How to Setup a Mastermind Group (And Why It’s a Fast Track to Success)

By Liz Froment •  Updated: 07/31/20 •  8 min read

This is a guest post by my good friend and community manager Liz Froment. 

When she isn’t working on her own freelance writing business, working on marketing automation or helping me out, she’s tweeting away at @lfroment.

With that, I’ll let her get to it! Take it away, Liz…

Being the Community Manager inside Location Rebel Academy for the past few years, I’ve often been asked by new members what some of the biggest keys to success are.

Without a doubt, getting involved in a mastermind has to be one of them.

When I started trying to grow my own brand and business, let’s face it, I had no idea what I was doing.

It was hard to stay motivated when I felt a defeat, hard to explain to friends and family what I was trying to do, and hard to feel like I was getting any traction at all sometimes.

Out of pure luck (I wasn’t as smart then as I am now), I fell into a weekly mastermind with a couple of other new Location Rebels.

We pretty consistently met once a week for a few months.

It was somewhat unorganized, and sometimes we skipped talks, and other times we just gossiped a bit and didn’t touch on a ton of business. But, it was a huge game changer for me.

Suddenly, not only did I have a bunch of other people who I could relate to and were going through the same thing as me, I never wanted to show up to this call without having done anything to move my business forward.

From that accidental mastermind I realized getting into one of these groups was going to be a major key to success for me, and for anyone.

Convinced yet?

Thought so. 🙂

Let’s get into how to exactly get started with some best practices on how to get a solid mastermind up and running.

Step 1: Decide What You Want to Get Out of a Mastermind

First, determine exactly what you’re looking to get out of the group.

Are you all looking to grow your e-commerce shops?

Are you all looking to get your first clients?

It’s important to know right off the bat what the goals of everyone inside the group are, even if the goals are different.

In this stage I can’t stress enough that you really need to think about your short and long term goals. The entire point of a mastermind is to push your business forward, so you need to know exactly what you want to get out of this from the start.

You want to have a group of people that know not only where they want to go, but where you are going too, so they can help you get there, and vice versa.

This is a really important first step, so don’t skip it!

Step 2: Reach Out to Prospective Members

When it comes to masterminds, personalities matter.

You want to have two to four other people who you click with, offer honest assessments and push you forward.

This above all is is really important.

Your mastermind is a group of people that will know everything about you and your business.

They will know your struggles, your successes, your biggest weaknesses, the inner workings of your brand, the fights you had with your spouse, the major screw up you had on that last pitch.

Yup, everything.

So if you’re not 100% comfortable with your group, you aren’t going to have success.

It’s really hard to find this connection, especially out of the blue, but it will make a difference. The real true connections inside a mastermind come when all the guards are let down and you get down and dirty with each other.

Yes, it’s uncomfortable, but it’s necessary to really build success.

Without a doubt the times I have floated through masterminds, I haven’t gotten much out of them.

But, the times when I was willing to ask for real feedback, admit defeat and be vulnerable (even though I was really uncomfortable doing it) has made all the difference.

If it takes some time to identify people who are going to be good for your group, so be it.

If you just don’t click off the bat, then move on, no harm no foul.

Same goes with people who you are friendly with you and want to be in your group. If it’s not going to be a good fit, or you feel like they aren’t striving for the same thing you are, it’s alright to not include them.

But, when you do click you are going to not only find some of your biggest cheerleaders out there, but some really good friends at the same time.

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Step 3: Set Some Ground Rules

Before you even get started with your mastermind, you want to have a little bit of structure.

Every good mastermind has a leader, and since you look like leadership material to me, you want to set up a mastermind to work in a way that’s going to help move your collective businesses forward.

To do that, you need ground rules.

On your first meeting, fire up a Google Doc and write out exactly what the rules and expectations of the members of the mastermind are.

Some examples include:

So, for example, in my mastermind, we meet every other week and do a hot seat format.

This means in each meeting, we spend the first 10-15 minutes saying hello and giving a short overview of where we are with our businesses.

Then, the remaining time features one person talking about their business with the rest of the group offering feedback, suggestions, ideas, etc. If any time remains after the hot seat person is done, then we can look at other member’s businesses.

This works really well for us, but we came up with these guidelines collectively.

You should too.

Step 4: Follow Through (Mandatory is a Good Thing)

This is actually the hardest part.

Many masterminds start out well and the fizzle off to nothing.

I’ve seen it happen a lot, and I’ve even been involved in a few fizzles myself.

Sometimes, things don’t work out, and that’s ok. It’s much better to cut and run early than stay in something you know isn’t working.

Remember, you want people who are very committed to your mastermind, so if someone is consistently not following your ground rules, kindly let them know.

In order to really make your mastermind work, you want to adhere to your ground rules document.

Above all else, for a mastermind to really truly work, everyone has to be all in.

That means calling in when you feel like crap, or are traveling. I once jumped on my mastermind at 2am in the UK to make the call.

Blowing off your mastermind is really easy, and some weeks when you’ve had a few setbacks, you want to.

I know, I’ve been there.

But, I have never once finished a mastermind call and haven’t been really happy I was in the group, or gotten some great ideas, or felt cheered up and supported.

Step 5: Re-Evaluate the Structure and Group

It’s not a bad idea every few months to have a state of your mastermind discussion.

You might find that someone has a great idea, a modified format might work a bit better, or even sometimes people might need to meet more often or less often.

In my mastermind we had a discussion a few months ago where I really wanted to actually meet more often, to every other week instead of every month. I was a bit nervous bringing it up, but was glad I did because everyone agreed and we made the move.

Your mastermind is a living breathing thing (uh literally) so modifications are ok and sometimes needed.

