093: David Dube | Only One You Need: Finding Who Your Expert Could Be

David Dube is the Founder of Only One You Need. Over 16 years ago David started his entrepreneurial career with his course ‘How to Read Anyone & Make Lifelong Clients in Just 30seconds’. Over the course of several years, David added hypnosis, NLP, CBT, and many other modalities to his repertoire. In 2014, after his mother’s second diagnosis with cancer, David co-founded CutMedicalbills.com, an online training to help individuals reduce their medical costs without hiring a lawyer or billing advocate. In 2015, David co-authored the book HD Mindset: Unlocking Your Potential Through Clarity to help his ever-broadening audience.
In this episode, we get into the information overload in finding Who your quote-unquote expert could be. David talks about how you can read and influence anyone, and David explains why you shouldn’t allow semantics in a conversation to ruin your day. Check it out!

David’s learning journey and Masterminds


The Mastermind Effect:  01:39

Let’s jump into it. Our ability to learn and access people had drastically changed over the last 5 to 10 years. When you and I were younger, they were textbooks, teachers, friends, family, co-workers, and just the people around us. But that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today?


David Dube:  02:05

I feel that learning is so easy now, and yet it’s so difficult at the same time because it’s overwhelming. You can go on YouTube or places like Udemy and Thinkific. All these companies offer these training to everyone about all these different subjects. The problem is, who is your expert? Finding out who that one person or those several people you should be paying attention to, instead of all the noise. There’s so much noise out there. It’s about cutting out most of that noise so you can focus on who is providing the best material or the best value, at least to you at that moment.


The Mastermind Effect:  02:48

I love how you use the word noise. There’s the noise, the signal, and your bridge. The signal is most people like David. He’s going to help you find that signal, cut out the noise, and build your bridge. You don’t need to dazzle your bridge, but you need to know how to get there in the most responsible and quickest timeframe. And that’s by cutting out that noise. 


Speaking of information overload, I think there are more ways to take in information than ever before. As you said, it’s confusing. Who do I trust? Where’s the noise? Where’s the signal? Some people use accountability buddies, masterminds coaches, online courses, and lots of ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?


David Dube:  03:38

My mentor is kind of the mentors’ mentor. He’s a person you don’t know about unless someone else has told you about them. I had to hear from someone else who heard from them from someone else. They’ve worked with Russell Brunson, Anthony Robbins, Robert Allen, and Peng Joon. 

The Mastermind Effect:  04:44

Speaking of mentors, masterminds, and just the way the world is, I feel that we get stuck. Sometimes we don’t know how to execute what’s in our head. We’re still going through a pandemic, and it’s causing a reset in how we can accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to get unstuck and reset yourself?


David Dube:  05:22

There are several of us in this local area in which I live. One of my old business partners is  David, and he introduced me to another David.  We mastermind together and share our visions, goals, aspirations, and drives with each other, and we keep each other accountable. And but having few people that you do that with, it doesn’t have to be the world; you share it with those few people you trust, who will keep you accountable to those claims that you’re making those things and saying you want to do—having that as a resource has been a great driving force and ground you as well. When you have these visions of grandeur, they’ll help you paint that picture, especially if you have a framework in place for that.  


I use masterminds on a more local basis. Albeit, we do it all virtual. We don’t meet in person like we normally would do. Doing it virtually is easier, especially for our friend who’s now out in California. That’s something I did before write the whole COVID thing. Instead of getting the other person, we do this all virtual. It works out that way.


The Mastermind Effect:  06:59

There is something to be said in person, but you already have certain standard operating procedures in place. It’s not like recreating the wheel. You’re just shifting a few items, and you can still get that value out of it. It’s smart and valuable. 


David Dube:  07:21

Depending on who you are and the people you’re comfortable with.  I’ve had fewer interactions in-person interactions. I remember one of the last in-person interactions I had; I felt off from how I normally am. I’ve built my business on teaching people how to interact and influence others. When you get into the person, you feel off about it because you’re not like, “Oh, I could have asked this question. I didn’t do this. I didn’t say that.” 


David Dube:  08:10

We can’t lose that. That set me forward to what I’ve been putting together, a new mastermind or training on how to read and influence anyone.  I need to get my game back in it. And to do that, just retrain what I’ve been doing for the last 16 plus years to my corporate clients.


Self-Education and David’s reality


The Mastermind Effect:  08:31

I was around some people recently. I had not had the energy in how you interact if you haven’t been doing it in a while. Twelve months is a while for us, and it feels like ten years. It’s amazing how you realize what you can release and accept when you start getting around people.


Staying in the subject of masterminds, they’ve been around for a hot minute. Probably the first mastermind was the apostles. Then Benjamin Franklin creates the Leather Apron Club or the Judo Club. Then eventually, Napoleon Hill writes a book about it and brings it full circle in what a mastermind is. We continue to see this large boom in self-education, coaching, and masterminds versus standardized education. Where do you see the parallels going between standard education and self-education?


David Dube:  09:33

There’s a big divergence that’s happening. The parallel is that you’re learning but the differences in how you’re going to learn and sustain that learning. I feel like depending on the mastermind, or how we go about doing this health education or this education with people in a different sphere than a standard education.


People pay money into a mastermind, and everyone shares their knowledge base. And sure, there might be one who’s the main expert in the group leading it. Depending on how they teach and interact, I feel the learning becomes so much deeper and more instilled because we learn through metaphor, story, and any other form of communication.  


For example, I can tell you do A and B will happen or do B and C will happen. If I share that in a story of how that affected someone, it converts you more because it enables you to remember the steps much more readily. 


The Mastermind Effect:  10:47

I love how you phrase that because we do learn through stories. If you’re out in a group of people, someone who phrases in a story, they don’t phrase it in any lesson. You see yourself through their eyes, touch, or smell because we react and we take stories. That’s why TV, Netflix, and all those platforms are so popular because we learned through this story.


David Dube:  11:14

It takes it to another realm. When you’re in a classroom, it’s kind of authoritative. It’s like I’m the teacher, and you do as I say. They have their single process for teaching it. When it’s done in the story, you have the verbal, the vocal, and the intonation of how it’s said. You also have the visual aspect of it, like the story being played out. You become a part of the character. You have your personal references that you’re referencing to that character, making it more real to you. There’s a viceralness to that. The viceralness to education makes it stick more than a teacher just telling you how to do something.


The Mastermind Effect:  11:56

The way you made me think about that in the standardized education realm. It makes me realize why I enjoyed and I was so good at History because it was when we learn about our past and what’s going on. 


The Mastermind Effect:  12:21

When you’re working with someone, think about teaching through a story. When people invest in their future, they typically have a better than a vague idea of the outcome. What should people expect when they enter David’s reality and work with you?


David Dube:  12:42

It’s really about personal transformation. All of us have different wants; we all have different needs. The interesting thing about how we go about seeking change in our lives is doing it through the lens we have. When you wear glasses on, the way you look through those lenses or think of like a camera lens, multiple lenses make up a camera lens; that is how you perceive the world based on your past experience. Often, we’re searching for something, and we think it’s what we need, but it’s actually what we want and what we need is something else. To have someone with the fortitude and aptitude to listen to those things that you’re saying you want and need, but then to be able to dissect that and find the depth that’s truly desired; that’s going to unlock those things that are going to enable you to achieve those results you truly desire. Working with me is having the ability to listen to the things you’re saying, dissect them, and know that there’s a deeper meaning behind what you truly desire. Then helping you realize that and move past what it is that’s holding you back and challenging you.


The Mastermind Effect:  14:36

I feel that people have a way of surprising us from time to time; grit, the grind, willingness, and whatever it is. Would you mind sharing a success story of someone that, because they worked with you, your coaching, or your mastermind, the outcome just far exceeded what they thought even was even possible? 


David Dube:  15:03

I’ll share two stories.  The first happens when we are doing corporate training.  I’ve done corporate training for 16 years for companies like AIG Global and US Bank. I teach them how to get rid of and influence anyone, essentially. The breakdown is understanding relationships. The better your relationships, the better your life. 


I’m in the class teaching, and this gentleman comes up to me. He goes, “Hey, I’m having a tough time with my daughter. She’s at this age where she wants to go out and do things she shouldn’t want to do at her age. She’s interested in boys now. My wife and I were constantly fighting because of her. Then we’re also fighting her constantly, and it’s destroying our relationship.” At the time, I was just like, “Alright, this next lesson that I’m going to teach, you need to pay attention to and take as many notes as possible.” I just went through my normal second session with them. 


Two weeks later, I received this email from this gentleman. He’s like, “Unbelievable, David, what you said is right. I took notes, and I shared everything with my wife. We started to use those tools that you taught us with our daughter. You not only saved my relationship with my wife, but you also saved my marriage and saved our daughter’s relationship with us.”

David Dube:  17:04

Story number two is about my client who had PTSD. When she was 19 years old, she would take her three-year-old niece to run errands. She picks up her niece and goes to the bank. When armed men come in, they stick up the bank. This causes PTSD in both of them. She’s 20 years of PTSD,  and she would go to and get help from a therapist. The therapist would start talking to her, and she would back off. She couldn’t do it. 


She meets me and hears me. She connected with me and became a client. I used to do Periscope all the time. I was running this eight-week course with her, and middle of the course, she phones me; she says, “David, This is three nights in a row, I haven’t been able to sleep. Every time I close my eyes, I see a gun in my face, and it goes off, and I can smell the sweat of the gunpowder, and I wake up instantly. And she goes my heart’s racing, and I can’t go back to sleep.” She said she needs help, so we talked for maybe an hour. The next day is our class, and she comes on, and she’s like, “I’ve never slept so good in my entire life.” She couldn’t do things like go into a crowded place, especially with her kids. She would always have to see them wherever they went to. She could not go any second floor or third floor, and she couldn’t be next to a window because she was so afraid. She started to do all of these things. And on Periscope, she’d see she would go live and be like, “David, I’m doing it.” Then she would do it.

Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  19:33

We talked a lot about the word success. We’re building a company around The Success Finder. It helps you cut out the noise, finds the signal, and builds the bridge. There are many things that it takes when it comes to someone’s success, such as mentorship, coaching, experimentation, partnerships, willingness to fail. And on the flip side, willingness to define success, because when you define success, you, in essence, have defined what failure means. That’s why so many of us just don’t define success. What do you think is a key attribute when it comes to being successful?


David Dube:  20:30

Our life is predicated on our definitions. If you want less hate in your life, define less words. For example, I use the word “twat”.  If I said, “You’re a twat,” and I had a smile on my face, you’d be like, “Oh, that must be a good word.” But if I said it and I point to you, you’d think that it must be a bad word. It has no meaning other than what you give it when I say it because there was no real word such as that. Definitions create a reality. If you want less hate the words that have or equate to that, remove the definition. They hold no value in your mind’s eye. On the converse, if you want more success in your life, choose those words that could have greater impact or meaning for you, like love. You’re more apt to achieve it, or at least search it out because now you have a definition for it.


The Mastermind Effect:  21:42

Choose the words that mean something to you, and then define them. Give them meaning behind it. So you can tether what you want and what that means to you when someone comes in. There’s one of my pieces of appreciation, not only spending your time with the listeners and us today, but then just you’re simplifying things that we make so difficult that really don’t need to be.


David Dube:  22:25

I give you another example of how this works and why it’s invaluable. How many times have you or someone got into an argument about something you would seem like its semantics? An example of this would be, “Is the Earth flat or round?” Let me ask you a question. Brandon, have you been high enough in the stratosphere to tell me whether or not the Earth is round or flat? Should it matter to you if someone calls the Earth flat over round or round over flat? 


David Dube:  23:09

You have people who think they need to engage with everyone because they feel that they know you’re wrong for thinking that Earth is flat. I don’t care; it shouldn’t matter to you because what you’re doing is you’re giving your energy to someone else. When someone calls you a name or word you don’t like, you allow them to have power over you by being offended by it.  Someone saying the Earth is flat and being offended by it allows them to have power over you. They take away not only your power, your energy, but they can also ruin you in a moment because you can leave that argument feel defeated, even though you were right. It’s you wanting to be right so much that’s causing that. When you don’t attach yourself to those beliefs, you allow that person just to be. If someone’s arguing, you could jump in, and you could stop that argument from getting hotter or heated. You could also get in there and die. Something bad could happen for you just engaging because you want to be a good Samaritan. There are always reasons why you should, but there are always reasons why you shouldn’t.


The Mastermind Effect:  24:37

Sometimes you have to lose the argument or the war to win the battle.


David Dube:  24:44

The antithesis behind it is not to allow things that should be semantics to rule you.


The Mastermind Effect:  25:53

I feel there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. When the world’s winning, it’s a lot easier to win and share that. I think creativity and ingenuity come when we feel the squeeze and the world still feeling the squeeze at the end of the day. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you/


David Dube:  26:26

For over 16 years, I’ve been teaching a class called How to Make Lifelong Clients in 30 Seconds. When it came to corporate training, I had to splice off portions of that and teach my personality typing. Then I had to teach communication styles and things like that. I had to break all these parts up and teach them individually for 1000s of dollars of these companies. I put them all together, and I’ve released a course on mastermind.com called How to Read and Influence Anyone because of people skills. These are skills that fundamentally transform and change people’s lives. Like I said, from that corporate training, many people send me emails about how their life has changed because of a portion of my course or my training.


The Mastermind Effect:  27:37

I appreciate you sharing that with us. You’re always evolving,  changing, and just making it better and learning through that. This is over 16 years’ worth of knowledge in one’s place. 


What’s a tip, a tactic, or an actual item that if someone listening to this today, implemented it over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, would see a real impact on their personal or business life? 

David Dube:  28:09

I already gave the one about taking negative things, negative words, and removing their meanings. They don’t hold power over you. 


One of the biggest things is listening to the words that people say, as I said before, about a camera lens. There are multiple lenses that make how that camera lens sees the world and how it magnifies. We are the same thing; our past experiences become magnified in current situations. One of the biggest problems we have as human beings is judging everything and everyone.  The mind does it because it needs to. You can live a good life and satiate yourself with food, sustenance, shelter, and all those things, but beyond that, we need to be more open to things. 


Listening to the words people say.  The words people use are the words they reference and frame the world. When you’re communicating with someone, use their words with them, specifically. You have to use their exact words. It doesn’t work in text messaging or email. It works in video chat or in-person conversation. It changes and transforms people’s relationships. Yeah, it’s because you may have heard someone say you don’t understand me, or you’re not seeing what I’m saying, right? You’re not hearing the words that are coming out of my mouth. That’s a part of what I teach in this course that I’m releasing in mastermind.com. I specifically share those words, so you know what to listen for. It’s mind-blowing how transformative that one little thing to a world of communication. Like I said before, “the better quality your relationships, the better quality of life you’ll lead.”


The Mastermind Effect:  31:01

There’s not a better way to end it than right there. That was impactful. I want you to soak in, I want you to look up Dave, and I want you to reach out to him. What he’s saying can change your business and your personal life. He left so many unbelievable nuggets today. We’ve got the founder of the Only One You Need, David Dube. Thank you. Appreciate it.


David Dube:  31:31

Thanks, Brandon. Appreciate it.

Tweetable Quotes:

“When someone calls you a name or word you don’t like, you allow them to have power over you by being offended by it.” – David Dube

“The better quality of your relationships, the better quality of life you’ll lead.” – David Dube

“Learning is so easy now, and yet it’s so difficult at the same time because it’s overwhelming.” – David Dube

“There’s so much noise out there. To me, it’s about cutting out most of the noise, so you can focus on who is really providing the best material and the best value to you at that moment.” – David Dube

“If you want more success in life, choose words that could have greater impact or meaning for you.” – David Dube

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with David on Facebook. Visit his website https://onlyoneyouneed.com/

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.


092: Tiago Buhr | Sustainable Changes and A Sustainable Life Through Purpose

By age 17, Tiago Buhr had Founded his first company, growing from zero to 700k followers in two years. At 19, he sold it and began traveling the world. After five and a half months backpacking, he moved back to his home country, Brazil and after a few business attempts, got clear on his values and started a coaching practice. Tiago is now running Impact Force, an intimate mastermind for fun, generous and team-playing entrepreneurs. With his vast experience in coaching, he helps entrepreneurs who want to create a big impact in the world.
In this episode, Tiago talks about how entrepreneurs can change the future imprint of what’s possible to make sustainable changes. He explains why he works with people that don’t only care about profits but want to build a sustainable life through purpose, and Tiago explains why investing in the right Mastermind has been so critical to his success. Check it out!

[01:54 – 12:34] Tiago Buhr’s Learning Journey and Masterminds


The Mastermind Effect: 01:47

Let’s jump into it. Our ability to learn and access people has changed over the last 5 to 10 years. When you and I were younger, it’s textbooks, teachers, family, friends, our co-workers, and just the people around us. But that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today? 


Tiago Buhr:  02:12

Previously I would learn mostly from books, courses, or whatever material I could get my hands on. Now, I prefer to learn directly with the people who wrote the books because they can miss out on the nuances like a course or a book. It’s a way that can work. If you look down to each specific case, maybe this approach would work a little better, or maybe this other approach would work a little better. I prefer to work directly with people as mentors, coaches, or masterminds, where I can be with other entrepreneurs.


The Mastermind Effect:  02:58

Yes, I think that’s the thing. When we can see it, touch it, or feel it, it makes it more real, whether it’s the fact that they’re going to hold us accountable. They’re going to be a challenger and not always that cheerleader. When you have that experience, people are more accessible than ever before, especially in 2020. But to reach out and build value, it’s amazing the difference that you can get from reading their book to having that conversation like we have today.


Tiago Buhr:  03:31

I was doing some work around my unique abilities with Kayvon. He made this very interesting distinction. He said it’s better to learn from people who have the knowledge and wisdom.  They not only have the content, but they have the wisdom to see which scenarios, recommendations, or data advice would not work. You can really get that from a book. Don’t get me wrong. I love books. I love reading them, but I think it’s one part of the element.


The Mastermind Effect:  04:03

We’re able to learn from a lot of different people out there. Some people learn from accountability buddies, coaches, masterminds online courses, and many ways to learn. You just mentioned someone that we both know, Dr. Kayvon.  How did you originally connect with him? How did you end up working with him, and what is that outcome been so far?


Tiago Buhr:  04:32

I got to know him in our mastermind and Thursday Night Boardroom. From there, many connections ensue like this one.  Then, we started doing some work around personal strengths, unique ability, genius zone, and all that.


The Mastermind Effect:  04:52

Where do you see your trajectory? We’ll get into the directory of the people that work with you. Where do you see your trajectory because you realize the value of something like a Thursday Night boardroom? For anyone listening previous episode, Jeff Moore and Nick Peterson run it together, and it is a free mastermind.  Before finding stuff like Thursday night boardroom and individuals like Dr. Kayvon, what’s the difference between where you were versus where you’re going? 


Tiago Buhr:  05:27

I would say the size of the ambition because you see other people that are your colleagues achieving pretty relevant stuff, like creating businesses that have a substantial impact and have a real impact in the world. You see that they’re just humans and normal people who have their flaws and have their off days and all of that and are inspired to make an impact for a great cause. It just opens up perspective and the connections you get from a mastermind. I believe that relationships are the best investment you can make. Relationships are the currency of life, and everything good in life comes from relationships. 


I believe that instead of just investing in the stock market, I grab a percentage of my revenue for hiring mentors and coaches, participating in masterminds, going to live events, and even inviting a friend out to dinner in a house to get together. Just two days ago, I had a couple of friends here, and opportunities just arise from that. Especially now, since everything is becoming online, which is tremendously valuable. We wouldn’t be able to have this conversation ten years ago or maybe even five years ago. The internet quality wouldn’t be as good. That also means that people are staying more at home. 


I believe that successful people generally want to serve, and they’re the most generous people. They actively connect you with other people who have other resources, with financing, or with whatever you need to succeed.


The Mastermind Effect:  07:46

Your ROI on yourself and your relationships are better than the stock market and the housing market. Now, I’m involved in both of those, but I can’t control the housing market or the stock market; what I can control are the people I invest in, the amount I invest in myself, and what that return is right there.


It exceeds the relationships and their experiences. The experiences together far exceed anything we could ever look at when we lead with the give mentality, and we have a purpose behind it. Those relationships are a byproduct of those relationships, and money comes from them.  There is an exchange of money amongst people. Money is a byproduct of creating something and solving a problem. That’s okay. It’s that exchange, that ROI, that you want to invest in someone else and in that relationship, whether it’s a dinner or a mentor; it is so critical.


Tiago Buhr:  08:47

If you invest in the stock market or real estate or whatever, the ROI you get mostly is just money. When you invest in relationships, as you said, you get money as a byproduct, but you get so much more. You get friendships like I have many clients that my friends. There was this TED talk on the longest research ever done on human beings’ happiness. The number one factor that determines the happiness of your life was the quality of your relationships. 


Personally, in 2019 I went through a depression period, where only later did I understand that I feel lonely. Then I started to have friends where I get together to play Dungeons and Dragons once a month. I have friends I  invited to dinner, going to capoeira lessons and stuff like that. And that just creates a snowball effect.


The Mastermind Effect:  09:45

I feel that people get stuck and don’t know how to execute what’s in their heads. As we’re still going through a pandemic, I think it’s causing a reset in how we can accomplish things. How have masterminds helps you when you’re looking to reset yourself and get unstuck?


Tiago Buhr:  10:22

In so many ways.  Sometimes, there’s this one small idea that keeps me stuck, and I believe in it for some reason. Then I get into a mastermind, and people say like, “That’s not at all the case. I’ve done it this way. I’ve done it that way.” And you’re like, “Oh, okay.” That just propels your progress. 


The other thing is perspective.  I just ran my own mastermind two weeks ago, and we’re having another meeting tomorrow. It was four entrepreneurs and one in the hot seat who received 30 minutes of undivided attention from other very successful entrepreneurs. It is going to work. If the people right, the values are right, and if you also don’t jump in with suggestions right in front, I believe it’s very valuable. It’s a quote by Albert Einstein that if I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend 55 minutes defining the problem and five minutes solving the problem. Although 20 minutes for questions, just to get clear on the problem, people will chime in with, but the questions themselves are just mind-opening.


The Mastermind Effect:  11:48

I hadn’t heard Albert Einstein’s comment. There’s someone else that we’ve mentioned; Jeff Moore sits and says, “Be the most interested person in the room as opposed to the most interesting person by listening.” If you listen for that 20 minutes, in the case of what you said, you discuss the problem in those 55 minutes. The last portion is so valuable because of listening to everything before that. You created that room, and then with your mastermind, everyone can be better because of that. Even if they’re not on the hot seat, I bet someone else sitting there said, “I hadn’t seen it this way. I could pluck this and put this in my business.” That’s the power.


Tiago Buhr:  12:31

That’s exactly what happened. 


[12:35 – 29:25] Self-Education and Tiago’s Reality


The Mastermind Effect:  12:35

Masterminds have been around for a long time. Probably the first mastermind was the apostles. Then, Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club. Then eventually, Napoleon Hill writes a book about it and brings it to the forefront. As there’s this huge boom of self-education right now, where do you see the parallels going between self-education versus standardized education?


Tiago Buhr:  13:00

I believe both have their place. I didn’t go to university. I had my first business when I was 17. I learned so much more in running my own stuff and learning what I want to learn rather than sitting in a university and somebody just telling me what I need to know. I don’t believe standardized education is bad. I just believe it needs a revamp. It needs to change and understand people’s preferences and unique abilities. Diving a little bit deeper into that instead of just creating a bunch of average people. I believe there’s a place for both. I’m not on an extreme case that I say  University years or school sucks, don’t go. It worked for me, but it wouldn’t work for other people as well.


The Mastermind Effect:  14:15

Each one has its place, and they’re valuable. I’ve said this before if you want to be a doctor, a nurse, or an engineer, I want you to have that piece of paper. I like how you worded that. It has its purpose but let’s have a revamp, a renaissance, or something that changes how they go about it. I think colleges are trying. They’re a little behind and being as progressive as they could be. 


Tiago Buhr:  14:51

We have a member on the mastermind whose company is in education. They provide these camps for the students to do exactly this: to understand better, what are their personal preferences, go deeper and support them even more, and the things that they enjoy doing. It’s a company that sells its services to the universities because the universities don’t have the agility to transform what they’re doing. That’s why I believe that businesses are our biggest force for change.


The Mastermind Effect:  15:30

Yes, absolutely. People championing that along with people like you and the people we’re fortunate to surround ourselves with, making that change, and helping people get to where they need to go from point A to point B more efficiently. 


Typically, when someone invests in their future like we’ve been talking about the ROI, they have a better than a vague idea of what they’re going to get out of it. They have an expectation of the outcome if they implement what people are working with.  What should people expect when they work with you and enter your reality and when it comes to the Impact Force Mastermind you’re doing right now?


Tiago Buhr:  16:17

I’ll tell you that. There’s a story about investing in mentors that I want to explain out. Can I explain the story first?


The Mastermind Effect:  16:28

Absolutely. This is about you bringing value back. 


Tiago Buhr:  16:34

I understand what you’re doing with the Success Finder. In my last mentor,  I invested $25,000 for two months of coaching. It’s a very high investment. It was very good to make that investment because I felt like I was doing this investment for myself. And I said I am going to create 100% of the money before the work even starts. And I got to around 90% of the money created before the work started because of my changes in attitudes and how it was behaving in the world. That coaching wasn’t good for me because the person really tries to hammer down on what I should be doing in their own way instead of listening to how I wanted to do things.


I believe there’s a difference between having a really good coach and having a really good salesperson. Some people are excellent at selling, but they’re terrible at coaching, and vice versa. You want to find that sweet spot between a good salesperson because you want to learn from a good salesperson. It’s a very valuable skill to learn. You also want to learn from a person that is very good at helping you achieve the result you want. I just want to share that.


