SFR: 147 The REASON I’m Here Today… – Stephen Larsen

SFR: 147 The REASON I’m Here Today…

Jun 5th, 2018 anchorwave

How Funnel Hacking Live Changed My Life

This is quite an emotional post for me.

I’m sitting in a hotel room in San Diego. It’s the hotel where we’ve been doing an event for the ClickFunnels ‘Two Comma Club’ Coaching Program. It’s been an intense few days – loads of fun, but extremely busy.

On Thursday and Friday, I had my own event. On Sunday, I took a flight to San Diego and finished some big projects. Then on Monday night, I stayed up until 2am to complete the slides for my ‘Two Comma Club’ presentation on Tuesday.  It’s been event after event after event. Kinda crazy, but I really enjoy it.

Today, I’m sitting in my hotel room feeling tired. Tired, but incredibly grateful. I’m looking out over San Diego Bay and thinking about how much my life has changed.

If you’ve been to San Diego you’ll know that the bay is beautiful – it’s absolutely amazing.  

When I walked into my hotel room, I saw it had these huge windows and a fantastic view of the whole bay. I actually started crying – because only two years ago, I’d bootstrapped my way to San Diego to attend Funnel Hacking Live. And… it was THAT event that changed my life.


In the grand scheme of my lifetime – two years is no time at all. Seriously, I can hardly believe that two years ago my family struggled to afford anything more than the basics of life.

Financially, things couldn’t be more different now. However, more than the financial changes, I can’t believe how much I’ve changed as a person. I can’t believe all the things that have happened to me, and all the lessons I’ve learned.

From my room, with the amazing windows, I can see the hotel where the 2016 Funnel Hacking Live Event was held. It’s right there between two of the buildings in front of me – that’s why I cried. So many memories came flooding back.

San Diego

You probably know the story of how I broke I was in 2016; I had a young family to support and seventeen failed businesses to my name. All of which doesn’t make you feel great. I had people depending on me, but I just couldn’t get things to work out the way I wanted them to.

I think most entrepreneurs have a similar story. It’s not like you get taught this stuff in school. Most of us just kinda ‘try it’ until we find out what works and what doesn’t work. What sells and what doesn’t sell. We go through a process of elimination. Man, but sometimes, it’s tough.

In March 2016, I was determined to get to Funnel Hacking Live. I didn’t have enough money, so I’d decided that I’d adopt the entrepreneur’s attitude that Robert Kiyosaki talks about. I decided to get resourceful, and get myself to Funnel Hacking Live anyway I could.’

“Never say you cannot afford something. That is a poor man’s attitude. Ask HOW to afford it.”-Robert Kiyosaki

I knew that if I could just find a way to get to FHL, that my life would change. Looking back, I had no idea how much – but somehow, I knew that it was imperative for me to go. So I got resourceful and bartered funnel builds for a ticket, followed by flights and hotel rooms.

I was so pumped when I made it to FHL… But even when I got there, things weren’t exactly easy.

I didn’t eat much – because I couldn’t afford to. I cycled to the event on one of those city bikes. You know, those little street bikes. I literally took my luggage, put it over my shoulder, and while I was balancing it over my shoulder, I pedaled all the way around the bay to the event.  I didn’t have much cash, and what little I did have, I wasn’t gonna spend on a freakin’ taxi.

Imagine how I feel today:

From my gorgeous hotel room with all the windows, I can see the hotel where I stayed in 2016.

The hotel that I didn’t barter enough for a bed in for my final night. The hotel where I spent a night sat in the lobby going over my FHL notes like they were gold dust because I didn’t have a room. Those notes meant everything to me. I didn’t want to forget anything I learned. I didn’t have a bed, but I felt rich and excited in so many other ways.

Last night, I stood at my hotel window watching the ships going out on the bay, and I got a bit introspective. I stood there for a long time thinking…

Then suddenly, the thought came into my head, ‘Man, how did this all happen? How did I go from a broke college student struggling to support his family to the Lead Funnel Builder at ClickFunnels, then to running a successful business with so many opportunities around me all the time?’

I felt a bit shell-shocked so I went for a walk around the pier, right out there, eating Haagen-Daz and talking to my wife about how it all happened. It’s just fascinating for me to think through all the pieces that brought us here. And the more I started to think about it, the more I realized that:

‘I don’t think I’d actually be here if I’d had money to get to Funnel Hacking Live 2016.  I don’t know that I would have treated everything that Russell said with so much conviction at that event – if I’d had the cash to get a taxi.’

Interesting, isn’t it? That the pursuit of my dream to get to FHL is what actually opened the gateway for all these other cool things to happen. That the pursuit of the hard stuff is what got me where I am now. It’s why it’s all worked out. Let me explain…


In my office, I have a wall full of quotes that I use to inspire me and keep me on track. One of them is from Ryan Holiday (I totally recommend his books btw).

Anyway, this particular quote has come to mean a lot to me. It symbolizes my journey in so many ways. When I talk to other successful entrepreneurs, they always have the same story of struggle and success.

‘The obstacle is the way’ – Ryan Holiday.

This is such a useful mantra to have in your life. For instance, every time I don’t know what to do, I make an effort to think about where the blockage is. It’s always in the pursuit of solving the problem that I move forward. Everything else that I try to do is just an easy distraction.

Each time I overcome an obstacle, not only does my business grow, but it adds to my attractive character – which helps people to relate to me even more. In short, the obstacle ALWAYS ends up being ‘the thing’ that I needed to grow all along.

I don’t know that I’d have been hired at ClickFunnels if I’d had the money to get to FHL. I wouldn’t have ferociously built funnels for other companies in exchange for tickets, flights, and hotel rooms.

I learned ClickFunnels so freakin’ well by not having the cash. I had no other option. Before I got my fourteen-day free ClickFunnels trial, I planned out an entire funnel to make sure that I could start building straight away. Then I kissed my wife goodbye and hid in a room for two weeks. I worked solidly because I needed paying customers before my trial was up. I learned at a ferocious, desperate pace because of this limitation.

When I saw the advert for Funnel Hacking Live, I knew that we didn’t have the cash to get there. I could have got all despondent, but instead, I decide to lean into the obstacle and get resourceful.

I remember thinking: ‘How can I make this work? I’m gonna do it. I’m gonna make it work.’ It was this resourcefulness that gave me all the background, all the experience and all the stories that sold Russell on why I should be his guy.

So if you have a limitation right now. Something that’s standing in your way – whether it comes in the form of self-doubt or financial constraints – I want you to lean into it. Instead of complaining, get resourceful and find a way.

Give yourself that gift.


Obviously, you need to be careful that you don’t just select obstacles randomly. You need to consider the following points:

  1. First of all, figure out where you’re trying to get to, and even if you don’t have like a clear picture, just a general idea of what you’re trying going for is enough.
  2. Secondly, make sure any obstacle you pick is ‘on purpose’ and will help you to achieve your goal – don’t get distracted by things that only give you an excuse to avoid the actual thing that you don’t want to do, i.e, ‘I think I’ll design a logo’– when what you really need to do is get visible and publish.
  3. Thirdly, ask: Will overcoming this obstacle add to your attractive character/ story/ or hook?
  4. Fourth, remember that attractive characters compete on differences. You’re competing on you evolving your own self.


I remember biking to the first day of FHL with this distinct thought in my head:

‘I’ve given so much to be here that’ll do whatever Russell tells me to do – except I will never publish.’

And funny enough, lo and behold, I go, I go to that very first day bright-eyed, bushy-tailed. I get to the event, and I’m like, ‘Hey I’m here to learn, I’m here to execute and take action.’ Then literally, on the very first day, Russell stands up and tells everyone, ‘You’ve gotta start publishing like crazy!’ And I was like ‘Crap! I don’t wanna do that. Are you kidding me? That’s the exact thing I said I didn’t wanna do. I don’t wanna do that. There’s no way I’m gonna do this.’

I was so freakin’ shy.

Seriously, I got the ‘nicest guy’ in school award purely based on the fact that I hardly said anything. Inside I was a teenage rage machine, but nobody knew that because I didn’t tell them. I just stayed quiet in my own little world.

