Mastermind Group

Does anyone else really feel the need for a mastermind group?

Basically, I’m a software engineer with a day job who has run some small businesses on the side, but never anything that amounted to much. My latest was semi-successful, but with a job change to a company with a competing solution, I had to shut down what I was doing. Now I’m looking for something else to work on.

I have a couple of product ideas, and have started on one of them. But, I often find myself needing to bounce ideas off of people and not having much of a way to do so. I’m thinking an email-based group, about 5 to 6 people, with no real commitment other than a desire to contribute and help each other.

Anyone interested in starting a small mastermind group? Any resources to get into one?

SFTROU had an episode dedicated to mastermind groups. I had the same thoughts as you, and started one recently. I did however limit it to people in my own network (personal and extended) to get started.

I haven’t listened to it yet, but here’s another podcast episode on masterminds:

Just a suggestion based on people I’ve talked to with experience in mastermind groups: if you start one, be a lot more explicit about what the commitment is than this. From what I’ve heard, requiring a very clear commitment (e.g. weekly group chats where you can’t miss more than one a month) has a major impact on the effectiveness of the group.

I think I would feel weird/awkward participating in a group like that where I couldn’t go out for drinks with people at least once in a while. In other words, people close-ish to where I live.

I get that proximity helps… being able to go out and have beers together while you talk things through is great. Unfortunately, I live in an area where that’s not really possible.

As far as a commitment, it seems like it would be a difficult balance. You want to ask for enough input from members that the group doesn’t end up fading away, but not so much as to be distracting or difficult to keep up.

What’s that balance? A bi-weekly Google Hangout? A weekly email chain? A discussion forum?

What would be that, I wonder? An island with a lone palm tree in the centre of the Pacific? :smiley:

I strongly believe face-to-face meetings are more effective and more efficient.

I’m looking to start/find my own MM (I’m in Toronto, ON, Canada) but my schedule makes me worry I won’t be able to keep the commitment. :frowning:

The more I think about it, the tougher it seems. You need people who are your peers: they have to be at the same stage, roughly, as you, otherwise you’re just going to be teaching or soaking up information from an expert, rather than equally sharing. They need to be people you can trust, and feel comfortable with, and, of course, available. I don’t know many people like that to be honest.

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Rob and Mike covered this topic in detail here on episode 167 of Startups for the Rest of Us: How to start and run a mastermind.

A few takeaways:

  1. Keep the mastermind to 3-5 people.
  2. Don’t go to the same mastermind as your co-founder or employee
  3. Make sure the other participants are in a similar business to you (SaaS, mobile apps, ebooks, etc…)

Hah! Yeah… not there. But, I do live in a fairly tech-anemic area.

I agree that face-to-face is better. But, the only real software company in town… I just left there. I don’t know that I would be able to bring together more than 1 or 2 other people.

The schedule is also an issue for me too. I prefer to have my family time most evenings, and like the flexibility that an online group would bring.

Thanks for the tips! I’ll download that podcast.