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S: Have you ever heard the saying: “Your network is your net worth”? Or the one that goes: “You’re the average of the 5 people you hang out with the most”? One thing is for certain: it’s critical to your success that you surround yourself with high performers who are into growth and contribution. It really does rub off. But how do you hang out with the changemakers and the billionaires? And how do you create your own tribe of cool people? For those answers, you’ll need to stick around and listen to this episode number 105! Hi, I’m your host Stephan Spencer, and today’s guest is Jay Fiset. He’s the founder of Mastermind to Millions and author of the bestselling book Reframe Your Blame. He is dedicated to helping people own and develop their passions and gifts, and to consciously creating their lives and careers. Jay has trained 40,000 people in the last 25 years. Now, on with the show. Jay, welcome to the show!
J: Hey, thank you so much for having me, Stephan. I am excited to be here.
S: I‘m excited to have you. Let’s talk about Reframing Your Blame because you’ve got a great book on that topic. It’s actually free for our listeners too, right?
J: Absolutely. Whenever I do these kind of things, I do wanna do my very best to contribute. The Reframe Your Blame – and I got to tell you the truth of it is, that is the title for this book that I disliked the least. It’s not the most inspiring title that was ever written on a book. However, I do believe that it is one of the most important pieces of work I have ever done, and I think it speaks to this internal process that we as human beings have, which is a strong tendency for victimization. I defined victimization in the book as any thought or idea or excuse or process that distances us from choice, participation, and engagement in our lives. The honest-to-God truth is most victimization does not happen from an external event, circumstance, or person. It happens in the way that we think. It happens in our little stories we tell ourselves. It happens in the little excuses we make to keep ourselves slightly – in some cases, epically less powerful and less engaged in our life than we could be.
S: People do get into this victim mentality, and they feel like they’re controlled – their happiness is controlled by their circumstances. How do you reframe this and get out of that trap? Because this idea of thinking about your thinking or awareness about your awareness is so uncommon these days.
J: It’s funny because that metacognition – that capacity is – let me just give you a little background, so this makes some sense. Then I’ll answer your question. I have been in the personal transformation world and industry for 30 years. I’ve got about 40,000 graduates. I’ve travelled from all over the world to come to Canada to do our core programs. What I can tell you – I have a little bit of an odd or unusual perspective being at it for 30 years. I actually think that our capacity for metacognition is in fact growing. I think that we have evolved and that we are in a clearer, cleaner, overall, more conscious spot than we were 30 years ago. You wouldn’t know that or recognize it by watching the news or the average Facebook feed or all of those pieces. But honest to goodness, I give you my word, the people that show up in our classrooms – where they’re at, what they’re dealing with, all of those processes is actually different today than it was 10 years ago, 20 years ago, and 30 years ago. That perspective – I’ll tell you what is something that I’m very grateful for because watching media and watching the circus that is much of the world today – while it’s painful and difficult and challenging and all of those pieces, there is an undercurrent of people doing their own work, people striving to be more conscious, people on the edge of and engaged in waking up. Anyway, that’s just one of the reminders with current events. It’s important for me to go back to, because sometimes it feels like, “Good lord, not much is happening.”
S: I really hope that’s true, and it’s just not that you’re getting better at your Facebook ad targeting.
J: I was taking a sip of coffee, then almost blurted everywhere there. I’ll tell you why that I’m certain it’s not that – is that I have the privilege of travelling the world, and when we put events on in the consciousness realm, very often, that is done by people who are JV partners of ours, who aren’t necessarily steeped in the whole personal transformation piece and all those things – we get a pretty fascinating cross section of humanity that shows up in the classrooms. I’m pretty confident that my assessment is correct. That doesn’t mean there isn’t some crazy shit happening that we need to pay attention to and step up to. But I do, absolutely with every cell of my being, believe that we’ve been making progress in the last 30 years.
S: Yup. I think you’re right. I’m very hopeful that you’re right, too. Let’s get back to my original question around – I forget what it even was now. But you said you would come back to it.
J: The question was how do we get to this spot of releasing victimization and actually moving forward and claiming and engaging in the power that we have as humanity – at least that’s how I heard the question I suppose.
S: That’s very good.
J: The key piece in writing this book was that I wrote the book after having an experience of a little over million dollars in cash disappear in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme that had been an investment that I’ve had for about four-and-a-half years. The fascinating part of that money disappearing was that I truly and genuinely felt exactly the way I felt 20 years earlier, which was hurt, victimized, angry, frustrated, blaming everyone associated in the entire process, angry beyond belief, including at myself, by the way – in terms of being in some self-punishing thoughts. What occurred to me was that, “How the hell is it that, here we are, 21 years later, the only difference really in my experience was the number of zeroes that went missing?” In the meantime, I’d been teaching personal accountability for 20 years. But here I am, stuck eyeballs deep in victimhood. I ended up writing that book as a process of personal healing and what the hell was going on. I created this thing called Evolution of Personal Accountability, and I think the very first step in answering your question, Stephan, is that, number one, we have to tell the truth that victimization is as natural to human beings as breathing it. It is a natural part of the process. It is something that happens in terms of how we are wired, our illusion of separateness in terms of how the world works. It just is as natural as breathing. The first step is tell the truth about it. The next step is that there are different levels of both victimhood and personal accountability. We have to figure out where we’re at in that victimization. I’ll tell you what the evolution is. The lowest level is, what we call, external blame victim. “Some he, she, it, they, them did it to us. They’re rotten you-know-whats. If it wasn’t for them, my life, my world, my money, my financial results, my everything will be fantastic.” That’s the lowest level. Then a step up is self-blame victim. This is what actually most people call responsibility – is actually just a thinly, veiled experience of victimization. It’s one of the things that just drives me crazy about “You should be responsible. It wasn’t their fault. It was your fault,” and they call that being accountable. But the truth of the matter is that the weights of blame has just shifted from external to personal. While it looks good from the outside, the truth is it’s an incredibly heavy burden to bear, and it is not personal accountability. That’s the middle range. That’s where most people claim that they are free and clear; the truth is they just moved the blame around. The third level of victimhood is something that we call self-righteous victimhood. Self-righteous is – you can always see the self-righteous victim from 100 miles away because they are the ones that are certain they’re not victims. They’re the ones that are declaring – saying, “I am not a victim. I survived.” They’re cute and entertaining, and I don’t mean to demean them. That’s not what I mean. But it’s that they are so certain that they’re past it by their declarations and their language that is a neon flashing sign on their forehead that says they’re not past it. The self-righteous victim is the person that knows it’s not wise to be stuck in the victimhood, intellectually, but there’s still the emotional hook that pulls them back. By the way, one of the reasons I love those people is that they are so close to a breakthrough. They are so close to getting past the line of blame. That whole articulation of those three levels is really about this idea of: our society simply is very active in moving blame around and claiming to be accountable, which just simply isn’t true. We got to tell ourselves the truth. Where are we on that spectrum? For each of those levels, there’s a different strategy to get up across the line of blame, where we could actually experience what accountability is. That’s a long answer, but honest to goodness, this book which is incredibly powerful, is a little bit complex because we’ve got to know those distinctions.
