The MapleMoney Show » How to Make Money » Career

The Power of a Good Network, with Monica Louie & Lacey Langford

Presented by Willful

Welcome to The MapleMoney Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their finances to create lasting financial freedom. I’m your host, Tom Drake, the founder of MapleMoney, where I’ve been writing about all things related to personal finance since 2009.

Do you have a career or business venture that you’re trying to grow? If so, how is your network? The very thought of building a network is intimidating for most people, but it doesn’t have to be.

For this week’s episode, I reached out to my own network for help. Monica Louie is a former personal finance blogger turned Facebook Ads strategist who now runs her own successful agency. Lacey Langford is an Accredited Financial Coach and founder of the Military Money Show, a podcast dedicated to helping the military community with personal finance.

They joined me at the Podcast Movement Conference in Dallas this week to discuss the importance of building a strong network and to share how networking has made a difference in their careers and lives.

Monica and Lacey explain how effective networking has not only helped them grow their businesses but grown them more quickly. We discuss the difference between being part of a community and part of a Mastermind group.

According to Monica and Lacey, a community is made of people with similar interests, but finding the right Mastermind group is more than matching interests – the personalities have to be a good fit. If you want to grow, it’s important to be around like-minded people who will provide feedback and hold you accountable for your goals.

And don’t forget the power of LinkedIn to help grow your network. It’s a wonderful tool you can leverage to further your career or business.

This episode of The MapleMoney Show is brought to you by Willful: Online Wills Made Easy. Did you know that 57% of Canadian adults don’t have a will? Willful has made it more affordable, convenient, and easy for Canadians to create legal Will and Power of Attorney documents online from the comfort of home.

In less than 20 minutes and for a fraction of the price of visiting a lawyer, you can gain peace of mind knowing you’ve put a plan in place to protect your children, pets, and loved ones in an emergency.

Get started for free at Willful and use promo code MAPLEMONEY to save 15%.

Episode Summary

  • The importance of networking
  • How to find a network that will hold you accountable
  • The value of using LinkedIn to build your network
  • It’s ok to opt out of a mastermind if you’re not getting value from it
  • Community vs. Mastermind: understanding the difference

Read transcript

Do you have a career or business venture that you’re trying to grow? If so, how is your network? The very thought of building a network is intimidating for most people but doesn’t have to be. For this week’s episode, I reached out to my own network for help. Monica Louie is a former personal finance blogger turned Facebook ad strategist who now runs her own successful agency. Lacey Langford is an accredited financial coach and founder of the Military Money Show, a podcast dedicated to helping the military community with personal finance. They join me, live, from the Podcast Movement Conference in Dallas this week to discuss the importance of building a strong network and to show how networking has made a difference in their careers and lives. 


Welcome to the Maple Money Show, the podcast that helps Canadians improve their personal finances to create lasting financial freedom. This episode in the Maple Money Show is brought to you by willful. Did you know that 57% of Canadian adults don’t have a will? Willful has made it more affordable, convenient and easy to create a legal will and power of attorney documents online from the comfort of home. In less than 20 minutes, and for a fraction of the price of visiting a lawyer, you can gain peace of mind knowing you’ve put a plan in place to protect your children, pets and loved ones in the event of an emergency. Get started for free at and use promo code maple money to save 15%. Now, let’s chat with Monica and Lacey… 


Tom: Hi, Monica and Lacey. Welcome to the Maple Money Show. 


Lacey: Hey, Tom. Thanks for having us. 


Tom: Thanks for being on. So we’re live here at the FINCON booth at Podcast Movement. One of the things we’ve always liked about conferences is that you can go to something that supports what you’re interested in and sort of find your network and build that. Starting with you, Monica, what do you think about the importance of a network? 


Monica: Having a really solid network can help you with any your goals you are looking to achieve. I know that one of the reasons why I came to FINCON in the first place was because I was looking to engage and meet other entrepreneurs, other business owners, other people who were charging their own path and wanting to make the world a better place with handling their money. Looking back at the seven years I’ve been at FINCON, (attending every year) my life is radically different and for the better because of the relationships I’ve built. I know that when we were getting out of debt, my husband and I were finding inspiration from other people who were also getting out of debt. We didn’t know a lot of people in our local community who were also taking those steps to radically improve their financial well-being so surrounding yourself with people, whether it’s an online community or an in-person community like attending a conference like FINCON has been tremendously helpful in keeping me focused on my own goals and improving those areas of my life. 


