Mastermind Group Success Stories
Seasoned Entrepreneur - Life Sciences Industry…
A seasoned entrepreneur in the life-sciences area, in his mid-fifties, brought to the mastermind group a situation of personal/professional conflict. On the one hand, his "baby", an early stage biotech firm with large promise, had progressed substantially over the past few years and the company's technology could one day alleviate suffering of millions. On the other hand, there were extreme financial pressures on this entrepreneur as the private investor in the venture had refused to forward payments and the entrepreneur had not received his monthly salary for 7 months. If he were to abandon the venture and seek out other opportunities, he explained, the company would likely falter or perhaps closed down, and with it the dream and the "big vision". If he were to stay on and attempt to ride out the waves he would further drain his economic resources, which were already strained as his children had grown up, one having recently married and on his own, the others still in need of his support.
The mastermind group went to work to "brainstorm" possibilities for the entrepreneur, but what actually happened is that in somewhere in the process one participant's question "hit a sensitive nerve". This question asked how the entrepreneur viewed his financial "commitments" to his children as they grew up and "left the nest". The question, which would sound just like another ordinary question in another setting, took on unusual power for the entrepreneur who stopped "in mid-air" saying," this is a very interesting question, I had not looked at it this way before."
It was not the "creativity" of the brainstorm that brought focus to a conflicted situation, but the timing, setting, support and power of association that the mastermind gave to this entrepreneur at this particular time in his life, career and conflict. The brainstorm had become a mastermind because it was willing to dig deeper than technicalities and "things" into such things as values, paradigms and the inter-connectedness of our lives.
Ronnie Dunetz, MBA
Business, Life and Mastermind Coaching
Respect and Trust…
I really have great respect for each member of our group. Knowing when we bring something up we will get honest, thoughtful, and insightful answers is wonderful — whether it is getting called on crap, a great suggestion, or some rah-rah support.
In most cases there are great lessons for me in just listening to and pondering the others' concerns and thoughts.
I like rubbing elbows with small business owners who are intelligent, motivated, and can understand what it is like to have your own business. I like this group in particular because I always trust that their opinions and comments will come from an honest, constructive, and loving place.
Sometimes just a little thing that was said can make a big difference in helping me to initiate change or get a better understanding of myself.
Dr. Susan Burger, DC
Riverside Chiropractic & Vitality Center
Being Who I Am…
I think what is most important about this group for me is this:
Through this group, I have learned and continue to learn how to belong to a community with varied life experiences, perceptions and beliefs, and still stay true to myself. For a long time, my need to belong to a community meant that I suppressed important parts of ME. When I recognized that I needed to reclaim those parts of myself, I lost a lot of the members of my former community because it was no longer a fit. I wondered for a time if it was impossible to have both.
Through this group I see we CAN have both. I see that when we find the right community, then individuality is actually enhanced by belonging to it.
I love metaphors so I'll describe it this way. This community supports me as I learn how to fly, reminds me of my flight plan when I get off course, and calls me on it when I'm scared to take off.
And moreover, I get to cheer you on as you fly too. Watching all of you is a source of energy. When you all move forward with your lives, it actually gives me power stay in touch with my own vision and to move forward with my own life.
Voice of Destiny
Mastering Life, Minding Falls, Standing Tall…
In October 2007, I applied for membership to the Todd Durkin Mastermind Group for fitness professionals, just like all of you. I had known Todd Durkin for 10 years, not so much personally, but professionally. We had worked at the same planned community fitness center as personal trainers, and respected each others’ work. I was always a bit jealous that he had a bigger bag full of great portable fitness equipment than I did. Over the years, I noticed Todd’s name more and more, through his articles, media coverage, the opening of FITNESS QUEST 10, awards, working with athletes and eventually presentations and workshops. I attended as many Todd Durkin workshops that I could fit into my busy schedule, and that I could afford, although I never thought about cost when it came to learning from Todd Durkin. I did not know if I would be accepted into Todd’s first Mastermind group, but I thought maybe all the thank you notes I sent Todd after every presentation and workshop would be remembered. I had a strong feeling I absolutely needed to be a part of something special, and in order to do that I had to get closer and learn more deeply from SOMEONE special. My intention was to study COACHING, study it more, and eventually COMMIT to COACHING as a full-time endeavor. I had a dream of presenting with Todd Durkin Enterprises. Like all of you, I was blessed to have been accepted, but did not fully realize just how special the Todd Durkin Mastermind Group would be. How it would transform my life. How it would inspire me to visit places I have never thought possible. How it would teach me about true Commitment, Connection, Conditioning and the Creation of GREAT things.
