Should I Pay to be in a Mastermind Group?
There’s no doubt that being in a mastermind is going to bring amazing value in your life. Being part of a group of entrepreneurs that challenge, encourage and enlighten each other will help you and your business grow. But does this incredible value mean you should be paying money to be in a mastermind?
In most cases, probably not. There are situations where getting expert help or other benefits for your business can require paid fees, but generally, the peer mastermind model is a free, group-supported community that doesn’t require paying money. Let’s flesh out what differentiates a mastermind from other business coaching situations and explain why, most of the time, you shouldn’t have to pay to be in one.
Being in a Mastermind vs. Other Business Coaching Opportunities
To help explain why most masterminds shouldn’t require you to pay dues, we need to start by differentiating a peer mastermind group from other similar situations.
Similar Backgrounds: A mastermind group, as I design them, is made up of people who might be in different niches and have different areas of knowledge, but each person is roughly on the same “level” business-wise. No one person is thought of as the expert in the group that everyone looks to for answers.
Shared Responsibility: similarly, responsibilities to run the group are shared by the group. You are all showing up for each other and contributing. Because of that, no one needs to pay each other because everyone contributes time and energy and gets similar benefits.
But what about situations where you’re asking someone else to add value to you or a group without giving back to them in return? Those can be helpful situations too, and ones where it makes sense to pay a monthly fee. Here are a few examples:
- Group coaching with an expert: sharing access to an expert to gain from their expertise while sharing the cost with others who can also benefit.
- Workshops: experiences that give you access to experts or other materials to assist your learning in a topic or growth
- Professional facilitation & administration: paying someone to professionally moderate your mastermind group so you can benefit from their skills and not have to share the burden of administrative tasks.
- Groups that offer other benefits: some masterminds or other groups might include an annual retreat, books, bringing in helpful speakers, etc. Since these items all cost money and time to organize, it makes sense to pay for these benefits.
All of these situations can be extremely beneficial to you as an entrepreneur, but they all cost money. They all involve some additional professional service or product that’s provided to you as part of the mastermind. That’s different from a mastermind where participants are relying on each other for expertise, motivation, and sharing group responsibilities.
Mastermind: No Fees, Tons of Benefits
So should you pay regularly to be in a mastermind comprised of your peers where everyone shares responsibility? In my opinion, no.
In fact, that’s what’s so great about a mastermind. Everyone is on an even playing field as peers, showing up for each other week to week. The “currency” being exchanged is in the form of energy, listening, feedback, honesty, and challenging one another to be better.
The biggest obstacle for newer solopreneurs is often making the initial connection with others who were in a similar place. Many times, I’ve seen newer entrepreneurs pay to be in a mastermind because they didn’t have the network they needed to make those connections on their own. They would join an expensive paid mastermind just to find the right people, even though it wasn’t always the right fit for them. But most business owners I spoke to weren’t sure where to start in creating a group on their own.
I used to match entrepreneurs into masterminds when I was a community manager and saw the transformative power of having this support firsthand.
People who choose to be entrepreneurs are generally resourceful, driven people. If you have the right tools to get things started, the knowledge to make things run smoothly and what pitfalls to avoid, you start and grow the thriving, dynamic community you’re looking for.
This Mastermind e-Kit will help guide you to find people, invite them, create a call format, set up agreements, and get started. Download Mastermind Mastery E-kit HERE