SFR 222: Credentials, Not Required – Stephen Larsen

SFR 222: Credentials, Not Required

Mar 5th, 2019 anchorwave

I frequently get interviewed by new content creators. The purpose of this episode is that EVERYTHING I show you is completely learnable and doable by YOU…

Every Tuesday, I leave my morning open to go on anyone’s show.

So, once a week, I just wake up, get ready, and check my calendar to see who’s scheduled time for me to get on their show.

I typically do two – three interviews every Tuesday, and I don’t even care who with.

It helps me:

  • Keep connected with the audience
  • Understand what peoples’ questions are
  • Understand who the other influencers-to-be, or current influencer are

My calendar is pretty packed up, but if you want to book a slot, then go to

Interview Steve Larsen

Recently, I had an amazing person set up a time with me. It was her first EVER show… and she just jumped in and asked me the MOST amazing questions.


If you’ve listened to my podcasts at all and you’ve NEVER heard me say, “Everyone should publish!” I think you’re probably lying.

I say that all the time, and it’s something that’s changed my life.

I am massively convinced that if you want to increase your income, especially on the internet…

The checklist is very simple:

Step number one: Create some content

Step number two: Keep offering people stuff

Step number three: Keep getting attention

Step number four: …I really don’t know whatever the steps are beyond that…. It’s super simple, okay?

Step number five: Just go back to number one.

Truly, that’s it!

On a daily basis:

# I create content

# I make sure that I offer something to somebody

# I just kinda keep getting attention for my business and what I do.

The thing that always makes me MOST pumped is when somebody who’s just starting out sets up a time for me to get on their show.

Currently, I’m a 2 Comma Club X Coach and a One Funnel Away Coach; I’m the guy that yells at everybody every day!

I also have my own program, Offer Lab, I have another program in the MLM space. I spend a lot of time coaching…

A constant theme that I push in EVERYTHING I do is that EVERYONE NEEDS TO PUBLISH.

I can tell who’s MOST likely to have a successful funnel by whether or not they start publishing.

Publishing is the safety net. It’s the parachute for all the stuff.

Self promotion

Frankly, you can stop listening to 80% of the tactics I teach you and just publish consistently, then come back to me in a year… and tell me that your life’s not different! Seriously, it’s that powerful.


I’m ALWAYS really pumped whenever somebody who’s brand new comes on to interview me….

Because they’re just doin’ it! #success

Recently, an amazing lady called Angela Clark jumped in and booked me for the first episode of her show.

How to market yourself

She’s created a podcast called Side Hustle Strategies, (which I think is a great name).

Now, I wanna turn your attention to two things.

  1. Number one: She’s just doin’ it!
  2. Number two: Check out the types of questions that she’s asking me – notice their simplicity.

Not all interviewers are good, and she was very, very good. It’s one of my favorites interviews that I’ve done recently.

When we were done, I asked, “Do you mind if share this on Sales Funnel Radio?” She said, “Yes, absolutely. Go for it.”

I want you to see how awesome it is that Angela is just doin’ it. I want to show you that YOU can do it to!

About half the time, the person interviewing me is a newbie. Whether it’s for a new show, a blog, or whatever… I thought it’d be kinda cool capture one of ’em, toss it out here.


Now, I wouldn’t be Steve Larsen if there wasn’t a strategy underneath my Tuesday morning interview sessions 😉

  1. It’s helpful because I get interviewed all over the place…
  2. I’ve noticed when I’m being interviewed, I tend to dive into topics, teachings and strategies that I have a hard time replicating without somebody asking me questions.

Here’s what I’m getting at…

If you have a hard time creating content or teaching what you do, stop asking yourself for answers.

Don’t let EVERYTHING come from your own head. Instead, get someone to ask YOU a whole bunch of questions. Let them pull the answers out of you…

Then all you have to do is delete all their questions and BOOM! You have a course… Or BOOM! You got the podcast.

It’s one of the reasons why I ask so many questions in my group, The Science of Selling Online; I’m trying to see where the holes are.

