Our guest for this week is Alex T. Steffen, a business consultant, best-selling author, and an award-winning presenter.

Alex started his career as a digital marketing specialist, but over the course of the last decade, he has specialized in the fields of innovation management and the future of work. By providing consultancy services he facilitates the organizational development and innovation efforts of enterprises. In the process, he aims to equip employees and leaders with the required competencies and skills, while breaking down complex innovation problems into solvable tasks using agile methods such as design thinking, user journeys, gamification, masterminds, and custom learning journeys. His client list includes names of renowned companies like SAP, Red Bull, Mercedes Benz, and Webasto.

He co-founded Growth Masters, an invite-only adventure mastermind which combines crowdsource coaching and accountability systems to help entrepreneurs advance and take their businesses to the next step. They provide their attendees (tribe members) with strategic business advice on active and passive income vehicles like brand building, preparing online courses, launching an Amazon FBA business, consulting, presenting, podcasting and more. Growth Masters is also a community which aims to connect bestselling authors, prominent startup founders, world-class speakers, athletes and other people who are prominent in their fields.

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Alex’s Story of Inspired Evolution

When he was only three years old, Alex suffered from an illness, which he luckily managed to successfully overcome. However, he reckons that this experience maybe affected him to become the joyful, energetic person he is today. His parents assured him that his perseverance played an important role in making a full recovery.

“My mom always said I fought the illness myself, rather than the medicine.” – Alex T. Steffen

His adolescence and young adulthood were enriched with a curiosity that led him to explore and travel to different parts of the world. These travels were not short excursions to new places, but more like journeys outside of his comfort zone, and Alex looked to spend time in new environments so that he could transform and advance.

“I made it a point to go to places that are so different that people often don’t dare to go.” – Alex T. Steffen

Alex explored places and sought to get in touch with people who had a completely different view of the world, either from being shut off or as a result of war and similar traumatic experiences. Places like Bosnia, Ruanda, Colombia… He points out the narrow viewpoints of the western world and that through these deep and meaningful interactions with people whose experiences are vastly different from our own, we can get a fuller, more accurate picture of the world that we see around us.

Joyfulness, Diligence, Optimism

Throughout our conversation, Alex remembers and honors his grandfather with having a great impact on his joyful attitude towards life. A war veteran, living major portions of his life in extreme adversity and challenging times, he always had a comforting message for Alex and his brothers, one that stuck with them and guided them through their difficult moments in life.

“He thought us that wealth and abundance come from diligence, but also that a well-lived life is built on joy and you can’t live without it.” – Alex T. Steffen

Alex discusses quite openly about the reasons behind his optimism and shows it is based on common sense. His stance on the whole question of the glass being half-full has a firm foundation in practicality. If all else fails, the optimistic mindset will act as a fertile setting, which will, in the end, give us an opportunity to build greater things in the future.

“Some people criticize optimists for being optimistic and they say “You have to be realistic.” which is supposedly the opposite of it. I say no. I’m creating my own reality. Even if its just the fundamental part of “If I expect something, my body will react differently, it will calm me down.” and just by that, I have more capacity to be creative, to be more productive, to be calm and connecting.” – Alex T. Steffen

Growth Masters – How to Make an Amazing Mastermind

Creating masterminds came naturally for Alex. He felt comfortable in social situations where he got the chance to exchange opinions and discuss values with people who had a different viewpoint. He realized that exactly these types of exchanges were not only a great opportunity for connecting with others, but for personal growth as well.

Alex noticed that three things were necessary in order to create a great mastermind. First and foremost, the environment in which the mastermind will be held. Our environment plays a very important role in learning because it inevitably affects our mindset by making us more comfortable, inspiring us or making us more open to new information and views different from our own. Alex uses a broad definition of the word environment and takes into account the states and the moods of the people included in the mastermind.

“We had beautiful spaces that we cooked in together. So we created an environment through action and also through setting, and we were already ready for what came because we created the space.” – Alex T. Steffen

The second essential ingredient for making a great mastermind is a state of vulnerability. Our educational systems are usually not taking this aspect of learning into account and are usually focusing on promoting competition. In a safe space, where everyone can share their thoughts, feelings and be at their most vulnerable, we see people being more open to receiving valuable input from others and take in constructive feedback.

“The state of vulnerability is something that in learning, is for me, one of the key points. And we don’t do this often.” – Alex T. Steffen

Once you’ve established a nurturing and comfortable environment, in which people can feel safe at their most vulnerable, it’s time to engage them in activities that will get them out of their comfort zone. By pushing themselves to complete adventurous feats, all the while getting inspiration and support needed from their peers, people can tap into a newfound energy which can later be used as fuel for achieving great things in their professional fields as well.

“It’s not really for the kick. We want to channel a certain energy and excitement, a realization, and channel it into the work that we do afterward… To use this energy and to channel it is the actual benefit.” – Alex T. Steffen

Alex has made an amazing career in pursuit of helping people reach new heights both personally and professionally. He inspires us with the words his grandfather, meant to motivate and empower with the energy that comes from an optimistic approach to life.

“Be joyfully diligent.” – Alex T. Steffen