Category: Books
what is a mastermind group

How To Start or Find A TRUE Business Mastermind Group

If you haven’t heard about mastermind groups, you will soon if you consume advice from millionaires. So I thought it’s useful to tell you the truth about mastermind groups, the good and bad, so you’re prepared.

What is a mastermind?

A mastermind is a concept developed by Napoleon Hill, a man who spent 20 years studying 500 of the wealthiest people in the world at close range.

Mr. Hill went on to write a few books about wealth, including Think and Grow Rich, which went on to sell over 15 million copies and make thousands of people into millionaires.

A mastermind might help you get wealthy. Or even more wealthy, successful, and fulfilled, if you already are rich.

Let’s get to it:

I’ll tell you what’s NOT a mastermind:

It’s not when a group of people each pay a $10,000 monthly fee to one person so that this person can meet up once a month and coach these people, while mostly letting the participants help each other.

That’s called a coaching business.

Yet, this seems to be the general idea of what a “mastermind group call” is for a lot of online businesses: people paying a monthly fee ($1,000 or $10,000 or $100 per month) for help.

It’s epidemic in the internet marketing world.

And maybe you’re not in that world, but it also seems to be true for a lot of niches that use the internet: let’s say, just as an example, you have a blog on making wooden sculptures. If you look for help on how to make your blog better, and you go deep enough online, you will find advice.. eventually from people in the internet marketing world. And what happens is the wood-making niche now starts up their own masterminds.

I have stumbled across numerous people in the online marketing world, some of which were good, some bad, some veterans, and some fairly new in the market.

It seems to be a rather re-occurring theme with many of them to have this “Mastermind.”

And some people make a very good income off of it.

In fact, some of the people in the “wealth creation”, “abundance”, or “millionaire” niches online, also have this skewed idea of a mastermind.

However, I don’t think that’s a real mastermind according to how the great Napoleon Hill would describe one.

A real mastermind is one where no one is paying a cent to anyone else. This removes any pressure or distorted feelings, perceptions, or dynamics of the situation.

A mastermind is supposed to be a collaborative effort where successful people come together to help each other. It’s something where your peers can cover your weaknesses.

Here’s an excerpt from Napoleon Hill illustrating this concept with one of the wealthiest people in the history of mankind, Andrew Carnegie, someone he studied closely for decades:

mastermind group

A Mastermind Group is not to be confused with a paid, monthly coaching call that has stolen the name “Mastermind.”

It’s clear as to why they do so: they want to use Napoleon Hill’s good name to get more people to buy into the concept of a mastermind in order to make more money. Even though they won’t admit it because they’re running this thing.

Using logic like “they won’t pay attention or be committed if it’s free” is stupid, and just a way of rationalizing the amount you charge. If you choose the right ambitious individuals, they will be committed by nature.

If you really believe that “paying money will get people more committed”, then have everyone including the person who charges devote all the proceeds to charity instead.

It’s strange how hard it is to just follow directions

I tweeted a money manager who truly believed in the ethics of Warren Buffett and ascribes to his style of investing, an author called Guy Spier. He wrote The Education of a Value Investor.

For decades, Warren Buffett has recommended a 20-hole punch rule in most of his speeches: If you want to do investing full-time, don’t make more than 20 investments over the course of your life. That will make you think long and hard about your decisions so that they are the right ones. And 20 is enough to make you incredibly rich.

I asked Mr. Spier if he knew of anyone who actually followed this rule. He said he hadn’t. He hadn’t followed it himself.

mohnish pabrai guy spier

Isn’t that crazy? 

Isn’t it peculiar how hard it is for people to just do what is told?

They’re too tempted to invest more frequently.

I don’t intend to be an investor full-time, but arguably I am still under 20 if you count an index fund as 1.

If that’s the case, I only have 2 investments so far. And even then, I partially regret my 2nd investment in a 2nd index fund as it was unnecessary and it’s used up a hole-punch.

I may be the first person in history to follow his words and it is precisely that reason I will be even more careful with my investing.

I talked for an hour with this one guy who complained about not succeeding despite reading a lot of wealth creation books.

But I bet that he didn’t actually do everything the book said to a tee.

In fact, I’m fairly sure that he just read the books and didn’t execute on even 20% of what was in there.

There are specific steps that you have to take on subconscious programming, for instance: Write and read aloud twice a day the exact amount of wealth you want to achieve, the deadline, what value you will give in exchange for it, and feel like you’re already in possession of it.

