074: Janis Pettit | What Makes Masterminds So Powerful

Welcome back to The Mastermind Effect. For today, we’ve got Janis Pettit, Founder of 10x Zone and Thrive Mastermind. Before starting her business, she worked as an actor on and off Broadway and in TV, even hosting her own cable talk show in New York. She learned firsthand the dramatic results that can occur from overcoming your reticence to step into the spotlight and stand out.

In this episode, we get into the “group mentality” of what makes Masterminds so powerful. Janis talks about how our business problems are really well disguised as “personal problems”, and why you need to be comfortable with getting uncomfortable. If you’re in the corporate atmosphere and want to find a way out, this one’s for you. Check it out!

Janis’ learning journey and Masterminds

The Mastermind Effect:  02:25

Let’s dive into it. Our ability to learn and access to different people has really changed over the last 5 – 10 years. When we were younger, it was textbooks, teachers, friends, family, and coworkers, but that’s really just a sliver of what’s possible. You came from the corporate world, and now you’re in the shoes that you are today. How is your learning changed from your early years versus today?

Janis Pettit:  02:55

I’ve been an entrepreneur for 35 years. I never did have a corporate job. Before I started my first business to New York City, I was a performer. I was on Broadway and I did television. I learned early on, in a very competitive industry, how important marketing, connections and relationships were. When I first started my first business, this is back in the Middle Ages, we had no internet. The ways that you marketed were networking, sending snail mail, or picking up the phone and calling people. That’s all that was available. I literally stumbled on because I was searching for people that could teach me what I didn’t know about how to be successful in my own business. I came from an entrepreneurial family but I didn’t necessarily learn that from them. People I knew connected me with a few people who were able to give me advice and mentor me a little bit. That is how I was first introduced to the idea of sharing ideas, mentoring and learning from people that knew more than I did. I’m not talking about college or a formal education setting but a setting where your success is dependent on learning from people that have already done it.

The Mastermind Effect:  04:17

It’s their experiences. Exactly what we said when we entered the conversation. What I meant to say was, you have worked with people that have been from Corporate America.



Janis Pettit:  04:33

Yes, I’ve worked with lots of people in corporate America. A lot of the people that I work with have left corporate America and are starting their own businesses based on their expertise.


The Mastermind Effect:  05:06

On the amount of information that we have out there and the people that we have access to, we’ve got more ways to take in information than ever before. Some people look for mentors, accountability, buddies, masterminds, coaching, online courses, and lots of ways to learn. Who are you currently learning from? More importantly, how did you find them?

Janis Pettit:  05:27

I’ve done both. My business for the last 18 years has been coaching, consulting, and mentoring entrepreneurs and the whole process of learning how to connect with those people and how to grow my business. What really helped me was the people that were that mentored me. I’ve worked with high level coaches and several masterminds. Over the years, I’ve gotten to know colleagues, who were more or less on the same level of successes. I’ve been at that point and we’ve made a decision to mastermind together. Currently, there are a couple of gals that I’ve known for number of years, and we help each other. I’m picky about the people I decide to help. They have to be people that really have the potential to make a difference with their business and who are dedicated to taking the action steps to get there. I run a mastermind group right now for women entrepreneurs. The requirement is you’re going to follow through on what you get out of this group. You’re going to get great ideas and you’re going to get support emotionally, spiritually, and mentally. If you don’t do anything with it, then it’s not a good fit. The idea of a mastermind is that you go there with challenges, you get ideas, you get support, you get solutions, you come up with a plan, you implemented and you move forward. That’s been the goal both in my personal mastermind that I’m part of, as well as the masterminds that I’ve run through the years.

The Mastermind Effect:  07:22

What is the name of that mastermind?

Janis Pettit:  07:27

It’s changed and I’ve run a number of different masterminds. Our mastermind now is called Thrive. It’s for women entrepreneurs, not necessarily really at the startup phase, but a little further along the line that have experienced some success and they’re really wanting to jump up to that next level. Over the years, some of the masterminds I’ve run have been very structured. We’ve had a curriculum that we’re going through and all the members are on the same track. This mastermind that I currently run, we go in every week. It’s an open mastermind. Everybody discusses their challenges and what they’d like input on from the group.  Occasionally, I teach them a little bit about a subject that people are struggling with like, how do I get leads on LinkedIn. or something like that. There’s a little bit of coaching and teaching involved. but for the most part, it’s everybody sharing equally about what their issues, challenges, and goals are; what they commit to doing and holding people accountable. That’s always a big part of the mastermind. All the participants holding each other accountable. I think that the mastermind can be structured in a number of different ways. But ultimately, the goal is to move forward faster than you would have without it.

