105: Cameron Herold | Committing and Holding Yourself Accountable to Your Daily Actions & Results

Cameron Herold is a top business consultant, best-selling author, and speaker. He’s the mastermind behind hundreds of companies’ exponential growth, and he’s touched thousands of businesses indirectly through his work.

In this episode, Cameron explains that it’s not about being the smartest person in the classroom; it’s the people you surround yourself with that become your most powerful tool. He lets us know that it’s less about who you want to learn from and more about what you want to learn to reverse engineer your WHO. Lastly, he talks about a mobile app, CommitTo3, that can help hold you accountable for your daily actions and results. Check it out!

Cameron’s Learning Journey and Masterminds


The Mastermind Effect:  02:48

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


Cameron Herold:  03:07

I’m going to go back to the early years. My father was an entrepreneur, and he groomed my brother, my sister, and me to all the entrepreneurs. We’ve all run our own companies for between 15 and 25 years. Both my grandparents were entrepreneurs as well as both sets. I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. I learned from my father and my grandfather that it’s not being the smartest person in the classroom because they weren’t the smartest people. They were very well connected. My dad brought me to the golf club when I was 16 years old. He showed me all the guys coming into play golf at 12 o’clock, and he showed me they were entrepreneurs. He also said they like hanging out with each other because they get to hang out and talk shop while playing golf. That lesson never really stuck until I was a little bit older. I realized that him putting me into that private club environment allowed me to be around other successful people. It was kind of my first mastermind.


I got involved in a franchise organization. I was a franchisee of a company when I was 21 years old. I am a franchisee of College Pro Painters. That’s when I was around another network of like-minded individuals that was kind of a mastermind because I could learn from all those other franchises, and that’s where I really cut my teeth.


I started with an organization called EO (Entrepreneurs’ Organization) back in 1995. I joined my first mastermind group in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization for five years.  Brian is the CEO of a company called The Rubbish Boys. We met in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization in a forum together. I ended up becoming Brian’s second in command. We built 1-800-GOT-JUNK. So I met him in a mastermind group 26 years ago. I’ve worked with EO in 26 countries on six continents.


I’ve worked with YPO (Young Presidents Organization) in 12 countries. I’ve been a member of Strategic Coach for seven years. I just rejoined for my sixth or seventh year with the Genius Network. I’ve been into five mastermind talks events, three baby bathwater events, two warm room events, and a couple of Go Abundance events. I’ve been in Steve’s  Speakeasies. I’ve been in the mastermind world for a long time.


I first got exposed to its value when I was having dinner in 2008 with Eben Pagan.  I didn’t know who Evan was. We were sitting talking, he said, “Where are you investing?” And I gave him my stock strategy. And I said, “How about you?” And he said, “I invest in relationships.” Eben Pagan exposed me to the multiplier of investing in a mastermind community and a relationship. That opened my eyes up, which is why I then started getting involved in so many. I keep track of the ideas that I generate, the business deals that I put together, and the clients that I meet from each of the events that I go to. And then lastly, I started the only network of its kind in the world and the only mastermind of its kind in the world for the second in command. That’s the COO Alliance. There were so many mastermind communities for entrepreneurs, but there was no one for the person who is growing the business for them. That’s my backstory.


The Mastermind Effect:  06:57

That’s an amazing backstory. Investing in yourself is the best investment in your life. It’s great to be in the stock market and housing market, but you can’t control those two. The only one you can control is yourself. What you’re telling us is to invest in yourself because it comes back tenfold.


Cameron Herold:  07:36

The other thing he told me when I was 16 was you’ll never be smart enough to figure this out on your own. He said your R&D should stand for rip-off and duplicate. He said some of the most brilliant people and the brilliant companies on the planet are already doing the best things, so figure out who they are and do what they’re doing. I don’t have to be the smartest kid in the room, which we had to be when I went to university. You had to memorize everything because you had to go to the library that one book was checked out. We didn’t have Google. Now, you don’t need to know the information. You just need to know where to find it or know who knows it. Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy, who I’m friends with because I’m in two different mastermind groups where I met them. They both started and wrote a book called Who Not How and it’s all about the connection of fact.


The Mastermind Effect:  08:24

I was just finishing one of Ben Hardy’s books. I’ve got your two over there. Someone just sent that to me.  I was going through personalities and permanent. What a quality read with some actionable things in there.


Cameron Herold:  08:39

It’s been a real kind of a game-changer for me. Each group is very different. I’ve also done paid speaking events now in 26 countries for over 700 groups. Most of those tend to be mastermind groups for their niche. I’ve been involved in some of these masterminds or communities.


The Mastermind Effect:  09:20

There are paid masterminds, and there are free masterminds. One of the masterminds that I’m in is called the Thursday Night Boardroom. It’s a free one, but you have to find your way in there. Because of my connections and network in the mastermind, they can get me further ahead faster and more efficiently because they’ve been there, and I don’t have to go searching for them.


Cameron Herold:  09:57

We also don’t necessarily know who to turn to, so we just have to know the people that know. I’m also constantly leveraging social media. Many people are on social media giving or selling, and we forgot about being social or connecting and hanging out. I’ll do a couple of things where if somebody asks a question, I’ll often do a loom video as my response. I’ll give them a video response because I can give more back to them. I also post stuff quite frequently where I post a question because I’ll just take the wisdom of the crowd, and often I’ll get pointed in the right direction.


The Mastermind Effect:  10:37

Information is readily available.  It’s almost to where it can be confusing to go to all the platforms like LinkedIn, YouTube,  Google, or whatever you want to call it. There’s a lot of ways to take in information. Some people learn from an accountability buddy, a mastermind, or an online course. Who are you currently learning from, and how did you connect with them?


Cameron Herold:  10:59

it’s basically what am I trying to learn as well versus who. I don’t start with the “who could I learn from.” I start with, “what do I want to be working on this year or this quarter.” Then I try to reverse engineer my learning to help me on that.


As an example, I just launched my course. I’ve been working on it for a decade, and I finally put it out the door. It’s called Invest In Your Leaders. It’s the best 12 modules around growing leadership teams and managers. Now, I’m working with people on how do I do the marketing for that? How do I set up the affiliate programs for that? Who should I reach out to? I’m starting to learn from people that have done courses.  


I had Jeff Walker of Launched Product Formula. He spoke to my COO Alliance last month. I want to learn from Jeff, so I got him to speak to my group. I learned what parts of his model I like and what parts I don’t want. I’m always trying to learn about what I’m working on right now or coming up next month versus who I am learning from.


Now, I’m trying to move legally outside of the US and Canada for tax purposes. I’ll set up my company in one country, I’ll personally live in another, and I’ll legally be off the grid tax-wise from both countries. I’m spending time now learning from people around becoming more of a digital nomad with kids.


The Mastermind Effect:  13:42

Sometimes, people get stuck in our own head. It’s like you can’t see the picture there through the frame. We’re still going through some form of a pandemic, but to me, it’s still causing a reset and how we can accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you or others that you’ve seen when they’re looking to get unstuck and utilize the power of the overall mastermind group?


Cameron Herold:  14:12

I turn to my network from the Genius Network, which is one that I’ve been deeply entrenched in for years now, and ask them about my COO Alliance. I needed to change the business model because I couldn’t run all in-person events anymore.  I turned to some of those members for marketing ideas and some stuff with copy, and I’ve turned to them for ideas on SEO. My network is so deep that I can turn to the guy who invented the squeeze page and get ideas on my landing page. Russell Brunson and I have sat beside each other for the number of events as attendees. Jeff Walker was sitting beside me as an attendee. When I’m putting myself into those communities, I go to the main. I’ve gone to the main TED conference for nine years.  If I have a question about stuff, my network has started to get very deep.


 The hardest part for me is remembering who I met. When I add them to my contacts, in the notes section, I put the word mentor and then what they’re good at so that in a year or two or three years when I remember, I typed in mentor, SEO, and four names pop up.


The Mastermind Effect:  15:40

Mindmeister is how I’ve been able to access it on my phone. It’s an app, and you can also use a PC-based one. It’ll tree branch out, like how they were connected, who referred them, and you can make notes inside of that. Then you can search through it. I make notes also on my cell phone, but when I’m looking at how many degrees of separation was this person from Cameron and how I was connected to them, it just draws the tree branch back for me.


Cameron Herold:  16:12

That’s interesting. I’ve become a thought leader and known expert. I’ll come off a stage, and 200 people will add me on Facebook. I don’t know a lot of the people that I’m connected to on Facebook, and I need to know my real connection.



Self-Education and Cameron’s Reality


The Mastermind Effect:  16:33

Masterminds have been around for a while. The first one was the apostles, and Benjamin Franklin created the Judo Club or The Leather Apron Club. Then eventually, Napoleon Hill writes a book. I believe we’ve interviewed the person that’s got the longest-running mastermind called the Yes Mastermind on here. He is Patrick Carney.

There continues to be a huge boom in self-education, coaching, masterminds, mentorship. Where do you see the parallels between standard education and self-education moving forward?


Cameron Herold:  17:22

Standard education for 95, 90%, or 85% of the people will be gone. I don’t even think it’ll exist in 20 years, or maybe 15 years, because it’s vastly overpriced. It’s vastly become a business. It’s not become education. Too many kids are wasting years coming out with massive debt and a lot of theory and no experience.


I think there’ll be more of a learn on your own model. Companies give credo to where they say if you’ve done some of these online courses, if you’ve traveled to some of these countries or have done a certain number of apprenticeships, we’ll accept that as equal to a Bachelor of Commerce. Google’s already said that they don’t look for university degrees. I wouldn’t hire an MBA if their life depended on it because they spent more time trying to get important.


Online learning is going to be more powerful than the traditional. Again, if you think about why was the traditional education system so needed. I graduated from university in 1988. I had no computer and later tech.  I got my first computer the next year, so no one in university knows how to type a computer. I typed all my essays on a typewriter. You had to go to the library to pull out a book, and there was no internet. You had to be the smartest person in the room because there was no other way to access the information quickly.


Fast forward to 32 years later; you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room. You have to be the one who can access it quickly. You have to collaborate, find information, and solve problems, but you don’t have to memorize stuff. I’ve got two boys who are 17 and 19, and neither one wants to go to university. One of them wants to do Billie Jean’s marketing course online. He’s already come to Genius Network events with me. He’s already selling stuff online and making money off that. He listens to Gary Vee’s content. I’d rather him do that and start his own business and go apprentice somewhere than waste time sitting in a classroom.


The Mastermind Effect:  19:31

If you want to be a doctor, nurse, and engineer, you have on that piece of paper.


Cameron Herold:  19:39

If you’re a traditional architect, you might have to go to university. But the other 85% that are graduating with an arts degree, liberal arts degree, or commerce degree, it’s completely pointless.


The Mastermind Effect:  19:52

I’ve got a four-year degree in finance. Give me four years, but did I need that? Probably not so much with what I do and who I surrounded myself with. I can learn from their exact experiences. And if I don’t know, I can outsource it because they’ll tell me who to go used.


Cameron Herold:  20:06

When you can also find that information and learn it faster, my son, who’s 17, just graduated from high school six months before all of his peers. He decided before COVID hit that he would do this grade 12 online, and he graduated last month. He’s finished school, and none of his friends graduate till June. We did an entrepreneurship class was his last class. He did it in three and a half weeks; instead of being spread out over six months.


The Mastermind Effect:  20:45

He looks like he’s got the Genius Network already right there. He’s ahead of the curve on that. I’ve got a six-year-old, and he talks about starting his own business and how he wants to help people. I think that we instill that at a young age in the children if we allow them to see the businesses around us. I think it’s super helpful.


Typically, when people invest in themselves, they have a better than a vague idea of what the outcome is going to be. What should people expect when they enter Cameron’s reality and work with the COO Alliance? So Well, it depends. So


Cameron Herold:  21:17

It depends. To qualify to be a member of the COO Alliance, companies have to do at least 5 million or greater in revenues. We put a bar in place, so they have a real business and real operating parts. My youngest members are around 26, and the oldest is 62. The smallest companies are 5 million, and the biggest is about 1.2 billion. We got members from nine countries. I’ve got 45% of the members are women, and 55% are men. We’re kind of a pretty broad spectrum.


A lot of our members, coincidentally, their CEO is a member of mastermind groups. Their CEO is a member of YPO or war room, etc. That’s been interesting, where I’ve seen the value that their CEO already sees the value of masterminding, and they realize that they can learn from that too.


The Mastermind Effect:  22:03

If you wouldn’t mind sharing a success story of someone who went through a COO that went through your mastermind and your coaching. What was the outcome by someone going through completing, and because they worked with you, the outcome was X?


Cameron Herold:  22:40

I’ll give you an interesting one. I want to make it more about the community and each other. It was a discussion I had with them, but it was the value of the CEO Alliance. He was a CEO of a company. He is in his fifth year; real company, like 80 employees, good size, maybe 18 to20 million in revenue, few million in profit, real business and real management team. He said, “I feel like a fraud.” I’m like, What do you mean you feel like a fraud?” He goes, “I don’t know what I’m doing as a CEO. I wake up every day, and this is the biggest thing I’ve ever done.”


That’s true of all of us. All of us wake up every day wondering how we’re figuring this whole thing out. We realize we’re all just kind of 16-year-olds trapped in adult bodies. I said to him; I’m pretty sure that everyone in the room, like all the other members of the COO Alliance, probably feel the same thing. I went into the room, and I said, “Do you mind if I ask your questions?” I didn’t say who he was. But I said, “Hey, one of the members in the room asked me at lunch and said they might feel like a bit of a fraud. I’m just curious of all of you, who here feels like a fraud during the week that they don’t really know what they’re doing?” Every hand went up, and you can see him just start to relax and laugh. I’m like, “doesn’t that make us all feel pretty comfy?”  They all cracked up laughing, realizing we’re all kind of the same. The value wasn’t what I intended it to be. But it actually had them settling a little bit to the fact that they had the confidence that maybe they could do this because nobody else knew what they were doing either. That was almost an unexpected reality from that mastermind community that we’re all just kind of walking each other home.


The Mastermind Effect:  24:12

I think more people would sit there and say how this amazing, accomplished individual can have some form of fear that they cannot do what they do. They’re running anywhere from a 5 million to a billion-dollar organization.  How can they have that being uncomfortable or not have that security blanket around them?


Cameron Herold:  24:35

We all have our own fears, insecurities, and doubts, and then our strengths and confidence as well, but I think something comes out of that masterminding type community where you realize you have a peer group. You have others you can turn to for emotional support, confidence, ideas, or experience share. It’s valuable.



Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  25:15

On the solo shows, we talk about what it takes to be successful and the definition of success. A few things are mentorship, experimentation, partnership, willingness to fail, and on the flip side, willingness to define success. Many of us don’t define success because once we do, in essence, define failure. What do you feel is a key attribute to the people you’re working with or surround yourself with in being successful?


Cameron Herold:  25:44

It’s funny that you mentioned willing to fail. Brian, the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, has a book that came out a year ago, and it is called WTF, Willing To Fail.  It’s a great read. It talks about the fact that if you’re so worried about being successful, you won’t launch or give it a try. Sometimes, perfectionism and procrastination can actually hurt you a success.


For me, success is that I feel like I’m already there, that anything else I achieve after this is like a bonus. I’ve bigger goals, push for something more, and have a vivid vision that describes my company three years in the future. I have these things that I work towards, but I don’t feel like when I get there, I’ll be successful. I feel like I’m already successful.


I think the key is to think that if you’re only going to be successful when you get to your goal, it’s like looking at the horizon and feeling, “I’ll be successful when I get to the horizon.” Where you can’t catch the horizon, it keeps moving forward, and it keeps moving on you. You need to look in the rearview mirror and see how far you’ve just come.


I look back now and go, wow.  I’ve written five books, and that’s pretty successful. I’ve done paid speaking events on six continents in 26 countries. That’s pretty successful. I built three companies and built a company on Oprah. I’ve got all these checkmarks. I already feel successful. I feel happy that I get to wake up every day working in a way that I like to make money. I don’t form my success based on stuff or a goal anymore.


The Mastermind Effect:  27:17

I’ve done this myself. In my younger years, I put a number out there; I said when my company hits this number, I am going to feel successful. And at the end of the day, nothing changed when we hit it faster than we projected. It’s how we define our success; what is it along the way, and I kept looking at that horizon. Fortunately, I’ve changed my viewpoint. It’s looking at the body of work that happens along the way. The number of lives and people you can affect and impact and work with can be a form of success.  How much more time you get to spend with your sons, or I get to spend with my son, can be a form of success. You’ll miss those points if you’re always looking forward,


Cameron Herold:  27:59

Time is such a powerful thing.


The Mastermind Effect:  28:20

When times are good, it’s easy to prosper. But I think ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze and certain people around the planet are still feeling the squeeze. What are you working on right now that will take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Cameron Herold:  28:46

Getting off the grid is one because I’m excited about being able to live globally,  explore the world, run my business from different parts of the world, and have my kids explore that kind of stuff, too.


I’m excited about Invest In Your Leaders course that I launched. I’m seeing already some early successes and companies loving and signing up 7 to 12 people on it. That’s been interesting to watch that grow.


 Then, the COO Alliance.  We just really have hit something right now where we’re just signing some really good members every single month, and our members are renewing as well. It’s a really interesting stage to see if we can build this. My goal is to have 250 members by the end of this year, and we’re on track for that right now. We’ll see how we wrap Europe. To push hard to have a really strong good base where people look at us and go, “Wow, you guys are a strong base.” If we build that strong base, we can build something pretty cool three years after that.


The Mastermind Effect:  29:44

I like what you said: base is your foundation that helps you build the kingdom, the castle, or just that organization around it and what it can do. We sometimes try to skip again to the end, not the horizon thing, but having a strong foundation that allows you to play at a different level and move the needle.


Last one for you. What’s a tip, a tactic, or an actual item that, if anyone listening to this were to implement it over the next 30, 60, or 90 days would see a real impact on their personal or business life?

Cameron Herold:  30:19

I’ll give you one, and then it’s tied back to Napoleon Hill in his book Think and Grow Rich. He mentioned a system there about Charles Schwab and Ivy Lee; I think they call it the half dozen or the top five. At the end of the day, you make a list of the top five things you’re going to do tomorrow, and then start working on that list. There’s an app out there called CommitTo3 and costs like four bucks or three bucks a year. Buy the app, and it doesn’t tie in with anything. It integrates with nothing. All you do is with an accountability partner, a spouse, a friend, a business partner, or someone in the mastermind; each of you or multiple of three, four, or 10, have you set your top three goals that you’re going to get done tomorrow. And then, based on the top three things you’re going to do tomorrow, at the end of the day, you check off whether you got them done or not. That’s it.