S: Yeah. How do you download this book?
J: They can just go to reframeyourblame.com and grab the book and do it. Gang, I’m going to be a little pokey for a moment, which is this, I would love for you to download the book, but only do it on one consideration, that you’re actually going to use it. It is not just a reading book; it is a workbook. This book is, by the way, an intake requirement of a multitude of psychologists and psychiatrists actually across North America, when they start to do some deeper work. It takes a little bit of effort. The first two parts of it can be a little challenging, depending on your ability for metacognition. The last two will change your life, because here’s the premise. I’ll just share the premise – is that our recurring victim experiences, those things that keep on happening and following us along – that could be a relationship break up, that could be financial difficulties. You name whatever your recurring experience of powerlessness or lack of capacity to create is – those experiences are our single greatest signpost or clue to our mission on planet earth. This book steps you through, identifying what it is, identifying the patterns, and actually, you end with your mission in life as informed to you by gods, spirit, universe that says, “Hey, this is important, which is why I keep showing up in the painful form.”
S: Yeah. You don’t learn a lot from things going really easy. It’s when you when you hit challenges, roadblocks, bumps in the road that you think, “Okay, I need to do something different.”
J: It reveals who we really are.
S: Yeah. Awesome. We’ll put a link in the show notes to the book as well. If you go to optimizedgeek.com, you’ll see all the show notes, the stuff that we talked about, and all the links to the resources. That’s awesome. Thank you for that wonderful gift for our listeners, Jay. Now, if somebody wanted to replace this victim mentality with accountability, with responsibility – not the responsibility where they mistake that with self-blame, like “Okay, yeah that’s my fault.” Responsibility – I love this definition – is being cause in the matter. It needs to be done, and therefore if not you, then who? If not now, then when? It needs to be done. I got this epiphany about responsibility at a seminar. It was actually taught by Ephraim Olschewski, who’s a six- and seven-figure business coach, amazing guy. Great episode, by the way, on The Optimized Geek that you guys need to listen to. I’ll put the link in the show notes to Ephraim’s episode as well. Just for reference, it’s also episode number 27. This is such a powerful distinction. I was in the restroom, during a break at that seminar where I finally understood what responsibility was and what being cause in the matter was. The soap dispenser was out of soap. I was able to get a little bit out and wash my hands. What would happen in the past is I would’ve left and just gone back into the room for the seminar. But now, with that understanding that I’m cause in the matter, if not me telling the housekeeping that the soap dispenser is out, then who? Who’s gonna do it? If not now, then when? I found a house phone. I called it in, and they took care of it. Other people didn’t have to suffer, not having any soap to wash their hands because I just took care of it. That’s an example of being cause in the matter in just everyday life. Responsibility is not about blame or credit. It’s not about duty or obligation. It’s about being cause in the matter, and just it has to be done. It’s just part of reality. I want to be in charge of my own reality, and I’m shaping that.
J: Sorry, I want to ask a question and pursue a further distinction, if we may.
S: Yeah. Let’s do it.
J: There are two parts to this. One of which is, I love that example. Years and years ago, a woman who basically ran the organization that I then purchased as a young man – she had a strategy whenever interviewing someone, which was this: is that she would deliberately leave a little piece of paper in the middle of the floor, where the person would have to walk into the interview. If they didn’t pick up the piece of paper, she didn’t hire them. It was exactly speaking to this grounding of: it needs to be done. If not me, then who? If not now, then when? If they would step over the piece of paper as opposed to pick it up and put it in the garbage, it was done. “Thank you very much. Beautiful resume. Have a great life.” But anyone who saw something that clearly needed to be done and actually did it, they would at least have the opportunity to apply for the job.
S: That’s awesome. I love that.
J: Yeah. It’s so simple when you think about it. Here’s an interesting distinction because how you described that experience of doing that, is that you were engaged in your life, you were engaged in the solution, you were engaged in making a difference, you were engaged – all those sort of things, and I perceive that you felt quite positive about the action. Yes?
J: Beautiful. I wanna share – goodness gracious. This is gonna be a – I’ll go as fast as I can, but this is a very important point that I want to communicate – is that the action is important, but the true distinction of if we are being (by my definition) accountable versus victimized, is how we feel in the action. Yours was very positive, very accountable, very creation oriented. I do want people to understand that sometimes people confuse accountability with agreement, or accountability with getting something done, without addressing and acknowledging the emotions attached. Here’s a short version of the example. Woman in Calgary, single mom, works at an oil company, is to be at her desk at 7:00AM for the oil company. Where she lives and how public transit works is for her to actually be there on time at 7:00AM, she actually has to get up at about a quarter after 5:00AM because of public transit, and she ends up having to be at work almost a half hour early. She’s there at 6:30. If she could catch the next later process, is that she would get in at 7:15AM. But she’d be able to sleep almost another half hour or 45 minutes. So she goes to the boss, “Hey, this is what I want. Is it possible? I will stay later. I will do more work. I won’t have lunches. This would make a monumental difference for me and my kids. Can I start at 7:15AM instead?” The oil company owner says, “No. Our phone starts at 7:00AM. You’re going to be there. That’s the job. Take it or leave it.” Done. She does that. She gets there, and she is on time every single – frankly, she’s a half-hour early every single day. Here’s the thing. She hates it. She resists it. She resents it. She’s pissed off about it. She’s actually victimized by, number one, the job. Number two, the fact that she can’t come in when she wants to come in. Number three, the fact that she actually was trying to be proactive enough. Even though she keeps the agreement and does what “needs to be done,” she’s completely and utterly victimized by the organization, and even victimized by herself in terms of not getting a different job that fits her life and her world.