The Mastermind Effect:  08:46

The big thing is that it’s the conglomerate. It’s the overall symbiotic relationship that you’re learning from all these other experiences and they might be in a different industry. But the reality is, they’ve probably already gone through something that you might need help with and they can they can help you look around that corner that you can’t see.


The Mastermind Effect:  09:04

Talking about people that you know, that have been through your mastermind, or just in general that you’ve coached a lot of people, they get stuck. We don’t know how to execute what’s in our head because it’s like we’re in the bushes and we can’t see through the weeds to know what we should be doing. We’re still going through a pandemic, which I feel is creating a reset and how we’re able to accomplish things. How have masterminds helped you when you’re looking to reset yourself and get unstuck?

Janis Pettit:  09:35

Number one, I think all of us in the same boat in that way can never see the forest for the trees. The second thing is that human beings as a whole are resistant to change. Life is about counting and change. That’s really hard to swallow sometimes. I’ve had mastermind buddies call me out on a resistance to change something, and I’ve done the same with them. I’ve heard people say, “if I only just keep doing this again and again, it’s going to work eventually”.

Janis Pettit:  10:24

Masterminds are a great place where the other people are looking at you objectively, and they’re looking at your system without a motion. Regarding COVID, in this current situation, a lot of businesses are being forced to pivot. I’ve done a couple of live virtual events on this topic. Sometimes you may be in a business that is forever changed by the situation in some way, maybe not totally, but partially.  I have a client that’s has a successful travel business and I’m so impressed. She’s in my mastermind. With what they have done to keep money flowing into their business, when travel is basically shut down; I’m just blown away. They did a complete pivot and now their business will go back to normal. It’s been very successful year or so. Now, they’ve done things that they can now incorporate into their business permanently, that they wouldn’t have thought of before.

The Mastermind Effect:  11:56

That resets allowing them when things for the travel industry do go back to some form of normality. They’ll have a higher return because they’ll have implemented these other things have pivoted. They wouldn’t have had that opportunity without it.

Janis Pettit:  12:11

That’s right. This young woman was able to bring these ideas into the mastermind, brainstorm them, and get feedback and help create a task list with specific goals, and then go after those goals, and then report back on how that worked and get feedback. If you’re just sitting there when you own your own business, you’re just sitting there in a virtual bubble. If you don’t have anybody to talk to and bounce ideas off of, it’s really tough.


The Mastermind Effect:  12:43

It’s a real lonely place to be. If you don’t have that support system that you haven’t built around you, who you’re supposed to bounce those ideas. That’s why it’s important to have those groups, masterminds, mentors, and accountability groups.

Janis Pettit:  13:04

One of the big questions is why don’t more people join masterminds?

The Mastermind Effect:  13:12

I think the reality is people don’t know.

Janis Pettit:  13:15

I think that’s part of it. You’re doing them a great service. But I’ve heard things like, “I can’t afford it, I don’t want to share my private information, because other people might talk about it”. They make all kinds of excuses. The underlying issue is fear. Once they get past that fear and see the results that they’re getting, then it changes everything.

I have a 25-year-old daughter and she’s in a management position. She calls me to brainstorm with me because she doesn’t have anybody that’s appear at that point that she can brainstorm with, who’s not in her company. She doesn’t want to talk about problems with somebody else in her company. I think that if you’re in any kind of a management position, to be in a mastermind and with managers, from other companies where you can actually brainstorm in a private setting is a great idea.

The Mastermind Effect:  14:29

If you have an abundant mindset and realize that any of your ideas really aren’t proprietary at the end of the day and someone else is doing them. One of the reasons why we’re building the Success Finder is for   more people realize that they can have access to people like you. It can change how your personal life and your business life go work hand in hand to it.

