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

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!


How Accountability Helps You Master Your Goals

Master Your Goals


As the facilitator of High Stakes Mastermind Groups, I see lots of driven, organized people.  And they’re reaching their goals through accountability.

These people know what they are doing. These people have it together.  They are executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, trail blazers and leaders. They’re educated, and have big dreams. Often, they’ve made their dreams come true without people believing in them, and without people behind them 100%. Still, they have persevered and made it happen.

It takes guts, courage and no excuses. And the reality is, everyone needs someone, especially when they are setting new goals.

Goals have a way of falling apart when you don’t have someone to hold you accountable. When nobody is looking, you may take it easier on yourself. Nobody is watching, you think, so if you fail, it’s not a big deal.

That’s where Mastermind Groups come in.

Mastermind groups are like having your own Board of Directors. Except you’re not obligated to do what they tell you – they exist for you. That’s the truly cool part. It’s not just having one accountability partner, but many. They offer you professional relationships where the members support, empower and hold each other accountable for their actions. That is the way that members help each other to achieve their specific goals by coming up with thoughtful, useful and timely information that will add value to the lives and careers of group members.

As a member, you’re being backed by and collaborating with some of the strongest, smartest and best thinkers and leaders out there – the people in some of the top leader and executive roles available. Not only are they helping you by feeding your mind with positive energy and fuel to reach your goals, but you’re helping them, as well.  Some people think, “I have nothing to contribute.  These people are way more accomplished than I am”. Well, allow me to stop you right there.  Everyone has something of value to give, over and over again.

We’ll even empower you to contribute- because it’s the cornerstone of your own accountability.  Through accountability we help you master your goals.

Improve Your Masterminding Made Simple: It’s about seeing the bigger picture.


Don’t you agree; people have an interesting habit?  Maybe it comes from ego or their sense of self-esteem but they feel like they have to do everything themselves and that not doing everything by themselves as a sign of weakness. But the contrary is really the truth.  Strong people know how to ask for help. They know how, when and where to seek help and know that it’s a sign of strength to recognize your own limitations. Really we cannot do everything all by ourselves.  Somethings gonna give.  It’s called resourcefulness.  We call it Masterminding.

That’s where masterminding comes in.  It’s the collaboration of like-minded individuals.  It’s also the collaboration of non-likeminded individuals.  You don’t want to get too homogenized or stagnant.  You want people with a breadth of expertise and experience. That’s how we build our businesses and not just do the business.

The really interesting thing is that sometimes we are so close to our own situation that we don’t see what’s right in front of us.  We miss really important and valuable pieces of information as a result.  For example, in one of my groups an individual was talking about trying to keep in contact with a potential client that she’s trying to secure and she wants to come up with interesting newsfeeds and magazine articles to send him for periodic “touches”.   One thing she had completely missed was the fact that her targeted company now has a new subsidiary.  While she knew this new subsidiary was just launched, she had completely forgotten the value of saying something about it to this potential client.  Another member had to mention it as a “Why don’t you write to him about their new subsidiary…?”

Masterminding is so powerful because other people who are not so close to your situation see the things that are seemingly obvious but yet to those of us that are deeply rooted in a situation often don’t see for ourselves. It’s about seeing the bigger picture. Wouldn’t you like to have several more sets of eyes? Wouldn’t you like to have several more brains adding their powerful thoughts to your business?

To improve your mastermind time even more here are a few tips:

  • Prior to the meeting prepare shorts notes of what to ask your group members what you need from them.
  • Think about the current issues in your business or goals timeline. Choose just the most salient points you need addressed.
  • Prepare a couple questions around those points.
  • Open your mind to seeing the bigger picture.
  • Listen and take notes.

You’re thinking of building your business, and you’re planning for next year.  How you will achieve your business goals for 2017?  Think about the strategies in play and the approach you need in order to make your goals for 2017 a reality.   Our members don’t just make resolutions – they take action to make realities.



7 Success Habits Made Simple

(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.”



How Mastermind Groups Help You Solve Business Problems

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.


Humming bird only teeny tiny