The statistics are staggering and should not be ignored. Male business owners are on the decline, with women now owning more than 40% of all businesses. What can male business owners do to close this gap and start stepping back up to the plate?
There is one solution that has been proven to work time and time again – a mastermind group. In this article, we will discuss why mastermind groups and the personal accountability that group members face, matters now more than ever.
More importantly, we’ll look at, in-depth, how this kind of powerful group can be leveraged to help your business grow at scale, with speed, and at full bore.
The Big Three Problems Of Being Alone At The Helm Of A Business.
1) You get overwhelmed, fatigued and panicked
Now here’s the thing, I don’t know what it’s like for you, but in my experience overwhelm is the direct result of not being able to get outside relief, outside counsel or outside advice.
Meaning instead stuff stays inside of our own heads.
A personal problem for even the most successful self-made man, that leaves many waking up at 2.37 AM in the morning, not knowing which way to turn or what to do next. It’s a mental hamster wheel that grinds men to the floor causing not just overwhelm, but fatigue and panic too.
2) You are the only one to blame for success or failure.
A realisation that in the cold hard light of day, everything hinges on one person – YOU.
Good or bad.
Win or lose.
An all too familiar reality that can lead most men down a paralysing path of double guessing and stalling action due to fear of making mistakes.
The truth is, it’s impossible to grow (or scale) if there is no avenue for second opinions. You see, Second opinions give confidence, and confidence is what most male entrepreneurs need in spades when it comes to focus, growth and personal success.
3) You are not held accountable
Now I don’t know what it’s like for you but as men and in life, we have a natural-born tendency to procrastinate instead of create.
Something that’s amplified and made worse by the fact that there has never been more stuff in our life that’s been scientifically designed to sabotage success with distractions and time sucks.
And herein lies the problem with being left to our devices. Stuff slides, stuff gets put off, and stuff doesn’t get done.
In fact, if you’ve ever fallen victim to telling yourself “you’ll do it next week” only to find that six months down the line, it’s still not done or over the line – a lack of accountability and our natural born male DNA is probably the reason why.
It’s why accountability is a must and a non-negotiable for any self-made man of value. Truth is accountability is one thing but when it comes to the life that most lead, group accountability is quite another.
Accountability Matters For Men More Than Most
1) The Male Brain Is Hardwired To Be Competitive And Take Risks
Or in other words, we like to finish what we start.
This makes most men more responsive to being held to account than women – who in life and as a rue of thumb are much less driven by time, consequences or winning.
2) Men aren’t natural sharers
Truth is, sharing just isn’t our bag.
In comparison, a woman’s default response is often “let me tell you about my day,” while for most men that’s an awkward conversation full of pauses and ummmms…
Now because we don’t share, that also means we don’t ask for help when we need it. Meaning on the whole my friend, you and I are more likely go off the rails, or make excuses than look for feedback and focus from others!
3) The Social Media Effect
Question – when was the last time you saw a man post on Facebook:
“I am sorry but I had no choice but to eat this entire pizza today!?”
It doesn’t happen because we don’t want others to see us weak or failing.
Meaning in life, we are more likely to suffer in silence to save face than speak up and get support. Something that for most in this game is looking to scale at speed and ill afford.
Group Accountability Is What Separates The Men From The Boys
See it’s one thing to promise your wife that something’s going to change. It’s quite another to promise a group of other men that by 3pm next week that email is going to be done or that video is going to be live and over the line.
Because come 3pm next week, those men will be expecting you to have delivered on what you promised – come hell or high water.
See for most men, this kind of hardcore accountability plays to our natural, raw, male instinct to want to compete and protect our ego. After all who wants to show up having under-achieved or underdelivered?
Men are competitive by nature and that competitiveness is what fuels this powerful force of accountability. It’s also why we never want to let other men down.
The bottom line:
Accountability works for our mental well-being, it helps us deliver on promises made, and most importantly, accountability keeps us from procrastinating on what needs to get done.
So what then is a Mastermind Group?
In short Napoleon Hill, and in his book Think and Grow Rich, described mastermind groups as:
“A group of individuals with whom you share your goals and a mutual desire to achieve them”
Now, a good mastermind group should provide an environment that’s ripe for brainstorming, strategy sessions and sharing. A successful Mastermind Group is made up of diverse members, from diverse backgrounds, who are all experienced entrepreneurs – each bringing their own area of expertise to the table to benefit the group.
This often results in creative solutions and fresh ideas being shared freely among participants which can benefit everyone involved.
What Topics Get Discussed At a Mastermind Group Or In A Mastermind Meeting.
