People want to be a part of private and exclusive groups. They are seen as the "unfair advantage" to getting ahead.
The concept of a Mastermind group was formally introduced by Napoleon Hill. In his book Think and Grow Rich, Hill described the Mastermind principle as:
"The coordination of knowledge and effort between two or more people who work towards a definite purpose in a spirit of harmony...no two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind."
The Mastermind concept was inspired by Hill's many conversations with highly successful people such as Andrew Carnegie, who attributed their entire fortunes and success to being a part of such Mastermind groups.
You join elite groups to tap into a rare form of collective wisdom.
Given that the world is becoming increasingly connected, exponential, and accelerated, WHO you know matters far more than WHAT you know.
This has always been true, but it's truer now than ever.
As a result, Mastermind groups are popping up left and right. Yet, many of these groups potentially miss the point, offering access to just about anybody. In the words of Joe Polish, the founder of Genius Network, "You join a group for who is NOT in the room, as much as you do for who is in the room."
A counter-intuitive idea.
But it makes sense.
You go into a room to, in large degree, separate yourself from the masses-- seeking perspectives that aren't typically available or considered. You get into rooms where particular people are playing the game of life a particular way.
There are levels of thinking and succeeding and collaborating. At the highest levels, the collaboration, support, strategy, and transformation are highest.
As one who has been a part of many mastermind groups, in addition to being a psychologist who is fascinated by group dynamics, group cultures, leadership, and collaboration-- I have been studying mastermind groups and their effects for going on 10 years. I'm both a practitioner and researcher.
There are a few components of the highest level groups:
- They are generally expensive: the purpose of the high ticket is 1) to curate the group, because only those who will pay that much are allowed, and 2) to intensify the commitment and "skin in the game" of the person making the investment in themselves.
- There is a "cap" to the number of group members: the best and longest-running groups proactively "cap" or limit the number of people who can join. Conversely, groups run by short-sighted leaders don't cap group membership, which ultimately damages the cohesion of the culture, the power of the relationships, and the purpose of the group.
- They have a clear purpose: there are a path and trajectory, with a huge amount of flexibility for individuality and individual goals.
- There are levels to ascend up to: getting into high groups builds confidence and commitment. Being able to get to the "next level up" only enhances the stakes.
- There are clearly defined rules and a well-established culture: when you enter one of these rooms, there should be a tangible culture and clear-cut "rules of engagement" for thriving in the group.
- The people in the group are transformed in both direct and indirect ways: people join mastermind groups primarily to improve their business and income. But the best groups give them a lot more than that.
- Transformation of goals: in the best groups, your mindset and even worldview can and should be altered and upgraded. You can develop goals and visions you didn't even know were possible because your imagination, access, and confidence are expanded via the proximity to certain people, the environment itself, the culture of the group, and the teachings/code of the group.
One Group, Among The Growing Thousands, Clearly Stands Out
Again, having been a member of many groups, and as one who is both a practitioner and a researcher of this process, I can state with boldness that Joe Polish's Genius Network stands out, and in reality, is the "golden standard" of the Mastermind world. In fact, Joe Polish and Genius Network (i.e., the 25K GROUP) have been the gold standard for over 10 years.
(and to be explicit, I'm not an affiliate or "partner" of Genius Network, but rather, a paying member who gets no payment for writing this article. I'm simply a member and psychologist sharing my perspectives)
Firstly, Joe Polish is considered one of the most connected people in the world. He knows practically everyone. He's a genuinely good person, unlike most of the self-absorbed people in the Mastermind world. Joe's goodness actually often gets him into trouble, as people can often take advantage of his generosity.
For instance, many people have joined Genius Network and stolen Joe's ideas to form their own groups, giving Joe little to no credit.
Second, of all the groups I've studied, Genius Network clearly stands out in all of the metrics listed above.
Genius Network is expensive: It costs $25,000/year to get into the entry-level group.
Genius Network has a "cap" on the number of members it allows: The 25K group has a limited capacity of 300 members and the 100K GeniusX group has a limited capacity of 100 members. The wait list to get into Genius Network is often years. A core reason for the limited capacity is to 1) help members get the most out of the group, which is generally related to deep and long-term relationships, 2) to deepen the culture and connections, and 3) to ensure the members who get in meet the high-level standards of the group.
