Is it really worth paying to join a mastermind or should you form a free one?

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Should you form a free mastermind or join one you pay to be part of? Should there be a facilitator at the helm of the mastermind or can you just get together with a group of like-minded entrepreneurs and be self-guided?


I have facilitated and been a participant in several masterminds and each was a little different. The first mastermind I participated in was an international group of 8 female entrepreneurs at different stages of growth. We met when we all attended a huge, pricey seminar led by a well-known internet guru. The facilitator (actually more of a speaker), offered a follow-up year of masterminding. The $20,000 annual mastermind membership fee did not include the cost of travel and accommodations for the in-person meetings held 3 times a year in a group of about 20 other entrepreneurs. Nor did the price include any one-to-one coaching which she charges $30,000 a day for.  So, one night over dinner,  the eight of us decided to form our own mastermind. We were all somewhat established in our businesses and were mainly there to learn the online marketing piece. We decided to meet in person quarterly and speak weekly to support one-another in growing our businesses online. We were all savvy business women but we had very different agendas and without leadership, our mastermind eventually  fizzled.


I participated in another mastermind with 3 other female entrepreneurs and concluded that a self-guided mastermind rarely works.


I also formed my own masterminds with students who attended my workshops. They paid a (reasonable, not excessive) monthly fee to be part of the mastermind. What they were paying for was guidance and leadership. I also formed an unpaid mastermind to support a group of fledgling entrepreneurs after a workshop.


Here’s what I found: Even with my leadership, the group in the “free” mastermind did not grow their business as quickly or efficiently as those who paid an ongoing fee to be part of the group. They were supportive of and somewhat accountable to one another but most did not make their business a priority. The paid group, however, reported progress with each meeting and their businesses grew. My conclusions:


  • Groups with a facilitator at the helm are more successful at staying on track and developing their businesses.


  • If you see a charge on your credit card statement each month, you are more likely to follow through because you don’t want to feel like you wasted the money. We just tend to take things more seriously when they involve an investment.


So, how do you find the right mastermind group for your business and your style? GO HERE to read, “How do I find my entrepreneurial tribe to help me grow my business?”  Or HERE  to see what Barbara Winter and I have cooking for Sept. in southern California.

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