your network is your net worth”

Why Mastermind

1. Build a Tribe: Unless you’re a troll living under a bridge and don’t like people, it’s always refreshing to meet new people. The most memorable times of my life were the minutes and seconds I spent with others. Although I am somewhat of a loner and like my solitude, I truly enjoy time well spent with others. Now add the excitement of engaging with new minds…and new ideas…and fresh concepts. This is what happens at a Mastermind Dinner. We are meant to grow as a tribe. Tribes connect and feed off each other. The phrase, “Survival of the fittest” should be called, “Survival of the fittest tribe.” For a deeper understanding about tribes and how they fit into the world today read,“Tribes” by Seth Godin.

2. Learn what you don’t know: We have all learned something. We believe we can just Google it and all our questions will be answered. This may be true for many of the times, but it’s not always going to be that simple. To get to the great stuff in life sometimes a great amount of hard work needs to be done. That’s good right? Because if it was easy everyone would do it. This is where the power of the tribe with its synergistic energy can help to solve those issues, get past those road blocks and break through those barriers.

3. Practice being a Master: I recently finished reading a book called, “Mastery” by Robert Greene. This book walked me through the lives of amazing individuals who became masters of their craft. He touches on habits, behaviors, and the internal drive of these amazing people. Becoming a Master is a walk that never ends. There is no completion or finish line. There is no final course or capstone. There is no solving of the puzzle or reaching the final level. Mastery is a way of life. It’s about continuing and not trying to correct along the way. Don’t even try to correct before you begin. Just begin and continue. Mastery is about doing what’s next instead of spending too much time thinking about what happened and basking in the mistakes, because mistakes are the most important part of becoming a Master. Without mistakes mastery would not exist.

4. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable: There will always be a time in your life when you have to do something you don’t want to do. We visualize over and over what could go right and what could go wrong. The easy way to deal with this is to push forward and proceed with confidence and be rather than been. Fear is fuel for the great and will spark a fire to greatness. Bring all your fears and challenge yourself at your next Mastermind Dinner. Check out, “The Obstacle is the Way” byRyan Holiday to peel back more layers on this topic.

5. Get Refreshed: Spending a few hours with interesting people with amazing stories and incredible ideas is a perfect way to get refreshed. Working hard is only part of the story. We also need time to play. Many would say that play is critical to success in one’s life. I’ve often felt my best and performed most optimally when I incorporated play into my life. It’s as important or perhaps more important than anything else for success and well being. To dig deeper into the whole play philosophy read, “Play it Away” by Charlie Hoehn.

Famous Mastermind Groups

There have been many influential groups throughout history that were based on the mastermind principle;
● The Junto – Benjamin Franklin
● The Vagabonds – Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, Warren Harding
● The Tennis Cabinet – Theodore Roosevelt
● The Inklings – CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien
● Nine Old Men – Disney
● Knights of the Roundtable – King Arthur
● The Junto – Benjamin Franklin
● The Vagabonds – Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone, Warren Harding
● The Tennis Cabinet – Theodore Roosevelt
● The Inklings – CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien
● Nine Old Men – Disney
● Knights of the Roundtable – King Arthur
● Carnegie Steel Company – Andrew Carnegie

Many well known highly successful people advocate for the power of Mastermind Groups;
● Jack Canfield – “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Author
● Neil Patel – Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics
● Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income Founder
● Dean Graziosi – Investor, Speaker, TV Personality
● Joe Polish – Marketer, The Secret
● Grant Cardone – Investor, Author, Speaker
● Jack Canfield – “Chicken Soup for the Soul” Author
● Neil Patel – Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics
● Pat Flynn – Smart Passive Income Founder
● Dean Graziosi – Investor, Speaker, TV Personality
● Joe Polish – Marketer, The Secret
● Grant Cardone – Investor, Author, Speaker

How to Mastermind Better


Have a structure or predetermined agenda is a vital component to make the most of the time invested.

Each member understands how much time is allotted for starting the meeting, speaking during hot
seat rotation and closing the meeting out. If members stay on track, everyone gets an equal opportunity to get support from the group.

Benjamin Franklin’s Junto meetings used a list of 20 questions. The most common meeting structure which is the hot-seat format. Each member has an opportunity to share the challenges they are facing and ask questions of the group for a set amount of time. Some mastermind groups use a rotating hot seat each week to ensure that everyone gets their own time.

Popular Formats:
● Hotseat/Spotlight – Equal Time
● Hotseat/Spotlight – Round Robbin
● Hotseat/Spotlight – Single Member Focus
● Presentation/Training
● Topic Based Discussion
● Open Discussion

Many groups combine different element of the formats above to create their own customized agenda please give feedback to on what you found most effective for our group. While there may be pros and cons to different methods, there is no question that having some structure in place will dramatically improve your results.