With the simple productivity of working on three impactful things a day, multiplied by 250 business days a year, you’re actually going to get 750 impactful things done in 12 months. Most people won’t do it. They’ll wake up tomorrow, and they’ll be stuck in social media, email, and Slack. They’ll be busy being busy. That app has been a huge tool. I mentioned it in one of my books that I co-authored with Hal Elrod. We wrote the Miracle Morning for Entrepreneurs together. In that book, I mentioned the app CommitTo3 as well.


The Mastermind Effect:  31:48

The simplest things in life are things that we either don’t do or don’t see right in front of us. And to me, why wouldn’t you. No matter what industry, what job, or even if you’re a stay-at-home parent, commit to three. Because of the way that you walk away at the end of the year, even if it’s weekly, monthly, and you measure it from that aspect, you’re looking at what you’re actually accomplishing.


Cameron Herold:  32:08

Most people miss the obvious because they’re looking for something else.  


The Mastermind Effect:  32:28

We’re not looking for what’s right in front of us. We need to take it from a child’s perspective because they see the world differently.


Cameron Herold:  32:39

That’s why I don’t like MBAs. I have a bias against MBAs because their solutions are often more complicated than they need to be. Sometimes the very simple solution or the real elegant solution will move your business forward.


The Mastermind Effect:  32:53

It’s a great way to leave it right there. We have got the founder of COO Alliance, Cameron Herold.


Cameron, I appreciate your time, the wisdom, and the golden nuggets that you left with us today. Thank you so much.

Tweetable Quotes:

“You don’t have to be the smartest kid in the room. You don’t need to know the information, you just need to know where to find it and know who knows it.” – Cameron Herold

“Most people miss the obvious because they’re looking for something else.” – Cameron Herold

“The simplest things in life are the things we either don’t do, or the things we don’t see right in front of us.” – Brandon Straza

“Invest in yourself, because it comes back tenfold.” – Brandon Straza

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Cameron, visit https://cameronherold.com/ and https://cooalliance.com/ 

Check out his books at https://cameronherold.com/books/ 

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and 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.

104: John Hulen | Authenticity: Matching Our Online Presence with our In Person Appearance

Today, we’ve got the Founder of Relationships and Revenue, John Hulen. He explains how it’s not about electronic learning all the time and that we still have pen, paper, and books. He lets us know that one of the powers of being in a Mastermind is the collection of the people, and he gets into how our online presence should match our in-person appearance. Check it out!

John’s Learning Journey and Masterminds


The Mastermind Effect:  02:16

Let’s dive into this. The ability to learn and have access to people had changed over the last 5 to 10 years. When you and I were younger, they were textbooks, teachers, friends, family, coworkers, or the people around us. But that is a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today? 


John Hulen:  02:47

I wouldn’t say that I’ve been forced to go the route of electronic learning, but that is most prevalent now. For me, I love pen and paper to write stuff down. I love having actual books in hand to write in, put notes, and highlight that sort of thing. It’s very tactile for me. I don’t use it exclusively. I use it in addition to the electronic learning I do. 


For example, typically, I will read a book and listen to it at the same time. It helps increase the amount of information I’m able to grab and keep in my memory bank because I’m doing both of those things at the same time.


The Mastermind Effect:  03:33

We talked about listening to an audiobook, the speed that you listen to, and how you can take that in. That was valuable enough to where I remembered it and implemented it. Would you simplify that conversation for the listeners out there? 


John Hulen:  03:54

When listening to an audio book, most people are just kind of a leisurely listen. You listen to it at normal speed. If you want to speed up what you’re doing essentially, do it at 1.5 times because if you increase it by 50%, your ability to get through the book goes much faster. It sounds a little higher pitched.  I like to listen to the book one and a half times and read at the same time again. It helps me flow through it very quickly. Then later, I can go back and highlight and write things down.


The Mastermind Effect:  04:39

That’s pro-tip number one out of all the ones that we’re going to listen to today. But I think sometimes we complicate the simplest things. Like when you hear that, you’re like, “Oh, well yeah, that makes sense.” But are you doing it? That happens a lot on this show. I’m like, “oh my gosh, that’s so simple. That makes sense.” But was I doing it, and the answer was no. I wasn’t but you implement it. 


In taking in information that we’re talking about, there are more ways to take it in than ever before. The amount of information and all the platforms can be confusing. Some people learn from an accountability buddy, a mastermind, a coach, an online course, YouTube University, and many ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them? 


John Hulen:  05:39

I am a lifelong learner. I loved it. Part of it is reading, which I’ve kind of talked about just a moment ago. I learn most often from my reading. I churn through two or three books a week. I’ve funneled through them very quickly because there’s something in there that I know I need. I extrapolate it, and then I move on to the next thing. 


I listen to some of Gary Vee’s stuff, but not that much. One of the things you need to know about me is I am a communicator. I’m a speaker. I’ve been doing it for over 30 years. Gary Vee’s content is fantastic, but his delivery is terrible. He’s a terrible speaker, and he talks way too fast. It makes it hard for people to process what he’s saying. I shouldn’t have to rewind something four or five times inside a minute to get everything he said. But leaving that aside, what he’s saying is very helpful. There are some other people that I’m paying attention to, like Lewis House. I pay attention to the things he says. 


Leadership is a huge thing for me. There are a few podcasts that I never missed. One of them is the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast. It comes out once a month. It is the best thing I’ve ever heard about leadership. Some people may be turned off because he happens to be the lead pastor of the largest church in America. But when you listen to him talk about leadership and teamwork, he rarely mentioned his team and what he does. The stuff and concepts he talks about are solid and helpful. It’s one thing to lead a company of 750 to 1000 people or more; it’s different when nearly all of those people are volunteers. What he’s dealing with are mostly volunteers. That’s another level altogether, being able to do them. 


The other podcast that I listened to every time it comes out is Read to Lead Podcast by Jeff Brown. He believes in order to be the best leader; you have to be a reader. The folks he brings on that he interviews are authors. I have learned about and met so many fantastic people because of Jeff and what he’s doing. I’m learning from Simon Sinek initially because of Jeff. I could pull out over a dozen books off my bookshelf right now, and I found out about these people in these books because of Jeff. 


I could keep going and tell you about the resources and places I’m learning from things like on YouTube. Typically, when I’m on YouTube, I’m very targeted at the stuff that I’m watching. It’s usually related to my business. I’ll watch videos about how to make videos. I’m trying to learn how to get better at it because I know, the younger the audience, the more they’re consuming their content via video. I want to get better at doing that and get better as a coach, as I’m teaching others and instructing them how to get better with their own personal brands.


The Mastermind Effect:  09:09

I think you got to take it from multiple sources. Someone brought up Gary Vee to me maybe two and a half years ago. I had no idea who Gary Vee was, and I was living under a rock. His podcasts are amazing. One of the people you mentioned, Simon Sinek. We had one of our Success Finder coaches and someone who’s been on the podcast and they did something with us through the podcast, send that episode over to Simon’s group or Simon’s brother, and now is looking to have some form of a partnership relationship or something that’s going on. That’s super cool—two degrees of separation from Simon Sinek and what they’re building over there. You just want to be an avid learner.


John Hulen:  10:08



The Mastermind Effect:  10:09

It’s better to be more interested than interesting. And you get that when you start taking in different sources of material, you realize always be a student and always be learning.


John Hulen:  10:12

You were asking a moment ago about coaches and masterminds? Yes, I am a part of masterminds, getting ready to start my own set of masterminds in different fields, but masterminds nonetheless.  I have coaches of my own that coached me on different things. I have my own health coach, content and branding coach, business coach, and relationship and personal coach. I hold them in high regard and very high esteem. These are people that essentially, I’ve given permission to speak truth into my life. Because that’s how I’m going to get better when someone holds the mirror up to me, it’s like, “You say you want to get better in this area? Well, this is what it looks like. Now, let’s talk about where you say you want to go.” That’s a key there, where I say I want to go and what it will take to get there. 


The best coaches, to me, are the ones who are helping guide us in the direction we say we want to go. What ends up happening many times as we discover, where we thought we wanted to go is not where we need to go. We end up discovering someplace else. They help gently redirect us that way. It didn’t tell us where we needed to go, even though they already knew it. They allowed us to figure it out because that’s when it sticks and becomes ours.


The Mastermind Effect:  11:45

They want to be more helpful than right. Unbidazzle the bridge, get rid of the noise and find the signal. You’re like, “Okay, where are we currently? Where do I want to go? What is the shortest path there?” Along the way, you’re going to have the noise, and you have to cut that out because sometimes the noise is us or it’s social. Get rid of that noise. You just keep finding that signal and nudging us along towards like, “Oh, my gosh, it was there all along.” It’s a nice redirection. 


I think what happens to humans is we get stuck. Sometimes we get stuck in our own head, and we can’t see the picture through the frame. We can’t see the tree through the forest. With the world still going through a pandemic in some form or fashion, I think it’s causing a reset and how we can accomplish things. How of masterminds helps you when you’re looking to reset, get unstuck, see the picture through the frame? 


John Hulen:  12:42

Honestly, it’s been the collection of people in the mastermind that’s been the most helpful. I say that that’s a very generic way of answering that. But more specifically, it’s the most helpful thing that I have found in masterminds. Getting new information is great but being on the hot seat is what’s really helpful. Now, it’s not comfortable being there. When people from other perspectives and have had other experiences in their life. The point is something totally different from mine might be able to see a slight nuance about something that I’m doing. It is like, have you thought about massaging it this way, or just kind of instead of straight ahead, maybe tilt just a little bit. It’s like it makes all the difference in the world. It’s almost like you win the lottery. When stuff like that happens, it can be that revolutionary. It’s just the preponderance of experiences and ideas that are expressed that I found so helpful.


The Mastermind Effect:  13:52

I love when you say experiences because that’s one of the opening lines—as we learn from other people’s experiences. It’s the most powerful thing. That’s why the best mastermind facilitator and the people that they put together in a room, you’re learning from their experiences. They can help you see around corners, and they can help you before you step into a landmine. We sit there and we celebrate when people dig themselves out of a hole. In a mastermind, we also celebrate when people never dig themselves in that hole. Why is it we’re always celebrating that I fix something? Why can’t we celebrate when you didn’t break it? That’s a pretty cool thought right there


The Mastermind Effect:  14:33

That’s the power of a mastermind. That’s why we have the Mastermind Effect. That’s why we work with John. We work with people like John because they’re the result leaders, the activators, not the motivators. It’s great to be motivated, but you want to be activated and how you can get those results. 


John Hulen:  14:51

I can motivate. That is a part of my personality and part of something I do, but that tends not to happen so much in coaching. That happens more when I do my speaking.


The Mastermind Effect:  15:03

But when you’re speaking, you can motivate people by and activate them to get them excited. If you’re on stage, and you’ve gotten them all riled up, and a day later, they’re like, “Tell me about John.” And they’re like, “Oh, I’m excited.” What are you going to do? I don’t know. That’s not John. That is the motivator only. You have the activator with the motivator and the result leader over the thought leader. That’s absolutely who we love working with and love talking to. 


Masterminds is one of the big reasons why we’re here. You got one coming up. The masterminds have probably been around for a while. The first one was probably the apostles. Then, let’s fast forward when Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo club or the Leather Apron Club. And then Napoleon Hill writes a book that rounds it out what a mastermind is. As there continues to be a huge boom in self-education, coaching, and masterminds, where do you see the parallels going between self-education and standardized education?


John Hulen:  16:10

I have very strong opinions about those kinds of things. Let me preface what I’m about to say. What I’m proposing is not for everyone. If you’re planning to be a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, we want you to go to college and get a degree. I don’t want to drive across a bridge from someone who didn’t go to school. 

However, most of us don’t require a traditional college education. I’m not saying education is a waste because I don’t believe that. But how many of us, with our current position, do something related to our field of study? Most of us don’t. 


My thought process is this. For someone much younger, if there’s something you’re interested in or you happen to be good at. Let’s say you happen to be good at computers; it could be on the software side or the hardware side. In most major cities, there are these companies out there, and you can go to them. It’s like an eight-month program. When you’re done, you’re certified. You’ve got these companies waiting in line to hire you. Now, if you can imagine this being 18 years old, and you are not quite a year past graduating from high school. You’ve spent or taken a loan out the equivalent of one year of college. You’re getting ready to be hired for 65 grand or more, still living at home, basically rent-free. All you have to do is pay this back with this new job you just got. That’s not to say three years, five years down the road, you decide you want to go to college. That’s fine. But most people don’t need to do that. 


Making opportunities or making ways for people to get better at what it is they think they want to do; we need more of that, not less of that. Let’s make it as widely available as possible. That’s why I’m doing things like creating a course for podcasters, who are content experts but have almost no training in public speaking and ways to help them get better at conveying this fantastic knowledge they have. But how they’re doing it right now is kind of boring, honestly. It doesn’t have to be boring. It doesn’t take that long to learn how to do it. You learn a few tips along the way. Then it’s practice, practice practice.


The Mastermind Effect:  18:46



John Hulen:  18:47

That’s why I occasionally go back and listen to my very first episode of my podcast. To see the progress I’ve made in how I do podcasts and what I sound like doing it. I cringe when I listen to it, but it’s good. It’s at least, like, “look how much I’ve learned, and how much better I’m getting.” You got to have that baseline for what you’re doing. Otherwise, you can’t see the progress you’re making.


Self-Education and John’s Reality


The Mastermind Effect:  19:13

I feel like you listen to episode one of mine. Because in there, I think the title is my son doesn’t have to go to college. Unless he wants to be a doctor or nurse, or engineer, he doesn’t have to go to college. I kind of get into that. One of the points you made and gave an example is getting into computer technology. I read an article last year where Google’s coming out with like, here are your 136 months whatever the program is, here’s what the price point is, and here’s what we’re guaranteeing that you’re going to be able to come out of this program with. It’s an alternative to something. I think that’s what the world was already needed. The glaring problems got exasperated. I think it would be the word over the last 12 to 24 months like the value have what things are like? Do you want to walk out with a quarter-million dollars in debt or in a $45,000 a year paying job? Do you want to go to the front of the line? Do you want the Fast Pass at Disney World? Who doesn’t want the Fast Pass to Disney World? 


I was talking about people in general, typically, when someone invests in themselves. I think the best investment in life is yourself above the stock market or above the housing market. I’m in both of those, but I can’t control what those things do and, in turn, control what I do. My ROI on myself should be its highest. That’s why we should always invest in ourselves. What should someone expect when they enter John’s reality and work with you through your mastermind or coaching?


John Hulen:  20:48

One of the first things that people will find for me is that my online presence matches my in-person presence; there is no gap, there is no difference. I am the same person. I wish I could tell you that all the coaches I’ve ever met have been the same online as they were in person; they have not. For me, that’s a big thing. That’s about being truly authentic and who I am. Another term could be real and raw, honestly. 

I’ve been doing public speaking for 30 years. I’ve been coaching in a variety of forms for over 25 years. I have more than 20 years of experience in business for myself, having started seven different companies from scratch, some of which have done well, others have not. 


While I do know some things to do, I know many things about what not to do. That’s called learning. Failing is learning, and that’s a good thing. If someone works with me, I will push you probably beyond your limits at times or what you think your limits are. It will be very uncomfortable at times, not always, but it’s always to help you get better. My emphasis is always on you first. Even if we’re doing business coaching together, you need to understand I can’t leave the personal side of it out because you go with you to business everywhere. If your home life is a wreck, your business can never be the best. You have to learn how to get great at relationships at home because when you do that, your business will take off in ways you never expected. Even if you work for someone else, there are still relationships you have at work. Those can’t be great if you don’t know how to do it right at home. That’s part of what people can expect. 


When it comes to masterminds, one of the things that I do a lot is bring people in that I know are experts in various areas. They are fantastic people. People I want you to know, become acquainted with, and I want you to do business with. One of the very important things to my heart is entrepreneurs because I’ve been one for so long. Since I have this abundancy mindset, or I’m going to call it a belief set out there, it’s a part of my core, truly it is. I’m going to bring in these fantastic people that I want you to be in business with. I want you to hire them because they’re going to make you better in a certain area. They’re going to do great things for you and many of whom will partner with you. If it’s something that you want to do with them together, they’ll do that. Others, they’ll do it for you. I stay out of it once I connect you, but my job is to do the connecting, which I love doing. 


Those are other things you can expect from me. I bring in world-class people. I would never bring anyone to introduce to a client that I would not introduce to my own mother ever. When you make that referral, your reputation goes with it. When I make them, it’s my reputation. I can honestly tell you in over 20 years of being in business for myself, I’ve had one referral go bad; only one. When I found out about it, I went back to the person who didn’t do what he said he would do. I forced him to give the money back, and then I cut off contact with him.


Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  24:30

We’re a reflection of the people that we surround ourselves with and who we refer. I don’t take lightly who gets referred to the platform and the podcast because it’s a direct reflection on the vision, mission, and values of what we’re doing here. The person that does the referring, and in this case, our good friend Dave, doesn’t want that proverbial blue checkbox to go away, nor do I want that for him. If he sends you over to me and vice versa, and I mishandle it, then I’m no better than the next person. We are our reputation, and you can’t be repairing your reputation. Some things are out of our control. That’s the reality. But to repair a reputation on something, you had some say, and how it could have gone, it’s a big thing right there. You’ll find out that the degree of separation that we are from the people around us or the people we don’t even know are around us yet is blessed small. I know there are over 7 billion people on this planet. The degree of separation in the world you want to live in and that ecosystem is really small. Take note of that. Be careful who you refer and who you surround yourself with. 


The people you work with, or you refer out, and I’m sure from time to time, have a way of just surprising us, whether it’s the grit, grind, or willingness to learn. I’d love to hear a success story. If you can use names and specific examples, that’s great. Give us a success story of someone who went through your mastermind or your coaching program, and what was the outcome because of the room you created?


John Hulen:  26:16

I have someone in mind that I can use. This person hasn’t given permission to use names. I’m going to change his name only because some of what he does gets into some very sensitive things. This particular individual came to me for what he thought he needed: business coaching because his company was plateaued when he came to me. It was not like he wasn’t doing well. He and his company was making six figures. They were doing fine. He had got a couple of employees at that point doing the work. 


He came to me, and he was like, “Hey, I’d really like to help this thing grow.” As I started to do some discovery sessions with him, I started hearing more and more about things that were going on at home. Essentially, he was saying was, “My marriage is a disaster. It’s a mess. We’re never together, and we don’t do things. We have different schedules. The kids are going crazy all over the place. We’re constantly running back and forth doing stuff we never have any time together.” Then it was no wonder to me that when this madness started, that’s when his company started to plateau. It was very clear to me what was going on. And I just said, “Look, at this point, you’re going to have a decision to make, but honestly, my recommendation to you is that if you want to work with me, we don’t start on your business; we start at home. We start talking about the kind of person that you are at home and what you’re doing to be valuable at home.  what you’re doing to take things off of your wife’s plate.” And at that point, he wasn’t doing anything. He basically came home, sat down for dinner, and then pretty much did nothing. He wasn’t contributing to the family at all other than physically sitting. He was there, but not there. No one had said it to him that way before.


