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439 - ClickFunnels Startup Story - Part 2 of 4 (Revisited!)

ClickFunnels Startup Story - Part 2 of 4 (Revisited!)

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Episode Recap:

Enjoy part two of this classic episode series where Andrew Warner from Mixergy interviews Russell on the ClickFunnels startup story!

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Best Quote:

I’d go to places and I just, I couldn’t figure it out. And then I started asking the people who were good because you go there and all the speakers kind of talk and hang out, and I’d watch the ones that always had the people in the back of the room. And I’d ask them questions, I’m like, ‘What did I do wrong? I feel like I’m teaching the best stuff possible.’ And they’re like, ‘That’s the problem, it’s not about teaching, it’s about stories, telling stories and breaking beliefs.”


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Alright everybody, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast.

I hope yesterday you enjoyed part one of the Clickfunnels start up story interview at the Dry Bar Comedy Club with Andrew. I love the way he interviews. I hope you’re enjoying it as well. So we are going to dive right into part 2 of 4 from this interview.

And again, if you’re liking these interviews please, please, please take a snapshot on your phone, post it on Facebook, Instagram or wherever you do your posting and tag me in it and use hashtag marketing secrets so I can see that you’re talking about it. I’d appreciate it. With that said, we’re going to queue up the theme song, when we come back we’ll start in on part 2 of the interview of the Clickfunnels start up story.

Andrew: You know what, I’ve talked to a few of your people because they’re so good, that Dave could really be a leader on his own, start his own company, he’s got his own online reputation, the whole thing. I keep asking him, “Why do you work for Russell? What is it that lets you be second to Russell who’s getting all the attention?”

And I’ve got some answers and would you mind coming up here and in a second I’m going to ask you. No, come back here and I’ll just bring you up in a second. Actually, you know what, it looks like you can come pretty fast. I thought that it would be a little bit more, I thought it would be more of a thing to get mics on people. And I realized if Collette can do it…. Okay honestly, dig down deep. Why did you want to stick with him?

Brent: Through all that stuff?

Andrew: Yeah.

Brent: I don’t know. My heart was just racing. As he started telling that story, it just makes me sick to my stomach. As you scroll down and look at all those businesses of, for years, every 30 days it was a new business launch, it was crazy. Always why I stuck with him is, you know, Collette mentioned that spirit. He’s absolutely different than anybody else I’ve ever met in my entire life, a friend….

Andrew: Of what? Give me an example. Let’s be more specific. Back then, not today, he’s got this track record, adoring fans, I asked him to do an interview, everyone wants him on his podcast. Back then when it wasn’t going so well. Give me an example that let you know this is a guy who’s going to figure it out eventually, and I could possibly go down, watch him go to jail, but I believe that it’s going to go up.

Brent: Well, at the time when things are crashing, I saw him as the income stopped. And he had started a program that he loves, obviously wrestling, and he brought an Olympic wrestling coach to Boise and he brought all these amazing wrestlers to Boise and he wanted them to be able to train and get to the Olympics, he wanted to help them get there and live their dream.

And you know, he was supplementing, at the time the business was paying for these guys to do a little bit of work for us, they weren’t doing very much for us. But I saw him out of his own pocket, be paying for these guys. And I knew how hard he wanted to support them. And there was a day when my wife and I, we were struggling because I just, I was concerned about him financially because he was supplementing and trying to keep this business afloat, and we talked about things and I came into the office one day and I asked if I could talk to him and sat down, and kind of spoke in language that I normally don’t speak in, I might have dropped a bomb or two.

It was, I was so concerned I pretty much told him, I can’t keep doing this, I can’t keep watching you every month pulling the money that you saved for your family to try keep jobs for other people. I said, I’ll leave if that helps you. And the fact that he stuck with people, that was the true character of who he is.

Andrew: He kept paying your salary, kept sticking with you, and also constantly launching things.

Brent: Absolutely.

Andrew: That you’ve never seen anyone implement like him.

Brent: You know some people call it faith or belief. He has this inherit belief that he can truly change people’s lives.

Andrew: That’s it, even when he wasn’t fully in control of his own. Alright thanks. Thanks for, give him a big round of applause, thanks for being up here. I feel like this is the thing that helped get you out of trouble and potentially, and getting out of potential jail. What is this business that you created?

