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SPI 669: Antonio Centeno on Mastermind Groups

Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. If you’re trying to expand your knowledge and build business relationships, starting a mastermind is the way to go! But what specific setup can attract the top players in your niche to your group?

That’s the topic of today’s talk with Antonio Centeno of Real Men Real Style. You see, when Antonio invited me to join his mastermind, I initially declined. We’ve known each other for many years, and his tips about men’s fashion have been game-changing for me. But these days, I’m very protective about where I invest my free time.

Here’s the thing, though. I immediately changed my tune when I learned about the genius system he implemented. Now, six weekly meetups later, I had to have Antonio on the show to share his whole process with you!

This is a unique approach to masterminds because, first of all, they come with an eight-week time limit. But that’s not the only design Antonio is leveraging to create these powerful experiences. Listen in on our chat to find out more!

I always talk about digging your well before you’re thirsty, so the benefits of recreating something like this in your niche are huge. Make sure to join Antonio and me for an inside look at his incredible brand and a conversation about building your network the easy way!

Today’s Guest

Antonio Centeno

Antonio Centeno is a former US Marine Officer with a BA in Evolutionary Biology & Philosophy (Cornell College) & MBA (UT Austin) and the founder of Real Men Real Style. Over the last decade, he’s helped over 300 million men discover the Science of Style through articles and videos on his website and YouTube channel, Real Men Real Style.

You’ll Learn


SPI 669: Antonio Centeno on Mastermind Groups

Antonio Centeno: When you’re starting a mastermind, if you don’t feel you can get anyone to join, just get one person to join. And getting back to a good party, what makes for a good party in college is it you bring in the right people at the start, what makes for a conference, you’ve just got those keystone speakers or those keystone personalities that other people wanna be in the same room and hang out with them. And then because you’ve got five to seven really cool people, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.

Pat Flynn: So I’m currently six out of eight weeks into a mastermind group. That’s right. A mastermind group that’s specifically with a time limit on it. And it’s been one of the most valuable, interesting, and just eye-opening experiences for me. This mastermind is run by Antonio Centeno, who is here with us today.

He’s our special guest. He’s a good friend of mine. We’ve been in the blogosphere for a very long time. He has a brand called Real Men Real Style. He once helped me with what I should wear on stage and we’ll tell that story a little bit cuz there’s a fun little tidbit around how he found me first and some really good lessons around that actually.

But the meat and potatoes of this episode is about how you can bring together groups of people inside of your industry in a way that is just so innovative for the ability for you to learn, for you, to connect other people together, for you to build relationships with them, and everybody wins. And I love things where everybody wins and you’re gonna win today if you listen all the way through.

This is session 669 with Antonio Centeno, and I just think this is genius. I, I think that you should consider doing something like this because, the benefits of it, I mean, for me as a person in this recent one that he put together, and it’s not a, it’s not a mastermind that you have to pay for or pay to get into there.

There is a little nuance there, but, but you’ll hear Antonio talk about it. But just listen because I, you you’ll hear exactly why I said yes when I immediately when he pitched this to me. So this is just really, really great. I’m thinking about ways I can do this as well. Anyway, here he is, Antonio Centeno from Real Men Real Style.

Announcer: You’re listening to the Smart Passive Income Podcast, a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network, a show that’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. And now your host, he gamifies almost everything he does in life. Pat Flynn.

Pat Flynn: Antonio, welcome to the Smart Passive Income Podcast man. Thanks for being here.

Antonio Centeno: Pat, it’s a pleasure.

Pat Flynn: You know, you and I have been in the same circle for a very long time, have been friends for a very long time. We’ve had lunch together. We are now in a mastermind group together and I wanna talk more about that cuz it’s a very unique way that you’ve run this mastermind and it’s actually one of the most valuable things I’ve been a part of in a very, in a very long while.

And I want you to be able to pass forward how that’s created, where the idea came from and such. But before. I wanna talk about you and how you got into what you do. You have a, a, a YouTube channel mainly and, and a number of different products and websites now, but many people know you from Real Men Real Style.

What is that and, and how did, how did it get started?

Antonio Centeno: So, that is just one of my projects. It is a YouTube channel and website that teaches men how to leverage the science of style to dress better. I see so many. Amazing men out there. Anyone listening, even if you’re a woman, you’ve probably got a husband, a brother, a son that you know is an amazing guy, but he dresses, yeah, you just don’t know what to do with him. He doesn’t understand the importance of looking good, and I like to think that there are so many men out there. They’re like a. They’re, they’re like rough diamonds that we walk over them, we miss ’em. But if you were to take that diamond and you were to cut it correctly, you were to shine it up, all of a sudden people are able to see it for the brilliant stone, the beautiful piece of work that it is.

And I know so many men out there have so much to contribute. And so that is our focus. We focus on men. Because I just feel that, they’re in my background, I was in the United States Marine Corps. I was actually stationed out near you in Pendleton for a while, and I saw the important, the power of a uniform you could take.

