First, what is a mastermind?
Before we dive into the steps to creating a local mastermind, let’s start by defining what actually IS and IS NOT a mastermind.
In the timeless classic, “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill (who, I believe, really created the form and structure to the mastermind as we know it today) defines a mastermind group as “a friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose”. Hill further explained that “no two minds ever come together without, thereby, creating a third, invisible, intangible force which may be likened to a third invisible mind”.
Hill’s vision for a mastermind group is to create a forum for brainstorming, accountability, and support between the group’s members. This, in my opinion, IS a mastermind.
A true mastermind IS NOT a class with formal instruction being led from the front of the room. It is not a networking group (that’s not to say that networking should not occur in a mastermind group; rather it is just a byproduct of the group itself and not its purpose).
There is plenty of value to classes led by subject matter experts and groups gathered to share business with one another. However, they serve a different purpose than a mastermind. We’ll reserve discussion about classes and other forms of groups for a future blog post!
Step 1: Define the purpose behind why YOU are creating a mastermind
Mastermind groups are created for a variety of different reasons. However, as a sales agent, team owner, and/or real estate investor I believe there are really only 3 reasons for you to host and facilitate a local mastermind.
- To get into relationship with other agents for purposes of doing business together at some point in the future. “Doing business” may mean partnering on an opportunity together that may one day come about, making for easier cross-sales, or it may mean actually recruiting that agent to your sales team and/or brokerage.
- To increase potential deal flow. If your mastermind peers know that you have a specific niche, or look for certain types of investment opportunities, your name will cross their mind when the time is right.
- To simply give back to the industry and your peers, and to increase your personal knowledge and skill in doing so.
Before you create a model and structure for your mastermind group, get clear on what is motivating you in the first place. This clarity will help you define your next steps.
Step 2: Create the right group
Assuming you’ve defined the purpose behind your efforts, now you need to make sure you invite the right audience. If recruiting to your team is your purpose, what type of agents would you like to build relationships with through your mastermind efforts? If you are aiming to increase investment deal flow, who are the Realtors that you believe are good sources for investment opportunities?
To be very clear, your primary role in the mastermind is to GIVE – give value, create the environment, facilitate the conversations, etc. It is not to openly recruit or source investment deals! Nobody will want to attend if they are being solicited in that way. The belief is that you give and give and give…and at some point in time your audience begins to connect with you in different ways, creating dialogue that may serve you beyond the initial learning and relationship building experience.
Step 3: Create a structure to the mastermind
Now that you’ve defined your purpose and identified your target group, it’s time to outline a formal structure. Answer the following questions:
- How often will this group meet? Weekly? Bi-monthly? Monthly?
- Where will the meeting be held? Your office? The brokerage? A restaurant? Your title partner’s office?
- How long will each meeting last?
- What is the mastermind’s agenda? This may be the most important question to address! Failing to have a purposeful agenda where time is well-managed and ROI is delivered will lead to a fallout in attendance in future meetings. For the agenda, I recommend chunking your time together into segments and assigning a purpose to each segment. For example, if you are holding a 60 minute meeting:
- In the first 10 minutes, allow for everyone to express their recent wins and losses.
- The next 10 minutes is spent outlining the most important topics to discuss today with a quick vote to determine the 2 or 3 that the group believes should be discussed right away.
- Spend the next 30 minutes discussing best practices, solutions, challenges, ideas, etc. around the 2 or 3 topics that were selected.
- And use the last 10 minutes for each participant to define their action items between now and the next meeting
- Are there any other perks that I’d like to offer along with mastermind participation? Will you serve food, drinks, and/or snacks? Are there vendors that want to offer something special to this audience?
Step 4: Execute your plan, starting with the invite
Now that you are clear on what you are building, let’s make sure our “offer” is enticing enough to create interest and drive the attendance you need in order to host a successful event.
My recommendation is to personally invite your target audience via phone call. Here’s a script that I’ve successfully used several times over the years that may be worth testing out…
“Hi _____, it’s Brian Gubernick. Hey, I know we really do not know each other all that well…that’s a shame and it is part of the reason I am calling you today! Here’s the deal – while there are thousands of agents in our area and the industry is pretty large, what I’ve learned…and I’m sure you feel the same….is that the community is actually really small. In other words, the best agents do most of the deals. Because of this…I think it is just a good idea for the top agents around town to get to better know one another. I’m going to be at this for a while longer, and I am guessing you are likely the same. We are going to cross paths a hundred more times!
Here’s what I am doing – I’ve decided to launch a local mastermind group and I am limiting it to ___ agents. We are going to meet every ____ at _____ for 60/90 minutes. We are going to brainstorm and problem solve together…and all build bigger and stronger businesses as a result. I’ve already talked with _______ and _______…do you know them? Yep, they are both amazing, and they are both committed to the group. I’d love…we’d all love…to have you join us. What do you think?”
If you have tried multiple times to connect on the phone, then I’d shorten the message above and send it over via text.
I recommend that you “overstock” the room. If you desire to have a 12 person mastermind group, I’d consider inviting 15-20 to your first meeting. Some agents simply will not show up no matter how great an offer you make, and others will eventually fall out because, well, that’s just unfortunately how it goes! This means you may also want to have a “back up” list…individuals that you may decide to invite if you find there are open seats in the room.