4 Lessons From My Mastermind

In October 2020, I joined a Real Estate Mastermind group that meets virtually for one hour per week. We also do a half-day in-person meetup once per quarter. 

The format of the weekly call is very simple. It starts with a message from the host, Gabe DaSilva. After the message is delivered, we spend about 20-30 minutes discussing how we can apply that lesson to our personal lives or businesses.

From there, we might do one of two things: a “hot seat” or “wins, shares, and asks”.

For the “hot seat”, someone will share a current struggle they’re dealing with in their business. The rest of us will ask follow-up questions to try to get to the root of the problem. 

Many times, someone else in the group faced a similar issue in the past and the solution is presented clearly. 

Other times, a plan of action is set and the person in the hot seat is held accountable to update us on their progress on the next call or two.

If no one wants to take a hot seat we typically go into “wins, shares, and asks.”

“Wins” are any accomplishments (big or small) you’ve achieved in the past week or two. Examples might include finding a new tenant, buying a new property, selling a property, making an offer, etc. 

“Shares” are usually resources you find that can also help other members. It could be a book you read, a software you bought, or a new vendor you’d like to refer to the group.

“Asks” are just mini-hot seats. You have a small problem that can likely be solved by being introduced to the right person.

That’s about it. We go for the full 60 minutes every week. We typically run out of time before we run out of material.

As I’m typing this out, I’m beginning to realize how plain and simple this all sounds. However, it’s incredibly effective!

I’d like to share some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned since being a part of this group.

1️⃣1. You are the Average of the Company You Keep


When I first got into real estate investing, I was a bit lost. I had just closed down my restaurant business and didn’t quite know what was next for me in a professional capacity.

At the time, I didn’t know a single full-time real estate investor. The only people I had access to were online content creators. I devoured as much information as I could by listening to podcasts, reading books & blogs, and watching YouTube videos. 

I turned that online education into action and did OK for myself. I took a small position in other people’s deals and made the best of the opportunities presented to me. 

It wasn’t until I met Gabe and joined the Real Estate Riches Mastermind that my business began to take off in a more meaningful way. Since working with Gabe, I’ve acquired 11 units of my own and started being the lead investor in almost all of the deals I participate in. 

I feel more in control now. Much of that feeling comes from having a strong circle of influence.

It’s also important to mention we’re all sort of at the same level. None of us are titans of industry. We’re all still learning our craft. But it’s that willingness to learn together that propels us forward. 

2️⃣2. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There


"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
- Albert Einstein.

If we continue to think the same way and apply the same methods, we’ll get the same old results. If we want more from our lives or businesses, we have to grow by thinking differently and doing different things. 

Here are a few examples of what we can do.

Separation Season:

Separation Season is doing something no one else is willing to do or when no one else is willing to do it. 

A generic example is working when most others are resting or on vacation (before 9a, after 5p, weekends, August, December).

My most consistent act of Separation Season is on Saturday night. While many people are watching Netflix, enjoying a drink, or getting some well-deserved beauty rest, I’m putting the finishing touches on my SunShakSunday newsletter. 

Hire a Coach:

If there’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be in any aspect of your life, there’s probably a coach for that.

A good coach will help you take inventory of your current situation, identify where you’d like to be, and ultimately build the bridge to get you there.

In the mastermind, we like to think about time as a currency. I think everyone can agree time is much more valuable than money because it’s the non-renewable resource of the two. 

So whenever there’s an opportunity to spend money to decrease the time spent building a bridge to get us from point A to point B, we should happily make that investment.

3️⃣3. Ask Who Not How


When I used to face a problem, my first reaction would be to ask “how can I solve this?”

Now I try to ask, “Who can solve this for me?”

Human capital, like money, is an abundant resource. Someone out there is ready, willing, and able to solve your problems. You just have to find them and then incentivize them properly. 

A good book on this topic is Who Not How by Dan Sullivan & Benjamin Hardy. 

Delegate & Elevate:

This is a concept from the book, Traction, by Gino Wickman

If you ever feel like you don’t have enough time in the day, try this exercise:

  1. Write down every single task you perform in a week
  2. Categorize each task into the matrix below
  3. Outsource the bottom half as soon as possible

I didn’t like bookkeeping, but I was good at it. I hired it out at the beginning of 2021 and it has been an amazing transition. 

The next thing I’m going to hire out is editing, publishing, and distributing this newsletter. I love writing it, but I don’t like the mind-numbing administrative portion. 

5 Minutes or 5 Tabs Rule:

If you realize you’re stuck on a problem for more than 5 minutes, or you have more than 5 tabs open, stop and reach out to the first person who comes to mind.

If something takes longer than 5 minutes to figure out, it will likely take longer than 1 hour. Nip it in the bud!

Don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole of analysis paralysis with a dozen open tabs on your web browser. Remember: More information is not the answer!

4️⃣4. Conscious Creation


This section is about reflecting on the past and planning for the future (on steroids).

Slow Down to Speed Up:

We spent the first four weeks of December 2020 filling out Ink+Volt Worksheets.

  • Week 1: Looking Back at 2020
  • Week 2: Your Relationships
  • Week 3: Building a Theme for the New Year
  • Week 4: Goals for the New Year

In addition to completing the worksheets above, we dedicated some time to analyze how strong we are in the “5 F’s”: Faith, Fitness, Family, Friends, and Finance.

Many of us do annual reviews for work. Why not do one for our personal lives as well?

Visualization: 

It’s kind of funny to think about what you want your life to look like in the future in vivid detail. It’s also super powerful. 

Think about who/what/where/how you want to be in 5 years...

  1. What does your day look like?
  1. What does your work look like? 
  1. What do your relationships look like?

More prompts: What time do you wake up? What does the first hour of your day look like? What are you driving? Where are you going? Who is with you? What are you wearing? What do you feel like? When does your day end? How well do you sleep? Did you make time for yourself? Who is at your dinner table? Who will you talk to on the phone? Whose phone call will you screen?

A good book for this exercise is Vivid Vision by Cameron Herald. 

Don’t Let Your Familiar Past Become Your Predictable Future:

Visualization is a helpful exercise because it paints the picture of what you’re striving for.

Without identifying the specific details of where you want your life to go, it’ll be really hard to get there.

We’ve all created a “routine” for ourselves. And if we’re not careful, years can go by without ever really analyzing if our routine is helping us get to where we want to be.

Don’t spin your wheels and remain stuck in one place. Remember, time is the only asset we can’t get more of. It would be a shame to wake up in 5 years and nothing meaningfully changed.

🧐Find Your Tribe


I’m grateful to be a part of this mastermind. It’s so much more than a group of real estate investors trying to make a quick buck.

We spend most of our time discussing mindset, systems, resources, goals, etc.

We also support each other. We’re each other’s biggest fans. We don’t allow negative self-talk or victim mentality. We push each other out of our comfort zones.

If you don’t have access to a group like this, I encourage you to find one. What’s holding you back?



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Sunny Shakhawala

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