What is a Mastermind? (And What it Isn't)

What is a Mastermind? (And What it Isn’t)

Over the past couple of years, I've gotten to work with dozens of current and aspiring entrepreneurs. Together, we've built businesses, started several companies, and generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue.

what is a mastermind

And, during this time, I've come to be known as an expert on mastermind groups for entrepreneurs – how to set them up, how to manage them successfully, and how to keep members engaged and motivated. Since I started hosting paid mastermind groups, I've facilitated hundreds of meetings with entrepreneurs who've trusted me to place them in a dynamic group with the right people and help them generate real money for their businesses.

Though I've talked about masterminds several times (Pat Flynn and I talked about it here, I wrote a book about how to do it here, and I shared an inside look here), I still get people who're unfamiliar with the concept Napoleon Hill made popular almost 100 years ago.

So, today, I'm going to share what a mastermind is, what a mastermind isn't, and help clear up some of the confusion.

What is a Mastermind?

A mastermind is a group of people who get together for a specific purpose, on a regular basis, to help each other achieve their goals. A mastermind group's members keep each other accountable, provide encouragement and feedback, and provide needed support.

There are eight key criteria of a mastermind. These key criteria are:

  • Accountability
  • Community
  • Encouragement
  • Support
  • Structure
  • Purpose
  • Consistency
  • Results

Each mastermind member is accountable to one another. Like the Three Musketeers who's mantra is “all for one and one for all;” we look out for each other. Each member is responsible for encouraging, supporting, and keeping the others members accountable to the goals they’ve made for themselves.

During a mastermind meeting, you should get a little bit of each of those criteria. You should leave each meeting like you might leave the gym after a solid workout – encouraged, a little tired, and with a renewed sense of purpose.

What a Mastermind is Not

A mastermind meeting isn't social hour, it's about business, but it is incredibly fun. Your mastermind is not a social group that gets together occasionally for drinks and fun.

A mastermind is not 100s of people who dial into a conference call once a month to listen and learn. A mastermind is not passive. It is not a place you go or a time you set aside to show up, check the box, and move on. A mastermind adds little value if it is not interactive and engaging.

A mastermind is not a time to only share your “wins” and what is going right. If you're not sharing your challenges and getting the help you need, you're not getting a valuable return for your time (and money if applicable).


Joining a mastermind is about work, but it's also about having fun. Every week when I see a mastermind-related event on my calendar, I get excited. My mastermind meetings truly are one of my favorite parts of my schedule.

If you'd like more information about joining one of my premium mastermind groups, go to https://www.ellorywells.com/mastermind.

Next in Series: What is a “Hot Seat” in a Mastermind Group?


Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Are you an entrepreneur? Do you want to start or grow your business? Enter your name and email below and I'll send you the tools I use, plus other resources to help you succeed.


Get an Email About Every New Post!