Tom: There’s a couple of things I want to get back to on that, but Lacey, what’s the network mean for you? How has that helped you and the importance of it? 


Lacey: Well, I agree with everything Monica said. I do think it helps you reach your goals, but I think it helps expedite your goals. You get there a lot quicker with a network. But I also find that my network is supportive. They’re going through the same things that you are often in, kind of in the community. And you have somebody to bounce things off of. If you’re trying to talk to somebody that’s not within your network, it’s not as intimate with somebody outside of it. For example, we were talking earlier about like making money off our podcast or making money in business and with people outside your network who you don’t have a relationship with just yet, you’re not really getting into the finer points of stuff. And I feel like in a network you can grow faster by hearing those stories of people that have been there before you. But also, in your network, you’re hearing from people that are starting out new and looking at it with a fresh eye. I do think you see a whole perspective when you’re involved in a network and it can expedite things. 


Tom: I think a lot of times when people hear networking, they think business. It’s always improving your career and everything. But one I found most useful was, in my area there’s a Choose FI Calgary, a local group. They exist everywhere. And if it’s not branded that way, there’s some kind of group for what you’re interested in. Listeners of this show would appreciate those kind of groups because it’s not about business, it’s you’re interested in this certain way of handling your money and being aware of it where some people don’t really think about what they’re doing with their money. Groups like that have been very interesting because you can get around people that are like-minded. I just found that in my days in an office you didn’t get around people that had that same mindset. You need to find these people. Sometimes we did local meet ups. Once a year or so we’d do a meet up. Have you guys done anything like that where it’s not necessarily the business side, but something else? Whether it’s personal finance or even things like hobbies where you’re finding a group that connects with you? 


Lacey: I have definitely in the military space in entrepreneurship for example. That’s wonderful because that’s unique— getting out of the military, making that transition. People that are trying to kind of figure out what they want to be after the military. So that’s been really helpful getting in that network. Even things I like to do personally, like run and fitness, getting involved in a network and a community of people that also like to run and maybe challenge themselves a little bit or set goals that way, in personal development, I think that’s a holistic approach to networking, looking at things in your profession and your career, but also things that you’re passionate about. It all works the same way. You have people that enjoy the same things, so you have something to talk about. You hear about new things like new running shoes or a new app you can use for your business—something like that. You just learn a lot quicker. And it can be anything you’re interested in that you’re able to network. 


Monica: Yeah, absolutely. My gym does a really good job of building a community. You feel like you belong to this group. And if you don’t show up, then they say, “Oh, we missed you.” They have once-a-month brunches they schedule here you can kind of bond outside of workout time and get to know people better. They also have a Facebook group where people can post, funny memes and gifts and encouraging words or talk about how tough the workout was that day or whatever. It keeps you focused when you have that connection with other people who are focused on their fitness or focus on their finances. It keeps you also focused because if you were in it by yourself, it can be easier to get distracted by other things. There’s going to be times in life that are busier that will take you away. But when you have that community that will help bring you back and you’re focused on moving forward together to achieve those goals. Like Lacey said, there are people that are going to be farther along in those journeys that can help support you, and then there’s going to be other people that are newer in that space that you can help support and bring in as part of the community. 


Tom: One interesting thing about the idea of your fitness community is just accountability because I’ve seen that with my own business mastermind group. If you say you’re going to do something, even if they’re not the ones actually pressuring you—just to say you’re going to do it to someone else, hopefully, puts that pressure on you to make sure to get that thing done in that week or that month or whatever it is. I assume it’s probably similar with these kinds of groups around fitness. If you’re setting goals and actually telling someone about it and this isn’t just something that’s in your head, you’ve made it a little more real. Do you do anything like that where you’re telling someone a goal for business or fitness and you’re accountable to that? 


