Mastermind or group coaching program – what is the difference?

by | Business, Numerology

I get it.

It’s confusing out there when so many coaches and trainers use the word mastermind when really what they are offering are group coaching programs.


What is a mastermind?


The term mastermind was popularized by Napoleon Hill in his classic book, “Think and Grow Rich.”

Napoleon Hill discovered through his painstaking research that harmonious groups of two or more people who come together for a specific purpose, or around a specific topic, bring forth such a power of creativity and support that you just are unable to access when you go it alone.

Today mastermind is used to describe everything from small, intimate circles of people following Napoleon Hill’s principles to large FaceBook groups and group coaching/training programs.  It’s a term that’s been overused so much that it’s become confusing for everyone to know what they can expect.

You may have even joined a mastermind only to discover it didn’t deliver what you expected it too.  There are far too many masterminds that aren’t true masterminds and leave you feeling totally disappointed.  Let’s get clear about the differences.

You may or may not know that I absolutely love the concept of masterminds.  I love leading/facilitating them for my clients and being part of them for my benefit.  I adore witnessing relationships and trust deepening, and the exponential results participants get.




These are the main differences between a mastermind and a group coaching/training program:

  • A mastermind is a harmonious group of people, who come together to bring forth a power of creativity and support initiated through their commitment to one another. A group coaching program is a group of people who come together to learn a subject or curriculum and receive coaching from the coach.


  • A mastermind leader filters and selects the mastermind participants to ensure they become a cohesive community. A group leader allows anyone who wants to learn the content in the curriculum to join the group program.


  • In a mastermind the leader facilitates the group meetings. In a group programme the leader teaches and coaches the participants when the group meets.


  • A mastermind is a conscious community of choice, where it’s a privilege to connect, contribute and receive inspiration, support and perspective from one another. A group programme is a group where each member comes to receive learning and coaching from the coach.


  • Masterminds are great for those who are experienced and seeking to build confidence and connections through giving and receiving expertise from others. Group coaching is perfect for those who want to learn and receive guidance from a coach.


  • A mastermind draws upon the influence, wisdom, experience and network of group members in a safe context created by the facilitator. In a group coaching program you receive the wisdom and knowledge of the leader.


  • A mastermind is limited in size, generally three to nine people. A group programme can consist of anywhere from 2 to 500 or more people.  Group size directly affects the intimacy of relationships formed in any group.



Why masterminds?


Although the term mastermind was coined by Napoleon Hill in the 1920s, masterminds have existed since the beginning of time.  In 1727 Benjamin Franklin formed a club for mutual improvement in Philadelphia.

During his extensive research when writing “Think and Grow Rich”, Napoleon Hill discovered that key to every successful businessman’s success was their participation in a mastermind. 


You may be wondering why they’re so effective and powerful.


Our connections impact everything we do and how we understand the world around us whether we’re aware of it or not.

There’s power in like-hearted entrepreneurs standing strong together.

Standing out together.  Standing up together.

Not having like-hearted people to talk to about your business and bounce ideas around with is one of the most difficult aspects of being in business.

The role of key decision-maker is an extremely heavy weight, psychologically and emotionally.

Every decision.

Every metric.

Everything … depends on YOU.




Why choose a mastermind rather than a group coaching program?  Here’s why:


  • When you’re in a mastermind, you’re part of an exclusive community all of whom need you as much as you need them. Ensuring you’re a perfect fit with the other members is crucial to the smooth running of the group and increases exponentially the value you receive from your mastermind experience.


  • As a key decision-maker everything depends on you, every decision, every metric, everything. In your mastermind your fellow members become your board of supportive directors so you can bounce ideas around and receive perspective, inspiration and ideas.


  • Together everyone achieves more. When you’re in a mastermind you’ll create collaboratively regardless of whether it’s your own project, someone else’s or a joint project.  You’ll accomplish so much more in a mastermind than you ever would on your own.


  • Trust is a key indicator of growth both personally and in business. Trust deepens as you build relationships with your fellow masterminders so that quickly you find yourself part of networks you’d never have gained access to previously.  Your potential to form meaningful connections with previously unknown persons or companies expands rapidly and exponentially in a mastermind.


  • Shared wisdom and experience enrich and expand your learning and knowledge. Your mastermind colleagues know stuff you don’t and you know things they don’t know.  Together you create a trusted and respected pool of wisdom, experience, knowledge and resources.


  • Your mastermind colleagues can be your greatest advocates promoting you where your name would otherwise go unmentioned. As you promote them your credibility grows within your own circle of influence.


  • Being in a mastermind will stretch your capacity to BE, to think larger, to grow your belief in possibilities through your close connections with these high-achieving leaders who are doing amazing work in the world just like you.


I cannot imagine my life and business without a mastermind group, which is why I’m committed to leading some of the best mastermind groups available.


Currently applications are open for the next cohort of Extraordinary Leaders Circle


“You are the average of the five people you spend most time with” – Jim Rohn


Who you spend time with influences who you become and what your business becomes. 


Joining a mastermind is potentially one of the most transformational decisions you’ll ever make in your life and your business.


Got any questions, or want to learn more about my Extraordinary Leaders Mastermind – message me or shoot me an email at


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about the author

Daphne Wells coaches women to design a life and business that feels free by helping to release expectations that don’t resonate and fully embrace what makes them happiest. An advocate for independence and author of Decide – Choose your own path, Daphne helps women find their inner strength and take courageous action all over the world.

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