Being in a group allows you to exercise your brain, share knowledge, and accept new concepts. In this episode, Ken Courtright shares how he applied learnings from his father and created his own mastermind group. The benefits of having people with great minds in one room are overwhelming. Ken talks about how being in a mastermind group has helped him and his brother shape their careers through the years.
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How many of you reading have ever thought to yourself, “How are we going to get through this?” You looked at a little problem, you knew it was temporary, but you have no idea what to do. All of a sudden, you call someone, you explain it to them and they go, “All you’ve got to do is this.” You’re like, “How did I not see that? How was I so blind? That was such an obvious simple solution.” How many people have experienced some form of that? I think everybody reading this blog has experienced that dozens of times, depending on how long you’ve been in business. In the year’s past, there have been groups called Vistage, BNI and LeTip. There are thousands of meetup groups, leads groups, networking groups and mastermind groups.
There are thousands of these groups in existence now. There was an incredible cover story in Time Magazine years ago. The concept, the actual article read, there was a young man in his 30’s and he was walking in his backyard. He was running a problem through his head and business. He had a sizable company and he kept talking about it. His father was in the backyard and then all of a sudden, his dad says, “Son, you’re asking the wrong questions.” His son perked up because his dad wasn’t in business. The son looks at his dad and goes, “Dad, what do you mean?” He goes, “Son, I’ve heard you say at least ten times, ‘How am I going to fix this?’ You’re asking the wrong question. The question is who can help me?”
His father coached the son to replace how can I and how are we, take that out and replace it with who can help me? I’m part of a men’s group. Every 60 days, twelve men fly into the Santa Ana Airport. We drive about nine miles south and we meet at a golf course restaurant for three hours, and then we fly out the same day. All we do is talk. We talk about health, our lives, and if there’s time, in the end, we might talk about business a little bit. It’s a men’s group. It’s not a leads group and it’s not a business mastermind group. The reality is all twelve of us have global businesses and it does end up turning into a business think tank.You don't know what you don't know. Click To Tweet
I have pulled I don’t know how many incredible nuggets. I’ve changed my company because of the men’s group. This men’s group is impactful to me that my younger brother, Bill, started his own mastermind group out of Florida. It ended up going into LA and I think Phoenix as well. My brother Bill meets with 10 to 12 men every 60 days. They fly in and they alternate cities to keep it fresh and Bill’s doing the exact same thing. My brother Bill’s business and his part of what he does with our company have exploded as well. My brother Bill has learned personally about being a father and being a great husband. Everything is awesome.
He credits a lot of it to his mastermind group, his men’s group. It was impactful. I asked my brother Bill. I go, “Do you think your men’s group would want to do a panel Friday at the end of Friday session at the Digital Footprint and explain to the audience of a couple of hundred business owners, what does it mean to be in a men’s group? What’s the point?” He’s like, “I don’t know. I could ask them.” Almost unanimously, all of them were like, “Sure, we’ll fill questions from the audience and explain what our takeaways are from starting this men’s group.” Here’s what I believe we’re about to hear when the audience asks questions to my brother Bill’s men’s group on a panel.
What we’re going to find out is one phrase, you don’t know what you don’t know. It’s that simple. Men’s groups think tanks. Mastermind groups have been written for hundreds of years. Napoleon Hill is the one that shook the world by their shoulders when he talked about, “You will unequivocally finish as the average of the net worth of the five people you associate with the most.” If you want to grow your income, grow your mastermind group, your network, and the people you communicate with the most. That was the trigger point. There have been hundreds of authors that have elaborated on that and written on that. I believe it’s also scriptural. It says, “Iron sharpens iron.” If you want to improve, you improve your association. I want to go to the smallest seed. What if you’re a brand-new entrepreneur?
What if you’re twenty years old and you just started an eCommerce website? You don’t even have a storefront. What do you do? How do you partner up? How do you get in a men’s group, a mastermind group, a women’s group, and a lead’s group, Vistage? Here’s what you do. You start with a plan. You get a piece of paper and you make a resolution. I’m going to begin a 4 to a 6-person group. We’re going to meet monthly at a local coffee shop and I’m going to mix it up. I want someone who’s twenty, that’s myself. I want someone who is 68, my senior by X amount of times over in business. I want someone that is in sales and marketing in the group. I want someone that’s in software. I want someone that’s in accounting and legal.
What you want to do is get a balance of the mindset and a balance of the industry. Here’s what I know to be true. Business owners, managers, and people that lead people, respect people that call them and say, “We’re putting together a mastermind group and we were profiling who we’d like in the group. We’ve actually chosen you as a first option to cover this field or this industry. They will be honored that you knew of them and you look them up, and they’re total strangers. I promise most of the people will be totally honored.” Some will be, but kicking busy or travel a lot like me, they might not be able to truly commit, so be ready for that. The majority are going to say, “I’ve already been in a men’s group, a mastermind group and a ladies group years ago. I’ve been itching to get back in another one.”
Let’s say you formed a group. You come up with a cute name, “Here’s our cute name, men’s group.” That’s when the emails come in, “In the next men’s group, who’s coming? Who can make it?” That’s it. You don’t have to get that creative. There are only two questions you want to be at the centerpiece of these groups. Everybody gets to speak every time. If there are six people, they all get to speak in the 1 to 3 hours you hold it. Do they start with what went well last month? What went well for the last 60 days? They go around and they share. Everybody learns from what went well and it’s awesome. They go back around the table and each person says, “My current business challenge is.”
Everybody goes around and because there are five sets of ears, 1 of the 5 might have themselves or know someone that has had that current business challenge and might be able to offer up some advice. These men’s groups, ladies’ groups, and mastermind groups get more powerful if you can get twelve people. For some reason, twelve is the magic number. I think it has to do with the sharing part of what went well and what the challenges. There’s more opportunity for learning and sharing, but few people have the pull to get twelve people to commit right away. They usually start small and intimate. Because they’re quickly successful, each month you can add a person. Somebody goes, “I know someone else who has to be here.”
We’ve probably got another ten men knocking on the door to get in waiting for one of the twelve to drop out. The challenge is if everybody knows the value, nobody drops out. My recommendation is the same reason I put on this. I recommend if you are not in a mastermind group, you create one, and you’ll be the leader. I don’t care if your personality is a phlegmatic where it’s just peace at all costs. You don’t raise your hand in a crowd. You don’t speak up and you look at your feet in an elevator. It’s not your personality to reach out. Here’s what I say, “Buck up little camper. Your business is at stake and your family’s at stake. Everything’s at stake. Be a leader for a minute. Pick up the phone, not the email, talk to a human being, and invite them into a men’s group or a lady’s group. I hope this helps. Take care.