Today we’ve got the Founder of Play Bigger Performance Groups, Angela Cote. We get into why you should get over your fear of rejection, we find out how your action will create real growth and how she helps people realize what happens if you don’t ask for help. Check it out.
The Mastermind Effect: Our ability to learn, or the availability to gain access to knowledge has definitely changed over the last five to ten years. When we were younger, we use textbooks and teachers and eventually that became friends and our co-workers, but it only allowed us to have like a sliver of what was really possible out there. How has your learning changed over the last several years versus today?
Angela Cote: I think my learning has become much more of a collaborative approach. And I think in the past, I learned more through mostly experiences, and maybe reading as well. But since I started doing more and more networking, I realized the value of learning from other people. And sometimes you, you know, learn from somebody, it doesn’t mean you are going to use their method or do exactly what they’re doing. But it gets your wheels turning. So I think just being around other people, lots of conversations, and opportunities to talk to peers, has just been amazing. And I think that that has amplified, and especially these days, it is happening even more and more virtually, which is really cool. So we’re just connecting with people all over the place, all over the world.
The Mastermind Effect: And you’re in Canada, I’m down here in the States. And we’re able to have this unbelievable conversation and learn from each other. And we’ve had a previous conversation obviously before this, but the access to be able to bridge that gap and bring those experiences or knowledge together. It’s pretty cool, isn’t it?
Angela Cote: Oh, yeah. It’s like the world’s just shrinking.
The Mastermind Effect: We have so many different ways to learn today. And in so many different resources. It can be confusing, like, how many rabbit holes can you go down to when you’re googling for something? Some people, you know, they look for mentors, or accountability partners, masterminds. Some people take online courses, obviously, a lot of ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? And how did you find them?
Angela Cote: I have mentors, like people that I actually speak with that I know in real life. Those people I found through lots of networking, relationship building, talking to people, asking who they are learning from, and trying to kind of tap into that. So I guess that would be people that are in my industry in the franchise world who are like the mentors, or people who are further ahead than I am and that I can learn from that have been around longer and can teach me things. But the other thing that I’m really doing a lot these days is also learning from these, I don’t want to call them influencers, because that sounds so like Instagram teenager, but like thought leaders, I guess. Like, for example, Marie Forleo is one of them. Or of course Tony Robbins, Kyle Cece is somebody I’m listening to. So I think it’s really important to have a variety of outlets for learning. And these people are people that have written business books, but I love to listen to them on podcasts and on YouTube and pick up nuggets and listen to interviews that there and there’s I’ve got about maybe five or six of my favorites that I listened to like every week.
The Mastermind Effect: So it sounds like you’re able to have access to them whenever because of it’s a podcast, or it’s something they’re putting out on social. In an earlier episode, I talked about mentorship. And since you brought it up, I think was, if you want to check, go back to episode seven. We talked about why it’s so hard to find mentorship, you said, you’ve got several mentors, and it’s interesting that mentors have mentors. What do you think is the best way? Or how have you found the mentors that you really worked with?
Angela Cote: Well, for one thing, I would start with the way that we put ourselves out there. It’s all about being authentically you. When you put yourself out there as yourself authentically, you attract people that want to be around you. And those people are going to be a lot more likely to want to help you and want to see you grow. So for me, it’s not like, I didn’t really go looking for mentors. But like I said, I did a lot of networking within the groups that are in my industry that made sense, when I’d have a conversation with someone and I could see their energy that they were drawn to what I’m doing, tap into that. And I think that’s something that people, they get shy to ask and but when you see somebody get excited, I mean, I have people that I mentor myself, and I love doing it for the people that I am attracted to do that for. And because I get to give back and I get to share my expertise, it goes both ways. So if you recognize that somebody is interested in what you’re doing, leverage that. Ask them “Hey, do you mind if we set up a monthly call? Or could I reach out to you for advice periodically?”
The Mastermind Effect: That’s a great thing about networking is you now when you have that right sphere around you, those five people, you know, have access to who’s in their network, which could be a mentor that like you were just saying. And it’s so important to have that mentorship, that network.
Angela Cote: Yeah. And I think people need to get over the fear of rejection. Because what’s the worst case scenario? If you ask the person in a way, that’s like, “Hey, I know you’re a busy person, is there some way that I can tap into your insights periodically in a way that works for you?” I would rather ask ten people and get two people saying yes, than be afraid to ask one person and not have anybody.
The Mastermind Effect: That is action through experimentation. And experimentation in this case, is just asking like, “Hey, can I get this? Can I do this? Can we do this?” And it’s just not giving up, it’s persevering and pushing through. So yeah, absolutely agree with what you’re saying. So today, people get stuck. Sometimes when they’re trying to execute what’s in their head, I know I do from time to time. We’re still in a pandemic right now, to me, this is helping create a reset in how we accomplish things, which we talked about a little bit ago. With our accessibility to everyone, how have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to execute an idea and accomplish something so you don’t get in your own way?