Monica: Yeah, absolutely. My gym does regular challenges. This month is marathon month so you’re supposed to run either the length of a marathon or half marathon during the course of the month. They also do a transformation challenge at the beginning of the year where we have to meet so many things. They’re really good at creating those challenges. But it’s also helpful to commit to the people there and to the coaches there saying, “This is my goal for showing up here…” whether that’s weight loss, better fitness or better endurance. Just knowing you stated that kind of helps you stay accountable to, “What am I doing here? What am I working toward when that monthly payment comes out every month?” That brings you back to saying, “This is why I’m doing this.” 


Tom: Lacey, is there any similar example for you on accountability? 


Lacey: I am very accountable to myself. I’m really hard on myself that way if I say I’m going to do something. But I do agree, when you put it out there to other people, it changes the energy of it. If you’re just thinking about it, you get stuck in action—just thinking about it instead of getting focused on how you’re actually going to accomplish the thing you want to do. I think discussing it with people is really important. Having a network that will hold you accountable, is the other part of that because I’ve been in groups where they think everything is peace, and love, and it’s okay… I kind of want to be in a group where they say, “No, no, we said we were going to do this thing. Let’s do it. You’ve mentioned it for six months in a row. You still haven’t done it.” I like it when whatever that network is focused on, you’re really doing that thing. Going to a mastermind group where everyone keeps talking about family and visiting, and I set aside the hour to come and really talk about business—not that I don’t love to hear about everybody’s family, but it’s that’s another whole get together, not this one. I just think there’s a balance in finding a network of people that will hold you accountable and getting comfortable with sharing that. 


Monica: I think when it comes to accountability, like you were saying, a lot of times it can just be the reminder of you saying this was a goal that was important to you. So, is it still important to you or is this something that you want to cross off the list? Because if you’re still talking about it for six months and slowly making progress or kind of wavering on your progress, then just checking in and asking if this is still important to you? Because your actions aren’t aligning (necessarily) with achieving the goal. I know that’s something that I really value too. Why are my actions not lining up if I did say this goal is important to me? That can help you get back on track to say, “Okay, yes. Let’s focus.” 


Lacey: I think too, it’s finding a group or network that you are willing to receive that feedback. And understanding that other people say it in different ways. If I kept saying I was going to do something— Monica, you holding me accountable might look a little bit different than the way Tom would hold me accountable. I think that’s also a unique aspect of being in a group and a network— you hear different perspectives on things like that. You might say it in more of a joking way. And Monica say it with a little bit more love in the voice. I think that’s something to consider. 


Tom: Yeah, I like that. You’re saying it’s not just finding a group that has the same interests as you, but you’re really kind of finding the right “personality” match to it. You want a group that’s going to really get down to the actual topic you’re supposed to be working on. Whereas, maybe there are people that do want just more of a soft support type of group. Lacey, I think you and I had similar mindset where we say, “Let’s get that thing done.” But I’m sure some people do just want to support whether they’re messing up or not. 


Lacey: That’s a really good point I never thought of. Well, I guess I have thought of it because I have been in multiple masterminds and left masterminds because of that reason where I actually really do want to improve. I want to do these things, and I want to hear everybody’s perspective on that. Like talking to you, Tom, you’re so much further ahead than me, more experience in your success that when you say something, I’m really going to get a lot of value. It’s the same thing with Monika. Learning from her, I’m going to get a lot of value out of that. I really want that perspective. And if I go into a group and they’re not sharing their knowledge, I will give feedback. I’m not as successful as both of you but I do like to think that I would provide some type of value. So, that does annoy me if I get into a group and there’s not that “value” exchange. 


Monica: I think there is a difference. There’s the community and then there’s this specific mastermind and being clear and what you’re looking for. Because masterminds can be extremely helpful and beneficial. That’s where you’re getting down to, “This is what we’re focused in this hour as we get together,” whether it’s on Zoom or in person. But in the community, it can be more relaxed and more about sharing wins and stories and challenges and all of that, which you can definitely do in a mastermind as well but in a more relaxed setting. I think it’s important as you’re thinking about what your goals are, think about what kind of support you need and/or want and being very self-aware of what kind of feedback and accountability works for you. Looking at other goals that you’ve worked on in the past. Did you just strive and do it because you’re very kind of to yourself, like Lacey? Or did you need outside people checking in on you to help keep you on track? Just thinking through those things and thinking through what kind of support would be ideal in helping you achieve your goals. 