Not exactly premium podcasting material, you might be thinking?  Now with my podcasts combined, they’re crossing 160 thousand downloads. It blows my mind. It’s only been a year and a half.  Eighteen months of me practicing becoming the attractive character in front of you – instead of waiting to be perfect.

I’d never have learned half the lessons I have if I’d waited until I was READY (ahem, maybe never) to start publishing.

And that’s one of the reasons I love and appreciate every one of you guys because you’ve been with me on this journey. I have such a huge following, and it’s because I didn’t wait to be ‘the expert’ or ‘the guru’ before I started publishing.

I’m easy to relate to because of all my challenges and limitations.

Even though I didn’t want to – I did it exactly as Russell said. Even though publishing didn’t come naturally to me, and it was the LAST THING I wanted to do, I started creating content.

It took me until around Episode 85 of my podcast to finally find my voice. Just imagine what would have happened if I’d given up before then!

What I’m trying to help you understand is that whatever your limitation is right now, whatever you’ve got to go through, just do it. Lean into it, not away from it. Don’t pull back. These are the things that will create the crazy hooks that you can use as stories later on in your life and business.

‘Completely broke college student goes to work at Russell Brunson’s side. He then leaves his secure nine to five in the best company ever to follow his dreams and make his own million dollar funnel.’

It’s a good story, right? Or what about:

‘Pathologically shy person, who hardly ever spoke, overcomes his fears of speaking in public and hits 160 thousand podcast downloads in only eighteen months.’

Sounds good, right?

I had to live both of those stories for them to actually become real hooks and mean anything.

When I coach, I notice that a lot of people aren’t willing to live the crazy hook. It’s not that they have a lack of things that could be amazing hooks, it’s that they’re not willing to live the path that makes the hook real. So I just want you to understand how key this concept is.

It’s kinda like the ‘Fit to Fat to Fit’ guy. He was super fit, and nobody believed that his methods could help them lose weight. He just wasn’t believable. They thought: ‘Yeah, you’ve always been slim and healthy – it’s easy for you but it won’t work for me.’  

So to prove them wrong, he spent a lot of time overeating. He got really overweight. He did it on purpose. Then he invested a whole bunch of time to get fit again –  just to prove that it was possible for anyone to lose weight using his methods. He was willing to live his hook.

Are you willing to live your hook?

If you’re selling yourself – or your expertise – and people are buying into YOU, then you’ve got to be willing to Live Your Hook. Those places in your life where you feel stuck, use them as a challenge. Come up with some crazy ridiculous way to get around it. That’s your hook. Live that. Then be willing to document your journey along the way.

Don’t worry about being perfect or getting everything right… Perfection doesn’t create an attractive character who people find it easy to love, follow, believe in… AND, eventually, buy from.

Leaning into my limitations meant that when I went to FHL, I was already an expert funnel builder. Two days later I’m sitting across from Russell Brunson being interviewed. Twenty minutes after that I got the job offer. Two days after that I graduate from college. Two days after that I was sitting next to Russell as his Funnel Building Assistant.

The truth is that you can’t always see the opportunities that are just around the corner…  Or what opportunities may come your way because you’ve faced an obstacle and pushed your limits…

During my interview with Russell, he asked me about my history with ClickFunnels. I know that they checked out my ClickFunnels account hardcore to make sure that I was already a good builder.

If my limitations hadn’t meant that I had to get good at building funnels fast, I wouldn’t have had an impressive portfolio to show him – and I probably wouldn’t have got the job.

The whole point of writing this is to challenge you to look at your limitations in a different light. Start seeing them as the way forward instead of something to be avoided. Use them as fuel to progress, rather than a weight holding you back.

Remember: ‘The Obstacle is the WAY.

Thanks for reading. I have to go now as my wife is literally due to give birth any day soon. The event just ended and Dave was like ‘Hey man, do you just wanna fly home tonight?’ And I was like ‘Yes, absolutely! In case she goes into labor.’ So I am heading home right now. I’m packing up my bags – I’m actually gonna miss the flight unless I leave right now! Alright guys, talk to you later. Bye. Go kill it.

Got a question you’d like me to answer live on my podcast? Head over to and ask your question now.


The post SFR: 147 The REASON I’m Here Today… appeared first on Sales Funnel Radio Blog.