The Mastermind Effect:  18:01

I appreciate you sharing that with us. I’ve talked about making the wrong investment, approximately $16,359, amongst a compilation of things. Whether it’s 600, 2500, or 25,000, they’re equally as important depending on where that person is to not derail them for what their future is going to be. There’s a huge distinction right there.  When people work with you, how do you avoid that? What can they expect when working with you? How do you keep from transferring risk from you to the people working with you?


Tiago Buhr:  18:50

I just wrote my vivid vision for the company, which like outlines in the next three years on how and where our company will be.  We have a very simple model in our business. If somebody doesn’t receive the value they want in the community, even after they invested the money, and not happy with it. In that case, we will refund the money plus $1,000 for the time they’ve invested because we want you people to have a good experience, even if they decide to leave us.  We don’t have a 100% success rate in helping people. Our aim is pretty high, but we want people, that even if they leave our community, to say, “Wow, I’ve never been treated so well. I have never been given farewell, so well.” That’s our model because two things happen. We transfer the risk to us, so people are more inclined to sign up and try this. The second thing is we have to follow up on a promise so we’re much clearer about who is the perfect fit client that we can best serve in this community. As a result, we are saying no a lot. We say, “Look, it’s not the right fit. Here’s another mastermind or another resource that I can send you that I think will help even better.” We’re always trying to help even if we’re not the right fit to help that person. We’re always trying to give them some direction to help them better.


The Mastermind Effect:  20:16

Tell us who is fit in the group that’s going through the mastermind right now. What are they working on? What can they expect when they work with you?


Tiago Buhr:  20:34

Our mastermind’s niche is that we have conscious entrepreneurs or run conscious businesses. It’s a business model that typically doesn’t care only about profits but cares about its purpose and planet. They have a business setup called pro-life. It’s a business that supports our environment and society through addressing issues like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, affordable housing, sanitation, and reforestation. All kinds of businesses that aim to create a more sustainable Earth. It’s very profitable businesses, but its people just want to do more for the world


The Mastermind Effect:  21:33

The impact and the ripple effect that the people you work with and what they can do should not be understated. 


Tiago Buhr:  21:51

Last week, I was watching a new documentary by David Attenborough. He was a narrator from BBC that does all the nature documentaries. He’s now 93 or 94 years old. When he was born, the planet had 2.3 billion inhabitants, and now it is almost 7.8 or something. He said he saw it during his life when wild areas were becoming palm oil plantations or animals becoming much more difficult to find.  He said it’s not about saving the environment; it’s about human survival. For the past five mass extinctions that happened on the planet, all of them proceeded a very high spike in carbon. It’s the same thing we’re witnessing right now. He said it’s not guaranteed that we’re going to have a rosy future, but he chooses to believe that entrepreneurs can make a difference and empower those people.


These are the people that we have. They have businesses that are solid already, and they’re looking to scale their impact. The revenue and profit scale is from 1 million to around 30 million. They’re fun and team players. They know how to do things outside of work as well. They care about creating a positive impact in the world. Yeah, the


The Mastermind Effect:  23:39

The impact and legacy that they leave.  Legacy is not a dirty word. The legacy you can leave can be so impactful and helpful. 


I feel that people have a way of surprising us from time to time. The ones that you work with are your hand-selecting.  Give us that success story of someone that’s worked with you and gone through one of your masterminds?


Tiago Buhr:  24:09

The mastermind is something very new, and I don’t have a success story yet. I kept it a secret for a while because I wanted to prove the model. You’re the first person talking to this in public. On the coaching side, when I had a coaching business, we have many businesses that tripled, quadrupled, even five times their business in a very short period of time. One of them was an engineer. He had this huge product and a storage facility. It was 40,000 square meters or 120,000 square feet storage facility. While he was telling me, he’s going to give him $2 off per square meter because the economy is in a bad place. He just kept talking, and I asked him why he would give him $2 off? He said the country’s financial situation is in a bad place, and the person is not going to pay that. I said, “How can you be sure of that? Would you be willing to, instead of going for $2 per square meter to giving a $1 per square meter discount? The person said yes, and he was super excited about it. It’s a small thing that just added $40,000 for nothing. These small minor tweaks add up to challenge your way of thinking to challenge it and open up possibilities of how things can be done. 


I have another client right now. She’s contacting these big shoe companies to do joint ventures with them. Often, other companies, organizations, or people have the clients you want, and you can just create a mutually beneficial agreement where it will help their clients, the organization, and yourself. I enjoy looking at those angles. That’s also one thing for the mastermind: we have only one person per industry. We are very diverse in the industry.  I believe something that is very common in an industry can be a breakthrough in another. 


People can have a joint venture. For example, we had this person in the education business and another person with a business that served up 20,000 healthy meals to kids in the Toronto area per day. Her business was serving schools and kindergartens. This person needed to get into schools, so why can’t they like do a joint venture where, “Hey, we’re gonna sell you this food, and as a bonus, we’re gonna make this introduction, and you can have a discount.” 


The Mastermind Effect:  27:41

There’s a synergy there. There’s a joint venture. Though industries might be similar, they’re not the same, and plug it in because of what you’ve put together and what they’re willing to talk about. That’s an amazing power.


Tiago Buhr:  28:05

We say relationships are the best investment. There was a study that 70% of job positions are filled by referrals. It doesn’t only apply to jobs. It applies to business opportunities, financing, and everything. If you put people in a room who are playing at a high level, who has a set of values, collaborative, willing not to be the smartest person in the room, open to vulnerability, and sharing what’s working for them and challenges, you’re just going to get stuff that works.


[29:26 – 36:27] Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  28:54

Yes, you will. You won’t know what’s coming, but eventually, it will surprise you less and less. When you surround yourself with those kinds of people, those things start to happen more frequently without you even having to ask for it.


When I talked to my coaches or did our solo shows, we talked about success and the pillars for success. Some of those are mentorship, experimentation, partnerships, willingness to fail, and then on the flip side, willingness to succeed. Because if you define success, you, in essence, define failure. That’s why sometimes we don’t define what success is. What do you feel is a key attribute when it comes to being successful?


Tiago Buhr:  29:54

I think success is a little controversial. It is much less about achieving things that you want. It’s much more about cleaning up old judgments and stories that you have inside and things that have been hammered into your head by society or whatever. In entrepreneurship, we get to contribute a lot, giving us a sense of meaning and a sense of purpose.


In my own belief, there is no purpose to life, and there is no meaning. There’s a legacy, but maybe people will remember what you’ve done in 100 years, 200, or even 10,000 years. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s nothing. I believe it’s much more about relaxing and just being more in the moment, like spending a whole afternoon with a friend and drinking some tea.  Nowadays, nobody has time just to go and hang out anymore because everybody’s busy. Everybody’s productive. We see the pressure levels are rising.


The Mastermind Effect:  31:35

What I’m taking from that is to live in the moment and surround yourself with people that make you the happiest. 


Tiago Buhr:  31:41

Slowing down to the speed of life.


The Mastermind Effect:  31:45

Few more questions as we’re winding down here. I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. It’s easier to win when the world is winning, but it’s a little more difficult now. Innovation and ingenuity come when we feel the squeeze, and the world is still feeling the squeeze. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Tiago Buhr:  32:18

This mastermind is what excites me. I’m starting to hire people because I can’t do it alone. It’s a mission that’s bigger than me.  I just believe in the impact that we can have. It’s going to be a small community, like about 40 people. If we have 40 people running well-sized businesses that have a good impact on the world, I think that’s something that can make a dent. It can do create a lot of well-being for people on the planet.


The Mastermind Effect:  32:52

 The ripple effect from one to forty and can go on and on. 


Tiago Buhr:  33:03

It’s huge. I was born into a good family. We didn’t struggle to have food on the table and got an education.  I have the internet, and I can speak English, although it’s not my native language. I had a good education and had the opportunity to open a business at a young age with parents supporting it. I am in a very lucky position, and many people don’t have that. I am not trying to get like all romantic, and let’s try to save the world; I just want to give people a little more opportunity than what they might have had. 


The Mastermind Effect:  33:54

What’s a tip, a tactic, or an actual item that if someone listening to this implemented it today over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, would see a real impact on their personal or business life?


Tiago Buhr:  34:08

Allocate a percentage of your revenue or salary to investing in being in a mastermind. Tons of resources and masterminds are free, like the Thursday Night Boardroom. Some are paid, and it’s very good to pay for that because it ups your commitment. I would say just join one. Research it. Get people that have the same values and that you can learn from.  Just be in a group. It’s one of the things that will propel people the fastest.


The Mastermind Effect:  34:53

A company is being built around this to help people get from A to B a little quicker but more efficiently. To help cut out the noise so you can find the signal to get across that bridge. I will say both of us are part of Thursday Night Boardroom, and it is free. Here’s the thing, I paid to get there indirectly. It was a process to get there, and it wasn’t all of a sudden that I just got to show up and get this. What we have monthly with Thursday Night Boardroom is free; you and I still paid in some form or way till eventually get there, and that’s okay. That is absolutely okay to do that. I love how you brought it back on that tip to invest in yourself. Invest in your relationships. Set aside and allocate a portion of it. 


We’ve got the founder of Impact Force Mastermind, Tiago Buhr. Tiago, thank you so much for spending your time with us and giving us your thought bombs, your wisdom bombs, and everything about it today.

Tweetable Quotes:

“I believe that relationships are the best investment you can make. Relationships are the currency of life, and everything good in life comes from relationships.” – Tiago Buhr

“Success is much more about relaxing and being more in the moment.” – Tiago Buhr

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Tiago on Facebook (facebook.com/tiago.buhr) or visit https://tiagobuhr.com/en/ 

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

091: AJ Vassar | Practicing Success and Attacking Failure

AJ Vassar is the Managing Partner of Unleash U Now. AJ is a former Division one football player. After his football days, he found himself homeless and a mere five years later he donated five cars to five people who are less fortunate. AJ is also the author of Day Grades and creator of “Underground Wealth Road.”
In this episode, Aj gets into why he went from theory to application and from reading to doing. He explains that when you work with him, you’re either going to die or reach your goal. He talks about how he’s creating an accountability academy that you’re going to want to be a part of. Check it out!

AJ Vassar Practicing Success and Attacking Failure

[02:07 – 14:59] AJ’s learning journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:04

Our ability to learn has really changed over the last years. When you and I were younger, who we have access to was textbooks and teachers and parents, family, friends, co-workers, but that’s really a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today?

AJ Vassar:  02:26

From my early years, it was a bunch of theory—a boss of books. Today, it’s a boss of application and making it happen. Its no longer just hearing about it, but doing it, and that’s probably the biggest difference. I learn through doing, I learn through failing. That probably is one of my biggest secrets, I set failure goals because I realized I learned the most when I fail.

The Mastermind Effect:  02:52

Well, what do you mean by failure goals? And why is the outcome so positive for you and the people that you work with?

AJ Vassar:  03:09

So when we start something, we always want to win, right? To win, you’re going to have to learn the game, and you can only learn the game by failing. Failing doesn’t make you a failure. I believe that failing is part of the process of success.

So a lot of us never get to success because when we start failing, we think we’re doing something wrong when we’re actually doing something right. I want to make sure that I won’t focus on success because I might get depressed.

When I set a failure goal, it’s like getting closer to success because when I failed, I learned. So, I also teach failing successfully because you can also fail poorly.

So the Superbowl happens right every year, right? Think about what happens at the end of the game, winners are celebrating what they are not thinking is how it could have been improved, which is typically why the Super Bowl champion don’t make the playoffs the next year.

If you look at it, whenever we win we celebrate, whenever we fail we contemplate. So I want to put myself in contemplation to see how can I improve and become better as a person. The only way I’m going to learn is if I experienced the failing process.

The Mastermind Effect:  05:09

It reminds me of someone and they say that, they only celebrate when someone digs themself out of a hole, they never reward someone for never getting in that hole. And I think if, from the standpoint of setting those failure goals, you might find a way not getting in that arena and celebrate your moments when you don’t get in that arena.

AJ Vassar:  05:35

So why not celebrate the whole process of getting in it and getting out of it?

I’ll give an example. When you invited me, I could’ve said no, and then you would have asked yourself why. Then you’ll realize that by putting yourself in a position to dig yourself in a hole, there are also great outcomes. One great outcome is I say yes, and the other great outcome is you learn why I said no. Then, when the next person comes on and they gave you the same thing I said, you already know how to deal with it.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:34

Here’s the thing I urge anyone, if AJ said no to me, I would have said, Would you mind letting me know, why this isn’t a fit for you? Now, I might hear an answer that I might not like and it hurts me. But ask why someone says no, what’s the worst they are gonna say, “no I’m not going to tell you”?

AJ Vassar:  07:13

Every sale I’ve ever closed. I never asked them why they say yes.The only time we get actual feedback is when they say no, we rarely get feedback when they say yes. So I need that, just as much as a yes to me.

The Mastermind Effect:  07:45

Since we’re talking a little bit about sales, I think its really offering something to solve a problem. But when someone comes to you, and you don’t know how they came to you, ask them, “How’d you end up hearing about us?”. Keep digging till you can find out because that customer journey is important and you can start putting more resources towards that person that sent you somebody.

AJ Vassar:  08:28

I totally agree.

The Mastermind Effect:  08:34

Well, kind of staying in the people realm and learning from people, who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?

AJ Vassar:  08:57

We have a mastermind group down here that I connect with and got randomly introduce to him. We were both vendors for a company in the US. When the company brought us to work with each other in Medellin, Columbia, we connected. And then I went to his Facebook page, and I was like we grew up 15 minutes away from each other, but it has been endless circles and being in those different circles that made the connection. We challenge each other, I believe that accountability without consequences isn’t accountability

AJ Vassar:  10:16

So if people go to my page, they’ll see that Ron and I keep each other accountable.

So you pick your goal, and you pick your consequences. So he set a goal he didn’t hit, so we went to a restaurant and he paid me 500 million pesos as his consequence.

And my goal, I did it, and I think my consequences were worse than his because I have to clean his apartment on Facebook Live. So those were consequences I didn’t want. It’s a project I’ve been putting off for a year that I got done in 14 days,

The Mastermind Effect:  11:45

One year, 14 days. That is the power of being with a mastermind, of having a coach, an accountability partner, and I can’t stress that enough.

AJ Vassar:  12:10

So this time, I asked my Facebook community because we give ourselves consequences every month. And I’ll select one of the consequences that I know I really don’t want to do. And you have to be honest with yourself? I feel like it has to be something that embarrasses you, and that’s going to hurt a little bit.

The Mastermind Effect:  12:52

Yeah, paint pain into pleasure to make sure you don’t get there. But something that you would put off for a year you were able to accomplish in 14 days, because of accountability, because of the right consequences that would have pursued from there.

Moving on, I feel people get stuck and sometimes don’t know how to accomplish what’s in their head. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to reset and get unstuck.

AJ Vassar:  13:30

So many times we’re stuck because we lose sight of our purpose. You know, there’s a quote that I love that say, “it’s hard to see the picture when you’re the frame”. What masterminds do is they get to look at my picture from unbiased eyes, the good and the bad.

I can make all the excuses I want, but they’re like, we see the whole picture, right? The one thing that I always tell people is tell me how your face looks without using a mirror? We can’t do it because we look out but we can do it for each other. And masterminds are that mirror.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:11

Wow, masterminds are the mirror, the person in the mirror is the mastermind. The reality is it helps us solve problems. It helps us see around corners that we can’t see, it keeps you from stepping into that next landmine. Work someone like AJ, he’s been there, done that and if not, surround yourself with the people that have. Masterminds, have been around for a hot minute. Probably the first one was the apostles. And then Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo club or the leather apron club. And then Napoleon Hill, writes a book and kind of brings it full circle on what a mastermind is.

[15:00 – 29:36] Self-Education and AJ’s reality

As there continues to be a huge boom in self-education. Where do you see the parallels going between self-education versus standardized education?

AJ Vassar:  15:26

I think self-education is going to take over because standardized education, it’s too much fluff for the amount of money that you spend.

So it’s, like, I remember my junior college and I had to take a jazz appreciation, jazz is cool but I have to spend money to do that when I can go to a conference. I remember I took my cousin to a self-education conference. And he told me, I learned more in these three days than I learned in four years ago.


The Mastermind Effect:  16:20

If you want to be a doctor, a nurse, an engineer, please go get that piece of paper. I don’t mean to diminish the value of that. But if you’re looking to be a salesperson, a marketing person, so many different industries. You can learn it from somebody else that’s doing it.

AJ Vassar:  16:48

Even if you think about doctors, you get the knowledge but it’s when they go into their doctorate program, the residency, it’s what starts to make you a doctor. The residency for those who want to go into sales? It’s called real life, which is why self-education is going to supersede eventually.

Because you have owners like Elon Musk, people like him, that’s why college isn’t necessary. It used to be a bridge with your parents for you to have structure before you become an adult. Now, the world moves so fast. So get out there and start making it happen.

The Mastermind Effect:  17:54

That’s one of the reasons why we’re building the success Finder. Because right now you have standard education, you have trade school, and you’re going to have the success finder right here. And I think what you’ll see is standardized education will move more towards trade school, per se, because I think that’s unbelievably helpful. We’ve call it different things throughout the years internships, residencies, trade school and apprentice.

The success finder helps fill that gap to get you to where you want to go faster. You want to build that bridge, you want to cut out the noise bring in the signal. So you’re making sure you’re getting that experience to move forward.

AJ Vassar:  18:29

That’s because times are changing, especially when you realize that your degree typically doesn’t matter five to seven years after you leave college,

The Mastermind Effect:  18:44

I mean I’ve got a degree in finance. people that I’ve created businesses with they’ve never said, so where do you go to school?

AJ Vassar:  18:56

Nobody cares. The question is, can you get me results? And even your Ivy League schools, like I went to Harvard for five to seven years after that, then people are like, Okay, cool. So what’s your results?

AJ Vassar:  19:19

Because after you get out of Harvard, yeah they like the fact that you went to Harvard, but what’s your network?

The Mastermind Effect:  19:31

The network that you can get if you go to Harvard, it might be a network of those over here. But you can start growing that network in your teens. I guarantee it with how parents raise their children. And you know how we’re raising our six year old, he’s going to have a network that’s going to be so vast, that he’ll sit there and just be like, it’s second nature.

Typically when people invest in their future, they have a better than vague idea of what they’re going to get. They know what the outcome is if they, if they put in the work themselves. Most of the time, it’s because they didn’t put in the work. Now, it could also be because they found the wrong coaching mastermind, So what should people expect when they start working with AJ and enter your reality?

AJ Vassar:  20:27

Number one, expect to be pushed, don’t tell me your goal without thinking you’re gonna get to it. If you work with me, you’re either gonna die or you’re gonna reach your goal. Because any goal can be reached, if you willing to do the work.

And my world, there are two options, there are reasons and results, you can keep your reasons because the only thing to focus on is your results. So that’s how I look at life. And the one thing that I would say to people is always get a coach that wants you to be better than them. That’s why I teach, there is a satisfaction of saying the people that I work with do better than me.

The Mastermind Effect:  21:34

Yeah, the wall of testimonials are people that have exceeded what you’re doing. And you don’t have to promote that, you don’t have to sit there and share that.

They’ll preach it for you. They will create the people that want to come to you. And you’re like, no, they had it in them, I just helped extract it a little bit, I was just happy to be part of the ride.

AJ Vassar:  21:55

I always tell people, the Latin word for education is educere, which means to draw out. So the reason why I never feel stressed when I work with people is because I don’t have to put greatness in you, I just have to draw it out, because you’re already great.

The Mastermind Effect:  22:16

Everyone has that ability, it’s finding it, it’s having faith in it, it’s having confidence in it. And there will be the crabs in your life, and they don’t want to see you come up.

When you work with someone like AJ, he’s going to help you get rid of those crabs in your life and help build that up, he’s going to pull the greatness that already exists that you might not fully see.

The Mastermind Effect:  22:47

I feel that people still have a way of surprising us from time to time, their grit, their grind, their willingness to learn, and allow you to take that greatness out of them. Give us a success story of someone that you worked with, where you started and where they ended up. The outcome that even to them was just like Oh my gosh.

AJ Vassar:  23:16

I have a client We’ll call her Miss ale, when she started working with me, she said, What’s your 101 because I really want to move my business up to the level that I think I have potential for. And I was, that’s perfect, because my thing is your commitment needs to match your expectation. They have high expectations, but they don’t have a high commitment.

The first day we worked together, she was talking about raising her pricing structure. She wanted to charge more, so I showed here a very nice ball call. And then she calls a $15,000 client, very next call.

We created the 15,000 package, just as soon as “I cannot do this”.

My thing that I always tell people, “who said you can’t”. When it comes to money, as long as you give more in value than you receive in payment, they win.

It wasn’t like we had created it out of thin air, I just helped her see that she could


The Mastermind Effect:  25:39

Because of the value that she brought

AJ Vassar:  25:41

Yes. Two weeks later, we had an emergency meeting. She was working with this guy who has this company and was talking about bringing her in. But she wasn’t comfortable charging them that number, so I told her, you need more time, because you need me to help you with this, I’m gonna charge you $30,000 from $15,000 I was charging her. So I told her that she is gonna have to make more commitment and she said yes.

Now, this is what people don’t understand about saying yes to yourself and investing in yourself. The reason she was able to do that now is because, if she can invest that in herself, she can ask them for that same thing. A lot of times, we have a problem charging higher prices, because its incongruent of what we paid before.

The Mastermind Effect:  27:14

Again, I want the people to understand this one more time.

AJ Vassar:  27:25

A lot of times we have a hard time charging higher prices, because it’s incongruent with what we’ve invested in ourselves.

The Mastermind Effect:  27:33

Now, if you’re not willing to invest in yourself, how is someone else going to do that? The biggest ROI is yourself because you can control yourself, you can’t control the market, and you can’t control the housing market.

AJ Vassar:  27:54

Right, people can feel it when you haven’t invested in yourself, but you’re asking them to invest in themselves.

I believe people can feel it when you’re being incongruent, when you’ve never made a significant investment in yourself. How can you in good faith ask somebody to do to the same? You don’t even know what they’re going through. You have no idea, the mental, the mental flashes and the mental grenades that are going off in their head wondering, Is this possible? Can I work through it? It’s easy for me to work people through that process because I’ve been there. I know exactly what they’re thinking when they hear that big number because I’ve been there.

The Mastermind Effect:  28:40

Yes and here’s what I want to say with what AJ is saying, he is a leader, he’s not there to rescue you. He’s not your Savior. And he just extrapolates that from you. So simple.

AJ Vassar:  29:13

Once were congruent it’s amazing what we can do. Congruency and belief moves mountains


The Mastermind Effect:  29:20

There you go. Yeah, I that’s why I say that the mastermind effect is the pebble in the pond. Success finders are the mountain in the ocean. Each one has a ripple effect and what’s important and what it’s going to do. And that’s why you work with AJ, you move that mountain, you make that ripple effect in the ocean.

And we talked about this a little bit in the beginning. But on our solo shows, we talked about success and the pillars of success and what it takes to be successful and a few of them you know throughout there that we’ve talked about our our mentorship, experimentation, partnerships, willingness to fail, and on the flip side, willingness to define success, because once we have defined success, we in essence have  defined failure. And that’s why so many people out there just won’t sit there and define what success means to them.

[29:37 – 35:17] Creating success

The Mastermind Effect:

What is the key attribute when it comes to being successful?

AJ Vassar:  30:12

A key attribute is to actually know what success means to you. You can’t use anyone else’s definition, because if you don’t know what it is, stop chasing. Right now, we have a lot of people chasing this imaginary thing.

And to me, success is a journey. It’s not a thing, not a place I’ll get to, success is something that I do every day. So when I’m at a ten at everything got do 24 hours a day, seven days a week, that’s success for me. So when I’m here, I am totally here. So success is something that I’m accomplishing all the time.

I practice success, just like people practice yoga, and because I practice it, it doesn’t mean I get it right all the time. But I improve daily on it, right? So since I can practice it, it’s not something that I have to wait to get later on. It’s something that I practice every single day,

The Mastermind Effect:  31:38

Breathe it, live it, feel it, see it, touch it, feel it, then you exude and then it happens. So I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. But I think true grit and grind and ingenuity come when we feel the squeeze, what are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you.




AJ Vassar:  32:09

My Accountability Academy, because im saying accountability is the key. And that’s whats missing in a lot of people’s lives, we as humans, we naturally will do more for somebody else than we’ll do for ourselves. One of the things I say is, people respect what they know somebody else is going to inspect because then it’s important.

The Mastermind Effect:  32:56

Last one, what is a tip, a tactic, an actual item, that if anyone listening here today implemented in their personal or business life over the next 30 days, would see real impact?

AJ Vassar:  33:17

Fail faster, like literally attack failure but fail successfully.

I’ll give you an example. When I do something that’s in my control, like talking to people, I don’t know how many of them will say yes, but I can control how many of them I talk to. Say, I set that I’ll stop after 2 people says yes, so what if the first 2 said yes, then I’ll stop. But if I set to talk to 10 people regardless then I’m still down eight people.

Go after failing, I’ll change your life. But you have to fail successfully which means, I’m going to learn and improve from it.

The Mastermind Effect:  34:30

Surrounding yourself with the right people that are going to hold you accountable and want to see you make an impact. Thank you so much for everything you brought today.

AJ Vassar:  34:51

You’re very welcome. It was my pleasure.

Tweetable Quotes:

“I learn through doing, I learn through failing. That’s probably one of my biggest secrets is that I set failure goals because I realized I learned the most when I fail.” – AJ Vassar 

“In order to win, you’re going to have to learn the game, and you can only learn the game by failing.” – AJ Vassar

“Accountability without consequences isn’t accountability.” – AJ Vassar

“Any goal can be reached if you’re willing to do the work.” – AJ Vassar

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with AJ on Linkedin, Instagram, and Facebook

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

090: Brian Bogert | Achieve The Best Version of Yourself Your Most Authentic Self

Brian Bogert is the Founder of Brian Bogert Companies. He is a passionate human behavior and performance coach, speaker, business strategist, top sales professional, and philanthropic leader who believes in helping growth-minded individuals achieve the best version of themselves: their most authentic selves.
In this episode, Brian explains the difference between you today vs you 5 years from now will depend on the books that you read and the people you surround yourself with. He talks about learning to be aware so it doesn’t feel like life just happened, and gets into creating your list of things that give you energy vs things that drain the bucket. Check it out!