J: That’s a different piece, which we’ve got to be very clear about. It is, yes, in the behavior, but it’s also in how we frame it and how we show up to it. Just keeping the agreement, you can still be victimized. Just showing up and doing it, you can still be victimized. Conversely by the way, you can have a broken agreement, where you said you’re going to do something and you didn’t follow through. You could be accountable by saying, “Hey, I made a mistake. This is what transpired. This is what went on. I’m sorry. I will rectify all those pieces,” and actually feel quite fantastic in the face of a broken agreement as well. I just want people to expand that it’s not just about the action. It is about how we bring ourselves to that action, then how we show up mentally, emotionally, spiritually – that that feeling piece determines: are we in the victimhood stand or are we in the accountability stand?
S: Wow. That’s such a powerful distinction. What did the lady in Calgary do about this because it’s pretty toxic to have that victim approach to it and to feel disempowered everyday going into work unhappy?
J: She did what most people do, which is, put up with it until she couldn’t put up with it anymore, and then left and made up a victim story about how horrible the organization was and what they should have done better. Isn’t that interesting? She maintained her victim mode even after she left. How I know about that is – it was shared with me in one of the classes. I was like, “Okay, let’s look at this in a different way,” which I believe we actually did reframe that, and she got some clarity about what her direction was going to be in life and what her mission was going to be in life and how she had to start stepping up and being accountable and engaged and participating in the design of her life, as she wanted it – not just going to getting a job to pay the bills.
S: If you were in her position, the boss tells you, “Nope, 7:00 AM. That’s when the phone starts ringing, and you’re going to be here right on time.” What would you do differently?
J: To me, there’s really three fundamental options. Number one, is that if that is it, and I choose to stay there, then I want to manage my state. That is my absolute most important thing. If I’m going to show up, then I wanna show up being thrilled, pleased, and happy to have a job and to contribute in a way that I’d chosen to contribute. That would be point number one. Point number two, then there’s the mechanic struggle. Could I move closer? Could I engage support? Could I buy a car? Could I not take public transit? Could I rideshare? Here’s the thing that people get stuck about in the victim stance. I often say, when we’re stuck in the victim stance, it’s a little bit like nailing our feet to the floor and then wishing we were running a marathon. When our feet are nailed to the floor and we’re busy wishing we could run a marathon, there aren’t that many choices. But when we get to the resourceful state of personal accountability, there are a multitude of different options. If I couldn’t manage my state and if I couldn’t figure that out, and moving wasn’t an option – if everything under the sun is exhausted, which by the way, every time somebody says they’ve tried everything – they’ve tried the three things they’ve been trying since they were 12, and the one thing they looked up on YouTube that didn’t really work. That’s what everything is. It’s usually four-and-a-half tries or three-and-a-half tries. We need to get more resourceful in that process, but it would be all of those things, and if none of that works, or perhaps simultaneously, I’d be looking for another job that actually fit the design of my life in the time I want to spend with my kids and how I want to be in the world. She was looking for a job when she found that one. That’s certainly within her realm.
S: Yup. So true. When you have this victim mentality, you tend to complain rather than create. I mentioned from that seven-figure coach, he asks his own kids – if they’re whining about something, “I want to be able to use the iPad, and the iPad is out of juice” or whatever, so it’s not available for them to use and they’re crying about it. He’s like, “Are you creating or are you complaining?” That’s the question he poses to his kid. That causes the kid to reframe and think, “What am I doing to make this better for myself? Maybe there’s a way that I could plug it into the power or maybe there’s a way that I could use another device.” He coaches them through it, and he ended up helping his child to see that actually “You could use my iPhone. The game’s also installed on my iPhone, and here you go.” He wouldn’t just do that when the kid starts whining or crying. He makes them go through the process of “are you creating or are you complaining?” Such a powerful question.
J: We actually have a ground rule in terms of – Cory and I have a parenting mission. One of the ground rules in our house is this – is that complaining and whining eliminates the possibility of support. There’s a million opportunities here for support and finding a way, but if you are complaining and whining about it, then there is no support. We don’t do that. If you have a direct request for something, we will mobilize every force in the universe, as long as we can, but whining and complaining eliminates that possibility. You choose how you want to go about asking this.
S: So good. We’ve come a long way in general as parents over the last 20 or 30 years. I wish I knew all those stuff when I was parenting my kids, who are now grown up. They probably would have been even better, if I had known what I was doing way back then in my 20s, when I was like 20 some years ago. Let’s jump back to this concept of accountability versus agreements. Let’s make sure that we’ve clarified, distinguished these two very different things from each other for our listeners.
J: Cool. I think in its simplest form is this, an agreement is an agreement, is an agreement – I said I would be or do something and I actually do it or I don’t, and that is the agreement. Every single time in the world when we are making agreements and keeping them, it increases our self-confidence, self-esteem, self-respect, and improves the trust level in our relationships. It increases our capacity to create. If anyone on this call is feeling a little lost or misdirected or not as powerful as they could, a very simple assignment is keep every single agreement you make with yourself and with others for the next 30 days. It is transformative. It is one of the simplest yet most powerful concepts under the sun. That to me – what an agreement is, but we also have to overlay this idea of accountability, meaning that it is possible to keep agreements, and these are often agreements that were made out of approval. These are often agreements that we begin through dialogues, “No, I don’t want to do this,” then out of our mouths spilled, “Well, okay.” Those kinds of agreements can set us up for victimization. It’s an interesting little trap. The key piece of this is that – be meticulous with your word. Understand that there are going to be some agreements that aren’t necessarily convenient or a ton of fun to see all the way through. And be very conscious of the emotions that you have attached to it so that you don’t set yourself up to bind an agreement with a victimization, because it’s a recipe for murder. That’s what it is. Let’s be perfectly clear, but it is a disempowering state. I just want people to get meticulous with their word, be clear about what it is, and be aware of the emotions and how they frame the fulfillment of that agreement. Because you don’t want to be walking into work a half hour early whining, moaning, and complaining about the very job that feeds you, your family and provides your way in the world. That ain’t going to work so well over the long haul.
