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Part 5 - Inside the Art Retreat with CatCoq and Flammable Entrepreneur. The Day of the Mastermind!

Updated: May 10, 2022

Today is the third day of the retreat we dive head first into a MASTER-FREAKING-MIND! (and contract negotiations AND getting our glam on!) But wait, don't skip to the shit-just-got-real-at-the-retreat part, read the lead up to the retreat, and all the other juicy deets here:

“Morning Chicken!”

Lulled into deep relaxation from yesterday’s easy, arty-farty day, I get comfy for our Morning Check in and snug into the couch in the Grand Salon, feet tucked under knees, relaxed, blinking slowly. I notice birds chirping outside the window. I also notice that it's quiet enough to hear the birds and that I have time to finish a thought about said birds. This is what a mum marvels at during kid-free time.

But my marveling didn't last long. My inner thoughts shattered like a creative soul without art when ...


Actual Footage of my Business Coach as he mic dropped this mental motherload on the floor.

Talk about shit getting real, fast. You know when you have always wanted to do something - like an art retreat - but when it's about to happen, it can give you the willies? We collectively 'packed our dacks' (Aussie for shat ourselves but not for realsies… metaphoricalsies. I think the expression comes from needing a nervous poo. God, I've talked about poo too much now, havent I? Yeah, this gives you an inkling of the gut wrenching turmoil to follow) But let's brighten the mood for one sec. We were also in for a Contract Negotiation DEEP DIVE with Cat in the afternoon. And, we are going to strike a pose for the resident photographer! Ok that's enough happiness - back to the tummy gurgles...

Today was going to be hard core.

To be honest, I’m not sure what happened between then and the Mastermind. I know I prepared the information we were asked to prep but the rest was a blur. Hold onto your paint brushes, darlings, this bad boy is about to ooze out like gouache from a new tube and you have no idea if it's going to be a color you even like!

We split into two groups and Cat was the lead for mine. I could hear myself swallow one of those loud, nasty gulps, that if heard by others would cause the mild mannered to become violent, kind of swallow, as she began to list the rules. RULES! For the Mastermind. The entire session is timed and it’s brutal.

When I get nervous, my mouth takes off and I’m busy trying to run after it to shut it down as you may have noticed just a few paragraphs earlier. Some of us get nervous and can’t find the words to say. Either way, that timer is ballsy enough to slap your grandma! Talk too much and you’ll be cut off mid-sentence! Don’t talk for long enough, and you will sit there, in air-shattering silence, until your time is up.

"...that timer is ballsy enough

to slap your grandma!"

We are encouraged to record our sessions on our phones, and we begin. Because, of course, you'll want to relive this moment over and over.

We talk about our business, where we’ve been, where we are going, and the highs and the lows. Then, each of the participants get to ask questions of the person in the hot seat. But this isn't a free-for-all. You raise your hand, and wait to be called upon. This segment is timed too, so if you are speaking, and the timer goes off, Granny’s gonna get it.

After having the opportunity to ask clarifying questions or make statements about the information you’ve just received, we move onto the next phase. Oh, but don’t you dare speak while someone else is speaking. “Granny! Run!”

Each person feeds back to the person on the hot seat. Timed again. Look’s like Granny will need a strong cup of tea.

Lastly, the focus person then has the opportunity to feedback to the group. *Officially done with the Granny jokes.*

"It’s like a non-chemical version of Ayahuasca"

Of course the timer manifested itself into it's

spirit-human, a Toddler - an oversized middle

-finger with legs.

As I write this, I’m coming off of my second mastermind, and even though I knew what was coming, I still felt the same way. Verbal diarrhea, racing to catch my mouth, followed by excessive perspiration. Actually, let’s just call it sweat. Big Sweat. Ugly Sweat. So, so, so much sweat. Followed by amnesia about everything that I just verbally vomited out, followed by strong, clear statements from my fellow Master-minders, that confirm, validate, spark ideas, give action items, and lift you up until you soar. And then you notice that your heart has slowed, you are calm again and you feel empowered and inspired. It’s like a non-chemical version of Ayahuasca.

Turn by turn, we all embrace the experience, listen deeply, speak thoughtfully, and the honesty of the words is palpable. We traded skeletons that day, and fears, hopes and dreams, both business and personal. We took those trades, and collectively protected them, we continue to help hold them as a group, solve them, realize them, and challenge them for each other. We all came together and hugged. It was like the final seal on an everlasting bond that was just created. To this day, we still talk every week, and meet once a month to chat about our businesses.


The 7 Stages of a Mastermind - in GIFS


And now, an actual photo of the end of our Art Retreat Mastermind session! We survived!

Photo courtesy of Logan Elliot - Flammable Entrepreneur



Photo Courtesy of Logan Elliot - Flammable Entrepreneur

You can see here, how casual our meeting environment is. We're all in the Grand Salon at La Jugie , pens at the ready, eyes and ears on Cat.

Here's the thing about a retreat with these two. When you sit down for a session like this, you get EVERYTHING. Real world examples of actual contracts, and a detailed walk-through of what that negotiation actually looked like, from the back and forth, questions to ask, essential information you need to know, adjustments of Terms and Conditions, added ways to add value to the contract for your business, the good, the bad and the ugly parts of a negotiation and contracts and key items to know and look for. There's no holding back on any information. They give you their highs, lows, fails and successes, what didn't work, what did work and how we can take action to learn from those mistakes.

Before I met Cat, in one of her online interviews, she recommended a book called:

Never Split the Difference, by Chris Voss. I devoured it. Twice. Then I bought the footnotes of the book as well.

Chris Voss wasn't only a former FBI hostage negotiator, he was the best FBI hostage negotiator. This should give you some idea about how seriously Cat takes her contract negotiations. Dont let her friendly vibe fool you into thinking she's just all creative and stuff, like, you know, an artsy person or whatever. She is Madam Business, and she negotiates those contracts like a boss.

"I will share with you,

one of my big red flags

to look for,

in a contract."

While I wont reveal Cat's deep dive secrets (as they aren't mine to reveal - also same rules as Vegas, apply to the retreat), I will share with you one of my big red flags to look for, in a contract. Look for the term, Artist "for hire" or "work for hire", "work made for hire", or a phrase along those lines. This seemingly innocuous phrase in a contract means the client, NOT YOU, will own the copyright so they can do what ever they want with your artwork. So definitely get that wording taken out of the contract and make sure it is written clearly that you, and not the client will own the copyright.

And what were some of us doing in between the Mastermind and the Contract Negotiations Deep Dive?

Getting our Zoolander on! Did you know that one of the humans at this retreat was an over-over achiever? Mmm Hmm... His name is Adam Palmeter and he fell out of the talent tree and hit every branch on the way down. He is not only a talented artist, muralist, illustrator, author, wait for it... he is a Comedian too... AND (I know! FFS!) he is a fabulous photographer!

So he allowed us to work our magic (and by that, I mean he made us laugh so much during the photo shoots, that we were beaming) and we invented our own versions of Blue Steel. Not to mention, he had set up spaces for us to layout our own mockups. Check out the photos below!

The top row is before and the bottom row is after I edited them, even going so far as to change the palette test paper colors, and the geometric zipper pouch, as well as my scarf, adding the artwork to the screen and paper. Cool huh?

Coming up next week,

What do you get when you put 10 Creatives in a bus?

A freaking Awesome day!

We are headed on our first road trip together where we explore, and we paint en plein air. Now go to bed and get some rest. You're gonna need it.


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Eve xo


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