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Online mastermind groups are pretty common but today we’re talking to an entrepreneur who ‘just knew’ that people were exhausted from spending their time and lives online. So she brought the online tradition back to a real classroom where entrepreneurs could share their stories in a safe space and receive the value of collective advice from other local businesses.
From retail stores to online businesses, the members of @kareykapell and @michellestrawford ‘s mastermind are building local connections and real-world superpowers.
Tune in for today’s podcast ? episode on @cjtr_91.3 to learn more about the power of masterminds and to hear a brief diversion on the status of childcare! ?
Are you ready to make the door swing, the phone ring and the website ding? In this episode, we’re talking about one of the best kept secrets in any community. Its network of local businesses, businesses that rely on foot traffic and phone calls from the skinny lessons that will make you win the tell all exposes. These everyday people are doing extraordinary things in their businesses. Welcome to The Secret Life of local. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and local business cheerleader. I’ve been helping local businesses thrive for over 20 years. From online businesses to local multilocation stores. You can turn browsers to buyers and thinkers to doers. Today, we’re going behind the scenes with Karey Kapell from her namesake business coaching service to talk about turning her online mastermind programme into an in person business besties mastermind programme in her local community. Tune in to hear how Karey and her business partner are changing the conversation for women business owners. Welcome Karey, tell us a little bit about yourself and your mastermind programme.
And I help female entrepreneurs find their next level in business, so working with them on their leadership skills as well as their business strategy. So what is a mastermind? Yes. What the heck is a mastermind? So a mastermind is a peer to peer support group where we bring entrepreneurs together to support each other help solve problems that they’re having in their business, give advice and just be you know, not only, you know, strategic support, but also emotional support, mental support when it comes to growing your business. So it’s an it’s a, an incubator for, you know, coming to the table with all your challenges, and really like having people on the outside looking in who have may have been through something similar, and have tried different things to help you really solution, your challenges and help you go to that next level.
So do you find Karey that in your groups, you need to have very homogeneous groups? Where everybody is service based? Or everybody is retail based? Or what does your group makeup look like?
That’s actually a really good question. So traditionally, in the past, when I ran masterminds, I would often keep them focused on like, you know, industry specific, so like, coaches only, like more product based only. And this time, actually, last year, we decided to do a mix of both. And we’ve actually found the diversity of a group has been incredibly beneficial, and in a lot of ways, because lots of times when we come to the table, we’re also each other’s ideal clients in some ways, or we like our like, we’re people that like want to experience the like we’ve experienced the business before or like purchase from them. And so a lot of times, like, just having that diverse group of women around the table is beneficial. And that diverse outlook is been really game changing. So traditionally, like, I in the past, like I said, I kind of segment, segmented it, but now I’m just kind of opening it up, we want to see a good balance. Like if you’re the only product based business in there, and it’s only service based, then that might not be as useful for you. So we tried to make it balanced in that way.
So how many people would be in your mastermind groups, whether it was online or in person?
Yeah, so typically, we keep it to like 10. Because we want to create, like a really intimate experience, I myself have been a part of larger ones. And I feel sometimes I got lost a little bit and like the amount of people plus you don’t get as much time to solution your business if there’s too many. So we try to keep it to 10. So that it’s a really intimate group and everyone has lots of time to talk about their business, their challenges and, and such. So yeah, 10 is a good number.
Is it funny how, let’s say 10 years ago, we would have called up a friend called up another business owner, gone for coffee and had these conversations. And as technology changed, and then COVID hit our behaviours change where everything moved online. And yet, you’ve brought that mastermind concept back to being in person to tell me a little bit about that journey. And you have a partner in that process too.
