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190 - You HAVE To Be Obsessed With The Game...

You HAVE To Be Obsessed With The Game...

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Episode Recap:

When you become obsessed with this game, the impact, the influence, and the money will come. On today’s episode Russell talks about why being obsessed with the game is the key to success. Here are some of the amazing things Russell has to say in this episode:

-- Why Russell is again competing in a wrestling tournament after a 16 year absence.

-- Why the product launching phase of internet marketing was a lot harder, and Russell is relieved it changed.

-- And find out why being obsessed with the game creates a skill set that means only the best survive.

So listen here to find out how the marketplace changed from an old boys club to only the best succeed, and why Russell is happy about the change.

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Best Quote:

And you know what? I’ve been a wuss. I’ve lost 18, 17, however many, 16, 17 years, 18 years, I don’t know what it is. I haven’t competed once. I did do some Jui Jitsu tournaments which was fun, but wrestling is what I love. So I was like, I’m just going to go and I’m going to make this a yearly thing, where I just go. Even if I’m out of shape, if I’m going to get beat. I don’t care. I’m just going to fly there, wrestle, do my thing, just to not lose that part of my identity.


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What’s up everybody? This is Russell Brunson, welcome to Marketing Secrets podcast. I’m so excited to have you guys here today. With that said, let’s queue up the theme song and we’re going to get to some fun.

Alright everybody, so I just dropped my kids off at school, I’m driving back and there’s always tons of traffic, so I was like, you know what, I want to hang out with you guys a little bit. This morning I woke up early and actually had wrestling practice. Not with my kids, I did wrestling practice with my kids last night, but today I did it for myself because I actually am going to go and compete in a tournament in like 6 weeks from now. And I am insanely out of shape. But I’m also so excited. So excited.

It’s funny because I haven’t actually put on a wrestling singlet in I think 16 or 17 years, something like that. So I’m super nervous. But I don’t know, it’s weird, I never thought I’d be done wrestling. But when I got done, I was done. It was the weirdest thing. My whole life was focused on this thing. And my senior year I was working towards going to the NCAA tournament, and I wanted to be an All-American. And at the PAC 10 tournament before NCAA’s, I thought for sure I was going to, I think it was like the top first and second place they took to the NCAA tournament, something like that.

And what’s crazy is I think my second match, I wrestled the returning PAC 10 champ, and I beat him, I beat him really good actually. So I was like, I should win PAC 10. I just destroyed the dude who won it last year. And then somehow I lost, like some dude I’d never heard of, never seen him or anything. And I lost to him and it didn’t make any sense, and I got knocked out of the tournament and I didn’t get to go.

And it was the weirdest thing where like, you know when you think there’s going to be an ending, you can mentally prepare for that? So I was like, okay it’s my senior year, my last tournament’s going to be the NCAA tournament, I was really excited, looking forward to this thing. And then two weeks earlier at the PAC 10 I lost and it was done. And it was over and I wasn’t ready for it to be over, and it was. It was crazy.

Anyway, I think I would have gone into severe depression because my whole life is focusing on this one thing and then you don’t even get to go to the thing. Horrible feeling.

But luckily had this little fledgling business I had started up, so I shifted all my focus to that to get away from the pain. And for the next 16 years of my life that’s all I did, was this business thing. And luckily it turned out to be a good waste of my energy and time. It’s been fun.

But I know that even 7 or 8 years ago I missed wrestling so much that, I think you guys have heard this story if you’ve been listening to the podcast. I built up a wrestling gym and I hired the Olympic Greco coach and flew him to Boise, and then I hired 8 or 9 guys who were training for the Olympics and flew them to Boise and I paid their salaries because I wanted to wrestle again, and I wanted to compete and train. So I started training, and I trained for probably 6 or so months getting ready for it, I got hurt once or twice, my body was weak. And I was planning on going to a tournament, I was so excited to go and actually put a singlet on again and wrestle in the tournament.

And then our business crashed and I had to go back in the business and try to save it. I spent 6, 7, 8 months trying to save the business, and then I ended up having to let go of all the wrestlers and the wrestling team because I just ran out of money, and I never got to wrestle, even though I spent, I don’t know, half a million bucks, and tons of energy. I never even got to go on the mat. It killed me.

And then I was focused on that, and trying to rebuild the business and then the next two or three years I didn’t know what I was doing, and then Clickfunnels came out and holy cow, what a rollercoaster ride that’s been the last 5 years. It’s been so much fun, but it’s been crazy.

And right now, we just got done with Funnel Hacking Live and there’s a wrestling tournament, the big US opens in Vegas in like 6 weeks and I was like, “You know what? I’m just going to go. I’m just going to go and I’m just going to wrestle. And I’m probably going to be horrible, I’m probably going to get beat, and that’s okay. I just want to go and I want to wrestle.”

