mastermind groups - otherwise known as? how to find? thoughts?
August 5, 2018 10:51 AM   Subscribe

Hi again mefites.. So, another possible title for this ask could have been "mastermind groups - discuss" a la coffee talk. What experiences have you had with them or, anything like them that goes by a different name I might not know (er, perhaps a more humble name, lol?), and how did you find / form the group? know of any friendly such groups that are recruiting? Or, idk, want to start one with me?

..extra points for groups like this that aren't exactly super shiny and start-up-y, social climber-y, if that makes any sense, and that meet in real time via voice or video.

I think best in collaboration with others - this is our evolutionary heritage as humans, yes? - and this seems to be the raison d'être of this "mastermind group" idea.. I can dig it.. although as far as I can see it could less pretentiously / corporately be called a "mutual advisory board for people trying to accomplish cool things while trying to support each other and brainstorm together."

I think I could probably come up with a million reasons such a group would feel useful right now, but the most succinct is that I'm attempting a few projects (eg one small business-y, one community oriented, another artistic practice oriented) that feel like they need to manifest in .. less of a vacuum.

Well, thanks in advance.. feel free to PM me, also, if you fancy something similar or don't feel like discussing publicly for whatever reason.
posted by elgee to Society & Culture (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, I'm in a mastermind group of other professionals in my field. We have a professional association, and there's a sub-group of veteran professionals, and that sub-group had someone provide a virtual presentation and series of resources on how to form a successful mastermind group. Someone created a Google sheet for people to sign up and share their pertinent details (years in business, revenue category, area of the country, etc.). More proactive members began adding sheets to the workbook, picking people they thought suited their own needs, made calls/sent emails, and someone requested me to be in her group. Our two names went on a subsequent sheet; we asked a few more, and we ended up with a group and followed the precepts in the resources. (We tend to focus on issues related marketing and conquering burnout/inertia.) We meet by phone monthly, because we are all around the Eastern time zone, and we communicate by email and group text, as well.

In general, I've found the two ways mastermind groups start is that an already existing organization encourages members to seek out like-minding member individuals OR online business coaches tend to form them with their clients. So, in addition to the one in my profession, when I was a member of a local chapter of the National Association of Business Owners, some of our local members were in mastermind groups. Local Chamber of Commerce members have them here, too. I see marketing coaches forming coach-led mastermind groups.

So, you should already be networking with professionals in your industry, in your geographic area, or in your area of interest, and within that space, you might be able to join a pre-existing group, join a newly-forming group, or suggest forming your own. Have you looked in the professional groups that exist for others who do what you do? Not knowing what you've already done makes it hard to suggest what you should do to find an appropriate group.

I've never heard of a mastermind group called anything else, but an old Quora question shows people saying that "think tank" or "brain trust" or "collaborative development group" might be applicable. I don't, personally, think a different name is needed. (I'm still peeved that people felt the need to invent the word "mentee.")
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 5:54 PM on August 5, 2018

I was in a mastermind group for a year or so with other independent creative professionals. (We avoided the term "freelancers.") There were a couple of artists, a photographer, a "maker" — still not sure what that person did — and me. I write cookbooks.

It was an interesting group and I liked most of the people, but I ultimately left the group because of the pacing. Whereas many/most of the others were working on new things every day/week/month, my book projects can span years. When it came to checking in and updating others on progress, it only made me feel glacially slow and plodding by comparison. (It's not me! It's the publishing industry.)

At any rate, I think there was a lot to be said for having a mix of different abilities and professions in the group, but ultimately a similar pacing can be important too.
posted by veggieboy at 7:54 AM on August 6, 2018

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