The Master-Mind's Guide to Master-Mind GroupsThis guide is gonna assist you in applying the “master-mind” strategy toward excelling in your endeavors, because most likely, you’re working waaay too hard without seeing the results that you’re capable of.

Are you familiar with Pareto’s principle, the one that says 20% of your efforts bring 80% of your results? If you correctly apply the steps in this guide, you will be performing that “20% of effectiveness” (which will account for 80% of your results!).

What’s A Master-Mind Group?

Good question. It’s basically a group of people who come together to assist each other in achieving a goal. A wise man once described a master-mind group as “the coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”

That wise dude’s name is Napoleon Hill. He’s the fella who first introduced me to the concept and since then, it’s taken me 5 years to find my master-mind group. I’m gonna show you why, and how to save those 5 years.

Homeboy Hill has some super interesting ideas on the issue. He says that essentially, a master-mind group has two natures inherent in it. This is a Sensophizer’s interpretation:

    1. Economic: advancement will occur when you surround yourself with a group of people who are wholeheartedly willing to help you. (Please note that the careful selection of members is critical!)
    2. Spiritual: when two or more minds are in “perfect harmony,” they collectively create an invisible and intangible force, which can be thought of as an additional mind. (This nature is much harder to comprehend because as a society, we don’t reward this abstract train of thought.)

Who’s This Hill Dude?

You may be wondering what the deal is with Napoleon Hill.

What authority does this dude have and why would you wanna listen to him? Here it flows:

Napoleon Hill was a journalist who Andrew Carnegie (of Carnegie Hall) took on as his protégé. For twenty years, starting in the early 1900s, Napoleon interviewed over 500 “wealthy achievers” to find out their commonalities. Sounds like my type of dude. He eventually compiled his findings into the classic book Think and Grow Rich which went on to sell 30 million copies worldwide.

Is A Master-Mind Group Right For You?

You can use a master-mind group to bring you closer to any dream you have. Here are a couple of ideas:

  • Starting a new business (or improving an existing one)
  • Running a blog / website (and making it profitable)
  • Improving your diet and exercise
  • Improving your dating and relationships
  • Making an impact in the world
  • Pursuing your passions
  • Following your dreams
  • Doing the “unrealistic”
  • Writing a book
  • etc…

We’ll get to the part about how to create a group in a bit. Once your group is established, you’ll assist each other with support, strategy, accountability, encouragement and more. You’ll have a positive and creative place to play mental ping-pong with ideas that you wouldn’t normally bounce around.

The Master-Mind's Guide to Master-Mind Groups

Don’t Be Convinced…

…yet! Allow me to elaborate.

My favorite part of sharing on Sensophy is speaking about the things I’ve experienced first-hand. So here’s how a master-mind group turned my world upside down and inside out.

Remember that little thing that happened earlier in the year — Gary Vaynerchuk taking me to a Jets game? Yeah, that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for my Power-Posse. No way José!

How It’s Changed My Life

Enter John…

John and I had been chatting for 10 weeks on the Optimal Living 101 embodiment calls (which were strikingly similar to a master-mind call, although at the time, our master-mind group didn’t exist yet). Even though the course of the calls had ended, John and I kept in touch online. The guy is an amazing dude and even has a “HUG LIFE” tattoo across his belly. I mean, who wouldn’t want that in their life!?!

The days rolled on and I published “Why It’s Realistic To Be Unrealistic.” Being that John is a like-minded mega-terrific-smelling soul, he’s super inspired by it. Now, instead of calling it a day, dude takes it a step further and gives me a brotherly nudge, challenging me to do something unrealistic (and not just talk about it.) WOW! He even named the challenge.

Serendipitously, one of the first Sensophizers ever (named Nathan), took a big leap outta of his comfort zone. Did you notice I have my cell phone number on the contact page? Nate actually worked through his belly butterflies and decided to call me! What ensued was such an inspiring chat, that we decided we’d love to connect more often, even weekly.