And I saw it many times. One of the ugliest guys, I’m not gonna name his name, but I watched him go out and just, let’s just say that the ladies were fawning over him. Men were giving him respect cuz he was wearing the appropriate clothing, he was wearing his Marine Corps dress blues. And I would see the power of dressing well and you don’t need to wear a uniform, you know, when we see this out there.

And I just love giving guys that little bit of an insight, but I think let’s take a step back and let’s talk about how we met. And I first found you years ago when you had just started, I think, Smart Passive Income, and you had written and put out a great ebook on how to make eBooks, and so I found this.

Downloaded and it blew my mind. I think I had been listening to Mixergy and there was a guy, Gideon Wick, he had talked about just simply selling e products and selling information. I was like, wow. Like so how do I do this? Found your e-book on how to make the e-books and I made an e-book, Seven Deadly Cents.

It was like 17 pages. It was basically an article. I wrapped it into a PDF and I offered it for free on my website. And people started, you know, we were getting traffic to the website. They started grabbing that, you know, for their email. I’d give ’em this ebook. Started off, you know, 10 a day. Next thing I know it’s 50 day, then a hundred a day, then 300 a day.

And I think when I, when I started getting to like four or 500 people a day giving me their emails for this little e-book, I’m like, wow. Like, and, and one funny thing about this is I started charging money for it. I made it a little bit stronger, beefier, started charging seven bucks than 17, then 47.

And at that point I was like, well, maybe I should turn this into a course. And that’s what I did. Took that ebook, turned it into course that to this day, the basis of that sells, you know, for almost $500. And you know, it’s nice to see those sales still coming in. The information is timeless. But one thing I think I did that not many people were doing at the time, this had to be, yeah, 2009, 2010 or something.

2010. Yeah, I sent you a video email and it was just me recording talking and saying, thanking you, but also I noticed that you were about to give your first presentation. You were going to like a financial conference and you, you put up there what you were going to wear and the backpack you were gonna take.

And I thought the backpack was great. Definitely be spot, you’d be able to be spotted, but I warned, I, I was kind of worried that you were going to a finance conference and you were going to be dressed too far down then. And I’m thinking, does he really know his audience? And so, if you remember in that video I talked about how you had been in the ba you, you know, was it the Berkeley band?

Yeah. Cal Band. Yeah. Berkeley. Cal. Cal Band. Cal. And so you were there and you ta I talked about when you went out on the football field, nobody questioned who you were because you were ruining uniform and you looked the part. And I tried to use that cuz I always realized that if you can give people a great analogy, all of a sudden it’s gonna click in their, why this is important, and I like to think that that little video I put together, and, and I know we’ve talked multiple times about this, how all of a sudden you started seeing the importance of the way people treated you when you just dressed a little bit better and you didn’t have to put it together a suit, although I think you did that first time, but eventually you found like a style that really worked for you.

And I think you went on to win some even awards of like the best dressed guy at conferences.

Pat Flynn: I have.

Antonio Centeno: Which you’re just pretty, I mean doesn’t really matter in the bigger scheme of things, but it’s, but it’s nice to get recognized and, and I think you saw the power of just dressing well, how not only it makes other people perceive you, but how it makes you feel as a person.

Pat Flynn: A hundred percent to all.

And I remember receiving that email from you and getting, I think it was a link to an unlisted YouTube video or something. I don’t even remember how you mechanically sent that over, but it was a 20 minute video that Antonio sent over first saying Thanks, and I was blown away. I always love hearing students and subscribers of mine, listeners like taking something we, you know, offered and actually doing something with it.

So that caught my interest, number one. But then there was this video and I clicked on it and it. An 18 to 20 minute video of Antonio literally talking to me like a specific video that was just made for me. I remember the analogies very well, but I also remember you were showing literally like in a PowerPoint presentation, like, oh, these kinds of cuts on a jacket would look good on a person of your stature and a person of your skin color. These colors would make it pop and you would stand out. And again, even just the reasoning behind them. And in no way, shape, or form did I ever feel like, cuz I know this could potentially be a worry for people who try to help people in this way.

It’s like, no way did I ever feel like you thought I was, you know, poorly dressing. But you said like you can make a much bigger impact if you were to do something like this and you, you taught me where to start, how to get things at an economical price. There was no mention of any links to buy anything from you.

It was one of the most helpful videos that I’ve ever received personally from somebody that I met online. Ever, even to this day.

Antonio Centeno: Well, thank you. And I, and I think that that’s the key in the, you know, what makes the law of reciprocity work, and we’ll talk about this with the, with the masterminds and stuff, is I genuinely try to approach things just wanting to give and to add value because, I honestly don’t probably want to receive a 20 minute video from some random person, but if that 20 minute video goes into detail about how, where mistakes I’m making in my business, how I can improve it, and it really does add value, then of course I’ll welcome that, that video.

And I think that a lot of mistakes are made when people try to gain this, they’re trying to think, well, I want to ask something. And they’ve got, and of course we’ve all got a motive. We all like, I just simply wanted to, to help a friend, someone I had already gotten so much from. And to me it genuinely was just giving.

But I did think it would be cool to be able to get a response from you and all that stuff. And I, I think people can pick up on that when, when you’re trying to get something versus actually giving and just trying to add value. Cuz you’re not trying to add, you’re making the video as long as it needs to be.

