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279 - The Five Turning Points Of Conflict

279 - The Five Turning Points Of Conflict

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Part two of the podcast I started earlier today.

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So the conflict is what creates the emotion for the story and its key. I’ve been working off of this epiphany bridge script, which has been good. It’s working awesome. But I think tonight I’m going to rebuild that and tie it more into this because when I saw this piece of it we started looking at it like it’s insane, so cool.


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What’s up everybody? My second podcast in one night because I love you guys so much. I got to the office, had an incredible time going through all the cool stuff I was sharing with you guys, with the team and getting it built into the book and then working on Funnel Hacker TV. It’s so exciting, so many fun things happening.

I wanted to come back and check in with you. I’m driving home right now. It is snowing, it’s incredibly cold, I forgot to wear a coat because I’m a genius and I’m driving about 1 mile an hour because my car does not do well in the snow. This way, we’re all hanging out so if I die or something I can let you know to let my family know how much I love them. So that’s the game plan, no, just kidding. The nice thing is that the drive to my house from the office is all back roads. That’s why I do Marketing In Your Car is because there’s no fear of scariness.

For all of you guys that yell at me every once in a while, “Russell, don’t do the podcast while you’re driving, you’re going to kill the baby animals.” Or whatever. So do not worry, it’s all good.

So with that said, I just offended half of my audience. I will repent by sharing some magic, cool stuff for your guys if that’s okay. So earlier I talked about the Hero’s two journeys and hopefully got you guys some cool ideas and thoughts on that. Now I want to talk about the conflict, the piece in the middle.

So the conflict is what creates the emotion for the story and its key. I’ve been working off of this epiphany bridge script, which has been good. It’s working awesome. But I think tonight I’m going to rebuild that and tie it more into this because when I saw this piece of it we started looking at it like it’s insane, so cool.

In your vision, you should all do this along with me, picture you’re one of my sketches from my book. The top of your sketch write out the 5 turning points of conflict. Underneath it we’re going to have 1,2,3 and then underneath that 4 and 5. There’s kind of….didn’t fit 5 across in a big line, at least with all the text I have.

If you look at any story, the back story happens. We get to know the character, we fall in love with them and we’ve got this relationship. Then they physically leave their location, they’re about the leave something and the first thing they do when they leave, the reason why they leave, they’re introduced or given a new opportunity, which is actually really symbolic. If you start listening to my old podcasts and talked about this whole new opportunity thing and building your culture and building a following. So the character gets a new opportunity, that’s turning point number one. It’s like Lightning McQueen gets this shot to go race again for first place.

What are other movies. Rocky gets this opportunity to fight Apollo Creed, in every one there’s this opportunity that happens. So they physically leave wherever they’re at and they’re going to this new place for this new opportunity. It’s hard to read my handwriting here while I’m driving. But they’re moving to a new situation. So that’s the first turning point of conflict. This new opportunity that’s presented to them and then they move to a new situation.

The first situation is all about getting climatized, figure this thing out, it’s kind of cool. And then all the sudden in the second turning point of conflict happens. This is called the change of plan. Number two is the change of plan where it’s like, I thought I was going here for this thing, but then there was this change of plan, so something changed.

So Lightning McQueen was leaving to go, hopefully I can pull out all the stories while I’m doing this all at the same time… Lightning McQueen is going on this journey to California to race but then there’s this change of plans and he’s stuck in Radiator Springs and now he’s gotta figure out how to get out of this situation. There’s always a change of plans.

My potato gun story. My first opportunity was I can sell things on the internet and started doing that and it’s awesome making money. Then all the sudden Google slaps me and there’s a change of plans. So I had to change my plans and move things around and then we start making progress within this new realm that was different than we thought it was going to be. So the progress happens, which then brings us to turning point of conflict number 3, which is called the point of no return.

