014: Patrick Carney | Think About The Solutions

In this episode, I brought in guest Patrick Carney. Patrick is a professional artist, networker, keynote speaker, and mastermind. Born and raised in New York, Patrick started hanging out in NY’s West Village around 1964, and dedicated his time to drawing and painting the world of rock n’ roll music. He soon became an influential documentary artist of rock’s most celebrated musicians.

Let’s jump right into Patrick’s story of how we can change our mindsets to thinking about the solutions instead of the problem and getting outside of our comfort zone.

[00:01 – 06:26] Opening Segment

  • – I introduce and welcome guest, Patrick Carney
  • – Patrick talks about how learning has changed for him today
  • – Patrick shares a story from his 50th high school reunion
  • – Surround yourself with people for three different areas
  • – Education
  • – Support
  • – Spiritual
  • – The Multiple of Three
  • – digs deeper into why there are multiple of three people in each of his groups

[06:27 – 13:51] The Access That We Can Have to People Just by Asking

  • – Patrick talks about one of his favorite mentors and how he met him
  • – How David Corbin has impacted his life
  • – Patrick shares the importance of masterminds and how it has helped him
  • – Integrating the philosophies of Napoleon Hill
  • – The bigger the person, the more you have access to them

[13:52 – 19:41] Different Styles of Learning

  • – Patrick talks about his preferred forms of learning
  • – He loves books
  • – Patrick shares his experience from the CovAID Business Festival
  • – Patrick talks about the different speakers that he follows

[19:42 – 28:31] Think about the Solutions

  • – Patrick talks about what people should expect when they enter the YES Mastermind.
  • – Patrick explains what he means by “coachable members.”
  • – Masterminds are all about finding solutions.
  • – Creating Opportunities
  • – Patrick talks about the whole idea of masterminds.

[28:32 – 37:23] The Positive Effect

  • – Patrick shares a story of a woman who surprised him with what she was able to accomplish after inviting her to his mastermind.
  • – As a leader, you make sure that your member’s opportunity to grow is paramount to everything
  • – What it takes to create success
  • – Mentorship
  • – Experimentation
  • – Partnerships
  • – Willingness to fail
  • – What does it take to be willing to get over that hump where your main fear is BEING SUCCESSFUL?

[37:24 – 41:41] Closing Segment

  • – What are you working on right now that’s gonna take place in the next 12 months that really excites you?
  • – I am creating a series of children’s books with references from my three grandchildren. I think it’s gonna have an impact to change the lives of kids.
  • – Patrick shares excellent tips and tricks that will help you in your entrepreneurial journey
  • – To call each one of your customers and just say, ‘how you doing and how can I help?’ and if you can get what they need, who do you think will they call when something similar comes up again?
  • – Final words from me

Tweetable Quotes:

“Success in this world is always a matter of individual effort, yet you will only be deceiving yourself if you believe that you can succeed without the cooperation of other people.” – Napoleon Hill

“Your ability to create abundant success in the next 5 to 10 years is actually affected by the mindset of the people with whom you are collaborating. Your ability to create fulfillment in the next 5 to 10 years is affected by the fulfillment level of those you are collaborating.” – Patrick Carney

“When you think about a mastermind, and you think about pivoting, and you think about everything that we are talking about. The idea is you must surround yourself with brilliant individuals dedicated in supporting you and challenging you. Cheering you on and inspiring you to achieve and use the actual steps to get to your desired outcomes.” – Patrick Carney

Resources Mentioned:

You can connect with Patrick on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to become a master of their own mind by sharing this episode or click here to listen to our previous episodes.

You can connect with me 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.

013: Willingness to Invest in Yourself

Recently, it got me thinking why most people aren’t willing to invest in themselves. I know this. I’m actually a product expert, or a personal expert in this, because for over 15 years, I had stopped investing in myself. I know how that feels.
So today, I wanted to sit here and say, okay, what are the five ways that you can invest in yourself right now, take immediate action, and actually see results from that by these five things?

Let’s kick it off with number one, find a group of like-minded people.

Now I’m going to rewind real quick. A statement that you’ve heard before, or one that you’ve always heard me say is, “You are the average of the five people you surround yourself with.” So right now, what I want you to do is get a piece of paper, and a pen or pencil and draw a few columns. In the first column, I want you to write down who the people you currently surround yourself with, whether it’s from a weekly or monthly standpoint. You might sit there and say, “Oh, I know who that is!” but this time, really write down who are the people you’re currently surrounding yourself with.

Now, in the next column, write down what you are primarily talking about in these groups with these people? Like what are the conversations really centered on? What are you getting out of those conversations? What is the value? Or what are you actually getting out of those conversations?