Cuz maybe I could have that, that is kind of a long video. But but but it, it, it genuinely came across as something I was just trying to help you and I was use, leveraging my unique expertise to add value to somebody that had add value.

Pat Flynn: I, I remember a couple years later, Derek Halper did the exact same thing.

In fact, I didn’t even know who he was and he sent me a, you know, shorter video than yours, but it was about how to get more emails on my webpage, and it was literally he was screamed.

Antonio Centeno: That was one of his great strategies. He did that with so many people.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, he did Chris Brogan, he did it with a number of other people.

He did it with me and he showed a screen share of my page and said, In his very New York, just like no BS way. Like Pat, I love your stuff, but you suck at getting emails. Like if I were you, this is what I would do. And I was just like, whoa, that actually makes sense. I tried it, I got results and I like immediately invited him on the podcast to talk about it.

All these kinds of things. And we’ve been friends since. But anyway. I love this lesson because it’s really important. I think Jordan Harbinger once said, you know, it’s, it’s like you gotta dig your well before you’re thirsty, right? If you eventually know that you might wanna build a relationship with somebody or have some, something mutually beneficial like that, help a person first dig your well before you’re thirsty, and then you need something.

If you’re digging your well and you’re already thirsty, it’s too late. You’re not gonna be able to do it, right? And I, and I love that analogy of it as well, to finish this piece off with the video. I did take your advice. I put on a nice coat and I had some nice jeans to go along with it. It wasn’t like a tuxedo situation, but I did feel different.

And I remember even before I got to the event, Antonio, at the airport, I was running a little bit late and never had I ever have anybody at the airport take care of me, like they took care of me that day when I told the person at the counter that I was running a little bit late, that I was gonna miss my first presentation, all this stuff.

I don’t know if it was the coat or not. I don’t know if it was a placebo thing or I don’t know if it was because I wore the coat. I felt confident enough to have that ask to go to somebody, whatever the case may be. I felt like I was getting treated differently and I was being seen differently, and that led into a little bit more that when I went to the event, I was able to kind of, even though it was my first time, have my chest out a little bit and feel just a little bit more like I was in the right place thanks to you. And of course that led to more events that led to more people catching onto the, the style of presentations that I do. And then it led me onto bigger stages, eventually getting paid to get on stage.

And then yes, winning a couple awards here and there for my sort of, you know, I always wear like a, or I used to always wear like a vest with a tie and it. Poppy in terms of color, like an orange or something. Yeah, it was really nice. So thank you .

Antonio Centeno: Yeah. Well, I’m happy that you were able to, to leverage that.

I kind of view it like compound interest that it’s, that maybe it just gives you a 1% edge, but over time, you know, that leads to huge returns.

Pat Flynn: For sure. And not only that, you unlocked a new language that I learned about just the world of, of how people see others, you know? And, and the, the other thing about this was, I didn’t wanna believe that this stuff worked.

Like I wanted to be the person who was like, oh, people aren’t superficial. People like wanna get to know people first before they judge them. That I think we all know that that’s not true. And you can say a lot about who you are and what you represent and what you stand for, and how confident you are without saying a single word based what people see first, which is what you wear. So, you know, I love that you’ve helped me out. I, and I refer people to your website all the time and I’m just very grateful, you know, and we’ve stayed connected over the years. We’ve crossed paths at different events and such, and, and for a while, you know, there was a time where it’s been a while since we’ve chatted, like several years in fact, but I always sort of kept up with what you’re doing. But recently you reached out to me and you said, Hey, pat, like I know you’re doing a lot of YouTube stuff now with Deep Pocket Monster, really cool stuff. I’m actually starting a mastermind group with other YouTubers and my initial reaction was I got, I’m in like two masterminds already in Antonio and, and I do talk about YouTube with some friends already.

Like, I don’t need another mastermind group for this right now. Although I think it would be cool. I just, I’m very protective of my time. But then the way you pitched it and the way it was structured after you told me that it was an immediate yes, and I want you to talk what it is that you do here, how is this structured and how a person listening to the show could potentially be you in this situation to bring people together.

Because it’s been massively valuable and like I said in the beginning, one of the most valuable things that I’ve done in a very long time that somebody else has organized. So I’d love for you to share that and. What’s the origin of this and, and how’s it run?

Antonio Centeno: Sure. So I will say that, you know, I’ve gone through Strategic Coach.

I don’t know if you’re familiar with Dan Sullivan and his program, and one of the things that they talk about there is what is your unique superpower? What’s something that you actually get energy from doing? And one thing I love to do is actually bring people together. I learned this simply in college, I like to host good parties and I, it was so fun just to have so many people in a small college dorm room and getting kicked outta school.

That’s a whole other story. I did manage to get back in, but yeah, that was, we had two kegs over. Yeah, it was crazy parties, the police showed up twice, but the thing is, is people want to be at a fun party. And a fun party is fun because there’s a, a variety of people, good conversation, but it’s curated a bit.