Yeah, so before COVID I ran my masterminds completely online and a lot of that too was like the decision there was like the scalability of it is a little bit more you know, you can scale it you don’t have to like niche into just like the Regina market where where I live right. And so that was great and all but there’s a there’s a difference. Word of energy when people are in person. And one of the things that even though I was also a part of online masterminds, I would often travel every so often to go meet the mastermind in person. And those times were so incredibly powerful and impactful that when it came to running when in Regina, actually, Michelle Stratford, who’s owns Bella chic, she’s the producer of what women want. She was in one of my in person masterminds a long time ago, back when I first started them in 20, like 18. And we did it in person then. And that was before I got into like online marketing and kind of online coaching and stuff. And she just loved the power of that group. And so she had approached me and she’s like, you know, I think that there are so many entrepreneurs who are just craving that in person connection, they’re craving, like, they’re so done with being online, they’re so done talking through a computer screen, and they just want to be in person. So, um, we decided to, like, let’s target like Regina, and surrounding area businesses, and let’s do this in person. And the response was incredible people really were craving that in person connection.
Yeah, absolutely. You know, and just having somebody to bounce ideas off. That’s huge. And even if it’s not at the mastermind, you’ve got this other group of nine people who you can send an email to and say, like, hey, what do you think of this idea? Have you ever bumped into this? Do you have any ideas? Right? And so we all kind of build that little micro network? Yeah, you know, almost like I want to say built in friends. Right.
But it’s whether we call each other business besties.
Yeah, exactly. And that’s exactly what you’re building. So tell me what a session would would look like in a mastermind here in Regina. Yeah.
So we host them in person at slant, which is a new co workspace in Regina. And so we all like gather, and at the very beginning, we just kind of do like a little like, how’s it going check in, and then each person gets a certain amount of time, depending on how many people show up. And we’ve been like, this year, everyone has showed up every single time. It’s been amazing. The commitment level has been awesome. And so we just kind of distribute the time between each entrepreneur and they get so much time and we basically say, Okay, what is your challenge, and they get like two minutes to describe the challenge that they’re bringing to the table for that session. And then we do a thing where we you have we have two to three minutes to ask clarifying questions only. So we’re not solutioning. We’re just clarifying questions, right? So like, Who’s your ideal clients? What have you tried in the past? Like, just things like that, right. And then after that, we go into like what we call brain writing, where we everybody just dumps their ideas for solutions onto a piece of paper. And we would do that for a couple minutes. And then we open up the floor to conversation. So someone can take an idea that they wrote on a piece of paper, and just say, Hey, have you thought of this, and then the masterminding happens, and people just jump in. And we just kind of go from there. What the reason why we introduced the brain writing was because sometimes some people are more quiet, and some people are more dominant. And we wanted the opportunity for everyone to just at least get their idea down. So if they didn’t have a chance to talk or give their idea, at least it’s written on paper, and then all those sheets of paper, go to that entrepreneur, they get to like, take it away with them and like, then everyone signs it, and they can review it after and then reach out to that individual and be like, hey, like, Can you expound on your idea? Yeah, um, so yeah, that’s the format. And then at the very end of each person’s session as facilitators. And as for me, my job as the coach, and the group is to be like, okay, out of everything that everyone said, what feels most aligned for you? And what’s the action you’re going to take and commit to before you get back to this table? Accountability is so huge in this group, and we kick it off saying like, Don’t say you’re going to do something unless you’re committed to doing it, because we are going to hold you to that to your commitments, because we need to be pushed, right? Yeah. So that’s essentially how the mastermind goes. And it’s incredible the ideas and the solutions that come up. It’s honestly I would love to record a live session just to show people the incredible power. Exactly. Having nine other brains on your business is amazing.
So just back up for a second, did you say that this is a weekly thing or a monthly thing?
It’s monthly. And so in between we have we we have we’re all in Facebook groups where we interact in between sessions, so I will always post like, Okay, what was everyone’s action? How is everyone doing with it? Where are you at? So we do lots of check ins. I’ll go in there. Michelle will go in there and we’ll like write little motivational things or we’ll just randomly check in on people if we know Oh, that they’re going through a launch? Or how did this action go? We knew that you were like going out door to door and like handing pamphlets out, for example, like how did it go and will offer more ideas in between. So, for example, we had one entrepreneur who we decided, like you should, you know, create, like a Slim Jim card of the service that you can provide, go door to door to businesses. And so we followed up after, for example, and we’re like, how did it go, she’s like, I dropped 100 off, this many people booked. And we’re like, Okay, I think that everyone in like, you know, should get a follow up, you should send a follow up email, just because sometimes when you invite people to buy from you, they, they need to be reminded a couple of times. So it’s just like, stuff like that, like supporting them as they go forward. And so there’s a lot of in between support. Yep. We also encourage what we call like, you know, at the beginning of the mastermind, everyone, we we challenge everyone to date each other at least once. So go on a date. Yeah. And so it’s, it’s just kind of really fostering that connection, because you never know what you can learn from somebody. salutely Yeah. And so we encourage that, and that doesn’t have to be in person, if they just a quick phone call or a team’s meeting or whatever, that’s totally fine. And but lots of them have gone for coffee and have visited each other’s businesses and things like that. So lots of in between.
