The roundtable interview with Matt and Caleb Maddix and a small group of people who are trying to change the world. Enjoy part three of this special 4 part episode series.
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Russell Brunson: What's up everybody, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to The Marketing Secrets podcast. I hope you've been enjoying this series so far. This is The Roundtable of World Changers, a conversation I had with Matt and Caleb Maddix, and a whole bunch of young entrepreneurs, who are literally out there trying to change the world.
This is part three of a four part episode, because the conversation went for three or four hours. And so, this episode's also going to be about 40 minutes long, and it's the next set of questions they asked me. And if you've listened to the last two, you know that these guys ask a lot of questions, in a lot of different directions, and angles, and went all over the place.
And I think this time is probably 01:00 or 02:00 in the morning. And so, the questions started going from everywhere, from business, to relationships, to families, and a whole bunch more. So I hope you enjoy this next episode. Here's some of the bullet points of things you're going to learn about.
We talked about the 10 commandments of marketing. I talked about my very first mentor, and a thing he taught me, not just to make money in the short term, but how to build a business that now has lasted me for almost two decades. I talk about one of my friends and mentors, Daegen Smith and something that he taught me. It was so simple, yet it's been the key to help me get thousands of people a day to join my email list.
We talked about leadership, delegation, scheduling. We talk about, as you're building a team, understanding people's unique abilities. Talked about how much time you spend thinking about the future. Talked about proximity with billionaires. We also talked about how to balance your business and married life, so you can be a good husband and a good father, which is something that I stress about all the time.
We talked about a principle that I learned from Stacey and Paul Martino, that has been one of the most powerful things I've learned, which is called demand-relationship. I talk about that. We talk about some relationship tricks, for those who are either married or getting married. Some of the newlyweds, and the engaged couples, were asking some questions about that. Hopefully I don't get in trouble for sharing some of my tricks.
We talked about knowing what your values are, and your priorities. Talked about being vulnerable, and being honest, versus staying positive through challenges. We talked about some of the biggest principles and things I learned from Tony Robbins, including how to change your state whenever you need to. And we talked about my 12 year relationship with Tony Robbins, and all the things behind that.
We talked about... I don't want to spoil any more. You guys, this is a fun interview. And hopefully, you've been enjoying these so far. So with that said, we're going to cut to the theme song. When we come back, we're going to take you guys immediately back into this conversation. This is, again, The Roundtable of World Changers, part three of four.
Matt Maddix: Let's say there was a Russell Brunson 10 commandments. You know how God had one.
Russell: Thou shall build a list.
Matt: Yeah. How high is this in the 10 commandments?
Russell: My first mentor, Mark…
Matt: And what would be some of the Russell Brunson... Let's come up with some of them. Like, "Thou shalt..."
Russell: We need some stone tablets.
Matt: "To all the funnel hackers, thou shalt and thou shall not." I want to hear-
Russell: That would be a fun presentation, actually.
Matt: Yeah, that would be, actually.
Caleb Maddix: That would be.
Russell: That would be cool.
Matt: Dude, you need to do that.
Russell: Come back from the mountain, we have 10 things.
Matt: Yeah, seriously.
Caleb: Wow. That'd be awesome.
Matt: No, the five 'thou shalts', and like, "Thou shall..." and then-
Russell: "Thou shall..."
Matt: ..."Thou shall not, no matter what..." What would some of those be?
Russell: That could be a really cool presentation, actually. Well, so I would say, in my first venture was Mark Joyner, and he was the one... So in context, in history, 18 years when I started, Mark Joyner... I don't think it's probably known. He's brilliant. But he built a company, and sold it off. And at the very end of his career as a coach person, I got to meet him and get to know him a little bit.
But I remember, at that time, Google AdSense was this thing that came. And so, if any of you guys are old enough, just try and remember the Google AdSense days. It was insane. They were software. You click a button on software, it would pop out of site, pop out another site. And these sites would make anywhere from 100 to $1000 a day. And you just keep clicking this button, it would pop out another site.
And so, people were making $1 million a month. They had teams in the Philippines, that these guys just clicking the button to build the software. It was just... But it was all fake. But it was tons of money. Insane amounts of money. I had friends making so much money. And shiny object, very shiny object, the most sexy shiny object of all time. You click a button, you can make $1 million. That was it, that was the pitch. And it was true.
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Russell: For so... Everyone I knew. Can you imagine that?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Russell: If I go back in time, 18 years ago, I would move to the Philippines, I would hire everybody, and we would just click buttons. And I would've been-
Russell: ...a billionaire. It was-
Russell: It was insane. That's how Google got people adopting the AdSense program. So people would put ads on every single site, every single everything. And so, I'm getting in this game, I'm seeing this, and I'm morons making insane amounts of money. And I was like, "Ah!"
And Mark had just become my mentor, the very first time, and he's like, "That's going to go away. Focus on building a list." I'm like, "But this guy's a moron. He made $1 million last month clicking a button. No strategy, no brains, no nothing." He's like, "I know, but it's going to go away. Focus on building a list." I'm like-
Russell: "He's clicking a button. Building lists is hard." He's like, "Build a list." I'm like... And I remember fighting him and fighting him, he's just like, "Dude, trust me. I've been on cycle. It's going to go away. Just focus and focus."
And I was so upset, but I listened because I do that. One thing I pride myself on, I'm very coachable. Coach tells me something, I do it. I obey all giants with helicopters and stage presence.
Matt: I love it.
Russell: They tell me to do it, I do it, right? So I was like, "Ah, but there's free money in piles-"
Matt: Even when it's hard-
Russell: "All right."
Matt: ...you do it.
Russell: So I did it. And sure enough, I was doing that, and doing that, within six months, this things collapsed, disappeared, destroyed people's lives. Because you're making $1 million a month clicking buttons, what do you do? Especially as a young kid.
