AskPat 808 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here and welcome to Episode 808 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 great question today from Jennifer.
But before we get to her question I do want to thank today's sponsor, which is FreshBooks, a company I've been working with for the past couple years. They've been helping me keep track of my business finances, which is extremely helpful come tax season. It just also helps me keep a leg up on everything that's going on in my business.
But more than that, I'm also able to send really, really professional looking invoices to my coaching students really, really quickly. I can get paid much sooner because it just makes the process super easy on both sides. Plus I can easily keep track of who has paid and also who has even yet to open those invoices, which is super handy because then I can follow up if I need to. So, you should check them out for free for 30 days. They have a 30-day free trial at freshbooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “how did you hear about us” section.
All right now here's today's question from Jen.
Jennifer: Hi Pat, this is Jen from sideofincome.com. Every entrepreneur I listen to stresses the importance of a mastermind group. I found a group of people to come together to form this group but we're not sure what to talk about or what the structure of our meetings should be. I was curious if you can share any insight around what makes a successful mastermind group and what kinds of ways we could be leveraging each other to make the group a success. Thanks so much for everything you do.
Pat Flynn: Hey Jen, thank you so much for the question. I really appreciate this. I'd actually presented on this topic before because I agree, masterminds are incredibly, incredibly important. But they have to be structured in order for them to work well. I've been a part of mastermind groups that have folded simply because there was no structure and I don't want that to happen to the one that you're in. It's pretty hard to find the right people. Once you find the right people, you still have to have the structure or else it's going to fold.
So, you've done half the work. Now I want to get you to a point where you're getting benefits and everybody else in the group is getting benefits from each other as well. So, I actually have a link that we'll put in the show notes here on Ask Pat Episode 0808. So you can go to askpat.com and search Episode 0808 to get that. But the link will be for a webinar replay of this particular presentation. I actually had so much great feedback from this presentation that I did a webinar about it. Then after that, I put it up online for everybody to receive. So, it's there.
But let me go over the basic structure for you so that you can have something to work with now, even before you listen to that. I would recommend that, however, you give that link to all of your mastermind members. Anybody else out there who's in a mastermind group or starting one, definitely check out that link. Again, episode 0808.
Now, the structure works like this. We meet once a week and that's really important because we're meeting regularly. We're able to keep each other accountable. Know what each other's up to and hold each other's goals kind of in higher regard there. But the first five minutes we go around really quickly, round robin, and we each share one win we've had from the previous week. That's really important because it not only gives us something great to start off with and we start off on a positive note. But leading into the week, we are able to be grateful and proud of the work that we've done and the work that other people have done. It's a really great feeling. It's a great exercise. It's almost like journaling daily starting with our gratitude and what not. Same thing with your master maker. Starting off with those wins, really important.
Then, one person is designated in the hot seat. This person has 45 minutes to talk about whatever they want to help them improve their business in some way, shape, or form. This person is designated beforehand. Typically it's the person who hosts the webinar or—Not webinar sorry, the mastermind group. It doesn't matter where you have the mastermind group. It could be Google Hangouts, it could be on a Skype conference call, or GoToMeeting, or freeconferencecall.com, doesn't really matter. It doesn't even have to be in person. None of mine are. Although we try to meet in person once or twice a year just because it's great to do that.
But what I mean is by “somebody who hosts” is like every week somebody is either in the hot seat but also somebody is sort of the moderator. The person who is in charge of saying people's names. Just making sure the person got what they needed out of it. So if you were the moderator the previous week, that means you are going to be in the hot seat this week. That's kind of how it works. So for the first session just pick two people to do that. If you're in the hot seat, again like I said, you have 45 minutes to present or ask questions or whatever. Doesn't always have to be a question or a problem that you have. Sometimes I go in a mastermind group and a person has had an amazing success. Or a launch and they want to go over the rest of the process with everybody for everybody else's benefit.
Most of the time, somebody comes in with, “Hey guys, this is what I'm up to, this is my plan, help me poke holes in this.” Like, “Ask me questions, what do you think?” Or other people come with a specific problem. Like, “Hey this particular issue happened.” “Where can I go from here, what should I do?” Then that way, every single week it's progression. The next person is in the hot seat next week. They do the same thing. The next person then the week after that. What's really cool is after you get into a flow, even like two months after, you start to remember what other people said. You start to get really in tune and also involved in their businesses.
The key, amongst all of this, is brutal honesty. Not disrespectful honesty, obviously. There shouldn't be any disrespect. There should be only…there should be only respect in these groups. But brutally honest advice because this is what these groups are known for in the successful manner. You need to be welcome to receiving constructive criticism. But you also need to be open to giving constructive criticism. That's how the formula works.
So, by the end, everybody goes around with 10 minutes you have left, because it's an hour total, and you each share your goals or one thing that you want to accomplish by the next time that you meet. The other thing about this is you want to make sure that this is a priority. The friends and colleagues that I have in my master group have become so important to me because I just, not only, have gotten to know them and have gotten to know their businesses. I feel like I've become an integral part in what they've been able to create as well and them mine. But, more than that, they are a top priority in my life. Mastermind groups, they have to become something that you prioritize because it's very easy to say, “Oh, well let's all just get together next week since we have nothing to talk about.” No, don't do that. You have to keep it regular.
We've even set rules in some of my groups where if a person misses two in a row and there's really no excuse—emergencies obviously are fine—but if a person misses two sessions in a row, they're out of the group. Another thing that's really important is the trust factor. You need to make sure that everybody knows and understands that what is said in the mastermind group, stays in the mastermind group unless otherwise noted. So that's really important as well.
Finally, we also have a Facebook group, typically, that we have together. One of my groups, we're on Basecamp which is another project management tool. But Facebook group is quite simple to setup and we're there asking questions, sharing resources, talking about things mid-week. In between our meetings too. So, anyway, that's just a high-level overview of kind of how it works. But to get the details and to give you some more inspiration definitely check out that link that's associated with episode 808 at askpat.com.
So, Jennifer thank you so much for the question. I appreciate you and want to wish you and your other mastermind group members all the best of luck. I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on the show. For those of you listening, if you have a question that you'd love potentially featured here on the show as well, just head on over to askpat.com and you can ask right there on that page.
Thank you so much. I appreciate you and also FreshBooks, thank you so much for sponsoring the show. You can check them out for free with a trial for 30 days at freshbooks.com/askpat and make sure you enter “Ask Pat” in the “how did you hear about us” section. Finally, here's a quote to finish off the day, as always. This is from Benjamin Disraeli, “The delight of opening a new pursuit or a new course of reading imparts the vivacity in novelty of youth, even to old age.”
All right everybody, take care and I'll see you in the next episode of AskPat. Bye.
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