Absolutely, you can. I’ve set up my own Amazon mastermind myself, as I mentioned earlier.
Here’s the thing – it’s really hard work. If I were just selling on Amazon, rather than also running a podcast and coaching, I simply wouldn’t do it all again. I’d just plug into an existing group.
But, if you want to create something from scratch, I can give you a ton of reality checks form from personal experience:
Firstly, and most importantly, you’ve got to gather together a set of people who are worth being peers with in an Amazon group in the first place.
When I first started out on Amazon, and formed my own peer group of Amazon sellers, I looked through the Facebook group of a course that I was in, and searched for people who lived in or near me (in London). I then tried to check out what they had been posting, to see how active they were, whether they were moving forward with the process, etc.
That took a lot of time and effort. Trouble is, that was just a beginning!
Think about it.
There are a lot of people out on the Facebook groups, even within paid courses, who don’t have enough money, don’t have enough time, and don’t have the right attitude.
They hope they can make some money on Amazon. They’ve often been pitched into the idea that they can easily replace the day job within 3 months (if that’s you.
Sure, it happens- but it’s pretty rare. Sorry to burst your balloon. It’s not a business-like attitude. It’s based on hope. Which, as we all know, is not a strategy…).
What I’ve just described sounds, in fact, like a typical Facebook group of Amazon wannapreneurs.
Which is why my first effort to create a little Amazon mastermind faltered. I had found a bunch of would-be Amazon sellers who lived in London and posted a bit online. Not surprisingly, most of them proved to be very much non-action-takers, and the meetings ended up being people fantasising about starting a business, instead of doing it!
What you need is a filtering system. And, guess what, that takes time and effort to build. What I do these days for the masterminds for Amazon sellers that I run (through Amazing FBA) is have an application process for each Amazon mastermind.
I ask every single applicant to fill in a form with questions that I’ve honed over a year of working this process. Then in some cases (all cases, for applicants to my $10K Collective Amazon mastermind ), I have a 20-30 minute interview in which I ask detailed questions.
Why bother? Well, see above. What happens to you if you create (with some effort) a peer group of under-capitalized, time-poor un-focussed people? Oh yeah…
Of course, if you are going to filter people out, you need a way of finding possible people in the first place. If you’re going to manually do that, you need to be going to a lot of physical meet ups and other big groups.
That’s great, but there aren’t a whole lot of good ones in the UK. There’s a fantastic Amazon meetup in London once a month, run by the excellent Andy Geldman of Webretailer. Then there are various other meet up groups, some of which might be good, but many of which, I suspect, are run by wannabes not business owners.
Once you’ve gathered your troops, you’ve got to find a suitable venue for your Amazon meet up.
Firstly, it needs to be reasonably accessible for your members. So the geography and transport links matter. Then it needs to be affordable (money is whole other issue we’ll discuss). This all takes quite a bit of time and effort. Even in London, I found it took hours, and we have a ton of business meeting venues in this place.
You need a space that enables you all to think clearly. You could use your own house, of course, if you have the space- and the headspace. But do you really want the kids -or your husband/wife-interrupting a crucial business point? How conducive to clear thinking is that? It’s cheap but brings its own issues.
You could use a local pub but I’ve found (having been in an Amazon mastermind in the past who met in one) that the noise seriously disrupts your ability to hear crucial bits of information. So I can’t recommend that.
A quiet cafe is better – but although I find that works great for one-to-one meetings, it’s not really the right way for a group of people to work, as they have to basically take over the room to do it. And there’s always a screaming infant somewhere (and why should there not be? it’s a cafe!)
You need decent wifi of course (although I think it’s less important than most people make it. But you shouldn’t spend your whole time online. You need to think clearly. Online is not the place for that).
I think a whiteboard or an easel with a flipchart is very, very helpful for brainstorming strategies, or capturing key resources (eg websites or online tools) for the group.
Coffee on tap is great -free, good coffee even better! Easily available toilets are a mundane but crucial part of a good venue. And finally, you ideally want somewhere easy for new members to find, not a cramped room hidden upstairs behind a noisy pub!
I hope that the above experiences save you wasting months of hard work. Frankly, now I know from experience what I know, if I were just selling on Amazon, rather than also running a podcast and coaching, I simply wouldn’t do it all again. I’d just plug into an existing group. As indeed I did myself about 18 months ago!
The only reason I go to all the trouble it takes to create and run a Amazon mastermind (which I detailed just some of above), is that it’s part of my mission at Amazing FBA.
That mission is to help Amazon sellers and those in the process of establishing their own Amazon businesses to achieve REAL goals. Not just fantasies. And not to take 12 months on something that you could achieve in 3 months (or even 2) with some guidance from experience.
