Business Mastermind

What Can Skillshare do for You?

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Stephanie Angelo

Guest Post by Adrianna Huff

Disclaimer: I have paid for my own Skillshare membership, and this post is not sponsored by Skillshare. (#NotAnAd)

Lifelong learner

I call myself a lifelong learner, and when I find a great learning resource (at an affordable price), I have to share it. I’ve heard about Skillshare for a while now in various articles and blog posts over the years, but it wasn’t until our CFO (Chief Focus Officer) Stephanie Angelo from the High Stakes Mastermind Group started presenting Skillshare videos that I picked up a membership and started watching.

Skillshare is an online learning platform where teachers post videos that students can watch. Typically there are also projects that can be completed. What is great about Skillshare, is that anyone with a membership can watch videos that are of interest. Learners do not have to enroll in classes, and there is feedback from instructors. New videos are posted constantly, and as of this blog post there are over 21,000 classes.

Videos on all topics

There are videos on all topics, from Photography to Productivity, and I found myself being drawn to and watching videos relating to Entrepreneurship, Passive Income, Productivity and Efficiency Measures, and Developing a Great Workplace.

Stephanie currently has two classes live on Skillshare, “How to Make Workplace Accountability Cooler Than Your Competitors Do” and “Mastering Strategic Thinking Skills for Maximum Impact in Your Organization”. I watched both lessons (they were about 45 minutes each), which provided me with good information without leaving me committed for hours.

As a finance person, I found the workplace accountability lesson to be valuable in that Stephanie explained how workplace accountability can hurt companies in both productivity, but also the bottom line. For entrepreneurs especially, workers without accountability can de-rail a really successful company and make the already difficult entrepreneurial journey more challenging.

Strategic thinking

Additionally, the strategic thinking lesson was a great reminder to me to do two things in my own life and career work: think proactively and spend some time just thinking. I can sometimes get mired into the small details making my life very reactionary. By remembering to actually look at my goals and my entrepreneurial horizon I can develop new opportunities. As well, instead of just jumping (sometimes without thinking) I should take a step back and actually look at the whole picture.

What Stephanie teaches in her videos, is the same way she approaches our High Stakes Mastermind Group meetings. We have accountability from her to meet our goals as well as proactive work to keep our businesses moving forward. I would highly recommend both of her videos and to start taking Skillshare classes.

Have you heard of Skillshare? What are your favorite learning resources?

Stephanie Angelo creates #businessmastermind teams that make more money, blow away the competition and have better businesses as a result. Talk to Stephanie about #HighStakesMastermindGroups either by phone (480) 646-2400 or email at .




Brain Storming

Handling “Stuckness”

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Photo by Rob Potter

By Adrianna Huff

A few years ago, I started to feel stuck. I didn’t just wake up one morning and feel stuck, but rather it snuck up on me slowly. Since it felt like more of a professional “stuckness”, I started frantically applying for jobs, looking for classes, and haphazardly trying to change my professional world. I wasted a lot of money, and ended up feeling a little burnt out before I found my right direction.

I learned some valuable lessons on feeling stuck and how to handle “stuckness”. Here are the suggestions I would give to myself in the future.

  1. Assess the current situation:

For me at least, feeling stuck drives from not being challenged. Instead of making a drastic movement to get out of “stuckness”, take a minute and review the situation. Talk about it with a friend, co-worker, or fellow High Stakes Mastermind Group member. Is there a new role or challenge that I can be taking? Can I find a new niche within what I am doing that will give me the challenge? Sometimes, it just takes a little thinking outside the box to find a new opportunity to get unstuck.

  1. Complete some outside of work training:
    While I would like to think I get my entire professional fulfillment from work, this isn’t true. In the future, I would look for classes to take to broaden my career knowledge or personal interests. There are opportunities through (including those taught by High Stakes Mastermind Group leader, Stephanie Angelo),, local community college classes, and even webinars online. Not only could I have continued to develop myself professionally, but I may have found personal fulfillment in the training.
  2. Research, Research, Research:
    I sound like my music instructor from my childhood (practice, practice, practice), but I can’t stress more the importance of research. If you decide to change roles or the way you structure your business, read about the benefits and implications. Make sure it is a good fit, before jumping.
  3. Step away:
    One of the best things for me when I feel stuck is to step away from the situation. I don’t mean to completely avoid it, but instead I try to stop focusing on it. Stepping away for a short break provides me with clarity, and allows me to think clearly. Instead of feeling like I must fix the problem, I am able to make sure I know what I need. Again, speaking with a friend, co-worker, or your fellow High Stakes Mastermind participant may provide you with a new perspective.
  4. Make a plan of action:
    Instead of acting in panic mode, slowly and carefully make a plan of action. I don’t know of any situations that have been well handled in a reactionary state. Draft up a goal plan (like we do in our High Stakes Mastermind Group) and make logical steps to complete those goals. Either have your High Stakes Mastermind Group hold you accountable or a friend or co-worker can keep you accountable to your new action plan.
  5. Give yourself grace:
    If in the end, if you take what you believe to be a well considered leap, and it doesn’t work out, give yourself grace. Everyone makes mistakes, I firmly believe it is better to try something new (and later find out it was not right) than to live in constant fear of not making the right choice. I would rather learn my decision did not completely meet my needs than to live in a state of “if only”.

