AskPat 119 Episode Transcript
Pat: What's up, everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 119 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. I appreciate each and every one of you. Thank you.
Now before I get to today's question from Nathaniel, I do want to mention and thank today's sponsor, which is 99designs.com, an amazing company I've used several times in the past to help me create amazing designs, from logo designs to t-shirt designs and even website designs. Because your branding is the face of your business, and you can make a great impression with creative professional designs from 99designs. So make sure you visit 99designs.com/pat, and you'll get a power pack upgrade for free. Check them out: 99designs.com/pat.
Now let's get to today's awesome question from Nathaniel.
Nathaniel: Hey, Pat. What's going on? This is Nathaniel Smith. I run a website called the8020drummer.com where I teach good drummers to become great. And my niche is I kind of operate in the space between already good and truly exceptional. My question as a avid listener to AskPat is about mastermind groups. And I want to come at it from an angle that I don't think you've yet covered, and I think would be valuable to your listeners, hopefully. Which is, if you're already in the position to kind of be networking with some other entrepreneurs and considering masterminds, should you lead your own mastermind as a novice?
A number of entrepreneurs, more experienced people who I respect, have recommended that I start my own, and I just wonder about that because it seems like maybe there would be more value from joining a pre-existing one and learning from a more experienced leader. There's so much on the line with masterminds, as far as maximizing people's time. Why is it that so many people have encouraged me to start my own? Is it like a value exchange because by taking the hassle of leading off their plate I can attract more experienced people who can give greater value in terms of their advice. Would really love your thoughts on this.
Also just want to add at the end that I've gotten tremendous value, obviously, from your blog and from your podcast, and, if the audience isn't already aware, which I'm sure they are, Pat Flynn is one of the most unique voices both as an inspiration and in terms of giving actionable information in the online business space. Want to thank you for everything you do. Thanks so much. Bye.
Pat Flynn: Nathaniel, thank you so much for those amazing and kind words at the end of your question there. And I just want to take a moment to say it really means a lot to me when people tell me that I am providing value because that's why I do what I do. That's why I have this show. That's why I have the Smart Passive Income blog and podcast. That's why I do all the YouTube videos that I do. That's why I hired somebody to go through all the emails in my inbox to help me tackle those questions that people (aren't) answering because I'm always trying to provide value because I found that it's just, that's the most fulfilling thing for me.
And a great byproduct of giving value is the fact that it always comes back in return for me, and I love that. And it's not always monetary. Sometimes it's just people like you, Nathaniel, saying, “Hey, thank you for helping me.” And that is something I am always shooting for. That's why I love going to my inbox at the UPS store and just grabbing a whole stack of thank you notes. And that's what makes me the most happy. That's what shows me that I'm doing things right. So again, Nathaniel, thank you for doing that and sharing with everybody how much what I'm doing is helping you. And I'm hoping it's helping everyone else as well. So again, just seriously thank you so much.
Now, moving on to your question in terms of mastermind groups. I do want to talk about mastermind groups in terms of kind of defining what they are really quick for people who might not know what they are. A lot of people listen to AskPat are subscribers. They don't just listen based on a question that they have and the answers that I have to go along with them. They subscribe to the show.
And so subscribers out there who don't know what a mastermind group is . . . Nathaniel, I hope you don't mind that I talk about this for about a minute or two. A mastermind group is a group of people who are all trying to achieve the same thing. They all have similar values. They all want to succeed, and they need help from other people to do that.
And I can't tell you how much being in mastermind groups has helped me with my business. It's been so much. I would not be where I'm at today without the three groups that I'm in. I'm literally in three different mastermind groups right now. Each of them meet an hour each week. And I'll go over the structure of those meetings in just a second, but they can be done in person but all three of mine are actually done virtually. One on Skype, one on Google Hangout, one on FreeConferenceCall.com. You don't need to meet in person, and I think it's better that way because you can have different people from all around the world, as long as they can all get together at the same time, all helping out each other, providing value to each other, and of course holding each other accountable for things.
You pretty much want four to five people in a group max because you want to . . . based on the structure that I'm going to go over in just a second, you're going to want to have a chance to be in the hot seat each month if possible, so you can keep talking about things that are going on in your business and get from the rest of the group.
So really quick, first ten minutes of our meetings is everybody going around and talking about a win, something awesome that happened the previous week. And this sets everybody up to be in a positive mood, and also, during the week, we also want to do what we can to bring a great win to the rest of the group. It also kind of goes along with the goals and the things we're being held accountable for from the previous week.
Now the next forty minutes, one person is designated in the hot seat, and that person has forty minutes to ask the rest of the group anything, any questions, opinions, or share something and get an opinion on that. Whatever they want to do with that forty minutes. It's the most valuable time that you have in the world because the rest of the group is there to be honest with you, and upfront with you, and share their opinions with you, which can help take your business to the next level. And when you get that many people in one room or in one call all focused on one thing that you're doing. Oh my gosh, it's so incredibly powerful. And everyone's completely honest and upfront because they know that when they are in the hot seat they want people to be honest and upfront with them as well. It's only going to help everybody if everybody is honest and upfront. And then the last ten minutes, everybody talks about what they want to accomplish by the next week.
Now to get back to your question, Nathaniel. A few things. First, I am in a group that I was invited to four years ago, and I'm still in that group. I'm also in a group that I helped start with another person. And both groups are fantastic. And of course, it can be really difficult to find an existing group, and I think that might be a reason why a lot of other people out there are saying you should start your own because it can be really hard frustrating to find a group.
