I Have Failed You

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The other day I received an email from a woman that made me stop and think, wait a minute, I think I’ve unconsciously failed y’all! In fact, I’m really grateful for her email because it made me see where I have been failing you all and I take full responsibility for it. Let me explain…

A few weeks ago I invited her to chat with me about joining the High Priestess Circle mastermind because I had a really good intuitive hunch about it, especially knowing some of the amazing projects she has lined up for next year that she wants to achieve. To summarize, her super sweet response was that she was very busy next year, didn’t really see the need or reason why internal work would be necessary next year and instead needed to focus on mounting her project, didn’t have time/energy to “hold space for other women” right now as a result and wanted to make sure she could do that if she was in the mastermind and that she already had a circle of friends and women that she felt would be enough to support her in her goals next year.  

While I totally adore her and know that not everyone will feel called to or aligned with this kind of a container…her response also provided a very eye-opening view into something I had not even considered.

Misconceptions about what a mastermind is and isn’t and misconceptions about what it actually takes to do achieve your big soulful goals.

I realize that when we look at a program like this, which is a high level of investment and is so immersive, it can be easy to immediately disqualify ourselves and say “oh, this is just not practical for me right now”.   But I truly believe if all of us really understood the value of a true mastermind experience, we would all sign up for them, even if it means having to take out a loan to do so, even if it means getting a bit uncomfortable for the sake of ending up completely transformed on the other side of it.  I did this a few years ago for my first mastermind and it was the best decision I ever could have made, because I ended up tripling my income three months after I joined the mastermind.  I have also seen the women who join my mastermind do the same thing, repeatedly.

So right now I’m sitting with this and understanding that I did you a disservice because I never took the time to explain what a mastermind is and what it is not. I never took the time to explain WHY masterminds exist (and no, not just because they are super trendy in the last few years), why I believe in them and why they are so different than programs you do on your own, private coaching or even stand alone retreats.  

I think if I clarify that, then at least I will have done right by you in helping you understand more clearly what you want to choose for yourself next year in terms of support in achieving your goals.  You see, when we have big change to make in the world, it’s really important to get crystal clear about what type of support we need to achieve those goals. One of the biggest mistakes I see people make is pick the wrong kind of support. This will often slow down the achievement of your goal or will get your results you don’t want. I know because I made a lot of costly mistakes in the last 6 years, including one that cost me $70,000, so let’s learn from my mistakes and the mistakes I have helped other women climb out of in the past few years.

The word “mastermind” is becoming increasingly trendy in the last few years.  When I first started my mastermind back in 2010, I think only 3 other women coaches were doing them at the time. When people began to see the kinds of accelerated, amazing results that can happen within masterminds, the word caught fire.

But not all masterminds are the same. And the misuse/abuse of the word has led to some of the misconceptions my client reflected back to me when she replied to my email inviting her to the mastermind. I see people slap the word “mastermind” on virtually anything these days, presumably because it carries some level of prestige. But not all masterminds are created equal.

A mastermind is not something to think of as “a luxury experience for later” or “something only certain kinds of women do”.  That’s one of the most common misconceptions I see about masterminds.  And sadly, because of this misconception a lot of women disqualify themselves from ever participating in one, or think they have to wait until later to join a mastermind.

So, first let’s define what a mastermind actually is.

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A mastermind is created when a group of high-achieving individuals get together under the guidance of an organizer/mentor to achieve goals that they know they cannot achieve without the help of other like-minded folks. All of the world’s greats had massive help in achieving the things they did, none of them did it alone. In a mastermind, you get to have many brilliant brains on your goals vs. just yours. Because these individuals in group with you have been hand picked by someone who is an expert at matching you up with people who will compliment you, you will also experience a higher level of accountability than you ever could on your own or with a random circle of friends. Everyone in the mastermind container is dedicated to your greatness and will show up for you in that way to keep you on track with your goals. The results you can achieve when you are part of a mastermind are much higher than when you do a stand alone program or try to go it on your own. Or go to random friends for advice.

If you have big goals and big dreams, if you are ready to make them ACTUALLY happen, if you’re ready to have an incubator of brilliant minds advising you and making sure you reach success and you’re ready to accelerate the results you want in your life and business, and you’re seriously committed to making your biggest desires a reality–you join a mastermind.  