So are the people you’re mainly hanging out with your coworkers? Are they your family? Or friends? Who are those people? And what do those conversations you have with them consist of?

Okay, now, you’re going to be able to categorize these people into the three C’s that we’ve talked about in an earlier episode. As a recap, in episode five, The Pillars of Success, we talked about the three C’s that Steve Sims taught us, the Cheerleaders, the Challengers, and the Crabs. Now that you’ve written down who you often surround yourself with, you’re going to be able to categorize each one of those people to those three categories, based off on what those conversations you have with them are.

So what I want you to do is sit there now and say, “Okay, what do I really want out of life?” Like, what is it that I’m wanting? Do I need more of the cheerleader? Do I need the Challenger? And you know, there’s a purpose for the Crabs as well. Additionally, ask yourself “What are these people that I’m primarily around? What are they bringing to me?”

More importantly, I also want you to think about this: We can sometimes sit down and say, well, they did this, he did or she did that or whatever. But we should also look internally and focus on what value are you bringing to the conversation? Ask yourself: “What value am I bringing that these people, if they were doing the same exercise, could get from me?”

Once you’ve written down your answers, look back at it again. Find out what you really want out of yourself and the people that you’re around. However, I’m not saying you got to kick people to the curb, but you can start replacing them, and start replacing the situations that you put yourself into. Find like-minded people that want to grow in the same direction that you want to. So that’s number one.


Number two, listen to a podcast. Here’s the breaking news. If you’re listening to this podcast, you’re already there. But I want you to go a little bit deeper than just listening to a podcast, just like with anything.

Right now, there’s an overabundance of information. Forbes states that each day, there’s over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data created. And 90% of that data in the world was created in just the last two years alone! That’s like, a lot of stuff out there. It’s a lot of junk, that’s out there. And if you’re listening to this show, I hope I’m not one of those pieces of junk. I hope I’m one of those pieces of value.

So with all of that, the overabundance of information, I want you to sit there and pick three to five podcasts. That’s it. Just three to five. Now, I do have a few more in mind and I’ve got to weed them out, but choose only three to five that you can commit yourself to. And choose not only podcasts that are meaningful podcast, choose one that are digestible too.

Look at the podcasts you’re listening to from a couple different viewpoints. Me? I like to get enjoyment, have something that is insightful, something that is action taking, like, I can actually take a little bit of action. And then I also like something I can call reality– something that when I sit there, I’ll feel that I actually want to work with the person that I’m listening to on the podcast. Someone that somehow, I’ll want to connect with at some given point, whether I’ll interview them, work with them, or collaborate with them.

If you listen to someone’s podcast and you can see yourself working with that person, connect with them. Because like we’ve talked about before, the availability of people today is your arm’s length away.  You can just chat or a message away people who are willing to communicate with you back and forth, no matter what level we think that they sit at.

Additionally, people have a lot more time right now. So go find that reality, that one you like to work and collaborate with and go from there.


Next, hire a coach, or a mentor.

This is the first thing that’s going to come out of so many people’s mouth, “Oh, but it’s going to cost me money.” Yes, the previous two were free. You can do everything we just talked about for free. And I’m going to ask you to put your money where your mouth is.

So I can tell you, in the last year alone, I’ve invested somewhere around $50,000, between coaching, mentorship, and being around these kinds of people to help me get to where I’m going. Now. I’m not sitting there saying you need to invest that kind of money, whatsoever. But if your barrier is not being willing to invest in yourself, do you really wanting to get to where you’re going?

I think it was Episode 10, I interviewed Steve Sims. And he said this, “I don’t believe on the podcast.” But just so you know, I consider him a coach, a mentor, and a friend. He sat there and said, “Can you afford not to do it?” And what he’s saying is, “Can you afford not to invest in yourself?”

Remember, I told you at the beginning of this, that I’m a perfect, prime, textbook example of someone who does not invest in himself. I had stopped investing in myself around 15 years ago, because I thought I had accomplished it. You know, I had created a small business then. I’d created a company. But in comparison, when I look back at what has happened over the last two years since I’ve changed my mindset and worked with a coach and a mentor, that has allowed me to rework how my current company grows.

Since then, I’ve started two companies and two podcasts. Now, I will sit there and say this. One of the companies that made money didn’t work out. It’s just the partnership wasn’t there. We just didn’t go anywhere with it. And one of the podcasts is still in existence to this day and I still really enjoy it, but it just wasn’t really what was working for me and the partners that was doing the podcast.

The podcast is still around and I’m still really close to these guys, but it wasn’t something that I was able to continue to do. So in summary, you will try and start things. Some of them will work, some of them won’t. But I can tell you again, in the last two years, this is what I’ve started.

