Transcript continued from the Episode 063 Show notes

Late Night Listener Feedback

Before we get seriously going here, I wanted to give a shout out to a couple of people on the Facebook fan page. I really appreciate you guys. It just makes my day.

If you can imagine this, usually I’m in some kind of technical meeting about some earth shaking that’s happening across the world and the fate of mankind hangs in the balance, and I’m just beating my head up against the wall trying to figure out how I’m going to solve this problem for some customer or someone inside the company. Then my phone will buzz and I’ll get this Facebook fan post from some listener that I’ve never met before saying something nice or asking a question. That just totally makes my day. I can’t even begin to overstate this, it’s just a big deal. Thank you so much.

There are people, even locally. I had this guy just the other day Cash Car Convert, whose name I don’t actually know, but he will be at Podcamp Dallas so I’m going to get to see him on Saturday and meet him. I love to meet listeners, I’ve been doing that for years now and that’s one of the best parts of this.

Incidentally, Cash Car Convert, if you go and look at his Facebook fan page this is a guy that is about cash cars and it looks to me like making sure that you stay out of debt, whether or not leasing is the right option and so forth. It reminded me and made me think of Dave Ramsey and Gazelle Intensity and all this stuff that Dave teaches. I love Dave Ramsey, and I love the ideas that Dave teaches.

I will tell you one of the best things that you can do for your internet business is to get your personal financial situation in order. It reminded me one of the things that people tell me, they come to me all the time and they say, “Mark, I’ve got financial troubles. I need to make money on the internet because I want to pay off my debt.” That’s great. More cash flow is better. Even Dave Ramsey will tell you if you want to pay your bills down faster, go get a job delivering pizza at night. He talks about that in his books.

I will also tell you that it’s even more powerful if you can flip the problem. The most powerful thing you can do for your small business that you’re trying to create is to get yourself out of debt so that you can be free to run that business and so that you can run it for the right reasons. If you’re running the business solely for the money, or if while you’re trying to run the business you’re worried extensively about money, that’s going to affect the quality of the business and the products that you create.

One of the benefits that I think a lot of people don’t talk about, about financial solvency and having your money right, is that it gives you the freedom to do things like start a small business on the side and not have to worry about the money as the first thing that you’re worried about. Because if you do a good job with things, the money usually follows.

Shout out to Cash Car Covert.

I also wanted to give a shout out to Tommy Kendrick, he’s a new listener and he gives me a thumbs up on the quality of the show, both technically and content wise. I appreciate that, I try hard to make that work. He said he listened to five or six episodes back to back, and even after that, even after suffering through five or six back to back episodes of the podcast, he still liked it. So that’s good. I appreciate that.

Thank you very much for the feedback.

Mastermind Groups for Entrepreneurs

Today I wanted to spend some time responding to Shawn Williams. Shawn left feedback on the Facebook page back in August – sorry it’s taken so long to reply. Shawn’s question was, “Can you tell me more about the mastermind that you are in?”

I thought I would use that as an opportunity to talk about masterminds in general that I have been in, what they can do for you, and what I get out of the ones that I am in personally. I think they fall into three categories and we can talk through those three categories and I can give you some recommendations on what I think you should do, personally, about being in a mastermind.

I guess the first question is; Why be in a mastermind? After all, most of you are already incredibly busy trying to get something done in the first place. Adding something on like a mastermind where you have regular meetings and you’re have to maybe prepare for those meetings, in some cases, that sounds like more work that nobody has time to do.

I think, like all things that you do, you need to have a reason for doing. Why do masterminds? Masterminds go back to this concept around the idea that if you surround yourself with likeminded people that are also willing to tell you the truth that several things will happen. They will inspire you, they will give you honest feedback, and they provide a safe environment for you to test things out and to talk about things that maybe other people wouldn’t understand.

I know that a lot of times one of the problems that people who are trying to start their own business or internet marketing in general, some people face this problem where the people around them don’t understand what it is that they’re really trying to do or don’t understand about the thing that they’re trying to do, so they don’t get the support that they might normally get if they were doing something more normal, more 9:00 to 5:00. The idea of a mastermind is to surround you with likeminded people that can help you.

There are lots of different ways to find these masterminds, and we’ll talk about that a little bit. I think there are basically three different kids and I think you should recognize this. I’ve been in a lot of different kinds of masterminds and I think if you take the broadest definition of mastermind you can consider this to be anything from hanging out on a public forum, like The Warrior Forum, that would be the weakest version of mastermind that I can think of, but it still has the same kind of idea that it has this collection of peers that will give you feedback, all the way to these thousands of dollar cost masterminds that you pay to be a part of it, and everything in between.

There are lots of different kinds of these things, but I think in general all of these masterminds that are truly masterminds and not just coaching courses fall into three distinct categories.

The first category is the kind of mastermind that you get into where on average and in general you’re one of the more experienced people in that mastermind and you end up helping other people a lot more than you get help, or at least more than you get direct help. One of the places where I see this is a coaching forum.

