INTRO: I'm Amy Porterfield, and this is Online Marketing Made Easy.
AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey, there. Amy, here. Welcome back to another episode of the Online Marketing Made Easy podcast. Today we are talking about DIY masterminds, or accountability groups. So, basically, this idea of putting together a peer-ran group—you're not necessarily paying for it, but you're putting it together—and you and your peers are getting together to support each other, to share fresh ideas, to help each other get unstuck. I absolutely love groups like this.
So, I promised that in these Shorty episodes, I take you behind the scenes. And in 2021, which is when, of course, I'm recording this episode, it's been a really funky year for me. I've talked about this in another episode, where I talked about some changes that I've been going through, and one of the things I've struggled with is I've moved from California to Nashville. The move has been more difficult than I thought it would be. So mentally, I've dealt with more anxiety and depression than I have a really long time, and then some other stuff has happened throughout this year that has just made it tough. And I know I'm not alone because many people that have gone through 2021 have said, “Holy cow, this is a weird year. This is a hard year. It's a funky year,” whatever word you want to use. And I can't imagine not having my peer-ran mastermind group to go to when things got tough, especially in the business part of life.
So, here's the thing. I can't stress enough how incredibly important it is to find a group of people that will build you up and, when necessary, pick you up and support you and really, also, call you out when you need to be called out. And so I can remember from early, early on in building my business, I've been a part of peer-ran masterminds. Right now I'm a part of two. I have one where there's a group of, I think there are six of us, and then there's another group where there's just three of us. And I meet with these groups regularly, and we'll talk about how often you should meet and all of that.
But it's important for me because as an entrepreneur running an online business, not many of my friends who aren't in this world get it, and I tend not to go to them when things get tough because it just doesn't feel like I'm talking to someone who would even understand what I'm going through. My other girlfriends will be incredibly supportive and loving, but it's a different ballgame when you're talking to someone who's also in it, who also gets it, who understands how isolating it can be to run a business online virtually, when your team is not with you or when you're a one-woman or a one-man show. Like, it can get very lonely. And so when you are meeting with people that get you at a level others won't, it kind of changes everything.
So if you're feeling stressed, or if you're like me, you're feeling anxiety at a deeper level than maybe you ever have before, or if that's maybe just your reality, getting into a group of people that can help you, especially when things get tough, is everything. And so that's why I wanted to encourage you to get into a DIY or peer-ran mastermind. That means you're putting it together or you're being invited into one. You're not necessarily paying for it. Or, just, you don't even have to go the mastermind level if that word kind of freaks you out. It’s just an accountability group, a group that will help you when you’re stuck, that will give you resources when you need it, and will listen to you when you're having a rough time.
So if you're an introvert, I'm talking to you. If you're an extrovert, I'm talking to you. If you're somewhere in the middle, I'm talking to you. I believe that anyone listening right now is a good fit for what I'm talking about.
So here's the thing. If I think about how I got to where I am today—like with this successful business, with this amazing team, with this business I love—if I think about how I got here, I always think of two things. Number one, I've invested in myself and in my business from day one.
Now, I actually started out with a paid mastermind in the beginning, and I'm so glad I did, and I've talked about that in other episodes. But actually, I don't think that's totally necessary. A paid mastermind is amazing, but you could also put something together where it's a peer-ran mastermind, which is what I'm talking about today. And I'm going to give you an example of one of my students who's put together one that he's absolutely crushing it with peer-ran mastermind. So we'll get there.
But one, investing in myself. So I’ve bought courses. I've gotten coaching. I've paid for masterminds. I've gone to the trainings and the conferences. I think that's really important, and I really do believe you should be investing in your business, probably more so than you are right now, so take a look at that.
But number two is that I've always surrounded myself with people that are doing something similar to me, and they have resources and insights and intel that is incredibly valuable to me, and I have the same that I can share with them. So surrounding yourself with people that are doing something similar and they're go-getters and they're serious about building their business and they want to do big things, always good to surround yourself with people like that.
Now, if I think about some of the cool things that I love about peer-ran masterminds, number one, I love that I'm not paying for it. So, you know, that's always cool. And number two, I know that I can't do all the trainings and go to all the conferences and be in all the cool circles, right? But when you're in a mastermind or an accountability group, those people in the group, they're going to conferences you're not going to. They're taking trainings you're not taking. They are connecting with people that you don't even know about yet. And so getting that type of inspiration and those nuggets of value that you wouldn't get if you were just doing it alone is really cool. So I absolutely love that.
And also, I find it valuable when I could just go into the group and say, “Oh, my gosh. I am so stuck. Here's what's not working. Have you ever had this experience? Do you know who I could go to or where I might look?” So again, resources that I don't even know exist, my peer-ran mastermind, they do. So I love that.
So again, I think it's paramount that you look into having relationships with people that are in your—they don't have to be in the same niche. So in this peer-ran mastermind I'm in, the people in the group, a few of them do something similar to me. Others, wildly different.
So, one of the people in one of my peer-ran masterminds, she runs a payment-processing company, like a company that takes credit cards and processes payments online. That is dramatically different than what I do. But it's so cool to hear from her in terms of what's worked for her business, what she's doing, where she's struggling in ways that I can help. I absolutely love it.
So, I think I was compelled to tell you or encourage you to get into a peer-ran mastermind, or an accountability group, because I think that so many of us are lonely right now. And coming off of a pandemic that's still actually happening right now, but the world is changing, I think that we have been so isolated for so long, I think it might be really good for you to get into a small community of people that get you. And so that's ultimately why I wanted to encourage you to explore this.