It depends on the group, but if you’re operating at the helm of a business you want to be sure that the other men around the table have a deep knowledge of:
1) Marketing and sales
2) Scaling and operations (including leadership skills)
3) Systems and processes (including automation)
With these three bases covered within the mastermind, there should be the right skill sets around the table to help each member work more effectively, solve problems faster and get results sooner
The Importance of Joining A Male Only Mastermind Group
1) Isolation is dangerous
The evidence is overwhelming that men need good relationships (and a support network) with other men, in order to avoid health problems and mental illness.
2) Men grow through challenge with other men
Men need other men in their lives who are willing to challenge them and push them out of their comfort zones. It is only through this process, and without women present, that most can truly grow and push past plateaus.
3) Men respond to masculinity
Only other men can point out to us what we aren’t seeing ourselves and call us on our bull****.
4) Men lie when women are present
If history has taught me anything it’s that most men have a problem being honest when women are around. Instead of telling the truth our natural instincts kick that force us to stories and spin that are most likely to put us as king of the hill. Great for the ego. Bad for momentum.
Who Should Join A Mastermind Group?
Quite simply put, a mastermind group will benefit:
- Men who know they’re doing well, but could do even better.
- Men who are in the process of finding new clients, projects or moving their business to a higher level.
- Men who have achieved some success and want to keep it rolling.
- Men who find themselves lost and don’t know which way to turn.
- Men with financial goals and are looking for accountability partners.
… Or you could say if you are a man who is tired of feeling stuck you will probably see the benefit of joining a group.
What Can You Expect From A Mastermind Group or Meeting?
In terms of agenda, and in order to make sure that you get the most from any room, you would be wise to look for a format and a mastermind group that feels like the below:
Part 1: A round-up of wins and success since the last meet.
That is each and every single man around the table reporting what has been implemented and deployed since the last mastermind meeting, along with any insight gleaned on the way.
This should include the reporting of strategic or tactical wins or success, by group members, that can be shared for the benefit of the group.
Part 2: Hot seats on roadblocks and challenges
This is an opportunity for each member to report on the things they are struggling with or issues that have come across. It’s a time where the group as a whole can brainstorm what should (or shouldn’t) be done about them.
This sometimes might include focused and more in-depth training as part of the agenda if needed.
Part 3: A Declaration of Action For Accountability
Each member in turn, stating what big three actions they want to be held accountable to have deployed before the next meeting.
How To Get The Most From A Mastermind Group
1) Show Up
Sound stupid I know, but if you’re not there, you’ll not benefit. Now, in my experience, face to face and in person is better than virtual video or Zoom meeting. There’s something about being able to read each other’s faces and see each others body language in the flesh and without a screen.
2) Be Honest
That’s not just in the advice that you give, but in relation to the questions you ask and in relation to the REAL impact of your current situation.
After all, how can you expect others to have a positive impact if they don’t know the FULL and complete picture?
3) Be Prepared
That my friend is showing up with your phone off, ready to participate and ask questions.
What You Need To Ask Before Joining Any Mastermind Group
1. What is the mastermind group’s goal or specific purpose?
This is something you’ll want to understand before signing up for any group or community.
There are many different types of environments and each will often have its own focus.
For example, some may revolve around marketing strategies or maximizing time management while others might address goal-setting skills or identifying key business opportunities in your market…
Choose wisely based on your industry, how you like to connect and what you want to achieve.
2. Who are the other members of the mastermind group?
It’s always a good idea to get an understanding of what you can expect from the other men and the resources available in the room. That is starting to ask what industry are they in, what backgrounds do they have and what have they achieved so far.
For me, there is always power in being the stupidest person in any room 🙂
3. How often do you meet as a mastermind group?
Aim for a group that meets regularly – that is every four to twelve weeks.
Anything more than once a month can become too much of a chore and result in no insight being shared. And anything greater than 12 weeks causes connections and relations in the room to go to the wayside.
4. Where will you meet?
Will the mastermind group be online or will it be face to face?
Truth is and in my experience you can’t beat nose to nose and toes to toes. There’s something to be said about every man in the room committing to get up and travel to a neutral location.
There’s nothing wrong with virtual support between meetings, but in most instances groups run solely online tend to never pack a real punch, as people can fall into the trap of checking emails, looking at Facebook or just getting distracted.
5. Is there a fee to join the mastermind group, attend meetings or go to events?
This is a big one, if you want results, then in my experience the higher the enrollment to be in the room, the higher the calibre of other men that will be sat around the table.
