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How to Start and Run a Mastermind Group: Interview with Dov Gordon (Fireside Chat with Danny Iny)

  • Megan DoughertyMegan Dougherty

Okay, let’s face facts: no matter how smart, talented, or effective you are, it often helps to have a second, or third or fourth opinion.

Hence today’s Fireside Chat, all about mastermind groups.

This one’s special, though – instead of just me and Danny riffing on the subject, Danny interviewed Dov Gordon, the man who organized the mastermind group that Danny has been a part of for the past year and a half.

It’s a great interview, all about how to start and maintain an effective mastermind; what a mastermind group is, what are they good for, and what they *aren’t* good for, too…

Click here to listen to the podcast:

Danny Iny interviews Dov Gordon about creating the perfect Mastermind Group

Distilled Wisdom

  • We need each other to help us learn and improve. No one knows it all and can do it all. Other people can see things that you can’t about your own business.
  • Getting outside perspectives are valuable. You can take other people’s experiences and apply them to your own situation.
  • In order for a mastermind group to succeed it needs to have a very clear purpose or outcome. There needs to be an agenda.
  • It takes time and commitment to start and continue a mastermind group. There needs to be someone who takes responsibility to lead the group.
  • You should not view your mastermind group as “I promote you so you MUST promote me”. If it’s not a match, then there should be no requirement to promote something.
  • The role of accountability should not be present in a Mastermind group. You don’t want to be in a group with people who you have to babysit.
  • Don’t try to force conversation within the group, just try and spark it by sending interesting content that you see.


  • Five Steps to a Consistent Flow of Clients

You can find out more about connecting with your audience in a positive way by checking out our Fireside Chats on Product Launches and Effective Webinars.

In the meantime, I’d like to hear from you: Have you thought about starting a mastermind group? What would be the goals or objective of your group? What would be the criteria for members to join?

14 thoughts on How to Start and Run a Mastermind Group: Interview with Dov Gordon (Fireside Chat with Danny Iny)

William Cowie

Look forward to hearing Dov – great guy!

Dov Gordon | Alchemist Entrepreneur

Thank you, William. I hope you’re doing well!

Cassie | Womenswaytowealth

Thanks Danny, this is really timely as I’m involved in a new mastermind. We had the discussion about not feeling compelled to promote each other’s products, unless we personally have tested them and think they’re amazing. Got to keep your integrity!

It’s amazing how a group of savvy individuals can spark off one another in a peer to peer group, even if the synergies aren’t clear from day one. A Mastermind group can be really powerful. Can’t wait to listen in – notepad at the ready!

Dov Gordon is amazing, thanks for sharing this.

Dov Gordon | Alchemist Entrepreneur

Thank you, Cassie. I hope you feel that way AFTER you listen. 🙂

Seriously, this came out a lot better than I expected. Not sure how Danny and his team did it.



Great topic! I highly recommend masterminding. I’ve been running a mastermind group for, I think, three years now and I can honestly say it’s changed my life for the better in huge ways.

Ours, however, started as an informal Ning group private space for a handful of like-minded people. It took us almost a year to get the critical mass to be ready to start having actual mastermind meetings (which we hold via Skype as we’re at a distance from each other for the most part). Now, we’re large enough that we’ve hived into three regularly-scheduled mastermind calls, each with its own facilitator/organizer, meeting about twice monthly each. The groups are pretty standard but it gives us the option for “make-up calls” if we miss our regular one. We are rooted much more in shared personality traits/life milestones than in business type or profession, which has turned out to really enrich us as a whole. And we’ve been very slow/cautious in growth, sticking with people who are known to and trusted by others in the group who are in similar places in their lives to the rest of us.

For us, accountability was a big motivation, but it’s not about babysitting. It’s more about creating accountability to ourselves by knowing that we’ve declared our goals and plans to people we respect, people who will think to ask us about it because we care about each others’ success. A lot of us really struggled with believing that we could give ourselves the same priority we gave everything else in our lives, so it was a big benefit to be in a group where you were being *expected* to give your own plans and goals that level of priority.