The science of self promotion

In my head, there’s a model, there’s a picture, and a framework, but I need to know where the questions are.


I’m super proud to just have a whole bunch of people who’ve actually started their shows.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re publishing on a:

  • Podcast
  • Blog
  • Facebook
  • YouTube

Whatever platform you publish on, I don’t care, as long as you’re actively talking, because…

How to start publishing

If you’re NOT speaking, no one knows you exist.

You WILL BUY your customer, whether it’s with your time or your money.

If you’re like, “Stephen, I don’t have money for ads.” Well, then you better be willing to spend some time!

One of the best ways I know to duplicate time is to create content. I have to do it once, and it lives on the internet forever.

Between my two shows, I’ve got almost 400 episodes now… which is crazy!

That’s a lot of hooks pulling people into my world and adding value for my entire life.

If you’re NOT willing to spend money, BE willing to spend time.

It would suck to walk around the street and be like, “Hey, can I tell you my recent podcast episode?”

Duplicate your time with content strategy

I’d rather duplicate my time by creating content.

One of the biggest hacks of the game, create content, make offers to people consistently, and that’s kind of it. Gain attention, there you go, there’s the hack, there’s the BIG SECRET… and that’s what I’m doing.

One of the easiest ways to buy your customers and make a real asset on the internet is by consistently publishing.

Now, let’s cut over to Angela’s interview with Side Hustle Strategies.

If you like what she’s asking, go say hi to her, and thank her as well.

AND REMEMBER… you don’t need credentials to get started… Just a willingness to jump!


Interview self promotion

Angela: Alright, so I know you from ClickFunnels fame, Sales Funnel Radio, Secret MLM Hacks. So, for those who don’t know you, can you tell us a little bit about your story?

Steve: Yeah, totally. I was newly married… seven years ago. I call myself the seven-year overnight success story.

I failed my face off in tons of business attempts.

Steve Larsen self promotion

My wife and I could barely feed ourselves, and life was really intense for a while.

I know a lot of people are still in that sort of scenario.

It was a college town, so no one was getting jobs for more than like three dollars an hour. It was a new town we moved to, we didn’t know many people. She didn’t have a job, and I couldn’t get a job.

It was crazy.

There were more students than there were jobs. I was like, “We’re gonna die. I gotta figure out a way to make money.”

I asked my dad to float us some cash while we waited for some student loans to come in… just so we could just have like a base, right?

Then I was gonna go run hard and try and make some more money some other way and thankfully, he’s on the phone and he goes, “Son, No. If I give you this money you will not exhaust the resources you didn’t know you had.”

Steven Larsen how to market yourself

It was really intense.

It was very wise of him to say that to me, though.

I had the fire in the gut to provide that I think most people just fail to ever light. And when you have that fire, little details that you otherwise get stuck on, they don’t really matter as much.

How am I gonna figure this out? Doesn’t matter! Do I need to know that? No, run! And so, it gave me this lens of action of just move versus getting focused and distracted by all these other things.

So, I started trying all these businesses and none of them were working. I was spending money, that frankly, we really didn’t have trying to make something just kick off.

Over three and a half years, four years, I went through 12 business attempts and they all failed or kinda broke even.

Each time, though, I was learning some stuff. It was very valuable stuff.

I was in college for marketing, business, and entrepreneurship… and I started learning MORE in these attempts than what I was learning in my classes.

Because of this, I started getting into fights with my teachers over different principles. It was like, “No, I’ve tried what you just said and it doesn’t work very well that way. I’m doing it right now. It doesn’t work!”

I’d be praying to God in the evenings, like, “Please, help me find a way. It’s not that I’m not willing to go through pain, I am, I’m in it right now.”

I believe he totally guided me through failures that were needed for my future success.

That’s really interesting to think about it that way.

I started blowing up these different businesses, trying these different things, and running into ClickFunnels.

If you guys don’t know what ClickFunnels is, it’s basically a way to sell things online or offline… but it allows you to have higher average cart values. Basically, meaning:

People spend more money buying more of your things that they probably wouldn’t have otherwise because you just didn’t ask ’em… so you make more money.

