Facilitated Mastermind Groups – sounds pretty new age, doesn’t it? Actually, the mastermind group concept was created by Napoleon Hill who wrote Think and Grow Rich in 1937. This book has sold over one million copies and been ranked sixth best-selling paperback business book 70 years after it was published! Hill believed that everyone needs a group of people who will help each other follow through with their goals in a supportive environment that encourages their growth.
I have learned how powerful mastermind groups are and a meeting I attended at the National Speakers Association Convention about forming them was very insightful. The facilitator described the format she uses for her mastermind groups and then had us participate in a mock group to discuss the topic of our choice.
My table chose to explore the subject of book publishing. The question we were attempting to answer involved whether one of the group members should self-publish her book or retain a publisher. Each of us shared information that was relevant to her question.
I had first hand knowledge since I self-published a book some years ago. Earlier this past week I had also met with a major publisher about a new book I am writing. Others in the group also offered their expertise. The pluses and minuses of each method were fairly equal. The deciding factor depends upon how you define the goal for the book.
If making money on book sales is the main goal, then self-publishing is the way to go. If you want notoriety and exposure, then a major publisher is likely the answer. However, it is not easy to get a publisher. Major publishers typically are not interested in a book unless you can guarantee sales of 10,000 books in a year. There are many stories of publishers rejecting well-known authors like J. K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book.
After I offered my expertise to the group, I felt like I had done well enough. But there was a strange gnawing inside of me. I had more information which had been shared with me by a well-respected speaking guru. This valuable concept had been unknown to me and I was fairly certain others didn’t know about it either.
In that moment I had a choice. No one would ever know that I had an extremely helpful insight that I was not sharing. But in the spirit of giving I made a point to tell the group. It was obviously a novel idea because everyone was excited and writing it in their notebook.
My gift for the day was to share an idea that I hadn’t planned on talking about.
Cavett Robert, the person who created the National Speaker’s Association in the 1970’s said, “The pie is big enough.” If he was still here I think he would be proud of seeing that today the ideas worth sharing are being given away freely.