In This Episode: Mastermind FAQ’s Answered, part 1/2
In this bonus episode, Kickass Masterminds CEO Sara Christensen gets asked some FAQs about Masterminds by her partner in the business and life Scott Davis.
What is a Mastermind?
When should I join a Mastermind?
How do I find a Mastermind?
If you’d rather read the transcript of their conversations, here you go:
Sara: This episode of the Entrepreneur Mastermind Show is going to be a little bit different from what we normally do. We’re doing these cool bonus episodes and on this one, you are going to meet, if you haven’t met already, I know a lot of you guys have met him, Scott! My … what do I call you?
Scott: Mr. Fantastic.
Sara: I don’t like calling you my boyfriend.
Scott: Aww that’s cute though.
Sara: No it’s worse.
Scott: Me being your boyfriend makes me feel young like we’re in high school.
Sara: That’s what I was saying, but we’re adults.
Scott: Back behind the bleachers.
Sara: Oh my- what?
Sara: Okay, my boyfriend, significant other, partner … partner sounds weird to me.
Scott: Sounds like we’re-
Sara: I don’t know. I don’t like it.
Sara: Partner. Well, he is a minority shareholder in Kickass Masterminds. So, he has a –
Scott: In that way I am a partner.
Sara: You are a partner in that! So, you’re my partner plus maybe.
Scott: Partner plus plus.
Sara: So that’s how I should introduce you?
Scott: Call me P.P. Plus Plus. P three.
Sara: This is my P three.
Scott: She’s my P three.
Sara: That’s weird.
Sara: Anyways, Scott is here today to interview me with some of the most frequently asked questions about Masterminds.
Sara: We asked a bunch of people on Instagram: “Hey! What do you wanna know about Masterminds?” These were the FAQS.
Scott: I get to be Richard Dawson on Family Feud.
Scott: 400 people surveyed said!
Sara: Except I get to be the arbiter of the answers.
Scott: Do we get to buzz in really quick?
Sara: No, ’cause only I’m giving the answers.
Scott: Oh. Remember Richard Dawson in the ’70s would like kiss all the girls. He would be like mwah. “Hello darlin! Hello bird! So you’re first question on Family Feud … mwah.” He’s like a-
Scott: Oh, he’s a total British creeper.
Sara: Like #MeToo?
Scott: Totally. Yeah. Yeah you would not wanna know what happened in the green room on Family Feud in the ’70s.
Sara: I don’t. So, don’t be like grabbing me or anything, Richard Dawson.
Scott: I totally could do that! I’m a P three!
Sara: I know, but we’re in P-business mode.
Scott: That’s nuts. I thought we blurred those lines around here.
Sara: We’ll we do, since we don’t have an HR department … yet.
Scott: When we do, I’m really screwed. The #MeToo movement is coming to Kickass.
Sara: It is.
Scott: It will be bad for me.
Sara: It is gonna be-
Scott: I’m ready when you are, since you’re in business mode now.
Sara: Okay, I’m ready.
Scott: Alright, boss. What’s a mastermind?
Sara: What is a mastermind?
Scott: What is a mastermind?
Sara: So, and you and I have talked about this, a mastermind really isn’t specific to business. There are things that could be masterminds like a hive of bees all working together for a common purpose. A band could be a mastermind. Again, all working together for a common purpose using the best skills of everybody. But in terms of business, which is kinda what we’re talking about here, business; business masterminds are a group of individual entrepreneurs, individual business people, who come together to help each other in the collective with their individual businesses.
Sara: So, they come together. Usually, it is for a specific period of time and usually it’s to accomplish a specific type of thing over that period of time, and really it’s about helping each other with anything and everything that they need help with in their business. So, it’s holding them accountable, because as humans we can’t hold ourselves accountable. It’s about getting feedback on the things that we are working on and input and getting people’s thoughts on the projects and the initiatives that we’re working on inside of our business. It’s about seeing what other people are doing inside of their businesses and learning from that. So, it’s like the collective.
Sara: In fact, I heard one of the girls who’s in on of the masterminds right now, she said her business is better by 6 because there’s 6 people in their masterminds. So it’s like times 6 brains on her business, and then a lot of it is about community and support because the fact of the matter is entrepreneurs have blurred lines between their businesses and their lives. So, it’s providing whatever kind of support people need. But it really is a group of business people coming together, having a specific format for meeting, and having specific goals that they want to get out of those groups together.
Scott: Great. I remember one of my favorite writers was Richard Florida. He was into [inaudible 00:04:12] on The Atlantic. He would say the reason Silicon Valley works is you bring all kinds of talented people to one place and interact together, and there’s the multiplicative lift effect of putting really talented people in the same rooms together, right? You bring them all over the world and combination of that shared brain power is an additive. It’s exponential. So the lift is not one plus one doesn’t equal two, it equals ten. So, that’s why Silicon Valley actually works ’cause you get all that brainpower under one roof, right? Under one tiny little valley, the IQ is incredible. So, that’s kinda what-
Sara: So true.
