Successful & Miserable: Meet Janis Robinson

Janis Robinson was a top real estate agent who made a lot of money, but felt miserable. What she didn’t know was in the background of her mind, she was convinced everybody hated her and had a secret agenda out to get her. Thanks to the Ignite Mastermind and the tools she was equipped with, Janis was able to become aware of what was secretly running in the background of her mind, make goal-setting fun again and rediscover the spark that leaves her excited to wake up in the morning. Not to mention the money now effortlessly flows into her life! Keep reading to discover how she did it…

Meet Ignite Mastermind Member Janis Robinson:

  • Born in Central Missouri, she now lives in West Des Moines, IA;
  • Accomplished Real Estate Agent;
  • Other passions: connecting with people and helping others with their home dreams;
  • Janis dedicates her time to growing 3 step kids 8 step-grandchildren.


Q: Janis, am I correct in assuming you are a personal development geek? 

A: Proudly! Since 2002, I’ve probably invested roughly $50,000-100,000. I was attending seminars and workshops at least 1-3 weeks out of the year if not more. I got introduced to a bunch of people, including the authors of the famous “Chicken Soup” series. You name it, and I have thoroughly experienced it and tried it. Everything you can think of, I have done it.

Q: And how did this help you out in your real estate career?

A: As you know, I became a realtor in December 2013. I had made a decision to quit my $90,000/year nursing job and become a Realtor. I only made $30,000 in 2014, which was unacceptable for my very first year in the industry. Through a friend of mine who had worked with different coaching companies, I came across Mike Ferry’s book on selling. Everything he said made so much sense that I eventually hired him to be a coach in November of 2014. At that time, Matthew had already left the company but he left some training materials behind. This included NLP and several other techniques. Even though I was attracted to his work, I did all of the coaching with Mike’s organization. (Funny story…I actually returned a product I bought from Matthew 2-3 years into my real estate career because I didn’t like it. Looks like things have changed since!)

Fast forward a few years to 2018, and I’m pulling in $250,000-260,000 as an annual salary after my 7th year in real estate. 

Q: Before you signed up with the Mastermind, you mentioned you hit a wall around that same time period. What happened? 

A: So here’s what was going on. I wasn’t having any fun in real estate. I felt like I was back in my younger years where I was working dead-end factory jobs. I was so unhappy, I would go to bed thinking “If I could just die and not wake up, that would be OK.” I never looked forward to the next day. I was sick and tired of the nonstop grind. I made a lot of money but I was unhappy as hell. I said “I don’t want to do this anymore” and I quit coaching with the Mike Ferry Organization. 

“…self-help is NOT a guaranteed way to attain peace of mind, joy, fearlessness, calm, prosperity, or satisfaction. Yet, if you investigate why you love self-help, you will find that you are hoping it will lead to peace of mind, joy, fearlessness, calm, prosperity and satisfaction.” – Matthew Ferry

On top of my dissatisfaction with my career, I had major problems with headaches, extreme physical pains and overwhelming emotions I did not know how to handle. A lot of the pain I was experiencing was my resistance to life and my body reacting by becoming rigid and painful. Unbeknownst to me, I felt as if everybody in my life hated me, and I was under constant attack. When you feel that way 24/7, it’s a very different kind of stress. What is frustrating about it is that you can’t fix what you don’t know is happening.

I was over it. I was tired of setting big goals and falling short, never seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I was tired of goals, I was fed up with working hard. I just wanted to hide in a box under a bridge and lament on how much my life sucked. I was tired of the hamster treadmill.

Q: Ouch, that’s never fun. Was it at this point where you re-discovered Matthew’s material?

A: Yep! In the spring of 2019, I came across his newly published book titled “Quiet Mind Epic LIfe.” I read it and I absolutely LOVED it. I had always liked Matthew’s material, but this was far and beyond anything he had ever written before. I was really eager to work with him, and the Ignite Mastermind was the perfect way for me to do so. However, I have to be honest and say I’m kind of an obstinate person. I was worried that I would be wasting my hard-earned money again like I had on previous programs that promised a lot and didn’t actually deliver. I was scared that even if I followed Matthew’s guidance to the letter, I would still wake up unhappy and lack any desire to live life with each passing day. I was fearful of not getting anywhere after a hefty investment. But all of this had to do with my own past experiences, and not Matthew himself. 

Q: When you say that you felt hated by other people, did this perceptual filter get in the way of connecting with the other mastermind members at the first in-person retreat?

A: At first it did. Even when other members were nice to me, I had my own jaded way of looking at the world that I didn’t know I was using at first. But that was for me to work through and solve, not other people. “It’s always me and it’s never them” is the mantra Matthew teaches us. But once I became aware of my own issues, I could see that every single member of the mastermind is an amazing person in their own way. They are expressing life differently, they have different talents and skills, and we all happen to be partners on the spiritual journey together. 

One thing I especially liked about Matthew and Kristen is how accessible and transparent they are. They let us see that they’re real people, just as silly and ridiculous as anybody else. I felt as if Matthew and Kristen were normal people with normal relationships; sometimes they fight/disagree and also get along. They are REAL people, unlike other people I’ve met who pretend to put on a facade of superiority. 

