In the times in your life when you win, and the times in your life when you lose; the only real purpose is for you to capture a story to help more people.
On this episode Russell talks about his experience at Entrepreneur of the Year, and why he is grateful he didn’t win. Here are some of the insightful things you will hear on today’s episode:
-- How the Entrepreneur of the Year event is similar to a body building competition.
-- How Russell plans to use the story of not winning the award in the future.
-- And why you should look for every opportunity to add to your story, whether your winning or losing.
So listen here to find out how The Entrepreneur of the Year Awards compares to body building competitions, and why Russell feels grateful to lose.
I was fine not winning. But when I’m going through something I’m looking for what’s the story that’s going to happen in this thing that I can use to inspire somebody or to sell something or to whatever. I’m always talking to you guys about you need to be building up your rolodex of stories. When I do a webinar, the reason I can do webinars so fast, and I can crank them out and I can sell well is because I’ve got this huge rolodex of stories that I’ve been building up for over a decade that I can pull out really quick in a moment’s notice. So I’m like, what are the stories that I can pull out of this experience that I can use in other things?
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Hey, good morning everybody. This is Russell Brunson and I want to welcome you to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I got so much good stuff to talk to you guys about today. Entrepreneur of the year event, something funny with my kids, and a whole bunch more.
Hey everyone, man, I have like 12 podcasts in my head right now that I want to share with you guys, of lessons from this last week.
Some of you guys know that this last weekend was the entrepreneur of the year, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year award ceremony. Earlier this year I submitted for the entrepreneur of our region and I won it, which was really cool. And then basically all the regions get together and do a national tournament.
So I was all excited to go to this national thing and compete and see if we could win the national entrepreneur of the year award. So I thought, if we’re going to do this we should make an experience out of it right. That way we can do an episode of Funnel Hacker TV, that way it’s not just me going somewhere on an event because I go to a lot of events and it’s just like boring.
So how to make this memorable for me and for my wife and for anyone else I want to bring. So I decided, hey, I’m going to bring my parents, because that would be fun to have them come to something like this. And then Dave and his wife Carrie wanted to come to, which was super cool. So the first thing was like, we can just fly there or what if we did it up right and just rented a private plane?
So we rented a private plane, flew down, picked my parents up in Salt Lake, which my mom was certain she was going to die on the plane. She’d read a book about someone who got in a plane wreck one time. So because of that she was convinced that certain death was the only possible outcome for this vacation. It was really hard to convince her to go. But she agreed finally.
So we flew down and picked them up and went to this event. That night we got there, and they did it right. They had this huge dinner with this amazing buffet. It was amazing. I’ve been to a lot of buffets and this was like four steps past anything I’d ever been to before.
They had this dessert bar and they literally had a donut wall, a wall with these pegs coming out of it with thousands of donuts all over them. They had this thing that looked like an ice cream bar with tons of different kinds of ice cream flavors, but it wasn’t ice cream it was cookie dough. It was a cookie dough bar. It was insane. They scoop out tons of cookie dough into the thing and then they had chocolate covered bacon, and they had…the desserts alone were amazing. Anyway, it was amazing. Then there was the Kelly Clarkson concert.
So we were like 5 rows away from Kelly Clarkson and she did this huge show for us, a private event for everyone who was at this thing, which was super cool. And that was the first night. The next morning we woke up and if you watched my instagram stories, I made some jokes, but we had a chance to see the winners of last year’s entrepreneur of the year award. And I’m going to kind of tease them, but also I’m grateful for them, so I’ll talk about both sides of it.
But they are a venture backed company who’s trying to solve cancer, which is really, really cool and I’m grateful for people and entrepreneurs and companies like that. But the problem, the frustrating thing on my side is that they’ve raised $2 billion dollars in funding in this thing. So I’m like, that’s awesome. I’m grateful that they’ve done that, what they’re doing, that they’re trying to stop cancer. That’s so valuable and helpful.
But it’s funny because I don’t know if I would consider that being an entrepreneur. It’s like, the entrepreneur in this business, their full time job is to go sell people on giving them more money. And then they have people they’ve hired to solve cancer. You’re more like a glorified sales person who’s just selling to VC’s. I don’t know, but I don’t think that’s entrepreneurship, but maybe I’m wrong. But I am grateful for what they’re doing.
They raised $2 billion, and it’s interesting because most of the companies that were there had all raised money. I think there’s probably half a dozen of us who are boot strapped entrepreneurs and the rest were all like VC backed. And it was funny because I was talking with Dave ahead of time about this, I’m like, you know in the body building world there’s two competitions.
There’s one that’s like the body building competition, everybody comes and there’s no rules. They never say, ‘oh yeah, go use steroids.” But they don’t test for it. So because of that, that’s when you get guys like Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferigno and these dudes who are insane. When you look at them you’re like, that can’t be human.
It’s because they’re not human, they’re on steroids. So there’s that term, then there’s the natural body building contest where you have to like not be on steroids to qualify. And those guys look way smaller. They look amazing, but standing next to each other you’re like, that dude’s on steroids, that’s the difference. I feel like it’s the same thing here.