As for this podcast, The Mastermind Effect, it’s still going. And the company that’s being built, that we’ll continue to talk about here and there throughout the podcast, is just in an unbelievable trajectory right now. So remember, the people that are surrounding yourself with now, you don’t really have to invest large sums of money to have that coach or that mentor. You might actually work for a small business or company and you could even find a free mentor in your backyard, you might not even have to pay for it. Think about that.

If that’s the position you’re in, find someone that you’re already currently working with, As for the benefits of doing this? It can even be immediate because they’re going to hold you accountable. So it’s immediate action through implementation by getting that coach or mentor.


Number four, increase your health and wellness.

Now, this is an area that I know I struggle with every day. I’m no health and wellness guru, by any means, but I do know this: eating better, knowing what you put in your body, knowing what you put in your mind, and going through numbers one to three that I’ve mentioned here can have a tremendous benefit in your life. The people you’re surrounding yourself with, the podcasts that you’re listening to, what you put in your head, what you’re digesting and just being active during your day, just getting up and walking around benefits not only how you see life, but how you want to change yourself and work and change the people around you, as well.


Number five, join a mastermind.

All right, if you’ve made it this far in the podcast, then you kind of already get it. So there’s free masterminds, there’s paid masterminds. But the question comes back, who do I trust? Which one’s right for me? How do I find them? And ultimately, what do I do with it?

Well, here’s the thing. That’s something our team is actively working on! We share your sentiment, and we’re right there with you. When it comes to those questions, and those concerns that you have, we’ll keep you updated on what we’re building with that. So when you find that mastermind, you’re able to share about it and what challenges you have. And sharing about their strengths, their experiences, their wins, their failures– it’s so crucial to have people like that. Those people who get it and want to help pull you along the way and you’re able to help pull them along the way. So in a mastermind, you’ll be able to do all that.

Anyway, here’s the really interesting thing about this, once the mastermind is done, it doesn’t mean that you’ll stop communicating with these people. Personally, I’ve created lifelong relationships with people from the masterminds I’ve been part of. The first mastermind that I was in has been known for a while now. A group of us even still have get-togethers every few weeks to share our roses, our thorns, and what we need help with. So just because a mastermind is done doesn’t mean the relationships and what you’re getting out of it, or what you can still work with also goes away. All those will stay with you if you make meaningful life-long business and personal relationships out of it.


Lastly, remember this, to invest in yourself is to invest in your future. These are my thoughts, and I’d love to hear yours as well. Hit the subscribe button in the apple podcasts or whatever platform that you’re listening in.

Tweetable Quote:

“What you put in your body, and what you put in your mind has a huge effect on what you’re able to accomplish.” – Brandon Straza

Resources Mentioned:

LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to become a master of their own mind by sharing this episode or click here to listen to our previous episodes.

You can connect with me 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.

012: Jason Pritchard | Power of Self-Education

In this episode, I brought in guest Jason Pritchard. Jason is an entrepreneur, mastermind, and the founder of Pinnacle Investments LLC. He climbed the corporate ladder for 15 years and realized that there’s more to him than just receiving a high paycheck. With his experience and mindset that continues to learn, he was able to leap into real estate and start his own mastermind to impact people’s lives by providing value through self-education and more.

Let’s jump right into Jason’s story of how modern technology allows us to have free resources online that we can take advantage of to succeed in our journey and all it takes is just taking action and believing in the power of self-education.

[00:01 – 06:50] Opening Segment

  • – I introduce and welcome guest, Jason Pritchard
  • – Jason talks about how he got into real estate
  • – He spent 15 years in the corporate world
  • – Took a leap of faith to do something more valuable

[06:51 – 13:00] Power of Self-Education

  • – Jason shares how he learned to get to where he is right now
  • – He taught himself via podcasts, watching youtube, and more
  • – Not being afraid to take action
  • – Getting out of your comfort zone
  • – Utilizing social media platforms to build relationships
  • – If you are getting stuck and having trouble executing what’s inside your mind, Jason has some tips for you!
  • – Be in a group with high-performers

[13:01 – 20:10] Jason as a Mastermind

  • – Jason shares his take on the future of Masterminds for self-education
  • – It’s going to continue to be prevalent
  • – What can you expect if you enter Jason’s world?
  • – Jason provides value by filling in the gaps
  • – Whatever he discovered and learned, he is giving it all away
  • – You have to know what to look for
  • – Jason talks about what type of people are in his group
  • – People that are curious about how things work
  • – People who are on top of the food chain

[20:11 – 25:53] How To Create Success

  • – Jason talks about people attending his masterminds and meetups
  • – He gets surprised from what these people actually achieved
  • – Jason weighs in on what it takes to create success and pass it along
  • – When I see someone successful it motivates me
  • – It is easier to share other people’s win than my own
  • – Partnerships are important

