Tag Archive: Mastermind


Joining A Mastermind

Earlier this year I joined a Mastermind.

I had never heard of one until I started listening to podcasts at the beginning of 2017.  It piqued my curiosity and I did a little research.  In case you’re curious, here’s the official definition of “mastermind”:

verb (used with object)

1. to plan and direct (a usually complex project or activity), especially skillfully:

Two colonels had masterminded the revolt.

noun

2. a person who originates or is primarily responsible for the execution of a particular idea, project, or the like:

the masterminds of company policy.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/mastermind?s=t

To join a Mastermind in this current day and age, it is basically a combination of the two definitions above – “A group of people who get together to plan and direct the execution of each individual’s ideas, projects or activities.”

Some Masterminds meet in person for an intense, multi-day, session.  Some Masterminds meet weekly, either in person or over videoconferencing, for a specific time-frame.  I’m sure there’s other formats out there, but these are the two I’m currently familiar with.  The Mastermind I joined met weekly over videoconferencing.  This allowed people from around the world to join in the sessions.

The format is simple – each week, a person in the group is the “focus” person.  The focus person brings an issue or project they are struggling with to the group and asks for ideas on how to solve the problem.  Each member of the group asks questions, if necessary, and then offers their own suggestions and ideas on how they would approach the issue or project.

I went into the sessions without having a clear idea of what I would be getting myself into.  I’m not even sure what I wanted out of the sessions for myself.  I explained that in the first session, nervous that they would point at me and declare me an intruder.  That didn’t happen – they, too, expressed that they didn’t know why they joined and only had vague ideas on what they wanted out of the sessions.

After the first session, I remembered a conversation I had with a family member a few months prior.  We were talking about the insights I had gained about myself earlier in the year – my desires, beliefs, actions; the impostor syndrome I struggled with; and my own lack of self-respect.  They commented, “This conversation is too deep for me!”  THAT is why I joined this Mastermind.  I want the deep conversations.  I want to dig down and find the root of an issue.  I want to know the “why” because the “why” explains the action.

Looking back at the 12 weeks, I have gained the following understandings of both myself and the world around me:

  • We all struggle with areas in our life that aren’t visible to others.
    • This should be a “no-brainer” – but sometimes you must remind yourself of this fact – at least, I do.
  • It is okay to be me and not apologize for it.
    • Using my strengths is not a weakness when others are threatened by them. That is their issue, not mine.
    • Keep doing and being me.
  • There is a solution to my problem/issue.
    • I just need to keep searching and asking until I find the right solution for me.
  • When I find a solution to my problem/issue, seeing the “finished” project in my head does NOT mean that the project is actually complete.
    • I tend to “see” projects in the finished state and when asked about the status of said project, replying with “it’s done”. Only one part – the planning step – is actually complete.  This doesn’t mean the project is complete.
    • This was a HUGE revelation to me! It explains why I have so many incomplete projects lying around in my world.

I’m still gaining insights into myself from things recommended and suggested during the 12 week Mastermind.  I have a list of books, podcasts and ideas waiting to be explored that were suggested, not only to me, but to the others in the group that I too want to dive deeper into.

I now have international friends I can connect with to explore ideas, share wins and encourage them in their struggles while they encourage me in mine.  This is the best take-away from the entire experience.

Would I join another Mastermind if time and money were not factors?  Absolutely.

Would I recommend you join a Mastermind if you are thinking about it?  Definitely.

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I Am Learning

It’s been three months since I posted last.  I’m not even sure what I posted – just that it’s been that long ago.

I’ve had a lot going on these past few months.  I joined, and have now completed, a twelve week mastermind group.  I’ve completed several projects and goals – both personal and professional.  And I’m continuing on my journey to figuring out who I am.

There’s a lot to be said about looking inward and figuring out who you are.  Plenty of people with more verbal wisdom than myself have been able to express it more eloquently than I have.  I know that for myself, digging deeper into who I truly am versus who I actually show to the world, has been eye-opening and transformational.

I am learning to say no when I need to.

I am learning to say yes when I want to.

And I am learning that the only person who should care about my answers is me.

I said no to my boss at work recently.  She was suggesting I volunteer for a project that has no direct impact on my job and one that I have no interest in (and gave me the opportunity to decline the project).  I thought about it for several days before giving her an answer.  I considered all sorts of angles – political, organizational, networking, potential knowledge gain and experience.  None of the angles had any benefit to myself that I could discern.  At least, not enough benefit to outweigh the fact that I had no desire to do the project at all.

My working world didn’t end when I told her no.

When I said yes to the mastermind – I had no idea what I was in for.  I compare it to a group therapy session where you’re putting your personal problems out there and listening to possible solutions to those problems.  The problems our group had were both professional and personal – help with email organization, how to make time for ourselves, how to say no without sounding like a witch, how to leverage our strengths while still working on our weaknesses.

I learned that I love to create.

I learned that I love to help others think through their problems.

