1851 – Power of Collaboration with Jeremy Shapiro

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Facilitator of Bay Area Mastermind, Jeremy Shapiro.

Shapiro Wide

Jeremy illuminated the concept of mastermind groups, a term that might be familiar to some but remains a hidden gem to many. These groups are not just about networking but about creating a supportive community of like-minded individuals focused on growth. As Jeremy explained, being part of a mastermind group means accessing valuable insights, advice, and resources that can propel your business forward.

Jeremy shared the inner workings of Bay Area Mastermind, which he has meticulously structured to maximize strategic business growth and accountability. The group meets monthly for full-day sessions, where the primary goal is to challenge each member to think bigger and achieve more. This rigorous yet supportive environment has led members to launch new ventures and reach new heights in their existing businesses.

One of the most striking points Jeremy made was about the power of cross-pollination of ideas within the group. When entrepreneurs from various industries and backgrounds come together, exchanging ideas can lead to innovative solutions and unexpected opportunities. This collaborative spirit is the heartbeat of Bay Area Mastermind and a testament to the transformative outcomes its members have experienced.

Jeremy emphasized that the group is open to members from diverse locations, offering a hybrid approach accommodating in-person and virtual participation. This flexibility ensures that you can be part of this dynamic community no matter where you are.

Key Points from the Episodes:

  • Mastermind groups and their benefits for entrepreneurs and business owners
  • Structure and format of Bay Area Mastermind
  • Power of cross-pollination of ideas and transformative outcomes for members
  • Accessibility and hybrid approach of Bay Area Mastermind
  • Application process and criteria for joining the mastermind
  • Value of being part of a mastermind group for personal and professional growth

About Jeremy Shapiro:

Jeremy B. Shapiro is a seasoned entrepreneur specializing in SaaS, technology, and information marketing. Known for guiding small business owners from solopreneurs to full-fledged business owners, he emphasizes working “on” rather than “in” the business. 

Since 1998, Shapiro has been instrumental in helping entrepreneurs leverage their core strengths, passion, and expertise to scale their ventures and achieve freedom through masterminded business opportunities to maximize profits. 

Recognized for masterminding, coaching, and consulting his real estate and business acumen, Shapiro has been featured extensively in the media, including NPR, Fox News, ABC, NBC, and the Boston Globe. Outside his professional endeavors, he eendeavoursveling with travellingy, absorbing diverse cultures, engaging in outdoor activities, and cooking.

About Bay Area Mastermind:

Bay Area Mastermind empowers business owners seeking to enhance their profitability, streamline their processes, build equity, or reduce their operational involvement. Members gain a competitive advantage through monthly meetings concentrating on individual businesses, fostering idea generation for profitability. 

The program offers cutting-edge strategies for thriving in challenging economic conditions and provides continuous social support through online group interactions. It facilitates collaboration opportunities among members, paving the way for new business ventures. This supportive environment is geared towards those looking to leverage collective wisdom and innovative approaches to grow their businesses.

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Bay Area Mastermind website at

Check out Bay Area Mastermind on LinkedIn at

Check out Bay Area Mastermind on Facebook at

Check out Bay Area Mastermind on Instagram at

Check out Bay Area Mastermind Group for qualified founders and entrepreneurs at

Check out Jeremy Shapiro on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey, thoughtful listener, before we get going. Did you know that my company up my influence? Com has launched more than 200 business podcasts. The host of our shows are amazing leaders and collaborators. Folks I want to connect you with. Maybe you deserve your moment in the spotlight as a guest of one of these amazing shows. Just go to up my influence. Com where you can see more than 50 shows that are actively seeking business leader guests like you to celebrate right now in front of their high caliber audiences. Just click on the podcast tab and up my influence. Com where you'll see shows like the Optics in Action podcast hosted by the visionary Ryan Weiss, president of EPS. This daily podcast is a treasure trove of insights for anyone in the manufacturing and construction world. Are you a business leader or innovator in these industries? Then Optics in Action is your go to source for stories that inspire and strategies that really work. Ryan and his guests dive deep into the journeys of successful founders, uncovering the secrets to scaling up in today's fast paced business environment.

Josh (00:01:23) - But that's not all if you are at the helm of a thriving company. Optics in Action is actively seeking guests like you in those industries, leaders who are shaping the future of manufacturing and construction. Share your story, your challenges, and your triumphs with a senior leadership level audience who are eager to learn from your experience. Don't miss this chance to be a part of a community of visionaries. Visit up my influence. Com click on the podcast tab and look for optics in action. Whether you're tuning in as a listener or stepping up as a guest. Join us in driving the conversation forward. In the world of manufacturing and construction. Your voice matters and we can't wait to amplify it. With us. Right now it's Jeremy Shapiro. Jeremy, you're a serial entrepreneur and you are a facilitator and the founder of Bay Area Mastermind. And Jeremy, it's great to have you. Thank you so much for joining us.

Jeremy (00:02:30) - Thanks for having me on. Love the show and great to be here.

Josh (00:02:32) - Absolutely. Well, listen, I'd love to learn a bit more about what Bay Area Mastermind, by the way, the website to our friend that's listening Bay Area

Josh (00:02:43) - But Jeremy, I'd love to hear you explain what exactly you do.

Jeremy (00:02:47) - Yeah, we help entrepreneurs, founders and business owners to grow, connect, and scale. A lot of the folks that come to us find as an entrepreneur, it can be lonely at the top, right. Who do you share your successes and failures with? It's usually not your family, your friends, your vendors, your employees. And so it's nice to have that community of like minded individuals who are also growth focused, that can be there to support you through your challenges and celebrate your successes with you. And so there's the camaraderie as well as that peer advisory component that folks really looking for.

Speaker 3 (00:03:18) - Yeah.

Josh (00:03:19) - Talk about maybe just, you know, again, I think most of us know what a mastermind is, but would you mind maybe just kind of while we're table setting here, explain what a mastermind is, kind of what the structure and certainly the way that you facilitate it with Bay Area Mastermind.

Jeremy (00:03:32) - Yeah. The term mastermind typically goes back to, in this context to Napoleon Hill when he wrote Thinking Grow Rich, one of his chapters was titled The Power of the mastermind, and the concept was when you get two or more minds together, there's this concept of like the third mind or additional mind or space that's created, and that's really powerful because this is where we get innovation, ideas and perspective.

Jeremy (00:03:54) - A lot of us know, or at least have a good idea of what we think we know. We have a good idea of what we don't know, but the real opportunities are and the things that we don't know, we don't know. And so when we get to hang out and spend focused, intentional time with like minded individuals, not only do we get answers to the questions we have, but we also get exposure and perspective to the areas that we didn't know we should be looking at in our lives and our businesses, and are surrounded by experts who want nothing but the best for us and can share advisory and form of peer advisory resources in the form of contacts, vendors and so on, as well as just best practices of how they've experienced what you've been going through in their own lives and their own businesses as well. And the way we run things at that mastermind is we have one full day focused on growing and scaling your business and getting you unblocked, where we have accountability between the meetings amongst the other members and amongst myself as a facilitator.

Josh (00:04:49) - Wow. I mean, that is. It's a powerful idea. I mean, there's so many reasons why this works out. Well, first off is, you know, it's like, for example, like me just working on and redoing a sales page and like how valuable it is that once I and I spent like 20 hours with ChatGPT kind of working through it from a conversion optimization standpoint, and I got to the end of it. And as soon as I like, I am really enthusiastic and excited about it. But I'm like the fish who doesn't really understand what water is, and I need someone else to explain what water is because I'm swimming in it at that point. Like I can't read another analogy. It's like, you know, it's like we're inside the bottle, so you can't read the label on the outside of the bottle. So you need those fresh perspectives and, and listen, I mean, there's so much value that comes from a diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints and experiences as well, because they bring a whole lifetime of experience and wisdom and, and, you know, kind of like when you're talking about this Napoleon Hill dynamic, right? It's almost like there's some aspect of this, too.

Josh (00:05:56) - It's like the experience of being with a really great coach or therapist because they're generally like the the answer or the wisdom or the knowledge is out there divinely or otherwise. Right. And, and oftentimes it's I find any way it's discovered from someone else asking really good questions and it's like, oh, I wasn't even looking in that corner of my brain. But since you asked that,, and then I love.

Jeremy (00:06:25) - What you share there, Josh, about those good.

Josh (00:06:27) - Questions, right?

Jeremy (00:06:28) - Yeah. But the good questions, if you look to, for example, your employees or those around you, you might not get those challenging questions that you really need. Right? But when you're around others who want nothing but the best for you, in our mastermind format, people are expected to ask those tough questions and to challenge your assumptions and to your point about, like the sales page feedback for idea. What I love seeing is that everyone has different superpowers, and when they get to share their deep expertise and then also get help from others with deep expertise, it's powerful.

Jeremy (00:07:00) - And when we see what I call the cross-pollination of ideas, it's a beautiful thing. People typically come into the mastermind room and they've got a big burning question, something they want an answer to, and their idea of where they'll get value for the day is from answers to their question. But Josh, where I see the biggest light bulb moments, the biggest, the moments where the eyes go wide and the pen starts scribbling and the smile creeps across the face. That is never during that person's hot seat. It's always during somebody else's. When they hear an idea or they see some that someone else is doing in their business that they had no idea about. So as an example, you have, for example, an e-commerce company who's crushing with email marketing. Then you've got a brick and mortar store who's doing direct mail really successfully, and the e-commerce person looks over and says, wait a minute, tell me how you're doing this direct mail way. How did you get a list and how do you get that designed and what works? Well, should I go postcard? Do I go envelope? What are the best practices? Oh expert of direct mail.

Jeremy (00:07:56) - And they're able to take those best practices from outside of their industry and apply it right in their own business. And seeing those ideas zig zag across the table, between industries and between business models is so powerful.

Josh (00:08:10) - Now, how did Bay Area mastermind. How did it come to be? I mean, obviously, you know, looking at your background, you were a business founder yourself. And so what's the inception story?

Jeremy (00:08:22) - Yeah, I've been part of various mastermind groups for almost two decades now in different forms. And what I found is there's sort of three different kinds of mastermind groups, and I've been part of all of them, and sometimes many different ones in each of those categories. I'm on one end of the spectrum. We have what I call like your destination mastermind groups. These are typically writing a 5 or 6 figure cheque just to join each year, and you're getting together maybe 2 or 3 times a year, sometimes in an exotic location, but you're hopping on a plane, you're traveling somewhere, spending a few days diving deep into your business with you in like 20 of your best friends.

Jeremy (00:08:54) - It's a great format, and I've gotten tremendous value and enormous ROI from those kinds of groups. But you're also stepping away from the business for a week at a time. You're traveling away from the family. You're doing all those different things just to talk about your business two times a year, maybe three, right? In a six month period, your business can completely change directions. And next time you come back, you've got a whole new business. Right on the other end of the spectrum are what I call like your accountability coffee groups. You'll get together maybe once a week, 30, maybe up to 90 minutes, typically on a zoom call or maybe a coffee shop. These are like free to 97 bucks a month. And I've been part of those groups, too. One of the challenges you have there is the high turnover, right? If it's a free group or it's a low cost and someone gets busy, they probably don't show up. The accountability is generally kind of low. The faces aren't always the same there.

Jeremy (00:09:46) - It's lots of new folks who pop in, and the groups often kind of fizzle out. There's not a whole lot of skin in the game, and in that one week period, you can't really implement a whole lot that changes the direction of your business towards your mission, vision and purpose. The sweet spot that I found and all the groups I've been part of over that time, is the format we use at the Bay Area Mastermind. We meet once a month for a full day, so now you're meeting up for just that one day a month to really focus on the business. That one month period gives you enough time to implement the accountability items that you've asked the group to hold you accountable to. Those are the things that can move your business forward. It's not about, you know, close some more sales or get more leads. Not that kind of work of the business. It's the work on the business, the strategic stuff. Right. So it gives you enough time to implement that. It also gives you enough time in that format to really dive into your business in a focused hot seat around your business.

Jeremy (00:10:39) - Whereas like those accountability groups, you have like maybe five, ten minutes on your business. Within our full day mastermind format, you get to dive much deeper in 30 to 45 minutes depending, and really get answers to the questions you need and peel back the onion. And so after I went through all these different kinds of groups to help me in my businesses and saw the power and value of them, I realized there's something powerful about creating a starting your own mastermind group to connect with like minded individuals. And so at the Bay Area Mastermind, we have like minded individuals who are growth focused. We're all lifelong learners. We're voracious readers. We go to conferences, we attend events, we we buy courses. We're always looking to grow personally and professionally, right? We're all growth focused in that way because we also want to be growing our businesses. And there's this these are all established businesses post revenue with existing team in place. It can be everything from like a part time VA on the low end up to, you know, dozens of employees.

Jeremy (00:11:33) - Right. And the strategies we implement allow you to do less in the business while growing your business through systems and people and process. And so our group is there to support all of us fellow entrepreneurs along that journey.

Josh (00:11:47) - Someone may be listening to us, Jeremy, and they go, well, hey, great conversation, but well, lucky for people who live in the Bay area, I guess this doesn't pertain to me.

Jeremy (00:11:57) - You know, it's funny. You know, the the name Bay Area Mastermind as we, you know, expanded and we're getting members from further, further afield. I had that question of like, should we be changing this name? And I looked at all the brands that have a location as part of the name, and that really speaks to the origins of where they're from. For us, for our Bay area, we're talking about the San Francisco Bay area, right in the heart of Silicon Valley. But our members come from far afield. And during the pandemic, we had folks who were finding us, who thought we were like in the Wisconsin green Bay or the Maryland Bay, right.

Jeremy (00:12:29) - And we realized, oh, you know, Bay means different things to different people. But either way is sort of the origins of where we're from. But now we have, you know, a travel page on our site for folks who want travel information when they fly in to a group. We also have many folks who join us virtually. That was one of those upsides and gifts that came with the pandemic is this hybrid approach where while we're meeting in person, we also have folks who join us for a virtual meeting format. I mean, we run the group the exact same way. The only difference is you're not getting that hallway conversation by the coffee and, you know, chatting with other members in that respect. But you still get that that connection, that community, that camaraderie. And really beyond just the once a month meeting, a lot of what our members find so much value in is that time between. In the meetings. We have our slack community, we have our private email lists, and this is where members stay in touch.

Jeremy (00:13:14) - So like Josh, that sales letter you're talking about, you wouldn't have had to wait a whole month to get feedback. You could have sent it out to the group and gotten feedback right away from folks who've built really successful sales pages, and who could provide real world expertise on exactly what you're building without waiting a whole month for the next meeting. And that kind of community is really what's been powerful for our group.

Josh (00:13:33) - Yeah, right. So I would imagine that you've witnessed or you've seen some pretty interesting transformations in your,, longevity in the mastermind world., what are some outcomes that not only I think are special, but are actually not special. They're kind of commonplace. Like, these are very typical outcomes that we see in mastermind groups.

Jeremy (00:13:57) - You know, I've always had to identify myself as a serial entrepreneur, meaning I've launched multiple businesses, you know, over my career, and almost every single one of those has been a pivot or a spin off from one of my existing businesses. It was usually filling a gap in my own business that I just couldn't find a solution for in the marketplace.

Jeremy (00:14:13) - And so we created one, and that became a whole new business. Many of those ideas were actually incubated and formalized in a mastermind group. And what I started seeing in the groups that I run as well is the exact same thing. We have serial entrepreneurs who come into the group with one business, and a side idea comes up, and that then becomes the bigger business. One story I'd love to share, you know, beyond just my own in that regard is we had a member who came in with a very hands on trades like business,, doing demolition kind of work and in the process realized there was a need to get the site plans done so you could submit it to the city hall and get your permits and all that. And there wasn't a great way to do this online. So as a side business, he created this site plan service that was totally hands off that service, the need he had in his business that he was using, and that little side business started to take off. And that business, I believe, last I checked, had something like 7000 online reviews of satisfied customers.

Jeremy (00:15:13) - It's been blown up and growing involves next to no time on the part of the business owner and runs and grows itself. And that came as a spinoff idea from a serial entrepreneur who, by the way, sold that first business. Cleared the money, traveled the country with a family in the RV for a year, settle down somewhere else, and started some new ventures. All while that little side business was really the big one. We had somebody else with a software business that was a more traditional old school model, where you buy a software license and you have on premises software, and that business was doing well, and that member joined us with that business model. Well, in that time that that member was with us, the idea of having a SaaS based platform that was similar but serving a totally different kind of customer came up. And so the new business was launched, and that business doubled year over year over year and continued to grow and serve new markets and had all kinds of great functionality built in.

Jeremy (00:16:08) - That came from the feedback we provided in the group about automated recurring revenue, about self signup, about, you know, easy onboarding. And it was a clean slate new business that quickly eclipsed the old business that was part of the group. And so that might seem extraordinary. But to your point, Josh, these are sort of common outcomes. We see we have folks with brick and mortar businesses who come in and launch an online business. We have doctors and attorneys who come in with a very typical practice and end up becoming authors and creating membership sites and continuity programs and all these things that are so outside of the norm for their industry, but are inspired by other members and what they're doing in their industry. And that cross-pollination is where so much growth comes from.

Josh (00:16:51) - Yeah. All right. So your website, Bay Area, who can be a part of a mastermind. What's I don't know in terms of like where should they be business stage wise or who is it open to and what are those next steps.

Jeremy (00:17:08) - Yeah. So what we're looking for, you know, we have a fairly simple but thorough mastermind application process. We recognize that our mastermind is not for everyone, and not everyone is a right fit for the mastermind as well. And so we look for this two way fit. So we have, you know, a multi-step application you fill out, we hop on a call and go over it and if there's not a fit, that's okay. If there is a fit, then we invite you to join us for what we call a test drive. And so you invest in the one day with us, and worst case, you walk away having, you know, a wonderful lunch or a virtual lunch, a chance to meet other like minded individuals, get some new ideas and answers to your biggest questions. And best case, you realize you found the family you've been looking for all along, right? And so then we would extend an invitation for you to join us after you've test driven with us. If the group feels you're a fit and you feel the group is a fit for you, and what we're looking for is a few things you need to establish business, right? This isn't pre stage or early stage.

Jeremy (00:18:01) - You're an existing business. You have a team supporting you, which again on the low end is a part time VA., on the high end is maybe a few dozen employees at the most. You're generally clearing at least a half million dollars a year in gross revenue. That on the high end is somewhere between 5 and 8 million a year. We've had members hire, but that's, you know, usually getting out of the edge of where our group is. And you are a lifelong learner, right? You're looking to improve yourself. You're looking to grow your business. You're an avid reader. You're going to events, you're parts of groups, and you're looking to grow yourself. You're good. Taking feedback right from others. Some entrepreneurs have seen over the years can have a kind of tough skin about that and not be too receptive to feedback, and that that can be a challenge because that can inhibit your growth. You got to be open and receptive to feedback from others. And on the flip side, we're looking for folks who are willing to provide that expertise, who have that super power and do want to help out and lovingly challenge others where needed and provide those resources, input and feedback.

Jeremy (00:19:03) - And so the way that process works, like you mentioned, Josh is at Bay Area Mastermind. Com you can find out more about our group c u an upcoming events are you could submit an application and then we just hop on a call me go over it. And worst case we find out there's not a fit. And best case we find, you know this is the family you've been looking for all along.

Josh (00:19:19) - I love it Jeremy Shapiro again, Bay Area mastermind, the website Bay Area Jeremy, it's been a great conversation to our friend that's listening. Listen, stop siloing yourself as a leader. You deserve to be around peers. You're not alone. And guess what, Jeremy? There are so many others who experiences a lot of the same challenges. Or maybe they've already been there, done that, and they have some great insight and wisdom to help lift the load a little bit and make business way more enjoyable. Jeremy Shapiro, thank you so much for the conversation.

Jeremy (00:19:54) - Thanks for having me.

Jeremy (00:19:55) - Josh, this is great.

Josh (00:20:01) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence. Comment. Guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stop by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together, we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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