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418 - The Roundtable of World Changers (Part 1 of 4)

The Roundtable of World Changers (Part 1 of 4)

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Episode Recap:

The roundtable interview with Matt and Caleb Maddix and a small group of people who are trying to change the world. Enjoy part one of this special 4 part episode series.

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I've got my team, I've got the people who are in this with me 100% through thick and thin. I can send a message to them and collectively. Together we take that and it makes it so much easier, not have to fight alone. So I think that's a big part of just getting to a spot where you're not just fighting yourself, you're fighting together with people because yeah... There's been issues. Just the last few months I couldn't have handled by myself no matter how tough I think I am.


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Hey, what's up, everybody? This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Boy, oh boy. Do I have a treat for you? So if you've been listening recently, you know that a couple episodes ago, I talked about a really amazing experience I had where I was able to take my kids down to Arizona with Matt and Caleb Maddox.

We went and fed the homeless, and we did a bunch of amazing things. Anyway, it was literally a life-changing experience, not just for me, but for my kids, as well. And it was amazing. And the last day, after we got done with all the fun things we had planned, we actually sent my kids to go stay with one of their friends who lived down there, and then we went out. Me and Matt and Caleb and some friends went out to sushi. We got done eating, I don't know, 10:00, 11:00 at night.

And then we decided to do a podcast interview. And instead of just going and just us doing a two person podcast interview, Matt Maddix had a great idea. He's like, "We should do more like a roundtable, invite a bunch of people." And so we tried three or four different office places to go and to record this podcast interview. And finally someone allowed us to use their penthouse. So we ended up getting there, I think like 11:00 or 12:00 at night or something.

And it was cool because it was for Matt's podcast. So he was doing the interviewing, and then he had Caleb there. He had a bunch of Caleb's buddies there. And then there was a room full of young entrepreneurs, people who some of them were in 20s and late 30s, or early 30s, just younger entrepreneurs who were all world changers who were trying to figure out ways they can change the world.

And it was inspiring to be in that room, just seeing the energy and excitement. Sometimes I feel like I've been playing this game so long that sometimes I get tired, right? Like it's midnight, and I'm ready to go to bed and be the old man of the group, and these kids are just like on fire. And so it was, it was an amazing experience. We had a chance to do this podcast interview. It was like a roundtable of world changers.

And it started with Matt asking me questions, and then he would open up and ask Caleb like, "Caleb, what do you want to ask Russell?" And then, "What else?" And it was crazy, because this roundtable went from everything from how to make money to marriage advice to parenting the kids. It was literally amazing. And a lot of things I've never talked about outside of there. So it was awesome. And asked Matt, after we got the recordings back, I was like, "This is awesome. Can I share it on my podcast, as well?" And luckily he said, "Yes." So I'm excited to share this with you guys.

This was a literal roundtable of world changers, all talking about how to change the world. And I'm further on the journey than most of the people who were in that room and 10, 15 years down the road from. And so not that I know more than any of them, but I've been doing this a bit longer. And I was like, "Okay, ask me the questions and I'll give you some advice, what I've found along the way. And I haven't done this game perfectly, but I've done my best, and I've had some success, and hopefully something I share will help you guys on your journey." And so that's what it was.

And it was really fun. Now this interview went from planning an hour, to end up being almost three, three and a half hours long or something crazy like that. So instead of just having one super-long podcast episode, we're going to chop this into four sessions. Each one's about 40 or so minutes long. And that way you can kind of listen to it over the next couple of weeks, which should be a lot of fun. And so this first episode is going to be 42 minutes long.

And we talked about so many cool things. I'll kind of give you just a glimpse, and then you'll have a chance to dig deep. But one of the questions they asked initially was how did I get so excited about marketing and business? And I talk about the little things I learned that had success, right? Like changing a headline and how much increase my conversions, how much more money I made. And that got me obsessed with reading and learning and studying, right?

We talked about the early days back when I was doing teleseminars, live events. We talked about my wife and I getting pregnant and what we had to go through to do that. Talked about being transparent and vulnerable. We talked about how so many people try to posture, thinking that's going to attract people to them, where it actually repels people away.

We've talked about the struggles I have as an introvert in this extroverts's calling. We talked about the sacrifices that we've had to make on this journey. We talked about legal woes, the ups and the downs, the hard parts that we don't talk about typically. There are a lot of things that aren't all sunshine and roses. We talked about those. We also talked about the book, Atlas Shrugged, and why that book meant so much to me, and why there's times where I want to shrug. I want to walk away sometimes.

But then what I'm trying to do so that me and other producers won't want to do that. We talked about how to build up tolerance when you're starting new challenges and a whole bunch more. That was just the first 42 minutes, which is crazy. So hopefully you guys are going to love this. One thing that's super impressive, Matt Maddix is one of the best question askers I've ever met.

And it was fun seeing him like, as we went out, everyone we saw... We'd go to the grocery store and he's asking the clerk checking out our groceries, "Hey, this is my son, Caleb. What's the number one piece of advice you have for him?" He asked everybody. He asked the people on the streets, the homeless people, he ask them, same question. He asked the people who are our servers eating sushi. Everywhere we went, he's asking question after question after question. In fact, our sushi dinner before the podcast was like... We should have recorded that, too.

It was like 200 questions, as well. And so it was cool because Matt's so good asking questions, but so is Caleb. And this entire group of world changers that they spend time with are all amazing question askers. And so because of that, this podcast went in a lot different directions, and we touched upon a lot of things that normally don't ever get to get talked about.

So I want to thank Matt for doing this podcast, for having me down there, and having my kids down there. And hopefully you guys enjoy being on the wall during this roundtable of world changers.

