SFR 97: Mastermind Or Die… – Stephen Larsen

SFR 97: Mastermind Or Die…

Dec 29th, 2017 anchorwave


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Untold ideas are already dying….


Hey, guys. I am very excited for this episode…

I’ve actually had this episode on my mind for, I don’t know, it’s been a while. I’ve had a hard time trying to figure out how to actually present it. I want to walk you through a little bit of, I don’t know.

About four years ago I decided that I would create, every January 1st, I would go and I would create a video that would basically publicly declare my financial goal for the next year, and it’s the scariest thing that I do pretty much every single year.

It’s interesting what has happened though because of those videos. They’re on YouTube. If you go to my YouTube channel, you can check it out.

About four years ago, it’s me, I’m in the army, I’ve got a shaved head, and I’m like, gosh, you know what guys, if I could just make an extra $1,000 a month that would change my life. That’s where I was.

I was like, hey, and here’s my plan. That was the video for that year.

Then three years ago I was like, “Hey, if I could just do $3,000 a month that would be crazy. Oh my gosh, that would change my life.” It’s crazy, because what I do then as I go through each one of the months and I say, hey, here’s what I did, here’s how I did.

Then the year before this one, I was like, “hey, I just want to do $30,000 a month“. That’s excluding salary income, excluding any other income on the side. Just my own stuff.

I’m pleased that I hit that several times this last year, which is awesome. I want you to know that that’s on the side, working for somebody else more than full-time doing … Still have a family, two kids, a wife. You know what I mean?

This is not meant to be that video, but about four-ish years ago. Let me check actually. About three-ish years ago, I so badly wanted to be able to just start being around other people who shared my common interests. I was in college at the time.

It was 2015. It was wrapping up the year, and I just wanted to be around other people. I felt like I was very alone, funny enough, even in my marketing degree, my marketing classes, which I love school for the environment it gave me to learn, but I didn’t actually learn that much stuff that I use now, hardly at all, which is true for pretty much any education now.

That’s fine.

I had been following Russell for quite some time at that time, and I knew that Russell was really into things like masterminds, and he had this Inner Circle and stuff like that.

Honestly, before Russell, before I ever knew who Russell Brunson was, I thought masterminds … I’m just going to be open and honest with you. Because I had no other expectations at all, I thought masterminds were a way to get more money from people.

I didn’t know what they were.

I had no idea if there was any kind of value or anything like that. My perception was just that it was a high-ticket experience to hang … It was a reason to hang out with people who paid you a whole bunch of money to hang out with them. You know what I mean? That’s what I thought it was.

Then when I saw that Russell was doing masterminds and he came out with his Inner Circle, I was like, huh, that’s kind of … Pre-Russell my attitude towards masterminds was very like, “Meh. You’re just trying to take my money,” or something like that. You know what I mean? That was my attitude. It’s more of a scarcity mentality as well by then. This is like three, four years ago now. A lot’s changed since then.

MastermindAfter figuring out who Russell was though, and after seeing more of what he was doing with his Inner Circle and more what he was doing with that, it became very apparent to me very quickly that this was not a normal thing, that this was an extremely rare opportunity to learn in some really, really high-speed ways.

I was seeing the results that some of these people were coming out and saying like, “Hey, I’ve got these results, X, Y, and Z.” And be like, “Holy crap. That’s awesome. You get that from the mastermind?” I had to change my mentality. I had to change the way I was looking at it. I found myself really wanting to go attend one of these masterminds. Granted, they’re not all the same. The only thing I knew of Russell at the time was his DotComSecrets X product, DotComSecrets book was out, and I had read that definitely by this time. I believe so, anyway. I really just wanted to learn more from him, and I really, really wanted to get into his Inner Circle.

I knew I did not have 25 grand though at the time to be able to do something like that.

Fascinating, right? Fascinating experience. Fascinating predicament. I know if you’re listening to this podcast right now, you’ve probably been in the same boat before. You’ve probably experienced it before, be like, “Hey, I wish I could be a part of this program. I wish I could do this or that.” The FAT event and funnel hackathon event, secrets masterclass, 2 Comma Club Coaching, he has few different names for it. That’s 15 to 25 grand, and for very, very specific reasons.

