Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets show. This is part two of the episode where I’m telling you why I paused my inner circle, and some people have told me I’m crazy, some people think I’m insane. But today I’m going to kind of tell you the rest of the story about why I did it. And hopefully it will help you as you’re making some decisions in your personal life and your business as well.
Alright everybody, I left off talking about the history of the inner circle and how we got to the spot where we had 100 entrepreneurs I was serving. And it’s crazy how much, I just want to keep re-emphasizing how fulfilling the work with this group has been for me. As I wrote the Expert Secrets book and the Traffic Secrets book, they were, and again we have 97, almost 98,000 people inside of Clickfunnels, and obviously I don’t know all the businesses, but this sampling of 100 people are the ones I have a chance to feel the pulse all the time. And it’s my pulse on the market to know what’s happening , what’s working, what’s not working, what we need to develop, what we need to change, what do I need to teach. All these things came from my interactions with my group, my inner circle.
So it’s been one of these things where it’s like, I love it so much, it’s so important to me. But about 6 months or so ago is when Todd Dickerson and I, Todd’s my cofounder at Clickfunnels, we had this meeting where it was basically like, “Look, if we were to start this whole thing over from scratch, this Clickfunnels, what would we do different?” And we called it our “Sacred Cow” meeting. There’s no sacred cow, anything goes, whatever we need to change, we need to change it. It doesn’t matter how hard it is, how painful it is, how much we love the feature or the program or the thing, we need to have those hard conversations that aren’t fun.
So we did, and we went through a whole bunch of stuff, which is why some of these announcements that are happening at Clickfunnels are happening. Because we decided, “Look, this thing we spent two years on and 7 million dollars in development, we’re going to stop working on it. We’re going to sunset it. There’s a thing over here, and a thing over here, and this program here, and this coaching program, and this thing…” all these things were on the chopping block, for potential discussion, like what are we going to do with it.
And one of the ones that was a sacred cow to me was my inner circle. And again it’s been this amazing thing to me, but right now, 5 years into Clickfunnels, 15 years into this career that I’ve been in, it’s been a lot of work. And I think you guys see that from the outside, between writing books, and managing teams and software and events, and all the things, it’s become a lot. Not only was it like, I’ve been meaning to shift things for Clickfunnels, but it’s like, what do we actually want? What’s the point of us running this huge company and doing these things if our lives aren’t doing exactly what we want?
And a big part of the thing for me was I’m doing everything, but my kids, my oldest twins are going to be in high school next year, and the other kids are not far behind them, and it’s like, they have so many things happening and it’s like, I need more time for the kids, for everything. And also how much of my time, you know, 8 days twice a year plus a lot of Fridays I’m spending with inner circle. And while it’s amazing and fulfilling, it takes away a lot of times that I could be focusing on the thing that’s growing the most, the thing that serves the most people, which is Clickfunnels, which is the content that I create that’s evergreen like writing a book or things like that that live beyond just a moment.
So for me, I had to make that hard decision, what do I do with the inner circle? And to just kind of put this in frame for everybody, inner circle nets me after everything, over $2 million a year. So it’s like, the sacred cow here is like am I going to turn off a business that estimates $2 million a year? But more importantly, and the thing that was harder for me was just like this relationship I have with these amazing entrepreneurs who are literally changing the world.
You’ve been to Funnel Hacking Live, you’ve seen the speakers, most of them are from my inner circle, it’s usually people that we work with directly, you know, we’ve been through war and back with these guys.
So that was the more difficult choice, and finally about 6 months ago I made the decision, I need to wind this down so I can spend all the extra free time with my family and then be able to focus 100% of my focus on our core business. But it was, I couldn’t tell anybody. I didn’t want to announce it because I knew how hard it was going to be for me, and for them, and for everybody. So I didn’t. I delayed it, I delayed it, I delayed it, until everyone was coming here on Monday. So the Friday before I finally did a Facebook live in the group and kind of told everybody, this is what’s happening and this is the plan. And you know, Clickfunnels we have a mission to get to a billion dollar valuation, which no software company has ever done that wasn’t backed by venture capital. We’re on a mission to do that, that’s gotta be my focus when it comes to my work.
And then it’s like, my kids, I need to spend more time there. I can’t keep juggling all these things. And a lot of things are getting cut, a lot of things are being shifted and one of the big ones that unfortunately I have to pause right now is the inner circle. And I told them, I’m pausing it for a couple of reasons, number one, it’s inner circle for life, you guys are in this for life and I want to keep creating things you can be part of and you can network, and we can keep the community together.
But number two, I just need to pause it for a while. It’s not indefinitely, someday I’ll step down as the CEO of Clickfunnels and I’ll have more time and my kids will be graduating from high school, or I don’t know where or when, but I want to bring it back with the same group of entrepreneurs and have a door for some of you guys who have been working towards that and trying to prepare yourselves, and building businesses and changing people’s lives and be able to be in there. I want that to still be something that’s available, possible.
So right now I announce that it’s going to be paused. And man, I can’t tell you how much fear I had making that announcement. And how difficult and hard it was, because I was so scared that these people that I’ve learned to love and respect and literally been on the frontlines of business war with, how they were going to accept it. And some of them might be upset, they might be frustrated, they might be angry. You know people pay a lot of money to be in that group. Over a year and a half ago we raised the price from $25,000 a year to $50,000 a year, and they still stuck in, they still wanted to be part of it.