Well, what about the fact that Warren Buffett hasn’t followed it himself? Some rules are not hard and fast, as he’s seen to break from even what his mentor, Ben Graham, has said. However, I still think it’s a great rule to follow, and the fact that not one person out of the thousands of money managers out there had adhered to it really makes me want to follow it even more.

My talk with a man who read too many wealth abundance books

I should have pressed this man, but I’m sure if I did, based on his demeanor and overall character during our chat, he would every twenty excuses to why he hadn’t done this in the last month, and why the one time he did, it didn’t including saying it aloud, a deadline, or what value you would give in exchange.

I learned in that meeting that I don’t want to work with people who are a complete mess because it is a drain dragging them up.

I’d rather build an audience of successful people who get this and are executing.

Hopefully, that’s you.

I’m not alone in my opinion

Ryan Lee, owner of an multi-million dollar business, Freedym (the Netflix for lifestyle entrepreneurs). He has poked fun at Joe Polish and Dean Jackson’s $25,000 a year and $100,00 a year masterminds (that’s how much you have to pay to join) by having a $25 mastermind.

Gary Vaynerchuk has taken quite a few jabs at people in this area as well. He has released a good amount of content on social media and his blog insulting people who sell $2,000 eBooks or courses. He thinks it’s ridiculous and says he prides himself on selling real products and giving away everything else for free (though he never calls out specific names. Tai Lopez does stuff like this but he probably doesn’t want to burn bridges since they did a YouTube collab together). It isn’t a jab directly at masterminds, but it’s close.

So how exactly do you do a REAL mastermind?

Follow these steps to a tee:

The Real Rules of a Mastermind Group

These steps are all taken directly from Napoleon Hill’s book:

  1. Get a group of successful people, as big or small as necessary to help you. It can be as low as 2 or high as 50.
    1. Sometimes, it’s better if they’re diverse because they can help you with your weaknesses.
    2. Make sure they’re winners who don’t quit easily. They have to have demonstrated persistence.
  2. Make sure you have enough value to provide in exchange.
  3. Meet AT LEAST twice a week. You must follow Napoleon Hill’s directions completely.
  4. Have a definitive long-term plan for the group
  5. The group must have complete harmony. If one person starts acting out, he must be removed.

In conclusion, a Mastermind can be effective in your pursuit of success if you follow Napoleon Hill’s recipe. I have seen many variations of a Mastermind, which diverge from his model: some people meet once a month or once a week.

I’m not so strict in the sense that I understand that maybe just the general concept is what is important, but I do caution that if you start moving too far away from what is being said, the results can get further and further diluted.

Perhaps, there is a specific reason he called for you to meet twice a week that you have now wiped out with less frequent meetings.

My last piece of advice:

Think and Grow Rich is a great book but I recommend Laws of Success instead. Napoleon Hill wrote Laws of Success as his flagship book, but it was too long and thick of a book for anyone to buy, especially during tough, economic times.

Think and Grow Rich is more of the brochure version that sold. It’s crazy how many people stopped at just Think and Grow. It’s crazier how more people have not even heard of the book. And it’s the craziest that many of those who read Think and Grow Rich never follow even 50% of what is actually being said in the book on a habitual basis.

I’m not going to lie; I need to work on these things myself.

I suggest you read both of these books and take tons of notes, as he goes into more detail on the why and how of Mastermind groups.

How to Find A Mastermind Group

Honestly, the resources, groups, and advice out there on finding a mastermind group are limited. The general public doesn’t even understand what it is and there are almost no public groups or organizations around them.

People may recommend that you go to in-person conventions,, Craigslist, or Facebook groups, but that doesn’t always work. I’m a big user of these and member of many personal development themed groups, like the Art of Charm, Order of Men, and 67 Steps groups. However, they remain as online forums and don’t truly evolve into a group of a handful of members that talk and speak via the phone or in person on a recurring basis. You have to take initiative by reaching out to people you want and actively asking rather than passively hoping it will form naturally.

Jaime Masters of Eventual Millionaire is a great example of someone who started with nothing to her name and used persistence to create her dream mastermind. She kept asking big players, like the entrepreneur Pat Flynn, to join a mastermind she created. When she was first rejected, she kept politely emailing Pat and explaining the value of the group. She started building her own network of connections by reaching out cold to millionaires and interviewing them for a podcast. Eventually, Pat joined.

But it’s tougher to get big players to work with you. Look for up-and-coming hard workers or just like-minded people. Maybe they’re not successful yet but you like their personality traits and you think they can help you. Dave Ramsey was a nobody when he first started his Mastermind. He didn’t form a group with famous, rich people. He did just this and asked people who he liked that were on his same level, or just slightly higher, to join his mastermind. Over many years, they all became successful.

