What’s it like in my business mastermind?

Hello, readers! First off, if you are looking for more general information about masterminds, this is not the blog entry for you. Click here instead. If you are interested to learn more about my business mastermind, you’re in the right place! I’ll share with you 1) a basic overview of what we’ve discussed in quarter 1 (Q1) of the program and 2) snippets of interviews with current mastermind members about their experience so far. An Overview of Quarter 1 in my Business Mastermind Program In Q1 of the program we covered the following topics: Group agreements and how/why to create agreements within groupsParticipants’ relationship to both giving and receiving supportHow to create effective accountability partnershipsCreating a clear vision for the future and measurable goalsVisibility + taking our visibility up a notch (…or 10)Money mindset (money and visibility typically go hand-in-hand) While I have a general outline I follow for my business mastermind, I tailor it based on the group dynamic and the group’s needs. I never hesitate to throw my plan out the window if there is a topic that would better benefit the participants. My clients review their experience of Q1 in my business mastermind Below are interviews with some of the current participants. Let me first first introduce you to them (p.s. they happen to all be ladies, but we do have a co-ed group)! Visit Eloah’s website here! Check out Lisa’s website here! Learn more about Carrie here! …and now on to their feedback… My favorite part about Q1 was… Eloah: The constant forward movement! I really appreciated the pace, and I made a huge progress sorting out my finances. Lisa: Creating my master plan for 2021. It’s helped me focus my energy. Carrie: Enjoying a community with other awesome creators. This mastermind structure is unique because… Eloah: There is so much support going through things that I would otherwise avoid. Lisa: I am able to build relationships with entrepreneurs who understand my struggles, fears, and uncertainty, as well as my vision, growth and bigness. Carrie: of the shared accountability and commitment. My biggest learning in Q1 was… Eloah: how to be unstoppable Lisa: that having a road map is important, even if you are not 100% sure where you are going; accountability and personal integrity are my biggest assets and tools; I am a badass, even when I might forget; I am a leader, even when I feel invisible and insignificant; and I offer tremendous value to my clients, even when things don’t go perfectly. Carrie: that I can trust my peers to hold my vision when I forget If you’re considering this structure, you should know… Eloah: that your life is about to change for the better and that it is never too late to give your life a new direction that feels right for you! Lisa: It is what you make it. Although Megan is an amazing leader and facilitator with an incredible arsenal of tools available for us, it really is up to each participant to be engage, aware, alert and vulnerable. The deeper I go with my own practices and learnings, the more my business will benefit. Carrie: you have value to both give and receive What I appreciated about Meg as a leader in Q1 was… Eloah: Geeez!! Everything? She is such a badass-take-no-shit-and-love-you-beyond-limits human being! She’s also great fun and a pleasure to have around! Lisa: her heart and her ability to hold each individual to their highest self and potential. Even when I think I am failing, I feel like celebrating because of Megan’s incredible outlook that does not see results as right/wrong or good/bad but as a metric to see what’s working and what I can tweak to improve. My business is bigger and has more direction as a result. Carrie: the special blend of playfulness, accountability, insight, and kindness that holds the group together. Click here to read more about my business mastermind program! What are you taking away from this blog post, reader? Share below in the comments!

How do you run a mastermind?