Matt Maddix: Dude, thank you so much for taking the time to be on. This is something I've looked forward to for a long time. I wrote a book for Caleb Maddix when he turned 16 called Wisdom from Dad. In it I said, "If anything ever happens to me..." And we know a lot of powerful people, I said, because it's very important that he has a master, a mentor, in his life. One person that he listens to. And I said, "If anything happens to me," because he's always trusted my intuition. I was like, "Make Russell Brunson your number one voice that you listen to."

So that's how much I think of you. That as a dad, of all the people out there, all the icons, all the influencers, and he's met them all. And they've all loved Caleb Maddix and all that. So I just want to personally thank you for being on and taking the time. You've impacted our life and millions and billions of people. I have so many questions I want to ask you. Thank you for being on today. I've asked Caleb to be here and all these amazing entrepreneurs. These are world-changers and I know that's what you're all about. So tell me this, changing the world, what does that look like to you?

Russell: Well first off, before we jump into that one, I want to thank you on the other side because I am here this weekend with my twins. You guys know this, because I'm navigating now the waters that you went through with Caleb and trying to like... How to be a good dad. It's way harder than I ever dreamt of. I'm grateful for both you guys spending the last two days helping mold my kids and inspire them and light them on fire in all the...

Not literally lit them on fire but giving them a spark in growing. But anyway, super grateful for you guys because I'm learning that step of the journey which is always learning from each other, which is cool.

Matt: So I'm assuming we're definitely going to be talking more about our kids because that's definitely our favorite subject. We could talk about marketing change in the world.

Russell: Marketing is so much easier than kids. So yeah.

Caleb Maddix: Yeah, exactly. That's it. Russell: We were joking. We're like it's so much easier to walk in and make an extra couple million bucks than just convince your kids that you're cool and they should listen to you. It's like, please go to bed. I'm going to die. Yeah way harder. So anyway, what was the question again?

Matt: Changing the world. We talk a lot about it. I want to just start right out for Russell Brunson, what does changing the world look like to you?

Russell: Yeah. It's interesting because I think there's a time in my life where I thought my job was to change the world. Which is like we're out there trying all sorts of stuff and those who've been following my journey for more than 18 years, we were launching new offers, new things almost... I mean those pre ClickFunnels took a little while but like at least once a quarter it was a new offer, new offer, which was way harder than nowadays, right? We did it before the last Funnel Hacking Live, I went back to my old front page which was pre dream weaver, pre war press, everything. Like front page where I built all my websites back in the day. There's like 150 funnels that actually have been launched.

Not that we started on it, actually got to the point of it's live in the world, people are trying to buy it, 150 before we started ClickFunnels. So not counting that there's probably another 300-400 that were somewhere in process that never got live, right? So, it was me trying to figure out how do we solve everything? And I was trying to start businesses in everything you could dream of, like every single market. So initially, I thought I was supposed to be doing and I'm learning new skill sets. They're this gift from God.

There's no way that me as a kid, who struggled in school and couldn't figure these things out... Why was the switch in my head flipped on where I learned about marketing and I was just like, "Why did that excite me?" It's such a dumb, boring thing. I remember sitting at Dan Kennedy events. Everyone is sound asleep except for me. I'm the kid in the back like, "Why is nobody freaking out? This is the most exciting thing in the world."

And everyone else is in there, sitting there, these real business people bored out of their minds, and I was just so excited. I felt like I was given this gift and I wanted to-

Matt: What part of it was exciting though? When did it like...

Russell: I think the reality is, I think most of us just start because we want to make money out of it. So I was learning how to make money, I remember sitting at some of these events and I remember people sharing things, right? I remember one guy at an event talking about he was split testing backgrounds. He's like, "Oh we split tested a whatever. A blue background versus a brown background and this is the tweak." And I was like, "Huh." So I remember taking a note like, "I should try that."

And then a red headline versus a blue, and there's three or four little things I remember. So I was like, "That's interesting." So I took that, went back home, went to my front page and I changed my headline from red to blue because this guy said blue increased conversions. I changed a little thing and literally my sales... I wasn't getting a ton of traffic back in the day but you know, making a couple hundred bucks a day, it went up like 25%. And I was just like, "I just gave myself a 25% raise by changing the color of my headline from red to blue," and that was that one thing I heard at a thing.

So I was like, "Okay, I need another nugget." So I go to another event and I just sit there listening to everything. I'm like, "There's going to be one thing that give me a 25% increase my income." That's like going... Think about it, if a doctor wants a 25% income increase, he's got to go back to specialized medical school for two more years, right? Or whatever that is. I was like, "One idea, red to blue, increased 25%. What's the next thing?"

So then I started listening differently, started paying attention, what are they saying, and listening closer. I started reading books, and you find one thing in a book, like oh my gosh. I went through 300 pages but that little thing, I tried it on my little website and something would change and it was just like, "Oh my gosh. There's got to be another one." It became this insatiable desire to try to find these things, right? Then a lot of it was trying to find the nugget. What started getting more fascinating to me was watching people.

Going to events and watching how people would speak, how they present. And there's like, maybe I'm not listening for the words. Maybe I'm supposed to be listening to how they're actually presenting and what they're doing, and the physiology and their movement and how they... I started studying that part of it. Just watching as these people are selling, and closing, and moving, and it was just like, "Oh my gosh, even though they're not saying anything and I'm learning stuff." I buy people's products and I don't even go for the product.

Like going through the sales process, I was like, "Did you see on upsell number two, they did this thing?" and like freaking out. So everything started becoming this treasure hunt when I'm looking for these little nuggets that would take something and would increase my income by 25% or 3% of 5% or 50% and they're all these little incremental things. Then as I would get these little nuggets back, then when we have our next project, I was like, "Okay, we aren't starting off from scratch again. We learned all these different things. Now we know that it should be this color head line. This... " All things we figured out.

So the next version would be better than the last one and that became our control. We launch next thing and it will work better, right? And we're testing more things. Then it was like, the next thing we do, we take everything we learned this time and we start again and every time it just started getting better and better and better to the point-

Matt: You having fun doing all this-

Russell: It's so much fun.