Tom: One thing I found interesting with both of you is that you build this network just organically. They’re friends, colleagues, whatever, and both of you branched out in different ways from where you started. Monica, to start with you, here we are talking at a FINCON booth. It’s all personal finance. You started off with the personal finance blog, found success with Facebook ads, and you were able to turn that into something because you had this network. If you were someone that just from scratch said, “I want to do Facebook ads for people,” you would be starting from scratch. You have to find people from nowhere. You were able to sort of instantly leverage that. Can you tell us about that a bit? 


Monica: Yeah, absolutely. It was very organic to grow my Facebook ads business. When I first attended FINCON, I had a blog that I had just started the year before about our family’s journey out of debt. It was sharing and hopefully encouraging others—sharing our ups and downs with that and how we were making progress on our budget and all of that. In order to grow that blog, I learned about Facebook ads. At the same time, people in the FINCON community were getting interested in learning Facebook ads themselves to grow their blogs and platforms. It turns out I had really good success with my ads and I was very pleased. In my growing network in the FINCON community, people started reaching out, saying, “I think you know a thing or two about Facebook ads. I would love to get your help on this.” I ended up working with one person on an ad campaign. It went really well. Then I ended up working with another person on an ad campaign and it went really well. Then word kind of spread. I realized in doing that, I was really enjoying that side of things—helping other businesses that have the heart to help other people, and help their communities. But I liked working more behind the scenes. I could see the path of myself with the financial blog of being a money expert and declaring that and I really liked helping other entrepreneurs grow their businesses. So, I ended up selling the blog. But really, my business has grown tremendously just through the FINCON community, and now other referrals and other people from word of mouth. But it really started with having that community and the FINCON group. It just happened all organically. It was really amazing, but I definitely found my calling through that. 


Tom: I’ve seen that a few times. I had Ashley Barnett on the podcast and she was discussing the idea of how just starting a blog in whatever you’re interested in, could turn into anything. She was an editor. I think I mentioned to you, Monica, from going from blogger to Facebook ads, or Steve Stewart from going from blogger to the editor of this podcast. Lacey, you’ve recently done a conference now, too. I assume when you started off as a blogger, these weren’t goals necessarily. It just kind of came from building up that network. I’m sure you were inspired from other conferences like Podcast Movement and FINCON. Tell us about that new spin for you. 


Lacey: Well, I agree with Monica. When you start doing any type of work, you start to see what you enjoy. And you start to move towards the things that become a little bit easier to you. Even if it’s managing your money. There are some aspects you probably enjoy. Maybe you like the organization. Or maybe you start really getting into understanding investments. You start to work that out. As I started along this journey I learned I really liked talking to people so my podcast made sense. But then seeing a need for things in my community and what people started to come to me for… If I’m enjoying that space, then it draws more people in. I think the biggest thing about network is it builds confidence. There’s no way I would have done a conference had I not had a network of people that have done conferences that I could go to. It’s a huge security blanket and its frame of reference for the things you don’t know. If you have a network and these people can say, “Hey, wait a minute, these are the things that you should really be focused on out of the gate. These other things are not important right now. These are the five things you need to do first…” then it’s easier to go after it. Then you have a fallback when things go wrong. You have somebody in your network that you can call. I think that’s how it evolved for me, is starting to see what I enjoy, get a little bit more confidence in what I’m doing personally and professionally. But then also having this network of people you can call on to learn and to go and do that thing you want to do. Just knowing I could call you if I had a problem with SEO, my blog, or about Facebook ads—just about business, I know I could call both of you for that. It’s a security blanket. 


Tom: Well, with that example, I see two sides to this. You’re talking about the network where you can reach out to conference organizers and people that do Facebook ads and SEO. But there’s also the network you’re building up within the military finance niche that really gives you that ability to even know if you’ll have conference attendees to show up. And really, when you’re building a network of people, you kind of have a reputation attached to that. It’s not just do knowing these people but do they put that trust in you to hold a conference. And if I’m a speaker, is the same thing going to actually happen, especially on your first one. I think I see a reputation side to that too. 