Matt: Spending that much money.
Russell: You're buying Lambos, and Ferraris, and helicopters, and pilots, and girls, and insane amounts of money. And then it disappears overnight. Devastating, ruined these guys, ruined them, so many people.
Matt: There’s no skill behind that at all.
Russell: Yeah. And I had a list, and I just coasted through it. Right? And I've looked at the SEOs, every single up and down, up and down, through the years, and I just listened to Mark and just focused on building my list, focused on building it, and-
Matt: So you still feel that as strong today, as when you heard it?
Matt: Even then.
Russell: 100%. That’s one of our KPIs. How many people doing lists today? Every single day.
Matt: Really? Everyday?
Russell: Everyday. Because I did it for a long time-
Matt: Even now, you're saying?
Russell: 100%, everyday. John Parkes everyday sends me a number. “How many people joined our list yesterday?” That’s all I want to know.
Caleb: What's your guys' email open rates?
Russell: It fluctuates. 20 ish percent.
Russell: Around there. But it was funny because I remember, I had forgotten that lesson after a while. And if you guys know Daegen Smith, Daegen, he's getting back in the game now. He's brilliant. But I remember I had a list, and I was my money off of it. I wasn't focusing on it. And I remember he asked me a question, he said, "How many..." It wasn't, "How many people are on your list?" Because that's what most people ask, "How big's your list?" But he asked me a different question, which input output, right?
Russell: The question was, "How many people joined your list today?" And I was like, "I don't know." He's like, "Go look right now." I'm like, "Okay." So I log in, and look at the thing, it was like 12. And I was like, "12?" And I was like, "Is that good or bad? I don't know." And he's like, "Let me show you mine." And he showed me his, and it was like 1400. And I was like, "You had 1400 people join today?" He's like, "Yeah." "Wait, how'd you do that?" He's like, "I just look at it everyday. And when I look at it everyday, somehow it grows." And I was like-
Russell: "Okay." So then, everyday, after I log in and look at my thing, it was like 12, I'm like, "Ah." In my head, I'm like, "Fricken Daegen had 1400. I only 12."
Russell: And also, I was like, "What do I do to get people to join the list?"
Matt: Yeah, start optimizing.
Russell: And then, your mind starts thinking differently, and all of a sudden you start focusing on it. And it's crazy. I can't tell you how many entrepreneurs, that have been in my world, who have gone up and then come down. And what happens, mostly, is they do something, they build a big list, they stop adding fuel to the fire, they have this list, they sell things to the list, the list atrophies, and eventually starts shrinking and dying. And then, they don't know how to build lists, the business crashes and dies.
Matt: I hope you guys are really listening. Really. I mean, he's-
Caleb: That's powerful.
Matt: ...saving your life right now.
Russell: The question, the goal, every single day, is that, because it's a fuel to your fire. And what happens was you stop putting fuel on the fire, and it doesn't die immediately. So you're like, "Oh, I've turned off Ads, so I'm good. But I'm just going to focus on emails, let's focus that." But just every email you send out, your list atrophies, shrinks, dies. And then, eventually, it'll just die. And so, yeah, if you're not consistently, constantly feeding the list, every single day-
Matt: And once you have the list, what's the biggest mistake people make with their list?
Russell: They don't email it.
Russell: They're scared to... You think it's too much emails. It's not, it's the opposite. It's that they don't email.
Russell: Minimum of three times a week. Closer to everyday.
Russell: If you talk to Daegen, it's twice a day, everyday.
Caleb: What other KPIs do you have sent to you every single day?
Russell: I want to know how much we made yesterday, striped. Because first off, it's cool to know.
Russell: But second off, also it's like, I want that number to be bigger everyday. So it's like, actual money in the thing, how many people joined the list today, and how many books are sold, how many ClickFunnels members. Those are the ones for me. Our teams have other KPIs they focus on. But those are the ones I care about.
Matt: So out of 30 days, when you hear the numbers, how often are you pissed and how often are you like, "Yeah."?
Russell: Nowadays, it's always pretty good.
Matt: Nowadays, it's like, "Woo."
Russell: Because it might go up or down a little bit, but the numbers are big enough, that it's just like, "That's so crazy." I remember... Anyway. I remember just the growth of ClickFunnels, because you know Stripe dings every day with your numbers. I remember when we started going, it got to the point where it's like $10,000 a day, I was like, "$10,000 a day is insane. That's just so cool." And then, it got to a point where it's like $20,000 a day, and then 30, and then $50,000 a day, and then $100,000 a day, and then 150, then 200, 250, 300. I'm just like, "This is insane to me, that this is a daily thing that come..." it was just...
Anyway, that's when it got just weird. And it makes me mad because Todd made a commitment to me, that as soon as we passed $500,000 a month in sales, he'd move to Boise.
Matt: And he didn't yet?
Russell: No. So...
Matt: You were out of there already.
Russell: And then, I was like, "Well, we have $500,000 a day." And then, he still hasn't come. So I don't know. Some day. Do you think Todd will ever move to Boise?
Speaker 4: Plus I'm curious if I could pop in to ask a question.
Russell: Yeah, feel free.
Speaker 4: I've always wanted to ask someone of your stature, that's done as much as you have, impacted as much people as you have, and really built the business that you have. So I'm curious on your take on leadership, building a team, delegating, and your schedule and how you go about scheduling your day, and prioritizing what's important for you, as a business owner, and what you delegate to your employees and their responsibilities as well. So leadership, delegating, and scheduling.
Russell: Good question. It's interesting because I would say I'm not the best leader on my team, by any stretch. And so, it was interesting because I spent the first four or five years with ClickFunnels as the CEO, trying to do my best with it. But it wasn't my unique ability, is leadership. I feel like I'm good at leading a community, but I struggle a lot more with employees and teams, internally.
