They call the times we are in VUCA, which is short for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous. I laugh at this personally. The world is changing everyday. And there are billions of people being governed by thousands of different governments. What do you expect?

But for the typical entrepreneur, I do not think this is very funny. Statistics show that eight of every 10 businesses flop within the first 18 months of operations according to SBA. At the end of 10 years, only 4 percent of businesses survive. Clearly, the odds are stacked up against us in this constant and never-ending struggle to build and scale a company over time without ending up as just another statistic. 

In addition, entrepreneurship is a lonely world. I don’t mean physically, but mentally. We have so many ideas swirling around in our minds that it is often difficult to express them. A free app called Workflowy has been a savior in this area of my life. But that’s just the first step, I still need to make it practical. Which requires the help of others.

Oftentimes, most entrepreneurs are left in the dark. Feeling hopeless, lost and without a sliver of a chance to survive, and throw in that proverbial towel. However, for those that know better, masterminds offer a solace from the torrential onslaught of a cataclysmic financial death. They’re a safe haven for those that are looking to learn and expand their skill set, while networking with some of the most influential marketing minds in the world. 

Today, mastermind groups offer up a unique reprieve from the norm, a chance to learn from the decades-long successes and experience of their founders, who are more than willing to help put theory into practice for those that have a sense of urgency to take massive action and who are able to pony up a hefty sum. And by hefty sum, I don’t say that lightly. Some of the world’s best masterminds can run upwards of six figures. Yes, six figures. That’s a hard number to swallow for most. 

However, these ultra-exclusive groups offer a rare opportunity for gaining a competitive edge in a marketplace that’s constantly expanding. Without understanding the overall mechanics of marketing, and without having the right tools to implement advanced sales strategies and tactics, most entrepreneurs will remain lost and suffer a slow and steady eventual demise. For those that know better, these groups offer a chance to exponentially rise above the noise and catapult to the front of the line.

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What are masterminds? 

Before diving further into a discussion about the utility found in these exclusive groups of like-minded entrepreneurs and brilliant marketers, it’s important to understand what a mastermind group is and what it isn’t. Masterminds, for all intents and purposes, are peer-to-peer gatherings that are often helmed by thought-leaders and industry titans.

In the entrepreneurial world, some of the best mastermind groups are led by individuals who’ve achieved outlandish results and wildly-unfathomable levels of success. These are people like my mentor, multiple New York Times bestselling author Dean Graziosi, an individual who has done upwards of $1 billion in sales with his brands and companies, but who came from humble beginnings. Growing up in a trailer park, Graziosi wasn’t blessed with a silver spoon in his mouth.

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His epic struggles took him from a life that was a rollercoaster ride, and at several points, a complete mess, and turned it into a message, one that’s impacted millions upon millions of individuals. However, Graziosi’s prior bouts with failure and financial collapse, numerous times in life, shaped him for a life of sheer abundance, one that rises above the typical scarcity model, by flipping the script and using pain and the fear of failure to fuel him rather than to hold him back.  

The truth? Thoughts are things. Dean Graziosi knows this just as much as someone like Frank Kern, Roland Frasier, Joe Polish or any other number of mastermind leaders also know. In fact, Kern, who’s arguably one of the most influential online marketers of our generation, and one of the most successful business coaches in the world, overcame his own demons, along with a severe struggle with denial, frustration and fear.

Yet, the beauty of masterminds lives in their ability to help its members learn from the collective experience of the group. Not only do the influential leaders help to guide those that are involved, but so do fellow members, who’ve also struggled and overcome things that other members might be going through at that very moment. It’s a rare opportunity for networking and getting one-on-one help at the highest level with the exact people who can deliver the fastest and most proven systems.

Your own trial and error is the old way to succeed and masterminds are eclipsing that at record speed. In fact, many of the leaders of the most successful of these groups have themselves invested heavily in masterminds before ever starting their own. And for good reason. They offer tremendous results. And some mastermind leaders, like Graziosi, Polish and Kern have invested upwards of a million dollars or more over the course of a decade because they realized that it provided a huge platform for growth.

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How do you find the right mastermind group?

Mastermind groups are a dime a dozen these days. They seem to have sprouted up all over the place. But, not all of these groups are created equally. While some newcomers to the entrepreneurial world have taken the plunge into creating their own masterminds, not all of them are effective. So, how do you go about finding the right group to fit your needs?

That really depends on where you are in business and in life. Some of the best groups are run by the most well-respected titans of industry. But, if you don’t have the financial wherewithal to join a group like that, then you could simply create your own. Just find really smart people that are playing the game at a higher level. That’s what it takes. But don’t simply join a group where you’re the smartest person in the room. Rather, join a mastermind where everyone is getting smarter together.

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When speaking with my mentor Graziosi, what I came to realize was that people seek out masterminds because they’re looking for revolutionary change. They’re looking to accomplish monumental goals and to take things to the next level. And Graziosi distills down any change into four parts. Address each of the four parts and you can achieve revolutionary results in any area of your life or business. 

Step 1. Where are you? 

All change starts with honesty. Where are you right now. You have to be honest. If you’re not honest, you’re not ready or willing for the change you crave. How can you expect to get to where you’re looking to go if you can’t be honest with where you are today? Even if this disturbs you, write it down. Be honest. Allow it to upset you if you must. Because, that can create the push or the momentum you need. Remember, even with GPS, you need a starting point.

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Step 2. Where do you want to be?

The second step to change is to decide where you want to be. Where are you going? Where do you want your business to be? The problem that Graziosi finds is that most people are clear on what they don’t have, yet lack a crystal-clear vision on where they want to go. Best way to achieve this is to pretend it’s one year from today and it was the best financial year of your life. Then, write down what that looks like to you. That’ll help create your vision and the direction you need to go.