Angela Cote: I think we often I think it’s human nature sometimes that we need some validation. And so to be able to bring an idea to our peers, and have them say, “Go ahead, why don’t you do it, just do it.” You know, that I find has really helped me. My business is really growing. And it has been in the last few months through COVID pandemic. So it goes to show the value of that this collaboration. And I attribute a lot of that to the groups that I’m in that pushed me to go for it.
I think that people really need to just, whether it’s because of a mastermind group or not, believe in taking action, like action equals growth. And Marie Forleo, who I’ve mentioned earlier, she’s somebody I look up to as a thought leader. And one of her lines is that clarity comes from engagement, not thought. So instead of just sitting around in your own head all day long, you can instead do something to see if it works or not. At least you’ll know if it doesn’t work and move on. So you know, sitting around thinking about something versus bringing it to other people or actually doing it, is going to get you moving when you’re feeling stuck.
The Mastermind Effect: It’s interesting that you say that if you actually start talking about something, that you either become a poser, that nothing ever comes true, or it forces yourself to the front of line saying, “Okay, I put myself out there what I really want to do, no, you know, people are challenging me a little bit here and there,” but like, “I actually have to go do this now.” Have you ever found an example where you’re like, “Okay, I really want to do this. But if I don’t talk about it, then no one can actually judge me.” Have you ever run into an example like that?
Angela Cote: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, even when I made the decision to start working as a franchise consultant or advisor, I went and got, you know, my, my website, my business card, and I started showing up at franchise events. I’m like, “Hi, I’m a franchise consultant.” I put myself out there and made it happen. And even right now, we’re gonna eventually talk about my Play Bigger performance groups. Same thing, I’m just, I’m making it happen. I don’t have all kinds of proof that this is a good idea but I know in that in doing it, and calling it a thing, that it’s going to happen. So yeah, absolutely speaking it, imagining it helps make it happen for sure.
The Mastermind Effect: Staying on the masterminds, they’ve been around for a long time. Probably the first mastermind was like the apostles. And then from there, Benjamin Franklin created one called the Leather Apron Club. I didn’t know if he knew that. Eventually, Napoleon Hill wrote about it, which brought it a little bit more to the forefront. As there’s been an ever changing and this growing population of people wanting to have the self-education as opposed to traditional education over the last 5 to 10 years, where do you really see the movement going for self-education and masterminds?
Angela Cote: I only see it growing, and especially as the world has become a place where we can connect. You know, pre-COVID, I use zoom all the time, you probably did as well. But it’s funny how now everybody knows it. And people are like, let’s do a zoom call, and people are way more comfortable meeting. So I think there’s a huge opportunity that has come because of that, where, you know, in the past, people always thought of a mastermind as something where you’d meet in person. And the roadblock, there is costs– travel costs, or that you’ve got to find like-minded people in your own geography, in your own region. And so I just, I really just see it growing. And I see there being experts that can facilitate a mastermind, but that it takes a special type of expertise to be able to facilitate a successful mastermind. So having that expertise, but then that level of peer advising and coaching and accountability. Yeah, I don’t see it going away. That’s for sure.
The Mastermind Effect: Okay, so you talked a little bit about the expertise, how do you research that to find that this person’s legitimate? And when you ask your questions, how do you find that you want to work with someone? Could be a mastermind, free mentor, could be coach, anything.
Angela Cote: I start again, with alignment, there has to be a sense of alignment. Like I said earlier, putting yourself out there as who you are, so that you attract the right people. So when I have ever looked for a coach or a group to be a part of, I look at the core values for one thing, like what are their core values? Do I feel aligned with what they’re doing? And then of course, looking at their results and looking at the peoples that are that are surrounding them as well.
There’s a funny story about me. When I first started walking around and saying, I’m a franchise advisor I was going once to a meeting. At the time I was maybe in my late 30s and I had pleather pants on. I’m kind of known for this, by the way. And so I had these pleather pants on. My mom was visiting at the time and she’s like, “I don’t know about that, like, who are you meeting?” And I said, I’m going to meet this prospect. And the thing is he is an older male prospect. She was like, “I don’t know if he’s going to take you seriously.” So I was like, “Alright.” So I went change, like regular black pants on. But it didn’t take me long to realize that if I don’t put myself out there as who I am, like, I don’t want to work with stuffy businessmen. I want to work with fun people. So I should be able to do that. So anybody who knows me or follows me knows that I put myself out there very in a very real way. And guess what happens? I attract really cool people to hang out with, like masterminds and clients. So it’s a big message I’m trying to get out there to people is like, let your guard down a little bit, you will get so much more value out of your relationships and out of life.
