michael
THE 5 MINUTE FRACTIONAL CFO

076: Why Masterminds Are The Best (and Worst) Investment I've Made

Mar 22, 2024

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076: Why Masterminds Are The Best (and Worst) Investment I've Made

Mar 22, 2024

I've invested $183,500 on masterminds over the past four years. 

You might think that sounds crazy, but my investment in masterminds has resulted in:

βœ… Huge unlocks in my business
βœ… Even bigger unlocks in my relationships
βœ… Nearly $1,000,000 in new client revenue
βœ… New friendships with some amazing people
βœ… A network of people who can help me with almost any problem

Masterminds can run anywhere from $10,000 per year to $100,000 (or more!) per year.

πŸ‘‰ Invest in the right one, and a mastermind can have a massive ROI.
πŸ‘‰ Invest in the wrong one, and a mastermind can be a big bust.

In today's edition, I'm going to break down what a mastermind is (and isn't) and share four lessons I've learned that help me maximize my mastermind ROI.

If you're considering joining a mastermind, I hope you can learn from my experiences to pick the best one for you.

Let's get into it.

Mastermind Lore

The term "mastermind" is generally attributed to Napoleon Hill. He first mentioned it in his 1928 book The Law of Success. He built on the idea in his 1932 book Think and Grow Rich.

He described a mastermind group as "A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose."

In other words, a mastermind is a group of people who get together to support and encourage one another.

In my experience, masterminds today can include a lot of different things:

βœ… Some include as few as 10 people, while others have thousands.
βœ… Some include in-person meetings, while others meet virtually.
βœ… Some are industry-specific, while others are more general.
βœ… Some have 1:1 coaching included, while others don't.

Maximize the ROI

In aggregate, I've had a massively positive return on investment from the masterminds that I've been in.

That isn't to say they've all been great investments, though. In fact, a couple of them have been absolute busts. A particularly painful mastermind was a 12-month, $30,000 program. It was so bad that I just quit going to the monthly meetings.

The best one was a $15,000 marketing mastermind. We met virtually for 2 hours a month. I picked up dozens of marketing best practices that I still use today. Those have easily netted me 7 figures in sales. I also met another business owner who has become a really close friend IRL.

Here are four lessons I picked up along the way that help me pick the masterminds that are best for me:

Lesson 1: Know What You Need Out of the Program

Don't just join a mastermind because you like the idea of joining a mastermind. That's where a lot of people go wrong.

Before you even start looking for a mastermind, ask yourself what you need to get out of it.

Here are some questions I ask myself now:

➑️ Do I need 1:1 coaching?
➑️ Do I need a course or other training to be part of the program?
➑️ Do I need a program that's held in person or do I need something virtual?
➑️ Do I need to get in a room with people who could potentially become clients?
➑️ Do I need to get in the room with people that will help hold me accountable?
➑️ Do I need to get in the room with people who are ahead of me in their journey?
➑️ What topic or theme do I need the program to focus on to help move my business, relationships, or health forward?

Once you have clarity on those answers, you should start looking for a mastermind that can deliver on as many of those needs as possible.

Lesson 2: The #1 Job of the Mastermind Facilitator is to Get the Right People in the Room

In my experience, the quality of a mastermind hinges on one simple thing: the quality of the people in the program.

If the mastermind has top-quality participants who actively participate in the program, are open and honest, and share freely, then everyone wins.

But if the mastermind has meh participants who don't really show up, aren't open and honest, or don't share with others, then the program ends up being a bust.

The mastermind facilitator's primary job is to make sure that they ONLY allow the former into the program.

You're paying for this above all else when you join a mastermind.

Lesson 3: Interview the Facilitator

Early in my career, I realized that when I interviewed for a job, I should also be interviewing the potential employer. I needed to make sure they were a good fit for me as much as they needed to figure out if I was a good fit for them.

The same holds true for masterminds.

Take the time to interview the mastermind to ensure it's a great fit for you. If it's not REALLY clear to you, ask what their screening criteria are for participants. Ask what percentage of people they accept vs. deny. Ask what lessons they've learned over the past few years about putting on a world-class mastermind.

If you don't get a warm fuzzy, then let it be an easy no.

Lesson 4: Nurture the Relationships

For me, the most significant value I've received from masterminds has come from the relationships I've made inside the programs.

But as with any relationship, the relationships you forge in a mastermind must be nurtured.

When you meet someone awesome in the program, get their contact info. Arrange to meet for coffee or on Zoom to learn more about each other. Look for ways to support one another. Follow up with them.

I have met some AMAZING people in masterminds over the years.

Some have become close personal friends.
I regularly do business with others.
A few are peer mentors now.

Those relationships alone have made the investment in masterminds worth their weight in gold for me.

But, like all good things, they require work.

If you're going to invest in a mastermind, be prepared to do that work.

Bonus Lesson: Start with a Service Mindset

I've received a ton of value from (most of) the masterminds I've been a part of.

That said, when I participate in masterminds, I typically get more out of the programs if I start with a serve-first mindset.

Here's what I mean:

When I start in a new mastermind, I actively look for opportunities to serve others, with no expectation of reciprocity.

I can't tell you how many times I have freely helped people with challenges like cash flow forecasting and other business advice. I never charge anything for it and I most of the time get nothing back except gratitude.

But sometimes... Sometimes, those people come to me a month later, six months later, sometimes years later, and ask if they could pay me to help them more.

And sometimes they introduce me to other people that need my help.

Masterminds can be a great source of new friends, new business relationships, and even new clients. But before you go joining a mastermind all willy-nilly, make sure you're clear on what you want out of it, do your due diligence, and check your mindset.

Your Coach,
Michael


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