S: Right. Being impeccable with your words is one of The Four Agreements in Don Miguel Ruiz’s excellent book.
J: It’s a phenomenal book. Don Miguel and his son are in the Association of Transformational Leaders with me. They are just amazing human beings. That’s just a fantastic – the simplicity and wisdom in that book is nothing less than astounding.
S: Yeah, it’s great. You talked about reframing. That’s a NLP concept. Neural linguistic programing is that something that you do consciously throughout the day in different forms. If so, what would be the other ways that you’re reframing besides what we just discussed?
J: Good lord. How much longer is the show? I’ll just give two things. Number one is that NLP labeled the process, certainly didn’t invent the process. I’m a certified NLP master blah blah blah blah, but reframing has been around since the beginning of time. They just labeled it. They didn’t create it. To me, reframing is any time – my brain is just going on a bit of a holiday. Even the simple process of three-point thinking – most people think in very binary terms: good-bad, right-wrong, up-down, left-right. Even just adopting this idea in every circumstance, there is at least three perspectives, at least three point-of-views, at least three choices, or at least three foundations. That simple idea of beginning three-point thinking – and by the way, it’s just one of the things that again, if you’ve got kids or if the kid is you – is to begin to think about things from three different perspectives is a mode of reframing. Because it forces us to let go of the assumptions that we are very attached to and choose to look at it from another way. You’re asking me, where else do I do that? Everywhere. I can’t think of another opportunity. Whenever something goes on, it’s like, “What are other ways to look at this?” By the way, it’s not just other ways. After I look at other ways, it’s like, “What’s the most empowering way to look at this?” This is one of the reasons why this underlying theme of our recurring victimizations are our greatest clue to our life mission – is that the bigger we make the meaning of our recurring victim experiences, the easier it is to overcome. I’m just going to say it again because people get confused by it – is that the more significant and bigger we make the meaning of our recurring victim experiences, the easier it is to overcome, because we end up putting our energy and our life force into becoming better parents. Here’s an interesting thought – and I don’t want to go too far down this road, but if you download the book you will actually get to read a lot about when our first son came home, Wyatt, and both my boys are adopted. We choose to believe in terms of reframing those pieces is that our boys were always meant to be ours. They just came to us in a circuitous route. The moment I held each of them, that is a truth to me. Some people might call it reframing; some people might call that convenient thinking, in terms of “You couldn’t have your own kids,” which by the way, that wasn’t exactly how we started down that path. It’s a very interesting piece to believe that our boys are our boys, and they were always meant to be our boys. They were just delivered in an unusual fashion. That’s just one tiny, yet global reframe that my wife and I are constantly and will forever be engaged in, in terms of our family, in the creation of our family and how we’re a family.
S: Wow. That’s great. That’s a very enlightened way of thinking. This three-point thinking approach – it’s the metacognition that we talked about in the beginning of the episode.
J: It’s a very simple tool to begin the process. Yes, it is. Sometimes it’s not quite as simple as it would seem.
S: Okay. We are meaning makers. That’s our job as humans. We come up with meanings for – somebody says something that we feel slighted, and it’s like, “Wow, they meant to do that on purpose, and they hate me. They want me out of the group or whatever.” We make up some sort of story about, and it’s probably not even true. What would be a way to distinguish these stories from the root, real data that the truth that we’re looking at or the reality versus the story?
J: Attempting to discern that? I’ll share with you an assignment that we give often in our Personal Transformation programs. I use it in my masterminds all the time. When we’re training mastermind mentors, we actually ask them to utilize this as a way to really broaden the possibilities. It is a very simple task, although most people have a great difficulty with it at the beginning. It’s simply this – is to begin to think and even articulate out loud this little phrase, before we say or think anything, which is this, “The story I’m making up about this is…” Another version of that is, “My hallucination about this is…”
S: Yeah. Tony Robbins uses that one.
J: Does he? It’s funny because he was introduced to me by a fellow from Brazil. It’s like, “I kinda like the hallucination one,” but the story one really appeals to me because it’s interesting – the simplicity and the power of the story. We actually used that as one of the foundational training tools that we use in our mastermind groups that we use in our peer groups, that when we’re pretty certain that somebody’s gotten something awry or that they’re missing a point or something, and they’re pretty convinced about they were being right about it. Just make absolutely certain that we articulate, “The story I’m making up about this is…” What it does is it simply disconnects us from being right. This internal driving force for us to be right, to be safe, to protect ourselves, all those sorts of things, is a little bit on the crazy side. I have other language for that. But that one simple phrase. I challenge anyone to use that consistently for three months and not begin to look at their life, their conversations, their righteousness in a radically and dramatically different way.
S: Yeah, very powerful tool, very powerful.
J: Can I just add this? Anyone married, that is a perfect place to start.
S: Yeah. We so badly want to be right in our marriage relationships, don’t we? Generally, right?
J: Exactly. That’s why starting there is like the meta-test.
S: You mentioned the mastermind mentors and these mastermind groups. Let’s talk a bit more about masterminds. I know there is a whole chapter in Think and Grow Rich dedicated to the power of the mastermind and how these great minds would get together like Henry Ford and Thomas Edison and so forth. They would collaborate on big problems that only huge minds working in unison could solve, not individually. What’s a mastermind look like these days? By the way, Think and Grow Rich, listeners, is a great book. I will include that in the show notes as well with the link. It’s an oldie, but goodie. It’s been around for a very long time, since the 1930s or ‘20s, something like that.