Over the first nine months as a TD Mastermind group member I learned many things about working with people, communicating, COACHING, computer threading time management, innovative workouts, the business aspects of fitness, motivational books, and then some. I met some incredible people, and had the opportunity to connect with the best in the industry on a 24/7 basis. My first retreat experience with Todd and my TEAMMATES during February 2008 was unforgettable. The retreat solidified my commitment to the group, and deepened my Connection to my TEAMMATES. I grew spiritually, mentally, emotionally and yes, even physically that weekend; Todd’s Bootcamps “ROCK”. The most important lesson I learned during the retreat was that being vulnerable, among great and caring people, kindred spirits on different yet similar journeys, was okay. It was my first attempt at involution, honest and open introspection, in a group setting. At the time, I was not aware how valuable this lesson would be.
We as Fitness professionals are passionate, giving and driven by a “higher calling.” Sometimes “too-driven”, sometimes “too-giving”, and the very businesses we worked so hard to build can become an “end-all” and a “be-all”. Although I no longer felt that I was working on “an island” and interacting with Todd’s Mastermind Group more than ever, I was still in “overdrive”. Business was booming, and I was in the gym, at the gym, one with the gym and totally focused on the welfare and success of my clients, and Island Fitness. I spent hours studying the art of COACHING, in my ‘free” time, although I would be less than honest if I said I had the perfect transition plan developed. My intention and purpose was clear, but how best to get there was still cloudy. Meanwhile, the Mastermind mantra of personal “balance” with physical, spiritual and mental renewal (i.e. “mellow-yellow” time) was being heard by me, but I was not listening. I was humble, I was hungry, but I was on a “merry-go-round” that ultimately needed to slow-down.
I vaguely remember the evening of July 15th, 2008. I arrived home at 8:45pm after a full-day. I had added an extra training session that evening for a visitor from Arizona (Coronado has a large seasonal business and we receive many visitors from the Grand Canyon state every Summer). I also had scheduled a 4:30am “special” session for the following morning (Wed), for another Arizona visitor. Since I had to wake-up a full 45 minutes early, I decided to sleep in my home office, upstairs, instead of downstairs in the Master bedroom. I did not want to wake up my wife a full two-hours before her normal rising. Just one night, no big deal. At approximately 2:30am I woke up, I had gone to bed at midnight. I felt sick to my stomach. I got out of bed, and went to go downstairs to use the rest room. That is all I remember.
At 2:45am my son found me, bloody and unconscious on the first landing. I could not move my left hand much and my right hand wasn’t much better, and my neck was killing me. My wife, who is a nurse, assessed the situation and called 911. In 10 minutes I was in the trauma unit of Mercy Hospital with a fractured C6 and C7 and my face looked like I had been through a grinder. I had fainted at the top of the stairwell and fell straight down head first into the first platform – 6 steps. I survived, but I found myself in unfamiliar surroundings. I thought, “This could not happen to me, impossible”; well it did. A higher power hit the emergency stop switch on my merry-go-round.
Over the next four months I visited strange places, but through the surgery, a hard neck collar, drugs, rehab and the like, I was helped by many people; my family, my healthcare professionals, my clients, my friends, and the Todd Durkin Mastermind. I discovered an overwhelming giving spirit by people. Todd and my TEAMMATES provided words of encouragement, ears to talk to, hearts to open to, minds to meditate with and in a word, a lot of LOVE. A day after my surgery I received a call from Rick Ivone, a Mastermind teammate from New Jersey who joined the group a month after the retreat. I had shared some threads with Rick via emails, but had never met him in person, or talked verbally. His voice was deep, focused, free, caring and incredibly INSPIRING. He said he felt my pain, and that pain was a sign of involution, and before one can fully evolve as a person, one must go through an involution of the soul and spirit. Rick left me with a powerful mantra, “just concentrate on getting 1% better each day Larry”. And you know, Rick called me nearly every day. I took Rick’s message to heart and was moved by his daily show of support. Here is a guy who I never met before, taking a personal interest in my healing. Rick recommended some great books to read during my healing period and even sent me a few as gifts. Now that’s reaching out, that’s connecting, that’s being “GREAT”. Rick is a shining example of the quality, the depth and the character of a Todd Durkin Mastermind teammate. Like attracts like and Todd attracts awesome people.
Getting up from the bottom of the stairwell was the start of my involution, and my evolution started on November 29th, the day I was healthy enough to attend Todd’s bootcamp exactly 4 months after surgery. I returned to training, albeit on a limited schedule, a changed person. I now had definiteness of purpose, it was time to give back in a different way, to lead in a different way, to spend some hours training at the gym, but most hours COACHING and giving back to so many that reached out to me. I started writing more, listening more and transitioning more. At Todd’s 3-day Mentorship program in December, I presented to the group on “The Todd Durkin Mastermind” concept, and it then hit me, I was presenting with Todd Durkin, my dream of 2 years back, had become reality. A few days later, Todd asked me to Coach his next Mastermind Group expansion in Spring of 2009. I accepted and thanked him from the bottom of my heart, indeed a special moment in my personal and professional life. Todd made the effort to announce my future position as COACH at the TD MMG retreat this past March, another honor. To be lucky enough and healthy enough to COACH such an incredible group of fitness professionals is a step up in my on-going evolution.
