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340 - Interview With My Original Mentor - Part 4 of 4

Interview With My Original Mentor - Part 4 of 4

Listen To Today's Episode: 

Episode Recap:

How do you handle the haters?

When you’re the face and voice of your company there’s going to come a time when someone’s going to talk trash about you. But when you put yourself out there, whether it’s on video, a podcast, a blog, a webinar, social media, there’s going to come a time when it happens to you.

I came to a place where I started to think differently about the bashing and untruths.

-- Want to know how to deal with the “haters?”
-- Want to know how to turn the dirt into a castle?

Then don’t miss the 4th and FINAL part of my interview with my first mentor Mark Joyner.

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Best Quote:

And we always say good is the enemy to great. Right? We're doing good. Oh yeah. There's perfect example of the graph right there. Yes. Yeah. He uses the big scary chasm, yes. And so for us, that's the next stage. The early majority, if you look at my business, right? The innovators were the people, the internet marketers who understood funnels. They were the first group. Next were the early adopters. These, for me, are the influencers, the creators, the experts. Those are the next phase where they're the people that are already, they're creating stuff and we're saying, "Here's how to get your creative message out." And so they've been really easy to become early adopters.


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What's up, everybody? This is Russell Brunson. And welcome back to the Marketing Secrets Podcast. Today, hear a story. This is part four of four of the interview from the Mark Joyner show. And I hope you've enjoyed the series so far. I had so much fun sharing this interview with Mark, and I hope that you get a ton of value and benefit out of it as well. With that said, I'm going to ... No further ado, we'll cue up the theme song when we come back. You have a chance to listen to the exciting conclusion of my interview on the Mark Joyner show.

And now it's funny for me because then I feel like now are the team has been doing good, now the next phase is this crossing the chasm. So I've been having my core team, I'll read this right now, we're all geeking out on it because it's fascinating as you start learning. And I pulled that. If you just Google crossing the chasm graph, you'll see a graph of the five phase, the innovators, the early adopters, and there's this big chasm. And on the other side is the early majority. And that's the majority of business, that's where you go from 100 millions to billions is getting the early majority. But there's a chasm because you have to shift everything. It's hard for me because it's the art that we use to get the innovators and early adopters repels the people on the other side of the chasm. It's like the funnels don't work over there, the messaging doesn't work over there, how we structure. And it's like, "Oh, do we really want to do that thing?" But it's like, "Yeah, that's the next phase. Otherwise we're just going to hang out where we're at forever. Right?"

And we always say good is the enemy to great. Right? We're doing good. Oh yeah. There's perfect example of the graph right there. Yes. Yeah. He uses the big scary chasm, yes. And so for us, that's the next stage. The early majority, if you look at my business, right? The innovators were the people, the internet marketers who understood funnels. They were the first group. Next were the early adopters. These, for me, are the influencers, the creators, the experts. Those are the next phase where they're the people that are already, they're creating stuff and we're saying, "Here's how to get your creative message out." And so they've been really easy to become early adopters.

But the early majority are the business owners. It's the chiropractors, the dentists, the LASIK surgeon. That's where the majority of existing businesses need funnels. How do we make this mainstream? How do we get to that next tier? And there's some that's bled into that, but for us to make that strategic move, it's hard because the dentist doesn't build their own funnels. Right? The person on the book or does the course, whatever's, typically ... They're the CEO and the marketer. And it's like they're loving this stuff because they'll spend the time to learn the strategy, do the thing.

Over here, their dentist wants more dental clients, right? Or they're the restaurant who want ... They're not marketers, they're not going to learn marketing. They just want the tool. It's like we have to restructure so much of how the software alone needs to be rebuilt differently to be able to handle that next phase. The marketing, it's literally like it's a big rebuild. So there's fear, there's excitement, there's kind of that thing. And we're testing a lot of things on a small scale to kind of figure out pieces of it. But that's the next phase for us.

Mark Joyner: That's beautiful. Dude, that was a fantastic example or a fantastic answer. I don't think you could give a more concise, better answer to that because you don't know. You don't know. It is a big, scary chasm and you guys are about to cross it, but you have some clues though. You know what I mean? Looking at just going back to good old fashioned Eugene Schwartz and looking at the tools that he gave us for changing the messaging. I think that a lot of your answers are going to be found there. Listen, do you have a couple minutes for a few questions? We got tons of them, but I know we've been going a little while.

Russell: Yeah, sure.