Recently I signed up in the Forever Affiliate coaching forum, because I bought the Forever Affiliate course. As part of that, and to support my buddy Andrew, I hung out in the Forever Affiliate coaching forum and helped people in that forum. Now, I don’t mean to sound arrogant or anything, because I got a lot out of that forum. All I’m saying is that my years of experience in internet marketing and the things that were taught in Forever Affiliate were considerably greater than most of the people that were in that, because they were getting started or they had not been around that long, they had just bought the course and they were learning.

Most of my work in that forum was helping other people. That’s core to my value system, helping people. It turns out that if you’re open to it you can learn a lot about things that are going on in your niche by helping other people with their problems in their niche. As a podcaster, for me to understand what’s in the head of new internet marketers who just chose to pay a lot of money for a course, that’s incredibly value.

So I got an enormous amount of that. Still, this is the kind of mastermind where I’m not going into that mastermind expecting to air my complicated problems and get recommendations against that. I probably could have in a lot of cases, but that’s not the kind of situation I was in there. That’s one kind of mastermind, the kind where you are an authority in the mastermind.

One of the more common kinds of things that people think about when they think about masterminds are the kind of mastermind where you are in a collection of people where you’re all sort of at the same level. This would be the kind of mastermind that I would think of, for example I’m currently in the Podcast Mastermind. While some of us have been podcasting longer than others, the experience and the business models are so widely varied that I’m certainly not in a position where I think I’m there helping the other people. I do help other people, but other people help me too.

That’s more of a peer relationship in that kind of forum. That mastermind relationship is incredibly valuable. You get all kinds of varied points of view from likeminded people whenever you surround yourself with people that are sort of at your same level, maybe plus or minus 100%, that can help you. Maybe they’ve been through stuff that you haven’t been through, you’ve been through stuff that they haven’t been through. In these mastermind meetings usually what we do in that kind of situation is we have a hot seat where someone comes in, or maybe multiple people scheduled ahead of time for the meeting, they present some issue that they want to discuss and then they get feedback on that issue.

Maybe I’m having trouble with my opt-ins, or maybe I’m having trouble with my podcasting workflow, or maybe I can’t decide what my new product should be about, or I can’t decide how to market it or what the price point should be. Since this is a group of trusted people that’s safe to talk to, you can sort of be completely open, if you choose to be, with all the issues around that. Including, “I need this to cost a certain amount because I need to make this much money, because I have these expenses.” You can talk through all of those business issues and that can be incredibly helpful, especially if you’ve got the right group of people.

Things to watch out for in those masterminds are you have to watch out of the Debbie Downers and make sure that your mastermind group doesn’t contain those people that have this negative outlook of failure and doom and who are always whining. It only takes one person like that to completely wipe out a mastermind.

I’m not saying that everyone in the mastermind needs to be Pollyanna and everything is going to be great, wear rose tinted glasses and all of that. I am saying that you want people that are generally optimistic about the future, who are moving forward and aren’t spending all their time looking in the rearview mirror complaining about things that should have been. You don’t want that in your mastermind, I think that’s kind of obvious.

That’s the second kind of mastermind, that’s a peer mastermind. Often, as is the case with the Podcast Mastermind, those masterminds might be administrated and/or moderated by someone that is at that next level. In that situation it’s Cliff; Cliff moderates the Podcast Mastermind and that’s incredibly helpful. In that case, I pay for that privilege. I pay Cliff every month to be a part of that organization.

The value that I get out of it, besides the fact that I get value out of the meetings, is I get the value out of Cliff administering the thing, scheduling the meetings, set up GoToMeeting, keeping track of who is in the hot seat, publishing the audio and the notes after the meetings. He adds an enormous amount of value to that discussion and maintains all these online forums.

That’s another way to split up these masterminds. In general they can be paid or they can be free. They can be ongoing or they can be for a fixed duration. In the case of the Podcast Mastermind, it is ongoing forever as long as Cliff wants to do it and I want to pay for it. That’s sort of the second kind.

The first kind was the kind where you are sort of one of the more experienced people in the room. The second kind was the kind of mastermind where you are in amongst your peers. I think a lot of times that’s the very best kind.

The third kind of mastermind is kind of interesting. I’m in another mastermind with Pat Flynn, Cliff, Leslie from Become a Blogger, and Michael Stelzner from Social Media Examiner, I’ve shown a picture of us. That’s the kind of situation where I’m on the flipside in a lot of ways from the first situation that I mentioned. Compared to these guys and success in this particular niche, I’ve had an enormous amount of success in my life, I have more blessings than I will ever be able to possibly count, but in the case of just raw metrics of how big is your internet business, how big is your reach, how successful are you in that space, I’m the small fish in that pond.

Michael Stelzner is running this seven figure business, Pat Flynn is running this huge blog, Cliff Ravenscraft is the Podcast Answer Man, Leslie took this thing over from Yaro. I’m in there with some heavy hitters. As you can tell, I feel very privileged to be included in that group. While I do bring something to that group, obviously I’m not just a slug not carrying my weight, I don’t think, I do have an enormous amount to gain from being in the presence of that greatness.

