In Spring 2014, I decided to start a Mastermind group in order to help me achieve my goals. The idea of the Mastermind group is first credited to Napoleon Hill in his 1937 book, Think and Grow Rich. As he described it, the Mastermind Principle is “the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” When this is done, “no two minds ever come together without thereby creating a third, invisible intangible force, which may be likened to a third mind.”
Though Hill coined the term Mastermind Principle, the concept has been around for much longer. Many successful people have been part of these Mastermind groups:
- Benjamin Franklin put together The Junto club for mutual improvement in 1727,
- J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis would never have gotten as far as they did if they had not met regularly about their writings in the Inklings at the University of Oxford in the 1940s
- Henry Ford and Thomas Edison met in the Vagabonds in the 1920s
The benefits of a Mastermind group include mutual support, discovering different perspectives, access to more resources and networks, and a sense of accountability. Forbes has described the many benefits excellently in this article.
In my group, we started out as four recent college grads with widely varying interests, but we were all on the same starting line with our eyes on the goal of becoming better innovators and entrepreneurs. Together, we set short and long-term goals, and met weekly over dinner to inspire, share achievements, and problem-solve.
At the end of the summer, though our group disbanded formal meetings as we grew out of our initial stages, our destinies are still largely intertwined. We are constantly on the lookout for opportunities for the group.
The Works in Progress program is founded upon this principle. We are creating a community of entrepreneurial projects that will learn from and inspire one another, and help overcome the struggles of that entrepreneurs face after the initial stages.
This post was modified from the original copy published in January 2015 by me on the BME Advanced Design site.