How do you handle “stuckness”? Do you have any additional suggestions on how to make professional or personal changes?


Adrianna Huff is a member of High Stakes Mastermind Groups




High Stakes Mastermind Groups

Who Knew? My Mother Would be Proud of Me for These Collaborations!

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At the first High Stakes Mastermind Group’s social event, a happy hour, I personally invited people I thought would be excellent members of the groups to meet some of the current members who are known for their collaborations and teamwork approach mindsets.  We had such a blast that evening so we stayed at the venue well past the ending time of the event.  But the conversations and connections were just too good to cut short.

I predicted certain invitees would really hit it off with others.  Sure enough, not only were the social connections and collaborations immediate, but right in front of me business deals were made.  I knew it!  In other words, that evening went above and beyond just the social event it was intended to be.  I mean, the instant teamwork was really inspirational!

Looking back before that event and forward from the days since then, many more such business deals have generated.  Click, click, click.  That easily.  I discovered something about myself that I even mentioned in a Tweet and Facebook update; I’m very skillful at creating collaborations and relationships that get results.

Do I feel funny about “blowing my own horn”? Nope!  Here’s why- because it benefits other people.  It’s a tremendous feeling to put two or more people together and see them both gain and achieve business and personal goals as a result.  That’s what High Stakes Masterminds is founded on.

So I created a diagram to illustrate the trend.

This diagram represents some of the various businesses that are members of HSMmG and their collaborations with each other.

Businesses that are members of HSMmG

See how our members, coming from various industries gain from the close relationships with each other?

High Stakes Mastermind groups are for masterminding. We are not a networking group. Although, of course, close trusted relationships develop.  And the members of the Mastermind groups tend to do more business with one another than anybody else they meet through a networking group. They get to know each other on a more intimate and confidential basis and so they trust one another, do business with one another, and refer one another. Not because they have to, like a BNI group, but because they choose to.

Our Physician used one of the retailer members for specialty products.  The marketer has done projects for other members.  The restaurant owner’s venues will provide locations for our events.  The relator and interior designer make for cross referrals as they are auxiliary businesses.

This contributes to people who are members of Mastermind groups growing their businesses as at a rate 15% higher than people who are not in Mastermind groups.

If you’d like to be a part of that, you need only to start with the first step of contacting me.  You can see the four possible group times, so there’s something for everyone here!

You can be part of this pretty picture – and make your mother proud too!


Accountability Partners

The Ultimate Success Plan – Masterminding with Confidants

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Senior Lady Giving an idea to her Colleagues
Mastermind member sharing an idea to her group

The Ultimate Success Plan – Masterminding with Confidants

The journey to the top of your game, no matter what industry you’re in, can be a very lonely one, especially if you are a solopreneur or an entrepreneur. Sometimes, it will seem like nobody really understands you, from the professional challenges you face to the personal and social sacrifices that are sometimes involved with such a heavy time commitment as running your own business.

So as you climb the ladder, it’s exceptionally important to build your personal network of support and confidants.  “Confidants”.  Interesting word, right?  Webster’s Dictionary describes “confidant” as “one to whom secrets are confided”.  I can tell you from my years of Mastermind experience that one of the toughest issues that holds people back from progress is not having anyone to talk to.  And I mean really talk to.

Confidants can help you in a number of ways. People that you meet in High Stakes Mastermind groups, for example, understand what challenges you’re facing, because they’re in the same positions and know those challenges to be true. Over time relationships and trust builds, which allow for the sharing of ideas, solutions and strategies. Confidants willingly share advice with you that worked in similar situations for them.

Confidants are important for every business person, but are even more important when you’re self-employed. This is because for much of the time, you’re likely working independently, or with your staff, without the aid of a corporate headquarters. Often, this means that you have no peers to bounce ideas for solutions and strategies off of. Those you are working with are often not on the same level.

Mastermind group members are often in other lines of work, and they can become true confidants with nothing to gain from your industry secrets.

One final promise for having confidants in a Mastermind group: that it’s an especially good idea to have confidants who are as successful and trained as you are, or even more so, to discuss ideas and strategies with – and to help you discover solutions to problems unique to your business.

We know confidentiality is so important our members sign a promissory agreement. But fear not, you’ll still see the evidence of it – in their success.


Humming bird only teeny tiny

Brain Storming

7 Success Habits Made Simple

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(Part 3 of 3)

Success Habits
Here’s what Stefan and I wrote together on success habits when we combined the tips that we thought would be most helpful for you.

In Part One of this 3-part series August 31st I posted, “What Can You Say About Your Success Habits”, I mentioned 7 routines from my own personal list of Success Habits.

