Momentum Podcast: 211

The Problem with Masterminds

by Alex Charfen

Episode Description

There is an epidemic in the coaching world where people promise results that they haven’t achieved themselves. The term ‘Mastermind’ typically refers to a group set up by a leader. There are a lot of places where it is essentially the blind leading the blind. Just because someone doesn’t know an answer doesn’t mean they won’t give you one.

Full Audio Transcript

I'm Alex Charfen, and this is the Momentum Podcast. Made for empire builders, game changers, trailblazers, shot takers, record breakers, world makers, and creators of all kinds. Those among us who can't turn it off, and don't know why anyone would want to. We challenge complacency, destroy apathy, and we are obsessed with creating momentum so we can roll over bureaucracy and make our greatest contribution. Sure, we pay attention to their rules, but only so that we can bend them, break them, then rewrite them around our own will. We don't accept our destiny. We define it. We don't understand defeat, because you only lose if you stop. And we don't know how. While the rest of the world strives for average and clings desperately to the status quo, we're the minority. The few who are willing to hallucinate there could be a better future. And instead of just daydreaming of what could be, we endure the vulnerability and exposure it takes to make it real. We are the evolutionary hunters. Clearly, the most important people in the world because entrepreneurs are the only source of consistent, positive human evolution and we always will be.

The problem with masterminds. I couldn't figure out if that was the best title for this episode, or, "Why masterminds are dangerous," was my second one, so you can let me know which one you think is better. Because I think that today, most masterminds in the market that are out there are dangerous. And there is a massive problem with the vast majority. And here's what it is: There is an epidemic in the coaching and consulting industry of people creating products and coaching programs and consulting programs and masterminds and events, where they promise an outcome they've never created for themselves. And in so many cases, the mastermind format is used, where someone who's running it doesn't really know what's going on. Doesn't really understand what's happening.

And in fact, there's actually a lot of people in this industry that will teach people if you don't know that much about your topic, run a mastermind and you'll figure it out. And the term "mastermind" typically refers to groups that are put together by some leader, where the mastermind or the groups get together and discuss what's going on and discuss solutions or issues or challenges or whatever it is, and you get something out of being in that mastermind.

Now here's the challenge with masterminds: It is that in so many cases, it becomes the blind leading the blind. I want you to know something about masterminds. Just because somebody doesn't know an answer, doesn't mean they won't give you one. And I've been in group after group where I sit in the audience thinking, "I want to rush the stage," because somebody will ask a question that has a simple end, sometimes a definitive answer like in business, "You should do it this way," and you hear people from stage just say insane crap that indicates they don't really understand how they created their own success. And the fact is, most entrepreneurs aren't that really good at explaining solutions to you, or explaining to you how they did something, because they were too busy doing it in the first place. And so in a lot of cases, going to a mastermind really is like the blind leading the blind.

And from what I've seen in most of them ... And if you're in one of these, you know what I'm talking about. Now, there's some good ones. I'm in a couple. I'm in Russell Brunson's, I'm in Talking Wars, but let me explain to you how I chose theirs and how you should choose yours, if you're going to do this. Because in so many cases, they're terrible. They are literally the blind leading the blind. And people that don't really understand the outcome that the group is going for, and people are brought together to try and go after something that is really unclear. And if you wanna get into something that's actually going to help you, that's going to move you forward, get really clear on what you need and understand what you need right now. What problems are you looking to be solved?

Because here's the challenge with a lot of masterminds, is that they have some promise, but there isn't a consistent avatar. Here's the challenge: If you get into a room where everyone has different issues, then the answers don't really apply to everyone. I was at a event this weekend for Paleo f(x). Or last week, Health Entrepreneur f(x), and there was a marketing panel, and there was entrepreneurs from every level in the audience, and David Gonzalez, a friend of mine, was asked several questions about marketing like, "Where should I get help? What type of marketing should I be doing?" And he kept answering, "Well, it really depends on where you are as a business owner." And if the mastermind you're in doesn't have a clear avatar working towards a solution, then you just have a bunch of people in the room that got sold the same thing. And an answer that might work for someone else, isn't necessarily gonna work for you. And you have to be careful, because if you get the wrong answer out of context for the wrong time in your business, it will crush you.

