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(MS) Stepping Off the Battlefield to Win the War

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I just got back from one of my favorite trips I’ve ever been on. From spending 10 days in Kenya with my wife and kids, then seeing a war-torn country, and ending in a life-changing experience in Israel seeing the religious sites and experiencing the history. But I’ve always struggled with ‘vacations’, so I brought books and journals and found an answer that gave me (and can hopefully give you) the ability to step out of the battle field, find higher ground, see the chessboard so you can create your gameplan, choose the key battles you need to win and jump back into your business.

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Number one is weave giving into your business. If you do, you have a chance to bless other people's lives in a way that they could never bless their own, which I think you will really enjoy that feeling that comes with it. Then number two is get a chance to force yourself to get to places where you have to strategically break away from the daily grind that you're in. You can strategically look at the chess board and figure out how to actually win.

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Transcript:

What's up everybody? This is Russell. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. It's been a little while since I feel like I've hung out with you. I know there's podcast episodes always happening, but I was gone for the last almost three weeks on, honestly, a life-changing trip and experience. I'm back now and I'm on fire, I'm excited, a little jet-lagged, but I have a 30-minute drive to an appointment I'm going to, and so I was like, "I just want to hang out with my funnel hackers and talk and share some stuff that I picked up along the way," so that's the game plan. Here's what's happening. Here, let me tell you about the trip. This was crazy and you guys were actually part of this trip and you may not have even known it.

The first part of the trip is we were going to Kenya, and this is actually, some of you guys know Stu McLaren and his wife Amy, started a charity back in the day called World Teacher Aid. I started helping sponsor them way back in the day. We used to do these, we call them prediction calls. We'd do a call and Stu would invite all the top marketers on these calls and they would give their predictions for what's going to change over the next year. We do those every single year and then we raise money for their charity. We did that for a long time, and then eventually Stu wanted me to come to Kenya and actually experience it.

I remember back pre ClickFunnels, my wife and I went out there and we experienced Kenya and we had a chance to see the kids and build schools with them. Then while we were there, we go on a Safari. It was a huge, big, one of those life changing experiences where you see the world one way and then you experience something and you see the world differently later. After going that first time my wife and I always talked about someday we want to bring our kids here so they can experience this, so they can meet these amazing kids. But also just to give them that life changing experience. Obviously, they're growing up in America in a family that's got a lot of money and it's like, "How do we show them what a lot of the world lives like so they can understand how blessed they really are?" We always wanted to bring them back.

It's interesting though because that was the first time we went. A couple of years later, maybe a year or two later... No, it was a couple of years later, Collette and I went again a second time. Then we started raising money through ClickFunnels. I remember when we launched ClickFunnels, we had an idea, "What if every time someone builds a funnel and it goes live, we donate a dollar towards Village Impact," because they changed name from World Teacher Aid to Village Impact. We decided and started doing that.

The first funnel hack came live, I remember Stu and Amy came on stage, we gave them a check for, I think it was like $18,000. We're like, "This is crazy." It was so much money and it enough to pay for a whole classroom to build a classroom out there. Then the next year we did it again, it was like 30,000, then 50. Every year we've done that. Now it's like every year it's over six figures, what comes in because you guys are building so many funnels. It's been amazing and we've gone three times and this is actually our fourth trip and it's the first time we're going to bring our kids.

This trip was actually supposed to happen before Covid, and then obviously Covid happened, and so it got canceled and got delayed, delayed, delayed three or four years. This was the year we were going to go. What's cool is that before we were going to go and take our three oldest kids and then not our two youngest, but this time we're like, "Our kids are a little... They're all pretty close to where we could take them," and so we decided to take them all. We had all five of our kids with us. That was the first 10 days of our trip was going to Kenya. It was so cool because we flew out there and well, let me tell you the not cool part, too, just to document our journey. We had all of our bags packed and my wife, bless her, she's so much smarter than me, but I am the ornery one. She had everyone packing these backpacks, we could carry as carry-ons, but they're huge backpacks. I was like, "I don't want to carry... I hate carrying carry-ons. I like checking bags."

