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40 - The Zombie Entrepreneur Apocalypse

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The Zombie Entrepreneur Apocalypse

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Episode Recap:

Lessons in entrepreneurship Russell learned last night while shooting zombies in the head.

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You know, you may not be kicked out of your city because of your business, but you’re probably going to lose your Internet or you’re going to get your autoresponder shut down. I can't tell you how many issues I’ve run into in my business every single day, and the entrepreneurs are the ones who figure out ways around it and figure out how to succeed.

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Transcripts:

Hey guys and gals! This is Russell Brunson, and welcome to the Marketing In Your Car podcast. Hey guys, so last night I had a chance to do something really fun. My wife and I went to this thing called the “zombie apocalypse.”

Actually, it’s called Zombie Acres, where basically [laughter] I’m sure some of you guys, hopefully, have had a chance to do paintballing, which is very fun. Where you go out in a field, and you have teams, and you shoot each other and try to kill each other, right? So what Zombie Acres was, was kind of like that except for backwards. Instead of us going and shooting our friends, there’s a whole bunch of zombies attacking us, and we get to shoot them with paintballs, and it was a really fun thing, so we showed up there.

They had this huge bus, the Zombie Acres bus. And we get inside, and the windows are all busted out of the bus, and there’s a paintball gun out of every single window. And so you go and you sit in the bus, and they drive around this haunted cornfield, and you get to shoot zombies. The zombies are attacking you and jumping on the bus and coming in the doors and the windows, and you’re just pounding them in the face with paintballs, as fast as you can go.

And anyway, it was like, seriously, one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life. You know, I’ve been to a lot of haunted houses and stuff, and this trumped that by ten times. So that was kind of what we did last night, it was super fun, and the reason why we did it, one of the guys who lives by me, he actually just started that as a company this year. And I’m not sure how he got the whole idea behind it or anything, but they put the concept together and they found -- first, they were trying to buy a lot, but it was too expensive to buy someplace to do it.

So they partnered with some people, and they found some land to do it at, and they started doing it, and they promoted on Facebook and did a bunch of cool things. And it was just fun watching this little startup growing, and them using Internet marketing and all these things to kind of grow their business. What was interesting is, I’ve been watching these guys. This was their first season doing it, and last night was actually the last night.

So I’m watching them, externally, kind of seeing what they’re doing from the marketing. And before it launched, they did a big pre-launch through Facebook, just locally here, and they were getting people to guess where it was going to be at, and it’s caused all this hype in pre-launch, which was awesome, and then boom! They announced where it was going to be at, and then they did their first day, and then from there they posted pictures and videos and got people excited and more people started coming.

And then about half way through the season, they hit an obstacle -- and as most entrepreneurs, we know we hit obstacles a lot, right? Yesterday, I hit like four new obstacles in my business that all are seemingly insurmountable. But we’ll figure out a way to break through them, right?

That’s kind of what happened to them. The city they were doing it is called Meridian, which is right next to Boise, and the Meridian City Council or whatever it was, came down and basically said, hey, you can't shoot paintballs outdoors in Meridian or whatever. So they had to basically shut down, and they were shut down for about a week or so, and I felt really bad for them.

But I just kind of watched it just to see how… I don’t know. I like seeing how entrepreneurs react. You know, it’s interesting. You go to a store, if the employee behind the counter has a little issue, they just give up, right? But the entrepreneur in a business is always a lot more stubborn and pigheaded, and they figure out ways to get crap done, right?

So I just kind of watched them, and I just assumed that they were going to be done for the season, and then boom! About a week later, they’re back up and running. And sure enough, he didn’t let that obstacle stop him, and went and they found another place in another city, set up shop over there, partnered with this farm. That’s a farm called Linder Farms, and they already a ton of people coming for their corn maize and things like that -- and they set up shop right out there in the corn maize and kept going and finished through the season.

I just was impressed with their perseverance to kind of break through those sticking points. And then, last night, again the first time that I had a chance to actually go. I had meant to go throughout the whole season, and things came up and then boom! They got shut down, and then it got re-opened, and just things keep happening, and we never got to make it. Finally last night, we had a chance to go on the closing night, and we were on the very last bus.

And it was awesome because when I was going there, I remember sitting there at first, and I showed up and I saw these two huge buses they had, like school bus style buses. They’re all painted. The windows had been busted out. They basically had a paintball in every single window, and I was just looking at it.

