Transcript: Mythical Makers Episode 9: Ruth Haydock Discusses Mastermind Groups

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 Babs Rudlin: Hi there, and welcome to the Mythical Makers podcast! These are weekly ramblings from myself, Babs Rudlin, Fiery Phoenix and…
Karen Moffett: I’m Karen Moffett, Mama Dragon.
 (short musical clip)
Karen: Welcome to the Mythical Makers Podcast. Today we’re gonna be chatting with Ruth Haydock of Ruth Haydock Designs about participation in Mastermind Groups.
Babs: So Ruth, we’re following on really from some of the discussions that we’ve had over the last couple of podcast episodes, around would we encourage our own kids to, to embark on um, a creative career, and do we consider that it is a worthwhile investment to continue to fund your personal development and learning. So where we’ve been discussing those things, um, mastermind groups have cropped up a couple of times. And so, what we’re gonna be chatting with you today about is your involvement in mastermind groups, because you’ve been involved with not just one, but a, but a couple of groups which gives you a slightly different perspective than somebody who’s just heard about them, or indeed someone who hasn’t heard about them at all. Ah, but before we jump into all of that, um, what’s on your hook or your needles this week?
Ruth: Well, this week I’ve been crocheting up some whales for my Whales of the Universe design. So I, I’ve um, been making one of the, the big whales, ‘cause it’s not just made up of little small whales in the mobile, there’s also like a bonus large whale, so I’ve been making another one of, of him and playing around with his eyes, so he’s got these cute little eyes now, he looks very sleepy. So that’s what I’ve been… (all laugh) Yeah, he’s so cute, so yeah, I’ll be sharing a picture of him at some point over this week. Yep.
Babs: Oh, excellent. I can’t wait to see that. ‘Cause the rest of the whales are just so sweet.
Karen: They’re adorable.
Babs: They’re gorgeous. And Karen, what’s on your needles this week?
Karen: I am working on the Dragon Lace um, Fingerless Gloves.
Babs: Oooh!
Karen: To go with the set. So, um, hopefully I’ll be able to get those done within the next week or two and um, open up for testing.
Babs: Excellent.
Karen: And that’ll be my first test knit that I’ll run on Yarnpond.
Babs: Oh, cool! That’s very exciting. I’ve got three at the moment. I’ve got another two that I need to release. Um, and I actually invited across 266 testers from my mailing list this week.
Karen: Wow! (all laugh)
Babs: I didn’t realize I had quite that many testers, to be honest!
Karen: That’s a lot!
Babs: But um, that’s quite a lot that have, have been invited over. So, not that I run tests with that many people in them, but we shall see. Quite a few of them have already signed up, which is, which is cool.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: Um, and um, this week I am of course working on socks. I, I’m gonna casting off the toes for my, my socks this week.
Karen: Fantastic.
Babs: So, so that is what..
Karen: Is that the 22s you’re working on?
Babs: That’s the 22s. Um, they’ve got the slightly curvier heel, and um, I’m still trying to decide whether I want a pointed toe or a slightly curved toe to match the curved heel.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: But I shall work that out. Look. It’s so pretty!
Karen: It’s beautiful.
Ruth: Aw, they’re lovely!
Babs: So um, you can actually see the numbers 22 running down the, the cabling. Or the semi-cabling. Or the mock cabling. It’s all done with twisted stitches, but um. It’s very fun. (laughs) If you like twisted stitches. If you don’t, then you’d hate them, but there you go. Okay then, so Ruth…
Ruth: Yes.
Babs: What is your definition of ‘mastermind,’ just so that people have, have a clue what we’re talking about, before we, we jump into some more questions around how they’ve worked for you. What, what is your understanding of a mastermind group?
Ruth: Well, my understanding of it is it’s a group of people who are in either the same industry or at the same point in their careers, and they meet together and share ideas of how to, how to run a business or how, how to do certain things within their business. So for example, like the mastermind that I joined that you ran, Babs, that was, I think quite a few people in that group were either like, had been in business for a bit longer than I had, but we were all still within the same industry.
Babs: Yep.