Self-Education and Janis’ reality

The Mastermind Effect:  15:32

With masterminds being around for longer than you and I put together; from the apostles to Benjamin Franklin with the leather apron club and this huge change I see in self-education going forward. Where do you see self-education versus standard education going over the next 5 – 10 years?

Janis Pettit:  16:01

I can speak to this from a personal level, my daughter suffered some health issues in high school that made it really tough for her. Her intelligence was off the charts but she’s got ADD, which is a common problem. A lot of entrepreneurs have ADHD or ADD. She came to me when she’s 18 “Mom, I know you want me to go to college, do you think I’m capable of it?” I said, “You’re more than capable of it”. She said that school doesn’t work for her and she doesn’t want to waste my money. She said she wanted to be in the work world for a while. She ended up in a growing industry and she makes great money,



Janis Pettit:  16:44

She’s got a great corporate job, she got all the benefits, and really learned a lot. She’s done a lot and research and development. Now, she’s in management and she has done way better than some of her high school friends that are $50,000 to $60,000 in debt now with a college education. Don’t get me wrong, I went for a master’s degree in my day, that was the thing to do. I think it’s changing. I think certain types of careers will absolutely require degrees. You can’t be a doctor, an engineer, an architect without a degree. But I think we have to start changing the idea of having a piece of paper. You have organizations like Khan University, which offer audited classes at top notch universities. You can get quite an education on your own. I don’t know where this is going to take us. It might be something like testing. I don’t care if you have a college degree but let’s test you and see if you have the knowledge that we require for this job. Right now, we’re in a very old paradigm. If you want this job, you have to have a degree. That person could be totally incompetent but have a degree while somebody else could be incredibly knowledgeable but do not have a degree. I think things are changing. My idea of what her future would be is different from what’s happening now.

Janis Pettit:  18:34

They’re saying now that we need to increase.  Recently, I listened to a podcast. The guest was Andrew Yang, the former presidential candidate and a brilliant guy. He was talking about how artificial intelligence is completely changing the workplace. Jobs that were common today like truckers, radiologists, and accountants, will be eliminated, because they’ll be replaced by AI. He said there are trades that depend on humans and we need to be training more people in those trades. I don’t know if this directly relates to masterminds, but I’m sure in some ways it does. Peer groups, like people that are having the same issue, that can support each other in some way and encourage each other and help move each other forward. I hope that that’s just going to expand.

The Mastermind Effect:  19:44

I think it’s just going to continue to grow. It’s over a $50 billion a year industry. The engine is just moving it forward.  COVID probably point out to more people that didn’t realize it.  It’s a glaring problem, but it’s opportunity. Talking about opportunities, when someone looks to invest in their future, they have a better than vague idea about what they’re going to get, whether it’s standard education or self-education. When someone’s working with you, they have a pretty good idea what they’re going to get out of it. What should people expect, when they enter your reality?

Janis Pettit:  20:22

I help people with an expertise who really can make a difference in the world. I help them in what we say is 10 times your results, your income, your influence, and really move forward in your business in a in a bigger way than you could on your own. I do help entrepreneurs in different industries, but I work a lot with people that have come out of corporate. Some of these people are brilliant but they’re struggling to get a business off the ground because they’ve never been an entrepreneur. They don’t know how to get leads, how to get clients, and how to brand their business. They struggle with how much should they charge, what should I offer, how should I package that, and who are the influencers that can bring clients into my business and how do I talk to them. All these pieces that entrepreneurs need to become successful, are what I and my team helped them to accomplish. After six months, they’re really in a place where they’re bringing business in the door. They know how to do it and how to get leads. The important criteria for me is that these people have said to me, “When I was in corporate, I came up with some great ideas but it got shot down or ignored. I know it could have really made a difference. If I go out on my own, I can go into companies and I can really help them in a big way and I can pay it forward.” And I love that. I’ve worked primarily with women over the years, although now it’s more 50-50. Women entrepreneurs face specific and more daunting challenges than male entrepreneurs. I love helping them break through what I call that inner glass ceiling. Masterminding is particularly effective and popular with women. They thrive on relationships and to have a peer relationship that they can rely on and trustworthy, that’s huge in helping them accelerate their level of success. I’ve always been big on the value of masterminds. Some people just want to work one on one but a lot of women say, “I would rather get together with a group of women once or twice a month, and hear what they have to say, learn from them, share what I’m doing and what I’m struggling with, and have them give me their input.” It’s usually very loving support; it’s people really building up their confidence and giving them ideas, they wouldn’t have thought of.