When you have people like Matthew and Kristen leading the Mastermind, it opens up the conversation to deeper and more intimate issues. 

Q: I’m glad to hear you were able to break out of your own shell! Did the changes last as you left the in-person retreat for the first time? 

A: With your typical seminar, you can change your emotional state in the moment, but you don’t really deal with the underlying cesspool of crap. On top of that, your subconscious mind tries to wrap up that cesspool and avoid having it exposed by the conscious mind. There are people who are masters at changing your state but are unable to take care of the deeper issues.

With Matthew’s material, the opposite approach is taken. When you clean up the cesspool first, it’s natural and easier for your default state to change. You still have to do the work and examine the way you think, but the usual “psych yourself up” tactics are no longer needed. The real takeaway I got from the Mastermind retreat was viewing everything from a strengthening context. The recontextualizations and reframing are now ingrained habits in my day to day life, just like taking a shower or brushing your teeth. You are doing the work every day, but it’s the kind of work you actually look forward to. 

Q: Let’s go through a few areas of your life and examine the changes you’ve made because of the mastermind. How is your real estate business doing? 

A: Weirdly enough, I’m no longer worried about my business because I know I will always be able to find a way around (or through) any obstacle I encounter. Even though I made less money in 2019 than I did in 2018, it ended up being a blessing in disguise.

“Success is a series of well-managed breakdowns. The breakdown is the journey. What feels like breakdown in the moment is seen as necessary in hindsight. Whatever your objective may be, failure, breakdown, and obstacles will be the process to fulfill it.” – Matthew Ferry

A few weeks ago, I had a major breakthrough regarding my business problem: I was unable to set and hold standards. My lack of standards led to a great deal of unhappiness and pain, as I felt I could not control the types of clients I work with. I was attracting people who hated real estate agents, or I was not making enough money on the transactions to make it enjoyable for me. Today, my business is starting to explode. I have lots of big goals – becoming a real estate investor, a land developer, and so on – that are no longer pipe dreams. They are tangible to the point where I can make serious forward progress, achieving all of them within the next 1-5 years. I can put my focus and intention on them instead of feeling exhausted. The money is always coming; it is flowing to me even when it’s not. I know it sounds hippy-dippy to say, but money really does come from thin air when you first realize that it can. Things such as creating value, manifestation, and having standards are real things which produce real results. 

Q: So I assume goal setting is now a fun and enjoyable activity for you? 

A: I can’t believe how exciting and fun my life is now, considering how down in the dumps I was just 5 months ago. I’m overjoyed to go to bed, and even happier to get up and live my day. Whether good things or bad things happen to me, I don’t care because it’s fun and I’m eager to see what happens regardless of the experience. It’s like a game where you discover more about yourself with each passing day. As long as my needs are met and the money is coming in, I truly feel “all is well”. It doesn’t matter to me if I meet my goals or not. I’m no longer worried about them, which gives me permission to have more excitement and peace in what is happening within the present moment. 

Q: Anything else you think is worth mentioning in terms of your transformation? 

A: I realized all the stuff in my head about people having secret agendas against me was all made up in my mind. I was taking on other people’s emotions on top of my own without even realizing it. Today, on top of realizing nobody is attacking me, I can learn how to have a different relationship with emotions that don’t belong to me. This was especially helpful in dealing with conflicts within my family. I was able to help my brother go through some major medical issues, honoring and accepting how he chose to go through the experience. He was on an emotional rollercoaster ride, and I was there for him when the ride was over. At no point was I ever ON the ride, taking on his emotional burden. 

Even with the more vicious fights and arguments between family members, I was able to talk to both sides in a way where everyone could be right, and have them calm down. I was grounded, present and able to see things in a logical manner and be able to help them navigate it if they wanted help. None of the above would have been possible without the tools and strategies I picked up in the first few months of The Ignite Mastermind. 

Q: How can others get value out of the mastermind in the same way you did? 

A: First off, I need to be honest in saying this mastermind is not for everyone. In fact, it isn’t for most people. I am careful about who I recommend it to. Not because I don’t believe others would get value from it, but there are very few people who are really up to this kind of spiritual journey. It takes a person who is serious about not bullshitting themselves anymore and getting real about what is really going on with them, and willing to do the work. To anyone that asks me what I’m doing and what I’m up to, I’m happy to share, knowing they will take action if it feels right to them. And when you work with Matthew, you have the opportunity to go from 0 to 1000 miles per hour. But most people aren’t comfortable with that kind of speed. It’s frightening to even think you can progress so fast!

My advice to those who are fearful is this: Get in the car, put the seatbelt on, and go for it – you are safe. Once you reach top speed, the breakthrough itself is PHENOMENAL. But getting there requires that you let go of your blocks and allow the breakthrough to happen. It can be scary to do this at first, no questions about it. Yet the value you get out of facing your fears is immeasurable. 


About Author

Tom Zakharov, contributing author

Tom Zakharov is an accomplished Canadian copywriter who has successfully worked with numerous clients across a diverse range of niches, having written virtually every type of copy under the sun. When he isn’t crafting persuasive copy for his clients, he’s interviewing high-achievers to discover how they consistently maintain peak performance in all areas of life. Their insights help himself and others design a life they can live on their own terms.

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