And so, about a year ago or so, I handed the reins to Dave Woodward, to be the CEO of ClickFunnels. And he's been amazing. Man, what he's done inside the company has been awesome. And I think a big part of it is understanding, at least for me personally, I was trying to be a leader, and trying to develop that, but I wasn't the best at it.
And I think sometimes we think it's always got to be us. Like, "It's my company, I got to be the CEO. I got to be the leader. I got to do these things." It's understanding that a lot of times there's people who are really good. Who's the best you could find to be that? Or any part of our business. You know what I mean? It's a big part of it.
The second thing is, if you've studied Dan Sullivan at all, one of his biggest things is unique ability. That's the thing. What's your unique ability? What's everybody's unique ability? And I think when you start a company, it's tough because it's like everyone's in charge of everything, right? I'm the CEO, but I'm also taking out the garbage, I'm also doing... everyone's
Speaker 4: Yeah.
Russell: ...doing a little bit of everything, which is cool. When you're scrappy in the beginning, that's important, and everyone's doing that. But as you grow, that starts hindering you more and more and more, where we had people who are insanely talented, who if I could just get them doing this thing, 100% of the time... And that's when it got to the point with ClickFunnels, is that my unique abilities are writing, are being in videos, are building funnels, doing the... Those things are my unique abilities.
Russell: Yeah. And I was spending maybe 10% of my time on that, and 90% of the time in meetings, and trying-
Russell: ...coordinate people, and leadership. And it was stressful and it was hard.
Matt: And you were draining. You were probably drained doing that.
Russell: Yeah. And I was miserable, that was just... I wasn't good at it. Not feeling good, like, "Ah, I'm not getting through to people. I can't figure this out." But I felt like I had to own, I had to be the guy, I had to do the thing because this is my baby, this is my business. And the last 12 months has been crazy, because I handed it to someone who actually is good at that, that is his unique ability. And I'm watching company structure, and meetings, and KPIs, things that I was never super good at doing, and consistently having it all happening now.
And now, I'm in the marketing department again, and I'm building funnels. People are like, "What do you do all day?" I'm literally in ClickFunnels, building funnels. "No, but you have funnel builder..." No, I'm literally in ClickFunnels, building funnels. I didn't start this business because I wanted to be a CEO of a big huge company. I did it because I love building funnels. I'm an artist, when it comes down to it, this is my art.
Russell: And that's what I get to do now. And it's amazing. So Dan's got Fridays we book out, and we spend videos, he's got a whole bunch of YouTube videos, we film five or six YouTube vlogs last week, on Friday. So we have that times blocked out to do that, right? I'm writing my next book right now, so I've got my mornings blocked out to write books, because that's when my mind's got not a million things so I can do that.
And then, after morning comes in, after I do my wrestling practice, I come in. And that's my teams there, and that's when we're building funnels. I got my designer and my copywriter, the people, and I get to facilitate that. And I feel like the... What's the guy in the orchestra, the maestro?
Russell: Yeah, like I'm the conductor, I'm conducting all these talented people. And everyone's bringing... And I'm alive, and it's exciting. And at night, I can't sleep, because I'm excited again. And so, I think that's the biggest thing, is taking the pressure off yourself if you're not the best leader. That's okay. What are you the actual best at?
And success, in business, I think, at least for me, I always thought I had to be the best at everything. And it's the opposite, where it's like, "How do you focus on the thing you're best at? And get the rest of the people around you."
Speaker 4: Yeah. And it gets-
Matt: And it's... You had to have been willing to let go of your ego, man. Or you wouldn't have been able to grow so much. If you try to do it all yourself...
Caleb: So I have a question. How much time do you spend actually thinking about the future? Because it seems like, from what you've told us, you're very dialed in and obsessed on the process, and that's how you've gotten to where you are, up to this point, because you're in love with the game. How much of your time do you spend thinking about the future, and what's on the horizon next year, five years, 10 years? Does that cross your mind? Or what does that look like?
Russell: It's interesting, I can't remember who was talking to about this... The further out you look, the fuzzier it gets. You know what I mean? And so, I think for me, it's like we have... I know where I want to go, but the in between is really, really fuzzy, right? It's hard to know. And so, it's like I know...
For me, the last big boat was $100 million, the next one's a billion. So we know there's the thing. But it's so far from... I don't know the steps to get there. You know what I mean? And so, for me, it's more like, "Well, here's where we're at." In fact, that was my... We had a chance, last month, to go spend a day with Tony Robbins, and we each had a chance to ask him one question. So that was literally my question, just like...
Matt: What was your question?
Russell: My question... It'll be a blog soon. Not yet though. No, but it was basically like, "We've gotten to this point, and I know to get to the next goal, the things we've been doing are great and they got us to this point, but I have to think differently to here. I don't know how to think differently. How do you think... It's not another book I'm... Is it a book? How do I think differently?"
And what Tony said, that was... it's a very... He said a lot of things, but one of the big things was like, "Proximity is power," like, "You have to be in proximity with people who have already accomplished the thing that you're trying to do." And it was interesting because I look at the path of how I grew ClickFunnels, I did that 100%. I was like, "All right, who are the..." and we found the people, got proximity, and then grew it to this point.
So eventually, we kind of coded out of the people who I was aware of. So I asked Tony, I'm like, "Well, where would you go to?" And he's like, "Well, if it was me," he's like, "Who's built the billion dollar company?" He's like, "Marc Benioff." And he started naming all these different billionaires. And this and that, all these things. And I was just like, "I never even assumed those people could... I could be..." it seems so far away. And I was like, "Oh my gosh, that's..." Having a proximity to those people, and start thinking differently, because I don't know the journey but they've done it.
