What is a mastermind group? 

You’ve heard that two (or more) heads are better than one, and that’s definitely true when it comes to tackling Girl Scout Cookie season. Every year more of the cookie sale goes digital, and troops need new virtual keys to success. Enter the mastermind group—a peer-group of like-minded Cookie Bosses who meet online to build S.M.A.R.T. entrepreneurship goals, and rely on each other for support, accountability, collaboration, and inspiration. 

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The benefits of a mastermind group 

Whether they’re a troop sharing the same big goal or long-distance Girl Scout sisters-in-business, a mastermind group will be an important addition to their Cookie program toolkit. It’s a chance for new and experienced Cookie entrepreneurs to: 

  • Fine-tune their plans and track the progress of their goals 
  • Share resources, tools, skills, and networks 
  • Brainstorm and problem-solve together 
  • Share and celebrate each other’s successes 
  • Stay motivated and have fun with their peers 
  • Support each other’s goals and Cookie program to-do lists 

 And when things get tough and girls encounter challenges and distractions, a mastermind group is a powerful support group. Participants can stay in touch between sessions with messages of encouragement, check-ins with anyone who needs help working through a problem, and reminding each other to take even just one action each day toward meeting their Cookie goals. Girls might even make some amazing long-term friends in the process! 

So where do we start? 

An ideal mastermind group is a group with shared values, commitment, and drive to help each other succeed while reaching individual goals. 
 
For younger girls, staying within their own troop or joining girls from other troops in the same area is a great way to start working collaboratively. Older girls may choose to tap into their extended online network of friends to team up with Girl Scouts outside of their local region or council so that their buyer markets don’t overlap and they won’t be in direct competition with each other.  
 
When girls are deciding who to invite to join their mastermind group, encourage them to choose peers with a similar drive and commitment to problem-solving and achieving goals while remembering the value of differing perspectives and skills. The best combination is one that is both fun and productive! 

Pro Tip: Having trouble finding enough girls to make a productive group? Reach out to your service unit and see if they would advertise your mastermind group! 

Tips for a successful mastermind group 

Here are a few tips to get a Cookie Mastermind group off on the right foot: 

  • Stick to smaller groups of around 3-5 girls. 
  • Assist as needed to facilitate an age-appropriate girl-led experience. 
  • Meet once or twice a week for 30-60 minutes, outside of regular troop meeting times. 
  • Have girls prepare for the first meeting by identifying and writing down their individual goals. 
  • At the first meeting, the group should identify their shared values (ie: generosity, honesty, fun, etc) and craft a mission statement that they can return to if things get off track and they need a reminder of their commitments. 
  • Decide on a structure for meetings that will give equal time and attention to each participant. For instance, each session could be used to do a deep focus brainstorm on a different girl’s cookie business, or the time could be divided up equally amongst all girls at every session. 
  • Decide on roles/responsibilities and how they will be assigned or rotated. 
  • Set a meeting place or a meeting rotation. If you’re meeting over a virtual meeting platform, set a recurring meeting link that girls will know to hop on each week. Consider adding a google or shared calendar invite to help girls and parents stay organized. 

What are you waiting for? 

For both traditional and digital cookie seasons, participating in a mastermind group can keep your girls connected to their Girl Scout friends and their entrepreneurship goals. Whether they start before the Cookie season to plan together, or during the season to brainstorm marketing ideas and practice pitches, learning to work collaboratively with a team on shared or individual tasks is an essential entrepreneurial skill! 

What to do next:  

  • Looking for more Girl Scout cookie-selling tips? Check out our other Trailhead articles!
  • Check out the GSNorCal Cookie Family Guide to dive in! 
  • Explore Cookie-related pins, badges, and awards to help your girls get even more hands-on experience with these essential entrepreneur skills. GSUSA has even adapted some badge activities to support online sales for DaisiesBrowniesJuniorsCadettesSeniors, and Ambassadors

Carrie Hirsch—A lifelong artist, Carrie started her career as a freelance illustrator before shifting roles to in-house graphic designer for a major travel guide publisher and a feminist press, and she’s now enjoying her job as the Senior Graphic Designer for GSNorCal. In her free time, Carrie loves to paint, but when she’s not creating art, she loves hiking and camping with her girlfriend and getting outdoors to find inspiration for new artwork. They live in a cute little house in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a cute little black cat named River.