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 several fault 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 the benefits of having a network full of industry influencers. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the BE TOB growth show, podcast dedicated to helping be to be executives achieve explosive growth. What you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources? You've come to the right place. I'm Jonathan Green and I'm James Carberry. Let's get it into the show. Welcome back to the BEDB growth show. We are here today with Jason Gaynard. He is the founder of mastermind Talkscom and he's also the host of a really incredible podcast called community made. Jason, how you doing today? Good minute. Thank you for having me. I'm stoked to chat with you. I read your book, mastermind dinners, a few weeks ago. I think I read it in like an hour. Is a very easy read, but incredibly tactical, practical, and I've actually already planned, I think, six mastermind dinners throughout two thousand and eighteen so far. I think between now in April and plan to do a lot more. So the book incredibly inspirational for me and and I wanted to bring you on and have you talked to to our listeners about it. But before we talk about master my dinners, I'd love for you to just explain to our listeners a little bit more context around what you're doing with mastermind talks and then a little bit about your your podcast as well, community made. Yeah, sure. So master my talks is a invite only event and community for entrepreneurs. Since our inception in two thousand and thirteen we've had just over sixteenzero entrepreneurs apply for an event that's capped a hundred fifty people annually. It's a very, yes, a very colectic group of people and it's, I guess, very exclusive. So we do a threeday gathering once a year and so that's that takes up...

...in the majority of my year when it comes to planning that. And oddly enough, that event, the whole notion of that event stemmed from me doing these dinners first and then it evolved into that annual gathering and then community made is basically a podcast. I I released probably about five months ago, where I kind of challenge a notion of Selfmade, I guess you could say. And each ever, each season is themed. So season one was all about scale, where I shared my own views on scaling business and also brought an other guests who shared different views on scale. 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 rest of our time together in this interview talking about mastermind dinners, which you wrote a book on. So if you if this is interesting to you at all, go to Amazon and check out Jason's book. It's a very quick read and Super Helpful. But at a high level, Jason, tell us a little bit more mastermind, about master my dinners. At a high level, can why you're so passionate about them. Yeah, I mean basically, for me I was I built a very successful, I guess, seven figure business, but realized, after being an entrepreneur for for about seven years, I built a business I hate and to enable me to buy things. I did need to impress people adn't like so I decide to scale that business down to 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 to go see Seth God in New York, and I've always been a been a bit big fan of sets work, so I decide to jump at the opportunity and didn't know what it was about in terms out the theme of it was the connection economy. Now there's huge value connecting like minded individuals, so I ran with that idea and started mastermind dinners where I'd invite eight entrepreneurs out for dinner with the core focus of connecting them.

And the first one I did almost canceled 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 to be a big success. Conversation didn't skip a beat for four and half hours and I got clarity that connecting people was something I want to do to some capacity for the rest of my life, not necessarily as a business, because I 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 quartermillion dollars in debt, I was seriously considering bankruptcy. So I really I rationalized was that the bank could take my car, they could take whatever measly assets I have left, but they can't take my relationships. So investing my relationships was the safest investment I could make. And since then I've and that was in twenty twelve, is when I started the dinners. I've easily hosted thousands of entrepreneurs at these dinners over the years. I'm doing one next week actually, where I'm buying out a restaurant. Will have ninety entrepreneurs in at ten whiles, and to me it's like the highest ro I activity I can do, 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 scale at 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 tips in the book as far as kind of where obviously being you know, very intentional 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 invite to a mastermind dinner? Yeah, so, I mean you usually the the baseline is that they want to they have to be somebody I want to have dinner with in the first place meeting. They have to be interesting or fascinating on some level. You know that. That Gut test for me serves as a great filter to eliminate those that maybe you know they may be successful on paper but they may be egotistical, or maybe you don't want to. You just want to spend time with them ultimately. So that's kind of my my gut test. 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 connecting people who share uncommon commonalities, because the stronger the uncommon commonality, the stronger the 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 walk outside with you the major city and we stopped a thousand people, statistically three percent of those people would be entrepreneurs. So if you find yourself at a dinner with thirty entrepreneurs, that's a pretty rare opportunity and in that setting you're most likely going to hit it off with those individuals because they they had very similar values to you. Often Times they you know, they have, they put blood, sweat and tears into work they do. With that said, no, if your business does seven figures, then point four percent of entrepreneurs fall within 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 do a dinner. Generally I'm trying to connect people who are like minded or relatively at the same level of business, who probably have the same goals, the same 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 you know formally served in the military. But ultimately you the stronger again, the stronger the uncommon commonality the the easier those relationships will form. Okay. So so you you also talked in the book, Jason, about the the art of kind of choosing, choosing the location. What goes into thinking through? Okay, where do you actually want to host this dinner? Yeah, I mean 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 a full restaurant kind of buy out and that's...

...a rare current. So the majority of dinners I do I tend to cap them at about six people. It just 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 once and 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 ideal size. So finding a place that is is intimate and relatively quiet that can accommodate six at a table. I mean the format of the table doesn't necessarily or the layout of the table doesn't matter as much when you're in a group of six. And the types of restaurant, I mean, it depends. For me, I try to find something that is usually pretty good with people's dietary or searchtions. So stuff like Mexican food. Often Times, you know those who are are Paleo or ki too or or vegetarian. Usually can all find something on to Mexican food out of Menu. Sometimes steakhouses fall within that category. But being very conscious of people's dietary restrictions is is a big factor as well. So yeah, someone nice, somewhere intimate, somewhere relatively quiet and for me, again, the the magic number for a dinner journal is six people. Okay, so so one other what you know, one tip that I that I pulled away from the book was that concept of planning these dinners around conferences where you know that people are going to be traveling to the conference, so they're not going to have an of the regularity of their schedule of getting susy to soccer practice or, you know, piano lessons for their son or whatever. Can you talk to us a little bit more about and you've obviously he done both. You've done them in in the kind of the regular schedule, being in someone's, you know city, but then you've also 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, the problem with local dinners is that you run into friction with people's schedules. They already have commitments, whether they be taking their kids to some kind of sporting events or date nights or, you know, business, where the case may be. One you're able to leverage an event. So when people are flying in for an event, for example, very rarely is there anything playing in the evenings. So I will try to be basically that catalysts and make a reservation and during the event itself I'll connect with people and say if I hit it off with them, I'll say you know, by the way, I'm not sure where you have plan tonight, but you know we have dinner reservations at seven with a small group if you want to join us. And most often times those people don't have any I mean the getting knowing where they're going to 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 response and I've even done that with speakers for events as well, and it's incredibly easy to get speakers out at the at these dinners because they need to eat and often times they haven't thought of where they're going to eat. So if you can solve that problem for them, it's a it's an easy s are you planning the dinners that you're doing around conferences, so there's not a lot of advance planning, necessarily asking people you know prior to them even leaving for the conference. A we're doing this dinner on Wednesday night. You're just kind of meeting people throughout the conference and and knowing like, okay, I've got I'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 going to show up. Yeah, I mean it depends on the the events on events will provide like a guest like attendee list in advance and if that's the case, then you can look through that attendee list and kind of pinpoint those that you want to invite out to the dinner and do it in advance and then you can do it properly as far as like getting people's dietary restrictions and sending calendar and invites and all that kind of stuff. But even if you have to do it on the fly, it's generally surprisingly easy to get people to to agree to come out to...

...a dinner. So for me it's it's not on common for me to go to an event and have lunch reservations for 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're when you're in these dinners, Jason, do you have any any thoughts on kind 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 into a dinner. I mean context matters generally, but if I'm the one putting it on, usually I'll start to dinner or punch or whatever experience for that matter, and state why they're they're like why I'm putting this on, why I invited them to dinner and then I will go around the table and introduce everybody. So I won't let them do it themselves because often times people are either 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 try would basically be their biggest fan and introduce everybody at the table. Then after that will go right into our meals. Now again, if there's a strong uncommon commonality amongst everybody, Bill then actually hit it off. I've never had a problem at a dinner. I also do a sign seating to ensure their like I stack the cards in my favor because naturally you'll see some real no one 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's a group of six feet off, to worry as much because they'll only be one conversation at a time generally at a dinner table. But when you deal with 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'll let them go through the dinner and then at the end of the dinner I do three things to kind of close off the dinner, which works well and I've never actually I didn't share this in master my dinners because it's more of a kind of recent concept. But what...

I'll do is at that point I'll get people to share or to answer three questions. One question number one is if we are meet a year from today with a bottle of Champagne, what are we celebrating? And I give a great idea because we ask people like you, 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's say somebody says, you know, I want to hit the New York Times list, 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 to achieve that, what is something you need to solve or overcome? So you have a clear understanding of what their goals are and a clear understanding of maybe some obstacles in their way and when stated in a group environment, either you may have a solution or you may be able to catch them with somebody who has a solution or somebody at the table may have the solution. So those are really two important questions that I ask and the group for their question is what is one thing that your friends come to you for? Like is it you know, on Understanding Marketing? Is it SEO? Is it, you know, human resources and company culture? I'm trying to get a clear understanding of what they're really good at so that other people in the group may be able to benefit. So those are the three things I used to kind of cap off the dinner and then after the dinner I'll usually send like an introduction email amongst everybody so everybody has each other's contact information and kind of go from there. I love it, Jason. This this has been this has been phenomenal. I love those three kind of closing questions. I would imagine if there's six people at the dinner and you're asking all three questions, you probably give yourself I don't know what thirty thirty thirty five minutes at the end of the 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 this is 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've achieved that or I know somebody's to achieve that. So it depends on how you want to do the dinner. For me and like if I'm doing a larger dinner and I want to be very cognizant of time, I'll make them just answer the question and then everybody goes around and then ultimately, at the end 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 want to leverage that person's expertise because they said they you know, they're an expert and cryptocurrency or whatever the case may be. So it depends on how you want to do it, but that your core role for as a dinner host is just facilitating and making sure everybody feels you know, they heard and everybody has 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 stay connected 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 all those things? Yeah, so for the podcast it's community Madecom and then you can 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 only reading the book, but taking action and scheduling six of these dinners. I assure you want what you get. The first view under your belt. It's you'll sell. It's an amazing experience. I'm really excited about it. So I appreciate the inspiration. To ensure that you never miss an episode of the B Tob Growth Show, subscribe to the show and Itunes or your favorite podcast player this guarantees that every episode will get delivered directly to your device. If you or someone you know would be an incredible guest for the B tob growth show, email me at Jonathan at sweet...

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

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