Shannon Parsons is an empathetic leader whose experience is a unique blend of transformational leadership mixed with a delivery mechanism of heart-centered structure. She is the founder of Fempreneurs Mastermind and Secret Knock Women. Shannon is also a Best-selling author, empathetic leader and transformational coach. She is also the VP of the Mastermind Association and Co-host of Secret Knock.
For this episode we talk about letting positive things into your brain by connecting with the right people. Shannon also talks to us about how a true Mastermind is about growth and while taking the steps to expand your business.
The Mastermind Effect 00:41
Today we’ve got the founder of Fempreneurs Mastermind, Shannon Parsons. We talk about why you should only let positive things into your brain and how connecting with the right people help make that possible. Shannon talks about her mantra which she says she starts each day by asking, “What am I ready for now?” She talks about how a true mastermind is about your growth while helping you take the steps to expand your business.
Hey, everybody, welcome back to the show. You know, I believe the only way to unlock your potential is to tap into the experience of others. Today, we’ve got Shannon Parsons, founder at Secret Knock Women, Co-host at Secret Knock, and VP of the Mastermind Association.
The Mastermind Effect: 02:05
The availability to learn and have access to different people, obviously has really changed over the last 5-10 years, not just because of social, but that’s a pretty big helper behind it. When you and I were younger, we learned from textbooks, teachers, and our classmates, but eventually that became our friends and our co-workers. That allowed us to have kind of a sliver of what was possible. How has your learning changed over the last several years versus today?
Shannon Parsons: 02:41
Well, for starters, I let go of all my Britannica encyclopedias, you know, we have always had that collection of those. It has been an amazing journey where, for me, I first started thinking, “Oh, if I could interview people, then I’ll be able to get into their world.” It definitely was one of the most beneficial things I ever did because it really opened my eyes into the different backgrounds that everybody has and what they’re trying to create in the world. It led me down this this rabbit hole of meeting the most amazing people. So it’s all about your sphere of influence. Who are you meeting? And who are you choosing to hang out with? Because sometimes you’ll meet people and you get to decide in that moment, are they someone I want to learn and grow with? Or do I want to keep traveling down this road? So for me 100% it’s been the people that I choose to hang out with on a regular basis to learn from and to be mentored by.
The Mastermind Effect: 03:34
I did a solo show earlier in the podcast, and I talked about the people you surround yourself with, and the saying, “You’re the average of the five people that you surround yourself with.” I’m curious, because you mentioned the people you’re surrounding yourself with, do you ever look back and sit there and say, “Man, if I had made this step, and I had replaced these three people, these four or five people, like where would I be at today?” Have you ever looked back to see how much of an impact that really is?
Shannon Parsons: 04:00
Honestly, I haven’t because I am not one of those people that lives in regret. If I were to do that, then it would mess up my mindset and my mindset is very important to me. I only allow very positive things to come into my brain. So I choose to believe that I am right where I’m supposed to be right now. I could look back into the past to say, “Oh, I could have taken action sooner,” but to not like worry about having not done it. But what can I do now? Who can I connect with now with all of the resources and the learning that I have now and just continually looking forward? Then celebrating those wins and being proud of myself for continuing to take those steps.
The Mastermind Effect: 04:40
Yeah, not remembering not to make those same mistakes, but like focusing on that positivity, the brain, which I think you’re a bit of a fan of, it is a really confusing place that we are probably our own worst enemy, and how we can trick ourselves into something that’s really not there. And so focusing on that negativity really doesn’t help you get to where you want to go,
Shannon Parsons: 05:01
I have this kind of a mantra. But it’s a question that I ask myself every day. It’s “What am I ready for now?” And I think having that word “now” is so important. It’s like this juicy word inside my mouth, where it opens up possibilities. It gives me permission to continually look forward and to keep striving and to have ambition. That’s something that’s very different from me in the past I, I would just feel stuck or loosey goosey. But asking myself, “What am I ready for now?” It lights a fire inside my body.
The Mastermind Effect: 05:33
Yeah, you just segued into what I was looking to talk about, which is like people getting stuck. I think there’s a lot of ways to execute what’s in our head, but sometimes we just get stuck. We get in the bushes, we’ve recently gone through and we’re kind of still going through a pandemic. To me this is causing a reset on how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to reset and get unstuck?
Shannon Parsons: 06:01
Masterminds. This is just such an amazing subject. I’m so glad that we get to dive into this. So as humans, we tend to get in our own mind, we get into tunnel vision. And literally, if you cup your hands and put them over your eyes, you can’t see the peripheral. You can only see what’s right in front of you. You end up missing maybe 90% of what is around you. But you go into a mastermind, a true mastermind, where everybody is focused on you and your success and your growth. They can see what’s outside of you. They can clearly identify something that can be shifted something that can be let go of, and really help you hone in on those steps that you can take to really grow and expand.
