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187 - Fire Your B Players And Surround Yourself With The A's

Fire Your B Players And Surround Yourself With The A’s

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The real secret behind delegation and getting stuff done.

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I look at my company now and we have A players. A whole bunch of A players. “Russell, how are you able to get so much amazing stuff done?” Because we only have A players. The B players we get rid of, they’re gone. They’re not part of our organization. All we have is A players, “How in the world are you competing with companies like….Lead Pages is a good example. They have 100, or 200 employees, we’ve got 25. How are you able to compete and dominate those guys?” Because we have A players. You bring in VC money, guess what you hire?


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Hey everybody, this is Russell Brunson and welcome to Marketing In Your Car. I’m already halfway to the office so this one might be short. Nevertheless this is part of a new series I’ve started, between and

These are my two content things, so if you’re not on both you’re missing out because we’re going back and forth on the storyline. Yesterday on my marketing quickies show, Mike Stanczyk, some of you may know Mike, he asked me, “I want to know more how you’re so productive, how you get stuff done, your work ethic”. So, I’ll talk about some of those things.

So yesterday, on the live periscope, I talked about a concept called “lead or gold”. It kind of goes into the core foundational mindset of how to get a lot of crap done. So if you go to and click on the one that says “How to get a lot of crap done”. That’s a foundational piece on what I’m talking about today. So my goal for the next week is to share a bunch of ideas of how to get a lot of things done. So that’s the first one. So go listen to that, it’ll be number one.

Today I want to talk about, it kind of shifts over to the side of delegation and outsourcing and things like that. I remember when I first got into this business, I could always tell the life cycle of where a new entrepreneur is. Because as soon as they’ve outsourced the first time they all want to create a course in outsourcing, Because, “You could pay people a little bit of money and they’ll do stuff way better than you do it.” It’s a big “Ah Ha”.

Initially that’s what a lot of entrepreneurs do. They hire their first outsourcer. For me it was someone in Romania. I paid $20 and he built a software product that I ended up selling for $67 and I made tens of thousands of dollars on something that I paid a guy $20 to build. I remember having that “Ah Ha”, “Wow, I cannot believe that that was even possible.” So I think a lot of us start out on that journey.

And the problem is that as we start outsourcing some things, where most entrepreneurs get stuck is it’s hard to let go of the reins. I’m sure you’ve had that before. You give someone something and they don’t do as good a job as you. You try to get them to do it again, and they don’t and after 2 or 3 times you just take it back. And it’s like, “Screw that, I’ll just do it myself.” And I still struggle with that, I’m sure you do as well. Which is why I do so much stuff. So a couple of things I want to speak to you on that, that have allowed me to get so many things done.

And this isn’t something that happened overnight, but I’ve been doing this business for over 12 years so I’ve hired literally hundreds and hundreds of people to do different tasks. I’ve hired people that are the cheapest, and I’ve hired the most expensive, and I’ve hired people in between. What I’ve found, I wish I had the link to the article that Todd, one of my partners in Clickfunnels sent, that talked about the difference between A players and B players.

It showed that A players were 3,200 times more productive than a B player. So a lot of us try to get B and C players because it’s cheaper, but in reality its way more expensive. A lot of times you can find one person who can do the work of 10, 15 or 20 people. It may seem hard to believe, but it’s true. Todd’s a good example of that. In the past we had 6 full time programmers in Boise trying to build the shopping cart software, we spent 3 years and probably three or four hundred thousand dollars trying to do it and we never got to a point where anyone could use it.

Todd came in and looked at the shopping cart software that we were thinking about using, spent the next two days rebuilding it from the ground up and it worked. It took him two days what took 6 people 3 years and never got live. Now let’s talk about finding A players. I think the biggest thing….You gotta kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince. I remember people saying that when I was dating before finding my beautiful, amazing wife. I think it’s the same thing.

You gotta hire a lot of people until you find the rock stars. So what I do a lot of times now, let’s say I have a project, I’ll go to Upwork, used to be Scriptlance and Odesk, I think it’s Upwork. I’ll go to Upwork, I’ll post a project, but I’ll hire 3 people to do the same project. People are like, “Russell why would you do that? It’s going to cost you 3 times as much money.” the reality it doesn’t, it cost less money. What happens is I have 3 people build the same thing, one person sucks at it, one person does something kind of weird, and one person is a rock star.

But you don’t know until you get 3 people you have something to compare them against. So I have 3 people do a product. Usually it’s not my big idea; it’s not this huge thing. I’ll post and get 3 people to do a smaller project. It’ll test their skill set, but it’s not something I’d pay tens of thousands of dollars for, but I do that to find an A player. After I find an A player I’ll go back to that person and say, okay here’s the actual project that I want you to do. And hire them to do a bigger project. That way I only have A players on our team. And that’s a big part of it. When you do find A players, figuring out ways to lock them up and keep them close to you, because again an A player is worth hundreds of B players.