You know, you ask people, and they say, “No, sorry there's no openings,” or “No, I don't even know what that is, and no thank you,” and things like that. It can be difficult to find a group that exists out there, and, even if you do, there might not be any openings, and a lot of groups have these really rigorous application processes, and they take a vote and all that sort of stuff. And it can be complicated. And I was lucky to be invited into a group over four years ago, and I'm still in that group today. And it's been incredibly helpful. I didn't go seeking another group, but I was invited to one which is very helpful in that regard.
But I wanted to get in another one, and I just didn't have anybody that I knew who was in one who had any openings. So, my buddy Cliff Ravenscraft and I—Cliff from PodcastAnswerMan.com—we started our own. We started our own together. Now we have about five people in that group. We each meet weekly. And it's amazing.
Now, Nathaniel, I think you might be confusing leading a mastermind group with starting a mastermind group. They are both completely different things. And actually, in fact, the leader, at least in the structure of the mastermind groups that I'm in, the leader changes every week. There's no person who is sort of deemed the leader. I know there are other mastermind groups out there, even ones that people charge for where they come and invite five people for X thousands of dollars and they sort of lead the discussion.
But really what a mastermind group is about is about the collection of all those people in one space or in one call all focused on those things that are being talked about in the hot seat. And there is no leader. The leader, actually, in terms of the structure, is the person who was in the hot seat last week, and that person's job is simply to facilitate the discussions, to ask the right questions, and to simply get people talking, and get deeper into why things are the way they are, or why people are thinking the way they feel in order to help, again, that person that's in the hot seat.
If you were to start your own, that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be the leader. I mean, you're getting a bunch of leaders together to collectively talk about certain things each and every week. And of course, if you were to enter one that already exists, you don't want to feel like you're not an equal. Everybody is equal, and everybody has equal time, and everybody has equal say. So I think it's really important to get that through your head, Nathaniel. It's the fact that, again, if you start one of your own, you get a few people together that doesn't necessarily mean that you're the leader. You just happen to be the person that put all those awesome people together.
Another thing that you mentioned was having different levels of people in the mastermind groups. And I think it's important to do that. To have different levels both above you and below you, so, if you were to start one, I think you should start . . . and you can ask people who are ahead of where you're at, so you can get that experience from those people. But you don't want to ask people who are too far ahead because you want the group to be . . . if you were to arrange people's “experiences” from zero to ten, you want people in the group to be covering a range of about four or five. For instance, if you you were a five, you would want people at the six or seven level and then even down below you at the three or four level. That together covers a range of four or five.
Because if you have too many people that are sort of way in the extremes one way or the other, the people who are the bottom, those zeros and ones, if you're way above them, they're not going to contribute; they are going to get a lot out of it, but they're not going to really contribute because they haven't had the experiences or don't really know exactly what's going on. And so they won't be able to contribute and help to the rest of the group.
Of course, if somebody's on the way other side of the spectrum, if they're a nine and ten and everybody else is a three or four, that nine and ten sort of experienced person isn't going to feel like they're getting a lot out of it. And you know, I've been in cases or in mastermind groups in the past that were set up that were just like that. I was invited to one by my other friend, and the whole time I was just answering questions. This was a one time sort of mastermind type of deal. It wasn't a recurring one, but it was one that happened here in San Diego. And we had a lunch, and all of a sudden we started talking about business and everybody knew who I was at that time. And the both of us, my friend and I, people were asking questions the whole time. And we were answering them, and it was fun. It was great. I love helping people. But in terms of a mastermind, I wasn't getting anything out of it, as well, besides just understanding more about what people's issues and problems were and what they had questions about.
So again, in terms of range, try to get four to five, people above you and people below. That's the best situation. And again, beyond that you also want to get people in different niches as well. Nathaniel, you said you're in the drumming niche. You don't need to just stick with drummers. You don't even need to stick with musicians. I've learned a ton of things from other people in the different mastermind groups I'm in, in the different niches that they are in and what they specialize in. Probably the most dramatic example is I have a traveling sword swallower in one of my mastermind groups; he swallows swords, and he goes on stage, and he hypnotizes people, and does that sort of of thing. I've learned so much from this person, Roderick Russell over at RemarkablyHuman.com. I mean, oh my gosh, he's taught me so much about stage presence, and deliverability, and things like that. It's just amazing. I wouldn't have thought that, but there's a lot of cross-niche help that can happen in your mastermind groups.
So, Nathaniel, that was a little bit more than what you asked for, but I hope that helps you and everybody else out there. Thank you again so much for the wonderful question and, again, all of your kind words and support. An AskPat t-shirt is going to be headed your way, so look out for an email from my executive assistant very soon with that. As always, if you have a question you'd like potentially featured here on the show, just head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask right there from the website.
And of course, I want to thank today's sponsor, which is 99designs.com, an amazing company. If you are working on branding or a logo or you're just looking for a great resource for design, you got to go with 99designs.com. You can get designs you love; dozens of designers will compete to deliver you the best design, and you can pick the best one. It's actually really exciting to see new designs come in everyday for the job that you need done, and you can actually give direction to these designers too if something is close or you want to change things around a little bit as they go along. It's amazing. It's just incredible. So if you go to 99designs.com/pat, you'll get a $99 power pack of services for free, today. Again that's 99designs.com/pat. I've used it several times in the past, and I know you're going to enjoy the experience too.
As always, thank you so much for listening to AskPat, and I'm going to end on a quote. And today's quote comes from Sun Tzu, from The Art of War. He says, “In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”
Cheers. Thanks so much, and I'll see you in the next episode.
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