Monica: I do, too. I definitely see it’s your reputation and your network in the military money space that brought in the attendees, but also the sponsors and the speakers. And really, because you positioned yourself, whether it was intended or not, the way that you did position yourself and having that reputation of knowing we can put our trust in Lacey, I think that helped your conference become a tremendous success in its first year, which is very, very hard to do. 


Lacey: Thank you. I appreciate that. I didn’t really think about that. I knew I had to leverage my network in order to do that so that does make sense. I think just on the networking side, we talk about LinkedIn. I use that a lot. People, I think discount the ability to build any type of network on that platform. You’re connecting with people that are within your industry or that you’re interested in going into. I think that was very helpful to me. That’s a frame of reference for people to look at my network and think, “Okay, she’s doing something in the military money space. Is she really in the military money space?” I think that was helpful. 


Tom: I love LinkedIn. 


Lacey: Me too. I didn’t know you loved LinkedIn. 


Tom: Yeah, through my corporate career, I saw so many people, different reorgs, people quitting, moving, whatever—it’s a way to track that network. People go everywhere. If ever wanted a job somewhere (or anyone that does want a job) they could look at their LinkedIn and if it builds enough, you can get to the point where you can kind of find someone at any company—if you just want that foot in the door or something. Maybe you see a job ad and you want to find someone connected to that somewhere, it’s a great way to track that because maybe it’s someone you haven’t talked to for 10 years and they’ve gone to two different companies since. You’re not going to find that on their Facebook profile as easily. 


Lacey: I agree with that, people move. Some people I thought were in this financial services company and now they’re at another financial services company, and that’s the one I’m trying to connect with. They move around. But it’s also great to find people that you’re looking for. For example, if I’m trying to find a sponsor at a certain company,  being able to go to that company’s LinkedIn, I can see, “Okay, these are all the people that I know that work at the company.” And maybe if I’m looking for somebody in partnerships, you can search that on LinkedIn—who has a partnership title and that person’s going to come up. And then you can see, do I have anybody connected that can potentially make an introduction for this person? I think it’s very powerful and a lot of people don’t leverage it the way they should. 


Tom: Yeah, you can see those second connections. Maybe you don’t have a huge network where there’s literally someone in every company, but the odds are even greater that if you look someone up, you will see that second connection where someone you know, knows someone at that company. Even if you don’t know someone there, you might only be one introduction off. 


Lacey: What are your thoughts on connecting with people outside of your industry? I’ve been very strategic about my LinkedIn account. If I don’t really know you, I haven’t met you, I’m not going to connect with you. But maybe if you’re in the military space and I can look at your profile and say, “Okay, we have a connection that way.” Or if you’re an accredited financial counsellor and I’m an accredited financial counsellor, maybe there’s some kind of connection there within my industry. But if somebody reaches out to me and says, “Hey, I’m in dog walking products,” I’m not necessarily going to connect with you because I’ve never met you and you’re not within my industry. And I think that makes your LinkedIn profile, your account, more powerful if you are staying that way. Now when anybody looks again for military money, they see, Lacey is connected with 60 people I know because she is in this space for me. 


Tom: I think I see two sides to that. I’ll get people that listen to the podcast or follow the blog. If someone connects with me within Canada, I’ll accept it. But you do get a lot of people that are just sort of randomly connecting with anyone, maybe even a little spammy. I do agree with watering down the profile with the LinkedIn account, but those aren’t real connections. If someone just connects with you but never, ever talks to you, then that’s not someone you’re really going to reach out to anyway. 


Lacey: Yeah, that’s a good point. 


Tom: I think you could kind of get into collecting people on LinkedIn, but it’s not something that’s a real connection that’s going to help you at all. 


Lacey: That’s true. But I just feel like it makes it watered down, I guess is the word that you used—or the two words you used. 


Monica: I agree with that. I think there are two sides to it. For me, because I’m in the B2B space, there are a lot of other business owners on LinkedIn that could be potential clients, customers or refer people to me, then I kind of tend to be more open with my connections there. But in my own personal Facebook profile, I heard at a conference once, “You want to connect with everybody that you can in the space.” I used to do that, but now it’s very much where people send me a friend request on Facebook and I say, do I know you? Have I met you? Have I had a conversation with you? Because I share more personal things on Facebook that I don’t need everybody who’s ever heard my name to see that. I think it’s thinking about what are your goals for the platform and connecting for what you do? Lacey, I think that can be very smart to make sure you’re being selective in who you connect with. 


