Masterminding your way to higher efficiency and profitability

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Since the early 1900s, when Napoleon Hill introduced the concept of Mastermind groups to the public, business professionals have found that creating small, focused Mastermind groups can lead to higher efficiency and profitability, new ideas and perspectives, and renewed accountability and passion.

photo by Dierk Schefer

“No man can become a permanent success without taking others along with him.” –Napoleon Hill

A Mastermind group is a small group of people (I find four to six optimal) who meet regularly to brainstorm together, hold each other accountable regarding personal goals and commitments, hash out ideas and support each other’s business goals. For the tech-savvy real estate agent, nothing could be more useful to sort through all of the business development ideas, new tech platforms and general business planning than a close-knit, committed Mastermind group.

Those who embrace technology in their business can become overwhelmed by the sheer depth and breadth of technology, social media, gadgets and tools available to us these days. It is impossible to investigate and evaluate everything if you are working on your own, but with a Mastermind group of like-minded agents, you can crowdsource to glean the best of the best.

I’ve participated in a Mastermind group for well over a year with three other Florida Realtors and have found it to be tremendously beneficial. I have met with Debbie Kirkland (@FloridaSunSales) from Tallahassee; Cyndee Haydon (@CyndeeHaydon) from Clearwater Beach; and Chris Griffith (my personal favorite Twitter name, @Twitterzilla, from Bonita Springs) almost every Monday for over a year (using Fuze Meeting) to discuss what’s new, our own business goals, and to share what we have learned at various conferences and seminars that we’ve each attended. From this alliance, we’ve given each other leads, made lifelong friendships, spoken at several conferences together and even landed on the inside cover of Florida Realtors Magazine (page 22).

Top 10 tips to create your own wildly successful Mastermind group

1. Choose a small, but committed, group of people. Too many and you lose the tight-knit dynamic. Too few and you really miss just one person not making a meeting. I find four to six is ideal. Discuss expectations of the group before finalizing it so that everyone is on board with the same goals and availability regarding their participation in the group.

2. Choose people with the same commitment to the group as you have. The success of Mastermind groups depends on the collective participation of each individual.

3. Meet frequently. I’d suggest once a week but not less often than every two weeks. This keeps everything fresh and the momentum going forward.

4. Set an agenda of “hot topics” that you’d each like to learn about and/or discuss. Since it’s the beginning of the year, start out with 2012 business goals for each member. For future topics, create a Google doc for “haves and wants” of discussion topics and use a Google calendar to pencil those topics in advance.

5. Set up the technology for your meetings. We use Fuze Meeting, but you could also use GoToMeeting or any other platform that allows screen sharing for the number of participants you plan to have. Since you will be sharing “tutorials” of certain technologies, screen sharing is a must.

6. Create a Facebook secret group to stay in touch between meetings, bounce ideas off of each other, share links, etc. This is a key to keeping the group closely knit and engaged.

7. Create an agenda on how your meetings will be organized. We meet for an hour and try to use the first half to catch up, brainstorm and share, and the second half for the preplanned presentation/tutorial from one of the group members.

8. Create an “easy-out” pla in case one of the members feels like they are no longer able to participate in the manner expected. Since the group is small, it is highly dependent on each person’s participation. If one person is struggling, let them know up front that it’s OK, but they should let the group know. By discussing this in the beginning, it makes that touchy subject much easier should the need arise.

9. Make the commitment to each other to meet on time, as scheduled. In real estate, there is ALWAYS something to do, a property to show or a contract to write. Make the commitment to each other to put the group first unless absolutely necessary otherwise. Set a time, either early in the morning or late in the evening, when you will be less likely to have to skip a meeting due to unavoidable schedule conflicts.

10. Have fun with it. I’ve never laughed as hard as I do with my Mastermind group. We are truly bonded together …

If you have a Mastermind group or plan to start one, we’d love to hear comments on what has worked for you (or hasn’t worked) in the comment section below.