Category Archives: Brain Storming

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.

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.

 

 

7 Reasons You Want a Trained Facilitator

Photo by Stefan Stefancik
How is it Different?

As a facilitator, one of the most consistent questions I’m asked about my mastermind groups is, “Is it a networking group?”

While there’s no doubt that networking certainly occurs between the members of the mastermind group, relationships are built and cross referrals happen on a consistent and regular basis.

But at the end of the day, true mastermind groups and networking groups are very different. In a networking group you’ll meet lots of people and it’s really up to you whether you build on those relationships; and have coffee with people outside the regular meetings, or talk to each other about your businesses.

There may also be educational sessions, but nobody’s holding you accountable to make sure that you apply what you’ve learned. But a mastermind group is significantly different. A mastermind group is about accomplishing your goals and holding you accountable to build and grow your own business. And the only way that that’s going to happen is to have a skilled and trained facilitator at the helm.

Here are seven more reasons why having a skilled facilitator is so important.
  1. Not the Chairperson of the Board

A trained Mastermind facilitator knows how to bring out the discussion. They know how to make sure that no one person overwhelms the conversation and monopolizes the group’s time while others sit back quietly, not speaking.  And not being heard.

They will make sure the meeting moves according to the agenda but draw out participation from everyone.

Trained facilitators know how to keep the Mastermind groups structured and moving so that there is value for every minute spent in the Mastermind.

  1. Unbiased

Having an “outsider”, as trained facilitator will also ensure you that you have an impartial and unbiased individual guiding your group. When you have a facilitator who is not a part of your organization, and is completely unbiased yet cares deeply about the success of each individual member, than members of the Mastermind group feel comfortable in confiding with the group. The outside facilitator makes the Mastermind group of safe space to speak honestly, opening without fear of reprisal or embarrassment.

  1. Have Your Success Top of Mind

A trained facilitator also has the skill set to make group members successful.  Mastermind group members grow their businesses at a much greater rate than individuals who are not in Mastermind groups.  If you want your investment to pay off join a group with a trained facilitator.

The facilitator doesn’t answer to a corporation whose agenda must be met.  They have a vested interest in individual member success.  Every member’s.  No other business group environment can equal that claim.  Gymnastics teams yes, business groups – you’re not going to find anything comparable.

  1. Not Your One-to-One Coach

While there can be elements of coaching in a mastermind group the facilitator’s purpose is to make sure that all of the members participate, and help all members with value-adding suggestions; giving resources so that each member has a plethora of information they can apply to their own businesses.  In our groups sometimes the “homework” assignment for one translates into similar goals for the rest of the members.  There’s a good deal of anticipation for the next meeting, “How did yours go?”

Trained Mastermind facilitators are knowledgeable about goal setting and accountability. They know how to make it much more effective than simple brainstorming sessions.  If you want to get things done, be in a Mastermind group with a trained facilitator.

If you want to accomplish your goals you’ll get better “bang for your buck” by going with a group that has a trained Mastermind group facilitator.

  1. It’s a Dirty Job – But Someone’s Gotta Do It

It isn’t a dirty job. Not at all, not even close.  But it did get you to keep reading!

Your facilitator will take on all the logistics of your meeting: time, place, refreshments, note taking, follow-up, message boards, PR, meeting agendas, honestly the list goes on.  And we love doing it.  Even the administrative parts of everything behind the scenes is an aspect that makes for healthy, thriving and productive groups.  Thriving productive groups are comprised of thriving and productive individuals.

  1. Celebrating Your Success

What a party!  We have the same pride in our individual member’s successes as we would if they were our kids.  Like peacocks puffing their chests out.  It’s like, “We did that together!” when one person achieves a milestone, or a goal.  Whether it’s learning to do their own accounting or landing the most elusive client for a six-figure project.  Every success is a celebration. Just writing this blog makes me look forward to our next meeting!

  1. Full Circle

We’re talking about trained facilitators here, right?  So we’re talking about people who have spent their own money and time to complete a course or certification; an investment in themselves so that they can translate that into an investment into you. If you’re a member of a group and your success is stemming from your facilitator’s skills – then tell someone.  Tell a lot of someones.  Give credit where it’s due.  Your facilitator succeeds when you succeed. It comes back to them full circle.

Clear (Life) Vision – Pun intended or meaningful figure of speech?

