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485 - Identity And Obsession

485 - Identity And Obsession

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The secrets of transforming your identity into an actual obsession.

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But I started thinking this morning again, as I was looking at that, this is the identity shift, right? There's a lot of people who do wrestling. There's a lot of people who, again, they go through the motions, they do the thing. But there's a difference. When I was competing, I was a wrestler. And what does that mean? Like what does it look like?


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What's up, everybody. This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to The Marketing Series Podcast. Today, we're going to be going even a little bit deeper, talking about identity.

All right, I know I talked about this stuff a lot, but it's in my head on my mind a lot. I think sometimes we talk about a topic and then we're like, oh yeah, I know what that is. So the topic we're talking about is identity shifting again. And I've talked about it in so many different ways. Like we talked at it from a marketing standpoint, like with your audience, you've got to create an identity shift if you truly want them to move and follow.

In goal setting, we talked about you have to have an identity shift if you want to actually move and change. But I had a weird realization over the last probably 48 hours or so. So those who don't know, my life right now, and we're in the middle of wrestling season. I help coach the kids high school team. So every day at 2:30, I leave the office, race over to the school, and I coach.

And it's kind of weird, because I'm not the head coach. I'm there just kind of wrestle my kids, and help people, and whatever. But it brings back all the memories of when you were doing it, right? When you were wrestling, and when you were competing. And for me, it was like, man, wrestling was my life. Like it was the only thing that mattered. There was nothing else. There wasn't like a number two or number three. It was like wrestling and then nothing else.

And it's interesting because I watched the kids now, we've got some really good wrestlers on our team, but I think it was two days ago, maybe three days ago, I had this realization.

I said there's a difference between people who are wrestling and someone who is a wrestler. And I was looking, because most of the people on the team are here and they're wrestling. They come to practice every day, they wrestle. Then they go to the matches, they go to the tournaments. They do stuff and they wrestle. They're wrestling.

But there's a difference between just wrestling and then those who are wrestlers. Right? And it was interesting, because last night my high school I grew up in, it's Hillcrest High School in Sandy, Utah. Every year there's this rivalry against Brighton High School. We hate Brighton. And Brighton's the big... It's Hillcrest versus Brighton.

And I think it was like 40 or 50 years ago, they started this thing called the Battle of the Ax. And so they had this huge Ax. And each year, whoever wins the dome gets to keep the Ax.

And so when I was a senior in high school, we had lost the ax like 13 or 14 years in a row. And our senior year, we were a really, really good team. And my senior year we actually won the Battle of the Ax. And what's crazy cool is last night, Hillcrest won the Battle of the Ax again, for the first time in 24 years. First time since I was a senior in high school.

And so I saw that on Facebook, someone posted it. So I got all excited. And so I started going back through all my old video files. And I found videos of me wrestling in the Battle of the Ax. And then us winning the ax, and us going crazy, and videos of the ax and like all these things.

And so it's kind of fun, I went and took some little screenshots and some clips of me wrestling. And I posted it on Facebook and tagged all my old wrestling buddies and coaches. And anyway, the last 12 hours have been a lot nostalgia for me, just seeing my coaches comment, my friends and my teammates. And ah, just thinking about it.

But I started thinking this morning again, as I was looking at that, this is the identity shift, right? There's a lot of people who do wrestling. There's a lot of people who, again, they go through the motions, they do the thing. But there's a difference. When I was competing, I was a wrestler. And what does that mean? Like what does it look like?

Because from the outside, it probably looks similar. But the difference was, when I would wake up in the morning, all I was thinking about was how to become a better wrestler. I was at school, in classes, that's all I was thinking about. When wrestling practice started, I was there. I showed up early. As soon as I got in the room, we started wrestling, started rolling around.

As soon as practice ended, my dad would show up and I would do a second practice every single day. And then on the weekends, like when we traveled, we brought wrestling mats. We literally have wrestling mats that we'd hook to the top of my dad's truck. When we'd drive on family vacations, we'd get the wrestling mats out and we'd wrestle in the morning before we would go do our, go on the lake or whatever.

I wasn't someone who was wrestling, I was a wrestler. It was different, right? It's an identity shift. Like it was my life. There was nothing else. It is who I was. And I look at the kids who are the most successful, if not the ones who wrestle, that it's the ones who are wrestlers, where it is who they are. It's who they become.