Find Mainstream Groups That Function Similarly

Also, consider joining groups that are not necessarily a mastermind on the surface level, but are similar. If you go out into the real world, the mainstream public doesn’t really have anything that is Master-mind themed. However, there are groups that have similar enough functions. It’s better than nothing and still quite useful. For me, I pay around $60 per half-year to be a member of Toastmasters, a public speaking group. It’s a group that has ambitious people that meet twice a month to practice public speaking and communication skills via a specific format (two to three prepared speeches that are evaluated by a specific person, then an improvised response section by five to six people).

Focus On Groups That Help With A Specific Skill or Goal Rather than Everything

A generalized mastermind that helps with everything in life may be too broad and may not be as useful. Let’s say you really want to focus on productivity or goal-setting. It may be easier to form or find a group specialized in that.

Paid Mastermind Networks

I recently listened to a podcast by Pat Flynn where he interviews a man named Ellory Wells. He runs a business charging and conducting masterminds for others. The main appeal is that it’s more affordable than a “$25,000 a year” group (double digits) and that if you do a free group, members will rarely show up because they’re not incentive. I haven’t tried it out but I’ve been considering it. I’ll report back if I ever do.


Mastermind groups are a proven way to help you and like-minded people achieve the financial freedom you’re after. They are mentioned as core drivers of success from well-known millionaire entrepreneurs, like Dave Ramsey and Pat Flynn. However, the online marketing industry has gone overboard these days and started charging massive fees for people who want to be members of these groups.

While every member should contribute good value to a mastermind, I believe they’ve gone overboard and have focused on making money from the group too much. Do I have anything against Joe Polish and Dean Graziosi, the proponents for ever-increasing priced masterminds?

No. I think that in the long term, the market will find out if the value is worth the price. The purchasers of these premium masterminds are smart people who have made a lot of money. Joe claims that you will back much more than you invested into the group within the first year because of the quality of people who are members. Time will tell if they actually return more value than a similar mastermind with just as good a network at a much more reasonable price.

Personally, I’m a believer in the power of masterminds. My current financial condition will probably push me to create or join a free or affordable mastermind-like group(s) to test it out. But even if I could afford such a costly mastermind, I wouldn’t do it.

Have you tried out a Mastermind yet? If not, why not?

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Mindset the New Psychology of Success Book Summary

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck Book Summary

After decades of research, Stanford psychologist Dr. Carol Dweck found that your beliefs have the ability to affect whether you reach become successful or not. She formed a theory around two core mindsets that categorize the successful from the unsuccessful: the fixed versus growth mindset.

Fixed Mindset Vs. Growth Mindset

What are the differences between a fixed and growth mindset? Let me explain:

What Is A Fixed Mindset? 

Fixed mindset people believe that their skills (intelligence, ability, potential, etc.) are fixed from birth and unchangeable. As you’re going through section, if you realize many of these traits align with how you are, it’s agood test to confirm you have a fixed mindset.

Fixed mindset people have the following characteristics:

  • They hide their deficiencies and will not admit they have them.
  • They don’t enjoy the journey as much as the success at the end.
  • They care more about feeling superior, special, and different from others.
  • They believe their are finished products already rather than works-in-progress.
  • Their self worth and competence is based on their actions and perception by others.
  • They are in school to get good grades — even if it means cheating to do so, not to learn.
  • They put in as little effort as possible because they think smart people don’t need to try hard.
  • After a negative event they caused, they label themselves as something negative. After a positive event they caused, they label themselves as something positive.

They have beliefs and statements like:

  • “If you don’t succeed, never try again.”
  • “Once tried, once failed, never try again.”

Fixed mindset people have thoughts like:

  • “The world is out to get me.”
  • “Nothing good ever happens to me.”
  • “Life handed me a bad life and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

Because they believe their abilities are unchangeable, they evolve behaviors to protect themselves. For example:

  • They will cheat or avoid challenges to hide their deficiencies in skill rather than be okay with it and grow.
  • They avoid opportunities where they can learn and get better if it means exposing their deficiencies.
  • They have a sense of urgency to succeed now because their results measure their worth forever.
  • They will do whatever they can to appear special or different from others.
  • They refuse to try if it means losing because they fear judgement.

After A Failure

Fixed mindset people often have tons of excuses for why they didn’t succeed. They pick excuses that are outside of their control so they can cover up their weaknesses.

