Have you ever experienced being tumbled in a well-marketed idea of constant self-development and high-achievement over and over again with no ending to the cycle? With no taste of true fulfillment along the way? And even your best scores in that game still made you feel off? Ciji Siddons, one of the most successful Southern California entrepreneurs, has once been in the place of “having it all” but still missing something crucially important. Keep reading to know what was missing in her success story.
Meet Ignite Mastermind Member Ciji Siddon:
- New Jersey-born, she moved to SoCal to go for big entrepreneurial goals, and she definitely made it to the top;
- Network marketer with millions of dollars in financial results;
- Other passions: personal development, healthy and active lifestyle;
- Ciji can sell you on anything, even the benefits of drinking Celery Juice!
Q: Ciji, I know you’ve been a heavy personal development junkie and that obviously led to phenomenal results in your network marketing business. Tell us a bit about that!
A: Before I started working with Matthew Ferry in May 2015, my business was as good as it could get. I was making close to 7 figures in that year. It was nothing but massive momentum working in my favor, almost to the point where money was effortlessly coming my way. Since the age of 28 I did everything you were supposed to do. I was very consistent with my efforts in personal growth – coaching, events, seminars, and all the things that fall under the umbrella. You name it, I bought it. I would say I’ve easily invested over 6 figures in my own personal growth.
Q: Fantastic! Where did Matthew Ferry come into the picture?
A: I think around the start of 2015, Matthew did a training for another leader within the company I was involved in. I loved his refreshing approach and I immediately connected with him but didn’t pursue anything further. A few months later, I reached the pinnacle in my company. I was where everyone wanted to be. I had the financial freedom and everything you could possibly want, but I was very unhappy. At the time, I was coaching with someone else but I felt there was nowhere else for us to go. I remembered Matthew’s earlier talk, and I did not hesitate in signing up with him. I went into the call WANTING to be closed. No questions, objections, or any of the usual sales barriers. And after 2 years of private coaching with him, The Ignite Mastermind was a natural transition.
Q: I want to focus more on why you were dissatisfied. Like you said, you achieved all your goals and had everything. Why on earth would you be unhappy?
A: Even though I was leading my business, something felt off about myself. I was arrogant, cocky, and condescending in how I spoke to people. I acted very intensely towards others, which I now know was fueled by my own insecurity. It’s like I was almost always working yet “never working” at the same time. I had strict expectations of people and I wanted them to do things my way (because it worked, after all). I had little compassion or empathy for other people when it came to business. Here’s the thing with network marketing: It is 100% about your team. It works until it doesn’t. You get conditioned really quick into believing you have to act and lead a certain way, and I certainly took that to the extreme.
“Giving your opinion and being attached to your perspective stems from ignorance. Only an insecure person needs to be right about their perspective. Being attached to your opinion is a guaranteed way to create conflicts, fights, arguments, and disagreements.” – Matthew Ferry
Q: Did this approach of yours have any kind of negative effect on your relationships?
A: For sure it did. Having this “made it” feeling did nothing to make me ultimately happy and satisfied. I remember a moment where I was filling out a form to become Matthew’s coaching client, and one of the questions asked who I found annoying. My answer was simple: Everyone, and all the time. It’s so weird…I actually had very little in my life to be stressed out about and yet I felt unfulfilled.
Q: I can only imagine what was going on in your mind at the time!
A: Absolute chaos. My mind was always on overdrive. I felt like I was on overdrive from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I was always grinding, pushing to the top, thinking that whatever I had and achieved was “never enough”…and sure enough it wasn’t.
Q: So let’s talk about your transition into the mastermind. How did you feel when you were going to meet everyone for the very first time?
A: I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous because I had no idea what to expect. To tell you the truth, I was terrified when I had started coaching with Matthew 1-on-1 for the first time. I felt nervous and uncomfortable during the first year, and that’s because you have to let your guard down. It was difficult for me to talk about a lot of vulnerable things and personal topics. Imagine how I felt when I met him in person for the first time! But fortunately, Matthew is an amazing human being. He has a gift for being very disarming and foreknowing. He’s fully understanding and wise, so much so that he knows how to put people in a position where they don’t feel threatened by him. In a way, Matthew has “ruined” other coaches for me at this point! I don’t believe there is anyone out there I could trust as much as I trust Matthew.
Q: And did you feel the same way when you met the other members?
A: Funny enough, I’m a big “culture and community” person. Even though I’m introverted by nature, I LOVE having connections and deep relationships. My network marketing skills were very handy in the mastermind. I’m the type of person who goes out of her way to reach out and connect with other people. That’s what I do to get comfortable, and being proactive definitely paid off.
