What is Business Coaching?
What is Business Consulting?
Typically, a consultant is hired on to help make practical and strategic decisions as well as facilitate and implement them. Plainly said, consultants help come up with solutions and then do some / all of the tasks to put those solutions into your company.
What is a Mastermind?
How is a Business Coaching Session Run?
How do Business Consultants Work?
How is a Mastermind Group Run?
Consultants can do some of the functions of a coach but with the added benefit of not offloading task(s) to the business owner or staff. On the flip side, business consultants may not be well versed in helping your team become more profitable and efficient without them. After all, you are hiring their expertise AND hours. If you need work done right now, a consultant may be a good choice as they bring immediate expertise and productivity to a project.
Coaching FrequencyMeeting frequency can range from weekly, bi-weekly to monthly. Having regular, consistent coaching sessions is a key element of a successful coaching plan. My experience shows that a business owner should plan and budget to work with their coach for a minimum of three to six months. Coaching is not a quick fix solution and often not only requires months of work but revisiting coaching services at times of growth, pivots, or hurdles.
You may choose to bring on a consultant per project and only be concerned about the deliverables (end result), or you may wish to hire someone on an hourly basis to work until the outcome you desire is reached.
Meeting FrequencyMeeting frequency can range from weekly, bi-weekly to monthly. Having regular, consistent meetings is a key element of a successful mastermind. My experience shows that a business owner should plan and budget to participate a minimum of six months to a year with a mastermind group. Some mastermind groups have a trial period that will allow you – or them – to back out of the involvement if the fit isn’t working. Masterminds are not “pop in, get a solution, leave” solution but require you to give as much as you get from your peers.
Coaching RulesThe beautiful thing about business coaching is that the rules get created according to what each business owner needs. While the coach’s job is to keep coaching sessions on track and moving forward, the more exclusive nature of the relationship allows for much more flexibility and accommodation.
Depending on who and why you brought a consultant onboard, you may need to manage them like an employee to a certain degree. Consulting is sometimes equated with ‘freelance’ or ‘part-time,’ although this isn’t a true representation of what a business consultant can bring to your company.
Mastermind RulesMasterminds usually have rules for participation. Rules are decided and agreed upon by all members or as a condition of joining. Generally, rules can range from how many meetings you can miss before being cut from the group to fees to cover meeting space.
Coaching LogisticsCoaching sessions are generally held in person or via phone, Skype or video chat. Some coaches offer online courses via recorded video, worksheets and groups in addition (or in lieu of) 1:1 coaching work.
Consultants generally work remotely with regularly scheduled check-ins or on-site alongside your staff.
Mastermind LogisticsMastermind meeting sessions are generally held in person or via phone, Skype or video chat. A good number of mastermind groups choose to meet in person once a year (or more) at resort retreats as a requirement of memebership.
How is a Coaching Session Structured?
How is a Mastermind Group Structured?
1. Rotating Hot SeatThe meeting starts with everyone sharing a win from the previous meeting. This would take approx 2-5 minutes per person. Then each meeting a different person is in the “Hot Seat”. This means they share their business challenge or goal and the group all chimes in with ideas and discussion. Total meeting time would be 45-90 minutes depending on the number of participants and the amount of time you want to dedicate to the meeting. Pre-planning what you will say for the “share a win” opener is an important part of the exercise. It is crucial that you “do the work” between mastermind sessions. The benefit of this type of mastermind structure is that every person gets heard during every meeting. The drawback is that there is not a lot of time dedicated to each person for conversation or solutions.
2. Timed Hot SeatsThe meeting starts with everyone sharing a win from the previous meeting. This would take approximately 2-5 minutes per person. Each participant has a set period of time to share their business challenge and receive feedback from the group. Each person gets 10 minutes which works well for us. Pre-planning what you will say for the “share a win” opener is an important part of the exercise. It is crucial that you “do the work” between mastermind sessions. The benefit of this type of mastermind structure is that one person gets heard during every meeting and conversations are focused solely on that person’s issues and concerns. The drawback is that there is that it can take 3-4 meetings for you to get the “Hot Seat” and your issues and concerns discussed.
How Can Coaching Help Your Business?