Enter The Master-Minds… We were lucky enough to be part of a flourishing online community of philosophers and goddesses called en*theos. Since we’d all been chatting there for some time, we built relationships with other passionate people who were on the same page (pun intended.) The next step was natural, yet outside each of our comfort zones: a weekly chat. So, we assembled a group of 8 people, who would gather on the phone weekly to support each other in achieving an “unrealistic goal”.

Each week I spoke to 7 other people who not only didn’t think I belonged subdued with a sedative in a straightjacket, they actually thought me stalking Gary Vee was incredible! Imagine that. They gave me great guidance and inspired me with massive momentum while I was moving along. They also provided me with support when things weren’t looking promising — critical stuff!

I’m convinced the turning point of this spectacle was when my night-owl ass-kicking homegirl named Electra had hit me with some research she dug up. She sent me a video where Gary says, “You have to give a fuck.” That not only became the essence of my message to him, but it turned out to be the title of the email that I sent to him too! Next thing I knew, we were at the Jets game!

Your Favorite Bloggers

Some of your favorite bloggers (well okay, my favorite) attribute their success to master-mind groups.

    • Pat Flynn says “a mastermind group is mandatory to achieve online success.”
    • Corbett Bar says “the benefits have been extraordinary for all of us in the group.”
    • Everett Bogue created an “imaginary” master-mind group by following people who he admired on Twitter, and then he began to build relationships with them. That was, of course, in addition to his “real” master-mind group.

The Master-Mind's Guide to Master-Mind Groups

Creating Your Own Master-Mind Group:

So now you’re all master-mind horny

and can’t wait to wet your whistle. Not so quickly cowgirl! Let’s go over a couple of crucial steps to take toward not only forming this group, but getting the most outta your experience.

1. The Purpose

You have to have a purpose to this group. Get laser-sharp clarity on the reason for forming this bodacious bond. Make sure it’s not just to hit the telephonic bong. The more clarity you have on what you want from this group, the more results you will see. This is a crucial component.

2. The Roles

Although we haven’t strictly implemented this policy in our Power-Posse, it can help to define distinguished dedicated roles for what people will contribute. You can be guided in your choice of members by seeing what you need, and who can supply that demand. It may be strategy, experience, ambition, inspiration, money, resources, or even leadership. Keep in mind not to select a person just because they can provide a resource; they must also be in alignment with the group and its overall purpose.

3. The People

When picking people… discriminate! That’s right, I said it — and I know it sounds unfair, but it’s key. Imagine that you’re interviewing someone to be your personal assistant — all the niceness in the world isn’t going to make up for incompetence. Pick people for their ability to help you get where you’re going, not cuz they’re good conversationalists. There’s a strong chance that your buddies are NOT who you’re looking for in this group.

I’ve heard that 4 people provide a powerful dynamic.  Look for people who are ambitious and show promising potential. You can also look to find people that have already achieved something similar to what you’re looking to achieve. Remember, you won’t know who to pick if you don’t know what your purpose is.

As with all endeavors in life, I strongly suggest you surround yourself with people who are honest. In the long run, this will prove to pay off tremendously. During the chats, you’ll be sharing some of your best ideas with other members. You don’t want to feel like you have to hold back because your group is dishonest and may “steal your stuff.”

Here are a couple of ways to go about looking for members:

    1. Blogs: Familiarize yourself with blogs on the topic of your purpose. Pay attention to whose comments seem relevant and then reach out to them. Sensophy’s blog postings are a great place to start. Feel free to announce your interest toward joining a group in the comments section down below.
    2. Social Networks: Facebook and Twitter aren’t the only places people connect online. There is actually a plethora of powerful social networks starting to sprout on just about every subject possible. For instance, a community I belong to is called en* (an oasis for philosophers and goddesses — who would have thought?!)
    3. Meet-Up: You can search as well. This option is unique as in you can also look for people in your local area and link up face-to-face in the flesh.

4. The Schedule

Next comes schedule. I found that a weekly “main call” lasting one hour at the scheduled time works well. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

    • Exchange email addresses and phone numbers so you can reach out to members to discuss sudden subjects that come up between calls.
    • You can use a service like to chat together. You can also record the calls and download them to your iPhone or RSS reader.
    • Skype comes in handy too. You can sign up for unlimited minutes in the US for 3 bucks per month.