Because someone in our world, and like, "How do [inaudible 00:16:13]?" I'm like, "This is literally a 13 minute project. There you go. [inaudible 00:16:16]." It's like I've done it so many times, it's not hard, right? But for them, it's like this is the rocket science to figure it out. And then the same way with these guys who have built billion dollar companies. So now it's trying to proximity to those people, and trying to get around them, and trying to figure out the journey.
So the first thing we did, literally, I got out with Tony, Tony gave the answer to the question, and I knew the first guy I needed to get into proximity with. So I texted Dave, Dave called him up, we brought him on retainer. And now, we've got him an hour a week, to get on the phone with him and just ask him all of our questions. And have him introduce us all the different players at that next level.
So a lot of it's that. Dave, who's the CEO, was very focused on all the... He's very much like, "Okay, first, to get to this goal, we have to have everyone here, here, here. These are the percentages, the numbers, all the..." Those things stress me out, I hate spreadsheets. He's always got spreadsheets. But he comes back with all the spreadsheets, I was like, "All I need to know from you is... Because I'm going to be building a funnel. What's the goal? What do you need from me to be able to do that?" He's like, "We need more ClickFunnels trials." Like, "Done. I can... Okay. That's where I'm going to focus my energy."
And then, it's like, now I can creative on that piece, because I know this is the metric that I can do, with my skillset, to drive it. And everybody's got a metric, right? The traffic team, everybody's got a metric. But for me personally, it's like the only thing I actually affect in a short term, micro, and then I can focus all the creativity and effort on that, while trying to figure out how to shift my mind set to be bigger, to...
Caleb: If Marc Benioff offered you $1 billion for ClickFunnels, what would you say?
Speaker 4: Good question.
Russell: I'd ask him for five.
Matt: Good response!
Rob: Can I ask you a question, outside of business?
Matt: You asking a question? Oh.
Matt: Oh, go ahead.
Rob: So I remember you were talking about your wife earlier, with how you wanted to get her the couch. Me and my fiance actually met at ClickFunnels, at your event.
Matt: ClickFunnels wedding.
Russell: No way.
Rob: So what I'm curious about is-
Russell: Am I going to be the best man at the wedding?
Caleb: I told you, you've got to come, I'm like, "You've got to invite Russell."
Rob: So what I wanted to ask you is, obviously you run a nine figure company, and there's a lot that goes into that, how do you balance with, let's say, number one, your wife and then your kids as well? And then, what is your secret to a really successful marriage, that's worked for you?
Matt: Dude, what-
Rob: I think that's something that many entrepreneurs have good marriages that don't really get asked about. So I was just curious about that.
Russell: So I hear three questions in there, right? So balance, happy wife... What was... There was a third one?
Rob: Yeah, just balancing it, running a company. I mean, you do all these things, you also have a wife, you have kids.
Russell: Yeah. So I would say a couple things. So number one is balance is this thing that we all, for some reason, in our mind, we all seek after. But everything great in my life has come from times of radical imbalance. When I wanted to become a wrestler, I wasn't a great wrestler because I was balanced, it was because I became radically imbalanced in that thing.
Russell: It became the most important thing in my life, and everything else suffered. But I had to do it to be considered successful. When I met my wife, we didn't create a great relationship because we were balanced, I became radically imbalanced. And all my time and effort and focus was on her. And that's why it became great. ClickFunnels, same way. We built ClickFunnels, I was not balanced. We had to become radically imbalanced for a season, to focus actually to get...
So that's the thing to understand. In anything great in life, you can't do it in a point of balance. It's radical imbalance that causes greatness.
Matt: And that's golf.
Russell: And so, you got to be okay with that. But it can't be for forever. It's got to be something that goes, and it comes and goes. Because people who get radically imbalanced for a long time, they can lose their family, they can lose their kids.
Rob: Was there a point where you had to tell your wife, "Hey, this is what I really want to do."?
Russell: A lot. She had to-
Rob: And she had to just-
Russell: ...be on board with-
Rob: ...get on board.
Russell: She had to get on board, yeah. And if she wasn't, I had to say, "Okay, what's more important?" If it was her, then I had to say no to that. And there's been many opportunities in my life I've had to say no to.
Rob: What's that dynamic like, being that guys are together, just as far as working out just normal little things?
Russell: So I-
Rob: Just decisions, those kind of things.
Russell: Yeah, well, marriage, you're going to find out, it's hard. Just so fully aware. No one told me that, going into it. I was like-
Russell: I was like, "This is going to be amazing. This is going to be the greatest thing in the world." And it is, it's awesome. But man, it is way harder than I thought.
Rob: Just to be a person.
Russell: Yeah, someone's... I, actually, I would highly recommend Stacey and Paul Martino have a course that my wife and I have gone through the last year, and it's amazing. There's a principle they teach about demand-relationship. If you just go through their... They have a 14 day quick start, it's like $100. But if you just learn the principles of demand-relationship, what they teach. The biggest game changer in a relationship I ever... Of all the things I've studied...
Russell: It is amazing.
Rob: What was your take-away?
Russell: The principle of demand-relationship is that, throughout history and society, the way that most of us get things done is that... So in a relationship, there's a power player, and there's someone less, right? And if I want my wife to do something, I'm going to demand, like, "I need you to do these things." Right?
And that works, until the other person has the ability to leave. So prior to divorce being a thing, men, throughout history, have had a dominant relationship over women. They used to manage and get what they want, and women couldn't leave. And so, it was a horrible thing, right? But they couldn't leave.
As soon as divorce happened, boom, it started happening. Right? When parents come over to their kids and give demand-relationship, as soon as the kids are able to leave, it breaks. And then, breaks his relationships. And so, that's the problem, is that for the last 5000 years, that's been our DNA, that men force women to do these different things.
And that's what the demand-relationship is. Their whole training, their whole course, everything they teach is the opposite of demand-relationship. How do you create a relationship, where transformation happens through inspiration, not through demanding, and chasing. And it's tough because, for all of us, especially men, it's been so ingrained in our DNA that if we want something, we... That's how we do business, how we do things. But in a relation, especially an intimate relationship, it's the worst thing that could possibly happen.