Tom: I like the point about Facebook and LinkedIn because LinkedIn serves its purpose. It is building a business network, whether that’s someone in a career or an entrepreneur. You’re building that life of your network and it’s different than your family and friends. I’m the same with Facebook. I pretty much want someone I’ve met in person. Now, in our area, there may be someone I’ll want to talk to on a Zoom call or something like that. But in general, for most people, I definitely like the idea is pretty separate and having LinkedIn be people you’ve worked with and stuff, just to have that separation. Is there anything more either of you wants to say about LinkedIn just as a tool to kind of make this all happen? 


Lacey: Ooh, I have something—especially building a network, informational interviews. Getting those on LinkedIn can be very helpful to build your network. Maybe if you’re trying to learn about a way to grow within your own career field or if you’re doing a career transition, hearing how somebody else (who has been in the industry) can help explain the playing field. They can help decide where the position I’m playing, where I want to move to, or changes within the industry. I find LinkedIn is a really great tool for that—for you to go where you want in anything. Maybe even if it’s personally where you’re thinking about doing a nonprofit, side hustle or being able to connect with people that are in that industry and have the experience to make your journey a little less bumpy but also expedited. 


Tom: One of the things I thought of with LinkedIn is they have LinkedIn learning. So anyone in a career or anything like that, can join this. I think there’s a month’s free trial. You could do a lot in a month if you wanted to for free and just pick up extra knowledge. If someone’s thinking they want to be an admin assistant or something like that, you can pick up the skills around office tools and things like that. It’s a potentially free way to build your skills and it lists them on your LinkedIn. It might help someone sort of further their career that way. 


Monica: I think that’s a great point. Another way is making use of LinkedIn groups. I know on Facebook (especially) there are going to be groups that cover any topic. So no matter if you’re looking to find a network or a community that can help you support your goals, there are numerous Facebook groups on any topic. You can just search for the keyword of what you’re focused on and find a group that will help support you in whenever you’re focused on. I think there’s also something like that on LinkedIn, but I think Facebook has more of a variety of topics. 


Tom: Yeah, I forgot that LinkedIn groups existed. It’s definitely something that probably doesn’t come to mind as much as the Facebook groups. I mentioned early on the Facebook group with Choose FI, you can get right down to a local thing too. Not that it has to be. But it’s the idea that you can meet these people in person, have these get togethers, talk to people in person that actually share a common interest when maybe your usual friends and family don’t understand what you’re working on, what you’re thinking about, how you want to spend your money. 


Monica: Well, you have your own Maple Money Show community on Facebook. 


Tom: Well, I do have a Maple Money Show Facebook group. So if someone’s looking for a group, they should also join there. 


Lacey: But that is networking within that group. People that are going through the same things you can bounce ideas off of or learn about how they’re doing it because your process may be different. Sometimes when you’re in the “bubble” of whatever it is—your life, your business, your career, you don’t see it from a different perspective. And being in the Maple Money Facebook group is an opportunity to kind of get outside of your bubble and hear what other people have to say about the same problem or thing they’re working on. 


Monica: And in that community, too, you can find people to make a more closely knit mastermind group. Find three, four or five, seven people that are focused either on the same goal, whether it’s getting out of debt. Or maybe they’re at the same stage of life. Maybe you all have young kids or kids around the same age or something like that where you’re kind of going through the same things. Then you can really check in and have that accountability with each other to help move forward on your financial goals like we were discussing earlier. 


Lacey: The very first mastermind group that I was in, I just kind of got fed up. I wanted to expedite the whole thing. How can I get connected with other people? I remember I stood up and I asked the question—it was actually Ryan Gannon at a conference he was speaking at. He mentioned his mastermind. I asked, “How do you start a mastermind?” He kind of answered the question and I said, “Well, I’m looking to start a mastermind.” Everybody in the audience heard me say I wanted to start a mastermind so I just stood in the back and a bunch of people came up. I started my first mastermind that way. Even in your Facebook group, it’s just somebody saying, “Hey, I want to start a mastermind to be better with money.” 


