Ironing Out Wrinkles: Motivation, Movement, and Masterminds

Freedom.  Happiness.  Adventure.  Mmm.  Three of my favorite words.  I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, “Yeah, you know what, Chris?  I’d like less of those in my life.  Tell me:  How can I make that happen?” 

And yet, at times, it can seem like that’s exactly what we signed up for in our lives as we accomplish more and more and more.  Ahhh, yes.  It’s that good, ol’ “Paradox of Progress”:  The more “success” we capture, the more complexity we often face. 

We know that each career stage, business stage, and life stage introduce new challenges and opportunities for growth.   If we’re somewhat truthful with ourselves, we can probably admit that we default to our typical, go-to, “This has always worked for me and I always operate this way” strategy when we first encounter a new hurdle.  And if we’re brutally honest, we can probably acknowledge that we devote far too many resources—our time, our energy, and our money—as we confront these new issues. 

We know that appearances never tell the whole story, and while an outsider might conclude that everything’s marvelous because our lives “look” successful on Instagram, we may think differently.  (After all, we’re the only ones who can truly define success for ourselves.)  Maybe we’re parents who have rebellious teenage daughters with whom we can’t seem to connect.  Maybe we’re business owners who are bogged down with employee problems and missing our kids’ soccer games because we’re “tied up at work.”  Or maybe we’re taking a phone call in the car instead of singing along with the Boss on “Born to Run” or joining Demi as she hits that high A on “Sorry Not Sorry.”  (Oh, come on.  Don’t act like you haven’t been there. And don’t you dare tell me that Miss Lovato’s anthem is “so last summer.”) 

Maybe we’re checking our email too often while we’re on vacation.  Or maybe we’re suppressing all those thoughts of discontent, justifying our situations as “the price of success,” not realizing that the ultimate outcome of this pattern isn’t satisfaction, but regret….  

I don’t think any human being really wants to earn more restriction, more stress, and more sacrifice.  I just don’t.  We’re creators and we’re artists.  We want to build our lives with more of the good and less of the bad.  We want to iron out wrinkles.

I can’t envision a tool better suited to smooth away the creases in our lives than a mastermind group.  For those of us who are unfamiliar with the concept, simply put, a mastermind is a bunch of individuals united for one, overarching, common purpose:  to help one another grow as “iron sharpens iron.”  (Yes, I just used a different type of “iron” analogy.)  The notion certainly isn’t new or novel, and I’m convinced that joining a mastermind, or building our own, is, hands-down, the best way for anyone to gain the clarity and support needed to overcome obstacles and use resources effectively to build the lives we want.  Masterminds mean more freedom, happiness, and adventure for everyone. 

Think about it.  Although we might have friends and family members who love and support us in a variety of ways, how many of them can truly provide us with an unbiased, objective “push” toward that next level?  Can we really get that over bowling and beers with the boys on a Saturday night?  Imagine being in a group where people are open and honest about their personal and professional struggles and can receive input from other creators who bring unique perspectives and diverse experiences to the metaphorical table.  Picture nine or ten people who are “all in” on our success. 

Good mastermind groups help clarify our definitions of success.  They help us accelerate.  They help us execute.  They force us to share in one another’s lives and struggles.  They keep us accountable.  They motivate us.  They move us. 

I mentioned that, if we’re honest with ourselves, we can probably admit to spending too many resources as we employ our typical “go-to” tactics to overcome new obstacles.  Well, a mastermind group can be a new approach to success.  It can counterbalance that “Paradox of Progress,” and it can eliminate stress and constraints.  A mastermind can help drive us towards more freedom, happiness, and adventure—and those are outcomes we can all embrace.

By Christopher Leo

Co-Owner, Breakthrough to Billions

* Christopher Leo is committed to helping creators chase their “billions” of meaningful moments in life.  A former English teacher, newspaper editor, and football coach, Leo is proud to offer ongoing education through one-on-one coaching and masterminds, as well as investment opportunities through real estate syndication.  Visit or email him at to continue the conversation. * 

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