[02:42 – 20:43] Brian’s learning journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:16

Let’s dive into this. Our ability to learn and access different people has drastically changed over the last 5 to 10 years. When you and I were younger, they were textbooks, teachers, family, friends, and co-workers. But that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning change from your early years versus today?


Brian Bogert:  03:02

That’s a great question. It was probably seven years ago; I had an opportunity to meet Aeneas  Williams. He’s a Hall of Fame cornerback.  At a dinner with him, he said a quote that resonated deeply with me. He said the only difference between who you are today and how you’ll be five years from now are the people you meet and the books you read. He’s a pastor, and he said it three times like he wants me to hear this. I was dense enough to at least recognize that pattern. I was the guy at the time that had a bookshelf full of books. I didn’t even touch him with good intent to tap into it. He inspired me because I didn’t consume books well by reading. I would open it up, crack it; I get a chapter in, maybe. I wouldn’t retain anything, and then I would lose interest and couldn’t keep myself engaged.  If what he’s getting at are people and knowledge and how we funnel it through our worlds, and then I need to consume differently. So I started listening to audiobooks.


The first book I listened to was by Nido Qubein. It’s basically a book full of colloquialisms. It’s like a quote concept application. I thought this quote was an Aeneas Williams original, and he said it like it came out as his own. Then I hear that quote a week later while listening to this book, Attitude: The Remarkable Power of Optimism by Nido Qubein. I hear the exact quote, “the only difference in who you are today and who will be five years from now is the people you meet and the book you read.” Nothing happens by coincidence. My consumption changed, and it’s aligning with this philosophy, and it’s reinforcing it because now I’m hearing the exact same quote.


I put myself on a mission that if I can consume this way, I can also consume differently faster, and I retain the information better. I put that into hyperspeed. Over the last probably six or seven years, I’ve averaged about a book a week since that time. I also realized that it’s not just how we consume, but it’s the speed and how we align them with a cadence for how we consume. I started playing with the speed at which I could listen to it. I can consume so fast because I listened to most books at one and three-quarter speed or two times speed. After all, that’s how it aligns with the way I calibrated the way I think it sticks harder, retains better, and I don’t lose interest.


To answer your question, what he’s saying is where and how you are consuming information? And where and how are you tapping into the collective wisdom of those other people? I also went into hyperdrive around surrounding myself with the right people to ask the right questions. You only get information based on the quality of your questions. I am not only surrounding myself with the five people that they say you are a reflection of, but who else is in my circle, other than that inside circle, a medium circle, and what’s the knowledge I can be funneling through my brain. Those are the two ways that I’ve put my growth into hyperspeed in the last seven years. I can learn anything or something from anybody I interact with. If I engage, ask questions, and communicate, I can learn from everybody I run across and every piece of information that funnels through my body; what and how can I learn and grow from that? Seven years ago, that quote changed how I consumed and learned. And today, that’s kind of where I’m at, still people and knowledge. 


The Mastermind Effect:  06:39

That’s a beautiful thing that you were able to draw that string from where you were at, where you wanted to go and how it tethered to why you are who you are today. 


The Mastermind Effect:  06:57

There’s a lot of ways to take in information more than ever before, and it can be confusing. Some people learn from a mentor, a coach, a mastermind,  online courses, and there’s a lot of ways to learn and take in information. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?


Brian Bogert:  07:23

That’s a great question. One of the people I’m learning from right now on hyperspeed is David Meltzer. We connected maybe six months ago because we shared a virtual stage together. There was a connection point, and we ended up having a conversation. We both have a similar but slightly different mission; we’re both on a mission to impact a billion lives. There was a very common thread that brought us together. The way we both enter into the world, our philosophies, the way we view business and people are so aligned. We just had an immediate connection. Since that time, I communicate with David every other week, and we’re looking at finding ways to collaborate. He has different experiences and perspectives that I can learn from and hopefully not repeat his mistakes.


You and I ended up connecting through Steve Sims, and he is another person I’ve learned from. I don’t have the same frequency with him in terms of regularity of talk and those types of things. But I operate from a similar frequency and vibration and how we entered the world on doing massive action and not allowing hurdles or blocks to get in our way. 


Steven and  David are completely different individuals. I learn from them by watching them,  interacting with them, and consuming different content elements. I learned from everybody, as I told you before. I tried to learn from every interaction. I’ve learned stuff from you and from all of our different groups. I’ve learned a lot from these two in the last six months because of the personal development space; they’re also years ahead of where I’m at in my trajectory. They’ve learned and made a lot more mistakes than I have to this point. 


The Mastermind Effect:  09:23

That’s a great thing when you surround yourself with people like Dave. I had the fortune of hearing him speak on stage a few years ago and hear his story from the sports swirled to making it, losing it, and having to figure it out all over again. Then to Steve Sims and hearing his stories and taking small little pieces and rearranging them to how they are applicable to you. That might not be what they meant, but then you can rearrange it. You can prevent yourself from stepping into a landmine just by listening to people like Brian, Steve, and David.


Brian Bogert:  09:58

David Meltzer lost 100 million billion dollars. Few people even know what that looks like, let alone have lost it. That’s like just a narrow area. And Steve works with billionaires who own private islands. He gets and runs in circles with people that most people cannot even imagine. Their perspectives are really powerful. 


You’re a perfect example. How you envision how to connect people, how you can deliver value through platforms and systems that you’re building through your own mistakes, and how you can tap into the collective wisdom of everybody in your circle to deliver value to everybody that’s learning from you hopefully. You do that better than a lot of people. I see how you’re building your architecture. And that’s why I say, that’s what I want to hear. You can literally learn from anybody if you’re asking the right questions, and you’re willing to listen, and you set your ego aside to realize that everybody can teach you something.


The Mastermind Effect:  10:48

There’s a thing that you just said that has resonated with me. It’s the second or third time you said, “asking the right questions.” I talked about this in a solo episode recently. Sometimes you need to surround yourself with the right people, have the right corner person and go to them and say, “here’s where I’m at, here’s where I want to go. But I don’t know what question to ask, and here are the hurdles I’m running into.” By saying, “I don’t know what question to ask on what I need help with,” they’re smarter. I surround myself with really smarter people than I am. You don’t always know the right question and not making up questions just to make it. It’s okay. Just say, I don’t know. 


Brian Bogert:  11:31

That’s where vulnerability comes in; authenticity and human connection in general. This happened three months ago with David Meltzer. We were having a conversation, and I said to him, “I know I need help. I know something’s in my way. I don’t see it, and I don’t know what it is. I don’t know the right question to ask.” Guess what? In a half-second, he was like, “Bro, here’s what it is.” He knew the exact question and exactly where to take it because he’s seen the pattern before.  He knew where it was and what was keeping me back. I’ve said this from the beginning, in my career, I am only as good as my questions.


The Mastermind Effect:  12:06

You just said clues right there. Look for the clues, the patterns in your choices that you make with those the CPC, and it’ll just streamline the process. 


I feel that people get stuck, and they don’t know how to execute what’s in their heads. We’re still going through a pandemic. And I feel that this is causing a reset, how we can accomplish things, how we connect, and how we can move the needle. How have masterminds and coaching helped you when you’re looking to get unstuck to accomplish something?


Brian Bogert:  12:49

That’s a very specific, narrow way of getting unstuck. I think that’s one of a lot of ways to do it. But the reality is we often don’t see a whole lot about ourselves, even if we’re hyper-aware. I like to think I’m one of the most self-aware people I’ve come across. I don’t say that arrogantly; it’s just true. I put a lot of time and energy into it. That said, there’s a lot I don’t see. It does come back to the same questions. It’s also putting yourself in an environment where you are willing to recognize that you don’t know it all and you can learn something from anybody. If you’re paying attention and aware, you can be intentional with how you apply that into your life. 


I have multiple coaches in my life. I didn’t know what value it could add. I didn’t understand where it could be. And I often use an analogy. We’ll talk about this because this is a recent analogy. Masterminds and coaches are one way to solve this. Mentors, spouses, and partners can do this for you. People close to you and know you can see certain things you can’t see. Masterminds and coaches are in hyperdrive because there’s an element of exchange, there’s compensation, it’s not just perceived value, and there’s a commitment on both sides of that equation. You can go a lot deeper and faster because you’re making a physical investment, money, time, and energy to put yourself in that environment. I think that’s one of the fastest ways to do it. 


I’ll give you an example. I’ve been training for triathlons. I have never swum over 100 yards in my life. In July, I decided I’m going to do some triathlons. I could swim based on everything I’ve ever done because I know how to freestyle, and I know what I’m doing, or I can hire a coach.  I hired a coach because I’ve never had a training lesson before.  He gave me some tips. We spent about an hour in the water. He fixed some stuff out of the gate. And then I implemented that. I swam consistently for a period of time. I built up my base, built up my strength, and built up my feel in the water. And then I started getting to a point where I felt like I was still laboring in the water. What did I do? I hired him again for a 45-minute lesson. He changed two things, he wanted the angle on my head to dip down a little more, and then how I was finishing my stroke at the back end of my stroke, where my hand was going on my body. Two minor changes, instantly, I was moving through the water faster with less effort. 


I have viewed the value of investing in masterminds coaches and surrounding myself with people who can see the things I don’t see. The reality of it is it’s just a couple of inches, maybe even sometimes a couple of millimeters of a shift from where you’re at today, and it can have a dramatically different outcome on where you go.

The Mastermind Effect:  16:07

People look at their 401(k)’s, the housing market, and the stock market. Those are investments that you can’t control. But the most important investment is yourself. The story of the swim coach is brilliant and simple. What it says saved you and what it shaved you from your time and your effort that you were going to have to put into it make sense.


Brian Bogert:  16:43

It’s the same thing in life. That’s why I have multiple business coaches. I’ve got marriage counselors, therapists, meditation coaches, energy healers and nutrition coaches, and trainers on the physical side. I’ve built these things to have the means to be able to do that. But even when I didn’t have the means, I was investing in it. I didn’t view it as an expense. I truly believe that’s what’s allowed me to short circuit and get to levels that I’ve been at in life because I started investing early. I love that you caught up on that nuanced word that I said because that’s often what I say to people. Anything new most people view it as a cost. They don’t view it as an investment. If you view these things as an investment in your future self, they will pay for themselves in spades if you apply what you learned.


The Mastermind Effect:  17:32

The first time I finally got into coaching, and I got lucky to get the right coach. The first conversation saved me an hour a day. They saved me seven hours a week. That’s 15 full days of my life back that I was able to replug back into my family, my business, and myself. It’s like a 15-day free vacation. I’m like, “Hey, I don’t care if we don’t talk for the rest of the year; I owe you an entire year’s worth of whatever your fee is.”


Brian Bogert:  18:11

That’s exactly right. I am not even surprised that you and I are so much in alignment and analogy that I give people the value of a compound effect. Anybody listening to this show, think to yourself right now. Do you want more time in your life? I’ve never run across a person that hasn’t raised their hand yes to that question. Let’s break it down. If you could find 30 minutes a day to repurpose into anything, either investing in yourself, reading a book, meeting new people, or whatever it is to make yourself grow. Thirty minutes a day is two and a half hours a week. That is 10 hours a month or 120 hours per year. Now for the people who work 40 to 60 hour work weeks, you’ve just given yourself two to three weeks back in your year that you can repurpose by just paying attention to where you have waste in your day, and how do I repurpose that 30 minutes to make an investment. Because not only have you gotten the time back, but if you view it as an investment that’s going to compound on itself year over year. Seven years ago, I started listening to books about an average of once a week; I’ve listened to hundreds of books that I wouldn’t have otherwise. I do that typically in less than 30 minutes a day.


The Mastermind Effect:  19:31

I look at everything as compound. You are compounding your life and compounding the return on yourself. 


Brian Bogert:  19:51

People are celebrated in public for what they’ve practiced in private for years. That’s the compound effect of the small, incremental actions they’ve done regularly and consistently, that all of a sudden, they’re viewed as an overnight success. There is no such thing.


The Mastermind Effect:  20:11

The path to success is paved in skeletons and crushed dreams. Every morning I read specifics sayings that I’ve kept in my Outlook calendar. That’s one of the top five that’s right there. 


[20:44 – 34:00] Self-Education and Brian’s reality


The Mastermind Effect:  20:37

Masterminds have been around for a long time, probably back to the apostles. Then Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo club or the leather apron club. And then this guy, Napoleon Hill, writes a book that solidifies the world of what that is. As there’s been such a large boom of self-education over the last ten years, where do you see the paradigm between standard education versus self-education going forward?


Brian Bogert:  21:12

When you and I were kids, a bachelor’s degree was like table stakes. You just needed it to exist in the world. We went down the path of spending a whole bunch of money on education, maybe not, but certainly time, energy, and effort. I genuinely believe that there will be less and less a role for formal education over time. How many times have I applied the education from my experience in college? Very few. The institution approach taught me human skills, interaction skills, relational skills, and leveraging skills. I got life skills from that, but I don’t necessarily think you need a large institution to teach you that. Those are the things that I took away from my education. I paid a lot for those lessons, and I probably could have learned those lessons in other ways.


Self-education will continue to take a more and more dominant force. Even if you look at the financial component of formal education, there has to be a paradigm shift. The current structure that we’re on today is not sustainable. People who are coming out of college with six figures of debt, and they’re going to be a school teacher to make 35,000 to 50,000 a year, depending on the part of the country. We need to start thinking about education as an ROI, not just table stakes in an employable human being. 


We have to have a mental shift here. I never went back and got my masters; I always thought I would. But the more I’ve had experience in the world, the less I even think I need it. I have no desire to do that at this point. When I was fresh out of school, that’s what school taught me. There are certain fields you need it. The majority, you don’t.


The Mastermind Effect:  23:08

If you want to be a doctor, a nurse, or engineer, I want you to go into school and get that piece of paper. But short of that, do you want a quarter-million dollars in debt, or do you want something else? The alternative to where you can learn from people who are doing it is in the trenches with you. You’re not that many steps ahead, but they’ve proven their success. 


The thing that I say to my son, as he understands, even at six, what we’re building. I’m like, “Hey, listen, I’m going to have $30,000 for you when you graduate from high school. This is going to be a free investment in your college; you’re going to figure out the rest of it. Here’s another 30,000. You can take daddy’s cell phone, or you can hop on the Success Finder. You can probably stretch that 30 grand over two years to help pay for your room and board. It’s also going to help you travel to find the people you’re going to learn from, and you can do it in two years.  Which $30,000 do you want? Your choice.


Brian Bogert:  24:08

I don’t think that’s a very hard equation. I know what I would have chosen back then. I would have steered away probably from the traditional approach. Now I have no regrets for what I’ve done. Again, the reality of it is if we’re seeing a shift, and the financial model of traditional education just isn’t going to work. It works. We both have young kids. I’m looking at it, and when I’m projecting through what the cost of college is going to be when our kids are there, it’s going to be crippling. It’s literally going to get to a point where most people can’t go, and even if they can, they’re going to be financed so significantly, they’ll never get out of it.


The Mastermind Effect:  24:49

Colleges were built on financial institutions from the aspect. It is a house, and they need the sports to afford that, and suddenly the sports model is getting broken because of what’s going on in the world. When the sports model got shook up, so did the financial stability of these colleges, which means who’s going to carry that Brunt? Probably the student body. 


When someone invests in their future, they have a better than a vague idea of what they will get out of it. They have some idea what the expectations and what the outcomes can be. What should someone expect when they come and work with you and enter your reality?


Brian Bogert:  25:27

That’s a great question. What’s interesting is a lot of the work that I do is less tangible, upfront, but long term, it has a significantly greater impact. I typically work with entrepreneurs, business owners, high-performing salespeople, and individuals you don’t know who they are anymore. They may have a high level of success, but all of a sudden, they’re just miserable. They’re not experiencing all the things in life that they desired. We often walk them through the process of shedding the layers of what the world had told us we need to be, the box we need to fit into, and getting back to that bright, shining light that they were when they were born so that we can honor who they are best. 


Most people start with the “what.” What house, what car, what job, what amount of money, what spouse. They build this life based on the world, culture, and society that they need to be successful or happy or all these things. But when you chase the “what,” what do you lose? The “who.” I recalibrate people back to who they authentically are.  It’s a process of tapping into a higher level of awareness and intentionality in everything we do. And by doing that, we also allow people to bring joy, freedom, and fulfillment back into their lives. It just so happens that when we recalibrate that, the “what” becomes a manifestation of the “who.” When they put in the work to do it right, their businesses, relationships, and health flourish. They can have a healthy life built-in alignment with a self-regulating mechanism to it, so they know what fits and what doesn’t. We can escape a lot of the shame, guilt, and all the other stuff that exists. 


I know that sounds like the big picture,  maybe too loose and less tangible. Everybody comes to me with a different goal. If they don’t understand the emotional triggers and behavioral patterns and have them stuck in that self-defeating path, we’ve got to get clarity on that, to help them free to where they want to be.


The Mastermind Effect:  27:25

If you’re looking for shiny objects like houses,  cars, and what you see on social media, and you start there, you’re going to mess up in trying to reverse engineer that. Money will be a byproduct of solving a problem and having the why and what you want to do for other people.  It will happen. This isn’t me being some like guru on this; I just know that’s the case. Every goal I set in front of me when I started, I kept upping the goal when I hit it earlier than I did. And none of it meant anything to me.


Brian Bogert:  28:11

Exactly. How many times do people say, “when I get here, I’ll be.” That’s chasing “what.”  That’s not aligning with “who.” When you can align with the “who,” the “what” becomes a manifestation. 


The Mastermind Effect:  28:47

It’s how we train ourselves, and we get to break that chain and change how we think. Talking about the people that you work with, I feel that they have a way of surprising us from time to time. It could be their willingness, drive, grit, ingenuity, or whatever it is. Give us a success story of someone because they worked with you, they figured out their “why,” and they knew where they were at. They didn’t know how to go there. Give us a success story of someone that’s worked with you.


Brian Bogert:  29:16

It’s an individual who works in a partnership. The culture is not necessarily the greatest. It’s one that often tries to mold people into the box they want them to fit into. They define that this is the only way to be successful.  And that’s just not how it works. He was in this business for four years before he hired me. He’d grown his business on average between 200 to $250,000 a year for four years. His greatest year in terms of new business was in the arena of about $250,000, but he also struggled at home with relationships because the debt was piling up as he was growing and scaling his business. There were all these different components. He started to become this person that he wasn’t at the core. 


We went through, and we started to unpack, and this person was significantly impacted by shame.  From the time he was brought up to the current day, he was in a shame-based world. He also happened to be in a sort of shame-based culture that only triggered that pattern, limiting him from getting to where he wanted to be. We had to go through, calibrate with who he was,  get clarity on what that looks like, and recognize that everything else is noise. We can focus on what he could control and align himself back to who he was and how he interacts with clients, prospects, friends, spouse, and kids. I’ve worked with him for about a year.  


Again, his greatest year ever was 250,000. Last year, his fiscal year-end close at about 850. Fast forward to today, seven months into his fiscal year, he’s at $1.4 million. He had a two-month string that he generated $450,000 in his business. He superseded an entire fiscal year before in his new business generation in two months. He also has a better marriage and better relationship with his kids. He’s feeling holistically good. He was what was standing in his way of success. And once we got that block out of the way, the guy’s soaring and happy as can be. 


Now we’re taking it to a whole other level because we had to fix the short-term intermittent things that need to be fixed. We’re building a system around him that can be sustainable and a business generation that will feed him for years to come based on who he is and how he builds relationships. People like him and trust him so much. If he just shows in, builds relationships, and adds value, they’re going to buy; they always do. That was the fundamental shift. He felt like he had to sell to grow based on the model that he was in. Now he’s free from that because he realizes he can align with who he is and have even a greater amount of success. 


The Mastermind Effect:  32:07

I giggled when you talk the financial thing, and I smiled, and my eyes lit up. But the thing that stood out to me right there is his relationship with his wife, his children, the people around him, and then himself because that’s what allowed him to go to that financial part. Again, the monetary portion is a byproduct of fixing everything else right there.


Brian Bogert:  32:34

That’s exactly right.


The Mastermind Effect:  32:36

When it comes to sales, you hit it right on on the head. You can be good at sales and not sell anything. If you have something to offer that people need, you bring it to them; it helps solve a problem and helps what they need. You don’t have to sell a thing. 


Brian Bogert:  33:10

He’s not suffering from the stress and anxiety that he was a year and a half ago before we started working together.  He’s not feeling the pressure of being something that he’s not.  He gets to live authentically as who he is. He feels the most stable and has more business success than ever. When we talk about how these things weave together, it is a holistic approach. When people are like, “Oh, are you a business coach?” Well, that’s part of what we do. We have business strategies, tactics, and things that happen. If we calibrate to the person, it’s a holistic, integrated approach to how do we build a better life?


The Mastermind Effect:  33:46

It depends. You just set it right there. If we calibrate to the person, you’re not saying, “Hey, here’s a one size fits all.” I see where you’re at, where you want to go because we can only fix things if we know where you’re at. 

[34:01 – 44:25] Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:

In solo shows,  I talk about success, the pillars of success, and what it takes to be successful. There are many different things like mentorship, coaching, partnerships, experimentation, willingness to fail, and the same coin willingness to succeed. When you define success, you’ve defined failure. What do you think is a key factor in being successful?


Brian Bogert:  34:26

Understanding your own definition of success is all that matters. Most people define success based on how the world and media culture define success. Define success how it means to you, and then calibrate your life accordingly. 


I work with high performers, people who do make a lot of money, typically, who’ve had levels of success. Still, I’ve also worked with people who have significantly less, and their definition of success aligns with their lifestyle, what they want, and how they build it. We have to start there. How do you define success? What does this mean to you, and then how do we build a life around you that aligns with your definition of success? Because at the end of the day, that’s all that matters?


The Mastermind Effect:  35:04

That’s short but impactful. It’s defining your own success. When you work with your clients, they come out of this, and they’re changed people. But a lot of people, when they work with other people,  could be in the medical field or politics, they transfer the risk. A politician will send someone off to war, but they won’t send their own child. A doctor will prescribe you a pill uphill, but they won’t give it to their own family member. They’re transferring that risk from one person to the other. How do you keep yourself from transferring the risk when working with your client?


Brian Bogert:  35:48

That is a great question. I’ve never actually even thought about it, but it seems like it’s going to be a natural answer for me. I typically will never suggest and give recommendations or structure for someone to do something unless I would do it myself. One of the best things I’ve loved about coaching is it is impossible for me to sit across the table from somebody that I’m coaching, having a conversation about their blocks, different shifts, different changes, and not having the mirror directly reflected back on myself. When that mirror reflects back on myself, I’m telling somebody something that I know I’m failing at; it also prompts me and motivates me to fix those things myself.  I legitimately will not recommend somebody do anything unless I would do it myself or have done it myself. 


The Mastermind Effect:  36:57

I feel there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. When the world is good and times are good, it’s easy to be successful and win. Ingenuity and innovation come when we feel the squeeze, and the world has been feeling the squeeze. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Brian Bogert:  37:28

I have a few things, but I’ll speak to one specifically that I had zero exposure to a year ago. It’s the podcasting world. I completely devalued podcasts pre – COVID.  When COVID hit, and live stages dried up overnight. It was like, “What do I do? How do I pivot?” One of the first things I realized is that life is about showing up and how you show up. I invested significantly in my technology, the lighting, the sound, the camera quality, and the screen. That led me to dabble in this podcast world, and I reached out to 10 to 12 of them. It has created this insane momentum where I’ve been on, and I think 130 or 140 in the last six months. What that’s led to is the ability to have hyperspeed, from getting access to people I usually wouldn’t have had access to as well as meeting people all across the globe as we’re embracing this virtual world with very little friction so that I can meet as many people as possible. 


It led me to my belief that there’s a gap in the podcasting space. There’s a lot of competition in the space. 98% of the podcast never gets over five episodes or 100 downloads. Many people start and stop because they don’t know how, where or what to do. The reality is you don’t necessarily have to pay somebody always to do that. What we thought was lacking, I say we because I stumbled in these last six to nine months; I was on three different podcasts with three different co-hosts, who all have different experience and skillsets. And this idea got incubated.


We’ve now come together to collaborate on this, and we’re in the process of establishing a podcaster community. It’s a community to bring podcasts together to focus on that community collaboration and collective impact. There will always be a free option. Suppose we’ve got people who’ve got a message that the world needs to hear. Can we bring a collective group of impact mission-driven podcasters together to amplify all of their voices? We can teach people along the way, and we can do it for them in certain situations. We will never own audio, but we know how to use video content very effectively to help grow, scale, and monetize listenership and sponsorships. Can we teach people?  Because collective impact is what everything is about. We bring like-minded individuals together to have a greater impact on the world.


We went live yesterday, and we already have our 51st shows in the pilot group. By February 1, we’ve got phase two launching. We’ve got a goal to get over 1000 shows on this platform by the end of the year. We’ve got a video and radio audio-only network that we’re going to have people be able to go live on.  As well as trade shows, learn how to land guests, and a whole variety of things that you can get in courses in masterminds, but not all of it together. We’re bringing the first 50 podcasters who are all established, and they’re going to help us break the system so that we can learn, refine, and add the most amount of value on the back end.


Again, there will always be a free option to be a part of the community because community coming together is how we have a collective impact on this world. I’m on a mission to impact a billion lives. This is one vehicle that has a profound and massive impact. But I’m super excited about it, as you can tell.