His wife had expressed some concern that she had mentioned things like counseling and that sort of thing. And, of course, he rebuffed that.  And we got into that. I told him that one of the things you need to understand about women is that I believe they were created with a sixth sense. There are things that women can tell the men, and we won’t get it. You need to pay attention when she’s saying things that are outside of what she normally says. When she’s saying things like, “we need to go to therapy,” you probably need to do that. I highly encourage him.  I was like, “I want you to go and meet with this guy. I want you to meet with him, see if you like him, and then tell your wife what you did that you’d met with this guy and asked her if she’d be willing to go to one session with you together with him and see what happens.” And he did that. She was blown away that he did it. That means it didn’t even take her less than half a second to agree to go.  Luckily, within a week, they set up an appointment with this guy, and she loved him. That was the beginning of some great things for them as a couple. 


Now, I still continue to work with him on some other things that were not necessarily therapy-related but just some ways to get better as a man at home. I mean, one of the things I had him do is to have a regular date night; that wasn’t even in their vocabulary. They picked Friday afternoons.  He would finish up his day at work by lunchtime and come home. While the kids were doing schoolwork, they would have a date afternoon together. And I said, when this is on your calendar, everything else in life, you plan around this. I’m talking about your work schedule; you plan around this. That’s how important this is for your future. If you want your company to be great, this is a building block; you have to do this. 


Something else I made sure that he knew, and it’s like this. The idea of this date day that you guys are doing, you own this now. Your job right now is to help her as much as possible, which means you’re taking this off her plate. She doesn’t have to concern herself with this. You figure out what you’re doing each week, where you’re going, and make sure the kids are properly cared for. All she has to do is show up and look beautiful.


And on top of that, I said, when you’re together, you are not to talk about things like the bills, kids, all the stuff that’s coming up, and all the errands. You start talking to her about her hopes and her dreams. You start sharing with her from your heart. And I say, at first, it’s going to be horrible. You’re going to hate it because you’re not used to it. But that is what she’s dying for. The best thing you can do is to share what’s going on with you. What are your hopes and dreams? Now, that’s not to say that you can’t talk about your business as it relates to future kinds of things. But not in those first few times that you’re going out. It needs to be more focused on you guys as a couple. Talk about things like where you want to be six months from now, a year from now, or five years from now, that sort of thing. Start thinking about future plans for when the kids are gone. They’re with you for a short little while, and then they’re gone. That’s why you need to be emphasizing your relationship with your wife and not as much your relationship with your kids. When you put her in her proper place above the children, they start to realize that the world does not revolve around them. That’s what more kids need, and they need to know that the world is not all about them. It’s like you’re serving her. By serving her, you are, in turn, serving your children at the same time. 


We talked about ways for them to have like these dates with his daughters and that sort of thing he hadn’t been doing. He was doing things to create memories with his kids because he felt bad over the years about not being able to do this stuff. He tried to shower them with stuff. And  I was like, “they don’t remember the stuff. They remember the time.” The time you’re spending with them. Create those for your kids, and they’re going to love that. 


I would say it was a tag-team effort between the therapist and me. As he started to get things figured out on the home front, we started working on some of the business stuff. Even before we got to that, he started making comments back to me. He’s like business is picking up a little bit. He would tell me about meeting with potential clients. When he was talking to them, it was like he was talking with a smile on his face. And you can tell, even if you’re on the phone, you can tell if somebody is excited about whatever it is that they’re doing or talking about. So you can hear the smile in someone’s voice. That’s one of the things I think was coming across for him. He was genuinely excited about his business again because his home life was getting better. So much better that it just totally impacted him, which he brought with him to work. It just loses out of him and his employees’ side 


Eventually, I ended up working with him for about a year. His business ended up increasing about 25% at the end of that year. And honestly, he didn’t start to see any significant increase for at least six months. I knew at a certain point where he didn’t need my coaching anymore. He wanted to keep going, but I’m just like, “Look, you need to fly. I’m holding you back. You’ve got to fly now.”


The Mastermind Effect:  36:49

The key thing is when a coach realizes he served you in the best way possible. It’s not saying that it’s time for them to level up or go, but like someone else can serve them where they’re at that point. I appreciate you sharing that story. It’s not only personal, but it’s an emotional journey that you went on with someone else. It helped transform not only the foundation, being their family but then their business from there. That’s a beautiful thing when you can get that.


I feel that when times are going well, it’s easier to find those wins. It’s like when the world’s winning, those wins seem to come in just a little bit easier. But I think ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze, and the world is still feeling some form of a squeeze. What are you working on right now that will take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


John Hulen:  38:18

You’ve already mentioned the mastermind. That’s something new that started for me and that I will be doing. I’m getting more and more involved with the Clubhouse. I foresee myself having my own club at some point in the not-too-distant future. I’ve been extremely excited about and blessed to have met many different people on Clubhouse, literally from all over the world, and who are asking me to come on their stages to share my experience and my expertise with folks. Every time I do it, I am so humbled that someone would even want me to be there. They’re so kind and nice, and just thanking me for things that I say on Clubhouse and things that have helped them. They’ve come back late, and it’s like, “John, I heard that thing you talked about, and I applied it to what I was doing, and it made a huge difference.” I’m thinking specifically of an exercise that I take people through to help them try and figure out what they’re supposed to be doing. It’s a simple exercise, but it is not an easy exercise. There’s definitely a big difference between those two things.

The Mastermind Effect:  39:33

What’s a tip, a tactic, or an actual item that if someone implements this, over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they’d see a real impact on their personal or business life?


John Hulen:  39:48

Let me start with the business side, and then I’ll move to the personal side. If this sounds like you, this is an exercise for you. I’m trying to reach women. I can’t refer anything to you. If you tell me you’re looking to serve women, I can’t because it’s not specific enough. It didn’t tell me how old the woman is. It doesn’t tell me where she lives. I need more detail. If that’s all you give me, then you don’t know who you’re serving. 


Let me help you figure out who that is very quickly. Here’s the exercise. It’s very simple. It’s three questions to help you get that clarity. The first one is, what makes you mad? The second question is, what breaks your heart? The third question is, what problem do you solve? 


I can give an example if you want of that.  For instance, what makes me mad? one of the things that makes me mad is seeing business owners not be successful because they don’t know who they serve. They say they do, but I can’t get a clear answer from them when I asked them about it. What breaks my heart? The exact same thing because it doesn’t have to be that way. And what problem do I solve? I help business owners be able to narrow down who it is they serve. Rather than take a shotgun approach to clients, they’ve got a rifle, and they can hit that target every single time. 


The Mastermind Effect:  41:38

It’s not a spray and pray. It’s a sniper rifle.


John Hulen:  41:41

It’s helping you be able to get clarity. I will tell you this clarity comes one way. Imperfect action is how you get clarity. Taking those small baby steps, and if you fail, who cares? You learned from that. You learned what not to do. 


Often, I asked my kids that all the time. How’d you fail today? To jump back into the education system for just a minute. It sets our kids up to not be successful in life in general, but specifically, it also conditions our children so that when they grow older to almost be like a drone. We want you to have a brain, and we want you to think for yourself. That is an underrated skill; thinking for yourself and being able to learn that is so huge. 


The Mastermind Effect:  42:52

You want to fail fast. The definition of perfection means you never took off. It’s like you got to take off. Sometimes you don’t have the wheels or the captain or a wing if you want to use a plane analogy, and one of the wings might be on fire. If you have the right people around you, they’re going to help you see around those corners, and they’re going to help you take off.

John Hulen:  43:16

You asked me one other thing, a personal way of improvement. The ladies who are listening to this, what I’m going to suggest right now, this particular exercise, is something that most women do naturally, but we as men do not. It is a way for us as men to begin to get in touch with who we are on the inside. It’s a journaling exercise, and this is something you’re actually physically going to write out. This is a daily exercise.  


It starts this way.  You write down, Today I feel; you cannot use words like good, great or okay because those are not specific. For example, Today, I feel excited. Then you say why? I feel excited today because I knew I was going to be on a podcast with Brandon. Not only do you write down something that you’re feeling for that day, take that same feeling, go back in time, try and remember the first time you felt that way and write that down. The first time I remember feeling excited was when I was about four years old, and we were moving from our first house to what I called our first big house, and my parents let me help move. 


You’re writing down Today, I feel. Then you’re writing down the first time you remember feeling that way. The next thing you write down, write down something you did well for the day. If you can’t think of anything else, you can write down you brush your teeth well. To put this in perspective, for all of you, listeners and viewers, I was in a very bad place, and my marriage was a disaster. At the point where I started this exercise. The first six months of me doing this exercise, the only thing I wrote down that I did well was that I brushed my teeth.


Then the next thing that you’re going to do is depending upon your background. If you happen to be a person of faith, go to your faith book, and read a chapter in there, and write down anything that jumps off the page at you. If that isn’t your thing, then an inspirational book for you. Again, the same thing, read a chapter, anything that jumps off the page, you write that down. You are just writing those things down. That’s all you’re doing. After you’re done with that, from the faith-based person, write down a prayer for the day. For someone who is not, write out in inspirational thought for the day. 


This is not a hard exercise to do. Why would you do that? Its purpose is to begin to show you that you can feel things as a man, other than I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m mad. This isn’t the first time you ever felt those things. As you begin to figure that out, you also get to figure out and sense something coming up inside you. The feeling. It’s like anger is a secondary emotion. It is not a primary emotion, which means something is triggering anger. As you do this exercise, you’ll begin to understand, “okay, I’m getting angry; where’s that coming from?”  You can begin to address that calmly. That’s a huge thing. That’s what this exercise will help you do. It helps you get better in touch with who you are on the inside to begin to express that to those in your life that you need or your significant others. Because if you can’t do that for them, then you can’t give them what they need. That’s the best of you.


The Mastermind Effect:  47:12

You deserve it, and they deserve it. I feel like we went on a beautiful, emotional journey today of self-realization. It’s not just about business, but it’s that foundation, personally, what’s going on there.


We’ve got the Founder of Relationships and Revenue. John Hulen. John, thank you so much for what you brought to the listeners and me in my own household today.

John Hulen:  47:37

Brandon, I was honored to be here. Thank you so much for asking me to be on here. I hope that I was able to share something of value with each of you who was listening. 


Connect with John on InstagramTwitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.  

LEAVE A 5-STAR REVIEW and connect with me on Instagram or LinkedIn . Send a message or e-mail me at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com.

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103: Juli Wenger | Comparison and Impostor Syndrome

Today, we’re jumping into comparison and imposter syndrome because this is what I consistently see taking people out. We’re going to talk about these together because they are soulmates. They trigger each other, and they are so tied to our inner critic.

How does comparison show up? See what lands here for you, a sense of I’m not enough, a sense of I don’t belong, something’s wrong with me. I’m doing something wrong, jealousy, resentment, shaming other people, you know they don’t deserve that I work harder, and generally not being able to celebrate others. Imposter syndrome looks something like this: being convinced we don’t deserve things, being convinced it’ll go wrong or that will fail, being convinced people see us as a fraud, or we’ll see our imperfections. These things can paralyze us. They might keep us from moving forward. They might have us in self-sabotage mode. Comparison is, by nature, self-sabotaging. It’s something that reinforces for us when we over-attached to it, and it breeds imposter syndrome. Not enoughness reinforces that we’re missing something, or we’re not competent enough or not committed enough or not achieving enough. We often compare to things that aren’t even real.


This is my personal story. A while ago, I sat down, and I asked myself, “Juli, who are you comparing yourself to?” This is what shows up. It’s comparing myself to who I tell myself I’m supposed to be. It’s a standard I’m setting for myself based on other people’s perceptions in my sphere. Let’s be real about the challenge with the sphere right now. It’s not just people we know anymore. It’s people we follow on Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook,  Clubhouse, Success Finder, podcasts, and TV shows. There’s so much available. We take that, and we internalize pieces of it that relate to who we tell ourselves we’re supposed to be, and it can be crushing.


Here’s the thing. Ultimately, it’s not about the outside world. It’s about you and you. It’s about me and me. It’s about a part of us that innately knows we’re capable of more, and we’re called to more. When we get into that space of allowing the outside world to dictate what more looks like, influence what success means and what drives us, what we should value, how we should show up, and how we should act, we give our power to that. Instead of to that little voice inside us that says, “Hey, there’s something else.” That quiet small voice turns into a distortion of what the world tells us and what we perceive that the world tells us we’re supposed to be.


The alternative is for us to get clear on what we want our purpose, who we are, and allow that to guide us to get clear on our values and what success means for us. Taking our power back takes an outsider to come in and say, “Hey, I see you, are you okay? What support do you need? How can I step in for you right now? How can I remind you who you are? How can I give you context on yourself that will help interrupt this pattern is showing up for you.” We get stuck in our own mud, and we can’t see our blind spots.


You must have other people who love you, care about you, support you, do not shame you or allow you to sit and shame, who will remind you of who you are, and to get you out of imposter syndrome when it’s more than just a blip on the radar. Sometimes it shows up, and it’s like, “That feels kind of icky, but I’m just going to do the things anyway. I’ll choose to step through the fear and keep moving.” Sometimes imposter syndrome is like a big dark cloud, and someone needs to remind you to choose to plant your feet in the middle of the storm that can be life, where the calm is and where the eye of the storm is, and say I will not be moved. I allow myself to feel the feelings, process the things, tune into my body, and ask what lessons it has for me. I permit myself to thank the feelings and emotions showing up because I know they’re trying to take care of me. I permit myself to step out of all that and back into my empowered state, into the better version of me and the healthier version of me, where I’m moving towards my next growth curve. We cannot do that in a solo game. We cannot do that alone. The growth curve is not without its bumps and its challenges. By nature, the challenge zone, of course, will have challenges, but they’re worth it.


Here’s what’s interesting about comparison and imposter syndrome as we do our self-work and build a stronger foundation of who we and what drives us, they seem to get triggered less often. As we build more resilience, we spend less time there. What’s great about imposter syndrome is it is an invitation that tells us we’re on the right track because we should be uncomfortable. If we’re growing and leaning into living our purpose, it’s not going to be convenient. Living our purpose is not convenient.


Here’s your reflection and where you get to do some work. What’s one place where comparison and imposter syndrome is showing up for you right now? What stories are you attaching to that situation? What are you telling yourself about it? What assumptions are you making? Who are you telling yourself you need to be enough? This is a personal journey. This is something that’s unique to you, depending on your wiring.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Comparison breeds impostor syndrome.” – Juli Wenger

“Get clear on what you want, and allow that to be the guide.” – Juli Wenger

“You must have other people who love you, care about you, support you, do not shame you, and will not allow you to sit in shame. Who will remind you of who you are, and to get you out of impostor syndrome.” – Juli Wenger

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Juli on Instagram or visit https://www.juliwenger.com/ 

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and 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.

102: Juli Wenger | Getting Out Of Your Own Way

Juli Wenger serves as an Enneagram Expert, Empowerment Coach, Motivational Speaker, and Growth Junkie who’s passionate about self-awareness, self-compassion, courage, and resilience. Her journey includes everything from training as a Human Ecologist and Interior Designer, a 10-year career running a multiple 6-figure real estate business, to jumping out of said business after realizing that there was still  more to life for her. She used to be filled with imposter syndrome but this was soon replaced with a deep understanding that the impact she can make is too significant to let her fear stop her.
In this episode, Juli gets into how our learning is formed by the interactions with the people around us. She explains how Masterminds are a way that you are able to be called up. She then gets into how she works with her clients by asking: who are you, what drives you, and what’s the next expansion. Check it out!

Juli’s Learning Journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:08

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


Juli Wenger:  02:37

My learning is so much more informed by understanding how people are wired, understanding based on our interactions, and leaning to see how people see through different lenses. I spent a lot of time listening to people, watching their body language, watching their tone, and paying attention to how they are showing up holistically instead of just this black and white thinking. When we’re younger, everything was very basic. We didn’t understand so much about how people function, and that’s really shifted.


The Mastermind Effect:  03:24

You and I both have young children. We need to give the younger generation way more credit for what they can take in and realize and then put out into the world. They’re not these fragile little glasshouses that can’t take what’s going on. I’m super excited about the next generation. They do look at the people around them and the information they’re taking. It’s kind of what you just said.


Juli Wenger:  03:54

I think we’re innately wired for that, and we train it out of ourselves. We get trained or socialized to think of things more simply. We’d get socialized to focus more on data knowledge than things like emotional intelligence, psychology, feelings, and intuitions, and paying attention to intelligence that doesn’t just live in our head. Our kids know that inherently until we train it out of them.


The Mastermind Effect:  04:25

We take the kid out of us. What I’ve learned, at least in the last several years, is putting the kid back in the bottle or letting the kid back out of the bottle, however which way you want to look at it. It doesn’t mean that we can’t be grown up. But if we look at it from the innocent, childlike eyes, and what’s possible, we sit there and say, “I don’t live in a world where I think outside the box. I live in a world where there is no box. I surround myself with the doers, the actors, the activators, not the motivators, and just go forward with it and move the needle.” Shawn, who’s been on a previous episode, said if you’re taking a step forward, you can’t take a step forward and backward at the same time. You’re always moving forward.


Juli Wenger:  05:09

That’s amazing. I love this idea of being out of the box, or there being no boxes, because so often, what I see is people put themselves into this small little box. I talked about this in terms of identity all the time. They look at themselves as “I’m Julian. I’m a mom.” That’s a box. It’s a small container. It’s a role, an assignment, and has a checklist for enoughness attached to it. When we can look at ourselves and say, “No, that is something I do. I participate in that somewhere that I show up, and I value in my life, but I exist outside of that,” it allows us to stop playing small.


The Mastermind Effect:  05:48

I finally realized this when my wife came to me, and she’s like, “one of my friends is asking what you do for a living?” I’m like, “I don’t live in a box. I don’t have a box.”


Juli Wenger:  06:05

It’s difficult to explain to people who have that black and white database thinking,


The Mastermind Effect:  06:11

We have many ways to take in information more than ever before, and it can be super confusing. Some people learn from accountability buddies, mastermind, an online pre-recorded course, and YouTube University. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect and find them?


Juli Wenger:  06:43

One of the things that I am currently leaning into is breath. I’m learning from breathwork, and meditation facilitator, who I connected through a mastermind group too. We were both participants in a mastermind under another coach, and we happened to get along really well. I appreciated what she’s doing, and she appreciates what I’m doing. She put this offering out, and I was like, that’s my next growth curve. Because there is a recovering overachiever and recovering perfectionist, and learning to detach from the hustle.