Scott: That’s a mastermind at large.
Sara: It is. It’s so true and there’s a lot of things out there that people are calling masterminds right now. It’s kind of a sexy word, like “Hey, let’s mastermind”. In fact, I saw a guy who has an email accountability thing calling it a mastermind. I’m like mmm mm that is not a mastermind. There’s a lot of group coaching programs, like coaches will call coaching programs masterminds. There’s a lot of DIY masterminds, which really aren’t masterminds or they shouldn’t even try to be masterminds. They should be more accountability groups.
Sara: So, the real key things about masterminds is that the groups have to be curated. The right people have to be put together. It has to be facilitated by somebody who’s an expert in group dynamics and facilitating these kind of groups, and there also has to be a process and a methodology for actually making sure that the group is productive. I’ve heard from so many people who will message me and say: “I was in a mastermind, but really it was just some people I met in a Facebook group, but I really like the people and we connected every other week or so, but we ended up just talking about personal things. There was not enough structure. There wasn’t accountability. There wasn’t a container for actual getting the most out of it. So, I think that that’s important when people are looking for masterminds, whether they end up with Kickass or not, is looking at how it’s curated, how it’ facilitated, and what the methodology is around that. And you know I spend a tremendous amount of time obsessing about this stuff.
Scott: Well, you’re a baker, masterminding as a bakery, right? Great bakers have a formula and a process to doing it and it’s dedicated and devoted. You don’t just go in and wing it and throw some stuff in a pan, and say, “This probably works” ’cause it doesn’t. It never works when you’re just winging it and I think that when it’s unprofessional, and not curated, and not thought through that cake’s not gonna rise. So, you better be thinking about it as a master baker.
Sara: That’s a good analogy!
Sara: I’m gonna use that!
Scott: You can use that. That worked well.
Sara: Can I use that?
Scott: I better be getting a bill in the mail for my –
Scott: We share a mailbox out here.
Sara: We do share a mailbox.
Scott: Put it in and you could take it right out.
Sara: Oh, you can try that. I did bake a cake this weekend with your son.
Scott: Yes, you did.
Sara: Yes, I did, yes.
Scott: This analogy holds up very well.
Sara: It does. Yes, and we had some slight issues with the cake, but we rescued it with frosting. So, it’s all good.
Sara: Analog, yes.
Scott: So, here’s a when question. I like this one. When should I join a mastermind?
Sara: That is an excellent question because I see a lot of people joining way too early. I see them joining in their first year of being an entrepreneur when they are just trying to figure out the basics. One of the most powerful thing about a mastermind is being with other people and being surrounded by people who have done some shit, who have had some experiences, who have failed, who have succeeded, who’ve had some real world things that they can share. A lot of times people get involved in masterminds way too early and it sort of like the blind leading the blind where people will say, “Well, I read this in a book or I read this in the course that I’m taking”. That’s not productive, to swirl around information that’s not real world kind of stuff. So, I think that there’s a couple of different lines, if you will, and all lines are blurry, but a couple of different lines. I don’t think anyone in their first year of entrepreneurship who’ve never had a business before should be in a mastermind.
Sara: I also think a huge line in knowing when to join a mastermind is when you go full time in your business. Say it’s been a side hustle for you for awhile, when you’re making that leap to going full time, that’s a really good time to join a mastermind. Again, it’s like up leveling, right? You’re going pro. You’re going to that next level, and you have some experience that you can bring to the group because a huge part about masterminding is not only taking and receiving, but it’s giving. And you want to show up in a material way and give to the other people in your groups.
Sara: Now, I’m not saying that early stage entrepreneurs shouldn’t collect up and support each other, but it should be more about accountability and less about giving advice. You have to be, I feel like I bang the drum on this all the time, really careful about who you’re taking advice from. You don’t wanna take advice from someone who just read a book or thinks it should be this way or heard about it on a Facebook post. You want to take advice from people who’ve actually been there and done that. So, really joining a mastermind when you’re full time in your business, you’ve been in business for a least a year, is really the time.
Sara: And again, there’s some exceptions to that. For example, we have someone in a mastermind right now who had a very successful jewelry business. She was doing 7 million a year when she sold it and now she’s starting two other new businesses. Now she hasn’t been in business with those businesses very long. She may not have hit that threshold-
Scott: But she knows the business.
Sara: But she knows the business.
Scott: She knows the business.
Sara: Yeah, she can bring some good stuff to the group.
Scott: It’s like going to a 25-year-old single marriage therapist, right?
