SFR 159: Funnel Training Wheels – Stephen Larsen

SFR 159: Funnel Training Wheels

Jul 24th, 2018 anchorwave

Check out the journal I kept as I learned the funnel game (interesting lesson)


When I joined the army, I had to go through basic training. For weeks and weeks, before we ever shot a bullet, all we would do is lay prone on concrete.

They’d make us hit our elbows on the ground “bam, bam, bam,” right on the concrete to make our elbows stronger.

It hurt like crazy for the first few days, but I started getting tougher. Eventually, I could lay prone for longer and longer periods.

Each night in the barracks I lay down, “bam, bam, bam, bam,” smacking my elbows on the ground trying to get tougher.

I got so I could lay prone for ages without it hurting my elbows – no little elbow pads or any of that stuff.

Stephen Army Military Sniper

Once you could do that, you’d take a full canteen and hook to the end of the barrel and just stay there. We would practice cycling the weapon again and again. That was it! “Bam,” cycle the weapon, “Bam,” cycle the weapon.

Then they had us take a dime and set it on the end of the barrel and shoot…

There’d be no round, there’d be no bullet; we’d take a shot, and then we’d recharge the weapon while keeping the dime balanced.

If we could cycle the weapon multiple times without dropping that dime, then we were successful.

We would do that over and over again; “point, shoot, point, shoot” – over and over. We did this for weeks before we ever put a live round inside of our weapon.

Sometimes these guys would show up expecting to be a sniper in 3-minutes, but they couldn’t even sit prone for 5-minutes without hurting themselves.

Man against wall muscles

They hadn’t done the work or put in the time to do the training, but they were still expecting the results.


When it comes to funnels, I’ve noticed the same thing; some people want to be ‘snipers’ before they can even “cycle a weapon.”

A lot of people want to build a successful sales funnel before they’ve even figured out how a funnel works.

Stephen Funnels Computer

For example:

  • They don’t know what copy is – they think “the copy doesn’t matter.”
  • They don’t know the difference between sales and marketing.
  • They don’t know how funnels work, or even what a funnel is.

For a short while, before I really understood what a funnel was, I used to think it was a bunch of pages. *WRONG* A funnel isn’t pages – “pages” are a way to make a funnel.


I want to show you a notebook. This is the original notebook that I had when I first heard about Russell Brunson. I went through “Dot Com Secrets X,” and these are the notes I made.

Check this out:

I found a pile of these books

Look at these pages. They’re chock full. I stayed up until 3 AM for 3-months in a row studying funnelology.

I found a whole bunch of these old notebooks recently, and I’ve been walking down memory lane. I’ve probably spent a little too long doing this today, but it reminded me how much time I’ve invested in this game.

When I was in college, I’d stay up late studying Russell’s course. I’d press play and then pause after about 5- seconds to write down what he said. Then I’d press play and do it all over again – I did this for hours!

I started calling my notebook my “Indiana Jones journal.” I’d diligently write down everything Russell said – so I’d always be able to find those nuggets of gold again.


If you’re starting out, or you’ve only been doing this for a few months, and you think, “This doesn’t work.” You need to understand that this is a false belief.

It’s time to get real and realize that if you compare your success to others success, then you are missing the point.

Use the success of others as leverage to keep you motivated – but don’t compare yourself.

Measuring your self-worth on somebody else’s achievements is the fastest way to go down.

Be in competition with yourself; aim to get better and achieve more every day. Think “dime drills.” Think laying down on the concrete for hours to get that one perfect shot…

It’s like getting your training wheels on your first bike. When you were a kid, you didn’t ride perfectly straight out of the gate – you wobbled, you fell off, you scraped your knees – but time after time you got back up and tried again. Until one day, BOOM! You were riding around with the big kids.

Kid bicycle keep going

Remember in the first Rocky, where he’s just breaking ribs pounding the meat in that freezer…

Some of you guys haven’t even done that yet, and you’re expecting to get the results.

If you want to punch with the big hitters you’ve got to be dedicated, and put in the time – there’s no shortcut.


I remember the day I stood in front of the mirror in the bathroom looking at myself. I had tried real estate; I’d sold eBooks, I tried selling on Amazon, I’d done door-to-door sales, I’d been a telemarketer and sold diamonds… I tried so many things and still hadn’t found “my thing.”

I tried 17 businesses (in 9 or 10 industries) before one of them took off and became successful. I obsessed until I found the one.

If you still don’t know which path to take; here’s a simple fix, “Try More Stuff!”

No idea where I'm going yet

Learning wasn’t always easy for me; I had to learn “How to learn.” Until I discovered my learning styles, I nearly flunked out of college. Now I have a process for whatever I tried to learn:

  1. I pick a business/ industry/ subject to explore that interests me.
  2. I dive in as if it was “the thing” I was going to do for the rest of my life. I was super committed.
  3. Then I ask, “ Do I have the capacity to obsess over this subject?”
  4. I aimed to look ridiculous to people outside of that industry. I wanted them to think, “Dude, that guy is crazy about what he does!”
  5. I put blinkers on and became a monomaniac. I put down every book etc. that had nothing to do with my subject.
  6. I spent a lot of money to learn from the best person in that industry.

If you don’t have the capacity to obsess; I mean insatiably, inconsolably – to become one of the best at what you do – then you probably haven’t found “your thing” yet.

You’ve got to want to be one of the best!

“Am I the best funnel builder in the world? No,” but I’m probably up there. I don’t know of any other person, besides Russell, who’s built as many funnels as I have.