Mark: All right. So a lady here named rise of truth, she says, "Dan Gable coached at my alma mater. Have you ever listened to him talk about the letter to his mother wrote to him while he was attending college? Pretty awesome."

Russell: I have not, but now I'm going to look that up. That's fascinating. Yeah. Far as I know, Dan Gable's like the Michael Jordan of wrestling. He is a legend. And I took a snapshot because I'm going to go look up the letter now. That's actually really cool.

Mark: Yeah. I'm kind of curious about that too. What's funny, it reminds me of how when Edison was a very young man, his school wrote his mother a letter saying, "Hey, your son is basically not teachable. He's not smart enough to be in school." But then she said, "Oh, I got a letter from school. And what I read to them was that you're too smart to be in school so you have to be homeschooled." And then later on in life, after he had achieved all of this, he saw that original letter. And it just ripped him to shreds because he realized how much his mom sacrificed and how much of her belief in him changed his own perception of himself. And that's such a profound lesson, man, because if we could all just change our belief in ourselves a little bit, we're all capable of so much more than we're taught to believe.

And while we're opiating ourselves with all this crap on TV and we're all involved in all of our different distractions, these things are also subtly weakening us and programing us with the message that, "Hey, there's this wonderful life that other people are watching or are living on the other side of the screen, but that's not for you. You're meant to be in this little box where you're the observer of everything on the screen while you stuff your face with Haagen Dazs and take more fentanyl. I mean, that's literally what's happening to a lot of society right now. And I think what we've got to do to to kind of turn society around before it destroys itself is to get people to understand that we're all capable of so much more than we've been taught that we're capable of. And the more people we can reach with that message, I think the better hope humanity has.

Kenneth Kern Sanu had a really interesting question. He was talking about basically, I'm not going to phrase it the way he did. He phrased it in kind of a slightly rude way. No offense, Kenneth. But I don't know what you meant by the way you phrased it. But the question you asked at the end was very important. But he's talking about how you're getting out there all the time. You don't see this on the queue here. This was from another thread I started where a couple days ago, I asked people to just say, "Hey, tell me what your questions are for Russell." And basically his question was with you being out there so much and being so visible now, how do you deal with online haters?

Russell: Oh, man. Man, when I first got started, back about the time I met you initially, that's the first time I started getting hate. So it's been, man, whatever, 15, 16 years ago when that first started. And it was really hard back then, man, I would see something and it'd put me out for three or four days while I sat there just depressed or upset or whatever. And it was really, really hard. And I remember a couple things that helped me. One thing I remember Dan Kennedy said, if you haven't offended someone by noon each day, you're not marketing hard enough. And that was a weird release to me. I'm like, "Oh." I don't know if I really believed that, but it gave me a little permission. And the more I've seen the hate, the more I realize it's people that aren't happy with themselves. I try not to look at it because it does, if I read something, it'll mess me up for awhile.

But for the most part, when people, especially on ads, I mean, you get beat up in the ads, the more you're visible, the more that stuff happens. The hard thing for me is when there's people that you've helped or you love or you respect or whatever. And that doesn't happen often, but those are the ones that are more brutal. You know what I mean? You're just like, "Oh." I've had a couple people that I've spent a lot of time developing and helping find success, and then they seem like sometimes they're the ones that come back the hardest. And you're just like, "Seriously?"

Mark: Yeah. Especially when you help them for free. Right? You know?

Russell: Yeah. Those ones hurt the most. For the most part, people that are just posting stuff, I think it's funny at this point. It doesn't bother me at all. But I know my wife just started her first podcast, which is so far out of her comfort zone. She's very keeps to herself. And so she's getting to have people commenting and things are happening and it's the first time. And I'm remembering, I'm like, "I forget how hard that can be." In fact, it's interesting. Oh yeah, we talked earlier. I have a podcast, the Book of Mormon podcast. And it's funny because I tell people all the time, "Go and publish, go and publish." But I started publishing that and I had all sorts of things. I still do. I don't publish that near as much as I want to because I get the fear again because it's like ... I don't know, on the marketing side, I can take it, go for it. Take your best shot. But on other things that you're not as comfortable talking about or things you really hold sacred or dear or whatever, it's a little harder.

But when all is said and done, I think that God's created these platforms for us to share and if we're not willing to share, then he'll give the ability, the gifts, the ideas, whatever, to other people. And so I think it's just we've all been entrusted with a lot so it's just like be willing to share it even if you get beat up a little bit along the way. So anyway.

