SFR 215: My Favorite Book – Stephen Larsen

SFR 215: My Favorite Book

Feb 8th, 2019 anchorwave

Today, I’m gonna to tell you about my very favorite book

*Spoiler Alert* It’s NOT one of Russell’s ?

There’s an important lesson here, so make sure you don’t skip any of this… or you won’t get the payoff.

I’m psyched to tell you about this book… because it literally transformed my life.

I’ve only ever shared the story of why this book is so powerful and important in a few select places.

At my last OfferMind event, (you can get tickets for my next one at, I finally recorded the strange story of how this impactful book appeared in my life.

Steven Larsen best business books

… so, Y’all ready?


The game’s hard for a while. You’re proving yourself to life, existence, God, the universe, the market, EVERYBODY…

You decide, “I want this cool thing? Sweet!”

Then, for a while, the path tends to be:

  • Objection
  • Objection
  • Objection
  • Constraint
  • Constraint
  • Constraint


If you’re at that stage, don’t worry about it. Start publishing about your journey… ‘cause funnily enough, those are the things that people will follow you for.

For me, it was around business try #8… that was the time when things started to get me down. It was rough, man!

Steven Larsen origin story selling

I was one of the only people in the entire world, besides Russell, that I even knew who was doing this… and he didn’t know who I was.

I didn’t know how to describe what I was doing to other people well. So it kinda got lonely.

Crap was kinda hitting the fan for me mentally.

I was trying to stay true to my mission, but I had two competing voices in my head:

  1. I know it’s there. This is going to be super. I just need to keep going.
  2. But man, am I just being stubborn? Should I get a job?

…You know what I mean?

There was this conflict back and forth: “Is it really there… or am I just believing in a mirage?” And that’s when a lot of the self-doubt started to creep in…


Marry story selling

Although things were still tough, there was this moment where I started learning enough that I would kinda get in fights with my marketing professors…

And for whatever reason, at that moment, things started turning for me.

When you declare what you want and start walking towards it, things begin to conspire for you.

It doesn’t mean that there won’t be opposition… but most people aren’t even willing to declare what they want publicly, in a big enough for things to conspire in the first place.

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Declare your intent and stuff will begin to happen for you, and for your sake… I believe it’s God.

That moment had NOT quite happened yet for me, but it was close.


I was sucking it up on several different business attempts, and life was really challenging.

I was:

  • Broke
  • In the Army
  • Studying in College
  • Married
  • A father

It was a lot…

My wife and I, would go to like a Taco Bell, or somewhere like that for our date nights because 89 cent bean burritos were all we could afford. It was fun…

Steven Larsen competitive strategy

But it was extremely humbling… and a constant reminder of what I wasn’t.

Papa Larsen realness coming out here…

As I started trying my next business, I was excited. I told Princess Babe (my gorgeous wife) about it… and she wanted to believe in me.

But it was challenging…

And when she asked, “Is this the one?”

On the outside, I was, “Yeah, babe. I’m your man. I will provide.”

But I wasn’t providing at all. We were living off loans, and it was really tough.

Then one day, EVERYTHING changed…


Story selling - the man

It was a grey rainy day, and I’d just finished the most boring class on earth, #Quantitative Economics… Man, it sucked!

As I walked to my next class my head was full of doubts and questions:

  • Crap, is this the one?
  • I wanna feel like a man.
  • I wanna provide.
  • I wanna be her man.
  • Am I good enough for this?
  • Maybe I’m NOT good enough.?
  • Maybe I should go get a job?
  • But $8 an hour won’t pay the bills.
  • Should we keep living on loans?

All these doubts and questions were running through my head… the noise was intense.

Have you ever have felt the noise? It was like, “Shut up… I can do it… but am I psycho?”…

Steven finding competitive strategy

Is this the one?

I don’t know if this is going to work? “I don’t either.”

Let’s put money on it. “Are you serious?”

Let’s go get money for ads! “What? We can barely eat…”

A lot of my passion comes from this situation because I know a lot of guys are still there… and I want to get you through it.

All these voices were competing in my head as I walked. Suddenly, I see an old gentleman (who I’d never seen before) sitting on a park bench. It had just stopped raining… and (super-cheesy straight out of a frickin’ movie), the clouds part…

He was sitting on the bench reading a book, and the dude was just wearing wealth. Just so filthy freakin’ rich. You could just tell.

I’m still some way off when a limo pulls up in front of him.

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This dude with an unnaturally straight posture gets out of the car, walks around the front, opens the car door, and does a little half-bow…

I was starting to get a little bit closer now…

The older gentleman stands up, and they exchange looks. You could tell they knew each other. Maybe he’s been his driver for a while… I don’t know, but I know there’s a history.

They exchange a few words, then the older gentleman starts to get into the limo…

By this time I’m getting pretty close..,

And as the driver starts to close the limo door, something in me, (out of sheer desperation), made me run…

I ran ‘cos I wanted it.

I ran full speed and slammed my hand in the door right before it closed… which hurt…I wanted him to know I was there.

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I was like, “Hey, whats up? I know you don’t know me”. Then I asked, “How did you get this? I’m sure you get asked it a lot. How did you get all this?”.

Once he realized that I wasn’t going to hurt him, he stopped, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “Yes, a lot of people ask me that.”

I said, “How do you do it? It’s not that I’m not trying… I’m launching, I’m doing the stuff. What is wrong? Other people have success, and I’m don’t. I’m the variable. What is wrong with me? What is it?”