If your group is getting a ton done and you don’t need as much week to week help, then move it to a monthly meeting, these things are always flexible.

Being able to freely talk with your group will make a huge difference in you approach and motivation to your business.

Finally: Get Started, Today

You can see just how important I think masterminds are, and how vital they can be for business.

The second most important thing I tell Location Rebels (after getting in a mastermind) is to just get started.

So there’s no better time to get started than today.

Think about the type of goals you want to hit in the next three months, six months, year and what kind of support you need to get to those goals.

Then, reach out to a few people you connect with who you know are going to be a good fit and want to succeed in their own business too.

Set up guidelines, and you’re good to go.

It won’t be long before you start noticing the positive effects in your business.

Liz Froment

Liz Froment is a full-time freelance writer and the one who keeps Location Rebel running like a well-oiled machine. If she's not writing something informative or witty for her clients, she can most likely be found reading a good book.
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14 comments on "How to Setup a Mastermind Group (And Why It’s a Fast Track to Success)"

  1. Great post Liz. I love the framework you’ve provided to get a mastermind group started and how to effectively keep it going so that every member of the group is deriving value from being a part of it. “Everyone has to be all in” is definitely essential and one of the issues I’m currently having with my mastermind group at the moment. You’ve provided me with some valuable insight here as to how I can go about dealing with this situation, so thanks! Cheers!

    1. Liz says:

      Thanks Mike! Hope you can use some of the tips to get into the right situation for you.

  2. Tate says:

    Hey Liz,

    Awesome post! I have been thinking of getting a mastermind together for a while now and this post really helps formulate a plan.

    Would you recommend forming one with friends who are in similar fields and/or entrepreneurs themselves? Or would totally new people work better?


    1. Liz says:

      Thanks Tate! I’m of the opinion that personalities in your group matter more than profession/field. You want to be sure you are with people who are not afraid to kick you in the butt when you need it and who are going to be able to provide you with valuable insight. I actually prefer being in groups with people who are all striving to build their own businesses, but aren’t doing exactly what I am. I like the fresh perspectives that can bring.

      1. I agree with Liz. You’re going to be talking to these people A LOT. So you better like them – or learn to like them.

  3. Oh yes….there’s always power (money) in the mastermind!

    Without having my weekly mastermind calls to keep me on track, I have no doubt that I would have already given up as an entrepreneur.

    It’s a lonely road, rife with setbacks, learning and other detours on the way to pockets of success.

    I also “fell into” a mastermind within my first month or two of joining LR, and it’s been instrumental in pushing me forward… It’s absolutely the number one “tip” I give to new and aspiring entrepreneurs…get a community…build support and hold each other accountable.

    The rest will fall into place, once you build your mini tribe…

    It’s hard to explain, but the power of the mastermind is a force to be reckoned with!

    1. It’s definitely hard to explain, but you did a great job. The power of a mastermind is a driving force – A driving force that keeps you on track and moving FAST.

  4. Liz, THANK YOU for sharing this with the Local Rebel community! I back this post 100%.

    I can’t stress ENOUGH the importance of a Mastermind. If you’re serious about working for yourself, you need to be around like-minded people.

    Not only does a Mastermind fast track your progress, but it’s fun sharing the journey with other entrepreneurs.

    There’s no reason we have to trail blaze alone.

    1. Liz says:

      Thanks Dave! Completely agree, masterminds are great for biz, but they are also a really good way to make new friends and not feel quite as lonely on the entrepreneurial road.

  5. I’m glad that you find our Mastermind Group so effective – it has been one of the key factors in my ongoing climb to do what I love and get paid for it!

    Honestly, anyone that is hoping to pursue a life different from the norm needs a little help – that’s exactly what being part of a Mastermind Group provides – who else can you turn to when things are falling apart or you need to vent about your partner in crime not getting it?

    I think what really makes our Mastermind tick is that we are all open and honest with ourselves and each other – if you aren’t prepared to put yourself on the line, how can you get the feedback you need?

    If you’re sitting on the fence about the benefits of a Mastermind Group – jump off and jump straight in – you won’t regret it!

    Speak next week Liz 🙂

  6. Sarah says:

    I can imagine why a Mastermind group is so effective – considering you are the average of the three people closest to you, a Mastermind is deliberately surrounding yourself with likeminded people who inspire you. Awesome!

    I have been thinking about starting one so thanks for the guide.

  7. Sheralyn says:

    I’ve been thinking for a while that I ought to try and join one, and you’ve given me another prod in that direction with this post – thanks for sharing!!

  8. Norm Walsh says:

    Hi , everyone this is Norm from Australia, new and keen to get involved in a mastermind group, lookinf for others who are also keen , drop me a line , anyone and lets see what we can do about getting one going, [email protected]
    All the best Norm.

  9. Cynthia Szatkowski says:

    Who wants to make 2021 come alive?

    Hi, I’m Cynthia. I’m at another stage in my life where I need freedom. Flexibility. Excitement.
    Involvement in interesting and possibly life changing work for decent, maybe even great pay. Believing in ourselves to achieve this can be difficult for sure, but what little choice do we have in order to avoid mediocrity? (read: midlife crisis :0 ouch!) To be a force for community, equality, tolerance and even dare I say, spreading some love- despite all of our differences, I can now see requires consistent, persistent work. It is never handed to us.
    I would love for some like minded people to join me in bolstering a positive attitude of change, shoring up each others belief in themselves and what they wish to accomplish and developing a general commaraderie along with accountability.
    If anyone is interested, let’s set some goals, do some work, talk out our problems, offer solutions, guidance with lots of atta boys!
    I can be reached at [email protected]. Is anyone out there? 🙂

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