SFR 183: Study Money, Not Food Stamps – Stephen Larsen

SFR 183: Study Money, Not Food Stamps

Oct 16th, 2018 anchorwave

I’m not here to offend (but I don’t honestly care if I do). I know there are legit cases where help is needed…

But ask yourself what you will BECOME if you ALLOW yourself to go through some hardship?

How do you feel about failure and hardship? The way you answer that question will tell me a lot about you.

Let me tell you why…

danger larsen rant warning

Heads up, I just need to tell you that I’m probably gonna offend some people – I have strong opinions on this subject.

I’m not saying that it was fun, but looking back, the fact that my wife and I were broke for 3 years was one of the biggest blessings of my entire life.



You know the story, right?

  • 17 failed businesses – *ouch*
  • Wife secretly only eating 1 meal a day – *self-esteem crushed*
  • Asking my Dad for money – *refused*
  • Stupid crap which meant I only got paid half of what I was expecting when I joined the army – *still broke*
  • 2 kids to support – *pressure*
  • Living on student loans – *no financial security*

For a few years, my life sucked…

Some days, I felt like the words Big Fat Failure were tattooed on my forehead.

I didn’t set out to avoid financial security. I just wanted to be self-reliant. I couldn’t bring myself to live off food stamps. I knew that if I avoided hardship – I’d never become who I was destined to be…


No Food Stamps


Before I got married, I was in North Carolina riding a bike around wearing a suit, a tie, and a little badge.

For 18 months, I did a mission for my church. I’m sure you’ve have seen those super smart looking missionaries walking around where you live? I loved being on a mission. I was a great time in my life…

However, I got put in a lot of areas where many people had sole plan to live on food stamps forever. They wouldn’t show up to work so that they could get on food stamps. It was a conscious choice.

That, in my opinion, is extremely wrong.

I know this is where I’m gonna ruffle feathers. But if you don’t like it, you can leave. I’m gonna tell you what I think…

I don’t agree with getting something for nothing.

If I’ve offended you, I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. I really believe this.

There are tons of people who need food stamps, and I’m 100% for that. But when it’s your freakin’ plan to suck on other people’s hard work, I don’t agree with that.

If going on welfare is your career path – then door is over there.

success mindset

If I get hurt, or if something happens to me… If I need it legitimately, I’ll take food stamps, but only after I’ve exhausted everything that I can to avoid that situation.


I came into our marriage with the mindset that I would never take food stamps unless I had no other choice. So when I found out that Alyssa was hardly eating, it crushed me.

Larsen Wedding

Alyssa started looking into this WIC program which was like food stamps. But we talked and decided that we wouldn’t take the help even though we qualified.

Instead, we would use our discomfort to push us somewhere better.

It was very challenging; it meant additional suffering and more crap to go through.

But our willingness to figure it out helped us grow more than any personal development course that you could ever take.

  • So when people tell me, “I don’t have time.” Bull crap, I don’t believe them.
  • If they say, “I don’t have money,” – then it’s because you’ve not become resourceful yet.

I have been there. I was in college. I joined the Army. We had kids. We had no freakin’ time and no freakin’ money. Alyssa took a job for $3.00 an hour to help us survive.

So I get how hard it can be.


Tough Love

It was three years before my funnels started working…

So I have tons of empathy for anyone who’s struggling and frustrated. But I want to tell you the same thing that my Dad told me when I asked him for a loan. He said:

If I give you this money, you will not exhaust the resources you didn’t know you had.

Use the opportunity of your hardship to create a success mindset. I promise that you won’t regret it.

  • The answer is not to turn on freakin’ Netflix. You gotta look at your discretionary time, see where you’re spending it, and squeeze every ounce of it out that you can.
  • The answer is to get resourceful, push your boundaries and lean into the obstacle.

When people tell me, “I don’t have enough money,” – I’m like “Oh good, you have a trial. Lean into it.I’m so thankful for the scenario that you’re in.”

If they’re like, “Oh, I don’t know how to do this?” I think, “Perfect, YouTube it. Get resourceful.”

lies uninstalling

You gotta learn to call out your own BS.


In spite of all the hardships that Alyssa and I endured, I wouldn’t swap that situation for anything. Why? Because of the self-reliance and mental toughness that it helped me create.

That’s why I always have this coin on my desk to remind me to lean into any struggles I have.

The obstacle is the way

You know the coin I’m talking about, it says:

The obstacle is the way; the impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.

…Which, roughly translated, means: “If it’s hard and you’re avoiding it, it’s probably the thing you need to do.”

So I look at what seems to be the most sucky – and that’s what I make sure I lean into.

For example:

I didn’t want to publish. I was happy doing anything that Russell told me to do – except publish.

Starting my podcast, (*cough* becoming a publisher) was what made the biggest difference to me. Ironic, right!

So think about it…

What’s the thing that you know you need to do – that you don’t want to do? My advice is: Lean into whatever that thing is. Callous your mind with hardship.


Before we go any further, let me get one thing clear, “There’s nothing wrong with being in the failure zone.” I think it’s one of the things that people get most self-conscious and hung up about.


If you’re thinking, “I’m not a successful entrepreneur yet,” or “I’ve been going in the game for a while now, and I haven’t really made anything.” I totally get it, first of all.

I remember I when got my first $1500 check when I built funnels for a company, and they worked. I was like “Oh my gosh. Babe, let’s like, take a drive somewhere. We can afford the gas!”

self reliance

I was so elated. Just a thousand bucks a month changed everything.

If you’re still in the mud, and you’re like, “That extra $1000 would change my life.” I understand because I’ve been there in the trenches.