Mark: That's right. Well, yeah. Oh, dude. Well you know I have many, many stories along those lines I should share. That's something I've had to learn the hard way. But you have to give up and you have to trust a little bit. I mean, having so many things, I took it very personally along the way when a lot of people that I helped even straight ripped stuff off or even turned around and did nasty moves behind my back and stuff like that. And then I was kind of like, "You know what?" Well, here's the thing. I can look at this through another lens. I can say for whatever reason, I've been gifted with the ability to get these ideas and to be a conduit for these ideas. And I'm grateful that that conduit is still open. And I think that if I keep that channel open and keep giving it, it's going to keep coming.

And what I need to focus on is the infinite abundance of that source of that inspiration rather than like, "Oh man, if I had patented the tracking pixel ..." I mean, these people come up to me, they're like, "Mark, how come you didn't patent eBooks or the tracking pixel? Doesn't that make you so mad?" And I'm like, "Not really. Because think about it, right? Let's say I patented the tracking pixel, right? They would have probably came up with some other very similar technology, called it something else, now everybody's still, even though it's a JS file, they still call them tracking pixels. And I get to be known forevermore as the inventor of the tracking pixel. Right?" So, I mean, maybe it wouldn't have worked out the same way had I patented it. Right? Maybe it would have gone a totally different way. Maybe it was actually the best possible way for things to turn out for me. You know?

So I'm learning how to change my orientation about that, but I want to ask you something about this. Do you ever give online haters a little sass? Because I've experimented with this a bit over the last couple years. I got to say, normally, for awhile, I was just like, "All right, just be kind to everybody." But then I was like, "You know what, man? Some of these people need a little bit of a slap back every now and then." And I started getting a little bit more sassy over the last couple years. And how about you? Have you experimented with that?

Russell: It's funny because I would say since ClickFunnels' come out, there's been probably three or four times where I just ... You just snap and your thumbs are flying on your phone. You're like, "Ah," and you post it. And I can honestly say every time I've done that, I've regretted it. And it's now, I look at this, with ClickFunnels as well, it's not just me. Everything I say is an extension of my partner, Todd, and my other partners and my employer. So especially there was this one dude, I'm not going to say his name, but somebody who I had a lot of respect for. We've never had any ... It's just weird. We'd never really communicated and I thought we were ... I mean, we communicated a little bit. I assumed we were friends. We're peers. And he starts going off on his own personal wall about aggressively tearing me down. So confusing. And anyway, so I said some things I probably shouldn't have. So it's tough. Especially the wrestler me. Because man, if you say it to my face, we are going. Please come at me.

Mark: Yeah, right.

Russell: It's not posted publicly for everyone to see the fight, but we can have that fight right here, anytime.

Mark: You’d rip their limbs off their torso.

Russell: I know. Yeah, it's frustrating. But when all said and done, it's just, it's hard.

Mark: I'll tell you the distinction I have on this. Right? So if I reply out of anger, I always regret it. But sometimes, if I come back with just a really like an IDGAF attitude zinger that just puts them in their place, that one, I'm like, "Nah, I don't regret that because you totally had it coming and they shut up." Right? And it teaches them like, "Okay. Man, if-

Russell: You get to punch back.

Mark: Yeah. I mean, whatever people think, I know I'm going to say something very divisive here and I'm not going to get into politics or anything, but whatever people think about Trump, whether they hate him or love him, and it seems to be a completely divisive thing, nobody's in the middle. I think I'm the only guy on the planet who's like, "I don't really have an opinion." I can look at him through a million different lenses. You know what I mean? There's so many ways to look at what he does. Right? But one thing that you have to recognize about the guy is that when somebody punches him, he punches back hard. Right? And fast. Yeah. And it makes people hesitate. They're like, "I don't know if I can tangle with this dude." Right? So it's an interesting thing to observe. I don't know if there's any one right way. All right. We've been going awhile. I'm going to… go ahead.

Russell: I love your Facebook comments because you always post these questions that you can tell you're stirring the pot a little bit like let's just see what both sides are going to say to this question.

Mark: Yeah.

Russell: I always read them, but never comment because I don't know if I have strong enough opinion one way or the other to defend anything, but I love reading.

Mark: Same, same. And by the way, I'll just say, people misunderstand. They think I'm doing this for engagement bait. And it's like, "Dude, if I was trying to gain Facebook for marketing, I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing on Facebook." I mean, I see what I do as more or less of a public service. I feel like what I'm doing out there is kind of like trying to teach people like, "Man, stop being so rigid about your view of reality because you don't know, man. You don't know."