I understood the reasons. I understood why he was charging that much, but I was in college and I still wanted to be a part of that. One day Russell sent out this email, and in fact I can tell you it was December 14th, 2015 at 5:44 p.m. I remember it.

I remember this moment. This was a huge moment for me. I went and I actually found the email. I found the email, and Russell said, “Hey, look, there’s 74 out of 100 spots taken. As you probably know, I have a small group of entrepreneurs that I personally coach and I call them my Inner Circle. For the past two years, I’ve had dozens, and dozens of success stories come from this group, in fact.”

Anyway, he went through and he started talking about it, saying, “Look, this is a new development. I’m going to say that when we’re at 100 spots I’m going to end it.” I was devastated. I was so devastated. I remember exactly where I was. I was in the campus basically rec center. There was a pool in that room or in that building.

I was standing in the hallway and I was walking down in the stadium steps, the basketball stadium steps. Smell of chlorine from the pool from several rooms over was in the air. It was quiet. I was one of the only ones in that room standing in the middle or almost in the middle of the basketball stadium. It was quiet, and I remember reading this email, and I remember out loud actually saying, “No! No! Crap. No!”

I was pissed that he was closing down his Inner Circle at 100 people because I knew I would make it somehow, but I knew I couldn’t make it at the speed he was filling it. I just knew that I couldn’t make it. I was like, “Oh my gosh. No.” I remember I sent a message to my wife, and I was like, “He’s closing it down.”

She didn’t really know what it was at the time still, or what I was really doing or what I was into and stuff like that. She said like, “Oh, that’s too bad.” I was like, “No.” I remember at that exact moment though, I mean I was crushed. I was shattered over it. I so bad wanted to be a part of that group. Again, this is December 14th, 2015, three years ago. That’s crazy. Is that two years ago? What’s the year? What’s the year? ’16, ’17. Wait, this was only four months before I got hired. Holy crap. I thought this was longer ago. That wasn’t actually. This is only two years ago. Never mind. It’s December 28th right now. This is only two years ago.

I remember I was pissed. I was so sad that I wasn’t going to be able to be in that group, because he had already been changing my life so much, and I had a successful funnel building agency at the time and I was making money for other people, and I was making money for myself finally. Now that I know more of the timeline of where all this was happening. I remember standing in that room. It was silent, but you know like when you’re in a huge room and there’s really, really high fans, so you can hear the light hum in the air, and there was a little bit of the smell of the chlorine in the air from the sport unit, from the lap pool that was over. The racketball courts were near, and I could hear them ping ponging around. For the most part it was pretty silent.

I was standing there, and it was one of those moments that was just like, “I’m going to get in that group. I don’t know how, but I’m going to get in it.” I stood right there, as soon as I read Russell’s email, and I actually wrote him one back. I just clicked reply. I was right on my phone, and I wrote an email back to him immediately on the spot. This is what I said. I know, because I found it.

I said, “Dang it. This just breaks me apart. I’m in college and working to get in, and I’m trying to become your dream client, because I know I’m not yet.

Thank you for everything you’ve given me. I can’t express how much you’ve changed my life, but you don’t even know me. I feel like I know you because I’ve gone through so much of your material for years. You’re a blessing to me and my family, and I sincerely thank you for all you’ve sacrificed and given to make sure others are successful. You’re one of my very real inspirations and I thank you, Steven Larsen.”
Then I put in parentheses: “See you at Funnel Hacking live event. Woo!”


At that time, that’s when I was bootstrapping my way to the funnel hacking live event, because I still didn’t have any money, so I was exchanging funnels for the event tickets, funnel for the flight, funnels for the hotel nights, and that’s how I got there. Which was literally what, like three months later?

Then I sent this email over. No one replied. I didn’t expect them to, but I kept sending stuff like this. I sent tons of stuff like this, and what was funny, what was interesting is three months later I was at his event. I applied on a Saturday. I think it was a Saturday, because that’s when the event was over. I think that’s when it was, on a Saturday.

I got a call on Monday to come get an interview, so two days later, two days later. The next day, Tuesday, so this is three days after the event was over, I was in Boise doing the interview. Actually, I think it was on Wednesday, so four days later. I was in Boise in the middle of my finals week and I got the job. I was in Russell’s office working full-time within, I think, eight days after funnel hacking live 2016 ended, within like eight days. What was crazy is within a month he had his first Inner Circle, not first, but first since I had been there working for him, a mastermind come up for his Inner Circle.