Welcome readers! In this blog, we will cover how to run a mastermind: Why should you run a mastermind group? What is the purpose?What happens when you run a mastermind group?What makes a good mastermind group?What should you charge to run a mastermind group?What’s it like to be in my mastermind? What gives me the credibility to write this? I’ve been designing and running group experiences for the last 15 years, including international retreats, group coaching programs, and my own my business mastermind. Of everything I’ve created, I’m most proud of my mastermind program. It’s a support structure based on accountability, compassion, and participants holding each other to their highest potential (please note that this does not always mean working harder or working more). And, while I’m still learning, I’m delighted to share my knowledge with you on how to run a mastermind. Why should you run a mastermind group? What is the purpose? One of my favorite authors, Napoleon Hill, first coined this concept in his book The Law of Success (1925). He then elaborated on the idea in Think and Grow Rich (1937). The purpose of a mastermind group, Hill said, was to leverage the brilliance of your peers in order to reach your goals. “No mind is complete by itself. It needs contact and association with other minds to grow and expand.”Napoleon Hill According to Hill, when a group of people come together with “a definite purpose” (such as growing a business) and “a positive mental attitude,” they constitute “an unbeatable force.” To put this to modern-day language, a mastermind is a group of people who know what you’re up to, respect you, offer you feedback/advice, and call you out on your bullshit. You can depend on these people and you meet regularly to discuss your projects. I believe there is tremendous power in this type of community for generating collective success, and that is the reason why I choose to run a mastermind. What happens when you run a mastermind group? While structures vary, a good mastermind group will include regular meetings in which people support one another through brainstorming, giving advice, challenging one another and checking in on each person’s progress toward their goal. In my mastermind group, coaching is also an option. What makes a good mastermind group? A good mastermind group requires: A common goal: What, specifically are you all working toward? Is it growing a business? Improving health or self-care? Something else? There must be a shared mission. Clear agreements: How often do you meet? Can group members skip calls? Spend time going through the nitty gritty and co-creating your agreements so you have guidelines for participation. The idea here is not to be rigid or create an environment in which people are bad/wrong for breaking an agreement. This will inevitably happen. Instead, decide how you will handle this. Regular check-ins on group dynamics: Agreements are only useful insofar as group members embrace them. Regular check-ins can keep agreements top of mind and can help make sure any conflicts or miscommunications are resolved before they grow into a larger issue.People who aren’t afraid to challenge one another: Your mastermind members need to know what you’re up to and to remind you of the badass that you are when you feel daunted, disappointed or unsure of the next step. If group members are more concerned about “playing nice,” than being compassionately candid with each other, the mastermind may plateau. A solid base of mutual respect and compassion: One of my favorite agreements from my 2021 mastermind is “We assume the best about one another.” Practicing unconditional positive regard and assuming that others are genuinely interested in you reaching your goals is key to building trust and welcoming challenges.A good leader who is compensated for their leadership: I’ve run and participated in many masterminds. In my experience, the structure is difficult to maintain unless there is a clear leader and that leader is paid. People typically give their attention and commitment when money is involved. If you are participating in a peer mastermind group, I recommend paying the person who is in charge of logistics. If you are participating in an organized mastermind group with a mentor/coach/consultant, I recommend looking for a group in which you pay the amount that inspires you to show up 110%. What should you charge to run a mastermind group? I’ve seen masterminds cost anything from $100/month to $1 million per year. Here are some things to consider with pricing when you run a mastermind program: Who are your ideal mastermind participants?What level of investment will ensure that these participants are ready to show up 100%? Running a mastermind is a serious commitment, and your time is valuable. You will facilitate calls, coordinate with many people’s schedules, and ultimately be responsible for group dynamics. What compensation would have you show up 100% for the people you serve? What’s it like to be in my mastermind? Check out this blog post to read what current members have to say about their experience, and my mastermind hub to learn more about how to sign up! What are you taking away from this blog post on how to run a mastermind? Share below in the comments!

