Masterminds – 25 Ways to Find the Right Fit

Are Mastermind groups essential to business success?

Entrepreneurs, who are part of a support network, seem to experience rapid business growth. Mastermind groups are popping up everywhere, providing collaborative coaching environments, and opportunities to innovate with like-minded professionals.

Choices are endless, and you can work together online or in person depending on your needs. Understanding the basics is one thing, but we wanted to know more about your personal experiences in mastermind groups and asked –

With so many options out there, how do you find the right fit, and are the more expensive groups really worth the investment?

Curious to see what our entrepreneurs shared?

Based on the responses we received, it would seem that participating in a mastermind environment is highly beneficial to business success, if you get into the right group for you and do the work. There is some difference of opinion on whether or not the better experiences come with higher price tags. Some entrepreneurs even formed their own groups when they couldn’t find the right fit for their needs.

The bottom line is knowing what you want to get out of the experience, and then seeking a group that fits the bill. Like Cinderella’s slipper, you may have to try on a few before your find the perfect fit.

Our sincere gratitude to the 25 entrepreneurs who were kind enough to share their experiences in mastermind groups. Openly providing your expertise and experiences is a huge asset to this blog and the readership. I wish you all a wonderful week and hope to see you here again.

If you would like to contribute to the next post and get some free PR, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to discover this week’s question and find out how you can get involved.  We’d love to have you on a future post!


1. Trusting Your Instincts

Sometimes, it’s a matter of whether the Masterminder’s voice resonates with you. When I went to Rich, Happy & Hot Live last November in NYC, I had been following Marie Forleo’s blog for a while. At the event, it turned out that several other people’s blogs I’d been following were also there–as speakers or attendees. Serendipity? I ended up signing up for her RHH Mastermind at that event. So, I guess you have to ask yourself, does the person speak to me? Can I relate to the message, personality, etc. Then, let your gut–and your heart–be your guide. They’re usually right!

Thanks to Jean Compton of

2. The More Like You The Better

I’ve participated in a few mastermind groups, and have even led a few. The right fit comes down to two things — a group of people who have the same business model as you do and are at the same stage of business. You want to be in a group of peers, not just a group of business owners. As for the expensive groups, it’s worth the investment if you get access to a high-level entrepreneur who runs the group or if your peers are difficult to gather in a group. The more successful you are, the more difficult it is to find a group of your peers.

Thanks to Christine Pembleton of

3. Mastermind Craze: Strategies To Selecting The Right Group For You

There seem to be an increase in Mastermind groups popping up all over the country. So much so that many people are unsure of how to go about finding the right group for them. Here are some suggestions:

1) Start with the end in mind. What are you looking to get from the group? What is your end result? I believe knowing this is critical in the Mastermind selection. Also, I think it is super critical to know what the expectations of the group are for masterminding. There are different strategies from a more spiritual perspective to a more in the trenches, deep dive approach, so it is important that you know the focus of the group.

2) Who are your Mastermind partners? It is important that you have different talents, skills and abilities within the group — that the individuals are bringing a fresh perspective and their experience. If you have everyone at the same level, it becomes very difficult to grow, stretch and learn. I have been in the group where I have been the most experienced and seasoned entrepreneur — great if I want to give back, but if I want to grow as well it can become somewhat frustrating. You want people who allow you to pitch and catch, and it is not one-sided.

3) Your investment. I believe that when you have skin in the game you show up at a higher level and your group demands and expects more from you. Do I believe that $100,000 a year Mastermind is justifiable? The answer is simply, what is the return on investment (ROI). If I can make 5 times my investment, then it doesn’t matter if it is $5,000 or $50,000. Is the format proven and tested? Are the members in the group committed? If the answer is yes, then I wouldn’t have a problem investing a substantial amount of money to be part of the group. Not to mention the relationships at the higher level groups are invaluable and in some cases the added bonus is not the results from Mastermind, but rather the relationships that are created from being part of the group.

Thanks to Rae Majors-Wildman of All The Way Success, Inc.

