The Origin of the Mastermind

Marty Fort and Alex Nottingham, JD, MBA, delve into the power of Mastermind groups and effective strategies for achieving success within them!


About Marty Fort

Marty operates the largest international coaching program that is 100% for music academy owners, “Music Academy Success.” The program has over 10 years of consecutive year to year growth, business coaching methods have led small business owners to have documented increased gross profits of up to 100% in as little as twelve months. Marty helps business owners get new clients, increase client retention, and increase sales. He helps them to grow their businesses by improving their office support team and business systems.

About Alex Nottingham JD MBA

Alex is the CEO and Founder of All-Star Dental Academy®. He is a former Tony Robbins top coach and consultant, having worked with companies upwards of $100 million. His passion is to help others create personal wealth and make a positive impact on the people around them. Alex received his Juris Doctor (JD) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Florida International University.

Episode Transcript

Transcript performed by A.I. Please excuse the typos.


This is Dental All-Stars, where we bring you the best in dentistry on marketing, management, and training. Here’s your host, Alex Nottingham. Welcome to Dental All-Stars, and we are talking about the mastermind. And our guest is Marty Fort. Marty is a serial entrepreneur with multiple multimillion dollar businesses. He operates the largest coaching program in the world for music, Academy owners. He operates also…



multiple music studios himself. He provides high-end personal coaching for all businesses, and most importantly for me, he leads the Mastermind Group that I’m a part of for nearly a decade. Please welcome Marty. Hi, Alex. How are you? Good to see you. I’m good. So I want to talk about the Mastermind and some history here. So we’ll talk about what it is and how the genesis of all this. But



Just some history, I worked for Tony Robbins as before I held my father’s practice. And that’s where I met Ken and then I met you. But ultimately while working for Tony, I started being involved in mastermind groups. And that’s where I met you and Ken. And that was the genesis of the idea for All Star Dental Academy. It was born from a mastermind group. That’s pretty impressive from that power. And then the journey goes on and on.



Now, I’ll tell you, so again, for context, you and I are in a mastermind group. You are the mastermind leader. I guess we were just talking offline. I guess I’ve been promoted to assistant leader here for the mastermind group. Sure. And we’ve been doing it for a while. And I love coming. I come for you mostly, the secret. I love the other people around, but you are always there consistently. And again, I could praise you about that. And it’s so important.



What I say before I forget for those that are listening with Mastermind, not every time I go, it’s like I get the newest revelation. But I know we talked about this in a prior context and a prior podcast is you want to make sure that reinforcement is there, that accountability is there. And to make sure you’re there, you’re rubbing shoulders with the best, right, that are in the business. So that’s important. Now let’s first define Mastermind. So Marty, tell me,



very vast history of mastermind. What is mastermind? So if you wanna go to the quoted historical source, it’s Napoleon Hill who gets the credit for that, which ironically I found out later on, I work with Russell Brunson now and he’s a massive Napoleon Hill fan and even sent me a pen with some of the, a pen made out of some of the wood from Napoleon Hill’s house. He’s got the tie he had.



access to the typewriter from the foundation. So, and Dan Kennedy actually won a Napoleon Hill award from the foundation. So Hill has been very influential with Think to Grow Rich. So if anybody wants some homework in the next step from this podcast, if I’ll go to Think to Grow Rich and check it out. But basically. Early 1900s, I don’t remember the exact year, but it’s at least 90, 100 years ago ish.



he made a mastermind. What that was, was he got a group together and these were heavy hitters, Alex. This was like Carnegie and Rockefeller. And I don’t remember all the names. You guys can find it out on the internet, Wikipedia, to research that as your next piece of homework is to research the history of the mastermind. But it came from basically Napoleon Hill as far as being the main source of the title. And what they would do is they figured out, listen, they weren’t going to learn this in college. I think you would have



You and Heather are kind of different because you work together. But a lot of entrepreneurs are on their own. They don’t have spouses that are part of the business. Of course, they’re their spouse, but they’re not part of the business. So a lot of us are lonely and they needed to get into a group where they can come and share ideas and learn from each other, have empathy, understand each other, but also have a focus on moving forward. So empathy, fraternity.



coming together, sharing ideas with the end game every time you and I meet, for example, of how do we facilitate a meeting where people leave, having moved themselves and their businesses forward. Now, Hill’s interesting, Alex, that he, you know, Hill was into spiritualism and all kinds of stuff. I mean, like, as far as like seances and talking to the dead and whatever. Oh my goodness. Oh yeah, for sure. Interesting study if you read about it.