I learned that I need to love myself for who I am – regardless of what others think of me.

I learned that I have a lot to offer the world just by being me – imperfections and all.

When someone tells me “quit trying to be so perfect” – I now have a new response of “I’m being me, nothing more, nothing less.”  They’re the one who is intimidated by my “perfectionism” – not me.  Being self-assured is not the same as being arrogant – although I understand why people confuse the two.

I know who I am and I know I’m a work in progress.  I’m not going to dim my light because someone else doesn’t want me shining a light on their own darkness.

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Filling The Void

I’m in a weird spot at the moment.  Weird for me anyway.

My mind is blank.

There’s nothing in it that is causing me to stress, worry or plan.

I’m at a loss for what to do with this emptiness.

There are no future plans for me to work on currently.

There are no external events happening for me to stress over.

Nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.

So…what do I do with my time?

Nothing productive – I can tell you that!

I should be studying.  I’m not.  I should be planning the next home improvement project.  They’re already planned.  I should be stressing over what to do with Monkey over the summer vacation.  She’s 16, she doesn’t want to spend it with us, so will end up going to her mom’s house for most of the time – her mom will have to take over the stress this time!

I joined and was accepted into the Mastermind Group.  We’re two weeks in to the 12 week course.  Next week is my week to share what I am struggling with and what I would like help with.

I can’t figure out a good answer to that right now.

I’m happy with my decision to not change jobs – however, my current job’s management is getting on my nerves.  I have a coworker that needs help, but refuses to allow me to help her (I’ve offered multiple times); causing chaos in the office when her work is less than stellar.

Hun is stressed and depressed – but I don’t know how to help him in a way that will allow me to help (we don’t have the money for what he wants – a new boat).

We should be filing for bankruptcy – Hun and I have decided to hold off on that for now – we want to explore another avenue that won’t be available until August.

So…what to do…what to do…

I seem to thrive on my schedule being just a tad bit hectic – almost not enough time to finish everything – but just barely.  Now that it’s not, I don’t know how to fill the void.

I now know my passion is to create – but how do I handle the lull between projects?

Maturity

While everything in my previous post was happening, I also had a couple of more things going on in my head and mind.

My mind is always a constant whirlwind of thought and ideas and schemes.  Analyzing, considering, rearranging and running through scenarios of what could, should, might happen if XYZ or ABC happens instead.  I see patterns and trends and can intuit things before most others even hint that the event may happen.

Because of everything going on in my mind, sometimes it’s hard for me to step back and allow myself time for just me.  I can see the patterns in everyone else, but reflecting on my own joys and desires is difficult.  It feels selfish, even though I know logically it is not.

So, I have considered and finally agreed to join a mastermind group.

My understanding of the group is that it is for personal growth and accountability through sharing ideas, hopes, dreams and struggles.  As I have never done anything like this before, I am excited and a little nervous to hear back on whether I have been accepted or not into the group.  Stay tuned for more info!

I’ve also been considering what I could do for Rowdy for his birthday coming up.

He will be 19 and is still living with his mom, Jetsam.  He’s been through several jobs, none of them long-term, and still does not have a driver’s license or vehicle.  He has to rely on Jetsam, LaLa or friends to give him rides to work and this has partially played a role in his work history.

I sent him a text asking if we could talk.  He responded and we figured out a time frame that would work for both of us.  I picked him up on my way home from work and we talked while I was making dinner.  We actually laughed and joked through several things and while not completely relaxed, it seemed comfortable to me.

We talked about what he wanted for his birthday – and he was quick to point out that he “wanted” a lot of things, but that he “needed” a driver’s license, a vehicle and a job.  I was proud of him for making that distinction on his own!  I pointed out that while his dad and I probably couldn’t buy him a vehicle, there may be other things we could do to help him out.

We did a little research and found out due to his age that he could do online driver’s education course for only $50.00 and about 6 hours of coursework.  He could then qualify for his permit and/or go straight to the driving test and hopefully pass and get his license.  I offered to pay for the course and allow him to use our computer at any point to work on and finish the course.  He seemed thankful for the offer and stated he would let me know when his schedule was open for working on the course as he already had several prior commitments.

We talked about many things that night.  One of the things Rowdy mentioned was that he was a “dumb know-it-all teenager who wouldn’t have listened to our concerns, even if we had expressed it in a way he would have understood.”  I had to bite my tongue to not comment that he was still a “teenager”.  It wasn’t what he was trying to convey in that moment.

I heard something entirely different.  It was the closest I have ever heard him come to an apology for how he treated us when he lived with us before.  I will probably never hear an actual apology from him for how he disrespected me through the years.  Hearing a true apology will probably make me cry.  At this point, I don’t need to hear one to be honest.

Watching and listening to him mature, speaking about things that I know he learned from us, is all that I need or want from him.  It is all I ever wanted from any of the kids.  To know they will be able to take care of themselves as adults and be safe.

I’m so proud of Rowdy!