And that's what we all do. So it'd be worth... I'm hoping she writes a book some day, because it's... In my new book, I have a whole chapter, actually, teaching her framework on in demand-relationship. What's that?
Rob: Were you high school sweethearts?
Russell: College, we met in college.
Rob: So she was with you before you started...
Rob: ...and had the huge success-
Rob: What was that transition like, from you guys, I guess, being... struggling, and you guys stay together-
Matt: Good questions, Rob.
Rob: ...to now-
Russell: His mindset's on this.
Russell: Going into it.
Rob: What is that like? I'm just curious, because I mean people don't really talk about this, I guess, a lot.
Caleb: Relationship genius.
Russell: Yeah. And it's different, because some relationships, both the people are in the business, some aren't. My wife's not involved in the business at all. She...
Rob: Oh, okay.
Russell: ...doesn't understand it, and she doesn't want to be part of it. And that's okay. It's like sometimes that's been the biggest blessing for me, sometimes it's been hard.
Russell: Right? Sometimes I see the power couples, who are both in the business, and it's really, really cool. But I ask them, and they're like, "Sometimes it's a great blessing, sometimes it's really hard." So there's pro's and con's both ways.
But I think the biggest part is just, this has been good for our relationship, and at first we didn't always have this, but it was like... Just figuring out how to get... You both have to have that same end goal, otherwise you're fighting against each other, right? And so, when we were building ClickFunnels and stuff, it was hard at first, because she didn't really... She's like, "What are you guys doing? You spend all this time and..." didn't understand it.
And it was tough because I was trying to explain it. And luckily, for me, is that Todd was part of this too, and his wife was kind of struggling. So they had each other to kind of talk through it. But it wasn't until the very first Funnel Hacking Live, where... Because my wife had never been to one of my events before, anything we'd really... She knew what kind of we did, but not really.
And she came to Funnel Hacking Live, the very first one. And she didn't come down at first, because she didn't realize what was happening. And she was doing some stuff, and then, she came down with one of her friends and walked in the back of the room, and saw all the stuff. And she started just crying. She was like, "Oh, this is what you're... I had no idea this is what was happening, and what was..."
And then, it became real for her. And that was such a huge blessing for me, because now, the next time, it was like, "We have to work hard for this." Or, "We're planning for..." whatever, she was able to see this is the fruits, and like, "Oh, that's why you're doing it." Now, if you notice, my wife's, every Funnel Hacking Live, front row. She doesn't understand a word we're saying, but she's there, she's paying attention, because she's like, "Look at all the people, and their lives are changing, and impacting." And now, it's different, where when I got to do work, work late nights, or whatever, she sees the vision, and she's on board with it. So it makes so much easier.
The other secret I learned is if I tell her, if it's like 05:00 at night, I'm like, "Crap, I got to stay late tonight." And I call her at 05:00 at night, nothing good can come from that. It's better if you just go home, right? If I know Wednesday night, I'm going to be working late, I tell her Monday. Like, "Hey, Wednesday night, there's a good chance I'm going to be late." And then, if I tell her that, she's totally cool with it, right? But you don't tell them the day of. It'll destroy your marriage more than anything.
Matt: That's good wisdom.
Russell: The other secret, this secret don't put on camera, I don't want my wife to...
Matt: Is that right?
Russell: Yeah, if I have any inclination that people are coming to town, or something's happening, I always like, "Just so you know, next week, Matt and Caleb are coming to town. There's a good shot we might go to dinner at night, just so you're fully aware." And she's like, "Cool." And then, it's fine. The other secret, this is the real one. So don't share this outside this room.
Speaker 4: This is the off camera one.
Russell: Yeah. So especially after... For my wife and I... So we started having kids, the same time I started this business, right? And so, I'm traveling, I'm going to events. And she's at home with the kids. And so, we never traveled before, so I'm going on these vacations, I'm meeting these cool people, I'm in hotel rooms. So every night, I'm getting back, and I'm like, "Oh my gosh." And I'm like, "Okay, I met so and so, and then..." all these things I'm so excited, so pumped about these things. And I'm telling her about stuff, and she's at home with twin babies, miserable, tired, horrible, feet hurt, body hurt. And I'm out having the time of my life.
Russell: And I'm thinking she's going to be pumped for me, right?
Russell: No. And for probably a year or so, I was just like... And then, one day, I remember I'm at some event, and I get cornered by people. And then, introverted Russell's like... anxiety, and it was horrible. And somebody cornered me in the bathroom, and asking me questions while I'm peeing. And it wasn't even... At least, sometimes, most of the time, they fake pee next to you, so at least it's not awkward. He was sitting next to me, watching me pee. I'm like, "Can you at least fake pee?"
And so, anyway... It was so bad. And I got home that night, and I call her on the phone, and I was just like, "It was horrible." I went off about how horrible it was, and I was miserable. And she's like, "Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry." But then, she was cool. It was awesome. And I was like, "I didn't get in trouble." And so, the next time I went out, I got home that night, call her, I was like, "Oh, it was horrible. My feet hurt, my back hurts."
Anyway, and I've told so many people this, entrepreneurs and friends, who do that, and they shift... Because they don't want to hear you're having this... Anyway, is this truly good or not? I don't know. It saved my marriage.
Matt: Is it true?
Russell: Literally saved my marriage, and it saved so many of my friends, who… so many of friends, who had the same thing. They want to hear the stories, but not in the moment. When you come back home later, you tell the stories, they love it. But in the moment, when they're miserable, and you're having fun, it is not... First time with Tony Robbins, when I walked on fire, I call her that night, I'm like, "I just walked on fire. Waaa!" And I hear the kids screaming in the background, and she was angry. And I was like, "Huh."