Guys, before I recorded this episode I was trying to find the Voxer that Russell sent me inviting me to come to the Inner Circle meetings. I was blown away. I was like, “Are you kidding me? Oh my gosh.”

I went berserk. I think I almost killed Voxer, which seems like it’s dying anyway. I literally spent, because it took so long for everything to load, plus I was reading all of our old conversations over the last two years. Anyway, it took 30 minutes, and I was one month away from going back to where the messages were, where he invited me and then my response. I was going to take those excerpts of him inviting me and then my response back and put them in the episode.

Voxer wouldn’t load anymore messages. Said there was no more messages left. There was messages left. I think I just broke it. Super-sad, honestly, that I didn’t do that. I went nuts though, I went crazy. I got into the mastermind. I was freaking out.

I got there early. I sat down. I was like didn’t know if I should talk to anybody. I was like, “Oh my gosh. This is Russell’s Inner Circle.” I was like, “Oh my gosh.” I was kind of slinking around the sides of the room, because I didn’t feel like I was qualified to be in there. Just four months, five months earlier I was telling Russell how much I wanted to be a part of it, didn’t know how I would, and I ended up now working for him in the same room with him. Like crazy. It’s ridiculous. The turn of events, that’s insane. That’s pure insanity how that all worked out. I sat in there, and holy crap, it was fantastic. Everyone was following the same format in this mastermind, and it was better than I thought it would be.

Everyone stood up and they shared something amazing. We’re not talking about like little tiny tips and tricks. I got almost straight A’s in college in my marketing degree, and I was also that kid who was like fighting with the teachers actively and didn’t really get along with a lot of the other students in there, because none of them were doing it. They were all freaking studying about it. No one was actually starting businesses.

No one had been doing it. I had been doing it for years by the time I got there. You know what I mean? I was that weird kid who was kind of on the side fighting what everyone thought, or was just taking as face-value truth. I was like, “No, that’s no. No, and it’s not true because of X, Y, and Z.”

With that backdrop, the stuff that people were just getting up and openly sharing was ridiculous. What I did is I actually opened up Trello while I was in that mastermind, and just sitting on the side listening and taking notes, I mean ferocious notes. I was going back through reading some of these, and I was like, “Holy crap.” It’s not like some of the stuff was like, “It only works right now. You got to do it now, because the trick is going to end soon.” It’s like, no, like the stuff that I’m reading that I learned from that mastermind is still stuff that I both teach and use and apply to this day. That was a year and a half ago, which is crazy, which is crazy. I can’t believe, I cannot believe that I got to go do that. Then I got invited to the next one, and to the next one, and to the next one.

It was like over and over and over, and drinking deeply with that group, just listening, taking notes. Very super-observant, like just writing it all down. It’s nuts to me, absolutely nuts to me the amount of personal progress that came to me because of those masterminds. I’m frankly a little bit ashamed that I ever thought something like a mastermind wouldn’t be valuable. Then as time progressed and I started getting invited to go speak places and present in different masterminds, several of them, which has been so much fun, and come be a keynote in some masterminds, and things like that. It’s been interesting to see how much I’ve learned to just flat-out adore them, and not even learn to. It’s really easy to love them because they’re amazing.

I’m very anti-meeting. Meetings freak me out. My first perception was that, hey, I’m going to have to go sit in this meeting and it’s going to be boring. I’m going to sit there all day. It’s like no, like it is fun. They are high-paced. They are high-energy, and if you’ve never been a part of one, I want you to have that experience. Want you to be able to know that is. Since I’m leaving ClickFunnels, there are two questions that have been popping up very, very frequently. Very frequently. The first one is, “Steven, will you coach me?” That question has been asked to me like crazy. Is there any kind of coaching package? No. Not yet. I’m sure there will be at some point, and when I decide to do that. I’ll tell you why I’m not doing it right now, also. For right now, no.

I do 30 minute consultations on people’s phones before they go launch them. That’s fun. That’s awesome, but I don’t do active coaching yet. Then the second question that people have been asking me like crazy, I finally have a support team, awesome support system, a ticketing system finally. I finally have structure underneath me that I’ve been building ferociously in the evenings; it’s [spp-timestamp time="1:30"] in the morning right now, as I am literally in two days going to be unemployed. What would you do if you knew you were going to be out of a job with like four or five months advance notice?