The Mastermind Effect: 06:45
Yeah, it’s the horse blinders, they can see around corners that you might not be able to, and that’s the power of it is surrounding yourself because of their network because of their knowledge, their successes, their failures.
The Mastermind Effect: 07:07
Talking about just how we learn and how we take in information, today, there’s more ways to take in information than ever before the amount that what’s in front of us. It’s just crazy and it can be confusing. Some people look for mentors, some people look for accountability, buddies, masterminds online courses, or self-help. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you end up finding them?
Shannon Parsons: 07:42
I am so fortunate to be surrounded by so many amazing people all go back to my origin story and how I found my initial coach and mentor is kind of “an accident or divinely-guided,” where I had a conversation with the powers that I like to call them GUS, which stands for God, universe, and spirit. So I said, “Okay, guess I need somebody in my life that’s going to help me move forward. And I need it to be really obvious that they’re sitting right next to me so I know clearly who this person is.”
Well, two hours later, I meet Greg Reid, who is the founder of Secret Knock. He’s the one who created Mastermind Association and we’ve been working together for two years. He’s the one that has really opened doors for me and just personally and professionally. So number one, Greg Reid, he’s one of those tough love guys. So he just tells me how things are. He says “Go out there and own your space.”
Being pushed by someone like him is amazing. I tend to be really touchy feely, and slow and steady. And I’ll practice things to perfection. And he’s like, “No, just get out there and do it.”
Another one is Scott Duffy. Scott has been an amazing person that I’ve been able to align with and help him run his masterminds. This whole world of masterminds is really the nugget, the base, the foundation of all of this. Then some other people like Dan Clark, who is this amazing speaker who’s helped me rein in all of my thoughts into a singular message so that I can speak more clearly and really own my space. So between these three guys, that’s who I go to when I’m feeling stuck.
The Mastermind Effect: 10:06
So let me ask you, and if you want to keep it yourself, I completely understand. What was it when you sat there this morning and said, “What am I ready for?”
Shannon Parsons: 10:16
Now, what I am ready for now is launching a women’s mastermind for Fempreneurs. So last night, I actually went and bought fempreneurs.mastermind.com. I’m going to be launching a brand new mastermind that really supports focused and fierce, feminine women who want to own their space and do it in a way where they’re not trying to be over masculine and they’re not trying to be over femme, and permissive. But how can we really stand in this space of confident, feminine power, and bring that into our life in business? So many things are changing with the world with so many women going back to work and being entrepreneurs? How do we balance life and family? So that’s my big “What now?”
The Mastermind Effect: 11:03
What was your driving force behind going out and doing that? Is there a lack of it out there? Do you feel that it’s just not represented? Do you feel that like, Hey, you just wanted to mark your, you know, mark your spot in time and say, “This is the legacy I want to leave behind.” What was your driving force?
Shannon Parsons: 11:21
Initially, it was that I was going to these events, and I would see these women take the stage. And either they were too masculine in their message. So they’re trying to find their way talking like a man, or they were telling these stories of authenticity, but it was all about the struggle and the pain. And while it moved the audience, it didn’t make the audience want to take action. I thought, why aren’t these women leading from this place of power? We’ve all overcome something, whether you’re a man or a woman, we’ve all gone through some kind of hero’s journey, but you need to lead from that hero place. So for me, it was this crying out where I thought I need to help more women lead from that place of power from that superhero ability.
There are some amazing women who are leading the way. But it’s not enough, we need more. So that’s when I thought, “Okay, I’m going to step up and do this.” As far as leaving a legacy, I don’t know if I will leave a legacy. What that really means is people kind of forget who you are after three generations or so. But if right now, if I can make a ripple effect, if I can reach one person who reaches a person, is that pebble in the water and all those ripples? If I can do that, then my soul is happy.
The Mastermind Effect: 12:41
That means a lot. So, you know, let’s kind of stay in the area of what you’re building right now. You know, typically, when people invest in the future, they have a better than vague idea of what they’re getting into. They’re able to have like some form of expectation of what the outcome and who’s going to be in the room. Okay, so you are the Founder of Secret Knock Women, and you’re co-host of Secret Knock. And now you’re starting this new mastermind. What should people expect when they enter Shannon’s reality?
Shannon Parsons: 13:20
Oh, Shannon’s reality.com. What you can expect? Number one is to be nurtured, to be heard, validated and understood. I know you and I had a chat before this, where I shared with you that my background is really in helping people overcome emotional trauma. So I have this unique ability to really see and understand where someone’s coming from, in that deeper level.