The entrepreneur of the year award was like all these dudes who are steroids who took venture capitalist…got $2 billion in funding, and then there’s people like me, who are the natural ones. Who showed up and if you look at us by ourselves we look good, but you look standing next to someone who received $2 billion in funding it’s like, how do you compete with that. It’s fascinating.
In fact, for those who were, I don’t want to leave you in suspense. We did not win the entrepreneur of the year award. The guy who won it in our space is Thomas Siebold, which if you’ve ever heard of Siebold, he’s a billionaire. He started a new company because he’s a billionaire, he just funded it and had other people fund it. How do you compete with that guy? Come on now, that’s not fair.
In fact, Siebold is the dude who Mark Benioff, who owns Sales Force used to work for. So he was Mark Benioff’s mentor. Anyway, so it’s like, that’s who I was competing against, billionaires. So I lost to the billionaire, but the billionaire was all roided out, so I don’t feel too bad. Anyway, and then the dude who won entrepreneur of year overall, of all the categories, was the guy who started Groupon, which actually was really cool.
Groupon was his sixth business and then he took it public, and now this is his new business. Again, it was confusing, but they went from zero to $2 billion dollar valuation, excuse me a billion dollar valuation in 2 years. But again, they haven’t sold much stuff, but because of all the money they’ve gotten from funding their value there. So once again, they’re all roided out and they beat me. But it was still kind of fun to see.
And again, I want to step back, well in the intro of this podcast I make fun of it. About companies who cheat and take on venture capital. And while I do feel that, I am at the same time grateful that there are companies out there who are trying to cure cancer. There’s companies out there who are trying to do these things, that probably couldn’t be done by a bootstrap entrepreneur, just because of the nature of what it is. It takes $1 billion apparently, in funding to cure cancer before you have the pill and start selling it.
You can’t start selling it ahead of time. So I understand it and while I tease and I joke about it I am grateful for those entrepreneurs who are doing that direction. I just don’t believe in it. I think for us bootstrap entrepreneurs there should be an award as well. So we may or may not being working on the Bootstrap Entrepreneur of the Year Award, because I think it’s something that needs to happen.
Just like in body building there’s the body building competition, then there’s the natural body building competition. I think that’s more interesting to me and I think to you guys as well, because most of you guys don’t have $2 billion in funding. So it’s like, okay how do we actually, in fact it’s funny, one of the panels, they were doing the interview and they asked the guy, “What’s it like as an entrepreneur taking on the risk?” and the guy was like, “Well, you know the nicest thing about risk, I just go back to my venture capitalists and get them to give us a couple more hundred million dollars, and then the risk fear goes away.”
I’m like, what? That’s the worst answer ever. It’s like, what do you do when you hit plateaus? I just take more steroids. Come on. I wanted to be like, that’s when we freaking hustle. We recruit a team of people that believe in our vision. We work our butts off for free and we create something truly remarkable and then we sell it to our customers, and they love it so much they finance it. That’s the answer I wanted, but no. It’s like, we go back and take another hit of roids.
Anyway, that’s kind of interesting. But I digress, there were so many other cool things that I wanted to share with you guys. So many cool stories I could share with you. In fact, I’m sure I’ll do separate episodes. Like for example, Jennifer Gardner came and spoke and she is funny, I teased my wife, I think everyone’s allowed to have one celebrity crush right, and she’s totally my celebrity crush. Ever since 13 Going on 30, I was like she is the coolest ever.
So she’s been my celebrity crush, and she came and spoke. And she was so amazing, not just from the point that I have a crush on her, but just insanely amazing. I was so impressed with her. Anyway, I’ll tell you some stories about her in another episode. But blown away by her. Just so many cool things that happened. But the biggest thing I wanted to share with you guys, and this is kind of the purpose of this podcast, and then I’ll go deeper on other episodes about some of the specific things I learned.
There’s some really cool lessons I learned from watching the Kelly Clarkson Concert. Specific things from Jennifer Gardner, specific things….but for this one, what I wanted to talk about, the natural vs the regular body building contest, how it relates to entrepreneurship. Because I think sometimes some of may look at those guys and be frustrated. And it’s like, no, just understand that they have a role in this world and we’re grateful for them, but it’s not who we are. We’re the natural body builders and it’s something to be proud of, I think, that you bootstrap your company.
So that’s number one. But number two is like, I didn’t win the contest. It’s funny because so many people reached out to me, “Oh I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.” And it’s funny because I didn’t care. I didn’t go into to it to do it. I’m always going into things looking for the story. What’s the story I’m going to be able to tell because of this experience? I think that’s something that all of us should be looking at because we all go through tough times.