Russell and I both knew way before I ever told anybody. You know what I mean? What would you do? You’d do the same thing I’m doing. It’s not exactly relaxing. I almost feel like it might have been easier to just have the whole two weeks notice thing, but instead … Anyway.

The second question I get like crazy is, hey Steven, is there any kind of mastermind or event you’re going to be doing? The answer to that one is yes, because I am such a proponent of them. I cannot believe how much growth has come to me because of them. There’s 100 people in Russell’s Inner Circle. That’s four different mastermind sessions twice a year. That’s eight mastermind sessions per year, and I’ve got to sit in a huge portion of them and learn like crazy, I mean from … Just brilliant. Brilliant. Even the ones that aren’t Russell’s that I’ve been able to go like, people are like, “Have you really done much? Have you accomplished much?” Sometimes one of the fears people will have, I’ve noticed, is they’ll be like, “Well, I haven’t accomplished these great things, therefore I can’t attend because there’s nothing to contribute.”

No. That’s not how it works at all. This is very much like a huge synergy situation, where you just put multiple minds together who are trying to go towards a common goal, and it is ridiculous. I don’t care what kind of background you have. It’s fun to watch just different experiences and backgrounds and stories that people bring to a room and go like, “Oh, yeah. Do this, or X, Y, and Z, or this is my feedback for this.” The amount of decision making, the time that it takes to make the kinds of decisions that people need to make in order to be successful, the timeline decreases. The clarity of the path that people go down afterwards is amazing. Clarity not just on the marketing, or clarity on the offer, or clarity on this, but how they actually operate and conduct themselves outside of the mastermind in order to get their goal.

I wish I could just dive in and start telling you all of them. I am shamed to say that I have not taken notes in every single one of them. I should have. I don’t know why I didn’t for a lot of them. Some of it was because I was building funnels on the side. Actually, a lot of it was because I was building funnels on the side, so I’d be listening and when there’d be some massive thing, I’d come over and write it down.

I’ve got this huge, massive, Trello column of just huge. On one side it’s direct quotes from Russell from all the lessons of me sitting next to him and hearing him as he’s talking to other people on those podcasts. The other one has all these ones that he hasn’t actually explicitly told me, but I’ve learned from him, or gleaned from him either in a mastermind or directly from his desk, or whatever it is.

I mean it just blows my mind. I couldn’t have gone and got a master’s degree, even PhD in marketing or internet marketing or whatever it is, and I still would not have learned even a fraction of this stuff. I know that. I know that, because these are the people who are doing it. These are the people who are out actually proving what’s actually happening, what’s actually working right now. You know what’s funny, like I was saying before, of course it matters who all is in the mastermind.

Obviously, if you’re more experienced, overall it’s going to be awesome, even more awesome. Even if you’re not crazy-experienced and you have the chance to go to one, you should do it because it’s crazy to see how much actually comes from it. Anyway.

I feel like I’m saying the same thing over and over again now, and I apologize for doing so. It’s just if there was one thing that I could do the rest of my life, if there was one activity that I would go do the rest of my life and never read another book again, and never take another course again, if there was one thing that would replace it all and I would still feel like I would be able to stay on the edge, the peak, the cutting edge place of the markets, whatever I’m trying to do, it would be masterminds. The mastermind would replace. Now, that’s personal preference.

Obviously, I’ve quite a bit of experience in the funnel building world, a lot of it. It’s true though. I would put down all these books. I’ve tons of books all around me. Lots of bookshelves, bookcases and stuff. I love them and they’re awesome. It’s gold, amazing stuff.

The one thing in my mind that has actual potential to replace the huge amount of knowledge in books that’s sitting around me or on courses, or whatever it is, is masterminds. It’s masterminds. For whatever reason that kind of synergy that comes from people who are truly trying to dive into and dump amazing information in and get amazing things back out, I mean it’s amazing what happens. There’s this really interesting study that happened actually, and I’ll end this episode soon, because I know I’ve been going for a bit here. There’s a really interesting study that happened, I heard the results from anyways, where some people went through and they watched those who contributed the most. Here was the rule. This is what they found out.

