You’ve probably heard of me talk about groups like Young Entrepreneurs Council or Entrepreneurs’ Organization. Yesterday, I had a really great EO meeting. It was probably one of our most productive meetings in a very long time, and everyone present gave a lot, took a lot, and learned a lot.
It’s the kind of mastermind session that makes me realize I shouldn’t try to figure everything out on my own.
While you may not qualify for EO or YEC yet, you can start your own mastermind groups. If you just Google “mastermind dinners,” you can get a lot of good insights. There are PDFs and checklists that you can steal and you can put like-minded people together. You can throw dinners, for example. Or you don’t even have to host dinners, maybe you guys could get together for drinks and just talk it through.
The Importance of Having a Meeting Agenda
All you need to do is make sure that you set some kind of agenda when you’re doing these meetings. For example, if you’re doing a marketing mastermind, you might start with a three-minute check-in using something like an iPad timer or a phone timer. That way nobody goes overboard talking about themselves.
Maybe the next item on the agenda is to put someone in a hot seat for 20 minutes or so. They talk about one thing that they’re struggling with and everybody can jump in and share their experiences in a tactful manner. EO actually has this protocol called the gestalt protocol. None of us are allowed to share direct advice. Instead, we just share our experiences and the listeners can draw whatever is helpful for them from those experiences.
Finally, it’s a good idea to follow up after the meeting by sending the group everyone’s contact info in a group email, or maybe just invite everyone who attended to a Facebook group or chat.
Why Masterminds Are Priceless
Joining groups like EO or groups of like-minded entrepreneurs is helpful because they know what challenges you’re going through, they’ve been where you’ve been, they know exactly what’s going on, and they can speak the same language. You might have some competitors there as well, but you’re still sharing knowledge, you’re being open, you understand that there’s a lot of business out there for everyone.
Entrepreneurship, to be quite frank, is a lonely game. When you’re able to get together in a room with 10-20 other entrepreneurs, those are your brothers and sisters.
One guy in my EO forum has a business that does over $200 million per year. So there’s people of all different sizes, and it’s good to hear their perspectives. I learned all sorts of stuff that I didn’t know (like what a cash flow forecast is, for example).
Of course, not anyone can join. There are requirements for mastermind groups like these. For EO and YEC, you have to have a business that does over $1 million per year, and I think for YEC you have to be invited and for EO you go through a interview process. Overall, I’d say YEC’s online forum is probably the strongest one for entrepreneurs and EO is great for in-person stuff.
There are a lot of great events, too, where you can meet people who will change your life.
Often, the people that you surround yourself with are the ones who are going to take you to the next level.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to isolate yourself from your friends or anything like that, but you are the average of the five people you hang out with most, right? So it’s good to be with these people. I see them only once a month, but we also meet up separately and on Slack as well (I definitely recommend putting together a Slack group).
Related Content: How to Structure a Mastermind Meeting
What Masterminds Have Done for My Business
Honestly, without EO, Single Grain probably would have tanked when I took it over because when I started, this business was in the negative and EO helped me get through a lot.
Ultimately, you don’t know what you don’t know, which is why many heads are always better than one.
Keep in mind that I’ve been with EO for three and a half years, and over time your relationship with the group will change. When I started out, I was a new member learning everything I could from the vets. Today, I’m moderating a group, and I’m focused on keeping everyone in my group accountable for their own growth.
If you want to learn more about masterminds, check out Gazelles, which is run by the founder of EO, Verne Harnish. There are a lot of templates and resources that you can use, not just for masterminds, but also for setting goals for your business.
This post was adapted from Eric’s Facebook Live videos: Growth 90 – DAILY live broadcasts with Eric Siu on marketing and entrepreneurship. Watch the video version of this post: