Masterminds are the secret weapon that people know about, but often don't take advantage of. In this episode, James and Phoebe share their experiences with the current high-level mastermind group that they are running. Learn the reasons behind why masterminds work, the benefits you can get from joining one, and how you can go about forming your own (or joining the ideal one for you).
James joined his first mastermind in 2008, paying $18,000 a year to take part, even though he really couldn’t afford it. This is where het met Lewis Howes, and they started a business together, putting James “on the map” for YouTube and video marketing.
“That all came from a relationship in a mastermind group”
Since then, with the exception of one year, he’s been in a mastermind. He felt and noticed a significant difference in his business for that time he wasn’t in a mastermind. He strongly considers a mastermind a requirement in business, not just an option.
The term “mastermind” was coined by Napoleon Hill, who stated:
“The mastermind principle consists of an alliance of two or more minds working in perfect harmony for the attainment of a common, definite objective. No two minds ever come together without a third invisible force, which may be likened to a third mind. When a group of individual minds are co-ordinated and function in harmony, the increased energy created through that alliance becomes available to every individual in that group.”
James explains that the moment you combine two or more people together, you have something infinitely more powerful that in those people were to do it alone, on their own.
Why do masterminds work?
1) They raise the vibration
When you’re in a room of people that have the same intention, the energy of the room takes on its own vibration.
“If it’s the right group of people, I mean it could literally re-ignite your life”
If you’re creating your own mastermind group, determine what vibration you want, and what your group stands for.
2) They make you aware of blind spots
A mastermind mind group can look objectively at what you’re dealing with, and identify those things you might not be able to see.
“If you feel like you’re getting in your own way, that’s an indicator that you have blind spots”
Phoebe shares that there are some things that she can tell her mastermind that she couldn’t tell peers in her industry that aren’t part of the group.
James adds that since online entrepreneurs with personal brands often face issues such as refunds, complaints and personal attacks, the support received from a mastermind is important.
3) They give you accountability
In the mastermind they run, members are required to set goals that they want to achieve before the next quarter, when they all meet again in-person. To Phoebe, not only does this mean you’re stepping up your own game, but you don’t want to be the only person in the room who doesn’t deliver what he or she were supposed to.
4) They provide new ideas, contents and strategies
Using the new ideas gained from masterminds can be looked at as “fine tuning” your business, and can help you avoid potential pitfalls. You can infuse the strategies into what’s already working for you and your business.
Phoebe was intimidated when looking for a mastermind group to join a few years ago. She asked someone in her Facebook group, who happened to be in a mastermind with an opening.
James notes that it’s been said that, “a mastermind finds you.”
If you don’t join a paid one, you can start you own.
7 tips to forming a true, successful mastermind:
1) Qualify your mastermind members
This tip accounts for up to 90% of the success of your group, as the group is only as strong as the weakest member.
There are certain qualities that you should look for:
To vet members for their group, James sent an email out to his list and was specific about what they were looking for. An overwhelming amount of applications were received, and each person had to complete and in-depth survey. He and Phoebe narrowed it down and got on the phone with people to go deeper. They looked at how each individual, and group as a whole, would mix and interact together.
2) Identify a common thread that ties the group together
For James and Phoebe’s mastermind, every member is an online course creator, online influence, author or online coach. Some other groups are based off of gender, occupation, etc.
3) Make sure there is a clear intention and benefit for the group
For them, it’s that each member is committed to having a breakthrough year in his or her member, and the mastermind group is the catalyst for this.
4) Have a clear structure
Their group meets in person four times a year, once each quarter. During these meetings, members do a five-minute presentation asking their “big question” to the group. With this exercise, the result they want is identified, as well as where they are currently. The other members give 25 minutes of feedback. In each meeting, two members also do a presentation on a specific topic such as leveraging Facebook groups in business, finding your ideal client avatar, and more.
5) Lay out the deliverables of what they’ll get
In addition to the benefits mentioned, in James and Phoebe’s group the members also get access to an online members’ portal, and a “members’ rolodex”, where everyone can share resources like service providers and freelancers.
6) Be consistent
Masterminds only work when they are consistent, and the creators are held responsible for maintaining the consistency of the group and setting the town. At the end of each meeting, confirm when the next one will be and get a verbal commitment from each member to be there.
However, be careful with the frequency, as weekly meetings may be too often. For this reason, James and Phoebe keep to one in-person meeting per quarter.
