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AP 0994: What Tips Do You Have for Setting up a Mastermind Group?

AP 0994: What Tips Do You Have for Setting up a Mastermind Group?

By Pat Flynn on

AskPat 994 Episode Transcript

Pat Flynn: Hey, what’s up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 994 of AskPat, thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I’m here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week.

We have a question coming in today from Troy, but before we get to that I just want to thank today’s sponsor, which is DesignCrowd. If you’re stuck on how to design a logo, or a website, or anything like that, anything design related, you can go with DesignCrowd. It’s a website that helps businesses crowdsource custom graphics from over a half million designers worldwide. It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, you can get a perfect design from that community there, or you get your money back. All you have to do is go to to learn more, and you get 100 bucks off your next design when you enter the promo code “AskPat.”

All right, now here’s today’s question from Troy.

Troy: Hey Pat, this is Troy from I blog about nonconformity, creating opportunity, and staying young and healthy. I’m in the process of setting up a mastermind and I just want to get your thoughts. I know you’ve talked about being part of a mastermind, or several. What kinds of things should we consider when we’re setting up our mastermind? What should we talk about on our first meeting? Also, what tools do you use, such as Google Calendar or Google Docs? What suggestions do you have for paid masterminds? Are there specific ones that you know of that you would recommend, or what you would look for within a paid mastermind? Keep changing lives, thanks for everything you do.

Pat Flynn: Hey Troy, thank you so much for the question. Mastermind groups are something that are very, very important in my life. I’m actually in three now. Two, I formed with some friends of mine and they’ve been around for seven plus years. Then the other one I just recently joined, and that was a paid one that I joined. I’m not going to talk about that one right now, because that one is more on a higher level. I’m paying to get access to the person who’s putting this together, and also the community that this person’s building with other people who have paid to be a part of this mastermind.

These other ones, I mean they’re ones that you can form right now with people who you know you have a vibe with, who you know are also going to prioritize this. That’s the number one rule: You want to be there and prioritize the mastermind group, and the people in that group should prioritize it too. It’s so important to me that if you consider the higher key of rankings of people who are important in my life, at the top of course it’s family, that’s number one, the most important people in my life. Number two, the mastermind group. Absolutely. I mean, I’ve grown up with these people for the last seven years as a business owner, I know their businesses, they know mine in and out. I’ve given and received brutally honest, and completely helpful advice, that I know I would not be where I’m at today if it wasn’t for them. Then of course under them, my best friends, and just friends, and such.

Anyway, when you’re starting out, finding people who are in and around your level is also very important. If you consider where you’re at, it doesn’t matter where your level is at. But if you consider your number on a scale of one to ten, you’re at a five . . . you want to find people who are four to seven. Going any lower, they’re going to hold you back, and they’re not going to contribute that much to the group in terms of where you guys are at. But also going too high, I mean they’re going to feel like they’re not getting anything out of that. You might just be trying to ask them questions all the time. Four to seven works out pretty well. I have a lot of information, if you look up “mastermind groups” on Smart Passive Income, you’ll find a lot of more in-depth information, including a presentation I did at Social Media Marketing World, I think in 2015, about specifically mastermind groups, and how to form them. They’re one of my favorite things.

When you go back into history and look at some really, really important people, like Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and Andrew Carnegie, and Napoleon Hill . . . These are all people who had groups of people around them. Benjamin Franklin and his Junto. It’s just been engrained in history to know that when you surround yourselves with likeminded people, amazing things happen. When you’re all there to help each other, it’s just benefits everybody at the same time. It’s kind of Knights of The Round Table style, there’s no one head person. It’s everybody’s there for each other’s benefit, to hold each other accountable, to share each other’s goals. All those kinds of things.

A few more tips I can give you. I would definitely recommend checking out and looking at mastermind groups on Just hit the magnifying glass at the top, and you’ll get there, and type in “mastermind groups.”

But the first meeting, it’s great to kind of have everybody introduce themselves. If you can meet in person, that’s even better. Finding people at a conference is a great place to go. Or, if you find somebody at a conference, you decide you’re going to put a group together, inviting people in, and having that first conversation you all have—kind of go around round robin style, talking about where your business is, and where it’s at, where you want it to go. Just help each other determine what your goals are. I think another important topic of discussion is to help each other determine how you best each like to learn, and how and what motivates you most. For one of our groups for example, we didn’t do this at the very start. We should have, and it’s what I recommend all mastermind groups do at some point early on. That is, talk about how you prefer to be taught, and how you prefer to be told what to do. Some people like the bootcamp-style Sergeant, just yell in your face kind of style. If people do that to me, I close up, I shell up, and I’m not going to take any action at all. I get very—I kind of paralyze myself when I get that kind of feedback, and that kind of sort of instruction, even though I know they’re coming from a place of giving, and wanting to help. I just don’t respond very well to that. I respond very well to motivation, to getting examples of others who have done something similar, rewards on the other end, and my people in my mastermind groups know that. There are some people in my mastermind groups who do prefer to get bootcamp-Sergeant yelled at, and it is my role to try and encompass that when teaching this person how to do something, or sharing some feedback related to an issue they might be having. That’s a great topic to discuss in the first meeting. Having a person in the hot seat moving forward, one per week.

Here’s the basic structure. Ten minutes we go around round robin style each week for an hour. If we go . . . My mastermind meetings are about an hour in length typically, and they’re done virtually over Google Hangouts, or, or just anything like that, or GoToMeeting, Skype conference call—it doesn’t really matter how you do it as long as you’re all together, and you all have it in your schedule. We all have it in our calendars, in our Google Calendars. We also have a Facebook group to go along with our individual masterminds for sharing resources, for asking questions midweek, and really that’s been really helpful too.

But here’s how it’s structured. First ten minutes, we go around round robin talking about a win from the previous week. This sets us up for success, and gets us motivated, gets us also excited for bringing something to the table each week. We want to make sure we have a win to share with everybody. Then for the next forty minutes a person is in the hot seat, that person has a chance to discuss whatever it is they want to discuss. It could be an issue they’re having, or a plan and they want to get feedback, or sometimes people use that time to present something they’ve just done that’s worked really well, that they want to offer the rest of the group. There’s that too. Then the rest of the group members, their role is to listen, and participate, and help that person out in any way, shape, or form that they can. Ask questions if they don’t understand something, be curious essentially. And be brutally honest too, while being sort of respectful. Then the final ten minutes, we talk about what we’re going to try to accomplish by the next week. It kind of is a way to hold each other accountable. That’s just a really high level version of what the mastermind group calls are like, and we prioritize it, we rotate hot seats every single week, and it’s just great. Try to get between four to six people in a group. Any more than that, then you just kind of wait a long time before your next hot seat. Four to six people is great, but even starting out, just two will work. You and one other person to start out with, and then you can invite more people in. There’s definitely power in having more brains in there.

Troy, hopefully this is helpful. Thank you so much for calling in and asking your question. I want to send you an AskPat teeshirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you’d like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to and you can ask right there on that page.

Thank you again so much, I appreciate you. I look forward to serving you all in the next episode next week of AskPat. Here’s a quote to finish off the day by Roald Dahl, “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Believe it guys. Take care, and I’ll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.

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