I remember when I was in college, I had to go to the open nationals, us nationals. And I remember, there’s different divisions, and there’s a division that’s like 35-45 years old. So that’s the division I’ll be in now. Then after 45 it’s like 45-90. You know it’s the veterans division for old men, and there was this dude that was probably 80 something years old, he was bald, and had gray hair around his ears, you know. And he was out there in a singlet wrestling and I remember thinking, “I hope that’s me when I’m 80 years old.”

And you know what? I’ve been a wuss. I’ve lost 18, 17, however many, 16, 17 years, 18 years, I don’t know what it is. I haven’t competed once. I did do some Jui Jitsu tournaments which was fun, but wrestling is what I love. So I was like, I’m just going to go and I’m going to make this a yearly thing, where I just go. Even if I’m out of shape, if I’m going to get beat. I don’t care. I’m just going to fly there, wrestle, do my thing, just to not lose that part of my identity.

So anyway, I’m pumped and excited. I’ve been lifting weights for it, so I’m getting strong, but I haven’t wrestled, other than wrestling with my kids. So today my buddy, Lex Case came over, one of my old wrestling friends from Boise State, and hopefully he’s going to come to, which would be fun because I’ll at least have a workout partner to warm up with. Anyway, we wrestled today and it was so much fun, and I’m so out of shape, but it was good. I really enjoyed it. That’s kind of what happened this morning. I dropped my kids off at school and now I’m going back to pick up my stuff and then heading to the office.<

But as I was driving today with the kids and we were singing the greatest showman and head banging and having a bunch of fun, because I try to get them in state before they have to go to the most horrible thing on planet earth. I don’t tell them that yet, but it is right. School’s the worst. So I know, I hated school every day. So I’m like, if I can get these guys in state every day before they go to school, it will help them a little bit. So totally, we listen to music, we head bang, and we have that time to have as much fun as possible to get them into good state before they enter the doors of the worst place on earth.

I’m such a bad example.  Someday they’ll listen to this podcast and be like, “Dad, you made us go to school.” I’ll be like, “I know, it’s the system. It’s horrible but, you gotta go if you want to wrestle, which is important.”

Anyway, I dropped them off at school and as I was driving and we’re having fun I was thinking about this industry that we’re in. And I know a lot of you guys, you’re just starting this business or you’ve been in for a little while. But it’s interesting, I think what made me think about it, I got a text from Stripe. Every morning I get a text from Stripe, like ten of them for all the different merchant accounts we have.

And right now we average, every three days or so is a million dollars in sales. So it’s like, whatever, 300 and whatever thousand dollars a day in Stripe transactions-ish. Some days are higher, some are lower, but you know, to be a hundred million dollars in sales, that’s a million bucks every three days, that’s kind of where we’re at. And hopefully it will be more next year, and it’ll keep going up.

But I saw the transactions come through and I was like, oh it’s 300 and whatever thousand dollars today came through. And it’s interesting, because I remember when we used to do the big….so I’m telling you this because I want to rewind back in history. The internet marketing game back in the day was product launches, right. It was like, you spend three months creating a product, writing a sales letter, getting people to promote, getting all the buzz, getting the buildup, getting everything.

And if you did a good job you’d have a million dollar launch, but then half of that would go out to affiliate commissions, half to prizes, you know, you end up with $250,000 if you did a good launch. And if your launch failed then it was like $100 grand or less or $50 grand. Whatever it was. And it was like, once a quarter we’d all plan a launch.

And what’s funny is every week there was somebody doing a launch, but you kind of knew that every quarter you’d have your shot. So you’d go create a new product, and create a new thing. And during the off season when it wasn’t your week, you’d be promoting everybody else’s launch in hopes that you’d do well for them, so they’d promote your launch when your launch came back around.

And it was crazy because your list would be, right after your launch your list would be hot and it’d be amazing, but as you got closer and closer to your launch, it’d get worse and worse, because you’d promoted everybody else’s launches throughout this whole cycle. And then you’d hope you’d built up enough reciprocity by the time your product came out, you could launch it, make a million bucks, get a new hot list, and start promoting other people’s products.

And it was a horrible cycle. It was so bad on your customers, and bad on your list, and bad on everything, but it was how the game was played for so long. And it’s been interesting, watching the last 6 or 7 years as the product launch game kind of died. There’s still people doing product launches, but it shifted from the product launch model to the media buying model. And it’s a shift that I am so grateful for.

I love Mark Zuckerberg. I love that dude. I don’t know if I believe in his politics, actually I have no idea what his politics are, I’m assuming I don’t though. But I don’t know all those things, but I love him because he created this platform that gave all of us people the ability to buy ads on it. Instagram is the same thing, and YouTube and Google. You know, Google’s had its ups and downs, but right now Google and YouTube are about 50% of our traffic now. And Facebook and Instagram are the other 50%.

