InSights Group

We are doing company launches, brand management, running companies, and in general trying to keep up with you in changing the world!

InSights Group - We are doing company launches, brand management, running companies, and in general trying to keep up with you in changing the world!

Fuzzy New Socks – Musings and Motivations

fuzzy socksInteresting challenges have interesting results.

Sandi Maki gave herself the challenge to create a podcast every evening, for an undetermined duration. There were quite a number of fans, and even months later, new listeners are catching up with her musings. This book is a record of some of these podcasts and includes updated commentary.

InSights Group was co-founded by Sandi and Al as a place for entrepreneurs to share ideas, space, and support. One of the regular events are Mastermind Groups or masterminding. A Mastermind Group is a consistent membership of entrepreneurs that meet weekly in a closed door environment, to discuss business and life strategies. The power of this assembly is honest discussion of options and motivations.

In her musings, Sandi shares some of her opinions, motivations and other fun and random topics. She hopes to make the world a more fun and happy place by sharing.

Press Release August 2013: Collaborative Book, 100 Marbles, Now Available

100marblesThis month, InSights Group is pleased to announce its debut book: 100 Marbles. It is a collaborative book, written by sixteen members of the group who have been a part of Mastermind groups. The book was inspired by a desire to share the positive force masterminding has been in the lives of InSights members, and to inspire others to pursue the ideas of the collective mind, gratitude, and masterminding in their own lives.

“100 Marbles is a glimpse into a variety of people’s lives, and it can get pretty intimate,” says InSights’ First Lady, Sandi Maki. She was the driving force behind collecting the contributions for 100 Marbles, and is proud of the end result. “It really does a great job of showing what masterminding has done in these people’s lives. And the great thing is that these people are all different, but they’ve all been impacted by masterminding in profound ways.” It’s true: the contributors in 100 Marbles are in different age groups, from different walks of life, and have different philosophies about many things. The common tie that holds them all together is that they recognize the power of gratitude and the collective mind. 100 Marbles gives readers a wonderful glimpse into the lives of people who have been impacted by masterminding.

Everyone who contributed to 100 Marbles feels the magic that is the mastermind experience. The book is a collection of inspired moments, that the contributors felt compelled to share. One contributor, Robbie Bolog, was excited from the beginning about being a part of the collaboration. He submitted a beautiful piece right away and then, as his music career took off and the rest of his life got busy, he forgot about the book and his contribution. Upon finding out that the book had been published and he was in it, he was excited and honored all over again. Another contributor, Jessie Palmatier, says “It’s exciting–I’m 22, and I’m a published author! I didn’t think I’d be able to say that…at least not for a while. But it’s not just the idea of being published, it’s the whole premise of 100 Marbles. What a great project to be a part of! I couldn’t ask for a better way to break into the ranks of ‘published authors.’ Masterminding, gratitude, and the collective mind really did change my life, and it’s an honor to be able to share that with others.”

It can be difficult to express in words what masterminding is. Anyone who has been involved can attest to the incredible impact it can have–and famous thinkers like Ben Franklin, C.S. Lewis, and JRR Tolkien were all involved in mastermind groups. It truly is something you need to experience in order to fully grasp. Robbie, in his chapter, says “I didn’t initially ‘get’ what the masterminding meeting was supposed to accomplish. It wasn’t until I got home, and was trying to convey what we talked about to my mom, that I was able to work out the broad concepts we discussed…” Although you need to experience it to fully understand, 100 Marbles is a great way to dip your feet in the mastermind waters. It’s an inspiring and thought-provoking read, and we hope it will inspire you to find a mastermind group near you or start one of your own.


100 Marbles is available on Amazon. InSights Group is a small business incubator and networking group, dedicated to helping people reach their full potential together. For more information about InSights, masterminding, or 100 Marbles, you can contact InSights Group online (,, or by phone (810-201-4847).

Bob Burg is coming to town (Metro-Detroit) THIS Wednesday.

Bob Burg is coming to town this Wednesday.

He is the MASTER at referral marketing. Perhaps there are a few people you know who are interested in getting more referrals? It would be great if you could forward this along to them and consider joining us yourself.

Thank you!!

Referrals are the least expensive and most likely to close business opportunities you can receive. The question is are you and your team getting enough of them?

Join Best Selling Author and referral marketing master Bob Burg as he comes to Lawrence Tech next Wednesday, 6/26 for a morning seminar.

