A.J. Lawrence: Hello, Mitch. So good to have you back on the show. Can you tell our audience what you’ve been working on recently?
Mitch Russo: Sure. Well, let’s pick up the story from where the first interview left off. And anybody who is listening now can go back, in the show notes I’m sure AJ will put a link to the first interview. So go back, listen to that and we’ll pick it up from there.
So what ended up happening was the company did get sold. I had negotiated a deal where I moved to Dallas, Texas, just with my management team. And we had basically went through the Earnout period. Earn out was two years, after the earn was over, we crushed it.
We were given the opportunity to make even more than the original asking price if we would be high performers, and we did that, as I think I mentioned last time. But now, what was going on is they asked me to stay and run all of Sage US, which I did. Except that I realized, once again, that I’m a terrible employee.
Nobody should ever hire me and that includes running a company cuz I wanna run it my way. And I don’t wanna run it the way the board of directors wants me to. And so when I announced that I needed to go, I think they were as happy as I was because I was one of those folks who just doesn’t listen, you know?
They basically wanted me to screw my own customers. And I said No, and I wouldn’t do it. So I left. I came back to Massachusetts and when I got back to Massachusetts, I had an interesting situation. What ended up happening is that I figured I’d help other startups get off the ground and sort of achieve what I just did.
So I started working with other startups. I started getting very excited about what I was seeing out there, and I eventually was hired by several VC firms to help jumpstart some of their dead companies and get them going again, mostly with a business model and strategy.
We would move them forward into a new strategy. We’d execute rapidly and usually we could turn them around pretty quickly. But what started to happen was that, now I’m doing it over and over and over again, and I get bored to some degree. But I also wanted to do my own thing. I had been doing everybody else’s thing for a while, so I decided that I wanted to learn how to invest using Options.
So I went to school for Options Trading, and I graduated and I started mentoring with a gentleman on the Chicago Board Options Exchange. And that was a great experience. He helped me really understand how to trade and how to consistently make money with Options, which was awesome. I still trade options to this day.
And then, here we get to the new part of my journey is, here I was happily trading options when a buddy of mine, Chet Holmes, who I had known all throughout the years building Timeslips, came to me and said, Hey, can you help me? And I said, sure. What’s going on? And he told me what it was going on and I said, sure, I’d be happy to help.
So I did. I helped him out. He asked me to step in and figure out what was going on with one particular staff member, I did, and I’ll spare you the whole story, but the bottom line is that this one individual who was brilliant in very many ways was having a very hard time with recruiting. So I, for some crazy reason, offered to take recruiting off of his plate.
And I had never really done that kind of recruiting before, but I figured what the heck, it’d help Chet so I would do it. And I ended up tripling the sales force in about six weeks and I went back to Chet and said, Hey buddy, you’re all set. And your sales force is cooking. They’re doing great.
We tripled the size, so I’m gonna go back to my little corner here and trade some options. He goes, what do you mean? Where you going? I said, well, I’m done. He goes, Uh-uh, you’re not done. I said, what are you talking about? He goes, well, what am I supposed to do with this $18,000 check on my desk?
I said, I don’t understand. He goes, well, that’s your commission on all the people you hired. So do you want the check or not? And I said, well, I guess if I accept the check, that means I continue to do this, right? He goes, yep. So I continued to work with Chet in the beginning, helping him build the sales organization.
And then later, he asked me if I would run the company as president. And I said I would. And a little bit later, seven months later, he told me that finally, he’s gotten the one thing he was always wanting to do, and that was a meeting with Tony Robbins. And so he and Tony got together, I was not on that first meeting, but he then announced that Tony and he would like to put a deal together and they wanted me to be part of that. And of course I agreed.
And now we started meeting with Tony Robbins every Thursday night, and of course it had to be his time, which was kind of late. In the East Coast, it was probably 10 or 11 PM, that’s when the meeting started. So we were going till till 1, 2 in the morning, which I didn’t mind it. It’s gonna be a long day that next day.
And finally after five, six months in negotiating, we finally figured out what the right business model would be for the three of us. And we quickly filled an auditorium in Las Vegas and we launched Business Breakthroughs International. At that event, 56 or 60 hours of recorded material, two thirds of it was Chet and Tony, the other third was 15 guest speakers, including Jay Abraham and a few others.