It’s been fascinating because I’m learning through my breath. I’m learning as I start to regulate my nervous system better and learn as I start to create more space for emotional pieces of myself or experiences to move through those.  She has been an instrumental part of the latest expansion on my growth journey of guiding me through a process that I didn’t understand. I didn’t know how to breathe, which sounds ridiculous. I’m 36, and I didn’t know how to breathe. There was this breath-holding that’s happening all the time. When we get into anxiety, that’s what shows up. We hold our breath, or we breathe rapidly, which is something that’s called over-breathing. It triggers a stress and anxiety response.


The Mastermind Effect:  08:40

There’s another interesting one. I’ve heard the example where five contractors come to bid on building your pool in the backyard. You go with the one that says, “I’m going to work the hardest, we’re going to get this done, and you can trust me.” You give them all the tools, the tractors, and the big machinery to get it done. Then,  you come out there five hours later, and he’s just using a shovel to dig. What you find out is that working hard does not mean working smarter and moving forward. That’s what I heard when you say I’m a recovering perfectionist and working hard.


Juli Wenger:  09:16

That’s not the way. It’s the way to burnout and anxiety. It’s the way to being miserable, even if you’re successful on other people’s terms. Yeah. That’s been my journey. I ran a real estate business very successfully, according to other people, for ten years. I was unfulfilled, anxious, and in reaction mode all the time. Honestly, part of this breath journey, as a piece of my growth journey, is recovery from 10 years of push, proving, and trying to measure up.


What showed up was this pattern of a commitment to busy. Commitment to busy meant that I wasn’t always doing productive things or always using the right tools for the job. I had an opportunity to learn that busy doesn’t equal abundance. It can block abundance. The work now for recovering overachievers listening to this is to slow it down and look for how things flow when you’re not pushing them.


The Mastermind Effect:  10:30

Could you give us a quick breathing exercise? This is me putting you on the spot. One of my coaches and cornerman, Dr. Jeff Spencer, started talking to me about diaphragmatic breathing. When you’re blowing out, it’s like there’s a flower right there. Please give us one super quick that people listening could do.


Juli Wenger:  11:10

For example, healing breath, or we call prana breath. It is just very slow, and it’s very calm. With breathwork specifically, there are a couple of pieces of this. There’s breath awareness and breath practice. Awareness is where you’re paying attention, while practice is where you’re manipulating the breath.


One of the things we can use to bring our nervous system down is to breathe through our nose, ideally, not through our mouth; breathing in through our mouth triggers a stress response. If you put your feet on the floor and just feel your feet. Feel the balls of your feet on the floor. Move them around a little bit because we want to get down into our bodies. Then start noticing the breath coming in through your nose and out through your nose. That might be a little cooler on the inhale and warmer on the exhale. Just pay attention to the breath without any judgment. You are inhaling and exhaling. See if you can lengthen it just a little bit.  Then when you’re done, just move your body around a little bit and come out of it.


What’s fascinating about breath is you can take one minute and focus on slow, deep breathing, not forced by inhales and exhales. It helps bring us back to our center and to neutral. We can’t function in a CEO space or a visionary space if we are in a fight, flight, and freeze kind of a state and if we’re in a reactionary state.


The Mastermind Effect:  13:05

I love that, and I appreciate being able to put you on the spot and come through with an actionable item, which we’ll get into even later on.


People, in general, get stuck. They say you can’t see the picture through the frame of the tree through the forest. We’re still going through some form of a pandemic, and it causes a reset and how we can accomplish things. We talked about some people or the crabs out there who still aren’t seeing that part. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to reset yourself and get unstuck?


Juli Wenger:  13:55

Masterminds, in my experience, have always called me up. It’s been a space where I curate these two, so I get to see it all the time when I’m running groups. We have these environments where we’re surrounded by people who see us differently than we see ourselves. When we start to get into the mud, or we start to get stuck, we start to tell ourselves a story of why we are incapable or unworthy. We can surround ourselves with people who won’t put up with that crap and see the power, creativity, skills, superpowers, or the abilities that exist in us and say, “Hey, this is how I see you. How about you borrow my faith in you until you can get back to a space of having your own?” Having humans in my life who have called me out on that stuff and have shown up for me when I’m in a bit of a spiral or stuck space has made all of the difference. Then also in seeing them step up, watching them do their work and get creative, and watching them build their businesses; it’s a light of what’s possible.


The key in my experience with masterminds and group coaching-type environments is that we surround ourselves with people who call us and help us level up, not necessarily on the same plane. I’ve been in groups where I’m like the top dog business-wise. It’s comfortable and supportive, and lovely. I’ve been in groups where people trigger F out of me because I see them doing things that register something in me about what I like to call the capability gap. There’s something I know I’m called to and capable of, and then there’s where I am right now. Something about their moving forward, their success, their shifts, or their accomplishments triggers in me this reflection of, “I know I can do more than I’m doing right now, but something’s getting in the way.” So what’s getting in the way? What work do I need to do? What do I need to lean into so that I can move through that capability gap and close it?


The Mastermind Effect:  16:22

It is cutting out the noise, bringing in the signal, and building that bridge. It’s so true. I heard this recently in a mastermind conversation. They were super successful, but they had self-doubt. Frederick Douglas Bussey said, you don’t need my permission, but since you’re in this space right now, I’m going to give you permission to be great. I’m going to give you permission to do what you want to do. You don’t need mine. I’m saying it’s okay until you feel that you have that power.


That is what the power of the right mastermind and the right people can do. It’s not always the person that curates the mastermind is the key figure; it’s the people that gravitate towards them that are finding a business out of helping someone through it. It’s the overall group. It’s like a symbiotic relationship.


Juli Wenger:  17:25

I call this resonance. I’m a musical by background. I always think of clients or us in our own lives as being melody. We lead and decide what we do; it’s all on us. Then we have people like coaches as the harmony. They bring out depth, add layers, and create more out of what exists. Then we get into a group space, where it’s like vibrational alignment that moves us forward and propels us all forward together. It’s this powerful, almost embodied thing. When you get in a space with other people, and you’re learning from each other’s experience, because there are these parallels, and everyone moves forward. There’s not an option to be left behind. That’s fascinating.


Self-Education and Juli’s Reality


The Mastermind Effect:  18:15

Masterminds have been around for a while; probably, the first one was the apostles. Then from there, Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo Club or the Leather Apron Club. And then Napoleon Hill rounds it out and writes a book about it, and we get to hear and read what a mastermind is. There continues to be a huge boom in self-education, coaching, masterminds, and mentorship. On the other side, you’ve got college, university, and continuing education. Where do you see the parallels between standard education and self-education going forward?


Juli Wenger:  19:00

I think standard education supports our self-education. There’s so much to learn. And for us to have people and places that we can learn the details, get into the weeds and then pull out the key pieces for us so that we don’t have to do all of that work; that’s where I see it being vital.


For example, when I look at human psychology areas, I use tools that I use in my day-to-day life that has been completely transformational in my life that I’ve done a lot of self-education about. But there are things that have been studied and developed, and created over 50 to 100 years. Then I can study under the more professional or structured environment of people working in the field of a specific No type of psychology framework for 70 years, get all of their knowledge, all of their contexts, and integrate that with my own understanding of things.  Then also take Bernie Browns’ work, as she’s one of my heroes in life, work through some of her programmings, and blend them together. And as I do my own consolidation, I can do some of the training and provide information to people who might be doing their own learning on their own self-paced environment, with this new context of how these things work together.





The Mastermind Effect:  20:41

What Juli’s doing is, at least what I’m hearing, is she’s mixing them together to make it her own thing and taking knowledge from other sectors and saying, “Okay, this is how it pertains to me. And when I bring him together, it’s like this whole new dish of just something wonderful.”


When people invest in themselves, I think that is the highest and best investment you can ever make above the stock market and the housing market. You can’t control the return on that, but you can control the ROI on yourself. Investing in yourself with someone else is key and vital to your success. What should people expect when they enter Juli’s reality and work with you?


Juli Wenger:  21:40

They need to understand that regardless of what they want to work on, everything boils down to them getting in their own way. We are the foundation that everything we want to build in our life is built on.  Anything we want to achieve and any expansion or growth that we want to go through comes back to us and our own work. So, where I love to focus from that perspective is on these following questions: Who are you? What drives you? What fires you up? What lights you up? What’s your purpose?


Then getting into what’s the next expansion? Where’s that capability gap between what you’re called to and capable of, and where are you right now? Then we dive into the fun part of what’s getting in the way. When we can get out of our own way, we can build things. We don’t always need someone to tell us what to do, and we can figure that out because we have our own experiences. We have our inner wisdom, innate abilities, strengths, and superpowers. But if our inner critic is taking over, if we’re trying to be something we’re not, or if we’re trying to lean into skill sets and abilities that we’re just not wired to have in the first place, that’s not going to work. This focuses on building that foundation and getting clear on who I am and what I want from life. What is the impact that I want to create? And then what is stopping me from moving there? That’s the work.


The Mastermind Effect:  23:24

I feel people can surprise us from time to time, whether it’s the grit, the grind, the willingness to learn and accept something new that we otherwise thought wasn’t really in our way. I’d love for you to share a success story. You can use names and details or have a little anonymity. Give us a success story of someone that came to you, invest in themselves, and invested in you. What was the outcome because of that?


Juli Wenger:  23:56

My favorite example is a client with who I started working last year. She was in a business that she absolutely hated, but it would make a lot of money. As we started to do more of the work, and we started to get clearer on who she is, what are her superpowers, and what does she want from life; she got more and more clear that this thing she was attaching to, this job she was holding on to, and this potential for “abundance,” was making her absolutely miserable.  We also recognize that she has all of this skill, talent, and ability in the design field, sales, set design, restaurant design and commercial design and furniture, and all of these spaces. When she talked about it, she lit up.


For me, the success was twofold. One was leaving this other job she hated and jumping back into what she’s passionate about—being this multi-passionate entrepreneur building about six different businesses. I see it just exploding, and the trajectory is there; it’s set. The other success was that I had her speak at my last conference. When she talked about her shift and her change, she owned it personally. It wasn’t, “Hey, Juli helped me do this thing, or because of Juli.” It wasn’t because of me that she’d done this thing. It was I showed up, and I did the work. That was such a win for me because it’s so important that we own our successes. Our coaches don’t do the work for us; that’s like codependency. For her to show up and say, “I did this thing. And now, I’m leaning into my passion and creating the impact I want in the world.” That was everything for me.


Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  25:58

It’s something that just comes to life. It’s like a new being, a new flower, or something that happens right there. By owning their success, they also owned and didn’t point the finger at what was holding them back, which was also themselves. They own both sides of the story. That’s got to be unbelievably important. I appreciate you sharing that with us.


We talked a little bit about success and how sometimes we use other people’s definitions of success to believe in what we find successful. On the solo shows, we talk about what it takes to be successful, like mentorship, experimentation, partnerships, and willingness to fail.  And on the flip side, willingness to define success, and why so many of us don’t define the success of what it is to us because once we do that, we’ve also found the opposite, which is failure. What do you feel is a key attribute in becoming and creating success?


Juli Wenger:  27:03

Do you agree that defining it is fundamentally important? But beyond that, as foundational to that, is getting clear on purpose? What is my purpose in life? This was personally a massive shift for me when I realized that I am put here to help people find their fire, trust their inner knowing, and live their purpose to have their most fulfilled and impact-creating lives. That shifted everything. I was like, why am I in real estate? I was defining success in terms of that business context when in reality, success for me wasn’t even in that industry.


Success required me to step out and be empowering people. It required me to put myself in positions and environments where I could show up for people in a context that would help them do those things, that would help them live powerfully, purposefully, and passionately. So getting clear on the impact and the purpose pulls us through towards an end goal. Success can also be thought of as when I’ll get here, and then I’m successful instead of more of a state of mind, state of being, or a constant journey. We may have the next goalpost. But beyond that, our purpose continues, like a river that keeps flowing. We just happened to put a stake in the middle of it somewhere down the river. We get there, but it still moves beyond that. Understanding what’s beyond that is important.




The Mastermind Effect:  28:44

I made a mistake for years. If I hit this number inside the company, I’m successful. Then I got there, and it was like, we got there faster than we had marked before. And it was like I don’t feel any different. I wasn’t playing big enough. So you more than double that and also shorten the timeframe. Again, you get there even faster and still serve, and you’re like, “Okay, setting numbers doesn’t make me feel anything in the realm of success.” You can have goals, you can have things, but I love that you can have this goalpost, but the river keeps going beyond it and keeps going beyond it. That one resonates with me. So I appreciate you sharing that.


We’ve got a few questions left as we get closer to the end. I feel that in times of prosperity, the winds come in a little bit easier. But ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze and the world’s still feeling some form of a squeeze. What are you working on right now that will take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Juli Wenger:  29:39

We are working on our next summit, which is happening in June. We are bringing together musicians, spoken word poets, CEOs, breathwork facilitators, podcasters, authors, and this incredible collection of humans to create a day of inspiration that will fire people up.


We are also working on our next round of calls and courageous groups. This is my group coaching environment. The tentative plan is after the summit in June, which will roll out our next couple of rounds to give people space for self-exploration to understand those questions: Who am I? What drives me? What do I want? What’s getting in the way? And how am I going to move through my next expansion?


Those are the biggest things. We’ve got some really exciting podcast guests coming up soon. There’s always lots happening.


The Mastermind Effect:  31:02

What is a tip, a tactic, or an actual item that if anyone listening to this today implemented this over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they’d see a real impact on either their personal or business life?


Juli Wenger:  31:16

I’m going to tack on to this conversation we were having about breathing. Taking time daily, even if it’s five minutes, to do a breathwork exercise. To slow down and breathe so that your nervous system can calm me down. So that you can focus because it is a slow down to speed up. You can stay out in front of the health and body manifestations of stress that ultimately show up when you’re pushing too hard. This is a beneficial tool in terms of warding that stuff off, getting into our creative and visionary spaces, and just staying out of the stress and anxiety of the world.


The Mastermind Effect:  32:03

There’s going to be stress and anxiety that come at you from all different directions all day long. I love the breathwork, and it’s been unbelievably helpful for me over the last few months as I started learning about this. I would highly recommend listening to what Juli’s saying, not just because I’m saying it, but because she’s saying and some of that’s a coach to her saying it, and it will make an impact on you. I guarantee you it will.


We have got the Founder of the Becoming Ourselves Summit and Podcast, Juli Wenger. Juli, thank you so much for what you brought to the listeners and me today. Thank you.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Learning is so much more informed by understanding how people are wired. Understanding based on our interactions, and just really leaning into seeing how people see through different lenses.” – Juli Wenger

“Busy doesn’t equal abundance. Busyness can actually block abundance.” – Juli Wenger

“It’s so important that we own our own successes.” – Juli Wenger

“Anything we want to achieve, any expansion or growth that we want to go through comes back to us, and our own work on us.” – Juli Wenger

“People need to understand that, regardless of what they work on, everything boils down to them getting in their own way.” – Juli Wenger

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Juli on Instagram or visit https://www.juliwenger.com/ 

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and 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.

101 : Erin Moody | The Power of Networking: Utilizing Other’s Experiences To Find Success

Born and raised in Florida, Erin Moody is a corporate dropout turned podcaster and freelance writer. She went on a personal development journey and found out she was struggling with low self-esteem, limiting beliefs, and a propensity to please everyone but herself. She realized she wanted to help others take back control of their lives and stop living lives based on the expectations of others.
In this episode, we get into how Erin is helping people through her program by utilizing LinkedIn. She talks about making one small change that you can repeat in your daily life and finding out why it’s critical to your success by investing in your Coach. Check it out!

Erin’s learning journey and Masterminds


The Mastermind Effect:  01:56

Let’s dive into it. The ability to learn and the amount of knowledge that we have today are overwhelming. When you and I were younger, we learned from textbooks, teachers, friends, family, coworkers, but that’s changed. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?


Erin Moody:  02:26

For me, learning a lot was based on watching my parents and how they did things. Obviously, in school, we learn through textbooks and teachers.  Now, I still read a lot of books, but they’re more from people like Simon Sinek and other thought leaders. Then, podcasts are a big one. And then, interestingly enough, things like YouTube are like a go-to. There was no such thing as YouTube when I was growing up, or even really the internet until middle school.  The online platform is how we’re learning nowadays. Even with my books, I use Audible. I’m using my phone to listen to books. It’s definitely different.


The Mastermind Effect:  03:18

For me, it was like later in high school. What I’m hearing is it’s not your learning that has changed, but how you’re able to have access to that information. I hear it called YouTube University. You’re still reading books, but you’re taking them in auditorily. It’s just a different sense.


Erin Moody:  03:48

It is very true. Like the teachers, they’re still teachers; they’re just different people, not necessarily professors and things like that.


The Mastermind Effect:  03:59

Not the standard Professor way in standard education.

The Mastermind Effect:  04:01

We’ve got more ways to take in information than ever, and it’s confusing the amount of what we have access to. Some people learn through accountability buddies, mentors, coaches, and masterminds. Who are you currently learning from, and more importantly, how did you connect with them?


Erin Moody:  04:23

I have a coach right now. She is a coach for coaches. I found her through LinkedIn. She helped me initially get my LinkedIn game to where it is now and and now she is helping me take it a step further with my coaching. She’s the main person that I’m working with right now.


The Mastermind Effect:  05:05

You found it through LinkedIn. We’re building a platform to help people find out who they should be learning from so they don’t have those challenges. But LinkedIn is a great resource out there. 


One of the things you said that I loved the most was working with someone, the coach for coaches. Even when you believe in yourself, if you’re going to be a coach, or if you’re going to have a mastermind, you need to continue to invest in yourself. Is that something important to you to make sure that you continue to invest in yourself so that people investing in you realize you’ve got skin in the game?


Erin Moody:  05:39

Absolutely. If you ever go and listen to our podcast, one of my biggest things is all about personal development. I am constantly trying to improve. I don’t think that there’s a single person out there who doesn’t have something to improve on. That is something that I’m committed to. I’m sure I’ll get to a place with this coach, and then hopefully, I have to move on to maybe a higher-level coach to get me to the next level. But definitely, something that I think that you should constantly be doing.


The Mastermind Effect:  06:13

Coaches help us because there are times when we get stuck. It’s like, we can’t see the forest through the tree. It’s really difficult. 


Right now, we’re still going through a pandemic, and I believe that this is causing a reset and how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds and coaching helps you when you’re looking to get unstuck?


Erin Moody:  06:38

That’s probably one of the biggest things that she helps me with. Typically, you’re reaching out to a coach because they have more knowledge than you have with what you’re trying to do. With my coach, she helps me get unstuck because I don’t know where to go next. I don’t have the knowledge because I’ve never done it before. 