The Mastermind Effect:  40:59

I’m excited just to be a part of it, learn more about it, and be part of that movement to help move that needle. Last one, what is a tip, a tactic, an actual item, that if someone listening today implemented this over the next 30, 60, 90 days, they’d see a real impact on their personal or business life?


Brian Bogert:  41:18

It’s around awareness. Our minds process 11 million bits of information, but we’re only consciously aware of about 40. That tells us that we’re largely led by the unconscious. Until you go through a systematic process of moving the unconscious to the conscious and the unaware to aware, it’s going to feel like life is happening to you like its fate.  Like you have no influence or control over your destiny and where you want your life to go or your business to go.


The very first step, I’m going to tell people, and this is a very actionable tool. I want people to make two lists, write them down one. The first list is the things, people, situations, businesses, and activities that I have today, give me energy, give me joy, give me freedom, give me the fulfillment that fills up my energy bucket makes me feel good. The secondary list is what drains my energy, what doesn’t fulfill me, what gives me stress, anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, and anything on the negative spectrum of emotions. 


I want very clearly on this list. Start to incrementally from a place of awareness, move things off this list, eliminate them from your life, or shift them over to the positive side. That simple act of being aware and intentional with the things in your life that make you feel most authentically will have an impact overnight in your business and your life. If you need more help beyond that, we’re here to help you give more structure, clarity, and dynamics. That’s something people can implement today.


The Mastermind Effect:  42:39

That’s such an easy thing. I even talked to a business partner, and I just got friction. They’re like, “This won’t do me any good.” I recognize that right away. But the impact and when you actually see it, pen to paper, it’s like you’ve digested it, you’ve chewed it, and you’ve owned it. Now, you can start making the change if they have someone like you. You’re there to help get them out of their way. Some of the simplest things are the hardest for us, as humans, to actually do.


Brian Bogert:  43:15

I agree. Ideas without action are just ideas. If I give you this, apply it, and you’ll see a difference. I’m going to say take a leap of faith and trust me on this one. I promise you’ll see a difference. 


The Mastermind Effect:  43:27

Brian, you’ve given us so much today. I’ve learned a lot, and I’m looking forward to re-listening this episode. Again, I appreciate everything that you’ve done. We’ve got the founder of Brian Bogert Companies, Brian Bogert. Thank you.


Brian Bogert:  43:48

You make me sound way cooler than I actually am. I’m grateful for people like you who have built platforms to go to the world that allowed me the opportunity to come to speak to your audience. 

Tweetable Quotes:

“The only difference between who you are today and who you’ll be 5 years from now, is the people that you meet and the books that you read.” – Brian Bogert

“People are celebrated in public for what they practiced in private for years.” – Brian Bogert

“You can only fix things if you know where you’re at.” – Brian Bogert

“Define success as to how it means to you, and calibrate your life accordingly.” – Brian Bogert

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Brian on Linkedin, Instagram, or visit https://brianbogert.com/

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

089: John Paragon | Investing More in Coaches and Self-Education to Shape Your Future

Today, we’ve got the founder of 30 Days to Profit, John Paragon. He talks about how to offer a path through self-education to help shape the future.  John explains why he invests more in his coaches today than he made at his first nine to five job and why he only teaches what he’s currently doing to help mitigate his client’s risk. Check it out!

[02:22 – 14:23] John’s learning journey and masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:09

Let’s dive into it. When you and I were younger, the ways we learned and took in the information drastically changed over the last five to 10 years. When we’re younger, they were textbooks, teachers, friends, family, and our co-workers, but it’s a sliver of what’s possible out there. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?

John Paragon:  02:44

The Dunning Kruger effect is something that sprung to mind. When American researchers came to understand why people have limited knowledge in the subject, they seem to think they have huge knowledge. Whereas people who have a high level of knowledge in a particular subject come to realize they don’t know much. My point on this is, the more I learn, the more I’ve come to realize I don’t know all of our grand scheme of things.

When it comes to business, everything I learned, I  realize there’s another thing I don’t know. We don’t know what we don’t know. I’m always open to learning, and it’s a very big world out there. When it comes to business, it is a very complicated topic, and there are lots of pieces to it. I’ve had to force myself to be open to learning new pieces, every possible opportunity. One of the biggest help is connecting with other people. Understanding certain people specialize in different areas and no longer try to understand every single area, being the jack of all trades. Once upon a time, that was me. I built my own websites, designed my own business cards, created my own logos, did my own customer service, did my own market, and did my own Facebook ads. I had to learn not to do that and let go and accept that I need to hire the best people to do that for me. That’s one of the big lessons I’ve learned when running a business. As a kid, it was different. I was always brought up with the intention that if you lacked in one area, you have to focus on that and be average at everything rather than embrace areas that you aren’t good at and become the master of that. It was a case of just become an average of everything. I had to adapt over the years.



The Mastermind Effect:  04:26

Jack of all trades, master of none. How much are you holding yourself back by not getting a coach to help direct that, or by not surrounding yourself with the people? You’re like, “Well, I can’t afford to get a coach. I can’t afford to get someone to run my Facebook ads.” What does it cost you not to get that coach? What does it cost you not to get that right person now?  Could you get burnt along the way? Yes, but you learn by surrounding yourself and replacing the wrong people in your life with the right people.

John Paragon:  05:11

I’ve gone through a good few teams of customer service advisors and development teams throughout my business career. It’s very hard to find the right people throughout your journey. You’re going to make some mistakes, and you’re going to get burned. There are going to be obstacles and speed bumps. There will be things in your way that will slow you down. There’s going to be some pain, and the pain will be your greatest teacher as long as you are open to learning from it. There’s always something you can take away from every situation.

Some people say everything happens for a reason. I understand the logic behind that. It doesn’t quite sit well with me. I prefer the idea that there’s something good to take away from every situation. Everything that happens, there is always something to take away from it. Good or bad. If you are getting burned throughout your business creation or struggling with things, there’s always something to take away from it.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:09

You need to learn from those moments. Those are teachable moments that if you choose to continue to make the same mistake, at a certain point, you got to look internally and be like, “It’s me; it’s not everybody else.”

Talking about you and how you take in information. I think we have more access to information and people. It’s overwhelming and a little confusing at the end of the day how you go through those weeds. Some people look for an accountability buddy, a mentor, a mastermind coach, an online course, and lots of ways to learn and take in information. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?

John Paragon:  06:52

I have a business coach, and my business coach has five different coaches. He has a relationship coach, health coach, business coach, and mindset Coach. My health coach gives me guidance on exercise because I don’t like to exercise, but I know how much I need it. It has a huge impact on my productivity on my business, and my mental clarity. It took me a long time to realize this; this was a very painful lesson I wish I had started sooner. I’m soon to bring on a relationship coach to help communicate things in the family with children. If I’m going to find something frustrating, I can bring it to the relationship coach specializing in different areas.

It’s been a huge deal for me to bring on coaches that have already achieved what I want to achieve to help me get to that point. I spent many years choosing. This was back when I decided to be the jack of all trades, the master of none. I chose not to hire a coach because all I could see was in the short term, that’s going to cost me X amount of pounds or dollars. I couldn’t measure what the returns would be on that investment in a long time. For me, it didn’t seem a worthy risk. But now, I cannot comprehend the idea of not having a business coach. There are so many things that happen on a day-to-day basis to have someone around you who you can bounce ideas around with, you can brainstorm, and you can figure out ways to overcome obstacles. Ideally, if that someone has already overcome those obstacles, they can tell you the quickest way to do it. They often save you a tremendous amount of money. They almost guaranteed to save you a tremendous amount of time. There’s no quicker way to get the results you want to achieve than finding someone else who has already achieved it and asking them how they did it. Learning to do it yourself can take a ridiculous amount of time.

For example, I do quite a bit of racing. If I want to reach a certain level, the quickest way to improve my lap times or my championship results is finding someone who is consistently coming first and speaking to them and spending some time with them. Ask them how they’re doing it and what they are doing differently that I’m not. Or I can spend my time on the track racing, and hopefully, I’ll pick up some pieces over the space of five years. It will be much cheaper and quicker for me to ask the person who is consistently winning how he does it. He can teach me, and I can eventually get to that level. That’s the plan.

The Mastermind Effect:  09:17

I love how you described where you’re at where you want to go. The quickest way to get there was inserting the right coach or mentor in your life who’s doing it and has done it. Number one and saying, “I need help,” because the cost not to do that will be stepping in a landmine. You won’t be able to see around that corner.  These people have done it and are doing it from what it sounds like they’re still in the trenches with you.

John Paragon:  09:48

One of my biggest tips on that particular subject is finding someone who will work with the “done with you” model, which is a course that works with you. There is “done by you,” which basically “here is a course and some modules, you learn from that go do your thing, thank you very much for your money, have a good day, I wish you the best.” Then you’ve got “done with you,” where you have a coach that spends time with you, possibly one-on-one in an ideal scenario. It can cost a little bit more, but one on one does work tremendously well. Then you’ve got “done for you,” which you see sometimes depends on what the model is. It’s basically a coach or a team that will come in and does things actually for you. You’re outsourcing work to different people,

I prefer the “done with you” model. My coach works with me pretty closely, and I work pretty closely with my clients. My clients have me on WhatsApp, and they connect with me as many times as they need because there are random things that pop up on a day-to-day basis specific to their business. There’ll be a specific problem that needs a specific solution. Most of the time, I have already overcome this particular problem, and if I haven’t, I have the resources and network around me to figure out a solution pretty quickly, which is why I give them that support. They know they can come to me at any time. Then we do the weekly stuff anyway. We’d dig down deep into their business and move the business forward.



The Mastermind Effect:  11:09

I love how you put that together the “done by you,” the “done with you,” or the “done for you.” Depending on who you are, each of them could work. I fall in the middle; I like the done with you. Then there are times you need to outsource the “done for you.” Each one has its different price point and speaks to a different person.

A lot of people get stuck. You were talking about this, their weekly thing, they WhatsApp you. They get stuck on how to execute what’s in their head, and we’re still going through a pandemic. No matter where you’re at in the world, we’re still going through this. I think it’s causing a reset and how we’re able to accomplish things and do things differently. How has masterminds and coaching helps you when you’re looking to reset and get unstuck when working with your clients or working with your coaches?

John Paragon:  11:58

My biggest issue when I get unstuck was a repeat offender, and it comes out of a lack of clarity. That was my biggest reason for being stuck in any particular situation. I can’t overcome an obstacle because of a lack of clarity on the direction that I’m heading or aiming for. If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s incredibly hard to reach your destination. You cannot just drive to the end of the street, close your eyes, and driving around the direction; you’re never going to get to the place you want to go. I am one of those people. I’m in the new age where I don’t remember any direction I go. It just goes into Sat Nav, and I follow the setup. My Sat Nav is my destination coach, and he tells me where to go exactly. He tells me when there’s an issue, and it helps me overcome that before I get there. Of course, there are things that pop up along the way, and I have to figure out that way around. I’m all for the analogies, but that’s the best way for me to explain it.

When I am stuck, it’s down to a lack of clarity. A coach is there to help me see from another perspective on what’s happening because sometimes there’s something deeper that’s happening within you. When you’ve got someone from an outside perspective that can analyze what you are doing, there are some incredible insights. I am blessed enough to have an amazing coach. I spend an absolute fortune. I spend more now on my coach in the space of two or three months than I used to earn annually per year at my last nine to five. I spend a tremendous amount of money now. I understand that money that I spend saves me tremendous amounts of money and time. It’s earning me money because I can provide more value to my clients. What I learned from him, I can pass on to my clients, and I give them tremendous value without too.

The Mastermind Effect:  13:53

That’s it’s so true. When you realize it’s not a cost, it’s an investment. People look at investments like the stock market or the housing market. They leave out the only one that they can control; the best investment in your life is yourself. You can control yourself. You can’t control the stock market no matter what country you’re in, and you can’t control the housing market. So, why not invest in yourself and know that when you do that, it’s the best investment you get your highest ROI (Return On Investment) out there.

[14:24 – 24:39] Self-Education and John’s Reality

The Mastermind Effect: 

Masterminds and coaching have been around for a long time. It started with the apostles, who probably the first mastermind out there. Then, Benjamin Franklin created the Leather Apron Club or the Judo Club. Napoleon Hill eventually writes a book called Think and Grow Rich, where he brings what masterminds are together. As there is a large boom in self-education versus traditional education, where do you see this going forward? Where do you see the parallels between traditional education versus self-education when people come and work with you?

John Paragon:  14:59

I’m waiting for the entire school system to change. I don’t think the old-fashioned methods of learning work too much anymore. Eventually, one of my big goals is to offer an alternative path to education for young people.  Teach them some of the things you probably should know in the real world and don’t learn at school. The direction we’re heading now with education is changing drastically. People have realized there’s we can live in the information age now. There’s a lot of information out there, way more than we can comprehend. People want to improve their situation. People want to learn, want to better themselves, and know the information out there. They are looking for various strategies to receive that information. Many people are looking for various strategies to deliver that information as well.

The way we learn now is changing dramatically. I’m not a fan of the old-school textbook style. There’s that scene where by the time you’ve learned something at school through a textbook or the time you finish school, what you’ve learned is no longer relevant. Because the time it takes to get into the textbook, that strategy has already passed. You have to keep up to date with the modern age.

The Mastermind Effect:  16:15

The stuff you’re throwing out there is what I continue to talk about and believe in. The type of people I continue to surround myself with are thinkers like that. It’s not that you think outside the box; you just don’t live in a world where there is a box around you.  You see a problem, and you want to solve it. You want to make a change, want to have it for purpose, and help other people move that needle based on what you’re paying to learn and then what they’re paying to learn. The trickle effect right there. The pebble in the pond effect and can’t even be measured.

Typically, when someone invests in their future, they have a better than a vague idea of what they’re going to get. They have an expectation of what the outcome is going to be. What should someone expect when they enter your reality and work with you?

John Paragon:  17:08

The ultimate goal is to take from wherever they are at the moment. We give 30 days to put together a plan that takes their business to a higher profit level. A large portion of my clients is in businesses struggling when they came to me, not currently. They’re struggling with that business, and they know there is potential to take it to the next level. Other clients already have a reasonable income, are comfortable, and want to take it to the next and achieve more. I do encourage them. As they achieve more, they now have the opportunity to be able to give more to other people, whether giving back to their families, giving back to charities, or giving back to all the people by teaching them what they know. I’m a huge fan of this.



The Mastermind Effect:  17:58

It’s beautiful. Because one of the things you said right there was, “I take them from where they’re currently at and where do they want to go.” We call that the bridge. You can’t know where you are supposed to go unless you know where you’re currently.


John Paragon:  18:30

Part of my coaching and as part of the “done with you,” the first step they go through, apart from that we have a one-hour consultation initially, you go through some basic modules you can get done within the space of a couple of hours. There are two questions I asked.  The first question is, “Where are you at now with your business?” And the next question is, “Where do you want to be?” Once we have these two, we have a good idea. And then, my job is to find the shortest, most efficient route to get to that end goal. I also asked them if there’s one thing I can help them with over the next 30 days; what would that be? It helps them open their minds a little bit to their biggest issue and their biggest struggle. I can figure this out for them. But it takes me a lot more time to analyze them: their business, their stats, and their income.  I can find flaws in their business plan. I can find potential solutions to take it to the next level. But if they can tell me what they think their biggest struggle is, that gives me something to work with from the offset.

Those two questions are huge in understanding where someone’s at and understand where they want to go to help take that direction.

The Mastermind Effect:  19:45

 All the people I’ve been fortunate to surround myself with over the last two years speak that same language. I want the listeners to know what John is saying right here, some of the most brilliant minds out there saying right now, and how he’s explaining how he works with new and how he does what he does. He resonates the same way that these other people believe how coaching and masterminds need to be done and as effective when it comes to working with him,

Talking about the people you’re working with, I feel that people have a way of surprising us and what they can accomplish, whether it’s their drive, willingness to learn, or whatever that is. Give us a success story of someone that’s been through your program or coaching platform and the outcome because they worked with you.

John Paragon:  20:37

It was back in August when we ran a five-day free challenge. Over the five days, I give the challenges, the basics of what I take them through. It was one task each day over the space of five days. There were 67 people in that group. By the end of the five days, the vast majority of them have either started their own business or had the kind of creative energy and inspiration to understand what they need to do next. They either started, or they have an idea about where to start. For something that was a free challenge, for me, that gave me so much pride and pleasure to know that I can give away free value that didn’t take much time of mine at all and to be able to give them these tasks each day. It took a bit of time to set up this challenge, but it was incredibly easy throughout the week. It was a whole lot of fun for them to go away and start their businesses. It was tremendous.

Two of the guys go go-karting with me on occasion. We talk about business stuff, but for the most part, when I’m racing, I keep the business world separate. They join the challenge. One of them went and started his own business. He’s now a vehicle performance specialist. He helps people improve the performance of their vehicles and improve the economy of their vehicles. He likes to make cars go faster, that’s kind of very area he enjoys. Another one of the guys who joined the challenge started a dropshipping store. It’s for selling helmets, suits, or boots. That’s something he can invest minimal time in each week or each month, and he gets a nice little income from it.

There were tons of people and tons of stories like this. A good few of the people reached out to me for one-to-one coaching, which we did. These trophies are from some of my clients that achieve their first 100k from what they learned from me. To teach someone in August to go through a free challenge, which then led to him asking for more one-to-one coaching to then go and make his first 100k, which is three times as much as his nine to five job for about a year, gives me so much pride. It’s validation that what I do works.  It gives me the inspiration to continue doing what I do. I enjoy it anyway. It’s just a nice little bonus that other people are winning from it.

The Mastermind Effect:  23:17

You help them take their passion and their why and transform and take the steps you learned. Now, they’re either able to get out of their nine to five jobs and do something. I bet they got more time of their life back. I love that you sat there because we lead with the gift mentality on the mastermind effect podcast, with The Success Finder and my other companies. They’re going to give back more, whether it’s charitable time, family, and community. It’s important to have that for-purpose mentality.

John Paragon:  23:52

One of the biggest things people appreciate once they’ve put something successful together is the peace of mind that they have the security and whatever they are doing is working, and they’re moving forward. That gives tremendous peace of mind. It makes it easier to sleep, and you have so much energy throughout the day. It gives you the motivation to go and do bigger things. That was a huge deal for me, and I think it has been for my clients, too. A few people have approached me and told me that having that extra peace of mind has been huge for them.

[24:40 – 34:49] Creating Success

The Mastermind Effect:  24:38

We just talked about some successes. They’re amazing, beautiful successes—financial, personal, rewarding, and give back mentality. There’s a lot of things that it takes to be successful, and we talk about that on the solo shows—the pillars of success. You’ve got to be willing to have mentorship coaching, experimentation, partnership, willingness to fail, and willingness to succeed. You have to define success. The problem is that sometimes we don’t define success because now we’ve defined failure. What do you feel is a key pillar when it comes to being successful?

John Paragon:  26:07

The key ingredient to being successful is being open to learning, understanding that you’re going to make mistakes. There are going to be difficulties along the way. The mistakes are going to happen; embrace them and learn from them. I had this conversation with my boy yesterday, and he got himself in a little bit of trouble. I explained it’s okay to make mistakes, and these are your best opportunities to learn from them and use them going forward. You don’t make the same mistake. Each day, you are a better person, more successful, and more efficient. Embrace the things that will happen in the business, good or bad. That’s the only way to achieve success.

We’ve discussed the coaching options is a huge part. I’ve tried to think of every person I know who has the results I want to achieve or has hired coaches in the past or is working reasonably high. All of them have their own coaches. They have various coaches. All of the elite people or the top 1%  in the world that have achieved what we would measure as being successful didn’t get to that level just on their own, they have hired coaches, and along the way, they have achieved success by hiring people that know the most efficient way to get to that level. For example, Serena Williams, the tennis player, got her own fitness coaches, a health coach, got diet coaches, probably got her own mindset coaches, and may have her own relationship coaches. She has coaches to guide her and help her get the results she aims for.

You cannot reach the highest levels without guidance from other people and are surrounded by people with the same mindset that even if it’s just the bounce ideas around. Being around those people consistently, your brain works in a completely different way. I mean, if I go to a mastermind, compared to when I go camping or when I’m out with family for a family meal, my brain is working completely different in each of those three scenarios. As soon as I get to a mastermind, my brain is working on a higher level; people are talking about the things that I am passionate about and that I am interested in.  I come up with so many ideas. It gives so much energy and makes things so much clearer to move forward and achieve what you may deem as successful.

The Mastermind Effect:  28:31

It’s what you deem is successful. One person could look at it one way, and the other person could look at success completely differently.

When someone works with you and goes through your program and goes through your challenges, how do you keep transferring the risk to them? How do you show them that you’re not transferring risk to say, “Hey, I haven’t done this, but here you go, you go try it”?

John Paragon:  29:16

Every single client I’ve got when it comes to business, there are the fundamentals of running a business, which pretty much apply to most businesses. Some of my clients have a traditional offline business, and I help them find ways we take online, so I teach them things that I have done myself in the past and that I still do every day now. It gives them that extra confidence when they see me being transparent, and they can see I am teaching them things that I already know. I’ll give them examples of it throughout the course. My coach does the same when I’m learning something from my coach.

The Mastermind Effect:  30:13

As we’re getting closer to the end here, just a few more questions. I think there’s always new ideas brewing when there are times of prosperity. When the world is doing great, people can win. But I think ingenuity and creativity come out of times when we feel the squeeze. We’re almost going on a year of the world feeling some form of a squeeze. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months?

John Paragon:  30:41

The one thing that excites me the most is to kind of step into your shoes and start my podcast, which I’m hoping to do very, very soon. I’m currently refining the minor details of it before I get started. I’ve already got a nice little lineup of guests on the show, which I’m looking forward to. Three in some other side courses specific to particular niches, which I can’t share the details on at this point.  I do want to help specific industries with very specific coaching models. These are pretty much the two things that I’m excited about business-wise. For the day to day life, I’m hoping to get out of the house, which will be fantastic considering the current world situation. I’m grateful for just leaving the house these days.

The Mastermind Effect:  31:34

But we are looking forward to seeing what these courses and what you’re creating. Then, let us know when the podcast the name of it when it’s going to drop. That way, we can give it a listen and support it.

Finally, what is a tip, a tactic, or an actionable item that if anyone listening today implements that over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they can see a real impact on their personal or business life?

John Paragon:  32:11

For most people, they are offering some sort of product or service. Now I refer to either of these as a solution because every product or service we offer has to solve some of these problems. For example, I want to learn how to spin a basketball on my finger. It’s not a huge problem, but it’s a problem I have; I’m going to go on Google how to spin a basketball on my finger, somebody will offer a service providing the solution for that problem. If you figure out what your specific solution is, then figure out who is the perfect person who needs that specific solution, figures out where they are, and offer that solution. For example, if I wanted to offer a solution in helping people spin a basketball on their finger, I would find where these types of people are and where they would hang out online.

With the solutions that I offer,  I spent a lot of time helping “9 to 5” people discover an alternative path to start their first business and a business related to their passions, interests, hobbies, and talents. I have to find out where these types of people are online and offline. That makes it incredibly easy to find them and pitch my ideas. But more importantly, those people come to me. If you spend all of your time chasing the money and chasing clients, it can become frustrating. I’ve done that in the past, and I don’t do that anymore. I teach my clients not to do that. Figure out what your solution is, figure out who needs that solution now, decide where they are, and then find them.

The Mastermind Effect:  33:50

They’ll come to you because what you’re offering is solving a problem. You’re passionate about it, you have steps behind it, and you want to help them genuinely. John, I’ve learned so much today. And this is going to be a long relationship that I hope that we continue. Going on down the road to where I get to learn more about you, what you’re doing, and the people you’re helping. We’ve got the founder of 30 Days to Profit, John Paragon. Thank you so much for joining us today.

John Paragon:  34:20

Thanks very much, Brandon. It’s been a whole lot of fun.

Tweetable Quotes:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, it’s incredibly hard to reach our destination. You can’t just drive to the end of the street, close your eyes and drive in a direction. You’re never gonna get to the place you want to go.” – John Paragon

“There’s going to be some pain, and pain is going to be your greatest teacher. As long as you are open to learning from it, there’s always something you can take away from every situation.” – John Paragon

“With everything that happens, there’s always something to take away from it, good or bad.” – John Paragon

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with John on Linkedin. Visit https://www.paragon30.com/ and https://www.paragonhustle.com/

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

088: Michael O’Neal | The Solopreneur Hour: Embracing the Suck and Tips to Make Real Change

Today we’ve got the Founder of Launch Lab and Growth Lab. The host of the Solopreneur Hour Podcast that has over 10M downloads, Michael O’Neal. Originally from Ohio, he was a designer, creative director, and branding expert for over 15 years before he began podcasting.
In this episode, we get into why you should embrace the SUCK. Michael explains why podcasters and those putting out content have a real responsibility to anybody that’s listening and talking in their content. Michael also leaves us with two helpful tips and one of them will only take you 15 minutes a day to make real change. Check it out!

The Mastermind Effect:  02:59

Let’s dive into what we’re here for. Our ability to learn in the last 10 to 15 years has changed.  When you and I were younger, they were teachers, textbooks, family, friends, or co-workers and people around us, but it’s a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Michael O’Neal 03:16

It’s much lazier back in the day than I am now. There was some point where I realized that you don’t get to do anything if you don’t put some sort of effort into learning yourself. The downside is that often, we take course after course, and we go to event after event. We think that’s what we need to be doing, and there is an ROI point where you go. You got to launch the thing that you’re working on.

I have a more visceral experience with it now. I’m working on a car, and I’m doing much stuff on this vintage car that I’ve never done before. It’s all first-time stuff. I’m doing a YouTube episode of all these, but I’m putting 25 hours per episode into this YouTube channel. Twelve hours is study and learning. It’s going to YouTube, forums, and message boards. It’s reading whatever I need to read so that when I’m on camera, I have some idea what I’m doing. I think that there’s a constant need to learn and expand.