J: Honestly, it’s required reading for anyone who is interested in scaling contribution and making a meaningful difference in the world, in creating and developing a meaningful network group – all of those pieces. To answer that question, there’s an awful lot to say in that. I have an entire brand which is called Mastermind to Millions, and how that transpired – I’ll just give you a two-second run down so this makes some sense. How that transpired was I, in my personal development company, for 25 years trained all of my coaches, all of my facilitators, all of my team to lead personal development masterminds because having these types of conversations around personal accountability, around choice, around win-win, around the evolution, around metacognition – people would have great breakthroughs in the classroom, and then they would go back to their life. The gravity of the life they designed will pull them back to how they used to think. It’s just very clear to us is that they need more sustained support. They need a group of people standing for the best of them, continuing to resonate at a higher vibration, providing a pathway and uphold to be who they could be instead of just going back to the same old, same old. We designed these mastermind structures and processes literally a quarter-of-a-century ago with tens of thousands of people through them, then a couple of years ago, someone in the coaching-training world said, “Hey, how do you do that?” I didn’t really think too much about it. I just got my internal training tools out and said, “Hey, you should check this out.” I gave them this 52-page manual that is the exact tool that I use to train my mastermind mentors. It’s the exact tool that I used to give people the structure to run the masterminds, and I just gave it to her. That exploded, Stephan, in a matter of about 14 months, 16 months. We went from a standing start – not even really having a mastermind brand to doing about $2.6 million (USD) in mastermind training. It accidentally exploded. But it was built on 25 years of in-the-trench learning, training, supporting, and all of those pieces. That’s how I’ve become the mastermind mentor, and I certainly didn’t create it. I certainly didn’t think of it, but I probably have more practice executing it than almost anyone else I know because of what we did with our personal development company.
S: Somebody wants to create their own mastermind. You’re the resource to go to, and you’ve got this Mastermind to Millions event coming up.
J: Absolutely. I have the Mastermind to Millions event coming up. That’s in Phoenix, September 15-17. We would love to have people come check that out. Honestly, if people are interested in that manual, that’s another thing I would give away for free if people are interested. They can just go to mastermindtomillions.com, and they can download that 52-page manual. It’s the actual exact one. In fact when you look at it, you’re going to see. It’s like, “Why does it look a little dated?” Because it’s the actual, exact one. I haven’t updated. I haven’t made it look snazzy, but it is 52 pages that will teach you how to do that. If anyone’s interested in that – and honest-to-God, you should be because being a part of a mastermind and leading masterminds is the fastest accelerator of our business, of our lives, and of our consciousness that I know of on planet earth. It is the thing, full stop. If anybody goes, “That’s not true. There’s another way,” I would suggest the book called Change or Die by Alan Deutschman which I think is the best science about real and lasting change on planet earth. That book clearly, clearly communicates that if we do not have the community around us – and that’s really what a great mastermind is, is a community of like-minded people working towards a particular goal, sharing each other’s network, wisdom, resources, and experience. If we don’t have that around us, the truth is, 78% of humanity cannot sustain the change that they think is important. They can’t do it, but in the face of a mastermind, quite literally, that number is almost exactly reversed. Quite literally, it is almost 80% of the people who are in a mastermind can see the change, whatever that happens to be. In this case you can change your diet to talking about people with heart disease within lifestyle changes, but it applies everywhere. Anyway, I’m just a raving fan. Our brand Mastermind to Millions is committed to having the support and the community and the tribe of masterminds supporting millions of people all over the planet, and we want people, who are running masterminds to be abundantly rewarded and make millions of dollars because cash in the hands of people who care in making a difference is what’s going to move our planet forward. You can tell. I get on a little rant about that because I was like, “I love them!”
S: I love masterminds, too. They’ve been life changing for me. I did Tony Robbins’s Platinum Partnership for three years. It was incredible. Because of that I met my soul mate – my now wife. We’ve been married since December now. We met at a Tony Robbins event. Just all the changes that happened, stem from masterminds. Even the reason why I ended up at a Tony Robbins’ event in the first place, which – this whole podcast is about transformation. This podcast is because of my own transformation that started by walking on the 2,000-degree hot coals at the Tony Robbins’ event Unleash the Power Within that I went to in October of 2009, and then everything shifted. That was the catalyst for a complete life reboot, and the reason why I was at that event was because of another mastermind that I was in. It was called TEC, or The Executive Committee. It’s now called Vistage.
J: Yup, I’m very familiar.
S: Yeah. It’s just a group of CEOs that get together, small groups like 12 CEOs maximum that are in non-competing industries, get together every month. You have guest speakers come in and stuff, and there’s a chairperson for each TEC group or each Vistage group. I realized after finding other peer groups like the Platinum Partnership that were just operating at a whole other level, that being at a group of CEOs, of people who are running sports complexes or dry cleaners and things like that, it’s okay. It can be a lot better though. I dropped out of my TEC group, and I went whole hog into other masterminds, where people that I wanted to become more like. You should hang out with people, who you want to become, not people who – they want to become you. The Platinum Partnership, hugely valuable. I’ve done many other masterminds. Neil Strauss has his Secret Society, the famous author. That’s been amazing. I’ve been in that for over five years and been in Jaiya’s mastermind. That was actually my first episode of the show. She’s a world famous sexologist. Have you ever tried?
J: I love her.
S: Yeah, you know her. She’s amazing.
J: She’s a mastermind. My most fervent belief is that we need to be both in masterminds and leading masterminds. We need to be in masterminds to sharpen our leading learning edge and to explore those things that we’re still trying to figure out, and we need to be leading masterminds for our tribe, where we get to take a couple of steps back and share with them those things that frankly we can channel and do in our sleep. When we are book ended in that matter – that’s really what all of Mastermind to Millions live is about – is provide opportunities for you to find great masterminds and for you to get the tools and the resources to position, launch, and lead your own mastermind to your tribe – is that when you are book ended in that manner, your success, your consciousness, your financial abundance, your leverage, and contribution to the world, it is inevitable that you will exceed your expectations. It is inevitable, and it is just about controlling the circumstances and influencing the circumstances around us for the greatest environment to evolve. That is why I’m so passionate about it. I love that you were involved in all of those. Jaiya and I were in – a friend of mine Justin Livingston’s – we were in The Leap together, which I truly enjoyed and appreciated.
S: Very cool. Listeners, if you haven’t listened to the Jaiya episode, that’s going to change your sex life. I promise you. That’s episode number one. I’ll also include that in the show notes.
J: Did you share the quiz with them? Because the quiz is pretty fantastic.
S: No, I have not. Why don’t you talk about that?