Matt: I can tell. Like you're-

Russell: Yeah I'm such a dork. It was like-

Matt: Like Kobe playing basketball.

Russell: Yeah. It was just like magic so I got so excited and then, it was funny for me, because then I wanted to tell everybody about it, right? I would be like freaking out, telling people, and nobody cared. I was joking with my team about this a little while ago. I remember I was so excited about these things and I was like, "I want to do an event. I want to teach people."

So in Boise, where I'm from in Boise, Idaho, we started running direct mail, send out post cards, I ran radio ads to these events. I was going to use events to teach people secrets of internet marketing. I was so excited and we had a day where we had three events lined up. Like a morning, afternoon, lunch.

And we had all these ads going and everything and I remember showing up the very first time. I think we had 150-200 people registered for each session so I'm like, "This is going to be amazing." We got the first one and like two people showed up. I was like...

Matt: Two people?

Russell: Two people. I'm like, "Where is everybody? They said they were coming. Where are they?" I'm in this big room with all these chairs and there's two people and one's in the back, one's in the middle and I'm like... I'm in my suit and tie because that's what business people do, I thought. I'm so scared and I'm like, "Okay." So I'm trying to do my little thing and I try to sell something and it was horrible. The next one there was like eight people show up. I'm like, "At least there's more people."

This time, I was like, "Can you move to the front?" And I tried it again, nothing happened. The third one was like two people again and then-

Matt: Were you discouraged? Were you still excited? Did you feel like a failure?

Russell: I was just confused. I'm like. "Why aren't people excited by this?" Same thing, I go to these business conferences and everyone is sound asleep. I'm like, "Why is nobody paying atten... Am I the only one getting this?

Because this is the most exciting thing I've ever seen in my life. I can take this thing and do this thing and all of a sudden more money... It was magic, right? And what was interesting, I'm looking back now, it's been 18 years since I kind of started this journey, most people, they start something and they kind of go into it and then the success isn't kind of... You only get two people to show up. You get 30 likes on a YouTube video, like it didn't work and they stop but I was just so excited, I just kept talking about it and I kept talking about it, I kept talking about it and I would try teleseminars and then, later web... Before... teleseminars before we had webinars and webinars came out and we're trying that and it slowly grew-

Matt: Were you good at teleseminars?

Russell: I got good eventually, yeah.

Matt: What's the most money you made from one? I'm just curious.

Russell: Oh. Teleseminars, man that was back pre, a lot of stuff. So I would say, we probably did... I remember specifically one I did because my dad was visiting and we did one that night and I just remember doing $5,000 and being annoyed like we only made five grand on the thing and my dad afterwards was looking at me. He's like, "I've been doing business my whole life." He's like, "No one ever gets on a phone call and 60 minutes later gets $5,000."

He's like, "This is insane. How are you not excited?" I remember I was bummed out. Yeah, it wasn't a good... So I remember that number specifically because my dad was so confused that I was upset about only making five grand. He's just like, "This doesn't make any sense." I don't remember. It's hard to remember back. I would say probably... Not in a teleseminar. I had a friend who did $1,000,000 in one. I remember and I was like, "That was cool."

We never did that. I would say probably... I don't think I ever broke 100 thousand marketing in actual teleseminars. Probably 30-40 thousands, probably our record. Somewhere in there. Then webinars came out. We started doing those but I just kept talking about it and talking about it. Even a couple years before we launched ClickFunnels, we tried to do events. We'd get 200-300 people to show up, maybe. I remember one time we did one, we had-

Matt: But why were you doing events? What was your goal at the time?

Russell: I was excited by it. I wanted to show people like I wanted-

Matt: Was this when you were doing an event selling from stage or just-

Russell: I was trying to. Like I would go to other people's events and if people invite me I would be excited but I just couldn't ever... I don't know. I just could never get our own events to really work. In fact, I specifically remember the last one I did before, I swore we'd never do events again. We had 300 people signed up. I was all excited. It was in Salt Lake.

We drove down. We brought the whole team down there. We got there and less than 100 people showed up and I was just so embarrassed. And so, I don't know if you've ever done that feeling when you're in a room, 300 chairs, and you look outside you're like, "There's not 300 people here. Like what do we do? They're going to walk in and see that nobody is here." So pulling chairs out and you're so embarrassed and half of the room is empty-

Matt: Dude, I actually feel this. I know what that's like, man.

Russell: Oh it's the worst and you're just like, "I just want to cancel this thing but people are here so we're gong to serve them and do our best." It's interesting because now, a few years later, ClickFunnel launches and we decided to do Funnel Hacking Live, and I was so scared. I did not want to do it. In fact, to this day, I still have anxiety. Like before the curtain opens the very first time, I'm always like, "What if people don't show up? What if half the room is empty? What if"-

Matt: You really feel that?

Russell: Every time.

Matt: Really?

Russell: Every time. You ask my team, I'm always-

Matt: Even all the way up to the event?

Russell: I'm always sneaking out. The doors open the very first day, people running in, I'm always like peeking out into the room. I'm like, "Okay good. People showed up." Like still this day, anxiety.

Matt: I think people would be shocked to find that out because it seems to come together so smoothly. I mean your team is...

Russell: Well I freaked out this year because this year we got COVID now so it's like people are signing up... Who knows? Like it's going to be even worse this year.

Matt: Yeah. Yeah, what do you... we'll talk about that for sure.

Russell: For me, I think the biggest thing is just I kept talking about when nobody cared because I cared and I kept doing it because I loved it and because I was obsessed with it. The longer you do something, the more you start attracting people. I always thought my role in this whole game was to make this market thing fun.

