SFR 185: Talent Is NOT Enough – Stephen Larsen

SFR 185: Talent Is NOT Enough

Oct 23rd, 2018 anchorwave

My favorite quote is, “The Obstacle Is The Way.” Whatever SEEMS to stand in your way to success is actually the answer you’re looking for to level up as a human…

The obstacle is the way

Do you have to be the best at what you do to be the most successful person in your niche?

Does talent always get you the most rewards?

In my opinion, the answer to these questions is “NO!”

While it’s always a good idea to aim to be the best, if you forget to pay enough attention to how you’re positioning yourself – it’s unlikely that you’ll ever achieve the success that you dream of.

So for the record, here’s the equation that you should focus on:



I read an article where Bill Gates says that he likes to do the dishes every night. Why? Because doing mundane jobs creates space for ideas to pop into your head when you least expect them.

My mundane task is mowing the lawn…

mow the lawn

I know other people say, “Don’t ever mow your own lawn. Never fold your laundry. Never do a job that’s worth less than you can earn in your zone of genius.”

Yeah, I get what they’re saying. But I like to listen to podcasts and audiobooks while doing the yard work – because sometimes those random ideas are gold.

…And if it’s good enough for Bill Gates ?

A few weeks ago, I was cutting the grass and listening to a podcast, when an idea popped into my head…

I stopped mowing and stood for a moment thing: “Oh, my gosh, I am where I am because of sheer talent, not positioning.”

It might sound like I’m showboating, but I’ve worked my butt off to get where I am. I’m a good funnel builder and I’m great at building offers – that’s just a fact.

I want to share the lessons I’m learning on my journey – so this is me documenting. If you think that’s showboating, you need to suck it up.


When I started in the funnel building game, I was determined to become the BEST funnel builder in the world. I was shooting for the moon.

Whether or not I’ve become the best, I’ve built a lot of successful funnels – and I’m extremely good at what I do. However…

I realized that while I’ve done fantastic jobs at positioning my products and positioning my business – I haven’t done a great job at positioning me.

so who am I

You might be laughing, and thinking “Duh, Steve.” My mindset has always been “provide sickening value, and the money follows.” And that’s how I’ve run everything in my business – and it’s worked to a large extent, but…

Sheer talent isn’t the reason why you’ll continue to get paid.


There are a lot of pros that come with getting so freakishly good at what you do that people are willing to pay you – just because you’re a master. But there are also a couple of downsides:

#1: Trying to be the best takes for freakin’ ever.

I’ve been in this game about 5 years now. The first thing I ever built on the internet was before my first kid was born.

Stephen Larsen with baby

If you’re like, “Man, Stephen, I don’t wanna spend 5 years.” That’s fine – because you don’t have to. Instead of being the best, you can be the first. That’s what Seth Godin teaches.

#2: Positioning is what gets you noticed.

Many years ago (pre-ClickFunnels), I went to a Mastermind. I sat in the audience looking at all the people that were getting up on the stage, and suddenly it hit me that the majority of people on stage had no idea why they were making money.

Most of them had literally no clue why their customers were following them.

While mowing the lawn, I realized “Huh, those people positioned themselves in the right place, and then they got good.”

I was like, “Hmm, I am where I am because I got good, now I need to figure out where to position what I do.”

I realized that talent is not enough. If you want outstanding results, you’ve got to position yourself strategically too. So that’s what I’ve been focusing on. And that’s what I want you to think about too. Where are you positioning yourself in this game?

Talent Is Not Enough Stephen Larsen on stage

The great news is that the way I like to teach makes it possible for you to be both the first and the best. This means you can make money as soon as possible – as someone who was freakin’ broke for many years – I know how important that is.

So, here’s how this has been playing out for me…


Since I left Clickfunnels, I’ve been trying to figure out the best place to position myself.

I’m not trying to figure out “WHAT I do to serve the market?” – I know what that is…

I’ve been trying to figure out the best place to position myself in the market?

I am not the funnel guy

What would be the stupidest thing for me to do right now?

The answer is: “Try to be the funnel guy.” Russell’s “The Funnel Guy.” He popularized that entire concept. Why would I ever try to compete? That would be dumb!

Even though I’ve built a bunch of funnels, do you see how stupid that would be, positioning wise, to try and do that?

When people say, “Stephen, go be the funnel guy.” I’m like, “No. There’s already is an amazing funnel guy.”

I’d literally be fighting for scraps. Why would I go into competition with the BEST in the world?!

So instead, I’ve been trying to figure out which category I can develop for myself?

Now, I think I know what the answer is, and I want you to experience it with me as I create it because that’s the best way for you to learn to do it for yourself.

I’ve been working behind the scenes, and you’re gonna start seeing me start to build my strategy out.