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He looked at me for a moment, then he reached down and handed me a book. Then he said, “Read this.”

It was the book that he’d been reading on the bench before the car pulled up.

He said, “If you will read this for 20 minutes every day… and then spend the next 40 applying it, you will not recognize your life in two years.”

I was like, “That’s super random… the clouds parted. Maybe that was a message?” It was so cool.

So I spent the next year; 20 minutes reading the book, 40 minutes applying. 20 minutes reading, 40 minutes applying… I spent the whole year like that.

And, in one year, just as he promised, stuff started happening in my life.

I stopped looking at the clock, and I stopped judging my self-worth based on how fast that guy or this lady achieved success.

Competitive strategy for success

I stopped looking at the clock, and I just put my head down.

After that day, I didn’t see him again for quite some time…

That was four years ago!


Since being in Russell’s world, I have a lot more connections… my Rolodex has grown a lot, and eventually, I managed to trace the guy who so generously changed my life with that one book.

Story selling book

I reached out, and said, “Hey, man. Just so you know, that was a huge deal to me.”

Since then, we’ve been in communication quite a bit now, which is really fun, and when I told him my story, he said that I could give each reader of my blog a copy of his book… which is really exciting. I know right? It’s awesome!

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I’m a very slow reader, so I asked if I was licensed to read and record the book. He said, “Yes.”

So I have:

  1. An Audiobook for you
  2. A Checklist so you guys can make sure that you’re implementing correctly.

Since then, he and I have gained quite a relationship, and he wants to do a private event in about six months from now.

It’s going to be in his house, so it’s ONLY OPEN to 20 people.

Competitive strategy event

It’ll be an event with him and me where we’ll actually apply EVERYTHING you learned from the book.

It’s gonna be in 6 months from now… so you’ll have time to read the book and follow the checklist. Sound good?

So you guys get the:

  1. Book
  2. Audiobook
  3. Checklist
  4. Opportunity to attend a private event for 20

Sound good?

Who’s ready to buy something?

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(…and a confession)

  1. What did I just do with your emotions there?
  2. Do You want the book?

By the way…

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That’s all fake. I’ve read that book in my life. It’s just a random one off my shelf.


Q: Why do you want the book?


Everything about how you sell has everything to do with the story you tell.

All of that was FAKE…

But when I told the story at OfferMind and asked: “Who wants the book?” Even people who’d heard the story before raised their hand.

The best story selling

Let me ask you…

Q: Did you feel more of a connection to my wife because of that fake story?

Interesting, isn’t it? The power of story is a huge deal. All of that was fake. None of that happened, but yet you probably felt a connection

Q: What about the story makes it so impactful?

A: I painted your exact situation.

Q: How did I know that?

A: Because I’ve been there. I know my red ocean customer. I know you. I know the stories you’ve been in. I know the scenarios you’re in. A lot of it is because I’ve been there as well.

If you understand a your red ocean it allows you to craft story for your sales that connects emotionally with your ideal customer.

A purple sales message

Did I talk about the chapters in the book? No! But people still wanted it.

Too many people are like, “Oh, I gotta build this last feature in my offer to make it sell”. No! That’s NOT what makes it sell.

Steven Larsen story selling

The sales message is what sells. It has nothing to do with the product. It’s all about the story selling. Story is the sales mechanism. The product just fulfils on it’s promise.

That’s what’ll make you scratch the itch and go:

  • “Oh my gosh, I remember that chapter he talked about.” Even though I didn’t.
  • “Oh, this chapter is amazing. I remember the backstory. I wonder if this is what he was reading on the bench?” Even though I didn’t mention that at all

You begin to romanticize certain elements about the product.

So when you see the product for the first time, you’re like, “I know the backstory behind this feature. I know why this was such a big deal”.

It is one of the most common things that I run into when I’m coaching people… “Steve, I haven’t launched yet, because my product’s not done”… *WRONG*

It has nothing to do with the product.


We often use product development as a logical excuse, (although it is NOT), for why we haven’t launched. It’s, “How I can sell something that isn’t yet made?”

Take money. It’s not bait and switch. Your customer knows the products not made yet… and then, once the market has voted with their wallet, then you go make it.

I call this the purple sales message… the power of it is that you’re able to test a whole bunch of stories that allow you to make your product with security rather than risk…

Don’t want to spend 8 months building a product (as I did my first time) that isn’t market validated.

Russell sent me a message saying, “Dude, you’ve got to stop telling that story. They’re not gonna believe you when you actually go sell something”.

That’s the point I’m trying to help you guys understand that this is how stuff is sold. It’s got nothing to do with the product.

No one gives a crap about your features. It’s not the reason why someone buys.

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You can still obsess and over-deliver for your clients and your customers. I believe in that…

BUT do it with the understanding that this is NOT what puts money in your wallet.

What puts money in the wallet is the sales message. Products never sell themselves. The sales message and product are two separate and independent assets

Boom! If you’re just starting out you’re probably studying a lot. That’s good. You’re probably geeking out on all the strategies also, right? That’s also good.

But the hardest part is figuring out what the market wants to buy and how you should sell it to them, right? That’s what I struggled with for a while until I learned the formula.

Competitive strategy formula

So I created a special Mastermind called an OfferMind to get you on track with the right offer, and more importantly the right sales script to get it off the ground and sell it.

Wanna come?

OfferMind Click Link Below

They’re small groups on purpose, so I can answer your direct questions in person for two straight days.

Hold your spot by going to Again, that’s

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