So there’s that one side, the other side, is that business building side. What do you want to create? How can we support you? And how can we get you the resources you need quickly? I like to say, you know, move to the front of the lunch line. In school, we’re taught that we have to wait in line and, and only take our fair share and all these messages. But as an entrepreneur, the rules are completely different. So when you come into the mastermind, who are you? What are you working on? What is your challenge? How can I help you? And how can the team the rest of the group help you move forward quickly, effortlessly, with ease and grace to move forward and lead from that place of power?
The Mastermind Effect 14:28
It’s finding that inner person that can come out and scream and shout, but in an appropriate way what they want to get across to the world or to whomever that that audience really is.
So, you know, we’re into masterminds. That’s why we’re called The Mastermind Effect. But masterminds have been around for a long time. Recently, there’s been this huge boom of self-education versus standard education over the last, you know, 5-10 years. Where do you see it really going forward with everything that’s going on in the world today?
Shannon Parsons: 15:12
Well, we’ve got our standard education that we know works for some people. And then the rest of it doesn’t. So a lot of people will say, I didn’t go to college. And now I’m doing really well. Or I did go to college. And I’m doing well, but I’m not using anything I learned. In college, it’s all outside boot camps, or mastermind style. And then we have people that say, I went to college, I learned and I’m doing well. So we have like three different stories that are happening. It’s going to be a little bit different depending on your unique one learning style. And what you’re going after.
I love the mastermind idea. And this this collaborative idea, because we’re learning from real life experience. We’re not learning from somebody who’s teaching an idea or a concept, we’re getting to get the wisdom and counsel from someone who has been there and is now on the other side and ready to lead the way. So if I can help somebody, save time, save money, save resources to get to where I’ve been, and then go beyond. That’s the whole point. It’s kind of like the vision I have for my children, please do better than me. I’m going to I’m going to teach you everything I know, do better than me. Take it, it’s like the baton, take the baton, run with it. Go be amazing.
So for me personally, I’d never learned in a traditional setting. The best education I’ve ever gotten has been hands on kinesthetic learning from the people who have done it are pushing me to go even when it was uncomfortable. I think the most beautiful thing about a mastermind is when we step outside our comfort zone, there is a whole team of people there who has our backs and says you’ve got this, don’t stop now.
The Mastermind Effect: 16:54
I mean, it’s people’s experiences. You say go to the front of the lunch line. One of my mentors talks about getting the Fast Pass to Disney and always going for that line. Like who doesn’t want the Fast Pass? Who doesn’t want to go to the front of the line to have that cafeteria food? Well, maybe not. But who doesn’t want that? Like the possibilities are endless. Once you take everyone that’s on that ladder together and move them forward?
When people are around you and Greg, and what you are building people probably have a way of surprising you from time to time. Okay, whether ingenuity, their drive, whatever it is, tell us an example of someone that has been in a room that you curated? And what was the outcome that really surprised you because they were in that room.
Shannon Parsons: 17:37
You know, one thing that surprises me the most is our perception of other people, and how when someone will come into the room, I will have this perception of them because of their accomplishments.
To hear so many people talk about having imposter syndrome, so these titans of industry are doing the most amazing work out in the world and still feeling like an imposter. That’s the first thing that I thought of when you said “What is surprising me?” Then getting to see these people have, a breakthrough of sorts where they’re coming out and they’re walking taller when they leave, they are shining brighter in their eyes, they’ve got more clarity. So it’s this beautiful gift that I’ve been able to see where it doesn’t matter how successful somebody is in their life or has been in the past. There’s always room for growth, you can always learn something new, stand up taller, and then take that and do something amazing with it. What I love to see is when someone leaves one of our masterminds, and then they call a month or two later and say, “Hey, just so you know, I quit my job. And now I’m doing this full time. Or I just got that funding I needed. It came out of a connection of a connection of a connection,” and seeing that magic happen in real time and getting to be the witness to that.
The Mastermind Effect 20:36
Do you see that there is a difference in how an entrepreneur deals with trauma from a solo experience versus someone that works in corporate America and has all these amazing people around them? Do you see that there’s a difference between the corporate America versus the entrepreneur and how they kind of deal with problem solving?