Step 3. Why do you want it?

No change, whether it be in a mastermind group or on your own, is possible without knowing why you want what you want on the deepest level possible. Your “why” can be more powerful than you can imagine when it comes from your heart and it can be the driving force behind hard days and disappointments. Get clear on why you want something and be sure that it’s not just something superficial.

Step 4. How will you get there?

If you know where you are and where you want to go, then what’s left is gaining the capabilities to take you there. If you can’t outline that, then you’ll have a difficult time following through. Make a clear and detailed plan if you’re serious about success. Any good mastermind is designed to deliver you the “how” and create your plan for your startup, growth and for scaling profits. Capabilities from those playing at your level or higher is key.

Related: The Hidden Danger of Online Business Coaches

What are the best masterminds in the world? 

Any list of masterminds might be deemed subjective. But those that are looking to play at the highest levels of life or in business turn to the following group of 10 collectives to achieve their breakthrough results. While they might be seem expensive at first, the amount of money you’ll exchange to be part of these utterly transformative groups will pale in comparison to the results that you receive. 

1. Dean Graziosi and Matt Larson’s Organized Brilliance

Organized Brilliance is by far the leading mastermind group, especially for those that are ready to become scalable and profitable leaders in the real estate investing business. Dean Graziosi has built his epic career on the backbone of real estate investing, training and marketing, he’s a master at selling and negotiating deals, and a proverbial leader of the pack.

While any list like this can be considered subjective, Graziosi’s level of knowledge, compassion, skill and desire to add enormous amounts of value are simply unbridled in the industry. He also has the highest-level mastermind for marketing and scaling your business I could find, with Joe Polish, called Genius X, with a hefty $100,000-a-year membership fee that often sells out in a matter of days.

Related: Need Some Communal Inspiration? Consider Masterminds or Mentorships.

2. Roland Frasier, Perry Belcher and Ryan Deiss’s War Room Mastermind 

Another one of the best masterminds out there is Roland Frasier, Perry Belcher and Ryan Deiss’s War Room Mastermind. You can only sign up at their Traffic & Conversion summits, which is one of the biggest and most popular marketing conferences in the world. The War Room Mastermind is incredibly exclusive and gathers together 100 of the leading minds in business, marketing and technology for a life-changing summit.

3. Brendon Burchard’s High Performance Mastermind

Brendon Burchard has been called “the world’s leading higher performance coach” by Forbes and “one of the most influential leaders in the field of personal growth” by O Magazine. It’s no wonder that Burchard’s High Performance Mastermind is one of the leading groups of its kind out there for those that are relentlessly chasing success. In fact, he teaches the same strategies in his mastermind that he’s used to build a thriving eight-figure business.

Related: Where to Find a Community If You’re a Solopreneur

4. Joe Polish’s Genius Network

Joe Polish is one of the most influential thought leaders in the marketing industry, and his Genius Network is frequented by individuals who run, on average, a $9-million-per-year business with strong desires to take things to the next level. Polish leads the charge with connecting industry titans and the brightest minds in their respective fields to help create transformative results at his events, which are deeply-curated discussions that focus heavily on deepening personal and business relationships. 

5. Russel Brunson’s Inner Circle

Russel Brunson is one of the most brilliant online marketers and underground entrepreneurs who’s built a near-billion-dollar sales-funnel software business, but someone who also runs a very popular mastermind called his Inner Circle. Brunson’s celebrity status amidst online marketers has reached something more akin to a mass hysteria, and those who can get in to his Inner Circle are elated to learn from one of the brightest minds in the field.

Related: This Firm Offers Startups Mentorship For a Fee, Not an Equity Stake

6. Jeff Walker’s Platinum Mastermind

Jeff Walker, who runs the Platinum Mastermind, is infamous for his renowned product launch formula, which conveys the secrets, right down to the specific methods and practices, for launching a digital product. The system has been used by thousands of entrepreneurs to generate well over $500 million in revenues. Today, Walker’s Platinum Mastermind is the culmination of a life’s long journey into marketing and personal development, and it’s definitely worth checking out.

7. Frank Kern’s Inner Circle

Frank Kern is one of the most influential and successful online marketers of all time. However, today, Kern no longer engages in affiliate marketing, but instead opts to coach entrepreneurs from leading businesses around the world to create explosive growth. He is by far one of the most astute and knowledgeable business coaches on the planet, and his Inner Circle is one of the most sought-after mastermind groups in the world that isn’t even advertised.

8. Verne Harnish’s CEO Boot Camp

Verne Harnish is a celebrated and world-renowned entrepreneur. He’s also the founder of Entrepreneurs Organization, which is a tight-knight community of over 12,000 million-dollar-plus-earning businesses, and author of the book Mastering the Rockafeller Habits. Harnish’s CEO Boot Camp is a four-day mastermind spent in paradise that covers scaling up businesses, positioning for strategic exits, and many other high-level concepts in business.

Related: Every Entrepreneur Should Heed These 3 Pieces Of Sage Wisdom

9. Kent Clothier’s Boardroom

Kent Clothier is the king of arbitrage in the real estate industry. His company, REWW teaches over 22,000 students this concept of reverse wholesale. Kent himself has done over 4,000 real estate transactions and has roughly 3,500 homes under management. When it comes to mastermind groups, his Boardroom is one of the most sought after by the heavy-hitters in the business world.

10. Marq Neasman’s Round Table

Marq Neasman Sr. is the sought-after entrepreneur who founded AOK High Performance, a global corporation helping businessMEN in leadership positions from around the world. His Round Table is a very exclusive club that’s designed for successful entrepreneurs who want to take things to the next level.