I bet you've all watched some football or basketball game on TV before right?
I also believe that most of you are admirers of some particular great player being Michael Jordan, Pele or even Babe Ruth.
I'm as well. But the thing is, that although all these people were phenomenal athletes, they all had one thing in common that helped them blossom.
They had great teams to support them.
They had teams that helped them bring their best performance on the surface.
So today we're gonna talk about why teams are so important and why you should start forming your team of like-minded people in exactly 6 minutes after finish reading this article.
Mastermind groups are great
Unfortunately, most people vastly underestimate the importance of having a close group of like-minded people a.k.a a mastermind group.
Like I've explained in this article, belonging in a society that consciously or not destroys your vision every day is the worst thing can happen. But instead of trying to reshape the whole society (which is apparently difficult), you could dodge a huge amount of bad societal thinking by having such a group.
What is a mastermind group?
First of all, not every team is a mastermind group. Any gang of mindless boys yelling at the TV while watching a football game doesn't fit the definition.
A mastermind group is a team of individuals who collectively use mostly their brain skills to achieve a higher goal.
Notice that this goal doesn't have to be a common one. Each person can have his/her own goal, but he can leverage the collective wisdom and knowledge of the team to achieve it.
I have witnessed time and again, that when a small group of some extraordinary individuals forms a group, the total output of the team grows exponentially.
I've lost count of how many times some of us had a particular problem or needed some feedback, and although he couldn't see the solution, through discussion and feedback, he came to a solution.
The thing with such teams is that if for example, each individual can pump out a hypothetical output of 1000 wisdom units (cool term huh?), a group of let's say 10 people like him will output a total amount far greater than 1000 x 10.
Of course, this isn't scientific math here, but you get the point. The collective experience, knowledge, and skill of each individual are tremendously amplified by the influence of the guy next to him.
What's the scope of such a group?
Now that we have this cleared let's see what's the scope of such a group.
In general terms, the reason for such a team to exist is to help each other out into becoming the better version of himself. It's like a self-development program on steroids.
The team can play multiple roles like:
Feedback or advice: When the mastermind is up to the task it should be able to provide valuable and accurate advice or feedback when needed. We all have moments that we can't make rational decisions, being about business, romance or even health. A group of mature and reliable individuals can excellently restore that part of your rationality because 1. they are not emotionally involved and 2. they're knowledgeable enough to handle this situation.
So think of this as the best consultant in the world, but instead of an individual, you have a few, each one specialized in his own field.
Accountability: Being accountable to someone is of paramount importance. Like I've said before, our willpower is limited. That's why we need to leverage other people's strengths to our benefit. As long as we have the frame of exchanging value and not only taking this strategy will take you very far.
The accountability part can be almost about anything. Losing weight, going to the gym, waking up early or even play less PlayStation. We've tried it many times so far in my group and trust me when I say it freaking works.
Inspirational or motivational: Having role models from the Internet isn't hard. We all have some. But sometimes you need to have someone who's excellent at something and within reach. So the best case is to form a team of such proficient individuals in as many areas as you can think of.
Again leveraging the collective willpower, someone can make huge leaps. Multiple times bigger than if he tried to do it by himself. There are times that you'll feel a bit weak, with not that much spark or strength to hunt down your next goal. This is when this group will shake you back on track.
In simple terms, a robust mastermind group is like an army knife to excellence. It can be leveraged in multiple ways. Think of it as an amplifier. It gets 10 units of wisdom input and produces 100 or 1000 units of wisdom output.
How to become a part of a mastermind group?
This is where it gets tricky.
Have you seen many such teams around? Well, I guess not.
The most common problem is that people are lazy or insecure and they don't like to put a lot of effort into anything.
But remember what I said about the scope of this group? It's all about self-development. The daily battle towards greatness. Great people are very rare to find, let alone teams of great people.
So your best chance is to start from people who think like you about a particular topic, like business, health or relationships.
When there's even a little common ground things become a lot easier. Having a common background or goal with somebody else will solve many of the problems.
Most people that are striving for excellence will know that to achieve it, you cannot fight alone. So they'll want to form such a group asap. Always keep your eyes open for such opportunities.