Now, I have participated in and led quite a few masterminds in the last 6 years of my business.  Here are the qualities, in my opinion, of a good mastermind.  

1) The mastermind is led by an experienced, qualified individual

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I have been a part of masterminds with lots of brilliant minds with no leader and I have been a part of masterminds with one appointed leader who hand picked each person carefully. The ones where I experienced the best results were in the ones that had a leader that curated the group. A lot of people put together their own “masterminds”. Usually it’s a group of friends who all share a common interest and want to brainstorm. While I think this can be great up to a certain level, it’s really not going to be enough for you if you’re wanting to really go above and beyond where you are.

When I have been a part of masterminds with no qualified leader, things are chaotic.  There is no real accountability, so a lot of times, only half the people show up to meetings and you only get half the feedback you really need to move your goals ahead. In addition, personality clashes occurred, which ended up taking away a lot of energy from focusing on goals, because the members were not picked by one individual who has experience putting the right kinds of people together. In addition, friends who are under no leader or accountability system will flake on meetings or drop out because there is no container where an investment has been put in to keep you accountable.  

Do “friend/peer-based masterminds” work? Yes, sometimes they do. But in my 6 years of personal experience, my opinion is that I have seen very few of them work. For exactly the reasons above. You may think you have a great circle of people around you to support you, but if they aren’t coming together week after week for the explicit reason of supporting you in achieving your specific goal, you’re going to get a lot less support than you imagined you’d get. If you have a big goal to achieve next year, you want a group of people organized by an expert to give you the attention and focus you need to move it to the next level.  

2) You feel a little “intimidated” by the people in it

When I was an actor, I LOVED it when someone who was a better actor than me showed up to do a scene with me. Why? Because I knew that I was going to have to rise up to meet that person at that level and that my acting would probably be the best it had ever been as a result. I always did my best acting with the actors whose energy made me rise to my best self. And I got to walk away a better actor afterwards as well.

I see a mastermind in the same way. When I curate my mastermind groups, I think long and hard about every single woman in the mastermind and how each one will compliment the other, how each one will raise her sister up and where each one can fill in gaps of learning for each other. When I’m putting my masterminds together it’s not about getting as many people as I can to fill the spots. In fact, often I don’t fill all the spots, because for me it’s more about getting the right-fitting people together.  

I want to clarify, this is not an elitist thing–it’s more that I want to make sure you are getting the best out of your experience. If I don’t feel the people in the group will be a good match for you, I would rather you save your money and go somewhere else where you can find a better match or wait until there is a better group to match your strengths and strengthen your wobbly areas.

If, when considering a mastermind, you feel a little bit like “Whoa, these people are so amazing! Do I belong here?”, that is usually to me a good indicator that you are getting into the right container for exponential growth & support. Trust that if you feel called to it, it’s because you DO belong. By masterminding with people who will grow and challenge you you’ll naturally rise to bring your best to the table and as a result, will bring your best at levels you never even knew existed to your work and your life. There’s a reason why every time I join a mastermind I experience ridiculous results like tripling income in a month or having huge breakthroughs in my relationships that took me years to even get to before the mastermind. There’s a reason why my 1:1 clients achieve even MORE results when they move from 1:1 coaching to my high level mastermind.

3) You are filled up & deeply supported by the participants

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The comment the woman who emailed me made about “not having time to hold space for other women” really opened my eyes up to how we tend to wrongly perceive being part of groups. The biggest misconception I hear about joining a mastermind is from busy, overwhelmed women. I often hear, “I just don’t have time to be supporting other people, I’m too busy”.

I get it, when you’re already feeling overwhelmed and feeling like you’re doing everything for everyone, to think about having to add more calls to your calendar and a few extra trips to mastermind with people in person feels like you’re just adding more work to your plate.

BUT in a good mastermind, the calls and retreats will actually make you feel MORE supported and any support you do end up offering will flow from you naturally without draining you because you are so filled up from the support you’ve already received. It’s like an infinite loop of energy.