Yeah, yeah, that’s awesome. So are entrepreneurs committing a whole day each month? Or is it half a day? So they can get through all 10? People?
Yeah, it’s half a day. So we typically start at like noon, and then we’ll like end around 334 depending on, you know, we try to be quite like structured with our time. And yeah, we you know, as facilitators, it’s like we, you know, don’t give us backstory, unless we need to ask for it’s like, just get to the challenge, get to the get to the problem. Let’s focus on like the solution, not how you got there. Yeah, so it is sometimes a challenge to get it all out in the four hours. But it’s incredible.
Yeah, absolutely. So what are some of the common problems that you’re hearing from folks right now?
You know, it’s interesting, like a lot of our entrepreneurs right now, like burnout is a big thing. And I think a lot of it comes like from COVID. And just having to like, they had to pivot and solution and like all hands on deck during COVID. And then all of a sudden, we’re hit with this economy right now. And it’s just like one thing after another. So a lot of people were finding just like their motivation and their drive like a little bit lost. And that was totally relatable to both Michelle and I like, we felt it too. And so that’s been like a big thing. The other thing, of course, which a lot of entrepreneurs can struggle with, but especially during these hard times, was cashflow. So a lot of times, like the businesses during COVID, they had to invest in, you know, online suddenly, or just pivot the way they were doing business. And some of them did really well and grew really well. So they took their cash flow, and invest it on being able to handle the capacity or the volume or to pivot online. And then we hit a really hard economy. Yes. So we’re like the, the cash flow situation has been a challenge. And so we’ve been really working hard on like, how can we increase your guys’s cash flow? What are easy things to sell and do that What are ways to like work with the bank to offer a little bit of relief? I noticed like one of the big challenges with female entrepreneurs in particular that I find this is not to say it’s true for all of them, but going in debts lines of credit. It’s a really, really scary thing. And it’s just not, you know, there’s so much like noise around the failure of that, but it’s like some most successful businesses at some point have to rely on some sort of like cash injection from loans. In order to grow. It’s actually quite normal. Yes. Um, so yeah, just Howard, like some, you know, ways to do that without feeling like you’re getting in too deep that you can’t get out, either.
I remember a conversation that I had had with a coach very early on with my business. And he had actually drawn out a graph where it looked at, you know, typically, you want your business trajectory in terms of the revenue to kind of be that, you know, angled line up, but he said, you know, expenses never follow that line. So expenses are gonna go up, and then they’re underneath the graph, and then they’re gonna go up again, and then they’re underneath. And he said, the important thing is, when you when you’re seeing expenses go up. For a lot of business owners, you tend to want to turtle and it’s 100% have to pull back. If you want that trajectory to keep going up. You got to spend the money to make money and it’ll level off and then spend money to make money. And that’s a really hard thing. And I agree with you 100%. As women entrepreneurs, I think there’s a societal belief that, you know, a you can do it on your own. You don’t need to hire someone to do it. Humby we have to figure all this stuff out on our own. And that’s where something like a mastermind comes in really handy. But there’s also a belief and I, you know, I even look at how my own kids are growing up, what what is expected of a female versus what is expected of a male is so entirely different, even in the school system. Right, girls are expected to sit and be quiet and just get their work done. Boys are rambunctious and their hands are grown up, and they’re talking. And they’re given so much more latitude. Because they’re boys, it drives me insane as a parent, why? Stepping back as an entrepreneur, it’s like, we were totally, you know, taught a completely different set of rules.