5. The Format

Select one member to lead the call and be conscious of time. This person can guide the group through the different stages and also chime in with “you have X amount of time left.” One format that seems to work well is this:

    1. Do a quick 2 minute check-in during the beginning of the call where each member says what they’ve accomplished last week.
    2. If people have questions or are looking for feedback after that initial time, you can make a list of topics to address and proceed to discuss them.
    3. Before the call is over, you will announce what you individually plan to have accomplished by next week and the group will hold you accountable. If you really wanna make sure you complete the task, agree upon a certain amount of money (possibly $25) that will go to charity if the task doesn’t get completed by the next call.

The Take Away

I’ll leave you with a final thought from Think and Grow Rich:

“Analyze the record of any man who has accumulated a great fortune, and many of those who have accumulated modest fortunes, and you will find that they have either consciously or unconsciously employed the master-mind principle.”

My recommendation would be to NOT put this on a list of things to do. Instead, take 15 minutes right now and strike up a conversation with someone who looks to have potential. Again, feel free to browse through the comments on Sensophy and if you want someone to hold you accountable — I can do that! 

To being and doing the extraordinary in 2011,


PS: You didn’t think I forgot, did you?! Shout out to Nathan for helping me piece together this puzzling master-post. Also, Electra, Eric, Jayne, John, Melanie and Vicky — I see you homeslices!

PPS: Much of this content was adopted from my personal experience mixed with the book Think and Grow Rich. You can get your free copy here: Dope Book! (Right click to “save target as”)

PPPS: Shout out to a special Sensophizer (Scout) and her son (Hyme Wilkins) for hooking us up with the images in this post! You can see more of his work here: Amazing Photos!


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  • great article. as a member of entheos too. i can say that its a wholesome group with a collective knowledgebase that is unmatched for its level of depth and variety(food, exercise, meditation, quotes, videos galore!). I need to reconnect, cuz i'm trying to join a mastermind group, ASAP!!!

    • Thanx so much for the kind words and i feel the same about the peeps on en*theos. It feels great to connect with like minded people for purposes that are in alignment. I'm sure you can find some people there to connect w for a MM group. Chat soon!! -=)

  • Yo thanks for the post Jacob! After hearing you mention mastermind groups a few times now, I'm glad to get the full explanation…powerful stuff. Thanks for the free book hookup and I'm gonna hop over to en*theos and see whats goin down…a mastermind group might soon be added to my list of 2011 resolutions :)

    • My pleasure bro… happy to be of help to your bad-ass self. Always excited to guide people over to the en*theos community too. Hope you enjoyed your NYE and i'm looking fwd to seeing how we can continue to link up in 2011… Easy yo!

  • Very thorough post Jacob! I love our mastermind group. It is amazing to have a non-judgemental group, who will encourage you, inspire you, tell you the TRUTH, challenge you, and push you to your edges. I feel we each have a vested interest in eachother- how cool is that? Soulful Shareholders in eachother's "Stock"…if you will humor my play on words! Glad to have some of my "currency" (energy, ideas, out-of-the box thinking, encouragement) invested in Sensophy/Jacob Inc. and proud you are a soulful shareholder of mine as well :) Keep rockin' it!

    • Thanx E-Boogaloo… Love your points above my soul sistah' shareholder. Appreciate your invaluable currency and looking fwd to seeing how we can continue to exchange and merge our value in the years ahead. Virtual booty bump sis.

  • I need this. I am familiar with the concept and have done semi-informal group meetings before, and participate in a couple now. But they are far too high on the informal, and not enough on getting things done.

    I achieved far less success (what that means to me) in 2010 than I should have, and need to step things up. There is too much I still want to do for mothers and myself to continue at this rate, so I'm going to use this post.

    • Hey James! Super stoked that this post met a need of yours. Hope your interest turns into action which turns into impact… Let me know!

      • I will let you know!

        And I meant to say "others" instead of mothers. Though who knows who will find my work beneficial :-D

  • Thanks so much for the energy and intention you put in writing this! While reading Think and Grow Rich, I got stuck on the Mastermind Group because none of the people in my immediate circle were on the same page. I've met some great people online who I connect with, so it is my intention to utilize the social web to create a like-minded group.