A really good example is when we launched Clickfunnels initially it was Todd and Dylan who built the whole thing. Then as when we start scaling we knew we needed to bring other people in to help. One of those people was Ryan. Prior to Ryan, we hired a couple of people that were B, C and even D level people. It was horrible. Not only did they not progress things, everything digressed. Everything moved backwards. And we found Ryan; first off he was culturally a right fit. He was our same age; he was cool, same timeline in his life.

He was a great cultural fit. He brought a whole other level of things. He came in and brought Clickfunnels this thing we needed that we didn’t have. He’s been amazing. After a while, the demand on Clickfunnels is really high. It was getting to him and his family. He had a side website making a bunch of money and he got to the point he was going to leave and pursue that, or find a job where he got paid the same for a lot less stress. We knew that if we lost him it would be painful, so we came back and said he is an A, maybe an A+ player and we need him.

We needed to lock him up and so we came back and did what it took. Paying him more, giving him equity giving him profit share, whatever it takes. Because one person like him is worth dozens of other people. If you lose someone like that, it can cripple you. It can destroy you. What I would say, is looking at your company through a different lens, where it’s less, “let me hire the cheapest player possible” and shifting that to, “let me find the A player rock star”. Incentivize them in a way where everybody wins. I look at my company now and we have A players.

A whole bunch of A players. “Russell, how are you able to get so much amazing stuff done?” Because we only have A players. The B players we get rid of, they’re gone. They’re not part of our organization. All we have is A players, “How in the world are you competing with companies like….Lead Pages is a good example. They have 100, or 200 employees, we’ve got 25. How are you able to compete and dominate those guys?” Because we have A players. You bring in VC money, guess what you hire?

A bunch of B players, right. Because that’s what they want you to do; they want you to spend their money and build out a team and you need directors and managers and all this crap and people that don’t actually do anything. So yeah, you can spend their budget but you get a bunch of B players. That’s the difference. I look at any VC backed company, there’s a bunch of B players getting funded by dudes that have money, and it shows. So that’s the next step.

Again, if you listened to the periscope before, or if you haven’t go to, talk about the foundational mindset you need to get crap done. The whole lead or gold concept that I learned from Gary Halbert. Today is all about delegation. But don’t delegate to people who are worse than you, delegate to rock stars. Yesterday for example, I had to get done a sales letter for a new Clickfunnels process we’re doing. I sat down and I locked myself….I had to get it done; I had no choice…lead or gold.

I got this thing done. Normally it would be me that designed the sales letter, but Dylan, who’s my partner in Clickfunnels, he’s a rock star. He’s the best designer I’ve ever seen in my life. So I gave it to Dylan, now I’m not nervous because he will make it better than I ever could. The biggest problem a lot of entrepreneurs have is that we’re delegated to people that are worse than us. When you do that, that’s where this back and forth and struggle and headaches and everything come from. Start the process today of finding you’re a players.

A players have different motivations. Some its cash, some its partnership, some they want a cool project. There’s different motivations. It doesn’t’ mean you have to pay them a lot of money upfront. A lot of times A level people are motivated by different things. A good example is Todd, when Todd started working for me, I feel bad about it now, but he worked for free for an entire year.

He had different motivations. It wasn’t to get money. His motivation was to be part of something bigger. After a year, I realized we hadn’t paid him anything. I’m like, this guys really useful, we should pay him something. “Hey man can I pay you?” he’s like, “Yeah, whatever.” so I started paying him.

After another year, one day I was hanging out with him and he was showing me all these job offers. He was getting 3 or 4 job offers a week for 4 times what I was paying him. I’m like, “Dude, why don’t you take those?” He’s like, “I want to be part of something bigger.” Crap, I need to pay him more, because I’m going to lose him. So I’m like” Hey, can I pay you more?” And he’s like, “Sure, whatever.”

So the A players typically have different motivations. Its figuring out those motivations are and aligning them with you. But if you’ve got vision and you know where you want to go. Finding the A players and getting them to align with you isn’t necessarily a hard thing. Because most of the people I’ve found that are A players are less money motivated and more mission and vision motivated. That’s what drives them.

So find your passion, your mission, your vision and sell them on it and that’s how you get the rock stars. If you want to go for the cheapest you can go to Odesk or Upwork and find those kinds of people, but it’s going to cost you more in the long run. So there you go. That’s the strategy for today. Hope that helps. With that said, I’m out of here, I’m at the office. Going to get stuff done. I will talk to you guys all again soon. Thanks everybody.


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