[25:54 – 30:06] Closing Segment

  • – What are you working on right now that’s gonna take place in the next 12 months that really excites you?
  • – Building a group and having free resources accessible to them. Developing higher-level training for those who want to step up into coaching and mentorship
  • – Jason shares amazing tips and tricks that will help you get in front of the line
  • – Regardless of what industry you are on, you should continue learning how to develop the proper mindset every single day
  • – Continue to invest in yourself
  • – Final words from me

Tweetable Quotes:

“The people that are gonna do it; they are gonna figure out whether they get help from me or not. That’s how successful people are wired, they are gonna get through that wall one way or another.” – Jason Pritchard

Resources Mentioned:

You can connect with Jason on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram or visit his websites https://www.pinnacleinvestmentsfresno.com/ and https://www.bbc-foundation.org/ to know more.

LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to become a master of their own mind by sharing this episode or click here to listen to our previous episodes.

You can connect with me 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.

011: Partnerships

In this episode, I talk about partnerships and its role in everyone’s success. No person in the world has succeeded alone, we all know that. I believe the only way to unlock your potential is to tap into the experiences of others

Let’s dive into this episode and find out the 5 reasons why partnerships are critical for YOUR success.

Number one, burnout.

If you remember from a few episodes ago, I opened up and talked about my form of burnout from several years ago. I had lost the fulfillment in a successful company that I had built. I didn’t see what we were doing and what we were supposed to be creating. Find the right business partnership, find the right marketing partnership and bring everything together. We’re able to change how that company culture and how we do things internally. Also, how it affects externally with our business partners and referral sources and making sure what they’re looking for.  I’m not saying that partnership can help you completely avoid burnout but it can help you recognize and get you through it a lot quicker.

Number two, hitting the wall.

When you go at things alone and you’re looking at a project, you keep trying to do the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It’s definition of insanity. When you hit that wall, there’s nowhere to go. But with a partnership, they’re able to bring not only their network, their attributes, and their abilities that you might not possess. That’s why it’s so important to have that right partnership, it can help you get over that wall, or completely go around it.

Next, it can’t get out of our own way.

Have you ever heard this, “we fall asleep with their flaws”? Why wouldn’t we wake up with them? Through a partnership, you’re still going to bring those same flaws to the table. But with right partnership, again, they’re able to help you avoid what you went to bed with. They’ve got their own abilities, their own attributes, and their own network to help bring to the table. Through a partnership, you’re able to get out of your own way and have someone tell you along the way, and you’re able to do it for them.

Number four, bottleneck.

Have you ever seen the crab trap and the crab goes in the trap? Now the crab can’t get out of the trap? Well, it’s the same thing when it comes to being bottlenecked and doing it by yourself. You go down and you start a project. You’ve got those blinders on and you can’t see anywhere else. You get so far and so involved in it. Through partnership, you can avoid those obstacles. You can avoid that bottleneck because they’re bringing something that you might not possess to the table. Something that’s able to help you get out of your own way, as we talked about in number three.

And lastly, have you ever felt this way, you’re wasting times on things that you really suck at?

I did that for too many years, where I was the beginning, the middle and the end., I had created the processes all around me my name. I had to do it all. But I wasn’t really good. With a partnership, your lack of ability in one area is the opportunity for that person to step in and form that beautiful hand on hand relationship.

So those are the five things that I think we should look at when it comes to why it’s successful, to have the partnerships and being successful. Lastly, I’d like to leave you with an article that I found again on Forbes by Soulaima Gourani. She wrote an article called “How to Make Your Partnership Thrive”. It starts out talking about a personal individual relationship but how that can translate into a business relationship. She talks about how partnerships are unique because the abilities of what each person is bringing to the table. Then she goes into the power partnership to have that second set of eyes that second look to be able to see around the corner. She goes into talking about how you can enhance, innovate and drive cutting edge solutions because you’re going to learn with your right partnership how to allocate, be patient, be aware, and be honest with what you’re doing.

Tweetable Quotes:

“With the right partnership, you learn how to allocate, be patient, be aware, be honest with what you’re doing.” – Brandon Straza

Resources Mentioned:

LEAVE A REVIEW + help someone who wants to become a master of their own mind by sharing this episode or click here to listen to our previous episodes.

You can connect with me 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.

010: Steve Sims | Learning By Failing

Are you searching for graceful messages to soothe your weary soul? Are you craving gentle insights that whisk you beyond challenges and obstacles? Are you longing for someone pious to take you by the hand and lead you to enlightenment? If so…then please, do yourself an epic favor and stay the hell away from Steve Sims.

Steve is the visionary founder of Bluefish: the world’s first luxury concierge that delivers the highest level of personalized travel, transportation, and cutting-edge entertainment services to corporate executives, celebrities, professional athletes, and other discerning individuals interested in living life to its fullest.