Now, every story, the hero comes to a spot, a point of no return. They’re sitting there and they can either go forward or they go back to their old life. And it happens in all of the movies. Where Nemo’s got to decide…not Nemo but the dad is going to decide, am I really going to go after Nemo or am I going to go back? This is a scary journey, am I really going to do this or not?

Michael Hauge talked about the movie The Firm, I’ve never seen the movie but I read the book in high school. And in that scene that the guy, the lawyer, he has an opportunity to work in the best law practice in the world and he gets in there and figures out, this might not be what I think it is. These guys are actually bad guys. And all the sudden it comes to this point of no return, he’s got two options. The FBI’s contacting him saying look, you’re working for the mafia and you can help us take them down, and he’s got to decide. Do I go with the FBI? Do I take down this law firm that I thought was my future, or do I go back to the law firm and make money off the mob and know that things are wrong and that his point of no return he has to decide one way or the other. That’s he’s with the good guys or the bad guys.

Every story’s got that, the point of no return. They’ve got to make the choice and finally they make the choice and as they do that, then it adds this whole new level and layer of complexity and complication and increases the stakes. Now it’s like, alright you picked the FBI, now you’ve got to take down the firm. Whatever the story, it’s the point of no return. That’s where they’ve got to go to the next part of the story. Going through this thing, new higher stakes, and then what happens, typically, is that you hit turning point number 4, which is the major setback.

This is where you hit something that’s like, you’ve got this plan, everything you are focusing on and all the sudden all is lost. You get this setback and the thing you’ve been trying to do is no longer possible, it’s gone. All hope is lost, it’s gone. You have no more opportunity for that thing. All of the sudden there’s this one little glimmer of light that’s like, the only way this can actually work is if this thing happens.

It’s interesting, Michael Hauge when he was talking about conflict, the conflict has to be so insurmountable that it’s almost impossible, otherwise people won’t care. The thing has to be so huge that it’s impossible because that’s what creates the emotion. That’s what makes the desire, that’s what gets us excited and buying into the character. So right here is kind of the last thing. Everything is going along and it’s been harder and harder and all the sudden it’s like boom, this new setback and it’s like, I can’t win. There’s no way I can win, it’s physically impossible. Unless….then there’s this little glimmer of hope, unless somehow I can get to that. But that’s not possible. The odds of that are almost zero, but you have to look at that and say, well we have to do one last shot. This is our final stand.

So that transitions you to the final push, which pushes you to turning point number 5 which is the climax of the event, which is boom. Here’s this huge thing that’s about to happen, the climax. And that is usually the end of the story. The big thing happens, Lightning McQueen does the race. The climax you can win, you can lose, it depends. But the climax is usually where, again it’s the death and the rebirth of what we talked about last episode, which is the death of their faults and beliefs and the rebirth of the new person. And it’s at the climax. They become who they’re supposed to become.

And that’s the last big turning point, the climax. Then after that, the movie has to show the aftermath. Because the aftermath does a couple of things. First off, it shows us that the hero completed their journey. They got what they were actually looking for. They may not have won what they wanted. Rocky didn’t beat Apollo Creed in the first one, but he accomplished it, that’s when Adrien runs out. Adrien, Rocky I love you. That’s the aftermath, we saw that he hit his goal, so we feel complete as the viewers of it. You see who they’ve become, you see that they were able to cast off this identity they had and become something different. And they have new beliefs and new faith in themselves. And that’s what the aftermath’s all about and to kind of wrap up the story.

So isn’t that cool? I know it’s kind of hard to hear through a podcast and it’s easier when you read it, so that’s why you gotta get the book when it comes out, because it’ll make more sense. You can see the diagrams and the graphs. But it’s cool, the five turning points of conflict.