Moving Target

It’s a bit of a moving target. I kinda know where it is, and as I move towards it, it gets clearer.

What I’ve been doing is positioning myself more and more as “The Offer Creation Guy.”


For the about the last 3 months, I’ve been designing my actual value ladder.

I’m not just funnel hacking somebody’s product or somebody’s market. I’m funnel hacking somebody’s business.

If a business is just a series of systems, then I’ve got to funnel hack the processes used to fulfill on the promise.

If you look at the most successful e-com businesses out there – they all have very similar business models. What’s different is the message.

The business model for different supplements similar too.

When you funnel hack a product, you’re not just hacking the message, but the business itself – and the systems used to fulfill on the offer.

So I’ve been thinking about which model delivers what I do best to my market?

I’ve been figuring out what that model is for me, and I’ve been drawing my value ladder.

Value Ladder

Value ladders are amazing. However, they can be a huge hindrance if you put too much stock in them.

Here’s why…


I was on stage teaching about value ladders, when this guy stands up and says, “I’ve drawn this value ladder, but I don’t know what the product is gonna be on this step?”

I said, “I don’t think you need to know what that is yet. Your market will help you define it as you go along.” His answer was, “But I can’t start my business until I have a complete value ladder.”

Man, that’s such garbage. It’s not true!

If you’re not open to input from the market, then a value ladder can become crippling.

You’ve just gotta start…

Because whatever SEEMS to stand in the way of your success is actually the answer you’re looking for – The obstacle is THE WAY.

I never wait until I have the full picture. I always start my value ladder by building the mid-tier product. Then I move on to the more expensive step of the ladder. Finally, I create my low priced offer.

When you start to design your products with your customer, you get valuable feedback that lets you know if you’re on the right track.

Someone who bought my product just reached out and said, “Hey, I got your product. It was super awesome. I made $30,000 my first stage pitch.” I was like, “What’s up!”

Offer Mind

Last week, another customer told me,  “ I sold over 50% of the room at my very first event. Thank you so much for the tactics you taught me.

If the feedback I’m getting is negative, then I’d know which areas I still had to improve – because my customer has told me.


If you sit back and wait for everything to fall into place perfectly, you’re gonna stay stuck. if you decide, “I’m not 100% sure where I’m going yet – so I won’t move at all.” No answers will appear for you. Don’t fall for that trap. If you want answers, start moving. You only need to see the next step ahead of you to take action.

You won’t find anything out by sitting on your butt – you have to get in motion.

This year, I’ve actively been pursuing the question of what it is that I want to do, and how I want to position myself.

I’ve been starting to make moves to find out where I should position me – and not just my business.

In the book The Innovator’s Dilemma; there’s a paragraph that’s freakin’ awesome. It says that the supplier and the customer must discover new markets together.

That’s what I’ve been doing:

what my customer really wants

I’ve been discovering what my customer really wants with my customer.

Which means I need to be with the customer creating my products with them.

For example:

If you’re coming to the OfferMind, you’ll see this co-creation principle in action:

  • I know precisely what I’m teaching.
  • I know with 100% accuracy what you guys need to hear.
  • But I need the message in a way that helps you experience it most effectively.

I want to deliver an “A-ha! Oh my gosh! Wow.” moment.

I want to see it in your eyes. I want to feel it in the room. I want to sense it in my bones.

Party in the room

And when I get that feeling, I’ll know that I’ve done my job.

Regardless of what you think about whoever the president of the US is… if they walked in the room, you’d still be like, “Whoa, that’s so-and-so.” I want you to experience that emotion when  I’m teaching.

When I elicit that response – then I’ll know it’s time to put what I’m teaching into a book.

So when people ask me, “Stephen, how come you haven’t written a book on Offer Creation yet?”

My answer is because it’s not just about concepts – I’ve got to make sure that you ingest them. That my teaching and the stories I tell to convey the concepts are actually good.

I need to constantly refine by teaching these concepts over and over again until I hit gold.

A lot of what I teach comes across in my body language. In a book, I won’t have that luxury – so I need to be ultra clear.

The purpose of OfferMind is to help me figure out more of what’s going to go into the book so that nothing gets lost in translation. And the better the book is, the easier it’ll be for me to claim my position.



position in market

I want you to be purposeful about how you create your position in your market.

So here’s that equation once again:


… You can have one without the other, but if you really want to stand out and stand the test of time – why not go for both? That’s what I’m doing.

Until Next Time – Keep Crushing It!

Hey, obviously a funnel’s already dead if you can’t even get anyone to opt in, right?

So I spent four hours teaching an audience how to get high opt-ins; when they work  – and when they don’t work.

If you want access to that member’s area – where you can watch those replays – just go to to create your free members account now.

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