On This Episode:

  • – Hear how failures have given Steve his greatest education and how he’s been able to refine what he does by failing.
  • – Learn how to get out of the way of your success.
  • – Discover how to overcome your limits through mentorship.
  • – Find out how to spend time at the Vatican, Buckingham Palace or the pentagon at one of Steve Sim’s Speakeasies.

Key Takeaways:

  1. – You can learn how to be good from your failures.
  2. – Be cynical about absolutely everything.
  3. – When people ask questions, they’re baiting you to help them make a decision.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • – “My idea of hell is being in the same place next month that I was this month.”
  • – “My greatest growth comes from my greatest mistakes.”
  • – “Never apologize for actually succeeding.”

Connect with Steve Sims

Connect with Brandon Straza:




009: Mentorship

I believe the only way to unlock your potential is to tap into the experience of others. Today, it’s the solo show you, me and the experience of all these other amazing individuals that I’ve been able to interview online. Then, some of the conversations I’ve been able to have offline with them. Today, let’s talk about the power of mentorship.

A common thing that keeps coming up with them in their keys to success or their pillars of success is mentorship. Let’s talk about that real quick, the pillars to success. Number one, surrounding yourself with the right people. Number two, the willingness to invest in yourself. Lastly, being able to take action through experimentation and letting that experimentation hold you back. Each one of these people that I’ve been able to interview, they keep coming back, and they have mentors. Mentors have mentors.

Here’s the thing, the hardest part about finding a mentor is knowing where to look. I’ll leave you with this story growing up. I was brought up in an entrepreneurial family. That meant at that time, I didn’t get to see a lot of my father. Now, I didn’t realize that I was craving and thriving some form of mentorship that I wasn’t getting at that point. I have a great relationship with my father. No fault of his own that I wasn’t getting it at that time but he wasn’t able to be around. So that being the case, I worked at a golf shop, clean the clubs and cart barn, and work the cash register. All the while, I had hundreds of mentors around me. I just didn’t realize it. Fortunately, I listened. They were willing, maybe not always, talking with me.  Having conversations that I was able to be around and talk about the personal life, business lives, their hopes, their wants, the dreams, how they were doing it, who they’re working with, who they’re networking with, all the time. I was taking that in like a sponge and waiting to unleash. I didn’t realize that I had constant mentors around me.

Why is the hardest part about finding mentor knowing where to look? Well, number one, we’re never taught where to look. I’m not saying we always need to be told and taught how to do things. But as we get older, it is helpful. Number two, there’s not one centralized place location that’s going to tell us who would be a good fit. Then lastly, our fear of failure, failure to launch. I think this is one that I can definitely sit there and say that I had for a long time. I sat there and I was afraid that if I found the wrong mentor, if I found the wrong individual to help me get to where I was going like, I stunted my growth before I even got there. Don’t let yourself get in your way. If you need to sit there and have the same slow to hire quick to fire, think about that. Go with that and know that it’s okay that if you do find the wrong mentor break up with them. It’s a real thing.

So how do we overcome these three things? Well, these are three things I suggest you could look into when it comes to knowing where to look. Number one, network with like-minded people. They don’t have to be in your industry. If you’re networking with like-minded people, they’re going to have access to other areas that you might not have. They’ll hear what you’re looking for or what struggles you’re having in what you’re trying to build. They might be able to point you in a direction.

Number two, on a quarterly basis, challenge yourself to be in one new room, one new group, or one new event, to make yourself uncomfortable. Here’s what it’s going to force you to do, you’re going to be in those new situations, and listen to what the people are saying. Again, it almost goes back to number one, you’re going to have access to places and people that you might not have by putting yourself in that uncomfortable situation on a quarterly basis. Now, continue doing the rooms that you’re used to, but change it up from time to time.

Then lastly, find someone that you’re interested in and do some research on them. The internet’s a wonderful place. Do some research about the person you’re looking at as mentor. If you work in corporate America, some companies have mentorship programs, some don’t. If you are in corporate America and they don’t have mentorship program, find someone that you admire or you look up to in the company that you’re working for. Reach out to them. They don’t have to be in management for you to actually reach out to them. It doesn’t have to be a mentorship program.

Now, if you’re an entrepreneur, see steps one and two. Research that person. See what their willingness to communicate with you is.  Right now, people are a lot easier to gain access to that you thought previously unattainable. Reach out to who you’d like to be mentored, once you’ve done your research on them. See if they’ll communicate back and forth with you. Number two, through your communication with them, see if they align with your values, beliefs, and ethics. You need someone like a sandpaper to give you a little bit of grit. But if you have giant, too big of a piece of sandpaper and they go against everything, you believe in your ethics, your values, it’s not going to be a good situation. Make sure that though they challenge you, they actually align with what you’re looking to do.