Genius Network has a clear purpose and path: There are a few primary goals of Genius Network, notably: 1) to create a better entrepreneur via enhanced health, wellness, freedom, and relationships, 2) to 10X the marketing potential and ease of the business, 3) to help the founder set their business up as if they were going to sell it, and 4) to help GN members become incredibly savvy with money-- helping them to not only 10X their earning potential but to master the art of keeping and investing their money as well. The path to mastering these objectives is a 3-year process. In other words, Genius Network is a 3-year program. This can throw people off who "don't get it," because many people jump in-and-out of these groups hoping for a "quick win." These people are "transactional" takers rather than "transformational" givers. In order to truly thrive and get the most out of these groups, a person must be "investment"-minded rather than "cost"-minded. When you are investment-minded, you don't see the price of admission to be a "cost," but an "investment" which is designed to grow and expand. When you view it as an investment, you take ownership of it. You pour your soul and energy into it. You work to make it better and contribute, rather than simply trying to suck the well dry and leave. I believe Genius Network and the 3-year purpose and path can only be actualized by people who are investment-focused givers. And that is the culture Joe seeks to establish (more on this later).
Genius Network has levels of ascension: The $25K Group is the entry-level program which serves as an incubator for the GeniusX $100K Group. Genius Network is a 3-year $25,000/year program. GeniusX is a 10-year $100,000/year program. Fundamental to Joe's philosophy is 10X thinking, which is the notion that every investment should produce at least a 10-times return. Hence, when you join GN, at a minimum you should turn that $25K into at least $250,000 of income that year as a direct byproduct of the learning, mindset shifting, strategies, and/or community within GN. Through the 3-year process of "E.L.F.'ing your marketing," which is Joe's process of helping the entrepreneur make their marketing extremely Easy, Lucrative, and Fun, the entrepreneur should be able to 10X their business's revenue. Through the process of setting up their business as if they were going to sell it, the entrepreneur should get all of their systems and team organized to scale and sell, even if they decide not to. Through the process of becoming intelligent at both making and keeping the money, the entrepreneur's wealth should skyrocket long-term. This 3-year process serves as the bridge for the higher level commitment and transformation available in Joe's 100K GeniusX group, which 10X's each of the core focuses in 25K and also adds several additional elements. In the 100K group, you get exclusive access to Joe's best connections, opportunities, and experiences. You get access to opportunities and people that can make the $100K seem very small, because of the thinking, connections, and business collaborations that are created. As an example, when I joined the 100K group, I was privileged to meet one of my heroes, Dan Sullivan, who is a member of the group. But I didn't just meet Dan, I've created a collaboration wherein we are actually co-authoring a major book together which should transform the trajectory of both of our businesses. This opportunity would never have occurred had I not made the ascension and leap into the 100K group.
Genius Network has clearly defined rules and a tangible culture: Most groups have a culture, and culture is something that can and should be intentionally designed. According to Jason Korman, the founder of Gapingvoid, the premier and likely the most innovative culture design firm in the world, "Vision establishes the rules, goals, and behaviors of the culture. Values and goals are slaves to the vision. The culture becomes the movement of the group toward the desired vision." The clearer the purpose and vision, the more powerful the culture. The more transformational and loved the leader-- and the more committed the members-- the more powerful the culture. There are indeed powerful norms, rules, expectations, and culture at GN. That culture has an immediate effect on the people who enter the environment and group, causing them to transform from the outside-in. Their goals, perspectives, and values expand and enhance, as does the vision they have for their own lives. Additionally, individual members take on the attributes of the leader and the culture-- such as becoming more generous, collaborative, health-minded, marketing-driven, and fun-focused.
Members of Genius Network are transformed in direct and indirect ways: Joe Polish often states, "Sell them what they want and give them what they need." People buy what they believe they want, not what they believe they need. Your marketing should be focused on what your prospects want. Your product and process should give them what they really need. Genius Network gives people what they want and need. People have lost hundreds of pounds, overcome addictions, improved marriages, etc. as a byproduct of being in the group. Case and point: when you change a part, you change the whole. When you join a group like GN, your whole life should improve, not just your business at the expense of those things which matter most.
Genius Network transforms and upgrades people's mindsets and goals: One of the key reasons GN is a 3-year program is to allow the "slow-boil" to take effect. It takes time to transform people. When people join a group like GN, they have certain goals and expectations. The purpose of the environment and culture is to shatter and upgrade those. Hence, people join 25K thinking that is as high as they can possibly go. Through the 3-year process, their subconscious mind is upgraded and they see the potential of the higher realms-- such as the 100K group.
Masterminds are popping up everywhere.
Some are better than others. One has been setting the bar for over a decade.
If you are joining or creating a Mastermind, keep the metrics listed in this article in mind as you seek to either have or create transformational experiences.