And I'm like, "Cool, I'm sending you to walk on fire next month." I sent her to walk on fire, and then she was on fire. But it was like...
Caleb: She's like, "No."
Russell: Later, she wants to hear, but not in the moment, because it's just like... Anyway, so-
Russell: ...that was-
Rob: Makes sense.
Russell: ...life changing for... Anyway, so... And then, the other thing is just you have to understand what your values are. I learned this from Tom Bilyeu at a level that was fascinating, recently. But-
Caleb: Who was that?
Russell: Tom Bilyeu, he runs Impact Theory.
Caleb: Oh, okay.
Rob: Impact Theory.
Russell: But he writes out his values, but he prioritizes them. So his number one value is his wife, number two... And he has the values written out. And so, when a conflict comes in place, or he gets asked to speak at a huge event, speak for the Queen of England, or whatever, but it's the same weekend as his wife wants something. He's like, "My wife trumps the value... 100%, she trumps it. So the answer's no, and it's not hard for me to say no."
Russell: And so, it's figuring it out for yourself. What are your values? Personally, with your family, the wife, everything like that. And you define them, and then it's like there's no question. That's what hard, is when you value something here, and your spouse values something differently, and the conflict of that is what causes the fights, right? But if you get on the same page, like, "Look, this is number one, two..." You have these things, then it makes it easier to navigate those things, because it's like, "No, I understand this is one of the values we have together, as a couple, you should go do that thing." Or whatever the thing might be. So anyway...
Caleb: That's awesome.
Russell: But marriage is one of the hardest things, but one of the most rewarding things, at the same time. So it's worth it, but it's a ride. Go through demand-relationship, man. That's-
Rob: That's a great point.
Russell: ...so good.
Speaker 4: I got a question.
Rob: Yeah, go ahead.
Speaker 4: So two big things that I heard from you, amongst your story, you were talking this positivity. When you were doing great at something, or you learned something, you're so excited about it, you're so positive, but then there's this other part of you that's very vulnerable.
Russell: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 4: And so, you experience anxiety, or you have challenging days, or you're discouraged. How do you find the balance between those, of being vulnerable and being honest with how you're feeling, versus, "Hey, this is a challenge. I'm an entrepreneur, I can overcome this."?
Speaker 4: What's the balance?
Russell: Yeah. That's good. One of the... Everyone who's met Tony has a story about how Tony's changed their life. But one of the biggest things that I... There's three or four things that I got from Tony, the very first time I went to his event and I heard him speak, that had a huge impact on me. One of the biggest ones was state control, understanding that. Have you ever heard him talk about the triad and things like that?
Speaker 4: Yeah.
Russell: I'd never heard that before, and I remember watching him do these things on people in the audience. And it was fascinating. He took a lady, who was... He picked somebody in the audience who was suicidal, and he's like... It was the weirdest thing. And he talked about the triad, right? There's three things that change your state, right? There's your language, there's your focus, and there's your physiology, right?
So he takes someone, he's like, "I need someone who's suicidal." He takes this beautiful girl. I remember, we were up in Toronto, so then he takes this girl, and he's like, "I need you to get depressed. Not a little bit depressed, clinically suicidal." She's like, "What?" He's like, "Just get there in your mind. Whatever it takes, get dark." And you see her state change, right? And he keeps pushing her, and keep pushing her, and he gets her to this point.
And anyway, it's crazy I'm watching this. And I'm kind of freaking out, because I'm watching him do this to this girl, getting her to a point... And soon, she's bawling her eyes out and everything. And he's like, "You got to get deeper. Get darker. More miserable." All this stuff. And you see him change this girl's state. And all of a sudden it stopped. And finally, it seemed like forever, finally he stops and he's like, "Everyone look at her. Watch her. Look at this." He's like, "What do you notice? What's her physiology?" You see her body, you see tears, and all this stuff. And you see her just broken.
And then, he's like, "What do you say?" And he goes through the whole triad with her. And he shows that. And he's like, "Now I'm going to show you how quickly you can shift this." To the point where it's like... Anyway, it was crazy. And then, he shifts it, and he starts taking her back through, shifting the physiology, shifting her shoulders, shifting everything, shifting her meanings, shifting focus, shifting what she's saying. And he gets this girl, within three or four minutes, to literal ecstasy, it was crazy watching this.
And you see her, where she's laughing... the opposite side of it. And I'd never seen somebody like that, the flip of emotions, how easy it was, by just shifting these three things in her. And it had such a profound impact on me.
Caleb: Is there video of that?
Russell: Not maybe the one I saw, but he does it at every UPW, he does it... I'm sure there's YouTube videos of it, as well. But if you type the triad, I think he calls it the triad or state control, things like that, you see it happen. But I saw that, and I was just like, "Oh my gosh, I never realized that we had control over that. I thought my feelings were my feelings." Like, "Here's your feeling." Like, "Okay, crap, this is the feeling I have today." And after experiencing that, I was like, "I could actually change this." I didn't know that.
And it's interesting because I think sometimes when we're depressed, or we're sad, or we have these things, I think some of us like it. I've had times before, I don't want to be happy. I'm enjoying feeling miserable. And sometimes, I sit in there because I enjoy, because we do, it's weird. It's messed up. But I felt that. I'm like, "I could change this but I don't want to." But other times, I'm like, "I have to change it." Now that I've learned that. It's crazy you can shift your state, and you can do that and show up the way you need to be.
And one practical example of how I use it a lot is, when I get home at the end of the night... And this kind of comes back to your question, I think, earlier, too. How do you do all the things? And I told you this yesterday. One of the things that I got the biggest, from being around Tony Robbins, the most impressive thing about him is when... Tony's got... As busy as any of us are, take that times 10, and that's Tony, right? He's the most busy person ever. But if you have a chance, a brief moment with Tony, where he's going to say a million things, and you have a second with him, he is the most present person I've ever met. The world dissolves around it, and it's just him and you, and there's nothing else. You can tell.
