Blog Posts

Watch the Journey

542 - Bootstrapping from $0 to $100,000,000+ Part 2 (Ian Stanley Interview)

542 - Bootstrapping from $0 to $100,000,000+ Part 2 (Ian Stanley Interview)

Listen To Today's Episode: 

Episode Recap:

Here is the exciting conclusion from the Russell Brunson and Ian Stanley interview.

Subscribe To Get All Future Episodes:

Best Quote:

I did 70 or 80 webinars the first year. Sometimes, it was three or four a week. Sometimes, it was three or four a day. Just lining them up, and we were doing it until we passed $10 million in sales. After we passed $10 million was when we started automating it.


  • ​ClickFunnels: Everything you need to start market, sell, and deliver your products and services online (without having to hire or rely on a tech team!) ​
  • Expert Secrets: Get a free copy of the "Underground Playbook For Converting Your Online Visitors Into Lifelong Customers."
  • ​​Traffic ​Secrets: Get a free copy of the "Underground Playbook For Filling Your Websites And Funnels With Your Dream Customers.
  • ​​DotComSecrets: Get a free copy of the "Underground Playbook For Growing Your Company Online With Sales Funnels."


Russell Brunson: What's up everybody? This is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I hope that yesterday, or whenever you listened to the last episode with the first half of the interview with Ian Stanley, I hope you enjoyed it. This is the exciting conclusion of the interview. It's part two of two. This is the second half an hour. As you can tell from the interview, if you listened to the last episode, we were talking about all sorts of stuff. It was really fun. And hopefully, you guys enjoyed it and it was entertaining and hopefully you also learned some really cool things for your business, as well. So with that said, I hope you enjoy the episode. Thank you so much for listening, and I'll take you over now to listen to part two of my interview with Ian Stanley.

Ian Stanley: Dude we got Nathan Barry in the house now.

Russell: Hey, what's up man? …and never use ConvertKit because it's the worst. I'm just kidding.

Ian: It's all the clicks and converts and all that. That's what Boise is.

Russell: It's so confusing.

Ian: ClickFunnels and ClickBank and ConvertKit. Paul could not figure it out. All right, I got to quickly tell you this because it's a really quick, stupid story. So, we're at Craft & Commerce, and Paul, the video guy, who is just one of the most interesting human beings you'll ever meet in your entire life. He goes to one of the talks at ConvertKit. And he comes out of the... It's like a breakout one, and we're like, "So what did you learn?" He's like, "She's talking about some software the whole time. It's showing how to build pages and stuff." I was like, "Oh, what was the software?" He's like, "She was talking about... It's kind of a pitch, but not really, but just showing the software."

He's like, "Click something." I was like, "ClickFunnels?" He's like, "No." It's like, "Click bank?" He's like, "No." I'm like, "Those are the clicks. Click up?" He's like, "No, I don't think it was any of those." Later he goes, says something like, "Oh, this is something about ConvertKit." He goes, "Oh, that was the one." I go, "It's their event." He goes, "I had no idea." He literally had no idea that the whole event was put on by ConvertKit, and he couldn't even figure out the name of one of the easiest software names to remember.

And that's Paul. If you want to know Paul, and for those of you who were here yesterday, thought pants, that was his idea, as well. If you want any pants related ideas, that's Paul's recipe. Oh man. Okay. Sorry, that's just a fun thing to talk about.

So actually, one of the questions I had is, I know you talk about the Dream 100 quite a bit. How much is that truly... There's that guy, Dana, who just ran with it and built a whole entire business off of it. How much is that really a part of what you do?

Russell: Huge. To this day. Yesterday, doing Dream 100 stuff. Monday, my entire day's Dream 100, all working towards click funnels super launch. It's funny because people are like, "Oh yeah, I heard you talk about that." Then they pass it. I'm like, it literally is the key, like the traffic secrets book. Everyone's expecting me to talk about Google ads and Facebook ads and stuff like that and the first 75% of the book is the Dream 100. That's the secret to everything.

Ian: Right. 

 That's why I bought click funnels. I was early. I bought when I was living in San Diego, so this must have been eight years ago. It was the summer... 

Russell: We launched eight years ago. 

Ian: It was during when you were doing the weekly webinars, I think. 

Russell: Yeah.