Well, my percentages are off, I’d say 15% are affiliates, and then the other half is split between Facebook, Instagram on one side, and YouTube and Google on the other side. But man, I’m so grateful for these platforms that made it where it’s like, we can actually run sustainable businesses. Not like the old product launch days where it was just like, “I scratch your back, you scratch my back.” No one actually was good marketers, they were just people who, you know the people who made the most money, were the people who had the best friends. That was kind of it.

And it’s been fun watching as we’ve broken outside of that cycle. We still do affiliate stuff, and we still have affiliates promote our things but it’s not based on, it’s based on whose got the best product, whose got the highest converting offer, who can buy the most media. The game nowadays is who can profitably buy media, which now it’s like a pure game. It’s not just a good old boys club. It’s who can actually buy media profitably, and there’s a skill set of buying media, and a skill set of building a funnel, and a skill set of having a good offer. It forces people to be better at the game, but it’s made the game more pure.

Anyway, I’m just telling you guys this because a lot of you guys are just jumping in right now and you don’t know what the history was and how the past was, but it’s really cool because the way it works today, it really is based on who’s the best. Who’s got the best, you know who is the best at buying ads? Who’s the best at creating good offers, hooks, and stories, and offers? Who’s the best at creating funnels?

And you know, if you’re mediocre nowadays, back in the day you could be mediocre as long as you had friends with a big email list to promote your stuff, you’d win. But nowadays it’s like, no you actually have to be good. And it’s kind of cool. It’s like survival of the fittest. It’s like the marketplace votes now on what’s good and what’s not good. And if you’re not good, you’re not going to win.

So for us and for me and for you, it gives us a shot. If we want to be, if we want to win this game, there are skill sets we have to learn. We have to actually become good. It’s not just, it’s not a good old boys club anymore. It’s not based on a popularity contest. It’s 100% based on your skill set and what you’re willing to do and what you’re willing to learn and evolve into and grow into.

So if you’re not willing to do that, you’re not going to win, plain out. And back when I got started in this game, ten years ago, it did not matter how good your skill set was, it just mattered how good your network was, your good old boys club. You know, you could hang out with people. And there’s still some of that, but for the most part, Zuckerberg doesn’t care who you are, doesn’t care how cool you are. All he cares is that you create ads that people like, people click on them. And if you do good stuff, the ads get cheaper. If you’re bad, you get banned. And things like that.

It’s just, it’s made the game more pure and I love it. It’s been, I think, I always struggled to penetrate the good old boys club, and get into all the syndicates and things like that.&nbsp; All these guys that were cool, that didn’t think I was cool for some reason. And I always hated that. And man, I feel like my skill set is better, I’m working harder, I’m learning more, I’m doing things. But I was never able to be in the top 1% just because, I wasn’t a good networker. I got nervous around people, I was an introvert and I struggled.

And now, that stuff doesn’t matter anymore. All that matters is who loves this game the most. Who’s obsessed with it, who’s going to study and learn and grow and figure these things out, and test and try and make the most offers, do the more, whoever makes the most offers in this game is going to win because you’re going to find out what offers work and what offers don’t work.

And some people spend 9 months trying to create an offer, and it’s like, why would you do that? The offer might not even work. You gotta get good at cranking out offers, and try this and try this, and try this ad, try this hook, try this story, try this. The game is played by those who are willing to put out a whole bunch of stuff quickly and test until you find the winners. Ditch the losers, keep the winners, and then scale and go double down on the winners.

And so it really is like, if you don’t love this game, if you don’t love it, you’re going to struggle in it, because it’s not just “You promote my thing, I’ll promote your thing, we’ll both make a bunch of money and we’ll take the rest of the quarter off.” No, it’s more pure now and I love it and I’m grateful for it. And I hope you guys love it as well.

You know it’s been interesting, everyone’s got their role in this world, and I really feel like my, one of my roles is to make this whole marketing thing fun for people. You know, I remember going to these events back in the day, and I would love them. I’d be sitting in this room and there’s all these old people and people onstage talking about their successes and what they’re doing. Direct response and direct mail, and newspapers and tear sheets, and all these things. And most the room was just bored out of their mind. You know trying to figure out how they’re going to do the thing.

And I’m sitting there in the back like freaking out, “This is so exciting, are you listening to what people are saying? This is the most exciting thing in the world.” I was like the excited kid in the back. And I was like, “Why are people able, how are they able to sit there all quietly and take notes. I’m freaking out.” And it was funny because I was like, “Maybe I’m wrong.” So I would try to sit in the culture, just sit there and take notes. And I hate taking notes.

