Secret #38: “99 Yards Doth Not A Touchdown Make”


Russell’s thoughts as he enters the last phase of the viral video launch.

  • Russell’s ridiculously busy day to finally get the new video launched
  • What Russell learned on his Mormon mission about not slacking off
  • How Russell made the news for a wrestling match he almost lost

So listen here to be inspired to push through that final yard and complete your project.

Full Episode Transcript Expand Transcript

What’s up everybody? This is Russell Brunson, welcome to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Today’s episode is called 99 yards doth not a touchdown make.

Hey everybody, welcome again to the podcast. I’m glad to have you guys here. I’m doing this the day before the viral video launch. And if I’m completely honest, I feel like garbage. I didn’t want to get out of bed today, I didn’t want to move. To kind of give you some context of everything, everyone’s like, “oh you’re launching a video, that’s gotta be pretty easy. The Harmon Brothers did the video.” I’m like, “Yeah but there’s a lot of stuff on this side that happens.” Like we completely changed the entire online sales process. So new sales letters, new sales flow, everything, which when you see it, it’s pretty ninja.

That alone is usually a couple week project to get it right, and so that’s been happening and doing that all this week. Number two is we rebuilt our whole onboarding process. You will see if you go to and create an account, or if you just login as of tomorrow, you will see the whole onboarding process. We’ve got online game, we’ve got these video walk through’s. I think I recorded 150+ videos for the new walk through process. So we’ve been doing that and getting all that programmatically created. Plus all the videos and copy and things like that. Boom that’s number two.

Then we’ve got the new online cookbook. We created a Funnel Hacker Cookbook, so that book is launching this week. That’d be a 350 pages cookbook. And then this week, I was like I need some training with this so we also happened to have had the FHAT event this week, it’s still happening. It’s a 3 day event where people come and we build out an entire webinar with them. So day one I spoke onstage with them for 3 hours, then went to lunch. Then after lunch I jumped in my office with a blank slide deck and power point and I ended up creating over the next 4 hours 222 slides for a presentation to teach the cookbook that night.

Then I went and ate dinner. After dinner I got it up, I set up the entire kitchen with a bunch of Lego’s that you will see. Then we taught, I did a presentation for 2 ½ hours teaching how to use the cookbook, how it works with Lego’s and it was really cool, because we needed that training video. Then we took that and we’re chopping it up into 74 mini videos, which Brandon Fischer was doing all of it yesterday, which is crazy. And then we still had this live event.

So yesterday, Steven was running the event, which was nice. So he ran the event all day. While he was running the event, I was working on the sales letter, the process and I realized that a bunch of the videos I had created for one purpose, for the onboarding, didn’t actually work for that thing. So I went and recorded 22 more videos yesterday for that. Recorded the videos plus had to work on all the other stuff. And then after that I had to run home, I’m a scout master, so I went to 11 year old scouts, taught the kids how to swim yesterday. Then I went back to the office and the FHAT event was still happening, and I got on stage from 9:00 to 12:30 at night, in the morning, teaching how to do the stack, which was awesome.

And I was just like so tired. And then today is happening and I woke up and I’m just like, I’m dead. Hosting an event and then launching an event, launching a cookbook,  we’re launching an onboarding process, new sales letter, new demo pages, plus all the marketing sequence and automation I still gotta create today. Then tonight I have my family pictures. Why?

So I woke up today feeling like crap, I still feel like crap. I honestly, if I’m being completely honest, the last thing I want to do today is everything I’ve got to do today. But as I woke up this morning, I heard something ringing through my head. It was this quote I heard from a teacher, and it’s 99 yards doth not a touchdown make. The back story behind this, I went to BYU, Brigham Young University, my freshman year, I was a wrestler there. Towards the end of it I decided I was going to go serve a mission for my church, so I signed up for some missionary prep classes and my missionary prep teacher’s name was Randy Bott. He’s written three or four books on going on a mission and all that kind of stuff.

He’s teaching the class and he’s talking about how for Mormon missionaries, you’re out for two years and you go through this whole process. And for two years you’re out knocking on doors, you call home on Mother’s Day and on Christmas, you don’t get to date girls, you don’t get to watch TV, you’re just out there for two years and it’s tough. I remember he gave this lesson one time and he titled this lesson, 99 yards doth not a touchdown make.