Like making it exciting. Making it... The way I felt, I wanted everyone else to feel that way. That's the way you look at our events now. It's not a business conference with people in suit and ties sleeping on the side. It's like a rock concert because that's what it should be. It's the most exciting thing in the world and that's what we've tried to... Like I always tell people, "If I can be that spark to help light you fire, that's the key." It comes back to world changers. Like initially, I thought I was going to change the world by myself and I realized somewhere on this journey, I was like, "My job is not to try to change the world." My job, the people I've been called to serve, are entrepreneurs.

And entrepreneurs each have a specific way they can change the world and my job is not to change the world. My job is to change the entrepreneurs' lives because if I can give them tools and training and whatever it is, then they can go and the ripple effect from that will actually change the world.

Matt: Yeah, see every time I hear you talk about that, there's a fire. There's an enthusiasm. That's what I love is that through all your success, you've never deviated from your mission to do exactly that. To inspire entrepreneurs. So why entrepreneurs? Why such a hunger for entrepreneurs, man?

Russell: I would say everything good in my life has come because an entrepreneur sacrificed everything to bring their message out. And I would start with... And yes, I had a chance to spend time with my boys today. Like my wife, when we got married, we were not able to have kids. We tried, we tried, we tried everything and it was... If anyone's gone through that process, it is emotionally tough. Especially, like you get married same time as your friends typically and they're all having kids the same time and everyone is having kids.

My younger brother, when him and his wife got married, they were told they could never have kids. I still remember one night getting a call from my brother and he's like, "Guess what? We're pregnant." I was so happy for them. So emotionally excited and then knowing that I needed to go tell Collette, who's been trying to have kids for two and a half years, and like "Hey, you know Scott? He couldn't have kids."

I remember that night crying ourselves to sleep because we were so happy for them on one side and then so sad on the other side. It's like, "Man, what about us?" You know? I remember after two or three years of trying this process, going to doctors and all the things, one day I was... I don't know if I was working at school or something, but Collette was watching...

She got off from work or whatever and she's watching Oprah and on Oprah... And just so you know, I tried to get on Oprah when she still had the big show. Like it's not easy. Like it's-

Matt: So you tried?

Russell: Yeah. Like to get on Oprah is not an easy process by any stretch. There was this doctor on Oprah who's a fertility doctor who lived in Boise, Idaho. And telling the story about fertility and how it works and everything. So Collette's watching this, balling her eyes out like, "There's a fertility doctor. Lives in Boise, Idaho." So she calls me, she's like "I'm watching this fertility doctor on Oprah, lives in Boise, Idaho." And I'm like, "You need to... Lets go." And she's like, "I already booked an appointment. We're going tomorrow."

So, next day we're at this fertility doctor, we're talking across the table. Gives us a couple shots and some pills, we walk out the door. We go through this process, month more, we go through the process, come back and we're not pregnant. Month number two, we go through the process, come back, not pregnant. Month number three, go through the process, come back and we're pregnant.

Two weeks later, we're in there getting an ultrasound and they're like, "There's not one baby in here. There's two." Changed our life. And I think back like-

Matt: But when you heard those words, "there's two," like it was just... What a miracle because you didn't even think you could have one so like God gives you first time around, "Hey, I'm going to bless you with two." You know? I love that. So tell me about that.

Russell: And you think about that.I was just thinking, I'm sure some day maybe would have figured that out. Figured out how to get a fertility drug or I don't know. We would have figured that out eventually. But we figured it out then because that doctor went through whatever process, because they believe in their mission so much, that they didn't just put an ad in the newspaper, run a Facebook ad. They got to the biggest show on TV in the planet to share their message with the world which came to us, which touched our hearts, which moved us to do something that changed our lives forever.

That's one entrepreneur who's... and again, I don't know how to make someone pregnant. I couldn't do that in a million years. Right? But that one person. That's a skillset. It's like, oh it's simple for them. So that's what an entrepreneur is to me, that person, because they wanted to get a message out in the world, changed my life forever. That's one example, but everything amazing that's happened in my life... It's similar if you trace it back. There's an entrepreneur who sacrificed everything because they believed in that thing and it shifted things and it changed some people's lives.

Matt: Wow. To hear you say it that way makes it even so much more powerful. To talk about you talking about what that doctor must have gone through to just, not only become a doctor, but to get on Oprah. And you saying to get your message out and that's something you're strong about is really getting people to share their message. Why?

Russell: We always have something, right? Like the scripture that says, "Many are called but few are chosen." We all have the calling. We all have something God given us that can change people's lives and most people are afraid of it and they don't talk about it or they don't know what to do. Like I have this thing and they're like, "I know I can do something but I don't know what to do or how to do it. Where do I go?" And there's that thing they're stuck with, right?

And so, for me, it's just like man, if we can release that, think how mane peoples lives can change. We used to do this at ClickFunnels every day. We used to do a meeting every morning for seven minutes where we would share one success story because I wanted our whole team to see. Like look, we have 120,000 people that are actively using this platform and we look at that number every day on the board like, "Oh, 120,000. Yay." It's exciting but it's like each of those 120,000 people, each one is an entrepreneur.

And each entrepreneur has... They have staff. They've got people that work for them, right? So it's like there's jobs being created and then those people are creating products and services that change peoples lives. One good example is Brandon and Kaelin Poulin, right? They came into our world. They were 22, 23 years old, something like that when they got started. They were just finished network marketing program. They were completely broke but they had skillsets. Right? They had a message. They had God given gifts and talents they've been blessed with, right?

To be able to do a mission but they were like, "We don't know what to do." Luckily, somehow, they bumped into us. They came in, they bought a book, went through some training, used a platform. I look at them now, it's been five, six years since they kind of went on this journey, and now they've helped... Like they have over like a million and a half, two million on their email list. They've had like 150, 200 thousand people going through their paid programs. They've got-

Matt: Is that almost, I feel like having grandchildren? You know how grandchildren feel like you love your kids? Like you can imagine how I'm going to feel as a grandfather but imagine how you’re going to feel when you see your entrepreneurs giving birth to-

Russell: Oh yeah.