7) Foster a sense of community
James and Phoebe incorporate a fun activity into each event, such as hosting a bonfire on the beach. It should be something outside of the work setting, where the members can get to know each other and be themselves.
They have a small Facebook group for the members, which further builds the sense of community. In addition, several members have co-ordinate calls with each other outside of the actual group calls and meetings.
At the second mastermind in-person event of the year, both James and Phoebe noticed a massive difference in the members, with them having a big shift in energy and mentality.
The group members each came into their own power, with much more power and conviction. However, the new theme seemed to be that they didn’t have the time to learn any more content.
James felt they need to now be in creation, and launch mode and told them:
“Everything that you need, in your business and in your life, is available within these four wall”
The true value of their mastermind is that they are able to get the support from the entire group, and not just him or Phoebe. He says that it’s their role to set the tone, facilitate the experience and hold that space for the breakthroughs to occur.
In the first episode of the new segment, “Question of the Week”, Coral Chipoendsle asks James and Phoebe, “How do you deal with negative environments and people”?
This topic is relevant for online entrepreneurs especially, as they are their own brands. The social media platforms available today, such as Facebook and YouTube, allow people to speak their minds easily. James says this is neither good nor bad, but it does hold a lot of people back in business.
He’s faced personal attacks from people online, and Phoebe notes that it’s been said you haven’t made it big until you get this type of attention.
Steps for dealing with negative environments and people:
1) Acknowledge how you’re dealing with it
Are you hiding, or getting angry and lashing out at the person? Whatever your approach is, it probably isn’t working for you right now because trying to resist it won’t make the problem go away. Remember:
“A negative environment, person or comment is simply a reflection of the thoughts and feelings that you already have inside of you”
Pay attention to the comments and criticisms that are really triggering you, as this will show you what your fears and thoughts are, on a subconscious level.
None of the attacks are really personal, but our own egos want to keep us being “right” and “safe.” You’ll want to create space from the situation, and not react right away, even if your initial thought is to lash out at the person. Don Miguel Ruiz reminds people to not take things personally in his popular book, “The Four Agreements” (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
Accept it as something that is something going on inside of you. What if this was the universe pointing out the active vibration you have within yourself?
2) Determine what feelings, beliefs and emotions you want more of
We all have the ability to shift what’s happening. We are all choosing what is “good” and “bad”, but everything just “is.”
James believes in a constructive reality where we are all worthy and loved. There is no bad or wrong. Come from a place of acceptance: of your strengths, and your weaknesses.
Often we approach a business from a place of lack and inadequacy. This leads to us believing that “hustling” proves your worth.
“If you come from that place, you’ll never reach the destination”
What is intuition? Is it really a sixth sense that we can develop? In this episode, James and Phoebe share more on intuition and the steps involved in developing it for your business!
A Harvard University researcher studied over 13,000 business executives and found that over 80% of them credited their success to relying on their intuition.
In another study, a senior advisor to Shell Oil concluded that among Fortune 500 companies, intuitive information strategies are most often found at the highest levels of an organization.
Albert Einstein is said to have made his biggest discoveries while daydreaming and Nikola Tesla’s greatest inventions came as a “flash of insight”, or as a vision.
Apple CEO Tim Book used his intuition to decide on joining the company when everyone was advising that he shouldn’t. James says this is a lot of what intuition is.
“(Intuition is) making the decision that is not logical”
He says it’s much more about feeling the answer than thinking the answer.
“I realize that 90% of the decisions I make in my business are based off of intuition”
Coming from a place of belief gets him more excited about being guided by intuition.
To a certain extent, intuition can be developed. James use to be a very left-brained and logical person but now opens himself up to trusting his intuition.
When he was child, he was doing entrepreneurial things and he feels we all have an innate calling to do what makes us happy.
“It gets trained out of us and then we spend the rest of our life trying to trust it again”
He says it’s our natural tendency to be full of joy, passion and gratitude.
“If we simply let go of focusing on all that negative stuff, we can begin to raise our vibrations and go more into a place of inspired action”
Intuition is about being able to see ahead.
“To be able to see the unseen, that’s really what entrepreneurship is”
There are four ways that people receive intuitive messages:
“The more we can recognize (intuition), the more we can listen for it”
An exercise you can do is to write down a simple list of five action items or decisions you’ve made recently that worked out for you, and five that did not. Try to identify if your intuition played a role in these decisions at all.