After a failure, they may make statements in their head or out loud like:

  • “I’m worthless.”
  • “I’m a loser.”
  • “I suck.”

After a failure, they:

  • Pick a fight.
  • Pout and whine.
  • Sit there and cry.
  • Lock themselves in their room and cry.

They do this even if the failure is not even close to a devastating event. It could be a mid term instead of a final or someone brushing them off instead of an outright rejection.

Any event they cause, good or bad, are labels of themselves. For example, if they win an award, they think, “that means I’m smart.”

Fixed Mindset People Are Normal The Rest Of The Time

Fixed mindset people are not always negative. They can act just like positive growth mindset people most of their lives. But they reveal their differences after they fail.

What is a Growth Mindset?

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How To Stand Out In Your Job and Get A Raise or Promotion

19 Secrets on How To Stand Out In Your Job & Get A Raise or Promotion

Most people don’t care about succeeding. They walk through life like zombies. But you’re not like that. You’ve been looking to earn more and do more for a while now. I’ve heard your cries for help.

It can be frustrating when you work hard for extended periods of time without recognition. I’ve been there. You know what it’s like. But no longer.

I’ve curated some of the best advice from experts on how to get a raise or promotion, including Ramit Sethi, Jack Welch, Dorie Clark, Gary Bencivenga, and more. I want to share with you what I learned.

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Views – 310

10 most common life mistakes of young people

10 Most Common Life Mistakes Young People Make

“It’s good to learn from your mistakes. It’s better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” – Warren Buffett.

This quote means a lot to me because people don’t learn from others’ mistakes. Instead of studying the history of business, successful people, and failures, most people spend their time watching YouTube, television, or Netflix. Because of that, they consistently repeat the mistakes of their ancestors.

“History doesn’t repeat itself but it often rhymes” -Mark Twain

This provides a huge opportunity for you to get ahead if you just spend a bit of time to study the past and look for patterns. You could save years of time and hundreds of thousands of dollars in failed investments. Personally, I’ve learned quite a few financial lessons this year from the mistakes of others, here’s one:

Make sure you read and understand all of any contract you sign.

  • An older example: Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, a multi-billion dollar company, revealed in his bookMade in America, that he was forced to sell his first thriving business because the landlord wanted the business for his son and had a clause in the contract that forced it when his lease ended.
  • A recent example: The millionaire YouTuber Fouseytube revealed in a vlog that he lost thousands of dollars by signing his first YouTube MCN contract with someone who took almost all of his advertisement earnings because he didn’t read.

Lately, I’m seeing another common mistake repeat itself as many social media influencers are striking it rich at an early age, getting cocky, and acting foolishly.

Learning from the mistakes of others will help you shortcut your way to the life you want in a fraction of the time. To find out more, listen to this podcast episode where I reveal the top 10 most common life mistakes of young people:

Want to explore the other podcasts I’ve released? Click here to check out the Podcasts section of the site. 

Subscribe to the podcast:

Will's Personal Development Podcast

Will's Personal Development Podcast

Is there a mistake you are seeing that wasn’t mentioned? Leave a comment and let me know. But you know how I love rigorous evidence to back up any claims, so make sure to include that in your response.

Views – 331

get billionaire advice online

11 Billionaires That Give Frequent Advice Online You Should Follow

Believe it or not, you can get fairly frequent advice from billionaires online.

When you have over a thousand billionaires in existence, it’s not surprise that at least few are fairly plugged into the online world.And I highly recommend getting advice straight from the top rather than someone who is moderately good at a skill. And who better to turn to than billionaires?

When I have some free time, I always like to check up on these people and the new advice they’re putting out. Here are a list of billionaires that put out at least semi-frequent advice online.

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Views – 285

pay yourself first

Paying Yourself First Definition: Why It’s Vital For Budgeting and Becoming Rich as Heck

I was watched this video by Tony Robbins and it sent chills down my spine. Start this video at around 8:00.

The Too Long Didn’t Watch of it is that he’s known TONS of people who made millions of dollars but ended up broke and bankrupt. He mentioned examples like the highest paid actress of her time, a top actor in The Godfather, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, a top athlete from the Boston Red Sox, Floyd Mayweather, and Mike Tyson who made $500 million.

How is that possible?

It’s quite simple. They spent more than they earned rather than saving and investing their money.

There’s so many more I know of that he didn’t mention like the rapper 50 Cent or the teen singer, Aaron Carter, who made $100 million before 21. Tony said that he learned that Floyd Mayweather literally would spend every cent he would make after he earned it from a fight and repeat.