In fact, if you haven't yet, if you wanna know exactly where you are in your business, go back to episode 181 and listen forward to all the episodes that have one word titles after 181, which is the Billionaire Code. Figure out exactly where you are right now. Figure out what pain, what constraint you're feeling right now, and then go find someone who's been there. Who is solving the pain, the constraint you're feeling right now. Let me give you an example of how I did this. For years, I've had a hard time figurin' out who to sell, how to sell, how I wanted to put myself out there. And so about a year ago, I connected with Russell Brunson. In fact, I spoke for him three years ago, and then a year ago, I called him and said, "Russell, I need help. What do I need to do?" And in fact, it was right around the time he tried to buy the entrepreneurial personality type book and content from me, 'cause he wanted to use it for lead generation, and I said like, "I'm not gonna sell you this stuff, but how do I get your help on solving this issue?"

And here's why: When I looked at Russell, I needed help with lead generation and conversion. I needed help understanding how to put myself out there online and get really effective marketing. And so I went to Russell because he solves the pain and constraint we were feeling. I needed a mastermind, where everybody was solving the same thing. Now, I don't use the mastermind the same way everybody else does. I get into the mastermind, I figure out who I can hire and who can help me just get it done. I don't necessarily learn as much as I figure out how to make things happen out of the mastermind. But this is exactly the right avatar for me. I'm in a room full of people who are solving the exact pain, the exact constraint I'm feeling. And I just got really clear on, that was the issue, and so I went to the absolutely best on the planet right now, and that's Russell.

It's hard to argue that there's anybody who's putting more out there than Russell. In fact, I was just involved in one of the deals where Russell sold the new Two Comma Club X, and did over $10 million in sales in an afternoon. I was there. I was on stage with him. I am one of the coaches in Two Comma Club X. I was part of the promotion where he did $10 million in an afternoon after he had one $3 million at Grant Cardone's event. And when he was at Grant's ... So not even his audience, he did 3. So I went to the guy who can help me do that. And the results have been massive. And I didn't just find the guy who's been there. Russell has a story of failing over and over again. And he's hasn't just been there, he is there. I didn't want the guy who used to be good at marketing. I didn't want the guy who just figured it out. I didn't want some overnight success story. I want the guy who was at marketing, is good at marketing, and then I looked at his mastermind, and a lot of the top marketers in the world are in his mastermind, so I jumped in.

And so for you, where are you, and what do you need? You should run from overnight success stories. Anyone who has the pitch where they just figured it all out, and now they're going to show you, get the hell away from them. You want somebody who has felt pain, who has failed, who has gotten back up, who has had to overcome tons of crap. You want somebody who's been there and done that so that when you have an issue, they know exactly how to help you. The overnight success story, you know what they've done? They've done something once. Run the hell away from 'em. They're dangerous. They don't know how to coach you. They don't know how to tell you what to do. They haven't seen the same problem 55 different times. They haven't looked at it from different angles. They haven't coached multiple people through the issue and then seen the result to be able to modify their opinion on how to start. That's what you're looking for in a coach. You want a coach that has a focused outcome.

If you find someone who has a mastermind that solves everything for everybody, like, "We do marketing for everyone." Let me tell you, I've been in those, and they suck. They suck. You have to get into a category where you're finding someone who has a curriculum ... You don't have to get into a category, you have to find someone who has a curriculum that is going to help you. Because here's the other thing that happens in a lot of masterminds: There's no foundational content. One of the reasons I went to Russell is, I read expert secrets and I read .com secrets, and both of them were mind blowing. I read both of them, and what I wanted was help understanding how to put the strategies in those book in place faster and better. And so I didn't just know that Russell was gonna solve my issue, I knew his content and I knew I wanted to know more of it. And so it made 100% sense to work with Russell.

And then here's the other thing that you want if you're gonna work with somebody in a mastermind: You wanna find someone who can clearly explain how they solve your pain, constraint, and issues and no secrets, no behind the scenes crap, no BS. If somebody says, "Well, I can't tell you until you pay," then you should run from that person, because their solution is so simple that if they told it to you on a phone call, you could just go do it without paying them. How crap is that? When somebody asks us, "What is the result you have?" We clearly tell them that we help them create a communication structure so that everyone on their team knows where the company's going, understands the path to get there, and has a scoreboard that indicates success, and everyone in the company gets into momentum and the entrepreneur's no longer the biggest bottleneck.

And if somebody wants to get on a call with my team, we'll explain to 'em exactly how we do that. We'll take them through how we structure the cadence. We'll take them through how we coach people. We'll take them through exactly what some of our content is. In fact, sometimes we share it with people just so that they can understand, do they wanna work with our type of content. If you go back and listen to the beginning of the podcasts, and listen all the way through, we've given away most of our paid content.

