So you’re probably wondering what Masterminds are and what they have to do with goals. They’re a hot topic right now, particularly in the start-up and entrepreneurial spaces. But Masterminds aren’t new. They’ve been around for 75 years.

What’s a Mastermind?

Napoleon Hill (Think and Grow Rich) is credited with using the phrase “mastermind” for support groups where people with a common purpose (usually becoming more successful) get together to support each other through careful listening, brainstorming, and meaningful input. Most masterminds are about accountability, which makes them a great way to supercharge reaching your goals.

Move in the direction of your dreams.

So how can we create a year where we move even closer to realizing our dreams? We start thinking about 2020 with intention right now. Not in February, or even March (which is when I usually finally wake up to the New Year!). It’s not too late. I’m in the process of developing my goals right now.

For example, one of my goals is to run Women’s Career Bootcamps (these are the coaching masterminds I offer) year round. More about Bootcamp at the end of this post.

Masterminds are the secret sauce.

Masterminds are so critical to reaching my goals that I built my new office space around it. In my MAD! Workspace (MAD=Mastermind All Day!), Stef, Leah, and I have a weekly mastermind. Actually, the full name of  the space includes this: Where collaboration is baked in.

Creating and participating in that mastermind is absolutely the secret of our individual and collective successes. That’s because we faithfully keep each other accountable for our goals – plus we give each other the courage to reach for the hard goals.

Sharing our goals with each other and offering that courage is essential because researchers are finding that sharing our goals with people who support and believe in us unequivocally increases the probability of our reaching those goals.

Old school

Do you remember when the only meaning of mastermind was somebody who made crazy plans that actually worked? That’s exactly what we’re looking for as we build out our masterminds – people who both support us and take the time to thoughtfully question our plans – even when they sound a little crazy and out of reach.

Mastermind members call us on our stuff.

Notice I said unequivocally not blindly. Big difference. The best masterminds are made up of people who aren’t afraid to ask the hard questions, call us on our stuff, and offer meaningful input about our methods and our progress. We need these people to reflect our values and goals back at us so we can see them more clearly.

Finding people who unequivocally and without reservation believe in each other is key to building a mastermind that works. When we take the time to carefully select the members of our group (sometimes through trial and error), we ramp up our ability to reach our most daring goals.

Avoid repeating the past.

Unfortunately, if we surround ourselves with people who believe in us blindly, who are afraid to offer ask hard questions and offer constructive input, we can’t take advantage of the mastermind process. We’ll find ourselves stuck or repeating past mistakes with no understanding of how to move forward.

Support for the uncomfortable questions.

Instead, we need people who believe in us so much that they’re willing to risk serving up the uncomfortable questions knowing that we can only fly forward if we go to those uncomfortable places and think uncomfortable thoughts. This is the courage part. And, when we come out on the other side, they’re right there, cheering us on – without “I told you so’s.”  Unless it’s me. Because I’m always so ready with an “I told you so!” just ask Stef and Leah!

Masterminds take you further faster.

And, the best part is we’re not relying on one person to mastermind our success, we’re spreading the wealth among several people with common intentions. We’re living out “the more, the merrier” principle!

You know, the “experts” are finally figuring out what those of us with great support systems have always known – we can reach unbelievable heights with thoughtful, meaningful support from people who believe in our potential. We can go further faster with a mastermind.