Keys to a Successful Mastermind Group

One of the earliest proponents of mastermind groups was Napoleon Hill. In his book Think and Grow Rich he encouraged the use of a “mastermind alliance.” He recommended this not only for the support that can be garnered from like-minded individuals who agree to assist and encourage each other’s growth and development, but also from the idea that when three or more minds come together, the effect is synergistic.

Most of the successful people I have interacted with or read about strongly recommend joining a mastermind group. You can pay to join mastermind groups organized by other people, or you can initiate one of your own. The key is to connect with fellow entrepreneurs or others involved in creative ventures who understand the importance of encouraging each other and holding one another accountable.

Napoleon Hill’s book has been around for decades, and current research still supports the idea that joining with others and setting an intent to achieve specified goals significantly increases the likelihood that one will be successful in achieving those goals.

I’m a really strong believer in masterminds. I have been in several of them myself and can honestly say that the results vary from group to group. So what makes the difference? Here’s what I think matters:

  1. Most important is your own willingness. What I mean by willingness is your commitment to show up and be fully present. This is so vital that I recommend only participating in groups where others share the same commitment.
  2. It is also important to be clear about what you want from being in a mastermind group.
  3. You should also gather or join achievement-oriented people who really want to make a difference in their lives or who want to make a difference in the world.
  4. I also think it’s helpful to stay with the same group of people over time. I have been in big coaching programs that had 30 or more people in a mastermind. My experience was that these larger groups were less effective. I received some good suggestions and useful insights but because of the size did not feel the connection and caring that comes from smaller groups.

I’m currently in a mastermind program that is the best I have ever been in. Called the Successful Genius Mastermind Group, it’s facilitated by Robert Dilts, Mitchell Stevko and his wife, Dr. Olga Stevko. I think of Robert as one of my mentors; he has been a true inspiration for me. Mitch has been a venture capitalist and investment banker, and Olga is a Russian émigré and MD who is a pioneer in utilizing NLP and hypnotic processes in health and healing. The three of them have crafted a marvelous program that has attracted some incredible entrepreneurs, healers, coaches and authors.

Through this program Robert has taught and demonstrated many processes that he’s elicited from past and present geniuses. He is now instructing us in the strategies of genius. This foundation is what makes this particular mastermind group so powerful. The program is crafted to include in-person retreats and interactive webinars. It is also broken into small mastermind groups of three people who meet by phone. We have created a kind of magic up to this point—a magic that I think will continue.

So should you be in a mastermind group?

If you want to move forward rapidly and if you enjoy the support and accountability that come naturally with good mastermind groups, the answer is “Yes!”

Should you form your own, or should you join a pre-existing mastermind?

Either will work, and I think it depends on what you want. Many coaches offer mastermind groups, so search for one that will work best for you. I suggest you speak with somebody who’s been through one of the programs first because, frankly, some of them are not very good. Look for a high level of commitment, and if you’re paying a lot of money, make sure that there’s good support and guidance from the program leader. If available, I recommend one with a combination of in-person and webinar or phone work. I also advise joining a program that attracts high-performing and committed people.

If you choose to do so, you can create your own mastermind group. I was in a mastermind group of this sort for four years with five other members, and as a result my growth and business thrived. This was an in-person group, and leadership was shared. The group’s members attribute many successes to this mastermind, including three new books and a million-dollar coaching business.

Because of my experience I have decided to take the best of what I’ve learned and create a small but focused mastermind group. Look for more information about that in my next newsletter, and if you’re interested, email me at or call me at 520-237-4435. If you’re not yet subscribed to my free monthly newsletter, you can sign up here: Belief Change Alchemy.

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About Terry: Terry Hickey, M.S., is a Certified NLP Professional Coach, Business Trainer and Consultant, a Certified Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and the co-owner of NLP Advantage Group. Originator of the Belief Breakthrough Method™, Terry specializes in teaching coaches and entrepreneurs how to rapidly resolve limiting beliefs about wealth and success. His tips and strategies can help you launch yourself into the future you want… NOW. http://terryhickey.com/

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