How to get free media coverage

Today on the blog, we’ll discuss how I landed a BIG, unexpected, unsolicited, and free media opportunity. This story will illustrate how you can increase your business’s visibility by generating free media coverage through authentic marketing. Ya’ll know I’m a firm believer in authentic marketing (read my article about brand authenticity here). Thus, it may not surprise you that my willingness to share intimate moments of my life is what led to a recent offer for a live appearance on the UK’s most popular morning show. While I’ll share more about this momentarily, I first want to reiterate the value of authenticity in business — especially since I’m one of many who have discovered the difference a personal touch can make. Many of the entrepreneurs I work with have been surprised when posts they make about their personal connection to their brand get the biggest response. Your ideal customers love your origin story. They also love photos of you with your clients/products, the people/places you love or the things you do that align with your brand. Consider the following example. Let’s say you just launched an annual planner via Amazon and you have the option to make one of two social media posts. The first: A professional photo of your planner that shares why it’s awesome and has a link to where people can buy. The second: A photo of you and your planner that shares why you decided to create it and how it feels to be releasing it after all the work you’ve done. Nine times out of ten, the second post will have the best response. It will also be more likely to get shared on social media or to pique the curiosity of media outlets. My point here is that your personal story can attract attention and magnetize opportunities. It makes you relatable, which has others see themselves in your experience and may therefore inspire more support. While it can be scary to put yourself out there and become the face of your brand, it’s worth it. Not only do you have the chance to make a difference in people’s lives, as well as discover your unique brilliance and contribution, you also get (yes, get) the chance to overcome any fears that arise as you become more visible. Entrepreneurship can be a great path to self-actualization, self-love and higher levels of confidence. With all that said, let’s transition back to how I landed the media opportunity on This Morning in the UK. It started when I married myself on November 8, 2020. This was both a beautiful and challenging experience… and it was 100%, authentically me. Since my friends know me as a coach who preaches the values of self-compassion and owning your personal power, they weren’t terribly surprised when they received my wedding invitation. And, while the event was very personal, I still chose to share about it, believing my stand for self-love could inspire others. It became my most popular blog of all time. And then it became my most-commented-on social media post of all time. Four months later, I received an email from a journalist in the UK. He had found me on Instagram via hashtags (always remember to use your 30 hashtags!) and wanted to share my story with his audience. I’d never heard of his media outlet, so I was suspicious. “How much will it cost?” I asked, ready to be annoyed by yet another person offering me media coverage for a stupidly-high price tag. (I do my own PR… and I’m really good at it). When he made it clear that it would be free, and that he often pitched his stories to larger media outlets, I happily agreed to move forward. Three days later, I got an email back from him. Not only had he written a beautiful account of my wedding, but the largest morning show in the UK wanted to interview me live on their program. So, what are my major takeaways from this experience about getting free media coverage? Being YOU is good for business: That thing that some other people don’t “get” or think is a little odd? It’s the exact thing your ideal customers want to see or need to hear. You do you… and see what happens: You can’t always predict the blog post or video that will go viral. When you get visible, your ideal audience can find you: Who knew that people in the UK would love my self-marriage? I’ve also heard plenty of stories from fellow entrepreneurs about their books, programs or products making them well-known in unexpected parts of the world.Use your hashtags: Yup, those thirty hashtags on Instagram can make a difference. #doitTrust your gut: I had a feeling that people could benefit from my story and — although it felt vulnerable to share it — I’m glad I did. I hope it makes a big difference in others’ lives. What are your learnings from this post, dear readers? What ideas did it give you about generating your own free media coverage? Share your thoughts with me below.