4. Masterminding Mompreneur

In 2010, I started my business, as well as my own jewelry line, and have found fantastic value in the Savor The Success Mastermind group I joined. As a mompreneur, my time is at an absolute premium so two factors stood out when choosing just the right group for my participation (you’re only successful if you actually attend!): 1) Location – I am in the midwest and there are not a lot of options available in my area at this point. I love being in a “virtual” mastermind group that allows me to tap into the incredible resources available in the Los Angeles and New York areas. 2) Membership – I specifically sought out a mastermind group that focused on women entrepreneurs. Women support one another differently in business than men do. I like being able to openly share my vulnerabilities and issues in my group without feeling judged or inferior.

Thanks to Brandi Greygor of The Sassy Mama Boutique

5. Get Fooled Or Mentored

As a marketer and business owner offline, I only buy from people who have the X factor. They give you the info on a plate, which you can trust. Finding these people is easier for me now, but at the start I did get sucked into sales funnels where the info was bits here and there. I never bought these programs yet, talked to dozens of people who had been ripped off by a so-called push button site or fully automated products to the tune of thousands. My advice? Get several mentors and check the high-profile ones like Chris Cardell, or ones that have a famous face like Alan Sugar. As your business grows and earns more, you’ll start looking for other groups to join or mentor from. My sfm group is £60p/m — a full community of beginners to pros with a “can help” attitude, a “here to stay” mindset, and good tuition.

Thanks to Scott Andrew of SA Refurbishment Limited

6. Different Stages Have Different Needs

Mastermind groups can be a huge benefit to any novice entrepreneur. Though many seasoned entrepreneurs might tell you that joining a mastermind group can be time-consuming during a moment when you have little time to spare. If your business is in its beta stages, having a group around you to brainstorm ideas will surely help your company take off. Finding the right group of people will help you with the basics, create new relationships in the business world, and motivate you.

Find people in your specific area to help refine your business to your own standards. After you have reached your preliminary goal, you should find people outside of your field to bounce ideas off of. Other entrepreneurs can give you a different perspective on a successful business strategy.

Thanks to Ian Aronovich of

7. Remember Dating?

How do you find the right support network? By approaching it like dating. You go visit; check for compatibility and common interests; then decide if there will be a second date.

Quality of the group is irrelevant to the cost. What matters is the energy, the interactivity, the firm focus of the group as a whole.

Whatever you choose, do not try to MAKE yourself fit in. If you aren’t comfortable, it is inevitable that you will stop attending and learning.

Thanks to Randy Morrow of Keller Williams Realty–Divorce Specialist

8. The Solopreneur’s Board Of Advisors

Finding a support system of like-minded people who are on the path to financial freedom can be challenging. There are no shortage of networking events and meetup groups, but those seem to attract “sales people” not your CEO’s or business owners.

I have found that Mastermind groups provide the network and infrastructure an entrepreneur needs to succeed. Ultimately the group becomes the advisory board for your company or organization with more collaboration and less self-interest. Finding the right one can be a challenge. I recommend checking out a few, as an observer, so you can get a feel how the meeting is run and structured. As long as you sit quietly for an hour or so, most groups would not mind having you as a guest to see if it’s a fit.

Everyone is all too familiar with the big franchises out there, which are good models but don’t provide the same personalization that smaller regional or even local groups provide. I am a member of The Wealth Building Annex which is local to Tampa and only has business owners as members. I find that one of the greatest values they provide is outside of the mastermind. It’s the other programs they have established with other businesses in the area. We go on Success Safari’s where we tour multimillion dollar businesses and they discuss how they put their systems in place to build their company. There is also a monthly keynote event where a successful local business owner is interviewed and they share their story on how they persevered to financial freedom and this is all included in the monthly price. In short, the expensive groups don’t give you the same attention as a local organization but ultimately with anything you get out what you put in!