Anyway, so that’s kind of where it’s at. So the last piece of the story, I was going to tell you about the first two days of inner circle. And I have the next two days, you know, Thursday and Friday, but Monday and Tuesday have been so emotional and hard and amazing. And I felt like it was almost like my funeral. Everyone had a chance to get up and thank me for stuff, which was really, really special. But the other interesting thing that I kind of got and didn’t expect was from a lot of people, and I’m going to tell you Peng Joon’s experience because it was the one that’s probably the most tangible and relevant for you guys.
But Peng Joon told me, he said, “After you made the announcement that night, I laid in bed and I couldn’t sleep.” And he started thinking, “You know I joined Inner Circle 4 years ago, 5 years ago you launched Clickfunnels, we’ve seen now what’s possible, what am I going to do over the next 5 years. 5 years from now I could build a company to a billion dollars, but I gotta start looking at things differently and acting differently.” And it actually became motivational for him.
I had other people that like Annessa Holmes just told me, “You know you’re taking this break to spend time with your family and it made me reflect back, do I need to take a break, do I need to spend more time with my family? What shifts do I need to make in my life and business as well?”
So I hope me pausing this, not only is it going to buy me some time to spend with my family and my kids and focus on our core mission, which I think is important, but hopefully it inspires some of you guys to look at it as well. You know sometimes there are things that are really, really good. This inner circle is doing good, it has changed my life, it’s changed their lives, it’s changed lives of so many people. But there are things that are great, like your family. You can’t get that time back no matter what. And it’s like, we sacrifice good things for great things, and I hope that some of you guys will get that lesson.
The second thing is just showing you guys what’s possible in 5 years. 5 years ago we didn’t have a Clickfunnels. 6 years ago we were at the brink of bankruptcy trying to keep the doors open while Todd was building Clickfunnels. It’s amazing what could happen in the next 5 years, and I hope that you guys look at this as a moment to stop and be like, what’s possible for me in the next 5 years? What’s my vision, what’s the direction, what am I running towards, what can I go and try to accomplish?
So that’s one of the reasons I want to share it with you. To end with, I’m going to actually read you a little piece of the Traffic Secrets book. And I read this to the inner circle members, and I told them, I said, “Look, Clickfunnels has 97, 98,000 members, but when I think about when I’m creating things, I’m creating them for the inner circle. They are the face of the customers I see all the time. People I know their names, I know their families, I know their kids, I know their employees, I know their staff, I know their vision, their mission. So for me, my lens of this entire huge community, is the inner circle.”
So as I was writing the dedication for the Traffic Secrets book, it was interesting, I started thinking, what would, I can’t remember the Dotcom Secrets and Expert Secrets books, who did I dedicate those books to? And I opened up the Dotcom Secrets book and it was interesting because I dedicated it to my mom and my dad, and my wife, Collette. Then I looked at the Expert Secrets book and I dedicated it to all the experts who were willing to put out their information to change my life, and then I dedicated it to my kids.
And so the third book, as I was writing it, and as I sitting down to write the dedication, I started thinking about this community. And it started with the inner circle, but it also bleeds down to you, every single person that’s hearing my voice right now, as my funnel hackers. And the third book is dedicated to all of you. So I wanted to read you the dedication, and hopefully it’ll get you pumped to read the book when it comes out, but also to help you understand why this work and this mission has been so important to me. Here it goes, here we go:
“This book is dedicated to the Entrepreneurs who I have been called to serve, my funnel hackers. You made it possible for me to do the work that interests me that I feel is meaningful and worthwhile. This final book in the secrets trilogy was created to help you find more of the people who are waiting to hear your message. If this book helps you to reach even just one more person and change their life with your God-given gifts, then this work was a success.”
So as I told yesterday, as I sat up with the first group of inner circle, I read that to them and I bawled my eyes out like a little baby. But I hope that as you heard that you understand that if you’re listening to this, if you’re feeling the calling, the tug, the pull that’s got you into this community, into CLickfunnels, into my podcast, into all these things, it’s because you have a God-given gift or talent or something, and you’ve been called to do something with that, to help get your, to help change somebody’s life in some way. That’s why you tune in, that’s why you listen, that’s why you dream, that’s why you have these visions, because of that.
So everything I’ve done to this point in my career of 15, 5 years of Clickfunnels, and with the books and coaching and all these things, if my work has helped you to help change somebody’s life, then it’s all worth it. And I’m going to keep changing more people’s lives, and man, it’s insane.
There’s one more thing that I want to share with you, but I’m not going to share it on this podcast. I might do it on the next one. It was a message that one of the members of the inner circle said about funnels and about, anyway…I’m going to save that one for you. So there’s my hook to hook you to the next episode. But hopefully you got something from these ones. And for any of you who have been striving, working towards getting into my inner circle someday, keep striving. It’s not going to be long. It’s not going to be a 20 year thing when I bring it back. I told them all, I said, “Look, it might be a year from now, it might two years from now, but I’ll be sending an email out saying, ‘okay, I’m back. And we’re opening it back up, this is what’s it going to look like.” And I hope at that point that you are prepared and ready because I’d love to have you as part of this group of people who are changing the lives of millions of people around the world, and they’ve changed my life as well.
So I’m grateful for any of my inner circle members who are listening, thank you for the last 5 or 6 years. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’m so proud of you and impressed with the lives you’ve changed. And for everyone else, just keep moving forward toward that goal, and someday I hope to have a chance to sit with you in one of my meetings or mastermind groups and have a chance to see how you’re changing the world as well.
Alright, thanks everybody, appreciate you all, have an amazing day.