So traditionally, entrepreneurship is very masculine and business strategy is very masculine. And so just even with like, you know, if I look at like my growing up, like my dad, he made the money he handled the money, I was never modelled a woman empowered with money, and not because my parents weren’t amazing and awesome. It’s just not, that just wasn’t the way things were. And so a lot of women with money, we’re just we don’t feel empowered around it. Yeah. And so that’s been a really huge thing. And I love that you said, like, we’ve been really like, hounding this a lot. Like when you’ve gotta spend money to continue to grow. And a lot of time entrepreneurs, like when they when sales start to drip, they completely pull back, but it’s like, everyone is pulling back, this is your time to go all in, not all in like, we’ve got to be smart about it. You got to know your numbers. And but it’s, it’s so true. That’s incredibly important. And sometimes that means a line of credit. And that’s okay.
So yeah, well, and to your point about, you know, your parents and who manage the money and stuff. It was really interesting to me early in my corporate career, before I started my business, I had achieved some fairly, like, well standing positions in my career, and you know, my own parents, you know, oh, good for you. Congratulations, right. That was it. My husband, then a couple of years later, achieve the same position, same title, right? Couple years later, well, oh, my goodness, you would swear the man just like won the lottery. They just like they couldn’t stop praising him when I was like, Huh, what like, right and bless my parents who are cool, but that’s how they were raised. Them, man should have the title them, right. And it was just like, wow, okay, this is entirely enlightening.
It’s very likely. And I think a lot of actually female entrepreneurs in particular, like, the actual fear at the end of the day is not necessarily failure. I mean, they do feel failure, because as women, we hate disappointing others, you know, we don’t want to let our family down, like, so many of them are like, I don’t want to let my family down. And I’m like, why would you put that responsibility on yourself? Like you would, I don’t find a lot of husbands being like, you know, like, I don’t want to let my family down. Like, they, of course want to provide for them and everything, but like, it’s just as guilt. And yeah, I just think that, like, it’s, it’s really interesting. And I think women are actually more scared of success, than they are a failure, because success is not something that’s been modelled to us. It’s, you know, there’s a lot of power and, you know, in being successful or the breadwinner, traditionally. And I think that, you know, rocking that boat a little is actually quite disruptive to society to relationships, no matter how amazing the partner is, is just, they’ve also been conditioned to be the taker care, like to take care of the breadwinners. And so you suddenly start making more money than your husband or like you are a really successful women. There’s a lot of discomfort out there around that. And we’re, we’ve come a long way. But I think there’s still a lot of undoing around the conditioning, just as females that we have to do in order to like, take those risks and be as successful as we can be. So it’s super interesting.
Yeah. One of the things that I always watch is, because my kids are really close in age, and I can see you know, how they’re interpreting things. One of the things that I think that’s really cool is, my daughter is 15, my son, my son is 14. And I remember back when I was that age, you know, I was already really cognizant of my my body image and you know, how I wanted to look and things like that. My daughter is 15 She has absolutely no body consciousness at all, like none. And, you know, we have never said the word diet in our house we talk about healthy and we talk about nutrition and we write but we have never, ever said the word diet in terms of you know, losing weight, because nobody consciousness. So at 15 She actually still competes with her brother for who’s taller and who’s heavier. And I love that. Well, you like it? I like do too. I love it. Well, but wait a second, you don’t actually get to pack a lot of muscle on in these next few years. So that’s always gonna be possible. Yeah, exactly. Or it’s gonna be like, no, no, you don’t want to compete with him on this one right? Height to absolutely keep going because they are neck and neck. But you touched on something really interesting there and you talk about the the pressure that we put on ourselves as women, we have to take care of our family. We have to this we have to get the groceries do the laundry. Oh, yeah, and run a successful business. And just yesterday, I was having this. Two Devils on my shoulder like that the devil in the angel, because it was my son’s birthday yesterday. And every instinct within me was like, Oh, my God, I have to bake a cake and have to put icing on it after this. And I’m like, No, I don’t. I want my son to have a cake. It’s okay, if I go buy something. He’s not here. He’s not okay. He knew it was bought. It wasn’t hard to figure out. But believe me, it wasn’t figured hard to figure out who made it or not. But it’s like, no, if I want him to have something. My business is in a position or family is in a position. I can go by it, put it in front of him, and I can continue to do things that are earning money. Does earning money have to be the only thing? No, absolutely not. But you know what? When I look at what am I going to enjoy? I was enjoying the work that I was doing. What is he going to enjoy? He’s going to enjoy eating something. He’s not going to care who made it.