It’s really cool!

…And you don’t have to be a coder to put these things out on the internet. And I’m not, I don’t know how to code. I have no idea how to do that stuff.

I started making all these sales funnels. I still didn’t have much money. And I was like, “Who made this software? Russell Brunson! Does he even shave? This guy looks freakin’ young, should I even trust him?”

You know what I mean?

I was like, “Who is this guy?” And I had my own reservations because the first time I saw him, I was like, “This guy’s 12.” You know?

He’s just a very young-looking guy. If you don’t know who he is, we’re good friends, so I can say that, and I don’t think he’ll get mad.

Anyway, so I was like, “I gotta go to his event.”

I was in college still, I was about to graduate. It’s like, “I can’t get to his event.”

So, I started changing the question in my mind.

This was towards the end of college for me. It was like, “What if I just get resourceful… ’cause I don’t have resources?” And I was like, “Well, I could learn how to build one of these funnel things.”

And I went and I started trading funnels for tickets to his next event; funnels for plane tickets and funnels for hotel nights.

I bootstrapped my way to the event

I was nerdy enough in their software that they knew who I was when I walked up to their event.

They said, “What’s your name?” I said, “Steve Larsen.” And the guy looked up and he goes, “You’re the guy pulling off all that Star Wars ninja crap in our software, right?”

That’s exactly what he said.

And I said, “I dunno.” He’s like, “You are! I need you to apply to ClickFunnels.”

…And I ended up getting five job offers at their event, and one week later, I graduated, and three days later, I was sitting next to Russell as his funnel builder. It was just super fast. Really fast pace.

Angela: Wow, great.

Steve: That’s kind of the quick and dirty.

Angela: Alright, so now, today, what drives you to do the work that you do?

Steve: Honestly, I felt so much shame, which is stupid. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but the fact that I couldn’t provide just destroyed all semblance of self-esteem for me.

I started coming home right after we got married, and I’d walk into our little apartment…

It was overpriced, we barely had any money, neither of us could get jobs, we really had no income, but I wasn’t thinking about that. It was honeymoon phase, and I was mad in love…

Steven Larsen content strategy

Anyway, I started coming home, my wife would still be in bed. She’d already graduated college and I was like, “Are you okay? We alright? You okay?” She’s like, “Oh yeah.”

So, I’d go back the next day to school, and come back home… *same thing* “You okay?” She’s like, “Oh yeah, no, it’s nothing, it’s fine.” Same thing, same thing, day after day after day after day…

I finally got her to admit to me, (and she didn’t wanna tell me, ’cause she didn’t wanna hurt my feelings), she’d only been eating one meal a day ‘cause we didn’t have money.

Angela: Wow!

Steve: She’d been doing that so long that she was physically weak. I had no idea.

She was literally eating like, some beans…

And all the while, still making my lunches so I could have energy in school, and she would just eat a scant meal of dinner with me in the evenings… and that was all she was eating.

Steven Larsen how to start publishing

I am telling you, it destroyed me.

A lot of men get their identity based on how well they provide or what they do, and I couldn’t do it… and it rocked my world. Rocked everything. I can’t describe the pain, and it didn’t leave.

That’s when I called my dad and said, “Hey, will you give me some cash?” And he said “NO,” which is great, I’m glad he did.

I went and just started running, just trying stuff.

The pain, the level of shame I felt, I had to hide that from people. I was in classes trying to focus but knew my wife was starving at home.

It was nuts. It was super nuts. That went on for a really long time…

So what drives me today is, I’m a capitalist pig, right?

Steven Larsen capitalist pig

I intend to make a lot of money, but do it in a way that provides a lot of value for the world. There’s nothing wrong with that.

What drives me is to help install that belief in people’s brains, rather than this weird belief a lot of people have around cash.

Make money, make a lot of it… because that lets you go help people at a faster pace than you could if you didn’t have money.

What drives me is that… and when I see people who are still in that zone I was at the beginning of our marriage, like that… Oh, my gosh. You can tell, even now, I’m NOT over it.

