RFS Business Mastermind in Philadelphia
As usual, I had only slept about 3-4 hours before departing towards the airport. No matter how many times I fly, it seems I will never change this slightly annoying habit. I had a short flight to London, and then a longer one to NEW YORK.
It was my first visit in NY, I booked so I'd have a couple of days there by myself before getting ready to get down to business... I have never thought that I'd like New York - it seemed cold, stressful and impersonal. I now believe I was wrong about that. I met up with a friend of mine, Michelle, and all other people I had any interaction with was pretty damn awesome too. Hmm. And yeah, there were a lot of people, but not as many as I thought. And there was Chipotle everywhere, so maybe that's one reason to my change of heart. Oh, and I got plenty of stuff for my NEW and improved Wonder Woman costume!
Anyways, this post isn't about NY! The reason for my visit to the States this time was to meet up with the rest of the group from the RFS Business Mastermind group (=Roman Fitness Systems Business Mastermind). It's a group of driven people who want to make an impact on the world and the people in it, just like I do. There are people in the group from all kinds of backgrounds, which makes it a good environment for development; no matter what you need help with, someone in the group probably has experience doing just that!
I met up with John Romaniello, Kat Nardizzi and Chris Coulson at Penn Station and from there we took the train to Philly. It was an amazing train ride; I had planned on sleeping, but I ended up sitting next to a drug researcher from the Netherlands! We just started talking and never stopped. She worked with studying quality of life on drugs, so basically studying the effects of drugs after they've been through all necessary trials to be accepted as a treatment for humans. I had no idea that studies are continually made of pretty much all drugs as long as they are on the market, to make sure that people are responding well and that the drugs aren't harming more than they are doing good. It also turned out she had been working in epilepsy care as well (which is interesting for me, as I have epilepsy). It's a small world. I told her about my line of work as well, and how I'm currently looking to work more with the customer experience of mine and others' services. It's strange how we got to sit next to each other, two people interested in the exact same thing (human experience) but from two different perspectives. Awesome.
We got to Philly in the evening and had a small social in the evening. I didn't do that well with jet lag and general lack of sleep, but at least I got to meet a few of the participants before the mastermind actually started.
Early on the Saturday morning (start of MM), my roomie and new friend DeeDee Ballesteros showed up at the hotel, and after a short nap we went to the Sonesta hotel for the mastermind. There was almost 30 people there, so quite a big group, and we started with introductions of the newcomers (me included).
The sessions in the mastermind were good and quite mixed. We had two days of talks (I missed the third because I had to go back home) about SEO, copywriting, storytelling, email automation, email copy and more. It way very inspirational, but mentally constipating - I've struggled to put words on paper ever since. Not that it was easy before, but it's a lot more frustrating now, as I'm full of inspiration and ideas, but it's as if they all need to come out at once, or nothing comes out.
We had more socializing in the evenings on Saturday and Sunday, and for me that's where the magic happens. When you listen to presentations it's not really about connecting to others, but for me personally, connection is so important; especially in a group setting like this, where everybody in the group is developing together. When you can speak privately and see where the conversation takes you, there is SO much more to gain from events like these. I had great conversations about life, relationships, fitness, food, experiences and so much more. One of the greatest treasures for me was to meet the other women of the group, DeeDee, Emily Stonecipher, Allison Ormsby, Alexandra Kusturiss, Amber Tacy, Annah Rose, Sujeiry Corniel and Kat Nardizzi. It's inspirational when you meet women who are strong, confident, successful and just plain awesome, yet struggle with the same things I do; like believing in my work or the classic "am I good enough?". We all seem to think too much and not risk enough! So what if we're wrong or not perfect? Who cares tomorrow?
Other amazing conversations were had with Robbie Farlow, Benjamin Matthews Johnson, Joey Percia and Brian Dayman, hopefully to be continued. I also look forward to getting to know the rest of the group a lot better next time, when we meet up in Austin, TX!
My biggest takeaway for me was after being in the hot seat (kinda like an interview between Roman and me). This was a chance for me to present my new business thoughts, about how I'd love to help other business owners, especially in the fitness industry, create and maintain a culture that gives the customer the desired experience (which is different for all business/customers). I got some really good questions, and I think I'm on the right path to where I want to be with this. I had a hard time seeing the steps I need to take, but being in the hot seat definitely helped. So my main mission is now to create 4-5 workshop ideas that I can test with a few different businesses. That will provide a good foundation for an Experience Course that I can put on my website and give away in exchange for someones email address. And then we shall see what comes next.... :)