Thanks to Patrick Moraites of FIRM Consulting Group

9. Two Or More Heads Are Better Than One

The first mastermind group I joined was enlightening because we were all part of a high-profile program. The fact we were already like-minded helped our group progress, and we helped each other achieve personal, as well as group success. You will know you’re a good fit in a mastermind group when everyone shows up on the call with their assigned task completed and ready to share with others. An expensive mastermind group will not guarantee you success, a lot of one’s success will come down to the systems you already have in place. And through tweaking the new information from the group, it can provide a bounce for future business, new clients and a new outlook on your business. Mastermind groups share diversity of thought and experience, thus two heads are better than one.

Thanks to Paul Lawrence Vann of Wealth Building Academy, LLC

10. Stop Being A Joiner — Create Your OWN Mastermind!

Masterminds will kick your butt and catalyze your business growth — IF there is synergy and commitment in the group. I could not find a group I wanted to join, so I created two myself and am creating another now. How to do it?
1) Figure out your goal and think of folks you believe would share it
2) Invite three other like-minded people you know (or know of) to join you for lunch to discuss the Mastermind process and create a group mission
3) Read the chapter on forming mastermind groups in the free report on my site
4) Commit to a certain place, time, day of week, and frequency of meeting. Send out meeting reminders a week in advance
5) Create your Mastermind guidelines together, addressing issues such as how many meetings a member can miss, the structure of meetings, etc.

Thanks to Dr. Barnsley Brown of Spirited Solutions

11. Are You A Winner?

As a coaching firm, who also has business coaches mentoring the team, we asked ourselves the question, “How does a company challenge itself to grow and learn even faster?” The answer for us as the owners and leaders was joining a Master Mind Group. Other coaches have asked us if the more expensive ones really make a difference? For us It goes back to the widely known fact that the top 5 people who you associate yourself with will determine your future wealth. As a company, we have invested in a Master Mind group that not only has raised our leadership lid (coined by John Maxwell), but the circle of financial acumen and success around our company and ourselves. How better can it get, to learn, grow and share with your clients? They get the best opportunity to learn, grow, and share.

Thanks to Barb Kyes of Action Coach

12. A Master Mix

My worst Mastermind Group had 7 people like me. We were all in the Computer Profession.

My best group has variability. A Marketing Person, a Business Coach, an Artist, a Financial Planner.

I was having trouble hiring the right people. The marketing guy wrote an ad for me in 5 minutes that turned my company around. He took my dry informative ad, and created a vibrant story that attracted the best talent for my company.

The group I belong to is run by my chamber of commerce, The Council of Smaller Enterprises, and they charge on $500 per year.

Thanks to Ted Jordan of Funutation Tekademy LLC

13. Are You Willing To Give A Lifetime Of Experience Away?

Before considering a Mastermind group you must decide if you are ready. Are you ready to see your business substantially grow? Are you committed to sharing your best ideas? Are you looking for a group of peers in same industry members (or not)? How often and for how long does the group meet? Is the meeting time convenient? Is it a virtual or in person group? What is the cost? How many people are in the group and how often do you get a chance on the help seat. When you join a MM group you will be part of a group who is purposely working together to improve their businesses, and provide support for each other. Expect that the higher your income, the more a group will cost — be it monthly fees or retreat attendance.

Thanks to Maria Marsala of Business And Marketing

14. Mastermind Your Way To Success

Feeling totally engaged and inspired with an interactive mastermind group is the key. Feeling the energy from the moment the topic is released is the element that moves you forward. Knowing that you have something of value to contribute, and leaving yourself open to learn, are motivators for you. Having a facilitator who guides through the discussion in an encouraging, supportive manner, lets you know that you have found the right fit! High costs are not an expectation. Charges can be minimal or no charge. Your benefits are in the learning, the experience, and the growth from business networking in a mastermind setting.

Thanks to Shirlie Taylor of Business Success Dynamics

15. A Must For Every Businessperson

Throughout my career, I had never heard of mastermind groups until I got invited to one last year. It was amazing, and such an eye-opener. I not only recommend them, but I say they are a must for anyone serious about growing their business.

I believe the best fit happens when you join a mastermind with people OUTSIDE your industry entirely. I hear from people every day within my industry; I am looking for a fresh point of view from the outside. Find one of those groups, and you will reap the rewards and unlock stuck thinking.