That was very, very challenging. It was hard on me and I don’t want people there either…

Angela: What advice would you give to someone who’s stuck, who’s in that place, who maybe is discouraged, and not able to see the light at the end of the tunnel?

What advice would you give to someone to kind of muster that energy to move on?

How to start doing self promotion

Steve: Few things. It’s a great question. The first thing I would tell you to do is, and I was doing this…

A lot of these lessons I know because I was doing the exact opposite of it and that’s why I learned the lesson.

You want depression, here’s how you get it…

You CANNOT compare yourself to another person’s success or the speed that they gained it.

It was the fastest way for an entrepreneur (or somebody who’s trying to make it) in this game to die. The only way.

If you start comparing yourself to these ideals, “Oh, that guy did it at that speed,” I guarantee that’s NOT true. Nor is it the first thing they tried…

That’s the visible side.

All of us have years of just trying and trying and trying and beating and beating on our craft.

What’s interesting is ideals aren’t measurable.

Pop culture changes every second, and if I measure myself to an ideal, I will never hit it because I can’t measure it. Therefore unattainable.

You end up measuring your self-esteem, your self-worth, your value to yourself and others on something that is constantly shifting and fictitious.

How to market yourself successfully

That’s totally a huge thing in the entrepreneur world today.

Entrepreneurship finally, thankfully, is cool now. It’s awesome, it’s super cool. It’s like this big fad, it’s awesome.

But what’s funny is, if I go in and rent a freakin’ Lambo to take a picture in front of and make on my Facebook profile picture, ’cause that’s what I think causes success.

That’s the most jacked-up crap on the planet. It’s NOT true.

I’ve noticed that those types of people will ride this little high, but because it’s based on things that are fake, they crash real hard.

Successful content strategy

All of their worth, all their business worth, all their sense of self is based on something that is constantly shifting.

Sit around and be like, “Oh man, I’m a bad mamma jamma! Look what I did yesterday that I could not have done six months ago!”

My level of opportunities changed based on how I changed. The whole game’s a game of progression.

Man, I got the nicest kid award in high school. It’s not ’cause I was nice, it’s because I was shy. No one knew that, and I had to overcome the fear of speaking. I had to overcome a fear of adults that was near clinical. I had to overcome a lot of stuff.

I was dumb, I was kicked out of my first semester of college; I didn’t know how to study.

I am the least likely success story. The only way I got around it was by comparing me to me yesterday.

In that way, I stopped comparing myself to others.

I stopped looking at the clock of others, and I know totally ranting right now, but this is a HUGE thing I achieved in my life.

Angela: No, but you touched on something important.

I’ve seen lots of your videos and I’ve heard you tell a little bit of this story before about being very shy, so in my head… I’ve got two kids and I’ve got one that’s really reserved with most people, but at home, she’s a wild woman.

Steve: Yes, exactly, at home, you would have no idea.

Angela: Right, so my question for you is, (’cause I think that that’s pretty important), there may be a lot of people out there who have a hard time putting themselves out there.

Russell Brunson has said that he considers himself a more introverted person, but when you see him, he’s like, “Wah!” So, where do you get that from?

Steve Larsen and Russell Brunson

Where do you muster that energy to be on, like on demand?

Steve: I think the biggest thing someone can do that will destroy them is starting to self-hate. That’ll just wreck ’em.

Instead, everything that I know that is NOT gonna be an aid in my business, his name is Stephen, and he’s shy… and he’s a little bit more reserved.

I wouldn’t say I’m shy, but I’m a little more reserved.

Anyway, I would not be wearing shirts like this or like, “Bleh, Rah!”

People ask all the time, “Stephen, how do you have so much energy all the time?”

I have a lot of energy when I need to become Steve.

How to start publishing successfully

Steve is a second person I created… and I know it’s stupid, and this sounds really weird, but even Tony Robbins teaches that we all have multiple personalities inside of us.

And so… there’s Stephen… And Stephen, he’s cool, he’s the man. He’s everything that I needed to be in order to learn the painful lessons I needed to create Steve.

And most of the time, I’m Stephen.