It’s very similar to my coaching clients or career coaching. They know they want to get a new job, or maybe they want to switch careers. But aside from just applying online, that’s not getting them anywhere; they don’t know what to do. They’re coming to someone like me to help them with the process because they don’t know and don’t work in that industry. Coaching helps you to be able to tap into the knowledge that someone else has without you having to do all the trial and error to learn it.


SelfEducation and Erin’s Reality


The Mastermind Effect:  07:32

It’s their experiences. We talked about at the beginning of the show is being able to utilize someone else’s experience. It’s their successes and failures because we learn almost more from our failures and do not do the same thing. If they can prevent you from stepping in that land mind, right around that corner, why wouldn’t you? How much does it cost you not to have a coach that you are willing to go through that pain point?


Masterminds have been around for a long time, probably since the apostles. Benjamin Franklin creates Leather Apron Club. And then, Napoleon Hill talks about masterminds and his book Think and  Grow Rich. To me, there’s this huge boom going forward of self-education versus traditional education. Where do you see the shift and the importance of self-education and traditional education are going forward?


Erin Moody:  08:33

I’m still a big proponent of traditional education as well. I have a master’s degree, and I’m going in for a second Master’s. When you’re doing self-learning and finding coaches, you have to find good coaches. When you’re going to university, for example, you can look at a lot of things like the Princeton Review. See the level of program you’re going into. It’s not necessarily that way with coaches. Some of them might be part of the ICF (International Coaching Federation). You could potentially look at them for that, or they might have reviews. But it’s not as easy to necessarily see that you’re getting high quality. 


One of the things we talked about before that you’re doing is trying to vet coaches for people. I think that that will go a long way. It’ll be helpful for people that maybe they’re looking to make changes and grow, and maybe in the past, you might have done something like going to a counselor or a therapist or something like that. But now we have coaches that can be more specific, and maybe you don’t need to talk to them about your feelings. You need someone to help bridge that gap but not necessarily going into an actual degree program. 


One of the differences is when you’re going for a degree program; you’re getting foundational learning, learning theories, and things like that. When you’re working with a coach, it will be typically more action-oriented, where they’re going to say, “Okay, what are you looking to do? Where are you now? Now, you need to do this.” 


The Mastermind Effect:  10:24

You talked about anywhere from therapy to mentors to coaching. Is it like do I need to talk to someone about my feelings or my facts? And my coaches more about the facts? There can be little feelings right there, but the importance of having that vetting process with masterminds and coaches; making sure that your $500 or $5,000 is utilized. What you were talking about there is the Success Finder, which the beta will be out here soon. It is making sure that you don’t get jaded by the process and that it’s there to help compliment what’s going on from both aspects. 


Speaking of that, when people invest in their future, they have a better than a vague idea of what they’re going to get. They have some expectations of what the outcome should be. What should people expect when they enter Erin’s reality?


Erin Moody:  11:14

If you’re working with me, you will be thinking about what I need to do to get into this job process. One thing is foundational, but you have to have a great resume. Your LinkedIn needs to be updated. We do a cover letter as well just to give you that whole package. That’s the basis.


Then from there, we are doing coaching calls. It will be specific to the actual client’s needs because some people are great at interviewing, but they have no idea how to network or vice versa.  It just depends. The coaching calls will be more getting into you and what you need, and then me helping you get to the next level so that when you do get that opportunity, you shine in your interviewer. It’s very individualized and targeted,


The Mastermind Effect:  12:12

It’s not a one-size-fits-all. It’s something that’s there tailored for that individual or that team or whatever it is, for them to find the best version of themselves in the areas that maybe they’re uncomfortable. We talk about how your comfort can kill you. You’re helping them get uncomfortable a little bit, and how can they get better in that area? You’re uncomfortable with networking, here are the steps that we need to do. Is that sound right?


Erin Moody:  12:37



The Mastermind Effect:  12:39

People have a way of surprising us, whether it’s their drive, grit, grind, or whatever it is. The people you work with your hand-selecting them. Has anyone been through your coaching, your mastermind, or listen to your podcast that has surprised you because of what you’ve put together? What was the outcome?


Erin Moody:  13:01

I’m not surprised because I know that everyone can do it. Sometimes these people could be surprised. Maybe they’re going into it because they have a goal. They want to get a new job or change their life. But there’s like that little bit of doubt in there. I think that anyone can do whatever it is that they want to do. It takes action consistently and over time. 


For me, I wouldn’t say that I’m surprised, but I think that a lot of people are when you start taking that action and doing what you’re supposed to do.  People get surprised at how quickly things start to happen for them. I am a very motivational and inspirational person. 


The Mastermind Effect:  13:49

Is there a success story that you could share with us of your clients or people who have gone through with what you do?


Erin Moody:  13:55

I’m currently working with a client who didn’t think he was great at networking. But after talking to him, I am like, “You’re doing fantastic. You need to take it to the next level.”  We work together. I think we just had one call. And he was like, “I can’t believe how many people are now reaching out to me and how many connections I’m getting.” It took like one little tweak because he was already doing 90% of what he needed to do. You just needed that extra little thing, but he didn’t know how to do it. With our calls, it’s just me encouraging him and telling him to keep it up and keep going. 


The problem with networking is you have to put a lot out there. Some people won’t respond, or they’ll kind of initially respond and not follow through. You have to learn how to have that little bit of rejection—thick skin. That’s really how a lot of it goes. It’s just really learning a couple of tricks and staying consistent in keeping at it and keeping up the motivation because it is like a part-time job.


Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  15:18

Networking is a full-time job at the end of the day. On how you’re doing it, you need a team of people behind you. That’s why they’ve got Erin. 


On solo shows, we talk about the pillars of success, hanging out with the right people, networking, willingness to invest in yourself, getting a coach, joining a mastermind, taking action through massive experimentation, and working with different people. It takes many other things to be successful, like mentorship, coaching, experimentation, partnerships, and willingness to fail. I think it is a key one because when you define success, you also define failure. What do you feel is a key ingredient when it comes to being successful?


Erin Moody:  15:59

I would definitely say action and consistent action. You will not succeed if you never try. It’s not necessarily where you have to take these crazy actions every single day. It’s more figuring out, “okay, this is what it’s going to take to succeed; I have to build this habit, and how do I just even get started with the habit.” 


My general advice is if you want to do something or you have this big goal, think of the smallest thing that you could start with that you could commit to doing every single day. Then once you get that going, you add on that. It’s staying consistent, taking that action, and talking about it. Talking about starting your business for five years with all your friends is fun, but you’re going to be in the same place in five years if you never start doing it and doing it consistently.

The Mastermind Effect:  17:06

If you don’t talk about it, you don’t bring it to the universe, and people won’t hold you accountable. But if you do talk about it, and you’re not standing stuff with the right people who are gently pushing along and saying you talk the talk and time to walk the walk, I think we all need that in our life. 


As we’re getting ready to come to an end here, I think there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. It’s easier to win when the world’s winning, but innovation and ingenuity come when we feel the squeeze, and right now, the world is still feeling that squeeze. What are you working on right now that will take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Erin Moody:  17:53

I’m looking at some additional ways that I can help people with the job search. One of the biggest things that I hear from clients is having the time.  Working with me, they learn what they need to do, but then it’s having that time to do it. I potentially look at adding some like networking function into the services that I have to help them with that. I have a ton of connections, but how can I get my connections to help clients and figuring that out yet. That’s what I’m thinking through,


The Mastermind Effect:  18:31

I love it. We might have something to help you with that and have your group build-out through that. What is one last tip, tactic, or an actual item that if someone implemented today, over the next 30, 60, 90 days, they’d see a real impact on their personal and business life?


Erin Moody:  18:49

I’m a big proponent of mindset. One of the things that we talk about a lot on the podcast is changing your mindset. When I started down my personal development journey three or four years ago, I was very negative and pessimistic. Everything that went through my head was negative. One of the biggest things that you can do is assess the thoughts you think throughout your day. If you’re noticing that they’re negative, then it’s starting to work on. You’re changing that and how you can start to maybe look at a little bit more of the bright side. Everything’s not going to be positive all the time. But I’m thinking about it a little bit differently. We talked about failure briefly. Instead of thinking, “I’m a failure” because something didn’t go right. Think through from “this didn’t go how I wanted it” to “what can I learn from it and how do I avoid doing it again?” Having that different perspective and the way that you are.


The Mastermind Effect:  19:52

Being honest with yourself and the feeling and saying it’s a real thing. How do I work through this, and who should I surround myself with? Who should I work with and help me with that? I love that. Genuine, and it’s simplistic, but we don’t do enough of it. 


Erin, I appreciate it. We’ve got Erin Moody, founder of Career Designs and the co-host of the Style Your Life podcast. Erin Moody, thank you so much for spending your time with us today.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Coaching helps you to tap into the knowledge that someone else has, without you having to do all the trial and error to do it.” – Erin Moody

“You are not going to succeed if you never try.” – Erin Moody

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Erin on Linkedin. Check out their podcast at https://www.styleyourlifepodcast.com/ 

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and 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.

100: Shawn Douglass | Passion, Purpose, and Forgetting About the How

Welcome back to the Mastermind Effect! I Am Shawn Douglass from The Growth Lab and I am hijacking this solo show to talk about Passion and Purpose, and Forgetting About the How.

As a coach, mentor, and trainer, one of the things that I do is help my people get connected to their purpose and lean into what it is they want to get out of life. I find over and over again that they come to me with this idea of “I don’t know how.” I’ve heard it a million times. What I encourage people to do is you don’t need to know how to do what you want to do. The first thing you need to do is figure out the who, what, when, where, and why

Somebody comes to me with an idea, and they say, “Shawn, I really want to do this. This is where I want to go with my business.” And they go, “I don’t know how, so I can’t do it.” I started to ask these basic questions: Who is it that you serve in? What exactly is it that you’re going to offer? Where are you going to offer this? When are you going to offer it? Why are you going to offer this?  Why should people work with you? Why is it that you want to do this thing? But they’re not dialed in, and they don’t have clarity.

I found that the “how” doesn’t matter until you are absolutely crystal clear on the five W’s. Who cares how you’re going to do it if you don’t know who you’re going to serve? Who cares how you’re going to do it if you don’t know what the product looks like? Who cares how to do it if you don’t know when you want to do it? And then there’s the where and the why. When we get caught up in the “how,” we lose the power behind those five questions. There’s so much power in asking ourselves questions. If we’re willing to lean into those and get crystal clear, it’s only natural that the “how” is going to reveal itself. 

I work with a client, and we get crystal clear on who they want to serve, what they want to offer, and where they’re going to do this. Is it online? Is it in person or zoom? Where are we doing this thing? Then we talk about the “when.” We get it on the calendar, and we schedule it. Then we talk about the “why”. I guarantee you if you get crystal clear and connected on those five questions, step number one of the “how” is going to be so obvious. You may not get the full picture of the “how.” You may not know steps one through 25. You may not know exactly how you’re going to do it. But I guarantee you that if you get crystal clear on those first five questions, step one of the “how” will be very clear for you. 

What do we do when we know step one of the “how” but don’t understand what’s coming next? In my opinion, it doesn’t matter what step two is until you’ve taken step one. We get caught up in this idea of “I need to know exactly how I will get there.” I like to think that the universe says, “I’ve trusted you with this vision. I’ve given you this purpose. I’ve given you this idea, but you’re not willing to take step one. Why on earth what I show you step two.” When we learn that how we lean into step one, step two will be there.  We need to stop getting caught up in “I don’t know how, I don’t see the full picture,  and I don’t know all 25 steps that I have to take to get to the goal.” Trust the process. If you know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, you’re who, what, when, where, and why, and step one of the how has presented itself, why on earth have you not taken step one. I encourage you to take the step that is before you. It is so hard to get outside of ourselves to lean into that fear.  We know that growth happens outside of that comfort zone. We know that when we take that step out of that comfort zone, that’s where growth occurs. You have an idea. You have something you want to accomplish, you’ve sat down, and you’ve thought through all five of those questions; it’s time to take action. 

Maybe you’re at the point where you’re still trying to figure out the who, what, when, where, and why, and you’re not quite sure. I want to invite you to take time and go to www.thegrowthlab.fun/mastermind. Take 45 minutes and lean into this lesson on passion and purpose. When you are fully connected to your purpose, you know why you’re here and what it is that you need to accomplish in this life; everything else falls into place. Of those five W questions, if you can dial into the “who” and the “why,” that’s where you’re going to find your power. That’s where you’re going to find your inspiration. That’s where you’re going to find the motivation to make the changes you need to make to accomplish the things you want to accomplish in your life. 

Growth is exciting but can be scary. If you’re an avid listener here, if you come back often and lean into these shows with Brandon, you know that growing together in a mastermind provides exponential growth. We can grow alone but growth can be lonely. You don’t have to do it alone. One of the great things about a mastermind is you get to grow with other people who are on a similar journey. 

I invite you to visit www.thegrowthlab.fun/mastermind . Download that lesson. Watch it, and then connect with me. You can find me on social media, Shawn Douglass. Let’s connect and talk; maybe I can help you lean into those five questions and get you closer to the “how.” Thank you so much for listening. Thank you for being a part of the Mastermind Effect family. We know that growth happens exponentially when we grow together.

Tweetable Quotes:

“The How doesn’t matter until you are absolutely crystal clear on the 5 W’s. Who cares how you’re gonna do it if you don’t know who you’re gonna serve.” – Shawn Douglass

“When we get caught up in the How, we lose the power behind the 5 W’s.” – Shawn Douglass

“We know that when we take that first step outside of that comfort zone, that’s where growth occurs.” – Shawn Douglass

“I believe that when you are fully connected to your purpose, you know why you’re here, what it is you need to accomplish in this life, everything just falls into place.” – Shawn Douglass

Resources Mentioned:

Check out a Special Offer for you at www.Thegrowthlab.fun/mastermind 

Connect with Shawn on Facebook and Instagram. Visit https://www.fosteringgrowth.group/growth 

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and 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.

099: Shawn Douglass | Hushing The Inner Bully

Shawn Douglass is a father, husband, entrepreneur, coach, speaker, and all-around smart ass. As the Co-Founder, he serves as The Growth Lab’s Chief Strategist and Idea Guy. He loves thinking outside the box and pushing others to break through their limiting beliefs.
In this episode, Shawn talks about hushing the inner bully. He explains how we go from education being a chore to being a privilege and he lets us know that when we tap into a mastermind with people on a journey, you also get to tap into their experiences. Check it out!

Shawn’s Learning Journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:37

I wanted to give you a little context on Shawn’s. We might have a little back and forth today. This guy is learning from other amazing result leaders; you’ve heard them before, AJ and Michael Fabber, the UnleashU Now family.


When you and I were younger, our ability to learn had changed in the last five years. They were textbooks, teachers, friends, family, coworkers, and people around us, but that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today?


Shawn Douglass:  03:17

That’s a great question. We go from this idea of it being a chore to it being a privilege. I don’t know if you experienced it. When I was in high school, I hated education, schooling, the rightness of it, and its formality. It wasn’t even for a purpose other than to fill my head with somebody else’s ideas and agendas.


As you grow, you get to choose who you learn from and choose what you learn. The cool thing about social media and technology, as technology has grown, is we have so many different ways we can learn. The pandemic has highlighted that even being stuck at home, we still have so much information available to us in so many ways to learn and grow.


The Mastermind Effect:  04:12

I love that I was writing that down. We go from education being a chore to being a privilege. That’s is so true. I had probably almost two decades of just stopped learning. I dislike school so much that I thought any form of learning was forced upon me in my 20s and early to mid-30s. Now I created successful companies around that, but where would I be if I had realized the privilege of continuing to learn from others who are out there.


Shawn Douglass:  04:43

It’s true. One of our family values is that learning should be fun. It was so important for us that we paid for our kids to go to a private school because we wanted them to learn at an early age. We wanted them to learn how to learn, and we wanted them to learn the love of learning and not just what to learn.


The Mastermind Effect:  05:03

That’s brilliant. Talking about learning and just taking information, we have more ways than taking it in than ever before. It can be overwhelming with all the different social platforms out there. Some people learn from mentors, accountability buddies, masterminds coaches, online courses, and many ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?


Shawn Douglass:  05:30

As you mentioned, I’m part of the UnleashU Now family with Michael Fabber and AJ Vassar. Being a part of that group has been phenomenal. I met Michael in a group on Facebook. We connected, started chatting, and we ended up on a zoom call. He did a happy hour, and we hung out for a while. Then one thing led to another. I saw some things that he was doing, and I was impressed. I  love his insight. I love the way he looks at business, the way that he is authentic and real. That to me was a person I wanted to invest in and want to be investing in me.


The Mastermind Effect:  06:06

You want to invest in them, and you want them to invest in you. AJ and Michael, how they go about it, the family environment, but then the actual items that they create is an amazing way out there. Being in a mastermind is unbelievably helpful.


Sometimes, we as humans get stuck in our heads, and we don’t know how to execute. We’re still going through a pandemic, but to me, it’s causing a reset and how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you get unstuck when you’re looking to accomplish and look around corners?


Shawn Douglass:  06:45

It allows you to tap into other people’s experiences. It allows you to learn from other people’s mistakes. It’s silly for us to go through and make the same mistakes that everybody before us has made. How much time are we wasting, and how much progress is hindered because we want to do it on our own. The American way is you got to pull yourself up by the bootstraps. You have to do it all on your own. That independence of an American, and then we end up making the same mistake. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. We never look outside of ourselves to figure out what the heck it is that we need to change to uplevel and push through that barrier.


When you tap into a mastermind and connect with other growth-minded people, who are on a journey, who want to go and make progress, you tap into their experience. You can learn, and you don’t have to repeat those mistakes over again.






Self-Education and Shawn’s Reality


The Mastermind Effect:  07:56

You’re taking the words from my opening line as we’re entering the show, and it’s true. Why wouldn’t you want to see around a corner? Why wouldn’t you want to bend bullets and not step in a landmine? That’s the power of a mastermind. That’s the power of the GROWTH Lab.


Masterminds had 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. And then,  Napoleon Hill writes a book and kind of rounds it out on what a mastermind is. As there continues to be a huge boom in self-education, where do you see the parallels going between standard education and self-education?


Shawn Douglass:  08:43

The biggest parallel is they both have a goal. That’s about where it stops. Self-education is all about what I want, what my goals are, and what my desires are. Formal education is all about the goals and desires of society. I don’t know if you’ve ever read the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  It is about the domestication of man.  When we’re born, we’re born with the ability to dream, and we dream outside the box. We dream according to our own desires.


If you’re talking to your kids, they have this amazing imagination. They can dream of things and think about what it is that their heart desires and their purpose. And as we grow,  society domesticates us, and they teach us to dream society’s dream. They begin to limit us and put us in a box. There’s a huge difference between self-education and formal education.


