Diane Cunningham Ellis has traveled a long and varied path in life. She’s been a counselor, founded the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs, and now works as a business coach and mentor. Through her mastermind group, Braver Together, Diane strives to help women feel safe, seen, and supported.

In this episode, Pam and Teri talk with Diane about what a mastermind group is, the benefits of joining one (or even leading one), and how you can get the best experience from your mastermind membership. Simply, it’s about showing up, being vulnerable, sharing ideas, and supporting one another. In this conversation, we dive into each of those aspects in much more detail so you don’t want to miss it!

We’d love to hear from you! Have you joined a mastermind group? Comment below and tell us about your experience.

In episode 33 of Business. Besties. & Books. Podcast, Teri and Pam talk with Diane Cunningham Ellis about getting the most from your mastermind group. Listen now!

How Joining a Mastermind Group Can Transform Your Business

What We Talked About

  • A tragedy that turned into a testimony: Diane’s journey into coaching [00:00]
  • Braver Together: Diane’s vision for coaching business women [04:30]
  • The evolution of you: Stepping into who you are through the changing seasons of life [06:12]
  • Safe, seen, and supported: How a mastermind group can help you [08:41]
  • The benefits of leading a mastermind group [12:09]
  • Generosity of ideas: The importance of meeting in person [13:20]
  • Creating your version of a mastermind group and not anyone else’s [16:05]
  • Come all the way in and sit all the way down: Getting the best experience from your mastermind membership [17:14]
  • Finding inspiration from other businesses and other industries [19:14]
  • Being an outsider as a defense mechanism: Being brave and being vulnerable [22:00]
  • A mastermind group as a mirror [24:54]
  • Who is Diane outside of her business? [25:33]
  • This or that: Audio book or paper book? [29:35]

Diane Cunningham Ellis

Diane Cunningham Ellis, M.Ed. is a business mentor, coach and former counselor with 25 plus years of experience teaching thousands of women.  She offers courses, coaching and masterminds for women who want to take action and lean all the way into their gifts!  

After getting her Masters Degree in 1997 she has been on a winding journey of counseling, coaching, teaching, writing books and leading an association.  She has been lovingly called a “Creative Machine” and a renaissance woman.  

She is the Founder of the Braver Together Mastermind and previously created the National Association of Christian Women Entrepreneurs®, a global association where women meet to connect, create, and collaborate. She served as President for seven years (2010-2017).

She writes. Diane is the author of eleven self-published books and counting, five which are Amazon Bestsellers, including The Inspired Business Toolkit and the Rock Bottom is a Beautiful Place book series.

Diane lives in the Dallas, Texas area. Her house looks like a book store, art gallery, and office supply store merged. She is happily married to Jim, her very own Private Investigator and is a super FUN Grandma!! 

A few random fun facts: she has run 4 marathons, survived a plane crash, has had an art show in a gallery and is also proudly 10 years sober.  She is an open book and is excited to connect with you to share, learn and collaborate! 

What is a Mastermind Group?

  • “I believe that we are all creative beings. My creativity has seasons where it’s been art on the wall. Sometimes it’s a book. Sometimes it’s a magazine. But deep down, what are we creating and then how are we getting out to the marketplace, and then how can we do that bigger?” – Diane
  • “I love you talking about how there’s seasons for different parts of our lives because i think sometimes as women, we do get stuck in, ‘I’m this and I’m going to be this forever,’ instead of, ‘I was this now but now i’m going to be this next part of life.'” -Teri
  • “What I really want for my women is to feel safe, seen, and supported so that we can come together and then we all go out to do what we’re called to do.” – Diane
  • “When I think about my mastermind, I feel like my heart’s like a blooming flower. I feel so proud. I feel honored. I feel ignited. I feel activated. I feel like this is my life purpose. this is so easy. And then I go running around doing all these other things that feel a lot more clunky and a little weird and a little hard. That’s where you start to go, “Wait a minute. What if you just go back to what feels so easy?” – Diane
  • “I have to really constantly say, ‘Wait a minute. Are you trying to do it her mastermind way or his mastermind way? What’s the Diane version of this and why are you trying to wedge yourself into somebody else’s version of this? If you created what you really wanted, what does that mean? What does that look like? What do we do together?'” – Diane

Making Your Mastermind Group Work for You

  • “We don’t know you until we know you. And if you don’t want to be known, you probably shouldn’t join a mastermind. If you don’t want to be vulnerable, then it’s not the right location for you … To get the best out of your mastermind, you’re going to have to say, ‘Hey, I need help.'” – Diane
  • “We need to stop looking inside of our little bubble for ideas of what to do. You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. Let’s look at what everyone else in the world is doing and try some new things … I love that you can learn from other industries and just take that and say, ‘How can I translate that into my own industry and make that work for me?'” – Pam
  • “I think it’s normal for us to be in that space where we also feel outside. I think that being willing to step into vulnerabilty and step into a group that says, ‘We will create a safe space for you but you have to be willing and open to enter in and be seen.'” – Pam
  • “The other thing about a mastermind group, it turns into a mirror because you’re like, ‘Oh my gosh. I’m saying the same thing again. I’m in the same place again. Interesting. What is it? They’re seeing it.’ They can see it becaues they’re lookinmg at me from outside and I am jsut in my own little groove and I need to keep asking myself, ‘What needs to change?'” – Diane

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