I always like to leave with a good article that I found. Jill Griffin wrote an article on mentorship and it talks about what to look for and the best ways to find a mentor. She interviews an amazing CEO by the name of Cindy Miller.  They talk about making sure when you’re looking for your mentor, how to build trust, how to have communication or how to have goals, and what you’re wanting to develop. It is really a good article that I think you should check out.

Key Takeaways:

  1. – Surround yourself with the right people.
  2. – Network with people.
  3. – Put yourself in one uncomfortable networking situation a month.
  4. – Find someone that you’re interested in and do your research.
  5. – See what their willingness to communicate with you is.
  6. – Be willing to invest in yourself.
  7. – Take action through experimentation

Recommended Resource:

Connect with Brandon:




008: Zahir Ismail | Growing a Successful Franchise

Zahir Ismail is owner of two Beaver Tails franchises in Ontario, Canada. On this episode, he shares how masterminds have helped him through the franchise journey.

On This Episode:

  • – Zahir and Brandon discuss the usefulness of a traditional college education.
  • – Zahir explains the value of masterminds and how he has utilized them with his business.
  • – Learn how Zahir has structured his mastermind.

Key Takeaways:

  1. – You need a community base helping you thrive.
  2. – You need a coach with an outside perspective who can speak to you in a one-on-one format.
  3. – Don’t act with fear. Act with confidence.

Connect with Zahir Ismail:

Connect with Brandon Straza:




007: Networking

Brandon talks about networking – a vital key to growth for yourself and your business.

I realized that we have had all these amazing interviews so far. Why don’t we extrapolate what we’ve learned from them? On top of it, I’ve got 20 years of false failures and missteps that I have done that I can share with you. Why don’t we utilize that and create a solo show out of it? One of the commonalities that I found to start out with all these amazing interviews we’ve had so far is networking. They’re all master networkers. They do it in their own individual way. But I realized that most people are never really networking. I want to start out with a little story of why I know this.

In my early 20s, I came from the financial services industry. The company I was working for was one of the top 10 lenders in the country at the time. They sent me off to a three-day event where some of the top people in my industry are going to be at. I hadn’t even looked to see who the keynote speaker was, what the side sessions were, who exactly was going to be there, and who I should listen to and learn from. By the way, Les Brown was the keynote speaker. So, I went and I listened to Les Brown. He’s an amazing speaker; an amazing individual still to this day. If you have the opportunity, go hear him talk. But beyond that, my thoughts were on three days I get as getaway. Who was I going to party with? Where was I going to eat and drink? Who I’m gonna hook up with? Those were my thoughts on what I was gonna do. This is one of the reasons why I was poorly networked and why most people are poorly networking. Let’s think about it.

We’re never really taught or trained to network. In the beginning, we’ve got our family and friends— eventually that becomes our inner circle—and school, and then it’s our co-workers. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s really difficult and it’s a pretty lonely world. If you were a true entrepreneur, you don’t typically have co-workers. That’s where we’re learning how to network. I’ve eventually learned there’s several great resources out there. I’m gonna name a few that have really helped me over the last few years learn how to network better.

First one is a book. Real easy read “Blue Fishing” by Steve Sims. I do consider Steve a friend and I’ve had the fortune of being around him and learning from him, not only from a networking perspective but also from a human perspective. In the book, Steve comes from a bricklayer family and he realizes this isn’t what he wants to do for the rest of his life. He realized people out there have wants or needs and sometimes what we want isn’t really what we need and is really not what we truly want. In it, you’ll learn how Steve finds out that this one individual who wants to have a really fancy dinner in Italy at an exclusive restaurant. This is what he’s wanting, and Steve actually finds out what he was going to provide to them. Steve has to network and connect the dots to have this individual and his friends and family sit at the feet of David, while Andrea Bocelli is serenading them. Throughout this, he has to find out what the museum needs and how does he network to find out what the museum’s truly needing. He talks about how things that we think are impossible are possible. Check out the book and read it. It’s a real easy read and you’ll get some good networking ideas and what you should be doing in that event.

Next: There’s free resources. There’s a group that I belong to called “Build your Network.” Travis Chappell has a free group on there. You’ll have people from different industries chiming in, asking questions, and working with each other. When you can utilize people who are not in your lane and you can take those horse blinders off, you’re able to learn and execute how something and someone else’s industry can easily be plugged and played into yours and become one of those front runners on what you do or what you want to do. Check it out. It’s an easy group. There’s a lot of them out there but this one builds your network.