The Mastermind Effect:  09:52

I love what you said right there. Standardized education fits us in a box, becomes a bee in a hive, does a specific job. We don’t take the child out of the children. It’s how we kind of go about it. But with self-education, it’s like you get to put the child back in you. That’s not a bad thing because you start thinking of things and what’s possible of what you want and to solve a problem and to create something that someone else is like, “Oh, you think outside the box?” And I look at them like, “No, there is no box.” Why do I have to sit there and say, “I think outside of a box”? I don’t have a box around me.


Shawn Douglass:  10:46

Self-education is unpacking that box. It’s taking the limits away. Society and the norms are all about limiting what we are and who we are. That you have to play it safe, and you have to fit within this society. Self-education is about removing those limits and unpacking that box.


The Mastermind Effect:  11:14

Now, talking about just people in general and people you work with; typically, when someone invests in their future, they’ve got a better than a vague idea. I always sit there and say the best return on your investment above the housing market and the stock market is yourself. You can control that ROI in yourself. What should someone expect when they decide to invest in you, and you invest in them? What should they expect when they’re working with the GROWTH Lab?


Shawn Douglass:  11:41

The GROWTH Lab itself is really unlike anything I’ve seen before. And I’m not saying that to brag. I’m saying that because it truly is different than your typical membership. That’s how we’ve designed the GROWTH Lab. It is a mastermind, but it’s in a membership format. When somebody joins the GROWTH Lab, the number one thing that they can expect is connection. We are a small intimate group of growth-minded people who all want to encourage and build up and hold accountable our other lab partners. It’s all about what you want in life and how we can build support around you to help you get there.


The Mastermind Effect:  12:22

Are you meeting weekly, monthly, or yearly? How is that going? Please give us a little bit more behind the scenes so people can understand that.


Shawn Douglass:  12:30

We have a unique format. Most of our interaction is primarily done via Zoom and in Facebook; it’s virtual. We have a monthly topic that we work on and a monthly book that we study. In January, we looked at James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh. We did a deep dive into that book. I provide weekly teaching on the book.


We have open office hours where people can come in and ask questions. We can work together on things they’re working on. People can pop in and hang out and talk through something that they’re working on.


We have a weekly “happy hour.” When we first launched happy hour, I tried to do “let’s start with a philosophical question.” I hit so much resistance on that. Happy hour is just a place to connect, unwind, talk about industry things, and just chill. It’s like sitting at the bar with your best friend and talking and having support.  We have those options.


As I said, every month we’re studying a book.  We started with James Allen’s As a Man Thinketh. Then, we just finished The Four Agreements in February. In March, we’re looking at Gay Hendricks’ The Big Leap, a phenomenal book.


The Mastermind Effect:  14:21

I feel that people have a way of surprising us from time to time.  This is really in the realm of the people you’re working with that are part of the GROWTH Lab. Please give us a success story of what was possible. What would the outcome was because someone went through your mastermind and your coaching style? If you can give names and details, that will be great.


Shawn Douglass:  14:48

I can think of multiple examples, and they’re all around one theme, which is taking action. When people get together, they have accountability and feel encouraged, and they have the resources that they need; they start taking action towards the goals they say they have in their life. How many times have we set a goal and don’t do anything with it because we’re afraid, we don’t feel like we’re good enough, or we feel like we don’t know how to get there or what to do.

When you go to the gym, and you hire a personal trainer, things become more real. I then have a plan. I have somebody that’s going to look at me, and they’re going to look at my form.  They’re going to give me the things to do, and when I’m not showing up, they’re going to look for me. Being a mastermind gives you that that benefit.


The Mastermind Effect:  16:00

I think you are motivators and activators, thought leaders, and result leaders. It’s great to get motivated and to have a thought, but at the end of the day, you want action and results. The right mastermind and the right group of people that Shawn puts together are looking to have actionable, repeatable results. Would you sit there and say that one of your biggest things you push towards is having actionable, repeatable results?


Shawn Douglass:  16:28

Absolutely. Without a doubt.


Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  16:29

That’s a big thing when you’re looking for that coach or mastermind. What’s actual? What’s repeatable? What are the results that we can expect out of this? Now, you have to hold yourself accountable. It’s not just a one-sided conversation. If someone pays for a six-month mastermind and says, I didn’t get anything, did you implement? Did you work with the people in there? That’s one of the reasons why we’re creating the Success Finder.


When I work with my coaches and talk with people like Shawn, AJ, and Michael, we talk about success and what it takes to be successful. A few things that we talked about on the solo show regarding success and what it takes to create it are mentorship, willingness to fail, experimentation, partnerships, and willingness to define success.  Once you have defined success, you, in essence, have defined failure.  That’s why so many of us get away from that, because we’re like, I don’t want to because I know that I failed. What do you feel is a key attribute when it comes to being successful?


Shawn Douglass:  17:29

I think there are two: curiosity and refusing to hold judgment. Curiosity means that you’re willing to look at things from every different angle, and you’re willing to step out and try it, whether it’s comfortable or not. Then when I say refuse to hold on to judgment, it means that when you fail, you’re not going to hold on to those negative emotions attached to that. I hate the word fail because I don’t think that failure exists. You’re not going to attach any meaning to it other than that it didn’t work, and we’re going to try something different.


The Mastermind Effect:  18:05

Different people look at failure in different ways: whether it exists, it doesn’t exist, or just you learned a way not to do it again. Same as doing the same thing over and over again. Once something does not work, rinse, repeat, replace certain items, and see what can happen. See what can make that possible.


Shawn Douglass:  18:23

James Wedmore says that there is no such thing as failure. He says you either get the result you wanted or learn the lesson you needed.


The Mastermind Effect:  18:33

Sometimes, when there is a success,  we need to realize that sometimes successes aren’t the right kind of successes.


When we go to a doctor, we hear a politician, or go to a mastermind or coach; we find transference of risk. A doctor sits there and will prescribe this medication for you but not for his own family. Politicians can send your child off to war but not send their child off to war. Sometimes, a coach will sit there and say, “I haven’t done this before. I’m going to transfer the risk and see how it works out for one of my clients.” How do you, in the GROWTH Lab, keep from transferring risk when you’re working with your clients?


Shawn Douglass:  19:39

That’s a really interesting question. I’ve never thought about asking somebody to do something that I haven’t done. I think you’re always at a dangerous spot when you’re encouraging people to do things that you haven’t done.


There’s a difference between coaching and mentorship. When you’re mentoring somebody, you’re taking them down a path that you’ve already been in. That’s a skill set. When you’re working from a coaching perspective, you lead people or draw out of people the solutions and ideas they already have within themselves. When I’m coaching somebody, I’m never telling them, you need to do this or try this. It’s always from the frame of mind and the understanding that when I’m coaching Sally, Sally already has the answers within her.  


When we talk about education, which is really what coaching is. I believe coaching is the purest form of education. Education comes from the word “duco,” which means to draw out from. It means that we already believe when we enter into a coaching relationship with a client, they already have the answers. I’m providing the perspective and the questions to help draw those things out of them. Being a transfer of risk, I’m not telling you to do anything. As a coach, I’m asking guided questions. I’m asking you to look at things from a different perspective. And then I’m asking you to make a commitment to a way forward.


The Mastermind Effect:  21:15

I love and appreciate how you frame that between mentorship and coaching.  Let’s say Shawn is sitting here, and he’s coaching me. I’m always learning from people like Shawn. I learned from Shawn here a few weeks ago, and I get to learn from him today. That’s why I love this podcast. If you sit there and extrapolate what’s already inside me to help me along, I probably already have the answer and what needs to happen. That’s what some of the best coaches do; they’re just pulling that out and reframing it. And you’re like, “How did I not see that? It was in front of me the whole time.”


Shawn Douglass:  21:50

A lot of times, what we do as coaches and mentors is to hold that space of belief, when you don’t believe in yourself. We hold space, and we allow you to borrow our belief because we believe that you can achieve whatever it is that you’ve said you want to achieve.


It’s much like when you’re learning to ride a bike. You get on a bike, and you’re scared as a little kid because gravity is weird. So you get on there, and you borrow the belief from somebody else that you can do that. Typically, it’s an older sibling or your parents. They help you gain belief in yourself so that you can reach that goal of riding a bike.  In coaching, it’s no different.


The Mastermind Effect:  23:39

Typically, there are new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. It’s easy to win when the world is winning. But ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze. The world’s still feeling the squeeze. What are you working on right now that will take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Shawn Douglass:  24:01

We’re hosting our first live event in August called GROWTH Lab Live, which will be phenomenal. It’s an all-inclusive, immersive event where we invite people to come to headquarters in Northwest Ohio and join us for a weekend of what we call connection, growth, and shenanigans. If you know me, my family, and the people I hang out with, fun is a priority. Growth is great in business and wonderful. But if you can’t have fun in life, then what is the purpose? We’re going to invite people to come and join us for a weekend. We’re going to grow and dig deep into some stuff, but we’re also going to have a lot of fun. I’m super stoked about hosting our very first live event.


We’re also getting ready to open the doors again to the GROWTH Lab because we are a closed membership, and we only open the doors a couple of times a year. That’s going to happen middle of April. If people want to get on the waiting list, they can go to the GROWTH Lab. fund. The waitlist is there. We would love to answer any questions, and we would love to have them a part of the group. It’s going to be an amazing year.


The Mastermind Effect:  25:15

You put that on your intake form for the success finder, so people will be able to find it through that as well. Last one, what is a tip, a tactic, or an actionable item that if someone implemented that over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they’d see a real impact on their personal or business life?


Shawn Douglass:  25:35

That’s an easy one. I have a saying called “hush the inner bully.” It’s my mantra. We all have a voice on the inside. We all have that voice that tells us tells us we’re not enough. Whatever that enough is for you. You’re not smart enough. You’re not rich enough. Whatever the enough is, fill in the blank. If we truly want to grow and truly want to experience life to the fullest, we have to become aware of that voice. Then we have to learn to reprogram that voice. Over the next 90 days, my challenge is that you begin to become aware of what you say to yourself regularly.


The Mastermind Effect:  26:17

It’s so important. I want you to look into Shawn when he talks about hush the inner bully. It’s such an impact when you realize that, and then you surround yourself with the right people in the right order. The GROWTH Lab, Shawn, and his family are the right people. Those are the right order, and they will get you those actionable results. We’ve got the founder of the GROWTH Lab, Shawn Douglass.

Tweetable Quotes:

“If you are not learning, then how can you teach?” – Shawn Douglass

“Masterminds allow you to tap into other people’s experience, and it allows you to learn from other people’s mistakes.” – Shawn Douglass

“As we grow, society domesticates us. They teach us to dream society’s dream. Then they begin to limit us and put us in a box.” – Shawn Douglass

“Growth is great. Business is wonderful. But if you can’t have fun in life, then what is the purpose.” – Shawn Douglass

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” – Carl Jung

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Shawn on Facebook and Instagram. Visit https://www.fosteringgrowth.group/growth 

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and 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.



098: Bob Mather | Learn More From Real Life Experiences

Bob Mather works exclusively for C-level executives and Human Resources leaders. He is the CEO and Founder of one of the largest background check companies in the United States, Pre-employ.com. He has worked as a private investigator for some of the world’s largest corporations. Bob is an expert on workplace discrimination and the investigations frequently required. He is proud to say that he is both a criminal justice reform advocate and a law enforcement supporter.
In this episode, Bob gets into a person’s background and how he wants to change his industry. He explains how college can be a great experience, but you learn more from real-life experiences. Bob’s going to let you know that you should just SHUT THE F UP AND DO IT. Check it out!

Bob’s learning journey and Masterminds


The Mastermind Effect:  02:17

Let’s dive into it. When you and I were younger, we learned from textbooks and teachers, then eventually it’s our friends, family, coworkers, and people around us. But the reality is, that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How has your learning changed from your early years versus today?


Bob Mather:  02:36

In my early years, we didn’t have computers. We didn’t have anything. My first learning was about work ethic, the ability to go in and work, and work until the task or goal was accomplished. I was raised on a working cattle ranch. When I was going to high school, I would get up at 4:30 every morning. I  feed animals, go to school, come back, feed animals, and work. I learned work ethic after I left that experience. I learned that nothing’s hard.


As technology came along, it was mind-blowing. Netscape came along. I’m a little older than you. That thought that you could sit at a computer, which was huge back then, and the person across the room from you could type and work on the same document as you was mind-blowing. I was a very early adapter into technology because of love. I had the old AOL disk drives you would put in. I’d get on and soak up as much learning as I could.


Today, I spend a lot of time giving back. I do that on various social media platforms. I’m a big fan of LinkedIn and the Clubhouse. I’m trying to get into Twitter spaces so that I can engage in there. That’s also how I learned. It seems like everything you give back comes back tenfold in new knowledge.


The Mastermind Effect:  04:29

What I hear there is you lead with the give mentality.


Bob Mather:  04:34

I do now. I didn’t when I was younger. If you’re younger now, just starting, and you’re a little bit greedy, don’t worry. It’s okay. I was talking to someone who was asking me for some advice. He was in his mid-30s. He said, “I don’t have a goal. I don’t know what to do.” We were talking for a while. I said, “I hear your goal. It was similar to mine when I was probably your age. You want to be successful and wealthy.” And like a light bulb went off to him. I said it’s okay to take micro-steps towards that.


In today’s world, there’s more you set that goal, and you usually preface it. I want to give back. And that’s why I want to be wealthy, and I want to get a percentage. But that’s not the way it was 20 years ago. It was okay to say, “I’m chasing the American dream, and I’m going to work hard. I’m going to try to do it. Yeah.” Today, I give back a lot, and I get flooded with kindness. It’s wonderful.


The Mastermind Effect:  05:49

When you have that shift from an “I” to a “we.” It doesn’t make you a bad person because you have that “I” mindset. Technology has brought us closer together, but it’s also separated us. Technology has allowed us to be faster and more efficient things, but at the same time, it’s caused us to create jealousy and the imposter syndrome. People only see the final product and the successful product; they don’t see success is built on a road of bones and skeletons. I love hearing that you’re working with younger generations and letting them know that it is okay to take those micro-steps


When we learn from you and all these other people, it can be confusing because many resources are out today. Some people learn from mentors, accountability buddies, mastermind, and online courses. Who are you currently learning from? How did you connect with them?


Bob Mather:  06:56

Currently, I am deep with marketing and how to reach the most people, the most effective, and the best message. I’m working with this group called Marketing Counts. His name’s Paul Counts, and he is a wonderful guy and a tremendous mentor in marketing. When you’re trying to find someone to work with and learn from, it’s not always what they’re saying; it’s how you connect, how you hear them, how they resonate, and how it sinks in. We all learn in different ways. Some of us have to read, some of us have to read and take notes simultaneously. Some of us have to watch. He is the one I’m working with right now, for the last probably four or five months, to take my social game to understand how to reach people better.  


The Mastermind Effect: 

How did you connect to find and start working with them?


Bob Mather: 

I connected through LinkedIn. It is an amazing platform. I recommend it for all young entrepreneurs or want to be successful people. LinkedIn is one of the two platforms right now that gives you the ability to get organic growth. If I post something on criminal justice reform, or the background check process on Facebook, as a rule, unless I pay for ads, only my friends will see it on my connections. But on LinkedIn and Tiktok right now, those are the two platforms that you can post. If you have a good post, and people like it, and the algorithms pick you up, you can get hundreds of 1000s of people looking at you. I recommend that people take some time to study how LinkedIn works. I’ve been doing it for the last couple of years.


The Mastermind Effect:  08:55

It’s one of my favorites for multiple reasons. Now, depending on how much you’re posting out there, you’re going to get some inbox spam results. That’s just the reality. That’s just about every platform out there. I think Instagram might follow that same model. If you use the hashtag (#) method with them,  other people that are not in your ecosystem can see that based on a location if they’re searching.


Bob Mather:  09:22

In my case, I’m a private investigator and a CEO. I’m a thought leader for change in my industry. Right now, I’m focusing as much as I can on the executives who can change and make the background check process more transparent, less secrecy, more fair, and less discriminatory. I’m finding tremendous success on LinkedIn dealing with executives who want to do the right thing. It’s just surprising to everybody how background checks work and how scary it is.


The Mastermind Effect:  10:01

You’re one of the people that play on both sides. You understand someone with a different background or one that might have had a few bumps and bruises on it. Would you mind going in just a little bit on that as you play on both sides of what I’m talking about?


Bob Mather:  10:20

I do thousands of criminal background checks a day for employers who are hiring people. It’s a crazy world that we live in if you think about it.


We’re talking about social media and marketing. That leads right into recruiting, where if I wanted to come to work for you, you might be spending hundreds of thousands of dollars a year trying to recruit somebody like me. I’m going through that process. Then, you and I go through this little dance. We’re like, “Hey, Brandon, I like your company.” And you’re like, “Hey, Bob, I like what your resume says. And I like the way we connect.” I am like, “Hey, Brandon, you want to go into a relationship? I want to work with you.” And you’re like, “Bob, I’d love to have a relationship with you. Why don’t you come to work for me.” Then you say, “Hey, Bob, stop. I need your name, your social security number, your date of birth. I need you to go pee into this cup.”


I’m not only going to look into your background and try to see if I can catch you lying about anything on your resume or any criminal records that I can find. I may even check to make sure that you have the right to be in the United States. I’m going to go E-verify which we do for employers, and then I’m going to send your urine to a laboratory, and I’m going to have some people look through your urine for substances that may or may not be illegal. It’s a crazy process, and it’s what we’ve done for a long time.


I know from my experience working that getting a background check, I deal with both sides. I deal with applicants who are great people; most of them are just flying through the process. All of them are curious about what’s in my background, and we try to give as much transparency as we can. And then, we also try to help the people that have a criminal record in their background. There’s a tremendous amount of uncertainty and naivete. If I got arrested 15 years ago in high school, will this show up on a background check when I was 17? There’s just a lot of things that we try to help applicants get through the process of educating the employers.


I’m building out Mybackgroundcheck.com right now to be the vehicle where people can view what is out there in the world right now in their background. With a click of a button, sign in, get your background check report, see who else has background checks, and make sure it’s right. Own it. It just needs to be a new way.


The Mastermind Effect:  13:19

Speaking in general, sometimes we get stuck in our ideas and how things need to be done. I believe the pandemic has allowed us to find ways to recapture and repurpose how things can be accomplished. How of masterminds and coaching helped you when you’re looking to get unstuck and accomplish something that you’re just sitting there saying, I don’t know how to do this?


Bob Mather:  13:54

My biggest issue is procrastination, self-sabotage. I spend a lot of time studying now and working with masterminds to get over that issue. You and I might have talked about this before; I’ll do four or five things at once. I’ll have the email open, procrastinate, a shiny object jumps by, and I grab it. It’s a process. It’s an everyday thing. You have to keep trying, and you have to work hard to be a better person, employer, job applicant, entrepreneur, or wherever you’re at in your stage.