And so I, about seven years ago, I, maybe eight years ago, I a little bit longer than that cuz we, we actually launched our first conference, meant influential line, did this with a business partner of mine, Aaron Marino. And we noticed, it just randomly we’re at VidCon and we got there early and we’re like, Hey, well let’s just email our list and just say we’re gonna be at this bar near VidCon.

Cuz you know, VidCon was just get too big and crazy and we wanted to get something smaller. We had a hundred people show up and like, this was only with a few days notice. We had a guy flying in from Canada and we’re like, you know, people just flew in from Canada to hanging out with us at a bar. So we knew we had an audience, we knew we could leverage it, and it was just about throwing a, a cool, fun party.

There was no pressure. It was laid back. We ended up running a conference for six years after that called, started off as Style Com, we turned it to Menfluential, men focused. That’s my market, and it was just, it was a great time, and the thing that made this conference so great is it wasn’t a conference, it was a party except, you know, I kept it pretty pg i, I don’t drink anymore.

I’ve got five kids. I wanted to keep it toned down, but at the same time, I wanted it to be something that, if my eye, if a guy showed up, he would really feel that he was at home. So I think, well, what, what do I want from a conference? One, I want unlimited food. I want good coffee. I, I don’t want to be sold to on the stage.

I really like a linear track with great speakers, but the speakers are short, like 20 minutes at most. Because if I really do like what you’re saying, I’ll find you. Oh, and it would be great if the speakers had, were like in the audience hanging out with us so that talk to this person and even make a room so that people go off and actually hang out and talk and have their private discussions even, we’ll even bring in a photographer to take your picture for free so that you could update your LinkedIn profile. And that’s everything I just said there we did at the conference, me and Aaron were there at the very beginning, shaking hands, hugging guys, and we brought in 30 or 40 other great YouTubers and content creators that I figured, you know, I’m not gonna pay them to speak, but you know what?

I will put them up in hotels and, and so we didn’t any money. But this thing, it was all, it was kinda a nonprofit. All the money we would charge guys, cause we really undercharged for the tickets. It was just a few hundred bucks. Again, it was unlimited food. We brought in food trucks. It, it was, we had a, we had a, at the last debt and the last night it was open bar.

Literally like, and I don’t drink, but I was like, you know, if I did I would want an open bar. And so for a few hundred bucks, these guys had like three days, it was initially three days and we cut it down to two days cause it was just too much of a party. And. And that taught me a lot of valuable lessons.

One, it’s hard to make money with conferences. I think anyone that runs events knows this unless you’re selling ’em from the stage. But I, I, I felt just so great about what we were doing, that it w there were other values that came out of that. Three businesses that I became a part of came out of that conference cuz I met people, I interacted and I realized that there’s a lot of value that can be had, not by the the event itself, but everything that comes out of the event. I also appreciated being able to curate who was up on stage, who wasn’t going to be up on stage and the way that the event ran and being able to adjust things. And I always felt that my job as the curator, as the host was to make everybody feel welcome.

So if you were that guy, and we, you know, I remember there was one gentleman sitting in, standing in the back and he had a little bit of BO say, I, you know, they were just, he, communication issues, but I went over and we purposely made him feel like a part. We introduced him to people, we got him in the open area.

So, you know, air’s flowing, you know, it wasn’t, you know, but I think no one wants to show up to a, an event and feel like they’re an outsider. We wanna show up in, you know, kinda like I, I grew up in the eighties and so remember the, the, the theme song for Cheers. Everybody knows your name. Like I, it’s like you go in and you want people to, to welcome you.

And that’s what we did for six years with that event. We ended up shutting it down, dodged a bullet, because Covid happened literally a month after we shut down that conference. I realized, you know, going for the next year, year and a half, I missed hanging out with people. So I started bringing together like little masterminds and this would be alumni from the the influential event.

Usually the speakers, we’d get together, 10 of us, 15 together on Zoom, just hanging out, drinking a coffee, drinking a beer, just catching up with each other. And I realized, well, let’s get back to Masterminds and I’d been a part of a few masterminds over the years. They’re not anything new. Anyone that knows the word, Napoleon Hill, I believe is the one that came up or popularized it.

But the idea is you’ve got a group of people that you can reach out to and bring either, you know, you can set up, up, up in a variety of ways, but selfish I said, you know what, if I were to identify what are my main problems, and then I bring people together, kind of focused in and centered around my own problems, so that’s gonna be my benefit.

If nothing else, I’m gonna satisfy my own curiosity and probably be able to go deeper in on that problem. So I started running three masterminds every quarter and sometimes, like I, I experimented one quarter was like the, the same three masterminds I ran and they were, this one was for more of just anyone that was a blogger, so it was all bloggers and I met a lot of people cause I’m in the Ad Thrive network, so I met a lot of people in the food space and, and that was cool.

Met a lot of people. I had no idea and I learned a lot about content creation. Then I started changing it up, started putting more towards Masterminds are more business focused. I took the lessons that I had learned from other masterminds, and one is I don’t want a mastermind that goes on forever. That’s intimidating first up.