I attribute a lot of that to being a musician and embracing the “suck.” I’m a drummer, and I’ll watch some cool drum lick on YouTube. I’ll try and sit down. It’s a train wreck. I can’t do any of it. I’m a very good drummer. I’ve played for a long time and can play most stuff. It’s hilarious how you sit down, and the motors are just four different things, and they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. But 15 minutes later, it’s common. It fascinates me every single time that you sit down and start playing something. It’s so much more visceral than what we have to do as entrepreneurs. We don’t get feedback as quickly. I think that is the second quickest feedback, the first being stand-up comedy if it’s good or not. Learning something on the drums takes me a while. Still, to embrace the suck of the moment and understand that I’m not going to be very good at this at the beginning. It’s going to take me a while is the most important lesson to learn as a burgeoning entrepreneur.

The Mastermind Effect:  05:57

I love what you just said right there as embrace the suck. I hadn’t thought about it that way. That reminds me of the grunt work. People sit there, and they don’t want to do the grunt work. They don’t want to do all the work and.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:27

When it comes to your passion, because you play in bands, to learn how that drumbeat goes, you’re still spending all this time just to get it right. You’re not discouraged when you couldn’t get it the first five times. I think that’s where a lot of entrepreneurs.

Michael O’Neal 06:46

It’s accepted. It’s part of it, and 50% of it is accepting that. For the full context of that YouTube channel, I started last October. A year and a couple of months old is when I started paying attention to it, but I didn’t even start doing anything until March. It’s still a grind. I worked with a guy the other day who came over to help me with something, and I told him  I don’t make any money with this. He goes, “Well, I don’t believe that.”  I showed him my income from all these little Google AdWords, and it was like $734, or something over a year. I’ve spent at least 30 on this channel to build all the stuff I’m doing. Understanding that when you launch a thing, do a thing, trying to learn a thing, or change your career or whatever, it’s going to take a while. It’s mostly not going to work the way you plan it. The beauty here is to understand that you’re going to suck at this. You’re going to suck at your new podcast, YouTube channel, blogger, social media account, or whatever for a while. And that’s okay because everybody does and that’s so you got to go. I’m going to embrace this, and I’m going to keep working on and plugging away.

The Mastermind Effect:  08:15

We’re going to get into why embracing the suck is okay. If you surround yourself with the right people, we’ll get into here shortly. It can help expedite that process. Moving forward, we have more ways of taking in information than ever before, and to me, it can get confusing. Some people look for a mentor, accountability buddies, masterminds, online courses, and YouTube University. Who are you currently learning from?  How did you connect with them?

Michael O’Neal 08:45

YouTube has been my teacher because of the environment we’re in now. It’s harder to do anything in person, which would be required for some of the car stuff I’m doing. It would be great to have some master craftsman who could help me. But right now, 90% of my media consumption is YouTube. People like to watch people do things right now. Personally, most of my media consumption is on YouTube with very specific searches. I’m up for hours and hours, and sometimes it’s three in the morning, and I’m still like, “Oh, I should be doing it like this.”

The Mastermind Effect:  09:53

A lot of people get stuck, and they don’t know how to execute what’s in their heads. As we’re still going through a pandemic, which we’ve touched on a little bit, I feel that it’s causing a reset and how we can accomplish things. How has masterminds or coaching helps you reset when you want to move the needle and move forward?

Michael O’Neal 10:16

For validation reasons, you start having a conversation with somebody that has done this and been there before, and you don’t feel so isolated. You don’t feel like you’re the crazy one.  The real key to moving forward has that external person.

One of the other things I’ve started doing during the pandemic is play pickleball, like mini tennis. It’s a very interesting and fun game. I’ve been a lifetime tennis player and 10 or 12 years very competitive right indoor racquetball player. When I found this, I wanted to get good quickly. I didn’t want to mess around, so the first thing I did is found a coach. He was the right kind of coach because I need a drill sergeant kind of coach. That’s maybe one of the real techniques; you got to find a coach you can relate to in the way you like to learn. I used to teach women’s mountain bike clinics, and they learn differently from men. One of the greatest lessons is when working with someone in any capacity, whether it’s like a group mastermind, or private coaching, online, or whatever, don’t take it personally. If you’re paying somebody, their job is to make you better at the thing you’ve hired them for. Their job is not to make you feel better about yourself unless that’s what you’ve hired them for. When I do my coaching, I tell my potential clients that I’m a “lettuce in your teeth” kind of coach. I will tell you if you have lettuce in your teeth. If you need me to check in with you and say, “Hey, do you mind if I am checking with you on that last thing you did? ” That’s not how I am at all and nor what I want anybody to be like that personally.

[12:49 – 28:37] Self-Education, The Solopreneur hour, The Responsibilities of Podcasters

The Mastermind Effect:  12:47

Masterminds have been around for a long time. Probably the first one was the apostles. Then, Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo club or the leather apron club. Napoleon Hill defines it in his book. With this large boom of self-education, where do you see the parallels between self-education and standard education going forward?

Michael O’Neal 13:09

Most people would have no idea spending $750 for a local community college class. Still, they have a problem wondering why something is so expensive that’s super-specific than what they’re doing. There’s a weird little disconnect there that I don’t think we’re over yet. I would have answered this question differently pre-pandemic than I do now. People are much more understanding of remote learning and that kind of world now than they were a year ago. Combine that with the fact that masterminds are trending, and they have been for like two or three years.

Online marketers and entrepreneurs will get better at creating a curriculum that has built-in accountability. The hardest part of doing a mastermind of some sort is having actual tested accountability because they have that in high school and college. They have ways that a student can be tested on what they’ve learned and what their progress is. Far too few masterminds have any metric to track progress other than bottom-line money. And that’s not always the biggest growth factor when someone starts working with a coach. With some of my private coaching clients, we can be very tactical one week, and then the next week, I’m talking him off the ledge from a personal development standpoint. It just matters where they are on the journey.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:53

It’s important what you just said right there: we’ll spend $750 to take a class on the history of sports and get our three credit hours versus spending $1,000 to invest in the most important investment for yourself. You can control the return on investment in yourself and the person such as yourself if they come to you, and they say, “Hey, I want to launch a podcast.” You’re going to give them the tools and the steps if they implement that to actually launch a successful podcast. They’re specifically coming to make a change, not learn about the history of sports.

Michael O’Neal 15:36

It’s very targeted, and we’ve got a real opportunity. Again, we’re seeing this now, like, I could go to my local Guitar Center and get a drum instructor who’s probably fine and very competent player, or I can go to YouTube, and I can hire Dave Weckl, who’s one of the best drummers in the world, and get lessons from him. Now that a lot of people are getting used to working remotely, there’s a lot of opportunities to learn whatever craft you want from some of the best people in the world at that craft. And that’s reality.

The Mastermind Effect:  16:20

Don’t take it because you didn’t start today or tomorrow like I can’t ever catch up. It’s not about catching up. It’s about actually taking that first step, reaching out to that person, and saying you need help. They can take you in that direction. Don’t look at someone else’s success and say, “Why am I not there?”

Michael O’Neal 16:38

In 1990, I saw a band called Three Swell Joe’s near the University of Delaware. I went up to the drummer and asked if he can you teach any lessons, and he said yes. It turned out that he was the percussion instructor at the University of Delaware. He did something in that little first lesson that changed my whole universe, and I’ve never looked back. The reason why I started playing drums was that guy. And without asking if he did it, maybe I would never have seriously started playing.  So, you have to ask.

The Mastermind Effect:  17:14

The important lesson that we can all take in no matter what age we are is just ask. What’s the worst they’re going to say? No.

Michael O’Neal 17:21

I would say it’s pretty rare for somebody,  that’s unless someone is super famous or at the top of their game, that they don’t have some methodology.  Even famous musicians, a lot of them in their hometown, teach regular lessons because the music business is really hard. It’s really hard to be a multimillionaire as a musician. They’re all looking to make a little bit of cash out. Again, I don’t want to keep this music-centric.

If you’ve got a specific skill that you’re trying to do a mastermind or something like that, reach out to some of these coaches or people that are like successful entrepreneurs, and you buy him a cup of coffee or something. It’s worth asking, “Hey, do you do any sort of coaching.” The downside to all that is, the higher up the food chain you go, the less access you have to a lot of these people. Some of them have automated a lot of the stuff they like to teach, but I feel like you should have one-on-one interaction with them if you’re going to pay good money.

The Mastermind Effect:  18:33

I wholeheartedly agree. Typically, when people invest in their future, they have a better than a vague idea of what the outcome is going to be. They expect that if they listen to what you’re doing, “x y&z” could happen. What should people expect when they enter Michael’s reality?

Michael O’Neal 18:53

I have a very broad knowledge of marketing and branding. That was my job for 15 years. I was a creative director and a branding guy. I’m very good at putting people on the map. If they want to launch a thing, I’m very good at helping them identify their essence, putting them on the map to the right people, identifying who those people are, which platforms they should be on, and how to execute on that platform. That is my bailiwick.

Can I get super specific about things? No, but sometimes it depends, and I feel like I’ve specialized in being a generalist, which has suited me very well. Not only personally but from a coaching standpoint. I have a good buddy who was a professional snowboarder, and he won X Games medals. He’s an awful snowboarding coach. He’s terrible at it. I am nowhere near as good as he is on a snowboard. I am 100 times better than him at coaching how to snowboard. I think it matters that someone can articulate the next step and that they’re able to recognize the potential pitfalls and keep enough blinders on you so that the client doesn’t get overwhelmed. That’s the part that gets really complicated.

I do a lot of podcast launches for people. If I listed out all the stuff that someone has to do to launch a podcast, it’s crazy. By the time you think about the gear and the editing, you need a website. There are hosting and RSS feeds. Then you have to be a decent broadcaster and learn that side. It’s like five different completely disparate skill sets that you have to put together into this one thing. It’s a lot of work. But to give a new podcast launch client all that info, they wouldn’t ever make a show. So we start with, ” Well, What are you going to talk about?” Let’s keep some blinders on, and then I progress them through eight weeks of all the stuff you have to do. This is probably relatively fresh for you. Could you believe how much stuff was involved in this?

The Mastermind Effect:  21:26

I could because I have dealt with video editing, and I understand the things behind it. But when I saw what the list was and knew it would be large, I just sat there and knew I would pay more to have someone else do it. It was going to expedite the process. It would put me at the front of the line, and I would have less anxiety and less to worry about. So why not pay to have the professionals set all this stuff up, get you to the best possible outcome, and then launch it? It will cost you money, but it’s a lot better than enabling the suck through that process.

Michael O’Neal 21:55

This is performance-related and media-related, so you have a responsibility as a broadcaster that you have to understand. I don’t think that enough podcasters understand that there’s a responsibility that comes with it. I just got an email today from a guy. I do a hobby show called beginner audio file, which is all about high-end audio stuff. This guy writes me, and Skype dropped four grand on audio gear because of stuff we talked about on the podcast. Suppose I trade this thing casually, and I don’t take responsibility for the words I say on this show. In that case, I am being irresponsible to the people that are tuning in because they’re sometimes making financial decisions. And for many people who do like entrepreneurial shows and self-help, they’re making life decisions. You have to understand that there’s a responsibility, whether you’re podcasts, doing a YouTube channel, doing a mastermind, or something like that. People are paying me real money. I make my pricing enough that it hurts if you don’t do what I’m suggesting.

The Mastermind Effect:  23:24

That’s one of my big takeaways. I always accepted and just thought that was a given. But how many people out there and making life decisions, financial decisions, or personal intimate decisions based on what’s being said on your audio podcast or your YouTube channel.

Michael O’Neal 24:05

When you’re helping somebody launch a show, that to me, it’s one of the most important pieces that almost nobody talks about. It used to be that you would have to go to school for four years to earn a microphone to talk to somebody, and you had to have a broadcasting degree. That was how that worked. Now, you can buy a $69 mic on Amazon, and you got a podcast. It’s a little crazy.

One of the first videos I did for my Rennch YouTube channel, this pretty new company sent me a $5,000 electric air conditioning set up for my vintage car, and it perfectly fits. I only had about 1,300 subscribers back then, but I had a good track record. I had a very popular podcast. I know a lot about marketing and design. He sent one over, and I do a five or six-part video series on installing this thing. Then, he sold 22 of them from my videos at $5,000 each. That’s like 120 grand or 110 grand of sales for a $2500 investment on his part. I have had a couple of people who have reached out to me and asked for help.  That’s my responsibility, and I took that on. We have to understand that when we’re putting content out into the world, however we’re doing it, there’s a responsibility that goes along.

The Mastermind Effect:  25:46

Speaking of the people who work with you, I feel that they have a way of surprising you, whether it’s their drive or their willingness to learn. Has anyone who has gone through your coaching or your mastermind surprised you because of them sitting there saying that I’m going to take that investment, I’m going to invest in myself, and I’m going to work with Michael O’Neal? Give us a success story of one of your clients?

Michael O’Neal 26:11

Our mutual friend and the guy that introduced us, Chris Lukey.  If they could all be him from a coaching standpoint. He was so prepared every week; he was like, “I want to do this thing. I don’t know how to do it.  You know how to do this.” He had questions every week. We would do our call, and he would execute everything we talked about. He always had notes. He had a clear vision, and he would do the things we talked about. We made incredible progress. He was the perfect client because he did everything I asked and pushed back when needed. He has always pushed me as a coach. It challenged me to translate the information I had, bring it, and pour it over to how he could use it. In that case, it was challenging, but it was great.

There are a lot of people, and you can tell right away, if you’ve done this enough, just by sort of exploratory call or however you connect with someone originally, you can tell if they’re going to be coachable or not. I’m working with someone right now on a podcast that isn’t very coachable, and the podcast will suffer because of it. You want to be coachable, and not everybody is

[28:38 – 47:50] Creating Success and Tips to Take to Make Real Change

The Mastermind Effect:  28:38

We’re getting closer to the end here—just a few more questions. When I worked with my coach, we talked about success and what it takes to be successful. And then, on the solo shows, we talk about success. I feel mentorship, experimentation, partnerships, willingness to succeed, and willingness to fail are ingredients of success. If you define success, you, in essence, are defining failure. What do you feel is a key ingredient in being successful?

Michael O’Neal 29:16

I don’t think there’s anything more important than patience. Patience is 90% of the game. Understanding that A, that you’re not going to be as good when you begin as you think, and B, it’s going to take way longer than you think it will. The people you admire, the authors you read, and the people you go to a conference and walking around on stage, they’re almost universally overnight ten-year successes. Patience is probably the number one thing I can offer.

Often when you’re saying, “okay, I want to make a coaching business and make $100,000 a year.” That’s 200 people paying $500 or 200 payments of $500 period. You have to figure out how that works and how you might work that into a schedule. You’re talking about something like you go to school for four years to do.

I have a lot of experience already, not only in this marketing world but also with my podcast and its early success. It was pretty quick. In the second month of the Solopreneur Hour, I did 40,000 downloads, and by six, I was doing 300,000 a month. It went quickly. That is the complete opposite of this YouTube channel that I’m building, which has been a total slog. I believe in it, and I believe in the content.

The number one thing I can offer is that if you’re doing a podcast or whatever your thing is, if you’re getting great feedback and five-star reviews, and people are commenting on your videos, or the outward thing you’re doing, people like it; then you have to know this just me.  This is marketing and patience.  The thing is good. The world doesn’t know about it yet. That’s better than you get the hit song, and everyone goes, “Oh, this kind of sucks. This isn’t that great.” Then you go from this thing where you’re elevated to dive-bombing?


The Mastermind Effect:  31:28

One of the things that people struggle with is having patience and not getting that instant gratification in the world of social media that we see today. They hear your story of month one I was here; month two, I was here. And then, by six months, I think you said like 300,000 downloads. I don’t want to misrepresent what you said.

Michael O’Neal 31:53

Yes, on the podcast, it went really fast.

The Mastermind Effect:  31:55

Everyone’s like, “wait a minute, that didn’t happen to me.” This is where I’m going to put a feather out there. Not everyone had Michael O’Neal as their coach; not everyone decided to put in the work and hire the right person to put the team together to make sure that you need to be the best version and responsible for the message putting out there. Sometimes you’ve got to realize that if you’re not getting those downloads, or you’re not getting what the end goal is, it might be because you didn’t hire a coach, or it might be because you’re just looking for that instant gratification. 99.9% of the people aren’t going to get 300,000 downloads in a month.

Michael O’Neal 32:34

By six months, it was at a million.

The Mastermind Effect:  32:37

Not everyone’s going to have over 10 million downloads.

Michael O’Neal 32:42

It’s just not the reality. It’s not going to happen in 2020. That was a timing thing. I was the first long-form deep dive interview podcast for entrepreneurs. It was sort of the Joe Rogan of entrepreneur-type podcasts, and nobody else was doing it. I brought that to the table because that was my skill set. I could do that part. Versus having everyone having like a set the same seven questions kind of deal.

The Mastermind Effect:  33:16

You caught it at the right time. But you chose to make the decision. And here’s the thing, just because you didn’t do it, whoever out there is listening to a year ago, two years ago, three years ago, still you can start it today. Well, 100%, you literally can go and do it today. Like, don’t sit there and say, “Well, I can’t get it because I don’t have it.” Well, that’s an excuse. And now you’ve given yourself an excuse for why you’re still in the same place 12 months from now.

Michael O’Neal 33:38

If we talk podcasting, you need to work with someone like a coach. If it were me, we’d spend the first month, six weeks working on where you fit into the industry in a way that you could generate more momentum than is universal at the moment and really rock.

As we talked, I just launched this show last month with police officers, and I just got a notification from one of the guys that the show has done 1500 downloads so far. We’ve done seven episodes. That number I was telling you like that 250 per episode; I think we’re right near there. That’s enough for me to say this is good enough to continue to invest in. We feel like we’ve nailed something here. It’s accelerated more than what some do, and that’s because the timing is great on this, and we also focused on the brand a lot.  They hired me to do that, and I helped them do that. And here we are having some success.

The Mastermind Effect:  34:41

For most people, that’s way more successful than what they could imagine when launching something new when I talked about downloads and launching the successful brand and what it takes behind that. I feel there are always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. It’s easy to be successful when times are good, but I think innovation and ingenuity come out when we feel the squeeze, and we’re feeling the squeeze this year. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that really excites you?

Michael O’Neal 35:15

In this side of my life, the non-car side, I’ve been doing a thing for a couple of years called the Podcast Launch group.  I take like eight people, and we work week by week for eight weeks. It’s a complete done with you podcast launch. They start with nothing. And by the end of eight weeks, they have a show that they launch, which is great. There’s a lot of great feedback, and we have a great community. I’ve decided to double down on that for 2021. That one, in particular, was all me. We’d show up at a zoom meeting on Thursday. I would teach that week’s lesson, and I do the q&a. I’m automating the first side of that.

I just watched a webinar on race car wiring, like two weeks ago. It inspired me because it was so well done, from the Facebook ad that got me to the free webinar to the upsell in the webinar to the knowledge I learned in the webinar.  It was probably the most well-done online ad to execution upsell that I had ever seen. And so I thought, I really should take my podcast launch group and do an automated version of it for 500 bucks instead of three grand. Let me just do a $500 one and figure out what the webinar would be. That will be my 2021 income because, as you and I discussed at the beginning of this, I’m mostly a live event speaker; that’s what I do for a living, and right now, that isn’t happening. I’m going to work on scaling that while also, in conjunction, cranking on this car YouTube channel.

The Mastermind Effect:  37:09

You’re going to take three grand, and you’re going to find a way to automate it, which doesn’t mean that you’re still getting the same value. But you’re finding a way possibly to automate it at 500 bucks, and they can get the same impact?

Michael O’Neal 37:18

I’m still going to do the three grand one, which is curated. But then I’m also going to have another one that’s the content, maybe without the q&a or the one-on-one stuff that comes with the other one. I haven’t figured it out yet. But I have a full video shot list, and I got my Trello all loaded up. I know exactly what I need to do in the next couple of weeks to start cranking on these videos. And now, with all this experience I have on YouTube, which I’ve never had before.

I think people will continue to want to launch podcasts for the next couple of years. And they should because it’s a great way to not only articulate the thing you’re good at but bring a community together.

The Mastermind Effect:  38:10

I’m going to speak here from the consumer standpoint. If Michaels is saying, “this is what I’ve built, this is what I’ve done from a podcasting standpoint. I’m going to talk on YouTube, cars, drumming, and he’s saying three grand done with you.” I’m just telling you, I’ve seen other programs and pricing out there. That’s amazing for what the outcome can be for people like the other people you’re working with and us. Look at that three grand as a smart investment.

Michael O’Neal 38:45

I don’t want to be the guy that charges too much money. I don’t want to price myself so high on stuff that I don’t get to do the things I love.

The Mastermind Effect:  39:17

I’m just telling you the value and price that’s amazing. Like people would make bananas for not looking at that.

I’ve usually asked for one, but I’m going to ask for two because you explained one last year when you were the emcee at the event that I met you at? What is a tip, tactic, or actual item that, if someone implemented today over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, would see real impact on their personal and business lives? The one that I’m talking about is more when real events come around. And then I want you to lead with another one if you wouldn’t mind. You talked about when you go to an event, you have a Trello board or something set up, and you’ve got a video out there on YouTube, where it’s like you put in this information, you click here, and then it starts shooting out the reminders or what needs to happen. Please go over that one again. And then give one more.

Michael O’Neal 40:09

it’s using a Siri shortcut, which a lot of people don’t know. It’s like the coolest thing on the iPhones. And It’s a mini-program that’s easy to implement, that can connect many different apps and things together. In this case, I can meet you at a conference. And I can say, “Hey, Siri.” It will say, “Who are you?” I say, “Hey, Siri, new contact” or something like that. And it says, “Who are you meeting?” And I say, “Oh, this is Brandon.” It says, “What’s Brandon’s email address?” And I say your email. And then she says something like, “ready to send?” I go, “Yes.” I send it, and then automatically, you’ve received a template email in your inbox.

That’s all set up and automated.  It combines the “Let me grab your card” because many people don’t have cards anymore. It saves the follow-up because you can program that to remind you of the important things.  I’ve demonstrated that to people, and they have no idea that this even existed. What’s the other question?

The Mastermind Effect:  41:44

Tip, a tactic or actionable item that, if they implement it in personal or business, will see a real impact on what they’re doing going forward.


Michael O’Neal 41:53

I’m going to give you two. Number one, figure out the music or whatever you need to focus on. I’ve had to go through a real journey because I’m so like a squirrel to find the right kind of music vibe that quiets my brain down, then I can get some work done. I also have to be moving most of the time. I do a lot of work while speaking into my Evernote, just using speech to text. That’s how I write. I’m mostly writing by talking.

Next is whatever the thing is you’re doing, whether it’s drumming, working on the car, or working on your new course for 2021, at the very least, give it 15 minutes a day. Everybody can find 15 minutes, no matter what. Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities. If you have three things you want to do or want to get better at 2021 or 2022, get all those things onto your calendar for 15 minutes. If it’s on your schedule, just do it. Often,  I’ll wake up, splash cold water on my face, and then I’ll do my age and push-ups. I do 50 push-ups every day. So and that works. It helps you get biceps from that. Just a little bit every day versus I need to focus for three hours, which is hard to do as an ADD guy and just in 2020 when we have all this different stuff going on.

The Mastermind Effect:  44:23

The things that make the biggest impact are the simplest things like creating the “Hey, Siri” and 15 minutes. You can’t tell me if you have three things that you want to accomplish in 2021 that if you took 15 minutes a day, that’s 45 minutes a day for three things. Everyone’s got time.

Michael O’Neal 44:52

Even if it’s just one. You want to lose weight, and you’re not doing anything, walk around the block once five minutes, walk for five minutes, and then next week walk for 10 minutes and then walk for 15 minutes. It’s fascinating. It’s over anything else in the world; consistency is the most important thing. You’d much rather go to the gym for 20 minutes every single day than three times a month for three hours. I did an experiment probably ten years ago, where I’d gotten a Groupon for it. It was a ten-punch pass to a local gym. And I was super dialed in with my diet. If you saw me at the end of this, the transformation crazy.  I was super lean and all ripped. It was all consistency. It was just consistency of diet and consistency of getting into that routine.

You could do 15 minutes on whatever it is you’re trying to do. Don’t even make the three. Do the one for now. Get 15 minutes of whatever it is every single day, and you’ll get 15 minutes to work on that car every day. I keep making crazy progress on it.

The Mastermind Effect:  46:20

That’s the deal. Fifteen minutes can save your life. It can change your life, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. But the path to get there it does. There’s a saying that the path to success was made in skeletons or bones because we don’t see the work put in to get to where you get to have over 10 million downloads. We’ve got the founder of LaunchLAB and GrowthLAB and the Solopreneur Hour podcast host, Michael O’Neal.  You can find them at solopreneurhour.com.I highly recommend you reach out to him. He’s accessible. And the return on your investment is exponential. Michael, I appreciate your time. Thank you




Michael O’Neal 46:59

Well done, sir. Well done. Thank you so much for having me. For everyone, here’s the deal. If you don’t work with Brandon or me, find somebody that you sync with, whoever it is. You won’t believe the amount of progress you can make in such a short period when working with the right person.