My journey is not unlike yours. We work hard to rise up, to climb the mountain, to feel exhilaration, to know, feel and taste success, victory. Sometimes we may trip, even FALL in the process, but we stay in the game, dust ourselves off and stand tall and move forward. One thing is certain, the journey is brighter, wider and more fulfilling when shared with a TEAM, breathed with a TEAM and gleaned with a TEAM. Never forget the power of personal connection; via written word or spoken word, through touch or acts of kindness, and through a sharing and giving spirit. The seeds of GREATNESS lie within every one of us, and you have found and COMMITTED to a proven pathway to GREATNESS, The Todd Durkin Mastermind Group. Master your Life, Mind your “falls”, and always, always STAND TALL. Thank you all and I look forward to serving you.
San Diego, California
The Huge Business Benefits of Mastermind Groups…
Two years ago I decided I’d like a place to go where I could meet regularly with successful colleagues I trust and respect that were in similar businesses—a place where we could brainstorm and share ideas, resources, advice and even partner on projects.
So I began reaching out to a small group of women who, like me, have successful online marketing and coaching businesses and whose reputations I respected. I explained what my goals were for the group and why I thought it would be advantageous for each to join. To my surprise, most said yes immediately. Each of these women are solo-preneurs with outsourced teams, but like me, they were looking for the same type of support I was proposing. One of our main goals was to help each other dramatically increase our online success.
Since then we’ve met monthly by teleconference and we communicate regularly via a private Yahoo group. Not only have we become friends, but valued business advisors and collaborators. We share our best resources, best practices, best marketing ideas, best systems and best connections. We’ve done numerous joint ventures with each other and all of our businesses have grown substantially. Occasionally we get a chance to meet in person at a business conference and it’s always like spending time with an old friend. And yes, we have fun!
I like these women. They are smart, open, collaborative, focused and successful. They don’t make excuses; they are confident. I’ve learned so much from them and I hope I’ve given as much in return. We make money together and we give each other support. When we’re perplexed or have a business problem, we have a place to go to get honest feedback and direction.
North Carolina, USA
Priceless Support and Brainstorming…
I have to tell you what a difference your mastermind group has made in my life, both personally and professionally. Being a part of such a wonderfully warm and supportive group of other self-employed people has been priceless.
Knowing that there is a group of professionals who jump up and down when I have a success, or brainstorm a solution when I hit a brick wall, or who share resources when I have a question, or who help me sort things out when I feel overwhelmed, or who can relate when I just need to vent—these all mean so much to me. I am sure that I would not be as close to reaching so many of my goals without this group.
To think of the many self-employed individuals out there, doing it on his or her own and the time they waste, the trial and errors they go through, the wrong moves, and untapped resources—I am so thankful I am not one of them (any more)!
Professional Organizer, Speaker and Author
Encouragement, Support, Brainstorming…
As a solo practitioner, I find it invaluable to have other professionals who know my WHOLE story (personal and professional) with whom I can share my business plans. I have no one here to bounce my ideas off of, and having access to everyone's support any time I need it is wonderful.
I think our mastermind group is special because it is virtual. Because we communicate by email and phone calls, there is an element of anonymity. I know a lot has been written about how people abuse the anonymity that the Internet offers, but in this case I think it allows us to reveal more about what's going on in our businesses and lives in an environment that feels safe. That level of communication leads to a feeling of support and friendship that is quite genuine, despite the distances between us.
The group has helped me to envision a business that takes full advantage of opportunities that exist, without limiting myself to my own perception of my capabilities. The overall spirit of this group seems to be "You Go Girl!" and that is exactly the kind of encouragement I need to grow my business and think about it in ways that don't always occur to me.
Zurek Design, Inc.
CEO of a 70 Person Hi-Tech Company…
CEO and joint owner of a company in the technology area shared with the mastermind group the managerial and emotional challenges he was facing in having to dismiss a large number of employees in this company in the very near-term. This CEO openly shared that this act which was forced upon him due to a huge loss of revenue from international sales stemming from the world financial crisis. He was very concerned about having to dismiss so many people, it was something that did not sit well with him and his values as a manager, a leader and as a human being. Many of his employees are people who have been with him for years, some have disabilities, others are advanced in age, and still others are actually family relations.
The CEO requested a mastermind discussion around possibilities and alternatives in and around this topic of difficulty for him. The group ostensibly "brainstormed" various angles and points, but in essence it was a true "mastermind". Some 15 people linked up with this CEO in listening, "being there", generating "brainpower", leveraging experience and allowing this CEO to benefit from the group's power of association, empathy and focus. Within 30 minutes, a few ideas for this CEO had emerged, others became better focused, some fears were allayed and commitment to certain actions (of the CEO) was strengthened. The 30 minutes touched all in the group, who themselves are managers of others. It touched them in that unseen but ubiquitous space of "manager/human being" that so many of us know. Technically, it was a "brainstorm" to benefit only one person, but at another level it was a brainstorm for all 15 participants in the room.
Ronnie Dunetz, MBA
Business, Life and Mastermind Coaching