Right. Totally. And yeah, I haven’t. I have a similar like not birthday related but similar scenario in terms of that guilt. It’s in the last year I’ve travelled four or five times have been gone a lot like I went to Portugal twice, I went to Phoenix. Prior to COVID. I would go to New York a couple times a year like all over LA like with masterminding and things like that. And I’ve had people say to me, how do you get away with that? Like, how do you gotten away with being gone so much? And I’m like, no one would ask my husband, if he went away that many times, they would never ask that because that’s just his job, right? That’s what my career can involve a lot of travel. And I’m lucky that I have a partner who’s like go like that. He’s, he actually plans the birthday parties, which is amazing. Because I’m just more of like the visionary dreamer, I come up with the idea. He’s like the executor. And we just work like that. But yeah, it’s interesting how like, I and I’ve had to check myself sometimes to be like, I don’t need to feel guilty about going away. My kids are fine. Their dad is more than capable. He’s like he more organised than I am and is going to be more thorough and efficient. Yeah. And he can he can deal with the stuff. Even at our daycare. You know, I was always the contact person if the kids were sick. And I was like, actually could could my husband be the first point of contact? I’ll be the second one. And it was like, they didn’t even think they just automatically put me as first contact. Yes. And so it’s little things like that, that it you make it makes you realise that we’ve come a long way. And there is still a long way to go. Yeah. So there’s a lot of undoing in order to be, you know, successful in business and to say yes to those opportunities, and letting go of the guilt and the shame and just allowing your partner to step up in different ways. And it’s really interesting, but yeah, yeah, it’s, it’s been quite the journey. Absolutely. And then there’s always those times where you know, whether you’re a single parent all the time, or you’re single parenting because one parent is travelling, that adds a whole new dynamic. I don’t want to get us too far off topic.
We only have a couple of minutes left. So quickly, tell us about the mastermind that you have coming up, how can people find the information, find out the costs, all of those sorts of things? And if somebody is interested in signing up, where do they go?
Yeah, so we’re actually just getting our landing page relaunched. So in the next week that will be available, but the best place to reach out for information is actually on my Instagram, or Michelle’s Instagram. So at Carey Capelle, or at Michelle Stratford. So definitely, we’re going to be talking about it a lot in the next few weeks as well. So we’ll have lots of information and the website link will will go up on on there as well. Um, yeah, so those are those are the places my website as well reach your next level.com You can always go there and obviously once the mastermind landing pages is ready to go up that will be live on there as well. So yeah, the next one launches in March of 2023. We’re currently just going through the waitlist and then we’ll be opening it up for enrollment, depending on again, like depending on the uptake, we might actually run two groups again, because there’s been quite a bit of interest. Um, And yes, you can find out all the details in the next few weeks once it’s launched, and otherwise reach out on Instagram. Perfect. We’ll be there to answer any questions you have.
Okay, that is fantastic. Um, just before we do wrap up today, now you’ve shared your social channels, and I was frantically trying to write it the background, but just quickly share those social channels with us one more time, and then I will wrap us up.
Awesome. So at Karey Kapell. And then at Michelle Stratford
Okay, perfect. All right. Well, Karey, thank you very much for being with us here today. I’m really excited to learn more about this mastermind and I’ll be sure to hit up the the new page once it’s live. On that note, if you would like to tell your story, then you have to. That is not how this is supposed to go. And on that note, if you want to sell your story, then you need to tell your story. And there’s no better place to start than being a guest on The Secret Life show. If you would like to be a guest, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out on our Facebook and Instagram page at abovethefold.ca. I’m your host Barb McGrath, Google girl and Local Business Champion. Remember you worked hard for your success. Don’t keep it a secret. Bye for now.