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167 - How To Fortify Yourself Against Your Weak Spots


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Episode Recap:

As you’re planning your year this year, make sure to spend time focusing on this important aspect as well. On this episode Russell talks about having an end of year goal meeting with his partners and what it means to fortify yourself against your weaknesses. Here are some of the amazing and insightful things to listen for in today’s episode:

-- Find out why Russell started off the end of the year meeting with Clickfunnels partners asking what the things are that could take down Clickfunnels.

-- How Russell has learned from some weaknesses his former businesses have had and how he is fortifying himself against them with Clickfunnels.

-- Why you should fortify yourself in all aspects of your life, including business, your marriage, your relationships, etc.

So listen here to find out why it’s so important to look for your own weak spots and to fortify your business against them.

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Best Quote:

But second off, I think you guys should all be looking at your businesses as well. If you only have one merchant account, that’s scary. If you only have one traffic source, that’s scary. If all your ads come from Facebook, what happens if Zuckerberg decides to change how ads work? Or everything’s coming from Google, what if the algorithm changes again? Just being super aware.


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Hey everybody, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Today we’re going to be talking about fortifying your weaknesses so your company can continue to grow long term.

Hey everyone, I hope everything’s amazing. We are getting ready for the holidays, in fact, this episode will probably go live during Christmas, maybe even on Christmas, I don’t even know.

But last week we had our big partner meeting where all our partners fly out to Boise and we lock ourselves in a room for two days and we discuss the plans and the future and world domination, and what we’re going to do, and trying to figure out the whole process. And what’s crazy is our goal for the last year, last year when we did this, our goal was like, we want to do a hundred million dollars in sales, in the calendar year. Because we’d done it in like 3 years or something, it took us to get to a hundred million. And we’re like, we want to do a hundred million in a calendar year. So that was the big goal.

And actually, what’s crazy, as of yesterday when I’m recording this podcast, we did it. We broke a hundred million dollars in one calendar year, which is crazy. Insane, so thank you for all your support, everybody who’s invested in programs, uses the software, who loves what we do, we are grateful for you guys and for making it happen.

Now next year it’s like, what’s the next goal, what’s the next phase? So we had the big meeting, got everyone out here and it was a lot of fun. We basically, like I said, lock ourselves in a room and we just have a big list of items we go through and then we try to prioritize and schedule and figure things out. It’s just kind of a cool thing we do every single year.

But I wanted to share with you guys how I started the meeting this year, because it’s different than normal. So basically, we started the meeting and I brought everyone together and said, “Okay, we’ve done some amazing things this year, we have some big goals for next year, but before we get into any of that, I want to talk about all the ways that Clickfunnels could fail.” And everyone’s like, “oh, that’s a depressing way to start the meeting.”

I’m like, “Not in a depressing way, but if we’re not aware of where our chokepoints, where we could actually get tapped out, if we’re not aware of what our weaknesses are, then it’s almost like, a lot of people, we don’t want to look at those things, so we kind of hold a blind eye.” And not just in business, but in everything, in life.  Like where are my weaknesses in my marriage, and in my family relationships, with my kids, where are the weaknesses?

We typically, our brains don’t like to think about the unpleasantness of things, so we kind of block those things and we don’t talk about them or don’t think about them, as opposed to the opposite, which is like being aware of them, acknowledging them and then fortifying yourself around those things so that the problems don’t happen. So that’s what we kind of talked about.

So in every business there’s things that can make your business crash. I know because I have crashed multiple businesses in the past. And hopefully I’ve learned each time and I’ve tried to fortify things stronger the next time. For example, last time I had my big business crash, some of you guys may have heard this story before, it was actually right about the time I started this podcast. But we had a hundred and something employees and we had all our merchant accounts, I think we had 14 merchant accounts, but they were all with the same processer, the same bank.

So I thought we had diversity because they were different merchant accounts, but apparently because they’re all with the same bank, the bank looks at them as one merchant account, even though there’s like 14 of them. So when that bank decided they didn’t like us anymore, they shut down the merchant account, but that shut down all of our merchant accounts, lost 14 of them.

And we had this huge business, it was growing, everything was doing amazing, but that one thing, that chokehold was able to like really quickly, someone just pinched that and the whole company basically went under. I had to let go 80 people in a weekend and it was horrible and it was all because of that one thing.

So I started thinking, what are the things inside Clickfunnels, that if they were to go wrong, could destroy this amazing thing that we built? So one of them again, is merchant accounts. Are we diversified? Do we have backups? If Stripe shut us down what would we do? What would be the process? What are other things we can ensure that we don’t? What are our chargeback rates? What are our refund rates, what’s high, what’s low, where do we need to be? Just figuring out all those things because the last thing in the world I want to happen is lose my merchant account and then I lose Clickfunnels, right. And then everybody who we’ve been serving, now we screw them over because they lose that piece. These are the things that keep me up at night, by the way.  So that was the first one.