This will be VERY valuable to you and anyone responsible for business development in your organization.

Details and ticket purchase is here:

Organic Marketing at Revenue North

Organic Marketing Revenue North (PDF)

InSights Group
  • Organic Marketing: Strategies to Promote Your Business, Naturally
There are so many choices in social media marketing; it can be overwhelming to understand how everything works together to build new business relationships. Organic Marketing offers a comprehensive look at how to build Organic Marketing strategies into your social media marketing mix. You’ll learn how to grow your business relationships in thoughtful, productive and genuine ways.
Sandi Maki and Allan Curtis are co-founders of the InSights Group, an amazing collaborative learning organization. Without traditional funding, a marketing or advertising budget they used organic marketing strategies and social media to grow the InSights Group. Creating the roadmap as they went, learning and growing on the way, they’ve found what works in the world of social media. The social media strategies taught at the InSights Group were developed as a part of those experiences, and they’ll be sharing some of what they have learned with you.Sandi and Al have presented to a diverse array of audiences, from a small group in a conference room to national conventions. They are hired as social media strategists, conduct classes and training regularly. You can find their CD series available on, and webinars, audio downloads, and podcasts available on the InSights Group website.

Need a quick boost?

My friend Maureen called one day to ask if she could pop in the office…of course we said yes and she surprised us with some new products to try out. Fabulous!

The SwissJust company is becoming more well known in the states with their product line of essential oils, lotions, and products that enhance your mind, body and spirit. Just before sitting down at the computer I spritzed a quick bit of Eucasol Natural Oil spray into the air and inhaled deeply. It’s such a quick pick me up. It clears the senses and as an added bonus purifies the air. This has got to be my favorite product!

Thanks Maureen!

Maureen also had a diffuser with her when she brought in the products to try. Imagine having the orange essential oil diffusing through the office during the day. Talk about soothing tension and instilling a sense of calm in the office. I don’t know of any hectic workplace that could benefit from that, do you?

Of course if inspiration is what you need just swap the orange out for lemon and it will be a zesty pick me up for energy, creativity and awareness. Sign me up for sure!

I’ve tried out many different types of oils, lotions and products over the years. What I really like about SwissJust is that the products come in many forms, oil, lotion, spray, and in combination. Instead of having to sort through a reference manual to find which oil you need for what ailment, these are already conveniently combined for you. Need a pick me up, spray the Eucasol. No more stress, add the anti-stress blend to your bath. Achy joints, use the San’ Activ Bath or cream. The products are easily explained, quick to locate, and they work!

I was so excited after trying the products I invited a few of my closest friends to a girls night and invited Maureen back in to share. Everyone loved the “spa night” pampering – and as soon as she shared the products there was a chorus of “do you have something for ___?” They were a hit!

Thanks Maureen for the demo, and the sample products to try. This is one relaxed and inspired office, thanks to you!

(For more information on the products visit or give Maureen a call: (248) 770-6959)

WOW: Work on Website and Social Media Workshops

InSights Group Brighton MI

Introducing WOW: Work on your Website and Social Media Workshops

We’ll meet every Thursday morning from 10am to 12 noon at the InSights Clubhouse – and work on websites, content, social media campaigns and ideas, and anything else that will support your digital online and offline marketing efforts. This is a hands on workshop where we will share our ideas, support and knowledge with each other.

This is an open group – drop-in’s are welcome. Bring your laptop, ideas and questions. Together we’ll make our online worlds a better place!

Drop in to a few meetings just to try it out, no charge. Eventually you might want to consider a social or clubhouse membership at InSights – but that’s not required.

Your RSVP is appreciated on

Facebook or InSights Groupsite

InSights Clubhouse
455 E. Grand River, Suite 105
Brighton, MI 48116
(In Ravine Plaza at Brighton Lake Road/Grand River Intersection) Lower level, around the back of the building.
Phone: 810-201-4847

Workshop Hosts will vary with a regular advisory panel including:

Sandi Maki

Al Curtis

Tom Harris

Susan Dorbeck

Jodi Cook

Stephan Smith

Dave Broadworth

*If you’d like to be considered for the advisory panel, send a note to Sandi…

InSights Location Lower Level

InSights Location copy

Join InSights at the Revenue North Business Summit May 21, 2013

Revenue North Business Summit at the Sharaton-Novi Hotel – a great business building/team building day.