And the other one is like, what if you end up, like it’s hard for people to commit to something that goes on for a long time unless it’s really, really good. But even that, you eventually get stale and you get tired of it perhaps. So I was like, okay, let’s keep it, we experimented with like 12 weeks, 10 weeks, eight weeks.

Ended up settling on about 10 weeks. It, it made sense. Also, I wanted it to be weekly versus monthly. I’ve been a part of great monthly masterminds, but that’s usually with people that I already know, and what I discovered is that, If people don’t know each other, which is great cuz you, you can bring in a, a wider diverse group of people, but they get, they need to build up trust and that was, I figure the first five weeks were just people getting to know each other.

Just people getting a feel of who they are and what this person does, getting their name down. So, so that was key, is making sure that everyone could commit to that week and then it. You know, getting people to have a little bit of skin in the game. I didn’t wanna charge money. I felt that, and I, and I didn’t for the first few first couple years.

But what I did find is that it seemed like every class there would be 30%, 20% of the people that had given me a verbal commit, but they just didn’t show up, or they were inconsistent in being able to make it. They didn’t make it a priority. One way around, cause I didn’t wanna charge people money. I just simply said, well, here’s the deal is you need to donate $500.

I’ve got a nonprofit that I started up over in Ukraine feeding about 200 families. You can contribute there or just simply contribute to your own charity. Like I don’t care, but I want you to actually spend a little bit of money, that way you actually, you have to make the choice, do I wanna be there or do I want, you know, and I do set it up.

So it’s like a slight, if someone can’t afford the amount I suggest, I’m like, well, donate a hundred bucks. I don’t care. But you know, it needs to be a little bit of pain that you actually wanna be a part of this. So, Running in numerous masterminds, I started noticing that there were problems. One of ’em, I had to disband early because that one, unfortunately, I had people in at two different of levels.

I had advanced entrepreneurs in with lower level entrepreneurs. And nothing wrong if you’re an entry level, just beginning. But the problem for an advanced entrepreneur is that oftentimes the people that aren’t as far along, they’re, they’re taking a lot more than what they’re giving back. And it makes the person at the higher level feel like they’re just not getting anything from it. They didn’t sign up to necessarily be a teacher. They can work, but the, the other people really need to bring something unique. So I, I, I did find a note. You can make that work when the dynamic is very different if people are bringing a unique angle. I think in our, our YouTube mastermind, there were some really small channels in there, but they understand maybe Instagram marketing or that one of ’em, they can sell high ticket.

So they are bringing something that’s unique and they can contribute in other ways. So I know I’ve talked, I’ve talked for a while, so let me. Open it up too.

Pat Flynn: No, no, no. It’s okay. You were going through the process. I love the origin of this. It’s similar to why we created online communities, because we felt that it was the hallway talk at Flynn Con.

That was the most valuable stuff and we’ve now brought that online and you’ve done it in this really genius way where, so I want you to imagine if you’re listening. You bring together a group of five, 10, maybe 15 people. I mean, is there a number that makes sense for these masterminds, Antonio.

Antonio Centeno: I like 10 to 12.

I find that that’s a great number you can do, and I think if people really know each other, five is awesome. But for the first sets, when people are just getting to introduce, I like that number. 10 to 12. That, that’s about perfect.

Pat Flynn: And that’s how many YouTubers you said that would be in this group you’ve gave, you gave me some names.

Couple I recognize Steve Chu and also Charles Cornell.

Antonio Centeno: And that’s important. When you’re starting a mastermind, if you don’t feel you can get anyone to join, just get one person to join. And if you can get one person that has a little bit of name recognition. Cause I think there was one person in our mastermind that you were a little bit starstruck, a little bit.

You were, you were a fan of his channel. Yeah. And there’s nothing, if you know any, getting back to a good party . What makes for a good party in college is it you bring in the right people at the start, what makes for a great party, you know, or a great conference. You’ve just got those keystone speakers or those keystone personalities that other people wanna be in the same room and hang out with them.

And then because you’ve got five to seven really cool people, nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd. And so all of a sudden it becomes much easier. I think we caught you at, you caught us at the tail end as I was about to launch, I think in a week. And yeah, I just named off a few names and all of a sudden you’re like, wow. These are all great people I want to be a part of or be around.

Pat Flynn: Right, right, right. We’ve been doing it for I think six weeks or so, and, and, and again, another thing that helped me say yes was the fact that it was for a limited time. Like, no, I can’t add another one that I could do forever, but I think for the next eight weeks I could definitely talk some YouTube once a week for an hour and, and hang out with some cool people, like you said.

And, and I’ve been showing up every time. Everybody’s almost showing up every time, and it’s been really amazing. We’ve had some really good conversations, some planned hot seats, other people come and just provide so much value. And it’s just, you know, more than that, I’m already building relationships with a lot of the people in there.

Right, and that’s really why I wanted to do this. Just who else is here and, and how can I help them and in some way, shape or form down the road. I’m sure if I need something and they have an expertise in that, I can ask for help too. And that’s, that’s the cool thing about this. And that’s the real benefit of this, right?

I mean, like you said, you’re not doing to generate an income. You’re even having people donate, which I love that work around as far as let’s get people to commit to this, but let’s not make it about you making a bunch of money. Because ultimately what happens is when you are a connector in this way, you’re, you’re a curator, you’re bringing people together.