Self-Education and Bob’s reality


The Mastermind Effect:  15:18

Masterminds put us in a room with people that might not be in our industry but help us think and look differently. Something that works for them, and you can repurpose it for what you’re doing. They’ve been around for a long time. Probably the first mastermind was the apostles. Then, Benjamin Franklin creates the Judo Club. And then, Napoleon Hill writes a book about it, which solidifies what a mastermind is. As there continues to be a large boom in self-education, where do you see the parallels going between self-education versus standardized education?


Bob Mather:  16:06

I’ve been lucky to have three daughters that have gone through college now. All of them came out and said the same thing, which is, “I’ve learned more outside of college than I ever did inside.” Great experiences for them.


I failed at college and learned a lot more. I went to five junior colleges, I didn’t even make it to anything larger, and I am happy that I didn’t. Right now, colleges, particularly the tuition, are a bubble. It makes no sense. You can go into debt for hundreds of thousands of dollars to come out with a degree. There’s no real use for it. Masterminds, podcasts, places like Clubhouse, and Twitter spaces let you passively listen if you want to on a specific topic. They give you the ability to focus on the education you want to focus on at this particular moment.


The Mastermind Effect:  17:52

You can learn at your pace at your convenience.  I think there’s a pro-con to it because when you have to be sitting in a specific place, you have to take it in. But it allows you to do it at the convenience of the pace, and you can handle it


Bob Mather:  18:06

It gives you the ability to learn from the best. They may be the best at this moment or the past 20 years, whatever it may be. In some cases, it’s even interactive. If you get into Clubhouse or Twitter spaces, you can talk and chat.


The Mastermind Effect:  18:27

I was talking with someone earlier today, and they said their mentor or coach said to give your best stuff away for free. There are so many places and platforms out there that you can gain so much knowledge, and people are giving it now. The barrier to entry is so so much lower.


Bob Mather:  18:49

I’m jealous and envious of the younger generation. They didn’t have to work as hard as we did.


The Mastermind Effect:  19:06

You and I grew up where if you defined yourself by how hard you worked, you must work the extra hours, eight hours a day. I eventually learned that working hard does not mean working smart and efficiently.


Bob Mather:  19:56

To work smarter, you really couldn’t. The technology was not there, but people weren’t giving back as much as they are now—what a wonderful time.  We’re talking about young and barriers to entry, how about the 40, 50, 60 years old? Now’s the time; it’s never been easier. Just put some headphones in, do whatever you’re doing and listen to whatever it is you’re trying to do.


The Mastermind Effect:  21:44

When people invest in themselves, they typically have a better than a vague idea of the outcome. I always feel that your highest ROI is yourself better than the stock market and better than the housing market because you can’t control those. I’m in both of those, but you don’t have control of them; you do have control of yourself. What should someone expect when they invest in themselves and work with you through what you’re building?


Bob Mather:  22:14

I don’t know about working with me as I don’t charge for anything. I’m giving free advice to anyone. There’s no doubt that investing in yourself is the path that people have to go down. You can’t control what’s going on in today’s world as we’re starting to emerge from COVID. What you can control is even more confusing, right? We lost control of so many things. What an opportunity this has been for you to learn everything you want to be better, regardless of your age.


I’m building out a new company. What I’m struggling with is, do I want to be 100%? Or do I want to bring in investors who bring in talent? It’s a huge process. Now, to make this decision, I have to invest a lot of time and learning to understand the pros and cons. I want to hear the horror stories from both sides. And as a PI and a background check expert, I hear horror stories. I’ve seen them. I’ve worked on cases helping people and helping entrepreneurs with bad partnerships. I’ve also seen some of the pros. I’m 100% own guy my whole life, and I’m trying to calculate the ROI on that particular decision. Does anyone have any advice? I would love to hear your take on it.



Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  23:53

I’ll give you a couple of guys that maybe you want to take a look at. Jeff Moore and  Nic Peterson do a Thursday Night Boardroom thing, which is amazing once a night, once a month mastermind. Once your lead-in, it’s free. I’ve done it both ways. 100%, split it and worked with the family. I can tell you they’ve all worked. They all have worked in it. And the real answer is it depends.


I feel that success is a word that we use out there. People define it differently. A lot of the time in the solo shows, I talked about success, the pillars of success, and what does it take to be successful.  A few of these things are mentorship, experimentation, partnership, willingness to fail, and on the flip side, willingness to define success. Many people don’t do it because once you have defined success, you, in essence, defined failure. That’s a scary thing to think about. What do you feel is a key attribute in being becoming successful?


Bob Mather:  25:01

I would say in my experience, it’s been the micro goals. This sounds silly. When I started, my goal was to be able to pay off my cars. I had two cars, and I had a car payment. And when that happened, and I could look out at my vehicle and had no car payment, I was a success. I almost always used money as a way to judge success. I’ve always set micro-goals on success.


I’m going to tell you something embarrassing. When I was young,  I thought my definition of success was if I could make $1,000 for every year of my age. If I was 25, and I made $25,000 a year, that was that. That’s the way I get it.


I went down this path of working on a ranch. Then I caught shoplifters for living for years, and then worked into embezzlement and became a PI. Then learned a little more through studying how to build companies that have the ability for exponential growth. In my case, as a private investigator, there are so many hours a week you can bill out. But in my case, I found out that in the background check process, I could sign up for one contract with a hospital or a small business that might spend $250,000 a year with me. You can build exponential revenue that way.



The Mastermind Effect:  27:06

That’s interesting. There are so many things that are built into our DNA. That was probably built into your DNA that at 25 $25,000. That’s the definition of wealth. You probably have moved away from a scarcity mindset into an abundant mindset and realized that peace and happiness might have a higher weighing factor on success for you now versus a monetary number over here.


Bob Mather:  27:36

It’s easy to say that when I turned 40, I reached every single goal that I could have. I remember having my middle daughter on my knee, and it hit me; I did it. I almost had a mental breakdown after that. What do I do now? I have told people over the years that I don’t think I would want to win the lottery. I don’t know what I would wake up and want to do.  I love to be building; I love to work. Now, as I get a little bit older, I have no idea about how much money I have or don’t have. I don’t look at it counted. It’s not part of the DNA. But it’s the path that I had to take to get there.


The Mastermind Effect:  28:22

Everyone’s path is their own. I think mine happened around 38 or 39 when that moment might shift and that like, what am I doing? Then breakdown happens. It’s having the right people around you to help and guide you through that. Realizing that it’s not at the middle, beginning, or end of whatever it is, you can completely change the trajectory going forward because of having a foundation. It’s easier to do it when you have built a foundation; you built that financial foundation, that corporate Foundation. To lead with the give mentality and have a for-purpose mindset going forward, it’s a lot easier when you have that foundation.


Bob Mather:  29:01

Unfortunately, during that stage, I had nobody. I had to figure it out, and it all worked out. It was amazing. I would tell people close to me that I have to “Bob proof” my life. I had imposter syndrome and depression-era syndrome. I have to pay off everything. I have to make it so that if I die, my family has nothing to worry about. They can’t lose everything. If I get divorced, which eventually I did, everyone’s going to be good and be able to go on.  I have to “Bob proof” this because there’s no way that this guy who used to catch shoplifters will keep this going.


Now, I don’t look at the monetary, but I still wake up with the work ethic I want to grow. Right now, I want to change my industry, and my industry is backward. I want to rip my industry apart. I love the employers I work for. I love doing background checks. I don’t have a single client who wants to be discriminatory or do things bad. We’re just doing things the way we always have.


I want to take the background check industry and make it a transparent consumer product. We should own background checks and share them with those we want; when we want. It needs to be accurate and verified. We need to control our own background check, not hire private investigators or background check companies like mine, to dig into your background, hoping to catch you.


I also see many really bad people out there trying to get into work for employers to do really bad things. I think you and I discussed it a week ago a little bit. It’s depressing. They are the wolves of society, whether they’re trying to get in to take advantage of people that can’t defend themselves, regardless of their age, or want to go and steal. Whether they want to or they are on purpose. We have so many cases of that. But that’s the small minority; the majority of people have background checks that have mistakes in them. There’s another Brandon Straza out there, and you’ve got to confuse with me. If you’re trying to get a job, and the employer and the background check company don’t know it’s not you, you’ve already passed on. In today’s world, you have 30 days to have your background check corrected from your employer in their background check. But they’re not holding the job open for 30 days. No law says we’re going to correct a background check and give you the job. It’s just going to say there was a mistake. You deal with that background check company and fix it. Come back and let us know.  We need to fill this position now.


The Mastermind Effect:  31:53

A few more questions as we come to an end here. I feel that in times of prosperity, it’s easier to win when the world’s winning. Those wins just come a little bit easier. But ingenuity and creativity come when we feel the squeeze and the world still feeling some form of a squeeze even as we come out of the pandemic. What are you working on now that will take place over the next 12 months that excites you?


Bob Mather:  32:20

I think about it day and night that I’m going to change my industry and I’m going to help a lot of people. I don’t only mean applicants, and I mean employers also. In this strange dance, we did where I wanted to work for you, and you wanted me to work for you. And then, I had to do a background check and do drug tests. That could take a week or two weeks in some cases, or three or four days. It’s not good for business. You’ve already made your decision. You want to hire me now. Let’s get going. Now, we got to wait while we do this sort of secret background check. Wouldn’t it be great for the employer if I just said my background check is updated monthly by Mybackgroundcheck.com? Here it is, and it’s accurate. No one’s stolen my identity and credit and committed a crime in my name.


I have the best customer service team and compliance team. They go out of their way and trying to help people. You would be amazed how many times somebody says, “My identity was stolen a year or two ago. But the credit card company caught it. And it didn’t cost me anything.” They don’t know if the person who stole your credit cards and your identity also opened up an identification card or driver’s license in your name. It’s basically a get-out-of-jail-free card.


The Mastermind Effect:  34:07

Last one, what is 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?


Bob Mather:  34:30

That would be to take a piece of paper and write down the following words, “SHUT THE F UP AND DO IT.” Just shut up and do it. You’re not a victim. Nothing’s holding you back. We can listen on. You can read a book. You can watch a video. You can listen to audio. Set your goal. Adjust your goals. Shut up and do it. How’s that?


The Mastermind Effect:  34:57

I love it. It’s blunt. It’s simple. We turn things that should be so simple, and we make them very difficult. Take the idea off the shelf and do it. Implement it. Stop sitting there and saying, “what if” because someone else will take that idea off the shelf and implement it. Those are the result leaders and activators that we have on the podcast. Those are the people that are out there doing it. To gain access to Bob and all the other amazing guests we’ve had, they’re accessible. You can find them on Twitter, Clubhouse, or you can email them. I love when I hear the success stories of people reaching out to the amazing guests that we’ve had on the show.


We have got the Founder of Pre-employ.com and Mybackgroundcheck.com.,Bob. Thank you so much for spending your time with us today.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Set your goal. Adjust your goal. Shut up and Do it.” – Bob Mather

“Investing in yourself is absolutely the path that people have to go down.” – Bob Mather

“Everything you give back comes back ten-fold in new knowledge.” – Bob Mather

“You just have to keep trying, you have to work hard to be better. To be a better person, a better employer, a better job applicant, or wherever you’re at in your stage.” – Bob Mather

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Bob on Linkedin and Twitter(@bobmather) or call him at 800-300-1821 extension 124.

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on Apple and 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.

097: Solo Episode | Your 100

Why did I get all nostalgic when it came to almost 100 episodes in less than a year for the Mastermind Effect podcast? This isn’t the 100th episode, but we’re almost there. The first thing I did was message one of my coaches, and I said, “Should I do Episode 100?” Then, I paused and said, “Is it my ego that’s thinking I need to do Episode 100 myself?” The coach came back and said, “It’s cool to be at 100, but you are the only person that thinks that. Don’t worry about it.  Do a reflection piece, and then where the podcast is going and move on.”  So, that’s what I’m doing. It’s a reflection piece.

I still wanted to discuss why I was thinking about this 100th episode. It was a natural answer. Over the last two years, I’ve changed the face of one of my companies, built a podcast, and built The Success Finder.  A lot has happened in the last two years.  It’s less than about 100 but what it took to get to the 100 for one sector of my life. “The road to success is paved with skeletons,” author unknown. It’s true. We only see the finished product, not what it truly took.  


One of the things we’re going to add to this list is “Paying for Proximity.” It’s the list that we just talked about above that’s happened over the last two years. It’d be a book on the process of how we get to where we’re going. The real steps and events that are happening.


Whatever your 100 is, that’s a metaphor; it took you and me a lot to get there. That’s only the beginning. Whatever your 100 is, don’t let your human DNA trick you that it can’t be done. Don’t let the excuses seep in, and that outside or inside noise makes you feel you don’t have what it takes. If that’s the story you’re telling yourself right now, then choose to make the change. Choose to surround yourself with the right people. Don’t give me that money talk or time talk. There’s a way forward for you to hit your 100th episode, metaphorically speaking. Do yourself a favor, find your 100.


Download the Success Finder. We’ll help you find that 100 through intent. We’re getting ready to start Season Two of the Mastermind Effect. We’re going to be changing up the questions. We’re going to get a little bit more into the bushes and find out who that person is. So, when you’re hearing them at the beginning of the episode, you’re like, “This one for me. I’ve got to meet this person and have that connection.” We’re going to change up the format a little bit. We’re going to look to have some of the members on The Success Finder that have gone through mastermind or a coach and have them come in because you, the listener out there, are going through that process.  You could be the listener and going through it. But those are also coaches, and those are people having masterminds; it’s all of the above. We’re super excited.


Again, have an awesome rest of the week. Thank you for all the support, and we look forward to moving forward on whatever your 100 is.

It’s time to Stand Up, Show Up, and Level Up! Download The Success Finder on 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.

096: David Wood | Overcoming the Shiny Object Syndrome

David Wood is the Founder of Focus.CEO. He built the world’s largest coaching business with 150,000 followers and was ranked #1 on Google for “life coaching” out of 23 million results. He is the author of Get Paid for Who You Are, and has taught laser focus to leaders at Facebook, Square, Warner Bros, Salesforce, and Colorado Prison Inmates. David has appeared on CNN Headline News, Forbes and has done over 120+ podcast interviews.
In this episode, David talks about why you should get rid of the “IF ONLY” mentality, how you should leverage your time to feel like a superhero, and then double your time over the next 12 months. We then talk about how to get rid of the Shiny Object Syndrome through the worker/CEO inside your inner traffic control system. Check it out!

David’s Learning Journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:36

Let’s get moving into it. The ability to learn and access people drastically changed over the last 10 to 15 years. When you and I were younger, they were textbooks, teachers, family, friends, co-workers, and the world around us. But that’s a sliver of what’s possible. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today?

David Wood:  02:59

When I was a kid, I don’t remember how I learned. When I was about 15, something happened in my brain. I don’t know what it was, but I started coming top from my classes. Then when you get to university, they always said that no one’s going to ride you. You have to be self-directive, which will tie into our topic today. You have to have your own discipline. You have to generate it; otherwise, you’re going to be lost. I had to learn at university how to push myself, and I tried to slide. I said I don’t mind cruising through university with C’s. When the first round of exams came, I was so stressed that I wasn’t prepped. I had to stand up and leave the exam room, go to the bathroom and try to calm down. I learned that caffeine and exams don’t mix for me at all. I want to be prepped. I want to know what I’m doing.

At the age of 27, I did a personal growth course. It taught me that I didn’t know a lot. The course showed me how to learn because it cracked me open. I started a whole journey of self-exploration and sitting with gurus and teachers.  It woke my appetite, and that’s been super helpful.

I found that I love learning for the sake of learning. If I’m going to study Spanish, I’ll go to Colombia and immerse myself. When I wanted to learn salsa. I took 30 lessons in 30 days. When I wanted to learn Balinese, I found no courses, and I created my own course.  I hired a guy to come and sit in my house and read out the book to record him. Then I’d read out the English part of it. I’m really into deep immersion to learn something. I don’t like to lose. If I’m playing a game, and I’m losing, I’ll go and get myself a coach, and I will study that thing. I will keep playing until I don’t lose so much.

The Mastermind Effect:  05:21

I love that the immersion of what took place at the age of 27 transforms into where you’re at today. I talked to someone about it the other day. Do you ever sit there and say, “Man, why didn’t I do this at 20?” Why didn’t I do this at 15?” What’s your comeback to that if you had done it at an earlier age? How do you get over that “why didn’t I started earlier mentality”?

David Wood:  05:50

The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second-best time is today. I wish I discovered the landmark forum, which is the course that early on for me up. I wish I discovered it at 17 or 10 years earlier; I’d have a 10-year headstart on my growth.

We can take those learnings and the things that we wish we’d done early, and we say, “what can I do today.” I’m a huge fan. If you’re running a business or have a job or have a relationship and want it to be better, you can study today. So that ten years from now, five years from now, a year from now, you’re not going to say, “If only I’d hired a coach. If only I’d done a program on learning how to laser focus in my business. If only I’d gone and studied relationship intimacy.” There are things that you can do in all of those fields that we have no idea of. You’re not going to know until you learn it, and then you’re going to go, “Wow, wish I’d done that ten years ago.” That’s what I’m saying. Don’t wait.

The Mastermind Effect:  07:03

Don’t wait but get over the “if only I had done this” started today.

David Wood:  07:07

Yes. Twenty years ago, it was too late for that. What are you going to do today that ten years from now you don’t have the same complaint?

The Mastermind Effect:  07:14

We’ve got more ways to take in information than ever before. Some people use a mentor, accountability buddy, a mastermind, online courses, and a lot of ways to learn. In essence, who are you currently learning from? And more importantly, how did you connect with them?

David Wood:  07:32

I like programming, and I decided I want a hobby. I’ve started learning Flutter. I’m taking a Udemy course on flutter, a language programming language, to create my own apps. Then, I want to create a chatbot that can ask you profound questions. That’d be cool to type in the chat, and the robot would ask you a deep question, kind of like journaling. So, I’m doing another Udemy course on Google dialogue flow.

I got excited about podcasting and podcast marketing. I’m writing a program right now to copy the entire Apple podcast database to do some real research in that. Now to do that; apparently, I got to learn Python. That’s another language. I found a coder in India who knows way more than I do. He’s tutoring me. He both writes the code, but he’ll also help fix my code if I have a problem and make a mistake.

I just finished working with a dating coach. I’m single, so I hired a dating coach and started working with me on clothing. She started working with me on getting my online profiles right up and running. Yesterday, someone reached out, and she said, “I want a relationship with you.”

There’s a computer game that I’m playing. I love it, and it’s like a meditation. It’s also super fun, but it’s intense. I wanted to get better at it, so I hire a coach to show me what I’m doing wrong because I’ve got blind spots and things I can’t even know.