And he's just zoned in on you, and it's this magical experience. And as soon as it's done, he's just gone, he's on the next thing. But that moment, he's hyper-present. And so, for me, when I'm doing things, it's like... Like, when I get home at night, at the end of the day, park my car, I walk in, and there's the door before I come into the house. And sometimes, I'm anxious, I'm thinking about work, and thinking about stuff, I'm stressed out, the FBI sent me a letter today, Taylor Swift suing me, whatever the thing is. And I'm like, "Ah." And then, I'm like, "I'm going to walk through that door, and I can't do anything about it now. My kids are there, my wife's there." And it's just like, "Okay, I got to change my state."
And right there, before I walk through the door, I change my state. Get in the spot, and then like, "Okay, here we go." And I walk through the door, and it's like then I'm dad. And it's different, right? And so, I think it's learning those things. Because it's not... Your feelings are weird, they're going to show up in one way or the other, but the fact that you can control them, which I didn't understand or know how. But as soon as I realized that, it's just like, "I don't have to be sad, or miserable, or anxious, or whatever. I can actually change those things in a moment, if I understand how."
And that was one of the greatest gifts Tony gave me, was just understanding how to do that, and seeing it in practical application with somebody. And now, it's like I can do it myself, any time I need to, if I need to.
Matt: How do you act around Tony Robbins? Especially from the beginning to now, because you guys are close now. He probably looks at you like I look at a lot of these guys, that are Caleb's friends. I look at them like nephews, these are like... I'd do anything for them. And I know that... I can see that's how Tony starting to look at you. But take us from the very first time, because he didn't he have you come to an event, ask you a bunch of questions, take notes, and then just leave you hanging, or something like that. Tell the story, real quick.
Russell: Oh, man. Tony's so intense. I still get scared to... It's still like, "Ah." Anyway, every time I see him, it's just like... I don't know, it's weird. His presence is-
Matt: He still makes you nervous.
Russell: Oh, yeah, for sure. But the very first time... So yeah, it was... I don't know, it was probably 04:00 in the morning. I don't even know. The shorter version of the long story is they asked me to come meet him in Toronto, at UPW, same event as this whole experience happened. So I went up there, and supposed to meet him one day, and it shifts to the next day. And if you ever work with Tony, just know if he tells you he's meeting you at 10:00, it could be like four days later you actually meet. You're on Tony time. Yeah, it's-
Matt: That's just how it is.
Russell: It's crazy, yeah. Just waiting. But it's always worth it, so you just wait and be grateful when it happens. But anyway, so we finally get to the point where we meet, and I have to drive 45 minutes. This is pre-Uber, so I'm in a taxi to some weird hotel. And we get there, and then me and his assistant stand outside for another hour, waiting in the lobby. He kept looking at his phone, nervously, like, "Ah." He's like, "Okay, Mr. Robbins' ready to meet you. Let's go." So we run up the stairs, we go to this thing, we walk in this room, and there's-
Matt: And this is the first time you ever-
Russell: ...body guards everywhere. First time I ever met him, yeah. Yeah, he's like a giant, comes and gives me a huge hug. And we sit down, and he's like, "You hungry?" I'm like, "Yeah." And he was vegetarian at the time, so he's like, "Get Russell some food." And brought me out this amazing plate of... I don't even know what it was. But it was... I was like, "If I could eat like this is every night, I'd be vegetarian." Because it was amazing. It was-
Caleb: It was?
Russell: ...insane. And then, got his tape recorder out, he's like, "You okay if we record this?" I'm like, "Yeah." So he clicks record, picks out a big journal, he's like, "You're Mormon, right?" I'm like, "Yeah." He's like, "I love the Mormon people. When I was eight years old, I went to a Mormon church and they told me to keep a journal. I've kept a journal ever since. Do you mind if I take notes while we talk?"
Russell: I'm like, "Eh, okay." So he's recording, taking notes, and then he drilled me for an hour. Just like do, do, do. Just like-
Speaker 4: And how long ago was this?
Russell: This is 13, 14 years ago.
Speaker 4: Okay.
Russell: Anyway, it was intense. And I can't remember what I was saying, I was so scared, I'm second-guessing everything I've said. And then, he's asking me numbers and stats, because we were trying to do this deal with him. And it was so scary.
Matt: So he was just drilling you with questions, and just trying to-
Russell: Oh, like crazy, yeah. I'm trying to just... Yeah, dude. Anyway, it was crazy. And then, he had to go back to UPW to speak again, so he's like, "You want to drive with me?" So I'm like, "Yeah." So go down, and jump in his Escalade together, we're in the back seat, and we're driving. And it's just crazy.
And I remember he asked me a question about this one... I won't say the person's name because the story isn't positive for the person. But he asked, he's like, "What do you think about so and so?" I'm like, "Oh, that person's really cool and really talented." He's like, "He's a very significant..." and he just talked about six human needs, earlier that day, so I was very aware of here's what the needs are, right? And he's like, "Yeah, I don't think I'd ever work with him, because he's very significance driven."
And I was like, "Oh, that make sense." And all of a sudden, I was like, "Ah, Tony is reading my soul, right now." I was like, "What drives me? I don't even know what drives me. Does he know what drives me?" Like, "Oh my gosh, am I significance driven?" I'm freaking out, like, "Ah." And all I remember is panicking, thinking, "He knows more about me than I know about me, at this point." And all these things, I'm freaking out, we're driving in his Escalade. And we get to the thing, and he's like, "I got to go inside. Thank you so much, brother. I love you." Jumps out the car, shuts the door. I'm sitting in the Escalade, like, "What just happened?"
Matt: It was that fast.
