What is a mastermind? It’s a friendly alliance of two or more people. Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich formalized it in the 1920s and 1930s. He said, “a mastermind is the coordination of knowledge and effort in the spirit of harmony between 2 or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.”
Hill Learned from Carnegie
Napoleon Hill personally learned about Mastermind Groups from Andrew Carnegie. He created one of the most famous business masterminds in the steel industry starting in 1899. In his own words: “Well, if you want to know how I got my money, I will refer you to these men here on my staff. They got it for me. We have here in this business a mastermind. It is not my mind, it is not the mind of any other man on my staff, but the sum total of all these minds that I have gathered around me, that constitute a mastermind in the steel business.” This created one
of the largest net worths in history. In today’s dollars, his fortune would be $310 billion. Today the number one net worth in the United States is Bill Gates at just $79 billion.
The POWER of the Third Mind
People coming together in the spirit of harmony, with a definite purpose in mind, and adding together their brain power is what Napoleon Hill calls the power of the third mind. And the way he said it was “no two minds ever come together without creating a third, invisible, intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.” It’s synergistic and more powerful than normal math. 1 + 1 doesn’t equal 2. It equals 3, 4, 5, or more. For example, if I want to improve my business maybe I can come up with 10 ways to do it. If you try maybe you can come up with 10. If we came together, instead of just having 20 ideas the combination of our two brains would create a third brain that may come up with its own 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 or 60 ideas. It’s much greater than just the sum of the parts.
What Happens When We Mastermind?
There are tremendous benefits from being part of a mastermind group. I think the mastermind group is the most beneficial thing that you can do, not only for your business but for you and for your results. What would be possible if the people around you refused to let you fail? What happens with a mastermind group is that you get a better business, you get a better you, and you get better results. I call that the better BYR: better business, better you, and better results. Let’s unpack this a little bit.
How Does a Mastermind Group Create Better Business?
Most mastermind groups are a collection of peers, so they’re other people that are committed, serious, trustworthy, supportive, and they’re looking to build their business. You’re looking to build your business. That’s one of the most common forms of a mastermind group. We call that mutual benefit. They’re there because they want to move forward. They want to get better and they’re committed to that. They’re realistic making them a good sounding board for you. You’re going to get honest feedback. They’re not one of your employees, they’re not your boss, they’re not your friend they will give you total honest feedback. They’re there to help you, and they know that, and they have their own experiences both successful and unsuccessful to guide you.
They are there to help you gain clarity. Gaining clarity is one of the most important things you can do in business. If you are not clear on your direction you almost always drift off course. The peer group brings you different points of view. They ask questions you could not think of. Through the Mastermind, you have access to all of their life experiences.
Avoiding Blind Spots
They help you to see your blind spots. And this was really big, especially for me, as I went into mastermind groups. Sometimes, you don’t even realize you have these blind spots because they’re blind spots. But the group sees them, and they help you see them. They help you get more realistic. They help you move forward. One of the quotes I hear most commonly is, as they start to interact with the group, “I started to use my time much more wisely.” And people, as they saw their blind spots, as they got honest feedback, as they realized what really works in the real world—they started to use their time much more efficiently and effectively.
When you’re working with your mastermind group, you have collaboration. You can do partnerships, joint ventures, so there’s a lot of business collaboration that happens over time. They review your work and give you reviews online. They can provide testimonials, especially for a new product, or referrals. Once they understand your business, because you’re mutually sharing and you’re working together on each other’s business, they become really successful at providing referrals for you.
Better Brainstorming Creates Innovation
This is a big one. You’re never stuck because you have a mastermind group. You have the creation of that third mind. You can also do test marketing with them. You could test your sales presentations with them. And what happens in business with a mastermind group—the most important thing to me is that innovation happens. You begin, the lights come on, and your business doesn’t just move forward in little steps. It moves forward in a big leap. Innovation happens when you get into that third mind. You get all those ideas and it all comes together.
That’s the Better Business – in Part 2 we will cover the Mastermind Benefits of a Better You and Better Results. For me the Mastermind Group has been the greatest contributor to my success – be sure to take full advantage of your opportunities to Mastermind.
All the best – until next time – take control and make it a great day!
Blaine Oelkers is a lifetime entrepreneur, a graduate of Purdue University and Stanford University’s Entrepreneurship program. He’s achieved over 100 Million dollars in sales and coached 1000’s of people. He’s currently President of the Arizona Marketing Association and a company called Selfluence. He helps business owners with their Personal Implementation Plans (PIPs) elevating themselves to a higher level called You 2.0. He can be reached at Blaine@ForcedClarity.com