In summary, I do use courses. I do go and get tutors. I do work with coaches. Four months ago, I had five or six coaches at one time. I had a therapist, a dating coach, and a branding coach. I’m also in a men’s group right now

The Mastermind Effect:  10:24

The best coaches, mentors, the best people who have these masterminds and are growing them learn from other people. If you go out and you look for a coach and ask them if they have a coach, and they are like, “Don’t worry, I used to have a coach, but I don’t have one right now.” That should be a red flag.  The best people realize you need more than one person to help you get through life and to help you move the needle. That’s why having a result leader versus a thought leader is so important; someone who can help you get the results, help shorten the gap, cut out the noise, bring in the signal, and get you from point A to point B.

David Wood:  11:07

I like the metaphor “you can’t read the label from inside the jar.” You need someone who’s out outside you to spot things. Sometimes with my coach is another coach I’m working with the business. I just went and signed up for his program. Sometimes I’ll be talking out something and asking for a solution. And as I’m talking it out, the solution will appear.

The coach might not even have had the idea, but it’s in that space. I’m like, “Well, what am I going to talk to my coach about?” That’s a start. That’s a win. If you are like, “I already think what’s most important in my week? I’ve got a problem with this.” That’s another win. Now I know where I want to breakthrough, and then we start talking about it. I’m like, “I need to bite the bullet on this and call ten people and make this happen. Or I need to go and get feedback from an expert on this, or whatever.” And the coach says, “All right, good job. Great.” It could be that simple. Without that coaching space, I may not have that conversation. I’m just inside the jar going along doing my business, which is fine.

If entertainment is your goal,  I don’t think there’s any need for coaching or outside support. You can have a lot of fun responding to emails and just feeling busy each day. But if you care about progressing in your career,  you want your business to make more money in a shorter period of time, and you want to leverage your time so you can have more time off, then we got to get some outside input, a bit of discipline and a bit of focus.

The Mastermind Effect:  12:38

A lot of people get stuck and sometimes don’t know how to execute what’s in our head. You made a comment about you can’t read the label from inside the jar. I’m going to have to implement that. How have masterminds and coaching helped you when you’re looking to reset and get unstuck by utilizing the group’s overall knowledge?

David Wood:  13:21

I do have a kind of a mastermind now. Sometimes even when I’m coaching my clients, I get ideas as I’m going through.

For example, yesterday, I’m coaching someone, and he’s getting more intimate with his wife. I offered him a practice that he could try. And he’s like, “this is good, and we’re getting a lot closer from doing this practice.” And I said, “Do you have a regular date night?” He said no. I said, “Well, you can wait and hope that you’ll both feel like it at the same time; that’ll spontaneously happen. Or you can be deliberate about creating a structure to support yourself.” As I said that, I realized that I could apply that to my own life.

There’s one example in my men’s group. I’ll share what’s going on. It’s often just in speaking it out and witnessing that I will have some insights. But they might share something too that I didn’t see.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:54

If you think about it, you can either be the person who can explain why the bicycle moves forward.  The engineer, or the person who gets on the bicycle, just rides it. The lesson that I hear out of is to get on the bicycle, just start riding. You don’t need to explain and go through the process of why the wheels and why the chain and why you’re able to stay upright. Get on it, ride it and figure it out from there.

David Wood:  15:18

I did this course with the Landmark Forum. There’s the power of the group dynamic, witnessing everything. I stood up once in tears because everyone talked about curing world hunger, creating world peace, and rescuing like a million animals. And what you’re creating, I don’t care about any of that. What’s wrong with me? And I was crying.

The teacher said, “Well, where did you get that story that you don’t care about any of that?” That’s when I flashed in front of the group. I realized I was getting all that from my past. The whole theme of the course was that your past is running your future. At that moment, I got a glimpse of just this blank canvas; who knows what I’m interested in. And as it happens, talking to you now, I can look back and say what I devoted the last 25 years of my life to service. I did care about what happens in the world.

Self-Education and David’s Reality


The Mastermind Effect:  16:27

When you stop using your past as a crutch to define your present near future, you’re able to reframe that past, change your present, and be the person you want to be as you go along in the future. The beautiful thing is that coach or mentor in that group you were in could change and let you reframe your past to change your present and future beautiful. Thank you for sharing that.

Masterminds and coaching, they’ve been around for a long time. Probably the first one was the apostles. Then Benjamin Franklin creates something called the Judo Club. And then Napoleon Hill writes a book on it. I’m talking about self-education. Self-education has been around coaching, masterminds, mentors, self-paced, and all that kind of stuff. It’s been around for a long time. Where do you see the difference between self-education versus standardized education? Where do you see the parallels goal moving forward?

David Wood:  17:26

It’s changed so much. We used to think that to get a good education, you had to go to college. Now in the US, it’s rough. When I went to college in Australia, it was free. I don’t have $100,000 in student loans to pay back. And then, on top of that, I was blessed to get a scholarship. I went to free college, and they paid 10,000 -12,000 a year for my rent to stay at this residential college. Here in the US, you incur a debt.

For some professions, like, if you’re going to be a doctor, being self-educated probably will not work. But for a lot of other professions, particularly running your own business, you don’t have to play that game anymore. It’s the information age. You have almost unlimited information available for free. There are university courses you can do, and you might be able to do university degrees online for free.

Sometimes, if I care about something, I’ll go to Udemy, and I will pay. They’ve got specials all the time. You can get a course for nine bucks, 20 bucks, 25 bucks, or 100 bucks. Someone has spent 200 hours creating an ordered and structured course, so you can go and do that, which I can call self-education.

I coach a lot of parents on conversations with their kids. I understand the kid might want to go to Harvard.  If I am a parent, I’d be pretty reluctant to pay for Harvard. I need a compelling reason to want to invest so much. Also, as a business coach, I’m a big fan of bootstrapping. I don’t like plans where you’re investing 50 grand in an untested product. I’d rather put in one grand to test something, see if people like it. Then, from the revenue you’re generating, you start investing back in the business. That’s my thing. So, 100 to 200 grand for college education,  not on my watch

The Mastermind Effect:  19:49

I agree with you. I had that old mindset because I did go to the traditional route. We have a six-year-old who is very active in the businesses we have and knowing what’s going on and conversations. He asked me when did I start my first business. Because of the conversations we have with him, he’s already starting to think like an entrepreneur.

David Wood:  20:33

I’m generally stingy with money. I want to have an excellent reason to spend. We’ve got to be careful to keep the purse strings too tight, particularly with cheap information these days. If you want to be a coach, we got to be up and running. If you’re already a coach and you want to do better, he’s got a program for 1500 bucks with a money-back guarantee. My program for entrepreneurs is eight weeks. It is $1650, and it comes with a guarantee. How can you not spend that amount of money on an education, particularly when comparing it to university education that can be hundreds of 1000s of dollars and may not give you what you need to get clients and get customers? I’m assuming if you go and do an MBA, you will get great training. That’s awesome. Let’s be specific. What kind of training do I want? Let me go and get a course that specifically does exactly what I want for my kind of person. There’s so much available

The Mastermind Effect:  21:57

I saw a huge shift a couple of years ago. That’s why one of the things that we’re building and launching next month is The Success Finder to help change the face of self-education. There are so many things out there unless you want to be a doctor, a nurse, or an engineer. Do you want to come out with a quarter-million dollars in debt? I’m just going to leave that for the people listening out there.

Typically when someone invests in their future, they’ve got a better than a vague idea of what the outcome will be. They have an expectation.  What should people expect when they reach out to David and enter your reality to work with you?

David Wood:  22:39

You should expect that we’ll start with money, but we won’t end there. That’s important. I spent the first half of my life learning about numbers and systems and business being a consulting actuary, consoling to Ford, Chanel, and Sony Music in New York. That was exciting for me. That was like one half of the puzzle. For the rest of my life, I spent learning about emotional intimacy, vulnerability, leadership, communication, how to have difficult conversations, motivation, and influence.

If people only want money, do not come to me. There are plenty of coaches that can help you with that. If you want money, and you want to leverage your time so that you feel like a superhero, you’re nailing your goals, and you can double your time off over 12 months, then we should talk. But that also isn’t the end of the picture. I care about how you’re showing up in the world.

The most fun for me is the conversation with my client where we talk about his business, and right now, he’s bringing in over a million a year. Then he’ll be like, how do my relationship with my wife be awesome? That we get into that, that’s fun for me. When a client just got diagnosed with cancer, and she’s freaking out, not knowing how to handle it. I held space for her and her husband to navigate this. And we ended the call with, “Given that information, what game are you going to play? How are you going to show up in the world?” And she wrote to me recently and said this diagnosis is the best thing that ever happened to her.

You should expect we’re going to look at all of you. Yes, we’ll go for more money and for more time off, but we’re going to look at anything that will have your life be better.


The Mastermind Effect:  24:36

Absolutely. Who doesn’t want that more time off and find a way to spend for yourself, with your family, friends, and solving problems? That’s super impactful. The people that you work with, I’m sure they surprise you from time to time. Please give us a success story of someone that went and worked with you specifically.


David Wood:  25:02

Bradley Long comes to mind, and I have the permission of some of my clients to share their names. He was doing well, and he was bringing in about 60,000 a month. He has an online business. He said, “I have shiny object syndrome, I have trouble focusing, I wake up, and I get into email. I do this, and I do that. I’m really busy, but at the end of the day, I look back, and I don’t think I moved towards my goals.” His wife is thrilled that he is talking to me because she knows that this could help a lot. He had the humility to be willing to ask for help.

We work together for a year.  He cut his hours in half, moved his family to Costa Rica from the UK, had his fifth child and now worked on their six, and started breaking records month after month. He cracked 100,000 for the first month in revenue and kept going up while working half the time. I say that because I always want evidence before trying something else. I want evidence that this is working for people and will work for me. It worked like gangbusters.

Another example is Laura Belmas, who I just challenged to bump her conversion rate because she’s getting a lot of website visitors, but they weren’t buying. Now, she sent me an email saying they just boosted conversion by a whopping 25%. It wasn’t rocket science. It was sitting down and facing what she knew for a year that she should be doing.

Sam Page also comes to mind. This guy came to me, and he wanted to boost revenue by 25 to 50%. After two weeks, he had a flash because we kept looking at it for two weeks. He’s like, “I know how to boost it 1,000%. Now I’ve got the plan. I see in three years, and it can be 1,000%. Is it going to be hard? Yes. Can I do it? Yes, I know exactly what needs to happen. I’m going to have to get in your team for this.” Then a month later, he said he has now freed up 20 to 30 hours a week of tasks I used to do. Can you imagine what that would do for your business that 20 to 30 hours are freed up? You can then either go and spend it with your family,  write that book, and go to Costa Rica. You might put that back into your business, but now you’re working much higher. I’m an efficiency geek, and that was just massive.

The Mastermind Effect:  27:44

I had a huge breakthrough in the last year with one of my coaches just saving me an hour a day. That turns out to be 365 hours a year or 15 full days of my life back by eliminating an hour and shifting it to the people working on an activity. That’s amazing when you can geek out on the efficiency part.

Let’s wind back real quick. You mentioned something in there, and I know this is one of your key areas. I always used to think that only entrepreneurs get shiny object syndrome. But I don’t believe that anymore. I think people in general, a human quality or characteristic is to sit there because of social, or magazines or TV shows and be like, “Oh, I want that. I want this.” What do you think creates the shiny object syndrome? How can you recognize it before you go far down the rabbit hole?

David Wood:  28:48

I think “shiny object syndrome” is a natural functioning of the brain. The brain sees all possibilities, and it sees all these different options. That’s what it’s meant to do. Otherwise, we die. We wouldn’t evolve as a species. It’s wonderful that the ego is trying to help.

I’ll give you an example from this morning. I’ve got my list of tasks in front of me. I wrote down seven or eight things. But then, when I started work, I wanted to do all of them. It’s like there was no traffic controller. I believe we have two big personalities within us. We got 20 but two big ones. One is the worker who could sit down and get a task done with direction. Then the other one is the CEO or the traffic controller; they can make these big decisions. And I wasn’t implementing that today. Finally, I went back and said, this task is the only thing I do right now. I set my timer for 25 minutes. That’s how I generated focus. Then once that thing was done, I went on to the next thing, but that took discipline and it took the traffic controller. It’s natural for the brain to find the shiny object.

If you want a sense of peace and want to achieve more in less time, we’ve got to stop bringing in the traffic controller, which is just having some focused time for that, that part of you to come out. I call it a CEO date with yourself once a week. I invite you right now to pause the recording. Suppose you listen to this and go back and put it in your calendar once a week, CEO date 20 minutes. Here’s what you’ll do during that date. You’ll look back on the week, and you’ll celebrate everything that you accomplished.  I guarantee you’ve done ten times more in the last week than you’re going to remember. Literally, stand up, just do a happy dance for like five seconds. Then look forward to your eight-week goals. If you don’t have those, we need to talk. We’ll look at your eight-week goals and just see what I will choose to care about for the next seven days. I’ve got it up on my board. I’ve got the hopper, which is stuff that I’ll get to at some point, but they haven’t made it into this week. Then I’ve got the things that are my priority for the next seven days. That’s what I work on. That gives me a sense of peace and a sense of focus.

I’ll start doing something that’s not on that list. That’s where you want to challenge yourself and say, This is a choice point. Is this support important enough that I want to bump something that’s already on this list? I’m going to bump this, move it around, or exercise some discipline. Step away from the task put it back in the hopper. It’s not in this week, and get back on track.

The Mastermind Effect:  33:16

How you framed shiny object syndrome isn’t something in the way that I had looked at it before. Thank you for sharing that and giving something actionable. Here’s the thing that I love. You’ll have people to get you all riled up and like you feel motivationally unbelievable. But then, you are like, what am I supposed to do? Listen to what David just told you. He sat there and said, “Here’s shiny object syndrome. Here’s the why, the worker and the CEO.” So I urge you to listen to what he said. He gave you an action item that can help change your personal and business life.

Creating Success


The Mastermind Effect:  34:40

In our solo shows, we talk about success and the pillars of success and what it takes to be successful—mentorship, coaching, partnerships, experimentation, willingness to fail, and willingness to define success. When you define success, you, in essence, define failure. What do you feel is one key ingredient for building success?

David Wood:  35:13

I think you just mentioned, and the biggest one is you need to know what it looks like to define it. For me, success is feeling happy. If I’m feeling positive emotions like feeling content or feeling good, that success for me.  I believe that drives maybe 100% of human behavior. We want to feel better that everything we do is just designed for that. We think money will do it.

If you’re choosing your goals for 2021, don’t start with what you want to achieve. Start with how you want to feel at the end of the year. If I’m feeling like right now, I call it success because my head feels pretty good. I’m happy with how I feel in my body, and I’m having a good time talking to you—that success for me. So once you know what it looks like, you can work backward and work out what you need to be doing.

I give you an example of that. When I did this visioning process, and I worked it out, I want to feel lit up and inspired, and my heart open. That’s what I want to feel as much of the time as possible. The answer was I need to be coaching and training more. When I’m coaching someone, helping them put those puzzle pieces together, and they walk off, and their life gets better, that’s a win for me. I was like, “How do I get more coaching more training in my life?” And then we work backward from there.

The Mastermind Effect:  36:59

How do you want to feel today? It’s a question that the way you phrased it is something I want to bring to our dinner table.  I think that conversation goes into a lot of different realms. It sounds like a simple question, but I don’t think we do it.

David Wood:  37:23

One way to break this down is the “what” channel versus the “how” channel. “What” channel is what you’re doing. The “how” channel is how you’re going to be or who you’re going to be as you’re doing it.

The Mastermind Effect:  38:28

I think there’s always new ideas brewing when times are good. It’s easier to win when the world is winning. Ingenuity, creativity, and innovation 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?

David Wood:  38:52

I’m a real geek when it comes to data, particularly relational data. I’m working on this code for the podcast marketing engine. I’m calling Charlie right now. I’ll be able to say, “Charlie, tell me every podcast host who has been on Brandon’s show that’s a fit for me.” And Charlie will spit out a list.  That’s a lot of work for a researcher to try and do, and I’m hoping that we’ll be able to do this in a matter of seconds.

I’m working on writing a book called Name that Mouse. The elephant is not the only animal in the room. The elephant is I see it, you see it, no one’s talking about it something really big. But many creatures in the room are much more subtle. For example, I was late for this podcast. If I didn’t say anything, I’d be thinking, and I wonder if he’s a little bit annoyed that I’m late. That’s one mouse. Unfailingly bit embarrassed about it, and I hope I didn’t inconvenience him. Those are two more mice. The book is all about name that mouse. Just name it as you notice it. That’s the first step. You want to bring that into the conversation, so the other person can relate with you and knows what’s going on with you.

Then, I have the Samurai Program. I’m creating the content week by week, and I got four out of the eight lessons already done. The next one is on converting the sales, so when they come to your website, they buy from you. It’s fun to create content and training and then see people’s faces and see the response like, “Oh, that’s a missing piece for me. I’m implementing this with my whole team this week.”

Those are three projects I got in mind for now.

The Mastermind Effect:  42:00

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

David Wood:  42:18

I’m going to pull one from what we’ve already talked about. It’s so important having 20 minutes once a week and the discipline to show up for that date with yourself. That’s a game-changer. Just even if you choose the seven-day targets and then choose not to follow them, at least you’ve got some awareness around. This is what will help my business. I’m either going to do it or not.

I highly recommend that you book sprints in your calendar. I think two hours is a good chunk of time. Thirty minutes sprint to useless to me.  Maybe five or six of these sprints during the week where there are no phone calls, your computer cannot ping you, you cannot even see your email inbox, your phone’s on Do Not Disturb, and there’s a sign on the Office Store. Your family knows not to disturb you because you’re trying to focus. Then treat that as a work meditation, set your goal, and set your timers.  I like even if it’s a two-hour sprint, I set 25-minute timers. I’m a huge fan of the Pomodoro method. All this is in the checklist.

Crank it out, two hours of focus time, and you’re going to feel so good. At the end of it, saying I did that and it’s moving me towards my seven-day goals, which is moving me towards my eight-week goals, which is moving me towards my 12-week goals. I’m deliberate about my time. That’s integrity, and that feels good.

The Mastermind Effect:  43:54

We were deliberate about what we were here for today. As I say, lead with the give mentality. Give back. Give actual items back. We’ve got the founder of Focus.CEO, David Wood.

Tweetable Quotes:

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. But the second-best time is Today.” – David Wood

“For me, success is feeling happy.” – David Wood

“If you’re choosing your goals for 2021, don’t start with what you want to achieve, start with how you want to feel.” – David Wood

“If you care about progressing in your career, you want your business to make more money, you want to leverage your time so you can take more time off, then we’ve got to get some outside input, a bit of discipline, and a bit of focus.” – David Wood

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with David on Facebook and visit https://focus.ceo/

Check out David’s Gift Basket at https://focus.ceo/giftoptin/

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.