We took nine months or so to process all those recordings and write workbooks and everything else, and that became the core product that we started marketing as Business Breakthroughs International. That product, we offered on a webinar.
The webinar at the time, we were selling seats on the webinar for $239. And I don’t know if you could do that anymore, but there were three hour webinars and we guaranteed that you’d walk away with 10 times what you paid or more. But at the end of the webinar, we had mastered the art. I say we, it’s really my presenters did an incredible job of closing on a $4,000 sale.
That $4,000 sale was that box filled with DVDs and workbooks that we had just finished building. By the time we got started doing that, our sales probably were in the three to 4 million range. Two years later, they were approaching 20 million, and then by the end of five they were close to 30.
So what we had learned is a couple of things. Number one, we coupled selling a physical product, which was an information product, with coaching. Now that was frankly the key to many of the next moves that we made. So because we were offering coaching free, four sessions free, we’re able to get all those coaches to upsell those clients to more coaching.
And once we realized that coaches were great at coaching, not so great at sales, we then built another sales force called the concierge team. They’d call those customers and sell the coaching for our coaches, and that raised revenue significantly. But then, what we noticed is that the more that we kept in touch with and monitored the health of all of our clients, they bought more and more from us.
So a $239 sale created a lifetime value of over $11,200. And that all came from persistently staying involved with the customer’s life and business and making sure that we had products that would benefit them on their journey. And that’s what really business breakthroughs was all about. Once we’d understand what a company needed or a client needed, we’d build it and then we’d launch it.
When we realized that the magic that we had done on our own company, which was building that sales force, could be usually a recruiting division or a recruiting company. That’s what we did. We built a recruiting company and we started offering turnkey flat fee salespeople, hired and screened at guaranteed sales superstores and not money back, but replacement guarantees at the beginning for only $6,000.
Well, before I knew it, I had five recruiters working full-time. We were having 20 clients at a time coming in, it was very vibrant business at the time. About three years in, and I think there’s some great lessons here because most of our business was built on the radio. And what I mean by that is, when we first started, we were advertising with maybe 7 or $8,000 a month on the radio, and that’s how we were bringing people to our webinar.
We ramped that up relatively quickly. Over the course of the three years, we had gone to spending about 125,000 a month on radio, and we were breaking even for the most part. Not every month, but most months, we were breaking even on the initial sale, not on the lifetime value.
So it was progressing quite nicely. And then the bad news hit and that’s when we learned that Chet was struck with leukemia while on vacation. And he was outta commission at that point. They flew him back. He was in hospital in Los Angeles for 16 months and without getting into the ups and downs of it, there were several complications and eventually he passed away.
So, realistically that was five years with Tony and Chet – five years building that company, five years applying everything I knew and learning so much more from those amazing men. And now I was kind of ready for the next part of my journey.
A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, it’s a tough way for that end. But when I dug through it, I’ve seen so many variations of what you did originally, you and that group, now used in so many other places. You guys originated a lot of infrastructure of this type of effort. So when you decided to go off on your own, where did you go?
Mitch Russo: Well, the first person I called was my friend Jay Abraham. And I said to Jay, Jay, what do I do next?
And he said, Mitch, no matter what you do, you must share what you know with the world. You cannot go to your grave knowing everything you do. You must find a way to share it so others can benefit from it. And I say, okay, Jay, how do I do that? And he goes, I don’t know. But I’m just telling you, you gotta share it.
So, we talked a little bit about maybe who in the industry was looking for someone to scale their company and things like that, and at that point, I don’t know if I had made it as clear as I should have, these last two years were brutal for me. Chet was dying. He had lost control of his emotions so his temper tantrums became explosive. And I basically shielded him from the rest of the people in the company.
And so I took the brunt of most of what was going on with him. And some of it was beyond brutal. And I never really talked much about it because really it was my job and he was a friend, and I wanted to support him and the family. By the time he had passed, at that point I realized that it was just no longer going to serve me to stay with the company.
Even though I was an owner, I relinquished my shares back to the family after some disputes around that. But the bottom line was then I left and Tony understood. Well, I left with his blessing. And I took approximately three months off. I needed to decompress. I needed to visit friends and family. I needed to to completely unwind and just really try to understand kind of where I was at.
