Category Archives: Goal Achievement

Productivity Hacks

Six easy hacks can change your life

By guest writer Adrianna Huff

Now that I am a Mom, I find that if I get lucky, I can get four hours total of productive work during the day. Unfortunately, this time is not in one four-hour chunk, but about four one-hour chunks. With my new time constraint, I have found myself devouring information on how to be my most productive self.

Based on my research and firsthand experience, these are my best productivity hacks.

1. Develop a Structure: Without creating some structure to my day, I end up mindlessly reading articles and not actually getting anything done. For some, this structure could look like meetings on Mondays, designing on Tuesdays, and so forth. If you develop a structure, and time block yourself for specific activities that you only do during those times, you will likely be more productive and efficient. Some individuals even go so far as to only respond to emails pertinent to their daily structure on the assigned days, but I’m not that strict.

2. Write Everything Down: When I am my most productive self, I am a list making machine. I have my to-do list, my call list, and my idea list. If I have everything written down on my list, I don’t have to expend brain power time trying to remember what I need to do. In addition, when I accomplish a task, I get to have the feeling of immense success by crossing it off the list. Finally, when I find myself with a spare few minutes, for example if I arrive early to a meeting, or a call ends early, I can knock out a small task and get a little more done.

3. Work When I am Most Productive: I am a morning person, and my best ideas occur when I am somewhat refreshed after a night of sleep. Thus, in my daily structure, you will see me writing in the morning and administrative tasks when I am the most tired. By working with my body’s natural productivity inclinations, I don’t waste valuable time working on mindless tasks when I am most alert.

4. Make a “Landing Zone”: Having all of my important paperwork in one specific landing zone makes it much easier to crank through the work. As soon as it comes to me (mail, email, carrier pigeon), I open it, assess it, and put it in the landing zone as needed. When I have the pre-assigned chunk of time to work on this task, I no longer have to look for it, or remember to do it. The work is staring me right in the face. Again, by taking out the brain power of remembering the task, I can be more productive.

5. Unsubscribe or Unfollow: My email inbox can be a time suck for me. Between the emails I need to read and respond to as well as all of the emails I have subscribed to throughout the years, it is easy to lose large chunks of time to the less important emails. Periodically, I set aside a 15-20 minute chunk of time to actually unsubscribe or unfollow these emails. Without the constant barrage of unnecessary content, I can stay more focused when my email is staring back at me. And if I decide the need to get certain subscription based emails again, I can always re-follow.

6. Set a deadline: In Tim Ferriss’ book, “The Four Hour Work Week”, Ferriss explains that working more efficiently for a few hours can vastly increase productivity. This may seem like a no-brainer idea, but forcing shorter deadlines forces you to actually work more efficiently. If I give myself two weeks, I am likely to start working on the task in 2 weeks, if I give myself 2 days, I am more likely to complete it right away.

What are your great productivity hacks? How do you keep yourself accountable and motivated?

A High Stakes Mastermind Group and My Experience

By Adrianna Huff

I remember when I first heard the word “Mastermind” from my talent manager at work. I thought she was referring to the Mastermind Board Game from the 1970s where players move around different colored pegs. She in fact, wasn’t talking about this game, but actually referring to a group she belonged to where they discussed their goals over a group phone call. Once she explained what a Mastermind group actually was, I was hooked on the idea.

A Mastermind Group is not a new concept

A Mastermind Group is not a new concept, it has been around since Napoleon Hill wrote “Think and Grow Rich” in the 1930s. In theory, a Mastermind Group’s ideal purpose is to get individuals to discuss and encourage one another’s ideas to meet a goal or overall purpose.

As I started my search for a Mastermind Group, I found that there are many varieties. There are groups you can find on Meetup.com, Facebook groups, groups that resemble coaching calls, and groups that are limited in size to a smaller amount of participants (between 5-10 individuals).

I chose to join a smaller group (the upper limit is 6 participants) where I could work with the same members over a period of time and have continual feedback, support, and accountability. In addition, our moderator is not a group participant; instead our moderator facilitates the meeting to ensure we stay on time and don’t get side tracked.

At each meeting, before launching right into business, we all have a few minutes to chat and build our relationships. If I were just speaking to a group of strangers, I would not be prepared to voice my thoughts or explain how I am meeting my goals. Since the participants have all become my business friends, I open up about myself personally and professionally and what I am accomplishing.

In the last 11 months as a participant in a High Stakes Mastermind Group, my goals have changed drastically. Both in my personal and professional life, I have had significant changes (job changes, re-locations, and family additions). Throughout all of these drastic life shifts, there has been one constant: the High Stakes Mastermind Group. As I have adjusted my life and entrepreneurial goals, the group has been there to listen, provide encouragement (and suggestions), and give me an avenue to continue feeling like I am making a difference both in my entrepreneurial journey and someone else’s.

