People who apply to join my Dream Business Mastermind and Coaching Program frequently keep asking this one pesky question:

“Jim, is this really a mastermind program?”

I understand where they’re coming from.

The terms “coaching” and “mastermind” get used interchangeably in marketing to the point where both have been bastardized and diluted of their true, powerful meanings.

Potential members of my program want to know whether they’re actually going to get to know people in the group, or if they’re just going to hear from me all the time.

Let me take a quick moment to disambiguate.

Coaching Programs Bring You From Point A to Point B

Typically, there is a specific, measurable goal, based on some sort of roadmap or blueprint you create together with your coach at the beginning of the relationship.

You’ll meet regularly with your coach, usually 1:1, where you’ll evaluate progress, identify and overcome roadblocks, and establish objectives to be met before the next meeting.

Along the way, your coach is someone you can call upon if you get in a tough spot – like if you are really discouraged and need a little tough love, or something unexpected (like, a sudden opportunity to negotiate an amazing deal) comes up and you need help right now.

Mastermind Groups Are the Rising Tides that Buoy All Ships

In his groundbreaking book Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill defined a mastermind group as “A friendly alliance with one or more persons who will encourage one to follow through with both plan and purpose.”

This alliance combines the experiences of everybody in the group, where diverse expertise and viewpoints come together and the collective becomes more powerful than the sum total of each of its’ members individual abilities and contributions.

Members of the mastermind group serve as each other’s sounding board, support group, council of advisers, and – yes, candidly – sometimes they become a sort of therapy group.

The Dream Business Program Combines These Two Things – Separately

Once a month, usually on the second Tuesday, all members are encouraged and expected to attend a group call on an audio bridge line.

Several days in advance, I send a link to the group inviting up to six people to register in advance for Profit Seats, where they bring their questions and challenges to the group for feedback and support.

Alongside that, each member has X number of 1:1 calls with me – of different lengths and volume, depending on which level of my program they belong to – as well as X number of “911” calls to deal with those unexpected things.

The Goal is For Members to Get the Best of Both

I’d say about half of my members use every single 1:1 call, attend every single mastermind meeting, and max out on their 911 calls – where others use a percentage of each.

A typical mix is to work with me individually on higher-end strategy that needs to stay confidential, while leveraging the group to test out ideas and ask questions where the whole class will benefit from the answer.

Some members treat the experience as more of a coaching program, where they mostly work privately with me (sometimes paying me for extra 1:1 calls), but only occasionally make it to mastermind calls.

Others are the heart and soul of every mastermind call, while they don’t really leverage too much actual coaching (and sometimes I think, come on!)

I’m (Somewhat) Okay With This, Because Human Beings Are Chaotic Bags of Chemicals

See, in your business, you might be in a place for a while where you need lots of strategic consultation and coaching and require the entire conversation to focus on you while you push toward a BHAG (big, hairy, audacious goal).

Then, once the plan is in motion, you’re best served by going all-in with the community, exchanging mutual support and doing your part to raise the tide that buoys all ships.

Your time and mental bandwidth might not enable you to play 100% in both spaces at all times – I wish that wasn’t the case, but it’s not a hill I’m going to die on.

So, by bifurcating the “coaching” and the “mastermind”, I create a diversified experience that enables members to stay longer and gain a lot more over time.

Not many programs do this.

A typical member stays three or more years, and 43% of them eventually rejoin at a later date – we have this one guy who’s been in it for 13 years nonstop and counting.

These are pretty good numbers, so I think Mr. and Mrs. Palmer’s son has a thing or two figured out.

So What’s Best For You – Coaching or Masterminding?

If you want to work exclusively 1:1 with me, intensively, on a specific project, my Fast Start Coaching Program puts you right next to the Captain’s chair on my yacht.

On the other hand, if you prefer a power-boating experience with both engines at full speed, we have a few spots open in my Mastermind and I would like you to consider taking a plush seat on my luxurious lounge deck.

It’s time to set sail – where will you sit?

Cap't Jim Palmer, The Dream Business Coach

Cap’t Jim Palmer, best known internationally as the Dream Business Coach, is creator of the Dream Business Mastermind and Coaching Program and host of Dream Business Radio – a weekly podcast based on Jim’s smart marketing and dream business building strategies. He is also the founder of Success Advantage Publishing.

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