And I’m not saying this was a tough time for me, it wasn’t. I was fine not winning. But when I’m going through something I’m looking for what’s the story that’s going to happen in this thing that I can use to inspire somebody or to sell something or to whatever. I’m always talking to you guys about you need to be building up your rolodex of stories. When I do a webinar, the reason I can do webinars so fast, and I can crank them out and I can sell well is because I’ve got this huge rolodex of stories that I’ve been building up for over a decade that I can pull out really quick in a moment’s notice. So I’m like, what are the stories that I can pull out of this experience that I can use in other things?
Like when I spoke at the 10x event and I did 3.2 million dollars in sales. And everyone’s like, “Oh my gosh, you made 3.2 million dollars in sales.” I’m like, yeah, that was cool but I’ve got a story now, and that story will make me ten times that 3.2 million. To be able to tell that story about how I’m the highest paid public speaker in the world. How I netted a million dollars an hour.
All those things, I will sell way more product from that than I ever did from the money I made at the event. I’m looking for the story. So for me, it’s like this whole thing happened. I didn’t win it, but like for me, the story is this whole thing I kind of shared with you guys today, this natural versus unnatural. And I promise you, we are going to building a Bootstrap Entrepreneur of the Year Award and a thing, and it’s going to be a movement and a big thing, based on this story.
The fact that I lost, I’m so grateful that I lost because now I have this story about, “Hey I lost, but I was going up against people who were on steroids.” It’s not really, it’s like bringing a gun to a knife fight. Let’s come back and let’s build the natural body building contest for entrepreneurs. Now I have a story I can share, and a reason and a purpose and a thing that’s going to call to all of my people.
It’s going to call out to the bootstrap entrepreneurs. The people I love serving are going to hear that message and be like, “Yes, that’s who I am.” And they’re going to hear my voice and they will come to me. So that’s the magic. In the experience I’m looking for the story because the story is the next phase of the thing. So for you, I want you guys to keep your eyes open more for the stories that are happening.
Every day when you have success there’s a story there that’s more valuable than the success. When you fail there’s a story there that’s more valuable than the failure. And most of us just go through it and we’re upset or happy for the thing that just happened. It’s like, no, no, no. That thing that happened was good, but it was not the finish line. It was the story you need to inspire people to sell your next product, to do your next thing, to create your movement, to call a new segment of people into the marketplace.
Whatever it is for you, the story is the key. So keep your eyes open for the stories that are happening around you. That’s the magic, that’s what I want to make sure you guys aren’t missing, because if you did, for me that whole weekend could have been a wasted weekend. “I lost, let’s not talk about it.” No, no, no. “I lost, let’s talk about it.” That’s more powerful. Alright, with that said, I’m home.
I’m going to go get ready for the day. A lot of fun stuff happening this week. I’ll take you guys on some of the journeys but we are, my kids have….so today’s Monday morning, I’ve got a wrestling match Tuesday with the kids. Wrestling match Thursday and then Friday and Saturday there’s a wrestling tournament. So we got wrestling all week.
And I was supposed to fly down Friday and Saturday to go be with the Harmon Brothers, to work on part two of our viral video campaign with them, the problem is that it was booked on Friday/Saturday and I found out later that my boys had a wrestling tournament Friday/Saturday. So I was like, okay my kids are more important than my company. I’m not missing the wrestling tournament. So I had to talk to them and move things around.
So what’s happening is Tuesday’s wrestling match ends, after that I jump on a private plane and fly to Provo to get to Sundance, so I can be there for the writing retreat. So I’m there all day Wednesday at the writing retreat, half day Thursday, and then I jump in a plane and fly back and get back just in time for my kids’ wrestling match on Thursday night. So this whole detour is costing me like $16 grand in flights to be able to….
So anyway, someday I’m hoping my kids listen to this episode someday when their father is dead and they’re like, “I wonder if my dad loved me?” and be like, “Yes, he loves you a lot. He rearranged heaven and earth so he wouldn’t miss a wrestling match because that’s how much he loves you.” So I hope they listen to this someday and know how much I love them.
They are the coolest little things in the whole world and I cannot wait to watch them wrestle. So that’s my week this week, plus we got a speaker training happening in Boise so Tuesday/Wednesday we are training a team of 20 speakers to go out and do my presentation on the road, which is exciting. So I’m working on presentations today to train them on my stage pitch. That’s happening today and then 10x secrets, we’re in the middle of launch right now, it’s doing really, really well.
And I think I’m running a webinar because I think Monday I’m going to be doing a webinar to close out the whole thing. So I got that happening this week plus while I’m in Provo working with the Harmon Brothers, that night we’re all trying to get them all of our new Org Chart business development stuff with the company. It’s going to be an insane week. If I survive this week, then I’ll have earned Thanksgiving next week.
So anyway, I appreciate you guys all, thanks for listening. If you learned anything from this, take on your phone, you can click on the buttons and take a screenshot of the screen of this podcast episode, do that and then go to Facebook or instagram, or pinterest, wherever you go and post the video and say, “I just listened to Russell’s story about ‘blah’, check out his podcast.”
Tag me so I can see it and also hashtag Marketing Secrets, and let’s get some other people listening to this episode. Appreciate you guys, thanks so much for everything, and we’ll talk soon.