And I keep trying to think, how do I instill that in kids? In wrestling, how do I get you to go from being like, oh yeah, I'm wrestling. I go to wrestling practice. Like, no, no, no. You don't understand. If you really want to be the best, if you want to be a State Champ, or a National Champ, or an All American, or whatever, the thing is, you have to... It's more than this. It's not just doing the motions that everybody's doing. It's like, you have to have this identity shift where you become a wrestler, where that's all you do. That's your full-time am job, income, livelihood, thought process. Like everything is wrapped into that thing.

So why do I share this with you guys? I share it with you guys because as I've been now, 20 something years, teaching entrepreneurship, and online marketing, and doing this thing, I see that same division. There are people who start businesses. There are who try to make money. There's people who, whatever, right?

But the people are successful, the ones who actually had the identity shift, where they have become an entrepreneur, they become a publisher, they become an author. They become something different. And you can tell that shift because it goes from like, "Okay, I got to work on my business today for an hour." Or, "I got to block out three hours," to "This is my obsession."

I was talking about it with... Recently, I let go some people who had been in our company a long time. And I remember for me, it was like... It's tough because I'm like, man, if I got fired from this, from what I do, it's my life. There's not like I go to work and then go home at night. It's like, this is my life.

And this is my life and I'm thinking about it all the time, like when I'm the shower I'm thinking about it. At my home, my family... Maybe that's wrong. I don't know, it's an obsession, but if you look at my identity, what am I like? I am an entrepreneur. I am a curator. I am a...

Like, I could give you different identities that I resonate with. But it's deep. It's not a dabble. In fact, I remember, this is a couple years ago, somebody asked for my email address. I gave it to them. They're like, "That's your work email. What's your real email?" And I was like, "What are you talking about?" And they're like, "Well, don't you have a personal email and a work email?"

I'm like, "There's no division." I don't have a personal life and work life. This is my life. You know what I mean? And I was confused, because I remember someone on my team, assuming now I think I've learned since then that almost everyone has a work email and a personal email.

But for me, again, there's not a line between those two things. This is my mission. When I was wrestling, I was a wrestler. My mission was singular focused. There was one thing. Since I've gotten out of wrestling and I've become who I am now at today, there's no work Russell and home Russel. There's Russell, and this is who I am. This is my personality. This is my identity.

That's how deep your identity shift has to become. And not that you can't have success without it. People have success, they make money, blah, blah, like those things. But if you really want to, in my mind, to change the world, to do something amazing, it's deeper. It's this thing where it becomes you. That's what an identity shift is. It's not saying, "Oh yeah, I wrestle." No, no, no, no, no, no. I'm a wrestler. Like you cut me, I bleed that color.

I remember Stephen Larson one time, in fact, we made a whole t-shirt, a theme, out of funnel hacking live when you're calling people diehard funnel hackers. And his joke was, if you cut me open and you see my heart beating inside, you'll notice there's a blue gear and a red gear. That's how deep I am in this community.

And so we made these t-shirts that said Diehard Funnel Hacker, and it had a beating heart, click funnel's heart. But again, that's the kind of identity shift you have to have. And I don't know exactly how to do that, or how to have it, other than it's got to become an obsession. I think in our society, in our world, people talk down about obsessions sometimes.
Because there's definitely a negative stigma sometimes. And it's tough. As a producer who likes to produce, I struggle with people I love around me, including my wife and other family members, other people who are just like, "You got to turn it off. You got to stop."

And I'm like, I don't understand what this means, turning it off. It's not like I'm going to work and I'm leaving work. It's who I am. It's my identity. There's no on off switch. It's just, it is.And that's the level of identity shift you've got to have you really want to change the world.

I remember, I think I shared this on the last episode of the podcast. But I remember there was a wrestling film I used to watch all the time, with Tom and Terry Brands. And it started with, "My name's Tom Brands. My goal's simple, I want to be the greatest wrestler in the whole world." And then the second guy is, "My name's Terry Brands. My goal is simple. I want to be the greatest wrestler in the whole world." That was not somebody who was going to work and then going home at night. That was someone who, they were trying to change the world. They were trying to be the best. And I feel like, man, if you really want to do something great, you got to do that.