Russell: So we, during the time of that and this there was time, probably a year and a half-two years that we were trying all sorts of stuff. And again, marginal success on a lot of them, nothing like….and this was the one, we actually, this is before….I’ve done a lot of webinars and speaking from seminars and stuff like that, but this is right when auto webinars were coming out and Mike Filsaime had just done an auto webinar and a couple of people, and I felt like that was going to be the future thing.

So we’re like, what do we do the webinar on? We didn’t know. And we flew out to Ryan Deiss and Perry Belcher’s office for two days and picked their brains, went to Rich Schefren’s office for a day. And then on the flight home, I’m just like sick to my stomach. I couldn’t figure out what’s the thing that we could serve people the most right now.

And on the flight home I was like, all the internet marketing stuff we do works for internet marketers, but we’re way better at like local business. Like if a chiropractor implements like two things it works. Or if a dentist does it. But I was like, I don’t want to be the guy going to dentists, but we could be the backbone for that.

What if we created an opportunity where people could come in, we train them, and we connect them with the right tools and resources, and then they could go and sell to chiropractors and dentists. And that’s what the idea was. We turned it into an offer called Dotcom Secrets Local, it was a thousand dollar offer at the time.

Did the auto webinar for it, and it launched and within 90 days it had done over a million dollars, which covered payroll taxes and then got us out of debt to the point now we could stop and dream again, and believe again and try to figure out what we really wanted to do.

Andrew: Dotcom Secrets Local to a million dollars within 90 days. And how did you find the people who were going to sign up for this. A lot of us will have landing pages like this, we’ll have these funnels. How did you get people in this funnel?

Russell: And this was pre-Facebook too, so it wasn’t just like go turn Facebook ads on. But you know, one thing that happened over all the years prior to this, I’d met a lot of people and go to a lot of events and get to know everybody. And everyone I met, you know, you meet a lot of people who have lists, they have followings, they have different things like that. I just got to know them really, really well. And in the past I’d promote a lot of their products, they’d promote my products.

So we had this one and we did it first to my list, and it did really well. So I then I then called them and I’m like, “Okay, I did this webinar to my list, these are the numbers, it did awesome. Do you want to do it to your list as well?” and they’re like, “Oh sure. Sounds like a great offer.” We did that list and it did good for them too. And we told the next person and then, if you have a webinar, it’s kind of like the speaking circuit, if you’re good at speaking then people will put you all over the place.

Same thing, if you have a webinar that converts, then it’s easy to get a lot of people to do it. So as soon as that one worked and it converted well, then people lined up and we kept doing it, doing it, and doing it, and it was really quick to get to that spot pretty quick.

Andrew: I went on Facebook recently and I saw webinar slides from Russell Brunson, I went to the landing page, Clickfunnels page and I signed up and I’ll talk about it maybe later, but I bought it and I know other people did. And I’ve seen other people say, “Russell’s webinar technique is the thing that just works.” I’m wondering how did you figure it out? How did you come across this and how did you build it and make it work?

Russell: Yeah, so rewind back probably ten years prior to this, when I was first learning this whole business. I went to my very first internet marketing seminar ever, it was Armand Morin’s Big Seminar. Did you ever go to Big Seminar? Anyway, I went to it and I had no idea what to expect. I thought it was going to be like, I showed up with my laptop and I was going to like, I thought we were a bunch of geeks going to do computer stuff.

And the first person got onstage and started speaking and at the end of it he sold like a two thousand dollar thing. And I’d never seen this before. I saw people jumping up and running to the back of the room to buy it. And I’m like this little 23 year old kid and I was counting the people in the back of the room, doing the math, you know doing the math and I’m like, that guy made 60 thousand dollars in an hour.

And the next guy gets up and does his presentation and I watch this for three days and I was like, I’m super shy and introverted, but that skill is worth learning. If someone can walk on a stage and make 100,000 dollars in an hour, I need to learn how to do that. So I started that. And it was really bad for the first probably 8 or 9 months. I tried to do it. I’d go to places and I just, I couldn’t figure it out.

And then I started asking the people who were good because you go there and all the speakers kind of talk and hang out, and I’d watch the ones that always had the people in the back of the room. And I’d ask them questions, I’m like, ‘What did I do wrong? I feel like I’m teaching the best stuff possible.’ And they’re like, ‘That’s the problem, it’s not about teaching, it’s about stories, telling stories and breaking beliefs.”

