SFR 54: Tale Of The Stuffed-Crust Pizza… – Stephen Larsen

SFR 54: Tale Of The Stuffed-Crust Pizza…

May 24th, 2017 anchorwave


There was a foundational error being taught in my college classes when it came to making money. It all revolves around the “product big-bang” theory..


Oh, baby. What’s going on guys? It’s Steve Larsen, and you’re listening to Sales Funnel Radio.

Welcome to Sales Funnel Radio, where you’ll learn marketing strategies to grow your online business using today’s best internet sales funnels. And now, here’s your host, Steven Larsen.

Hey, how you guys doing? I’m so grateful that you guys are tuned in. Let me just say that, first off. Thanks so much, I really appreciate it. This podcast, last month, got 8,000 downloads, which is nuts. And then this month, we’re only half way through the month right now, right?

Yeah, about half way through. And we’re already at about 8,000 again. It’s awesome. It just continues to grown and grow and grow. And I just really appreciate it, so thanks to all you guys. You guys are all rock stars.

About three or four years ago, I was talking to somewhat of a mentor, but he’s also a professor. And I was like, “Man, I don’t know what I want to do.” Was this three? Yeah, it was about three or four years ago. I was like, “I don’t know what I want to do.” He’s like, “Well, currently you’re major is selected as finance.” I was like, “Yeah, but it’s so boring.” And it’s not that … Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. Finance is awesome, you guys are awesome. But it just wasn’t interesting me … To me, that much.

And I was like, “I don’t know if I really want to do it.” And he’s like, “Well, you could do supply chain.” I was like, “Okay, here’s the problem. I could see myself doing any of the things that you’re saying right now. Okay? I could see myself going out and doing this, or doing this, or doing this.” And I was like, “What do I do? I don’t know what I want to do with my life.”

I did not know what I wanted to do with my life until about two years ago; no joke. And it was a constant question in my mind all of the time; constant question.

And I was always wondering that not just what should I do with my life, I was wondering product-wise, as well. Hey, what should I do with my life? What things should I sell? What’s a good offer to go out there and try it? Have you guys ever felt that way? I’m sure you have. If you’ve ever felt that way before, give me a little nod. Okay? A little raised fist pump, or something like that. Because that’s a huge question; hey, what do I sell? What do I do?

And it was kind of cool because he sat back and he was like, “You know what? I think you should do marketing.” And I was like, “Marketing?” And I always thought marketing was kind of the burner … If you didn’t know what to do with your life, then you went and did marketing kind of thing. And he goes, “No, no.” This guy was awesome, by the way.

He was the CMO of Denny’s and Pizza Hut; it was Pizza Hut or Domino’s. Anyway, he was the guy that invented the cheese stuffed crust pizza. Crazy story, by the way, really funny. Not that it’s a huge deal, but we all have a special place in our heart for that stuff.

But it was funny because I was like, “All right, fine. I’ll go with the marketing route.” And it ended up … I was taken to it really, really fast. And I was like, “This is kind of cool.” And what was interesting is he started mentoring me outside of class far more one-on-one that I ever expected or thought he would. It was very, very interesting what ended up happening.

And at the time, I was trying to find all these products to sell, and he knew I was doing that. And there was all this stuff that I was doing outside of class. And most of my learning was not happening in the classroom, and I told him that. And he knew that. And he’s like, “Yeah, I get that. No, that’s fine. You’re a little bit of a different cat.” I was like, “All right, cool.”

So anyway, he was like, “Hey, go do this. Go do this. Go do this.” And he was really the first guy that actually started guiding me in the path, first of all of marketing, but then second of all how to actually create products that sell.

And a lot of it had to do, honestly, with this idea of the cheese stuffed crust pizza. And I know that that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I was like, “How did you know to do that? How did you know what to go out and … How did you get your ideas? How did you find products to go sell?”

And I mean, I spent quite a bit of time with him. And I actually still talk/chat with him every once in a while. And he actually put me up for … There was only 10 of us in the whatever thousand people graduating, nominated as distinguished entrepreneur student.