The Mastermind Effect:  47:24

Absolutely. Thank you, Michael.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Don’t prioritize your schedule, schedule your priorities.” – Michael O’Neal

“Over anything else in the world, consistency is the most important thing.” – Michael O’Neal

“To embrace the suck of the moment, and just understand that, “I’m not gonna be very good at this from the beginning, It’s going to take me a while”, is the most important lesson to learn as a burgeoning entrepreneur.” – Michael O’Neal

“When you’re putting content out to the world. However you’re doing it, there’s a responsibility that goes along with it.” – Michael O’Neal

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Michael, visit https://solopreneurhour.com/. Follow him and The Solopreneur Hour on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Check out Michael’s courses:

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

087: Jen Kirkham | Turning Your Failures into Success and Weekly Check-ins on Your 90-Day Goals

Jen Kirkham is a well-known insider to a multitude of networks. From healthcare, finance, coaching, and online education. Jen is an Operations Guru that connects the dots for growth and scaling businesses for high-level executives. Jen has a selective approach to the clients that she serves. She has partnered with Emma Mersetter to curate and leads mentorship programs for virtual assistants to establish, maximize, and cherish their careers with a successful pathway.
In this episode, Jen talks about how you should have a 90-day goal with weekly check-ins to see real impact. Jen explains why integrating something already in your life to be successful is vital, and she challenges the belief of how learning from your failures is only part of the way to get to where you want to go. Check it out!

[02:17 – 13:02] Turning Your Failures into Success


The Mastermind Effect:  02:05

Let’s dive into it. Our ability to learn and take in information had drastically changed in the last 10 to 15 years. When you and I were younger, it was textbooks, educators, friends, family, and coworkers, but that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?


Jen Kirkham:  02:40

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that some of the beliefs of things that I think are possible have been debunked by either technology, my family culture, how I was raised, or how they were raised was passed on to me.  Then, I’m like, “Well, wait a minute, I can do more than what’s possible.” Whenever I speak with those who have known me for over 10 to 20 years, they think I am changing. But what’s changing is my beliefs of what I think is possible, what I think I can achieve, and what I can help others achieve.


The Mastermind Effect:  03:16

That’s the thing. It’s allowing and saying, “Hey, I might have been brought up this way, I might have trained, I might have learned it this way.” But when someone else comes along, you’ve saved room to sit there and challenge those rate-limiting beliefs to sit there and say, “Hey, I’m going to exchange this now for something that makes more sense and helps me move the needle forward in what I’m building.”


Jen Kirkham:  03:40

The key point is the only time that you realize that your past beliefs aren’t true for you today is that there’s either a success experience or there’s a failure experience. It’s your interpretation of that experience that propels you into challenging those beliefs and making a new truth to what’s true today.


The Mastermind Effect:  04:03

We learned so much from our failures. We shouldn’t let our past failures define our present and our future. We use that past failure as a crutch instead of using it as how do we reframe that. How do you take a failure or a misstep? How do you reframe that to change your present and your future?




Jen Kirkham:  04:25

That’s an excellent point. I’m going to challenge a common belief. A lot of people say it’s through our failures that we learn to change or success. I actually disagree with that because if we have recurring failures without having those minor shifts, having minor successes, identify what needs to change and have a different kind of failure. If we fail the same way over and over, we’re going to continue to fail. and say, “Oh, I’m learning from my failures.” But what are you learning? You’re learning to do it over and over again. To have your failures turn into success, you must have someone by your side that had failed like you have before and changed one degree in their trajectory to get a little bit different result.


There are two rules of the mind that I follow every single day. The first rule is that the mind does what it thinks it wants you to do. Your thoughts make your reality. The second rule of the mind is that your mind loves what’s familiar. If you’re looking to turn your failure into a success, your success has to have some common ground for what you’ve done before.  Whether it’s hanging around the same group of people for a period of time, you start to act like them and make some more successful decisions; or you change your physical environment to make something better and more familiar so that you can continually make those changes. That’s the end result. What 2020 has taught us is things can change on a dime, and monumental shifts don’t have to take a long time.


The Mastermind Effect:  06:21

We have to remember that things will change without our permission or without welcoming them into our lives or our household. It’s going to happen from now to the end of time. Change is the only constant thing.


Jen Kirkham:  06:35

I’m okay with change unless it’s too frequent.


The Mastermind Effect:  06:41

Talking about learning, we have more ways to take in information than ever before, and it can be confusing. We got all these platforms and all these people telling you what to do. Some people look for a mentor, a coach, accountability buddy,  mastermind, and other different ways to take in information and learn. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?


Jen Kirkham:  07:19

That’s a really good question. A lot of my connections today are relationships that started five years ago. I approach new relationships today differently than I did five years ago. Ever since I’ve learned the concept of social networking and being of service, my relationship begins with making a human connection and finding common ground that we have core beliefs. My core beliefs start with integrity. I’m attracted to someone who has personal integrity, business integrity, and service-centric. The things I’m learning now are like my core values. I’m learning from people who have taken that level of integrity and mapped it out into other areas of business or areas of their life.




The Mastermind Effect:  08:22

I love how you talked about how you started planting the seeds five years ago. Where the relationship was and where it’s at now are two different places and how you go about it today is different. It is important that you want them to align with your mission, vision, and values and have a symbiotic type relationship; because if not, you’re going to have that friction.


Have you ever had where it’s like, you want something to fit, but you keep fighting and keep coming up with that constant sandpaper effect because of your beliefs? What was it taught you?


Jen Kirkham:  09:03

It’s usually around project management, whether it be like you’re working together with a team and someone with a different objective, and usually, egos involved. I’ve got an ego.  I like to look and feel good. I want to be heard and understood. Everybody has that to a certain degree. When it starts driving the train, that’s where I cut the line and be like, “if your ego continues to drive the whole thing and it becomes all about you as an individual looking good, and everyone else suffers, then then I’m not okay with that. I’m also okay with you doing that, and I’m not attached to how you approach it.” I think that’s the key differentiator because I still am good friends with people that operate that way, but I choose not to operate the way that they operate, and I learned different things from them,


The Mastermind Effect:  10:02

it’s a win-win right there and how you’re still able to keep that relationship. You’re both still able to work off or feed off and learn from the other person. Even if they don’t match with that. You’re not giving them an ultimatum.


Jen Kirkham:  10:22

Believe it or not, it starts with who you are inside. That’s where the integrity piece comes in. When I was growing up, I heard that integrity was like doing the right thing when no one’s looking. I think that’s only surface level. Integrity goes so much deeper than you’re doing what’s expected of yourself daily; you’re doing what’s expected of others daily. You’re doing what’s expected with your business, like, do you deliver on what you say you’re going to deliver on? It’s all about keeping the main thing and being core to that. That’s why I can maintain that relationship with those who have to operate differently than I do because they know what to expect of me, and I know who I am,


The Mastermind Effect:  11:09

No matter what day of the week is, it ends in why they know what they’re going to get from you and what you’re building over there. Staying on the subject of people, I feel that we get stuck. Sometimes we don’t know how to execute what’s in our head. We’re still going through a pandemic, and I think this amplifies that in some form or fashion. It also allows us to reset and rethink how we want to accomplish things and what is important. How masterminds and coaching help you when you’re looking to reset and reshift how you want to accomplish what you want to do?


Jen Kirkham:  11:50

I love masterminds because they’re typically an experience that provides a roadmap with a clear point A and a clear point B. When you’re with a group of people who are going towards their point B, it doesn’t always have to be exactly your point B. If I want to make a certain dollar amount, not everybody in the group will have that same number, but their goal is heading towards that number for them. A mastermind is a way to set our own point B’s and have a road map of someone who’s done it before. We accelerate our success, and our success is what defines us.


The Mastermind Effect:  12:30

It is nice when it comes to a mastermind, learning how other people who have already seen around that corner and you can take advantage of their previous missteps or previous successes. You had touched on that earlier of how important it is to utilize those people around you and learn from their successes and learn from their failures, so you don’t continue making that same mistake.


[13:03 – 22:32] Self-Education and Elevating Insiders


The Mastermind Effect:

Masterminds have been around for a while. The first one was the apostles. Then Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club, and Napoleon Hill writes a book about it. There seems to be this large boom of self-education over standardized education and how we’re waiting out what’s important. Where do you see the shift going between standard education and self-education going forward?


Jen Kirkham:  13:41

For this, I have to tell you a story. There is a  couple that recently enrolled in the MBA program. Enrollment in MBA programs has skyrocketed because institutions recognize everyone is going virtual, and they wanted to keep enrollment high. They eliminated the entrance exams, lowered the tuition fee, or offered more flexible payment programs.  It made getting into these traditional institutionalized programs easier. These two people enrolled in the program at this great university. The professor lets them work on their projects together, and the couple does half the work, but they both get the grade. Meaning they don’t work on their areas of expertise, maximize their strengths and learn new talents, and the professor’s okay with that. In other words, mediocrity in institutionalized programs is teaching theory not as much application. Those people are being disserved. There’s my little soapbox on the platform.


If you are currently in the MBA program and listening to this, I encourage you not to go towards its mediocrity. Instead, look to the self-education approach to your traditional program. With self-education, you can get a quicker result and learn faster from people to have interactivity. Apps are available nowadays, where you can have a conversation or be part of the inner circle conversation that you would have never dreamed of.


The Mastermind Effect:  15:46

We talk about this pretty frequently on here, especially with what we’re building with the Success Finder. Standardized institutions are looking to create a profit. The fact that you have two people paying the said price, and they’re not able to go beyond what they already know because they’re able to tag team one project and get two of the same results. What does that say? Is the institution or professor concerned about what they’re learning and what they’re able to implement then? Are they just wanting to cash the check?


Jen Kirkham:  16:28

For those who pay and invest in themselves in the masterminds that we do, I am vetted for their success.  I have an investment in them with my time, the resources that I’ve worked hard to find with the tools that I’ve made my own. I encourage them to make these tools their own. That’s what sets us unique: being able to say, guys, we’ve studied the success experiences you need to have in this space. Now that you know one, two, and three, you should be able to do this. We’re not going to take an exam because words are words, and you can speak the same words and even do some thought repeating. But what about that experience? What was it like? You get to talk about the emotions that happened at certain phases, and that transformation is priceless.


The Mastermind Effect:  17:16

Since we’re on that, let’s go a little bit deeper into there. Typically, when someone invests in their future, they have a better than a vague idea of what they’re going to get. They have an idea of what the outcome could be. What should people expect when they go through your mastermind or your coaching and what you guys are building? What’s the reality of working with you and your partner?


Jen Kirkham:  17:39

The reality is that we expect you to take action and that all of our interactive conversations are around the action you’re taking. We have a course that complements our journey. You can watch and download some tools. You can say all the right things, but we’re going to talk about the experiences that you have.  We guarantee that during our one-month experience together, you’ll have one crucial experience that will change your life.


The Mastermind Effect:  18:07

You’re like, “Hey, listen, if it’s for 30 days, what we are promising is at least one crucial breakthrough.” I want to go a little bit deeper on that one. Because when I think about someone hiring the right coach or being in the right mastermind, I sit there and see how the marketers are marketing the good coaches and masterminds. They transfer the risk because they don’t implement what they’re teaching. They don’t have a coach or a mastermind themselves. How do you keep yourself from transferring the risk to your clients and giving them the tools they need to be successful?


Jen Kirkham:  18:49

That’s a great question. I’m in the trenches doing the same thing. The things that I’m teaching those in the mastermind are what I’m doing with my clients. I also have a coach that I’m accountable to. Every aspect of my business with a mastermind with a course, I take personal responsibility. I know that I’m not an expert at anything. There are some areas that I haven’t mastered, and I’m still working on. I’m honest.  I know just through the power relationship, I’m going to learn from those in the mastermind, as well. I just don’t see any downfall here. When choosing a coach or choosing a mastermind to attend or learn from, select the ones with a clear success experience outline: What are you going to experience, not just what you’re going to learn? What can you do because you learned it? Does that mastermind leader attend a mastermind? Do they have a coach?




The Mastermind Effect:  19:47

That’s important. One of the first questions: Who’s your coach? What mastermind are you in? Who are you continuing to learn from? If they don’t have anyone right now, that should be a big “X.” That scares you because they’re not investing in themselves. How can they continue if they’re not willing to invest in themselves? The most important investment is yourself because you can control the outcome most of the time, excluding COVID.


Jen Kirkham:  20:13

It’s the end of experts. The curse lies with the teacher that has too many answers. The power lies with the student asking the right questions. That’s how the teacher presents itself when the student is ready.


The Mastermind Effect:  20:36

We’re talking about success. I feel that people have a way of surprising us all the time. The rooms you put together and the people you work with, your hand-selecting them, you’re curating them, and you’re making sure that they check certain boxes and their beliefs. Has anyone who has been through your mastermind or your coaching that was able to surprise you? And in turn, what was the outcome because they went through that? What’s the success story?


Jen Kirkham:  21:14

There are two that I want to outline. One is a teacher in the public education system, and the other one is a brilliant stay-at-home mom. Their experience and drive are very similar. From two completely separate walks of life and two completely different backgrounds, we didn’t pay anybody in a box. The boxes they’re checking are more about their drive and desire. We’re looking for clues on how well they’re ready to take action rather than their background, work experience, and resume.


The teacher struggled in 2020 to maintain her position. She was the leading teacher figuring out all of the technology nuances. When she went back and reported to her superiors, there was no reward. Mediocrity was the norm, and she wasn’t okay with that. Now, she’s transitioned into a role. Before the mastermind was complete, she onboarded her first client and is currently working with her clients. And we’re supporting her with that and helping her with those how-to’s.


The stay-at-home mom is a support system for her husband. They’re running their e-commerce business. Instead of curating clients, she’s supporting her husband and their family business in a new way. Then, just two days ago, she surprised me and said, “Jen, I think I want to do some strategic business consulting, and I’m a good manager.” She has six kids. She’s a great manager because I go to her house, and it’s not perfectly clean everything, but everyone knows her expectations, and she can problem-solve, like nobody’s business. I’m like, “I look up to you. I want some of your management skills.”


The Mastermind Effect:  23:04

It’s beautiful when you can impact the people that are already in your circle. You can see that immediate effect on someone just that taking the chance to invest in themselves, and in turn investing in what you and your team can help them grow to become successful or bridge that gap between where they’re at and where they want to go.


[22:33 – 29:11] Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:

There are a lot of things that it takes to be successful. We’re building a company around the Success Finder.  On my solo shows, we talk about what it takes to be successful.  Several parts include willingness to fail, partnerships, experimentation, mentorship, coaching, and all sorts of things. What do you believe is a key factor in someone’s success?


Jen Kirkham:  24:04

They’re stretched to success that maybe they didn’t seem possible for themselves and let it integrate in something familiar that’s already in their life to continue to grow in that success. That means they’re helping define it, and they’re entering new possibilities. Feeling uncomfortable is okay, but you can accomplish more with a support system.


The Mastermind Effect:  24:28

I like that you integrate something already in your life to be successful. It’s something familiar you’re probably already passionate about, or at least you hope you are. A perfect example is probably the stay-at-home mom, who’s got six kids. She’s already integrated something into her life, and now she’s able to take her passion for what she’s good at and turn it into something. Thanks to you. That’s awesome.


We’re coming closer to the end here. I think there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. It’s easy to be successful when everybody’s winning. As the world’s a little bit different now, innovation and ingenuity come when we feel the squeeze. We’ve been feeling the squeeze for a while now. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Jen Kirkham:  25:18

I want to share something specific that I’m working on—one with one of my clients and then one with our insiders mastermind. One of my clients is world-renowned doctors for a specific treatment. They’ve been in the traditional institutional learning. They’ve been lectures on the lecture circuit and have books and everything. We’ve known each other for over five years. The reason why they circled back is they recognized that learning happens differently and that the doctors who want to learn from them don’t want to go to their lectures. But we’re using the mastermind learning style in more traditional settings. Large universities are also starting to follow that path. That’s something super exciting. I get to apply IO psychology and business tools and learning styles into a new way of developing online courses. It’s something completely different and exciting.


With the insiders, we are continually having conversations with those who have gone through our program and other people who do what we do. We’re refining what we call the “insiders’ edge” into collecting the success experiences that you needed at this phase. That’s going to be a continual refinement throughout the year. I look to learn a lot and see how I can refine the insiders’ edge process and help my clients be on the fast track to success.


The Mastermind Effect:  27:08

I love that depending on what phase you’re in, here’s where you need to plug in this piece, this person,  or this process to take you to the next level of success and just saying, “Hey, we’re going to continue to refine this. And we’re going to continue to add to this.” That’s awesome.

Last one for you. What is a tip, a tactic, an actionable item that if someone listening today implemented this over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, would see a real impact on their personal or business life?


Jen Kirkham:  27:40

90-day goals and weekly check-ins with somebody that really will tell you the truth. That tuned into your habits and what will move the needle for you, whether personally or professionally. Make sure that weekly check-in is tuned in to the 90-day goal. Every single day is taking a step towards that 90-day goal.


The Mastermind Effect:  28:03

Yes, because if it’s taking you away from where you want to go, it’s taking you away from the shortest distance between where you’re at and where you want to go.


Jen Kirkham:  28:18

It’s the simplest thing to do, but it’s not the easiest thing to do, and it will make a difference.


The Mastermind Effect:  28:24

Sometimes the simplest things are the hardest things. I’ve learned so much today. I’ve got some notes on this. We have the founder of Elevating Insiders, Jen Kirkham. I appreciate your time and everything that you gave us today. Thank you so much.


Jen Kirkham:  28:42

It’s an honor and privilege to be here with you, Brandon. Thank you.

Tweetable Quotes:

“If we fail the same way over and over, we’re going to continue to fail. So in order have your failures turn into success, you must have someone by your side that has failed like you have before and change one degree in your trajectory to get different results.” – Jen Kirkham

“With self-education, you can get quicker results. Learn faster from people in a way that you can have interactivity.” – Jen Kirkham

“It’s the end of experts. The curse lies with the teacher that has too many answers, and the power lies with the students asking the right questions. That’s how the teacher presents himself, when the student is ready.” – Jen Kirkham

“From now, till the end of time, Change is the only thing that’s constant.” – Brandon Straza

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Jen and Elevating Insiders, send an email at elevatinginsiders@gmail.com. You can also visit https://elevatinginsiders.com/ 

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

086: Enzo Ochoga | Stepping Out of The 4 Walls of Standardized Education

Mindset Speaker, Agile Coach, I/O Psych Disciple, Storyteller, and Survivor. These are just some of the words one might use to describe Enzo Ochoga. With a background in coaching, organizational psychology, ideation, inspirational speaking, and empowering professionals and those in transition, Enzo is clear in her convictions.
In this episode, Enzo talks about the difference in the 4 walls of education vs the outside resources that come with self-education. She also talks about how without effort, you can’t achieve excellence, how the world is changing with or without our permission, and what that means to you. Check it out!

[02:45 – 15:20] Enzo’s learning journey, Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect: 02:45

Let’s just dive into it. When when you and I were younger, we learned through teachers and textbooks. And then eventually, that became our family, our friends, and our co-workers, but it’s really a sliver of who we can learn from and how we can learn. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Enzo Ochoga: 03:06

Oh, wow. As human beings, we evolve, right? And we are all like meaning-seeking human beings. We’re always seeking meaning. For me, education without walls has been my greatest teacher. Like the old saying that goes like experiences is the best teacher, I find that out to be so true.

You can look at it in two ways. So there’s the experience with education with walls, that is the standardized type of education and schools, textbooks, all those all those stuff like we are being programmed or trained to work for, just the standardized industrial world out there.

But then you find that even as an educator, every single kid has different variations, different paces, different types of IQ levels that they are drawn to, and where they thrive. With education with walls, you don’t get to explore those untapped resources within you because it is so standardized and fixed. With education without walls, those experiences, all those things outside, the generalized, standardized education does something to you, it evolves you for the better. It lets you explore and tap those things that you never even believe that you even had within you, so we do something, and for me that has been my greatest teacher. It’s talking with people that are not like me, going to places that I would never have dreamt that I would have the guts to go to, being able to express myself, and be okay with the fact that nobody is going to be okay with failing.

That’s what education with walls does. If you say something wrong or something that does not fit the standardized way of things, that means you’re wrong. Whereas with education without walls, it’s okay to throw an idea out there. It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong because all ideas count. So if you throw out an idea, or you explore something, and it doesn’t work out, that’s fine. You’ve learned your lesson. However, you can do better, right?

So for me, experiences doing things outside the box that we are typically placed in growing up does something. It helps us live a real well-rounded life, a full life. That is so important and what I want people to do.

One of my biggest passions is inspiring individuals,especially small businesses, to tap into those ideas. To say, “If I try this and it doesn’t work, I will find a way. I don’t have to feel like I’m an imposter because I didn’t go to a four year college to study a particular course. I can deviate into something else, explore it.”

The Mastermind Effect: 07:36

We’ve got a lot of ways to connect, more than ever before, in taking information. Some people use a mentor or a coach, an accountability buddy, a mastermind online courses–there’s a lot of ways to learn today. Who are you currently learning from? More importantly, how did you connect with them?

Enzo Ochoga: 08:00

So I don’t narrow my learning mediums, right? Like the channels, my funnels, my learning funnels are very, very wide. I learned from people who have been my greatest, greatest teachers. And when I say people I’m talking about everyday people, when I see them doing something that can inspire me as an individual.

What inspires me are the everyday people around me– the support group or support someone that I have that are my accountability buddies that have my best interest. Another thing that really inspires me and which I always tell people about is everyone needs a coach. Your coach can come on different levels. Yes, even coaches have coaches. You have people that would have a coach for trauma. You have people that have a coach for finances. You have people that have a coach just to stay sane and inspired on different levels. And we all need that. Those are the things that inspire me– the everyday people around me, the people I have as friends.

I like to say I’m different or unique because the things that inspire me are not really the typical. I wouldn’t call like certain names. I mean, there’s so many people out there that I love and respect, right? Big names and non-big names, it doesn’t matter. I could say even my mom. I could even say what you’re doing right now because there’s something I wrote here that was like lead with the give mentality. That word, that phrase, that sentence to me is also an inspiration. So I do not box what inspires me. Everything that connects or aligns with my personality, or where I want to be, honestly is an inspiration to me.

The Mastermind Effect: 11:43

I love it. I love it. Because that reminds me, I’m just like, watching people and listening to their tonality. Yeah, how they’re interacting. Jeez, I think I was talking to my six year old son about this just the other day and what you were saying and just watching and learning from other people around you, no matter where your environment is, how much you can actually take away from that.

Enzo Ochoga: 12:02

And just to mention, you said your six year old kid, right? Like for me, for me, I always say both my kids are one of my biggest mentors as well. And that’s the thing because even you as a dad, right? Whether you’re a dad, or you’re not a dad, when you look at kids, they’re supposed to be the guide, right? They teach you so much to be better.

The Mastermind Effect: 12:39

Yes, yes, yes, yes. I feel sometimes, I learned more from him than he’s learning. Isn’t that amazing? Because of how they see the world, through their eyes are still innocent, and because they don’t have walls around them. Anything is possible.

The Mastermind Effect: 12:54

A lot of the time, we don’t know how to execute what’s in our head. We’re still going through a pandemic, but I feel that this is causing a reset and how we can accomplish things. Yeah, some of masterminds, or coaching helps you when you’re looking to reset and get unstuck.

Enzo Ochoga: 13:16

When we get into, like some mastermind, first of all, we need to be very intentional and selective as to what kind of coaches or mastermind we are really trying to align ourselves with. That is so important.

Because just going around, piling up all this stuff is too much information so I am usually very selective and intentional. For me, when mastermind and coaches, show you things that you’re like, “Oh my God, this is totally for me, I connect with this, right?” It shows you and guides you on daring greatly, like just trying to tap into things. Then you’ll realize that, “Wow, my history has played a huge role on who I am today, good or bad,” Right? You kind of recognize some behaviors and some patterns that you need to hold on to, and those you need to add to, and then the patterns that you need to kind of correct. It has helped me from changing the mindset of being bitter and just getting better. That is exactly how masterminds and coaches have helped me.

Another thing is understanding that without effort, you cannot achieve excellence. So it’s like you have to be putting all the effort. And that’s what these masterminds do. They don’t tell you what to do. They guide you into what you should do. They help you decide on your own based on what you’ve heard. So that’s how it has really helped me. It has changed my character and everything that I do has really evolved and is still changing as I get coached, as I listen to masterminds that align with me.

[15:21 – 28:53] Stepping out of the 4 Walls of Standardized Education

The Mastermind Effect: 15:20

Masterminds have been around for a long time, probably dating back to the apostles. That was probably the first man. And then from there, Benjamin Franklin, creates the leather apron club or the Judo club. Then this guy, Napoleon Hill, comes up, and really solidifies it and writes a book. So there’s been such a large boom in self-education versus traditional education. Where do you see the two? I know we talked about this here a little bit ago. But I want to dive a little bit deeper. Where do you see the paradigm going between traditional education versus standardized education, the four walls versus not having a box around you?

Enzo Ochoga: 16:08

If you notice, right now, you would see that as a shift happening in traditional education, like, literally, you have colleges, and even elementary schools are really changing the way they learn. Because they’re seeing that the old way is not working anymore. It’s actually more damaging than what we thought it was. I’m seeing a shift now in education. I mean, they even have courses, a four-year degree for entrepreneurship. I was like, “What?” But they have all these things that they’re attaching right now to traditional education to make it more acceptable in today’s world, because our world is transforming with or without our permission.

You still have schools that are still doing the traditional way of things. That’s actually a sad thing. But I believe that with time, it will change, it’s really going to evolve, especially with today’s children.

I mean, we’re talking about generations that are going to be having flying cars. I mean, self-driving cars are already here. We’re talking about generations where you have smart glasses, right? You have different types of headsets and all these things that are happening. We’re talking about the things we used to watch in our time, as sci-fi movies happening now in this generation. So if there is no shift happening, a lot of kids are going to be honestly educating themselves by themselves, because it’s all is all online. So right now, I see that the traditional schools are making shifts, and I’m so proud of it. And if they don’t want, they will be obsolete for sure. In time.

The Mastermind Effect: 18:39

I completely agree with you. I’ve had an interview with some amazing people that are helping the schools make that shift to more of a Netflix style of education. You either change or you get left behind. The only constant in life is change.

Enzo Ochoga: 18:59

Yes. You can say that again. That’s so spot on.