So let's talk about it, because I know you're a go-getter. I know you like the details. Let's talk about some of the guidelines, what this might look like.
So first of all, you might be the person putting together the peer-ran mastermind. For the one that I'm in where there's six of us, Jasmine Star and I came together and said, “Let's put a group together, a small group of women, that we can mastermind with.” And so we started searching and looking for people together. So essentially, Jasmine and I just kind of help manage it a little bit on the back end. Like, my assistant is involved in it a little bit. Jasmine's assistant, in terms of the Zoom links and the times and dates and all that good stuff. So there needs to be one person, typically, or two that will kind of take the reins. So that's the first thing. Maybe it's you.
As far as structure goes, get clear on when you're meeting. So we meet every six weeks. You might want to meet every month, every quarter. Typically, this is virtual, on Zoom, but you might even want, like, once a year to get together in person, which would be really cool as well. So something to think about.
And then, think about the structure. I personally love hot seats in peer-ran masterminds, where we give each person ten minutes to talk and say, “Here's what I'm struggling with,” or “Here's what I need help with,” and then we dive in and we all give really great feedback. Depending on how many people in the group, that person could get twenty minutes, thirty minutes, ten minutes, whatever you think is valuable. But I do think that these hot seats are really, really good in order to get everybody to participate.
And then, also, don't make the group too big. I think four to six people is productive. Beyond that, it's just like a party, and it's hard to manage. So for me, I'm an introvert, though, so the more intimate the group, the better. But four to six people feels about right. I've been in bigger peer-ran masterminds, and they just don't seem to be as good.
So I wanted to share with you. I reached out to one of my students, Braden Drake. He's a fan favorite here on Online Marketing Made Easy. And he's in a peer-ran mastermind with a few other students from a membership that I have called Momentum. And I reached out to him, and I asked him how instrumental a mastermind has been in growing his business. And I wanted to get a little bit about how they run their structure, so this is what Braden said.
“Well, hello there. My name is Braden Drake, and I run an online education business, where I teach legal and tax things to other online entrepreneurs and creatives. I am a member of Amy's membership, Momentum, and Amy asked me to come on to share a little bit about how our accountability group works. So, of course, I said I would be happy to share.
“So, we named our accountability group, The Real Housewives of Momentum. I think it's very, very fun. And we actually meet on a weekly basis. So I know a lot of accountability groups meet on a monthly basis. We meet for one hour weekly, but it's pretty relaxed, and people kind of come and go. When we started out our accountability group, we had more structure. Everyone got an allotted amount of time, about ten minutes each, to run a question by the group and get feedback. We also start each of our accountability calls with happies and crappies, so we kind of all take one to two minutes to share the highs and lows of the past week, to check in, see how we're doing, all of that really good stuff.
“Now that we've been doing this for over a year now, it's much more relaxed. Sometimes we don't have anything that we need feedback on with the group. We just come and check in and see how everyone is doing. And then a couple of us might be in launch mode, we're gearing up for an exciting project, and we take that opportunity to get feedback.
So, it's been really, really amazing. After working with one another for months and months now, we all have a really good idea of what others are doing in their business, and we can share more in-depth feedback with a lot better context than what you would get, you know, just talking to a friend who doesn't really know what you're doing or asking for guidance in a Facebook group where people don't really have the context to know what you have done and where you want to go. So the Real Housewives of Momentum have been very, very helpful in my business, and that's why I'm a very big fan of accountability groups.”
AMY: I love that The Real Housewives of Momentum has been such an important part of Braden's growth and how having that support behind you, from a group who knows your business well, can help you work through the sticky situations and the good ones, too. I love their happies and crappies. I think that's so cool.
All right. So, I hope that you found this Shorty episode valuable. I hope that if you're feeling lonely or stuck or just need to be held accountable in a bigger way, that you will go seek an actual group, a small mastermind group, or just an accountability group. I'm really hoping that you find what you need, because, my friend, you do not need to be lonely.
And so I want you to make a list of three to five people that you might want to include in your own accountability or DIY mastermind. And if you're in any of my Facebook groups, you can put some feelers out there, and you could say, “Hey, I'm looking for a DIY mastermind group. Here's who I’m looking for. If you're interested, send me a DM,” or whatever that looks like for you. So you're going to have to put some effort out there, and find your group, but it's so worth it.
And also, if you're a Digital Course Academy alumni—so, pay attention—if you're a DCA alumni, the doors to Momentum, my membership experience, they're open right now. So if you're listening to this and you're thinking, “I really would like to be a part of a special group like that,” maybe start with Momentum, because you can only get into Momentum if you've gone through Digital Course Academy. And the group is amazing, and it feels like a mastermind. And you could take it one step further, and once you get into Momentum, find your DIY mastermind like Braden has done. Now, the name “The Real Housewives of Momentum” has already been taken, but you can think of something just as good.
So, thanks so much for hanging out with me. And if you'd be so kind, share this episode with an entrepreneurial friend. In fact, if you're thinking about running a mastermind with somebody or if you have a few people in mind that you want to do a group with, share this actual episode with them and say, “What do you think? Should we put our own group together?” This might be a really good conversation starter.
Thanks so much for tuning in, and I'll see you on Thursday for more entrepreneurial goodness. I can't wait. Talk to you soon.