Matt: It's like you're having business grand babies.

Russell: Look at the baby. It's crazy because you look at like that's one person. It's like hey. Now for LadyBoss, their company, there's like 70 or 80 employees work there. So it's them and their lives affected but then, 100,0000 plus women who've lost weight. Then you go a step deeper than that because now these women who lost weight, they're wives, they're mothers, they work at jobs, like how are their life been affected?

How many more peop... And it's like you look at that ripple effect and it literally is millions and millions of people. That's from one of our 120,000 entrepreneurs. Then there's another one. There's a Kayla Maddox, there's a Matt Maddox. There's all of you guys' story. There's so many people's stories and it's like, man if we just keep doing our thing and giving the tools and whatever we have, whatever we're able to facilitate, that's how we change the world. That's our mission.

That's what we talk about. We think about. We pray about. How do we get better at what we're doing? Because every single person we can get in here and we can help equip them with the tools, they change life for somebody else. They change the world for somebody and so that's when it gets exciting. You look at that ripple effect as it hits and it just goes out and it's like... And so people are like, "Why don't you stop working?" There's so many more people we can-

Matt: Yeah. No, and I felt that. Because I asked you, you could coast. I mean, dude, your work ethic is inspiring and it's encouraging to see and I want to... Are your entrepreneurs and world-changers feeling the energy of what he's talking about right here? So thank you for that.

But you said something that really made me want to ask you a question because one thing I love about you is how vulnerable you are even though you're so powerful and you are who you are but you're not afraid to be transparent. So I have two questions about that. One is, what's your advice to entrepreneurs that struggle with being transparent and vulnerable?

And then I want to ask you, I feel the passion of what you're into, what's the sacrifice that comes along with that? That hurts? That's heavy? Because they said just because we carry it easy, just because we carry it well, doesn't mean it's easy. Dude, I'm like, "Is Russell Brunson perfect man?" Because you just have the best attitude and just all that you do. What's the sacrifice that comes with that? I threw two, three questions at you at once but I'm sure you can-

Russell: Where do you want me to start?

Matt: All of them. And then, Caleb, you're going to take the next question and then I'm going to get to some of the people here with us. So tell us what-

Russell Brunson: I'll start with the vulnerability because that's probably the easier one to answer and then we'll go to the other one. I think it was Brene Brown said this. So powerful but she said that, "For any of us who want to share our stories, like when we share something vulnerable, it makes us feel really, really small. But for people who are watching you, it makes you look really, really big."

Matt: Wow.

Russell: I think that's the hardest thing for us to understand is sharing this. In fact, I spoke two days ago at Tony Dean's event, right? In front of... I don't know. 500,000 people, I showed the videos of my very first pitch. My very first sale. And it's embarrassing-

Matt: Which by the way, I believe is the funniest video that you've ever put out.

Russell: Oh yeah. But it's like I remember seeing those. Finding those like a year ago, before I showed them the first time. I was just like, "Oh my gosh, this is so embarrassing."

Matt: Were you feeling that? Russell: 100%. I want people to see like there's Russell, he's on stage, he's closing, and I want to see that. And it's like, oh man. The biggest problem I have at this point, I think anyone has is, "Well of course you can do it because you're Russell Brunson." Like, "Oh you're Tony Robin." Or they look at this thing, it's just like you don't understand, I was the worst of all of you. I promise you. You saw the video.

There's nobody in our community who is as bad as me, I don't think. Maybe one or two. But for the most part... I'm just kidding. No, but I want to show... I think that was... I don't know. Maybe it was God's gift. In fact, you know I served a mission for two years for my church? In a mission there's a mission president who's in charge of like 300 missionaries. Like keeping them from killing each other and all this kind of stuff.

I remember he came to a Funnel Hacking Live two or three years ago and sat in the back of it and afterwards he came back stage and he was just like, "Of all the missionaries I was in charge of, I never would have assumed you would be doing this. Of all of them." And then he had his wife there and she looked at me too. She's like, "Yeah, I never would have seen it, Russel." Matt: Well, what'd that feel like? It's funny but it's awesome…?

Russell: Well I think it was good. I think that's why it's so important. I knew people who are super charismatic and had all these things. They had these gifts and it's like if I would have started that way, I think it would have been harder for other people. It’s like, like let me show you, it's hard for me. It's still hard for me. I feel comfortable on stage in front of 5,000 people. Like coming in this room with you guys, like so intimidating for me.

Matt: Really? I want to hear why. I'm curious.

Russell: It's scary for me. Like I don't know.

Matt: You're saying being on stage would feel easier than something like this?

Russell: A million percent. Yeah.

Matt: Wow, okay.

Russell: I get social anxiety with one-on-one and not knowing... I don't know. Not knowing the stories. Not knowing the people and like-

Matt: Now is that hard for you to share that? Speaking of vulnerability. Have you found vulnerability easier for you now or is it still tough?

Russell: It's definitely still tough. Yeah. I mean, showing those videos was tough the first time. I think. Yeah. It’s always tough. You want to... By default, we want to posture. We all want to posture and show who we are. The problem with posturing is that it actually repels people from you. We think it's going to draw them to us because they're going to be attracted to that and it's not. Posturing repels people. So it's like-

Matt: Give me an example of that. What do you mean?

Russell: A lot of my mentors, people who never grew past a certain level, it's because they posture all the time, which they've gotten. They had success with that because it will bring some success but they never been able to have the change they could have had because it has to be about them. They have to protect themselves and because of that there's a ceiling and you just keep hitting that because people aren't attracted to that, right?