Saving money is more important than ever now that we’re bombarded with peers showing off their excessive spending on social media and because we live much longer than ever before after retirement.

And the key to doing so is a concept called paying yourself first. 

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Views – 332

Books written by billionaires

102 Books Written By Billionaires (A Constantly Updated, Complete List)

If you read all of these, you will not come out the same person you came in (and I mean in a good way).

Here is a list of all the books written by Billionaires.

I have looked all over the Internet for a list and I have yraet to find a list that even comes close to what I’ve compiled here. The reason is simply because no one seems to be as plugged into the billionaire universe and the books out there as me. Nor have many people set out a goal to read most or any of them.

Note: Richard Branson made a good point in his book that news and internet estimates of net worth are usually wildly off in both directions. I tried my best with this list by giving more weight to people many magnitudes over a billion and people who are obvious (Bill Gates or Phil Knight, founder of Nike). Finally, I also put more weight on the only two net worth sources I trust: Forbes Net Worth Billionaire List and Fortune.

If you know of a book by a billionaire not on this list, leave a comment. I will keep updating this page. 

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Views – 1855

s truett cathy founder of chick fil a

3 Secrets of Success From S. Truett Cathy, the Founder of Chick Fil A

I’m a big fan of the billionaire, S. Truett Cathy. But most people don’t even know who he is (He’s the founder of Chick Fil A).
I’ve loved going to his stores for over a decade. Truett’s book It’s Easier to Succeed Than To Fail, where a billionaire lays down his secrets to successis one of those rare gems. It’s a must-read and huge opportunity that most people are missing out on.

Outside of his wealth, Chick Fil A still has one of the best customer experiences out of all the fast food places I’ve visited. They still carry out the food to your table when you dine in. On top of all of this, they still remain closed on Sundays for religious reasons, which turns away millions of dollars in sales and lets their competitors get ahead. I think this is admirable because it shows that money isn’t everything and you have to commit your values straight.

When I dove into this book, I was amazed at how humble and simple of a man he was. His lessons on gratitude and living life go far beyond just making money; they touch on something even more important.

Watch this video and discover three big lessons I learned from the book. You will learn:

  • why “easier” is not the same as “easy.”
  • a secret to making billions of dollars.
  • why time and life are more precious than money through a deeply personal story.

Once you had a chance to watch, I’d love to hear from you. In the comments below, let me know what’s the most useful insight you took away from the video and what is one specific action you can take now to put it into practice?

Please share as much detail as possible in your reply. Tons of people come here everyday for help and your story may be just what they need to have a breakthrough.

Thanks again for sharing your positive vibes and making this tiny hangout one of the coolest, most game-changing places out there.


P.S. if you know one or two people who would find this valuable, please share this with them.

P.P.S. there are some cool facts about Chick Fil A I learned from the book that I have to share with you…

How did Chick Fil A get its name? The sandwich. It wasn’t anything innovative. He named it after the Chicken Fillet sandwich he invented; it’s as simple as that and he’s never changed it.

Where did Chick Fil A’s logo come from? That red chicken logo has been there since the start. Similar to what Phil Knight did with Nike, that logo was bought for pennies on the dollar from a random graphic designer. He never ended up changing it. It just goes to show you that the logo doesn’t matter nearly as much as people think. I think it’s retarded when people start a company and waste thousands of dollars trying to get the right logo; you can figure that out later (or it may be good enough already and never worth changing). For Phil, he didn’t even like the checkmark logo. But it stuck!

Views – 218

How to improve and build willpower

How to Improve Willpower, the Most Important Key to Success

Have you ever wondered what the #1 key to success is?

I was reading the book 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management and I think it finally clicked.

The book interviewed a billionaire who said that what set him apart from others wasn’t his intelligence, but his willpower. It was his willpower to commit and do the things he set out to do. 

Why Willpower Matters

So why else is willpower (also known as self-control) important, other than just because a billionaire said it helped him earn more money?

Two Australian psychologists, Meg Oaten and Ken Cheng, have your answer. They found that exercising self-control in one area of life helps improve all areas of life that require willpower. They found this by having numerous test groups who all had different willpower-themed exercises:

  • money-management and budgeting.
  • studying and concentration.
  • exercise and fitness.

Afterwards, they tested the students and found that they performed better on all the willpower tests in each of the areas even though they only worked on one of them. They worked out more, studied more diligently, and spent less impulsively.

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Views – 673