Ronan Leonard teaches us the what, why and how of masterminds. This type of group is a key part of networking, connection and career success. It’s where ideas are developed and businesses built. And you can easily join one in-person or virtually.
In this episode you’ll learn:
The definition of a mastermind
How to find the right mastermind
How to participate in one so that it brings you success in your business and career
The importance of connection in growing your business
How to take feedback in the right way while still keeping your voice in the discussion
LINKS AND RESOURCES:
Download Ronan’s dot system worksheet: Click Here
Learn more about Eccountability and explore virtual masterminds: Click Here
(Note: This is an automated transcript, so their may be some formatting and grammatical errors)
Chad: Welcome back to the show and today’s conversation. I get to speak with Ronan Leonard. He is an expert on masterminds and I love that we get to talk about masterminds today because the whole premise of a mastermind is connection is connecting with a group of people to create something to further progress, to problem solve, and on this show we talk about connection. We talk about how important it is that you connect with other people if you want to achieve anything and how to do that, how to connect with people and where to start and what different formats there are for connecting with people in one of those formats is a mastermind. Whether you own a business, whether you’re working for a business, whether you are whoever you are, whatever you’re doing. Masterminds are important and I mean mastermind. The idea of a mastermind is that essentially your put your.
Chad: You’re bringing together a group of people who are all contributing their wisdom so that each person can achieve their goals faster. Whatever it is, and masterminds can show up in many forms. You can have a bunch of business owners. You can have a team of people that worked for a company meeting together as, as a mastermind to help each other progress in their own personal and professional development. And just the basic unit of a family is a, is a type of mastermind. And so today we’re gonna discuss the importance of masterminds. What is it, how to find one, and how to show up to one and participate at the level that people expect you to in a mastermind and how to succeed, how to not just be in a mastermind, but how to really succeed being in a mastermind so that it’s worth your time and the effort.
Chad: And we’re also gonna talk about how to take feedback and the right way because when ren masterminds, people are giving us a lot of feedback on things. We’re working on our business and our career and our goals and we need to know how to, uh, not necessarily filter, but how to consolidate that feedback because sometimes you’ll get a few different opinions from different people and then you also have your own voice in it, in your own opinion on something. And so Ronan is going to share with us some tips on how to consolidate that so that you can walk away and make confident decisions where you’re not just following people’s advice and you’re never using your own opinions or voice in it, you’re, you’re, you’re pooling everyone’s feedback and perspectives together to create a new perspective on something. So Ronan teaches niche business owners and subject matter experts, how to leverage their ip into additional revenue models and how to increase their industry profile all through the innovative concept of virtual masterminds.
Chad: He has a company called accountability where you can join a virtual mastermind from anywhere in the world. The technology that we have today, the technology that we used for this interview it through zoom has worked really well and connecting me to guess and the same way that it can connect people together in a mastermind. And Ronan, he really loves seeing the benefits of mastermind groups, uh, and the benefits that it has on both the instructors and the participants. And he’s helped hundreds of business owners increase authority, revenue, and expertise. So with that said, I welcome Rhone into the show.
Ronan: Thanks for having me. Appreciate it.
Chad: No, I’m glad to have you on the show because you are an expert at masterminds and a mastermind. Obviously it has to do with connection and we’re good bringing groups of people together. And on this show we talk a lot about connection. We talk a lot about how, uh, when we pooled together the knowledge and wisdom and resources of people connecting with other people, things can get created a lot faster with a lot higher quality businesses can, can thrive a lot more and a lot of the people who listened to the show are trying to advance their career and they’re trying to or build a business and there’s a lot of Solo preneurs and as much as they might be on their own running their own business, working at home, they still need to connect with lots of people in order to build that business. And so tell us a little bit about kind of what aspects of your story led you to create he countability to begin with. Tell us a little bit of background on that.
Ronan: Well, about 15 years ago I started my first business, which is an abandoned space business and it was very, very niche and I have no idea what I’m doing. I sent my life savings into it. I, I’d never started a business before. I used to work on cruise ships, travelling the world and for the first year I got not a single sale and I read all the books and I did a course and I just thought how could this be? And I realized that it was really hard. Luckily enough I met somebody, a connection. I met someone who showed me Seo. This is way back in 2003 when it was quite easy to, to really get a good ranking, but I didn’t know that. You don’t know what you don’t know that stupid Donald Rumsfeld. Same. So he connected me, showed me how to do seo, got my first customer up and running regulations and it can be a mentor for me and suddenly passed away about four or five years ago.
Ronan: But without him, I probably wouldn’t have had a business because I said I tried lots of things. It’s been about a year and then about four years ago I was in my very first mastermind and this light bulb moment came off for me is that I’d spent, apart from this guy, gave me a little bit of advice here and there on ad hoc basis. I don’t know, mentors, no training, no coaches, and I was pretty much doing it all myself and yes, I had a couple of staff under me and it’s lonely. It’s hard and so the more you can surround yourself with people that, that gets you there on a similar journey that can support you, that you can share ideas and you touched on it earlier, I believe at one plus one equals three when you get two people together, you come up with an idea better than the two people individually. And then I realized that that’s what I wanted to do. So I sold my other business and I just went full time into masterminds because I just 100 percent believe in the concept. I’m obsessed about them.
Chad: That’s really great. Yeah. I, uh, I wish I knew the importance of, of masterminding with people earlier on because when I’ve, uh, I started out as a freelance videographer and then moved into some consulting and then moving into coaching and kind of doing all of it and uh, it took me awhile to start finding clients because I was very unwilling to. I saw myself as an independent and I’m doing it on my own and it was just like spinning in the hamster wheel, trying to get things going because I wasn’t connecting to people. I wasn’t forming those, those groups with other entrepreneurs. Um, but once I started to do that, it, everything changed. All of a sudden I realized that I didn’t know everything and I, and all this wisdom of all these other people were not only did they help teach me and mentor me, but they also connected me to resources and other people and it just kind of kept, kept going on and on. Um, what, what to you is, um, if you can comment a little bit more on what the importance of a mastermind is and, and what can be gained from it. But also like what your definition of a mastermind is, you want to elaborate a little bit on that
Ronan: so there’s no right or wrong one to me will. The purest forms of it is that. Have you ever been to an art gallery and seeing renoir, Degas Manet, there’s classic impressionist movement. So how they started is that they all used to meet in a cafe in Paris at night and they would share ideas, share pain, share canvas, created this can cool the impressionist movement, which is now worth billions. So to me the idea is finding ideas because ultimately you are where you are today for two things, the action you’ve taken and the stuff you. Few things, that’s it. So if you don’t have the results you want, one of those has to change, but probably both. So to me it’s already done what you want to learn wrong rabbit hole. Then that is worth more than $100, $200, $500 because they could give you the next idea or the next strategy that really takes you to that next level.
Chad: Definitely. Yeah. I’ve had a lot of people that I’ve connected with that did help me, not even like sometimes I’d get advice from, from somebody in a group and based on kind of my own thoughts and mixing it together with other things. It’s, it’s, it’s, it takes some time to figure out how to. Because sometimes you will have conflicting ideas. You might be sitting in a group of people and you have three people that think different things. What do you do to kind of a, I don’t know, filters the right word, but if you have a couple of different ideas giving you advice and then you have your own perspective. How do you end up forming a strategy to act on the, you’re confident with, um, since sometimes when we are in a mastermind, we are getting different viewpoints on things. How do you consolidate that and then create what you feel is now the best strategy? Like you said, one plus one equals three. It’s not that individually their ideas with perfect, but somehow together it formed even a more perfect idea. Like what’s your process for that one?
Ronan: Look at someone who’s already done something so that that’s a big tip versus someone who just has an has an opinion, so somebody already done something they haven’t got far more gravitas than someone that just has the opinion. I also think that they’re giving you the context to the content wherever with content, so more and more content being produced. You can’t filter it, but when you sum up all those things, ultimately it becomes your own gut instinct so you can take all that advice on board and then you can make your own mistakes, your own decisions, but at least you’ve had an outside opinion. If you sit in your room all day, there’s no one to test your assumptions. There’s no one to say, is this really the right answer? Because you’re at point a, you want to get to point b, so you want to build something in the middle that gets you there. So the most of your faulty thinking, mine included, a lot of it has been I just assume, okay, this is what will get me to point B, and it’s not always that way. So having that assumption tested as much as possible, then we come back and say, well look, I’ve taken an idea on board or taking your feedback, but I still think I’m right. At least you’ve had a second opinion or third opinion.
Chad: No, definitely. Because that in and now that you have that second and third opinion, it can help verify for you that, uh, you do. It almost solidifies the confidence that you had in your idea. And Yeah, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve experienced that too where I’ve had times where I’ve had times where, you know, somebody would give me feedback and they were there. Their idea was, was like spot on and I was way off. And then there’s been other times where their idea was, uh, it, the, the parts of it were really good, but I’ve had times as well. Right. I didn’t listen to somebody’s feedback and then I should have. And, uh, it’s just, it seems like it just takes some time to develop the, to be able to know, like you said, that gut feeling at the end of the day, being able to listen to what you’re feeling on something you can, you can toss around logic all day long trying to analyze all these different viewpoints.
Chad: But when it comes down to making a decision, sometimes we do have to go off of that feeling. And um, how, I guess is there anything that you do in your life that helps you be more in tune with that feeling so that you can become a confident decision maker? Because if there’s anything that held me back for awhile, it was indecision being being to hesitating when it came to decisions that would have gotten the opportunities and kind of pushing away those opportunities and just not, not knowing how to make a confident choice. So what are some things that you do that help you make more confident choices where you’re not waiting too long to choose, but you’re also not jumping into. It’s so quick that you’re not doing some level of Anna. Analyzing what, what do you have to say about that?
Ronan: I think everyone forgets second order consequences. We come up with this great idea and we go, okay, it’ll be great when this happened. So we think about all the upside and we never think about the downside which is the second order consequences. So now at least once a week I might have done thinking time, 30 minutes, 40 minutes and I’ll just think about that problem. I’ll look for pros and cons and really sort of to sit there and sit there with the idea and just work through that. So at least I’ve, I’ve thought a fully thought through. Not just jumped into it because we’re busy people. We love to work in 40, 50 hours a week and 60 event and then we go, I don’t have time for anything. And then you find out that there’s this idea that you hadn’t given any consideration but you’re going to spend the next one month, two months, six months. You know, people start a business idea and they jump straight into it without spending even probably probably that first hour of saying, okay, let me work out what happens if it goes wrong. So that’s probably one of the key things that I do. Stress tests some of my own ideas. Does that help?
Chad: Yeah, absolutely. I love that. That’s really great. That helps a lot. Being able to just take that moment to compare and uh, and stress tested because yeah, there’s times where I should have done that. Um, that’s really helpful. Thanks for that tip.
Ronan: So you can run it through the post when the body’s dead too late and say, okay, let’s assume that this thing might die. What killed it? Well, can potentially kill it. So.
Chad: Oh, that’s perfect. That’s brilliant. Very good. Thank you. With, with within the kind of subtopic and masterminds, what have you, as you’ve been a part of masterminds, if you’re, as you’re helping to facilitate masterminds, what are some tips that you have for, uh, creating valuable connections to other people? Because we’ve discussed a little bit about the importance of a mastermind and what it can do and and some habits for being able to take feedback from people and then filter that feedback and then make confident decisions, but with the connection piece directly to people, what are some things you do to create valuable connections with people to organize those relationships? Just some, I guess basic networking tips. Do you have for us?
Ronan: Well, everyone says the same thing is true. You’ve got to try and give value first rather than expect that all these people are going to help you, so you need to go anywhere. The service mentality of how can I help other people? I think that’s what the key things I look for. I’ve been in mastermind groups where people are in their thinking, can I sell to these people, these other six, seven people in the groups? If that’s the only thing that is kind of stuff, can I make one sale instead of can these seven other people really helped me to scale my business and make more sales? So it’s definitely that coming up of service. The other key thing to look for is the plus minus equal effect is that you can’t have too big a gap in the group. You can’t have somebody. Everyone thinks that if I can connect to Gary v or Richard Brandson and pick their brains, I’ve learned so much when you starting at, that’s not what you want. You want someone that is a level above two at the most because otherwise there’s no value exchange. The person that really experienced, although they’re imparting their wisdom, often it’s too intimidating and the gap’s too big. So it’s definitely that plus plants equals who is in the group or close to equal who’s a little bit of a little bit bit allowing certain areas. And then there’s a true value exchange.
Chad: That’s, that’s, that’s really smart. Um, so that you have the, plus you have the minus and that creates that balance of a mastermind group. How do you go about finding, I guess a mastermind group so that you know, uh, okay. Um, we have. Because like you said, if you’re disconnected to Gary v and it’s not necessarily going to help you with where you’re at. And so what’s, I guess, what’s the first couple of steps that somebody needs to take to find the right mastermind group and know that this is the group I need to be in right now. How do they evaluate that?
Ronan: I think it’s a bit like dating. You don’t know until you try it. You can on paper, it can sound perfect. They might have the best reputation. So there’s no right or wrong answer to that. You’ve really just got sound great on paper. Um, and sometimes you just, it doesn’t work out and you need to go back to the drawing board and say, okay, what did I learn from this? Well, the key attributes, or am I looking for, how can I test that? So there is no, there is no perfect mastermind. No, sorry, there is a perfect mastermind out there. Just you don’t know it until, until you’re in it. Like you don’t have to pay partner for you.
Chad: Gotcha. No that makes total sense. Um, so yeah, I guess we definitely encourage anyone listening to just explore around the different mastermind groups and, and feel it out. And once you find one that you, that you feel like fits where you’re at in your business and in your career, then then your layer and you can also find new ones and be a part of a couple different ones. So what tips, I guess, do you have for, if you’re in a mastermind group, how to best, like what would you say is just, okay, if you want to just succeed in a mastermind group, how should I show up to one year,
Ronan: show up with a lot of energy that really helps a lot of enthusiasm as a sense, yet looking for a place to service. How can I help someone who’s genuinely liked people? Uh, the truth is if you, you don’t watch any connecting, you talked about it earlier. You became this person that started connecting to other people. You have to genuinely like connecting to other people. Otherwise it comes from a place of authenticity. And people pick up on that. So lots of energy, lots of you know the best networkers. You know, I’ll message someone six months after I met them and say, I found this blog post. It’s great for you or you should meet this person because they do something that can really help you or you, you too have a great synergy. So yesterday I just connected it to people. One’s got a podcast around design and another designer who’s done a Tedx talk and I said that he’d be perfect for a show connectome. So you become that great connector that you talked about, so you’re always looking to serve others and thinking about them. And, and that’s one of the key attributes that, that I think you should be looking forward to being in a mastermind group.
Chad: That’s really helpful. Tell, tell me about a time that you, that a mastermind group really helped you out with some goal that you had in your business. Can you think of a time when it was a mastermind was kind of a crucial point of your career or business?
Ronan: Uh, I get light bulb moments all the time, but it’s just as nice to see that people. I’ll give you one example. I had a podcast that started last year and I’m in a paid mastermind as well, and it’s like if the coach doesn’t have a coach, then you’ve gotta they have. They stopped learning if they become a know it all, and I was talking about my, my podcasts and the investment running this master mindset, well you podcast really needs to do this. Two things. You need to serve your audience and to save Your Business and it’s not doing both of those. Then you need to shut it down because it just, it just becomes a vanity project. Hobby for us. A time suck now if you love, but for the sake of it, that’s fine, but you’ve got to look at it, you know, four, five, six hours.
Ronan: It’s quite a lot of money. Something to the podcast. It needs to save those two things. So again, I couldn’t see that. So when that was told to me, okay, is this podcast serving my audience and me and my business? And the answer was no. So I closed it. So that was, that was a great bit of advice that I couldn’t see myself. So they come all the time, if you just, if you’re willing to be open and admit you don’t know everything, okay, that ego out of it and then you’ll find that people will help you, you will get great ideas and you will constantly.
Chad: That’s great. Thank you. That’s, that’s a. That helps us know just how important it is that we get there and find a mastermind and one step we can take is also explore what you’re doing with accountability. Can you explain to us a little bit about how accountability helps us to get into a mastermind group and how it, how it works?
Ronan: Well, I work on this 13 week process of trying to take people through it. Thirteen weeks of working together and probably looking at the vast majority of their business is their marketing work and just I would say thought about Pr. Have they done any guest blogging? Whatever it is, try and look at a broad spectrum of the strategies and the tactics out there and then potentially go a little bit deeper on a couple of things. But for most business owners, there’s an underlying issued. What I find that some people, and unless they address that, that’s just the same thing that comes up, wake up to wake in mastermind. So it might be, if you’re not good at marketing, it just keeps coming out, uh, I don’t have enough leads this week or I’m done this and then you find that they’ve agreed to, they’ve decided they want to do some kind of strategy with linkedin outreach or seo or paid ads and then it just haven’t progressed because we tend to slip into our comfort zone and do what we, I always do. So it’s trying to challenge those people to say it could be not willing to do the stuff that’s uncomfortable and you don’t understand, you’re not sure of, you will never take that next step. You’ve got to do that. So it’s a 13 week practices are working with people to just to get them to that next level and to look at as several different ideas and work on them. What will be the next one to go forward.
Chad: Gotcha. That sounds like a really great thing that any of you listening should explore the opportunity there. Uh, where, where should a anyone listening go to connect with you? I think you have a resource that you wanted to, uh, give, give the audience. And so do you want to go ahead and mentioned a little bit about that and also where can they connect with you with it if they want to learn more from you and see what value they can add to your community?
Ronan: Sure. Well, four years ago a business coach showed me the Rockefeller dot system and what I personally believe in, and you, we break how we break our commitments to ourselves on more regularly than we do to our, to our customers and to our friends and our family. So we say, yeah, I’m gonna write the 25 minutes to get really good at blog posting. And then you jumped and they sit away. So Jd Rockefeller, huge oil baron, whether it’s just people will, he was huge on his habits and rituals because that’s what gets you where you wanted to go to habits and rituals. So he printed this dot system. So on the left hand side, all you do is you write out all the things that you do on a consistent basis that you want to do, and then at the end of the day it’s one of the top. Either it takes me 20 seconds and then you see this pattern across the month were you dropping off and you’re not doing what he’s supposed to do and it just keeps you in check for the mental habits that you have. They say you’re actually doing them. So I haven’t gave that away. That’ll be in the show notes for that. A best place to find me is on linkedin. I find it’s a great platform. If you’re in the space of working with other great business owners, you can connect to some amazing peaceful people. That’s how I connected with you. So I just find it as a, as a social, a media platform. It’s the the key one that I hang out on. So find me on Linkedin if you want any questions about masterminds.
Chad: Okay, sounds great. And so we’ll include a link to those to your, to the linkedin and also that resource in the show notes. And I definitely second that, that linkedin’s a great place to connect with people, people that are likeminded people that have similar goals, but people that can also mentor you, people that you can mentor. And it really is a great, a great resource there. And Ronan at you really gave us a lot of value today on how to, on the importance of masterminds, but also how to approach one of, how to show up to one, how to contribute to one, how to find one. And that, uh, you know, a mastermind is not just something we do as a business owner. A mastermind is something you take on as a habit, as a, as just a part of your life is something you then when you pick a new goal, you make sure that you are a part of a mastermind that’s helping you to build your business, to help build your career. But that you’re always looking for ways in which you’re going to show up and provide value to everyone else there. And at the end of the day, I think the idea of a mastermind that it translates far beyond just business, that just being a part of any group of people that are coming together to help each other is what makes us really happy. You know, and this would gives us fulfillment in our life to have that connection. And so thanks for giving us some really, really key, actionable tips today on how to. How to connect better.
Ronan: You’re welcome. Thank you.