That’s one of the reasons why I launched Affiliate Outrage. I love affiliate marketing because the product’s taken care of for you – so you can just focus on the sales message. You can just focus on the marketing, the selling, and making money.

Affiliate Outrage is free. There’s no upsells, nothing else in there. It’ll get you off the ground and making money in the quickest way possible – while teaching you how to market a product.

Affiliate Outrage

It’s like training wheels for this game. Just because somebody made the product, it doesn’t mean you can skip creating the marketing.

Most of the time, people ask, “What product can I sell?” Wrong question!

Instead ask, “What’s the sales message that sells? What’s the message that sells?” And then worry about the product…

Money is the by-product of marketing. That’s why I study marketing. That’s why I’m a marketer. That’s why I’ll always be a marketer.


I charge 30 grand a day to go in and design an actual sales message for a customer. If you want me to build your funnel for you, that’ll cost you a cool 150 grand.

I’m expensive because I’m good and my crap works.

However, I have a passion and empathy for people who are still frustrated and struggling – because I’ve been there.

And that’s why I give away so much information for FREE. I want you to succeed!

men jumping over obstacle

You still have to do the work. You still have to get resourceful. You’ll still have to jump those mental barriers yourself. But if you’re prepared to put in the time, the information is there for you.


When I started coaching, I went in with the belief that I would be coaching people on marketing. But that’s not what happened. Only 40% of the time was actually coaching marketing.

I can’t even get people to the marketing part because they don’t have control over the game in their heads.


The majority of my coaching time is taken up with the mental struggles beliefs and attitudes towards money. That’s the massive hurdle that most people have to conquer

I deal with head games waaay more than I talk about marketing strategies.

You Can Do It

Here’s the funny thing…

Looking back, I had no idea that the hardships that happened to me along the way would help me to create the mental toughness necessary to pull off marketing strategies.

So I’m begging you not to create your life the food stamp way.

I’m not saying that it’s easy. For the longest time, I had the biggest internal hurdles about making money. I felt like I was being greedy.

About three months into our marriage, my wife asked: “How come every time someone starts to ask you what you want to do, and it’s entrepreneurship, you get weird about it?”

Oh, yes! I had some BS I need to let go of. I thought I couldn’t be an entrepreneur because:

  1. Only greedy people went into business.
  2. I hated wearing suits, and I didn’t have a briefcase.

Ridiculous as they seem now, those were my beliefs.

So instead of going into business, I:

  • Borrowed 15 grand to study the financial markets. Only to find out that the courses I took were outdated strategies…“Oh, that’s exciting.”
  • Played with real estate – because I thought that made me less greedy.
  • Focused on sales because I didn’t wanna make a product. That way, I didn’t have to be the entrepreneur – because entrepreneurs are greedy…

Crazy, huh?

…But what’s holding you back?

Learn to call out the BS you’re telling yourself. What’s the BS around money that’s holding you back?


The truth is that it’s very hard to truly fail in our society. There are so many safety guards to prevent you from actually hitting rock bottom.

There’s bankruptcy, government housing, and food stamps…

You are not going to die. It’s hard to die. You have to try. There are so many freaking safety nets in our society now.

But because of that people get soft in their heads. They don’t develop discipline – and mediocrity is celebrated:

Do Not Celebrate Mediocrity

“You’re good enough. Just be happy with where you are.”

That stuff is Bull crap! I don’t want a mediocre life. And I don’t want you to get seduced by that mindset either.

Man, I’m totally on a soap box now…

It is so easy to dominate in this space because of the lack of discipline.

If you have the smallest inkling of being able to go through things that are just a little uncomfortable, you’re gonna be fine

In the army, we’d say, “Embrace the suck! Embrace the suck.” And that’s what I started learning how to do. That attitude changes EVERYTHING for me. Sooo…

I want you to lean into your challenge and let it sculpt you.

Understand that even if something’s not working for you right now, you are still crafting the foundation and framework that’ll help you get paid richly in the future. Lean in.


If you want to get financial security, you need to study money.

Shortly after joining the Army, I realized that I was only gonna make half money that I’d been promised made the commitment to study money.

Most the time, you have to look outside of your network to start learning how to make money.

Don’t learn how to make money from poor people. That’s stupid.

Study Money

That’s when I started getting in the habit of learning from rich people. I’m not gonna ask poor people, “How do I make money?” That’s like going to asking an overweight person, “How do I to lose weight?”

I have this great quote on my wall from Julian Barnes. It says:

The more you learn, the less you fear.

Most of the time, people don’t know how a dollar’s made. We know how to do the traditional time for dollar model which most of us learned from our parents…

But value for dollar model – that’s the one to go study.

And that’s when I first ran into a guy named Russell…

Russell Brunson


There’s an amazing quote by Will Smith. He says:

There’s no reason for plan B because it distracts from plan A.

Don’t focus on food stamps and mediocrity – that’s Plan B (and it sucks).

Plan A

Instead, go all in on PLAN A:

  1. Study money – don’t study food stamps.
  2. Let rich people teach you how to make money.
  3. Lean into the obstacles along your way.
  4. Don’t make excuses – get resourceful.
  5. Invite discomfort into your life – be willing to experience voluntary pain for the purpose of growth.
  6. Know that your time in the failure zone is temporary – so let it sculpt you.
  7. Mental discipline is as essential to your success as any marketing plan.

The personal development you experience through entrepreneurship is ridiculous. It’s better than any personal development course I’ve taken in my entire life.

Until Next Time – The Obstacle Is The Way!

Many don’t know that I actually made my first money online as an affiliate marketer. If you wanna know how I funded my entire company without using any of my own money EVER, you can learn to do the same for free at

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