Should You Pay to Be in a Mastermind?

Should I pay to be in a mastermind group Windy Lawson

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Should I pay to be in a mastermind group Windy Lawson

Over the past few years, online mastermind groups have risen in popularity. I have participated in free and paid online mastermind groups, so when someone asks “Should I pay to be in a mastermind group?” I yell YES, really, really loudly.

My Free Mastermind Experience

In an alumni group for a {very} expensive coaching program I attended, another attendee announced she was creating a small mastermind group for female microbusiness owners looking for accountability to reach their quarterly goals, and invited people to reach out if they were interested. I checked out her profile and felt like it could be a good opportunity, so I reached out. 

The process to join was intense. Even though this was a free group, the application was thorough and thoughtful. It was clear that the goal was to make sure only appropriate people joined, people who were serious about and actively working their businesses. 

The group started out strong, with the majority of members attending the weekly calls and sharing freely. I was stoked. I had big plans for the quarter and was looking forward to achieving my goals and helping my cohort members reach theirs.

By week three, participation was down, but those of us who were committed to the process were still benefiting. 

On week four, the person who created the group had achieved her big goal and completely ghosted the group. At our designated meeting time, members would scramble to meet since our leader was gone. 

It went off the rails from there.

The power of mastermind groups lies in all of the members coming together to support one another. If members show up only when it benefits them, or aren’t willing, or able, to provide actionable solutions to the other members’ challenges, the mastermind crumbles. 

In this free mastermind group, it was common to see a member ask a question, and instead of receiving potential solutions, the other members would reply that they wanted to do that too, but didn’t know where to begin. 

“I’m interested in securing guest posts on other blogs. Anyone have any ideas,” someone would ask. And the feedback would consist of “Oh, I’d like to do that too.” “Can you let me know once you figure that out.” 

It was a shit-show. 

The problem with free mastermind groups

Mastermind groups require commitment, and, frankly, it’s hard to commit to something in which we are not invested. Think about it. If someone gives you a voucher for a free meal at a restaurant, you may or may not use it. But, if you paid $25 for that voucher, you’ll be more likely to use it because you see the value. 

And that’s the problem with free mastermind groups. We inherently don’t value that which we get for free. The minute we put our money on the line, we are literally and figuratively invested. When you don’t pay to be in a mastermind, you are less likely to show up.

The Paid Mastermind Experience 

In my paid online business mastermind group, we have a structured format for our weekly meetings to ensure all members have the opportunity to present their struggles and their victories and breakthroughs. The process works! Often, when one member shares her breakthrough, it becomes the prompt or insight that another member unwittingly needed. 

We also have small accountability groups. It’s easy to bluff on a weekly Zoom call, but much harder when you have two or three accountability partners checking in with you every few days. 

Mastermind groups are incredibly powerful in providing accountability and actionable solutions. But, it requires all members to be equally invested in helping the entire group move forward. 

If you are wondering if you should pay to be in a mastermind group, the answer is yes. If the group isn’t worth investing your money, it’s not worth investing your time. 

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