    • BIG smiles =D… and thank YOU for sharing. Like i said to James aboves, i hope that your interest in this turns into action – and i hope that your action turns into positive impact… Would love to hear how it works out for you… Chat soon Loi!

  • Thanks again for the useful knowledge, Jacob. En*theos looks a lot more promising than tumblr or facebook right now. I'm in the process of really clarifying and trying to put into words ways in which I'd like to impact the world.

    I just finished a book you might be interested in called Program or Be Program by Douglas Rushkoff. Have you read it? It essentially talks about how people need to understand the biases behind the technology they use and how to program things so they can create systems that work in ways they want them to. I think it really has a lot of interesting implications in terms of human consciousness, people creating who they want to be, and creating ways of living and relating that allow people to act in accordance with their values.

    It's a short, powerful read.

    • Nice yo… put into words, hmmmm… Do you have visions in your mind?

      Thanx for the share re the book – it sounds really good… I've gotta' get my book game in order. There are SO many i want to read. -=)

      • I've got a nice vision statement that (in a nutshell) talks about living my values and being my own hero.

        I'd like to do that through elevating psychological, spiritual, philosophical and imaginal modes of perception from the fringes of culture and importance to which they've been relegated. I'm big on telling stories through music. I think literature and music (and the meetings of these) are some of the best ways people have of re-imagining ourselves, our culture(s) and what it means to be human.

        I hope that in sharing my works and things I've learnt about creating and living I can inspire people with similar passions to unleash their own unruly/awesome visions onto this world. :)

        • WOW DUDE! i love it. keep rocking and let me know how i can help you with that!

  • Rad Jacob. I've been working on my own mastermind group for the past few months. Slowly connecting and building relationships with people and over time adding to the group. How many people are in yours and why do you think that's a good number?

    • Awesome. I found our chat super useful and motivational – are you currently doing a formal weekly call with a MM group?

      We have 8 ppl – i love the wide range of identities and perspectives they span. I could see 4 or 5 ppl being really effective toward achieving a specific purpose.

      • Yes I currently have weekly calls. Although they are super informal. Working on getting a format though.

        Let's connect again SOON!

  • James McWhinney

    That's awesome man. Think and Grow Rich is an amazing book. I'm trying to put a mastermind group together atm. Looking forward to pushing my edges further and further..

    • 4sho yo!! Do you think you'll be able to put one together in the next week? ;)

      • James McWhinney

        Yeh i think that should be easy done

  • excellent content bro – and important to note: this mastermind post could not have happened without your mastermind group! :-) much love & aloha to ya!

  • That book changed my life when I first read it 6 years ago. Even though it was written so long ago the principles are still highly relevant. Just goes to show you that most life/business principles are timeless… now they're just written in modern English.

    I've been involved with mastermind groups since I read that book. Some formal, informal and some where they didn't even know they were in my group. So I can personally vouch for there power.

    All the points you brought up are important, but I would say that the right people are key. The rest sorts it'self out as long as you keep the purpose in mind. I'm in the process of forming a group right now and we've spent a couple of months looking for the right people.

    • James McWhinney

      Hey Nick, I just sent you a PM on your website. I'm also looking for a like-minded group of people to start a mastermind group. Let me know if you'd like to get it going.

    • 4sho dude. Awesome insights! What is the "purpose" of the group?

      • The purpose of this group is to take out blogs to the next level and then beyond. So far it has paid off in spades.

  • Lisa

    Hey Jacob,
    I'm a virgin to Sensophy and I am inspired by the content. I am a vet in the HR industry who is constantly stifled within a box so Sensophy is a fresh breath of air. Looking forward to future inspirational posts while crushing my own goals!

    • LISA!!! So glad to pass along some clean air your way! What kinda' goals is it that you're looking fwd to crushing? Chat soon… -=)

  • Great resource Jacob! I'm building (and launching very soon) a mastermind in Copenhagen so your post just came handy! Love the theme of the unrealistic – I always have VERY unrealistic goals (sometimes work out, sometimes not), and I think it's a good theme/purpose for the meet ups!

