616: How to Plan Mastermind Dinners w/ Jayson Gaignard

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to Jayson Gaignard, Founder of MastermindTalks.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jaysongaignard/

Wouldn't it be nice to have severalfault leaders in your industry know and Love Your brand? Start a podcast,invite your industries thought leaders to be guests on your show and start reaping thebenefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fishMediacom. You're listening to the BE TOB growth show, podcast dedicated to helpingbe to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategiesor tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Greenand I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back tothe BEDB growth show. We are here today with Jason Gaynard. He isthe founder of mastermind Talkscom and he's also the host of a really incredible podcastcalled community made. Jason, how you doing today? Good minute. Thankyou for having me. I'm stoked to chat with you. I read yourbook, mastermind dinners, a few weeks ago. I think I read itin like an hour. Is a very easy read, but incredibly tactical,practical, and I've actually already planned, I think, six mastermind dinners throughouttwo thousand and eighteen so far. I think between now in April and planto do a lot more. So the book incredibly inspirational for me and andI wanted to bring you on and have you talked to to our listeners aboutit. But before we talk about master my dinners, I'd love for youto just explain to our listeners a little bit more context around what you're doingwith mastermind talks and then a little bit about your your podcast as well,community made. Yeah, sure. So master my talks is a invite onlyevent and community for entrepreneurs. Since our inception in two thousand and thirteen we'vehad just over sixteenzero entrepreneurs apply for an event that's capped a hundred fifty peopleannually. It's a very, yes, a very colectic group of people andit's, I guess, very exclusive. So we do a threeday gathering oncea year and so that's that takes up...

...in the majority of my year whenit comes to planning that. And oddly enough, that event, the wholenotion of that event stemmed from me doing these dinners first and then it evolvedinto that annual gathering and then community made is basically a podcast. I Ireleased probably about five months ago, where I kind of challenge a notion ofSelfmade, I guess you could say. And each ever, each season isthemed. So season one was all about scale, where I shared my ownviews on scaling business and also brought an other guests who shared different views onscale. And Season Two, which is the season I'm working on right now, is all about how to grow, amplify and deepen your business relationships.So I love it. Awesome, Jason. So I'd love to spend the restof our time together in this interview talking about mastermind dinners, which youwrote a book on. So if you if this is interesting to you atall, go to Amazon and check out Jason's book. It's a very quickread and Super Helpful. But at a high level, Jason, tell usa little bit more mastermind, about master my dinners. At a high level, can why you're so passionate about them. Yeah, I mean basically, forme I was I built a very successful, I guess, seven figurebusiness, but realized, after being an entrepreneur for for about seven years,I built a business I hate and to enable me to buy things. Idid need to impress people adn't like so I decide to scale that business downto zero and unfortunately two things landed me a quarter million dollars in debt.When the dust settled, I didn't know what it was going to do next, but a friend of mine posted to facebook that they had a ticket togo see Seth God in New York, and I've always been a been abit big fan of sets work, so I decide to jump at the opportunityand didn't know what it was about in terms out the theme of it wasthe connection economy. Now there's huge value connecting like minded individuals, so Iran with that idea and started mastermind dinners where I'd invite eight entrepreneurs out fordinner with the core focus of connecting them.

And the first one I did almostcanceled two hours prior because I'm like, nobody's going to see value on this. They're geting. I completely wasted their time but thankfully turned out tobe a big success. Conversation didn't skip a beat for four and half hoursand I got clarity that connecting people was something I want to do to somecapacity for the rest of my life, not necessarily as a business, becauseI wasn't monetizing these dinners. I was paying for them out of pocket,which people thought was crazy at the time, but for me, being a quartermilliondollars in debt, I was seriously considering bankruptcy. So I really Irationalized was that the bank could take my car, they could take whatever measlyassets I have left, but they can't take my relationships. So investing myrelationships was the safest investment I could make. And since then I've and that wasin twenty twelve, is when I started the dinners. I've easily hostedthousands of entrepreneurs at these dinners over the years. I'm doing one next weekactually, where I'm buying out a restaurant. Will have ninety entrepreneurs in at tenwhiles, and to me it's like the highest ro I activity I cando, both from the fulfillment perspective and from a business development perspective as well. So it's and that's why I mean I didn't realize that you the scaleat which you'd been hosting these, in the number of people that you'd hosted. Sure, when you're organizing these, there were some there are some tipsin the book as far as kind of where obviously being you know, veryintentional with with who you're choosing to invite to the events. I'll start there. How do you think about when you're putting these together? Who to inviteto a mastermind dinner? Yeah, so, I mean you usually the the baselineis that they want to they have to be somebody I want to havedinner with in the first place meeting. They have to be interesting or fascinatingon some level. You know that. That Gut test for me serves asa great filter to eliminate those that maybe you know they may be successful onpaper but they may be egotistical, or maybe you don't want to. Youjust want to spend time with them ultimately. So that's kind of my my guttest. But really we're the dinner...