Next are shows called the Mastermind Effect. There are paid ones. There are free ones. It depends what you’re looking for. Masterminds are great ways in order to be around other people from other industries who are at the forefront of what they do. Learn from them. You’re getting out of that singular lane. Check it out.

Lastly, I came across an article in Forbes and it was by Andy Kramer. She wrote a great article called “How to Network from Home” and why it’s so important. It really centered around women. What I can say is that we should all read it to learn about someone else’s perspective on networking and the challenges people face. It’s a great article on networking by Andy Kramer and Forbes.

One of the other areas is that we don’t realize the true value behind networking. What do I mean by that? Well, we only network with those in our industry. That’s good. You can learn a lot but that gives us that senior lane. If we expand outside of that network, we’re able to come back and maybe be one of those visionaries that’s bringing outside influence ideas. Me, the guy that went to his first networking event that the bank sent them to, I was there just to say I showed up. That was it. I found many people that go to networking events and they’re literally there just to say, “I was here.” It doesn’t do you any good.

We say we can’t afford it. But can you really afford not to think about that? Here are a couple things. When it comes to realizing the value behind networking and picking the right network to be around, make sure that your values align with that network. If not, you’re going to show up and you’ll realize quickly you don’t belong, you don’t fit in, and it’s not what you’re looking for. Make sure your values align with whatever that networks are. Talk to some of the members and see what they’ve gotten out of it. Reach out to them. There are plenty of free groups out there. There are free articles for groups that you can find.

Last, but not the least, the GPF (goal plan flow) . We haven’t created the goal plan flow. We go into it and we’re thinking things will just fall into place. It’ll just happen, just by happenstance. We’re trying to get out of our own skin. It’s not the situation. It’s really my lack of motivation because we didn’t have a goal plan flow. And sometimes, we’d go alone to these events. If we’re an introvert, it’s really tough to get out of our shell if we don’t have someone that can bridge the gap between being uncomfortable and being around people that we don’t know—to actually find your way into a conversation as if we were there with someone. Let’s talk about the GPF. Have a goal. What does that look like? Who do I want to meet? If my goal when I go there is who do I want to meet, am I looking to meet a customer, other friends to network with, or other people in my industry? Have what that goal is before you even get there. Have a plan where am I going to spend my morning session, my midday, my afternoon. Will I go to a speaker session? Am I looking again to meet customers and grow friendships? Have that plan built out. Lastly, go with the flow. There are so many times that if it doesn’t happen the way that we are looking for it to work in our favor, we just flipped out. If a session doesn’t start on time or if the group that I was supposed to meet doesn’t work out the way it is, go with the flow. You will find far fewer stresses and you’ll be able to escape that anxiety that can build up in us by creating the GPF—goal plan flow.

These are my thoughts. I’d love to hear yours as well. I’ll see you on the next solo show.

Main Takeaway — the Common Problems With Networking:

  1. We’re never really taught or trained to network.
  2. We don’t realize the true value behind networking.
  3. We haven’t created the goal, plan, flow.
  4. We go to events without someone who will push us out of our shell.

Resources to Help You Network:

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006: Randy Molland | The One-Brain Mentality

Randy Molland talks about discovering the one-brain mentality and how Masterminds can help you find what makes you stand out in your industry.

About Randy Molland: 

Coming from a trades heavy family Randy Molland always knew working with his hands was a gift. He quickly realized he was talented at understanding electricity and at 16 started his Electrical Apprenticeship. By 22, Randy was a Red Seal Journeyman and running crews and multiple job sites. He always knew buying a house early was the dream and at the young age of 24, he bought his first property. Being a single guy working long days, Randy quickly realized that since he was rarely home, he could rent out his house and make an extra $500/month. This is what started the idea of building a passive income lifestyle.

He went through a life changing experience shortly after buying his house, losing his mentor and best friend. Randy realized that life was too short to work Monday to Friday 8-4 for the next 40 years and that if he was going to change the pattern in his family and life, it had to be now. He invested in a lot of education on how to continue building passive income and fell in love with the process, opportunity, and freedom that being an entrepreneur gave to him.

On This Episode:

  • – Unlock the power of education through YouTube university.

  • – Discover the one-brain mentality.

  • – Hear the way giving can revolutionize your life and business.

  • – Randy explains why he always preferred being hands on as opposed to traditional learning.

  • – Learn how to go from idea to execution.

Key Takeaways:

  1. – Practical application can be more beneficial than a textbook.

  2. – Masterminds can help you find what makes you stand out in your industry.

  3. – Have a for-purpose business

Tweetable Quote:

  • All it takes is one relationship to change your trajectory forever. – Randy Molland

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005: The Three Pillars of Success

We are going to be talking about the basis or foundation for what future solo shows and what we’re going to extrapolate from these amazing individuals that we’ve been able to interview and are going to interview. I like to call it the pillars of success. There are three of this: Number one, surrounding yourself with the right people; Number two, the willingness to invest in yourself; and lastly, taking action through experimentation.