So for about the next two years I was about once a month flying somewhere to speak, and then when I would go I would meet all the speakers and find out what they were doing and I’d watch them and I’d take notes on the different things they were saying and how they were saying it. And then I kept taking my presentation and tweaking it, and tweaking it, and tweaking it. And you know, now 12 years later, I’ve done so many webinars, it kind of worked. The process works now.

Andrew: You are a really good story teller and I’ve seen you do that. I’ve seen you do it, and I know you’re going to do it even more. What I’m curious about is the belief system that you were saying, breaking people’s…what was it that you said?

Russell: False beliefs.

Andrew: Breaking people’s false beliefs. How do you understand what, like as you look at this audience, do you understand what some of our false beliefs are?

Russell: If I knew what I was selling I could figure out for sure.

Andrew: If you knew what you were selling. Alright we’re selling this belief that entrepreneurship does work. And I know we’re all going to go through a period like some of the ones that you had where things just aren’t’ working, other people aren’t believing in us, almost failure, what is at that point, the belief system that we have to work on? What do you recognize in people here?

Russell: So usually there’s three core beliefs that people have. The first is about the opportunity itself right. So like with entrepreneurship, the first belief that people have is could I actually be an entrepreneur? And some people who actually believe that, they’re like, I’m in. And that’s an easy one. But for those who don’t there’s a reason and usually it’s like, they saw a parent that tried to do it. And the parent tried to be an entrepreneur and wasn’t able to and they saw that failure.

Or they’d tried it in the past and they failed or whatever it is. So it’s showing them that even if you tried in the past and showed different ways, let me tell you a story. And for me, I could show 800 different failures. But eventually you get better and you get better until eventually you have the thing that actually works. So I tell a story to kind of show that, to make them believe that, oh my gosh maybe I just need to try a couple more times.

And then the second level of beliefs is like beliefs about themselves like, I’m sure it works for you, Russell or Andrew but not for me because I’m different. It’s helping them figure out their false beliefs, and if you can break that, then the third one is like, then they always want to blame somebody else. “I could lose lots of weight but my wife buys lots of cupcakes and candy.

So I could do it, but because of that I can’t.” So then it’s like figuring out how you break the beliefs of the external people that are going to keep them.

Andrew: And how would you know what that is? How would you know who the external influencers are, that your potential customers are worried about?

Russell: I think for most of us it’s because the thing that we’re selling is something that, one of our, Nick Barely said “Our mess becomes our message.” For most of us, what we’re selling is the thing we struggled with before. So I think back about me as 12 year old Russell, watching Don Lepre, like what would have kept me back?

And I would have been like, I can’t afford classified ads. Like if you showed me how I can, if you could tell me a story of, oh my gosh I could afford classified ads. Now that belief’s gone and now I’m going to go give you money. It’s just kind of remembering back to the state that you were in when you were trying to figure this stuff out as well.

Andrew: Who was who I met when we were coming in here that said that they were part of Russell’s mastermind and I asked how much did you pay and he said, “I’m not telling you.” I can’t see who that person was. But I know you got a mastermind, people coming in. I’m wondering how much of it comes from that? working with people directly, seeing them in the group share openly, and then saying, ah, this is what my potential customers are feeling?

Russell: 100% At this point especially. People always ask me, “Where do you go, Russell, to learn stuff?” and it’s my mastermind, because I bring, all the people come in and they’re all in different industries and you see that. You see the road blocks that hold people back, but then they also share the stuff that they’re doing and it’s like, that’s 100% now where I get most of my intell.

Because people ask me, “Why, you’re a software company, why in the world do you have a mastermind group?” And it’s because the reason why our software is good is because we have the mastermind group, where they’re all crowd sourcing, they’re doing all this stuff and bringing back to us, and then we’re able to make shifts and pivots based on that.

Andrew: Somehow we just lost Apple, but that’s okay. It’s back, good. There we go. This is the next thing, Rippln.

Russell: I forgot I put that one in there.

