What to Consider When Investing in a Mastermind or Coach

Welcome to episode 381 of Hit the Mic with the Stacey Harris.

All right. So, this is our very last Tuesday of 2017. Well, it was when this episode premiered if you’re listening to this later. What the heck, slowpoke?!

But I wanted to talk about masterminds. Now, let me preface this by saying this is not a sales pitch for a mastermind. We do have the BAM level, which is a mastermind level of Backstage, that is available, should you be interested in something with a marketing focus. It’s really just BAM plus accountability and some time with me. But this conversation is not a pitch for that. I’m not an affiliate for anybody’s mastermind.

This conversation has come up a lot with clients this month. And I wanted to bring it up because I feel like often times when we’re having conversations about masterminds with someone, it’s because they’re trying to sell us a mastermind. And so, I just wanted to give you a nonsales perspective and just really an honest look at why I invest in the things I invest in and why I pass on the things that I have passed on. Cool? All right.

As always, this episode, like all of the other ones, sponsored by Hit the Mic Backstage. If you’d like to check out Hit the Mic Backstage, it’s at HittheMicBackstage.com. I just got done telling you this isn’t a promo episode though. So, there you go. All right.

No, there’s ton of great stuff in there. Last week, I talked a lot about what’s coming and what’s come out this month. So, I highly recommend you listen to that episode. But I want to dive right into this.

I want to keep it brief because I know it’s a busy week. A lot of you aren’t working. Or maybe you’re listening to this in the car as you’re driving to some holiday related thing.

I wanted to share this conversation with you because I know you guys are getting kind of bombarded with your 2018 opportunities. And it’s probably not going to get any better for a couple of weeks.

Two reasons why I have invested in the masterminds and coaching opportunities and programs and things like that in the past, including the one that I just invested in for 2018, which I’ll talk more about in the future maybe.

The first one is accountability.

Now, I know I mentioned earlier that BAM is essentially Backstage with accountability. And I offer that because it’s quite often the thing I need the most when I look at coaching. My friend Adrienne Dorison was talking about this recently and she was talking about the accountability piece. And one of the examples she used is when you’re working out. And so, you’re working out and even as hard as you were going to push yourself … She’s an athlete so as hard she would push herself, she pushes herself when she has a coach who is coaching her there.

I’m the same way when I work out with my personal trainer. I am so much better when my trainer is there then when I am not with my trainer. Because when my trainer’s there, she’s telling me, “This is what you can do. Go further.” When I’m alone, it’s like, “I feel like this is enough.” You know what I mean? And it’s easy to let stress or fear or misprioritization impact your ability to get things done. So, whenever I’m looking at a mastermind experience or a coaching experience or a program experience, I’m trying to figure out where my accountability is going to come from.

And so, if that’s something that’s really important for you and you’re not currently finding it in your life somewhere, then joining a mastermind or a coaching package can be massively beneficial. And so, pay attention to that as you’re looking for these things. Where is there accountability? Do you feel accountable to the person? Do you feel like the person who you’re going to be working with is going to sort of hold your ass to the flames and say, “Get it done?” So that for me, is one of the things that always gets me more on the “yes” side than the “no” side.

If I don’t feel like the accountability is there, it’s a no-brainer “no” for me. If I feel like this is somebody who’s going to keep me on track and going to keep me pushing and stretching and doing what I need to do, then for me that’s a big check in the pro column. Cool?

The other thing I really look for is somebody with a different perspective

A different experience, a different expertise than my own. Not to say that I haven’t worked with people to learn about marketing. In fact, I’m in a monthly membership where it’s all digital marketing focused. And that’s because I’m always learning and I’m always getting better because that’s the nature of what I do for a living.

But when I’m looking for a mastermind, I’m looking specifically at am I going to be surrounded with people who have a different perspective? When I’m looking at a one on one coaching, am I going to be working with somebody who’s going to be able to look at something differently? Because often when we’re surrounded by people who do the same thing as we do or we’re learning from someone who does the same thing as we do, it’s easy to get kind of stuck in an echo chamber of the same verbiage and the same words and the same philosophies over and over and over again. And that’s really difficult to stretch in. That’s really difficult to find a new perspective and get a new outlook when you’re hearing the same stuff that’s echoing around in your brain already.

It’s not to say that you can’t learn from people. Like I said, I am a part of a program, a monthly membership that I pay for every single month because I’m always learning and I’m always sharpening my spear, as it were, to get better. In addition to that, I do have other places where I’m looking at my business and the growth of my business, not just the growth of my expertise. Cool?

What do I really need?

So those are the two things I look for. The third thing that I always do before I join the mastermind, it’s not necessarily what I look for,  is I figure out what those things are that I need. It’s often accountability or perspective. If fact, it’s always those things, but it might also be something else. In fact, the program I’m going into for Q1 of 2018 is really focused around systems. And that’s because I’m at a point in my business where I’m really looking at upleveling what I’m doing and scaling up who I’m talking to and scaling up my revenue. But I don’t want to also keep working and pushing and driving the same way I have been for the last year.

