Accountability Partners

Confidence and Confidants

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Photo by Farah Kanaan, www.KeepExploring.co (High Stakes Mastermind Group member)

Do You Have Confidence and Confidants?

The subject of confidants came up in our #HighStakesMastermindGroups today, because within the groups we grow to have such a great deal of trust between members, that they really tell each other things that would not be said to anyone else.  They know that what they say stays in the room because everybody signs a confidentiality agreement. But it does go farther than that, the members of the groups develop really close bonds and they become very comfortable in their ability to tell each other things that they would not be able to say to anybody else.

As their leader (and observer) that feels great because I know that I’ve been the catalyst in bringing these people together that become so close to one another. It is a little different for me because I don’t confide in them, so they really don’t have a lot of knowledge about my own personal life – and it needs to be that way.  Although I feel very comfortable in the fact that if something really went ‘south’ and I needed them, I know they would be there for me.

Why it Matters

The journey to the top of your game, no matter what industry you are in, can be a very lonely one. Sometimes, it will seem like nobody really understands, from the professional challenges you face to the personal and social sacrifices that are sometimes involved with such a heavy time commitment.

As you climb the ladder, it’s important to build your personal network of support and confidants.

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 are in the same positions and know those challenges to be true. Over time, a relationship and trust builds, which allow for the sharing of ideas and advice.

Confidants become even more important when you are self-employed 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 off of for solutions and strategies. Those you are working with are often not on the same level, so it’s a good idea to have confidants who are as successful and trained as you to discuss things with and to help you find solutions to unique problems.

Who Has Your Back?

One final argument for having confidants in a Mastermind group: because these people are often in other lines of work, they can become true confidants with nothing to gain from your industry secrets.  And they “have your back”.

I’ll never forget how a former mentor of mine once said that Mastermind groups are to grow “confidence and confidants” – and I am very confident that we have successfully done both.

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 Stephanie@StephanieAngelo.com .

 

 

 

High Stakes Mastermind Groups

Strategic Thinker – Sometimes You’re Not Born That Way

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Photo by Jonathan Simcoe

A friend of mine, who I found to be the consummate strategic thinker, was a sales and franchising expert. He spent years consulting with people who had sunk their saving into franchises because they were sold on the promises of making money “in their sleep”.  Now they were overworked and in debt.

I’m not saying buying into a franchise is a poor choice.  Not at all.  If you’re prepared, educated, have the funds and are ready to put it a lot of hours.  Practice being a strategic thinker. Think intentionally before you commit.  That’s true of any business decision.  And strategic thinking doesn’t mean you mull over it endlessly.  It means look at the decision from every angle – top, bottom, sides and end to end.  In his article Are You A Strategic Thinker? Test Yourself, Peter Walsh lets you answer for yourself.

Let’s just bring it into a smaller scope for the sake of this blog – your individual business.

Rather than constantly reacting to everything that comes up, keep it a list of the regular questions that your customers, clients, friends and contacts are consistently asking you. Do people at networking events ask you the same questions over and over?  Then the strategic move would be to answer the questions before they are asked. Be prepared with what you need to say, or do, in order to answer your client’s questions.  Anticipate them.

Sometimes the biggest barrier to strategic thinking is simply having the time to think at all. people who allow themselves time to quietly think and reflect upon choices and “the big picture” find ways to connect what would never otherwise have been connected at all and therefore come up with the most brilliant ideas, or comfortably decide which projects to pursue. Like Bill Gates’ famous “Think Weeks”.

Practice being a critical thinker – and not one that’s easily sold on every idea that’s thrown your way. Some people are easy targets for every “shiny object” that’s set before them. Practice saying “no” and giving yourself time to reflect and do research.

The solopreneurs and entrepreneurs I work with nearly always tell me that in one way or another they feel alone, isolated, even “in a silo”.  The best way out of that stifling position is to join a mastermind group. There, in the right group that is, you will feel empowered, energized, respected, trusted, and valued. And you will exercise your strategic thinking.

Most successful strategic thinkers are not born that way but they learned to exercise their strategic thinking “mental muscle” and the best place to do that is in a mastermind group. In a mastermind group you can get honest feedback and fresh ideas from other individuals. There you can verbalize your thoughts and gain clarity from others.  Leaving you the opportunity to make informed decisions.

“Internal” mastermind groups that are within a single organization, work well to develop and enhance strategic thinking.  They are most successful when lead by an outside facilitator who has no bias within the company.

Mastermind groups where not everyone belongs to the same company, or the same industry, are the most beneficial way to do this. In a group of people from different disciplines and different levels of expertise you will get new and fresh ideas in the least homogenized fashion.

