Liz Seda: Find People Who Won’t Let You Fail

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This is Janelle Allen with The Grand Life. Today I’m interviewing Liz Seda of A Life On Your Terms.com. Liz is a writer, a blogger and a genius at organizing Mastermind groups. Thanks for joining us, Liz.

Thank you for that awesome introduction.

Can you tell us about the work you do?

I blog for A Life On Your Terms, where I write about creating a life that you love–emotionally, physically, spiritually and professionally. Mostly I talk about taking care of yourself and the importance of putting yourself first.

I got fed up with people saying “You don’t matter and if you do anything for yourself, you’re an evil person.” So I started my blog to tell people it’s okay to do what you need to do for yourself professionally and emotionally. Whatever it is that you need to do for yourself, that’s what we need for you in this world.

 

I got fed up with people saying “You don’t matter and if you do anything for yourself, you’re an evil person.”

 

Where are you from, Liz?

I am from so many places. When I was younger, I got confused by that question. I’m Puerto Rican by nationality, but I was born in New York City and grew up in Florida. I graduated from the University of Miami with two degrees in Engineering then moved to Cincinnati, Ohio to take an Engineering job. [Engineering] wasn’t anything like I thought it would be.

Your story is very compelling. So with your blog being called A Life On Your Terms, how did you get to the place where you’re living and working on your own terms?

It was a long journey. I come from a poor Hispanic family so I was the only person to ever graduate college. For a very long time I was being a good girl: the girl who goes to college and gets a degree in Engineering. Then I got this awesome job–in the middle of a recession–and went to work, but everyday I was miserable. Every day.

I thought there was something wrong with me. I felt ungrateful and so guilty. Anybody would love to have my job. Plus, my mom was so proud of me. When we would go out she would say “This is my daughter, the engineer.” I felt like such an impostor.

 

You can’t fail at somebody else’s mission.

 

I tried to do it for a whole year and in the end, [my employer] sat me down and said: “Listen Liz, you’re really smart but if you don’t fit in here, you’re not going to make it. If you don’t do it our way, you’re not going to make it in this company.” I kept trying, but I finally got so fed up and sick because I was trying to do something that was in complete misalignment with who I was. I chose to quit so I could save my mental and physical health from the damage that the job was doing to me.

When I quit, I didn’t know if I was helping myself or if I was just a failure. I had no idea. I tried to start a business on my own and that didn’t work out, so I went back to corporate America. This time I went to work for a smaller company and thought “I’m going to make it!” I lasted less than a year. Again, they told me that I had to conform and that I was too expressive.

 

I got this awesome job and went to work, but everyday I was miserable. Every day. I felt like such an impostor.

 

Wow, so your employer sat you down and literally told you that you had to conform?

Yeah, they did. So I quit again. But this time I said “I get it. I’m not good at Corporate America.” I quit with about two or three months in savings and had a very small window for success, but I made it work out of necessity. When you think you can’t do something and circumstances change so that you have to [make it], you do. You find a way. It just takes you raising your standards.

Even if you think at the time that you can’t do it. If you know inside that [your job] is wrong for you, you will do it. I wasn’t making money from my blog, so I did web development. I built niche sites. I wrote articles for people. I made it work because I set a standard and said, “I will not go back to Corporate America.”

 

When you think you can’t do something and circumstances change so that you have to, you do.

 

That’s a great segue way to my next question. On your blog you share 7 laws of living on your own terms. What is the meaning behind these 7 laws? Why did you decide to create this manifesto?

Because I knew that living life on your terms is so broad and it means something different for everybody else. What I wanted to do was create a guideline what is flexible. I wanted to lead people to living on their own terms but not tell people how to live–those are two different things. So I created these 7 Laws to help you. If you want to live life on your own terms and you’re doing these 7 things, you’re absolutely going to be successful.

Liz Seda’s 7 Laws to Living a Life on Your Terms

  1. Do Work You Love
  2. Happiness is Your Expectation
  3. Respect Yourself
  4. Live Consciously
  5. Eliminate Guilt
  6. Take Self-Responsibility
  7. Live Authentically

It seems that you finally got the signal from the Universe that was saying “Look, this is not the fit for you!” What advice would you give someone who knows they aren’t doing the work they’re meant to do, but is having trouble acknowledging the signs? 

I think it’s important to know that it’s natural: you’re not going to want to stop doing what you’re doing because that’s what helped you survive this far. A lot of people think their choices are to be part of something they hate or to be alone, but that’s not the case.

  1. If you’re suffering in any way. If you wake up anxious, tense or with chronic pain. That is a sign. You should wake up with energy. I know, it’s shocking! I was so surprised when I realized that, but the truth is that if you’re not waking up with energy there’s something wrong. Maybe it’s your job, maybe it’s your relationship, but you need to listen to it.
  2. Realize that whatever it is you want to do, you are not alone. That’s the scariest thing. There’s someone out there who is going through the same thing, so find people to support you.

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Let’s switch gears. You just joined Scott Dinsmore’s team at Live Your Legend–congratulations, that’s huge. One of the things you’re doing for Scott is helping him organize mastermind groups. But before we talk about your mastermind genius, how did you get the opportunity to work with Scott?