The Mastermind Effect:  23:15

It goes back to utilizing other people’s experiences and gaining from their knowledge. I have a feeling that people have a way of surprising us due to their drive, their willingness to learn, the rooms that you put together, whether it’s masterminds or coaching are pretty hand selected. Has anyone been to an event or a mastermind that you’ve put together that has surprised you with what they were able to accomplish? What was the outcome because of that mastermind or room that you put together? You already gave us a success story but is there another one that you could give us?

Janis Pettit:  24:11

I think that how well you succeed in a mastermind depends a lot on mindset, which is an overused word, but it is crucial. We’ve been taught as a society to be victims. We see that a lot right now. People feel like they’re a victim and powerless. When you come in with that mindset, every time something doesn’t work out, it’s easy to blame somebody else or blame a circumstance. The people that succeed, they come in with a really great mindset. Part of my job facilitating a mastermind is to help people break through roadblocks that are holding them back. A lot of women have issues around money. There’s a discomfort around asking for a sale and making a lot of money. The male masterminds is very much more goal driven and money driven. For women, it’s the issues are a little different. But I’m telling you that the women that really succeed in a mastermind in a big way, come into that mastermind with a positive mindset, having worked through a lot of their personal issues, which we all have, and with specific goals. lIf I say to somebody, I want you to develop a 90-day plan over the next month. 20 or 30 percent will come back with that completed and the other ones will have it partially completed or have an excuse for why it’s not completed. Well, why is that? The people that come back with a completed are totally dedicated to getting every ounce of value out of that mastermind that they can possibly get. It’s all mindset.

The Mastermind Effect:  26:47

Everyone sits there and says, “Hey, it’s fine. That mindset.” Is it overused? Maybe, but the reality is that the reason why it’s used so often is because it’s so true. Your mindset will get you up and get you where you need to go in the morning. It will create action, which then creates inspiration. Inspiration is not just going to happen; you have to take action to get that inspiration. What the people in the rooms that you’re putting together get is actionable items, which is awesome.

Janis Pettit:  27:18

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of deep work with a lot of women on mindset. I have an eight-week series rolling out very soon, about manifesting your success. It’s about using a process of meditation, visualization and action, to completely change the results you’re getting. I’ve seen it work miracles in my life. It’s about developing a deep sense of self awareness and understanding that your thoughts may not be what’s really going on. It’s being able to do a little bit more control over what you’re thinking. For a lot of entrepreneurs, it’s a self-growth program. I say other than parenting, it’s the best self-growth program in the world.

Creating Success

The Mastermind Effect:  28:39

Talking about success, I think there’s a lot of things. The solo shows that I’ve got, it’s about the pillars of success. There are three pillars, but inside those, there are several different things that help you to be successful like mentorship, experimentation, partnership, willingness to fail, and then willingness to succeed. With the sensitivity of social media and how we view things today, I think we’re afraid to talk about our successes. What do you think it takes to get over that hump when you’re fearful of being successful and sharing your successes?

Janis Pettit:  29:28

It’s something we learned. I’ve run into a lot of women over the years who were smart and had so much potential but their family was just riding them all the time. When the people you love and care about don’t support you, that’s really difficult. How do you get past that? That’s where they get back to the mindset work. A lot of women, for example, are just like what you said they’re afraid to talk about what they do and what they accomplish on social media. They are not comfortable with that. How are people going to know how successful you are, and that you can help them if you don’t talk about it. You’ve got to be comfortable with that. What about if you’re going for a job interview? Are you going to sit there and say, “Well, I don’t know if I’m not that good. I don’t know if I’m good at that.” You can’t do that because you’re not going to get the job.

The Mastermind Effect:  31:26

If you’re willing to promote and be braggadocious about yourself in a job interview? What’s the difference between that and letting other people know your successes they might need that? They might not realize, like you said, that you are a badass ninja in the field of what you do, and that they could use your help as well.