He talked about how you go out there and you’re serving this thing for two years and he said that let’s say you served really good mission and the last four or five months you kind of just relax and take it easy and goof off or whatever. He’s like, if you do that, the destiny of your life will change because you decided to slack off. He said in a football game, you can work your butt off. Drive 99 yards all the way across the field, get to the one yard line and if you don’t kick that in, don’t cross the goal line, if you don’t make a touchdown you get zero points. It’s not like, oh well they did a really good job, we’ll give them three. No, you either make it or you don’t. 99 yards doth not a touchdown make, you gotta score a touchdown or you don’t get the points.

That was kind of the moral of that lesson. And I remembered that as I was on my mission, especially toward the end when I was tired and I was ready to get home and I remembered that ringing through my head. 99 yards doth not a touchdown make, you’ve gotta get in the end zone, you’ve gotta finish this strong. So I did.

I remember when I was wrestling, same thing. My senior year of wrestling, I was wrestling a guy, I think at the time he was ranked 7th in the country, and I went out there and I don’t think I was ranked at this time. I had lost some matches I shouldn’t have early, so I dropped out of the rankings. I’m wrestling this guy, and on paper I should not have beat him. I went out there and I remember wrestling him, and at first he came out really hard and strong and was beating me and then I came back and was fighting back, fighting back, fighting back and eventually I ended up tying him and we went into overtime, and in overtime the thought that rang through my head was 99 yards doth not a touchdown make.

I have come all this way and killed myself. I cut weight, I didn’t eat for a week, I did all these things. The match I was fighting and fighting and fighting, if I lose now, if I stop now, it’s over. I can’t stop, can’t stop. I went out there and I remember in overtime I took him down and I remember jumping around like crazy. And the news was there, it was so cool. The news captured that, and that night it was on the nightly news showing me taking this guy down in overtime, it was awesome.

It’s just interesting how that one phrase has helped me. Now I’m looking at today and I woke up and I just don’t want to do this. I want to go to bed, I’m tired and my nose is stuffed, I’m beat up. Today I’m going to go, I’ve got 5 or 6 hours to do and then I gotta get back onstage for two hours and present. When I get done with that, I gotta go home and get family pictures, then I’m going to come back…sorry, my nose is stuffed, as you can hear. I gotta come back and I’ll probably be here at the office until 2 or 3 in the morning tonight. Then tomorrow morning I wake up and gotta still do my presentation for tomorrow. Then we got 400 people coming and I gotta speak and entertain and I’m MC’ing the event. And Gary Vaynerchuk’s speaking, I’m speaking, the Harmon Brothers are speaking and then we’re going to launch the viral video and then from there we’re going to go down and play bubble soccer until like 10 o’clock at night.

So tomorrow’s going to be tough too, but 99 yards doth not a touchdown make. I think a lot of times in business and other things, people work so hard and get so close to the end and then at the end they take their foot off the gas and then what could have been amazing, ends up being good or not anything at all.

So for you guys, I want you to know first off, even I get burned out. Sometimes, like today, I don’t want to do this thing. The last thing on earth I want to do is turn this car off and walk in there, but I’m going to do it because I’m on the one yard line, and I know that the difference between champions and the people who aren’t, is this last piece, pushing it over the edge, getting it out. It’s the last execution where most people quit or they ease up or they step off the gas. Instead I’m going to step on the gas and we’re going to blow through thing and freaking make a touchdown. It’s going to be awesome.

So that’s what’s happening today. Hopefully this gives you some motivation for those of you guys who are struggling or tired or worn out. I understand, I’ve been there. Push through the pain, you’re almost there, you’re on the one yard line, just get through it, just push to the end. 99 yards doth not a touchdown make, that last yard is the one that matters. So don’t give up, you’re almost there. I’m almost there. I’m almost there, you’re almost there, let’s do it together. Okay, I’m going inside you guys, have some fun. I’ll see you guys on the other line, I’ll see you guys in the end zone. Bye everybody.

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Over the past 10 years, Russell has built a following of over a million entrepreneurs, sold hundreds of thousands of copies of his books, popularized the concept of sales funnels, and co-founded a software company called ClickFunnels that helps tens of thousands of entrepreneurs quickly get their message out to the marketplace.