You know what I mean? It was really cool. I got a trophy and everything. It was really kind of fun.

But anyway, he started telling me these nuggets that were just amazing; they totally changed my life. Even just talking about it, I’m remembering all these little things he used to do. And he told me … I was like, “Okay, well how do you get ideas for these products? Okay, you were CMO of Denny’s, CMO of Pizza Hut. You were the head honcho guy of a lot of different companies.” And he’s generated just tons of revenue with his marketing tactics. And he honestly, along with one other guy, was by far the best teacher I had.

He’s just so, so good. Anyway, I really had spectacular people in my business classes, which was just … It was really, really cool.

But anyway. So I said, “Hey, how do you do this?” And he said, “You know what, ideas just come to me.” And I was like, “Okay. But come one, you got to give me more than that. You know.”

He’s like, “Well, think about it.” Okay. He’s like, “Okay. When I was at Denny’s, I was going to Kohl’s. And as I was driving to Kohl’s, I get out and I walk out. And as I’m walking up to the store, there were these posters of bands wearing the Kohl’s clothing. And they were promoting the clothing; the bands were, by wearing it.” And I was like, “Okay. That’s interesting.”

That’s not very direct response [markety [spp-timestamp time="00:05:55"], and I prefer that now. I feel like those big corporate style marketing, I don’t really like that style. But anyway, direct response marketing all the way, in my opinion.

Anyway. And he goes, “Okay. So I saw that poster, I saw that board.” And I was like, “Okay. Well I’m going to jump out there and we should do that with Denny’s.” And so what he did, is he had all … He said, “I started noticing all of these people after concerts would come into Denny’s really late at night, really late. You know, [spp-timestamp time="1:00"], [spp-timestamp time="2:00"], 3:00 a.m. because the concerts were over and they were hungry, so they wanted to come in and get food. And so they came in, and he’s like, “That’s interesting.”

So what he did is instead, he started inviting some of the bands that were playing to come in and make food in the kitchens, just for fun. And they just experimented. They did whatever they wanted to. They made the craziest food, they made the coolest food, they made food that was all over the place. And it was just a bit of a research period for him.

But he would have these different high-end bands come in and literally make food with him…

I was like, “Wow, that’s interesting. That’s really crazy.” And he said, “Whatever food they made, that’s what we sold. We made a dish after them, and put their name on it, and sold like hot cakes.” And I was like, “Interesting. Really.” It’s really funny. Have you guys ever been to Taco Bell?

I’m sure you’ve been to Taco Bell…

Everything on the menu is the exact same thing, just prepared a little bit of a different way. You know what I mean? Really, really interesting.

But that’s basically what he did, though. And he’s like, ” You know what? And the cheese stuffed crust pizza, the way that came about is we were trying to make up something that was new to compete with some other market shares that were being taken from us.”

And I was like, “Hey, let’s take string cheese, and we’re going to roll it into crust. And let’s just see if it works. I don’t know if it really, really will.” And what ended up happening was it sold five times more than they expected, so they ran out of string cheese. And so, they told all of … I think it was Pizza Hut.

They told all of the Pizza Huts to get out there and buy … It might have been that or Little Caesars. Anyway, I can’t remember; one of the pizza chains.

And what they ended up doing is they went out to all the different grocery stores and bought up all the string cheese that was there. Basically for weeks, string cheese was not available in the entire United States because he had told everyone to go buy it from all the grocery stores because they couldn’t fulfill orders enough. And I was like, “Are you kidding me? That’s how stuffed crust came about?” And he was like, “Yeah.” I was like, “Okay, cool.”

And there was some lessons, though. So he would tell me these stories. He’s tell me all the different … It was really, really cool. And it was all just one-on-one with him in his office. And he would just teach me and teach me. He’s a really, really fascinating guy. Really cool guy.

I was like, “This is fascinating, though, that you knew to do that.” And he goes, “You know what though?” And this is one of the key lessons of this entire podcast, and the entire reason I’m doing it right now. He said that it’s less about coming up with the new products all the time.

