If you think the mastermind is too expensive, here are 11 ways you could pay for a powerful professional development experience guaranteed to improve your leadership effectiveness.

Members of the mastermind invest in a variety of ways. If you’re interested in joining, you might not realize the abundance of opportunities to fund your membership.

PD bucket line

Some schools have a PD Bucket line they give all their principals. There are a number of mastermind members who take advantage of this. Gene, a principal of an elementary school in NJ, gets $2500 a year to develop himself.

It’s an easy decision. Gene realizes that weekly, personalized PD is worth infinitely more than any  2-day conference available.

His PD bucket covers 93% of his mastermind membership. He then decides where the remaining $200 will come from.

Title 2 funds

Leadership development is an appropriate use of Title II funds. A number of our members use this to cover their mastermind membership. At the end of the year, I provide a certificate of attendance and a receipt for reimbursement. 

Use your ESSER funds

The guys at TheSchoolHouse302 wrote an awesome blog post on how to use this big bucket of money.

Enrolling in a mastermind is one way to use those funds wisely.


Nick from Delaware joined the mastermind after his Assistant Superintendent recommended he join. They then made this agreement: in year one the district would pay half of the mastermind membership and the Nick had to cover half. 

If Nick wanted to continue his mastermind membership into a second year, then he was challenged to build it into his next budget.

Next year’s budget or contract

Maybe the mastermind is a “No” for you right now, but can be a “Yes” next year because you will build the membership dues into next year’s budget.

Or if you are job hunting … when you successfully land your next position, leverage the district’s excitement in getting you to lead one of their schools, and ask them to put your mastermind membership into your contract.

Do this — especially if you are a female leader — and advocate for your leadership development.

Ask yourself

Jess had been in the mastermind for two years before taking a break. In the past her district paid for her membership, but she’s paying for it herself this time around.

When I asked why she was paying personally (I know her district would cover it), she responded, “I’m doing this for me. I don’t want any strings attached.”

Jess has experienced the power of the mastermind before, so using personal funds was an easy decision for her.

Ask your partner

I don’t want to share this member’s name, but one principal asks her partner to pay. 

He runs a successful business and he sees how much his wife grows within our community. It’s the easiest check for him to write each year. And what a gift to his wife!

Ask your parents

I don’t have any mastermind members who do this, but I actually have one 1:1 coaching client who leverages her parents wealth to afford my coaching. 

She’d rather pay them back at no interest rather than owe a bank or credit card company.

(Speaking of low interest or no interest … I’ve submitted an application with Affirm to offer another opportunity to afford the mastermind. I trust Affirm, that’s actually how I bought my new Peloton Bike+. At zero percent interest, it was a no brainer for me).

Tighten the belt

When I taught middle school last, our sixth grade team had a ritual to order out for lunch each week. I also bought a Starbucks coffee nearly every day.

All those costs add up, so tightening the belt around some expenses is a way to afford mastermind membership.

Sell stuff

What things around the house is eating up physical space (maybe mental space too) that you could sell? If you look at decluttering and simplifying your house, you’d be surprised at how much money you could make.


The answer is always “No” unless you ask. 

Maybe you have a unique ability that would benefit Better Leaders Better Schools

I have bartered for a few high ticket experiences by putting in some work behind the scenes to help another business advance in return for access to helpful training resources (this is how I got started).

I’m sure there are more creative ways to fund your mastermind membership, but this is a great start.

What did I miss? What would you add to the list?

Anything is possible when you want something bad enough.

And whenever you’re ready …

Learn more and apply for mastermind membership today.

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