Heres why: We don't solve simple problems. It's not easy to do things like create a communication cadence, hire the right people, structure and build a team, create the right organization around you, compensate people the right way, measure the right things, have your team expand, go to a second level of leadership, go to a third level of leadership, go from seven figures to mid-seven figures, then to eight figures to mid-eight figures, then to nine figures. Those things are wildly difficult. So when somebody tells me that they've gotten thousands of dollars of value out of listening to our podcast, I expect you to. Because I need to prove to you at a massive level, that we can help you, because our programs start in the tens of thousands of dollars for our membership programs.

Today, our entry-level client in a membership program makes more than $300,000 a year in their business. And so I have to get you a ton of value so that you'll trust even listening to us. And one of the biggest issues out there in masterminds is that the person who's teaching the mastermind has no foundational content. The person teaching the mastermind doesn't have a clear path that they're going to show you exactly how to do things. In fact, it's being made up as you go along. And those are the masterminds where you will die. Because everyone around you will pretend like it's working, and all of you are gonna sit there thinking, "Why in hell am I the only one that's failing royally here?" And the reason you're failing is 'cause there's no foundational content and it's just all of you leading each other.

The other coach that I work with is Taki Moore He's helped more coaches in the world become successful coaches than anyone else. And so when I wanted to structure my business, I reached out to Taki Moore. I read his book, Million Dollar Coach, it's one of the best books on coaching out there. It made things feel crazy easy and very clear, and that's why I reached out to him. Because again, in his mastermind, there's a discussion around his principals. In Russell's mastermind, there's a discussion around Russell's principals. There's a focus. There's an outcome. You repeat the same things over and over. You get better at those same things and you create massive results. Why? Because they're really well put together masterminds.

So here's the checklist for you: I suggest you get into a coaching group. I don't just own coaching groups, I don't just help people, I also am coached myself. I think it would be hypocritical if I wasn't. So I think everyone, depending on where you are, for the size company you are and for what issues you're dealing with, you should be in some type of a coaching group or mastermind. And our organization is creating more all the time. Right now we have one for businesses that are $300,000 and over, and one for businesses that are a million dollars and over, and we will help you go from one to the other. And if you're gonna go out and find a good coaching group, find one that has a foundation, a body of content that there's actually real curriculum behind what they do. We take this seriously.

Isla Brooke, who runs our content department, she set up the content departments or the educational departments for First Queensland National Bank in Australia, the largest bank in Australia, she set up their internal corporate curriculum department, how they trained all their people. So we want an entire system here. The second company Isla did that for was Virgin. So she's done this. And for us, having that body of content, having the right resources, having clearly written content, having clear video content, getting stuff transmitted fast, that is incredibly important to us. So not only do we have a foundation and a body of content, we know that every entrepreneur we work with doesn't have enough time, so we make sure it's clear and to the point. Our average video's probably about three and a half minutes. Most of our modules are under 20 minutes. We solve massive problems in almost no time. That is because we understand our avatar. So see how important it is that if you wanna a good coaching group, you have to find a content foundation, a body of content that you trust, and also that there's a clear avatar.

Here's why: You're not gonna get into my million dollar plus group, and then open up a video that says two and a half hours, because I know zero, zero of the clients that I've ever had who are at a million dollars plus, would watch right out of the gate, without any trust built with us in our platform, a two and a half hour video. Just wouldn't happen. They'd increase it to 3X immediately, or they'd just start jumping through it, trying to figure out if it was worth it. So we know our avatar. If you're in a coaching group where they don't have a clear avatar, it's not gonna be tailored to you, you're always going to find resistance. So if you're in a coaching group right now, if you're in a mastermind right now, and you're feeling resistance, admit it to yourself.

Here's one of the biggest issues with coaching, consulting, with masterminds: You don't know you're in the wrong one until you've wasted way too much. And sometimes you don't know you're in the wrong one until it's too late. If you're dealing with a limited runway of any kind, if you're dealing with a limited runway of cash, dealing with a limited runway of time, feeling like you're gonna break down, feeling like things aren't working, feeling like you're the only one who's not able to implement, it's probably a problem with the group, not you. Because here's what I can tell you about our group: We have a clear issue and problem that we solve. So a good coaching group has a clear issue, a clear problem that they solve. Like Russell. What does he help entrepreneurs do? Understand exactly what it takes to go from zero to a million, then a million to ten million, and ten million plus when it comes to marketing. So he's exactly who I wanted to talk to.