Well, I’m very high energy and there come times when I get inspired to help somebody. I say “I want to help somebody right now! I’m going to email somebody and just lay it on them and they’re going to be so impressed!” So I sent Scott a Facebook message and I said “I see that you started this new group. How about I put [your people] in small mastermind groups?”

I was a newbie at the time so I sent him this 17-page email, but I sent it. Then the high wore off and I thought “He’s going to think I’m a groupie, nutty fangirl.” But he actually responded and said yes. Then he asked me to do the same thing for his Connect With Anyone community.

When I started I didn’t know the first thing [about mastermind groups], so I had to research and learn. I focused on doing my best work and adding value to his community. I added as much value as I could. My goal was: If I leave him, will he cry? If the answer was yes, I knew I was doing the right thing. So that’s what I did.

 

Realize that you are not alone. There’s someone out there who is going through the same thing, so find people to support you.

 

For those who don’t know, what is a mastermind group?

A mastermind group is a group of people that come together for a definite purpose in a harmonious way. It’s not just 3 people exchanging ideas (although that’s part of it); it’s more than that. It’s when you get people together who are like-minded, have the same mission and drive and are at the same level.

When you’re in a group like that with so much synergy, you can’t help but think bigger. Eventually you leave with something way bigger than something you could have ever created on your own.

We hear about mastermind groups, but quite frankly it can be hard to find the right mastermind group, especially one that actually works. What are some ways to find a mastermind group [that works]?

First, most people don’t tell everybody what their purpose is for meeting. They just say: “Hey, I want to get together to contribute ideas.” That’s like saying, “I want to talk about work-related stuff.” When you don’t have a purpose for meeting, people are eventually going to feel like there is more important stuff they could be doing.

Have a purpose. Then, team up with people you respect and that you would be friends with. You need to be able to see yourself on a vacation with this person, because that’s how close you’re going to have to be to create the magic that you need to happen. Make sure the person is awesome; that you not only respect, but like them and don’t want to hang up every time you talk to them.

It’s hard to come by and you’re probably not going to get it on the first try. The second time will be better. The third time you’ll find a group that makes you fly. You just have to keep going with a definite purpose and some guidelines for the group. Also, don’t just go to the meeting. Make sure you’re giving without reservation and eventually you’ll create trust and that group will soar.

I’m going to play devil’s advocate now. What is so great about MMGs? Why are they the key to personal and business growth? What are they going to do for me?

You have a certain amount of intelligence and knowledge inside of you. Then, you get two more people. Now you have 3 times the knowledge. However, when you get a good mastermind group going, this knowledge is way bigger than 3 times–it’s more like 10 times.

Napoleon Hill talks about it in Think and Grow Rich; he calls it The Third Mind. It’s when you start to combine your intelligence and something happens that could never happen by yourself because [on your own] you don’t have access to those powers you need to combine and create exponentially.

When The Third Mind happens, ideas just start coming to you. Things you never thought about, things you never knew you knew will just start flowing. You can’t get that by yourself. Most of us need other people to create that energy. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

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You’ve done a lot of research on mastermind groups, so can you give us two or three resources for learning more about them?

The first resource is a 52-page workbook that I created called How to Create Your Ultimate Mastermind Team. That is THE book for masterminding. I did so much work and it’s everything you could possibly need or want to learn. For free.

There are online resources, like businessmastery.com, but many of them charge you.

Also, there’s Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, which teaches you about the Third Mind. It’s a little bit less actionable, but it has a lot of information behind it. People that have been in mastermind groups before and done amazing things have read it.

If I’m coming to your site and I find this guide, how is it going to help me?

  • It will teach you what a mastermind is and isn’t.
  • It will show you how to get members and who the right members are.
  • It will show you how to run a successful meeting–both what to do and what not to do.

 

I want to create this mass movement of people taking care of themselves. People who understand that their life is valuable.

 

Last two questions, Liz. First, what’s your why? Why is this work important to you?

Because I feel a deep-seated need to spread the message I’ve discovered through my own painful journey. I feel the need to tell people that they don’t have to suffer. That they can do what they want to do. Their limitations are their own and they’ve created their own prison.

I want to create this mass movement of people taking care of themselves. People who understand that their life is valuable. Most people don’t think about the fact that they’re alive and what that means! Think about it and nurture that life. Your life, your time is the most precious resource in the world, so act.

Your drive and energy are so contagious–I love it. Before we wrap up: What is freedom to you, Liz Seda?

Freedom to me is being able to make the choice to do what I want, to live how I want and to contribute to the world what I want regardless of my environment and regardless of what the people around me think.

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4 Responses to “Liz Seda: Find People Who Won’t Let You Fail”

  1. Liz February 22, 2013 at 11:27 #

    This is so great Janelle! Thanks so much for the interview. It was a blast :).

    • Janelle Allen February 24, 2013 at 10:05 #

      Thank you, Liz. It was fun getting to know more about you and your work.

  2. J Poland March 24, 2013 at 23:54 #

    Very good work ladies. Enjoyed learning for the first time about mastermind groups and the third mind!

    • Janelle Allen March 26, 2013 at 13:45 #

      Thanks, JP. Liz and Scott’s resource on Mastermind Groups is the best out there. I’m using it myself in my own mastermind.