J: I know that Jaiya, through the mastermind, had invented and created a sex-type quiz, which my wife and I did, and we’ve been together for 30 years. It wasn’t all that enlightening for us because things had been pretty good for us, but we both had a good chuckle. It nailed us very accurately. If anyone’s looking for a little insight into that, I would strongly recommend her quiz. I have no idea where to find it, but if you Googled – most people on here are fairly, technology adept. I’m sure they could find it.
S: I think you’re talking about the different sexual blueprints, right?
S: There are five of them, and we did go into that in the episode. The sensual, the sexual, the energetic, the kink, and the shape shifter. I know them by heart. Well, enough about sex. Let’s get back to masterminds. The mastermind that you are in, that you are participating in, that somebody else is running, doesn’t have to be an expensive one. It could be literally free. I was in a mastermind called The Tuesday Billionaires for a while. They’ve since disbanded, but it was completely free to be part of. It was just a very small group. There were maybe six or seven of us. We would call in every Tuesday. It was all virtual because we were spread out all over the world, and we would share successes and what we were up to. One of the people on the group would speak, and occasionally, a guest speaker would be brought in, but usually, it’s just – one of the people from the group would take a topic and teach on it, and we’d problem solve and brainstorm. These were very, very successful internet marketers, who were in this Tuesday Billionaires group. I got to be part of it. It was really, really cool and free. If you don’t have access to something like that, you can create it. Just make it free for the people that you’re going to invite into that group. As long as everybody is accountable and shows up on time and does what they say they’re going to do, you could have a very, very successful free group, free mastermind group.
J: Let me ask you a question. Why did it disband?
S: They had been doing it for a few years before I had joined. I ended up getting in as a guest speaker. I was invited to come in and guest speak on SEO. I did that, and they were like, “Wow, this guy is amazing. Let’s actually invite him to be part of our group.” I jumped at the opportunity, and maybe a year or something went by. Then they’re like, “Well, we’ve been doing this for a very long time. I think it’s time for us to just move on and do some different things,” and I’m like, “No!” But that’s what the rest of the group decided.
J: I’ll tell you the reason I asked that question – is that I want to qualify. I am in what’s called One and a Half, really fantastic, free mastermind. Better part of 30 years of doing this, the sustainability and the consistency of the free model has been weak. While I know that it can be done, I have heard stories of people riding the free mastermind unicorn, inevitably the conversation leads to, “Yeah, we’re not doing that anymore.” Anyway, here’s just my bias to that. I wanted to just declare my bias really loud and clear, which is this: even though I have been actively leading masterminds, I have probably helped no less than a thousand people launch and position and lead masterminds. My personal standard is this is I almost exclusively paid to participate. Paid for Jeff Walker’s Platinum Plus, paid for the Leap Program, paid for a couple of relationship ones. I’m a fan of paying because it seems to shift the tone, the commitment – all of those pieces. Yet, I have – it’s called – I’ll give the guy a shout out because he’s absolutely brilliant. This one works I think because of the unbelievably powerful vetting process and gauge that he uses. It’s called the JVMM, and it’s Dove Gordon. He’s just a brilliant guy at the vetting and the communication component of it. It’s possible. It’s just darn rare. I guess for me, if you want to start – I’m going to encourage people to go a slightly different direction. You don’t have to sell the farm to invest, but find something somewhere, where everyone is on that same footing of willing to invest. In my experience, I think you’ll find that the value and the commitment is stronger, at least at an introductory pace. Because I don’t want people to go down the road like, “Great, I’m going to join a mastermind.” Three months later fizzles and all those pieces. By the way, even if you do want to try a free one, although if you come to Mastermind to Millions live which I would love all of you to do. You’ll hear me rant and rave about “Don’t do that,” but one of the things that would help you is to get that free 52-page Mastermind Mentor’s Manual. They can just go and grab that at mastermindtomillions.com. It’s a freebie. Go grab it. It’s an interesting conversation about that pay-to-play versus the free community.
S: The quality of a paid community is a whole different level. The kinds of experiences that I got to participate in being in Neil Strauss’s Secret Society for example. It’s called The Society. It’s not so secret actually. There’s a whole website for it and everything. But one of the most powerful, memorable, intensives that I got to experience with him in these last five years was called The Urban Escape Innovation Intensive. We were taught how to pick handcuff locks. We were taught how to pick door locks, padlocks, start cars with jiggler keys, how to break out of zip ties – instead of being handcuffed, you were zip tied – all those sort of crazy stuff. If the zombie apocalypse comes, I think I’m ready. In the last day of the intensive, we were hooded. We were put inside of a serial killer van like one of those white windowless vans, not actual serial killer. We were handcuffed to the inside of the van, and we had to escape out of the van. Some of us were getting tazed. A little bit of stress inoculation there. We had to escape out of the vans, escape out of the handcuffs, make our way across town, without ID, without credit card, without money, and follow these clues and evade bounty hunters who are after us the whole time. And yeah, we did get nabbed at one point by bounty hunters, and we had to escape from them and everything. We were competing against other teams, who are doing the same stuff, trying to get to the end and get the prize. It was amazing. Neil wrote the book Emergency, which is all about being ready for the zombie apocalypse or for just – who knows what sort of emergency type situation occurs, and having that real world experience – it’s one thing to read a book, it’s another to experience what that’s like to go through all these things. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You couldn’t get that for free.
S: Nobody’s going to donate all their money to have their mastermind group go through all the stuff. You have to figure it out on your own, and you just got to be on your own for a lot of it. I was on my own in this Tuesdays Billionaires to apply what we had learned in the group that week to my own business. It makes sense because it’s a free group, but in these other paid groups, you get a different level of access, of commitment, of tools and resources. The expression “When you pay, you pay attention.” Somebody gives you a free course or a free book or free whatever, the commitment level is pretty low. But if you paid for it, you’re probably going to go through it. It’s much more likely at least.
J: I believe that’s true as well. We could talk a lot about that but there’s just tremendous truth to that whole process.
S: In Neil’s program, The Society is $1,000 a month. That might seem high for a lot of people but it’s not that bad in comparison to some of the other masterminds out there that are like $50,000 a year. Tony Robbins’s Platinum Partnership which is $130,000 a year.
J: Plus the travel, etcetera.