I was looking at some goals that I wrote 3 years ago before I even met Russell, and one of my goals was, “I wanna hang out with Russell Brunson.”

I just sent it over to him; I was like, “Dude, that happened. That’s crazy!” However, it’s all part of it was part of the obsession. You’ve got to obsess over what you want to achieve to make it happen.


Once you’ve found your obsession, the next step in my process is to “declare it.”

Woman megaphone

When you obsess over and declare what you want – it’s funny how many things start to conspire in your favor.

If you feel like things are conspiring against you, most of the time, it’s because you haven’t declared what you want yet.

Things want to align for your benefit, but if you’ve not declared and no one knows what you want – no one can help you. Things won’t come together.

Whether you believe in God or “the power of the universe,” or just getting in front of the right people, nothing can help you “do the thing” until you say, “This is what I wanna do.”

As I’ve gone farther into the sales funnel game, a whole other area’s opened up for me to obsess over. I’ve found an obsession within an obsession.

I have an offer creation process, I obsess over it, and it’s become my thing. Offer creation and the actual sales message creation, that’s my thing. I think about it 24/7 – I obsess. So now people come to learn about my offer creation process from me.

However, you’ve got to be in motion to discover the next level.

I had no idea that I would become obsessed with offer creation, or that I’d become known as the “offer creation” guy.


I’m passionate about this topic because when I was growing up, I would have conversations with my parents complaining, “I don’t know what I’m good at?”

After a while, when I accepted the fact that I hadn’t tried enough stuff yet. I accepted that I was in an age of exploration and focused on trying new stuff until I found my thing – and “Boom!” I started to discover what lit me up and what I could obsess over.

Once I’d decided, then I declared publicly, and the magic started to happen.

It’s the reason I always share my goals at the beginning of each year. It’s the scariest thing I do.

January first comes along, and it’s “Alright, guys, here’s how I did financially last year and here’s what I’m aiming for this year.” Do I hit it? Not usually, but I come close – because I’m declaring my intent.



Once you’ve “declared your intent,” it’s time to move on to the next step – which is “Finding your Mr. Miyagi.”

One day Russell said to me, “Dude, you know what I figured out about you? You live by the principal of following whoever has the biggest cheese.”

The Big Cheese

And it’s true. If I want to learn something – I always aim to learn from “the best.”

Your “Mr. Miyagi” is someone who has “a big cheese.” Someone who has already achieved what you want to do.

A mentor who can share a proven process with you – and who can teach you exactly what you need to know to succeed.

Once you find this person, then you need to do exactly what they teach you.

We make sacred pact. I promise teach karate to you, you promise learn. I say, you do, no questions – Mr. Miyagi

Don’t be afraid of looking stupid while you’re painting the fence or sanding the floor. You’ve got to be willing to look like an idiot.

I was totally sold on everything Russell said, except for one thing – I NEVER wanted to publish any content – EVER!

Stating my podcast was the hardest thing for me to do – but it has also been one of my biggest learning curves.

Mr Miyagi told me to publish

In all the coaching I’ve done, I’ve noticed that there is a direct correlation between the people who succeed and the people who publish. It’s so important to get over that fear of looking stupid.

When you start anything new, the chances are that you’re going to look a bit stupid. You won’t know anything about the industry for a while, so it’s inevitable – but who cares?

No one’s watching you for a while anyway. So you can just focus on learning. If you fall off, you just get back up and try again.

Girl Bicycle

If your Mr. Miyagi, says, “Sand the floor, paint the fence, put a dime on the end of your gun,” be willing to do it. With that training regime, you can virtually guaranteed success.

Do the freaking dime drills. Take time to hit your elbows on the concrete. Do whatever it takes to become one of the best.

Don’t shortcut the process – fall in love with it. It’s the easiest way to stay passionate about what you’re doing.

Don’t watch the clock – throw your clock out the window. “Wax on, wax off.” It may seem like hard work, but within like a year of committing you’ll be well on your way to becoming an expert.

Most people quit at the first hurdle – keep going, and you’ll beat 80% of the population. Soon you’ll be ready to remove those training wheels and start training others.


The master has failed more times than the beginner has even tried -Stephen McCranie


You’ll know when it’s time to take those training wheels off when you feel like you can turn around and teach somebody else. When you start teaching others, it solidifies what you’ve learned. It’s the model I use. It’s literally why I do my podcast and put content out there.

Stephen Speaking Conference

If I can teach what I’m learning it serves me just as much as it serves you. I’m living the exact process that I’m teaching you guys.

So, let’s round up with the complete process that I’ve used to go from training wheels to expert!


  1. Embrace the “Age of Exploration” – Explore businesses/ industries that interested you – Don’t worry if you haven’t found your thing yet.
  2. I dive into your subject as if it is “the thing” you’re going to do for the rest of my life – Be super committed.
  3. Ask, “Do I have the capacity to obsess over this subject?” Aim to look ridiculous to people outside of that industry.
  4. Put blinkers on and become a monomaniac – Put down every book, etc., that has nothing to do with your subject.
  5. Go learn from the best person with the “biggest cheese” in your chosen industry – Find your Mr. Miyagi.
  6. Fall in love with the process – Put on your training wheels and do the “dime drills.”
  7. Be prepared to look like an idiot on the way to mastery – Remember, nobody cares.
  8. Become “The Teacher” – Once you’ve mastered the process, share what you’re learning along the way.

Until next time – Keep Crushing It!

Hey, wish you could geek out with other real funnel builders – and even ask questions while I build funnels live? Wish granted! Watch and learn funnel building as I document my process in my funnel strategy group. It’s free just go to and join now.

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