It looked like just another Friday morning at a coffee shop. The familiar whirr of the espresso machine. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee. A long line of patrons in a hurry to grab their favorite drink and face one more day at the office before the weekend. I was casually sitting at our usual table with a group of my five closest friends. Chatting, laughing, and sharing life together. Definitely not in a hurry. Then I noticed a businessman staring my way.

I nodded politely and leaned back into the conversation at my table. A few minutes later, I looked up to see him towering over us, a cup of coffee in his hand.

“I’m sorry guys, I just have to ask. What are you meeting about?”

Sean was the first one to speak up. “Oh! This is just our mastermind.”

“OK. Wait. What?” the businessman replied. “So this isn’t a business meeting?”

“No,” I replied. “This is just a group of guys trying to help each other level up. We meet every Friday to talk about our struggles and share things that are working. It’s my favorite part of the week.”

That was the moment I realized that what we had was something rare. This kind of conversation happened multiple times over the next few years. Our weekly mastermind group was a curiosity to people in a hurry to get to work. This group was something special. Our weekly Friday 6:00 a.m. meetups were one of the keys to my success. This group of guys was the support system that saw me through many challenges in both business and life.

I searched the faces of my guys, and we all knew. This weekly time of connection, encouragement, and challenge was our secret advantage. Somehow the word spread. Over the course of the next year, we were approached at least a dozen times by others who wanted to join our group. And when we politely declined, the same questions were asked. “How did you start it? What do you guys talk about? How do I start my own?”

What Is a Mastermind?

A mastermind is a group of people dedicated to each other’s success. They meet on a regular basis. They share their struggles, celebrate their wins, and set tangible goals. Each member contributes to the lives of the others, with the net effect of helping each other grow in their lives and in their businesses. As Jim Rohn says, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” In a mastermind, you have the opportunity to choose who those influential people will be.

Benefits of a Mastermind

Encouragement

When I’m feeling discouraged, all I need to do is reach out to one of the guys in my mastermind. I know I’ll receive the encouragement, feedback, and challenge I need to keep moving forward. Since you are the average of the five people you hang around, make sure these people are on your side, cheering you on and encouraging you both in the struggles and in the triumphs. In a private Facebook group, Sally Hope explained, “I love my mastermind for the support, community, and the varying ideas of people in different industries than me.” Katrin Hahner added, “The benevolent and sharp wisdom of the women in my mastermind always nudges me beyond my comfort zone and out of fear, self-pity, or playing small. It always helps me to strive for excellence and have more courage and perspective.”

A Safe Place to Share Struggles

We all need a safe place to share our struggles. A place where we can be real and we don’t have to hide. Each of us has secrets we are holding on to, whether it’s a compromising decision at work, fear about our finances, or a moral or personal indiscretion. What would it mean for you to have a few trusted brothers or sisters you could reach out to and be real with?

New Ideas

My mastermind has challenged me to level up in the following ways: Following a particular eating plan for a set amount of days, such as Whole30 or the Slow-Carb Diet. Completing physical fitness routines over a set number of days, such as the push-up challenge. They’ve introduced me to new teachers, books, and concepts that have changed my thinking and opened up new doors of opportunity.

Taken from Start with Your People by Brian Dixon Copyright © 2019 by Brian Dixon. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com

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