Monthly Archives: February, 2018

Tell Me One Thing the REALLY Works in Business

February 23rd, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Mastermind Group, Uncategorized 0 thoughts on “Tell Me One Thing the REALLY Works in Business”

What REALLY works in business? Everyone wants a magic pill. Unfortunately, there is none, but one thing that comes very close is a well run peer group / mastermind .

There are a multitude of peer group and mastermind options available to you. It is incumbent on you to find the one that works for you. But, by all means, find one, because they genuinely work

We kicked off an online mastermind group last night for small business owners and the initial results were pretty astounding.

An amazing launch

Members came ready to get to work. They immediately threw any inhibitions to the wind and presented some of their most pressing current issues and challenges. We did deep dives on what the issue really is and what the impact of not addressing it will be (or already has been). We identified numerous potential ways to address the issue. Ultimately, we identified and assigned action items for addressing the issue.

The issues we processed were specific to the individual presenting them, but common enough that nearly anyone can relate. They included:

  1. Cash flow management
  2. Prioritization of cash heavy initiatives
  3. Dealing with disruptive behavior of a particular employee

Group members left the meeting wit an average of 4 action items to address the issues presented. They were assigned 2 additional action items to address items outside of the issues presented.

We will now begin tracking progress against these action items and how well the specific issues are resolved. This stuff works because it provides input from peers on how to resolve your issue and promotes accountability to one another on doing something about it.

The value is immediate an on-going

The group is based on 2 main premises:

  1. It’s lonely at the top, and,
  2. None of us is as smart as all of us

One member summed it up best by saying, “It feels god just to be able to talk about it.”

Try it for free

Again, there are lots of options out there. If you want to check out ours, it is conducted online, so there are no geographical restrictions. Your first 3 months are at no fee so that you can experience for yourself how effective these groups are.

It’s not a magic pill, but it REALLY does work for you and your business.

Contact us for details.

Read This Before Joining a Mastermind Group

February 16th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Entrepreneur, Leadership, Mastermind Group, Owner, Peer Group 0 thoughts on “Read This Before Joining a Mastermind Group”

If you’ve ever thought of joining a mastermind group, please read this.

I’m Jon Umstead, author of Business is ART and founder of Plan Canvas. In this week’s post, I’d like to speak with you directly from my heart – then invite you to join me.

Several years ago, I became a believer in the power of mastermind groups. If you are unfamiliar with the term, a mastermind is effectively peer-to-peer mentoring in a facilitated group setting. Everyone comes together to help one another solve their problems.

The concept itself was coined nearly 100 years ago by author Napoleon Hill (The Law of Success and Think and Grow Rich).

There are all kinds of mastermind group options, methodologies, and platforms. I was trained in mastermind group facilitation by one of the most prestigious CEO coaching companies around. But while I became a fast and firm believer in the concept, some of the core practices promoted by this particular company were not in harmony with my own beliefs.

How can it be done differently?

So I sat things out for a year, thinking about. If I were to create and run my own version of a mastermind group, what would it look like, how would it function, and what would be some of the core characteristics of candidates to join the group?

I then began the task of recruiting candidates – something I will admit is not fun to me. It can be a hard sell. How do you show someone that it is worth their money and time away from work to sit in a room with a bunch of people from other industries, helping them solve their problems, when you’ve got enough of your own?

“My business is unique. I don’t need to talk to people from other industries. I need to talk to people with businesses just like mine.”

Heard that all the time as well.

But ultimately we assembled a group that ran for 2 years. It represented some of the greatest professional experiences I have ever had.

We met monthly at alternating locations and as I’d pack up food, beverages, laptop, projector, tripod and flip charts, and drive off to our meeting, I’d think to myself, “Is this going to be worth it today? What if no one gets any value out of it?”

After the meeting would adjourn, I’d pack up and start driving home, feeling completely good about the day.

There is no more rewarding professional feeling than knowing you were part of helping someone else get through a really tough issue. Occasionally, it would literally bring a tear to the eye.

The group had a lot of successes – here are a few

One of our group members had to figure out how to make massive personal life changes due to the failing health of a loved one. One wrestled with a decision to run for public office – something she had wanted to do for a long time – but how could she juggle the responsibilities of owning and operating a small business with several employees and clients to consider AND be a public servant?

In both cases, the group was challenged with helping these members determine solutions and a plan forward. In both cases, things worked out.

The following is a direct quote from another one of the former mastermind group members, who has given me permission to share it:

“Since joining Jon’s mastermind group, my revenue has increased 31.25% in 10 months. Employee morale and productivity has increased 50% by implementing new processes and incentive programs recommended through the group. As a direct result, our competitors do not even compare to the service we provide.”

