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Mastermind groups, which provide an effective environment for business owners to learn, grow, and develop their businesses together, have become very popular over the past 100 years. As a business owner, you probably have questions like:

One of the key questions a business owner considers is whether I should join a mastermind group of business owners in my industry or a mastermind group of mixed businesses. Industry mastermind groups are just one of the five types of mastermind groups.

Should I Choose A Mastermind Group In My Industry

Choosing to join an industry-focused or industry-agnostic mastermind group is difficult because there isn’t a right answer. Both types of mastermind groups will help your business and you grow. While each type of business mastermind has its advantages, let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of each and see whether an industry-agnostic model or an industry-focused mastermind is a better fit for your needs right now.

We say ‘right now’ because ultimately most of our Business Builder members join and industry focused group for a while or they’ve come from an industry focused group. Also, many of our members get their industry specific knowledge from conferences or trade groups.

Pros & Cons Of An Industry Focused Mastermind Group

Below is our breakdown of the positives of an industry focused mastermind group, as well as the negatives. We have experienced both, seen growth from both, and want to share our experience with you.

The Benefits Of An Industry Focused Mastermind Group

Whether it is a mastermind group of HVAC business owners, professional stair builders, or a mastermind of marketing professionals, you will benefit from the following:

1. Industry-Specific Knowledge

No matter where you are in your business building journey, there is always more to learn. Being surrounded by other business professionals in your niche can help you to know and learn insights and opportunities in your industry. The people in the group will get the technical how-to aspects of what you do.

2. Access To New Business Opportunities

While you will not be “making a sale” to a business owner in your industry, some business owners have more work than they can handle. If they trust you, they will share their customers with you, so both of you benefit.

3. Industry Specific Problem Solving

Sometimes, there are changes within an industry that other business owners in your field will be working through at the same time. Getting their insight is valuable and helpful to your business’s future and growth.

4. Market Insight Into Your Industry

Some industries are majorly impacted by the market. Trucking and transport or the housing market are two examples of businesses that experience wild upturns and downturns. If the mastermind group has open discussion, you can learn about industry trends and changes before they impact you.

5. Quick Relationship Building

It is easy to talk to someone in your field because there is already an established common ground. You’ll feel like you are in a group of people who “get you”.

While there are more benefits you can receive from a mastermind group in your industry, like leadership guidance and accountability, the items listed above are the only benefits that are closely connected to it being industry-related. All mastermind groups should have the benefit of leadership guidance, accountability and so on.

The Negatives Of An Industry Specific Mastermind Group

There are quite a few negatives to being in a mastermind group of business owners that are all in the same industry. In our experience, a lot of these negatives can consume the mastermind group and quickly lead it to being ineffective.

1. The Echochamber Effect

When you are in a room surrounded by business owners in the same field, it can feel like each conversation is the same, each idea is the same, and every strategic thought is the same. This echo chamber where business owners “talk shop” isn’t a terrible thing; it builds community. But when the conversation never moves past shop talk, you’ll leave feeling you learned nothing and wasted your time. There are a few subsets to the echo chamber effect:

  • Limited Ideas: Mastermind groups are supposed to be a major source of inspiration and ideas. When you are with a group who work the same way you do, think the same way you do, and talk about the same things you do, the conversation will be limited.
  • Lack Of Objective Thinking: Since we are all in the same industry, we are very likely to come to similar conclusions. When you have someone who is “outside the box” this is where ideas and inspiration will develop.
  • Stuck On The Same Topic: If you work in marketing right now, business professionals only want to discuss AI. If you work in insurance, the only topic is rising rates and flood insurance changes. If you own a restaurant, the only conversations held in 2020 were about how to open.

2. Direct Competition In A Business Mastermind Group

There may be an awkwardness of direct competition becoming part of the mastermind group. While on the surface, it won’t seem like a problem, and this will directly hinder what is shared as well as the trust within the group.

3. Dealing With Low Quality

In every industry there are businesses who perform low quality work. It can be challenging for a business owner to work with or even discuss their work and industry with someone who is looking for the cheapest and sometimes immoral way to perform the job you love so much.

4. Conflicting Approaches To Your Industry

When two business owners have directly conflicting approaches to how your industry should serve customers, tempers may flare up, and the very purpose of the mastermind group is hindered.

5. Focus On Shop Talk vs. Focusing On Things That Matter

Important things like People challenges and opportunities and the rest of life. We can stay surface level and cry in our beer about the same things with those in our industry. When in an industry agnostic mastermind you are more likely to talk about emotions and fears and family and who YOU are. It’s easy to deflect from the real challenge which is often you.

If you want to know what a mastermind group discussion would look like in just your industry, perform a search for your industry on LinkedIn. Under that filter, you will see the good and the bad conversations that will be held. While there is a huge benefit within industry-based masterminds of having common ground to start the conversation, that common ground can be a detriment to the group if they never leave it for more critical thinking and inspirational topics.

Why We Like Our Industry Agnostic Mastermind Group

We believe mastermind groups should foster accountability, creative thinking, ideas, and helpful support. We have found these are most present within a mastermind group of business owners who are not all in the same industry.

We have seen more diverse perspectives and conversations, major breakthrough ideas, a closer connection, higher levels of accountability, major networking opportunities, and overall growth for each of our Business Builders. In the Builder Groups we focus on pillars that include health, wealth, fitness, friendship and family.

Should You Join An Industry Based Mastermind Group?

If you want to, you should try it! There are definitely pros and cons to a business network within your industry. But in our opinion and experience there are so many more positives to groups made of a mix of businesses.

Industry-agnostic mastermind groups are powerful tools for professional and personal development because of the diverse viewpoints, networking opportunities, and people who care about your personal and professional growth. Learn what it means to be a Business Builder and join us on our journey.