Stan Higgins photo

Thanks in part to the leadership techniques he learned in EO and his Forum, Stan Higgins’ company VersaPile Inc. was named one of Canada’s fastest growing companies. In addition to professional success, Forum has led Stan to personal growth—and as a facilitator, he guides Forums to gain the same ROI that EO and Forum have afforded him.

Stan sat down with us to discuss what Forum and facilitating mean to him.

ForumSherpa: What led you to join Forum, and what has led you to stay in Forum?

Stan Higgins: I joined EO in 2015, and that was my first introduction to Forum. I was desperate to talk to other entrepreneurs about overcoming obstacles and challenges. Although I didn’t join EO strictly for Forum, it’s been a really high-value item of EO membership. It’s great to get with other entrepreneurs that I trust, that I can open up to, and that understand the challenges I’m facing.

FS: How do you feel that Forum has helped you evolve, both as a businessperson and as an individual?

SH: Since joining Forum—and EO in general—my business has grown more than 16 times its size! To grow that much in just eight years is amazing, and some of the success is directly due to Forum. I’ve discovered puzzle pieces I didn’t know my business was missing. We had some seeds in the right place, but Forum really helped grow them.

As great as the business growth has been, the thing that has most surprised me about Forum is my personal growth. I’m surrounded by people who care about me as a father, a husband, and as an actual person in addition to being a businessman. I like the person I’ve become thanks to Forum. And so does my wife! If I stopped paying my dues, I’m pretty sure she would pay them for me!

FS: What are some of the most important and valuable lessons you’ve learned thanks to your Forum experience, both as a member and as a facilitator?

SH: At the end of the day, when we look at the people we’ve interacted with, we’re wowed by some of them. And this always includes the people in my Forum. I’m so fortunate to be in a group with people that inspire that reaction.

Here’s a life lesson: people are still people regardless of where they are in life, or how successful they are in business. At the end of the day, we all grapple with the same things. It’s so interesting that all of us in my Forum are in different businesses and positions in our lives, and yet we’re still dealing with problems that we can all relate to.

FS: What do you love most about being a Forum Facilitator?

SH: As an entrepreneur, I really value the ROI of time and money. And when facilitating is done right, there aren’t many better ways to achieve that ROI. Forum has been a major needle mover in my life both professionally and personally, and I get to teach people the tools that have helped me get where I am.

The way Forum 2.0® works, each individual’s ROI can increase at each meeting and retreat. It compounds each member’s ROI. As a facilitator, I get to show them how to get the most value out of their Forum time.

FS: What are your favorite tools or exercises? Why are these your favorites?

SH: One of my favorite tools is Cloaking. It’s immensely powerful. You do need to have a healthy Forum for Cloaking to be appropriate, but there’s always a “Wow, that was really helpful!” response that comes out of this exercise.

Also, as an entrepreneur, I want to know what other people might do in certain situations—but I’m not looking to be judged for my ideas or what I think should be done. For these reasons, Walk In My Shoes is a really great tool. The guardrails in this exercise are important for creating a safe environment and maintaining the Forum mindset while still providing helpful input.

FS: Why should Forums hire a facilitator for their retreat?

SH: First, hiring a facilitator provides the Forum with an outside perspective from someone who has been trained. And ForumSherpa facilitators are trained by none other than Ellie Byrd, who no other company can compete with!

Second, the Forum members can all be completely present if they have a facilitator. Facilitating is a lot of work, and whichever member has to coordinate the retreat and run the exercises just isn’t going to get the full benefit or value of the retreat. Facilitators can also pick up on things that are hard to see from within the group and can help resolve any issues that might be holding the Forum back. So in a few words, it’s crucial for Forums to bring in a facilitator.

FS: Are there any funny or interesting stories you’d like to share about a retreat?

SH: I’ve certainly had some amazing retreats! One of the most memorable was a retreat where the group was interested in exploring mindfulness. We reached out to Steve Rio of Enfold Breathwork. Steve facilitated a Holotropic Breathwork session and it was unlike anything I had imagined.

It was a very intense and beautiful out-of-body experience. It’s hard to describe it to anyone who may not have shared something similar, but for me, I was inside the Universal Collective. The feelings of universal acceptance and love were somehow life changing. I returned home to Winnipeg, and many things that had held me back previously—and that I had internalized as part of my identity—were gone or greatly diminished. The results were that I got into shape physically, emotionally, and mentally, and this has improved all areas of my life.

 

Stan can help your Forum make the most out of your next retreat! Contact us to find out Stan’s availability!