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.
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.
“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
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.