Um, and you know, I am personally not, but the point is, is that, um, he would even go as far as to say it was like a metaphysical brain formed that would rise. Now I will admit, um, I love all you guys to death and the meeting. I’ve never personally felt that, that a brain was left sitting on the table, you know? Um, but I do feel the fraternity and the empathy and then move forward on the progress. So that’s the history of the mastermind. Did you want to talk about format or, but that’s kind of the origin of, you know, people come together.



Right. They, and my big two, as you know, with me is I’m a big stickler for two things. Okay. Um, a lot of masterminds I don’t agree with because the person shows up, they get a hot seat, they appear, they get a segment of attention and all they do is ask, ask, ask help, get help, get help, get help. And I’m not wired that way. And you, you’ve seen my emails. I’m a big stickler. As you know, my big thing is it’s gotta be two way street. You’ve got to have the share. Yes.



and you got to have the ask. And I will actually kick people out nicely who don’t share, because it’s got to be both. I’m curious to get your input. I mean, what do you get out of the shares? Is that helpful? The shares are magical. Yeah, we run the group very much like you. And I want to circle back to that. So we were talking about the, although the ask, it kind of exciting though, and people go back and forth.



The so part of it is what a mastermind is not. And so it’s not something that you go to and you just take, take, take, is what I’m hearing you say. It’s something that you go to, you share and you get, you know, it’s a give and take. It’s it’s a and again, that third mind concept that a place of accountability, everybody successful in it. And they’re looking to like I even have some that I talked to, talked to one the other day and I’m like, I don’t. You’re brilliant in what you do.



I mean, love having you. What do you get value in the mastermind because you’re the shining star of it?” He goes, it’s keeping me sharp to be there, to be with the best. He says, I do get a lot out of it, but it keeps me sharp because I know our president of coaching did a podcast and he was saying, look, you’re either growing or you’re declining. There’s no middle ground. You have to always be up there and it’s very easy. You mentioned many business owners feel like they’re like on an island.



by themselves and the mastermind keeps them accountable with respect to that. So go ahead, Tommy. Amen, Alex. And so just before you go on to your next point, I just want to book in with this if I could. Yes, of course. Exactly. That they’re getting, first of all, they’re getting re-energized from being a stranger in a strange land, which is the world. And I’ve given up a long time ago trying to explain to anyone in the world what I do. When I say business coach, they’re like,



Hmm. We’re thinking like Tai Chi meditation, you know, yoga on the beach, like, like a life coach, which as you know, I am not a business. They have no point of reference. So I just say like, well, I teach guitar and I just give up. So they come into a place where they can get energized by feeling good about themselves. No, they’re not the only person on the planet. That’s crazy as you and I are. Okay. Because every entrepreneur is tweaked to be a little bit



crazy. That’s why we’re creative and doing things we do. As I said earlier, it’s so important for the empathy and also the fraternity. And when that gentleman you mentioned, see, I can visualize it right now, Alex, what he’s doing is he’s going to the meeting and he may know everything they’re talking about. But when he walks out, he’s going to go home with one or two things he’s going to work on. And he’s going to feel good. Yes. We deal with incredibly stressful. And you know me, I tend to be a stress ball. You’re helping me with that.