And the issue that we solve with entrepreneurs is how to help them build the structure, build the team, build the organization so that everyone knows what they're doing and you don't have to feel like you're the glue that holds it all together. We have a clear issue. So all the questions are the same. See, in our groups, when somebody asks a question, it will answer a question you didn't even know you had. But if you're in a group where there's not a clear issue or a problem that's solved, then it's just questions about anything and everything, and you're hoping you get lucky. See, if you get into a place where there's a clear avatar, a clear issue, and a skilled expert, a skilled leader who has achieved your expected result, you're gonna get a ton out of it. I get a crazy amount out of every time I ever have been with Taki Moore and with Russell. But this is exactly how they do it. They have a foundation. There's a clear avatar, there's a clear issue or problem solved, there's a skilled expert or leader who has achieved my expected result. Taki and Russell, both are killing it.

And so for you, if you're in a group where you don't feel like you're getting traction, if you're in a group where you don't feel like you're actually creating momentum, if you're in a group where you feel like for some reason, everybody else seems to be doing better than you are, and if you're one of those groups where you're thinking you don't really think the person who's leading it knows everything that they say they do, and you're shocked at how little they really, functionally seem to know, I want you to understand something. Your suspensions are probably all correct.

Unfortunately, these days, there is an epidemic in our industry with people promising a result they've never gotten. There's far too many people who have figured out how to sell something that they don't really know how to deliver. And the emphasis today in almost every program out there is on the sale, not on the functional delivery. That's really what we help entrepreneurs do, is scale consistent delivery so they can explode their businesses. And we help 'em do that every single day. The challenge is, most people out there selling results haven't really focused on delivery. So you have to go out and you have to find the people who have written the bodies of content that prove that they have, who have the programs out there that show that they have, who have the frameworks, the structure, the models that show exactly how they solve the issue you have, and who are willing to put a member of their team on the phone with you to explain exactly how they're going to help you. And then within a very short period of time of exposure to their program, they should start solving the exact issues you have and it should feel magical. Because when I got involved with Russell and with Taki, that's exactly how it felt.

And I got a message this week from one of the members of our Grow and Scale program, and she said, "I'm in four other masterminds, and I just want you to know, they are all BS and I'm shocked that I used to think they were good masterminds. Because before I was in yours, I didn't realize what it was like when everyone's solving the same issue, when everyone has the same stuff going on, and when we make this much progress," and they've only been in our group for a few weeks. So if you are in a place where you want a mastermind, and you know you need help, get really clear on what you want, what you need, and what you need to move forward. Go back and listen to the Billionaire Code podcast. Be clear on what pain and constraint you are feeling, and find someone who has been there, who's still solving the problem. Don't get into a team building mastermind with somebody who isn't building a team. They're dangerous.

I'm in a Grow and Scale mastermind. If they're not growing and scaling a ... My mastermind's called Grow and Scale. I'm not just growing and scaling the company that I'm the CEO of, I have partner companies that are growing and scaling as well. And this is something I've done over and over and over again. So you have to be careful, be aware of the person who is gonna help you grow and scale a business, but isn't doing it themselves. Because once you know how, it's near impossible not to. I accidentally start businesses all the time. And find a mastermind where the person who's leading it has overcome the struggle that you have, and they can clearly explain how they solve you pain and constraints. And if anything I've said tonight triggers for you a feeling of discomfort with the coach or the consulting or the mastermind that you have, I want you to explore that feeling. Because here's my observation with entrepreneurs: Far too often, we get advice from the wrong people and that could be the single most damaging thing that happens to entrepreneurs in our career, because it happens with such frequency and such intensity. And if you need help growing your business, and you'd like to talk to a member of my team, I want you to know we're here, and we're willing to explain our process thoroughly, and tell you exactly how we can help you. And help you determine whether our solutions are what you need right now. And if they're not, we will gladly tell you when you should call us.

Go to Doesn't matter what level of business you're at right now, the Billionaire Code survey that you can see at will give you information about where you are on the path of entrepreneurship and what you will need next. So even if you're not at 300,000, we're willing to help you get there. Go to The information will help. And if you'd like to connect with my team, you'll have an opportunity to set up a call.

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