The Mastermind Effect: When someone invests in their future, they typically have an idea of what they’re gonna get, they’re able to have some form of expectation. And they also know maybe the type of people that are going to be in the room, you know, through researching or asking questions. What should someone expect when they enter your reality? And what you’re building?
Angela Cote: When they’re in my world, here’s what I hear from people is that I help people get over it and take action, and believe that they can do, I don’t bring them up into the, like the clouds into lala land. But I help them realize, like, like I said earlier, like, look at the possible negative consequences of say, asking a mentor, if they’ll be your mentor, right? Like, what’s the worst that can happen? Like, let’s stop and think about these things.
So what I hear from people that I work with, and have in my in my mastermind groups is that, that I make them feel like they can do anything, and I help them with the action step to do it. And to take the chance whether they’re going to win or fail, which actually like to say win or learn which I got from John Maxwell, like you’re either going to win, or you’re going to learn, right? So that’s what I’m really trying to help people with is taking the action and not being so afraid, and really doing it in a way that’s authentic for them.
The Mastermind Effect: I think formats of a mastermind are really important. What is the format that someone that’s going to be in your franchise mastermind can expect?
Angela Cote: So I’ve mentioned my roundtables. So my roundtables are very informal, free flowing content, whatever comes at me that day. So what happens is, everybody shows up, and I don’t know who’s going to show up. If there’s no commitment required, it could be anything from a new person, that’s never been there to somebody that’s been coming every week, it could be a brand new franchise, or that has like one franchisee under their brand, or could be they have 500 franchisees, so it’s super random, informal, free flowing. So you show up and you’re like, I hope I get a nugget out of this today. And I tried really hard to make sure that people do and I get great feedback. So that’s cool. But there’s no commitment.
The Play Bigger performance groups that I’m creating are definitely more structured. Now, I’m not a super structured person. The format that I’m using is, I’ve got a pilot group going that’s been going since January of this year. And there’s five people in my pilot group. So there’ll be ongoing bi weekly meetings for 90 minutes sessions with myself there. So for individual challenges, within that 90 minutes, everybody gets about 15 to 20 minutes to share their challenge. And then the group asks clarifying questions, make sure we’re clear on what they’re looking for. And then we start sharing our potential solutions to that challenge, and then that that individual that we are helping has to clarify their key takeaway, and what action steps they’re taking. So the next time we meet two weeks later, we can hold them accountable, and help them ensure that they got the results they were looking for, or if they didn’t, help them with what they should try instead.
The Mastermind Effect: Speaking of people in your masterminds, you know, I feel at any point, people have a way of surprising us because of their willingness to learn. Has anyone that’s been to your mastermind, or coaching surprised you and what they’ve been able to accomplish, and what was the outcome?
Angela Cote: Oh, there’s so many things I could say on this. First of all, on a general kind of over overall view of this, the pilot group that I’ve got going for my play bigger groups to the pain point that I was trying to solve is the loneliness of being a franchisor. Or just you could say, business owner.
The feedback from the pilot group has been just amazing. They’re a little bit different in stages, but they’re like minded. And I feel like especially the introverts in that group are really coming out of their shell. And they’re putting themselves out there on social media more than they were before. They’re reaching out to each other, we have a group chat. So each of my Play Bigger groups will have its own group chat. So my pilot group has just a texting chat, we keep it simple. And the way that people are supporting each other is so cool.
The biggest thing I’ve seen, you know, when it comes to growing a business, a lot of it has to do with getting exposure, right? Like I want to say marketing. But when I say that, I think people automatically go in their head to like paid advertising. And I’m not talking about paid advertising, I’m talking about doing things to put yourself out there to get noticed. And I’d say the there’s the one person in the group between the relationship we’ve had as me being his business advisor and coach to also incorporating in this pilot Play Bigger performance group, to see him really thrive and put himself out there on social media, and make fun and even silly videos. This is a guy that I would have not expected this from and it took a lot of kind of role modeling and all these things. And it is leading to him getting exposure for his franchise company to the point where he’s now getting some really good qualified franchise leads that are really close to closing it just there’s some franchise law, Franchise Disclosure stuff going on that we have to deal with because of COVID. But to see that, that’s every franchisor’s goal– to get good quality franchisees. And by putting himself out there, because I think because he feels more confident because of being in this group and knowing that he’s got somewhere to go if he does, you know, come crashing down and having those relationships I think is really what’s led to that. So that’s a huge win for him.