Ruth: And, I’ve seen like quite a few other mastermind groups that I haven’t joined, um, but I’ve heard of them, where people can be in different industries but, yeah, at the same stage in their business as well.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: And um, I was in a coaching group, that wasn’t, it wasn’t defined as a mastermind as such, but I was in a coaching program, and most of the people in that program were within a year of starting their business, and um, that got me thinking that I would like to join a mastermind, because um, it felt like a mastermind, the coaching group…
Babs: Right.
Karen: Yeah.
Ruth: …but I wanted to be in a group that was definitely going to be more active as a mastermind, and actually see it as a mastermind, where we share ideas and um, yeah, share, basically share ideas is like how, yeah… (everyone laughs)
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: How to grow, how to get better.
Ruth: How to grow and how to get better, yeah, exactly, yeah.
Babs: Okay then, before we move into anything else then, if we start off with you just introducing who you are and, and your business name, and what it is that you actually do.
Ruth: Yeah, so I, well I’m Ruth, and I’m a knitting and crochet designer, and I’ve been in business for nearly a year now, and I’ve been knitting and crocheting for about ten years, and designing for probably about three or four of them. And it was when I was in a corporate job, uh last year, that I decided that the time is now to launch my business and see if I can run, run my design work as a business. And um, most of my designs are inspired by, like my love of sci-fi, I watch a lot of science fiction TV shows, (everyone laughs) and movies, yeah, you will probably catch me like crocheting or knitting while watching like Battlestar Galactica or a Star Trek or Star Wars or something. Um, so a lot of my designs are inspired by my love of space, and like, my fascination with sci-fi. But a lot of them now, as I’ve grown as a designer, even in the past three, three or four months or so, a lot of my designs are starting to become more inspired by like, my memories of growing up abroad, and also, like my love of travel, and…
Babs: Yep.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: So it has broadened out, quite, quite a bit, and I find that I’m still evolving as a designer, because it’s, it’s not even been a year yet. So I feel like things are still changing, but some of my favorite designs are definitely the ones that have been inspired by space, like my solar system like, designs, and my knitted globe, like they’re the ones that hold like a really special place in my heart, ‘cause they not only represent like my love of like, space and sci-fi, but they also represent to me, like my love of travel, and all the places that I’ve lived. So yeah, they hold a special place in my heart. (laughs)
Babs: Well, that’s wonderful. When, when you get that connection with you work, it is a wonderful thing. And I think that one of the things, well I don’t think. One of the things that um, has definitely happened for a lot of people, is that where a designer thinks that they’re going to go when they first start out, after a year, I think almost everybody says, this isn’t really where I expected to be going when I first started. (everyone laughs) Within that first year, and quite possibly within, you know, the first five years, it really is, it’s an evolving process of finding where you’re gonna end up going, and what your style is, and what feels most natural to you.
Karen: Yeah, definitely. Mmmhmm.
Babs: And ah, it’s lovely, for me, to sit back and watch other people go through that process, and just see how their style has evolved, as they’re gaining confidence, the things that they create, um, are very different to, to what they thought would be happening at, at the get-go. And, and it’s lovely to see that, that evolution happening.
Ruth: Yeah. It’s definitely the case with me, because I actually, I actually had to change my business name about six months ago. I launched it in January, because I had started out with the name that I had when um, when I first started a blog, and that was about like, eight years ago, so I started out with the name Knittwittowo, and that’s what a lot of my followers knew me as, so I did a complete rebrand, to Ruth Haydock Designs, because Knittwittowo didn’t, didn’t really represent who I was as a business owner, and that, that did take me by surprise, quite a bit, and I was quite sad to have to change it, because it felt like it represented who I was, and I was quite like emotionally tied up with it, to be honest. But I, yeah, I definitely made the right decision in changing, because I feel like I can do a lot more now, and I also feel a lot more authentic, with it being my actual name, for my business now.
Babs: Oh, that’s fabulous. Oh I’m, I’m so glad. ‘Cause I know that you were feeling really stressed about the whole, the whole change, and the transfer across, so the fact that you’re feeling that comfortable with it now, and, and you’re positive, that’s brilliant. That’s brilliant.
Karen: Yeah, mmmhmm.
