All posts by Stephanie

Not Enough Reason to Break a Commitment

It takes a special type of person to keep a commitment when life events happen.

We often talk about the essence of High Stakes Mastermind Groups being confidentiality and commitment, and  the closeness that it creates. So when a member has a life changing event, we have the first-row opportunity to envelop them in love and support. In the last few months the HSMmG family has had several “moments” with our members. We welcomed a grand-baby, an engagement, a family move and more. This past Saturday one member became a citizen of the US. After years of giving her talents, and her heart to America.  That’s commitment!

A couple months ago one of my members contacted me and said she needed to speak privately. It turns out that she was going to move several states away. But she said right away, “Don’t worry I’m not leaving the group. I plan to Skype into the meetings.” She’s taking her in-person membership virtual. That takes huge commitment.

What is major to some people is not a lot to overcome for others

If that weren’t enough this member was already pregnant at the time. She had her baby in December. And with the new baby, she’ll move across the country, and with no job prospects in sight, she is still remaining a member of High Stakes Mastermind groups.

It amazes me to have this happen, and to see this kind of commitment to The Mastermind group. That an individual would remain a member of our discussion forum, to be a sounding board to other members, while she takes care of a brand new baby and gets herself established in another state. Whew! That’s a lot!

We have seen a couple members leave before for much less dramatic reasons. Once or twice a member will leave simply because they couldn’t keep themselves accountable. It does take a special type of person to have that kind of commitment to remain a peer advocate for the other members and want to maintain in the peer-to-peer relationship that High Stakes Mastermind Groups provides for them.

If I only had a Crystal Ball

It’s not always possible to know ahead of time if members are not committed. Going into a Mastermind people will tell you exactly what they know you want to hear, and what they want to believe about themselves; that they’re all-in.  But then over time things may change. They don’t show up for every meeting. They make excuses why they didn’t the do the actions and achieve goals they set for themselves.

I had this happen with one particular member.  I would describe this person as a “professional student” always going to workshops, conferences, and seminars, and enrolling in a plethora of classes – all in the name of learning more about their business.  Sounds good.  But the reality is they they got so busy in the appearance of being busy that they never actually did any of their work.  They farmed out their clients to other consultants which meant they had almost no control of the end result, and spent about 40% of their gross earnings to pay sub-contractors.  Naturally their business goals were never met.  They left the group.  As painful as it was at the time, the members ultimately felt better when they knew 100% of them were 100% committed.

I couldn’t be more proud of these members who are so committed – to their own personal growth and to the other members of the group. If someone can have a baby and move out of state at the same time and still remain committed anyone can. Would something like this would benefit your own life and your business growth?

And while the members are of our groups are absolutely very special people, they are still people. Human beings with hopes and dreams and aspirations, just like you. All looking to take the “silo out of solo”.  Our members are empowered, energized, respected, trusted and valued. And I have to admit with this kind of commitment from my members, so am I. And grateful every day for that.

 

 

 

 

Taking the Silo out of Solo

Photo by Jeremy Olson

What does it mean to take the “silo out of solo”?

You’ll often hear me say that in High Stakes Mastermind Groups we take the “silo out of solo”. But what exactly does that mean? Here’s the thing: it is lonely at the top.

What that means is that when you’re at the top of an organization, whether you have lots of employees or just a few, maybe you’re a solopreneur with no one around but your office cat, you’ll frequently find that you don’t really have anybody that you can talk to. Especially when it’s within your own company. You’re solo – going at it alone. You’re not going to tell your employees your insecurities, that you have doubts, that you’re debating about signing a new contract, or about a choice that you might make with marketing, or a new product, or any number of things that happen in the day-to-day.

There are hundreds of choices that business owners have to make. And there’s an uncomfortable feeling of having to keep up appearances. Typically that of confidence. How can a team leader, or company leader, show their employees and coworkers that they have occasional doubts and insecurities? We are all human, and we all have these emotions from time to time. But there’s a really difficult stigma, when you’re at the top of an organization, to show these vulnerabilities. But here you are; solo, and in a silo.

Tales from a Bad Experience

In High Stakes Mastermind Groups we welcome those vulnerabilities at the times they occur. I had my own personal experience years ago when I was a member of my very first mastermind group. A friend of mine had invited me to be in this group and it was led by one of the members, which in and of itself is the first mistake because I strongly believe that all mastermind group should be led by an outside facilitator that isn’t a part to the actual mastermind itself. But getting back to the story there was a day when I was under tremendous stress and I was feeling extremely emotional as a result of it. During the meeting I vented. I cried and I was emotional. I felt that of all people, these were the ones that would have my back.
Or so I thought. Imagine my shock when three days after that meeting I got a call from the so-called “leader”, who told me that she and the other members had decided that they didn’t want me in the group anymore. I was shocked and deeply, deeply, hurt. The only person who really didn’t support that choice was the same person who had invited me to the group in the first place.