The Mastermind Effect: 19:05

Typically, when people invest in their future, they have a better than vague idea of what they’re going to get out of it. They have an expectation of what the outcome can be if they put in the work. What can people expect when they enter Enzo’s reality and work with you?

Enzo Ochoga: 19:24

I don’t ever tell my clients what to do. What I tell anyone that comes to me is I’m going to guide you. I’ll facilitate your work with you. I am with you shoulder to shoulder, on the same wavelength.

I listen and I ask questions that are very thought-provoking. I’m also an industrial psychologist, right as a practitioner, as well. So I tap into that because I know what human beings are capable of. I know that if my clients really get into the questions on a deeper level as to how I asked them, there’s always a feeling of, “Oh, wow, I cannot believe that I thought about it.” Or “Are you sure I can do this?”

And my question is, how do you feel about it? It’s all in you. Have you tried it out? Why not? Like, Oh, no, I feel like I shouldn’t do this. And my question is, why not?

So what I do is basically help my clients explore your ideas, and not be afraid to try it. Like try the standardized and non-standardized, and let’s see how it works. But asking those questions create a framework that really connects with where they need to be as a person, or as a business owner.

My clients usually feel like they are a part of it, it’s collaborative. It’s more like they feel a strong sense ofthem leading, being the founders, being the CEOs. So that’s what people get. They get emotional support, definitely, all the way around.

You get a beautiful framework that you will be totally a part of. It’s collaborative, it is transparent, you feel like family, by all means, because there’s a lot of emotional connection there. So it’s really leading from the heart, and I’m all in with it. I want them to win.

I think the most amazing part, honestly, is really seeing how they feel. I’m a very emotional and passionate person. I’m very strong, at the same time, very opinionated, in a very compassionate way. It’s really seeing how my clients feel afterwards. They feel amazing.

So that’s what people get, a one-on-one, heartfelt, non-pressure, but very effective, effortlessly done, and collaborative way of working. They get the right framework that fits their budget. They get to not be afraid to really try new things and see how it works.

The Mastermind Effect: 23:34

Let’s kind of keep going down with what they get and what the outcome is. I feel they’ll have a way of surprising us whether it’s their grit, their grind, their willingness to learn. Give us a success story of one of your businesses or clients that have come out after going through working with you.

Enzo Ochoga: 23:54

So I have this client that has two businesses. And so I was helping her with one. She makes pralines. And pralines are like pastries, right? She makes pastries as a family tradition. And she was kind of lost with what she was doing.

She spent a lot of money running the regular stuff and doing all that, but it wasn’t working out. What I realized is there was something missing. It was like she had a ready-made template given to her to follow. So that’s what she was doing. But it was it wasn’t completely who she was, right? It wasn’t the way everything was set up, the flow of it. The cadence wasn’t her. So I came in I changed up everything in terms of branding, the look of it from her ideas. I sat down. I listened to a story.

One of the things that I know every business has is a story behind your business. Why are you running your business? What is the inspiration? There’s always a story. So I take it, listen, and write it from an emotional standpoint. And I use that and create a framework, and in the way, we should design the entire project in your rebranding process. And that’s what I do. So that’s what I did with her. And she felt amazing.

I was so hands-on when we’re creating content and rebranding. I was so hands-on even with her look, with the photoshoot that we did, the articles that she was on, all that stuff. Those were experiences that she had never had. I would say that she thought those experiences, to be honest, were experiences that only, non-minority humans get, and she’s a minority. I mean, she was financially stable, she could afford stuff, but she just felt that because of the color of her skin, she might not even thrive. Or that she might not receive the kind of service that, but I changed all that because I have a team of people that are so diverse. So I love that that really changed her business.

Last night, we had a great conversation. So she’s literally sold out this December. And now we’re planning for January. So she’s like, so excited. She’s like, we’re back, back behind orders and everything. But it’s just so great to hear that for the first time. She’s sold out for the first time and it was because I took what was in her side by side with her, and I put it out there. I wanted people to see and feel her every story that she said in her products.

So she is my success story right now. Her name is Evangeline. She’s amazing. She and her husband run two businesses right now. So I’m going to be hopping on her next business, because of what I’ve done with the current one.

The Mastermind Effect: 27:30

You helped her accept it as a human. Yes, as a person, it was almost like the stories and everything she this isn’t supposed to happen to me. Like, I’m not supposed to be here and felt guilty for that. And you helped her accept it as a human. So then she can give that back.

Enzo Ochoga: 27:47

Exactly. And that’s the thing. So I always say if you’re dealing with a client, the most important thing is to make your client feel special. If you connect and humanize your business and connect with your client emotionally, and from an authentic space, something happens. It changes the game. And that is what businesses and people, coaches—anyone–need to understand. You can’t teach people how fake it. But you can teach people how to really, really succeed in connectinng because human emotions trumps logic at the end of the day.

The Mastermind Effect: 28:42

You speak my language. I’m soaking in everything that you’re allowing us to hear and learn from you today. And I just love it, and how you’re working with these businesses out there.

[28:54 – 40:00] Creating Success

The Mastermind Effect:

So we talked a little bit about this earlier. In the solo shows, we talked about the pillars of success—1)hanging out with the right people, 2) willingness to invest in yourself, and then 3) taking action through experimentation and continuing to do that. In those areas, there’s a lot of subcategories. It’s mentorship, coaching, experimentation, partnerships, and willingness to fail. Because you mentioned something about that earlier on, what do you feel is a key ingredient when it comes to being successful?

Enzo Ochoga: 29:24

You got to be willing to fail. It’s okay to fail and I think that is one of the biggest problems that we have. Everyone is like “There’s no time to feel like a failure. Get up.” No. You should feel like a failure when you’re trying to succeed. Embrace that, but don’t stay there. That’s the difference right is as a human being, you have to feel all your emotions. People that don’t feel all their emotions, there’s always a problem involved from a psychological safety standpoint. As a business owner or an individual, feel those emotions, let failure be your partner to success. So feel it, but don’t stay in it. Right? And that is why, you have to read things.

If you’re not a reader, that is fine, watch things. If you’re not a watcher, that is fine, then listen to stuff. Research and find the things that really align with who you are as a person. Then ask yourself those real questions like, “Who am I? Why am I here? What is my business for? Is money driving my business?”

Money is beautiful. I love money so much. But what I love more than money is guts. It’s daring, it’s grit, it’s really being purpose-driven. That is what the truth is. If you are purpose-driven, if you put service first, not as a checklist, but your goal is to genuinely do a thing of purpose, which is to serve others, I tell you, money comes automatically. Because you’re doing the right thing.

People will start coming when they see value in you. I just want to share that this happened to me. All this working with small business owners and minority business owners really just happened in 2020. I was one of those people caught up in really just working with big industries and taking contracts with anyone or companies that are already 100% successful.

But something happened in 2020. And I looked around me, and that’s the thing about being mindful and being present and being aware. I saw that there was a need, especially like if it was one time I walked into a restaurant. I had a meeting that was postponed. It was during COVID, obviously. And then I was like, “Oh, let me stop by this restaurant and probably get a drink.” And it was just one lady inside and she was the owner. She said, “Oh, we just opened this morning. I’ve been closed throughout COVID. Thank you for coming.”

Because she had this amazing accent, I asked her “Where are you from? Where was your native country?” She said she was from Colombia. she owns this restaurant. She also told me to take a drink for free, don’t pay. And I said “What? No, no, no, let me pay let me let me support you.” But she insisted so I took her card, everything and I left. Then I came back the next day I brought her flowers.

This woman made the best sandwiches and it was just so good to sit down and listen to her story. And when I heard her story, she didn’t even have a website, or any presence online. So I want to share with her what I do. I want to take her business to the next level so I’m going to onboard her and her restaurant because she makes the best sandwiches.

My thing is there’s so many minority businesses and small businesses that have been hit a lot during COVID. And it’s really, really bad for a lot of them. These are the people that I want to help. I feel like that is a strong sense of calling for me right now. So it’s why I’m doing what I’m doing and how I see success right now. And I want to really focus on that. Brandon, I do not know if I answered your question, but I just wanted to share that.

The Mastermind Effect: 34:38

You kind of answer what I was going to ask, as we’re coming to an end here. One of them was like, what do you have that you’re excited about over the next 12 months that you’re working on? And you’ve told us it’s your you have an outreach and you want to work with minority businesses in a way that it hasn’t been done before? Because it’s important to you, you’re leading with the give mentality. You’re living a life of purpose. Money will be a byproduct because you lead with that give mentality. And that’s what’s important.

Enzo Ochoga: 35:10

I appreciate that. Because I think some people might be like, “Well, that’s not where the money is.” Right? I just want to do Fortune 500 companies. I’m not saying you’re not helping people, but go where the need is, where you are needed, where you can add value, where you can be impactful, and you can be inspiring, and you can also be inspired in return. So where there’s a great need is a huge calling for my heart. Right now, Brandon, it’s really to be there for small business owners and minority business owners that need people to taste and experience all those beautiful things that they can offer the world.

The Mastermind Effect: 36:03

Absolutely. That’s how you’re going to help transform them. And that’s what’s important. So what is one last thing that is a tip, tactic, or actual item that if if a listener today implemented that over the next 30, 60, 90 days, they would see a real impact on their personal or business life?

Enzo Ochoga: 36:22

Write all your ideas down. Do a brain dump on a journal. There is a high retention connection when you write things out. This has to do with psychology and neural science.

Whether your idea sounds good, or it doesn’t, tdo research.  You can research the market, which is so important but do a lot of research and see if there’s something that you kind of connect with, and then really just tap into it. Explore it. Make those efforts to kind of explore those ideas and see how it goes or if it’s something that really speaks to you. And please please please reach out. Community matters.

Reach out to people. Connect with people. Find those coaches. Educate yourself. A lot of classes are out there that you can take. I’ll be starting mine soon and we’re going to help so many people. Don’t stop yourself, partner up with fear. You need to be the partner of fear. Do it afraid as you have always heard, but let fear be the partner of your success. Let fear be the partner of success.

Diversify yourself. Don’t just stick to one thing. I don’t care if anybody tells you that, “Oh, well, he or she just does different things.” All those things that you want to do are those the things that connect with you. Explore them, all of them, diversify yourself, diversify yourself and be open, be open to learning, be a good student, get rid of that imposter syndrome. Everybody starts from somewhere. You are brilliant. You have the number one supercomputer on planet earth in your head. That’s your brain. Your brain is your number one platform.

The Mastermind Effect: 38:58

I think that’s a great way to end it. That’s a great way to continue. Diversify yourself. We’ve got the Founder of Transform My Universe, Enzo Ochoga. Enzo, thank you so much for your time today.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Every single kid has different variations, paces, IQ levels, and where they thrive. With education with walls, because it’s so standardized and fixed, you don’t get to explore those untapped resources within you.” – Enzo Ochoga

“Our world is transforming with or without our permission.” – Enzo Ochoga

“Embrace failure, but don’t stay there. As a human being, you have to feel all your emotions. Let failure be your partner to success. So feel it, don’t stay in it.” – Enzo Ochoga

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Enzo on Linkedin(linkedin.com/in/enzo-ochoga/)

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.

085: Raj Subrameyer | Overcoming Traditional Beliefs and Finding Your Focus with a MIND DUMP Exercise

Today, we’ve got the founder of Chai Latte Consulting, author of Skyrocket Your Career, and Tech Career coach himself, Raj Subrameyer. He has helped countless individuals discover their zone of genius and leverage it to live a life that they love.
Raj’s story is a story of consistency, beginning early in his career before becoming an entrepreneur after submitting over 1000 job applications. In this episode, he talks about the difficulties of women in IT and how he’s worked with clients to overcome the industry’s old beliefs. And finally, he talks about why you should work on your mind dump exercise. Check it out!


23:00 – 24:00 – 60mins

10:45  –  11:15 – 30mins

12:06 – 12:26 – 20mins

14:10 –  15:43 – 93mins

16:15 – 18:50 – 155mins

Today, we’ve got the founder of Chai Latte Consulting, author of Skyrocket Your Career, and Tech Career coach himself, Raj Subrameyer. His is a story of consistency beginning early in his career before becoming an entrepreneur after submitting over 1000 job applications. Raj talks about the difficulties of women in it and how he’s worked with clients to overcome the industry’s old beliefs. And finally, he talks about why you should work on your mind dump exercise.

[02:37 – 17:44] Raj’s learning journey, Masterminds, MIND DUMP Exercise

The Mastermind Effect:  02:37

Let’s dive into it. Please talk to me about how your learning had changed over the last 5-10 years. When you were younger, it was textbooks, teachers, friends, family, coworkers, and people around you. You were in corporate America, and you’ve shifted out of that. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Raj Subrameyer  02:57

In the past ten years, the way we interact with people, the way we do business, and how we learn things have drastically changed. To set some context, I grew up in Chennai, India, and the education system there is different from where I am right now in the United States. There, it’s more about how good you are at memorizing things. When you have exams, you have to remember things you memorize, and then you put that on paper. Once the course completes, you forget what you learn within a month or two because the focus is on how well you memorize and then whether you get good grades.

When I came to the United States,  I noticed a lot of focus on group learning. You have group projects. They make assignments more abstract to permit people to think creatively. Being in the United States and doing a master’s in software engineering, I could see that in the past ten years, the focus of learning has shifted from memorizing grades to how we will implement those learnings in real life. Now, universities are radically changing their educational system and courses to reflect that. Because when people graduate and set foot in the corporate environment, they need to apply these things they learned in real-life work experiences. The trends have shifted in learning from the past ten years to where we are right now.

The Mastermind Effect:  05:12

It’s interesting. I might have been a rock star back in your hometown because memorizing was the only way I could just get through stuff. The method you talked about sounded a little more like what Montessori is. My son is in Montessori, which is definitely hands-on group activity and then learning at your own pace and using your creativity.


Raj Subrameyer  05:36

That’s a great point. Sometimes people get the wrong notion when they say abstract learning creates creativity. It doesn’t mean that it’s not structured. They think that when you are creative, things are open-ended, and then you could do whatever you want. In Montessori and other educational systems and learning styles, things are more creative and more open. They have some structure, some guardrails, but they increase the creativity of kids or even adults. That is structured learning but increasing creativity at the same time.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:32

Absolutely. You’re talking about learning structure and what we’re able to take in. There are more ways to take in information than ever before. It can be confusing with the amount of information we have at our fingertips. Some people learn from mentors, coaches, masterminds, accountability partners, online courses, and many ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?

Raj Subrameyer  06:59

We have a good problem right now, where there are many options for you to consume information. We have many ways to do, a lot of things to choose from, and focus on things that we can relate to. The problem here is our life is not like a Netflix movie. How many of you have decided to watch a movie on Netflix, but spent 45 minutes just browsing through different movie options? By the time you select the movie, it’s already an hour and a half, and you’re all tired. That is what is happening in terms of having multiple options right now. You need to be careful of that. There will be many options, but you have to pick the top three things you can relate to and then go with it and see whether it works for you. If it doesn’t work, then take out one item from the list and then add another item to your list. That’s a good way to approach learning.

Podcasts are my jam as the mastermind effect. I have many podcasts, and I listen to them while running and cleaning my kitchen. That is one of the most important ways I consume information, learn and connect with people.

Another aspect is social media. It is based on what you do in life. For example, I’m a Tech Career coach. And I specifically help people in the tech industry find their dream job and become successful leaders in the tech industry. The place where all the tech folks hang out is LinkedIn. It is the place for professionals where they hang out and connect. LinkedIn is a rich social media platform for connections. And there, you can find a lot of like-minded people, influencers, entrepreneurs, and coaches like me. People connect with me, and then I connect with other coaches. You also have Instagram and Facebook, where people are more focused on other areas like photography.

Podcasts and social media are the two main ways I’m consuming information. I read about 25 to 30 books per year, primarily biographies and motivational books. If people are looking to connect, grow their network, and consume information, podcast, social media, and books are the way to go.


The Mastermind Effect:  10:40

Absolutely. I love how you explained how you’re utilizing the different platforms, and depending on the industry, why it’s important to be on there.

Let’s go into people you work with because many people get stuck, and they don’t know how to execute what’s in their heads. We’re still going through a pandemic. I feel it’s causing a reset and how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds or coaching helped you when you’re looking to reset and get unstuck?

Raj Subrameyer  11:11

People need to understand that even coaches need coaches. I coach a lot of people in the tech industry, but I have a business coach. I have a writing coach because I just published a book. Then, I have a speaking coach because I am training to give TEDx and TED Talks in the future. Everyone has someone to help them get unstuck.  There are different ways of approaching the situation, me as a coach and even people who are not coaches.

Let’s first talk about me as a coach, how am I approaching this pandemic situation and trying to get unstuck. No matter where you are in life, you need to figure out what you want to focus on. I do a simple exercise called the Mind Dump exercise. I recommend this to everyone. It gives good visibility on where you want to focus on. It is like a GPS or Google Maps; without putting the destination address, you cannot expect to reach a destination. In the same way, if you feel that you are stuck and this pandemic has taken control of your life, you need to do something about it. That’s what I’ve done during this pandemic, and I do it regularly to focus and refocus.

Take a paper and pen, put a line horizontally right through the middle of the paper. On the left side, you’re going to write down things you love to do or you want to do. On the right side, you’re going to write down things you hate to do or you never want to do in life. By doing that exercise honestly and uninterruptedly for an hour, you’re going to uncover so many things about yourself. All the things you want to do are already stuck in your head, and you just have to make it visible by putting it on paper. By doing this mind dump exercise, you can start finding different patterns in your interests and the things you don’t like. Then you can start inspecting your current state of life. Are you doing things based on your strengths? Or are you doing things that are not related to what you want to do in life? That’s the first step in getting unstuck.

The next step is to decide whether you can do it on your own through the resources like podcasts, blog posts, and articles, or you can find someone who can help you out. For me, there’s a lot of things I could find online and do, but then I also run a business, and I have clients to support in the best way possible.  I choose different things which I want to get help on. The way you pick any coach is by looking at their social media profile. Look at what they’re posting, see where they can relate to them. Check out their content, video, and podcasts. See whether you can relate to the experiences they share and what they’re going through. Then set up a call to connect with them. You can then filter people you can relate to and then hire coaches. That is the first aspect of how you get unstuck as a coach. Do mind dump exercise, start connecting and see what other help you can get from other people, and then hire the coaches you want.

The second part is if you’re not a coach, but you’re just stuck, and you want to do something in your life. If you’re stuck no matter where you are in your life or whatever career you are in, you start with the mind dump exercise. Then figure out things you need help with and see if you can get help through other resources, like blog posts and articles. If not, hire someone who has gone through the same journey.  You don’t have to struggle for 15 years to build a company. Instead, if someone has already built a company, you can have them as your mentor and then do it fast track by using their golden nuggets. That’s what you pay for.

One more thing you mentioned was the power of masterminds. I am a part of a mastermind as well. I wrote my book as part of a mastermind group. Masterminds is a group of like-minded people, and it could be entrepreneurs or anyone who have a similar vision to make an impact. You have one person who helps facilitate, guide and share their experiences with the group. Each one has its path, but they share and support each other. You choose whether you want coaches, masterminds, podcasts, and online resources, but it all starts with being clear on what you want to do with life.

[17:45 – 34:48] Self-Education and Raj’s reality

The Mastermind Effect:  17:28

One of the reasons we’re building the Success Finder is to help people and funnel them through their journey. They don’t have to go to all these different resources because it can be confusing.

Since we’re on the subject of masterminds, they’ve been around for a while. Probably the first mastermind was the apostles. Then Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club. Then Napoleon Hill writes a book and lays out what you described as a mastermind. There’s been a large boom of self-education over the last ten-plus years; where do you see the paradigm shifting between traditional education versus self-education going forward?

Raj Subrameyer  18:20

That’s a very controversial question. Everyone is thinking about whether school education makes sense these days. Learning has evolved in the past ten years; there’s still a lot of work to do. I feel that school education for our kids has a lot of scope for improvement because they’re still using old material. They make the students just learn one or two things they prescribe. Kids get a false understanding that’s how the world works, which is not true. I feel that all the kids have that entrepreneurial mind. We need to nurture that entrepreneurial mind of young kids.

I’ve seen this many school systems where, apart from the regular courses offered for the past 10 to 15 years, they’re starting to have new kinds of initiatives like having people like us back to school.  They’re encouraging more programs like this to expose kids to things other than what they’ve always been learning. I can see the past trends in entrepreneurial reforms and activities combined with their old traditional books system start to help kids.

We cannot just rely on the school system. That’s why as parents, we have to encourage our kids to learn different things. Parents must invest in their kids and start exposing them to different activities. It could be coding or art. It’s a combination of traditional school systems, entrepreneurial reforms, and parents encouraging their kids to learn and expose them to more opportunities. That’s where I see the trend going. If you don’t do that, the kids will suffer because what they perceive as reality at school, as we know, is not the reality when they step into the corporate environment. It’s a whole new world, and they shouldn’t be taken by surprise.  We should nurture them from a young age so that they’re at least decently prepared for it. When they come to a level of maturity to think on their own, those things which we did are going to help them out as well.

The Mastermind Effect:  22:07

When someone invests in their future, they have a better than a vague idea of what they will get out of it. They have some expectation if they follow the steps that you’re teaching them and they’re working with you on,  what the outcome could be. What should people expect when they enter Raj’s reality?

Raj Subrameyer  22:46

The first thing I do when people come to me is to analyze how bad they want to change. There are two types of people in this world, people who think they want to change, but there’s no action, and people who want to change and have tried so many different things, but they haven’t succeeded.  I help the second category of people. When people talk to me, I first analyze how bad they want it and whether they’re ready to invest in themselves because you need to be ready to invest in yourself to make a change. You need to remember that people come to coaches like us because we have dedicated 15 to 20 years of our life, going through all these failures, and we are going to give you the golden nuggets to succeed, like literally two or three months.  For that, you have to be ready to invest in yourself in terms of paying me a certain amount of money for you to grow. A lot of people say, “I don’t know whether I’m ready for it,” and that’s an indicator that people may not be ready just yet, due to multiple reasons.

In 2011, I was a new college grad, and I just started working. I just finished repaying my student loans and didn’t have money. One of my biggest fears in life was public speaking fear from a young age. And it was haunting me till 2011. Then I saw this marketing promo email saying there’s a conference going on. Then I started looking at the email and thought to myself, maybe I should attend this conference because of my fear of public speaking. Then another fear was fear of rejection. But if I go to a conference, there will be many people I don’t know, and it’d be more comfortable to get out of my comfort zone.

I decided to spend $3,000 on my own money because I really wanted to make a change. I went there and saw other speakers give talks. Then I got this epiphany that the best way to get rid of my fear of public speaking is by becoming a speaker. I came back from the conference in 2011 after taking notes and talking to people and other speakers. In 2012, I started speaking in smartphone meetup groups. In 2013, after seven months and 23 trial runs, I gave my first conference talk, and it was a huge hit. Right now, I’m an international keynote speaker and speaking in front of 1000s of people. Why am I sharing this story? That is because change doesn’t happen unless you decide to invest in yourself.

When they come to me, I first do this analysis; then, I do a profile analysis when I decide that they need help and I could help them. Profile analysis analyzes their current state and where they’re now from their LinkedIn profile, whether their current job matches their strengths. Once we do that, we start getting different items to work on. For example, a person comes to me and says he wants to be a tech manager. We started analyzing whether that’s what they want to do. Sometimes, you may find out that it is not what they want to do. We identify what strengths and interest areas they have to focus on; then, we develop a three-month or six-month action plan to reach those goals. Then we proceed on a weekly basis. We have calls and tasks. That’s how we proceed further. If you work with me, that’s what you can expect.

I can guarantee that your mindset and belief system are 100% going to shift if you work with me. You will be in a better state than you were before you came to me. I can also guarantee that you’ll have confidence, and we will identify your strengths. I guarantee that you will focus your vision, goals, and tasks based on your strengths. You also have to do the work. That’s what happened.

I’ve helped about 30 clients, and my clients are usually people in their mid to senior-level stage of their careers who want to get into leadership. One final thing before I finish this monologue, everything is mindset and consistency—no matter where you are in life. It’s mindset and belief system that we need to work on first, and then all other things follow. That’s pretty much the whole Raj experience if you come to me.

The Mastermind Effect:  29:31

I love the Raj experience. And speaking of that experience, I feel that people have a way of surprising us from time to time,  whether it’s their willingness to learn, the grit, and the grind. Give us a success story of someone who has been through the Raj experience and the outcome because they worked with you.

Raj Subrameyer  29:49

There are many success stories, but one that immediately comes to my mind is this woman I’m working with right now, and she’s still my client. She has been my client for over two years. She came to me in early 2018. She was a tech lead. A Tech lead is someone in a leadership role in the tech industry. That’s the starting stage. Once you do our tech lead job, you can become manager, VP and keep growing. She said that being a tech woman has been hard on her because she is getting overlooked for promotions and not getting the salary she deserves. She wants to get into a manager role, but she feels she doesn’t have the right skill sets. That’s what she told me when we first started talking.

Usually, what happens is, even before the person back to me, I asked for their LinkedIn profile because I want to see their work experiences. She had 21 years of experience working in the Tech industry. And she felt that she didn’t have the right skill set to be a manager.  I had to give her a taste of reality. Her name is Sri. I told Sri that, do you know that you have 21 years of experience in Tech. It just blew her mind. She said, “I didn’t even realize that I have 21 years of experience.” The reality I was telling her is, even CEOs and CTOs of startup companies do not have 21 years of Tech experience. And you think about whether you can be a manager. I said you could even be a CTO or CEO if you want to. You have these limiting beliefs, which are holding you down.  We started analyzing her different strength areas. Her experience was her strength, and she had this knack for solving problems creatively in teams because we uncovered some of her stories. Then, we figured out her ideal leadership style and what our role would be. Once she uncovered those things, we started looking for different jobs to meet her strengths. I not only helped her get a manager role at a company, but she became the director of quality engineering. That was our next jump, literally, from Tech lead to director of quality engineering. That’s like two-step progress in terms of her job. She’s doing amazingly well and works in a real-life company.

