Iron Sharpens Iron: Mastermind with Eric Thomas and Breathe University

Breathe University (BU) is a mastermind and accountability group that I use as a part of an arsenal of tools to grow in life and in business. The term mastermind was coined by Napoleon Hill in the early 1900s. Around the same time, contemporaries and self-made men in American industry such as Henry Ford, automobile mogul; Harvey Firestone, tire inventor; and Thomas Edison, scientist and inventor; formed masterminds.

In a mastermind, two or more people come together to share ideas. Their time is spent discussing and debating new ideas. Participants in the group provide feedback, support, and inspiration to the others. Masterminding is based on the idea that iron sharpens iron.

“When you want to succeed as much as you want to breathe.” –Eric Thomas, Ph.D.

Today, Breathe University is one of the fastest growing mastermind communities. It is led by Eric Thomas, Ph.D., a former high school dropout turned educator and motivational speaker with a global following. His messages have been largely popularized via social media videos like the infamous Guru Story and Nothing Funny videos with views surpassing some of Beyoncé’s most popular hits.

As one of the world’s top 10 motivational speakers, he is requested by businesses and brands such as the NFL and NBA to help athletes and professionals with mindset mastery.


Successful people are aware of their environment


Thomas shares that he was able to reach to new levels of success, both personally and professionally, when he got himself around the right people in the right environment. BU is a diverse community of entrepreneurs, professionals, and students. It is supported by an e-learning platform that includes on-demand video courses, live events, and mastermind calls. Thomas and the team who helped build his brand, all actively participate on every call and show up to local meetups.


The environment is ripe for success


I asked fellow BU member, David Shands, to share how masterminding in BU has shaped his experiences as an entrepreneur. David Shands is the founder and CEO of Sleep is 4 Suckers and Sleepless Society Inc., a motivational speaker and author of Dreams are Built Overnight.

Shands says:


“I am a firm believer that your environment will change you before you change it. Most people don’t enjoy their lives or their work. You might find yourself surrounded by these people. When I was in past friendships or environments like this, it was difficult to dream big and speak positively. When you’re in a positive environment, it’s hard to focus problems. Get yourself in the right environment and see the results you want in your life”.

Shands met his mentor Eric Thomas and team in 2011. His drive for success moved him to seek out their advice and soon he began investing in coaching with BU. He bet on himself and today he is winning. In seven short years, Shands’s Sleepis4Suckers concept has evolved from T-shirts and wristbands to a flagship store and merchandise in stores all over the country.

My goal in writing this article is to shine a light on the importance of masterminding and inform readers about a powerful group that I use to grow. More importantly, I want you to ask yourself, who’s in your environment and what have they done for you lately?

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Elisha Lowe is a registered nurse, business strategist, writer, entrepreneur and inspirational speaker with two decades of experience in healthcare. She works with top healthcare organizations to grow novel products that support improved patient outcomes. You can follow her on Twitter @ElishaLoweRN or learn more at