Going Forward

That experience taught me that in my own mastermind groups I will never let that happen to a member. I’ve told all members when they begin a group that I never allow anyone to be abusive to anybody else, but should the day occur where somebody is having particular trouble, and they need the rest of us to support them, we would be there for them. No questions asked. And we’ve had to be there for our members from time to time. But truthfully it doesn’t happen very often. Our meetings are business based. We conduct business and we hold one another accountable to meeting our business goals. We are a group of strong achievers. But even a strong achiever feels like they’re in a silo from time to time. And that is my why to take the “silo out of solo”. You can even hear a little clip where I reference that during a radio interview: https://www.dropbox.com/s/0gq8tyogjtbte1y/Take%20the%20Silo%20out%20of%20the%20Solo.mp3?dl=0

If you ever find yourself feeling like you would be stronger if you were part of a tribe, and that your business would benefit by having like-minded achievement-oriented individuals around you, who would accept you warts and all, give us a call: 480.646.2400 We’d love to hear from you.

You Can’t Have Epiphanies in a Pigeonhole

You Can’t Have Epiphanies in a Pigeonhole
Photo by Rafael Rodrigues Machado

Comfort can be limiting

The other night at a party, my friend Bob and I got into a discussion about reading books.  How we read them. He’s a diehard Kindle user and I like reading books.  The real ones, with front and back covers and pages in between. Bob was adamant that his way was better.  He likes highlighting passages and making notes.  OK.  Fine. I have a Kindle too. But no matter how insistent Bob got, it wasn’t going to change the fact that I rather read a real book.

Bob was trying to pigeonhole me into always reading my books on a Kindle, Nook or iPad because that’s the way he likes to read, even when I kept telling him I’d rather just read a real book.  I love holding real books!

In my business mastermind groups we won’t pigeonhole you into doing your business the way we want you to.   We help you brainstorm and process your ideas.  We are a sounding board, supporting you in getting your goals accomplished in the best way that’s comfortable for you.  I have a signature system in the way that I work with my clients. Having said that just because it’s a system, doesn’t mean that it’s rigid. It means that it’s a process that works and is successful.

“Pigeonholing” is often a concern when it comes to work, like getting stuck in a niche or considered limited in your capabilities as Cheryl Dahle wrote in her article for Fast Company: https://www.fastcompany.com/52849/escape-your-pigeonhole

The Joy of Epiphany Moments

But I look at it as being limited in your business mastermind choices and worse yet, how the mastermind itself functions. Having said that, I’m not criticizing; just pointing out that there are many different forms and styles of mastermind groups, even once your narrow it down to business masterminds.  You owe it to yourself to investigate before choosing.

One mastermind group I know, sits around a board-room table, like a family does at a dining room table and they just start talking about a topic. It might be marketing, it might be how to do your website; it could be any number of things. They sit and discuss it, and that works for them. That’s the way that group operates.

Another group I know of has a facilitator who sets a curriculum and the groups follows that from A-Z over a six month period.  When the curriculum is complete the groups disbands and another starts.

Our High Stakes Mastermind Groups are based on you being able to process through a single page goal plan that we have helped you developed; so it’s very clear and time honored based on SMART goals.  “SMART” goals are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-oriented and Time-bound.

In the course of discussing what is going on in your business, we have an amazing way of processing thoughts and clarifying opportunities our groups result in “ah-ha!” moments. Epiphanies. Sometimes to the point of bringing on tears – happy tears.

We thrive on our ability to be achievement and accountability based sounding boards for our members. I tell each one that their goal plan is a “living document’ because it must flex with changes and updates in their business growth.  That wouldn’t be possible if we clung to the status quo. In fact you could say we’re about taking you out of your pigeonhole.

 

 

The Key to Setting New Year’s Business and Personal Goals

Photo by Samuel Clara

Something happens when you define and persist with the right strategy. You can feel empowered and highly motivated toward achieving set goals. However, this challenging process requires a very persistent approach, especially in such a fast-moving world where complexity and distractions are increasingly common.

That is to say; there are distinct factors which can decide success or failure when it comes to your business or personal goals. In many ways, this is also one of the reasons we decided to create a mastermind group in Phoenix as we fully realize there is no room for unrealistic expectations or vague direction when it comes to goals.

Anyway, here are some of the most important factors to consider when setting New Year’s business and personal goals:

Important Factors for Setting New Year’s Goals

Setting Clear Objectives

As mentioned above, you need a solid objective for your goals. Without a clear strategy in place, there is no blueprint from which to build the foundations of your business.

