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 .

 

 

 

Business Mastermind

Your Facebook Questions Answered- Part II

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Photo by William Iven

Guest Writer: Adrianna Huff
At our last High Stakes Mastermind Group session, a few more Facebook questions came up. I love researching, so here are the answers to the best of my knowledge.
Now on to the questions:
1. How often does Facebook change its instruction book?

This is a great question, and important for us in our Business Mastermind. I’m making the assumption here that instruction book means algorithm. Based on the article, “Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm History” which has all of the updates since 2006, Facebook makes small updates several times a year. From a general perspective, the updates work to increase user engagement and authenticity across the platform. Recent updates have been to: verify news sources, remove click bait, and focus on personal interaction between users.

While Facebook is constantly making changes, it is still a valuable resource for businesses and marketers to use. It may just take some time to figure out the new layout.

2. Would it help if we “like” each other’s Facebook pages and interact with them?

Yes, it would be a great first step to “like” each other’s Facebook pages. To make sure that all of the posts are seen, under Notifications on the professional pages select “All Posts”. When All Posts are selected, you will be able to see all posts.

While “liking” the pages is a good starting point, it would be even better to share Facebook posts and comment on those posts. Sharing and commenting drives engagement which moves the posts higher up the News Feed.

3. Tell me more about Facebook advertisements. Can you customize them or target to different audiences?

Yes. What is great about Facebook, is that users voluntarily provide demographic information about themselves which can be used for marketing purposes. When developing Facebook advertisements, you can create custom audiences to receive your advertisements. These are created by uploading your current contact and lead lists. Facebook also allows for “Lookalike Audiences” who allow you to create an advertisement audience based off the custom audience. The article, “5 Ridiculously Powerful Facebook Ad Targeting Strategies”, outlines more about advertising with Facebook.

4. What is the average dollar output for targeted advertisements based on various breakdowns with size, reach, etc?
Facebook has a great help section all about advertisements here. Unfortunately, there is no one figure on the average dollar output for targeted advertisements, but according to the AdEspresso article “The Complete Resource to Understanding Facebook Ads Cost -2016 Benchmarks” the average cost per click for Q3 2016 was 27.29 cents and the cost per 1000 impressions was $7.19.
If you decide to use Facebook advertisements, you can select the budget you are willing to spend to run your advertisement. With that budget in mind, Facebook advertisement costs are also dependent on the following factors: the targeted audience (the more competitive the audience, the more the advertisement may cost), the quality of the advertisement (the relevance to the target audience), and the time of year (holiday seasons for example have higher advertisement costs).
5. Is Instagram or Facebook used to validate and hire a professional?
Having strong Instagram and Facebook pages are definitely used when looking to hire a professional. It is always a good idea for small businesses to invest in strong social media presences, because it is a way to affordably display the product or service. Facebook is a great tool, as its reach is huge, and depending on your business, Instagram can also be tremendously beneficial. Artistic professional or service businesses are a good fit for Instagram.
When using Instagram or Facebook, some ideas for marketing your business are to: demonstrate your product or service, go behind the scenes of your product (make it personable), include the whole team, and have your customers show off your work. For us, this is valuable in our peer advisory group.
6. Are advertisements useful or beneficial for service based businesses?

Facebook advertisements can be useful for service based businesses. Based on several articles, including “Choosing the Right Facebook Ad Types for Your Business” by Disruptive Advertising, Facebook advertisements can be a great form of lead generation for service businesses on Facebook. One way to craft this lead generation is provide useful information for the Facebook user that they can only access by providing their email. With this email, the service based business can now interact with a potential client.

7. What type of content is most appealing to potential clients? Company culture? Service based deals?

Both. Although that doesn’t narrow down the content scope, for Facebook business pages, a mixture of both company culture and service based deals can round out the picture for potential clients. When thinking about your overall content for Facebook, the most important aspect is to make your content engaging. The more discussion on the content, the more likely it is to be visible in potential user’s news feeds.

This wraps up your Facebook Questions Asked Part II. How do you use Facebook in your business?

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 Skillshare.com (including those taught by High Stakes Mastermind Group leader, Stephanie Angelo), Coursera.com, 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

 

 

 

Accountability

Naked and Unafraid- The Benefits of Being Vulnerable in Your Mastermind Group

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Photo by Alex Pasarelu

You are thinking of joining, a High-Stakes Mastermind Group for several reasons. Maybe you’re a business owner who wants to bounce ideas off of other professionals. Perhaps you want to be able to associate with others who experience the same professional, personal and social challenges and sacrifices that you do in your field. Or maybe you are looking to build your personal network of support and confidants.  Whatever your reason, you should do one thing once you’ve joined the group. You should be completely honest and allow yourself to be vulnerable.