And I'm trying to get people to be okay with disagreeing with other people. And I mean, that's been sort of like my whole mission on social media is to create an environment where people can be like, "Hey, let's see if we can actually look at things dispassionately and look at them through somebody else's eyes and maybe say to ourselves, 'You know what? I see this completely differently from that other guy, but I don't have to hate this dude. He sees it differently from me. We can still get along.'" This has been a quixotic battle for me. I don't think I've succeeded in this mission. I don't know how much longer it's going to last. I think I'm probably going to change up my approach on it.

Hey listen, let me end on one last question. I don't know if this is one you're going to want to ask, but it's from a mutual friend of ours. You remember Brad Callen? Yeah?

Russell: I love Brad. Yeah.

Mark: I love Brad too, man. He is a great dude. And he asks a question that I don't know if you're going to want to answer because it's a very personal questions about numbers.

Russell: Okay.

Mark: Okay? All right. So he says, "Posted this earlier and also mentioned directly to him, but having him give you some tangible numbers on ClickFunnels. Things like total number of free trial users. And by the way, I don't think I would answer this question if I were Russell." Okay. If somebody were to ask me this about Simpleology, I don't think I would answer. I don't think I would answer. And guys, if Russell refuses to answer, do not fault him because he is under no obligation to answer this question to anybody. And I'm kind of-

Russell: Especially Brad. Just kidding.

Mark: Yeah, especially Brad. No, we love Brad. Brad is an awesome dude. All right. "So things like total number of trial users they get per day. What percentage of those stick and are billed at least once? What the average member link there is, what the churn rate is, what the refund rate is. That would really help those of us building software businesses to know what numbers we need to hit monthly to reach Clickfunnels' level revenues and valuation. Assuming Russell wouldn't know exact numbers off the top of his head, but maybe some broad guesses. The more actual data of any sort of numbers metrics he can give would be great for those that have been at this for awhile and also help broaden the mindset and goal setting on what's possible." And then he said, "PS, anything not covered in his books would also be ideal." I'll answer the PS. Wait for the two sequels coming out here pretty soon.

Russell: I mean, I don't know the numbers off the top of my head. I'm not a big data guy. I'm more the creative side. So some of my partners can answer a lot of it better than me. But I'll share some stuff I think will be helpful and motivating for people. Because I remember when we launched ClickFunnels, the event I told you at the very beginning where I did the first presentation, I was like, "Oh my gosh, we got the message right." It was kind of a funny event because you could buy a booth. And it was a hallway half the size of the room I'm in right now. And there were only four people that bought booths. ClickFunnels had our very first booth ever. And then Leadpages had a booth, and two other people. And this side of the hall was Leadpages, and this side was ClickFunnels. We were almost touching. And that was our big competitor when we first got started.

And I remember I was just like ... It was really funny because our banner ad said, "Can your landing page software do this?" And it had a picture of a funnel. And then right there, it was like, "Landing page software." Anyway, it was really funny. But at that event, I remember Clay Collins, who I don't know if he still owns Leadpages or not, but at the time, he owned it. I think he still ... Anyway, but he told Mike Filsaime, I think, I don't remember the exact numbers, but I think he said something like there's 200 or maybe 300 signups a day that were happening. And I remember he told me that and I was like, "There's no way that's possible." And I sat home thinking forever, I'm like, "How do you get 200 to 300 signups a day consistently every single day?" And I just, that number drove me crazy.

But then it became my KPI. Like, "Okay, how many do we get a day? I need to know." And it was three and then it was five. But because anything you track, it starts to grow. And so we kept looking at it, looking at it. And so for me, that became the number to look at because I couldn't figure out how he was doing it. And so I can give you some, again, basically right now we get about 1500 people a day that go to and start the trial, which is step one, which basically pick a name and a username. And then from that, step two is where they put in a credit card. And about half of those will put in a credit card. So we're getting, I don't know, 700, 800 paid, or not paid, but credit card trials a day that are coming into the platform. Some days are higher. Some days we get 1000. Some days it's 500 or 600. But pretty consistently, it's around 1500 free leads a day and then you get a little more than half actually finish credit card.