Christina Walters, Founder/Owner Night Dispatch

If I could guarantee results like that for everyone, I’d be an occasional guest Shark on Shark Tank and have a private island next to Tony Robbins’

But I can guarantee this.

If you join a well-run mastermind group and show up – I mean REALLY show up – you will find it well worth your time and money. Most members find they actually save time by investing in a mastermind.

For the last 14 months, I’ve missed our group. We shut it down due to the retirement of members – one member actually ran for and won the election to the office she had considered. It was also time for me to focus on the development of Plan Canvas. In short, it had run its course.

And now, I am very pleased to say, it is time to start a new group

This time, I will be leading one electronically. We will meet online, monthly, in the evenings, beginning this month.

This revised format will make it possible to expand the group well beyond geographical boundaries, in multiple time zones, and at a time that does not encroach on normal business hours.

Start for free and let the experience speak for itself

The best way to experience it and start gaining benefit from it is to just jump in.

And I get it. You’re skeptical. You have enough demands on your hard earned cash. But if you have ever considered joining a mastermind group, give this one a shot.

I am offering a free introduction to it, so there is nothing to lose and so much to gain.

Contact me directly at to discuss it and get you started. There can only be 10 members to a group and some seats are already taken, so, there is no guarantee to fit you in.

This genuinely could be one of the best decisions you have ever made. I am THAT confident in it.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

36,900,000 Results When Searching for “How to Stay Inspired”

February 6th, 2018 Posted by Blog Post, Inspiration, Uncategorized, Vision 2 thoughts on “36,900,000 Results When Searching for “How to Stay Inspired””

If you enter “how to stay inspired” into your search engine, it will net about 36,900,000 results.

You’d think with so many people, organizations and articles out there to help us get or stay inspired, we’d find it much easier to do so. But the hard truth about inspiration is that while finding it is comparatively easy, keeping it is relatively difficult.

We gleefully make resolutions and promises to ourselves, saying things like, “This year, I am REALLY going to get in shape!”

We go to seminars with leading gurus, buy their books and courses, then run out with our arms raised, declaring, “I’m gonna do it!”

We watch TED videos, Shark Tank, and SuperSoul Sunday and exclaim, “I’m going to make a difference!

Aaaaannnnnndddd thennnnnnnn….we don’t

Why is it so hard to remain inspired (and motivated)?

An article at Care2 entitled 5 Reasons Why Motivation is Difficult to Sustain provides an interesting list of reasons it is hard to stay motivated. Even though inspiration and motivation are two different things, they are related, so we will list the 5 here as follows:

  1. No plan
  2. Distractions
  3. Drawbacks
  4. Negative motivation
  5. Extrinsic motivation (depend on outside world to reap rewards on you)

But here is what we think is the real reason it is hard to remain inspired

As discussed in a previous post, motivation is external and compels you to do something. Inspiration is internal – something you feel.

(see Where Do You Find Inspiration?).

The real reason that inspiration can be fleeting is because it’s a feeling – and feelings are naturally fleeting. Generally speaking, feelings can hit us with great intensity. Later the intensity fades – perhaps entirely, perhaps not, but it usually fades.

Maybe it isn’t important to remain inspired

If feelings are naturally fleeting, perhaps trying hard to hold on to inspiration is futile.

Perhaps, rather than spending hundreds and thousands of dollars and hours on the inspirational products of the inspirational gurus, we spend our resources REMEMBERING what inspired us, as opposed to PRESERVING the feeling.

It isn’t as difficult as you might think

When you feel inspired, remember, it is a feeling and it will fade. Before it has faded too deeply, write it down. Capture things like:

  • What were you inspired to do?
  • How did that feel?
  • What were you doing when it hit you?
  • Who were you with?
  • What were you thinking or thinking of?
  • What were some other circumstances surrounding you at the time?

Now use that to write a purpose statement. This isn’t WHAT you are going to do. This is WHY you are going to do it.

In business, it is foundational to have a Vision Statement, a Mission Statement, and a Purpose Statement. Vision is how you see things in the future, preferably as a result of what you do. Mission is in fact what you do. But purpose is why you do it.

The same types of statements can be useful in your personal life.

Once you have a vision, mission and purpose statement, put them in reverse order (purpose, mission, and vision). This becomes your elevator pitch for whatever you are doing – and it always starts with your purpose, which is founded in your inspiration.

Say it often. Start your day with it. Start your presentations with it. Start your meetings with it.

Don’t cheapen it or make it a rote statement, but use it often enough to remind yourself and others of what you felt in that moment of inspiration, even though the intensity of the feeling itself may have faded.

This will in turn help keep you motivated, even if no longer inspired.

Plan Canvas is a community and a powerful software for improving your odds of business success and personal fulfillment.

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