Why would you want to show your true self, with all of your challenges and weaknesses to other people? Won’t they stop respecting you so much? The answer is no. You want to be completely honest and vulnerable with your fellow members, and especially your Mastermind group facilitator, because that is the only way that they can help you diagnose any issues and help you improve to become the very best person and professional that you can be. This is the safe place to be emotionally naked.

Think about it – if they don’t know what the problem is, how can they give the advice that you’ve joined the group for?

Remember each member is in the same position.  You may feel like they’re holding your emotional cards – but you’re holding theirs as well.

In the blog by William Butler, The Benefits of Being Vulnerable he writes:

Risking vulnerability allows you to be, or have:

  • deeper degree of honesty
  • greater degree of transparency
  • higher level of understanding
  • deeper relationships
  • honestly yourself
  • less defensive
  • less lonely than that of isolation
  • more accountable
  • more courageous
  • more sensitive and tenderhearted
  • truly human

Source: http://www.williambutler.ca/2013/09/power-vulnerable/

There’s something extremely freeing about being vulnerable and releasing the weight of your most stressful business decisions, confusing questions, and untried ideas. It humanizes all of us to let down our guards and be…well, human.

What may look like the weakest form of humanness is actually what takes the most strength – vulnerability.

In her TED Talk Brené Brown said, “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.”

Your time is precious. Clearly, you’ve joined a Mastermind group to get something out of it. Get the most out of it by allowing yourself to be vulnerable – emotionally naked and unafraid. That’s how you can help others to help you.

 

 

Accountability Partners

Five Benefits of Being in a Group of Positive Thinkers

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Positive Group Positive Benefits
There’s a famous quote:
Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?

It’s famous for a reason – because it’s true. You can pick up the attitudes of others, and be influenced by the moods of those around you – your family members, your colleagues, your bosses, and even the woman working at the checkout at the grocery store.  Make sure when you pick up and attitude it’s a positive one.

Positive Attitude

Think about it – someone’s can-do attitude about a difficult project will give you a more confident feeling about the work you’re about to take on, while the checkout lady’s crummy mood can put you in a bad mood as well. Studies show that even your health can be influenced by your attitude. Someone with a sunny, positive attitude, positive vibes, and a good outlook on life may very well enjoy better health than an eternal pessimist.

Think of an instance at work or an event at home that turned out the way you wanted it to. Now try to imagine your attitude at the time. In each case, your attitude was likely pretty positive. You can bet that that very attitude led you to make the choices that ended in your success. Conversely, negative attitudes defeat us, even before we begin.

Psychologists agree that in order to live a happy, engaged, and meaningful life, you have to think positively. Optimists see the bright side of things, and believe that changes can be made to improve a situation.

Connections

As a business person, someone in a leadership position, someone who has the power to influence others, or as an entrepreneur, you need to surround yourself with positive people. This becomes especially important when you are self-employed and don’t have traditional support from professional superiors within your company. When you make connections with people who are positive thinkers, these people become the ones who will help you on your path to success.

Where do you find these positive people, who have similar ambitions, aspirations for success, and beliefs that a positive outlook can change your trajectory in life? Look no further than a Mastermind group.

Support

These groups, who are full of people just like you – smart, strong, forward-thinking, open-minded, progressive and positive – are here to support you. Whereas naysayers might put down your ideas, your peers in the Mastermind group will be the ones to urge you to develop your ideas, explore your options and think outside the proverbial box. They are the ones who are excited about change, instead of resistant to it. Ultimately, a positive thinking Mastermind group will add value to your life.

Value

These people didn’t get to the top in their executive roles for no reason. The people in Mastermind groups got there because they typically have a different way of thinking than the average working person. Imagine if you had them act as each other’s allies, colleagues and collaborators?

In addition to influencing the way you approach your business (and ultimately, your life) Mastermind group members help each other solve problems, give opinions and help you see things from a different perspective, energize you to do your best and motivate you. They will challenge you to rise to the top (and stay there) and give you the momentum to reach your goals, whatever they are. They will improve your communication skills, introduce you to other people and to new ideas and methods you can apply to your company.

You Become Who You Associate With

Remember, you can’t always control the outcome. There will be times that you will fail. But you can control your attitude, which is the filter through which you see the world and a tool with which you make decisions. Choose a positive attitude by surrounding yourself with positive people, and watch your rate of success rise.

Remember that in order to be a high-stakes thinker, you need to surround yourself with like-minded people. If the people you surround yourself with are positive, confident and open-minded, you will start thinking that way too.

After all, you become who you associate with.