S: I’m including some travel. It’s like $75,000 base fee per year, plus you have to pay the trip charges, and those are like $15,000 a piece, four trips a year. The travel to get to the trip is on you as well. If we’re flying to India, you got to fly to India on your own, and then the event starts there. It’s expensive, but it’s a whole other level. You get to hang out with literally billionaires. There are some billionaires in the Platinum Partnership. That stuff rubs off.
J: Oh hell yeah. There is no question about that. I think the key piece to this is that – I want to just put this in context with our other conversation, because there are two parts. One of it is this idea of victimhood to accountability which is the capacity to create and to commit. Honest to goodness, $1,000 a month or even $130,000 is not that much when you look at the rewards of what transpires. Very often it’s, one, relationship. Some people even find their wives there.
S: Like me.
J: It’s like this. Don’t look at the cost of something. Look at: if I invest this, what does it provide me the capacity to create? The same is true for victimization. As long as I’ve got my feet nailed to the ground, I’m not going anywhere. But if I put my perspective in a different way and I show up to collaborate, to communicate, to connect, and to contribute, magic happens. $1,000 a month, quite frankly could be sold with one great joint venture partner, could be sold with one great introduction. There are so many ways to do this. That’s part one of it, but part two of it is this. If you’re sitting there going, “Holy crap, that seems like a fair chunk of money,” then I have a suggestion, let me help you learn how to position, launch, and lead your own mastermind. Then you can have that as an additional revenue source, can contribute to your tribe in that matter. You can make a monumental difference and make a tremendous contribution to your bottom line.
S: Yup. I intend to start my own mastermind actually, even have a page on my site all about my mastermind. It doesn’t yet exist but I will create it. It will exist. That’s just a way to be a leader. It’s a way to increase your reach and your impact in the world, just being part of other people’s masterminds – tremendous value in that, and a whole other ball game if you run your own mastermind as well.
J: I would love to have you on Mastermind to Millions Live. I’ll take care of you and get you all set up because if you’re heading in that direction and with your range of experience of seeing what works, what doesn’t work, all those pieces. Heck, you’re a slam dunk with a couple of tools and some of the term key stuff we offer.
S: I’ll take you up on that. Unfortunately it’s not going to be this next month, because at the very time you’re running the Mastermind to Millions, I will be speaking in Brighton, UK at the Brighton SEO Conference. Can’t make that one, but I’ll be there in spirit, and then at the next one. I’m familiar with your programs, and I’ve heard great things. Of course because that’s why you’re on my show.
J: It was like [inaudible 00:56:19] with the questionable programs. Let’s get him on here.
S: Yeah, exactly right. Not questionable programs but what would be some of your favorite programs that are other people’s programs, other people’s masterminds. You mentioned Jeff Walker’s Platinum Plus. You’ve mentioned Leap, which is Justin Livingston’s program. What are some of your other favorites that listeners may have not have heard of.
J: Christian Michelsen which he called the JV Summit, which has evolved to a thought leader summit. [Creative 0:56:57] people there as well – really, really fantastic. Those would certainly be three of my favorites. We have a version of that joint venture called JViology, which is even though it’s my brand. Good lord, I love those people, and they are just unbelievably smart and giving and resourceful. That absolutely excites me tremendously. For me, I am always looking at two pieces: is the culture that the mastermind leader fosters – and I’m going to give a shout out to Justin Livingston. Not only is he incredibly smart, but he is just one of the most genuine giving people under the sun. I will always, always be grateful and give him a shout out. I’m really looking for the culture that the mastermind leader creates, and then the quality of the people that they attract. That’s always the fundamental piece. I really, in the big picture, don’t care much what they charge, don’t care much what the structure is. By the way, I’m an anomaly just in terms of being at this for 30 years – makes me a little odd in that process, but if the culture is right and they attract great people, I really don’t care about much of the rest of it. I just want to get in and meet good people and do my best to make a difference with them. That has always serve me stunningly well.
S: Have you been in Joe Polish’s Genius Network, the 25K program?
J: You know, it’s funny I was texting Joe last time I was coming into Phoenix. I had not made that commitment, and he’s probably next on my list. It’s that or Singularity University are my next adventures.
S: Those are two differently good ones from what I hear. They’re both on my list as well.
J: The culture in both is pretty astounding. The reach in terms of people, pretty astounding. My biggest challenge right now – we were talking about parenting and kids and all those sort of things – is in the last couple of years, I have two different brands that have quite literally exploded into strong seven-figure brands independently. My travel schedule is frankly too much, and I’ve got two growing boys. I’m a fervent believer of – I’ll say it in how it’s [inaudible 00:59:21] me is that, “You know what? I’ve got 18 summers with my boys, and after that, for the most part, they are gone.” My oldest is 11. My youngest just turned 7, and I am really doing my darnest to mitigate travel. That isn’t just a BS excuse about not participating. Quite literally, my course schedule of the events that we put on are tasked for 2018, just to cut them in half, so that I can create more space for Singularity, for 25K, those sorts of things. That is just one of the single greatest challenges of my life right now, that I’m hacking at those dates which as much vim and vigor as I can.
S: I can relate. I can relate. I travel a lot. I speak at a lot of conferences. That’s how I generate a lot of my leads for my SEO business. On top of that, I’m in various masterminds. I’m going to various seminars and conferences, where I’m just attending, and it’s overwhelming. I just am sick of the travel. My kids are all grown up. It would be even worse if I had kids at home that I wanted to be home with. Thankfully, my wife does travel with me to a lot of them, but we’re scaling back. She’s tired of the travel, too. We were just at World Domination Summit in Portland last month. That was amazing. We went there last year as well. Chris Guillebeau is awesome. I want to have him on my show – on this podcast. We decided not to sign up for WDS for next year. It was a tough choice, but you got to be very disciplined about your time because you don’t get it back.
J: Yup. You can count on little people to exacerbate and to make that very pointed. For me, that’s really the biggest thing in the universe. Honest to goodness, if I didn’t have kids, my wife and I would just fly all over the world, meeting people. That’s all we do because I genuinely love that. But with kids it adds – they are my number one obligation, and quite frankly my business is a distant difference. That’s an interesting conversation for another time, but perhaps we’ll see you in one of those two things. It’ll depend on how well I cut my schedule.