It just, number one, it heightens your brand. I talk about that in my book, Superfans. Now all of us are tied to Real Men Real Style in some way, shape or form. But number two, now, we are also getting value from the relationships we’re building there, and honestly, I mean, I was already gonna do this, but I’m even more so now.

If you need anything from me, ever, how could I not help you? Because you’ve put this thing together for us and you know, it does require a little bit of work to manage it. Can you speak to that and maybe comment on, on what I just said, if you have anything to say about that?

Antonio Centeno: You know, I didn’t expect that to be so much work, and I’m happy that I did take it on.

Cause most of the masterminds I’ve been a part of that have failed miserably, have not been curated well at, well, they don’t have. , anyone that’s keeping the trains running on time. One thing with our masterminds, they start on time, they end on time. People’s time is incredibly valuable. In that one hour, they may not be the same, but I, and I set that expectation.

I, I try to keep things moving along. You’ve probably noticed if someone starts talking a bit long, we all love Danny, but man, Danny can talk. Like Dan, let’s keep it going. Boom. You know, he is a great friend, you know. You just wanna keep things moving and I find that, that, that is work you’ve gotta be able to carefully step on.

And that’s another great thing about, you know, not taking money is the expectation is, hey, like I’m doing this cuz I really enjoy it and it’s fun and it is my party. And because it’s a party, like you have a little bit of control on are people gonna wear shoes in the house? Well, no. Leave the shoes there.

You know, it’s like you were invited here. You didn’t pay if people pay. There’s also this expectation that, you know, and people do this in food all the time, that Oh yeah. Cuz you’re at a restaurant, you can treat the server like a jerk. No you can’t. Like, I love it. I was watching some chef, he’s like, he kicks out like one, it just kicks people out. Like if he thinks they’re a jerk, he’s like, I don’t need your money. Like this is my home. Like welcome. And that’s the way I try to treat it with the Mastermind because it’s also, I vet everybody. You can’t just join the Mastermind. Everyone is personally vetted. I think it was Charlie Wilson’s war where I first learned about how there was a there, there was a, a hostess in there, a one from Houston, and she talked about how she would have these parties at her house and they were these very extravagant dinner parties, but every guest was hand chosen and where they sat at the table was her, her goal was to sit like you know, a Saudi Arabian, you know, sheik next to this Texas congressman next to, in this case, this arms dealer, you know, it’s like, so she’s, she’s setting things up cuz she knows naturally these conversations are going to happen. And I think that’s one of the better, harder things about a mastermind is sometimes you gotta say, you almost have to say no or you know, and I would do this by trying to direct people into different masterminds because I was running three at the same time.

I could direct who kind of goes into what if they would ask me which one’s best for, I kind of look at where they’re at. And I would also in the invite be very clear that you had to have, you know, a hundred thousand subs or be getting a million views or, you know, setting that bar. Which again, I learned from Strategic Coach cuz to even work with Strategic Coach’s really clear, you’ve gotta be paying yourself a hundred grand or be doing a million dollars in sales.

Now of course they make exceptions and I make exceptions, but just setting that bar right there, for many people, they self-qualify or they, they, they either say and, and I think it makes it a lot more attractive. Maybe that was one of the things that made it attractive to you is that you knew there would be larger YouTubers in there, not YouTubers just getting started.

These are people that have been running into many of the same problems you have over the last few years.

Pat Flynn: Exactly. I’m curious because you do masterminds like this in this fashion, pun intended. Across different kinds of sectors, right? They’re not just like entrepreneurs, for example. This one specifically is about YouTube.

I know you have a couple others. I think my friend Rick Mulready already talked about one related to AI?

Antonio Centeno: AI and business. Yeah. That one is really.

Pat Flynn: AI and business. Yeah. I’m like, why did, why wasn’t I invited to that one too, because that one sounds awesome, but like, sorry, like No, no, I’m just kidding.

Antonio Centeno: We’ll do that one again cuz that one is just blowing everybody’s mind.

That one is really, really fun.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. I mean, the AI stuff’s getting wild right now. I, I, Rick introduced me to some stuff and fell into a rabbit hole and I’m just.

Antonio Centeno: And and that’s exactly the, so the purpose of that one was again, in solving my own problem, cuz I see all this and I’m overwhelmed. I, you know, I’m 46.

I’ve got five kids, four businesses, three, you know, it’s just, I got a wife, actually, I got my, my wife’s sister in from Ukraine. They’re now living with us, my two nephews. So I got seven kids and my mother. So it’s like I can’t make time for all this AI stuff. But what I can’t make time for is one hour a week for other people to show me specifically how they’re using AI in their business.

And this is really useful because it’s practical application of ai. and that, and because it’s recorded as well. Here’s another secret, because I own a a company and I’ve got people that work for me. I actually give them the recording and I, and so you notice that you get transcribed notes, you get broken out notes, you get recordings.