And three months later, I said, okay, well, Jay said to start writing stuff down and try to document what I know. So I started making notes. Long story short, two years later, around 2014, I had the makings of a manuscript. So I brought in a manuscript consultant to help me polish it up.
We did. We got a great name. We called it The Invisible Organization. And it became the blueprint for going virtual. It became the blueprint for virtual organizations. And again, Jay was nice enough to write the endorsement for the book, write the Foreword. Of course, since he made me write it, I figured he’d wanna write the foreword.
But, at that point, the book was out there. But I didn’t know much about launching a book, so I just basically dumped it out there. And then from there at that point, I started doing research and learned more and more about this whole process, but what was happening was a few clients were showing up, so I started doing consulting again.
I started doing active coaching, and people would come to me and ask me if I was interested in helping them at one point build a certification program for them cuz I had written about it. And I said, sure, I’d be happy to. And that’s when I realized, I think it was about 2015, that everything I had learned back in the early 2000 era, the late 1990s, I was able to update and repurpose in a more powerful way because I had better tools.
I had the internet, number one, I had an enormous amount of resources at my disposal, and I’d learned a lot. I learned a lot about learning management systems, and I learned about strategic mapping and ways to create structure for other companies. Also the process of working with VCs.
And so I started applying all of that best that I could, and I did. All of that became very important and valuable to me as I continued to work with clients on certification. So then around 2018, I released my next book which was called Power Tribes: How Certification Can Explode Any Business.
And once again, what that did for me is it brought me more clients. It helped me really understand the diversity of people who could use certification to really maximize the revenue potential of their companies. And in 2018 is really when my consulting practice picked up even further. And in March of this year, after Covid hit, I realized that a lot of people were struggling getting back on their feet after losing all of their revenue. And that applied to more people than I realized.
Initially I thought, well sure, those keynote speakers are gonna need to take a break. But, there were more people than that who had lost serious businesses. So I went upon a journey of working with clients to help them recover their revenue. And I started working with speakers. I started working with different types of companies who had lost a big section of their business because of Covid.
I started working with one particular company who had a live event business running somewhere around 100 events a year, all completely shut down because of Covid. But we had figured out how to basically take all that intellectual property and bring it online, convert it into training programs, create ascension throughout the program, create subscription businesses, etc. And we basically were able to recover his revenue in a very short period of time.
So I’ve been doing that quite a bit lately, which is helping people recover lost revenue. And of course, that always leads to new things as well. So I’ve created a whole new system around combining a podcast with using as your guest, your ideal client, and finding your ideal clients through a specific process that I have perfected on LinkedIn.
So now when I work with a company on revenue reclamation, what we do is we start by understanding who their ideal client is. And then we build a podcast around who their ideal client is. We bring them onto the show through a series of high level introductions through LinkedIn. And as a result, they end up having a great conversation with their ideal client and pitching their services, which works fantastic.
It’s a powerful strategy if you use it properly. And what I mean by that is, some people will try to pitch as soon as they get them on the show, which is a huge mistake. Relationships are everything, and if you’re not willing to build the relationship, then frankly you shouldn’t bother even doing this because you know it requires an investment.
I had one very smart person say, Mitch, why do this? This is wasting a lot of time. Why don’t you go right into locating and selling those people. And I said, Nope, that’s not for me. It’s not how I do it. You can do it probably better at it than I am. But what I like to do is I like to build that relationship first.
A.J. Lawrence: From BizDev structure, that’s a grade and I actually am gonna bug you because I would love to learn more about that and using it. I do know that so many business models are hitting their limits of like the value they can provide and the structure of like trying to sell something.
But if you’re building a relationship, you can constantly find new ways of doing business with them. Not just selling things, but partnering [in] finding new leads, doing all that. So using your efforts to build a relationship, I think that’s pretty cool.
Mitch Russo: A.J., I think you touched on something very important. It’s really only half the problem. Most of the time with anyone I work with, one of the things I make sure they understand when we start is that when we start building programs, when we start building products to offer, we must immediately understand what we sell next.
So we can’t sell anything without knowing what we sell next. That’s a Mitch golden rule. So bottom line is that when we work together, yes, we’ll probably be attracting clients through your show, but that’s just step one.
Like, for example, I work with I’m gonna say about a half a dozen keynote speakers in the last six to nine months. And in each case they were very happy making a very nice living, going on stage, being paid 10 to $15,000, getting on a plane and flying home, wasting two and a half days in the process. And I said, well, that’s great you got your check. What are you gonna sell them next?
And they go, oh yeah, well next year we’re gonna offer to speak again. And I said, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. And so what we had basically created was a philosophy of how to move past the keynote. So what we now do is we figure out how to deliver the keynote virtually, number one. Number two, we created an ascension plan for the material.
So when we started, we basically explained- the way I explained it is, look, your keynote is an introduction. It is not the product. The keynote is the equivalent of a sales pitch, even though they paid you to do it. Really the next step is you go right back to the people who hired you and you say, look, that was terrific. Thank you for bringing me in. But this is really just the beginning. We really just got started here. As you probably know, 80% of what I said will be forgotten in 72 hours. So what we wanna do is we want to implement a program around the concept that I spoke from on stage and taught.
People were used to that at first. They go, well, what do you mean? I said, well, look, we have a program that is for your top level C-suite executives, where we do a group session in an individual, one-on-one coaching on their particular discipline, whatever that may be. And once we get to the point where we sell that, now at this point, we have a program for their senior management too.
And then once we sell the senior management on basically the equivalent content, but delivered a different way, we then boil that down into a learning management system and we now offer that to the rank and file as a login. So we have created at least three structures now that people can buy into, four if you include the keynote.
And again, that’s just the beginning. So this is really how you could take a simple business and profit multiply it or profit stack it, as I like to say, and it becomes very, very valuable business even without really any new brilliant ideas.
A.J. Lawrence: As you were walking through this and discussing it, it really resonated and I think a lot of entrepreneurs, and I’m gonna use myself sort of in this avatar. I’ve done okay, I’ve sold a couple companies, and now I find it very easy to consult. I do fractional CMOs sometimes, and one of the reasons I’m buying the podcast was to learn from entrepreneurs like yourself.
I’ve heard from other people in my shoes, it’s like, great, I’ve done okay. But now what do I do? And you resonated like, well, you could just do another keynote next year. It’s like, well, I can do another – or my specialty is private equity for go kick the tires on the marketing group over there for that company we’re looking at. And I go, mm-hmm. Do you want me to like it or not? Tell me first. I’ll tell you what you need to know. There’s no real depth to it. So building a product out of it, making sure I know where I’m going, instead of just slow down, send me whatever you got. There’s no excitement. So I like that. I’ll probably draw a line on that. I really like that idea of like, Mitchsms . Gonna steal your Mitchsms.
Mitch Russo: Sure. Well, let’s riff on that a bit, A.J. Are you okay with that?
A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, that would be great.
Mitch Russo: Sure. So, let’s start with what is your passion here? Do you wanna buy and sell companies? Is that your passion?
A.J. Lawrence: One of the things I’ve started doing is, I realized that when I had my agency that I sold, we were, as I like to say, we were the unusual stepchildren of Fortune 500 companies. We got all their divisions that didn’t quite fit the holding companies work. So they did marketing efforts, but they did fed, or they were little too low on budget. We would do it.
So we thrived in that kind of space. But what I realized was it was never that exciting. And then the work for private equity and VC, it’s great. It’s intellectually challenging, but what I found is I really like working with type of customer that on the face of it didn’t have the money, which is the entrepreneur in that low 7-figure to mid 7-figure right before that big transition point where they have to become operationally sound.
Mitch Russo: Mm-hmm.
A.J. Lawrence: You can do force of will, as I always like to say it, around to that million. So for me, what I’m trying to do is build things that talk to that avatar, to that fellow entrepreneur. As a journeyman, it’s my love. I love what we do. I love the creation of business, so I’m focusing on that avatar.
Mitch Russo: So, how do you get them a quick win to prove that you are good at what you do and more importantly, so that they can take the next step with you? Because by definition, they don’t have a lot of money.
A.J. Lawrence: So straight off, one of the things I’ve done is I’ve built a productized service called Insight Labs. We do basically a data-driven growth finder. We go through all the data, we go through the strategy, we go through their capabilities and teams, and we give them a growth plan for the next three months of like, based on what you have, based on where you want to go, and based on what the marketplace is showing, focus on these things. And then based on what numbers or activity you see on this, you either double down or go to the next on the list.
Mitch Russo: So a good idea if this is truly your passion and you want to go a little bit deeper into that, then let’s take a look at the diversity of people in that market. There’s lots and lots of different people, so my suggestion would be I would start with an assessment.
I would build an assessment that would allow people to self-identify in exactly where they are. You don’t want them if they’re unable to basically get out of bed in the morning or not even make enough to support themselves. But you do want people who are passionate about what they do, who have taken the first step and just need your help to go beyond that.
I’d start with an assessment, then if you can be done quickly, I would run a group optimization call for everybody who filled out the assessment and get the brain cells firing. And then from there, and with a offer that says, look, we talked about a lot of stuff today. As you probably know, words don’t teach. What really teaches is action. So why don’t we get busy here and start implementing?
So who would like to implement this on the call today? And everybody would raise their hand. Say, great. Well, here’s what implementation looks like. Implementation with A.J. means that we go into a 90-day cycle together, and we set some goals up front. We can even set some goals right now. What do you want in 90 days?
The bottom line here is that at the end of 90 days, you’ll have what we agree are your goals, and if not, we’ll keep going until you do. And it’s a very low price program. Basically the idea is to get you to get the wheels moving fast and just remember it’s like a two wheel bicycle. Once it’s moving, it moves fast. But ultimately you want more than two wheels on the ground.
So we then work with you to get other revenue streams, other revenue channels, pumping along with your primary revenue channel so you multiply or stack your profits as we go along. So that is kind of an easy way to do it. You can get a little bit more complex if you like. And you could offer five day challenges, you could do basic. You could break it down into the five core components and teach the first one for free, which leads everybody to 2, 3, 4, and 5. Stuff like that.
A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, no, I like that a lot because we’ve been doing it one off, one off, one off. And yeah, that’s an interest. I like the group call because we’ve been playing around for concept. And I’ve been digging through your side a little bit from a different, we call them pods, where we would put different entrepreneurs who are non-competing and into the sort of support thing.
Cuz that’s one of the things. As we talk with entrepreneurs, they wanna talk with other entrepreneurs around what they’re seeing in the marketplace. Especially around digital marketing of like, well, we see this, we see that. What are you seeing? We’re data nerds. That’s the team I’ve built. So for us it’s about finding, making sure the structure actually exists. So your idea of the challenge could be, do you have your analytics in place correctly? That’s fun.
Mitch Russo: So, yep. And you start with the assessment because the assessment is going to tell you a lot about who you’re dealing with. And the only way that I’ve ever found to successfully create an assessment is to start with the same question. Never change the question, because it’s the most successful question ever invented for an assessment. And here’s the question. What kind of blank are you?
What kind of CEO are you? What kind of analyst are you? What kind of business owner are you? What kind of entrepreneur are you? What kind of growth specialist are you? Cuz people wanna know about themselves. And if you can provide insight, then the bottom line is they’re gonna wanna know more once they get the result of the assessment.
Now what we do, and what I set up for my clients is we have a whole team here who builds the assessments for my clients. And then once the assessment is complete, we basically drop them into a machine. And what happens next, they take the assessment, they get an email that says, thank you very much. We’d love to chat more with you, there’s a calendar link below. Set up a call and we’ll do a one-on-one review of your assessment to show you where your strengths and weaknesses lie. On that one-on-one call, we then at that point, based on who my client is and what they’re offering, we offer to take them to the next step.
A.J. Lawrence: Nice.
Mitch Russo: Very simple, very straightforward. And by the way, this can create massive lead flow for a coaching organization as well. So once you start building out your coaching organization or your certified coach organization, then at that point you’re gonna need lead flow assessments are the way they have.
A.J. Lawrence: I like that, yeah. Because that’s always you have to feed the beast. And as someone who grew way too quick for my last company only to find out they didn’t have the infrastructure to handle it. And then had to come back down to come back up.
Mitch Russo: You’re not alone.
A.J. Lawrence: I like that a lot. Well, I greatly do appreciate the walkthrough. You had mentioned you had something you would like to offer the audience if they had a request.