And it's tough for most people. Because most people don't have that. It's interesting, I had my time when I got to be an athlete, which for me was from... I didn't start wrestling until eighth grade. So from eighth grade till college. So there's what, four years high school, 8, 9, 10. So I had a decade. Wow, I had a decade. I had a decade where my sole focus was being an athlete, and everything was there and focused.

And I look at most people, it's interesting, because now that I'm coaching high school wrestling, most people, their only chance to be athletes is two or three years. If they start as a sophomore, maybe freshman, they make it four years.

That's the window of the life they're an athlete. And if they're not great or whatever, like again, if they haven't had that identity shift, they do the thing, but they're not... Like they miss that.

I think for me, I was lucky where I had a decade of my life where I was singular focused. I had a chance to have that. And so for me to go deep on something, to be obsessed with something, I had done it before. That pattern was in my brain. It was easy for me to, as I switched to business, to become like, okay, I'm going to tackle this with the same like fervent energy that I did with wrestling. And so I was able to go deep on it, where a lot of people have never had that chance in their life.

They've never gone deep. They never sacrificed everything they had for something that they wanted to get. And if you haven't in life, it's going to be kind of hard. It's going to be hard to even understand. You've seen somebody who's crazy like me, and you've seen somebody. You get people around you, but you never experienced that. And it's like, how do you trick your mind? How do you train your mind? How do you go deep on it?

And I don't know the exact answer, other than I think we got to stop thinking about it from a, go to work and back, and more of like, this is who I am, this is who I've become, this is who I serve. This is all the things related to that.

So anyway, I'm sure some of you guys think I'm crazy, and you're rolling your eyes. And you're like, Russel, I didn't get in here to try to change the world, just trying to make some extra money. And I get that. But you will find out very quickly that the money is short lived. And the thing that, at least for me, and I don't think I'm unique in this. I've talked to a lot of successful people at the highest levels. I've talked to the Tony Robbins of the world, people like that. And it's the same thing, I don't do this for money. I have plenty of money. I do this because this is who I am.

Like Tony Robbins is Tony Robbins. He's not like, I go to work and I motivate people. No, no, no, no, no. You don't understand. Tony is... I don't know how to explain it other than he is Tony. This is his mission, his life. And he'll be on his deathbed, running a UPW, like streaming it in. Like, I don't want to stop. Like, I'm going to go til the heart stops beating. Just keep going and keep going.

And I think that's me. It definitely is me. Unless I find something different to shift my identity to, but as right now, I love this. I love who I serve. I'm obsessed with it. The art is so rewarding and fulfilling to me, where, again, like Russell you got to turn it off. Like why would you want to turn it off? I can't understand that. It does not compute in my brain. And that's the level of obsession I think you really got to have, if you want to be successful in anything at the highest levels.

So anyway, again, just thoughts in Russell's head that I want to share with you guys. Yeah, so I hope that helps. I hope you guys... And for those of you guys who are like me, and hopefully it gives you permission to be like, it's okay. It's okay that I'm obsessed. I got to be careful, because there's a line of obsession where you can lose everything. You can lose your family, you can lose your friends. And I don't believe in that. I believe in trying to incorporate the people you love most into your mission.

Like my dad was at wrestling practice every day with me. My mom came to my tournaments. I was able to incorporate the people I loved in the mission that I was on at the time. And I feel like the same thing's true here. I had the chance to bring my kids to Funnel Acting Live. We created a whole family event, unlocked the secrets for our families, because I wanted to bring my kids to an event.

So it's like, you don't have to do it and lose everything, unless you isolate from the people you love. It's like, how do you incorporate and bring those people on the trip and the ride with you?

So anyway, I hope that helps somebody. I appreciate you guys for listening. It means the world to me. We're working on a new Funnel Hub inside of ClickFunnels 2.0, the very first one is So it's not quite live yet. By the time you guys hear this, it might be live. Hopefully in the next day or two, we'll have it up there.

But it is the first ever Funnel Hub built on ClickFunnels 2.0, which is exciting. Actually, it's not true. We launched on ClickFunnels, 2.0. So that was the first one. And it is live so you can go see it. You can test page speeds. The page speeds are insane on it, which is really cool. Even though we haven't actually turned on all the cashing and optimization stuff yet, it's still way faster than every other page builder.

So it's exciting. Good things are happening. And do you want to know why? It's because we're obsessed. All right, thanks, guys, for listening. Appreciate you. And we'll talk soon.


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