There you will also find accountability where your feet are “held to the fire” in the most supportive way so that if you tend towards “analysis paralysis” you’ll be forced to make decisions. That force is what exercises your muscle. It’s a little uncomfortable but over time it helps you think better faster, stronger and more clearly.  Before you know it, voila, you’re a strategic thinker.

 

 

 

Brain Storming

What Can You Say About Your Success Habits?

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In his 1937 classic self-improvement book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill writes the famous line, "Success and failures are the results of habits."
In his 1937 classic self-improvement book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill writes the famous line, “Success and failures are the results of habits.”

Inspiration From Other’s Success Habits

In his 1937 classic self-improvement book, Think and Grow RichNapoleon Hill writes the famous line, “Success and failures are the results of habits.” Whatever your goals, those words are well-worth noting. There’s a reason why the book has sold more than 100 million copies. Think and Grow Rich is about more than business, as Hill’s philosophy about the link between habits and success can be applied to any goal.

So how to you start a good habit? The first step is to surround yourself with people who will encourage to reach for the top. That’s one reason to join a Mastermind group. Belonging to a group where everyone is motivated, will support you and where you can ask for advice or ideas will form the basis for good habits that can lead you to success.

It is written that it takes approximately three weeks to develop a habit and make it stick. Once you join a Mastermind group, give it a fair shot. Participate to the fullest extent. Make contacts, follow up with people and help others. Meet your deadlines. Remember that a late project or a missed deadline can tarnish your reputation as a reliable worker and cost you work.

My personal list of success habits is:

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

Without question, I can attribute changes and growth in my own business to the day I made a commitment to these seven items on a consistent daily basis.

In my next blog I’ll discuss them further and provide tips.

Are you already at the top? Mastermind Groups can help, in that the groups offer instant contact with your peers who make up some of the smartest, strongest, and best thinkers in their respective industries. By associating with these individuals, you will not only benefit directly by implementing their ideas and suggestions and by learning from their success habits, but indirectly – inspiration from their success will lead you to developing and committing to success habits as well.

Stephanie

Humming bird only teeny tiny

 

Accountability Partners

How Mastermind Groups Help You Solve Business Problems

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How Mastermind Groups Help You Solve Business Problems

As you climb the corporate ladder, you’re also climbing a triangle to the peak. The higher up you get, the fewer people there are at the top. When things are running smoothly, all is well. Things just tick along as they normally do. But how about when you run into a problem? Then there are fewer people to share ideas with. That’s how Mastermind Groups help you solve business problems

It gets even stickier when you are self-employed – you have no corporate headquarters to rely on for advice, and you have no peers in senior management to bounce ideas off of and to ask advice from.

Welcome to the world of High Stakes positions. Sometimes, it may feel like you are operating in isolation. But it doesn’t have to feel that way.

When you’re at the top, joining a Mastermind Group is recommended. When you’re part of a group, you’re instantly surrounded by peers who think big and act on their ideas, just like you. Let’s face it – when you’re at the top, it can be lonely. You’re working with people on the ground level – and while those people are useful cogs that are part of the machine and are needed to get the job done, they won’t help you to get ahead. They won’t give you ideas or solutions to the business problems your company is facing. They are looking to get ahead for themselves, to earn a paycheck, and to survive from day to day.

Realistically speaking, you are operating on a whole other level. In order to grow, you need to surround yourself with people who are smarter and more successful than you – that’s what will help you get ahead. They are vested in helping you to solve business problems.  Why?  Three reasons; 1. Because that’s one of the cornerstone reasons High Stakes was founded on, 2. When you succeed all members succeed, and 3. Your Mastermind partners know that you will do the same for them.  Win, win, win.

The question to ask yourself is, “Am I committed to my own goal achievement?”  If the answer is yes, read on.

High Stakes Mastermind Groups are made up of some of the smartest, strongest, and best thinkers and leaders in your industries. These people will help you to achieve your specific goals, come up with thoughtful, useful and timely information, teach you best practices and lead you to success. Ultimately, the members of these groups will add value to your life, and to the lives and careers of our group members.

These people didn’t get to be tops in their executive roles for no reason. They have much to contribute. Imagine if you had them act as each other’s allies, colleagues and collaborators? These people will give you ideas for solving problems in your business, energize you and give you the momentum to reach your goals, whatever they are. They will improve your communications skills, introduce you to other people and to new ideas and methods you can apply to your company.

If you consider yourself to be a High Stakes thinker, surround yourself with like people. After all, you become who you associate with. And it’s these people who will understand your issues, support you, provide you with ideas for solutions, help you with brainstorming, and challenge you to become a better version of yourself.

Stephanie

Humming bird only teeny tiny