When you do break those barriers down, you're willing to share, again, it makes you feel small but it makes you feel big and people come to you because they relate to you. There's connection, right? There's empathy. But it's still scary. It's always scary.

Matt: Yeah, so you still feel it? You still-

Russell: 100%. I wish it would go away.

Matt: Would you have guessed, Caleb Maddix, that Russell Brunson gets nervous doing this kind of stuff? Because you're a natural. I even asked you today.

Caleb: Proabably because I relate with it, especially in small rooms like this. It is so much easier to go up in front of 5,000 people at Funnel Hacking Live than like... because like you said, you can see their faces is like there is an entire life story. But if you're speaking to a lot of people, it's like, "Oh, I'm just kind of speaking."

Matt: You find the happy faces. There's always people that are smiling… Caleb: You just find the best part of the crowd. You just hone into them.

Russell: Here it's like, "What if they don't like me? I just want to go hide." But yeah, I'm the same way, I’m fine when I’m up there, when I get off stage and it's like, in the hallways and I'm just like, "I hope nobody bumps into me and"... I don't know. It's weird. I did a podcast about it. I talked about it. I said, "I feel like I'm in an introvert in an extroverts calling," and it's a weird dynamic and I shared that. It was so fascinating how many people came back to me and were like, "Oh my gosh, that's how I feel as well."

And it's really weird too. You look at so many creatives like actors and people you wouldn't label as introverted, but they are. And introverts typically, they create their art very private and they share it publicly. Whereas extroverts usually create things on the fly a lot of times because that's how they do things. So it's just a different way of creation. In fact, have you guys read Perennial Seller, Ryan Holiday's book? It's all about how you create art that lasts beyond itself, right?

Like movies last or books or whatever. In the beginning he talked about just how private creation is, right? Because it's like you with your thoughts behind a computer and when you get it done, then you have to go and you're sharing it to the world and you're opening up for rejection. My very first book I wrote I was so scared to send it to any friend. I remember getting it and I was like, "This is the coolest thing in the world. I don't want to show people. What if they hate it? What if they make fun of it? What if they knew how much I put into this"-

Matt: So you go through those internal-

Russell: Oh it's so hard.

Matt: Just like a lot of other people out there?

Russell: Yeah. And every book. Then it's like the second book comes out and I'm like, "What if it's not as good as the first? What if people don't like it?" Like constant-

Matt: You just push past it? You feel it-

Caleb: Yeah, question, because you say you're an introvert in an extrovert's calling. What advantages do you feel like being an introvert has given you within an extroverts calling? Do you feel like there's anything that allows you to do? Like maybe someone with a crazy amount of charisma or who's naturally extroverted, like maybe doesn't have that advantage?

Russell: I feel like it gives me more time to think through things because I have to retreat and hide to decompress, but to think through things. Whereas my extroverted friends will still be out partying all night, talking and doing stuff and I'm like, "I got to go back to the room and compress." I just have some more private time, I feel like, to think through things and try to make connections and I don't know. The weird things that go on in your brain when you're kind by yourself, you know?

Like a lot more time like that. In my office, I'll be in my office like, I’m with the people, I like the energy of in the office and then I sneak into my own office, close the doors, and decompress and then just have more quiet time to... You know what I mean?

Matt: Yeah.

Russell: Whereas in a lot of friends... They're awesome. I love them. I envy that. I wish I had that more a lot of times, but a lot of times I don't feel like they get the break to be able to really focus and go deep on things sometimes. I don't know. Maybe I'm wrong. I've never been that. I never actually lived that role but that's what it feels like or seems like.

Matt: So before you answer the question... That was awesome stuff about vulnerability and it helps me too because it's like we need to share our stories and that's part of our story. And my question for you, before you get to the part about sacrifice, to be Russel Brunson, right?

To lead what you're leading and do what you're doing. Writing the books. Creating what you're creating. The creativity, the constant making sure that the ClickFunnels community stays fresh. What's the sacrifice that comes with that? That hurts, man? That's tough? That's heavy?

Russell: There's a lot. It's interesting because I think most people see the positive. People are like, "Oh I wish I had ClickFunnels, that would be the coolest thing." It's like yeah, but you see the good stuff, right? You see... but it's crazy because as we've grown, man there have been so many times on the journey where each tier, as we get bigger, there's like more attacks that come from outside, from inside, from things like that right?

Like in legal attacks, we have... Just a lot of stuff you don't think about that you have to start dealing with, right? And the bigger it gets, the more intensity that comes with that and the more exposure, the more things that keep happening and so there are tons of sleepless nights. I told you, two and a half, three years ago, we hired more lawyers, started going through our stuff, and looking at all the things. Now we have legal in-house council because for us, it's like not only are we our own marketing, we have our affiliates who are marketing and then we've got 120,000 customers who all are marketing.

It's like... I was going to say, two or three years ago, one of the first times we got a lawsuit was from Taylor Swift. I was like, "We got a letter from Taylor Swift's lawyers." I'm like, "What's going on?" I'm opening it up and it's like, "You are being sued by Taylor Swift."

I'm like, "What is happening?" Yeah, I'm like, "What did I do to Taylor Swift?" I'm freaking out. I don't even know what's happening. It took us a while to figure it out. Oh, some bozo who's using our platform is illegally selling Taylor Swift stuff but it looks like it's ClickFunnels because it's on our servers and our things. So I'm freaking out, you know? Then later we get letters from the FBI. They come in certified mail. And it's like, "Mr. Brunson?" Like, "Yeah." "Sign this paper. You've been served.” or whatever. I'm getting a letter, certified by the FBI. I'm like, "Am I going to jail?" You know? I'm hiding in the bathroom so nobody sees, hoping.

Like what is this? And it's like, "Oh, some moron on our platform is doing something stupid. And because they think it's us it's like..." Those things happen all the time. Or just people who are taking shots at us. Or we had one guy we helped be super successful. Comes into ClickFunnels groups. Shows proof and stats of how much money he's made and all this stuff through our thing. Huge testimony. I'm like, "Dude, we change this guy's life! This is amazing." Took a screenshot of it.