Ruth: Well, I wouldn’t have felt that confident to do that if it hadn’t been for, like reaching out to Yarn Academy, and like, getting advice on it. ‘Cause I think that’s what I did early on, and like Babs you were one of the people that really encouraged me to change, and kind of helped me to cement in my mind that this was the right thing for me to do, and um, yeah, it just went to show that like, reaching out to Facebook groups and, and people in, in a like-minded industry and like, stage was really helpful. Yeah.
Babs: Excellent! Oh, wonderful. I’m glad, glad that we could help you over that, that little hurdle there. (laughs) So, where are you based at the moment, and where is your audience based?
Ruth: Well, I live in the south of England at the moment, ah, in Bournemouth, at the beach, and I am planning to move to Australia next month. And uh, I’m laughing a bit about it because we still haven’t sorted out our visa, um, so it’s all taking a lot longer than expected, but hopefully, in a month’s time, we’ll have it all sorted, and I’ll be moving to Townsville, in the northeast of Australia. And we plan on living there for at least two years. But that won’t affect my business in any way, because I sell my patterns online, and sell my designs to magazines, so my, currently most of my customers are like based in like North America and Europe, so it won’t, it won’t affect them in any way, me being in Australia.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: Oh that, that’s great. And, and, you will actually have the bonus of being, you’re in the opposite hemisphere, which means you can knit big things through your winter, to be prepared and ready for our winter, as against, we have to knit big things through the summer to be prepared for the winter.
Ruth: Ah yeah, I see what you mean. Well, my winter is gonna be like twenty-five degrees (laughs), what we have in Australia.
Babs: Yeah, it’s probably still not very wintery, to be fair.
Ruth: Yeah, it’ll be interesting. Yeah, I see what you mean. Hmm.
Babs: Well, at least the cool period, if there is such a thing, in Australia, will be when we’re still in our summer, so you’ll be able to prepare your winter, winter woolens and the heavy items in your coolest period of the year. However warm that is. (everyone laughs)
Ruth: Yeah.
Babs: It’s still the coolest period of the year for you in the southern hemisphere.
Ruth: Yeah, it will be.
Babs: Um, as against us in the northern hemisphere having to knit all of our heavy things over the summer to prepare them for, for release in the, in the autumn and winter. Which is just, is always sad, if we’re planning ahead and we’re having to knit massive blankets or crochet huge things in the, in the summer months and you’re just, just drowning in heat.
Ruth: Yeah, you’re melting.
Babs: It’s like, I’m melting, it’s not fun. (everyone laughs) Okay then. Um, so, what hesitations did you have before jumping in to, to either a, a course or a mastermind group for the first time?
Ruth: Well, the first mastermind that I joined was the Embark Mastermind, that um, you run in Yarn Academy. And I think the biggest like, hesitation that I had was uh, that I would be the one in the group that isn’t like, progressing as, as much as the other people.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: And I think that is, that’s like one of my insecurities. I always compare myself to other people, so I think I was a little worried that I would go into the group and everyone would be like achieving more than me. (laughs)
Karen: Mmm.
Babs: This is why you really need to stop comparing yourself to other people.
Ruth: Yes.
Babs: Because, I mean, that’s a huge thing that I say, a lot, it’s a pet peeve of mine that people compare themselves to each other. Um, but you really do need just to focus on the things you need to achieve for you and your business. Because if somebody else is not working, and they’ve got all the time in the world, no kids, no other half, they’ve got a cat that looks after themselves, so all they need to do is plop food down in a bowl once or twice a day, and then they can spend the rest of, of their day working on their business. That’s entirely different to somebody who’s got three kids running around the house, screaming at them all day long, and they’ve got half an hour, maybe, that they can crowbar in some work for their, their new business. And, whilst both people may have exactly the same amount of passion for what they’re doing, ah, you just cannot compare those two circumstances. So comparing yourself to others, really is just detrimental to your mental health. It’s not going to help you at all. Well hopefully, you realized, whilst you were part of Embark, that that wasn’t actually the case at all.
