It’s never a good feeling to arrive at the end of the year and realize you failed to reach the goals you set for the year. To prevent this from happening to you (again), resolve to join or create an accountability mastermind group.
What is an accountability mastermind group?
An accountability mastermind group is a recurring meeting between a group of like-minded people designed to help each of you identify and reach your goals. It’s slightly different than a regular mastermind group in that it is goal-focused.
But it runs in a similar way to mastermind groups. Each person shares what they are working on, and the group provides feedback. One person may be the focus of a longer conversation where the entire group digs deep into their particular problem or situation.
But the primary purpose of the accountability mastermind meeting is to:
- Set clear goals.
- Share status updates.
- Hold each other accountable
- Offer support to help others overcome the challenges and roadblocks preventing them from reaching their goals.
- Receive support and move toward your goals.
Why join an accountability mastermind group?
While an accountability mastermind group can benefit any person looking to set and achieve their goals, they are particularly powerful for small business owners, sole proprietors and freelancers. That’s because these type of people typically don’t have bosses or other people to provide feedback and hold them accountable for their activities and tasks.
When you don’t have anyone to answer to, it can be easy to leave tasks on your to-do list and slide past due dates. Accountability mastermind groups act as the boss you don’t have to keep you focused and on track.
But accountability mastermind groups actually do even more than just give you someone to answer to. They also help you:
Build professional and sometimes even personal connections
You form relationships and possibly friendships with the people in your group, and you can also get references and referrals from them to expand your network even more.
Get relevant and honest advice
Talking to family and friends is great, but when it comes to your business, it’s better to get insights from others who are in or have gone through a similar situation. Plus, business connections may be more likely to give you honest feedback than close family and friends.
Gain confidence and grow professionally
Working alone can be like working in a vacuum that makes it difficult to trust your decisions and grow. An accountability mastermind group breaks down this barrier and give you a group that can inspire you to build confidence and creativity in your business.
Decide what type of mastermind group you need
The first step in joining an accountability mastermind group is deciding what type of group you want to join. That means deciding what other types of people and conditions you would like for your group.
You can choose to design your group based on a few questions.
Do you want members who are at the same stage of business as you?
There are pros to working with people who are at the same stage as you. You are going through similar things and can share similar experiences. There is also a benefit of working with others who are ahead of you as they can offer insight into how they solved the problems you’re going through. There are even benefits to working with a few people in earlier stages as they can offer fresh insight you may not be aware of.
Do you want members who are in the same industry as you?
Consider if you could benefit more from working with people who do the same type of work as you or if you could get insight from people in other industries.
Do you want members who are located near you?
Thanks to technology, you can hold an accountability mastermind group with people across the world. But that isn’t for everyone, so decide if you’d rather meet in person or online.
How often do you want to meet and how long do you want the group to last?
It’s good to set up expectations early on and get people in your group that have the same wants and needs. Decide how often you want to meet (weekly, monthly, quarterly?) and how long you’d like to commit to the mastermind group (months, years, for the foreseeable future?). Knowing these details will help you find a group aligned with your goals and expectations.
Find your people
Once you know the criteria of the accountability mastermind group you’d like to join, you can begin your search. Based on your criteria, search for groups that match your wants and needs. Reach out to people you find through:
- Professional groups in your city
- National professional groups
- Facebook Groups
- LinkedIn groups
- Online business networking groups
- Industry conferences
Choose to reach out to people and start your own, or search for existing masterminds to join. The best mastermind group typically includes three to five people.
Outline foundational rules
Once you get your mastermind group together, get started by laying out group rules. It’s always easier to set initial plans and expectations before your first meeting. This doesn’t mean things can’t change as you go, but it helps to get everyone on the same page and avoid wasting time.
Create an agenda. Outline how each meeting with work so each person knows what is expected of them during the meeting.
Set time limits. Avoid letting one or two people run the show by setting clear time restraints on how long each member can talk during the meetings.
Outline group rules. It also helps to outline rules about interruptions, missing meetings, communication preferences, etc. While you don’t have to be strict about the rules, it helps to have them documented to set boundaries early on.
Create a meeting structure
Your accountability mastermind group can be structured however you like it. But most masterminds are structured in a variation of this hour-long outline.
- Each person briefly updates the group on their tasks and status for five minutes.
- One person holds the table to discuss a specific problem that the group can provide feedback on for about 20 to 30 minutes.
- Each person says what they will do to move closer toward their goal before the next meeting in three minutes.
It also helps to assign one person as the meeting leader so they can keep track of time and move the meeting along if it gets stuck.
Set clear goals that allow for accountability
One sure-fire way to reach goals is to set the right type of goals. These goals are SMART goals. Encourage your group to lay out business development goals that are:
- Specific: Detailed and clear
- Measurable: With numerical benchmarks
- Achievable: Reasonable and realistic
- Relevant: Closely tied to their overall goal
- Time-bound: With a deadline
To be more successful at reaching goals, assign SMART goals to both your overall goal and each benchmark that will move you closer to your end goal.
Get ready to accomplish more in the new year
If you’re ending this year with a sinking feeling in your stomach because you didn’t accomplish as much as you’d hoped, get plans in gear to make sure it doesn’t happen again next year.
Use the tips outlined in this post to set up an accountability mastermind group that will keep you focused and on the right path toward reaching your goals and growing your business.