That’s actually continued education for the people on my team who are actually looking through this stuff saying, wow, that’s a great idea. Like we need to be implementing it. This. Yeah. That’s cool. So that’s kind of. One thing with my, my team, I always emphasize, and I learned this I think from Google when they talked about 10% of your time should be spent on like crazy things.

I don’t necessarily give 10% for crazy things, but I do pay for 10% to be towards making yourself sharper and better at what you do. So that includes reading, that includes whatever you want to do to become better.

Pat Flynn: What an amazing way to learn new things instead of like just reading about it or even watching videos about it.

You are curating people who as interested in this, probably a little bit more attuned to what’s going on than you are, and you’re getting the education in real time and you’re getting group feedback, constructive feedback. You’re getting ideas coming in, all in return for something massively valuable, which is the relationships that are being built in there, more focused. And it’s not just you receiving all these things, it’s everybody else receiving all these things. I think it’s a genius format for learning and to be able to step up and say, Hey, everybody who’s also interested in this thing, like, and you’re not pi, I never considered you pitching it that way.

Like, Hey guys, I don’t know anything about this and selfishly I’m putting this together for me. It’s almost like everybody wins in this situation.

Antonio Centeno: Well, I think that’s a common win for a lot of people that run podcasts, that run interview shows, that have channels that bring guests on, is that they are, you know, Joe Rogan talks about this, like he’s just, Curious and learning and constantly getting better himself because of the type of guest that he brings on that force him to sharpen his own sword.

Pat Flynn: Yeah. This is a really great way to fast forward a lot of of that and then you can take what you need, your team takes what you need from it and can implement it and, and, and all those kinds of things. I know last week we spoke about an unfortunate thing that happened on your YouTube channel, which had just happened to mine.

Yeah. So you were asking me a lot of stuff because I had just gone through that too, and I’m glad to see.

Antonio Centeno: And I didn’t even know your channel was hacked, but it was so useful. Like one thing you said, and I immediately implied it was make the videos live again. For some reason I thought that YouTube had made ’em all and I think YouTube did make ’em all unlisted, but I didn’t think to, oh yeah, I guess we could manually and we, it took, it was a lot of work.

Cause I had a lot of videos. You were very clear. Oh, I only had like 20 or 30 videos when you got hacked versus I had 2000 so, but it, but it did give, I, I have my team and we watched that and they’re like, okay, like we can do this. It’s not an infinite number, it’s 2000. And we went through each video and they made sure, you know, it, it took a while.

It took us three days, but we had it all back. And by s Saturday morning the channel pretty much looked like it used to.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, I, I noticed that it was back to normal. And I know that’s stressful. And I think a part of also what helped, it’s not just the technicalities of how all that happened. It was a lot of just like, helping you feel better in that situation.

Like, okay, you’ll get it back. No worries. Like this sucks. We empathize with you. Like I was just going through it too. And that’s the power of Mastermind. You people have just gone through the things that you are probably going through right now, and you can, you can, you know, a cry on their shoulder as well as get some help and, and all those kinds of things too.

So, anyway, I, I love this so much. Go ahead.

Antonio Centeno: Oh, I was just gonna say, and the interesting thing is that hack happened just a few hours before our mastermind, and I had three calls that day and my assistant, she asked me, she’s like, should we cancel all the masterminds? And I thought about it for a second.

I’m like, no. Like I really enojoy doing these masterminds, why would I cut outta my day, one of the most enjoyable things that I love to do. Hmm. And instead be all stressed out and worried about a hack that honestly, I, there’s not much I can do after that first hour of just getting the ball rolling with with, with YouTube, but, and, and the guy that initially helped me get the ball rolling, I had met at my conference. He was a fellow YouTuber Alex, amazing guy. And he used to work for YouTube. And within seconds, like of me texting him, he had gotten back to me, gave me an email, gave me the form I needed to fill, and helped me start that process a lot sooner than later.

So it just, that’s why I, but again, relationships, I would say give me energy if this doesn’t bill, if, if this, cuz someone’s probably listening and thinking, well I gotta do this one. Not necessarily. There are other ways, as we talked about like you have a podcast, you know, putting out videos or, there are other ways, I think, to be able to meet and engage with people.

This is just something that, for me, is very easy to do because I naturally gravitate towards talking and hanging out with cool people.

Pat Flynn: It’s really great. I, I want to know before we finish up here, Antonio, what are the administrative things that are required to run a eight week mastermind with 10 people in it?

Antonio Centeno: I mean, Zoom or Google Meetups, you can do it anywhere. I mean, there’s, so there’s free. Yeah, I think, I think a, a mistake a lot of people make is that they try to recruit everybody at the same time versus slowly building up the right people. And targeting them individually and treating people like individuals.

You may have, you know, a thousand people you think you want to do a mastermind with on your, this email list you’ve built up, or you want, you think throwing it out on a forum you’re gonna attract or a Facebook group, you’re gonna attract the right people. I’d say. Really you want to, it’s better to have a small mastermind with four people that are freaking awesome that you’ve vetted and you know will work well together than to try to get eight random cats in a meeting that all of a sudden they’re just not showing up.