Shannon Parsons: 21:12
I see that there’s a big difference. As far as problem solving. The thing about the entrepreneur is it’s not for the faint of heart, right? If you are an entrepreneur, one thing that you need to know about yourself is that each time you up level, each time you step outside your comfort zone, each time you expand into that next best version of you, stuff is going to come up. Those triggers from past traumas are going to come up because they have to be healed or cleared or resolved, so that you can be more, do more have more. In the corporate world, it’s the same thing every day. For the most part, you have your challenges and everything, but you’re not constantly stepping outside your own comfort zone to be that next level of you. So entrepreneurs, I like to joke that we are either standing in the winner’s pose celebrating, or we’re in the fetal position, crying, ready to throw in the towel. But it’s this beautiful thing that we get to experience as an entrepreneur to continually heal, grow, learn. And every time we do that, our comfort zone expands. And then our learning expands, our sphere of influence expands. But it all is stepping outside the comfort zone, constantly seeing what comes up dealing with it. I like to call it the Poopoo platter, see what’s on the ladder, figure out how you’re going to resolve it and then keep moving forward. And the most important thing, again, as we’ve already said, is make sure you have people who support you who have your back, who will encourage you to keep going.
The Mastermind Effect: 22:39
Now, we’ve talked about all these amazing experiences inside of a mastermind. But when it comes to creating it, building it and having that structure where everyone’s working kind of in a circle, per se. So it goes around. It’s the individual that actually puts it together, initially sits there and finds those people to bring them together. And you’re the VP of mastermind Association that is helping those individuals build those rooms out. What was the motivation and the driving force? What was the WHY behind you and Greg doing this?
Shannon Parsons: 23:13
For Greg, initially creating The Mastermind Association, it was really based on this idea of a true mastermind. We hear this word mastermind, it gets thrown around a lot. A lot of times, it’s either a pitch fest where everybody’s pitching their own business, or it turns into some kind of therapy session. But a true mastermind is a gathering of people that you admire and respect so that you can learn with them and learn from them and come together as a collaborative force to make a difference in the lives of each individual and in the world. So when he put this together and launched it, of course, I jumped on board, me as a people person. One of the things that is my super power or strength is building community. So for me, I get to love and support each person as they are stepping outside their comfort zone and building something new. So Mastermind Association is a learning program where we’ll teach you how to host a true mastermind, how to surround yourself with people you like and admire so that you can build your own circle in your area. And then you always have that support.
So if you get stuck, we’re there for you. But again, it’s creating ripples, right? So if I’m teaching someone how to do this, then they’re going to do it in their area and make ripples and then those people are going to do that and it keeps expanding and expanding. For me that’s entrepreneurial Disneyland– to see the difference that I can make.
The Mastermind Effect: 24:43
That’s The Magic Kingdom or Epcot. It’s everything all put into one place right there. Who’s an ideal candidate or client or someone that you get to work with at Mastermind Association?
Shannon Parsons: 24:58
So for the Mastermind Association, we are certifying other people to host their own mastermind. It’s somebody who has already had some level of success in their area of business and they are ready to grow and expand and want to do it with people who are like-minded. So positive-minded, solution -focused, and they want to make a difference in their community. If you are feeling like, what do I want now? What’s next for me now? How can I let people know more about me and what I’m doing in my world while creating this really cool system of people by my side? That’s what we’re looking for.
The Mastermind Effect: 25:37
Yeah, you want just cool people, cool places, cool things. Cool everything.
Shannon Parsons: 25:41
That’s Secret Knock. There’s one rule: be cool.
The Mastermind Effect: 25:45
Have you ever looked at the word mastermind? Like if I tell people, hey, I’m in a mastermind, some people look at me. And they’re like, what? Then you tell them about it. And they’re like, they have different thoughts about what it is. Then you have the people that are like, “Oh, I’ve been to something like that, I just didn’t know it was called a mastermind.” So you get different trains of thoughts? Do you feel sometimes you have to explain what a mastermind is more often than not?
Shannon Parsons: 26:11
In our world, everybody that I have come across has been in some sort of mastermind or another. I think the biggest disconnect is if someone thinks it’s just another networking event, in which it’s not. So I say no, it is it. This is really what it’s like. And I’ll say, I’ll just kind of give them the rundown. Who are you? What are you working on? How can we help you? What are the resources you need? And really, we’re focused on you, we are dedicated to your success. And then you get to be dedicated to this person’s success. And it’s a collaboration. So I think when someone is new to the idea, they go, “Oh, that’s what I’ve been looking for.”
The Mastermind Effect: 26:50
We’re getting close to the end. But I’ve got a few other questions that I’ve really been wanting to ask you. And one of them has to do with success. I think with today’s social media, we’re actually afraid of talking about our success and being successful right now. What do you think it really takes to get over that fear of being successful and then sharing that with the world?