She's like, "No, this way if they get lost, we'll get them back," and all these things. She even put those little air tags and all of them so we could track where they're at so we wouldn't lose a bag. The last minute at the airport, I pressured her and just like, "Let's just check them. No one wants to carry these huge bags all the way." We ended up checking all of the bags on and guess what? Yep, you guessed it, we had flew from Boise to... I can't remember, to Seattle or something, and from Seattle to Germany and then Germany to Kenya. Yes, you're correct. All of our bags got stuck in Frankfort, Germany and did not make it to Kenya. We showed up in Kenya, we've been traveling for 40 hours, we're all stinky and nasty and we have no clothes, no toothbrushes, no nothing.

I was just like, "I am dead because I'm the one that forced us to check all of our bags on," even though Collette had, in her infinite wisdom had planned for us to not have to do that, but I blew it. We ended up having no clothes. We got to Kenya, no clothes, and then we drive three hours to these villages. We get there, we have no clothes, and we slept overnight, no clothes. Next day, no clothes. Took them two days before we got our clothes there and my poor kids are not used to that, but it was... Anyway, I'm proud of them. They went through it, they fought hard and we got our clothes. It was amazing. We celebrated and that was the first big challenge of the trip. That first day we were there, we were building schools, so my kids were hauling bricks and everything and out in the super hot sun. We were pouring sweat, and stinky, and disgusting and all these things, but they did it and they didn't complain.

I'm so proud of my kids. Anyway, my kids met a bunch of other teenagers there that were also on the trip, which was really cool. Then they got to be with the kids and play with the kids. I think it was cool for Collette and I to... Again, we've been there three times, we've experienced... The first time it was fun because we experienced it for ourselves. The second time, we went back and we experienced it through the eyes of other people, which was fun. This time it was going back and experiencing it through the eyes of our kids. It was so cool for us, for our kids to meet these kids and fall in love with them, and play with them, and then go to their homes and see what they live and just understanding how blessed our kids really are.

But then also seeing how these amazing kids, despite the fact they have almost nothing, how happy they are and how a lot of times kids here in the States aren't. They're miserable, they're depressed, they're anxiety, all these things, where these kids are just happy. I think it was good for my kids to see that. That was the first half of the experience, which was amazing.

Then we went back to Nairobi and typically we spend a day in Nairobi and then we go and we go to the giraffe park and we go to do all these cool things. We get to Nairobi and apparently they're in the middle of a civil war. There's this whole nationwide lockdown where you can't leave your hotels and the kids don't get to go to school. It's like the whole nation shut down while we were in Nairobi. It's crazy, because we're at a hotel trying to burn time, and we're sitting there and all sudden we see these huge army helicopters flying over the hotel. We're like, "This is crazy. We're literally in a war zone right now." It was the weirdest, creepiest, eeriest feeling in the world. We sat in a hotel for an entire day just hoping that the war or whatever didn't make it to us, which was crazy.

It was interesting because it's very similar to the fights we're having right now where I guess there's 40 something tribes of people in Kenya. There's two dominant tribes and it's almost like Republican and Democrat. I guess they had the big elections and the person who lost the election there was telling everyone that the elections were rigged and it wasn't true. It was all his followers and the actual government who had won the election all fighting over this thing. I'm like, "This is crazy. This is America just divided the same way." It was... Anyway, it was just kind of an interesting thing.

Then luckily the next morning we snuck out early and we jumped in a plane and we flew out to the Masai Mara village to go jump with the Maasai warriors. That was really fun, I think, for our kids to experience that. We got to go on safari and see all the animals and all that kind of stuff. It was just fun. One thing that was, I think, the most hard for me is last time we were there experiencing all these amazing things, I was there with Dave Woodward.

He'd come with us and we had a chance to experience it with him. It was just... I don't know, it was such a special magical time with him and his wife when we were there last time. This time, obviously, Dave's not there, but we were there in the same spots, the same area, the same people. It's just like there a lot of times where I really missed him and just missed the experience with him last time. That's, I think, one of the things that's hard, but also really cool just to know that the amazing times we had there with him last time... Anyway, so there's that, but it was really cool.

Just if you look at that whole trip, it was a chance for us to see the power of giving, having a chance to be able to give money through Village Impact because the ClickFunnel's community and other money we donate, see the impact, what's happening, the schools' being built. We just built an all girls school, which is amazing because during Covid, there was a whole bunch of just... When there's no work, there's no money, there's no food, people get desperate. Teen pregnancies were up, I don't know, 10000% during Covid, and these girls would go to school and it was not a good situation for them. We built this all girls school and it was really powerful. It was really, really cool. That was awesome. Anyway, it was a really cool thing to be able to experience.

I remember having this really interesting feeling. In fact, I got a chance to speak in front of the whole village during the ceremony where we had the ribbon cutting ceremony of the school and everything. It was cool because all the people got up there, the leaders of the villages and the government and everyone, they kept saying, "God bless you guys, bless you to continue to be prosperous. We bless you that you'll be..." They kept asking God to bless us as the donors. I remember I got up there, I said, "You guys are looking at us as like, 'Oh, we're these donors who brought you money.' But I'm like, you have no idea the impact, the fact that I have an army of people here in Kenya praying for me every night that my business will be prosperous, that I'll be prosperous, my family will, that's worth more than any amount of money that we've ever donated or given,"

The experience my kids have, it's like, "Man, these villages served my family more than we everyone tried to ever thought about doing." It was just really cool. I think one of the lessons and the morals for all you guys is just the power of giving back and in whatever sphere you want to be in, whatever mission that you feel called to do is to be able to donate money and time and energy. It's interesting, while we were in Kenya, it was also during 4th of July, which is when Operation Underground Railroad, which is the other charity that I support, my two charities are Village Impact and OUR. They launched the Sound of Freedom movie, which went crazy viral, tons of negative press, but it broke all these box office records. I think it's on track to do a hundred million dollars.

It raised so much awareness for what OUR and what Tim Ballard and all these people are doing. But it was crazy, the negative side of that too, as they're trying to tell this story to help save these kids just how political, and dark, and evil it got. Anyway, I had a chance to post and put my flag back in the ground and let people know, "No, I support Tim 1000000%. I'm all in. I know this man, I know what he's doing. I know the vision and the mission and he's called of God and I'm here 100% of my support." It was interesting that these things were happening at the same time. The two charities I love and care about the most, we were there in the middle of it and just watching how they're changing people's lives both through...
In fact some of you guys don't know, the nonprofit we're trying to set up is called Liberate and Educate, where I feel like that's the mission of ClickFunnels two ways. Number one is we help to liberate entrepreneurs from their day jobs, from the things they're holding them back and we help educate them through training, and courses, and events. Liberate and educate, that's our mission that we do publicly for entrepreneurs. But then also that's also our social mission. We help liberate children from slavery and we help educate them through the school systems that we're building in Africa. Liberate and Educate is our nonprofit that we're working towards, but that's what we do is help liberate educate entrepreneurs and liberate educate children. Anyway, it was just cool that these things were all happening at the same time and I was experiencing them.

I shared with my kids, "Man, this is what you guys are part of. This is part of your legacy. It's what you're having a chance to experience right now. You can see how much a little bit of money can go to save a child's life." I think it's on average $2,500 to save a child from slavery. That's amazing. If you had $2,500 you could save a child from slavery, what would that be worth to them? I think it's an extra $7,500 to rehabilitate. It's like 10 grand to save a child. But then you go to Kenya and it's like a couple of hundred bucks is enough to feed a family for a year or two. It's really cool.

But for all you guys, whatever charity speaks to your heart, I just recommend weaving those things into your business practices in a way that you can serve those things, so as you grow, they'll grow as well. In fact, when we were in Kenya, we did a really cool mastermind meeting with Stu and everyone else, and the topic was like, how do you weave giving into everything you're doing? Stu had me share inside of ClickFunnels how every time a funnel's built, we donate a dollar. Then we have other things built in where we're supporting the charities we love and we care about.

Anyway, if nothing else, I hope you guys get some value from that because when your business starts growing and you're able to help these other causes while you're doing it, it just gives you more purpose both for yourself and for your team. In fact, on Thursday I have a team meeting with our entire company and I'm going to share the impact of what it did and how what we're doing doesn't just help entrepreneurs, but it's helping these children around the world as well. I'm excited to share the Liberate Educate message again with my teams to keep reminding them that what we do matters.

Then the other side is after that part of the trip was done. Then we're on the other side of the world with my kids. I'm like, "We can go anywhere. We have them here in this other side of the world. We should go see one other thing. What should we see?" We decided to go and actually see Jerusalem and see the Holy Land. That should be a podcast in and of itself. In fact, maybe it's more of a spiritual one or historic one, I don't even know. But it was one of the greatest trips I've ever been on, just going and seeing honestly where three huge religious groups consider their holy land.

