October 29, 2023

Stops four and five of my “marketing-by-walking-around-tour” over the past month were as illuminating as the first three…and if you missed my post from last week, “Friends with benefits,” which describes my adventures in Dallas, Nashville and Sundance (three distinct and unique experiences) click here.

Note: This is not an ongoing series or travelogue…no cliffhangers…and you can read today’s post without ever reading the first.

Don’t you like “Part 2’s” like that? 🙂

The two events I want to tell you about today stem from special groups that I’ve belonged to for over a decade: Jeff Walker’s Platinum Plus Mastermind (which I affectionately call “Plat”) and Joe Polish’s Genius Network (GN).

Both are examples of masterminds/groups that have stood the test of time…unlike most masterminds which fizzle out after only a few years.

Whenever something bucks a trend, I need to make sense of it…and finding similarities between these two long standing groups, despite their differences, is a worthwhile exercise to examine why they have lasted for so long…with no evidence of either one folding any time soon:

  • They are both led by passionate leaders…always focused on results. Joe has little tolerance for “thought leaders” …because anyone can have a “thought.” Delivering results for the people who follow you makes you a “results leader” …which for Joe (and Jeff) is paramount.
  • Jeff and Joe are also active “members” of their groups…while leading them. That is, they learn as much as they teach…which keeps them thoroughly engaged throughout the year and helps to create ongoing and deep engagement for many years…and helps them build their own businesses. They have both said at some point, “I can’t believe I get paid to improve my business (while improving other businesses).” Jeff has often called Plat his “internal laboratory.” He even created a multi-year live event called LaunchCon, which spotlighted his best students and mastermind members. Very shrewd and he always does everything with 100% transparency. As does Joe.
  • They understand the value of the “debrief” …in fact, at all Plat meetings, there are always members giving detailed debriefs of a launch or a specific promotion. When the best marketers in the world peel back the curtain on the good, the bad and the ugly of all they are doing, the learning is exponential.
  • Both groups emphasize hot seats, creating a forum that allows member to member feedback, with everyone sharing their respective genius. Jeff does “Roundtable Hot Seats,” which have 6 or 7 members in them, going around to each one with concentrated attention, with no one on a hot seat saying “yeah but”; Joe does “3-person Hot Seats.” Both have the same goal: Members helping members with a challenge or opportunity with an outside (and expert) perspective. I have always had some form of hot seats in all of the masterminds I’ve hosted and created, inspired by Jeff and Joe…and many other mastermind hosts, past and present (e.g., Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy, John Carlton et al.).
  • Both Jeff and Joe move with the times: In Jeff’s case, the “Plat” group has morphed a few times, going from 30 members, to two groups of 30, then to one at 60 members (because of Jeff’s way of incorporating more people seamlessly into a cohesive group…it’s a super power of his)…and it’s settled back to around 40-50 members (with another mastermind formed that is less expensive with an equal ruthlessness on getting results; in Joe’s case, GN was a marketing group when I joined over 10 years ago…and because of Joe’s specific and intentional vision of the role he wants to play in the world (which includes such lofty goals as reducing “pain and suffering” for entrepreneurs by creating ultimate freedom for anyone entering his domain…and ridding the world of addiction…to name two), GN is now a global hub of the most heart-centered and high achieving entrepreneurs in the world.
  • “Moving with the times” included being on the cutting edge of technology when the pandemic hit, keeping their masterminds thriving by pivoting to virtual and then hybrid, always adapting, with no appreciable decrease in membership or producing results for members.
  • They both have lots of ego (defined as high self-esteem and confidence)…with a healthy dose of humility and gratitude…and this combination is essential to be a successful mastermind leader. At least it looks that way to me. 🙂
  • They create safe rooms, where members can disagree without being disagreeable. More on this phenomenon in a minute…from my recent trip.

When I think about my own mastermind groups over the past 8 years, they have all the characteristics (at some time) listed above that are present inside Plat and GN.

The difference was, for those that eventually folded after a “good run” (but less than 10 years), came down to one word:


Or lack of it.

Especially when it came to shifts in membership…and inadequate pricing while delivering a premium (and expensive) experience (my bad)…and of course, everyone’s excuse, “The Pandemic” (which I survived and thrived through…but it eventually took its toll).

I am not using my near fatal stroke as one of the reasons that I didn’t keep every mastermind running…but physical stamina cannot be underestimated either…and I invite you to read how I am attacking that issue in last week’s post (click here) when I discuss my experience at daVinci50 in Sundance, Utah.

I’m not sad about any of it…what a learning experience…and I’m still learning about being a results leader by being in groups led by other results leaders.

And I owe so much to Jeff and Joe for being role models for me to follow.

I’m far from done as I continue to run “Bootcamps,” “Master Classes,” “Workshops,” “Study Groups”…with everything being some form of “mastermind.”

Check out the P.S. for my latest “offering.”

