Tapping into the Power of a Mastermind Group

In the 12-week DreamBuilder course that I teach, one of the lessons centers on the power of a Mastermind group, which my mentor, Mary Morrissey, likes to call Partners-in-Believing. Whichever name you prefer, this group can have a powerful impact on the successful pursuit of your dreams and goals.

The concept of the Mastermind was developed by Napoleon Hill, a journalist who became one of the first motivational self-help gurus. He wrote the bestselling book, Think and Grow Rich that was published in 1937, and is among the top 10 best-selling self-help books of all time. 

When he was asked about the impetus to write the book, Hill said that he was given a news assignment to interview Andrew Carnegie in 1908. During their long interviews, the topic turned to success and why some have it, while others do not. Carnegie took a liking to Hill and decided on the spot to commission him to uncover the reasons for remarkable success. Over a 20-year period, and through the connections of Carnegie and his colleagues, Hill interviewed 500 highly successful men and women searching for a common thread--a formula for success.

His research led him to hypothesize that there are 13 principles in a philosophy of achievement, growth, and success. One of these principles is the Mastermind group. This is a group of like-minded people whose focus and intention is to help each member become greater and more successful than they would be if they worked alone.

 Hill believes that our minds are made of energy and when two minds connect, the organic outcome is the creation of a third mind. However, if the original two minds are not in harmony, the results could be positive, negative, or neutral. The way the third mind becomes the Mastermind is when the participants have a shared purpose and are in true sync--deep harmony--with each other. The result being that each person in the group has full access to this mind. Hill describes a Mastermind group as, “The coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people, who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony.” 

 So, what are the benefits of the Mastermind or Partner-in-Believing?

a.    You get to tap into the intelligence, experience, and resources of the group, and benefit from each person’s unique perspective. This will lead to deeper thinking and greater achievement.

b.    You will have partners in believing for mutual support. People who believe in you, even when you have a hard time believing in yourself.

c.    You will share collective accountability. Meaning, that each person will hold each other accountable in order to stay on course and keep each other’s action plan moving forward.

George Bernard Shaw said, “Some men look at things the way they are and ask why, I look at things that never were and ask why not?” That’s the description of an ideal candidate for your Mastermind/Partner-in-Believing group.

Most articles on Masterminding are written from a business/financial success strategy perspective, and they are truly beneficial. But Masterminding can be used in a myriad of ways--from very specific goals, like losing weight and getting into shape, finding your soul mate, or creating a work of art, to loftier goals like focusing on your spiritual life, or figuring out what your life’s purpose is and what direction to go in.

Although we are all required to decide and take the action steps toward our dreams and goals ourselves, we don’t have to do it alone. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to do it completely alone. We all need help from the outside--friends, family, colleagues, partners, coaches, and yes, the infinite intelligence of the Universe. 

In any event, the Mastermind can be an exceedingly powerful tool that can help propel you towards success. Remember that, the next time you want to achieve a dream or goal!


TIME TO DINE: Cooking for Joan

About a year ago, I was hosting a website-building meeting with Ben Smith, my developer (and nephew) and Kitty Suen, my designer (and very close friend) at my apartment. As you know, I love to cook and entertain, and usually, I’m in and out of the kitchen constantly. Because I really wanted us to focus on the project at hand and get on the same page (our own Mastermind group, perhaps, hmmm), I decided to make an all-in-one brunch dish that I could serve and focus on our huge "punch" list.

 This recipe was the winner--and it is A Winner! I found it on the Food & Wine website, and it was originally created by Grace Parisi. I’ve made a number of adjustments, but it’s still similar to the original. This meal is so hearty and tasty that it’s perfect for any meal of the day--most recently I made it for dinner for a few friends. At the time, Ben said it was one of most delicious meals he’s ever eaten! I don’t know if this dish inspired us, but the outcome was a beautifully created new website--Thanks again, Masterminds, Ben and Kitty!!

Sausage, Tomato, and Cheddar Bake with Eggs


 Prep Time: 30 min | Cook Time: 2 hours | Makes: 8 servings | Difficulty: Medium


  • 1 loaf of crusty white bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (16 cups)
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 pound Italian hot sausage, casing removed, broken up
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • One 28-ounce can whole crushed or diced tomatoes—drained, and patted dry 
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound extra-sharp cheddar, shredded (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons snipped chives or chopped green onions
  • 1 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • Salt
  • 8 large eggs
  • Sriracha, for serving


Preheat the oven to 350°.

Lightly oil or spray a 9-by-13-inch glass baking dish.

In a large bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil and spread on a large foiled rimmed baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, tossing once or twice, until the bread is golden and crisp. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the sausage over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally.

In 3 minutes, add the onion to the skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the garlic right before onions are done so they don’t burn

Add the tomatoes and crushed red pepper and cook until any liquid is evaporated, about 3 minutes.

Return the toasted bread cubes to the bowl. Add the contents of the skillet, shredded cheese, chives and broth. Stir until the bread is evenly moistened. Season with salt. Spread the mixture in the baking dish and cover with lightly oiled foil. (If making in advance, stop here and refrigerate.)

Bake the bread mixture in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the top is crispy, about 15 minutes longer. 

Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and, using a ladle, press 8 indentations into the bread mixture. Crack an egg into each indentation. 

Return the dish to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes, until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Depending how you prefer your eggs, cook longer or shorter.

 Serve the breakfast bake right away with Sriracha or hot sauce.

 bon appétit!

**Image by Palto

Categories: Personal Growth - Action Plans

Tags: mastermind group , masterminding , Napoleon Hill , Think and Grow Rich , Andrew Carnegie , partners in believing , DreamBuilder , life coach , life coaching , building an action plan , achieving success , breakfast recipes , egg casseroles