Feb. 15, 2023

115. Masterminds with Dana and Russ

115. Masterminds with Dana and Russ

What is a mastermind group and how do you find one? What happens at a mastermind? Why do people join mastermind groups? Dana and Russ discuss a recent experience Dana had speaking to a mastermind group. We also discuss what the benefits could be for those participating in mastermind groups.

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You can find Dana @adashofboss, @dana.dowdell and @hrfanatic
Dana DowdellBoss Consulting – HR Consulting
Google -  https://tinyurl.com/y4wxnavx

You can find Russ @reliable.remediation
Russ HarlowReliable Remediation – Disaster Restoration
Google: https://g.page/r/CXogeisZHEjMEBA


Dana Dowdell  00:05

Hi, Russ.


Russ Harlow  00:06



Dana Dowdell  00:07

Hi, how are you?


Russ Harlow  00:08

I'm living the dream.


Dana Dowdell  00:12

Russ, I went to Arizona.


Russ Harlow  00:14

Arizona. I hear it's warm there. But you could also ski in the mountains.


Dana Dowdell  00:17

It's weird. It was warm during the day, but very cold at night. And in the early morning, it was a weird, weird weather


Russ Harlow  00:24

life in the desert. Life in the desert. Did you go we have interviewed some people down there so weird. Who did you go see?


Dana Dowdell  00:30

So, I was invited by one of our favorite guests here on the podcast. CRS Stockland. From she's in Tennessee now, but she owned the boutique workshop and is now it's the inventory workshop, I think is what she rebranded to. But I was.


Russ Harlow  00:50

invited to go down there to run an Ironman with her.


Dana Dowdell  00:53

No, absolutely not. Absolutely not. But I did go down there because she was holding a mastermind for her group. And I was able to speak to her mastermind group and it was really freaking cool.


Russ Harlow  01:09

So was this a group of boutique owners?


Dana Dowdell  01:12

Yeah, so these are mostly boutique owners, there was a really cool girl who did art print and stuff. But it's people who own retail, whether it's ecommerce or brick and mortar. And siara has created this mastermind group to teach them all about profit first and inventory management and marketing. And it's really cool. Really, really cool.


Russ Harlow  01:40

So, does she have multiple marketing like mastermind groups? Or is it just one large group? Or how many people were you? Or was it 10s of 1000s?


Dana Dowdell  01:51

Or 10s? of 1000s? Now? No, no. So she and obviously, every mastermind group is different. She has I think, under 50, I can't remember the exact number, but I think they meet every week and they do profit. First they do budgeting they share, you know, per piece averages. So, there's a lot of data sharing. And then she does these in person masterminds twice a year. And she rented this beautiful house in Arizona. And there were about 16 people that flew in, which was pretty cool. They flew in from all over Tulsa, Florida. Not many people from the East Coast, some people from California. And it was two days of just intensive learning, and community. And it was really powerful, to be quite honest.


Russ Harlow  02:46

You know, I've got a lot of questions about masterminds because, you know, I heard the term, I've heard the term thrown around a lot. And then I've seen price tags on being a part of a mastermind, and they can be from, you know, manageable to wow, that's a lot of money. So, I'm just curious. What about your experience, but two, it sounds like the participants were getting a lot of value about, you know, with being there and participating in this.


Dana Dowdell  03:20

Yeah, I mean, I think, you know, it's funny, I also got a lot of value. You know, I had a one hour speaking slot where I talked about, you know, 10 mistakes that small business owners make when it comes to HR, and, but I also got a lot of value in terms of that she invited this other woman, Liz Whitehead, who does email and text marketing. And so just listening to her speak about what she knows, works. You know, I'm sitting there listening to her speak, and I'm like, mapping out an email campaign. You know, so it's, it's, I think, as a as a speaker at a mastermind, you can get a lot of value. But you know, I will say, my largest takeaway, and I think some of this is because of what you and I talked about two episodes ago, and kind of like meeting that accountability, sense of community was just the incredible value of the community that exists when you have a mastermind, you know, they her mastermind is all women. And so there was lots of vulnerability around like purpose, and feeling like you're enough in your business and that you're doing enough in your business and that you're also doing enough with your family, you know, some of the burdens that I think a female business owner might carry. And so seeing people be vulnerable in that space, and then seeing the other people support and connect on those same kind of ideas and struggles You know, that's, I feel like that is worth a million dollars. It's incredible. It was really incredible to see.