Andrew: I went back and I watched the YouTube video explaining it. It’s a cartoon. I thought it was a professional voice over artist, no it’s you. You’re really comfortable getting on stage and talking. But basically in that video that you guys can see in the top left of your screen, it’s Russell, through this voice over and cartoon explaining, “Look, you guys were around in the early days of Facebook, you told your friends, here’s how many friends you would have had, for the sake of numbers, let’s say you told 7 people and let’s say they told 7 people, and that’s how things spread.

And the same thing happened with Pinterest and all these other sites. Don’t you ever wish that instead of making them rich by telling stuff, you made yourself rich? Well here’s how Rippln comes in.” and then you created it. And Rippln was what?

Russell: So Rippln was actually one of my friend’s ideas, and he is a network marketing guy so he’s like, “We’re building a network marketing program.” And I’d like dabbled in network marketing, never been involved with it. And he came and was like, “Hey, be part of this.” And I was like, “No.” and then he sold us on the whole pitch of the idea, network marketers are really good at selling you on vision, and I was like, “Okay, that sounds awesome.”

And then my role was to write the pitch. So I wrote the pitch, did the voice over, did the video, and then we launched it and we had in six weeks, it was like 1.5 million people signed up for Rippln, and I thought it was like, “This is the thing, I’m done.” My down line was like half of the company. And I was like, when this thing goes live, it’s going to be amazing.

And then the tech side of it, what we’re promising people in this video that the main developer ended up dying and he had all the code. So they had to restart building it in the middle of this thing. And it was like thing after thing and by the time it finally got done, everyone had lost interest. It was like 8 months later, and I think the biggest check I got was like $47 for the whole thing. And I was just like, I spent like 6 months of my life. It was like a penny a day. It was horrible.

Andrew: I’m just wondering whether I should ask this or not.

Russell: Go for it.

Andrew: So I stopped asking about religion, but I get the sense that you believe that there’s a spiritual element here that keeps you from seeing, my down line is growing, the whole thing is working. Is any of this, does it feel divinely inspired to you? Be honest.

Russell: Business or…?

Andrew: Business, life, success, things working out, so much so that when you’re at your lowest, you feel like there’s some divine guidance, some divine hand that says, “Russell, it’s going to work out. Russell, I don’t know if I got you, but I know you got this. Go do it.” I feel that from you and I…

Russell: I 100% believe that.

Andrew: You do?

Russell: Every bit of it. I believe that God gives us talents and gifts and abilities and then watches what we do with it. And if we do good then he increases our capacity to do more. And if we do good with it, increases our capacity…

Andrew: if you earn it? If you do good, if you use what God gives you, then you get more. So you think that that is your duty to do that and if you don’t do more, if you don’t pick yourself up after Rippln, you’ve let down God. Do you believe that? Is that it? Or that you haven’t lived up to…

Russell: Yeah, I don’t think I feel that I’ve let down God, but I definitely feel like I haven’t lived up to my potential, you know. But also I feel like a lot of stuff, as I was putting together that document, all the pages, it’s interesting because each one of them, looking in hindsight, each built upon the next thing and the next thing. And there’s twice we tried to build Clickfunnels and each one was like the next level, and each one was a stepping stone.

Like Rippln, if I wouldn’t have done Rippln, that was my very first viral video we ever created. I learned how to pitch things and when we did the Clickfunnels initial sales video, because I had done this one, I knew how to do this one. So for me, it’s less of like I let down God, as much as like, it’s just like the piece, what are you going to do with this? Are you going to do something with it?

It doesn’t mean it’s going to be successful, but it means, if you do well with this, then we’re going to increase your capacity for the next step, and the next thing. But we definitely, especially in times at the office, we talk about this a lot. We definitely feel that what we do is a spiritual mission.

Andrew: You do?

Russell: 100% yeah. I don’t think that it’s just like, we’re lucky. I think the way that the people have come, the partnerships, how it was created is super inspired.

Andrew: You know what, a lot of us are selling things that are software, PDF guide, this, that, it’s really hard to find the bigger mission in it. You’re finding the bigger mission in Funnels. What is that bigger mission? Really, how do you connect with it? Because you’re right, if you can find that bigger meaning then the work becomes more meaningful and you’re working with become, it’s more exciting to work with them, more meaningful to do it. How did you find it in funnels? What is the meaning?

Russell: So for us, and I’m thinking about members in my inner circle, so right now as of today I think we had 68,000 members in Clickfunnels, which is the big number we all brag about. But for me, that’s 68,000 entrepreneurs, each one has a gift.

