Failed Projects, #2 – The Mastery

Here’s another trip down the memory-lane-of-failures. This one cost a few thousand dollars and a couple months worth of work – a bummer.

the-mastery 300The Mastery was a membership website that matched people up so they could be in a mastermind group. It spawned out of a mastermind group that I was in with Dave Schneider of Ninja Outreach and Lewis Ogden of Cloud Income. (Update – Dave no longer runs these websites, but can be found at and

We felt like everyone was talking about mastermind groups but there wasn’t a great place to hook up with people. It turns out that a couple people tried in the past, though none of them were successful.

It’s basically a 2 way marketplace situation: you need to have a community in place then you can match them up. It’s really hard to setup a two way marketplace and it’s similar to a forum. We thought we could launch off the audiences of our 3 respective blogs which isn’t a terrible idea.

But the biggest issue was that people didn’t want to pay for the service. The projections and dollar figures don’t matter at this point, but the membership fee was too expensive! And the projections were way to generous, especially for the number of members that we thought would sign up. One silly thing that happened was that people didn’t even know that it was a paid service.

I think there is some value in a community, like the one we were setting up, and even more value in forming mastermind groups. I bet if someone hit the right formula and was persistent enough (read: stubborn), then it would work.

However, I think the solution is generally solved when a person is part of an existing community and finds like-minded people there. For example, right when we were launching, the Dynamite Circle which is a paid community/forum, started matching people up to form mastermind groups.

Here’s what I learned from this failure:

  1. You don’t have to take opportunities when you see them. There will always be a shitload of them. Wait till you’re ready.
  2. Someone needs to be the champion of a project – to own it. For Dave, Lewis, and me, the Mastery was a side project. It was doomed to fail.
  3. I learned about launching something.
  4. I got over my fear of sending out emails to sell something.
  5. I learned about copywriting.


Empire Podcast (EFP 132): Dave was interviewed in this episode. Check it out if you have not listened to it yet. That episode reminded me how everything went down.

About the Author: Doug Cunnington is the founder of Niche Site Project. He shows people how to create Affiliate Sites using project management and a proven, repeatable framework. Doug loves creating systems, using templates, and brewing beer (but usually not at the same time).

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