Last week I attended a fabulous retreat with the Total Life Freedom community that I am a part of. I joined this group a few months ago but was not able to participate actively until recently. This retreat was the first time I was meeting any of the community members in person.
I was nervous to meet all of these amazing people. I wondered what they would think of a “newbie” to business like me…I wondered if I would fit in, I wondered if I would be able to offer them anything that would help them on their journey. The night before I was so nervous, I even thought of not going altogether. But I put my big girl pants on and went. It took about 4 hours into Day 1 for me to realize that I had made the best decision for my business and our life by attending this TLF retreat. The future of my business already looked different, the future for my family already looked different, and it wasn’t even lunchtime. We broke into smaller groups and began tackling things… While sitting in my first group I remember thinking, nothing else will be as valuable as this moment is….and then we took a break. Conversations broke out all around the room, and the ones I was immersed in convinced me “nothing else will be as valuable as this moment is.” Then we went back to small groups… The same thought rotated within my mind for 2 days.
The value wasn’t only in the small groups where we did focused work, the value was in the assembled force of every single one of us at every moment that we were together. People would hop up from across the room to follow someone because they had an idea for them or wanted to dive deeper into the other person’s business to help them gain clarity. We shared laughs together about “imposter syndrome”, and how silly our limiting thoughts seemed once we shared them with others and brainstormed the way out from under them. Every person looked at everyone else with eagerness to help and problem solve. We all came with a goal for our own businesses, and I am pretty sure we all left with solutions for that goal as well as bigger plans for things we weren’t even thinking about.
The single biggest takeaway for me was that there were incredibly successful people and newbies in business all willing to help pull each other up knowing that the trickle of their kindness would make an impact for them that they could not even fathom. It is amazing what you can unlock for yourself, your family, and your business when you have the right support system around you, and TLF cultivates that every day by bringing us all together.
On the calls I attended, I got that feeling. In my mind though, it’s easier to appear generous online than it is in person. It’s easier to sit for an hour on a call and pretend you are there to help one another than it is to put it into action. I was very interested to see if that generosity would extend into a two-day retreat, and beyond. Like many business leaders, we’ve done the networking thing. We’ve attended events, we’ve shaken hands, we’ve exchanged business cards with the final greeting of, “we should connect further.” The event ends, the business card ends up in a pile and you barely give a thought to 95% of the people you met that day. I know I’ve done this, as I am sure many of you reading this have. But what if there was something else? What if there was a different way to connect where you approached one another from a place of truly wanting to help the other person’s business with no thought to how that played into what you were doing? What would happen if you tried it that way?
quality vs. quantity
Vincent Pugliese and his wife Elizabeth Pugliese are the founders of The Total Life Freedom Mastermind and Community. The idea for this community was born from years in business in which they learned the real value of connecting with people. On his podcast, The Total Life Freedom Podcast, Vincent shares insightful information among which is how to grow as a person, and an entrepreneur by cultivating quality networks. All of this is done through the power of generosity.
Through their journey, Vincent and Elizabeth learned that the quality of the relationships they were making far surpassed the number of people they shook hands with. They replaced, “I” with a “We” mentality and began to see a shift in the connections they were making, the people they were attracting, and ultimately the circle that surrounded them. In his upcoming book, The Wealth of Connection, release date May 2nd, 2022, Vincent discusses this further while sharing stories and lessons learned along the way.
the Impact of a Story
The stories that he collected through the years of his life have all bridged together as teaching tools and inspirational stories for those that hear them. Why? Did he somehow collect stories those of us are unable to? Did he live some amazing life that gave him these experiences more than you can or did? No. He set a goal for what he wanted, and he worked hard to achieve that goal. Then, he set another and worked hard all over again. In the course of his hard work, he cultivated relationships. It was interactions with those people within those relationships that gave him the stories and lessons he shares. No one starts in a perfect place, and his ability to allow us all to see the truth in his successes and failures continues to set his leadership style apart from many others.
What stories are the relationships in your life cultivating? Are you learning and growing within those relationships? Are they supportive? Do they challenge you just enough to allow for your personal growth?
I’d like to challenge you all to begin thinking about your network of people. Family members, friends, business associates, everyone. How are you spending your time with these people? Do you feel positive energy on most days or a negative one? Speaker John Rohn said, “we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.” Are your five encouraging you within your life, or are they pulling you down and keeping you in the place they are comfortable with? We all change and go through the seasons of our lives. No matter where you were yesterday, make sure that the people around you are supporting you to reach the place you want to be tomorrow.
Rich Avery says
I love that you’re able to be a part of that community! OK and maybe just a little jealous too. 🙂 I met Vincent last October at an event, where I also met John Stange. Both are great guys!
MJ James says
Fingers crossed you can join us all soon! I don’t know why I thought you and John Stange went way back. They really are both great guys. Thanks for taking the time to give me a comment!