The more expensive groups are pricey for a reason; they likely bring together talent you could not otherwise have access to. Plus, if everyone is paying a lot of money to be there, then you all have skin in the game which is always beneficial.

It is worth it.

Thanks to Mike Sprouse of

16. MasterMind: The Collective Brain Power

Participating in a Mastermind group has been the most creative and exhilarating experience in my business life. We were a ladies entrepreneurial group from Ottawa, Ontario with a short, concise mission statement: succeed in making money. Seems there are many people, ladies in particular, who feel that money is not a priority. If you are going to stay in business for yourself, money MUST be top of mind. We were so adamant in keeping our goals front and center, we named our Mastermind group, NonDi$clo$ure$. Brainstorming new ways to earn money – together or as a group – was the central topic. Keeping each other accountable was paramount.

NonDi$clo$ure$ was created by networking and connector extraordinaire, Jacqueline Richards. No charge, but we did pony up with the odd bottle of wine.

Thanks to Linda Pond of Linda Lee Pond

17. Specific Groups Vs. General Groups

I first learned about Mastermind groups after reading Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. We all need advisors and/or mentors when dealing with everything that life throws our way. I have been extremely blessed in the area of connections. If I have a question, I am able to pull from many different sources (in different industries) to come to the right decision as far business is concerned. I have been extremely successful without having to pay for solicited advice.

Form your own mastermind group. LinkedIn is a great way to begin if you are not connected with influential people. The Groups in this social media space are specific (not general). Mr. Hill did not pay a soul for the information he was able to gain and share with the world. Why should you?

Thanks to Tawana Necole of Corporate Chics, LLC

18. Look For A Comfy Fit

Mastermind groups are a part of a great marketing plan for your business. You have to find power partners within the group that can benefit your products and services. Power partners will complement your business and give you a reason to give your time to the group. Givers gain always prevails in these groups. Continue to give to others and the group will take care of you.

Thanks to Dante Royster of Full Court Services

19. Be Ready To Fly

High-investment masterminds have been completely worth it for me – and then some! I’ve been in several groups over the years, and every time my business has grown tremendously. In fact, my “bad” years have been those when I haven’t been involved in a MM.

The right fit: With the group, you want to find one where you’re not the most advanced person – where you can learn from the others around you, and where you’re inspired by the mood/attitude. And you want to make sure that you believe in the leader, trust what they say and that the material they’re teaching is good and you can use it!

Even more important, you have to be ready to do the work, commit to the learning and make it happen. The group can’t carry you. And you’ll be going fast (at least that’s my experience) – be ready to fly!

Thanks to Erin Ferree of BrandStyle Design

20. Masterminds Are Always Worth Your Committment

Finding the right fit for a mastermind group can be complicated, but one of the most important things to consider is what you want out of the experience. What are you hoping to accomplish by being a member? That will help you a lot. And, it’s also important to remember that some people use the word mastermind when in fact, what they are providing is high-end group coaching & there’s a big difference. So, you have to ask questions & listen to what you get back & not hear what you want to hear. Ultimately you know who you resonate with & that’s a big part of success in masterminds. The more expensive groups are absolutely worth the investment, if you implement the advice you are given & take action. It’s all about self-responsiblity. You have to give as much as you take.

Thanks to Diane Conklin of Complete Marketing Systems

21. Mastering Mastermind Groups

When it comes to Mastermind Groups, the key to finding your best fit is the PEOPLE in the group. The best results come when the others in the group have a variety of experience (not all from the same industry, that is mentoring) and are ideally at or above your current level of achievement. Personalities are also key; dominant personalities take over the group, timid personalities do not contribute.

The FACILITATOR determines whether the more expensive groups are worth the investment. If his or her experience and network are extensive, the investment can be more than worthwhile.

Because holding to the proven STRUCTURE of the group is so important, the personality, discipline and skill of the facilitator are also key determinants of success. Groups without a facilitator rarely last.

Thanks to Robert MacPhee of Heart Set, Inc.