Then we talked about what happens if the FCC doesn’t like how we sold something? Oh my gosh, that could be another chokepoint. If the FCC came in and said, “We don’t like how you sell your stuff.” We could be shut down. So we’re like, what do we do?

So it’s like, let’s go and hire an FCC lawyer to go through every single page of every single funnel and give us feedback and we’ll make changes to the copy. Let’s look at our webinar presentation, things that aren’t compliant, let’s change those things. Let’s look at all sorts of things, join the BBB, joining….there’s another organization we’re trying to join. Whatever we can do to protect ourselves from anything bad like that happening. Make sure that we are squeaky clean in all aspects there.

And then we’re like, what happens if our servers go down? What happens if….we’re looking at all the possible things that could go wrong and then instead of trying to turn a blind eye to them and not think about them, we try to face them straight on and be like, here’s the weaknesses. What do we need to do? How do we fortify? What are all the things we can do to protect ourselves and protect our customers and the people we’re serving? It’s those things.

So I share with you guys because, first off, so you’re aware I’m doing everything in my power to continue a solid foundation for all you guys. I want to make sure you have a place to build your businesses on and your legacy on and we want to make sure we’re here for a thousand years. So hopefully that gives you guys some comfort there.

But second off, I think you guys should all be looking at your businesses as well. If you only have one merchant account, that’s scary. If you only have one traffic source, that’s scary. If all your ads come from Facebook, what happens if Zuckerberg decides to change how ads work? Or everything’s coming from Google, what if the algorithm changes again? Just being super aware.

What if I have a business partnership I don’t like? What if my partner and I don’t get along? What could happen there? What happens if….all the what if’s and looking at those things and figuring out how do we fortify against this?

The same thing could be true in your marriage. What are the points where something bad could happen in your marriage, what are those things? Be aware of those things, and how do we fortify against that?

When Collette and I first got married and first started this business and started hiring people, one of the very first things that we kind of sat down and said is, “Okay, I’m not going to go to lunch with a single female.” That’s just something that I will never do. And that’s just a stronghold. Even if it’s someone I’m not attracted to, or someone way different, it’s just a rule. I don’t go to lunch by myself with a female. You just don’t do it, because who knows what could happen or what people could think could happen or whatever. It doesn’t even matter, it’s just I’m fortifying myself against potential problems.

So we set up these fortifications ahead of time and then you won’t have the issues. So now that we’re in this season of planning and preparing and figuring things out, I just challenge you guys to look at your weaknesses and fortify yourselves around them.

You know, if I was to go to war against another country, I’d be looking at the same thing. Where are weak at? Are we weak on land? On sea? Where are they strong at? Where are we weak at? How do we fortify ourselves so that when the attacks come there, we’re prepared for them and we can withstand the blows.

Anyway, there you go you guys, there’s the lesson for today. It’s not going to be the most fun conversation, but I promise you it’s a lot more fun than the conversation you have afterwards, when your merchant accounts get shut down, or when Zuckerberg shuts down your traffic, or when the FCC finds your funnels not compliant, or when…..whatever your thing might be.

And so I just want to encourage all you guys to do what we did and really look at those weaknesses, focus on them, and figure out how to fortify them as you’re making your plans for the upcoming year. Because doubling your company, or tripling your company, or whatever your lofty exciting goals are, which are fun, all that fun disappears quickly if you’re not careful.

So I hope that helps somebody out there. I know it’s a big thing for us this year, as we’re trying to figure out how to go from a hundred million to a billion, which I don’t think is a 12 month goal, but I think it is a 10 year goal. How do we make sure we’re fortified so that when we 10x where we’re at now, we can handle it and support it and we’re prepared for it?

Yeah, so I hope that helps you guys. With that said, I appreciate you all. Thanks so much for hanging out on the podcast. If you learned anything or if you enjoyed this, please take a screenshot on your phone, just click the buttons, take a screenshot, go to Istagram, Facebook, wherever you’re social at, post and say your number one thing, your biggest takeaway you got from this episode. Please tag me in it, because I love to see that. And then if you use hashtag Marketing Secrets in the post as well, that would be awesome.

It’s been fun watching more and more of you guys taking snapshots and posting your big takeaways from the episodes, that means a lot to me and I love it. So please keep doing it, plus it helps other people find out about our podcast, and hopefully I can help serve more people.

With that said, thanks you guys, and we’ll talk to you all again soon. Bye everybody.


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