Janis Pettit:  31:47

I think there’s a difference between bragging and sharing educational information. I’m not big on bragging. I’m big on service. If you’re talking to somebody and you know that you can be of service to them, and you can make some small change in their life, then you’ve got to tell them. That’s different than bragging and having a big ego.

The Mastermind Effect:  32:15

You can be kind and gentle about how you approach it, just letting people know what your specialty is, without coming across as braggadocious. As we get closer to the end here, I feel that there’s always new ideas brewing in times of prosperity. It’s easy to be successful when things are going well for everybody but I think in innovation and ingenuity come out in times when we feel the squeeze what we’re feeling now. What are you working on right now that’s going to take place over the next 12 months that excites you?

Janis Pettit:  32:57

Well, to be honest with you, I’m at a very different places in my business. I’m at a point, where I could retire tomorrow, but I love what I do. I’ve cut back to part time, so I can still have fun. For me, my business has not taken even the slightest hit. In fact, there’s more people searching for a way to do work that is very self-satisfying and really allows them to use their brilliance. I’m just a little bit more careful about what clients I take on because I only want to work so many hours. I take on the clients that I think are the best fit and it’s a little bit different.

In terms of other businesses that are really in growth mode, you’ve got to look at future trends.  This situation has changed industries and those changes are not going away. For example, look at the commercial real estate industry right now. Do you think every company is going to go back to some huge office space when they’ve now found that their workers are at least as productive or more productive at home? No, they’re not going to do that. If you look at your business, and you say, what are my customers really going to need and want in the next six to 12 months. Then, you shift your business to fit those needs and you’ll be in great shape. But if you just keep pushing what you’ve always done, even though there’s not as much of a need for it, you’re going to struggle. There have been times in my business where things just completely changed. And I had to shift. There was a point at which there were thousands of people on my mailing list and we sold all of our services through email. We did these massive email campaigns and that started to drift away because people got tired of opening emails. We had to shift completely. How do people want to be contacted now? What are they looking for that didn’t have before? ‘ve been through that a number of times and we had to make a complete shift. This happens in everyone’s business. If you’re struggling right now, look at what you’re offering, look at what people that your clients or your customers are going to want in the next 6 or 12 months and shift to offering them that.

The Mastermind Effect:  35:22

You have to be nimble and flexible, but you don’t have to break.

The Mastermind Effect:  35:43

One last thing, what’s a tip, a tactic, and an actionable item, that if someone listening to this, implemented this over the next 30, 60, or 90 days, they would see real results by something you could leave them?

Janis Pettit:  35:57

I would say, take a breath, take a half a day, and really look at what’s going on in here.  Write down what are the problem areas I’m having in my career right now or my business. Business problems are always well disguised personal problems. Start being super truthful with yourself about what’s going on inside of you, that’s manifesting as this problem. If you need to get a trusted buddy to talk it through with, do it.  Then make a plan to take actions that are scary to you but that will get you to your goal, even though you’re outside your comfort zone. If you do that, the results will be amazing. Your problems that you keep facing again and again, will start to fade away. I’ve seen this happen again. It doesn’t matter whether you’re in a corporate job, you own a business, or whatever it is, this process works.

The Mastermind Effect:  37:05

I love that thought that you left it. In essence, become comfortable with getting uncomfortable. It’s so true that comfort kills. Janis, I just want to say I appreciate the time that you spent with us today. And all the juicy nuggets that you left. I’m looking forward to listen to this later on this evening, as we always do on our household. We’ve got the founder of 10X Zone, Janis Pettit. Thank you for spending time with us today.

Janis Pettit:  37:34

You are certainly welcome.

Tweetable Quotes:

“Your success is dependent on learning from people that have already done it.” – Janis Pettit

“How well you succeed on a mastermind depends a lot on your mindset.” – Janis Pettit

“A person can be totally incompetent but have a degree. Somebody else can be incredibly knowledgeable and not have a degree.” – Janis Pettit

Resources Mentioned:

Connect with Janis on Linkedin and Facebook. You can also visit https://www.the10xzone.com/ for more information.

Be one of the first adopters of The Success Finder! Click on THIS LINK to download the app or email me at brandon@thesuccessfinder.com.

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.

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