How to recover from rejection

I want to tell you a story how I recovered from rejection. On its surface, the story seems to be about failure. Upon closer inspection, however, it is about intuition, energetic alignment and one of my favorite phrases: This or something better. Here’s a belief I live by: rejection is not bad or final. Rejection is a useful navigation tool and a way that the universe challenges us to step into the highest and best version of ourselves. We are playing an infinite game, and rejection is a normal, natural part of the journey The story I will share is about my own recovery from rejection, although I believe you will recognize your own experience in the story, too. Back in October, I sent off my application for the Fulbright – a prestigious grant from the US government. It was a badass proposal. My editor at Northwestern University said I had one of the best personal statements he’d seen that year. Plus, it was an awesome topic. I planned to study the intersections between flamenco and personal development. About a month after I clicked “submit,” however, I got a gut feeling: I wasn’t going to get the award. Something wasn’t right. It wasn’t meant for me. <<Ok, readers, check-in no. 1 – can you relate to this story yet? Is there a time when you felt in your bones that something was not right for you, even if you didn’t know quite why?>> Last week, a rejection letter confirmed my hunch. And, while my stomach still dropped when I read it (I’m human, after all), I knew this was the right outcome. This is when I turned to my mantra: This or something better. Something better, I trusted, would be on the way. <<Check in no. 2! Can you relate to trusting something better is on its way to you?>> Although this was the outcome I expected, and I had made peace with it, I wanted to think more deeply about why this happened. I’m a coach, after all. Thinking deeply about shit is what I do. After some introspection, reading and journaling, I realized the Fulbright wasn’t an energetic match for me. Here’s why: This proposal was meant to teach me a lesson, but the fellowship was not my next step: The universe doesn’t just present opportunities when our success is inevitable. Need some examples? That guy you dated briefly wasn’t meant to be your future husband, but to teach you some important lessons that facilitated your next level of growthYour first job out of college seemed awesome… but in the end, it taught you how to stand up for yourself with a cranky bossThe program you created was a flop, but you certainly learned a thing or two about launching… The universe gave me the Fulbright to have me think more deeply about the intersections between two things I love: movement and personal development. And, gosh darn it, it worked. I foresee many future retreats around this topic… <<check in no. 3. Has the universe ever given you an opportunity that was meant to teach you something?>> My purpose is to challenge the status quo: We’re all born with desires, goals and needs that are the perfect fit for the impact we are meant to make. I have very often been rejected by large institutions. I have also often been rejected by people who thought my ideas were downright crazy. In the end, I still did the thing – created a six-figure business, got an amazing master’s degree that had nothing to do with my previous studies, led dance trips around the world, etc…, but a lot of people out there were betting against me. Given all this, it’s no surprise that a governmental agency with an academic bent wouldn’t be altogether psyched about my proposal that talked about spiral dynamics, self-esteem, personal empowerment and self-help storytelling. Thanks for the reminder, rejection. I’m meant to take a path that’s outside the box so that I learn lessons to teach others and can model this lifestyle for kindred spirits. Now, make no mistake, I’ll still pursue this project… and I’ll do it in the visionary way I do many things. People may not “get it,” but that won’t stop me from writing a best-selling book, creating a mind-blowing retreat, or doing something else that’s awesome. <<Check in no. 4 – are you an out-of-the-box creator? Do you ever feel like people don’t get you? Remember: You were perfectly created to do what you are meant to do!>> The work was misaligned with my money mindset: I’ve done quite a bit of money mindset work this year, and I am no longer available to earn less than a $30k/month. The project (in the Fulbright form) would have asked a lot of me for little compensation – we’re talking about $1,000 a month for part-time work. Of course the universe would close that door! Perhaps I was available for this type of exchange right after college, or even throughout my early years as a professional. Now, though? We can go bigger than that… There must be better partners available: While Fulbright is a fantastic partner for many people, it clearly wasn’t the best partner for me. If someone does not get our genius (or simply aren’t properly equipped to support us), we don’t need to argue. Our job is to own our vision and show up consistently. This way, you will find the partners who are an optimal fit.  When you shout your desires from the rooftop, after all, you’re hard to miss. I’ll say it once more… Rejection is a useful navigation tool and a way the universe challenges us to step into the highest and best version of ourselves. While it may initially make us disappointed, sad, or angry, it is always in our best interest. So, repeat after me: Thank you, rejection, for closing doors so that I can navigate toward ideal opportunities. Thank you, rejection, for reminding …

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How to overcome fear-based perfectionism