This is a very transparent show guys, so just stay with me. I’ve worked for the last year really hard, which is great but not super smart. And I don’t believe that you can just work smarter and not harder. There is a certain amount of hard work involved in succeeding and doing what you want to do at a level at which I want to do it. But with that said, it doesn’t have to just be hard for the sake of being hard.

I feel this way about busyness. I feel like sometimes we make ourselves feel busy so that we feel like we’re being productive. And busy is not the same as productive. Working hard is not the same as making progress. And so, as I go into 2018, I’m looking at how can I work hard and do what I need to do and get where I want to go but in a way that’s going to move me forward faster. If that makes sense.

That was something that was really important to me as I looked at what do I want to invest in certainly for the beginning of 2018. And so that’s how I made my choice.

For you, what is it? Is it, “I want to do better at my marketing?” Is it, “I want to have a better understanding of my brand?” Is it, “I want to have a better understanding of my business foundations?” Is it, “I want to work smarter and I want to build those systems?” Figure out what that thing is that you want to really work on and go there.

How long is too long?

I also look at the length of time. So, in most cases I don’t love 12 month masterminds for myself. This is totally a personal opinion at this point, but it’s something I want you to consider that’s why I’m sharing it. For example, what I’m doing is going to be three months. It’s the first quarter. I like that because it’s enough time for me to see if, “Hey, I want to do this again.” But it’s also a short enough time that if it’s not everything I was looking for, I’m not committed to 12 months.

Now, part of this that I’m, despite being married, kind of commitment-phobic still. I have a really hard time with saying 12 months. I’ll do this. I’ll be a part of your world. You’ll be a part of my world. 12 months is a long time, guys. But that’s what works for me. So, I like three months. I like six months. I like three months that I can re-up for a second three months better.

Also, because I do really look at, “Okay, so this is the thing I’m paying attention to right now.” I don’t necessarily want or need to pay attention to that for 12 months. It may be, that come the second half of the year, my focus shifts slightly. Because now I’ve built these systems. I’ve built this focus. I’ve built this whatever. Maybe then it is, “okay, now I really want to look at my speaking goals and focus in on working with somebody who’s going to get me where I want to go speaking wise.” Again, whatever that thing is for you, it’s different for everybody and that’s totally okay. But figure out what it is for you and then figure out the length of time that works for you.

What’s your immediate NO

Now, the one thing I never invest in and the one thing that will turn me away immediately and the thing that I want you to look at is when something feels like this is going to be the magic pill. Whether it’s conveyed in the copy or in the sales or just something in my brain has clicked over like, “Oh my god. I just need to buy this and then everything will be figured out.” If that crosses my mind, whether it was intended through the copy or sales or not, but generally this is not something we come up with on our own. I’m just saying. I run as fast and as far as I can. Because there is no magic pill. There is no program you’re going to purchase and suddenly the thing will just work. It’s just not the way it works.

So, I really connect with people who instead of taking that approach in their sales saying, “Hey, this is the thing that will make the difference.” I look at people who say, “If you show up, if you do the work, I’ll support you in getting the result you want. If you show up and you commit to the community, this community can drive you forward.” It has to be about doing the work. It has to be about showing up. Because there is no program you’re going to purchase, no coach you are going to hire that is magically going to solve all your problems. It’s just not the way it works in the world, in success and all of that.

So, I really encourage you to find what you need. Find what you are willing to do the work with. And if you’re thinking about investing in something in 2018, look through those parameters, look through those lenses and always do a gut check. Does this feel right? And then, if the answer is no, I would suggest you to take it a step further and say, “Okay, does this not feel right because I’m scared? Or does this not feel right because this isn’t the right fit?” And do a gut check on “yes” as well. Is this a “yes” because this marketing is excellent? Or is it a “yes” because I know I’m going to show up, I know I’m going to do the work, and I know I’m going to see the results? All right? All right.

That’s my sort of soapbox for masterminds or programs. I know there’s a ton of Facebook ads and webinars and launch sequences and affiliate promo going on right now for a lot of different programs. There has been all December, there will be all January. And so, I kind of wanted to do this PSA style. Find what fits for you.

If you have questions, ask the people in your world what they’ve experienced. But remember, just because it’s was their experience doesn’t mean it will be your experience. Positive or negative. But it will help you sort of catch any red flags ahead of experiencing them in most cases. All right? All right.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for hanging out. If you would like more fantastic episodes like this, you should make sure you’re subscribed to iTunes or Google Play or Stitcher. Or now, as of this month, Spotify. So, if you’re a big Spotify fan, you can actually grab this podcast on Spotify now. But, yeah, make sure you’re subscribed so you don’t miss any episodes. I think that’s all I’ve got.

Again, Hit the Mic Backstage is the place to be for all your social media training needs. We’ve got some really cool stuff coming up. If you didn’t check out last weeks episode, go listen to that because I totally spoiler alert some of the trainings happening next month. Cool? All right.

Thanks for listening. I hope you had a fantastic 2017. I hope you have an amazing 2018. And if you’re listening to this when it’s 2019, I hope you have a good 2019, too. All right?

I will talk to you soon. Have an awesome New Year. Bye-bye.

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