Ruth: Yeah. Yeah, I definitely noticed that. Like, I feel like, um, well I, I did manage to compare myself less, over that time, to other people, and really focus on, like I’m the only one I need to compare myself to.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: And comparing myself to other people is not very helpful. And I think actually part of the reason I was a little bit hesitant about joining a mastermind is because I am actually one of those people that um, I do work on my yarn business full time. I, yeah, I don’t have any pets, I don’t have any kids. (Babs laughs) I have, I have a partner who is so incredibly supportive, and um, I, I have all this time to, to focus on my yarn business, yet I don’t feel like I’m producing as much as I could be.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: So I feel, I felt a little bit um, like embarrassed maybe, I think? And I’m trying to get past that. Um, but I think when I first joined the Embark group, I did feel almost a bit like I should be achieving more, because I have all this time, and I have very few commitments. I don’t have a mortgage or anything, so it doesn’t honestly matter too much if I don’t make too much money. And um, that was something that I feel like I’ve been a little bit embarrassed to share within like the Yarn Academy, because I feel um, a little bit, like ashamed of the fact that I have all of this time, and also I have all this financial support from an amazing partner, and while I set up my business, um, I’m not gonna be in debt, um, basically the main thing that I’m using at the moment is time.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: And I felt, I was really concerned that the other people in the mastermind would not, would not be able to relate to me. And I didn’t really talk about it with, with the Embark group, but I actually joined another mastermind group, and which was set up by someone through I think one of the, one of the online groups, she just posted in it saying, I’m looking for someone um, to join me in a mastermind group, and someone who can work full time on their business, and is within a year of starting up. So I contacted her, and it turns out she’s, she’s in pretty much the same position as me. Um, she has a partner who is very supportive, she has no real like, financial like, um strains, I suppose or like, or reasons why she has to, has to make money, like right now, so I found, I felt very comfortable to like, talk to her about that, and both of us struggle with um, the fact that we have all this time. And sometimes we, we don’t really make the most of it. And we feel guilty about it. And the third person in our mastermind group um, is also in a sort of similar position, so um, but I think it’s really important to have that discussion, because a lot of people who set up businesses, they have savings. They have, they get loans, or they have a partner who supports them.
Babs: Yeah.
Ruth: And I feel like I’ve had to do a lot of self, self-talk, like in the past few months, like to tell myself that it is okay to, to rely on someone else.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Babs: It is.
Ruth: Um, yeah.
Babs: It is.
Karen: Yeah.
Babs: I actually shared a post this morning which is all about um, prevarication and procrastination. And our inner…oh, what did I call it? The inner um…instant gratification monkey. (Ruth and Karen laugh). Who is just sitting there, waiting to suck away all your time, by looking at all the fun stuff you could be doing. You could go down to the beach! You could knit at the beach! It’ll still sort of be work. (Ruth laughs) Come! Come with me to the beach! And then you haven’t done all this stuff on your business. And everybody suffers from that. Um, and so I’ve done a blog post around that, and um, that’ll be coming out later today.
Ruth: Yes, okay.
Babs: Which is, which is just, just, it’s quite serendipitous that you mentioned that today. That you’ve got time, but you can’t necessarily make the most of it. So that’s something that I’m gonna be looking at in the coming weeks and months, is, is organization and, and just tying yourself down, or publicizing dates, so that you’re, you’re putting pressure on yourself, but in a positive way. Because if you have no deadline, if you don’t tell anyone about a deadline, then it slips and it slips and it slips. It’s something I say to you a lot, isn’t it Karen?
Karen: Yes. I think that was, that was my favorite part about being um, part of the mastermind group, was to have that, that impetus to keep moving forward, instead of saying, ah, I can put it off until tomorrow.
Ruth: Yeah. I can relate to that as well. ‘Cause the um, the mastermind group that I was talking about there, um that’s with um, Kate Barrios, and Nin Designs, that one’s, um, wasn’t organized by, by the Yarn Academy. Um, and I find that it’s a lot less structured, whereas, and what I really loved about the Embark Mastermind with Babs is every week, um, it was very structured, and um, you’d encourage us to like, share what we wanted to achieve and like to be accountable to other people. So I did find that really helpful to like share, yeah, I wanna do this, by a certain date.
