With our busy schedules, it’s not very often that I have the opportunity to sit down with Doug Beckley, Business Consultant and leader of one of the Catapult Mastermind Groups. Recently, we were able to catch up and discuss his business journey, the benefits of a business mastermind, and what makes our groups so different.
Doug, thanks for speaking with me. Can you give us some insight into how you ended up here?
I was actually born and raised in Las Vegas and have lived here my entire life… minus a few years for college.
I started out in Banking and then left to open my own business, a Mailboxes Etc. store. It eventually became a UPS store and what began with one location turned into multiple locations. It was a great business for many years. I was very successful but not very passionate about what I was doing.
I had the opportunity to help other store owners write their business plans, hire better people, and run their businesses more smoothly. At this point, it was just a hobby for me. But after about 6 months, I realized how much I loved it. I sold the stores and opened The Beckley Group. I was passionate about helping business owners and leaders tap into their true potential to maximize their businesses.
It may have happened by accident, but I found my passion and realized I was really good at it. I’ve been consulting for 15 years now. I joined Catapult Groups in 2012 and have been leading a CEO mastermind group since then.
Not everyone knows what a mastermind is and what it can do. Can you explain?
Sure, a mastermind is a group of people coming together to share ideas. Sometimes it’s facilitated by a professional, and sometimes it’s just run by one of the members.
We take the concept of masterminds further. Our groups are a hybrid of different leadership development strategies integrated into one process.
The first element is an educational piece. We bring in expert speakers and authors from around the country to share their knowledge and best practices with the group.
The second element is one of coaching and accountability. Leaders are often forced to put out fires and focus their attention on daily tasks. We help leaders redirect on an ongoing basis so they focus on the important, not just the urgent. We keep them focused on future and growth, not just getting business done this week. There is accountability through the mastermind as well as through the one-on-one coaching we provide each member.
The third element is the peer advisory process. We meet as a group once a month to serve as an unbiased, independent board of advisors.
When you roll all of these elements into one, you get real world, practical, corrective advice from people that are in the same place in their professional lives. It’s a powerful mix of influences that help people development into the best CEO or business owner they can be.
Magic happens in that monthly meeting, it’s just different from anything out there.
What can someone expect from a meeting?
Most CEOs are out and about in the community wearing their expert business owner, professional persona. You have to convince everyone how great you are and how well your business is doing.
It’s different in here. Once the speaker leaves, we shut the door and cut the bull. Our members sit down and talk about the struggles, fears, problems, failures, successes, opportunities, crises, and dysfunction. We discuss the good, bad, and ugly of what business owners go through.
We talk about waking up at three in the morning staring at the ceiling.
- “I’m struggling. I don’t know if I’ll make payroll.”
- “I’m not sure my marriage will survive my business.”
- “My CFO is stealing from me.”
- “My employees might not stay.”
Once we’ve discussed our biggest problems and challenges, we take the wisdom that our speakers and consultants provide. We have ten smart business owners sitting around a table working on one problem and providing a solution for the person. It’s a powerful collective intelligence, and the member walks out with a pretty good plan what to do next. They don’t always like or follow the plan, but they know it’s the right way to proceed.
As a consultant, I always think I have the answer. But sometimes, someone comes out of nowhere with a question or idea, and I’m just floored. That’s the solution. We tear it apart, ask all the what ifs, put it back together, and leave them with a thoughtful, experienced based solution he can implement.
What are some of the challenges that you’ve seen business owners discuss in the mastermind?
There are several common themes that come up during our meetings. For privacy purposes, we’ll call this CEO Bob.
Bob owns a Construction company and after several years in business, he’d hit a ceiling. He was working as hard as he could but he couldn’t improve his financials or his market share, and there was only so much time he could put into the business. Things were getting difficult and not only was his business not growing, it was actually starting to slide back a little bit.
One of Bob’s biggest challenges was that the business orbited around him. He didn’t know how to let go and entrust his key people to use their expertise and make decisions. As we worked through his problems with the Catapult process, we helped him figure out a way to promote, hire, trust and empower a few key people to do what only he had done in the past. Once he did, they took over those roles and he was able to move into his highest and best use. The impact of the organization exponentially increased. The business went from stagnant, flat performance to multi-million dollar growth over a 3-4 year period.
We had to break the thinking blocks that he held about “no one can do it as well as I can.” Once the shift occurred in his brain, it manifested in the business. They just finished 2018 as the biggest year in their history.
Another client, (we’ll call him John), owned a business in a professional service industry. He was in his 60s and was extremely successful in his career, in his business, and in his finances. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get away from the organization. For 12 to 13 years, he worked more hours than anyone should work.
The schedule was getting to him. And, it was getting to his wife. John has promised her that for their 30th anniversary, they’d go to New Zealand for 10 days. Their 30th anniversary came and went, then their 31st and their 32nd. She was (understandably) upset. His whole life was like this. It revolved around the business. He was physically, mentally, and electronically tied and he couldn’t leave the office for even a week.
John met with his mastermind group and they asked him, “why are you in this business”? They had some uncomfortable conversations about hiring better people, delegating, and putting systems in place that were run by the team (instead of him). He got his life back. He take days off, took long weekends, no longer spent every night on the phone. The business ran well without him being there and in 2016, they went to New Zealand.
You and I run very different groups. The concept is the same, but the experience is much different. Where do you see the differences?
There’s not a tremendous difference when it comes to mechanics or process. My group is a bit less structured than yours… (Laughs) and a little less well-behaved. It’s a serious group, but very playful. I like to keep things more informal. I know you stick to an agenda, but in my group, we’ll sometimes veer off if an issue spontaneously arises.
I think both approaches have their benefits. It really depends on the people in the group and the personality of the group as a whole. I think we both allow the group to determine the dynamics (within reason) rather than us deciding as facilitator.
Who would you recommend join a mastermind like this?
This group would be good if you are a business owner or CEO looking for one of 3 things:
- More money – This could include personal wealth but is usually about financial growth of the business.
- More time – They’ve invested too much time and energy into the business and their personal life has suffered. Maybe you’re very successful but your kids barely ever see you.
- Less stress – If you’re not sleeping, you’re dealing with anxiety, or you’re no longer passionate about what you do.
Any last thoughts?
Look, Catapult mastermind groups are not for everybody. It’s by invitation only for a reason. Not every personality will be a good fit and we’re very careful about protecting the dynamic of the group. Chemistry is really critical and we want people that will 1) be a good fit and 2) have a high level of engagement in the process.
If you’re interested in learning more and finding out if you’re a good fit, let’s start a conversation.