Ian: I can't remember whose list it was that I must have bought from, I didn't have the money for it at the time, but it was the $2,000 offer, I think it was, for the year or something. It might've been... No, it was the $1000 then, I think.

Russell: Yeah, it would have been.

Ian: I launched my first course the next week with Derek Johanson and we made $12,000. I was making five grand a month at my job. So it was like, holy shit, this is incredible.

Russell: This stuff actually works.

Ian: That was the first thing, and that was when you were... So that's how you built it, right? You basically went to all these partners…

Russell: Yeah, first year, I did. I think I did, year one, I think it was 70 or 80 webinars the first year. Sometimes, it was three or four a week. Sometimes, it was three or four a day. Just lining them up, and we were doing it until we passed $10 million in sale. After we passed $10 million was when we started automating it, but when we do a launch on our book, we do our financing. We have full staff, three or four people. Their only job is Dream 100, just-

Ian: Really?

Russell: ... Connecting and talking to them and sending them stuff and getting promotions lined up. It's always constantly happening.

Ian: Is that still, then, your primary traffic is other people?

Russell: Yep. To this day, we get more from our affiliates and all of our... I mean, we're spending $2 million a month and ads, and we get more from our affiliates than all the ads combined. They stick longer, they're better people, all those things. I guess it's crazy to me because even to this day, when we do our own campaigns, we'll do our campaign and 90% of our sales still come from the email. To this day, all the stuff that we talk about and we do from ads and this and that and all this stuff, email still trumps all. If I can get an affiliate to send an email, that's worth 50, 60, $70,000 with the Facebook ads, so why not have someone full-time who just lines those things up?

Ian: It's so interesting hearing that because first off, email apparently is still alive, Nathan. This is something that, with clients I've worked with, will have typically three to four times lifetime value from somebody else's list versus YouTube, Facebook, anything else. Cam and I have talked about that. Two years ago when we decided to partner, we were like, "Let's do this money DNA quiz and let's do CPL in the make money space because nobody does CPL offers in our space. It's all in the health space." It's all CPL, right? When BioTrust had to make that change, we're going to pay $2 a lead, and they absolutely blew up through that model. Same with Fury. That's what they do. They're just like, "Let's just get emails from other people's list because these people open, click, and engage with email."

It's like getting people from TikTok and YouTube onto a list. They might be email people, but they might not. That was actually something from your event that, when Sam Power was talking, and I was like, "God, I don't want to do blog posts." Then you realize the reason why those lists are so valuable from blog posts is those people are readers.

If you watch YouTube, you're not necessarily into reading, but if you read blog posts, especially 1000-word blog posts, you're probably going to read emails.

So you guys...

Russell: That's why I sell books. People who read books are better people.

Ian: Right.

Russell: They’re better customers… That's why people are like, "Why do you have so many books to your front ends?" Because people read who books are the best customers. They're the ones that have the most success. Why not create something that generates the dream person? So, you run Facebook ads on a book, the Facebook people who like books show up and they enter your world. I probably have more front ends than any other company on the planet, right? So, we have however many front ends, but we can track which front end they came through, how long they stick, and so the people come through book funnels stick longer. They last longer.

Ian: How do you track all that?

Russell: It's a nightmare. There's like 10 different things we use. A lot of it's internal data. We, obviously, click funnels, we can see all that and it's pulling in all the things from our own internal click funnels tracking plus HYROS, plus Wiki Reports plus... I don't know. It's a whole mess.

Ian: Do you know LTV numbers? Do you know Tyler-

Russell: My team would know that for sure.

Ian: He because he built the whole software basically using click funnels for LTV tracking.

Russell: I didn't know that one.

Ian: We've used that a ton. The problem was he didn't have a phone sales component, and that's been a bigger part of our business now. So we use HYROS and we're using LTV numbers. We're working with them directly to develop it properly because if we're buying a bunch of leads, we have to know day 7, day 14, day 30 value and everything. But, when we started doing that with the book, especially my free plus shipping front end, we'd get around $35 to $50 day zero value, but they'd be worth $90 by day 30, I think, and then, up to $150 by day 90. So, that decision was so completely different when we're like, "Oh, they're only worth $50, and we're spending $50." Then you look. We're like, "We're 3X row ads by day 90." Doing the LTV tracking is what's so tough for the most part.