The Mastermind Effect: So, when it comes to someone’s success, I think there’s a lot of things that it takes inside of those, those three pillars right there, you know, mentorship, willingness to fail, experimentation, partnerships. The one thing that I think about that, where we’re so sensitive today with social media, as we’re afraid to talk about our success and being successful, what do you think it takes to get over the hump of being successful and sharing that with other people?
Angela Cote: There’s a line I once heard. I can’t remember who I heard this from. So I can’t quote them gonna say anonymous. “But by shining a light on myself, I give permission to others to do the same.”
The Mastermind Effect: I love that.
Angela Cote: So yeah, so it’s not about “Look at me, look at me, look at me.” I mean, maybe secretly, a little bit strategically, it is because we want that’s called Mark like, it’s his marketing, we want exposure. But if you change your mindset and approach it as, as that is, if you are trying to inspire others to do great things, that changes everything, doesn’t it?
I’ve got a client who is a lovely, a beautiful person, and she is African American, and young and female. And I know she has no problem with me saying that we’ve had many conversations, especially during, you know, Black Lives Matter. And she is she’s Nigerian born. So she is humble by nature, very humble. And I continue to push she’s in my pilot group as well and a client of mine, but I’m continuously pushing her to and I can I give her a shout out. Okay, so her name is Ruth Badji from code, Wiz code whizzes a new franchise company, and I’m just so proud of her because she’s a young female woman of color, and she is so driven. And so she wins awards and things, and I’m like, put it out there so that you inspire other women, girls and women in your situation, to go for it. And maybe they’ll reach out to you as a mentor. You know, like, they’re looking for mentorship, or whatever it is, and it’ll help you, you know, make the world better.
And she’s on a mission to code Wiz is a coding franchise, according business for kids to learn coding. And that’s purpose driven, that you know, to help empower kids and build their self-esteem through knowing how to do coding, which isn’t going away, right. Like that’s a skill that will be great to have. And so I think, changing the mindset and going, if she, you know, puts it out there to the world that she got this mompreneur award or this this or that Women in Business Award, it’ll inspire others. So that’s, that’s how I would say that, to help people get over it.
And I, I’ll admit, if people look me up on, especially like on LinkedIn, if you scroll down on my posts, like
The Mastermind Effect: So as we’re getting closer to the end here, you know, I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity, really easy times. But I think innovation and ingenuity come out of the times when we feel the squeeze like we are now. What are you working on now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?
Angela Cote: Well, you can probably guess I’ve already talked about it a couple of times, but my Play Bigger performance groups in the franchise world, one of the things that is so apparent is that collective wisdom of the group, like when you look at a franchise company, even if there’s only 20 franchisees, because they’re early stage, why wouldn’t you leverage the collective wisdom, they’re all the same– business owners running the same business and they can learn from each other.
So I’m really excited to provide these groups. I’ve done quite a bit of research and haven’t found anybody else in the franchise space doing it and I’ve shared it with people what I’m doing, and I’m getting a lot of key players and, you know, franchise experts and people that have influence, saying, wow, this is really cool. I love it. So I’m really excited to launch it, I’m really excited to keep it going, we’re going to have a retreat for all the Play Bigger groups at the end of next year, assuming everything settles down with the pandemic and all that, but a very adventure driven retreat, which will also have action orientation and accountability as well.
But it’ll be different. We’re trying to make a splash here. And so the Play Bigger groups are what I’m most excited about right now. And I also look at it as a way, for an individual like myself, anybody that has some expertise that wants to scale. It’s not all about me, in these groups, I just need good people to help facilitate them. And I’ve got a real I’m fortunate, I do have a great network, I’ve worked hard to build that. And so my vision for this is really big, you know, there’s no limit to how many Play Bigger groups there will be.
The Mastermind Effect: I’m excited to see it grow. I know that over The Success Finder, which is, you know, the complement to The Mastermind Effect, we haven’t seen that come into that realm yet. So that’s super exciting to see that you’re going to be carving out your own niche, which has all these subsets. But that’s, that’s really exciting to get to see on there. What and you’ve already given us so much, what is one thing that you can leave the listeners with a tip, a method, something if they implemented in the next 30 to 60 days, they could see some immediate results, whether it’s in their personal or business life?
Angela Cote: I feel people do a lot of the time is they overthink things. I say doing something is better than nothing and I kind of what I mean by that is perfection is the enemy of done. And analysis leads to paralysis. You know, you sit overthink things, and then you don’t actually do it. So if there’s something that you want to do, and you’re not doing it, either let it go or go do it. You know, go, break it down, simplify it and just figure out and get help from others. Get help from a mastermind group or mentor. Get some help. What are the action steps I need to take this goal or whatever this plan is to the next level? So really simplifying it and not overthinking it. That’s where you’re going to get your forward movement.
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