Russell: It was insane, yeah.
Matt: It was just like-
Russell: And then, the driver's like, "Do you want to get out here? Do you want me to drive you somewhere?" Like, "I don't even know where we are." We're in Toronto somewhere, that's all I know. And so, it was just the craziest experience. And then, I don't hear from him for four or five months, nothing. And I'm like-
Matt: What were you thinking? Did you think-
Russell: I was like, "He must've hated me. Maybe I failed the test. Am I significance driven?" I'm freaking out about all the things. And then, one day, I get this random... It was actually my wife and I, we were celebrating our anniversary, so we were at... It was a StomperNet event, but we took her, it was this cool thing. And she'd just gone to UPW. I sent her like three months later. So she walked on fire, and she was like... And Tony talks about Fiji there, so she was like, "Someday we should go to Fiji."
And then, we get this call from Tony, and it was like, "Hey..." Or it was Tony's assistant. Like, "Hey, Tony wants to know if you want to speak at Business Mastery in Fiji, in two weeks." I was like, "Tony Robbins..." I started saying it out loud so Collette could hear me. "Tony Robbins wants me to speak in Fiji, in two weeks?" And Collette, my cute little wife, starts jumping on the bed, like, "Say yes! Say yes!"
Russell: And I was like, "Yes, yes, yes. Of course, we will." And then, we're like, we've got three kids that are all toddlers at this time, and like, "Can we bring kids?" They're like, "There's no kids allowed on the resort." I'm like, "We've got three little kids." He's like, "Ah, all right. We'll figure it out." So I hang up, and we're like, "We don't have passports for the kids, we don't have anything." So anyway, it was chaos, we're freaking out.
We ended up getting them there, they literally built a fence around our... The Bula house, where's Dan at? The Bula house we were in. They built a whole fence around, so our kids wouldn't die because-
Caleb: Did they really?
Russell: ...there's cliffs off the back. Yeah, it was crazy. And then, I'm speaking to this room, and there's less than 100 people. I'm speaking, and Tony's sitting in the back of this room, I'm like-
Matt: While you're speaking.
Russell: ..."I thought he was not going to be here. This is really scary." Yeah. And he's paying attention the whole time.
Matt: Does it make you more nervous?
Russell: He introduced me, he brought me on stage, which was like... I still have the footage of that, it's really cool. He brought me on stage, which was crazy. And then, I remember, because in the thing we're talking about lead generation, I was talking about squeeze pages. And afterwards, he got on. He comes up afterwards, he's like, "Yeah, I heard squeeze pages don't work anymore. Is that true, Russell?" He's like, "People say they're kind of dead, they don't work anymore."
And this is, again, 12 years ago. And I was like, "Who told you that? They totally still work." Which is funny, because we still use them today. But he was just like, "Somebody had told me they don't work anymore." And I was like, "They..." anyway, "They work, I promise."
But anyway, and then I don't hear from him for five years, and then something else happens. It's just weird, these long extended periods of time. But then, every time, every moment, I tried... Five years later, it was a call, it was like, "Hey, Tony's doing this thing. He wants your opinion on it." So I spent like two or three hours with his team, consulting, giving feedback, as much ideas as I could. And like, "Cool, thanks." And then, nothing for two years, and then something else, and then... Little things keep happening, and happening, and can do more and more together. And then-
Matt: What did you learn from that? You think that's just-
Russell: A couple things I've learned. Number one, I'm sure you guys get this a lot, people who want to work with you, they show up and the first thing they show up with is, "All right, I got an idea how we can make a bunch of money together." Right? They always come, and want to figure out how they can take from you. And I was so scared, and grateful, I didn't ever ask Tony for anything.
The first time I asked Tony for anything ever was 12 into our relationship, after Expert Secrets book was done. I had just paid him $250,000 to speak on our stage, and just finished the interview promoting his book. And I was like, "Hey, I wrote a new book. Do you want one?"
Russell: And he's like, "Oh." And he took it. I'm like, "Cool." And then, a week later, I'm like, "Ah, will you interview me on Facebook with this?" He's like, "Sure." And then, he did, and that video got three and a half million views on it. It was crazy, coolest thing ever. But it was 12 years before I asked him for anything. And I had-
Russell: ...served him at as many different points as I can. I think the biggest lesson from that is that... And I get it all the time, people come to me and it's like they're trying to ask and take. It's just like... I get it, and it makes sense. But it's just like, "This game's not a short game. If you do it right, it's your life. This is your life mission." Right?
Matt: Yeah, that's good.
Russell: And so it's just understanding you're planting seeds, and you're serving, and if you do that, eventually good things will happen. And something may never happen with Tony, and that's cool. I do stuff for a lot of people, and nothing ever good ever comes from it. But hopefully something does. Sometimes it's indirect, sometimes it's not, sometimes it's just karma, or whatever you believe in. But if you just always go with the intent to serve, not to like, "What's in it for me?" It just changes everything.
And then, if you do that, if you lead with how to serve, stuff comes back to you. But if you lead with trying to get stuff, it just doesn't work. The energy's different in the whole encounter. You know what I mean?
Matt: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Russell: So I'm sure you guys have felt that with people, when they first come to you, and it's just like, "Ah."
Matt: So is there a point where you... You went to his house.
Russell: That was cool. The thing I can say is it was really cool, because most times when I'm with Tony, you're around people. In Fiji, it was fun seeing him, because he's more personal and stuff like that. But it was really special in his home, because it was him and his wife, and it was cool. It was fun just seeing him as him, like as a kid. And even my wife, like, "He seems like a kid here." He was so excited, and showing us his stuff, and all the things.
Matt: Ah, well, guys, listen.
Matt: A few more questions, because I mean, man, you've been at it for almost two hours, dude. I can go all night, and I know he could. But Brea Morrison, give it up for her for letting us be here. Thank you so much.