Russell: ClearOS 2.0 is cool because it has a lot more of that stuff all built in, maybe to track plus CRM components. It'll be able to track further, deeper, too. He should message me and then we can make sure he connects with us on all the new stuff.

Ian: Yeah.

Russell: That's cool.

Ian: We'll get Tyler to connect with you. So, Dream 100 is really... It's almost like when I read Traction the first time, I was like, "This is a cool idea." I didn't realize that it's…

Russell: It’s THE idea...

Ian: This is literally an operating system for your entire company. If you are going to start something new... When you did, when you bought Dan Kennedy's company, did you...

Russell: Step one.

Ian: Is that step one? So what does that actually look like then? So what is, like a dream-

Russell: So I love Trello because it's simple. I build a Trello board and then typically what I'll do is, I'll make columns for the different platforms. Like, you know, social... Dan's hard because most of his dream partners aren't on socially.

Ian: Fax. Who’s going to build a huge list from fax.

Russell: We have a new sales video that's going live in like a week or two that literally, after you watch, it makes faxes seem like the coolest thing on the planet of... Anyway.

Ian: That is actually exciting. I'm wondering how you-

Russell: I was the Dan Kenny's house and I was using the fax machine and there's a sticky note with my fax number on his fax machine. I was like, "I've arrived." This is the greatest thing. Like I'm on Dan Kenny's speed dial on his fax machine-

Ian: Which isn't even a speed dial. It's just a post-it note.

Russell: It's a sticky, it's a pink sticky note. It says Russell Brunson and my Fax number or whatever it was.

Ian: Does he still have no cell phone dude or anything?

Russell: I always knew that he wasn't connected to stuff. I didn't realize how big it is. So I went to his house. In his basement he's got this whole-

Ian: Is his house ridiculous?

Russell: No, it's very modest. And shockingly like... So Dan as a kid, he had a whole bunch of money and his parents and they lost all and never got it back. So he has this really weird thing where he just, I think he just hoards money. Like he's got to be a billionaire, but he just lives... Anyway, his basement's really cool, like tons of books and like he's got a mastermind room and everything and we're down there.

Ian: Where does he live?

Russell: In Cleveland, Ohio.

Ian: Beautiful place.

Russell: Anyway, we know he doesn't use the email and stuff like that. He does not have internet in his home.

Ian: What?

Russell: Yeah. I was like, "no way," he's like, "check my computers," says, "walk behind." There's nothing connected at all. And so he types whatever it is on his computer. And then he prints it out. He walks to the fax machine. He sends it to whoever it is, but that's the process. And then like, we're doing a book together right now. So like he'll fax me the chapter. And then he gives his wife, Carla the file on a thumb drive. And then she overnights it to me. So I get the overnighted doc version every... because you can't email to me.

And then I sit there. He's written like 40 books. He's so prolific, he writes so much stuff. I'm like, "how in the world do you do your research, if not hooked on the internet?" And its so funny, because he looked around, there are stacks of everything here. He's like, "this is how do my research." And he's like, "how do you do your research?" He's like, "don't you feel like you're sitting in the middle of a strip club when you're on the internet? How do you get anything done?" I'm like, "that's a good point."

Ian: That's why he's written 40 books.

Russell: And... Oh crap, I was going to say something else about him, but I forgot what it was.

Ian: It's fascinating. Man, now I want to do YouTube video... I think in like YouTube titles, I've been working with Darrell leaves. I know you know Darrell, right? So I had a call with me yesterday. He's incredible with YouTube, it's crazy. Talk about obsession, like he is obsessed with YouTube. And now I just am thinking in titles. You just think in those like pithy little titles and that just made me think, "I lived like Dan Kennedy for a week." I would watch that video just to see what that person... but you'd get so much done. You willing to get rid of internet for a week?

Russell: The other offset where I stored my books. I have to go to Dan's place. I set up an office with a computer and no internet, for that exact same reason. I came do like Dan Kennedy does. So now, like I go there every morning for a couple hours and I write, and there's no internet access and it's the weirdest thing. But after you get past that crutch of like, I've got to Google the thing or whatever, it gets you in this really cool flow where you can…

Ian: How long have you been doing that for?

Russell: I saw Dan probably two months ago. So last two months or so.

Ian: And has it been-

Russell: It's been really cool.

Ian: ... super productive?