Goal Setting

The Mastermind does wonders for problem-solving but without goals or objectives there is on conduit for the magic.Here is a bit of suto-science but studies have shown that accountability can increase your chances of reaching a goal by 85 percent.

  • Hear an idea: 10%
  • Consciously decide to adopt it: 25%
  • Decide when you will do it: 40%
  • Plan how you will do it: 50%
  • Commit to someone else you will do it: 65%
  • Have a specific accountability appointment: 95%

Put yourself in the right place to succeed!

Here is the toolbox of goal setting frameworks:

  • S.M.A.R.T. = Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound
  • Pain/Pleasure = A.K.A. The Tony Robbins method. List both the positive outcome of accomplishing the goal and also the negative outcome of not accomplishing the goal
  • the ONEthing = Using the “focusing question” from the book the ONEthing by Gary W. Keller & Jay Papasan “What is the one thing that I can do such that by doing it everything else become easier or unnecessary?”

Record Keeping

Its easy to get caught up in the magic of a Mastermind (especially while drinking fine wine or whisky).

But groups can fizzle out even if they were initially effective.

For the success of a group to achieve longevity, it’s imperative there is a way for members to look back and track how they’ve performed over time.

By analyzing your goals, you can also determine what needs to change or what brings success. Imagine looking back at how you set goals a year ago to identify trends. You might find goals written in a specific format get completed more often than others. Maybe you tended to set overwhelming goals when you weren’t able to achieve them.

Our shared private database of Mastermind notes and goals is keep to future success and helps new members get integrated with senior members.

Takeaways from Mastermind Dinners by Jayson Gaignard:

Underline = Things to review before your next Mastermind

Bold = Highlights

Jayson spent $600-$800 per dinner in the beginning. Seems like he usually had about 8 people at each dinner.
“You need to surround yourself with people who are batteries, not black holes.”
“A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” Many things in life, and especially relationship-building and success, are not fixed pie situations.
“Would you be friends with yourself?” That is, what makes you interesting?
Three types of dinners: 1) Reconnecting old ties. 2) Connecting people who should know each other. 3) Connecting with people who I’ve meant to connect with for a long time.
Be very conscious of the synergy of the group.
Develop a “go to” restaurant on a regular basis.
One good strategy: hold dinners around an event (like a deal closing) because 1) you catch people on the road, which means they are probably free that night and 2) like-minded people often hang out at the same events.
Another option: throw an event for speakers (if you’re speaking at an event yourself)
There should be at least one commonality around all guests (entrepreneurs, artists, etc.)
Don’t select people at opposite extremes of that commonality (i.e. Don’t have someone running a $100M startup and someone just starting their first venture.)
Don’t select people who are competitors. You want the whole room to feel collaborative.

[Mastermind members should respect the where you don’t go into another territory or niche]

Jayson prefers dinners of 4-6 people. In a group of 5, you may want to sit at the end and play more of a facilitator role. If you have 6 people, you may want a roundtable setup. And you’ll definitely want to play a facilitator role because one or two people may tend to dominate the conversation.
In a group of 8 or more, you’ll need a private dining room. The downside of this is that there are multiple conversations going on and people may feel lost and left out of conversations going on at the other side of the table.
Avoid trying to reach other people cold. Get warm intros. It will massively improve the success rate of invitations. Always check FB and LinkedIn for common connections. (Also, ask your network for help with intros.)
“Friends! I’m traveling to San Diego for the week. Who should I connect with while I’m in town?” (This is a great way to get intros.)
You can try two strategies for getting people to say yes to these dinners: First, “work your way up the food chain” by getting smaller players to say yes first and then going slowly up the food chain to bigger names. Second, you can try to land one big name to start and then use that credibility to pull everyone else in.
Before you do any kind of outreach to a big name, question your motives. Why this person? Are there other people who could help you reach the same outcome? “It would be much easier to reach a silver medalist than Michael Phelps.”
Always ask yourself, “What is in it for this person?” Why would they want to attend this dinner?
Put a lot of effort into personalizing your approach. People respond to effort.
Subject lines in invitation emails are really important. Some examples: 1) “Hey Tim, I’m in town…” 2) “Adam told me to reach out to you…” 3) “Jon, I’m doing a dinner with a group of entrepreneurs…”
Using the person’s name in the email title is great.
“The shorter the response a prospect needs to give, the better.”
Start with a small ask. Your only goal is to get a discussion going. “Hey Steve, I’m hosting a dinner with a group of entrepreneurs, are you interested?”
YESWARE for Gmail. It confirms that an email has been opened.
How to handle when someone turns down your invite: “Under what circumstances would you say, “Yes.”?
How to choose the perfect restaurant. Get a restaurant that is vegetarian and paleo friendly.
If you develop a great working relationship with a particular restaurant, you can get a kickback, a private room, or a discount.
Do your research again before the dinner. The more you know about the people you are dealing with, the better you can serve their needs and ask relevant questions.
Dan Martell’s idea: he sits in the middle of the table so that he can act as “conversation cop” and pull people in as needed. He also tries to place the most interesting or extroverted person in the middle of the group, so conversation doesn’t skew to one side.
The day of the dinner: arrive 30-60 minutes in advance. Especially important to select the best table if you haven’t been able to book the table in advance.
You can order whatever you want. If we’re ordering wine, always order by the glass.
State an end time in advance. “The dinner is done by 9:30, but everyone is allowed to stay longer if they want.”
The more open and vulnerable you are during your intro, the more others will follow suit.
His favorite opener: Thorns, Roses, and Buds. “Something that is going well, something that has the potential to turn into something good, and something that is going poorly.”