And that's about all the numbers I really know off the top of my head. I know that it's interesting. At this point in the game, those people come whether we're buying a lot of ads or not. The game now on our side is the churn stuff. Because every percentage of churn, we drop churn right now by 1%, that’s an extra $20 million a year revenue to the bottom line by 1%. And so that's the game right now. It's like, how do we simplify the software? How we change the lead flow? How do we pre-frame it better? There's so many things that it's a fun game. And that number is always fluctuating. And we're always chopping it down by a fourth of a point, half a ... And so I don't know what it is right now off the top of my head. But I do know that's the number. That matters more right now than new leads because, like I said, a half percent, 1%, it changes, it's a big deal.

Mark: And by the way, so to wrap this up, I just want to tell Brad, the answer Russell just gave you is actually better than specific numbers that he could have given you. Why? Because he's teaching you the secret formula for what to look at, right? It doesn't matter how your numbers stack up to some other company. What matters is the improvements that you make to your numbers right now. That's the only thing that really, really matters. And sometimes competition is a good way to motivate yourself, but it's not the best way to improve yourself. Because if you're looking at the other guy, you're not watching your own lane, right? You need to be watching your own lane. You need to be improving your game. Yeah, check out the other guy's numbers from time to time to kind of see how you're doing, but really 99% of your focus needs to be on how do I improve me? How do I improve what's going on inside my company? And usually, by the way, how to improve what's going on inside in your company comes down to improving what's going on inside you.

All right. Listen, Russell, I know I've been keeping you up late and I know you got kids to take care of and you got a company to go back to tomorrow and it's getting late and we are way past your bedtime here. I want to encourage everyone, go to At the very least, check out the free trial Funnel that they have there because Russell has honed that through thousands upon thousands of split tests now. And you guys will see their marketing structure, how they're doing that, how they're retargeting it, how they get you guys back on email, all of that. And also, the software itself is absolutely amazing.

And I want to encourage everybody as well, if you enjoyed this tonight, if you appreciate the fact that Russell here spent almost two hours now giving us some pretty amazing inside information on a business that is actually right about to cross that chasm and start to reach that billion dollar mark, and I can almost guarantee you guys they're going to make it, knowing Russell and knowing how they're doing, if you appreciate what he has delivered tonight, I want you guys to share this far and wide with as many people as possible. If you think this has helped you, let's get this message out to more people. And any comments you guys can put underneath all of this to say thank you to Russell as well, I'm sure he would be very, very appreciative to get that. No matter how well we do, we always want to be appreciated for our contributions.

And Russell, I appreciate you very, very much, man. Man, I'm so proud of what you've done. And you have become an inspiration for me. You make me want to be a better person and you have set a higher bar. And at 51 years of age now, I feel invigorated watching you being so successful. And I'm now inspired to take my company to a higher level as well because of what I see you doing. So thank you for that, man.

Russell: Thank you. And thanks for having me on. I had a really good time. I haven't had a chance to do something like this for a long time. I mean, we're always in the thick of it. And with this late night, it would work for me. And I appreciate you letting me do that. But I was going to kind of wrap with just saying it's interesting, in your life, your life's a timeline from you're born and then over here, you die. And there's different people that, as you're on this journey, that shift your direction a little bit. And a little shift in direction can be a huge different outcome in different spots. And I'm just honestly so grateful for you, man. I started this journey 17, 18 years ago and I was floundering, trying to figure things out. You were the guy who literally grabbed me and shifted my direction and completely transformed the projectory and the future of my life. And anyway, I'll always be grateful for you for that. And anyway, so just wanted to let you know that.

And just grateful that you put in as much time as you have. I think, again, I always talk about it with my own tribe, but I feel like business is a calling from God and that we're being called to serve a group of customers. And if we do it right, we change their lives. And you definitely changed my life. And so thank you for hearing the call and putting forth the effort and the time. And I know from experience it's not easy, it's not painful. It's way easier to go sedate and go watch TV and do whatever. And through those times I'm sure were hard for you at the beginning of the internet, before Facebook, you were out there killing yourself and learning this stuff and trailblazing for people like me so that we could get on your shoulders and learn from you and set our own path. So always be super grateful eternally for you. So thanks for all you've done for my life.

Mark: Thank you, man. I'm humbled. All right. Everybody, you guys have a beautiful night. I enjoyed this immensely. And Russell, I will see you actually very soon.

Russell: You’re coming to Boise!

Mark: That's going to be awesome. That's going to be awesome.

Russell: I'm so excited. I appreciate you coming.

Mark: See you in Boise, brother.

Russell: See you, everybody.


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