Was there a feeling or sign that guided you towards the right decision, or encourage you away from the wrong ones?
A 6-step process for strengthening your intuition muscle is:
What exactly is meditation, and what are its benefits? In this episode, James and Phoebe are joined by Chris von der Mehden to discuss how meditation can not only improve a person’s health, but also have a significant impact on one’s business.
There are many studies that prove the benefits of practicing meditation, including ones that show:
To Chris von der Mehden, meditation in its simplest form is about becoming present.
“For me, the real benefit and the reason why I meditate is to really just become who deep down I want to be”
dPreviously, Chris found himself in a place of emotional turmoil and didn’t know his purpose in life. He started to explore spirituality, and he says that meditation automatically showed up.
The first time he meditated, he says he just let his “emotional garbage” out and for the first time in his life, his brain was quiet. He believes that the ability to meditate and connect with something higher is already built into all of us.
“I realized there was a much more real experience of a spiritual life”
He believes the first step in starting to meditate is to find your “Why”, then go deeper and ask yourself more questions as to why you want to meditate.
For Chris, the reason to meditate was to help people.
“Once you have that clarity, that becomes your highest vision of yourself in that moment”
He adds that by determining your reason for practicing meditation, it will give you a destination, and the intention to get to that place.
The next step that Chris recommends is once you get through a meditation session, spend the next hour or two living from that space you achieved by meditating. For him, he writes or works on a course.
“The real goal of meditating is to live life from that place of being”
For James, meditation is the “work before the work” of creation as an entrepreneur.
Chris says that in some ways, meditation is a way of returning to your childhood and a place of freedom.
The “monkey mind” is a little voice that appears to distract you and tell you little stories. When you meditate, the mind gets quiet and you get to feel emotions.
“Every time (an emotion) comes up and you feel it and let it go, those are just the golden moments”
He says you need to give yourself permission to feel emotions such as nervousness, as a resisting them can actually make them worse.
Chris recommends that you have a thought, observe that you have it, and enjoy yourself having the thought. When you enjoy something, the mind automatically goes away.
A half an hour is a great time to start with during a sitting meditation, but if you’re not able to do this, even going for a short walk, to enjoy everything you see, is a good start. Chris does one seated meditation a day, but goes to a state of enjoyment as much as he can throughout the day.
“Practicing enjoyment; that’s where you get all the benefits of meditation and the problems disappear”
He notes that the more present you become, the more powerful you become.
James’ routine is 10 to 15 minutes of meditating as soon as he gets up, and then once or twice more during the day. This helps him not be as reactive to things that happen and allows him to look at issues instead as creative opportunities.
He says that business is all about solving problems, and that staying open to a solution and looking for the opportunity in it will allow us to be more effective.
When you learn how to meditate and be in the state of enjoyment, it is possible to bring that to another person. In fact, meditation can be more effective in a group setting.
“It becomes this feedback effect where you’re basically just enlightening each other”
Derek Halpern is the founder of SocialTriggers.com, a thriving business that sells software, online courses and digital training. In this episode, he talks with James and Phoebe about the seemingly unremarkable daily habits that help people become extraordinary in business. More specifically, how walking can change your life!
Derek says that there’s a myth that people who succeed often do it at the expense of something else in their lives. He believes this couldn’t be further from the truth.
He started to notice that successful people had the full package: a beautiful family, a remarkable business, and their health.
“Seeing their success proves on thing. It’s possible to have it all.”
Fitness and being healthy is one area of importance for successful people, and walking is one way that people can achieve this. For this reason, Derek started his own walking challenge (see “INTERVIEW LINKS”).
For the last 16 months, Derek has been walking about 10,000 steps each day. He started because his doctor gave him the news that he had a heart condition.
In his research, Derek discovered amazing side effects of walking.
“People are more focused. They’ve got more energy. They feel better about themselves.”
He adds that as an entrepreneur, you can come up with the best ideas when you’re walking. Recently, Derek was having a bad day and chose to go for a walk through Central Park in New York City. He says that noticing people having a good time gave him a different type of perspective.
“At that moment, I felt better about what was happening”
Derek has also used walking as a way to improve his creativity when trying to come up with sales copy.
“You take your mind off of the thing that you’re trying to solve and all these things happen in the background that can make you come up with that new idea”
Walking specifically in new surroundings can “assault” your senses with new information. Derek prefers walking outdoors, as opposed to on treadmills or treadmill desks inside.