How Can a Mastermind Help Your Business?
More Thinking PowerGet smart business owners together and things happen. Having a mix of businesses participating in the mastermind helps ensure the fresh approach to problem solving.
Better Problem-SolvingDo you ever feel like you are banging your head against the wall in your own business? When you share your challenges with others, they can help and provide ideas from a different (and often better) perspective.Diversity: Having a mix of businesses participating in the mastermind helps ensure the fresh approach to problem solving.
AccountabilityYou know the saying – it’s not real until you have said it out loud? By sharing some of my business goals out loud with other real human beings, it holds me to accomplishing them. The accountability lies in not wanting to show up to the next meeting without a win to share, so I work hard in between meetings to ensure I have some good news to share.Relationships: I can also say that the other members of the mastermind have ended up being some of my best referral partners. When you spend more time with people, you get to know them better and want to refer business their way.
My Experience Coaching and Being Coached
My Experience Running and Participating in Masterminds
How Much Does Coaching or Mastermind Group Cost?
“Free” to “worth every single penny.”
I’d like to tell you a story before we talk straight-up numbers. I have a coaching client who is a member of mastermind group where the fee is $1,250 per month with a one-year minimum involvement, a mandatory 3-day retreat (paid out of her pocket and in Bali,) and a pretty grueling application and approval process. Her mastermind group has strict rules and a solid number of deliverables to themselves and the other members. What does she get out of it? She took her family-owned small business making 5-figures and turned it into a 7-figures in under 10 months. Let me write that out for you. Her business made $47,000 (roughly) in the prior year. In under one year of being a very dedicated mastermind member, her business was making a smidgen over $1,000,000.
I was coaching her through her decision to join the mastermind group (although not my mastermind group.) There were times on the call with me she was in tears about taking such a big step. That $1,250 a month investment looked mighty expensive until you realize that she was actually LOSING $79,000 a month by not participating.
I’ve been a part of mastermind groups that cost $29 per month and include a once-per-month group video call (with 26 other people!!) and used a basic rotating “hot seat” format and no other involvement in between calls. I’ve also been a part of masterminds that cost $1,750 per month to participate in, included every-other-week Skype (2020+ update : Zoom) calls and required documented tasks, follow-ups, and deadlines between sessions.
Which mastermind was worth the cost?
The one I dedicated more time to.
Coaching can be priced a bit differently depending on the level of involvement you are receiving from your coach. Online coaching programs may run $49+ for a few videos and a worksheet. Deeply immersive 12-month online programs may include monthly coaching calls (either 1:1 or webinar-style,) video modules, workbooks, and exclusive content. These programs can run anywhere from $12,000 to $30,000. There are always programs lower or higher in price, this is just a range I’ve seen among my peers.
In-person or direct coaching can range anywhere from $150 a session/call to a flat fee of $10,000 for a three-month package. Again, prices range all over the place. The important thing here is to pay what the coach is worth AND what your budget can sustain.
Remember, you are NOT paying for your coaches time. You are paying for their undivided time to you as well as their experience.
What free gets you…
Every free mastermind I’ve been a part of (or tried to facilitate) has fallen apart due to lack of interest, time, and dedication from members. I have consistently found that paid mastermind groups have better levels of commitment from their members. Even if the payment goes into a general pool to pay for meeting space and food, knowing that other people are dependent on your fee is motivation enough to stay involved or give up your spot to someone else.
It’s a well-known phenomenon that people perceive something we’ve paid for as more valuable than the exact same thing acquired for free. Likewise, mastermind group members who have paid for the group find themselves much more motivated in the group. In the case of a professionally run mastermind group, the fee is also compensation to the facilitator for the incredible amount of “behind the scenes” work it takes to run the group.
Free coaching programs are a little easier to find and do offer quite a bit of value. I myself am a member of a few Facebook groups run by very good coaches that offer lots of ‘freebie’ information and knowledge. It’s smart on their part because it grows their community, serves people that may not be at the point financially to afford quality coaching, and honestly is put in place as an attractor for high-paying clients. Sometimes the free coaching materials is enough to get you pointed in the right direction or give you the missing piece you may need.
### This article was originally written in 2017 and updated in 2022 ###