...shines, I guess you could say, and where a lot of the hard work is done in advance is connectingpeople who share uncommon commonalities, because the stronger the uncommon commonality, the strongerthe bond. So if you put a bunch of entrepreneurs together in a room, statistically like three percent of people. If I were to go out walkoutside with you the major city and we stopped a thousand people, statistically threepercent of those people would be entrepreneurs. So if you find yourself at adinner with thirty entrepreneurs, that's a pretty rare opportunity and in that setting you'remost likely going to hit it off with those individuals because they they had verysimilar values to you. Often Times they you know, they have, theyput blood, sweat and tears into work they do. With that said,no, if your business does seven figures, then point four percent of entrepreneurs fallwithin that category. So if you're at a dinner with seven figure entrepreneurs, that's an even stronger uncommon commonality, that's an even stronger bond ultimately.So that's one of the kind of the key factors when I'm looking to doa dinner. Generally I'm trying to connect people who are like minded or relativelyat the same level of business, who probably have the same goals, thesame struggles, the same fears and those kind of things. And you know, outside of the context of businesses have to be about business at all.It could be an uncommon commonality, could be everybody is parents or everybody youknow formally served in the military. But ultimately you the stronger again, thestronger the uncommon commonality the the easier those relationships will form. Okay. Soso you you also talked in the book, Jason, about the the art ofkind of choosing, choosing the location. What goes into thinking through? Okay, where do you actually want to host this dinner? Yeah, Imean it's a couple things. I mean, for me there's there's there's different variables. Like for the big dinner I'm doing for ninety people, it's afull restaurant kind of buy out and that's...

...a rare current. So the majorityof dinners I do I tend to cap them at about six people. Itjust serves to be a really good sized group. I've done significantly bigger dinners, obviously, but if you do anything above eight people at a single table, conversation could be fragmented and oftentimes will be two conversations going on at onceand it's hard to focus and sometimes overhear what other people are talking about.You like, shoot, I was so was part of that conversation instead.So a little bit of foam in there. So for me six is an idealsize. So finding a place that is is intimate and relatively quiet thatcan accommodate six at a table. I mean the format of the table doesn'tnecessarily or the layout of the table doesn't matter as much when you're in agroup of six. And the types of restaurant, I mean, it depends. For me, I try to find something that is usually pretty good withpeople's dietary or searchtions. So stuff like Mexican food. Often Times, youknow those who are are Paleo or ki too or or vegetarian. Usually canall find something on to Mexican food out of Menu. Sometimes steakhouses fall withinthat category. But being very conscious of people's dietary restrictions is is a bigfactor as well. So yeah, someone nice, somewhere intimate, somewhere relativelyquiet and for me, again, the the magic number for a dinner journalis six people. Okay, so so one other what you know, onetip that I that I pulled away from the book was that concept of planningthese dinners around conferences where you know that people are going to be traveling tothe conference, so they're not going to have an of the regularity of theirschedule of getting susy to soccer practice or, you know, piano lessons for theirson or whatever. Can you talk to us a little bit more aboutand you've obviously he done both. You've done them in in the kind ofthe regular schedule, being in someone's, you know city, but then you'vealso done them at conferences. Talk to us a little bit more about that. Yeah, so I've done them locally...

...and to what you said, theproblem with local dinners is that you run into friction with people's schedules. Theyalready have commitments, whether they be taking their kids to some kind of sportingevents or date nights or, you know, business, where the case may be. One you're able to leverage an event. So when people are flyingin for an event, for example, very rarely is there anything playing inthe evenings. So I will try to be basically that catalysts and make areservation and during the event itself I'll connect with people and say if I hitit off with them, I'll say you know, by the way, I'mnot sure where you have plan tonight, but you know we have dinner reservationsat seven with a small group if you want to join us. And mostoften times those people don't have any I mean the getting knowing where they're goingto eat is generally an afterthought. So if you can be that catalyst to, you know, set that up. You'll most often get a positive responseand I've even done that with speakers for events as well, and it's incrediblyeasy to get speakers out at the at these dinners because they need to eatand often times they haven't thought of where they're going to eat. So ifyou can solve that problem for them, it's a it's an easy s areyou planning the dinners that you're doing around conferences, so there's not a lotof advance planning, necessarily asking people you know prior to them even leaving forthe conference. A we're doing this dinner on Wednesday night. You're just kindof meeting people throughout the conference and and knowing like, okay, I've gotI've got six spots to fill throughout the day. I'm going to invite,you know, seven or eight different people, knowing that six of them are goingto show up. Yeah, I mean it depends on the the eventson events will provide like a guest like attendee list in advance and if that'sthe case, then you can look through that attendee list and kind of pinpointthose that you want to invite out to the dinner and do it in advanceand then you can do it properly as far as like getting people's dietary restrictionsand sending calendar and invites and all that kind of stuff. But even ifyou have to do it on the fly, it's generally surprisingly easy to get peopleto to agree to come out to...

...a dinner. So for me it'sit's not on common for me to go to an event and have lunch reservationsfor every day and dinner reservations for every day, and as I meet people, I'll invite them out for either lunch or dinner. And then once you'rewhen you're in these dinners, Jason, do you have any any thoughts onkind of how to how to guide the conversation? Are there, you know, questions that you like to ask that tend to generate pretty cool conversations?How do you think about that? I don't in the so the lead intoa dinner. I mean context matters generally, but if I'm the one putting iton, usually I'll start to dinner or punch or whatever experience for thatmatter, and state why they're they're like why I'm putting this on, whyI invited them to dinner and then I will go around the table and introduceeverybody. So I won't let them do it themselves because often times people areeither terrible introducing themselves because they get nervous and they just, you know,ramble on, or maybe they're very humble and undersell themselves. So I trywould basically be their biggest fan and introduce everybody at the table. Then afterthat will go right into our meals. Now again, if there's a stronguncommon commonality amongst everybody, Bill then actually hit it off. I've never hada problem at a dinner. I also do a sign seating to ensure theirlike I stack the cards in my favor because naturally you'll see some real noone person you're like, oh, he'll really get along with this person,or all these two people are in the same industry, or whatever the case. So I'll generally do assigned seeing, but not always, especially if it'sa group of six feet off, to worry as much because they'll only beone conversation at a time generally at a dinner table. But when you dealwith larger dinners, that's when don't have to start doing a sign seating.If you really want to still have that high level of experience and then I'lllet them go through the dinner and then at the end of the dinner Ido three things to kind of close off the dinner, which works well andI've never actually I didn't share this in master my dinners because it's more ofa kind of recent concept. But what...

I'll do is at that point I'llget people to share or to answer three questions. One question number one isif we are meet a year from today with a bottle of Champagne, whatare we celebrating? And I give a great idea because we ask people likeyou, you know, what you scited about or what are your goals?Sometimes you got in the quality or questions will determine the quality of your answers. So question like that for some reason yields great responses. And then let'ssay somebody says, you know, I want to hit the New York Timeslist, I'm coming out with a book. The follow up question to that is, in order to hit the New York Times listen or in order toachieve that, what is something you need to solve or overcome? So youhave a clear understanding of what their goals are and a clear understanding of maybesome obstacles in their way and when stated in a group environment, either youmay have a solution or you may be able to catch them with somebody whohas a solution or somebody at the table may have the solution. So thoseare really two important questions that I ask and the group for their question iswhat is one thing that your friends come to you for? Like is ityou know, on Understanding Marketing? Is it SEO? Is it, youknow, human resources and company culture? I'm trying to get a clear understandingof what they're really good at so that other people in the group may beable to benefit. So those are the three things I used to kind ofcap off the dinner and then after the dinner I'll usually send like an introductionemail amongst everybody so everybody has each other's contact information and kind of go fromthere. I love it, Jason. This this has been this has beenphenomenal. I love those three kind of closing questions. I would imagine ifthere's six people at the dinner and you're asking all three questions, you probablygive yourself I don't know what thirty thirty thirty five minutes at the end ofthe dinner to get kind of give ample time to each person to respond.Yeah, you can, definitely. I mean it's usually it'll create a conversation. Often Times, like it's amazing how many times somebody says all like thisis the obstacle in my way to in...

...order to achieve that said goal,and then somebody says, Hey, I can help you with that or I'veachieved that or I know somebody's to achieve that. So it depends on howyou want to do the dinner. For me and like if I'm doing alarger dinner and I want to be very cognizant of time, I'll make themjust answer the question and then everybody goes around and then ultimately, at theend of the dinner you'll see two people, like one person grab another person aside, you know, and chat at the bar about, you know,being able to solve their problem. Or maybe they want more, they wantto leverage that person's expertise because they said they you know, they're an expertand cryptocurrency or whatever the case may be. So it depends on how you wantto do it, but that your core role for as a dinner hostis just facilitating and making sure everybody feels you know, they heard and everybodyhas an opportunity to speak and nobody's kind of left out. I love it, Jason. So's if somebody listen think to this, I want to stayconnected with you that want to learn more about master my talks or your podcast. Community made. What's the best way for them to go about doing allthose things? Yeah, so for the podcast it's community Madecom and then youcan find me in all the the basic social media platforms, so facebook,Linkedin and twitter at Jason Gaynard Jys Son, Gai G N A R D.Love that, Jason. Thank you so much for your time today.This has been fantastic and I'm really excited to see this one alive. Yeah, I mean thank you for the interview and also thank you for not onlyreading the book, but taking action and scheduling six of these dinners. Iassure you want what you get. The first view under your belt. It'syou'll sell. It's an amazing experience. I'm really excited about it. SoI appreciate the inspiration. To ensure that you never miss an episode of theB Tob Growth Show, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcastplayer this guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. Ifyou or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B tob growthshow, email me at Jonathan at sweet...

...fish mediacom let us know. Welove connecting with B to be executives and we love sharing their wisdom and perspectivewith our audience. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time,.

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