Scott: Do you really want take marriage advice from Trixie who just graduated from Stanford? Good school, but yeah. She hasn’t taken the bullets yet, so.
Scott: No thanks, Trixie.
Sara: No, I agree. Being really discerning about who you’re taking advice from, I think is a good rule of thumb for all of us.
Scott: For life.
Sara: For life.
Scott: For life.
Sara: And business.
Scott: And business. Well, especially in this, I mean this will the most important things you’ll ever do. You wanna surround yourself with achievers that have been there, taken a few bullets, right?
Scott: And when you know, they’re giving you good advice it’s gonna be something you should listen to.
Sara: Exactly, or even being discerning to say, ” I haven’t done that myself, personally. I can’t really advise you on that or this is what I might do, even though I don’t have experience with that.” That’s what experienced business people will do and say. They’ll be honest about saying, “I’ve never done that before, but here’s kind of how I’d approach it”.
Scott: Yeah, and find somebody who does know what they’re doing.
Sara: Totally. And just a side note about … if there are people inside of the group that don’t know that topic, say there’s something someone needs help with, having an experienced mastermind facilitator to go out and bring in an expert to help answer that question is really important. I don’t want this to be an ad for Kickass ’cause the show is supposed to be really objective, but something that we do is that we do these side bars, where if there’s a couple of people in the group that need help on SEO, we’ll bring an expert in. We always have a guest expert every month or we’ll bring somebody in that actually has the answers. Again, instead of trying to figure it out on our own. I very much believe in bringing in people who have the experience.
Scott: Sure, no, excellent. Good, good, good. Alright, so we talked about what is it and when should I join, this is a how question. How do I find a mastermind?
Sara: Well, this is tricky because there’s no graceful way to find this. It’s sort of is like you have to know what you’re looking for and what you wanna get out of mastermind first. You have to know is it … do you wanna participate in the mastermind because you wanna be with other people that are running their business exactly the same way as you? Are they doing the same kinds of sales funnels? They’re using the same tools. Those kinds of things. That’s one kind of mastermind.
Sara: Or are you looking for diversity of opinion? Are you looking for people who are further ahead of you in business? So, you have to figure out first, what do you want and then finding a mastermind, honest to god, it’s really tricky. It really is tricky and that’s part of the reason why I started this business because there’s no central place for masterminds. There’s a lot of DIY masterminds. There’s a lot of coaches and group coaching that are calling themselves masterminds and then there are some true high end masterminds that are going on with experts and coaches and those masterminds, they tend to follow the teachings of those people. Like, Russel Bronson, who I’m a fan of, I think he’s great. You hear me listening to his podcasts. He had a high-end mastermind and it’s rooted in his tools, in his philosophies and the way that he does business.
Sara: So, if you wanna build a business like him and use his tools and his philosophies and his training and his teaching, awesome. Join his mastermind. And there’s other-
Scott: But that’s really just a retelling of his formula, as you say. It’s not a true peer to peer interaction, right? Drawing on the experience of well-seasoned peers. It’s really just a mechanism to drive through the doctrines of a guru, right?
Sara: Yes, but it’s delivered in a group. So you can learn how other people are applying his way and his teaching in a group. So, I think that there is masterminding going on, but again under the umbrella of that particular teacher, of that particular guru. So, if there is a teacher or expert out there, that you wanna run your business very similarly to them, that’s-
Scott: That’s a good avenue.
Sara: That’s a really good avenue. And there’s a lot of people out there who do that who have really good … Russel’s one of them, James Wednor is another person that I respect that runs a high end mastermind. I think those are very, very good options to follow those particular teachers. There’s all this DIY masterminds, kind of where people are slacking stuff together.
Scott: It’s like dating though, right? DIY masterminds are like going to a bar and finding the right mate, right?
Scott: You may. You may not. You may come into the right people.
Sara: That’s right.
Scott: But if you have a dating expert who knows you and knows what you need and what level you are at and what stage you’re at, can bring in people to match you better and that’s actually more valuable.
Sara: Yes, and that’s really why I went all in with Kickass versus just managing groups on the side because I love masterminds, it’s that I saw this place in the market where there’s a really high end masterminds led by experts and gurus of a specific philosophy and there’s all this cats and dogs happening-
Sara: Wow! That was an abrupt stop wasn’t it? I’m so sorry about that, but let me tell you what happened. So, we were recording this episode, having our merry conversation. We talked for maybe another 20 minutes about the most frequently asked questions about masterminds and didn’t realize that my iPhone had stopped midway through. So, the good news is we are gonna do a part two and answer the rest of those questions. The bad news is it’s just not gonna be in this particular episode, which is cool anyways because I try to keep these episodes fairly short. So, come on back and listen to episode 33 to get the answers to the remaining questions that you had about masterminds, and as always thanks for listening or watching. We really appreciate it.
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