Russell: At first, it's really hard, because you feel like you can't do anything and then now it's awesome. Because in that room, it's all my books too. So it's like, if I'm going to research, I got to find a book. So I'm like, oh I'm going to go look at, 1847 history of advertising and like, "oh my gosh, I never would've found that on Google." You pull different ideas and things like this.

Ian: Is that in your house?

Russell: No, it's an office next to my office that we just rented temporarily for-

Ian: The library one?

Russell: Yeah.

Ian: So you just don't have wifi there?

Russell: Yeah.

Ian: You could theoretically connect?

Russell: I'm sure on my phone I could hack it.

Ian: Okay.

Russell: I'm trying like, "I'm going to write here and nothing else," and see...

Ian: When you go there, like what does he do then? Does he have like cable?

Russell: No. He just reads and thinks. Oh I remember, I didn't tell you. This is the coolest fact. So he's written 40 books. He literally told me he's like, "I have never been to" I was like, "what?" He's like, "never been there." He's like, "it's like a thing now.

Ian: I like that he talks about it like it's a place you go. "I've never been to I don't know which Street's that on? Is it a warehouse or is it next to Barnes and Nobles?" I don't think he talks like that.

Russell: But isn't that crazy? He's never once been and he's so proud of the fact he's never been there.

Ian: Now it's just like a pride point.

Russell: Yeah. A hundred percent. I'll honestly like sneak laptop the next time, be like, "there it is, ha ha."

Ian: He's like, "oh my God, my eyes." So he just like lives just...

Russell: All my clients send him stuff now. So like everyone is like outsourcing stuff and then the best stuff they'll FedEx it to him, that's how they get stuff to him. So all his research and stuff that people thought was important enough to FedEx to him. And that's what he does his research on and what he looks at. And it's really cool.

Ian: What does he do now? Like also was the death all just?

Russell: No, it's totally really.

Ian: I mean, he's a genius marketer, right? I mean, what better thing? I would love to die before I die and see all of the nice stuff people have to say when I passed. The dream is everybody thinks you're gone. You're just off in the woods. And then you come back and you get to see all the amazing things people said and you're like, "ah, gotcha. Thank you. Why don't you say that while I was alive?"

That's awesome. I mean, that's...

Russell: It's so cool.

Ian: But I mean, it's not awesome that he almost died of it, but that was real?

Russell: Is real, hundred percent. And it's and so now, he lost eyesight in one eye, he started with health problems, but what's cool is like his mind's still sharp. He didn't lose that, which is, and a lot of people, that's the first thing to go. So it's been cool because with acquiring the company, I have a chance every month I have two hour calls. And so every month I get to go and endlessly ask me questions I want, it's been the coolest... Outside of buying the company, just... He's been my mentor forever, like from a distance now it's like really cool to have that relationship with him that is really cool.

Ian: It's Dan Kennedy. Like I think so many of us started by reading something.

Russell: A hundred percent.

Ian: Is it GKIC that you bought?

Russell: It was GKIC yeah. Would've been in GKIC yeah.

Ian: Okay.

Russell: They changed the name a million times, but yeah it was.

Ian: And now what is your plan with that? Because I remember in full transparency of my experience with that company was I read like no BS time management and then something else. I recently, did almost alchemy it is so good.

Russell: It's probably the best one.

Ian: So many people need to read that book because so many people don't understand that marketing is math. And it like breaks it down.

Russell: Yeah out of 40 books he has one the best ones almost Alchemy's like probably his best book.

Ian: It's so good. Nobody knows it exists. And it's a weird name for what it is. That book's amazing. And his books are so good and his mind's great, but I bought one binder they'll send you the binder of this thing. And I bought it. I must have been 23 or four. And it was like $300, which for me was a lot at the time. And I ended up having to call them and be like, "Hey, I need a refund. I'm sorry, but this is..." It was like a $20 thing that they had put into a binder and it wasn't very good. And I know people who are like, "no, his stuff's the best stuff ever." And Dan's isn't like it's amazing. But I had that one experience and I was like, "oh, I'm not going to keep buying from them." And I'd lost that trust.

Russell: What year was that about?

Ian: That must have been 2014.

Russell: Okay. Yeah. Makes sense.

Ian: That's a while. But I'd heard that from other people that there was a little while in between-

Russell: When Bill Glazer sold the company, there was like almost a decade where the people that took it over were just...

