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.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *