Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

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seanconn256
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Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

I've heard that there's interest in starting a second ERE-generalist mastermind group, and that people are waiting for someone to step up and start another one. Well, looks like that's me.

Goals:
The goal of this group will, at least at the start, be similar to the first one. We are going to get together to discuss our current projects and goals, and use the collective brainpower in the group to help solve them/guide them. These can be anything ERE related, and anything from the very specific ("I want to start a garden, and therefore need help growing carrots") to the more general ("I feel stuck in my ERE journey, what should I focus on? What could I improve on, given where I am?").

Who Should/Can Join:
You should join if you want other people's opinions and experiences with ERE to color your goals, are open to taking good natured criticism, and have a desire to help with the goals of others in the group. I want anyone on any stage of their ERE journey to be able to join the group, but I need everyone in it to contribute. You need to take some initiative and ask questions to other's when it's there turn, not just get help for yourself.

I'll accept 4-8 people for this group. I'll get things started when we can find four, give some time before we start so more can join if they want.


Details:
I plan to have us meet every other week, at a set time, for an hour. We will meet over a span of 12 weeks to start, so six meetings. If you join the group, have the intention of joining as many sessions as possible, unless something comes up. One advantage of mastermind groups is the social cohesion, and having the same members every time builds accountability.

The first meeting will have every participant give a 5-10 minute introduction on who they are, where they are in their ERE journey, and what they want to get out of the group. I will think of something more concrete when we have our members.

These will be video meetings, and I would like participants to use their cameras if they have them. I've found that in the online meetings I do every day for work, having cameras improves communication and rapport. This is not a hard requirement, but understand that it will potentially impede your communication with the group if we can't communicate face-to-face. I do not care what program we use to do this, options that come to mind for me are skype, discord, zoom, google hangouts.

We will also have an out-of-meeting communication method, likely using Signal. This will be a text chat with little rules other than being polite. AxelHeyst (the leader of group #1), has said that this can prevent the mastermind group from just becoming a social group and fizzling out. We can get our socializing done here, and have the meetings be more focused on the task at hand.

What to do if you have decided to join:
- make a post on this topic indicating you want to join. Give a very brief overview of yourself, Age/Location + one sentence would do. Feel free to add any information you want. Please link your journal if you have one.
- If you change your mind about joining the group before we start, say so in this topic. That way people can see how many are in the group.
- I would recommend you be familiar with some of the 'greatest hits' of the forum, just so members can be more comfortable referencing them. This is a good place to check out: viewtopic.php?t=12285. You're not going to be quizzed on anything, nor expected to know anything in particular, but it may be helpful so that if someone starts talking about their "Wheaton Level" or their "Web of Goals" you are not confused.
- you should also check out the notes from the first group, here: viewtopic.php?t=11872

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

I'll do the first message;

I'm Sean, I'm a mid 20's software engineer in the midwest.
I've reached an impasse in my ERE journey, and I'm looking to find a way to move forward. My more concrete goals are to have hobbies that incorporate themselves into my life more harmoniously. I essentially want to actually move to implement the "web of goals" or "systems approach" that separates ERE from FIRE or FI in general. I want to increase my resilience, knowledge and skills, and have early retirement be a side effect.

My journal is here: viewtopic.php?p=254884

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canoe
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by canoe »

I'm Canoe, a mid-20's software engineer in Ontario, Canada.

I've been pursuing ERE-style early retirement since I started to earn money full-time. However, looking critically at my lifestyle I've realized I'm mostly just a very frugal salaryman. Hopefully I'll be able to osmose some better habits from other group members.

The main goal I'm working on right now is the ability to build social capital (aka the prerequisites to strong social capital/community integration). I'd say this is the biggest bottleneck in my life right now. I'm hoping this group will help hold me accountable to the improvement system I've designed and expose me to people with different views and experiences in this area to help me improve faster. I'm also always on the lookout for ways to make my web of goals more cohesive!

My journal is viewtopic.php?t=12163

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

Some additional notes:
  • no relation to any political movement that may be using the last word in the title. It's a reference to a bad 80's sequel movie, nothing more.
  • you don't need to make a post here to join to the group, you can also DM me the same information and I will add you. all I will do is make a post saying "someone joined". no information about you, it's just meant so that others can keep track of the number of participants and open seats.
  • I understand that people have privacy concerns and will do my best to respect them. This goes for the actual meeting as well, I will not give out/distribute/ask for any personal information. Also with listing your location, feel free to leave that out if you want.
  • As for recieving actual contact info for the signal chat; I'll make that when we have four members, and send via dm.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

We have a third member now

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by AnalyticalEngine »

I'd like to join. I'm early 30s, Denver, software developer. Here's my journal: viewtopic.php?t=11967

I'm technically at the point where I could quit, but I've been sticking with work because I've realized that work is no longer the limiting factor in my life. Instead, I'm being limited by lack of skill and connections. I'm hoping to pick up new insights from the group and propel my personal development in these two areas, as well as share my journey/progress/insights with others.
Last edited by AnalyticalEngine on Mon Feb 28, 2022 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Quadalupe
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by Quadalupe »

Very cool to see another MMG pop up! :) My overall goal of the MMG was to move from LeanFIRE to ERE, and if I think some of your goals might be similar. I got a lot out of the group wrt that goal, so I hope you all find it fruitful (and enjoyable!) as well.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

And then there were four! Ill get things set up in a day or two, but I will make sure to not schedule the first meeting for at least a week to allow others to join.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

we have a fifth member now

grundomatic
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by grundomatic »

I'd like to join. Journal here: viewtopic.php?t=11956&start=20

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

Great! happy to have you.

Also; we've decided to use discord for our video calls and communications.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

just fyi; I think 8 would be too many to fit in an hour so this group size will be capped at the current number, 6.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

I think this thread is due for an update.

We are still meeting, and things are going quite well. We have met twice so far, and have decided to structure things a little differently than when we started.

For example, we use discord instead of signal. We have threads for each member, where people follow up on things that are mentioned during the meeting, and provide links and resources. It has been helpful to allow people some time to think about the things mentioned in the meeting and expound upon them.

We also have a hybrid meeting system, where 3 of the 6 members go for 20 minutes each during the meeting, with the three presenters alternating every meeting. This was a compromise from either doing 10 minutes each or having 50 minutes for one person. I personally thought 10 minutes was much too short and 50 minutes was too long. We put it to a vote, and that option won, so I think there is some consensus on that point.

We are still in the process of figuring things out, but I can already recommend if someone wants to start one of these groups they should go and do it. Administrating these meetings is not really all that hard, and there have been a lot of good resources posted here in this topic. I would also be willing to help someone if they needed it.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by AxelHeyst »

Thanks for the update, I really like both those structural differences (one channel per member, and the hybrid meeting system).

We just did three sessions of 15min/person, conceptualized as 'intro presentations', that we would then drop in to normal deep dives where each person gets 50min. But now no one really feels like they need a 50min session because the 15min session was meaty and recent enough for now. We'll have to chat about adopting the structure you've worked out more permanently...

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

As we recently reached the end of our 12 weeks, we have re-formed the group.

We've decided to stray away from the traditional question/answer format of a mastermind group, and instead do something that isn't really a mastermind group at all. We are going to have small, focused discussions on a particular topic each month, all related to ERE.

Examples of topics are:
  • "This month we will be talking about permaculture/gardening/foraging/couponing, anything about food"
  • "This month we will be talking about going from WL 4 to 5"
This change arose, for me at least, out of an observation I had with our old format. The heavily structured question and answer format forced people to make up questions when they didn't really have any, and heavily timeboxed the discussions. We had to cut off interesting answers often to fit the time. People felt put 'on the spot' to provide questions so that the discussion could continue.

I think this is the result of the fact that we are not focused enough on a particular issue as a group. If we were all trying to apply systems theory, or all trying to lower bills, or all trying to learn skills, and only one of those things, the mastermind format would have worked a lot better. We are all in different stages of our ERE journeys, and that makes our current concerns and outlooks vary widely. I think this is a huge asset for the group, but I don't think we are making the most of it right now.

All that being said; we had a member decide to leave. As a result of this, we are accepting a new member to bring us back to six people. If you have questions about the group or want to join, please don't hesitate to DM me or post here. This will a first-come first-serve invite. If no one is interested, we will just continue with five.

dustBowl
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by dustBowl »

I'd be interested in joining. Late 20's, software developer, currently living in Seattle. My journal is here: viewtopic.php?p=260683

My current focus is on building up a set of practical skills that aren't related to my main form of employment. Longer term, I'm interested in understanding and developing non-monetary forms of capital. Basically, I want to transition from the salaryman quadarant -> renaissance man quadrant.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

@dustbowl great! I will send you an invite.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

Wanted to provide a quick update for what the group has been up to; we are sticking to the same format, but to describe it more concisely:
  • we meet in a discord video call for an hour once a month
  • we choose a topic beforehand, I usually post a couple of related questions that I will ask to keep the conversation going
  • other than that it's a free from discussion, no timed speaking or anything
  • we occasionally follow up the discussion in the chat with questions or observations we didn't have time for
We also have an attached book club, which also meets for an hour every month or so as well. So far we have read 'Radical Simplicity' by Jim Merkel (not to be confused with 'Radical Simplicity' by Dan Price, which I may have bought on accident), and are currently reading 'The Listening Society'. One of our other members runs this part, and for that I am very grateful.

Here are all the questions/topics we have discussed so far in our meetings:
  1. Wheaton levels
    • what levels we self-assessed as
    • what the greater meaning is (if any) in what level you are
    • what we thought wheaton levels has helped us understand about ERE or other people
    • if seeing the wheaton levels as a ladder to climb can be harmful/counterproductive for your self image, wellbeing, or lifestyle design progress
  2. Investing
    • What investment model do you follow?
    • Do you trade actively? Do you intend to at some point?
    • What is your target SWR? why?
    • Do you have long term predictions about the market (environmental issues etc)? If so, how do they change the way you invest?
    • Do you use tax advantaged retirement accounts (for those in the USA)? How and in what proportion?
    • Do you have any tax avoidance strategies? do you think its a good idea/ ethical thing to do?
  3. Fitness
    • What are your goals in fitness? What are you trying to achieve?
    • Have you been able to integrate fitness into your lifestyle? To what degree?
    • If you do work out, what do you do and why?
    • Are you trying to make any improvements? Where?
    • What do you think is the best way to stick with a routine? What is the balance between willpower and intrinsic or external motivation?
    • What have you learned about fitness that you wish you learned earlier?
I would include some details of the (great) discussions we have had, but most of this stuff is quite personal so I will leave that up to the imagination.

Also if anyone is thinking about starting their own group, I still heavily recommend it. It's really not that much work, and is a good way to learn some people skills. Having the group not only makes ERE 'real' by attaching real people to it, but it seems to accelerate understanding and motivation by actually talking about this stuff instead of typing or reading.

ben2000s
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by ben2000s »

Do you guys still meet? I am very interested.
Bio:
My name is Ben and I am a 28 year old software engineer in NY. I started my journey with Mr Money Mustache and have spent the last 1-1.5 years reading the ERE blog and ERE book many times. I just started reading the forums. I think I can bring a good point of view to help people solve their problems from a psychological and behavioral point of view because I have done a lot of reading on psychology, spirituality and have been in therapy for a while. I also save way over half my income. I would personally like support in some areas and have some issues with logic about paying other people to do certain activities.
Let me know if I can answer any other questions.

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seanconn256
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Re: Mastermind Group #2: Electric Boogaloo

Post by seanconn256 »

ben2000s wrote:
Mon Nov 21, 2022 11:03 pm
Thanks for the interest! Sadly I believe this group is at our limit for attendance, as we are trying to make it so that everybody has time to contribute in our 1 hour meetings, which gets harder with more people.

If you or someone else is willing to volunteer to lead a third group, and make a post asking for interest, I have the intuition that it would get enough replies to start a new group after a little time. I have noticed a trickle of interest over time, even after this group filled up.

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