So I think about, one member I’ll mention his name’s Chris Wark, he runs and Chris was someone who came down with cancer and was given a death sentence, and instead of going through chemo therapy he decided, ‘I’m going to see if I can heal myself.”

And he did. Cleared himself of cancer. And then instead of just being like, ‘cool, I’m going to go back into work.’ He was like, ‘Man I need to help other people.’ So he started a blog and started doing some things, and now he’s got this thing where he’s helped thousands and thousands of people to naturally cure themselves of cancer. And that’s one of our 68,000 people.

Andrew: See, you’re focusing on him where I think a lot of us would focus on, here’s one person who’s just a smarmy marketer, and here’s who’s creating….but you don’t. That’s not who you are. Look, I see it in your eyes and you’re shaking your head. That’s not it at all, it’s not even a put on.

Russell: It’s funny because for me it’s like, I understand because I get it all the time from people all the time, “Oh he’s this slimy marketer.” The first time people meet me, all the time, the first time their introduced, that’s a lot of times the first impression. And they get closer and they feel the heart and it’s just like, “oh my gosh, I had you wrong.” I get that all the time from people.

Andrew: Brian, sorry Ryan and Brad, are either of them here? Would one of you come up here? Yeah, come on up. Because they felt that way, right?

Russell: I don’t know about them. I know who you’re thinking about.

Audience member: I think it’s Theron. {Crosstalk}

Andrew: No, no stay up here, as long as you’re here. Theron come on up.

Audience member: If it wasn’t me, then I’m going to sit back in the seats.

Andrew: Are you nervous?

Audience member: A little bit. Is there another Ryan and Brad?

Russell: Different story, another story. Do you want to come up? Theron had no idea we were bringing him onstage.

Andrew: Come on over here. Let’s stand in the center so we can get you on camera. Does this help?

Russell: Do you want me to introduce Theron real quick?

Andrew: Yeah, please.

Russell: So Theron is one of the Harmon Brothers, they’re the ones who did the viral video for us.

Andrew: I heard that you felt that he was a scam. What was the situation and how did you honestly feel?

Theron: I don’t know that it…well…

Russell: Be honest.

Theron: I know, I don’t think that I felt that Clickfunnels itself was a scam,

Russell: Just Russell.

Theron: But that it just felt like so many of the ways that the funnels were built and the types of language they were using, it felt like it was that side of the internet. So I became very, well basically we were kind of in a desperate situation, where we had a video that had not performed and not worked out the way we wanted it to work out.

Andrew: The video that you created for Russell?

Theron: No, another client.

Andrew: Another client, okay.

Theron: And so our CEO had used Clickfunnels product to help drive, I think it was attendance to a big video event. And so he had some familiarity with the product, so he goes to Russell and at the same time Russell’s like, “I’m a big fan of you guys.” So he’s coming to us and these things are happening.

Yeah, it was almost the same day. So we’re thinking like this and we’re like, “Well, they seem to really know how to drive traffic, to really know how to drive conversion. And we feellike we know how to drive conversion as well, but for some reason we missed it on this one.” So we’re like, “Well, let’s do a deal.”

Andrew: What do you mean missed it? Okay, go ahead, go through to the end.

Theron: We were failing our client. We were failing on our client. We weren’t giving them and ROI. So we said, let’s do a deal with Russell and we’ll have our internal team compete with his team, and we’re humble enough to say we’re failing our client. We want our client to succeed, let’s bring in their team and see if they can make a funnel that can bring down the cost for acquisition, bring up the return on investment for our client, and they were able to do it.

And then we said, what we’ll do is we’ll write a script, we’ll take you through our script writing process, but we don’t want to do the video because we don’t want to be affiliated with you.

Russell: The contract said, “You can’t tell anyone ever that the Harmon Brothers wrote the script for you.”

Andrew: Wow, because you didn’t want to be associated with something that you thought was a little too scammy for…

Theron: Yeah, we just didn’t want our brand kind of brought down to their brand, which is super arrogant and really wrong headed. And in any case, so we go into this script writing training, and I wasn’t following his podcast, I wasn’t listening to enough. I mean, read Dotcom Secrets, those kinds of things are like, well, there’s some really valuable stuff there, this is really interesting.