Shannon Parsons: 27:18
Well, that’s a fine line, right? To share your successes and not be bragging about it. One of the things that I do is I have a couple people that are my people that I call when I have a really big win, and I want to celebrate that win. So on that side, I get to be super braggadocious. And Yay, me, I’m amazing. I did it, I nailed it. And the other person on the other end of the line is going “Yeah, you did good for you.” So having that is really amazing. Because I get to move that energy through my body, I get to feel that celebration.
Now when I go to post something on social media, I can craft it in a way that it feels more like I’m sharing. But then also, the whole point in sharing the success is to inspire others to know that they can do it too. So when you’re posting, what is it about what you just went through, that will inspire somebody else to be able to take that same kind of action or find that same kind of success. And when someone can look at you and know that they can do it too, then it becomes something that they feel empowered by as opposed to someone is just bragging.
The Mastermind Effect: 28:32
When times are good. It’s super easy to me. It’s like “Okay, everyone can be successful.” But I think, real ingenuity and innovation comes out of when we really feel the squeeze. What are you working on right now, that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that really excites you?
Shannon Parsons: 28:56
Number one, this women’s mastermind, The Fempreneurs Mastermind. I’m also going to be writing a book. So I took a road trip last week to Utah, my mind body spirit was calling me to just drive to Utah and I didn’t really know why. But as I was driving, I got all these ideas for the next book that I want to write, and I could see it so clearly in my mind. So I don’t want to talk too much about it yet because I’m still pulling in all the pieces, but there will be a book. It will be a collaborative book where I’m going to be looking for specific kinds of stories from women who have found a way to really own their power, own their space inside themselves, where they can stand confidently now. So that’ll be coming out. And again, I’ve got the most amazing support system behind me who’s helping me put all of those pieces together. So to be able to bring that mastermind and the book out is delicious.
The Mastermind Effect 30:35
What is one tip, or tactic, or actionable item, that if someone listening to this today, implemented it over the next 30, 60, 90 days, they would see true impact that you can leave the audience with?
Shannon Parsons: 30:51
First, I’m just gonna say it again, the “What am I ready for now?” Because it really opens up the subconscious to start scanning the environment for opportunities. And when you ask the brain a question, the brain wants to answer it. So “What am I ready for now?” is the most important question that I think someone can ask themselves.
The other tool that I use that is my favorite go to is to play this thing I call the “What If” game. So what it does is the intention behind it is to raise your energy, raise your vibration, raise your excitement, and just play whatever. It doesn’t matter if it’s real or true. The idea is not to make it happen. But to get in that excitement mode. So you can say, What if I write this book, and it’s a best seller before I even do the best seller push? What if I align myself with the most amazing people who push me forward? What if all this success I’ve already had is just the beginning? What if aliens come down from wherever they are? Because we know they exist? You see? It doesn’t matter if it’s something that’s actually really going to happen. But can you hear like the excitement in my voice when I start to talk about it? It’s fun. It’s exciting. It’s like going to Disneyland. What if I get to buy this and go on that ride? So, play the What If game, and even if a little doubt creeps into your mind that says “Yeah, right.” But that can’t happen, then add that, and go “Okay, even though there’s a part of me that thinks Yeah, right, that can’t happen. What if it does?”
The Mastermind Effect 32:25
So it sounds like because you had mentioned the word vibration just a few minutes ago. So it’s the vibration by what you’re speaking that helps create, build that momentum to get to where you want to go?
Shannon Parsons: 32:37
Yes. We know that scientifically, we can look at feelings and emotions, and each one of them has a different vibration, just like a musical note does. And the vibration of joy and excitement is very high, the vibration of anger or disappointment is low. So this whole idea is to try to get yourself into the best vibration, the best feeling the best emotion, and stay there as long as you can play there as long as you can. Because what happens is, you’re going to start feeling good. When you feel good, you’re going to notice good things in your environment, you’re going to do better, and things are going to come together effortlessly.
If you know have you ever been in a bad mood, and it seems like you hit every red light. Your computer crashes and everything is hitting the fan at the same time. It’s because the opposite is true, too. When you’re in a good mood. It seems like everything’s going your way. You hit all the green lights. So before you start a project, see if you can get into that best feeling mood possible, and then do your work.
“I am not one of those people that lives in regret. If I were to do that, it would mess up my mindset, and my mindset is very important to me. I only allow very positive things to come into my brain.” – Shannon Parsons
“The most beautiful thing about mastermind, is that when we step out of our comfort zone, there is that whole team of people that has our backs.” – Shannon Parsons
“A true Mastermind is a gathering of people that you admire and respect. So that you can learn with them, and learn from them, and come together as a collaborative force to make a difference in the lives of each individual and in the world.” – Shannon Parsons
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