Problem: How to plan, build, and scale a mastermind
A mastermind group is a peer-to-peer group build around mentorship. Meetings are held which are aimed at solving problems, networking, and discussing trends.
Aaron Walker is the mastermind of mastermind groups. Iron Sharpens Iron, is a men’s mastermind program that brings peers together who want to excel in their business, personal and spiritual life. They’ve also started a sister program for women.
This isolation with all this COVID stuff that’s going on is really heightening people’s awareness that they need to be around people.
I’ve been a part of a mastermind for 21 consecutive years. Every week for 21 years, I’ve been in a mastermind group. Sometimes multiple mastermind groups.
Running a Successful Mastermind Meeting
Why do you want to create a mastermind?
There are multiple planning stages along the way but your initial step should always be an understanding of the reasons why you want to create a mastermind in the first place. Knowing your true vision and your true motivation will streamline the planning process and will point you in the right direction.
Money is good and we need (I don’t want to discount it) but I don’t want to make it my primary objective.
Questions to ask potential members
When you start asking though-provoking questions that stimulate the things that people want to really do, you find out more about them while actively getting people to do a deep dive into their innermost values:
- “If you were not bound geographically or financially, what would you do with your life tomorrow?”
- “What is an upper-limit challenge that’s really keeping you from your goals and dreams?”
- “What has happened in your life which has sabotaged your success, possibly?”
That’s what the objective is: to get you open, get you talking.
The Big Wins and “Man in the Middle”
After asking everyone questions and getting the conversation started, Aaron dives into the big wins. Everyone talks about what their big wins have been since the last meeting.
After relishing in your victories, it is time for the “Man in the Middle.” Aaron doesn’t plan this as a surprise. Members know two months in advance when they will the focus of the group. Before their turn as “Man in the Middle”, they post (in their mastermind’s Facebook group) three questions that pertain to professional, spiritual, or personal problems they are going through. During their turn as “Man in the Middle”, the other members of the mastermind group are able to prepare and answer the questions posted in advance.
Digital Accountability Tool
There is also a simple digital accountability tool that Aaron uses for all of the mastermind groups: then things which are rated 1 – 10 by the members. Each of the ten things covers different areas of their life. It is a good way for everyone to assess their progress in the program and in their life in general. He also makes sure to change the questions up every 90 days to avoid complacency and mindless answers.
“It’s just always piquing your interest, always heightening your awareness to the things that are important.”
The Full Cut and Free Time
This is where everyone shares the new tools they are using in their businesses, whether it is a new SaaS tool, marketing technique, or book.
You can’t always cover things in an hour so we’re always encouraging the members to cross-pollinate, even to other groups.
Important aspects and factors to consider
Within Aaron’s mastermind program, accountability partners are assigned and rotated on a regular basis so everyone within the group gets to know each other and can get mentorship and advice from different people.
Attendance is also important. While they don’t have specific regulations regarding attendance and missing meetings, they make sure that all of the members are aware of why they are encouraged to attend every meeting.
The Avatar Worksheet
There is a very specific participant that Aaron’s mastermind program is looking for. Certain types of people thrive in mastermind settings and those are the types of people facilitators and organizers should be looking for.
“We really help people focus on their ideal participant.”
“You need to look for people who are givers as well as takers.”
Plan, Build, and Scale
QUOTE: “It gives you more of an opportunity to touch people with your skill or your craft or your trade or your niche market, whatever it is that you’re trying to do.”
- Figure out your message
- Develop the business model that works best for you
- Find your target market
- Lead generation: reaching out to people in your network
- Your groups will be your best salespeople, as they encourage their friends and colleagues to join.
- Does scaling align with your personal mission?
- Can you scale from a distance?
A few resources on business and mastermind groups that Aaron suggests:
- The Mastermind Playbook
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss
- Conscious Capitalism, With a New Preface by the Authors: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business by John Mackey and Raj Sisodia
- Profit First: Transform Your Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz
Mike’s Personal Mission Statement: “Helping ordinary people become extraordinary in all they do so they can live a successful and significant life.”
This interview is part of the How We Solve podcast. To hear more from industry experts who are solving everyday business problems, check us out on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and on our website.
About the guest
How people can people reach the guest:
Website: View From the Top: Iron Sharpens Iron
LinkedIn: Aaron Walker
Email address: email@example.com