Turning point number one is the opportunity that they take. Turning point number two is the change in plan. Turning point number three is the point of no return. Number four is the major setback, and number 5 is the climax. Then there’s a little arrow going between each of those ones. So the arrow from opportunity to the change of plans is called the new situation. Then we’re going from the change of plans to the point of no return. The arrow’s progress pushing to the point of no return. After they’ve gone through that there’s an arrow that says complication and higher stakes, that arrow pushes you to the major setback. Then there’s an arrow that says final push that pushes you to the climax. And from there we have the aftermath.

Oh crap. Sorry I’m slipping a little bit. Someone slammed on their brakes in front of me. There you go the five turning points of conflict. So based on that, that’s the overarching theme of all movies and most stories and novels and things like that. I’m going to take the old epiphany bridge script that we’ve been using up to this point and try to see how I could, if I could weave it into that. I was playing today with that. I was telling a bunch of my stories with this overlaying on it, and it was interesting with how much more full it made the stories, which is cool because I was thinking my potato gun story, which hopefully you’ve heard a billion times by now, it’s so annoying.

But I told with the old epiphany bridge story, it worked but it wasn’t quite emotionally impactful. So I laid this on top of it, I was like, “Okay, what is the new opportunity for me?” The new opportunity for me was, I wanted to make money and learn about internet marketing and selling information products, which lead me to this new situation where I created a potato gun product. Boom, boom, boom. Started making money selling it and life was good. All the sudden boom, I had this change of plans where Google slapped me and I wasn’t profitable and I was like, crap.

So I tried to figure out this new world. What do I do? I’m making progress and trying different things and moving along and having a little bit of success here and there but a lot of things aren’t working. All the sudden I come to number three, this point of no return, which is basically my wife who is supporting me is like, “hey, are you going to help support us or are you just going to be broke our whole lives?” I’m like, “No.” and she’s like, “you either got to make this internet thing work or you gotta focus in school so you can get a job someday.” I was like, oh there’s my point of no return.

So I was thinking, what do I do? I hate school, I’m barely graduating. I’m not going to get a good job. Or over here I can try this thing that’s not work, but I love it and believe in it. I’m at this point of no return and I say, screw it. I’m not going to focus on school. I’ll do enough so I can get my degree and I can wrestle but I’m an internet marketer, this is who I am, who I want to become. So I transition and start trying to figure things out and so that’s my point of no return. I start on this journey and then we’re going through and let’s see…..

So then we had a major setback, so then I’m trying everything and nothing seems to work, I’m about to give up and then all the sudden I get a call from my friend and he says, “Russell, all my sites are failing. I just want to figure out this thing it’s called an OTO, it’s called Upsell.” I’m like, “What?” there’s a ray of hope, what if that worked. If that worked, holy cow that would change everything.

So I’m like, okay I gotta try it out. So I take this one last hail -mary pass and throw an OTO in there, turn my ads campaign back on and boom, it worked. We started selling products again profitably and things were good. And that was the climax, number 5. We start selling, profits coming in. Potato gun market’s not huge but we learned the model and we start doing other businesses and now look at the aftermath and it’s like holy cow.

Because I did this thing called funnels, everything’s amazing. And I’m not sure on there, the internal and external. The journey of achievement is to be successful online, which I hit. And the second one is the journey of transformation. And I learned that it’s not just trying to sell products and being transactional but creating experiences for people and its serving them at a higher level. That’s the power of an upsell, the power of funnels. You’re looking at your clients like, how do we actually change their lives? We do that through the process we take them through. When I discovered that it became everything.

Now I focus on transformation and blah, blah, who knows…. Anyway, there’s me telling the story while I’m holding my paper trying to go through the process. But do you see how more full that is. It’s showing all this stuff.

Anyway, I hope that helps. I’m almost home. If this didn’t help and you’re completely confused, I totally understand. Do not worry, the book will be out soon and you can read it in there and it’ll make way more sense. The book eventually will be at, I think the page is blank right now, but someday it’ll be there, if I finish it. So cross your fingers. That’s what I got. Thanks everybody, we’ll talk to you guys all again soon.


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