So yes, we’re working on that. I’ve always known for you is coming. We go to mastermind. I can’t like, yeah, I can play different Alex. I know it’s coming back. Well, here we go. You focus me, um, cause that you have skillsets that I don’t. And hopefully I balanced the group out with skillsets that I can bring to the table. And so that’s, and that’s the sixth point is the balance. It helps to bring balance of none of us are, are whole. None of us are whole. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. And when we come together as a group, um, we’re able to work on.



holes, so to speak, as horrible as that sounds, are missing pieces or however you want to word it, are strengths and are weaknesses. So I totally get what he’s saying about, even though he’s super successful and he pretty much knows all the content, but it’s more than content. Yeah, and I want to tell you more about his story as we kind of circle about the genesis of our mastermind. So I’ve been doing mastermind for a while and it’s been…



incredibly valuable. Like I said, I wouldn’t have the company if it wasn’t for Mastermind, the idea. And then working with you over the last several years, coming together and sharing ideas has just been amazing. And so again, in our group, you know, we’re doing, we’re growing, right? Our online program is doing great. This was, I don’t know, seven years ago. And then we added, I think, the hiring came later. We were doing coaching, it was all great. You know, like Alex, your next step.



is you’ve got to do a mastermind. I go, Marty. He goes, yes. I go, dentist, you know, because my dad, right? Bless his heart. He’s not a business person. Like dentists don’t get mastermind. This is high end stuff that we’re doing. You know, he goes, Alex, dentist as well. They can do it. And I’m like, okay, whatever. And I kept pushing you back for a couple of years. Then Heather comes, the smarter one, I guess. And she goes, she hears about it. She goes, Alex, we got to do the mastermind. I’m like,



okay, whatever, you know, she believed in it. And it was interesting when we launched it, the dentist I was speaking to, I just spoke to him in the last Mastermind about this, but I had this rumor that a Mastermind was coming up at All-Star, and he heard about it from one of his coaches, one of the coaches of coaching him. He goes, I want in, right? And so I spoke to him and I was telling him about the Mastermind, we spoke for an hour, and he goes, yeah, I’m gonna do it. And he goes, and quite actually Alex, he says, within the first five minutes, I was gonna do it.



I said, well, why don’t we talk for an hour? I like talking to you, he said. He saw the vision of it. He said when he, and he’s got a very successful fee for service at a network practice, high end, does very well in Atlanta. And he said he had one and he was so sad it fell apart. And he was looking for one ever since and couldn’t find one. And he told me the other day, he’s like, this mastermind has become exactly what I envisioned it to, it would be. And



That’s the level that we, you know, I use him as my framework and others as if we can reach the one, that level for that type of dentist, all of them will benefit. And I gotta admit, I was wrong, Marty. Dentists are eating it up. They are getting so much value, life-changing value. One dentist came to me and said, he goes, Alex, I thought you’re this big business guy, which you are, whatever, but I didn’t know you had that soft side to you. And I’ve grown as a person because of the mastermind.



I have more confidence because of it. And so people are having the, you know, I joke kind of the mastermind, I organize it much like you, it’s organized chaos. We got to keep them on their toes. It’s not just lecture, we’re going on. But so anyways, that was the genesis of it. I thank you, Marty, for pushing me and then Heather for making the decision. It was them, I can’t claim credit. When we decided to do it, I let it. But it’s been phenomenal.



And so for the dentist listening and even for the musicians, the music studios that are listening to this podcast too, you’ve got to do Marty’s mastermind if he has spots. That’s the problem too with mastermind. Both of our masterminds are extremely limited and not everybody is the right fit for the mastermind. And that’s a big thing too. Yeah, right now I’m doing the Dan Kennedy magnetic marketing, renegade millionaire mastermind. We meet in Nashville three times a year.



Of course, you and I have our private mastermind, which is imitation only just you and I are my peers. But yeah, look, the dentist completely needed for everything you said, not only for the business and the tactile, but for the emotion. Well, actually, let me interrupt you on this, Alex. I’ve been calling you me, interrupt myself. Marty, tell me, I’m just curious, this is good for everybody that may hear the inner workings of All-Star. What was it back in the day when you said, Alex, we did the mastermind, it’s been successful. What did you see?



in All-Star and in dentistry that it was needed? What was your vision? Because I wasn’t seeing it until you convinced Heather.