A nd then as we got to know each other and really start to connect, like you said, heart to heart. And to feel what he’s really about, and the types of team, the people that he surrounds himself with, I was like, wow, these are really, really good people. And they have a mission here that they feel, just like we feel that about our own group.

And in any case, by the end of that 2 day retreat we’re like, all off in private saying, “First of all we like what we’ve written and second of all, we’d really like to work with these guys and I think we’re plenty happy being connected to them and associated with them.” So it’s been a ride and a blessing ever since.

Russell: We’re about to start video number two with them.

Andrew: You what?

Russell: We’re about to start video number two with them right now.

Theron: Anyway, we love them.

Andrew: Alright, give him a big round, yeah. Thanks. This was pivotal for you guys. Lead Pages, there’s an article about how Lead Pages raised $5 million, and you saw that and you thought…

Russell: Well, what happened was Todd, so Todd’s the cofounder of Clickfunnels, and he was working with us at the time and he would fly to Boise about once a quarter and we’d work on the next project, the new idea. And that morning he woke up and he saw that, and then he forwarded me the article.

And he’s Atlanta, so it’s east coast, so I’m still in bed. And he’s got a 4 hour flight to Boise and he’s just getting angry, because Todd is, Todd’s like a genius. He literally, when he landed in Boise and he saw me and he’s like, “We can build Lead Pages tonight. I will clone, I will beat it. We’re going to launch this, this week while we’re here.”

He’s that good of a developer. He, I’ve never seen someone code as fast and as good as him. He’s amazing. So he comes in, he’s mad because he’s like, “This is the stupidest site in the world. We could literally clone this. Let’s just do it.” And I’m like, “Yes, let’s clone it.” And we’re all excited and then he’s like, “Do you want me to add any other features while I’m doing it.”

And I’m like, ‘Oh, yes. We should do this, and we should do this.” And then the scope creep from the marketer comes, and we ended up spending an entire week in front of a whiteboard mapping out all my dreams, “If we could do this and this and what kind of shopping cart, and we could do upsells, and what if we could actually move things on the page instead of just having it sit there.

And what if…” and Todd’s just taking notes and everything. And then he’s like, “Okay, I think I could do this.” And he told me though, “If I do this, I don’t want to do this as an employee. I want to do this as a partner.” And at first I was like, ugh, because I didn’t want to do the partnership thing. And then the best decision I’ve ever made in my life, outside of marrying my wife was saying yes to Todd. Said, “Let’s do it.” And then he flew home and built Clickfunnels.

Andrew: Wow. And this is after trying software so much. I have screenshots of all the different, it’s not even worth going into it, of all the different products you created, there was one about, it was digital repo, right?

Russell: That was a good idea.

Andrew: Digital Repo, man. What was….

Russell: So I used to sell ebooks and stuff, and people would steal it and email it to their friends and I’d get angry.

Andrew: Can I read this? How to protect every type of lowlife and other form of human scum from cheating you from the profits you should be making by hijacking, stealing, and illegally prostituting….your online digital products.

Russell: Theron, why did you think we were…..Just kidding. So no, it was this really cool product where you take an ebook and it would protect it, and if somebody gave it to their friend, you could push a button and it would take back access. It was like the coolest thing in the world, we thought.

Andrew: And there was software that was going to attach your ad to any other software that was out there. There was software that was going to, what are some of the other ones? It’s going to hit me later on. But we’re talking about a dozen different pieces of software, a dozen different attempts at software. What’s one? I thought somebody remembered one of them.

They’re just the kind of stuff you’d never think of. There was one that was kind of like Clickfunnels, an early version of Clickfunnels for landing pages. Why did you want to get into software when you were teaching, creating membership sites? What was software, what was drawing you to it?

Russell: I think honestly, when I first learned this internet marketing game, the first mentor I had, the first person I saw was a guy name Armand Morin and Armand had all these little software products. Ecover generator, sales letter generator, everything generator, so that’s what I kept seeing. I was like, I need to create software because he made software. In fact, I even shifted my major from, I can’t remember what it was before, to computer information systems, because I was like, I’m going to learn how to code, because I couldn’t afford programmers.

And then that’s just kind of what I’d seen. And then I was trying to think of ideas for software. And every time I would get stuck, instead of trying to find something to do, I’d be like let me just, let me just hire a guy to go build that, and then I can sell it somebody else as well. So that’s kind of how it started.