My emphasis will always be on supreme stamina…and always seeing what my audience wants from me…and delivering it.

Make that overdelivering it.

Titans Xcelerator
 is now entering its 5th year…again, much longer than most masterminds last…and I believe this one has much more staying power and potential for growth. It has become a family.

I invite you to check it out here…I’d love to have you as a member.

The last bullet point above regarding what makes for a long standing mastermind…playing nice even while being in disagreement…begins with how the group is curated.

It’s your group…why not attract people with similar values even though they have different opinions?

Read “Who you are looking for is you” and check out the video inside that post too.

It’s an exercise that will get you clear on who you really want to work with–and work for– the rest of your life. And who you don’t.

And who you want inside the masterminds you create and join.

An example of how this works in real time:

At Genius Network on my recent “tour,” there were two excellent speakers who spoke their truths…but I realized that no matter how successful or powerful anyone is, their truth is only something to take under advisement rather than rush into adoption.

We all know this logically…but in the heat of the moment, being raptured by a compelling argument (and speaker) can make us forget that we need to be our own advocate.

The first of the two speakers, Dan Martell, is a very accomplished business owner and business builder, with a success rate that would make your head spin.

He also told his rags-to-riches story (which included jail time and drug addiction) …another example of an origin story that many have and I don’t.

You can read more about that here if you want to hear that lament. 🙂

He was engaging, thoughtful and opinionated…not in an arrogant way…more in a confident way (because his methods have worked for him and he has the receipts to prove it).

At one point during the interview with Joe Polish, he made the case that any CEO who is doing their own email is basically wasting his or her time because of the time suck…based on the opportunity cost of not doing something more productive or profitable instead.

Point taken.

However, in thinking about this afterwards, that would never work for me.

While I can’t compare my simple solopreneur business to Dan’s sprawling enterprise, I can safely say that responding to every email that comes into my Inbox is one of the most fulfilling and meaningful things I do every day.

Yes…many are a time suck…especially the ones that have to do with the mechanical details inside my business. Those are more of a necessary evil.

But the emails that connect me to my audience…the people in my online family (like you) …are productive and profitable…because I say they are.

Dan is far more successful than I will ever be if we are keeping score by traditional metrics.

But I only keep score with personal metrics, one of which is regular endorphin rushes.

Another metric is “engagement” which is often more satisfying than money.

Note that I am disagreeing without being disagreeable. 🙂

The other speaker was incredible too…John Jaquish…fitness and health innovator and creator of a landmark exercise device (and a franchised program for bone health).

He demonstrated his device at the meeting…it’s called the “X3 Bar” … which has as a tagline, “Greater Force, Greater Gains” …and he used it for less than 10 minutes…which was the equivalent of a week’s worth of weight training.

Quite a demonstration.

And he has the body to back it up.

During the Q & A someone asked him what diet and nutrition plan he follows to go with his rigorous yet efficient fitness training.

He answered with one word (and it was not “stamina”):


And when pushed on it again, he mentioned he drinks an occasional smoothie, eats no vegetables…and then said:

“More steak.”

Once again, I’ll disagree without being disagreeable.

I have no intention of buying an “X3 bar” although it’s an attractive notion to do 3 days’ worth of weight training in 10 minutes; and I have no intention to eat “steak only” at every meal.

But man…the guy is ripped…and I know there were folks in the room who whipped out their phones and bought an “X3 Bar” … and placed an order for a dozen ribeye steaks…before he was finished presenting.

However, there was a cruel irony after John left the meeting, when Joe Polish highlighted another member, someone who just published a book titled, The Ultimate Nutrition Bible, and he gave out copies to everyone in the room, courtesy of the author.

It’s 500 pages and covers a little bit more than “just steak.”

And the author is also ripped, just like John.

My conclusion?

I will continue wasting my time replying to every email…and I will never be ripped because I will waste time lifting weights and eating vegetables.

And…I promise to not be disagreeable while doing it. 🙂



P.S. As you can tell, I love masterminds.

So, you shouldn’t be surprised that when I host any event, there is always masterminding going on.

And the Breakthrough Advertising Bootcamp, which begins on November 7th, a mini-mastermind inside of a useful, actionable study group, will be no exception.

We will be “studying” one of the greatest books ever written for copywriters, marketers, and human behaviorists—Breakthrough Advertising by Renaissance Man Gene Schwartz—but that study will include all the ingredients described in this post:

Hot seats, discussions with disagreements that aren’t disagreeable, debriefs from participants specific to their businesses…led by two results leaders (Chris Mason and yours truly).

I say that with ego (i.e., self-esteem and confidence)…but always with a foundation of humility and gratitude.

The Bootcamp is now open for registration…click here to reserve your seat.

I promise that everyone in the room (i.e., on the screen) will get smarter…during five (5) 90-minute calls…in a mastermind disguised as a Bootcamp. 🙂

About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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