When I met Kristen for the first time, I just thought she was the best! She offers a different kind of practicality and provides balance to what Matthew is offering. She’s the person who I go to for so many things, no matter how involved she is at any given time. Kristen is just one of those special human beings you meet once in a lifetime – wise, incredibly non-judgmental, very open-minded and practical.
Q: With other seminars you’ve attended, you said you’ve experienced the “sugar crash” where you feel great for a few days and then the feeling dissipates. Was it different with the mastermind?
A: YES! After attending a mastermind retreat for the first time, I felt my energy elevated yet it remained stable. It wasn’t the high highs and low lows I experienced with other events. What I experienced could only be described as a long-lasting feeling of high vibration.
Q: I know this isn’t the primary focus of the mastermind, but did you start to notice more opportunities coming into your life?
A: Tons – real estate, equity investing, and so much more. I have to confess: I have had some bad investment decision making in the past. I couldn’t understand it at all, and I just wanted to stick my head in the sand and not bother with it. But thanks to the people I’ve connected with because of the mastermind, I’ve been fortunate to have multiple opportunities I otherwise would not have had access to. And furthermore, I didn’t even HAVE to pursue investing if I didn’t want to. My passive investing income right now has grown significantly and I may have to bring down some lifestyle expenses, but I could live off of that alone if I wanted to.
The Drunk Monkey believes that all other people should behave the way you behave. The Drunk Monkey cannot recognize that it was programmed to behave the way it does. It does not consider that it believes what it does because of your family, community, and culture” – Matthew Ferry
I’m showing up in a more effective yet gentler way, and the intensity I used to have around the way I did things has vanished. There were people who would always like me regardless, but now I’m forming relationships which are more positive and based on a mutual level of respect.
Q: Would you say the mastermind had any kind of impact on how you manage your finances?
A: Matthew introduced me to something called “financial integrity”. When I was in networking marketing, I was sold on the idea of “proving” how much you are earning to other people. That meant designer clothes, designer purses, and any expensive item which elevates your perceived status. I bought into that whole ordeal – hook, line and sinker. I didn’t even bother investigating if it was something I actually cared about. This took me a while to fix because up until that point, I hadn’t bothered to discern what was actually valuable to me. It wasn’t that I lived above my means and overindulged, but I was trying to live up to other people’s standards as opposed to my own. Working with Matthew over the past year has really allowed me to take full responsibility for what I want my lifestyle to look like, rather than going along with other people because it’s easier in the moment. I’m now crystal clear on what I care about, and I no longer have the need to look more valuable so other people will care more about me. Looking “good” to others just simply doesn’t matter anymore!
Q: Wow, that’s a huge change! Did other people notice the transformation in how you carried yourself?
A: I definitely became more “connectable.” I was able to drop my armor and release the need to look tougher around people to protect myself. People definitely feel more comfortable around me because I’m not trying to intimidate them.
Q: Are you still as maniacally disciplined, though? 😉
A: I never had an issue with discipline – I was militant in my work ethic. But there were areas of my life where it wasn’t serving me, and I got exhausted trying to prove myself all the time. I wouldn’t say I’m less disciplined, rather I’m just more selective with where and how I’m disciplined. So I still have my ability to be laser-focused on something, yet I’m far more flexible than I used to be. I saw how powerful this shift could be when it came to setting goals. I’m no longer as intense about achieving them because they just don’t have as much value to me anymore. I can detach from them and stop my emotions from affecting me. Whether or not I achieve the goal, the pursuit alone is much more fun than the end result!
Q: Were you able to take this same approach and apply it towards resolving conflicts?
A: Believe me, I used to LOVE conflicts before I started working with Matthew. I got a real high out of proving how right I was to other people. Things have changed now, because I can separate myself from other people and their energy. I can better understand the other person’s perspective, yet at the same time, I’m not as invested with my own opinion. If someone says or does something I don’t like, I don’t need to engage with it for the sake of getting into an argument. Proving I’m right and how right I am while making the other person wrong just doesn’t add value to my life anymore. It simply doesn’t serve me.
Q: What advice would you give to any newcomers who are on the fence of joining The Ignite Mastermind?
A: Be proactive. Really put in the effort to build up your own community of people who you trust. At the end of the day, it was the other members who really make up a big part of the core value of the mastermind. The business opportunities that come your way and the friendships you make are invaluable. Long after the in-person retreats, I have a group of people who I can confidently say are my best friends for life!