Ian: Yeah. Well that's, what's so exciting about you taking it over, is it's like he has this incredible information.

Russell: Oh yeah.

Ian: But it was just at that point, I don't think it was even his, they had just like copied some... It was literally, they were like, it's Dan Kennedy's name. We just put it on here and people will pay a premium. And it was like laziness.

Russell: For sure. There's been a lot of that. So we're trying to bring back things. But you asked the reason why, and it's interesting because click funnels, obviously the way we grow click funnels profitably is we have front ends, right? And there's a whole bunch of Russell Brunson in front ends and that's good on one aspect because it's like, I can bring people in and stuff like that. But it's also bad because then it's like relying on me.

Ian: Right.

Russell: And so for me, I was like a couple years ago, I want more non Russell based front ends. That aren't me. Because number one, if we ever sell in the future, it makes it more sellable. If we go public, it's just better all around, right? Or if I hit by a bus, the company doesn't go under. So that was the question we posed a couple years ago. How do we create more non Russell front ends? And so most of all our acquisitions are happening now all based on that too like, "Kennedy's, he's written 40 books on marketing." There's 40 non Russell front ends we can use, we can leverage it or not.

Ian: He is the best in the world at low key promoting things throughout his book. Have you seen this thing? Somebody took notes on how many times in one of his books he cross promoted one of his other things, or mentioned one of his things. It was 168 times.

Russell: Are you serious?

Ian: Yeah. And then I was like-

Russell: Is there a YouTube video. Where's that at? I want to see it.

Ian: I will find it for you, it was written in... I found this odd document, it sounds so much cooler when I say that, this weird document of a breakdown of Dan Kennedy, talking about people who buy how to make money products. And there's this also my favorite story ever, is this old dude who he died while he was shagging his wife, he finished and then he died, and then he was resuscitated. And then he went to the hospital, they brought him back to life and he had to get a new heart. And he wrote a sales letter to 18 hospitals and got a new heart, within like three weeks. And I was like, talk about an opening sentence, like this guy came and then died. And then wrote a sales letter…

Russell: I know this it's the opportunity concepts course. So we're republishing that. We're working on republishing-

Ian: Oh really?

Russell: That's from that course, the opportunity concepts course.

Ian: I'll buy that course immediately because it's awesome.

Russell: That amazing, yes. I actually listened to that story when I was in Hawaii Thanksgiving. So I was going through all this stuff after we bought it. And I do remember that story. It was just fascinating that guy went on and just created all these business ops and made a killing.

Ian: The coolest, but we were going to do that with our 90 days freedom program was like, originally we were going to give a laptop. Like get a Chromebook and give it to people that had all the stuff loaded on it so that they had this separate laptop, that was just for-

Russell: Just the business?

Ian: ... Just for the business. Because he did that. He said the problem then was that people didn't have computers. So he's like, let's give them one. So they would build them a computer with all the stuff on it. And then that guy was fascinating. But I think it was in that thing, they said they counted it and it was 168 times, I think, that he had whether it's like, "during my private consulting days," or this thing, or this thing, "that I charge $18,000 for," or this, or this. And then I was like, "God damn it, I really messed up with my book." I was afraid of even putting in like, "go to to get these," or whatever. And now I'm like, I wanted to go back and just rewrite so I could just throw in all these because that stuff adds up in a big way. When people are reading the book.

Russell: I'm doing a co-author book with Dan right now. And that's the thing he's trying. Because I'm the same way, chapter 40 is when I used to talk about click funnels, right? Same way I hide away in the back. And he's just like, "you should have this every single page,." And he's big into that. And like trying to like weave it in.

Ian: But it's still a good book, right? It's not like... There are people who do it where you read a book, you bought a book and you're like, "I wish I hadn't bought this book. It was just a 30 page or a 50 page sales letter. It's their webinar written down." Whereas his are actually really good books. He's just a master at like weaving in those little pieces.

Russell: Yeah. Well that's what, I learned when I got into the Dan Kennedy world back in the day watching, you go to the events and I didn't realize it at first, but all the speakers were people from my community like, "oh this is a platinum member on..." They always introduce the speakers by like what level membership they were at. And didn't catch on initially. But then as I got later, I realized that I wanted to be the top level. Because they're the ones on stage. They're the ones doing these kind of things. It's like when we built the click funnels, our funnel like live event. If you notice we have a handful of big speakers, but 90% of our speakers are community members, right? And they're people in my mastermind groups and people in these things. So I can be like, "oh this man circle member. Oh one of my category Kings, oh this is my..." And also people are seeing that positioning. And-

Ian: "This is how I can go stage."