22. Success Depends On The Company You Keep

Finding the right support network is a delicate balance of time, money and exposure for your business. As a certified minority-owned business, I selected a support network of other certified minority-owned businesses ranging in sales from incubator to $150M. This support network meets for one hour each month and focuses on the areas of development that are most important to my business, leadership and marketing strategies. Additionally, the diversity in experience, age and scope facilitates meaningful dialog and creates a network of business owners willing to assist each other. The cost is free. I have participated in a variety of other support networks; however, the time constraints, cost and membership requirements exceeded the value to my business.

Thanks to Crystal Kendrick of The Voice Of Your Customer

23. People Are More Important Than Price

I’m a huge proponent of mastermind groups, and was in one for 3 years that grew out of a (paid) publishing program I attended. The net result was that I published 8 or 9 books during that time. After that group disbanded, I tried to set up another mastermind, that pretty much flopped because the people weren’t really committed.

Last October, I met some people who were just as committed as I am to making 2011 great. We have been meeting every week since then. We are not part of any paid program, but we have shared goals.

I think what makes this mastermind work is:
1. Written accountability (we send “mastermind goal worksheets” to each other every week before the call).
2. Meeting regularly and making the calls a priority.
3. The right mix of people. We all have different strengths, but the same values.

So to answer your question, I don’t believe paid vs. non-paid makes much difference. The people are more important than the price you pay.

Thanks to Susan Daffron of The Book Consultant

24. Meet, Mentor And Motivate

Mastermind groups give me more confidence to move forward with projects, hold me accountable and provide feedback. How did I find the right fit? By searching for mastermind groups that had members who fully and generously participated in the sessions, had skill sets that I did not have and were focused on areas of business that I needed help with. For example, I needed help marketing my business, so I joined a mastermind group focused on helping members market their businesses. I’ve considered joining an expensive group, but since I’m having great success with both free mastermind groups and moderately priced groups, I see no need to spend tens of thousands of dollars.

Thanks to Kathy Goughenour of Expert VA Training

25. Came Looking For Community, Achieved Business Growth

1) How do you find the right fit?
I found Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) after another entrepreneur talked to me about her experience as a member. We were out for lunch and I was telling Cathy about how I needed to find a group of people who talked the same language as me, had similar challenges and opportunities. Cathy talked about her Forum with EO and how that group of people had provided this support that I craved. Figuring out if EO was the right fit for me involved meeting with the new member chairperson and attending an event to meet other EO members. All I can say is that it just felt right and I became a member a few weeks later without bothering to investigate any other group. I came looking for a community of entrepreneurs and along the way, I’ve made lasting friendships and grown my business.

2) Is the cost worth it?
Yes, this cost of EO is worth it. I bring my staff to the chapter learning events for free or at deeply discounted rates; this gives me world-class teaching for my team that I would otherwise have to pay thousands of dollars to access in another city. Through my forum experience, I’m gathering ideas for business improvement and expansion, and every year, I can say “I’ve made back my dues” by around the 3-month mark either through an idea to grow sales or save money.

Thanks to Heidi Reimer-Epp of Botanical PaperWorks

Thanks so much again to all our wonderful contributors for your advice on mastermind groups, and valuable tips for finding the right fit! We hope to hear from you again.

If you are new to the Question of the Week and would like to get involved, simply follow the link below to get started. We’d love to have you share your knowledge and experiences here too, and get a bit of PR in the process.

This week’s question is –

Business Dreams – For Better or For Worse

It’s fun to dream big when you are starting a business. For some, their business fulfills the dream beautifully, for others it doesn’t even come close. Either way, entrepreneurs are a persistent breed, and never like to say die, because they take the risk for better or for worse.

How have your original business dreams panned out? Not so great or are they far better than you even imagined? And how have your entrepreneurial experiences made you into a better person personally and professionally?

Why should I join the discussion?

Because this online forum is a great place for us to exchange ideas, learn from each other and network. My goal is to unite successful women entrepreneurs to share our insights and solutions to the challenges we most commonly face in our businesses.

How do I get involved?

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I look forward to your response to this week’s question! If you have any questions you know where to find me. Have a great week!


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