Well, first of all, Heather and I are alike. Yeah. For people who don’t know. Fireballs. Yeah. I’ve never had a sister, but Heather’s kind of like the closest thing to it. You know, I mean, we wired. You’re similar. You are. You guys are. So there’s this one. Um, and, um, the, the second thing is it just made too much sense, Alex. And it made sense because I have friends that are, that are demists. And.



My basic understanding as an outsider is, you know, at least four days a week, they’re in the practice by seven and they’re doing session after session. These are heavy things. There’s blood and there’s teeth and there’s all this stuff. I could never do what they do. Then they got associates and they got insurance to deal with and they got a client acquisition, they got marketing, they got staff, they got landlords. All this stuff coming at them, coming, coming, coming, coming, coming, coming. They try to get something to eat and then they’re home at seven, they’re exhausted, they want to play a little golf, pet the dog, you know, have a wife.



It’s causing stress in the marriage and they’re overworked. And then this sprints a repeat and then it’s quickly become a burnout lifestyle. Then they get Friday off to kind of sit down and go, let’s look at all the debris from this past week. Where do I pick up the pieces? What the mastermind also brings to them is focus. Uh, if we’re all coming together with a common goal of improving their lives and their businesses. So for me, it was just, again, Alex, it just made too much sense. And Heather got it.



Instantly right away. I would argue the most common masterminds are negative, uh, pity parties, one word. I don’t know what really crazy about that phrase, but venting sessions. And if you’re not careful and you don’t have a strong leader, at least one person, they don’t have to be a dictator. And that’s not what I, I’m not a dictator, but somebody who’s, you know, got



As you said, the vision and like, okay, for example, when you come to mastermind with me, what do we have? We have itinerary. Yeah, we have advanced communication. We have assistance reaching out. We have meals set up. We you know, we start on time. And we manage clock. And we respect everybody. Everybody has equitable time. But if you’re not careful, I’ve been a masterminds that failed that I was not the leader of. And one of the things I had to fight with my own that I coach with my clients is



You don’t want to be, I’m curious to get your input on this because you’ve seen it happen. If you don’t have somebody navigating traffic and navigating the vibe and the energy and the agenda, it can quickly become eight people sitting around the table, complaining, complaining, complaining. And that is not a mastermind. That is a support group. There’s a difference between a support group. And dentists really call them study clubs. I get it. No, I mean, that’s why I say it’s organized chaos. And I really have.



embodied and appreciated my role, much like you. I’m not there to preach to them, teach them. I’m there to organize them, their ideas that they’re sharing, that they’re learning, that they’re getting from each other. A few things I look out for. So for us, we have something called DDS, dull dental stuff. I don’t allow that too much. They can do that on the side. We’re getting



great team that put it together, Heather helps run the meeting to make sure it’s just impressive, much like you, that it’s a great experience. My job there is to make sure the energy is flowing where it needs to flow, that we’re not getting off at negative. And unfortunately, we don’t, but I look to cut it off. I look to make sure that we get to the point. And what’s kind of nice about it, it fits my personality because I have a little bit of, you can say, ADD, my attention. I know that if it’s…



If I’m losing attention, somebody else is. So let’s moving along. You always have time in the break where you can go do, we called it, we were at Nashville, so we called it the trolley talk. That you can go in the trolley and talk all you want about dull dental stuff. You can go about complain there, but in the session we’re moving along. We have a strong agenda. You always taught that Marty, we gotta have a strong agenda. And the mastermind leader’s job is to conduct it, to make sure.



We’re referees to make sure it’s moving where it needs to go. It’s a great well-officiated game. That’s our job So you’re right you don’t these are what masterminds you don’t want to be part of you Don’t want to be part of the negative Nancy ones that dis our chaos You don’t want one where the the leader is talking the entire time. Look how great Alex says, okay, great Marty is It’s not the point, right? You don’t want to be in those so We run it a certain way. But yes, I agree



Fortunately, I haven’t found much of that. And when I do, I snuff it out. I think you’re absolutely right. That is the number one thing. You went right to the top. You jumped to the best stuff. You had the Robbins experience, you know, you crossed paths with Ken. Yeah, I’ve seen, I’ve been in masterminds. I’ve seen how you run it. So, and that’s the big thing that Tony always taught us. He says model the best. So I see what everybody does. And I’m saying, I’m going to do it that way. I’m going to model what the best are doing.



