February 19, 2014: Dr. Bill Dyment
In May, 2013, I formed a mastermind group of six with the help of my colleague and friend, Trent Adams. It is not an exaggeration to say it was the best business decision made all year. Not only have we dissected each of our businesses in a grueling but highly-rewarding fashion that would make the Shark Tank venture capitalists proud, we have laughed together, challenged, and been there for each other through personal and business changes, crises, and triumphs.
Our rules were fairly simple: Each person committed for three months to meeting for 90 minutes every Wednesday before work and 80% attendance was required, no exceptions. To our delight, it worked and all agreed to continue for at least a year. Today, we routinely turn down requests to join our group as word has gotten around that we have a good thing going. Truly, we all feel as if our investment of time has become an almost unfair business advantage. What’s more, it has been a commitment to myself and my business development, I wish I had implemented years ago. This post is designed to explain a bit more about mastermind groups, in general, to help you decide if joining or starting one is right for you too.
If you haven’t heard much about mastermind groups yet, you will. Thanks, in part, to the praise they have been receiving from some of the top business podcasters, they are springing up everywhere these days. Mastermind groups are usually limited to a maximum of 8-10 people. While not a new phenomenon—Ben Franklin was in a Philadelphia group he called the “junto” (latin for “meeting”) for 37 years, they are experiencing a fresh, 21st century resurgence. Some take place in-person, others are made possible by fast web-based video and cheap phone connections. All are fueled by a growing understanding that collaboration with others is the primary way of succeeding in today’s interdependent marketplace.