One of the challenges entrepreneurs face today is their ability to create, develop and maintain a business in a widely diverse economy while growing and enjoying a healthy personal life. Entrepreneurs get caught up in keeping the business going and not on leveraging resources to better and grow themselves and their business to healthy levels. To do this successfully, entrepreneurs need a variety of tools.

Among the tools of the most successful entrepreneurs and business owners is the Mastermind Alliance or Group. A Mastermind Alliance is essentially a group of individuals, usually between 6-10 individuals, who consistently meet to grow their businesses and prosper.

The concept of Masterminding is to leverage the knowledge, experience, experimentation and research of each member in a focused effort for the benefit of the whole group through the unity of mind, body and spirit.

Masterminding is the process of creating power beyond the ability of individual effort and synergy among like-minded persons toward a common purpose. The ultimate goal of any Mastermind Alliance/ Group should be to challenge each member to grow beyond their level of comfort in business as well as personally in an environment of trust, encouragement, respect and empowerment.

Popularized by Napoleon Hill in his book, Think and Grow Rich, the concept of masterminding was practiced by Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison as well as by Stephen M.R. Covey, Jack Canfield, Pete Bissonette and many other notable success figures today.

The benefits of joining a mastermind group are many. The biggest benefit for entrepreneurs is to gain the knowledge, support and perspective necessary to successfully grow a business of any kind in a variety of economic conditions while making a positive impact on the world.

Other benefits of joining a mastermind group are:
• receiving quality and timely feedback on problems and current challenges
• the effective application of proven strategies and techniques
• gaining clarity of direction, goals and desires
• supportive accountability for commitments and actions
• Confidential support from focused and powerful members
• Recognition and celebration of successes large and small
• Consistent performance and measurable results

An ideal group would be comprised of individuals who bring a variety of personal and professional experiences from a level higher than which one is currently operating.

For example, a business owner with little or no experience in internet marketing would benefit from a business owner who has a successfully established internet marketing strategy; a business owner with little experience in establishing a network of contacts would benefit from someone who easily makes connections with others. By including persons from a variety of professions, the group is able to expand its network beyond the reach of the individual members.

The original mastermind group was held in person; today groups vary in form and format. There are groups that use Facebook, Google+ HangOuts, conference lines and webinar-based meeting platforms. Groups meet anywhere from once a week to once a month and sometimes less frequently. The optimal frequency of meetings is determined by the purpose and desire of the group.

The key components of a successful Mastermind Alliance include:
• Agreed upon guidelines including confidentiality and trust.
• Regular meetings, with full participation of the members.
• A membership offering diverse professions, experience and training.
• Active participation of every member for the benefit of the whole.
• Members operating in the spirit of cooperation to establish a strong sense of community.
• The screening of each member prior to joining.
• Strong leadership to uphold the guidelines agreed upon by the group, including dismissal of members not in keeping with those guidelines.

You can find a Mastermind group by searching the internet. However one of the faster and most productive ways is through personal contact. Try social media sights such as Linked In and Facebook or by checking Craig’s list and Some established networking groups offer Mastermind groups to their own members. Local resources such as the Chamber of Commerce, Community College or University, and Small Business Associations are great places to seek out prospects to start your own group.

If you want to start your own Mastermind group, keep these key tips in mind:
• Put the word out to your peers
• Seek people who can contribute to your growth and success as well as those that could benefit from your skills and experience.
• Look to build a group with a variety of skill sets, interests and experience but who are focused toward the same goal.
• Approach people who you see as a bit more successful, knowledgeable, and connected.
• Choose people who have a similar definition of success.
• Members should be willing and able to reciprocate.

Mastermind groups are a great place to share answers, gain experience, access resources, develop skills and find support. Masterminding is best suited to individuals who have a desire for their work and their life to become more meaningful and fulfilling, are willing to conquer their fears, are committed to achieving quantum success and believe in inspiring others to their greatness.

Author's Bio: 

Renée Canali is an author, speaker, David Neagle Certified Coach/Miracle of Money Mentor and the president of Cultivating Change LLC. Renée founded Cultivating Change, L.L.C. and The to help people change perspectives so they can successfully process change in their life by letting go of limiting belief systems - and move on to live their desired future. Renée sees opportunities where others see obstacles. She notices some are moving on in life while others are standing still or spinning in circles.

“The door to possibility is always open. I teach people how to walk through that door for the very first time. And should that door ever appear locked, I help them remember where they left their key.”

Contact her for more information and resources for finding or creating a Mastermind alliance.