Our team see's the screenshot like, "Oh, this is cool." Like in our fold of success stories. Grabs the screenshot, runs his ad, dude sues us for sharing a screenshot of his success story in our thing. End up settling for tens of thousands of dollars.

Matt: You're kidding?

Russell: That hasn't happened once. That's happened insane amounts of times. Where now it's like... The bigger you get... People you've helped attack you. Employees who leave who now compete against you. Friends. One of my closest friends who literally was down and out, needed money. Wrote him a check for 100 grand to help him survive his life. Two years later, launches a competitor against us, talking trash about me. I was like, "You were broke two years ago. I wrote you a check from my own pocket for you to survive as a friend and now you're on Facebook talking trash about me." It's just like...

Matt: That's the part people don't see.

Russell: And it's just happening over... Some days you're just like, "Why?" Anyway, one of my favorite books... And I haven’t told you about my library yet, this is maybe an odd podcast topic, but there's a book called Atlas Shrugged. I won't go deep into it because it's the greatest book of all time. The principle of it is in the book there's all these producers, right? The people that are mobing the world, people like Atlas, holding the weight of the world on their shoulders, right?

And what happens when the weight gets so heavy or things are so bad that Atlas stops caring and shrugs like, "Screw it, I'm out" and walks away. That's the premise of the book. What happens when the government intervention, all things get so bad, that the producers who are holding the weight of the world on their shoulders stop caring and they shrug and walk away from the world? I've gone over that point multiple times.

Why am I doing this? I just want to shrug and walk away from it. The short version of this, we can talk about offline, but building a big library with three Atlas statues being created. One where Atlas is holding the weight of the world on his shoulders. Second one where he's standing and shrugging. Third one where the world is on the ground and he's walking away. And it's the big... they're eight foot tall statues in the center of the library showing that part of the story.

Matt: Dude, that's going to be sick.

Russell: It's going to be cool. All wrapped in amazing old books and-

Matt: How does your brain operate is my question, man? Do you just come up with-

Caleb: Why did that book stick out to you that much where you're willing to go get three eight foot tall statues?

Matt: Yeah, good question.

Caleb: What about that resonated with you so much?

Russell: Because I feel like, not only me, but I feel like people that I serve, entrepreneurs are the producers, we're the people holding the world on our shoulders. I feel like we're being attacked from government, from people, from policies, from every side we're getting attacked on and right now we're all doing it. It's like some day...

That's the whole premise of this book, is what happens when that comes? I don't want it to come to that. That's not my goal, is to shrug and us all walk away. I want to remember that. We got to be careful because in the books, and the main characters they don't get involved with. We talked about politics, they're not getting involved, they're not doing stuff, because like, "Oh I'm just going to focus on my thing, I'm not going to worry about it." Then it gets to the point where it's so bad that they eventually all have to walk away.

I want to make sure that doesn't happen and it's kind of a reminder of that. Like, how do we produce but also in a way that can sustain what we're doing, right? I love the world. I love the people. I love my life. I don't want those things to go away. So, how do we play this game in a way that's going to make it be here for the long term? So, I don't know, it just inspires me when I think about that and making sure that we stay there.

Matt: That's a powerful story and analogy, man. Talk about feeling it. So then going through all that, you feel like it's worth it then?

Russell: Yeah. Every time it gets to the point where I'm ready to shrug and walk away, there's something that happens. There's somebody. There's something in our community. Or in Voxer, where people send me a message that's talking about they changed my life. And Voxer has a little thing you can star something. And it keeps them all in a folder of all the starred stuff.

So I have hundreds of those starred people that have Voxed me something I did. I'll go back and just play in that and just listen to it for an hour and by the time it's done it's like, all right that why, those are my people. I've been called to serve man and nobody else. I don't care about the rest.

Matt: What do you feel was the point where you had the most on your shoulders and you wanted to shrug the most?

Caleb: Good question.

Russell: Oh man. It seems about every two years or so it kind of gets to that point again. It's weird. It's like a cycle.

Matt: Do you think that's...

Caleb: Is it different things usually?

Russell: Yeah. Different things at each tier. Yeah, so I don't know if it's specifically... I think you go through seasons where you're just like, everything is so good it just bounces off you. You got that energy and that certainty and you're just like, "I don't really care." And sometimes you get so heavy where eventually you're just like, "Oh my gosh, yeah."

And then I have got good friends too that I reach out to sometimes. I remember, like Garrett White, we don't talk all the time, but when things get really heavy, for some reason, he's the one I just text him man and I'm like, "Hey man, it's getting heavy." He always sends me back these one-liners that are just Shakespeare's quote. "Heavy is the head of him who wears the crown" or something. And just hearing that I'm just like-

Matt: It gives you that shot in the arm.

Russell: All right, all right. I can... Everyone who's done this, everyone who's done greatness has had to feel this, right? There's no way they couldn't of. From everyone who we respect, everyone we admire, has had the heavy crown on their head that makes your shoulders heavy, and your body, and your back, where you just want to break. But the reason why we know their names is because they didn't, right? They kept standing and kept fighting through it.

And just for me, him sending that, or things like that are just like, "Okay." One time he messaged me, he's like, "I understand but I see you." And just like that. And so I try to say that more often in my podcasts now, when I'm speaking to my entrepreneurs, I want them to understand that too. Like I know you guys are sacrificing for your people. Whoever you've been called to serve, you're sacrificing more than they will ever know. Talk about you guys and my kids. My kids realized what we...