“Whether it’s (the) walking, or the outside, I’m happy about it”
To make walking a daily habit, Derek believes that you need to find something you’re already doing, and change it slightly. He use to go to a coffee shop across the street every morning, but now chooses one that’s 6 or 7 blocks away.
He also reminds people to stand up throughout the day. Setting an alarm on your phone to move every 45 minutes is one way to do this.
Phoebe quotes a study by The University of Utah whereby walking for only two minutes per hour every day can reduce your premature death rate by 33%.
Derek says the challenge he set up is designed to help people walk more, by setting small goals, without overwhelming them.
Tools like Fitbit and the iPhone Health App can help you track your daily steps.
As Derek has gotten more successful in business, he realizes it’s the seemingly insignificant things that set people apart. He notes that Beethoven, Tim Ferriss and LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner have all credited taking walks as helping them achieve success.
“If something as small as going for a walk can help so many different successful people, why aren’t you doing it?”
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In today’s episode, James and Phoebe continue the conversation on the topic of the Myers Briggs Personality Test, and how it relates to building your business. This tool can allow you to become more comfortable with who you really are, help you ensure you are aligned with your true passions, and help you see that what you have considered weaknesses, could be your greatest strengths.
Here are some traits of the different personality types that you should be aware of:
The Introverts are inwardly focused and don’t inherently grasp the value of networking and relationships as much as extroverted people. James has increasingly come to realize the power of having a team involved in his business.
“The more I’ve discovered the power of a team, the power of having others support you and help you, it’s changed my whole belief”
Being this type of person doesn’t mean you should limit yourself and not speak on stage, do webinars or other actions that may be out of your comfort zone.
Introverts are detailed-oriented, figure things out and have the patience to dive deep.
Extroverts form connections and relationships with others more quickly than introverts, which can be a strength that they have in business. They are faster with taking action and putting themselves out there.
“You’ve got to look at where your strengths are and where your potential pitfalls, blind spots and weaknesses are”
Sensors make sure everything is working and they are detailed-oriented. They believe in structure, stability, processes and systems, which are all vital to the success of a business.
They have to be careful, as they often can’t connect all the pieces, which is also necessary. They also need to consider if they really have a vision for where they are heading.
“Growing usually takes a bigger vision”
Intuitives are visionaries that can see the “forest through the trees.” They also can sometimes get into trouble, as they tend to look too far into the future. Intuitives don’t like details, which is why they work well together with sensing types.
“(Sensors) are going to be able to ground your vision and help you with getting it done”
Phoebe notes that in tech startups, the marketing person typically has the vision, and the tech co-founder is the person who looks after all the steps to execute.
Thinkers are left-brained and logical people, like Tim Ferriss, who enjoy hacking things and figuring out how to do more with less. They discover efficiencies in processes, and are always looking for a new way to do something.
Their downfall involves marketing and selling, in most cases.
Feelers are right-brained and emotional, with Gary Vaynerchuk being one example of this personality type. They are able to use emotion to bring people on a journey.
Feelers don’t enjoy anything that has to do with numbers or technology and aligning themselves with people who enjoy doing these things is a great business strategy.
Perceivers aren’t structured in how they plan out their day. In entrepreneurship, this can be considered a disadvantage as results are based off of actions. They also can struggle with following through on things.
However, they are project starters and creative, which is important for business success.
Judgers are in high demand in the business world, as James notes.
“I know so many people, their business is successful, simply because they know how to follow through”
Their downfall can be a lack of flexibility, which is needed to allow creativity. They also can be overly stressed when they have deadlines approaching.
Myers Briggs Personality Types can be used to determine the best employee for a particular position. For example, an ESTJ can make an excellent project manager as they are extroverted (E), detail-oriented (S) and structured (J). As Thinkers (T), they are also able to make the tough decisions needed to be made in the best interest of the project.
You are still able to understand others, even if you only know a few of their letters.
NTs are “scientists” able to solve problems, NFs are “world huggers” that put humanity first, SJs are “traditionalists” who work well with routine and structure and SPs are performers who want to feel the rush of being alive and present, always knowing how to present themselves.
It’s important to note that you’ll never get where you want to go following the instruction manual of someone who has a different personality type than you do.
“You need to look at who you really are. (Myers Briggs) is just one tool for discovering it.”
For James, Myers Briggs was a gift, and he credits it for allowing him to accept who he was, and still is. It can help you be comfortable with yourself, in the process learning to see what you thought were your weaknesses are really your true strengths, and “secret weapons.”