Russell: "Oh that's that's the path to get the thing," right? And that's why our events have gone so big and create so much just because it's the community. And then I could be on stage next year, and then they ascend and they move the next thing and they move all through our stuff. It's all watching Dan do that all the time. Every time you introduce him, it was never like Russell Brunson's coming on stage. It was always like diamond... Or what was I? Titanium member Russell Brunson, blah, blah. It's always like my identity was tied to the level membership I was paying.

Ian: How many membership levels were there that do you know?

Russell: There were a lot back in the day they had, it was-

Ian: I feel like when you're getting to titanium, you've really exhausted your heavy metals.

Russell: We had metals, we had rocks. We got everything. In fact that was the biggest thing when I took the company back over. There's still like seven or eight levels. I was like, "this is so confusing, let's kill them all. And we got two." So we have two levels now. And we spent this first year rebuilding at level number one. And then the fax machine video is going to be what launches level two again. And then we'll probably... Anyway, we simplified so much of it because it just got complex.

Ian: I love it. We'll do one more question here. Man. Another time I want to ask you about the acquisition stuff, because I feel like that's a whole... We could spend an hour talking about that. And I feel like it's such an interesting way of growing things. Instead of investing in stuff, that's not business related where you're hoping to get 10% or you're hoping to hit some moonshot, crypto, whatever it is. But I'm curious because one of the things like we're looking into buying some software companies, because we're not software people, but it's so easy to sell a software that does something that people are trying to do themselves right now. But I just have a question from, since you've done a lot of software stuff, obviously Nathan has too, but I created this thing called call me maybe.

And so it's an app that lets you... It just like what you're saying. You can call people on your phone when you're driving, walking a dog, whatever, and you get paid per minute. So people sign up like I want to talk to Russell for however many minutes, they put in their info, you call on your convenience and you talk to them and you get paid per minute. You'd probably charge I don't know how much a minute, but you just get paid per minute.

But to launch it, I had a similar thing. My buddy's like, "it's going to cost you half a million dollars, six to eight months of all this development." And I got it done to 10 grand, 15 after some profit. But my question is, because software's so different and I'm 100% inept. Like I have no skill. So I can't get in the way. But with the software in particular, first of all, how is it different than the info stuff you've done? And like what are the biggest roadblocks with software? And would you do it again? I guess would be another question.

Russell: Well, it's interesting because we talked about this earlier, but my all my first products were software, right? Back 20 years ago and as a Boise state going school, like these little one off software products, my favorite businesses, number one is software. Number two is info. Number three, supplements. Those are the three only categories I'd ever go into. Because I love all three of those businesses, they are fascinating, they're fun, they're exciting. But, I would only do software again. If you think through, they're easier to sell people stick longer. So yes, I think that, but you're right on the other side, there's that complex thing. I'm not a technical person too. I have a tshirt that says non-technical co-founder because I don't know how to do these things.

Ian: Right.

Russell: My degree's in computer information systems, like I said earlier I got 2.1 GPA. So like I don't know how to do anything. I know enough, I understand what they're talking about, but I don't know how to do things.

Ian: But you're not actually doing any of the coding or anything?

Russell: Yeah. Not at all. And so I lucked out because all my prior software businesses, I was managing coders, which I could do, but it's hard because I had to think through every single aspect, like I'd have a designer design something and I sent it to the programmer and then there was just this constant and it worked, but it was just hard and slow. When I met Todd and we partnered with him, he's a technical person who understands our world as well. So he's able to run and do things and think on the fly.

Ian: That's I think the hottest thing to find.

Russell: A hundred percent.

Ian: Software people want to build the perfect thing-

Russell: They always want to over engineer everything.

Ian: ... That has nothing to do. You're like, "I just need to know if this makes money first." That's what I was telling. I'm like, "no, I need to know if people can... it's phone function, can you just charge people to talk on the phone?" And he's like, well you're going to need all. And I'm like, "you don't understand the business." And then my other buddy he was a copywriter before this and so it's like he gets it, but that's... How important is that a huge part of it, is them understanding?