That list was:

  • Get Up Earlier
  • Have a Morning Routine
  • Exercise
  • Read
  • Visualize
  • Write it Down
  • Set time limits

I actually have more success habits than what I posted in Part 1; but the main 7 are what I wanted to emphasize for you.

PART 2,Where Did You Get That Habit?” was posted 9/28/16 expands on those habits to give you more explanation and tips on how they can be helpful for you. I asked a colleague of mine Steffen Becker to collaborate on these blogs with me. Steffen is a success habits coach.  Steffen lives in Dresden, Germany and we have worked together on this and a few other projects.

Here’s what Stefan and I wrote together on habits when we combined the tips that we thought would be most helpful for you.

 7 Success Habits

Get Up Earlier

Sometimes the people our point of view, this is unnecessary.  Everybody have the same time, the same 24 hours a day, and the same seven days a week. The way we handle that time is the difference. What will it mean to you, if you would get up just half an hour earlier?  Think how much more you could do with 30 more minutes a day. This means over 180 hours a year, which is more than a month of work. Just reading about how much we accomplish in 30 minutes a day, makes us feel better!

Have a Morning Routine

Now that you’re up earlier, what you do with that time has to count.  Make it to your benefit.  It sets the tone for the rest of the day, including the frame of mind you create for yourself and the outlook by which you’ll handle the day’s work and events.  Though work colleagues Steffen and Stephanie are on two different continents, they found they start their days the same way:  head to the kitchen for a big glass of water. With good hydration, they’re ready to go.

That’s where the rest of the routine comes in.  Continue reading for more.


It isn’t news to anybody that regular exercise is extremely important to physical and mental health.  A person who regularly exercises feels more alert more ready for the day, and ready for everything that happens during the day. We’ve all heard the Nike® slogan “Just do it”. That is so true. Even if you start by walking once around the block every day for a week, then next week you can add twice around the block and the next week 3 times around the block. Whatever it is; just start with something. You will find that you can’t imagine your life without exercise. People who begin a regular exercise routine find that everything else comes to them more easily; they’re happier, they feel better about themselves, and somehow they just seem to attract more business. It’s the most wonderful phenomenon you can have in your life. So just start somewhere – but start.


Years ago friend of Stephanie’s said, “When you stop learning you start going backwards”. That’s something that Stephanie never forgot. There are so many amazing business books out there. There are shelves and shelves of self-help books, there are books on meditation, there are books on how to speak more easily in public. There are books on every subject imaginable. How can you stop feeding your brain?

(If you’re interested in a list of Stephanie’s favorite business books and business authors feel free to send her an e-mail she’d love to share with you her favorite books.)


Visualizing makes things happen. For example, if you’re about to give a presentation sit quietly and just imagine yourself on that stage looking at the faces of the audience.  Imagine yourself connecting with each person and making contact eye contact with different people around the room, letting your eyes hold one another’s for at least two seconds before you look to another person. Visualize yourself relaying the message that you want to get across. Visualize what you want them to think and feel as a result of your presentation. It will happen almost exactly the way you visualize it.

Visualize the income that you want to make by the end of the next year visualize it coming to you visualize it happening and it will.  When you visualize success and visualize attracting business, attracting customers, and attracting good relationships they happen because that’s what you draw to you. Similar to exercise it’s something that you have to work at every single day. For many people it’s a change in the way they think.  And it becomes a new habit.

Write it Down

Some people have an aversion to writing. That’s a curious thing as it seems that just because we’re in the digital age people can no longer write.  Yet there is something amazingly therapeutic about taking a pen to a piece of paper and just writing for 20 to 30 minutes without stopping. You will be amazed at how your thoughts begin to flow.

If that’s not your style you can always type. But know that “writing it down” makes things happen.  Write your goals; what exactly do you want to achieve by the end of next year?  Clarify it in writing if you are currently earning, for example, $60,000 a year and your goal is $100,000 write it down.  If your sales are half a million and your goal is to make them 100 million you have to write it.  There’s a saying, “A goal that is not written down is only a wish”. We believe that writing things down even – if it’s brief, makes things clearer, more concise and more easily achieved.

Even if you start with just a few minutes a day writing becomes one of the most powerful and success have one of the most powerful success habits you can have.

Set time limits

L’Oréal® commercials made the phrase, “Because I’m worth it” famous, recognizable, and on the tip of everyone’s tongue.  Here, we suggest setting time limits because we encourage the ability to accomplish each of the success habits we discussed above.  Each habit requires no more than 10 to 30 minutes a day.  To make them happen, set time limits with yourself.  Like scheduling meetings with yourself.  Because you’re worth it.

As Steffen puts it, we have to change our habits to create a better environment for ourselves.

And a final thought from Stephanie: If you want something in your life to change; you have to change how you live your life.

Samuel Smiles put it best:

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act;

Sow an act, and you reap a habit;

Sow a habit, and you reap a character;

Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”