First Pillar: Surround yourself with the right people

You’ve heard the saying, “You’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with.” There have been times in my life that I have surrounded myself with absolutely the wrong individuals and the outcome, not only from a personal but a business perspective, I don’t want to say it’s detrimental, but it really makes things difficult in order to have what you need around you. There’s been times where I’ve had like three of the right people or two of the wrong people, or vice versa. You get a mixed bag right there. You really should focus. I know it’s difficult because it has been for me, making sure the five core people that you surround yourself with are the ones that not only you can help propel forward, but they can as well. It will absolutely and unequivocally change not only wherever you are in your working life, but also your personal life. Think about it. When you surround yourself with the five best versions of the people you want to be around, you now have access to their network. They not only have access to your network, but now you’re multiplying your network because when you need something of a problem, they’re probably going to have a person for or they’re going to know who you should speak with.

Next on a future episode is Steve Sims. Forbes calls him the real Wizard of Oz. He talks about the three people that you’re going to have or you should have in your life. I call it the three C’s—the cheerleader, the challenger, and the crab. The cheerleader will always going to sit there and rah rah rah rah rah. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing but you always need a yes person around you. The crab is the person that’s going to say you can never do it. Remember, they’re scared, they’re actually going to prove them wrong. The challenger is the one that you want the most of. They’re going to help you refine your focus. They’re going to question you why you’re doing it and how you’re doing it. Those are the individuals that you want in your life. Remember, even though the crab is someone that is the Debbie Downer, they’re the ones who are going to help fuel your fire.

Second Pillar: Willingness to invest in yourself 

It used to be that the only way to invest in yourself is the most obvious: the standardized schooling method. But is it really anymore? I don’t think so because the price point and your eventual return on investment just isn’t there anymore. If you come out of school with a quarter million dollars in debt, and you’re working at a $40,000 a year job, how long is that going to take you to actually pay that off? No matter the age, the price point, or the content you want to grow with, there are now more ways that you can invest in your future. It doesn’t matter. Those barriers aren’t there. The availability is endless.

Make sure that when you’re investing in yourself, you’ve done the research on the people that you’re going to invest with. Because there are a lot of individuals out there who stand in front of a Lamborghini and piles of cash but what’s the proof that they’ve actually done it. You need to have a way in order to research and make sure that what you’re going to invest in has an actual outcome. As long as you follow the steps and the practices that they put in place, you can actually come out ahead on what that ROI is. Don’t be afraid to ask questions of those mentors or the course creators or masterminds that you’re going to choose to invest in. Make sure that no matter the outcome, you’ll find a way through and you’ll continue to know. An investment in yourself pays the best interest. No matter the outcome—there’s going to be good and bad outcomes and there’s probably going to be more bad outcomes than good ones—it’s the perseverance of pushing through and continuing to invest in yourself. I’ll leave you with this on investing in yourself: your income seldom exceeds your personal development.

Third Pillar: Action through experimentation

 Your greatest successes are probably going to come through failure. That’s a common theme that I continuously hear through the people that we interview. Myself, the places I’ve succeeded in, I’ve already failed. It didn’t just happen by circumstance. It happened through constant trial and error and finding a way to say, “Hey, I need to push through.” It’s when you continue to push through after the doors have been slammed in your face that you’re able to see that success. Because you continue to take that action. You need to think of it from this standpoint: learn from others’ experiences, successes, and failures. The opening line is we can learn through other people’s experiences. When you do that, because you’ve surrounded yourself with the right people and you’ve invested in yourself, you’re now able to take action through your experimentation—through your masterminds, your courses that you’re taking, the mentors, and the coaches that you’re working with—in order to get to where you want to go.

Have what your actual goal is but be willing to invest in it from different perspectives or angles. Don’t sit there and say, “Okay, this is where I want to go. This is the outcome that I want to create.” Expect that if I only invest in one marketing method or one sales approach, there’s one direction that it’s going to work out. In a future episode, we’ll talk about what I like to call the five headed dragon from a marketing perspective or from what you’re building. You need to possibly have five different things going on out there and then know when to quickly replace the ones that aren’t working with other ones. Make sure that you can invest in it from a different perspective, a different angle, or a different method.

These are my thoughts on what it takes to create success. These three things will help shape future solo shows and Season One. I’ll take the information from our guests and weave their success throughout the shows. I want to live a life of purpose and momentum so that when I look back at what we’ve created, the opportunity to build some form of legacy is there.

Tweetable Quotes:

  • “You’re the average of the five people you surround yourself with.”
  • “Your income seldom exceeds your personal development.”
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