Russ Harlow  05:08

And I'm guessing that that was just kind of, you know, the group was very intense. The time there was much more intense than their regular weekly meetings, but I'm guessing that it was not unlike a lot of their other meetings when they meet weekly or whatever, where they're still getting that amount of support, and direction. Maybe just going to recourse directions, right, to get back on track for their businesses and their personal lives. I mean, and I know it is different for men and women. But I mean, there's a need for men to be vulnerable as well. Oh, absolutely. But I can't I literally when I say I can't imagine it, I can't imagine, like moms and I see a lot of moms have guilt, especially as business owners. Like, I can't begin to understand what it's like to feel that, like, as a man, I'm just like, we'll just don't feel that way. And that's what but again, but look, like I said, I don't get it. And so, like it's not fair. So it's so amazing to have that support, because women aren't always supportive of each other. And I don't want to have to be the one that says that because I shouldn't be you could have said it.


Dana Dowdell  06:30

You're right. You're right. You're right. You're right. But I think too, you know, yes, there's a part of that. And I think that having that sense of community is really important, I think to some of what I saw was, you know, when you're in your business so much, and you're working on the day to day, and you know, like a lot of these women are brick and mortar, so they're in the store selling meeting with customers, that type of thing going to market like, you can't always see the forest through the trees. And so a lot of what this mastermind focused on is like, what is your problem that you're facing from a, like a marketing perspective, or from an operations perspective, or from an HR perspective? And like, let's have a community conversation around how you can tackle that. And so, it's kind of like, I feel like the visual I get is like, if you're in a mastermind, it's like someone pulling you through the trees to help you see, you know, the clear the clearing on the other side, low branch talk. Oh, yeah.


Russ Harlow  07:33

So I'm curious, like, it was some of the stuff that you shared about because I would think hiring retail can be a real challenge, and bringing in the right individuals in the right way. Did you talk about that at all? Or? 


Dana Dowdell  07:48

Yeah, I mean, you talked about retail is a high turnover industry. And so, a lot of these women do experience that. We did talk a bit about like the structure. And even if you have one employee having enough structure in onboarding that employee, and, you know, writing out your policies can be really important in terms of that employee’s experience. You know, it is interesting, there are some women in the room who had been in business for 15 years and had, you know, probably over 50 employees during the course of their business so far. And there were some other women who were new in hiring. And they maybe had one or two. And so, it was really cool to see the different insights in the room and what, you know, what has worked for one might work for the other. But yeah, I mean, that's, that was a common problem. And also, the minimum wage, right? A lot of these women are working in states where minimum wage is now $14 $15 An hour and in terms of budgeting and revenue, and all that, trying to tackle that when they're not really getting the right value from the employees that they're hiring.


Russ Harlow  08:57

So, yeah, and that's a challenge in a lot of industries. But I think when you're talking about expectations, and onboarding, just having it written, just goes a long way, because it's never, oh, that's not what you said. Or you can always refer back to say, no, these are our expectations. And if they are built out of your core values and your mission, it's something you should probably revisit that I would say no less than monthly. Hey, these How are we doing with our core values and our expectations? You know, is this going well, and what can we do to fix it? If it's not, so having those expectations written down and having them just I think having them come out of like I said, your core values is so important. That's why understanding those things for you and your business is so important.