I have free passes for anyone who has never attended a Revenue North Summit. Register at using my promo code: C23TV7

60+ breakout sessions with the latest strategies and techniques in sales, marketing, customer retention, access to capital, leadership and much more, make this one of the largest business growth conferences in the history of the Detroit and Michigan area! You can visit the Revenue North website to see the list of speakers and topics.

**Sandi and Al speak at 11:45am.

Sandra Maki & Al Curtis
InSights Group
InSights Group
  • Organic Marketing: Use the 9 Squares of a Tic Tac Toe Board to create momentum in your marketing.
There are so many choices in social media marketing; it can be overwhelming to understand how everything works together to build new business relationships. Organic Marketing offers a comprehensive look at how to build Organic Marketing strategies into your social media marketing mix. You’ll learn how to grow your business relationships in thoughtful, productive and genuine ways.

Explaining the changes at InSights

Happy Friday to you!

I’ve been meaning to get a note out to each one of our InSights Group friends to catch you up on what has been going on, and what the transitions have meant. I’ll cover that in this note to hopefully bring you up to speed, and invite you to see more of us, or as much of us, as you would like.

A little bit of history:

You may have noticed that the InSights Group was quiet for a while. We have been. To catch you up on the story, Al Curtis and I, started the original InSights Group on Grand River in Brighton in January of 2008. We created a place that people could come together, learn/grow/share and connect. Our hope was that if we could find a sense of community and coming together, together with you, we could make the world a better place.

Our community grew to include entrepreneurs and amazing individuals. Mastermind groups, Ladies Night events, and fun mixers were pretty routine. Then we (Al and I), found ourselves on the road quite a bit teaching entrepreneurs around the country about social media and organic marketing. We had to do this to support the space, and continue to grow ourselves and the clubhouse. We found ourselves away from the clubhouse more than we were present, and our activities and group events grew further and further apart.

Around the same time this was happening, we were approached by the Well Church who wanted to take over our space. We contemplated our options, and at the time decided since the group energy was changing, and we were on the road more, it made sense to take them up on their offer. We took the deal, and moved into a new space on the east side of town (InSights II).

Many of you joined us at our second location. We continued mixers, classes, our Mastermind Group and Book Clubs. While we loved being able to meet, the new location just didn’t feel like home. Participation was also declining, as more entrepreneurs either found success they were seeking, or in many cases, those displaced by job loss in 2008 were returning to full time gigs. We made the difficult decision to move out of our second InSights home and spent some time deciding what to do next in our super secret hideout in Downtown Brighton.

The Relaunch of the Pool Company

Through much of 2011 and 2012 Al and I were still traveling, teaching, and masterminding with our original Thursday mastermind group which still meets every week. We had also begun applying our social media and marketing strategies to the swimming pool company (Legendary Escapes) that Al had owned since the mid 90′s – we had put the growth of the pool company on the back burner for several years while focusing on expanding InSights, and decided to pick it back up. This renewed energy resulted in some amazing things happening, including the launch of the nationally known Ask the Pool Guy brand.

While we were thrilled that things were going so well, we also very much missed the community that was lost in a sense after closing our first InSights location. As much as I’d like to look back on it and think it was magical all the time, I also realize that it served it’s purpose during a time it was really needed, and then it needed to change.

That brings us to the present.

In October last year, Al and I, together with our Thursday Mastermind Group, decided we really wanted to be able to bring the clubhouse environment back. We found a location in Brighton that was perfect for housing the swimming pool company, and a meeting location for mastermind groups, classes, and mixers.

We signed on the dotted line, InSights’d the place up a bit, and started to have monthly mixers again. We’ve also slowly but surely been adding events to the calendar, run by our clubhouse supporters, to bring back more opportunities to get together, grow and become inspired.

As I shared with my mastermind group this week, I absolutely crave my Thursday morning mastermind fix. I also LOVE our community, bringing people together and hosting mixers and mind expanding events. It is such an important part of my life that keeps me inspired that it’s simply something that I have to do. I have to support this “habit” of being around inspiring people, big thinkers, and people who can see beyond the normal things in life to the extraordinary.

100 Marbles #7

New in Sandi Land!