    All the best and keep the great work!

    • Dope Mario! Thrilled that that article was of help to you. I checked our your sites and dig what you're up to. Looking fwd to linking up in the future.

  • Jacob –
    Had to stop in here to thank you for the post – and for using Hyme's photos!!! So fun to see them on here.
    I've been involved in mastermind groups now for about seven years, without fail – both personally and professionally. Can't imagine my life without one.

    • Of course! Thank YOU guys for the hookup. Is there anything i missed above that you think people could benefit from?

  • It might also be an idea to get feedback from people outside of your blogging / work field. It's amazing what the feedback from someone like this can reveal!

    • Hey Dave – nice dude, thanx for the thoughts. I find it depends on the idea and the person. For instance, i'm not gonna' talk to a pessimist about my ideas for inspiring 8,000,000 people lol…

      The majority of my Master-Mind's aren't bloggers, but, they do have a similar mindset. What's really cool is that even tho we're on the same page, we each have different strengths and that seems to really help.

      Are you in a MM group?

  • Love it Jacob… So sweet that our paths crossed and we can journey alongside each other. Our MM group rocks- I love you all! and I cannot speak highly enough of the value it brings.

    Each of us have our different opinions in what value the group brings to our life. Personally it's the ability to express myself authentically- without judgement, and get true insight and feedback from the opinions each of us sound out on our calls. It is great to share in each others journeys- and beautiful to watch each other grow! – All this, when we are each geographically so far apart, but on the calls we could just as easily all be sitting in the same room.

    Love to you Jacob- So proud of you homey (and all my other MM'ers)

    • Love it too Vicky. Thrilled to be a part of such a spectacular synergy. Thanx for, as you said, expressing yourself authentically. -=)

  • Thanks for sharing the book with us. I just skimmed the first chapter and it seems like a first rate read. I think that knowledge from books can become part of your imaginary Mastermind Group. I always am reading at least one "inspiring book". I find it keeps me centered and makes me far more productive. That along with the various blogs and twitter fam; I have established quite a network. But I think I will definitely be looking into forming an actual Mastermind Group. The rewards are just to great not to.

    • Dopeness dude. Love the idea of creating your own personal private mastermind group filled with ppl who you admire. It's like a grown up version of having a childhood imaginary friend. There is tho, something really powerful about linking up with like minded actionated ppls.

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  • Look forward to learning more about Quantum Mastermind groups. It is apparent that the environment where Mastermind groups thrive

    must have several factors in place, such as a committeemen, genuine caring for team members as well as being on the same business level.I know that it is

    very useful to us so i like it.

  • heatherkp

    I love what you've written about mastermind groups, thanks. I'm participating in the infancy of one and was looking for some suggestions, very helpful!

    • Sweeeeeeeeet Heather -=) Stoked its been insightful for ya!

  • Maxine

    Thanks for this great post Jacob.

    I've always been a little envious of the wonderful mastermind group you are part of, I've followed many of you through entheos and Optimal Living.

    As I start my Life Coaching Business, it now seems the right time for me to set up my own MasterMind Group.

    I knew I'd seen a great post about setting one up, and managed to find this blog again this morning. I still need to be clear about the purpose of my group, and select my potential members.

    Thank you so much for a fab post. You are truly awesome :-)


  • Dude that's exactly the post I needed to read, at the perfect time. Isn't it awesome when that happens? I'd been teethering with the idea of forming a mastermind group and have weekly calls for a few weeks now, but going to take action towards making it a reality now. Cheers!!

  • Great post indeed. How did you find your mastermind group? I understand some bloggers require you to pay a certain high fee to be in their exclusive mastermind group, but for beginners where do you recommend people to start out?

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  • That is such a genius idea! Thanks for this! I'll have a look if a group already exists or if I can start my own :)

  • Ronan Leonard

    Masterminds are more important than ever with a growing number of entrepreneurs that need just a little help in joining the dots. Join us in creating the largest online mastermind portal dedicated to helping you achieve more and help others realise their true potential. Get connected via