Dana Dowdell  09:54

And I think you know, a lot of the people were speaking about how like, you know, they know that they need to have a policy or a procedure on how to, let's say, close out their POS system point of sale system, but like, where do they find the time to do that? And, you know, we talked about that there's these tools, you can have an employee map out your point of view, you know, what is their process, and then you at least have a document to start with. You know, and I think it's, it's just interesting the amount of commonalities that so many of us face, in business, and so that all being in the same room, I think, has a lot of had a lot of value. It's really funny, I had a crazy week, this week before. I had a crazy week, this week before I went, and I was stressing a little bit about what I was going to present. And then I just realized, like, I am an expert in this, and that these people probably had so many questions. And like, that's what the value is like that, that in a way, I could stand up there for 15 minutes and give a presentation and not give any opportunity for questions. But really the value. And I think that's what Sierra does so well is like she brings these experts to the people in her mastermind. The value is that you get to sit in an intimate setting with, you know, 16 other women in front of an HR professional in front of an email marketing professional in front of a profit first master, you know, and ask them your specific questions. You don't have to go pay $200 an hour to poke you know, pick my brain and ask me what I do in this situation. You just get to ask it in a room. And I that is like, cool. That's so cool.


Russ Harlow  11:53

Yeah, and, you know, you could carry that on to other places, too. I, before the pandemic, when I was meeting with like realtor and brokerage offices and groups of Realtors, I had a presentation I would do and it was, you know, it was good. And it was presenting good information. And I there was always time for questions after but the time after was always the best part. And when I started doing them again, last fall, I left the presentation at home. And it's not like my PowerPoint suck like it was good slides, and I wasn't reading it. And it was, you know, it was fine. But I was like, listen, here's some information. Take it, you know, I send it to him. And then I just say, what do you guys deal with in the field? You know, and I say, you know, there's like three things that, you know, if you walk away from today that you need to know, It's the simple things. But what what's going on the field, oh, I had this situation where, you know, a client ran into this, or we ran into that. And then it starts flowing. And they start thinking, oh, what happened? When, and that's so valuable for them to have that opportunity to learn and ask questions. So I think that's I think that's great. And talking to a professional and expert and human resources at their disposal. So I'm, I bet you that they really appreciated that.


Dana Dowdell  13:14

Well, then I you know, like I said before, I got a lot of value out of being there, too. And so you know, it's funny, we chatted with Sierra twice, one in our first interview with her. And then if you go back and listen to episode number 66, we talk with her about how she trained for an Ironman and 16 weeks and the amount of discipline that that woman has is incredible. And so I you know, I watched her train all day, right? And then she went out for a run, because she's training for another Ironman. And I wasn't a long run. It was like, she's like it was an off day. But like, why not run? It's beautiful. It's warm, you know. And I know it's wild to me. But it's also very admirable, because I'm like, this woman just has such a vibrancy for life, and for what she has accomplished and what she's able to accomplish. And so seeing, seeing her just like do that after she trained all day, I was like, Oh my God, if it's important to you, you'll do it. You know. And then her and I and another one of the women there had a long conversation about CR does this thing every morning where she wakes up an hour early and she sits and reads a little bit. She'll journal a little bit she'll kind of just sit in peace and quiet and kind of clear her mind for her day. And I was sharing how I was like really craving some of that structure in my own life. And so we had a nice long conversation about needing that and what she does and how it's become kind of sacred time for her and it becomes her family knows like you don't bother mom when she's doing her morning stuff. And so, I have started doing that. I'm giving myself 34 days and my 34th year of like, really, really responding to that craving. So it's a little it's a little bit away, but


Russ Harlow  15:12

no, that's okay. I think that's something I need to incorporate into my, my daily as well, kind of. I never ever thought I would say this, but just kind of speaking the truth into existence, right, like just something I gathered to and I think I might have mentioned this before was Think and Grow Rich Napoleon Hill that we had gotten from, you know, as a recommendation from Kyle Headin. And yeah, so I'm making some changes, like, I'm actually considering at least starting a 10 week mastermind to see what that's gonna look like, with some people in our industry so that I can learn and it's funny, every time I talk about my business with somebody wouldn't have another business person, I have to spend like 40 minutes explaining what it's like in our industry, because with a lot of things, there's a lot of little nuances in dealing with insurance and onboarding clients during an emergency and etc., etc. So, there are a lot of similarities, of course, but understanding the nuances is important. So I think that a mastermind with people who at least understand the industry, because they're in it could be a value could be of a lot of value. And so I'm considering that right now as well.


