What Is a Business Mastermind And Why You Need One to Drive Growth Fast

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When successful people approach the top of their mountain, they’re often asked to pass along advice and tips about getting there. 

Frequently, those tips feel like the lucky one doling out advice to the unlucky, and the tips don’t stick with us. Sometimes that’s because the tips are generic and obvious, but other times it’s simply that there isn’t something actionable in the information itself. 

“Work harder” isn’t really a helpful tip, right? It’s not specific enough to actually help you solve an issue or achieve your goals. 

Recently, Carter and Custer co-founder, and CEO of Vortic Watches, RT Custer, appeared on the Sproutworth podcast and explored something that truly helped him achieve his largest ambitions and continues to help him reach new heights — mastermind groups.

We’ve got more than tips from R.T. on how to achieve your goals today. Instead, we have a deep dive into actionable steps we can take to achieve our greatest ambitions and how masterminds can help us make an impact.

Defining a Mastermind Group

Mastermind groups aren’t the secret clubs for success-driven people seeking a peer group; they’re inclusive cohorts that build business owners up to make an impact. 

This isn’t frat, and it isn’t just about meeting new people. Mastermind groups are made up of professionals with similar ambitions and business goals. And to separate the wheat from the chaff, they have parameters for admittance. 

For example, R.T. Custer is now co-owner of the mastermind that changed his life: Fast Foundations. Its parameters included requiring that your business already have up to $500,000 in annual revenue. And there’s a cost to join.

Masterminds want to make sure you’re serious about building your business which usually comes with a price tag. Fast Foundations is looking for participants who have around $500k in annual revenue but are still aiming to scale up. This is for select entrepreneurs willing to accept true accountability and mentorship. Those who are ready to go beyond quick fixes and really scale up.

When you first think about mastermind groups, it can sound weird to pay for a group of new friends, but if you turn your business brain on and consider the incalculable value of a great mastermind group, the ROI is tremendous. 

This Is Not Coaching; It’s Better 

As you launch and grow your business, you’re devoting countless hours to thinking about your business, your timeline for goals, and your ideas for scaling. It’s all about you.

When you hit a wall, some will seek out coaching from experts either in their line of business or just business in general. This direct one-on-one coaching can work, but those coaches often bill by the hour, so it’s costly and hard to see them more than once a week or month.

Mastermind groups are better than coaching because it’s not all about you, and there’s always something relevant to learn about your cohort. Sometimes you’re listening to other group members work out their problems, and other times you’re explaining how you solved something that the group might find helpful.

The primary benefit of joining a mastermind is having others there to group-think solutions and situations. RT Custer explains how it delivers a necessary perspective: 

“Mastermind groups are a blend between coaching and a conference. And that’s the point. We take ourselves out of the business for a little bit and work on the business instead of working in the business.”

– R.T. Custer

The collaborative environment of a mastermind is where you are learning from the experiences of others through their efforts to help you solve your problems. No one is sitting around waiting for the leader to give them a solution, your whole mastermind is made up of leaders, and many of them will have experienced-based advice that can help. Just like your experience and advice will aid someone else in the group. It’s not give and take; it’s share and share alike in a truly collaborative environment. 

Masterminds Are Different from Conferences

Mastermind groups are also not about having your notebook out and taking notes while a speaker talks at you for ninety minutes before you shuffle off to your next presentation.

Masterminds are a lot more interactive. You connect with the people in your mastermind on a more significant level. You learn about everyone’s businesses, who they work with, why they started their company, and what drives them to make an impact. And that connection goes beyond business; it’s totally normal to form personal connections and learn about their families as well. 

Mastermind groups can be totally online, but most of them are a hybrid of online connections through apps like Slack, where mastermind groups might have a private channel for members to engage with each other. According to RT, masterminds give you the ability to break away from thinking that your business is an island and lets you focus on growing the entrepreneurial community as a whole. 

“Business owners and entrepreneurs spend so much time just thinking about themselves and their companies. In a mastermind, it’s a group of other people trying to help and learn and grow together; it’s a much rarer experience.”

– R.T. Custer

Then there are often events sprinkled throughout the duration of the mastermind that features guest speakers and breakout group sessions.

Typically, there isn’t much one-on-one time with the host or the speakers at a mastermind. Occasionally, they will do some coaching or personal sessions, but the real reason to join a mastermind is the collaborative interaction with your peers. 

The Best Mindset for Mastermind Success

When you enter your first mastermind group session, your mindset is the one thing you have control over. 

You probably aren’t too close with any other members yet, and since it’s your first time, there’s no way to set an expectation of what is to come. So your mindset — from the moment you enter the session — has to be that this isn’t all about you or your business. 