This goes back to this age old thing where your income is the average of the five people that you hang out with the most, or if you want to soar with eagles you need to hang out with them, whatever your catch phrase jingle thing is. If you want to be like Pat Flynn, or if you want to be like Cliff Ravenscraft or Michael Stelzner, Michael Hyatt, or one of these guys, you need to set your sites on associating with those kinds of people.

So that’s the third kind of mastermind where whether you paid for it or whether you’re not paying for it and somehow you’ve been able to associate with people who are already at where you’re headed. With this mastermind that I have with these guys it’s also a hot seat situation. I go in there and I tell them my woes and frustrations and they tell me like it is, they’re tough.

To be honest with you, one of the reasons that I was able to get out of this podcast silence thing that I was in the last month or so and get back on the air was because these guys were like, “Hey dude, what are we doing here? Let’s break it down and log the time you’re spending in your day.” Michael Stelzner tearing down my motives and saying, “Look, why are you really doing this? What’s important to you? Tell me what’s going on in your day job.”

These guys are guys that have been there, they’ve done that, and they will talk to you about what’s really going on. We all do the same thing for each other. So that’s another kind of mastermind. It’s a matter of perception and perspective of are you associating with people that are already where you’re headed.

So three kinds. The kind where you’re the guru, the kind where you’re among your peers, and the kind where you’re among the gurus. I think all of those can be incredibly valuable. In some cases these things are worth paying for, and I do. In some cases you’re able to get these things set up and going for free. Another really good mastermind I was involved in where I initially met Pat Flynn was the forums that were associated with the Internet Business Mastery Academy.

The success of these things end up being about the relationships that you build, ultimately. Getting into them a lot of times is about the relationships that you build. I have to tell you, when Cliff Ravenscraft called me and said, “Hey, we’re thinking about starting up this mastermind and we’d like to know if you’d be interested in being in it.” I almost fell out of my chair. That request was born out of the relationship that I had built both with Pat and Cliff.

Fundamental to all of these mastermind groups and what you can get out of them are the relationships that you build. Quite frankly, that’s fundamental to all this kind of relationship marketing business. It really is about what you’re willing to do to help other people get what they want.

I know you guys probably get tired of hearing me talk about that, but in the next episode we’re going to talk about how that very concept is something that keeps coming back to me. It just came back to me in an email that I’m going to share with you next week from a friend of mine who actually mentioned me in a sermon, of all places. We’ll talk about that next week. I know the idea of mentioning me in a sermon is frightening. As far as I know, that guy was not struck by lightning, but we’ll talk about it next week.

What we’re talking about here is there are really good reasons to do masterminds, there are different kinds of masterminds that you might choose to become a part of. It makes sense to me to say something crazy like, I think every solo entrepreneur, everyone out there, without exception, should probably have some kind of mastermind relationship going on. Whether that’s being part of a closed forum that you maybe even pay for, or if it’s being part of a small group of friends that are doing what you’re doing that are at your level, or whether it’s paying for a coaching course for a little while that has a forum. I really think that you should do that and there are lots of ways to do that.

I probably would even recommend that if you know a few people that are in your niche or that you’ve met and you like this idea, just contact them and say, “I’m thinking about having an informal group. We’re going to get together on Skype once a week and talk about what’s going on.” Just start that with two, three, or four people, call that your mastermind and try that for awhile.

I will caution you to make sure that you have some mechanism for making sure that you are getting involved with people that are going to build you up and not tear you down. Just be careful and watch out for the Debbie Downers and these kind of people that will bring you down. Other than that, I think masterminds are absolutely fantastic and highly recommended for all solo entrepreneurs out there.

Shawn, I hope that answers your question.

If you guys have more questions about masterminds or specific questions about anything like that or want to know how to start one up, just drop me a line in the show notes and I’ll be happy to help you in absolutely any way that I can because if I help you, that’s what I’m about, it gets me what I want. I’ve said this a billion times; you get what you want in life by helping other people get what they want.

Wrapping Things Up…

That wraps it up for this week. I hope you guys had an absolutely fantastic time. I know that I did, because I am bound and determined for this to be a weekly show. We are going to make that happen somehow, some kind of way.

I’ve got lots of stuff coming up…

  • I’ve been using Rank Crew, which is a new link building tool from Jon Leger. You can check that out at I’ll be reviewing that.
  • In the coming weeks I’ll be talking about how I was mentioned in sermon.
  • I’m going to devote an entire episode to what I am doing and plan to do with Forever Affiliate.
  • I have some serious plans for Niche Site Duel 2.0, I’ve been working on that a little bit in the background and I’ll be working on it a lot more.
  • I’m going to be doing the common man’s version of the Niche Site Duel for people who are overwhelmed by the magnificent greatness of Pat’s food truck project, which is truly awesome.

We’ll be talking about all that and more, right here on the Late Night Internet Marketing Podcast.

Thanks. Talk to you soon.

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