There is nothing wrong with free groups, as long as you understand that there is zero skin in the game from anyone participating.
6. How long has the mastermind group been meeting?
I would recommend joining groups that have been meeting for at least 18 months to two years, this will give you a sense of the culture and how members interact with each other.
If a group is new to meetings, it could be too early or not worth your time.
You should also take into account attrition rates as well, some masterminds can lose up to twenty percent of their membership in a year so try and avoid those if possible.
The more senior people in the room who have committed than the higher calibre member there is likely to be on board – which means better results!
7. What is the criteria to be allowed to join the group?
In other words, what criteria to the men who make it around the table have to make?
This could be in term of experience, revenue, business size or a whole host of other metrics that will allow you to see if you will be a good fit for the group or if the group will be a good fit for you.
8. What’s the application process to get into the group?
A mastermind group is built on the calibre of the men and group members around the table, which means when joining a group you need to be confident that each member has been vetted and interviewed to ensure that they cust the mustard.
The application process for a mastermind group is usually a phone interview or an hour-long meeting with the group’s facilitator to see if you’re right for them.
The key thing to remember here, though, is that it would be well worth your while making sure that the other members are going to be good fits too!
It becomes easier when everyone understands what they should expect from each other and agrees on goals before joining forces in such a way.
If you have any concerns about this beforehand, then don’t hesitate to ask questions during the interview phase – honesty will only get you so far as long as there are no skeletons waiting in the closet someone else has uncovered first.
9. When was the last time someone was ejected from the group?
It sounds funny I know, but the sign of a good mastermind group is one that ejects and removes members that don’t play by the rules or don’t do as expected.
By having the members of the group held to a high standard, you can be sure that the group will be of good quality, a calibre and that you can get success from it
10. What are the “non-negotiable” rules for the mastermind group?
Based on the above, you would be wise to know what the rules for the group are before joining, so that you know what standards you and the other men will be held to.
In my experience rules for mastermind groups will normally consist of these four areas:
– Commitment to the group – this means showing up and being active in the meetings.
– Commitment to personal accountability – that is, telling other members about what you are doing and how it’s going so they can give feedback or encouragement as needed.
– Commitment to attendance – keep your word with regards to showing at meetings.
– Commitment to confidentiality – that is ensure that what gets shared in the room stays in the room.
Frequently Asked Questions About Mastermind Groups
Should I Start a Mastermind Group?
Now, you could start a mastermind group, or your own group and get a few people together but in my experience here’s the trouble with that.
– You’re responsible for everyone in the group and if one person drops out it’s a big deal.
– It can be hard to get people committed because you now have responsibility for them – even though they might not show up or do what they say they will do.
– You end up spending too much of your time charing, organising and managing the meeting rather than benefiting from it.
In my experience, being part of an existing group is better than trying to start a mastermind group on your own from scratch!
Should I pay to be in a mastermind group?
Paying a regular enrolment or fee is the only way that you can ensure that people take the group seriously and show up every week.
As a general rule of thumb, the higher the enrollment normally the higher calibre of individual around the table.
A key benefit that you get from being in a paid group is having someone else holding your feet to the fire each week, forcing you to read those emails, make those calls or act on that idea!
How much does a mastermind group cost?
The price varies depending on what the group delivers, how exclusive the group is and how many people are allowed in.
You can expect to pay between $12,000 and $36000 for a 12-month program.
How many people should you have in your mastermind group?
The size of a good group varies from ten people to thirty.
If the group is sub ten members then the wealth of knowledge shared is often limited and if group size is above 30 then it starts to become impossible to build deep-rooted bonds with the others around the table.
What are some mastermind groups available?
There is a wide variety of programs that you can join and each has its own personality, style and program goals.
Some examples include:
The Blue Circles Society – an exclusive membership programme for executives in business;
Joe Polish’s Genius Network – where CEOs share strategic insights with like-minded individuals;
The One Man Empire Fellowship – when men at the helm of their business come together to remove the stress, overwhelm, fatigue and panic by finally taking back control.
What are some of the benefits of joining a mastermind group?
1) You have the opportunity to share business ideas with like-minded individuals; you also get support & advice on how others handled situations that you could be facing in your own company – this is valuable because it’s coming from someone who has been there before and knows what will work for your situation, so you can create the fastest path to success
2) A significant benefit of being part of these groups is momentum – As long as everyone at the table commits themselves, one individual will always show up and push things forward which can help motivate others within the session.
3) It’s important to note that accountability plays an integral role in moving people towards their goals – by having other around you that will finally hold you accountable to what needs doing means that most naturally move forward and create success