Here, the moral of the story is we have all these limiting beliefs that we cannot do this or do that  because society has labeled us that way. Once you start realizing that you shouldn’t let other people’s opinions become your reality, that’s when the real transformation happens. For Sri, I had to tell her that you need to believe in yourself. Shut up the noise and the negativity coming. You have to focus, and you have the strength to do and then she became a director.

That is one of my great success stories because not only because I helped her, I also learned a lot from her. Because being a woman in Tech, they have to go through a lot of hardships. I could feel the problem she had to go through, and for everything a man does, the woman has to work double to reach that goal. That’s the unfortunate situation currently, at least in the tech industry.

The Mastermind Effect:  34:25

I appreciate you sharing that story. It’s an amazing success story. Talking about her success. On the solo shows, we talk about success and the ingredients or the pillars of success, like hanging out with the right people or willingness to invest in yourself. You’ve talked about that one a little bit today. Then, as I say, action through experimentation because if you expect something’s to happen, it’s not unless you choose to take some action.

[34:49 – 48:56] Creating Success

The Mastermind Effect:

I feel that there’s a lot of different ingredients in there. It’s mentorship, coaching, experimentation, partnerships, and willingness to fail. What do you feel is a key thing if you were to center it out and become successful?

Raj Subrameyer  35:27

As you said, there are multiple facets of your life that make you successful. One key thing, which has worked for me, and I remind my client about is consistency. You can come up with all these audacious plans to make a transformation, a 30 bullet point list of five different goals, or two years plan to figure out where you want to go to. But the problem is, everyone starts with this motivation, and then within three weeks, they start falling off the bandwagon because they are not consistent. We all believe in getting results immediately. No one believes in the concept of delayed gratification, where you put in the work consistently over a period of time, then you get the results. That’s the way life works.

Consistency is the key. Say you identify three things you want to do. 2021 is coming up, and say you want to lose weight. What you are going to do is be consistent and select three things you want to do to lose weight. Don’t select 200 things. When you select multiple things, you get confused. Then it goes back to the Netflix movie experience because you get so confused. Click three things exactly. Start simple, think small, and be consistent. Based on research, if you do anything consistently for about 30 to 45 days, it becomes a habit. If we are consistent in whatever we do, we can start achieving our goals one by one. The key here is delayed gratification. It’s easy to expect results immediately but just put in the effort, and then things happen.


The Mastermind Effect:  38:22

Think of it this way. Life happens every day. So you have to be concise. That’s why I’m making a new year’s resolution is once a year. Life happens every day. Have that resolution every day.

I feel that new ideas are brewing in times of prosperity. It’s easy to be successful when everybody’s winning. But ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze and the world’s feeling the squeeze. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?

Raj Subrameyer  39:00

The first thing is I launched my new book in mid-November called Skyrocket Your Career: The No Bullsh*t Approach to Find Your Dream Job, Be Successful in It, and Transform into a Rockstar. There’s been a great reception. I hit rank 70 on the bestseller list in the jobs careers category, which is amazing. I want to keep pushing this book to people because it’s going to be super impactful, and it’s going to help them advance their career, get unstuck, be successful, and set them miles apart from the competition. 2021 will be a lot of speaking and then sharing ideas from the book with other people to show how impactful it is. Then help the book reach many people. That’s my goal in 2021, which is exciting.

Talking about more impact and more focused work, there are two things which I’m going to do.  First is the online course. The different contents of my book will be put into an online course so that people can digest the content in chunks. If you’re looking for your dream job and looking for strategies, then you’ll have a course for it. If you’re already a leader but you’re looking for strategies to be successful in it, you’ll have a course. If you want to be super productive in your work, manage your time, and manage work-life balance, then there’s going to be a course for it. This book has all of the things in one book. The online course will be in different parts with more exercises and interactive features.

The next thing is starting a group accountability program. We were talking about goal setting and being consistent, and 80% of the people did not achieve their goals. I’ve achieved over 90% of my goals for the past four years. The reason I’m able to do that is I have a system. We start with the mind dump exercise. Then, figure out different goals under different buckets like personal health, wealth, family, and careers. Under each one, you start and find goals, and then once you identify the goals, you identify different tasks for each goal. Once you identify the task, you put that on your Google Calendar, literally to work on it every week for three months or six months, right. Then it’s a slow, gradual progress towards your goal. I thought this was common knowledge. But when I started doing workshops this year and talking about goal-setting mindset, I saw that many people are struggling with it. I think I can help them out as well.

This group accountability program will be me and a really small group of people like a mastermind. I’m going to share my actual goals, revenue goals, and everything personal to this group. All those folks in the group will share personal information because they will map out the goals. We’re going to have a close-knit community where we’re going to help each other out and achieve our goals in 2021. It’s going to be super awesome, and I’m so looking forward to it. I’m planning to start it in mid-January. I haven’t publicized it yet, because I want to create a structure. It’s going to be super informal, but I’m going to help people out with my strategy to achieve goals.

The book, online course, and the group accountability program are some things that I’m super excited about. And of course, I always do my regular business on the side, coaching one on one clients, doing the speaking, and writing for companies.

The Mastermind Effect:  43:08

What is one last tip, tactic, actual item that if someone listening today, something really simple, implemented that over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they would see a real impact in their personal and business lives?

Raj Subrameyer  43:34

The answer is to build your personal brand. Your personal brand is everything. Your personal brand is the multiple facets of you, which makes people come to you, recognize you, and notice you. For the next 30 or 60 days, if you want to do something impactful in your life, start building your personal brand. The quickest way to do that is to go to your LinkedIn profile or Facebook. Update your LinkedIn profile. Ensure it reflects everything you do to let people know what you’re capable of. Because everything you put on LinkedIn is SEO information. Google uses LinkedIn and uses the keywords to find you out in the search results. Make sure you populate all the data in LinkedIn.

Grow your network and attend online conference meetup groups. You will never know who you’re going to meet. There are a lot of free online courses and even paid courses for a fraction of the cost of what you will have to pay. All these extra courses and proactiveness you will reflect as part of your personal brand. Build your personal brand. I talk more about this in my book. The point is, a personal brand is everything. That’s why it’s going to get you noticed. That’s where it’s going to make you extraordinary compared to other folks who are in the same boat as you.

The Mastermind Effect:  46:11

That’s great advice. It’s simple. It’s easy, and it’s digestible. Your book is digestible.

Raj Subrameyer  46:19

It’s only 99 pages. The book subtitle is the no bullsh*t approach because that’s how I live my life. I wanted to give people real experiences, which I had to go through, like applying for 4293 jobs in 2008. That was one of my experiences.  I give actionable strategies and weave that into the experiences so that people can realize how do I apply them in my real life. This book is a quick read because of the pandemic; people do not have time to consume 400-page books. It’s super digestible.

The Mastermind Effect:  47:30

Absolutely. I appreciate it. We have got the founder of Chai Latte Consulting. He is a Tech Career coach, and he’s got a book that just launched. You can go to his website, skyrocketyourcareerbook.com. We’ve got Raj Subrameyer. Raj, thank you so much for your time today.

Raj Subrameyer  47:49

Thank you so much for having me. It’s such a pleasure to come to these kinds of podcasts and then share my story and my thoughts. I also wanted to acknowledge what you have been doing quickly. I think you’ve been impacting the community at a really big level. You’ve been consistent in getting great people on your podcast and making it impactful. I want to acknowledge you for your effort. Thanks for everything you’ve been doing, and people are definitely impacted by it.

The Mastermind Effect:  48:25

That means a lot to me. Thank you so much, Raj. Thank you again.

Raj Subrameyer  48:28

You’re welcome. Keep doing what you’re doing.

Tweetable Quotes:

“No matter where you are in life, you need to figure out what you want to focus on.” – Raj Subrameyer

“You need to be ready to invest in yourself, for you to make a change.” – Raj Subrameyer

“You put in the work, consistently over a period of time, then you get the results. That’s the way life works.” – Raj Subrameyer

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Raj on Linkedin(linkedin.com/in/rajsubra/) and visit https://www.rajsubra.com/. Download a free chapter of Skyrocket Your Career at https://www.skyrocketyourcareerbook.com/

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store.

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can move beyond your limits.

084: Greg Rice | The Art of Communication: Helping Entrepreneurs Become Better Leaders, Increase Sales, and Raise Funding

Founder and Host of the Art of Communication Podcast, Greg Rice has a history of blowing away sales goals, managing multi-million dollar relationships with fortune 500 executives across a variety of industries. He helps entrepreneurs and leaders transform their businesses and lives by enhancing their fundamental communication skills.
In this episode, Greg talks about how he helped his clients raise over $20M in early-stage funding and how he made the shift to being a full-time entrepreneur. He also shares what you can expect when working within his program, and how an easy 5 minute morning exercise can help change your day. Check it out!

[02:27 – 09:36] Greg’s learning journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:30

The ability to learn over the last 5 to 10 years has changed drastically. When you and I were younger, it was the educators, teachers, family, friends, co-workers, and the people around us, but that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Greg Rice  02:50

Yes, it changes so dramatically. Starting in a more traditional education path, I got my undergrad, bachelor’s, and MBA. One of my previous jobs was as a consultant to small businesses in Pittsburgh at the University of Pittsburgh.  We did a lot of education of entrepreneurs. Back then, we didn’t have all the tremendous tools like masterminds and coaches. They were few and far between and hard to find. I juxtapose that with today, as I’m on my entrepreneurial journey. There are so many tremendous ways to find education. There are coaches, masterminds, and mentors. It’s just changed so dramatically.

For example, I got excited about starting a podcast. I’m excited about communication, wanting to learn about it and share that with the world. I went out, and I found a coach. Somebody, you and I both know, Travis Chapel.  He has been tremendous in guiding me throughout the entire process from end to end. Without him, I would be lost trying to put together my podcast on my own. That’s an example of something I wouldn’t have even considered, probably even five years ago, right. But now, those folks are accessible; you can reach out to them and find them. It’s such a powerful thing.

The Mastermind Effect:  03:56

That’s the amazing thing. You want to have similar connections and your podcast; you said Travis had helped both of us and where our podcast journey began and then where it’s at today. Those kinds of people are unbelievably accessible. They want to help you succeed. They want to see what you’re doing and move the needle forward. That’s the great thing about people like Travis and others you and I’ve connected with.

We have a lot of ways to take in information right here. Got the podcast going on right now. People use masterminds, accountability buddies, coaches, online courses, and many different ways to take in information. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?

Greg Rice  04:37

There’s a couple—some with personal relationships, and some are virtual. Travis has been a major coach for me around podcasting and getting my own business up and running. He’s definitely somebody I’ve learned from. It’s interesting how did I connect with him. I’ll take you through the whole process.  When I saw Knowledge Broker Blueprint from Tony and Dean, there was a section on podcasting from JLD, John Lee Dumas.  That’s what got me so excited about a great way to step into the communication world. From there, I sent a note to John Lee Dumas I was like, “Hey, I loved what you presented here. I’d love to talk to you about starting my podcast and what it takes.” He’s the one that put me on to Travis. If I would have never taken a step to get in that course in the first place, then if I would have never had the courage to reach out to JLD and then reach out to Travis as well. That connection would have never happened. Travis is a big person I’m learning from right now.

Another person is Russell Brunson. I’m looking around a lot right now to market my business and build sales funnels. I’ve been spending a lot of time listening and learning from Russell Brunson and his presentations and his programs. It’s two different examples. One is more of a one-on-one mentoring sort of relationship. The other is figuring out who has done it well and learning from them.

The Mastermind Effect:  06:01

I think it’s important for anyone that’s listening to understand this. You chose right there to invest in yourself. I know the original cost of KBB (Knowledge Broker Blueprint), which is around $2000. That amount to invest in yourself. From that investment, you went to John Lee Dumas. Then, from having that conversation, whatever the investment is with Travis.  That’s the important thing that you have to remember when you’re looking at success and what success is to you. The first and foremost thing you got to do is invest in yourself. Where do you look at your investment ROI and why you went there?

Greg Rice  06:39

I think that’s a great point. First of all, I had to make some level of investment in myself and some level of belief. You have to stop and think about what do I want to achieve? What’s the best way of getting there? How much time will that save me? What’s my likelihood of succeeding without that kind of guidance?

As I mentioned before, I wouldn’t have a podcast today without Travis. You and I wouldn’t be talking today, and I wouldn’t be connected to other folks that he’s been able to open my network up to. That’s been huge. When I think about the initial ROI, it is a guidance of coaching and the relationships I’ve already built. I think there’s a massive ROI down the road as that network continues to expand. So each of those touch relationships I’ve built that Travis has introduced me to expand into broader networks of people, I touch more people and help more people. And as I do, I grow my business too. I think over time; there’s a huge ROI on that. If you’re thinking about investing in these kinds of things, it can’t be a six-month kind of thing; you have to look at a much longer time frame. Where might you be 5 or 10 years from now if you take step a versus step B?

The Mastermind Effect:  07:45

Absolutely. When you were talking about expanding your network, I’m going to give a piece of advice that I wish I had gotten earlier.  Get a programmer. Understand how to use words to build out trees. I use MindMeister because at this point, with the amount of the network and how someone’s connected to me, I can draw it all back to a singular place.  If you’re going to go down this journey of entrepreneurship, know how you’re connected to whomever it was because you want to remember that it started in the beginning. Even if you only have five people to add to it, start a mind map immediately. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts on why investing in yourself is important because we talk about that in the solo shows.

A lot of people get stuck, and they don’t know how to execute what’s in their heads. We are still going through a pandemic, and it’s causing a reset and how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to get unstuck and reset yourself?

Greg Rice  08:46

They’ve helped me reshape my thinking in a lot of different ways via masterminds and coaching.  By getting on the phone or the video, and having conversations with people who are doing it, I learned something new. A new approach, a new way to look at it, the way to think about it, and the new target to go after. It’s changing my thinking because I tend to get stuck in a linear way of thinking. When I can get a couple of new ideas, it blows it all up, but in a good way. I come out of it with a much more excited, unstuck-focused, and a lot of energy to go in a new direction and try something else. When you do that, you learn new things and grow.

The Mastermind Effect:  09:24

The growth because of learning from the people around you. They’re able to help you see around a corner that you might not have access to. It’s amazing what you’re able to take away from the group mentality.

[09:37 – 18:01] Self-Education and Greg’s reality

The Mastermind Effect:

Masterminds, in general, have been around for a long time. As I always say, probably the first mastermind was the apostles. Then, Benjamin Franklin, way down the road, creates something called the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club.  Then there’s Napoleon Hill. He solidifies what a mastermind is.  There’s been such a large boom of self-education in the last 10 – 15 years; where do you see the parallel between standardized education versus self-education going?

Greg Rice  10:10

Let me step back to that last question quickly before moving on to that because I wanted to follow up on your point about learning from each other. I’m in a mastermind with many other guys who are successful podcasters. I take away something from each of them, whether it’s how to communicate with guests, find guests, follow up with guests, who to work with to produce my episodes, or how to record an intro. I take something away from everybody. I would never learn if I wasn’t part of this group. There’s so much value in that you don’t even know what you don’t know, and to kind of get in and start having those conversations.

So to your next point,  education will continue to change dramatically. We’ll still have the foundational education. My wife’s an elementary school teacher, and we have five kids, four of which are teenagers and in school right now.  We push heavy on the importance and value of education. I believe in the value of that, but I also try to get my kids to open up and think about where else they can learn things. It only expands from there as they continue down the path and start looking for masterminds, coaches, mentors, or groups to join, leading to the right direction. Education in the near future, especially in the entrepreneur world, will continue to multiply from this self-education side.

On the one hand, I think that’s a great thing because folks were willing to invest in themselves; more time and focus to learn and master something.  They will have a tremendously greater ability to succeed if they think that this will magnify their ability to do that. In the entrepreneur world, we’re going to see self-learning continue to multiply.

The Mastermind Effect:  12:07

I agree with you. Not only do I have a show built around it, but I’m betting on that changing with the Success Finder. It would be awesome to start seeing younger generations, the teen year, starting to create their own masterminds and their entrepreneurship journey earlier. That’s going to happen. We need to remember the generation they think differently from you and I did when we grow.

The Mastermind Effect:  13:08

Typically, when someone invests in their future, they’ve got a better than a vague idea of what the outcome is going to be. They have an expectation of what can happen if they follow through with the steps that you’re working with them on. What should people expect when they enter Greg’s reality?

Greg Rice  13:27

A couple of different things. One, a shift in focus when you’re thinking about communication and connection. Shift and focus away from manipulation and making my point in getting what I want from this person. A shift instead of more self-awareness, more connection, and influence by better understanding yourself and better understanding others. Less faking everything, more vulnerability, and more empathy. Those are the big focus areas for me that I want to see. I want to help others grow within themselves, and we need a lot more in society.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:08

I agree with you right there, and I used to always hear, “fake it till you make it.” But we’re becoming a society where that’s not okay. It’s starting to be where vulnerability is a good thing.

Greg Rice  14:30

I’d say in my sales career, some of my biggest sales and biggest successes had come from times when I was willing to be vulnerable and share, “Hey, I don’t know this. Or I don’t know if this is the right thing for you.” Even sharing a personal story that I wouldn’t usually open up in that way. It’s not showing weakness or anything sappy. It’s just about sharing your authentic emotions, authentic view on the situation, and being honest and open. Trying to understand who the other person is under that veneer they’re showing you.



The Mastermind Effect:  15:04

I feel that the people you work with have a way of surprising you from time to time, whether it’s their drive or willingness to learn.  Give us a success story of someone that’s gone through your program and worked with you that, because of that, the outcome was even unexpected to them.

Greg Rice  15:30

I can tell you about an individual in pharmaceutical sales. He played college football. He is a big strong guy, not the kind of guy you would think would be fearful of anything. He was very nervous about speaking in front of people, and in his job, he needed to be up in front of groups of people speaking every day. A couple of things that helped them: One, to change his focus away from worrying about him so much and worrying about the message he’s trying to get across. The listeners aren’t so worried about you, the individual; they’re worried about the message you’re trying to get across. If you let your natural passion come through about that, which he certainly has, that’s going to connect with them. It’s not about saying the perfect words in the perfect way. It’s about sharing that authentic passion that you have for whatever you’re selling and honestly communicating why it would be great for them to try it. Then, Next is to help them think about preparing more effectively and just thinking about getting ready for it and getting it right in his head right before speaking.

The combination of those two things worked out very successfully for him. He was already successful. But this helped magnifies success.  He’s amazed at how much more comfortable he feels in front of folks. Just with that bit of shift in the mindset of “it’s not about me, it’s about the message.” He said, “you’re like Tony Robbins, man; I’m so excited and fired up to get out there now.” And I was like, “If you want to compare me to Tony Robbins, that’s amazing. I feel really good about that.”

The Mastermind Effect:  17:05

You probably have a little bit bigger hands. I love how you shifted or reframed what was important when he was up there speaking. That small reframe and shift made a world of difference for him to feel confident and already good. That’s why coaching is so important. That’s why in the solo shows, I’m constantly talking about why you need to get a coach and you want to get the right coach. Finding the right coach will make the world of difference. I have a coach for my mindset. I have a coach for my finances. I have a coach for growth. Don’t limit yourself to one area of what you’re looking to accomplish. I think coaching with what you’re doing is amazing. I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds for you and the program that you’re building.

[18:02– 25:48] Creating Success

The Mastermind Effect:

On the solo shows, we talk about success. One of my mentors says, “once you define success, you’ve in essence defined failure.” That’s why so many people will not define what success is then. I think there’s a lot of things that go into success. There’s mentorship, coaching, partnerships,  and being okay with failure. What do you feel is a key ingredient in being successful?

Greg Rice  18:29

It’s going to be different for every individual. It depends on your purpose and what you’re hoping to accomplish. The easiest way to define it for me would be; first, you have to define your “true why” and understand that. Then when you’re making true progress against that “why,” that’s a success. If your big “why” probably isn’t going to be achieved, maybe even your lifetime, but it’s all about making progress towards that “why.”

One of my big “why’s” is I’d love to develop an organization that helps mentor kids in troubled situations like kids in juvenile detention.  They don’t have a lot of resources to help them make the right decisions in their lives. Setting up an organization that connects people who want to help them and then also trains them on how to connect with them more effectively. That’s a big “why” for me and something that I’m not building at all right now. It’s my longer term focus. First, I want to master the fundamentals of connection, both from a business perspective and from a mentoring perspective, and find ways to teach others to do that effectively. I can then start plugging people into some program like that.

Another big “why” for me is getting people to listen to each other and appreciate each other. We yell at each other a lot. We’re in our silos. We don’t want to hear anybody else’s point of view. But there are far more things that we have in common than what differentiates us. I want to help people come together on those common things and discuss those that seem to differentiate us in a way that helps us appreciate each other’s points of view. Not everybody’s going to be open to that. I am thinking about bringing together groups of people in certain regions where many folks might be in my network. I bring together groups of people to connect, giving them simple pointers on connecting more effectively and helping them open up around things they might disagree about. I’ve even thought about putting an app together that connects people on what they have in common, but they have one fundamental difference. They’re both willing to have a conversation and explore that together. Those reflect my bigger “why.” If I’m achieving those things and moving in that direction, I’m feeling really good about my success.

The Mastermind Effect:  20:46

I would assume anything that deviates from that goes away from your “why.” You quickly get rid of that outside noise if it’s not going towards your common goal, which is your success or your “why,” they’re out.

Greg Rice  20:58

That’s the ideal scenario. But a lot of us don’t look at it clearly enough. I certainly don’t every day. But you always try to get back to that. The more you come back to what’s my “why,” then you can make that assessment and say, “Okay, I don’t need to be doing this thing over here.”

The Mastermind Effect:  21:10

That’s great advice.  I like how you framed it with the “Hey, what’s my why,” and then go from there for the success portion of it.

As we’re getting closer to the end, I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing when times are good. It’s easy to succeed when everyone else is being successful. Innovation and ingenuity come when we feel the squeeze, and the world has been feeling the squeeze this year. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?



Greg Rice  21:42

What excites me is building the courses we talked about briefly before, right? Two great courses.  One is the Save methodology. It’s self-awareness and being curious about the other person, vulnerability, and empathy. Helping folks deep dive into those topics about themselves and about the people they’re speaking with to learn to connect more effectively. The other one I’m working on is around mastering conversation. How do you ask questions? How do you tell stories? How do you speak with authority? How do you learn to focus? So you can be present with that person. How do you learn to read body language and micro-expressions?

Building those courses out excites me over the next six months or so. I’m hoping to have that built out in the next two to three. From there, it’s about continuing to build the podcast, interviewing really interesting people, reading a lot of really interesting books, and just continuing to learn more about communication and helping others do the same.

The Mastermind Effect:  22:38

I’m looking forward to seeing what those courses look like. Helping promote those and making sure the right people find the right person in you and what you’re building.

What’s a tip, a tactic, an actual item that if someone listening today, implemented over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they’d see real action and results in their personal and business life?

Greg Rice  23:01

Two simple ones. One has been huge for me.  That is just a short, easy mindfulness practice. Five minutes a day focusing on your breath. You have an idea your mind drifts; bring it back to your breath. That’s a rep. Doing that allows you to see what’s happening in your head, which allows you to be much more present with the world around you. Because you start to see that when I’m talking to you, or I’m talking to somebody else that I’ve started to see a stray thought about dinner tonight, and I’m like, “Oh, I gotta get back in focus.” It’s the practice of focusing and centering yourself to be much more present and a much better communicator.

The second piece is to start paying attention. I tell folks all the time, grab a notebook.  After you have your following conversation with somebody, take two minutes, and write down a few things like what they talked about? What was important to them? What body language did you recognize? What sparked them? What sort of emotional reactions did you see?  What were you thinking during that conversation? were you thinking about what they were saying? Were you trying to make your own point? Like, this is what I’m going to say next? What could you maybe have done differently? How could you have handled it a little bit differently? If you start doing that? And again, you don’t have to answer all those questions. If you just answer one or two on a pretty regular cadence, you’re going to start recognizing clear opportunities to get better at communicating and clear opportunities to build better relationships with people.

The Mastermind Effect:  24:25

I love that and the five-minute one. I think that’s my big takeaway and something that I could probably do better at—being open and honest. There’ll be times I’m listening to a video, and my mind starts to ramble. Well, bring it back. If I started practicing that in the mornings when I’m watching something of purpose for me, will my mind won’t even stray during moments of that as often?

Greg Rice  25:06

To a degree, and it’s not so much that it won’t stray. It’s more that you’ll catch it a lot more quickly and easily, and you can bring it back to focus. Your mind is always going to stray. You can’t stop your mind from thinking thoughts, but you can become present to them and send it to yourself again.

The Mastermind Effect:  25:08

I appreciate it. It’s been amazing. We’ve got the founder of Authentic Connection Academy and the host of The Art of Communication, Greg Rice. I appreciate your time. Thank you so much.

Greg Rice  25:21

It’s been great. Thanks for having me on.

Tweetable Quotes:

“I think self-education in the near future, especially in the entrepreneurial world, is going to continue to multiply.” – Greg Rice  

“In my sales career, some of my biggest sales, and biggest successes have come from times when I was willing to be vulnerable.” – Greg Rice

“It’s not about saying the perfect words in the perfect way, it’s about sharing that authentic passion that you have for whatever it is that you’re selling.” – Greg Rice

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Greg, check out his podcast The Art of Communication with Greg Rice on any of the major podcast platforms, or you can visit https://gregjrice.com. Also, be sure to visit https://bodylanguagemastery.gregjrice.com/ for a 6-week free body language course.

Be one of the early adopters of The Success Finder! Download it from the App Store or Google Play Store

You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can live past beyond your limits.