Russell: For sure because most of the engineers want to overdevelop everything, which is good in long term. Yes. You want that, right? But Todd, in fact I had this funny conversation with Todd because he's the smartest person I've ever met on this planet. He's smart at everything, marketing, business, coding, like just he's a genius. But I remember with this conversation, he said, "the reason why I'm a good coder is because I'm the laziest coder ever." I'm like, "you're not lazy work your butt off." He's like, "no, but most coders, they'll look at something and they're like, okay, this is going to take seven months to do." And he's like, "and they're okay with that. Because oh I got to code this and over develop. And they love that." He's like, I'm lazy where I'm like, "okay, there's a seven month version, but there's probably a seven week version, and seven day version, when I get done today, what's that look like?"

And so he'll go in there and just kill himself and get the thing done today. And it's like, "it didn't do everything. But it does the one thing really, really well. And it took us one day as opposed to seven months, and that's Todd's genius and then he'll finish it and then give it to the developers and they'll spend the next two years overdeveloping it.

Ian: Right.

Russell: Writing all the tests, getting stuff, but he's able to go and like, "what's the thing that proves that this is actually valuable?" Because we spend seven months and give to the customers and then they don’t actually need it.

Ian: And then you find out that they didn't… it’s a useless feature.

Russell: That's one of the biggest problems at click funnels 1.0 is we kept building these features because one dude would be like, "oh if it could just do this, it'd be amazing." So we developed these things and then it was good for one customer and nobody else used it.

Ian: Right.

Russell: Maybe made a handful of like the really nichey info... The nerds like us would get it but the 99,000 other customers don't understand it, would never use it.

Ian: Right.

Russell: And then we have a team keep maintaining this feature for all these people and just a nightmare versus now it's like the opposite. Like, "okay, what are the things we actually need? Let's figure those things out. And then..." So I think for you, I would try to find somebody... It's hard, I definitely got lucky finding a Todd.

Ian: That's a really good point. And that's probably why it's been very easy working with him and it's a great relationship because he had a product called Hollywood physique, he wrote sales pages, he gets minimum viable product. He understands these things. So now I'm like, "oh that's really lucky." But that makes so much sense. Because developers, especially I had one guy who's this german who's like, "I want half of the company and $3,000 a month to build it." And he had like no experience. And I was like, "you're out of your mind." Didn't understand business. Doesn't understand any of it. So it makes so much sense that just finding, would you say that the developer is potentially the most important piece of... other than being able to have an idea that can sell obviously.

Russell: A developer is someone who can manage developers, right? Because eventually it's not just that developer, right? But over time it's like who can be a developer slash manager so that they can bring on a team and get more people. I had people in the past, that were good developers. They can manage people so we could grow, right?

Ian: Right.

Russell: Like Nathan had one developer building ConvertKit. He never got what he got to, right? And I don't know the business of what he does, but I'm sure there's maybe it's him. But there's someone who understands that can manage it and hire teams and build teams. And because that's how you long term grow, right?

Ian: Right.

Russell: You can't build an empire off on one.

Ian: You were okay with V1 being good enough?

Russell: Yeah. I mean, click funnel 1.0 was built by two people, Todd and Dylan, like the two people, Dylan built the editor, Todd built software and that was it. And then it's like, then we had to go and hire team. Then we had to figure things out. But a hundred percent people are going to pay for this? That's the backwards way the VC world works is they get a whole bunch of money to hire a huge sea of people. And then they overdevelop stuff and hope it works. And it's like that's not the game that we play.

Ian: Because they don't care if eight of the companies they invest in fail as long as one of them goes to the moon.

Russell: So I think it's like hiring or partnering with someone who is a good developer who could develop, but then also has the skillset to be able to when it's past this thing, I can manage people to continue the vision going. because I know Todd can manage 40, 50 developers and keep his vision going. Versus if he wasn't there every day, I'd be like, "okay, well how do I make... Let me log this as part of the app. Okay. Let's make this better this way." I wouldn't be able to do anything stuff I'm doing because I'd be trying to micromanage all the things you need someone who's got a vision as well.

So like finding, CTO or a visionary or technical co-founder, who's got a vision of what you're trying to do is how you make it past just a one off product. Like all my one off products had prior.