And then, I saw like the staff that was, you know, doing tickets, and I saw the staff inside the buses, keeping people’s guns loaded and enough ammo, and I saw like all the zombies, and I was like, “there are a lot of costs involved with this little business that they’ve got.” I was kind of doing the math, and I was, you know, looking at it. It was $30 a seat to be on the bus. Look how many windows there are, you know, and I’m looking.

They were making $600 -- $500 to $600 per busload -- and I was like, you know, that’s not bad money. But they’ve got a lot of costs, and I’m like, “I wonder how this is doing? And I was noticing some things, you know, like when we went there. Like it was cold and I think they could have had some profit opportunities, if they would have sold hot chocolate or hand warmers or a bunch of things like that.

At the end, you know, they could take a picture, a lot of little things like that they could come back and really monetize. But the brilliance came when I got on the thing, so I think it was, like I said, $30 per person to get on the bus, and then they give you 150 paintballs, which I assume 150 paintballs would last a pretty good amount of time. I found out later, 150 paintballs lasts about three seconds, and so I’m at the brrrp boom! Balls gone! And they’re like, “Hey, if you want more paintballs, you know, the next 100 paintballs is five bucks.” I’m like, “Yeah! Give me some more paintballs.”

Pull out five bucks. Boom! Give me more paintballs. And about 10 seconds later, those are gone. So I paid another five bucks, boom! Anyway, we ended up spending every penny that was in my wallet in paintballs, and by the end we were completely like… we were still not finished, and I was completely out of money, and I couldn’t buy any more paintballs.

And next to me there was a kid that was, man, probably 14, 15 years old, and he went and bought four refills of paintballs, so he spent an extra $20 on paintballs. Again, everyone on the bus was doing this, and I started doing the math and that’s when I saw the brilliance of their business model: You’re getting in $30 is basically kind of covering their costs, and then when you’re in the bus, just keep buying more and more paintballs, is where they’re making money.

I mean, off of me they probably made an extra $80. They got us in and made $20, so there’s $100 between two of us, then there are 20 other people on the bus. I was really impressed to see like how they were monetizing internally with the selling of additional paintballs, and I probably would have spent $200 or more if I wouldn’t have of ran out of cash.

They only take cash when your on the bus. I thought, you know, if they would figure out a way to do more, like a bar tab, where I’m like “another one, another one!” At the end bill me, I mean, I probably would have spent and extra… Goll, who knows, hundreds of dollars? I was having so much fun. Anyway, it was really, really cool, and I started looking at that business model, and I started thinking like it’s kind of like the razor blade business.

You know, like if you go to the store, you buy razor blades, like the actual thing, the actual shaver thing isn’t that expensive, right? You can get those for like a dollar or two. A lot of times they just give them away, you know, kind of like the bus ride. Then after you’ve got it, you got to buy razors, and you run a razor for a week or two weeks, and then it starts getting dull, and starts hurting, so boom! You get a new one, a new one, and these keep replacing these razor blades, and that’s how that business makes a ton of money, and razor blades happen to be expensive.

Just like the printer business, right? They give away printers for free, and they sell ink over and over and over again. And that’s kind of the concept, and I thought it was brilliant, and executed perfectly. Like I said, a couple things they could do, I think, to extract more money from me and the other customers. At the end, I wish they’d had a professional photographer for taking pictures of us and the zombies; like that would have been something I would have definitely paid for, and I think most people there would have paid for.

Plus you could have used those pictures on Facebook, to help spread the message even further. But as a whole, it was a fun night. An awesome to see entrepreneurship thriving and just see some people, who, obviously, went through a lot of trails and headaches to accomplish what they did, but to see them succeed last night. And like I said, we were the very last bus, the last thing of the season, and afterwards they were out there taking pictures of all the zombies by the bus, and it was just cool -- and I was proud of them, to see them succeed with their new little business.

So that’s kind of what I wanted to just talk about today. Just to share a really fun experience that we had here, and then to share some of the outward entrepreneur things that they were able to do to succeed. I hope that gives you guys some motivation in whatever business you’re in because you’re going to come into all sorts of troubles and issues. You know, you may not be kicked out of your city because of your business, but you’re probably going to lose your Internet or you’re going to get your autoresponder shut down.

I can't tell you how many issues I’ve run into in my business every single day, and the entrepreneurs are the ones who figure out ways around it and figure out how to succeed. And, man, that was a lot of fun! So if any of you guys are in Boise next October time, let me know and I’ll take you guys to Zombie Acres, and we will shoot some zombies and have some fun. It’s a good time. So with that, I appreciate you guys. I’m at the office now. I’m getting back to work, and I’ll talk to you guys again soon.

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