For example, HighStakes Masterminds Groups seek to empower entrepreneurs and accelerate growth for new businesses. In this sense, our mastermind groups in Phoenix are an ideal starting point from which to define a concise objective which is practical, clear, and realistic. That being said, this is also true in the context of personal goals, for you need a solid objective to work toward.

Brainstorming and Advice

Brainstorming is the fastest and most practical way to create a solution of any kind. Furthermore, these sessions are often a creative spark for new ideas or ways to enhance an existing product or service. For this reason, our mastermind group in Phoenix provides the perfect platform for such discussions which can also provide clear direction during the decision making process.

Learning from experienced, wise or influential characters is also a great way to accelerate toward personal goals. Simply put, there is no substitute for first-hand experience, and you can gain this valuable knowledge through listening to advice.

Creating a Tribe

Tim Ferriss is one of the most respected entrepreneurs in the online world. However, when the bestselling author wrote an article entitled “1,000 True Fans” back in 2008, he provided some incredible insight into the power of having a tribe mentality.

In short, this viral article outlined how finance is not the key to making a living as a photographer, designer, musician or an entrepreneur of any kind. On the contrary, this powerful article makes a convincing case that one thousand “True Fans” is enough to succeed in business. In many ways, this also shows how a positive attitude can also be the difference between success and failure in terms of personal goals.

  1. This is also another reason our mastermind group in Phoenix is useful to new businesses and entrepreneurs – we want to be a part of your tribe.

Networking with the “Right” people

When it comes to scaling a business, networking is crucial. After all, the growth of any concept requires a diverse set of skills and this is even more important as an exciting idea transitions to a business model.

Simply put, networking is the most effective way to cultivate the relationships which are often necessary to take you closer to set goals as the business continues to grow. That being said, not everyone has time to network in person and for this reason, we also decided to offer a virtual group option so that members can participate from anywhere, at any time.

Again, networking is also a great way to aspire toward personal goals, for if you surround yourself with the right people, you are more likely to feel confident regarding achieving set goals.

Accountability and Support

Often, the best advice is not what a person wants to hear. At the same time, this is usually a turning point in which corrections can be made to get goals back on course.

As for new businesses and solopreneurs, mastermind groups are a source of support for like-minded people. When you need some honest assessment, these groups encourage accountability, and when faced with challenging situations, the group is a reliable support.

As you should see, each of the above factors is equally important when it comes to setting New Year’s business and personal goals. Either way, have a prosperous new year and remember, the right strategy requires clear definition and relentless persistence.

Click here for more information on our mastermind groups in Phoenix.

 

 

 

Masterminding Can Be Like Parenting Someone Else’s Child

Parenting – if you can do that, you can mastermind.

Some of you may know that I have my fourth exchange student living with us right now. I’ve decided that there are some interesting similarities between parenting somebody else’s child living with you and masterminding.  Now, that may seem like a really weird correlation but read on…

We’ve had four exchange students and so I know that one of the tough things about being the parent of an exchange student is that real life sets in after the “getting to know each other phase” and it’s difficult to parent someone else’s child. As a parent sometimes there are “discipline” types of things that occur. Maybe they’re not emptying the dishwasher when you’ve asked them to, or they’re not getting their homework done and teachers are emailing, or things of that nature.  There are also a lot of great things, just like with your own children, like when they participate in school sports you go and cheer them on.  Or you attend their school play.  You want to support them, and be parents to them, as if they were your own child. Yet there’s this little part that’s detached because this kid doesn’t really belong to you and it’s also temporary.  At some point you hug goodbye at an airport and return home to their empty room.

That’s where I see an interesting connection to Mastermind groups.  When you’re involved in a mastermind group you want to talk about what’s going on in your organization and get feedback from the other members, and sometimes you have to remind yourself that these members don’t really have buy-in to your company, except that they care about your success the same way that you care about their success in their own companies.

Like parenting someone else’s child their success is your own success.  If your fellow Mastermind group members do well in their businesses; they grow their businesses and achieve their goals, then when they succeed you also succeed.  Because you had a connection and involvement in what happened to their business because you were there to give advice, brainstorm, and support them.  In our High Stakes Mastermind Groups, we call it taking the “Silo out of Solo”.

Being in a mastermind group is a responsibility you sign on to – to be a support mechanism for others. And the payoff is really huge.  Just like when you see your own kid walk across that stage and carry away their diploma, there’s a great deal of pride in seeing the success of your fellow Mastermind group members. And the cool thing is they feel pride when you succeed too. And another special feeling, love.

So yeah, Masterminding is a little bit like parenting someone else’s kid.