The Power of the Group: Should You Start an Author Mastermind Group?
by Laura Orsini
If you’ve never taken part in a mastermind group, perhaps it’s time to consider joining – or starting – one. Coined by Napoleon Hill, the esteemed author of the ubiquitous entrepreneur’s handbook, Think and Grow Rich, the word mastermind can be defined as a “coordination of knowledge and effort in a spirit of harmony between two or more people for the attainment of a definite purpose.” In other words, it’s a group of people getting together on a regular basis to support the growth and efforts of all members through shared knowledge, ideas, and resources.
While doing research for his book, Hill surveyed hundreds of the most successful people in the world. Perhaps the most personally influential to Hill was Andre Carnegie, American industrialist and philanthropist, who attributed his massive success to his own participation in a mastermind group. Thus the mastermind concept, as we know it today, was born.
Participation in a mastermind group has many benefits, some of which include:
- The support of like-minded individuals who want to see you succeed
- A free flow of more ideas than you could ever envision on your own
- A place to get new perspectives on your ideas, projects, and goals
- An enhanced learning curve as others share their tips for overcoming hurdles so you can avoid making the same mistakes
- Honest feedback – both positive and negative – about whatever topic you bring to the table
- A group of accountability partners to help keep you on task
- Expanded resources and connections
- Beneficial new partnerships
Some groups meet weekly; others meet on a monthly basis. In most mastermind groups, each member has the opportunity to sit in the “hot seat” or bring their problem(s), challenges, and/or concerns to the table and receive feedback from the rest of the group. With a small enough group and a long enough meeting time, each member can participate in the hot seat at every meeting – or you can stagger your hot seat participation to accommodate your group’s needs.
Having recently joined a mastermind group with the Arizona Marketing Association, I’ve already received great benefits. I found an associate/assistant for my business; my husband and I started working with a personal trainer who is a member; and I’ve created a partnership with a videographer to do book trailers for local authors.
As an author (or would-be author), you might benefit by creating a mastermind with some of the players who contribute to the success of any book: graphic artists, editors, printers, marketers. Doing so would also likely lead to a cohesive team with each member contributing ideas, group projects, and new business. You’d also get feedback from others in the publishing process who are seeing things from a different angle. Critique groups work like highly tailored and focused mastermind groups – but the one I’m suggesting here has a broader goal than simply critiquing each of the members’ writing.
While phone or digital groups can work (via Skype or Google Hangouts), the greatest power in the mastermind group seems to come from face-to-face meetings. In order for your author mastermind to succeed, you will need a location, a regular meeting time, a confidentiality agreement, group guidelines, and the right team members. Typically, successful groups have from four to eight members.
If you’ve been finding yourself – and/or your book – stalled, an author mastermind group could be the solution! It’s a great way to receive the support, feedback, and accountability that will help propel you to the next step on your publishing journey.
LAURA ORSINI is a self-publishing consultant who works with authors who want to change the world. From concept to publication to the first-time author’s book launch, her expertise will help you make a better book and find more readers. Laura is the organizer of the Phoenix Publishing and Book Promotion Meetup, creator of the Holiday Author Event, and conjuror of many other author opportunities. She will explore the power of the group in her posts for this group blog. In the meantime, read her regular posts at Marcie Brock – Book Marketing Maven. Friend her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter, and check out her pins on Pinterest.