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Episode 026: The Best Way to Find a Successful Mastermind

Masterminds are the secret weapon that people know about, but often don't take advantage of. In this episode, James and Phoebe share their experiences with the current high-level mastermind group that they are running. Learn the reasons behind why masterminds work, the benefits you can get from joining one, and how you can go about forming your own (or joining the ideal one for you). Get on the James Wedmore Inner Circle Mastermind Notification List

James joined his first mastermind in 2008, paying $18,000 a year to take part, even though he really couldn’t afford it. This is where het met Lewis Howes, and they started a business together, putting James “on the map” for YouTube and video marketing.

“That all came from a relationship in a mastermind group”

Since then, with the exception of one year, he’s been in a mastermind. He felt and noticed a significant difference in his business for that time he wasn’t in a mastermind. He strongly considers a mastermind a requirement in business, not just an option.

The term “mastermind” was coined by Napoleon Hill, who stated:

“The mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common, definite objective. No two minds ever come together without a third invisible force, which may be likened to a third mind. When a group of individual minds are co-ordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual in that group.”

James explains that the moment you combine two or more people together, you have something infinitely more powerful that in those people were to do it alone, on their own.

Why do masterminds work?

1) They raise the vibration

When you’re in a room of people that have the same intention, the energy of the room takes on its own vibration.

“If it’s the right group of people, I mean it could literally re-ignite your life”

If you’re creating your own mastermind group, determine what vibration you want, and what your group stands for.

2) They make you aware of blind spots

A mastermind mind group can look objectively at what you’re dealing with, and identify those things you might not be able to see.

“If you feel like you’re getting in your own way, that’s an indicator that you have blind spots”

Phoebe shares that there are some things that she can tell her mastermind that she couldn’t tell peers in her industry that aren’t part of the group.

James adds that since online entrepreneurs with personal brands often face issues such as refunds, complaints and personal attacks, the support received from a mastermind is important.

3) They give you accountability

In the mastermind they run, members are required to set goals that they want to achieve before the next quarter, when they all meet again in-person. To Phoebe, not only does this mean you’re stepping up your own game, but you don’t want to be the only person in the room who doesn’t deliver what he or she were supposed to.

4) They provide new ideas, contents and strategies

Using the new ideas gained from masterminds can be looked at as “fine tuning” your business, and can help you avoid potential pitfalls. You can infuse the strategies into what’s already working for you and your business.

Phoebe was intimidated when looking for a mastermind group to join a few years ago. She asked someone in her Facebook group, who happened to be in a mastermind with an opening.

James notes that it’s been said that, “a mastermind finds you.”

If you don’t join a paid one, you can start you own.

7 tips to forming a true, successful mastermind:

1) Qualify your mastermind members

This tip accounts for up to 90% of the success of your group, as the group is only as strong as the weakest member.

There are certain qualities that you should look for:

  • The members should really want to be in a mastermind
  • Look at what level they are at; get a good mix of people and make sure each member can bring something to the table for the rest of the group
  • The participants should be people that you enjoy hanging out with and being around, as it is much more than just a “business group”
  • Everyone should be willing to give and share with the other members
  • Each person needs to be coachable

To vet members for their group, James sent an email out to his list and was specific about what they were looking for. An overwhelming amount of applications were received, and each person had to complete and in-depth survey. He and Phoebe narrowed it down and got on the phone with people to go deeper. They looked at how each individual, and group as a whole, would mix and interact together.

2) Identify a common thread that ties the group together

For James and Phoebe’s mastermind, every member is an online course creator, online influence, author or online coach. Some other groups are based off of gender, occupation, etc.

3) Make sure there is a clear intention and benefit for the group

For them, it’s that each member is committed to having a breakthrough year in his or her member, and the mastermind group is the catalyst for this.

4) Have a clear structure

Their group meets in person four times a year, once each quarter. During these meetings, members do a five-minute presentation asking their “big question” to the group. With this exercise, the result they want is identified, as well as where they are currently. The other members give 25 minutes of feedback. In each meeting, two members also do a presentation on a specific topic such as leveraging Facebook groups in business, finding your ideal client avatar, and more.

5) Lay out the deliverables of what they’ll get

In addition to the benefits mentioned, in James and Phoebe’s group the members also get access to an online members’ portal, and a “members’ rolodex”, where everyone can share resources like service providers and freelancers.

6) Be consistent

Masterminds only work when they are consistent, and the creators are held responsible for maintaining the consistency of the group and setting the town. At the end of each meeting, confirm when the next one will be and get a verbal commitment from each member to be there.

However, be careful with the frequency, as weekly meetings may be too often. For this reason, James and Phoebe keep to one in-person meeting per quarter.

7) Foster a sense of community

James and Phoebe incorporate a fun activity into each event, such as hosting a bonfire on the beach. It should be something outside of the work setting, where the members can get to know each other and be themselves.

They have a small Facebook group for the members, which further builds the sense of community. In addition, several members have co-ordinate calls with each other outside of the actual group calls and meetings.


At the second mastermind in-person event of the year, both James and Phoebe noticed a massive difference in the members, with them having a big shift in energy and mentality.

The group members each came into their own power, with much more power and conviction. However, the new theme seemed to be that they didn’t have the time to learn any more content.

James felt they need to now be in creation, and launch mode and told them:

“Everything that you need, in your business and in your life, is available within these four wall”

The true value of their mastermind is that they are able to get the support from the entire group, and not just him or Phoebe. He says that it’s their role to set the tone, facilitate the experience and hold that space for the breakthroughs to occur.

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