Ian: This will be the last question? Did you think Click Funnels would become what it is today? You can say yes. People are always like, "I never could've imagined," like, "oh, I thought it was going to be way bigger."

Russell: Well, I think it's funny because when we first launched in my head, I thought we'd get 10,000 customers the first month. That was my head. But I also thought that the number of marketers in our world was maybe 10 or 20,000, right? So I thought we've grown faster, or excuse me, I thought the ceiling was lower. So I feel like that's kind of thing. It took us longer to get to 10, it took us a year to get 10,000 members. But then now we're 120,000 members, right? So it is way bigger than I... The tops bigger. And a lot of us we've had like-

Ian: You've turned people into customers. You've taught people that a funnel is... I mean, Whitney's chiropractor, he's like a Russell Brunson, like to disciple.

Russell: We have a ton of chiropractors in the world. I love it.

Ian: He worships you. Didn't he say? He's like, "oh my God, you talking to Russell." He's I mean, gone so deep into it. But chiropractors, that wouldn't have been who you thought was your market, right?

Russell: For sure. This is like business strategy. But, first couple years, "how do we get the known university people understand what funnels are?" That was like the first goal. And it was like, "okay, we got them all." And then as we like the 10, 20,000 people. And then it's like, "we have to create customers." They're not more customers that don't want to funnel. So how do we create a customer? So that's the info product or webinars or things like that. Or creating gurus in other industries who then can take this message to the chiropractor world, they dental world. Like we have gurus in every industry out there who are preaching funnels to their audiences.

Ian: Right.

Russell: And bringing the people back into us. And so it's been like, "how do you create customers?" And then yeah. As you, as you grow and scale, it's like more and more of those things because there's not hot customers laying around forever. Eventually you get all those, then you need to figure out the next wave, you know?

Ian: Yeah. Awesome, man. Dude, thank you so much for coming. So how do people find Russell Brunson? I mean, obviously they can just Google you and that a thousand front ends

Russell: And then I'll follow you forever on every ad I'm sorry, I apologize.

Ian: He will find you. And then also make sure to check out, Muscle Funson…

Russell: That's a little Russell.

Ian: Did you ever see tiny Robbins by the way?

Russell: No.

Ian: Oh, I've got to send you tiny Robins. That was one of my favorites. It was hard to do though. Because I was a little person and I had another guy's arms through the shirt. And so it was a lot of work. So we only filmed them one day, but tiny Robins-

Russell: Has Tony seen it?

Ian: I don't know.

Russell: Send it to him?

Ian: You should send it to him. If he doesn't laugh. I talk about shelf sabotage and how I couldn't reach things on the top shelf because of the height, I'll send it. They're pretty outrageous. I mean, they're so ridiculous. And my voice was shot after doing, "Oh my God, shelf sabotage..." I was just like, "how does he do that?" I made the mistake of doing one of his things as like a joke at our first event, I was like, "oh!" I couldn't talk for an hour afterward. I was like, no wonder his voice is shot, that thing kills. But so what's the biggest thing you're doing right now, where people should go follow you, find your stuff?

Russell: If you go to, that's like links to all my... Basically almost all my front end funnels are there. So you can find by books, by software-



Ian: Do you just have too?

Russell: No, I think it's a porn site.

Ian: I was going to say, it's got to be.

Russell: I don't know that one. I'd love that one-

Ian: I bet people see your Tesla, they go, ", this guy's nuts." Little do they know that you're on the furthest end of the spectrum possible from that. But dude, thank you so much. This is super fun. I appreciate you coming to the office and hanging out.


Recent Posts

How’s your work-life balance?

The BEST funnel I ever built

What is a Value Ladder? (& How To Create Your Own!)

How to Increase Sales by 76% - with Jeremy Miner

How I sold my iPhone for $500,000

How to sell a $1 million product

Is Your Website User-Friendly Enough?

Flip THIS switch & buyers go crazy 🔥

How To Leverage the Public Domain (Like Walt Disney)

Your Blueprint for Creating the Most Effective Sales Funnel

Expert Secrets Summary: 13 Lessons For Entrepreneurs!

The Power Behind Virtual Curated Events

13 DAILY Habits That Made Me a Millionaire!

Do THIS To Convert More Traffic 🤑

Land More Leads With Landing Pages

The ONLY Reason People Don’t Buy 🚫💵


Blog Categories