S: Got it. You did Christian Mickelsen’s mastermind for a while?
J: Actually still in that one – that is one that remains signed up for the next one coming up. Both Platinum Plus and Justin’s – I have opted out of in terms of managing time. It’ll be Singularity or 25K group next for me.
S: Christian, I had him on just recently on the show, episode 101. Listeners, definitely if you haven’t listened to that, you should be listening to it. I wasn’t aware that he had a high-level mastermind. It’s very interesting. He’s a great guy. I really like him, and I met him through Tony Robbins Platinum Partnership. One of the many relationships that has stayed with me from being in that group for three years. Another mastermind that I’m in – this is still pretty new for me is Big Table, which is Loral Langemeier’s mastermind.
J: Loral just spoke for me in Vancouver last weekend.
S: Yup, cool. She’s awesome. She’s got a lot of energy and a lot of knowledge, and she tries to give it all to you in the session time that she’s got. That’s pretty fun. Just had her on the show too, episode 102. Big Table, that’s a 25K program, 25K one time, and then you’re in Big Table for life. That’s a whole different model than most of these masterminds, which are annual renewal. Do you know of any other programs that we didn’t mention that are worth listeners checking out?
J: You know what, not off the top of my head. The truth is I don’t spend that much time in others, and I like to speak from personal experience. That’s it. I know that there’s a multitude of others – and part and parcel of our whole peace and process for the lot of Mastermind to Millions brand is to help people launch them. They’re being launched left, right and center. Some great. Some not so great – all the rest of it. My big thing is I want to encourage folks to do your homework; choose wisely; and make certain that the leader that you choose, you resonate with; the culture of the group speaks to your heart, mind, and soul; and the quality of the people are the people that you want to become. My sort of vetting process is this, “Will I have them in my house, having a glass of wine and play ping pong with them?” If the answer to that question is yes, we’re all in. But do have some diligent vetting and sorting processes to ensure you end up with the right fit. I was speaking in Phoenix last night, and a couple who I had met at another event pulled me aside and said, “You know what? I know I want a mastermind. I’ve had a taste of a great mastermind, and I signed up for three masterminds in the last 18 months. I’m over all of them” because they were nowhere near what they were promised and the caliber of the community and all of those pieces. That’s a real issue, and I just want to encourage people as the consumers to not put up with crap, number one. Number two, do your homework. Don’t just buy something willy-nilly because Fred said there’s a deadline and there’s only two spots. We’re talking about a substantial amount of money. We’re talking about one of the highest leverage investments you can make in your life – perhaps more important than your home, certainly more important than your car. Go in with eyes open, get alternative points of view, do your research, talk to people who are in the group, ask what the renewal rates are. Be great consumers because this is a tool and a process that will change your life if done well, and will piss you off if it’s not.
S: Who knows what kind of opportunities, what sort of doors will open up because you’re in one of these groups. I never would have imagined I would have been on Tony Robbins’ stages speaking about SEO, and that’s exactly what happened because I was part of his Platinum Partnership. He noticed me. He was impressed and had me speak at Business Mastery two separate years. I got a ton of business out of that, and that more than paid for my whole investment and being part of Platinum Partnership.
J: That’s outstanding. That’s how it happens when it’s was working well, exactly there.
S: We went in this episode all the way from victim mentality, managing your internal game, all the way to up leveling to the umpteenth level because you are with a peer group that’s outstanding, operating at a whole other level, doing amazing things, contributing, growing, and also even perhaps running your own mastermind and building your own tribe of these outstanding people to surround you. What a great inspiring episode. Thank you so much, Jay, and again, do you want to share your websites for folks to go to, so that they can get the book, so that they can get the 52-page manual, and to sign up for your Mastermind to Millions seminar coming up September 15-17?
J: Absolutely. My complimentary book, best seller, all that fun stuff – you can get at reframeyourblame.com. Click the button. You’ll get a digital download, and please do the work in the book. It’ll transform your life. The other freebie is if anyone is interested in trying to figure out how to run a mastermind, you can get my Mastermind Mentor’s Manual. It’s a 52-page manual. The exact tool I use in my personal development business, and that’s at mastermindtomillions.com. Then if you want to come to the live event in Phoenix, number one we would love, love, love to have you, and you’ll learn a lot about both parts: what it means to be in a mastermind, what it means to lead a mastermind and a ton of offers and opportunities and training. It’s highly experiential. It’ll knock your socks off, and that one is mastermindtomillionslive.com. That particular process is pretty darn fantastic. Those are the best ways, and you could also check us out on Facebook. There’s a ton of ways to connect with us – to get resources and tools to get into the mastermind process.
S: Yup. Jay, you also have your own personal website, jayfiset.com.
J: Yup, jayfiset.com is my blog that – occasionally, I’m a spurt blogger. But there’s a lot of great stuff there.
S: Spurt blogger. I haven’t heard of that one before, but, okay sure. You’re managing your time. I get it. I do the same thing. I think I blogged on my own personal blog probably five times in the last three years.
J: I go through this like in 10 days. I’ll do like nine posts, and then there’ll be nothing while I’m busy in courses and those sorts of things. There’s great stuff there. Go check it out, and if you want to find me and reach out to me, check out Facebook. It’s probably one of the easiest ways to find me.
S: Awesome. Thank you. Thank you so much, Jay. Thank you, listeners. Now it’s time to take some action. I’m going to have a checklist for you to download and work through at The Optimized Geek website at optimizedgeek.com. It’ll be available along with the show notes, transcript from the episodes, what will be some of the actions you’re going to take. Hopefully you’re going to pick up for example a copy of the book Think and Grow Rich, and at least read the chapter on the Power of the Mastermind. Perhaps you’re going to download Reframe Your Blame. I hope you are and then go through and do the exercises. Perhaps you’ll take advantage of the Mastermind to Millions Live training in September or at a future date, if you can’t make the September one. There’s a bunch of things that you can do to get out of the victim mentality or reframe or shift your consciousness, become more meta in your thinking and your awareness, and to up level and surround yourself with people who are just operating at a whole other level. That’s going to be through masterminds. Alright, this is Stephan Spencer, your host, signing off. We’ll catch you on the next episode of The Optimized Geek.