The practical factors come first!
WHO to invite to your Club? You might be really enthusiastic; you’ve read The Mastery Club and you’re raring to start! But none of your friends have read it or maybe they’re just not that enthusiastic...
I suggest that you look for kids who are genuinely interested, even
if your Club is quite small to begin with. Don’t force others or use
peer pressure to get them to join your Club because you might find your
members dropping out after a while if you do. It’s probably worthwhile
making a basic rule that new members need to have either read The Mastery Club
or be in the process of reading it to be eligible to join. (And that
goes for your adult mentor as well!) NB They can buy copies from The Mastery Club website or go to their local bookshop and ask for it. And YOU can become an affiliate and make money when they buy a book...
HOW MANY members should you have? Nina gathers another four kids; somewhere around that number is probably a good start. Something to consider here is how will you keep up the energy and enthusiasm in the group if some people drop out or are unable to attend a few meetings in a row (for whatever reason). If there are only one or two members left, the whole thing might fall over quite quickly.
If you’re finding it hard to gather enough committed members, maybe that can be your first goal/challenge/project! Remember, too, that leaders have vision that others don’t always share. That’s why they say that eagles soar alone while geese flock... In other words, is it possible that other kids may not be interested in joining, or even make fun of you for wanting to start a Mastery Club? Absolutely! You can almost count on it. Is it possible that an adult may be negative about your plans? Yep. So remember this Success Tip: it’s not what happens that matters; it’s how you RESPOND to what happens that matters. Your response is always in your hands, and it’s your source of power.
WHERE to meet? If you are inspired to gather together a few other young people to get a Club started, you’ll need your parents’ permission, and to agree on a place to hold your meetings. Maybe you’ll have one regular meeting place, as the kids do to begin with in The Mastery Club, or rotate homes, as they do later.
Who is going to LEAD the meetings? The two main leaders in The Mastery Club are Nina and her uncle, Nuncle! And it’s probably a good idea for you to also have a young person as leader, and an adult mentor to call upon from time to time. (Nuncle isn’t always present at the meetings, and he certainly doesn’t run them. He’s a friendly and helpful resource.) Leadership is a great skill for all people to develop, so maybe the leadership role can be rotated also.
How to START and FINISH your meetings. Some years ago I was guest at a Salespeople’s Breakfast which began with a rousing affirmation that everyone joined in on: “I’m alive, I’m well, and I FEEL GREAT!” We all stood up and called it out vigorously. At the Unity Church, congregants come together in a circle at the end of a service and hold hands while they sing a Peace song. Maybe your Club can create its own starting and finishing rituals so that everyone knows when the meeting has officially begun and when it’s officially over. That will help people to focus. (How long should the meeting be? That depends on how many members you have and how focused everyone is. An hour is probably a good length of time to allow initially.)
Now we need to consider AGREEMENTS. It’s really important to have a framework of respect in a Club - respect for each other’s ideas and for listening when others are speaking; also respecting confidentiality, which means keeping what members share about their goals, dreams or challenges inside the group. It’s also important to remember that when people are being creative, which is what ‘mastery clubbing’ is all about, criticising ideas can cause them to dry up. So make an agreement to listen with an open mind and encourage your team-mates. Think ‘how we can’ rather than ‘why we can’t’.
The first Mastery Club meeting that Nina runs has two main purposes: one is to point out to the group that they each have amazing potential. That’s why she arrives at the 'See the Invisible, Hear the Silent, Do the Impossible' motto. See if you can come up with heaps of examples of the amazing things people have achieved. Think about athletes who cherished a dream to win gold at the Olympics since they were children, and singers who were entertaining their families in the kitchen, and business owners who started their first businesses when they were nine years old. Almost anything is possible, and the things that aren’t possible (like living on Mars next year) are probably not really that important to you anyway.
That’s the key: to come up with a challenge / goal / dream that makes your heart sing. It has to inspire you or you won’t be bothered acting on it. Choosing your goal – something you’d each like to create in your life – is the second purpose of your first meeting. Some members will come up with these immediately, while others might take a bit longer, as Natalie did. There were quite a range of goals, if you think back to the book - everything from passing maths tests to family holidays overseas. The most important ingredients when you’re coming up with a goal that will inspire you is that it must be something that is important to YOU and it must be something that YOU can take a first step towards today or tomorrow, whether it’s talking to someone, making a phone call or doing some research. There’s no point just dreaming up something that would be nice (like having your favourite celebrity invite you out to dinner next month).
You might remember that at times The Mastery Club members felt disheartened because they couldn’t see proof that their dream was coming true. Affirmations, visualisation, treasure maps, and taking action are core activities when getting started. You can always pull out your copy of The Mastery Club for guidance – and remember about the 10 Lessons Summary at the end of the book. Read the UCAN! Plan articles, perisist, be patient, trust... Michael Losier has a great line to help him keep faith while he's waiting for a goal to materialise: He says, "A lot can happen in a week..."
And adults, remember that you can start a Club too! Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich, calls them ‘mastermind groups’.