Where there's eagerness for self-improvement such mastermind groups will thrive. You just got to be at the right place at the right time.
Heck, it's not even mandatory to know the other people in person. The Internet is all you need baby!!!
How to form your own mastermind group
This could actually be even trickier. Forming your own mastermind group can be hard but at the same time very rewarding.
Again, your approach should start the same way.
Step 1: Look for real life places or most probably Internet places where like-minded individuals hang around. Facebook groups, forums, blogs, online communities, etc. are the best.
Step 2: Read as many posts or articles you can read and note down the users that made you the most impression.
Step 3: Outreach to all these individuals with a helpful and friendly opening message introducing yourself to them and talking them about your goal of forming a mastermind group.
Your message could be something along these lines:
"Hey [username or real name],
I read a few of your posts in the [abc] forum/group and I really liked them. I agree for the most part, and I actually believe that [blah blah your opinion]. So I'd really like to talk a bit more about it if you got some time. Feel free to PM me.
Thanks [your name]"
*Note that you should actually read their posts and also state your honest opinion. This isn't s scum game. You want to build real long-term relationships with people who share a common mindset with you.
Step 4: After your outreach, try to establish rapport with all who replied back. Learn a bit more about them, ask them about their interests, their vision in life, etc. The more people you outreach, the more choices you'll have.
Remember, we need to build an MM group, not a football team. A handful of skilled individuals will suffice.
Step 5: From all the conversations you got, "short-list" the ones that you liked and trust the most and the ones who you believe will help you build a great team. Be careful here. Rapport can be a bitch. Sometimes the people with the most charisma (the ones you like the most) are not the best to build a solid MM group. You'll need a good balance of people who are kind, skillful, ambitious, etc.
Step #6: Propose your idea to the ones that you think will form a neat group. If they agree just form a new Facebook group for simplicity reasons, and talk with them about the scope of the group and a basic set of rules and guidelines. It doesn't have to be over-complicated but to cover the baselines.
It should include some basic ground-rules like what's the scope of the group, your common goal, what's not allowed in the group and a time window that will work for all of you to have an online (or real life) meeting.
Depending on the scope of the group, you can also create a couple of chat-rooms about a particular pillar in life, like for wealth, another for health and another for relationships or general remarks. This chat will help you bond even faster because of the directness it offers.
That's it, simple as fuck :p
Things to consider beforehand
If this group is to succeed, you need to keep only a single thing in your mind at all times. People will do anything as long as they get value. If they believe this group is benefiting them, they'll stick around, and they'll do anything in their powers to help it grow better.
If they get value, most of the times they'll reciprocate. One of the basic principles in Cialdini's book "Influence."
Always have in mind how you can provide value to this group by either helping people, offering valuable information and guidance or by simply make them feel good when they need it. Emotional validation is one of the strongest forms of value, and it works well with less rational individuals.
Apart from pure logical value, people are emotional creatures in the base. They need to build comfort and rapport with other people to help them. So if it's within your reach, you should try and make this relationship as real as possible. If you live close then it's easy. You can schedule a real-life meeting once or twice a month.
If not then try to schedule such real-life meetings once or twice a year. This will tremendously increase team's bonding and the closer you feel to each other them more you'll be willing to help and share.
My take is that both forms of value (rational and emotional) are necessary to hold a group together. But in case someone isn't committed to this MM group, 99% of the time they don't feel they get enough value. So beware of value!
If all this look to you like a complicated or over-engineered plan, sorry but I can't disagree more. This basic blueprint comes from my personal experience, helping form a solid mastermind group in the last two years.
When some people say engineered, I say strategic.
We've faced all kinds of problems so far, but we stayed stable and always based on value exchange.
I can personally guarantee you that if it weren't for this group, I wouldn't have achieved even a tenth of my today's results. I owe to them not only a huge part of my business success so far but also a huge part of my mental stability in so many other areas in my life, like relationships and health.
They pushed me through in so many difficult times in the past, I've lost count. They have been my co-travellers to excellence, my inspiration, and my guidance.
What's the first thing you would do if you deserted in a remote island after securing food and shelter?
If I had to start my journey to excellence from scratch, forming such a group would be first thing in line.