Even then, I couldn’t justify the time it takes away from my Amazon business if I didn’t charge a certain amount for all the efforts. The cost is pretty modest, by the way, if you compare it to the literally £thousands I’ve seen some Amazon trainers charge.
Often they turn out to be not true small group masterminds, but actually groups of 30-60 people. There’s nothing wrong with paying £10s of thousands if you get value in the £100s of thousands, but I’m pretty suspicious of the value most of those so-called “Amazon masterminds” can really deliver.
So, I guess that brings me fairly unavoidably to mention the Amazon masterminds that I run for Amazing FBA. Again, I don’t want to be self-serving, but it would be a bit strange for me not to mention them in the context of Amazon masterminds and masterminds as a whole.
I try to practise what I preach, basically. I said at the start of this article that I believe that a mastermind needs to be interactive; needs to be focussed; and needs to lead its members to action, which leads to their progress.
From the (sometimes painful) experience of trying many approaches in Amazon masterminds (both as a member and group leader), I’ve found the formula to combine all those good things. Like a lot of good formulas, it’s pretty simple. In fact, that’s partly why it’s so effective.
The secret sauce that I’ve found to combine all those outcomes, is the “Hot Seat”.
I’ve found that to be so effective that we’ve made it the overwhelming focus of each Amazon mastermind meeting.
Here’s how it works:
Each participant gets minimum 30 minutes to focus on their own business. Specifically, to focus on ONE thing. Even more exactly, the ONE roadblock that when they break through it, it will really move the needle. Will really move their business on -substantially.
So it’s very focussed. That’s one secret. It’s also interactive. Because once the member in the hot seat has outlined their issue, all other members are there to bring their experience and thoughts to the issue.
Of course, it’s very helpful if the other members who don’t have anything valuable to bring can keep schtum. That way, others who do bring value can help.
But it is excellent business training to encounter business problems and brainstorm solutions. That is the real training we all need as business builders. Not an obsession with the latest trick or grey hat technique (useful as they are, of course). But business thinking and mindset.
There is a huge bonus of having a genuine peer group in an Amazon mastermind. A lot of the people in the group share the same set of problems. So by listening to solutions to another person’s problem, you’re hearing the solutions to many problems of your own.
SO, the group members can almost not fail to move their business forward. Provided the participants go away and implement this stuff (another crucial word), they Job done! Isn’t it?
Well, almost. The implementation piece has proved to be a real challenge for many Amazon mastermind members. Which is why I’ve recently added in a simple extra process to make sure people are held to account. In other words, to use peer pressure in a very positive way. To get you to do what you said you were going to do!
We’ve simply added in a quick video call check in once a month. The aim? Simple. To make sure people are implementing what they’ve said they would.
It’s early days, but the results already look promising.
It’s fairly obvious where I’m going with this, so I’ll just come out and say it:
-if you’re convinced of the value of being in an Amazon mastermind
-if you’re not wanting to go through the pain, time & effort of creating your own Amazon mastermind,
-AND if you live near London (or can get there)
then obviously I think you should consider the Amazing FBA masterminds!
I’m not going to make a huge pitch for them here; if you want to check them out, there are now two levels:
The Zero to Hero Mastermind, which is geared to those who have not yet launched, and to those doing just a few thousand $ a month (or equivalent) on Amazon (we may form a separate mastermind for the latter as it grows)
The $10K Collective, which is for those doing at least $10K a month on Amazon.
The thing is this. Now, you have a process that means you focus on the biggest win in your business right now. You can get the collective mind to break through blocks and find the actions to get that win. You have a means to hold you to do that action.
Now you have a really powerful driver to move you forward.
Like I said, that may be why nearly all the successful Amazon entrepreneurs I know are part of one.
Wherever you live in the world, I’d encourage you to look for a face-to-face mastermind you can regularly commit to.
The word commit is a key one here too. If you put little in, you get little out.Your peer group will massively impact your wealth and well-being. So Choose wisely who you associate with.
But once you’ve chosen well, commit to your Amazon mastermind. The more you sweat to rearrange your schedule to get to meetings; spend money on trains or planes to get there; in short, the more you put in- the more you get out.
I can give you a promise from my experiences as an Amazon seller and from running groups. The rewards of a really quality Amazon mastermind are truly many times greater than the effort. And the ROI (for the right group) many times greater than the cost.
Richard Branson is famous as a serial entrepreneur. And a very rich and consistently successful one at that.
So when someone asked him for his best way to be productive, what do you think he said? Listen to the podcast to find out!
This episode is part of the **Summer Series** of bite-sized chunks of Amazon Strategic Goodness!