They’re not taking it seriously because you know, to start with, maybe you don’t want to take money. We’ll just get, hey, talk to people. Straight up, Hey, this is really important. Can you commit to, to doing this? And it’s better to cuz you, one of the things that takes, I think the wind outta you is when you arrange, you do all this work and you show up and, and people don’t show up.

So one thing that I have is I have people’s email address, we send them reminders, multiple reminders. I’ve got everyone’s phone number, which I can send them a text reminder if I notice they’re not there in the first few minutes. And some people are great. They’re there every single time. Other people do need those little bit reminders, but they appreciate it and it just makes that meeting so great when you get a hundred percent turnout, the first meeting, the second meeting, and all of a sudden people are looking forward to to that being the bright spot in their day.

Pat Flynn: Yeah, it’s in a really good experience, and I hope people take away this, a format that you might be able to implement into your brand and business and your industry. You can become known as the connector and that can develop relationships and you can learn at the same time too. It’s, it’s actually really genius.

Antonio Centeno: And you don’t need to be as, as Pat, you know, this you don’t need to be the top dog in your space to do this.

In fact, that’s a huge advantage if you’re actually at a low level. So many of, I mean, but listen and look what the top dogs need help with. So many of ’em want to connect. They want a community, they want a curated place for them. And so if you provide that atmosphere, they’re gonna wanna show up, they’re gonna wanna be there.

And all you have to do is convince one, and then another one’s gonna wanna be with that other one. And then you got two. And then another one wants to be in there, another one. And next thing you know, you’re having to, to put barriers on how many people you’re going to allow into that mastermind.

Pat Flynn: You are not wrong.

In the Pokemon space. I am a lower level person coming in, kind of quite new to this space, but I wanted to show up and help the other creators who were there. In this June, I’m putting on an event in Anaheim, California, which is not for me. I got a couple of the bigger creators in this space to agree to come.

I befriended them. I, I was a moderator in their channels. I was over-delivering for them, and when one said yes, the next one said yes, and now currently we have 40 creator who are Pokemon YouTubers, many who have been doing this for much longer than me coming to the event and and talking about it. And I’ve had not $1 spent on marketing and many of them are coming, I don’t even have to pay them to come. They want to come, like you said. Yeah, because somebody finally stepped up and said, Hey, we’re gonna all hang out together. And guess what the, what the event’s called. Card Party . We talked about parties a lot today, . So I mean, to wrap that up, it it works. It’s. You know, the relationships are great and, and, and again, hopefully we can provide a great experience so that people want to continue to come back.

But I know that in between events I can reach out to any of these people that we’ve created this space for and say, Hey, like, I need some help with this. If I, if I might need that help. And they’re gonna be more likely to say yes, cuz we’re digging that well. Even though we don’t need to. So, and it’s a community, well, if you will.

Not just for me, but, but for everybody too. So, Antonio, thank you so much for coming on today and sharing exactly how you put this together and, and your story. And again, it just brings me back when I think about eBooks The Smart Way, which was what that book was called. It was, yeah, like a 40 page pdf, like don’t make lead magnets that are 40 pages anymore, that this doesn’t work.

But back then, there wasn’t a lot of information and you grabbed it, you took action and, and here we are now, 15 or so years later, almost, you know, still, still friends, and still talking and still rocking. And congrats on the success on the YouTube channel. I think you’re over 3 million subs now. Amazing.

Well done. Where can people go to watch, listen, absorb all your stuff.

Antonio Centeno: Just type me in Antonio Centeno or Real Men Real Style. You’ll find our contact form on our website, which I love people going through. It’s the easiest, most efficient way to reach me and. Yeah, if anyone has any questions, they can just follow up.

Pat, thank you very much for having me on. Appreciate it.

Pat Flynn: Appreciate you.

All right. I hope you enjoy that interview with Antonio. Longtime friend. We were, we started out together in the blogosphere. That initial video just blew me away, and I, and, and I’m glad he brought up that story, but really just this mastermind, like, I don’t even know if there’s a name for this, a, a limited time only mastermind.

Or a mastermind with a finite amount of time to be in it. I don’t, I don’t know what would you name this thing? Anyway, let me know if you heard this and tag me on Instagram and or Twitter at Pat Flynn and at, I don’t know if it’s Antonio Centeno or Real Men Real Style, but you can find him and let us know what you think and what the name for this kind of mastermind programming should be.

Cuz it’s, I think, really, really smart. And for Antonio to go in and, and admit that he’s not the big dog in the room. He’s, he’s there to learn. But also it’s of benefit to people like me who are in there. It’s just, again, like I said in the beginning, I just love when everybody wins in a situation like this.

I think it’s really great. I think you should do it too. I hope you enjoy this episode. If you want all the links and the resources mentioned in this episode over on the website, head on over to Check out Antonio Peace. Thanks so much and I look forward to serving you in the next episode. Have a good one.

Thank you so much for listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast at I’m your host, Pat Flynn. Sound editing by Duncan Brown. Our senior producer is David Grabowski, and our executive producer is Matt Gartland. The Smart Passive Income Podcast is a production of SPI Media, and a proud member of the Entrepreneur Podcast Network. Catch you next week!

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