Steve, that dude’s nuts. He is a killer on stage, oh my gosh. He is the one talking to you right now. He destroys the microphone.

He tells Russell Brunson to get stage insurance, ’cause he’s gonna try and crack it. He’s a deliverer.

Steve and Stephen

I love Steve.

So, every time I’m about to go on a video, do an interview, or record a podcast, I take a moment to become Steve.

… And it sounds weird, but I had to do it that way… because otherwise, I would’ve just stayed reserved… kinda just like, “There’s no way I’m gonna get on video.”

I would NOT be doing this at all if I stayed Stephen 100% of the time.

Angela: So, what does that transition look like? I mean, are you like amped up on music? Is there caffeine?

Steve: It’s a little bit. It’s not much. When I do take a lot of caffeine, it jacks me up. But it’s a little bit of caffeine.

A lot of times though, it’s the mentality that I’m taking on.

This sounds kinda dark, but one of the things that I try to do is… Man, it’s so funny…

The moment you start trying to level up your game, you get a lot of lovers and haters. It’s like you are the Red Sea. It’s like the split, that’s what you’re walkin’. Both voices get louder.

For quite a while, I cared too much about what people thought about me and so, what I decided to do, (and I didn’t mean to make this a public thing, it was actually just for me.)

I went and bought this heavy punching bag that’s shaped like a human, and I wrote Poverty on it… and I beat the crap out of that thing on a regular basis.

Successful self promotion

It’s like this little self-therapy that I will walk through if I need to become Steve.

If that thing’s not around, I’ll imagine beating the snot out of it.

But what I do is I write every single thing that’s negative that I’m hearing from my audience, another audience, or online, I write it on the freakin’ dummy.

Steve Larsen how to market yourself

Most of the time, what I realize what I was trying to do is act like the negativity wasn’t there. I would try to shield and shelter, and be like, “It’s NOT there, No, no, no! I should just move forward.”

Everyone says just to move forward. For me, that was cool, but it was like this weight.

For me, in business, I compete on strengths. In my personal development though, I kinda have to work on my weaknesses in order to qualify for more business opportunities.

So I write down all the negativity that I hear from the world… and people are really tough behind their computer screens. Some are just straight-up jerks…

So, now, there are just tons of words all over it:

  • Not enough
  • Terrible
  • Stutters
  • Say too many “um’s”
  • Big eyes
  • You’re not gonna make it
  • Not sustainable
  • Watch him fail and burn.

…Anything that’s negative.

They’re just freakin’ jerks!

I write it down, I face it, and I consume it. I allow myself to feel it, and I accept it’s there. Then I beat it up.

Powerful content strategy

Despite knowing the negativity is there, despite all that stuff, I just move forward.

So, when I sit down in this chair, I am in a state of war. I am ready to deliver. I will provide and go to war for my family. I will make a lot of value out there, and I will make money while I do so… and that’s totally awesome.

But that transition zone was very practiced at first. I had to really work on that and meditate over it, and try to…

Not that I’m downplaying who I am or who I was, but realizing that my business most likely needs somebody else besides me.

A new me in order to actually run in the first place, am I willing to become that person? Not a fake me, but somebody else!

So, anyways, music is definitely part of it.

Angela: So, let me ask you this…

I know a lot of entrepreneurs don’t have the support of family and friends.

Was that something you had and how did you find your tribe to sort of have those people that you could bounce ideas off or just be a sounding board for whatever your challenges were?

Steve: Yeah, there’s a lot of family and friends that are out there who, for all of us, it’s not that they’re trying to be negative, they just DON’T understand what we do and they don’t get it at all.

…And frankly, the entrepreneur, for a long time, sucks at explaining what they do.

So, you have these two differing angles, and most of the time, I found…

What was that book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People?

Angela: Yeah, great one.

Steve: Yeah, a super good book, right?

He’s like, most fights or little tiffs are a result of a misunderstanding of roles and goal. So, if you start working under a different framework, your blueprint starts to change a little bit. That can be threatening to people.