For me the High Stakes Mastermind Group has been more than writing a goal plan, updating the plan, and staying accountable to my goals. (Throughout the last 11 months these have still remained the pillars of purpose in the High Stakes Mastermind Group). For me, the High Stakes Mastermind Group has been a rock during challenging life changes. When I meet with the group, I still feel like I have a purpose (and a brain). Instead of just being a “Mom”, I am still an entrepreneur who is working towards goals.

In the end, the intention of a High Stakes Mastermind Group is to typically have entrepreneurial members use each other as resources for success in their business endeavors. And while this continues to be a large part of the purpose of the High Stakes Mastermind Group for me, it is also a community. It is a community of entrepreneurs who care about each other and work together to meet goals, even if these goals are constantly in flux.

What have been your experiences with a High Stakes Mastermind Group? How has it benefited you, personally or professionally?

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.

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.

 

 

 

Limbic “Brainiacs” Giving Incentive to Masterminds

Limbic Brain- Its Positive Effects on Commitment to a Business Mastermind Group

By Guest Blogger
What is the Limbic Brain?

The limbic brain is that part of the brain that deals with emotions, memories, instincts, and arousal (stimulation). It is the emotional switchboard of the brain. The limbic system consists subparts like the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and amygdala.  These help in controlling various emotional, endocrine, voluntary and visceral responses to our environments featuring in our daily activities. The best function of the limbic system is the emotion control, while a part of this system called the hippocampus helps in the formation and retaining of memories, which is very crucial for development and learning.  Some of the functions performed by the limbic brain: remembering of past events, making choices based on experience, movement control based on past learning, perceive threats from surroundings, form sensory preferences, etc.

What’s the Connection?

A business Mastermind Group is a group created with the aim of brainstorming and collaborating together to achieve a particular set of goals. This concept was initialized by Napoleon Hill around 75 years ago in his book “Think and Grow Rich”. A Mastermind Group helps individuals to navigate through challenges using the collective ideas of other people. These groups are for real change, growth and trust. They are entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who believe they can easily achieve their set goals through working with high-productive and accountable people.

Joining a Mastermind Group helps to eliminate isolation. Working collaboratively with a mastermind group can be very advantageous, it helps to maximize profit as it integrates business ideas from different sects of experienced people. The benefits of Mastermind Groups  includes insights from the skills and expertise of others, solutions and ideas from brainstorming, trusted network of others who are supportive, a professional community, goal mastering, an instant and valuable support network, accountability and real progress in business, problem-solving sessions, etc.

The brain plays a very important role in the control of the body system. It is responsible for all the human body activities. The brain is divided into different segments which perform their distinct functions. One of these segments is the limbic brain, responsible for memory and emotion control. The way people react to various stimuli is determined by how the limbic brain controls the emotion or how it is aroused. The functionality of the limbic system, to a great extent, affects human social interaction especially commitment to some things like membership of a Mastermind Group. Different parts of the limbic system perform various functions that control human reaction. Below are some of the major parts:

  • Thalamus: It is responsible for detecting and relaying information from the human senses. This part helps in sharing of knowledge among Mastermind Group members as people perceive things differently which will bring about maximization of ideas.
  • Hypothalamus: It acts as the regulator of hormone control. It helps to maintain body homeostasis. Its interaction with other parts of the limbic brain helps it to control the part of the body responsible for “fight and flight” response. Hypothalamus regulates human emotions as this will help in their relationship with one another in a Mastermind Group.
  • Amygdala: This is tied to fear and anxious emotions. It assists in the development of memories especially emotional events and emergencies. Activeness of members of a Mastermind Group is essential, and members must be anxious to seek more knowledge from others.
  • Hippocampus: It is generally associated with memory and focus. This part of the limbic brain helps in retaining of memory/ learning. The main purpose of a Mastermind is for individual development, i.e. gaining more knowledge and experience for maximum output. Hippocampus can help in achieving this.
  • Cingulate gyrus: it is involved in many sections of memory and emotion. This performs similar functions with the hippocampus.
In Summary

The limbic brain plays an essential function in the human brain which tends to affect the cognitive and social behavior of people thereby affecting their productivity. Being in a Mastermind Group is determined by the functionality of the limbic brain which helps in emotion control influencing person’s social interaction decision. The limbic brain regulates the emotional decisions effecting how people react to external stimuli such as being in a Mastermind.

Membership in a Mastermind Group is a part which aids maximization of profit thereby arousing the interest of people to participate more because of its financial benefits. Self-development and enhancement is also a major concern for Mastermind, improving the intellectual competence of its members. This is made possible by the retaining memory function of the limbic brain, storing information/knowledge for future purposes.

Mastermind group members are people who believe they can easily achieve their set goals through working with high-productive and accountable people – and can thank their Limbic brain for the incentive.