Knowing yourself will allow you to understand more how you can show up and operate as an entrepreneur. In this episode, James and Phoebe explain what the Myers Briggs Personality Test is all about, while allowing the listener to answer the question “what type am I?”
Personality types aren’t meant to limit you. You can learn much about yourself, and along the way, discover a lot about the people around you.
At a business function in 2008, someone “read” James, based on his personality type, which fascinated him.
“What it did for me was open a door to discover this on my own”
He says he was an introvert growing up, referring to himself as shy and not knowing how to relate to others.
“I lived the first 25 years of my life thinking there was something drastically wrong with me because everywhere I looked, I found evidence that people were the exact opposite”
James discovered his Myers Briggs Personality Type is “INTJ”, which is one of the rarest of the 16 personality types in the framework. Myers Briggs allowed him to look at what he had as strengths, as opposed to weaknesses.
“I accepted who I was and really fell in love with that”
He created a journal that he kept for about 18 months, tracking and analyzing the personality types of people that he knew. He discovered a lot of similarities between them in terms of behaviors, mannerisms and even physical attributes. This has resulted in him being able to read people with great accuracy.
“It has allowed me to be more effective in communication. The moment you work with one more person in your life, communication becomes the number one most important thing”
He believes that the one breakdown we have in communication is not being able to understand where the other person is coming from and what’s going on with them.
Knowing people’s personality types can help in terms of hiring for new positions, as well as determining who the ideal client is for your business. The Myers Briggs system can even point you in the right direction for finding your purpose, or reaffirming the path that you are on.
“I believe that everyone has a purpose, and your purpose needsto be aligned with the things that come natural to you”
It’s important to note that no personality type is right or wrong, or better or worse, than another.
Myers Briggs is based on asking yourself a number of questions:
1. Are you an Extrovert (E) or Introvert(I)?
This question examines where you get your energy. If it’s from internal sources, such as thoughts, ideas and imagination, those are introvert qualities. Extroverts tend to get their energy from being around people.
Extroverts outnumber introverts about three to one, and it’s common for introverts to live their life feeling pressured to feel they need more friends and have to go out more often in groups.
Introverts often think first and speak second, enjoy peace and quiet and are great listeners. They love small gatherings and they believe that “talk is cheap.”
Extroverts talk first and think later, often have more friends and value that as something that’s important to them. They are not as affected by external stimuli and find listening more difficult than talking. Often, they require more affirmation from others.
2. Are you a Sensor (S) orIntuitive (N)?
This question revolves around how we see the world and take in information, which can be challenging to describe but can have the biggest impact on who we are and how we communicate.
About 60 to 70% of the population are sensors. Sensors prefer specific answers to specific questions, and are very detail oriented. They prefer jobs and tasks that yield a tangible result.
Sensors want to master things, and identify with being “the best” at something. These types of people would rather work with facts and figures than ideas and theories. They are very literally and tend to be more athletic than Intuitives.
Intuitives can be seen as being absent-minded and can get frustrated with details. They are future-oriented, looking at the“big picture.” They are able to draw a connection between people,things or ideas, and often are the type that will question authority.
3. Are you a Thinker (T) or Feeler(F)?
This question looks at how we make decisions, whether in a logical way or from the heart.
Thinkers are calm and collected, looking for what is fair and truthful rather than what will make people happy. To be a good manager of people, you most likely need to be a Thinker to make the tough decisions that are necessary. They are mathematical, scientific and left-brained in general.
Feelers take other peoples’ feelings in to account, and are more empathetic.
4. Are you a Perceiver (P) or a Judger(J)?
This question looks at how you structure your day and life.
Perceivers are creative and spontaneous,as well as good at starting projects. However, they can be easily distracted and are not big planners. They can be slightly disheveled in their appearance (males with longer hair and females wearing clothes that flow).
Perceivers experience time in abundance, which is why they’re always late.
Judgers are very linear with their time, and structured in that they are probably the type that has to have “to-do” lists. As well, they are tasks finishers, taking a project from start to finish.
Which type are you? Next week, in Part 2, we’ll take a deeper look at the Myers Briggs Personality Types and how you can relate that to your business. Are you working on the things that you’re naturally inclined to be working on? When you are doing what you are good at, you’ll be using your strengths and attracting people who will work well with you, as well as communicating more effectively!