Mitch Russo: Sure. Like all of us, we were kind of stuck indoors for a pandemic.
A.J. Lawrence: Some little thing. Yes.
Mitch Russo: Silent. I was kind of bored to be honest. I played as much guitar as I can, read few books. My core passion is travel photography, and you can imagine how much of or little of that I did this year. So I was thinking of, well, maybe I could experiment with something which I never bothered with before. And that was, what would it be like to build and create a lead magnet and then offer that to build an email list of sorts.
So I know the idea was rallying around my brain when I realized that over the years I had spent, I don’t know, maybe dozens and dozens of hours and 50 to 100 client experiences building an intake questionnaire for new clients. And I said, wow. There’s a lot of incredible information in that intake questionnaire.
I always used to worry if they see the questionnaire and realize what they’re not doing, but now know what to do, why would they hire me, you know? But the bottom line is that they didn’t know how to do any of those things. So I took the intake questionnaire and I spent a month fleshing it out, and I wrote a new book called Profit Stacking Secrets, and I give away the first three chapters or the first three strategies for free.
And anybody can go to profitstackingsecrets.com and get it for free. But then there’s the upsell. So this is where I learned how to do a free giveaway, plus an upsell, plus a water bump. But I mean, you guys have probably been doing this for a million years, but I’ve never sold anything for $47 in my life.
At the beach, even ice cream was that cheap, when I was selling that. But the bottom line is that, I wanted to learn how to do this, and I went through months of iteration to get the offer right, to get the sales page right, to get all of the proper pieces to function as a machine or as a funnel would.
And I was determined not to use ClickFunnels because first of all, if I’m gonna teach my clients how to do this, I don’t really want them having to spend $397 a month on Click Funnels. So I went back to my development team and I said, build me a system that will do everything I want and that we can replicate for my clients.
And we did. And you’re looking at it now at profitstackingsecrets.com. And then when you download the free giveaway, it takes you to the buy page which has the $27 product, which goes up to $37 in 30 or 40 minutes. And again, that to me is tacky but it works. I mean, it’s weird, but that’s what works.
Marketing is never a matter of why, it’s always a matter of what. And so we figured out what works. And we just kept applying it and experimenting and testing. We were there with the heat maps and hot jars stuff and all that, and I paid funnel analysts, two different analysts, to figure out exactly how to make that funnel work as powerfully as it does.
And then I started back to my roots launching joint ventures again. And now we’re generating 1500 to 2000 new leads a month using a couple of dollars, not much paid, but a lot of joint ventures and cross promotions. So again, for me, I’m still learning stuff like this and I think younger entrepreneurs have probably started there and I didn’t. So this for me was all new.
A.J. Lawrence: I really do like, and I think people will. Thank you for downloading for report, you run and love it. The book, it’s beautifully done. This is quite well done. I like this a lot. Thank you for sharing that. What’s a trend now that you are fascinated by or you find that you are using in your business or you want to use more in your business?
Mitch Russo: So when I started with Chet back in 2005. 12th, really 2007, I think. We were doing these masterclass webinars, as I mentioned earlier, and we were charging $239 a seat. Nowadays, everyone does free webinars and now people do multi-day webinars, and all that stuff. And I guess what I’ve come to realize is that the old webinar models are mostly broken.
And what I’ve been experimenting with is a new model of how to use a webinar in a very, very powerful way. And, I’m not really ready to talk much about it except to say that the early results are quite promising. I’m finding now that even the word webinar is a problem because really in your mind, most people translate the word webinar to long sales pitch.
And the other thing is that, webinar processes are readily available to anybody who can use a browser. You can find them very easily and what Russell Brunson and many of these teachers teach is that don’t give away much content because you really just want to hit the three core benefits and the pain points and then get them to sign up and spend their money, blah, blah, blah.
And all that is fine. I mean, that makes sense. And I believe at a point in time it worked really, really well. I don’t believe it works as well in the same way anymore. And I think nowadays, people are really struggling to find who and what works. So I don’t think people just want to work with a guy who stands in front of a Lamborghini.
I think that’s a passe move at this point. I remember recently at my Facebook ad agency found the picture of me and Tony Robbins, used it in a Facebook ad, and people were saying, yeah, yeah, sure. He probably stood next to the guy at an event. And what was interesting to me was that people who I either didn’t know or I only knew casually, chimed in and said, oh no, oh, that Mitch worked with Tony and Mitch did this.