Christians, it's our holy land. You look at the Muslims, it's their holy land. If you look at the Jewish people, it's their holy land. All of them all want the same area where the temple block is. It was a magical place and it was cool because when you go to Disneyland or you go to these theme parks, they make this stuff look cool, old stone and everything, but it's just fake. It's just a facade to try to look cool. But this is like when you're there in Jerusalem. It's the most authentic real place I've ever been I've ever seen.

We had a chance to spend so much time. We got an Airbnb downtown in old Jerusalem right next to the Western Wall. We had a chance to spend so much time with the Jewish people and the Hasidic Jews who were on the Wailing Wall praying and crying. We were there on the wall with them, praying with them. It was so cool. We had a chance to go up on the Temple Mount to the Dome of the Rock, spend time with some of the Muslim people and talk to them and get their... It was just such a cool, amazing thing. Then to go see all the Christian sites from where Christ was born to where his ministry was. We had a chance to go out at 5:30 in the morning on the Sea of Galilee where Christ calmed the waters, where he walked on water and spend time there.

We saw where he was crucified. We saw where his tomb was just to see all the holy Christian sites, as well. It's just like, ah, man, it was one of my favorite trips I've ever been on. But it's so cool to be able to experience those things with my kids. The last, I guess, takeaway I want to share from this was the longest I've been away from the office maybe forever, but at least since ClickFunnel's launch. It was almost three weeks away from the office. Because of just where we're at, we're in Kenyan villages, there's no plugs or internet. Then we were in Jerusalem and we're touring the cities 24 hours a day. I didn't have a chance to work or do anything. It was the first time I had a chance to really, really unplug and just be there with my family and with my thoughts and seeing some of the fruits of what we've done and what we've we've been trying to work towards.

It was cool because it gave me a chance to reflect. I work so much that I don't get a chance away like that. It kind of forced me to be away in a really unique way. I had a chance to read books on the flights and the drive and get my mind sharp again and get me re-excited about the battles that I'm in and the wars I want to win. I feel like in ClickFunnels, for example, there's times we've been the dominant factor. Times people have had taken some land from us and back and forth and it's like I've got re-energized just like, "Okay, here's how we're going to win, and here's how we're going to win big." Those things came from not being in the business, fighting in wars, from stepping out and looking at the battlefield and having a chance to really strategically think through things as opposed to tactically executing on things all the time.

If nothing else, especially for you entrepreneurs who like me, who struggle at vacations, you struggle from getting away, don't look at it as a vacation. Instead, look at it as a way to step out of the tactical battles that you're fighting every single day and get to higher ground and strategically sit and think. Just try to figure out, "How do I win this war? How do I advance my troops? How do I make sure that we're winning in all these situations," and all that kind of stuff. I think that that's honestly the thing that was really cool for me. Like I said, especially since I'm not the kind of person who typically breaks away from it. I think you guys are going to see over the next 60 days specifically, and then over the next, throughout the rest of the year, us implementing this game plan.

It's going to be fun and exciting and I think it's going to change the world. Anyway, I'm pumped. I'm on fire. I'm back right now. Even jet lag can't get me tired because feeling so good. That's all I want to share with you guys today. I'm getting close to my destination, so I'm probably going to end this podcast. But anyway, two big takeaways. Number one is weave giving into your business. If you do, you have a chance to bless other people's lives in a way that they could never bless their own, which I think you will really enjoy that feeling that comes with it. Then number two is get a chance to force yourself to get to places where you have to strategically break away from the daily grind that you're in. You can strategically look at the chess board and figure out how to actually win.

I hope that those two takeaways will be worth it, because for me, it was amazing. On top of that, just the time to be with my kids and to watch their eyes as they experienced Kenya, as they experienced Jerusalem, as they experienced these things that were so powerful. I'm grateful for you all, thanks for listening. I'm in your corner rooting for you. I love entrepreneurs. I believe in entrepreneurs. That's why I've dedicated my life to serving and trying to change your life, and I hope that you feel that. With that said, thank you guys so much for being podcast listeners. We have some big plans coming up for the podcast over the next couple of weeks, months and years, and grateful for you guys being part of it. With that said, thank you guys and I'll talk to y'all soon. Bye everybody.

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