The reason for this is that the right people are giving you as much value as you are giving them, so that by the time you leave the group call or retreat you feel ten times more juiced up to tackle your to do list and achieve your goals. Also the right, well curated group, will contain emotionally healthy people who will support you, not drain you.

Some of the busiest women I know are in masterminds. Women who literally cannot add one more call to their calendar without it breaking. Why are they in masterminds then?  

Because they understand that a well curated group of women actually leave you feeling filled up vs. more drained. The top bit of feedback I get from the women who have participated in my masterminds is how much they love hopping on the calls and coming to the in-person retreats, because in the hecticness of their lives it is like a “spa day” where they get to be around women who rejuvenate them, love them up and fill them with confidence and joy.  

I had a woman in one of my masterminds who was one of the busiest women I know and she used to tell me that the calls with our mastermind group were sometimes the only time she got to just be herself and be filled up by the amazingness of her sisters. She never missed a call!

Sometimes when you’re busy and overwhelmed, instead of taking more things away, you actually need to ADD more of the right kind of support to your plate and remove the wrong kind. The right kind of support with people hand picked for you makes ALL the difference. Be careful you’re not using the “I’m too busy” excuse as a way to shut yourself off from being vulnerable with people who can take you to the next level.

4) There is accountability built into the program at every level

Ah, accountability. The thing we want to rebel against but also the thing that makes us soar.

I’m going to be quick and blunt about this one–when we try to do things on our own, we just will not achieve what we want to achieve. Period. You can argue with me about this one until the cows come home, but that won’t take away the fact that this is the truth.

When I first started my business, I had two colleagues who graduated in the same class as me. We were all in financially tight spots. I knew I needed someone to check in with and to keep me accountable if I was going to succeed in the skills I had just invested my money in to become a coach. I remember I worked extra shifts, borrowed money from a friend and used a credit card I never used to invest in a mastermind that was at that time about 6 months of my income. The other two classmates told me it was “too expensive” and that they just wanted to get their business started first, make enough money with their business until they could pay for some coaching and that they were just going to set goals in their calendar and check up with each other.

6 years later I am still in business and have achieved goals beyond my wildest dreams. The other two classmates who didn’t want to invest in accountability? They are no longer in business. A few of my classmates who graduated with me have actually worked with me to put their great work out into the world and I’m so grateful to have had that opportunity to see them soar.

There is something deeply powerful about knowing that no matter what, you’ve got another human being (or in the case of a mastermind, a whole group) of people who are not only showing up for you every day, but who are keeping track of your goals with you and not letting you give up or fail even when you want to quit.  

This is why I have 4 layers of accountability built into the High Priestess Circle mastermind programs–through 1:1 coaching with me, smaller accountability groups (Priestess circles) within the mastermind, our Facebook forum and in our live events. There is just no way, within a good mastermind, that you even have the option to give up or fail. It’s impossible.  There are too many “checks and balances” of support.

You join a mastermind when you’re serious about having THAT level of support in your life. You join a mastermind when achieving your goals and dreams are that important to you that you refuse let yourself fail without the proper support.

5) It’s a bit of a financial leap or stretch

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Any investment that is going to grow you beyond what you can currently imagine is going to create butterflies in your stomach and is going to stretch you. All good transformational experiences do that. In a good mastermind, the investment level acts as another layer of accountability for you, it motivates you. The more you invest, the more you don’t want to squander your investment, so you show up powerfully when you invest at the edge of your comfort zone.

In addition, I have always believed that the pricing of a program should be like a portal.  What I mean by that is that the investment level of a program should create an experience where you have to step into the next level of your Self just through making the investment.

If you want to be the badass you of 5 years, you invest like the badass you in 5 years would invest, not like the you of right now. The you of right now got you to where you are now, which is awesome, but you join a mastermind because you want to grow, not because you want to stay the same. That is why a good mastermind will always have an investment level that stretches you. It is growing you from the very beginning, through the level of investment.

Let me be clear, this doesn’t mean that you put yourself in a terrible financial situation that freaks you out. There’s a reason why on the application form for all my masterminds it says very clearly “are you able to make this investment without considerable financial distress?”, because if you invest at a totally irresponsible level, you will be freaking out the entire time about making the payments and that will contract you energetically and disable you from really moving forward or growing.  