Andrew: And it was a lot of different tools, a lot of different attempts, and then this one was the one that you went with. I think this is an early version of the home page, basically saying, “Coming soon, sign up.” The first one didn’t work out. And then you saw someone else on a forum who had a version that was better. What was his name? This is I think Dylan Jones.

Russell: Oh you’re talking about the editor, yes. Okay, so the story was, Todd built the first version of Clickfunnels and Dylan who became one of our cofounders, I’d been working with Dylan as a designer for about 6 years prior. And he his hands, and we talked about this earlier, he is the best designer I’ve ever seen in my life, he is amazing. He would, but he’s also, this is the pros and cons of Dylan.

He, I’ve talked about this onstage at Funnel Hacking Live, so I have no problem saying this. He would agree. But I would give him a project, and I couldn’t hear, he wouldn’t respond back to me, and I wouldn’t hear from him for 2 or 3 months, and then one day in the middle of the night he messaged me, “Hey, rent’s due tomorrow. Do you have any projects for me?” and I’d be so mad at him, and I look back at every project we’d done in the last 3 or 4 months that other designers had done, and I’d just resend him all the lists, just boom, give him 12 sites and I’d go to bed.

I’d wake up 5 or 6 hours later and all of them were done, perfectly, amazing, some of the best designs ever, and then he’d send me a bill for whatever, and then I’d send him money and he’d disappear again for like 5 months. And I could never get a hold of him. I’d be like, “I need you to tweak something.”

And he was just gone. And that was my pattern for 6 years with him. And then fast forward to when Todd and I were building Clickfunnels, we were at Traffic Conversion and we were up in the hotel room at like 3 in the morning trying to, we were on trying to find a UI designer to help us, and we couldn’t get a hold of all these people, and all the sudden on Skype Dylan popped in, I saw his thing pop up.

I was like, “Todd, Dylan just showed up.” And he’s like, “Do you think he needs some money?” I’m like, “I guarantee he needs money.” So I’m like, “Hey man!” And Dylan messaged back. He’s like, “Hey.” I’m like, “Do you need some money?” and he’s like, “Yeah, you got any projects?” I’m like, “Yes, I do.” I’m like, “We built this cool thing, it’s called Clickfunnels, but the UI is horrible and the editor is horrible and there’s any way we could hire you for a week to fly to Boise and just do all the UI for every single page of the app?” and he kind of said no at first because, “I’m developing my own website builder.

I might have spent 6 years on it, so I can’t do it.”

Andrew: It was this, he had something that was essentially Clickfunnels, right?

Russell: No, no. It was just pages though, so it’d just do pages, there was no funnels.

Andrew: Right, closer to Lead Pages.

Russell: Lead Pages, but amazing. You could move things around. But he did tell me that, “I’m working on something.” So eventually we got him to come, flew to Boise, spent a week, did all of our UI, and then we went and launched our beta to my list. So we launched the beta, got some signups, and then a week before the launch, launch was supposed to happen, all the affiliates were lined up, everything was supposed to happen.

He sends me, I don’t know if he sent you the video, but he sends me this little video that’s like a 30 second video of him demoing the editor he’d built. And I probably watched that video, I don’t know, at least a hundred times. And I was just sick to my stomach because I was like, “I hate Clickfunnels right now. I can’t move things on my pages, I can’t do anything.”

I was just, and I sent it to Todd and then I didn’t hear from him for like an hour, and he messaged me back and he’s like, “I’m pissed.” I’m like, “Me too.” And I’m like, “What do we do?” and I was like, “We have to have his editor or I don’t even want to sell this thing.” And I called Dylan and I’m like, “Would you be willing to sell?” and he’s like, “No, I’m selling it and we’re going to sell it for $100.”

It was like $100 this one time for this editor that designed all the websites. I was like, “Dude, it is worth so much more than that. Please?” and we spent all night going back and forth negotiating. And finally, we came to like, “I will give you this editor if I can be a cofounder and be a partner.”

And Todd and I sat there, brainstorming and figured out if we could do it and finally said yes. And then him and Dylan and Todd flew back to Boise and for the next week just sat in a room with a whole bunch of caffeine and figured out how to smush Dylan’s editor into Clickfunnels to get the editor to be the editor that you guys know today.


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