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.
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.
“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
- COO Alliance
- Who Not How – Dan Sullivan and Benjamin Hardy
- WTF?! (Willing To Fail) – Brian Scudamore
- Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill
Check out his books at https://cameronherold.com/books/
You can connect with me, Brandon Straza, on LinkedIn, Instagram, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to get in touch and talk more about personal development and how you can move beyond your limits.