Tom: They could set whatever it is, debt goals, savings goals, anything like that. If this idea of a mastermind group is literally just two people. 


Lacey: Yes, it’s a meeting of the minds. That’s what it should be called, meeting minds, not masterminds. 


Tom: The other thing with mastermind is like the way you said, people just came to you. I would still try to make sure they matched your personality. I think there’s something to be said there for making sure that people really do have the same goals. Say the idea of a savings group. Maybe someone wants to save enough to pay off some debt and someone else wants to save enough for some fancy car or yacht or something. Those aren’t the same people, even though they’re both looking at how to save money. 


Lacey: We’d all end up talking. Then some people self-selected out. They would say, “Hey, I can’t be that intense. I thought this was going to be a once-in-a-while type of thing,” and this group actually wants to be really serious and meet weekly at a certain time, some people just kept missing the meeting and ended up not staying in the group. But I agree with you. You can’t just “wing it” because you’ll end up being frustrated. I’ve been in some of them where I thought I was showing up for one reason and what we were doing is not what I wanted. I’m not getting value out of it. So, if you can sort that out in the beginning, it’s going to save you wasting time and energy. 


Monica: Absolutely. You think about what you want to get out of it, but then also get the other ideas from everybody else who you are considering. I also like the idea of having some structure to the meetings—checking in, doing round-robin type things. I’ve seen it in different ways in masterminds where one person jumps in the hot seat each meeting, so they get to focus on what their current challenges are and get feedback from the rest of the group during that time. Just get very clear on who you want to be in the group, what criteria must they meet? And then also how you’re going to conduct the meetings. Is it going to be much more laid back, getting together for coffee and just chatting and touching on our financial goals or whatever. Just think about like how focused you wanted it to be.  I like structure, so we would air more on that side. But it doesn’t have to be that way either. But just getting clear on that and setting those expectations from the start with the group, that this is how we do it, and this is how we’re going to make sure we’re efficient with our time. 


Lacey: Can I say something about what you said earlier that I thought was a really good point about understanding the difference between community and the mastermind networking stuff because I do have expectations when I go to a mastermind. But we do awesome networking at conferences and when we get together in person, it’s much more casual. We kind of go naturally with a conversation. If I have something that’s bothering me, I’ll bring it up. Or if you found something cool that you’ve been working on or a solution, we talk about those things. I do think it’s more casual, it’s more comfortable, and it just happens more organically versus showing up for a mastermind or showing up for an in-person networking event that’s not necessarily a conference. It may be a different feel that is a different networking style. 


Tom: Speaking of networking, the fact I have a network here at this conference, I knew I didn’t know most of the people at this conference, but I knew enough people that I was able to show up here and I’d be able to get two episodes recorded without knowing who was available or what we were going to talk about ahead of time. So it’s nice to be able to rely on the network. Monica, starting with you, can you let people know where they can find you online? 


Monica: Yes, absolutely. My website is I have a Facebook and Instagram Ad Agency and Education company. So if you’re an online business owner and want to either hire out your Facebook ads or learn Facebook ads, I can help you with that. And my podcast is the Flourish to Seven Figures, podcast. It’s all about online business. 


Tom: And Lacey, where can we find you? 


Lacey: People can find me at I have The Military Money Show where I help the military community make, save and invest money wisely. And that’s the hub of everything, Lacey Langford. 


Tom: Thanks to both of you for being on. Thanks to the FINCON booth for hosting us here and being at Podcast Movement. 


Lacey: Thanks for having us. 


Thank you, Monica and Lacey, for your insights on networking, masterminds and the power of LinkedIn. You can find the show notes for this episode at If you have a moment, head over to our YouTube channel and subscribe there as we’ll be getting back to releasing never-before-seen content, soon. Either search for Maple Money or go to and subscribe today. I look forward to seeing you back here next week when we’ll be recording one more live show—this time at the FINCON conference. Thanks, as always, for listening and I’ll see you back here next week.  

As you think about what your goals are, think about what kind of support you need and want, and be self-aware about what kind of feedback and accountability works for you… - Monica Louie Click to Tweet