This week, there’s been a theme on many of my coaching calls: the struggle to overcome fear-based perfectionism.  Perfectionism is sometimes a wonderful skill to leverage (remember: very few human behaviors are inherently bad or good). Other times, when perfectionism is rooted in fear, it can block us from moving forward. In this blog, I will share: my philosophy on fear-based perfectionisma surprising practice for how to overcome fear-based perfectionismsome of my favorite mantras to move past the sometimes-crippling need to get things “just right” Let’s start with one very important truth: Your perfectionism has paid off over the years. Perhaps your attention to detail helped you get the grades to attend your dream grad program. Or you were rewarded for catching mistakes or discrepancies in your line of work. It’s also possible the rewards started earlier. Growing up, your allowance may have depended on how thoroughly you cleaned your room. Indeed, perfectionism is a tool …but it can’t be the only tool. Think about construction workers. They head out with jack hammers, drills, and a variety of other equipment. This way, they know they’ll be equipped to address a variety of challenges. You don’t really need to get rid of perfectionism all together. Will your doctors appointment get cancelled if you’re late? Be perfectly on time. Need to find a professional to help out with your taxes, will or other sensitive documents? By all means, use all your perfectionist tendencies to identity the right person for the job. So, if our goal isn’t to leave behind perfectionism, what is it? The goal is to learn to recognize the perfectionism as its happening (i.e. cultivate awareness) and then to make a choice. If the perfectionism feels helpful and empowering, go with it! If it seems to be holding you back, it’s time to try something else. Over the years (and over and over again in my conversations with clients this week), I’ve noticed how there is one particular flavor of perfectionism that seems universally debilitating. Perfectionism Rooted in Fear I typically see this in intelligent, successful people. Blind to the fear that’s actually running the show (or unclear that this is the real reason they can’t move forward), they often try to justify their behavior. They give well-thought-out reasons why they need to wait until conditions are just right, they know more, or they have enough time/money/etc… They argue for the perceived limitations, saying they’re not ready. Ask their closest friends and allies if that person is ready, however, and you will hear a resounding “YES!” Here are a few archetypes of past clients whose perfectionism was disguised as fear: A doctor who wanted to write her first children’s book and spent hundreds of hours editing and re-editing her work A top-performing, highly educated employee who wanted to start his own business, but thought she needed more credentialsA talented artist who almost turned down his first gallery show because he wasn’t 100% satisfied with all of his paintings If these people had let fear win, the world would have missed out on their beautiful contributions. The key to changing the behavior pattern We don’t change our behaviors by making them bad and wrong. This can just send us into a shame cycle. We also don’t change our behavior by trying the same thing over and over again. This results in a frustration cycle. Through my work with people around the world, I’ve discovered there are two key, initial steps we must take toward change: Finding a safe place to acknowledge and talk about the fear Cultivating more self-compassion As I mentioned above, fear-based perfectionism is a challenge faced by accomplished people, many of whom do not sit around talking about their fear. Now, please recall what I said at the beginning of this article: Any human behavior has both payoffs and challenges, and most behaviors are not inherently good or bad. While some people cringe when I mention the idea of sharing feelings, I’ve seen time and time again how learning to talk about fear with trusted confidantes can normalize the experience. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant,” one of my former clients loved to say. When we can name and discuss our fear, we give the fear less power and can build our sense of support and community. It can also — and this is extremely important — support you in cultivating more self-compassion. Compassion is essential to overcome fear-based perfectionism You may be great at offering compassion to your friends, pet, child or another beloved figure in your life… but not so practiced at offering it to yourself. You probably also know that sometimes compassion is the best way to get things done. You wouldn’t, for instance, yell at a toddler for not being potty trained. You’d show him compassion and then find a creative and loving way to support his progress (for my nephews, we use stickers). Many perfectionists even have a story that self-compassion will make them weak or slow them down. The vast majority of perfectionists I know are at 0 risk of this happening. Self-criticizing <—————————> Self-compassion On the spectrum above, they are so far over to the left, that a few notches toward self-compassion will only improve the quality of their life. Their old strategy of pushing themselves is no longer working, anyway! Do you want to go allllllll the way over to the right? Maybe sometimes. Odds are, however, that you’ll find a sweet spot in the middle that serves as a more sustainable and gentle road to success. By cultivating compassion for their fear, and hence themselves, a perfectionist can find a new strategy to success. Talking to your fear Oftentimes, it’s easier to be gentle with our fear if we can personify it. Just yesterday, a client and I named her fear Koko the Gorilla. A few months ago, another client personified his fear as a much younger version of himself. It felt easier for them to welcome and spend time with …

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