I’m not a notetaker, I’m someone who listens to get inspired and I see a vision, and as soon as I see the vision, it’s in my head and I can go and execute on it. And I always felt weird like, “Why can’t I, I’m not taking notes. Why am I not taking notes and everyone else is?” and I would take notes and I’d never look at them again. I’m like, I don’t understand this.

And I remember going to my very first Tony Robbins event. I remember I showed up with my backpack and my laptop and I thought I would sit in the back and take notes while Tony was talking. And if you go to Tony’s event, you know, there’s no tables and everyone’s jumping in your ears, jumping around. It’s crazy. I remember sitting there with my laptop, I put my laptop under my chair and I’m like, “I’m so embarrassed, I’m the only one with a laptop here.” This is different. There’s energy, there’s momentum, you see a vision and you try to like anchor to your body with the energy and excitement.

And I remember seeing Tony’s stuff, and then seeing the marketing and I was like, “I feel like my job is to blend in the middle. I need to make marketing fun and exciting and real for people.” Because if I can make this fun, this is most exciting game in the world. And I go to these other events, where everyone is bored and half asleep, I go to Tony’s event where they’re jumping around and it was awesome but it wasn’t, you know, it was personal development.

And I was like, “How do we take this personal development energy and plug it into the market, which I feel like is the most exciting, amazing thing on planet earth?” How do we plug these things together? And I feel like that’s what Funnel Hacking Live has become. I’ve tried to create this thing where it’s half Tony Robbins, it’s half Dan Kennedy, but it’s this blend in the middle where it’s Russell Brunson. And like, excitement and passion and energy that you feel at a personal development conference, with direct response marketing we learn from Kennedy, wrapped into this experience where it’s like both of those.

So those who came to Funnel Hacking Live, you felt both of those things. But man, I feel like my role is really to make this exciting for you. Because if you love this game, you will be successful and change people’s lives. If you’re like indifferent about the deal, like “I just want to help….I just want to make money.” You’re going to struggle.

If you just want to make money, you’re going to struggle. If you just want to get your, “I just want to sell my product because I like my product.” You’re going to struggle. When you become obsessed with the game, the game of marketing, this whole thing, and creating hooks, and stories, and offers, and plugging them out there, and putting them out there and having fun with it, when you become obsessed with that piece of this, that’s when you’re gonna thrive.

It’s been amazing because of these networks like Facebook and Instagram and Google and YouTube and the other ones out there. It’s taken away the good old boys club. It’s taken away all these other things and it’s made it where it’s like, those who love this game, those who are obsessed with this game, they win.

And your product and your service will add to the obsession. I was talking to Stacy Martino this morning, who they run and she spoke at Funnel Hacking Live twice. They help people with their marriages, that’s their product and they’re obsessed with their product. But they’ve also become obsessed with the marketing of their product. And that’s why they’ve grown so much and that’s why they’re having so much success.

When you become obsessed with the marketing of your thing, then your thing will have life. It will give it breath. It will give it the ability to change and serve and change people’s lives. But if you are just obsessed with your product, it’s never going to get out there. You have to be obsessed with this game.

So my goal, my role is to get you obsessed with this game, make it so much fun where you wake up every morning and you’re like, “Alright, let’s make new landing pages. Make new offers, put in new Facebook live, let’s try videos, let’s try a hook, let’s try a story, let’s try a thing.” And when you become, when that becomes your art, that’s how you become amazing at this game.

So anyway, I’m going to keep doing this. I’m going to keep getting you guys pumped and inspired and excited about marketing, about direct response marketing. This thing that has been boring for the last century, I’m trying to make it sexy. I’m trying to bring in personal development and Tony Robbins and energy and excitement to it. Because if I can make you excited by it, then you’ll be able to get your mission, your message, your thing out there.

And now is the best time to do it because all of the popularity contests are done. Zuckerberg doesn’t care about anything other than if people are clicking on your ads, and if they’re enjoying the experience. And if they are, you win. And if not, you lose. So you’ve gotta be good. You’ve gotta become obsessed with it. You’ve got to become a student of this game, and the more you do that, the more fun you’re going to have and the more money you’re going to make. And the more people’s lives you’re going to change, which is why we really do this, when it all gets boiled down.

Anyway, I hope that helps somebody today. I’m gonna keep doing my thing, keep making this game exciting and I hope that you catch the fire. If you can catch the fire of this game, it’ll be a fun thing for you. So please, catch the fire. I’ll keep preaching, I’ll keep getting you excited, just keep plugging and keep listening, and the more you get excited by the game, all the other things will come. The impact, the influence, the money will come, as you get obsessed with this game of marketing.

That’s all I got you guys, appreciate you all. Thanks for hanging out today. If you enjoyed this episode, please take a screen shot of it, post it on Facebook, Instagram, tag me on it, and do hashtag Marketing Secrets, that way I can see it. With that said, I will talk to you guys all again soon. Bye everybody.


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