Start your own advertisers’ club

July 3, 2013

By Jerry Bellune

What is it that churches, country clubs, Rotarians and master gardeners have in common? They are part of something larger than themselves that gives them comfort, joy and a sense of belonging.

Yes, it’s more complex than that. Being part of something gives us a wide variety of benefits. It is primal, too. We tend to be pack animals. Some of us are lone wolves but they are a tiny minority.

Understanding that we join churches, temples, clubs and other groups for similar reasons.

So what if you brought your key advertisers together regularly to discuss challenges and opportunities? Many of us have read and profited by Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich” and other books on success.

To me, the most important idea in Hill’s classic book is the one on master minding. He learned the concept from America’s first billionaire, steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie.

Carnegie had drawn around him a group of savvy, experienced executives who met with him regularly. They discussed their challenges, considered options and arrived at the best available solution. They discussed opportunities, weighed the risks and benefits of each and decided to forget it or take it on.

You can profitably follow this model with your key advertisers buy forming your own advisory group.


Keep it exclusive

We started our first Master Mind group two years ago. It was a great learning experience. Our only criteria was that you were one of our regular advertisers or wanted to become one.

We soon found out that membership in our VIP Club Master Mind group isn’t for everybody. We also learned that Master Minding worked best for business owners working with other owners.

The managers who were on someone else’s payroll did not think like owners. The managers quickly eliminated themselves. Now only owners are admitted to our groups.

Let me note that these are not sales leads or networking groups although we do business with each other. They are small, elite groups, capped at 10 members each, who own and operate their own businesses.

Own and operate are key words. They are not absentee owners. They are involved in their businesses. And one of the concepts we stress is that we come together to work “on” our businesses, not just in them. So our two clubs have become exclusive opportunities for entrepreneurs and business owners only. We are dedicated to helping each other take our businesses to higher levels of service and profitability.


Key Master Minding benefits

Marketing agency owner Jeff Ranta calls this “an exciting opportunity to grow your business. 

“Bring a pad and a pen because ideas fly around the room at the speed of thought.”

Business owner members gain at least five blockbuster business building benefits.

1. Fast track, proven ideas and strategies used by fellow Master Minders.

Why re-invent the wheel? We help them shortcut it at lightning speed.

2. Friendly accountability, coaching and encouragement from fellow members.

Accountability is key. When you know others are watching, you tend to quit procrastinating.

You share your goals with us one month and report how you did the next.

3. The awesome power of group creative thinking.

Imagine the exponential benefits of brainstorming with other experienced business owners.

4. A peer group of like-minded entrepreneurs as an exclusive advisory board to test your ideas.

Think ‘Disney Imagineers’ as your personal advisory committee.

5. An opportunity for joint ventures and business alliances.

In one of our Master Mind groups, dentist Greg Wych reported an incredible joint venture with me.

I’ll tell you about that next month in Publishers’ Auxiliary.

July takeaway thought: Want to start your own club? I’m glad to help fellow NNA members. E-mail me at © 2013 The Bellune Co. Inc.


Jerry Bellune teaches newspaper owners the strategies that have made his family book and newspaper publishing businesses successful. You can write to him at

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