For you to get out there and actually make money, it’s less about coming up with something brand new all the time; brand new, brand new, brand new, stuff that’s never been thought of before. And he said, “That’s not what it is. What’s it’s more about is taking existing products, and modifying them, and putting them out to the market because you know the previous one already sold.

I was like, “Oh, that’s interesting. That’s very, very interesting.” And for a long time, my mind just kind of rolled over this, and rolled over this, and rolled over this. And he said, “So what the game became for me”, this is what he was saying,

“Is I would go find something that was already successful, I would take that thing, I would tweak it, and I would put it back into the marketplace because I knew it was already selling. But my own spin on it made it something slightly new. And I was like, “Whoa. That’s crazy. Oh my gosh.”

And it’s so different than all the other business classes that I’m in that you’re kind of also teaching…

Most of the other classes I was into, or the other books, or any other style of entrepreneurship that was out there was very much into, “Find something brand new. Come up with an idea that has never been done before and you’ll change the world.” And he’s like, “Yeah, that doesn’t really work.”

“He’s like, “It’s such a big gamble. It doesn’t really work that way. It’s a great way to not win.”

And what does that sound like to you guys? That’s funnel hacking. That’s what funnel hacking is. And what’s funny is that he kept teaching me, and teaching me, and teaching me just kind of one-on-one for a long time. He was kind of one of my early mentors; and he still kind of is, honestly. We haven’t chatted in a while, but he’s awesome.

And there’s a few quotes and things he told me. But I ended up writing a book, and e-book; it’s about three years ago. I didn’t totally finish it yet. It’s a small one. It’s just an e-book about the different things I had been learning, and the different steps that I took to create a several thousand dollar a week business while I college.

And I was like, “Wow, this is crazy cool.” And one of the things that he told me, he’s like, “Hey, so it’s all about finding data and then trying something. Finding data, and then trying something. But doing it on already existing, already successful products that are out there.” And he was doing it with all the crazy scenarios.

And he said, “Enlightened trial and error succeeds over the planning of the lone genius.”

Does that make sense? You don’t know at all; I said that on the last podcast.

You don’t know at all, don’t act like you do. You don’t currently have the creativity that you need to be better than everyone else on the marketplace.

But the market knows. And so, what do you do is go find these top products and tweak them, and go put them back out there. Find the next products, tweak them, and put them out there. And that was his awesome show; that’s what he was super good at. And it was, essentially, funnel hacking.

And I was like, “Man, this is really, really interesting.” And I went through, and I started writing this concept in this e-book that I put together called … Kind of in my own terms. Guys, it’s less about … I called it “Product Big-Bang Theory”. You know, where something just suddenly appears out of nowhere; like brand new concepts, super new ideas, things that had never existed before. Whoa.

“Product Big-Bang Theory” is a piece of … If you’re trying to change the world, that’s a great thing to do. But it’s more about Product Evolution. I believe in Product Evolution. I know that Product Evolution works.

You guys know that MLM product that I currently sell? You guys know how I knew that that would sell? Well, because I started looking at all the other things that people are buying. And all I did was I put a twist on it, showed how it worked for a funnel world. I even took the same info product, I got it transcribed, I transcribed it, and then I put my own words and twists into it in the way I would teach it. And I put this whole spin with funnels on it, and then I just re-shot it. That’s why it’s so successful as a product. It came from a product and a content that was already killing it.

All I did was I went and I made my own version of it. And I put things on it that I thought made it even better. And that’s why it still makes a thousand dollars a week for me. It’s totally on autopilot. It’s super amazing. Okay, does that make sense?

When you guys are making your products and your services, you’re like, “I don’t know what product to create.” I’ve gotten that question a lot lately, too. “I don’t know what product to make. I don’t know what thing to go put out there. I can’t figure this out. Oh my gosh. I can’t do it.”

It’s so much less about getting out there and trying to make something up, totally brand new. Don’t do that. Go find who are the other giants inside the industry you’re wishing to sell into. How is revenue being generated in that industry? Go find that person, go find that business, buy it.