Rodney C. Davis

Dov, I was recently on your list after listening in to one of the “constant flow of customers” webinars. Great information. I only opted out because I had overdone things and had to get rather ruthless about getting my number of subscriptions under control.

How do you deal with confidentiality issues in a mastermind group? Danny mentioned that sometimes an agenda point could come from an idea not yet in planning, but that you might require feedback on. Is it that with inbound marketing, this just isn’t much of a concern as it would be in other industries?

Dov Gordon | Alchemist Entrepreneur

Hi Rodney,

I remember you! You help parents, right? And I seem to remember that you’re in the Caribbean, or thereabout?

Confidentiality hasn’t been an issue. First of all, there is an understanding that what you hear in the group stays in the group.

Also, no one will share their secret recipe (I don’t think any of us really have one). But we do share very openly what has worked and what has not. As well as opportunities we’re considering to get the input, ideas and perspective of the others.

For most people the concern about confidentiality is a distraction from the real work that will move you forward.

Don’t worry if someone will steal your idea. Ideas are over rated. Progress comes from action. And having a solid group of peers to guide your action is priceless.


Darlene K Campbell

Great post. Love the confidence of you saying not to worry about someone stealing your ideas. We’ll always see the same ideas surface over and over, but it’s the part of moving from the idea phase to the action phase that scares most people. The value is putting your original style to the idea and finding a community to help share, define, and promote that process with you.

Shannon Lagasse

This brings up so many great points! I had always been under the impression that a mastermind was about accountability, but, when I think about it, it’s more about ideas, inspiration, and motivation. I’ve been in a couple well-intentioned masterminds that quickly fell apart due to a lack of purpose, intention, and clarity.

Any thoughts on accountability partners as an addition to being in a mastermind?

Dov Gordon | Alchemist Entrepreneur

Hi Shannon,

The best thing I’ve found for accountability is hiring your own coach or mentor. But NOT an “accountability” coach. A coach who has a proven process for achieving what it is you’re looking to achieve at this point in your career.

Maybe it’s just me, I’ve found that if you’re having trouble doing what you say you’re going to do, it’s a SYMPTOM of something more fundamental lacking.

The underlying issue is usually either (1) You’re pursuing a goal that’s not really what you want. (2) You’re pursuing a goal you want, but you don’t feel you have a clear process or plan for getting there. You feel you’re working hard, but it’s not adding up. So you commit to actions, but inside you don’t believe they’ll get you to your destination, so you don’t follow through.

This is why you working with a coach or mentor who has achieved what you want and has distilled it into a teachable, transferable process clears up accountability issues in a way that an accountability partner can’t.

Does this help?

Dov Gordon

Shannon Lagasse

Absolutely! That really makes sense. Thank you! :]

Jennifer Kyrnin

It was eerie to see this post when it came up, as I had just formed a group of people for almost this exact purpose–to help each other create and improve our sites with valuable and constructive criticism.

The only difference is we’ve been calling our group a “think tank.” 🙂

Thanks for the great post and recording.

Cindy Brown

I once heard T.D. Jakes say, “If you’re the smartest person in your circle, you need a new circle!” What he meant was that you should surround yourself with people who are at the same level or smarter than you so that you can learn from them and aspire to be like them. Great mentors can also come from such groups.

I would consider the writers group my husband and I used to be in (and then ran) for four years to be such a group. There are tons of benefits to belonging to a good group and I love your Mastermind term for that!

Mia Sherwood Landau

This was a great podcast because it addressed both the entrance and exit strategies involved in creating and maintaining an evolving mastermind group. Hey, if we’re not evolving (together), let’s just not do this! What a relief to hear you guys discussing your experiences because it brings me peace about mine. Some of us are chronic learners. We are addicted to learning and growing, and that tends to wear out others who like to savor their moments a bit, which is perfectly fine. It just doesn’t always mesh to have distinctly different types of learners in a tight group with distinct expectations. This podcast was very intelligent and I feel like you guys gave me permission to hold a high level of expectation and not feel the need to apologize for it. Thanks for that!

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