Babs: Yeah.
Karen: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: That gave me like, more structure. Definitely. (everyone laughs)
Babs: That is the, that is the goal of the Embark Mastermind, is to, is to make sure that everybody is actually moving forward, as against just getting together for a chat once a week. You know, you should be making progress. You do need to be making progress.
Ruth: Mmmhmm.
Babs: So have you, have you noticed um, changes, since you’ve been taking part in, in those two mastermind groups?
Ruth: Yeah. Um, I’ve actually started planning my first crochet-a-long, which I never thought I would do! (everyone laughs)
Babs: That’s so exciting!
Ruth: I know!
Babs: It’s thrilling!
Ruth: Yeah, um, for some reason the thought of it just really freaked me out, to be honest. And um, but it was chatting, like with Nin, and, and with Katherine, and very recently, pretty much last week, that I was like, ‘well, okay, I just need to, I just need to do this because it’s, it’s gonna be a really important part of the design launch for the Whales of the Universe, which is out in Knotions, and, um because it’s a free pattern, it’s readily available online, and it’s more likely for people to wanna take part in a crochet-a-long, so I had no excuses, really.
Babs: Mmmhmm.
Ruth: And um, I don’t think I would have had the confidence to think about doing that, if it hadn’t been for like the masterminds, and getting advice as well. And from other people. Like Babs, you shared some really great advice, in the group as well, when I said I was thinking about doing my first ever crochet-a-long, and yeah, I definitely wouldn’t have been able to have done that like four months ago. I wouldn’t have even thought about it. I just wanted to stay in my happy comfort zone, of launching patterns, submitting them to magazines, and just kind of crocheting by myself, yeah. At the beach! (everyone laughs)
Babs: At the beach! At the beach, no less!
Ruth: Yeah! So I definitely feel like I’ve gained a lot more confidence, and also I’ve put in a lot more deadlines for myself since, since chatting with people, in mastermind groups. Because, I get quite inspired by other people when they’re doing things, and that’s what I really loved, whenever we had our weekly chats in the Embark Mastermind, I loved hearing what other people were doing, and planning on doing, and all of their activity and their drive really inspired me to like, get into action and do something. Do more, yeah.
Babs: Excellent. Excellent. That’s what I love about our community, when it actually does come together and supports each other, and you, you get those fabulous vibrations off of each other, it just sort of builds, which is, which is awesome. It’s absolutely brilliant. So I’m really…
Karen: And it does give you the courage to kind of bump you out of your comfort zone.
Ruth: Oh yeah, definitely.
Babs: Yeah, if you’re feeling comfortable, you’re doing it wrong; you’re not growing. (everyone laughs)
Ruth: Yeah. I’ve heard that a lot.
Babs: Yeah, you might not like me for saying that, but it’s true. If you feel comfortable, then you’re not growing. You’re, you’re just doing the same-old, same-old. Whereas if there’s that little, little butterfly feeling in your tummy, then yeah, you’re growing. You’re doing something new and different, which is, which is cool. So yeah, um, you would say that you definitely benefitted then, from taking part in them?
Ruth: Oh, yeah, definitely. Mmmhmm. And I think the great thing about mastermind groups, um, in contrast to like the general yarn groups that exist on Facebook is that people, it’s a smaller group, generally, and um, for me personally, I’m, I’m an introvert, and I only have like a very few close friends, and I always feel more comfortable in smaller groups, and I feel like I get a lot more benefit, and I learn more from other people whenever it’s in a smaller group or in a one-to-one setting, so for me, I definitely benefitted more from a mastermind group, because I already felt more comfortable in it being a small group. And, even when it’s online, it’s still the same for me. Like, I still, I still prefer small online groups, like I prefer a group that’s less than 300 people on Facebook, compared to one that’s like over a thousand.
Babs: Yeah.
Ruth: I’ll prefer the smaller one, because I can, I feel like I can create real relationships, and that’s something that since leaving my corporate job, working in an office, I’ve found that I haven’t had that um, same like, contact with people, obviously ‘cause I’m working from home, so…
Babs: Yeah.
