group is far too important to toss the baby out with the bathwater. Avoid these problems and join a mastermind group that rocks for you!
About Cathy Demers
To help small business owners everywhere find a great mastermind group, without any of the usual problems, Cathy has developed a very unique mastermind group system:  Business Mastermind .  It’s like a dating service – but for small business owners!  Your “perfect” mastermind group is waiting for you now and now is good…very good.
Cathy also hosts the weekly business education series Only 20 minutes and free – it’s the perfect coffee break for busy business owners.