And so, and again, this is why it’s almost a stacking effect with the mastermind, because my experience with masterminds helps me conduct my own mastermind better, and I keep going back to my mastermind. So it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and process that keeps funneling it, because now I come back and I talk to you, I say, this was where I’m successful, here’s where I need help with, and we’re talking about it. And the dentist, and guys, ladies and gentlemen listening, is it’s the same thing.



about congruency. What I do at All-Star, I want it on my own or personally with the mastermind with yours, Marty, and I’m the little co-leader, co-host, is that we’re doing the same in All-Star. So it’s like I’m not putting a front. What you see is what you get. What I do, I then want to replicate with my dentist. And I’ve changed 180, Marty, in this respect. The dentists have taught me. I’ve been humbled.



And that they are business people and not just that, they want to be great business people and they want to be great people. They want to keep working on themselves and I admire all of them. And so to me, it’s just these are my compadres and we are working together to grow as people, grow as businesses and it’s this self, you know, this process that self-fulfills, that self-supports. It’s congruent. So that’s the mastermind, my friend.



kudos to you. It’s also about having people with the right energy. Now, I’m just a guy from the South and I’m a Methodist and you know, I’m not like, you know, I tried meditation, I failed. I got kicked out of yoga class, if you want to hear about that because Valerie drove me to yoga class the teacher and I got along but I wasn’t aware that, you know, I’d have to leave your cell phone in yoga class so I could go back.



But energy as a musician and an artist, I definitely feel, and I definitely feel the coaching is speaking. And I would argue, and I don’t think I have to argue, but I would say, I think it’s pretty blatant that Robbins, for example, success is the energy he brings to what he does for thousands, right? But Alex, you are very good at that. And you were very good at, I know if I’m going to you with a meeting, for like the podcast today, the reason I’m having you come to speak to our group at our annual convention is your energy.



Um, and, um, so what I’m saying to your members is when they are choosing to be a part of a mastermind, which they all should do the all-star dental mastermind, if they’re not doing already, they have to do it. Um, it’s not a 10 year commitment. Just try it for a year. You know what I mean? And, and if you don’t, you’re leaving money on the table, but more importantly, you’re, you’re not making the friends you can make the network you can make. And like you said about the gentleman earlier, sharp being as sharp as they could be in approval themselves. So.



If you do check out Alex’s All-Star Mastermind, one of the things you really pick up on, it’s great to see Alex on Zooms, it’s great to see you on calls. But when you’re in the room with Alex, especially in a small meeting, you get to feel his energy and that’s one of things I admire about you and that’s why I keep working with you. So for all the business listening, if you’ve been enjoying Alex’s work, you got to get in the room with him and the others, and that’s the energy of the Mastermind, and you’ve got a real skill set for that, Alex.



I appreciate that. I also have to say we have an amazing team with our president of coaching, Eric Bickery, Robin Reese, our director of hiring service, Shelley and Cheyenne and all of our coaches and Larry Guzzardo, our head instructor and Heather. I recall as we kind of conclude this episode is my uncle. I’m writing a book about my uncle called My Uncle the Magician and he taught me a lot about life and he’s a physician. And one of the things he said…



is when patients come see him, what he looks for is that they leave with more energy than they came in with. They feel better about themselves and that’s its mark of service, of his mark of a good interaction. So it’s all about do people who interact with us leave with more energy than they came in with? And so I know that’s true for you and our whole team. And so that’s the Mastermind, everybody.



Thank you, Marty, mastermind leader, mastermind of masterminds for being on our program. And remember to follow us on Apple Podcasts and Spotify and YouTube. Get the episodes as they are released. Share with your friends. And until next time, go out there and be an All-Star.



We hope you enjoyed this episode of Dental All-Stars. Visit us online at

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