Those who contribute the most in masterminds, those who contribute the most in masterminds almost always are also the top earners in the room. That wouldn’t shock you. That wouldn’t shock you at all.

Think about that. When you get into a mastermind, and you see people who are just giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving, it is very much the antithesis of what most people treat wealth creation and secrets and, “I got to keep all my products to myself, and no one’s going to know what they are. If I say anything, someone’s going to steal it.” It doesn’t really happen that way. Guys, I tell you everything that I do and there’s maybe like one or two people who have attempted and kind of done the stuff that I say, kind of done. Why?

It’s because I’m a different person with a different background, different frame of mind. Even if they did take the same idea and they did try and go, they still would execute it differently than I did.

Ideas when they are shared grow. Ideas when they are shared actually turn into better ideas. You get up, and you stand up, and you actually start sharing all of your best stuff with the room, and you’ll be shocked, shocked, completely floored, completely floored at what ends up happening to your idea, things you would never, ever, ever have thought of or it would have taken you a very long time to think of. Time is money.

Anyways, I have a mastermind. It’s not necessarily a Steve Larsen mastermind yet. I am having fun partnering with a lot of my friends at the moment, but no matter what, you can always find whatever mastermind I’m doing or running or pulling off, or whatever, at, and just click mastermind up at the top. It’s in the top header. Click mastermind up at the top, and you’ll be able to go to whatever mastermind is currently going on that I’m doing.

Would love to have you guys. There are different prices, different price points, different things that you can go check out, whatever it is. I just got to bring up one other thing, one other thing. As I’ve been preparing to leave my job, as I’ve been preparing to leave ClickFunnels, I’ve surrounded myself with a lot of coaches, just to make sure that I keep the edge.

One of the pieces of feedback that I’ve received is actually from Mandy Keene who’s actually the Inner Circle coach who’s amazing and has totally changed my life in ways that I still have a hard time expressing to her. I’m very thankful for her.

What she taught me and actually what Russell personally taught me also, he and I were chatting and we were talking, and we were talking about the purpose of Inner Circle and the purpose of masterminds. Mandy separately was also talking about this, also. Russell has his own mastermind for many purposes. One of them is so that he can stay up to date with all the other industries and what’s going on and all those things, so he knows how funnels will work in those different areas, things like that. That totally makes sense.

The money, yeah, I mean the money’s nice, but that’s not really the real, real reason. The real, real reason is to keep him sharp. Then he’ll attend these extremely high-ticket masterminds, these 100K masterminds in order to attend. $100,000 just to go to the mastermind, with these extremely high, A players. You can imagine the kind of goodies that go into there.

The only thing I’m bringing this up for is so that you understand that if you’re not collaborating actively and you’re not actively your ideas, the idea is already on the way to dying. In my opinion, going to masterminds and being active in them and contributing your face off, it’s one of the fastest, best accelerants I have ever, ever, ever seen, or ever witness ever.

I think I could say ever a few more times. Ever, ever, ever, ever…

It’s because of all those things, not just the personal growth of the person explodes. Obviously the business does. The connections do. Hey, I know a guy who can hook you up with X, Y, and Z over here. The connections in the room, the ideas in the room for both your offer, or the marketing message, or the litmus test of the people who are sitting in there.

People who are offering their connections. People are offering things that they’ve taken time and money to build on their own in order to contribute because they all understand the law. The law is if you give the ideas away, yours explode and expand in ways you could have never done on your own. People know that when they’re regular, habitual mastermind attenders.

I invite you to come. If it’s not mine, I don’t care. Choose one.

I would love it if you came to mine, but my gosh, choose. Just attend. Go to one. You will be shocked by what happens. If you’re like, “I don’t know which ones exist out there.”

Just start looking around or come to mine, or go to someone’s. I guarantee if you go to Google and start looking around, or any guru, gosh, just start asking around, and you’ll find one.

Anyway, hey, so if you want to do whatever one I’m currently running or putting on or about to go to or whatever it is, I’m just going to be putting at, and you can click mastermind up on the top. The next one is Sales Funnel Radioactually here in just a few weeks, which I’m very excited about. Anyways, guys, appreciate it. Go collaborate like crazy. Share, share, share, and give your ideas away, and you’ll be shocked at how much, A, they grow but B, no one steals them, because no one can truly replicate you. Anyway, talk to you later. Bye.

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