Yes, that is Al and Sandi on the red carpet at the movie premiere of Movie 43 in Hollywood on January 23rd. It’s been a busy month of travel, starting with Chicago, on to LA, and back just in time for a trip to Atlantic City.

Here’s the Press Release/Recap of the event that we released via Ask the Pool Guy:

{Jan 23, 2012} It’s no secret that Ask the Pool Guy has plenty of connections in the swimming pool industry, thanks to his experience, artistry, and immense knowledge. But Ask the Pool Guy isn’t limited to pool industry contacts! Thanks to his large network of connections, and his support of various philanthropic efforts, Ask the Pool Guy landed himself in the middle of a Hollywood movie premiere last week!At the Movie 43 premiere, with celebrities around every corner, and with Ask the Pool Guy’s recognizable face, it was quite an eventful night!


The movie was at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, followed by the after party at Madame Tussauds Hollywood. Although he wanted plenty of pictures to document the experience and all the celebrity friends he made, but the after party was packed wall-to-wall and low lighting, it wasn’t the best environment for pictures. As the night went on, though, and the crowd thinned out a bit, he managed to get a few pictures.


Now, we don’t mean to drop names, but Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed sat in the row behind Ask the Pool Guy, he grabbed his popcorn next to Tom Arnold, mingled with Gerard Butler, Seann William Scott, Wayne Brady, Common, Carmen Electra, Russell Simmons, Samaire Armstrong, Tony Hawk, and many more—he even managed to snag a photo with Cuba Gooding, Jr.!


Okay, okay, the name dropping is almost over—right after we mention that our very own Pool Guy was mistaken for a Chuck Liddell lookalike! And the up side for all of our loyal customers? Now, in addition to having an incredibly knowledgeable, experienced Pool Guy on your side, you’re also friends with a celebrity!

Al’s Perspective

“When you do the things you need to do when you need to do them, the day will come when you can do the things you want to do when you want to do them.” – Zig Ziglar, Motivational Speaker

Mastermind Corner

What is your 3 minute story?If you haven’t already this year, take some time and think through your 3 minute story. What are your  hopes and dreams for the coming year, something big you are working on in your business, something you’ve learned, grown into, or surprised you recently. Use this to share your mission and vision with others when they ask what is new. You can also use it as your compass point, so when you are faced with decisions or new opportunities you can ask yourself if it fits in with your 3 minute story, or if you should let it go so you can continue on your way.

Book Corner


  This book is dedicated to your mastery of the art of realizing all your desires. The greatest gift you have been given is the gift of your imagination. Everything that now exists was once imagined. And everything that will ever exist must first be imagined.     Wishes Fulfilled  is designed to take you on a voyage of discovery, wherein you can begin to tap into the amazing manifesting powers that you possess within you and create a life in which all that you imagine for yourself becomes a present fact.

     Dr. Wayne W. Dyer explores, for the first time, the region of your highest self; and definitively shows you how you can truly change your concept of yourself, embark upon a God-realized way of living, and fulfill the spiritual truth that with God all things are possible—and “all things” means that nothing is left out.

By practicing the specific technique for retraining your subconscious mind, you are encouraged to not only place into your imagination what you would like to manifest for yourself, but you are given the specifics for realigning your life so you can live out your highest calling and stay connected to your Source of being. From the lofty perspective of your highest self, you will learn how to train your imagination in a new way.

Your wishes—all of them—can indeed be fulfilled. By using your imagination and practicing the art of assuming the feeling of your wishes being fulfilled, and steadfastly refusing to allow any evidence of the outer world to distract you from your intentions, you will discover that you, by virtue of your spiritual awareness, possess the ability to become the person you were destined to be.

This book will help you See—with a capital S—that you are divine, and that you already possess an inner, invisible higher self that can and will guide you toward a mastery of the art of manifestation. You can attain this mastery through deliberate conscious control of your imagination!

Video Corner: What does the Pool Guy Really do?

It’s the middle of winter – and unless we live in a climate where the temperature starts with a 7 instead of a 1, we could probably use a dose of summer right now.

If you’ve wondered about the projects that Al designs and builds, here’s one of our favorite homeowners who can share a little more with you.

Enjoy the video about an organic building process and building art with concrete…. Watch on YouTube Here

Enthusiast Corner

We are looking for new things to feature in this section: Cool People doing Cool Things…tell us more, what are you up to? Maybe we’ll feature you in the next issue!