Take a picture of the group!
Introduce the group via email afterward. Also, include a resource list in the follow up email based on what people bring up in conversation at the dinner.
If people follow up with you after the dinner and say, “How can I repay you?” Or, “How can I give value back?” Then, take them up on the offer and ask for an introduction to one additional amazing person that would love to be at a future dinner.
Be the gatekeeper of your network: If you’re asked to do introductions, then always get “double opt-in” from both people. There should be a strong and compelling outcome to each intro. Ask people, “What is your desired outcome from this connection?”

Let’s say you want to host a dinner for a group of speakers, and you have a list of ten prospects. Start small by inviting the person who would most likely give you a ‘yes’ (oftentimes this is the person who is least in ‘demand’ and has the smallest influence). Once you get that person on board, move on to the second most likely person to give you a ‘yes.’ … You work yourself up the chain, building social proof along the way. … The second approach to use when sending targeted invites is getting the big fish, also known as the anchor tenant, right away.

“If you’re the smartest person in the room you’re in the wrong room.” @JaysonGaignard

Conversation starters

  1. Describe your “average” day. What are your rituals/routines?
  2. Talk about one of your goals for this year.What is your favorite book, and why?
  3. Complete this statement: My favorite time of the day is…
  4. What are three things you believe you need in order to be happy?
  5. How would you spend 6 hours with your best friend?
  6. Complete this statement: “I lose track of time when…”
  7. What is your favorite movie/documentary? Why?
  8. What do you daydream about?
  9. What do you look forward to every night? Why?
  10. If you had to move and could only take 3 things with you, what would they be?
  11. If your closest friend wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?
  12. What has been one of your happiest moments?
  13. Name three things you are thankful for at this time in your life.
  14. Where would you like to retire, and why?
  15. What’s the most exciting thing you have ever done?
  16. Are you a night owl or an early bird? Does it hurt or help you?
  17. What culture, other than your own, do you find most fascinating?
  18. What is your proudest moment? Why?
  19. What did you want to be when you were growing up?
  20. What is something you would like to learn to do?
  21. What are 3 things you would like to be doing in three years?
  22. Describe the most unpleasant job you ever had to do.
  23. What have you done in the past 3 months that makes you feel proud?
  24. What would you say is your greatest strength, and your greatest weakness?
  25. Who has been the greatest influence in your life? How?
  26. As you have gotten older, what has become more important and less important to you?
  27. What are some challenges that you’ve had to overcome in your life?
  28. What are 3 things you really value?
  29. What would you consider a defining moment in your life?
  30. What lesson did you have to learn “the hard way”? How can you help others avoid your mistake?
  31. If you could start a charitable organization, what would you name it and what would the cause be
  32. Have you had a near death experience? How did it affect the direction of your life?
  33. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
  34. Who is the first person that comes to mind when you hear the word “successful”? Why?
  35. What’s the largest amount of debt you’ve ever had? How did you dig yourself out?
  36. If you could invite 3 people (living or dead) to your home for dinner, who would they be and why?
  37. In order to take your company to the next level, what is one problem you need to solve?
  38. What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
  39. What are some ways that you reconnect with yourself?
  40. What is one word your best friend would use to describe you?
  41. If you could “stop the clock” and live forever at a particular age, what age would it be and why?
  42. If you could outsource one of your daily tasks, what would it be and why?
  43. Have you ever done a “random act of kindness”? If yes, what was it?
  44. Share an interesting fact about yourself that not many people would know.
  45. What is often your first thought upon waking?
  46. What is one of your top business achievements?
  47. How would your best friend describe you in 2 words?
  48. What excites you about your business right now?
  49. If you could study with any expert in the world, who would you work with and what would you study?