Follow and document the entire process, whether it’s online or offline, whatever it is, record, screenshot, capture, do whatever it is so that you can go back, put it all on a whiteboard, and study it.

I did that for about six months before I launched the actual product, that MLM one. And it’s amazing, this whole idea of Product Evolution versus Product Big-Bang Theory, it’s such a big deal to me. That’s what I call it, anyway. That’s my own spin on it. I even wrote on … I actually pulled up the e-book. I haven’t opened this thing for years. It’s crazy.

So this is a question that I asked, “How do you come up with new products all the time?” I was trying to put into words, the frustration I was feeling. After obsessing, after many ideas and trying to make many of them run, I felt like I conceptually understood what to do with a product once I had the product. But I couldn’t seem to find the product or make it run.

I said, “I felt like I didn’t even care what the product was, so long as people wanted it and it was helping people.”

And this is what he said back to me. Luckily I wrote it down, what he was saying. He said, “Well, you don’t need something … That’s new out there, anyway.” He said, “Ideas just come to you every once in a while, while you’re out looking for them.”

He said, “Once, when I was trying to figure out what I could do for an increased Denny’s sales during nighttime hours … ” Oh, I just told you that story. But anyway, it’s super powerful, guys; super, super powerful.

What’s funny is I went through and I ended up finding out a lot of the patent stats. And tons of patents get submitted; lots of them, people don’t actually do anything with. You know what I mean? Brand new ideas that are the … It works. It works like crazy. But all I’m trying to tell you guys, if you’re trying to do a lifestyle business, if you’re trying to do something that is not necessarily to change the world, but to change your world, change how you live, change your lifestyle, don’t try to make stuff up. Just don’t do it.

And the people… “Man, I don’t even know what industry to start in. I have no idea where to even begin. There’s so many things out there. I truly don’t care what the product is. I have no idea where to start.”

If you’re in that boat and you really have no idea where to begin or what your interests are, you got to do what my dad told me to do. This has been really, really helpful for me, as well.

What he said is, “What do you think about when you have nothing to think about? What’s the thing that you think about when you don’t need to be doing anything at work. You know? When you’re driving home and it’s silent in the car, where does your mind go? When you’re talking to somebody, but you’re not interested anymore, and your mind starts to drift; where does your mind go?”

And for me, it was business. And more specifically, it was internet business. And more specifically, it was selling info-products. And more specifically, it was more about the automation behind it and how to build the funnel and the copy and how to put all these things together in my brain.

Constantly, it was in that space. I didn’t know that they were funnels I was thinking of. I didn’t know that’s what they were called, but that’s what I was thinking of all the time, for years and year and years. And I still do, and that’s all I think about. When I have nothing to think about, that’s what I think about.

And so, I knew, “Okay. Well, I’m naturally inclined in that area. Let me go find how revenue is generated. I’m going to start asking people what they want. But I’m going to go find products that are currently selling really, really well and asking people, ‘Okay. Well, you like this product, what do you wish it did?’”

You know what I mean? Start reading tons of reviews. What do you wish it did? And that helping you create products really, really fast. So anyways, Product Evolution, not Product Big-Bang Theory.

Hey, guys. Thanks so much. Hopefully that was helpful. And give me a little shout out if you’ve liked this podcast. I really appreciate it. And I’ve had … There’s a lot of people listening now, which is really, really fun. But I’d love to know what you think about this. This is my ask campaign to you, right now. What do you wish you knew? What do you wish you were getting from this podcast? What do you wish I was providing for you that I’m not?

If you go to, scroll down to the bottom. There’s a green button on the right. And literally, you can ask me any question that you want. It’ll record a voicemail right over your browser, right from your computer. Just start talking. Click the button and start talking, and you can ask me. And you have about 30 seconds, you can ask me a question.

And I’ve got a segment, here, called “Hey, Steve.” You start out saying, “Hey, Steve. My question is X, Y, and Z.” And I’m going to queue up a whole bunch of them probably in the next episode or two here, and just start shotgun answering them. I’d love to know what it is you guysSales Funnel Radioare thinking.

All right, guys. I’ll talk to you later. Bye.

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