Real To Ideal Mastermind Week 5 Exercise 1

Week 5 home page



This is the part where a lot of other people would tell you to go out into the interwebs and take a close look at what your competitors are doing so you can determine how you’re different.  The idea being that knowing what they lack or where there are gaps in what they offer are places you could compete.  But, I’m not other people and I’ve always done things differently and it’s my personal belief that what everyone else is doing is irrelevant when you’re amazing at what you do!

So, I’m going to suggest we stay focused on what really matters – YOU shining your brightest and doing what you do best!  For the rest of this program, when I ask questions like “What makes you unique?” or “How do you stand out from alllllllll the others in your industry?” Look at how you stand out as a person, what’s always made you unique from everyone else you’re whole life?  Because you are a SNOWFLAKE, darlin’ and no one else can do business quite like you!


Grab your notebook and open to a new page.  Write down all the different jobs you’ve had in your life (or at least the ones that have been important to you).  They don’t have to all be paid gigs, just jobs you’ve done where you worked with others and people depended on you.

Next, start with one job and write down the roles you filled at that job.  What did you excel at?  What did you bring to the position that wasn’t part of the job description, that was uniquely you?  What skills did you master that made you even better at this job?  How did people perceive you?  What did they start depending on you for?

Now do this same exercise with each one of those jobs you listed.  Naturally, some roles were very different than others.  But if you’re anything like me, certain themes start to come out.  Especially when it comes to how you interacted with others and what you started to be known for…  It’s ok if your results don’t match this, but I’m guessing some kind of pattern will emerge.

For some, you’ll find that organization played a part in all your jobs and that you kept others organized.  Maybe you’re good at seeing how all the pieces fit into the big picture and so you were able to appreciate the orchestration of everyone’s contribution towards the whole.  (And sometimes no one appreciated your perspective or vision, but nonetheless, you recognize it and that’s all that matters.)

Keep your mind open to triggers.  If you notice that something frustrated you or lit you up, make note of what it was and why.  For example, when I say maybe no one appreciated your talent for seeing the big picture – did that bother you?  Did it piss you off?  Or did you simply not care and just go about your work.  If you didn’t care, then it’s probably not something you need to build into this business.  But if it pissed you off or made your heart sing, then that is definitely worth highlighting.  It’s possible that this is something you’d want to build into (or avoid) in your current business.

So that’s Step One.  Get to know the roles you played, the themes you wove into different jobs and what lights you up or pisses you off.

Once you complete that, let’s move on.


What do you do uncommonly well?  

Are you unnaturally talented at keeping in touch with people?  Remember names and phone numbers?  Write stellar sales copy from the heart?  Is your intuition especially fine-tuned?  Do you create recipes from scratch with a natural knack?  Do you have an eye for graphic design (even if it has nothing to do with your biz)?  How good are you with details?  Sticking to a schedule?  Creating a complex plan and breaking it into manageable parts?  The list could go on and on and on…  What do you do uncommonly well that maybe never struck you as much of a skill, but the fact is, you do it easily?

Make a list of everything you can think of.  You might not incorporate these details into your main message or brand, but these are all areas that you could stand out from your “competition.”  Let’s say for example, you have a knack for email and you truly love keeping in touch with people.  This could easily translate into sending follow-up emails to people who showed an interest in your business.  You love it, it’s easy for you, it seems like no big deal.  Yet your competition dreads sending follow-up (or even thinking-of-you) emails.  But, in fact, close to 80% of sales are closed with follow-up emails.  So that’s a small thing you enjoy doing that could close 80% more sales for you than your competitors!  And your fans will become die-hard fans because no business owner has ever sent them a personal email before!!

That’s just one example of how you could turn your natural talents (even talents that don’t seem directly related) into business gold that helps you stand out and SHINE in a sea of same-same entrepreneurs.

Now, not every item on the list will be useful in your biz.  But with a little imagination, you can probably see all kinds of ways to weave a different business model than the next gal.  So that’s Step 2.  Once you’ve made a list and thought about ways to incorporate these things into your day-to-day operations, you’re ready for step 3.


What are your brand values?  

What values are insanely important to your biz?  Now I gotta be honest with you – the majority of enlightened entrepreneurs, like yourself, are going to pick the same values as everyone else out there.  Integrity, honesty, people-centric, heart-centered, freedom-loving.  So, I think it’s safe to say, that’s a given.

Go a little deeper.  What values have been integral to everything you’ve ever cared about?  Think about your chief aim, your WHY, your driving passion to make this work.  I’m going to bet it’s not as simple as freedom and integrity.  I’d hazard a guess there’s more to it, something deeply personal.

Anyone who’s ever heard me speak freely from the heart knows I have a revolutionary streak, that I speak passionately about the welfare of people who don’t have access to clean water or schools.  Of course I love freedom, that’s why I built an online business that I can run from any laptop with any kind of internet connection.  But the real root of freedom to me is anchored in the sense of injustice I developed in college when I realized people in our own nation are living without running water or heat in places where the snow gets to be 10 feet high.  For me, it’s not enough to be heart-centered towards other entrepreneurs, it has to ripple out to all of humanity.

So my biz values include bringing everyone up to a higher standard of living, empowering women (because when women have power, we all rise), ethics (which is why I get heated about bad coaches who steer people wrong), giving back, innovation (when something stops working, I tear it apart & look for new ways to succeed – it’s the mechanic in me), legacy (because I strongly believe that the choices we make affect the next 7 generations of people on this planet) and so on.

Sure, I also love to travel, roadtrips and spending time outdoors and some clients will be attracted to my posts about those things.  But most of my clients will be drawn to my true biz values that I just listed. During the first mastermind call, in the first run of this program – Alissa said my biz values made her feel like her own business had a bigger impact on the world. That’s how biz values attract clients.

I hope this clearly illustrates Step 3.  If you have any questions, please post them in the group.  If you’re not quite sure what your biz values are, try describing your WHY to a trusted friend and wait for the part where you get all fired up or almost moved to tears.  That’s where your biz values live.  And that’s what is going to set you apart from the drones/carbon-copies of your industry.

Ok, one last step for Exercise 1!


What do you and your business stand AGAINST?

I know, most people would be asking you what your business stands for.  But I think this is a much more interesting question.  Like we discussed in the biz values, following the crowd will create carbon copies, so let’s do something different.

Think about why you chose this industry and why you want to be a boss instead of an employee.  What drives you crazy?  What scares you?  What bores you?  What will your business never do?

If you’re not sure how to answer this, simply finish this sentence:

My business exists to eliminate ____________________ from the world.

This could be anything from boring sales copy, bad grammar, bad choices, undisciplined kids growing up to be murderous adults, a failing economy due to a whole generation of kids who can’t do basic math, domestic abuse, a world without magic, the disappearance of unicorns, women who can’t control their own finances or anything else under the sun.

What you stand against might very well be the thing that sets you apart from everyone else in your industry.


That’s it for Week 5!  

Take your time with these different steps, explore wherever they take you and be open to Ah-HA moments.  There’s only one exercise this week so you can – catch up on any previous weeks that you’ve been struggling with; and give this topic the space and attention it needs. This can be a really scary topic for some! We’re dipping our toes into the vast waters of our own inner desires and authenticity. From here on out, we really focus on building this business around YOU. As always, be brutally honest and free to express yourself and explore what’s inside you. This is a safe and nonjudgmental space for you to experiment!

Have fun!!

If you have any questions, comments, rants, raves, obstacles or satoris to share, jump over to the Mastermind group on Facebook.