A lot of times, I remind people of the things that they didn’t take risks on… they’re not telling me I’m bad, or they’re being mean…

What they’re doing is reacting to things they’ve tried to hide in themselves. That’s a big thing that I noticed.

I was the only person that I physically knew who was doing what I was trying to in my physical sphere. You know what I mean? No one else was building funnels. For years, it was that way.

The reason I wanted to go to Russell Brunson’s event so bad is that I wanted to be around, for the first time in my life, other people who knew what a sales funnel even was.

Steve Larsen how to start publishing

Even though I was in sales. I was in my sales classes, I was in entrepreneurship classes, in marketing classes… we still weren’t talking about how to actually make money. I

I’d say, if any entrepreneur’s experiencing kind of negativity with family, friends, or even just in general, don’t act like it’s not there, but just be patient with it… and understand that they’re operating from a completely different mindset, and have no idea.

They didn’t have the same epiphanies you had in order to be doing the logical things that you’re doing, the things that you think are logical.

Most of it’s just a misunderstanding.

Angela: Well, great, thanks. I think you’ve given some great nuggets for folks who are in the trenches or considering getting in the trenches.

So, I appreciate you taking the time to talk to me today.

Is there anything you wanna share about what you’re working on or where people can go to find out more information about you or maybe some of your projects or products?

Steve: Yeah, I think it was business 17 that actually worked. 17, right!

That’s a crazy, crazy amount of failure.

It was around business try number 12 though, where…

Everything I was launching, I didn’t get it. I thought I had to have a better product. I thought it was all about the product.

I’ve realized, though, that’s actually not true. I could sell any piece of junk.

Most people believe that they need to have so much belief in their product.

Self belief and self promotion

…But I can sell things I don’t believe in.

I’m NOT telling anyone to go do that, but it’s because of the principles I’ve learned about marketing and sales… and understanding that they’re different. Understanding that closing and sales are different.

Those are the things that have made all the difference in the world for me.

So, it was around business try number 12 when I started learning what funnels even were, how to do them, how to use them. That’s when things started shifting up for me.

I love affiliate marketing.

I’ve found that most people get distracted by the creation of the product.

They have no idea how to:

  • Sell
  • Position themselves
  • Write copy to get attention

So, if you don’t have a product and you’re trying to learn this game, I would actually tell you NOT to learn how to make a product. I would go do affiliate marketing.

I created a program for this exact reason called Affiliate Outrage, It’s completely FREE, and it walks you through how to market other people’s products, and get paid for it.

Steve Larsen Affiliate Outrage

It’s 30 days long, and I brought in all these other experts to teach all the stuff inside of it.

What I like about affiliate marketing is that it lets you practice. Just because somebody else made the product, doesn’t mean you don’t need to make marketing.

So it’s like marketing training wheels.

Marketing training wheels

That’s why I like it. So, I would go there.

Angela: Okay, so, that’s where we can get more info and step-by-step instructions from you.

Steve: Yeah, definitely.

Angela: Alright.

Steve: Hey, thanks for listening.

As you likely have heard in my podcast, I left my job in January 2018 to build my million dollar business completely from scratch without any funding or any help… AND I HIT IT, right on February 1, 2019…

Just 13 months later, we actually grossed a million dollars, which is pretty awesome.

Better yet, I got to keep a lot of the cash, just ’cause my costs are honestly NOT very high.

That said, there are several tools, though, I use to automate vital pieces of my business and ClickFunnels is one of them.

ClickFunnels lets me build automated sales machines all over the internet that are non-stop pitching people for me. It’s ONLY $97 a month.

Better yet, I don’t need to be a coder.

If you’re asking yourself, “Stephen, are you giving me a blatant pitch for ClickFunnels right now?” YES, 100%!

I think it’s dumb when people don’t use ClickFunnels. It makes you MORE and saves you MORE.

Basically, I have the power of an entire tech team in my hand and I want you to have it.

Steve Larsen ClickFunnels free trial

Go grab a free trial of ClickFunnels by going to

I want EVERYONE to experience the power of ClickFunnels in their business, so they’re letting me hook you up at

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