Focus on Your Life’s Goals and Vision

Do you have the vision to see what you’re doing? Is a clear life vision  a p un intended or meaningful figure of speech?

Recently I had coffee with a young woman that I know from an association I belong to. She’s an artistic person and therefore a little bit different from most of the people I meet who work in financial businesses, own restaurants, or are in health care, or retail.

Meeting an artist isn’t something that happens to me all the time and I really enjoyed speaking with her. But as we talked about her business I really couldn’t pinpoint exactly where she wanted her future to go. Like most artists she wanted her artwork to be seen on the walls of homes and businesses worldwide; but the big question was, how was she going to get there, and what was it going to do for her?  What did it mean for her future and for her life.

I wondered, do people who start a business have a clear vision of what exactly is the business supposed to do for them?  Clear vision. Hmmmm.

When I wrote my own personal business plan I wrote very specifically not only what my vision for the business was for my clients, but exactly what I wanted my business to do for me.  It’s a part of goal setting that cannot be overlooked.

And those are two very different ideas. My clients know what my vision is for my business and how it affects them.  My unique selling position has everything to do with what benefits them. But, they don’t know what my personal vision is for what my business does for me, nor do they need to. With one exception – I’m able to work the number of hours I choose and earn the amount I want.  I’m able to model the outcome and set the example that my clients want for themselves.

I look at my business plan every single day to make sure that I’m staying on track with my own goals and that my business is doing for me what I intend it to do.  It’s a habit I strongly suggest. Like an appointment with yourself.

If you’re wondering what I mean by my personal vision for my business and what it will do for me; it can be anything as specific as paying off your mortgage, within a specified period of time, being able to go on a dream vacation, buy that bright red Alpha Romeo 4C Coupe, or have the money to move your elderly parents to a high-end full care facility.

Maybe it’s not monetary. It might be to limit the hours that you work each week so that you have time for yourself or time to volunteer in your community.

Whatever it is, when you go into business for yourself you must have a very specific plan and a Life Vision of what exactly the business is supposed to do for you.

Do you have the vision to see what you’re doing? Having trouble defining what that is? Give me a call and we’ll talk about it. It’s easy to get clear vision focus when you have somebody to help you.

 

 

Naked and Unafraid- The Benefits of Being Vulnerable in Your Mastermind Group

Masterminders sharing what really happens in their work.

You joined, or are thinking of joining, a High-Stakes Mastermind Group for several reasons. Maybe you’re a solopreneur or an entrepreneur who wants to bounce ideas off of other professionals. Perhaps you want to be able to associate with others who experience the same professional, personal and social challenges and sacrifices that you do in your field. Or maybe you are looking to build your personal network of support and confidants.  Whatever your reason, you should do one thing once you’ve joined the group. You should be completely honest and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Why would you want to show your true self, with all of your challenges and weaknesses to other people? Won’t they stop respecting you so much? The answer is no. You want to be completely honest and vulnerable with your fellow members, and especially your Mastermind group facilitator, because that is the only way that they can help you diagnose any issues and help you improve to become the very best person and professional that you can be. This is the safe place to be emotionally naked.

Think about it – if they don’t know what the problem is, how can they give the advice that you’ve joined the group for?

Remember each member is in the same position.  You may feel like they’re holding your emotional cards – but you’re holding theirs as well.

In the blog by William Butler, The Benefits of Being Vulnerable he writes:

Risking vulnerability allows you to be, or have:

  • deeper degree of honesty
  • greater degree of transparency
  • higher level of understanding
  • deeper relationships
  • honestly yourself
  • less defensive
  • less lonely than that of isolation
  • more accountable
  • more courageous
  • more sensitive and tenderhearted
  • truly human

Source: http://www.williambutler.ca/2013/09/power-vulnerable/

There’s something extremely freeing about being vulnerable and releasing the weight of your most stressful business decisions, confusing questions, and untried ideas. It humanizes all of us to let down our guards and be…well, human.

What may look like the weakest form of humanness is actually what takes the most strength – vulnerability.

In her TED Talk Brené Brown said, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Your time is precious. Clearly, you’ve joined a Mastermind group to get something out of it. Get the most out of it by allowing yourself to be vulnerable – emotionally naked and unafraid. That’s how you can help others to help you.