Forming and Maintaining a Mastermind Group

Instructions by Napoleon Hill

¨ The first step is to adopt a Definite Purpose as an objective to be attained by
the alliance, choosing individual members whose education, experience and
influence are such as to make them of the greatest value in achieving that

¨ There isn't any use in forming a Master Mind Alliance just to have someone to
chat with. It will soon play out if you don't have a strong motive behind it, and
it's up to you to plant that motive in the minds of the group members.

¨ Your allies for this group should be chosen for their ability to help you get to
where you are going. Do not choose people simply because you know them
and like them. I have found out by experience that merely because you like a
person is no reason whatsoever to have him as a member of your economic
Master Mind Alliance. It is all right to have such a person in your social or
purely personal alliance, where his contribution may simply be this very
friendship you appreciate.

¨ You should make a careful analysis of your purpose and list the items you will
need for its attainment and then systematically go about supplying the links
with which to forge the chain. Each member of the alliance should make
some definite, distinctive, unique contribution to the over all picture.

¨ In making your selection of allies for this economic group, you may have to be
a little "cold blooded" at first. It is no easy job to select the right members.
You may have to choose and eliminate until you get the right ones. This is
costly in time and money. You should be guided in your choice by the things
you need which you do not already have. If it is money you need to finance
the deal, you must find a person who has the money to invest. No
matter what nice people you know who would like to work with you, if they
don't have any money they cannot really make the particular contribution to
the alliance you need. No-you must find a person with the money and
cultivate his willingness to cooperate, by showing him the opportunities to
make a profit from the investment.

¨ Of course, you don't take the first person who answers the major requirement,
unless he also possesses the other necessary attributes. The qualifications
of membership in a Master Mind Alliance are very exacting. Consider each
candidate for membership in the light of his ability, his personality, and his
willingness to cooperate with you. I cannot overemphasize the necessity for
harmony, if it is going to be a successful organization.


¨ Determine what appropriate benefit each member may receive in return for
his cooperation in the alliance. At this point review the nine basic motives
which I termed the alphabet of success. Base your appeals for cooperation
on one or more of these motives. I can tell you ahead of time which motive
will have the greatest appeal and I'll bet you can guess it yourself.

¨ You're right! It's the desire for material wealth, or profit. If you make a profit,
be willing to divide it with those who help you. Be not only fair, but generous
with them, and the more generous you are with them, the more help you will
get from them. Remember the principle of going the extra mile. What a pity
that not all businessmen know about that! One of my purposes in life is to
see that they learn about it.


¨ Establish a definite place where the members of the alliance will meet, have a
definite plan, and arrange a definite time for the mutual discussion of the plan.
You will recall the importance of a plan in connection with your Definite Major
Purpose. Well, this is the time and place to reveal that plan to those who are
your friends and harmonious associates, who will have a community of
interest in the success of the venture. You may think your plan is very good,
but before you get through discussing it with your allies you will undoubtedly
modify it until you hit upon the perfect plan.

¨ When you have established rapport between your mind ant he minds of
others in your Master Mind Alliance, you will find that ideas will flow into the
minds of each of the members and likewise into your own mind. When the
Master Mind is in effect, it produces ideas that would not come to your mind
alone. I have had that experience many times when sitting in on the many
groups of which I am a member on a consulting basis.

¨ The Round Table discussion will be the place where everyone meets, and
where each member may speak with confidence. They all see what's on the
table. You have no secrets in such a group, which results from the care with
which you select members.

¨ It is important that frequent and regular contacts be made between the
members. Indefiniteness on this point, or utter neglect, will bring defeat. You
must keep in almost continuous contact with the other minds of the group if
you are to get the full benefit of them. Meetings should be scheduled often,
and telephone numbers exchanged, so that it is possible within a few minutes
to discuss any sudden development with the group.


¨ It is the burden of the leader of the alliance to see that harmony among all the
members is maintained and that action is continuous in the pursuance of the
Definite Major Objective. Action or work is the connecting link between
desire, plan, and fulfillment.


¨ The watchword of the alliance should be Definiteness of Purpose,
Positiveness of Plan, backed by continuous perfect harmony. The major
strength of such an alliance consists in the perfect blending of the mind of all
members. Jealousy, envy or friction, as well as lagging of interest on the part
of any member, will bring defeat unless he is removed at once.


¨ The number of Individuals in an alliance should be governed entirely by the
nature and magnitude of the purpose to be attained. If you are going after a
purpose comparable to that of Mr. Edison's you will require a large number of
persons with special talents and training. A lesser undertaking will call for a
correspondingly smaller group. In general, it is better to have as few
members as possible, because it will be that much easier to maintain
harmony among them. Quite often a man will need only a really cooperative
alliance with his wife in order to achieve the purpose he feels inspired to

¨ If a man cannot find that harmony which I have mentioned as being desirable
between man and wife, it is possible for a man to form a purely economic
alliance with a woman other than a wife.