Every Monday at 7:30 in the morning, I get in my car (usually half-awake) and drive to a little coffee shop in town where I sit down over coffee with several other women for a “meeting of the minds.” After engaging in a little bit of small talk as we wait for everyone to arrive (there’s about 5-6 of us), we get down to the important work of designing our lives.
Anyone can benefit from starting or being in a mastermind group, but most people get stuck on the challenge of identifying a specific structure and adhering to it. If you’re not careful, the group can end up chit-chatting too much or be at a loss over what the focus is on. For our group, it did take a while for us to get to the point where we were really being efficient at our meetings and giving each other a lot of value. We had been meeting for over a year before we got it right!
If you are looking to start your own mastermind group, then I’m excited to share our process with you. It’s more simplified and creative than other tips you might find on how to start a mastermind and you might go on to make it more sophisticated, but it’s a good place to start. And that’s the important thing – just starting. Progress is supposed to be messy. In our meetings, we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, and we’ve celebrated. We’ve shared breakdowns and breakthroughs, hello’s and goodbye’s, frustrations and fears. Life is beautiful, but it can also be hard, and no one should try to do it alone. So I hope this simple structure encourages you to reach out and start a mastermind group in the very near future!
You know that task on your to do list that you wish would just go hide away in a corner and die? That’s your frog. It’s a concept from Brian Tracy’s book: Eat That Frog. Your frog is your most difficult, ugly to-do item that – once you “eat it” – everything else you have to get done is easy in comparison. We report on whether or not we completed our frog for last week and we identify our frog for the new week. This is where the value of the group really kicks in because we keep each other accountable.
So we start out with gratitude and each person gets a turn sharing what they are specifically grateful for from the previous week, and then we move onto sharing our epiphany of the week and so on. A member in our group actually bought little plastic toys that represented the different parts of our discussion. So for gratitude, we actually have a little butterfly that is placed in front of the person whose turn it is to talk and then gets passed to the next person when it’s their turn. And for the frog part, we have an actual little toy frog!
This little technique is surprisingly useful because it helps each person stay focused on what they are supposed to talk about at that time and be aware of the need to be brief and give the next person their turn, so the conversation keeps flowing at a stimulating pace. If you cannot find little toy figures like we did, I’m sure that writing “Gratitude,” “Epiphany,” etc on index cards to pass around would work just as well!
So, I hope this little layout helps you and if you’ve already started a mastermind group, please share your process with us in the comments. What works? What doesn’t work? What kind of breakthroughs have you experienced in your life and business as a result from being a part of one?
MICHELLE ROHR // Secret OWL Society
Michelle enjoys blogging, anything related to personal development, making printables, and being a part of the FEA community.