Eighteen years ago on February 5, 2005, a crazy dream became reality: Mind Capture Group was started. What an amazing adventure it has been!
Thank you to God, my family, friends, book fans, and the hundreds of meeting planners that have hired me to share Mind Capture to positively disrupt their lives. I never take what I do for granted and am blessed to love it, even on the days when being a Hope Dealer seems daunting.
To mark our 18th birthday, I put together a list of 18 key lessons I’ve learned that we use within our company and with many of the clients we serve. These lessons, in no particular order, have flowed through the journey to help shape who I am today and the creative work that flows from it. Hopefully, you will pick up a nugget or two of wisdom and inspiration.
#1: Stay hungry. You’ll never really arrive, and if you think you have or will, let the past few years (especially 2020) be the biggest kick-in-the-ass reminder that everything can change without warning or reason.
#2: Adversity is the only thing you can count on. Life changes and business changes. You must be nimble and able to deal with change, both when you plan for it and when it crashes unexpectedly.
#3: Deadlines are your biggest ally. Without them, nothing gets done. Books don’t get written or finished. Events are delayed indefinitely. Clients get shiny and won’t keep hiring you. You’re either consistent or you’re non-existent in a nine-second-attention-span world. Read that again.
#4: Turn inward to move upward. Yes, time away from distraction, noise, and interruption is where the big breakthroughs happen. Quiet the mind, get away from the chaos, and that’s where the gold is often found. Being “too busy” is a recipe for mediocrity, burnout, and missed opportunities.
#5: Delegate or stagnate. You must release the grip and bring on key people to assist you with the journey of expansion and influence. It can be scary at times, but worth it. To scale and expand, you need a great team to make it happen.
#6: Give back. If you’re stingy in business, you may make a few extra pennies, but you’ll lose out on so much more. The joy of sharing your talents—without always needing to be thanked or recognized—is priceless. Givers gain on levels far beyond just monetary. A major part of our growth is based on this principle.
#7: You must have faith and passion. I left the steady paycheck and company benefits a long time ago. I could have “sold out” many times to work full-time again for someone else, and it was tempting, especially in 2020 when most of my business (in-person events) was shut down. However, I chose to press onward and not give up so I could continue to pursue my passion and gifts of sharing positivity worldwide.
#8: Focus on the people that get it. Haters gonna hate, critics will always complain, and trolls will always be present. You are not for everyone! That’s a good thing. Stay in your lane and keep pushing forward. Excessive people-pleasing is both draining and a fool’s game that you’ll never win. Immunity to criticism is often disguised as wisdom. My inner circle gets it. We’ve paid the price on many levels as the reward is far greater than the challenges we face.
#9: You will fail, and you will also succeed. Ah, the yin and yang of life and business. I’ve had some serious setbacks these past 18 years and some incredibly good fortune, experiences, and opportunities. I choose to focus on the wins more than the losses.
#10: Have fun each day. Life moves quick. For many years I was uptight and took myself too damn seriously. Man, that was exhausting. The past few years have reminded me to laugh more and create DAILY with the gifts God has given me. We are not guaranteed tomorrow.
#11: Make multiple moves daily. Engage the market. You must be proactive. Market. Believe. Hustle. Opportunity comes via action, not reaction and waiting. Yes, option-based thinking combined with a positive disruption mindset gets both attention and results.
#12: Give thanks and often. Gratitude inspires. It lifts you and others up. People are begging to be noticed. To be heard. But most importantly, to be appreciated. You’ll meet the same people going up the ladder as you do going down it. Business runs in cycles. Relationships, not transactions, are the key to longevity.
#13: Referrals are the highest compliment you can receive. When someone refers you to another person or business, their reputation is on the line. Positive word-of-mouth, doing quality work on-time without excuses or drama and keen follow-up are the keys.
#14: Watch who you surround yourself with. Are you surrounded by wise counsel and people who lift you up and have your back? Do you have a safe harbor to bounce ideas off and to receive candid, frank advice when warranted? You need a good balance of both positive and pragmatic people within your inner circle.
#15. Defend your time and mind like a hawk. I turned 50 last year. Holy crap! Where did the time go? As the Beatles sang “Life is very short, my friend, so there’s no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.” I’m looking at life and opportunities with a whole new lens of focus and priority. I reserve the right to say “no” more often and selective a “yes” to projects, people, and clients that excite me and best resonate with my talents and goals. If I see a pattern of excessive drama with a client or project, I will pull the plug quickly and swiftly. No exceptions.
#16. Work daily on your body, mind, and spirit. The power triangle. If one side is broken or weak, an imbalance in the system can take you out. I’ve lived it, seen it with others, and have learned many lessons. When all three areas are functioning properly, the improved quality of life, work, and creativity help to make each day even more fulfilling.
#17. Keep learning each day. The only constant in life is change. A fact. The amount of change and media coming at us every day can be overwhelming. However, to stop learning new skills and knowledge is simply not an option. Make daily learning a non-negotiable part of your life and you’ll always be engaged and informed to help keep you a step ahead.
#18. You will often be misunderstood. I remember vividly many years back when I met and had a chance to hear Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, speak at a major publishing conference. At the end of his speech, he offered us this piece of advice: “Sometimes you have to be willing to be misunderstood.” I never forgot that tip. As the years rolled by, it’s a daily reminder that you must believe in what you do, and create, speak, and market even when others may think otherwise.
*A Quick 2023 Update:
Our word for the year is FORWARD, and the team is in full motion. A busy 2023 is in progress with lots of in-person events underway, new groups coming online each week, and initial pre-work for the 12th annual Mind Capture Bootcamp on November 9, 2023.
We’ll be hitting the road often to share the new book Positive Disruption – Vol. 2 with groups from Seattle to St. Croix, USVI in January and February. If you’re looking for a session or two for your team, association or next major event please let us know. Email Kelsey Sanders on the team at Operations@MindCaptureGroup.com
Year 19, here we come!