Dana Dowdell  16:39

I mean, why not? Why not? I'm craving a female entrepreneur mastermind, like a very small, intimate setting, not so much around. I mean, I absolutely want to learn things, but I think I have been feeling like I've been networking a little bit small. And so I really want to kind of to the tone of what our two episodes were in, in sharing revenue goals and kind of feeling really exposed. Like, I want to be in a place with other female entrepreneurs who are on the same level, if that makes sense. Like, that, if I say my revenue goal is to bring $500,000 into the business, that they're like, Fuck, yeah, let's do it. And then they hold me accountable to it. Sure. You know,


Russ Harlow  17:48

and I think it's important to network up as well, somebody who's doing 5 million, to be able to have that as a guiding principle, because they've been through some things that you either are going through now or are going to go through this year, or next year, you know what I mean? So, I think that's important, too. One of the things, it's interesting, you mentioned networking, because one of the things when I talked with my friend Barry from the old franchise, last fall, one of the things was, he's like, You have to expand your referral network BNI is not enough, you need to have a concerted effort to be out there meeting people that are going to be able to refer you more, whether they're in the trades, or somebody else who's running into, you know, similar issues that you're running into, they have to be able to refer you so you have to grow that referral network significantly. So I that's one of the things that I'm trying to do this year is expand that referral network, make the most of more networking opportunities, create networking opportunities, you know, meet some business owners, take them out, get to know him. Know, try to refer him some business to myself and, and hopefully bring that bring that back to me as revenue as well.


Dana Dowdell  19:05

I love it. I love it.


Russ Harlow  19:09

What else can we take out of this as a mastermind is if somebody hasn't heard of it, you know, there's tons of stuff out there, I would be selective.


Dana Dowdell  19:19

I would agree.


Russ Harlow  19:22

 Be selective, you know, don't just dump money somewhere and then realize it was a bad choice. You know, talk to people who are in it, you know, they're gonna vet you, you should be vetting them as well. You know, make sure you're taking that opportunity, you know, to make sure it's a good investment and that it's right for you. But at the same time, maybe you could even start one and it could just It could just be an accountability group to start. And then all of a sudden it builds into something like get an accountability partner, maybe get two or three people like minded want to grow their business and are just ready to be like, yeah, Let's, let's roll like right or die, right?


Dana Dowdell  20:04

Yeah. If you can't find what you're looking for create it. 


Russ Harlow  20:07

Yeah, I think that'd be a good opportunity as well. Anything last? I'll give you the last opportunity to plug something or?


Dana Dowdell  20:16

No, I think, you know, it's, I think it's, uh, masterminds are really rad. And I think it's a good you know, we have Sierra on the podcast, she came to us from a PR company. I saw that she was in Nashville, the same weekend that I was in Nashville, I reached out for human connection, we got coffee, and it's provided a number of really cool opportunities for me. So definitely look at masterminds. But if you're not ready for a mastermind, just look at saying yes to things.


Russ Harlow  20:51

Yeah, absolutely. And that goes down to networking up, right. Make reach out to somebody that you think is doing real well and say, Hey, I was wondering if you could be a mentor for me. I mean, there's a lot of different things that you can do. And then sometimes it's just like, creating a friendship, adding value to that friendship, and learning along the way. I mean, so cool that you just happen to reach out and say, hey, I want to get together for coffee. And it's turned into a great business relationship, and I'm guessing budding friendship and beyond. So those relationships are invaluable in business, and even more so in life. So I want to thank you for doing that. And I'm sure you're thinking yourself, you know, if you could go back and thank your past self for doing something that was one of those things, I bet you can go back. So do something today that your future self is going to thank you for. And I don't care if that's joining a mastermind or, you know, getting a book that you've been thinking about reading or getting an accountability partner. Go ahead and do it. Take the leap. Reach out to somebody have coffee, make a connection, and grow your business and grow your life. Thanks for being here. You can find us on all the places that just business podcast, reach out, leave us a review, give us some constructive criticism, because we know it's not personal. It's just business.