But it should feel a bit scary and a bit like a leap. If you want to be the you of 5 years, you’ve got to behave like the you of 5 years. The quickest “shortcut” to getting there is to use your investments to automatically step into the you of 5 years.

This is the reason why, almost every time a woman has invested in a high level experience with me, nearly 90% of the time she immediately manifests abundance afterwards (the other 10% of the time she manifests the abundance a few weeks or months later). Because when you lay down that level of investment you are sending a powerful message that you are ready for more because you are stretching to hold more.

A good mastermind is a transformational experience even down to its price tag. (In addition, good high level masterminds cost money to put on, so the investment level is usually higher for that reason as well).

And last but not least..the BIG kahuna of them all….

6) There is equal time dedicated to internal work as there is strategy

I’ve already dedicated the last email you received from me  to the topic of why internal work is SO important, so I won’t go on too long about it. But there is a reason Tony Robbins, one of the top coaches in the world, focuses SO MUCH on mindset in his work with presidents, top business leaders, creatives and visionaries who pay him $1 million dollars a year to do so.  

Because it’s that important.

When you are here to build big things, create a movement or impact the world in a powerful way, you are going to hit roadblocks. Deep fears you didn’t even know you had will come up. Remember that saying “new level, new devil”? That is exactly what happens.

If you think you’re “too busy” to do internal work, or “have done enough now” and just need to “get to work now,” then I hate to say it but you’re going to be in for a rude awakening. If you think internal work is something you do for a while that detracts from you “getting to work,” then you’re misled, love.  

Internal work doesn’t happen in a bubble. It happens at the same time as you are taking action towards your great work in the world and making it happen.

You can’t take effective, aligned and results-driven action without internal work supporting you as you’re doing it. You just can’t. Reaching for you at your highest level means that the big fears around being more visible are going to come up. The dangers of you working too hard and burning yourself out are higher. If you haven’t cleared your fears, how do you think you’re going to handle it when those fears are magnified because you’re about to speak to 2,000 people vs. 20?

In addition, not all internal work is about dredging up horrible things or fears from the past.  A lot of internal work that we need to do as leaders is learning how to expand our capacity to hold space for others, learning how to feel more joy and opening up the heart so that we can lead with more compassion. If those things are not present in your quest for greatness, how do you expect to be a heart-centered leader who actually changes things in the world for the better.  As leaders we model the behavior we want to see in the world, which means we have to be working on the areas within us that we want to see in the world around us.

You need to make sure that you’re in a mastermind where strategy is not the only thing being obsessed about. The internal work should actually come FIRST in level of importance, because without it you can’t effectively implement any of the “cutting edge” strategies you learned anyway because you’ll keep sabotaging at every new level you hit and slowing down your growth, which as a result will slow down your goals being achieved.

The best masterminds have a sweet spot of strategy and soulwork–with soulwork coming first.

……..

Did that help?  

I hope it did.

As you can see, if you’re looking to have:

  • lightning-speed levels of growth
  • powerful, hand-picked like minded peers who grow you & support you powerfully
  • have multiple layers of accountability so that it’s impossible for you to fail
  • a highly skilled mentor guiding you and coaching you to your highest potential
  • a container that is designed for you to achieve at levels you can’t reach on your own

And you are a soul-driven, heart-centered ambitious woman with big dreams and big goals for next year, to impact the world with your unique soul gifts, then I want to make sure you have applied for the High Priestess Circle mastermind.

We have only 3 spots left now and I designed this mastermind to include ALL of the qualities above, because in my opinion and extensive experience running masterminds in the last 6 years, this is what makes a mastermind that truly changes you, your life and your work at a cellular level.

If you’re ready to create this level of transformation and you’re serious about achieving your goals next year, then apply for the High Priestess Circle mastermind.

(and even if you don’t, I hope this helped you clarify the kind of support you DO need next year–it may not be a mastermind, it may be something else!)  But if you want to create the best results you’ve ever created and see growth that you’ve never imagined was possible both in your life and your work–a mastermind is the way to go.

With love,

Lisa-sig-black

 

 

 


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