Ruth: …it’s nice to have, create that community, and to find that community, I didn’t create it myself, but to find it online, through mastermind groups and small Facebook groups. So, that’s really important as well. So not only did I learn a lot from mastermind groups, but I feel like I’ve created real friendships as well, with people who are all over the world, and it’s nice to have people that I can like, reach out to, and if I have any questions, or I’m, yeah, I’m just having one of those days where I’m just like, just crocheting and Netflix and just need to do something (laughs) or just need, or just need to declare a deadline and I just want someone to like, be my accountability buddy, like now I have that, because I’ve been in those groups, and I’ve created these close friendships, through Embark Mastermind, and through the other mastermind that I’m in.
Babs: That is awesome. That is absolutely fabulous. And so, would you recommend to other people to, to join Embark, and if so, why?
Ruth: Oh yeah, definitely! And what I, what I really loved about it was the, the structure that you put together, Babs, so that each week there was a, like a topic that you introduced, and discussed, and then I also really loved the hot seat format, so each week a different member of the, the mastermind group would talk about their current challenges, and I found that really good to watch, because a lot of the people were, were talking about things that I’d never thought about, or they were, they were planning things, like a crochet-a-long or a knit-a-long I would never have dreamt of doing, and I’ve, and I learned a lot from listening to those brainstorming sessions that the other members of the group had with you, and I also gained a lot from like, my own hot seat that I did as well. So I really loved that format, and having the private Facebook group as well, with, with the people that are in the mastermind.
Babs: Yeah.
Ruth: I really, really liked that. I’m definitely more likely to post in that than I would in another group. (Babs laughs) Um, so yeah, there’s just so many reasons why I would encourage people to join it. And um, yeah, I would say that, like the structure you have is just brilliant, yeah. And creating that kind of sense of accountability. And you didn’t force it on people, either, which is really nice. Like in some coaching, coaching sessions that I’ve been to, they really like, force people to share like, what they want to do that week, but like with you, you were like, well, if you want accountability for something, like you did, you didn’t force people to share their goals, and be accountable, which is nice. So. ‘Cause not everyone likes being checked up on (everyone laughs)
Babs: No, no that’s true.
Ruth: Yeah, yeah, so it’s open to yeah, basically whatever way people like to work best. Like they, I feel like they got that from the group. I definitely got that, anyway.
Babs: Excellent. Oh, no, that’s great to know, ‘cause that is, that is part of my goal for that group, is that it will work the way that the people who are taking part in it at that stage want it to work. Um, it is definitely led by the, the members of the group. So, what you guys want to, to talk about, discuss, and, and learn on, that’s the topics that we’ll, we’ll be covering within, with Embark. Ah, it’s not running over the summer, but it will be running again uh, in September.
Ruth: Yeah. And I’ll definitely encourage people to join in.
Babs: Haha, that’s really cool. Ah, Karen, do you have any questions for Ruth about masterminds at all?
Karen: No, I, I’m glad to hear that you ah, enjoyed it just as much as I did. Um, I thought it was great just to have that accountability and encouragement to keep moving forward. And I, like you, really liked the hot seat format, of seeing where everyone else was, and what direction they were heading, and um, so it’s nice to see that different kind of point of view, even though we’re in the same industry.
Babs: Well, thank you so much for your time, Ruth, and thank you so much for joining us on your birthday, which is lovely. (everyone laughs)
Karen: Happy birthday.
Ruth: Thank you so much! Yeah, so excited!
Babs: Um, and if people have enjoyed this particular episode, then please, like it, share it, drop some comments, say “Happy Birthday” to Ruth, um, all that good stuff. And um, you can always subscribe to the podcast too, which is cool. And until then, I will say, bye for now, guys!
Karen: Bye!
Ruth: Bye!


Have you participated in any Mastermind Groups? Did you find them helpful? Let us know in the comments 😉


Ruth was working on a large whale from her Whales of the Universe crochet pattern, available on Ravelry.

She would also like to invite our listeners to join her Knit and Crochet Community on Facebook.


Please leave your feedback and comments so more yarn enthusiasts will be able to find the podcast!


Bye for now,

Babs    &  Karen 

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