The joke we talk about today is, there's no ROI right now. Eventually there is, but no ROI with my kids. I don't get anything out of helping you and trying to make you do these things. I'm just trying to make you happy. There's nothing in it for me. I'm not trying to ground you because I'm a jerk. I legitimately do this because I love you. I think the same way your community, most times, doesn't realize what you're doing for them. I understand because I've felt it and I think because I've been able to look at these other people and just be like "Look I understand that. I understand this can be heavy. I understand those are going to be hard."

And I'm trying to be better at that because yeah... It's interesting too because wherever you're at it seems heavy, right? I look at the things that I have to fight through today, like three years ago those things would've crushed me, right? Or five years it would have destroyed me. And so it's like someone who's dealing with this right now, the lesson's really simple. But man, back when I was in that spot that would've crushed me potentially, you know?

So to try to look backwards and protecting all the other creators and entrepreneurs around us who are all fighting it. Because we're all fighting it on some level, on some tier. That's also part of it. That's how we grow, right? If we're not fighting those things, we're probably not doing right.

Matt: Yeah, like bad.

Caleb: You're not in the game.

Matt: Do you ever temporarily shrug?

Russell: Maybe for a night. I'm like, "Screw it, I'm done." The next morning you're like alright, pick back up the sword, let's go.

Matt: How do you develop the additional tolerance to be able to continuously level up and continuously deal with those new challenges?

Russell: That's a good question. I think you know when that's a good question. What came into my head is thinking when I first started the business it was me, right? As I started growing the business you start getting teammates and people and it starts growing. And now I think it's lighter for me because it's not just me either. It's an amazing group of people who I love and I respect who are all fighting these things together now.

That's made it so much easier for me. Where it used to be me sitting in my thoughts alone like, where not it's like okay, I've got my team, I've got the people who are in this with me 100% through thick and thin. I can send a message to them and collectively. Together we take that and it makes it so much easier, not have to fight alone. So I think that's a big part of just getting to a spot where you're not just fighting yourself, you're fighting together with people because yeah...

There's been issues. Just the last few months I couldn't have handled by myself no matter how tough I think I am. I look at Dave and Todd and Dan, and the guys on my team who are my close partners and stuff, that because of them we're able to do stuff that's some days is ridiculous. We're like, "This is crazy. This is"-

Matt: What's your favorite thing about all three of those? Dave, Todd, and Dan? I love all three of guys, by the way. What's your favorite thing about them?

Russell: And there's more.

Matt: Of course. Especially Collette, we'll talk about her in a little bit. But yeah, so what's your favorite things about them, man? What is it that they do that has earned your trust as a leader? As somebody who, I'm sure there's so many people that want to be in your inner circle, but how them? How did you know to trust them?

Russell: Well for Dan, because Dan's behind the camera right now-

Matt: Everybody say, "Hi, Dan."

Caleb: Hi, Dan.

Matt: Finally, a testimonial!

Russell: So Dan came into my world like a week before the first Funnel Hacking Live. I saw some of his work and I was like, "Oh my gosh." I sent him an email like, "Dude, come, Funnel Hacking Life." He was like, "What do I do?" I'm like, "Just bring your magic. That thing you do, just do that." No direction, no instruction, no nothing. He comes in, he comes to the event, and I didn't even see him the whole time.

He's running around, doing a million things. Then a couple months later he's like, "Here's the video from Funnel Hacking Live." We watched it and I was like, "I gave him no direction, no instruc.... like nothing. And it came back and it was the greatest thing I've ever seen. And I was like, "Huh." So then, fast forward next year's Funnel Hacking Live, like, "Do you want to do that again?" He's like, "Yeah, but what do you want different?" I'm like, "Just do the same thing you did, just do that again." Right?

Matt: That's actually powerful.

Russell: Yeah and did that two or three times. Then we got closer and closer and eventually became a partner inside of ClickFunnels and brought him in as a full partner. But he's someone who doesn't need direction, super creative, but also very willing. He's like the most talented person I've ever met. His story's insanely... Like someday I want to flip the camera and capture his story because it's amazing...

Matt: Totally.

Russell: But like-

Matt: The little bit I caught today…

Caleb: Yeah, 5 minutes in the car with him…

Matt: I was like, dude this, dude is, thank you Jesus, I'm like…

Russell: But he comes all the time as a servant. He's here, he serves, he gives, he shows up, does more than you ask him. He's creative and thinks through things, and his passion for what he does is insane. You watch him with his team of guys, they sit there and watch movies and film and all sorts of stuff then create new things and push through boundaries, and studying music.

One of his team took a class at Stanford or Harvard or something crazy just to become better. They're obsessed with the art at a level where you can't hire that. You can't train that. They're just obsessed and Dan's the leader and it's just like his mind is amazing. You look at any of the Funnel Hacking Live videos, all of them that he did. It's crazy because he'll go through a four day event, taking every single person's sound bites and quotes and everything, and then take a million sentences and somehow weave that into a sales message that sells 6, 8, 10 million dollars of tickets every single year.

You watch those videos, they are insane. It's him going through four days of footage finding like... Here's four words that Caleb said, and then Matt said this, and Myron, and put it in this order and now here's a sales message weaved together. Got pictures and videos and music and you're just like… if you know what goes into something like that.

Matt: You’re talking about the extra mile, he embodies that.

Russell: It is insane.

Matt: How long does it take? Once? An entire year?

Dan: It takes years off my life. Trying to one up every single time.

Russell: Every year we're like, "There's no way you can make it better." Then this year he sent the thing and I was speechless. We watched it like 20 times in a row. I probably watched this year's, I'd say conservatively, 100 times. Every time I'm getting tired I just push play again and I'm like, "All right, let's go." But I've changed the world again. It's-

Matt: Yeah, for anybody watching this that is an employee, rewind and really listen to how he talked about Dan because that's what we all dream of. I remember Kobe Bryant, he said the number one thing he looks for when he's hiring is obsessives. And that's what you have here. To Dan, everybody.


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