Masterminds aren’t pre-determined courses. The group parameters ensure everyone is operating on a similar level and, therefore, can be a value-add to the group. Still, it’s not a step-by-step discourse where you’re following a path.  

The mastermind is about the group. It’s about learning and growing together and being focused on the accountability aspect of the group. When R.T. attended his first mastermind session, he explained that he wanted to connect with people, but he was also there to learn:

“I was seeking friendships and like-minded individuals. But also, in the back of my mind, I knew I had this feeling that since I invested in this, I need to learn a bunch from it.” 

– R.T. Custer

The more involved in your mastermind group you become, the more you understand the give and take of being helped and helping might not be equal. Many times, you might just realize that giving help is what you need to learn how to do something yourself.

The mindset of giving is crucial to a successful mastermind group. Often when you’re helping someone, a light bulb will go off in your head about an issue you have been experiencing in an unrelated scenario that now feels solvable. 

If you come in with the mindset that you’re going to give as much as you receive, then all the conversations and speakers will be invaluable in the long term.

Mastermind Groups Are Online

The “mastermind” definition is this: A rising tide lifts all ships, which is to say when one group member solves a problem, it helps everyone in some form or another. 

Your mastermind group extends well beyond just the in-person events. Most mastermind groups provide an online space for their mastermind community to continue to connect and grow with each other. It’s a place where collaboration deepens, and more complex problems can be sourced and solved over a longer timeline. You don’t say goodbye to your group after a mastermind event; you say, “See you online soon!”  

Members use the online community to continue asking the group questions about specific issues they’re experiencing. The result is value comes with that participation, as questions often receive multiple answers with various perspectives from experts. 

Some masterminds also exist solely in the virtual realm, and those rely on technology to add that additional human element. Online masterminds tend to be larger groups, which can only further help solve complex and seemingly unique issues.

Curating a Mastermind

An essential aspect of masterminds is curation. Mastermind group members aren’t all in the same industry; some members have entirely different business lines that don’t even intersect. However, all members had to meet the exact business parameters to join, so they are all similar in one area. 

Those parameters are the first element of curation. Remember, mastermind groups aren’t just about the like-minded and jolly festivities, the members all desire to achieve something specific over the duration of the group.

The speakers that are brought in for mastermind events might include someone who is a money expert to talk about people’s positive and negative mindsets around money or an energy coach who discusses ways to own a room. 

Some members will relate to those speakers and will learn something directly from the speaker that they can apply to their business. Other members will absorb that information and engage in conversation afterward with other members and discuss what was learned. 

“Curation is important: it’s like watching a series of lightbulbs go off at these events as the members, one by one, get inspired in some way.”

– R.T. Custer

These speaker events always lead to breakout sessions and discussions among members, so even if the speaker didn’t directly educate them on something business-related, their fellow members might spark a new line of thought or aid in problem-solving simply by engaging in deeper discussions. 

Your Accountability Group

Mastermind groups, at their core, offer peer support, a place to brainstorm ideas, and create accountability. Sometimes they are referred to as your board of directors or an accountability group. 

The reason to join a mastermind group is that you are growth-oriented, but the motivation that drives us towards larger goals already exists in us. Mastermind groups add to that motivation through accountability. Members set goals for each Mastermind and actionable steps for reaching and tracking those goals to measure the progress.

And because everyone sets those goals as a group, their mastermind community can hold each other accountable, check-in with each other, and follow up. People are asking whether you completed the thing. Did you hit your goal? If not, how come? 

These are all conversations members have with each other, even online. The members of the mastermind are all pushing each other forward because they all have that innate desire to succeed beyond their dreams.

The checking in and questioning come from a place of support, perhaps even need. Some members might be looking to see you complete a goal because they will be taking a similar one on soon and are looking for ways to succeed. 

Driving Growth Through Accountability

Accountability drives growth by focusing on the doer and their responsibility. Accountability isn’t someone asking if you made a million dollars yet; accountability is someone asking if you’ve set up that automation to inform new customers of new inventory that was discussed as the first step to new revenue.  In R.T.’s case, he uses the mastermind to ensure he’s staying on track with social media. 

“I’m in a mastermind group now where my goal is to grow my brand. So, what I committed to by the end of this year is that I want my personal social media accounts to at least reach 10,000 followers. That breaks down to adding 50 followers a day on average, and that’s a metric and standard I be held accountable to and a goal I can work towards. It’s the daily version that I need to succeed to reach the larger, more distant goal.”

– R.T. Custer

That’s how masterminds drive growth. They support your vision for larger-than-life success, not just in a cheerleader, faux-spiritual way but in an actual “what have you done lately” way.  It’s invigorating as much as it can be challenging. 

Mastermind groups can provide a sense of community that is hard to replicate anywhere else. The shared goals and variety of experiences and personas create an environment where new levels of success move from the dream board to the achieved board. 

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