So it was like credibility is no longer what you say it is, it’s what you earn. You earn your credibility. You don’t get it because you have a Lamborghini or you standing next to a celebrity. That, again, that doesn’t work anymore. If you’re gonna stand next to a celebrity, you better have been his partner or him been your mentor or some deep relationship, or else you are subject to ridicule in that case.
The other thing is that if you start showing pictures of yourself, even if you own a Lamborghini, it’s not a good idea because what people then begin to believe is that, well, I’m not him. I’ll never have Lamborghini.
A.J. Lawrence: I also find it very funny. Most well-do people I know don’t bling out. Most successful people I know, they may dress well, they made it, but they’re not about the bling. They’re about the thought. They’re about the opportunities to do things and to be able to create the life they want. Not the check out my pool, check out my car.
But I’ve never heard anyone, who I know is truly successfulful, say that.
Mitch Russo: Well, once again you could scroll through your Facebook feed and you could find all of that and more. But once again, study some of the work of the masters. I mean, look at Jay Abraham’s stuff. It Is a cut above everybody else.
Tony is a different situation. Tony appeals to the masses. So he does, and he is of course a known entity and he stands out as really alone in his class. So anything he does is gonna attract attention and nobody’s gonna doubt it. I now have started to see a few people smear Tony by saying, oh, didn’t he do this or didn’t he do that?
But frankly, none of that matters. And people jump right in just like they did with me and say, well, that’s a rumor. That’s not true. But my goal is, when I advertise if you will, or I promote, I want people to understand what I am capable of, not so much what I did before. I want them to understand what they’re capable of with a little bit of help. And that’s really where I think I can add a lot of value.
And that’s sort of hinting to where I’m going with this new strategy that I’m talking about as well. The one thing I will say is there really is no rush. I mean, I get these emails from JV Zoo where for 17 or $27 you get free traffic and free money and all this bullshit. And the bottom line is that, ultimately none of those things can build a sustainable business. And I think that’s what we’re all here to do. We’re here to build sustainable generational wealth. And we’re not gonna be able to do it with a funnel and an offer.
What we’re gonna do, and the way I’m using the funnel that you have in front of you A.J., is I’m using it basically to educate people on who I am and what I’m capable of. And that’s really what my funnel is designed to do. All the $47 and my community wouldn’t matter to me at all. It’s more what happens after they get to know me and understand me. Then they’re gonna wanna work with me, hopefully, because that’s really where I bring an enormous amount of value very, very quickly to the right type of entrepreneur. Not to anybody, not to the beginner, to the right type of entrepreneur who already has a business that’s already making money, but really doesn’t quite get how to get past the plateau.
A.J. Lawrence: I find that very fascinating because I am that avatar. I’m someone who has not once, not twice, three times hit the plateau and bounced back and hit. Very few people realize that as few businesses that actually make it a million, the fact that 95% of businesses that ever reach, was it three and a half, four, something like that, within three years, 95% are either out of business or backed down underneath that chasm, that plateau.
That journey there to me is so fascinating because it’s like you go in, and it just gets noisier. It gets busier and there’s more things happening. You have to have more things and you’re making more, but your free cash flow isn’t quite caught up to the scale.
Yeah. It’s a fun, fun space.
Mitch Russo: Well, one of the keys that helped me get past, first two and a half, then five, then 7 million, was certification. I mean, that to me was basically the most powerful strategy I’ve ever discovered. And it never ceases to amaze me, the types of companies that it applies to.
Recently, we completed a certification program for a wonderful company. They’re running about 20 million in revenue right now called MaxSold out of Toronto, and they have a very interesting model. They use the tagline, we turn home content into cash. Now what they do is after a person passes away or after you decide to downsize, they go into the home with a crew and they photograph everything and it’s gone in 10 days and you get a check.
Instead of it going into a landfill or being sold off at a yard sale, you turnkey the whole process and get money at the end. And what MaxSold has figured out was that, they can only grow so fast. The way to truly grow is to create certification. And so they started with me as a coaching client.
I have an accelerator program for my entry level from my beginning clients, the ones who were beginning with me, not beginning business. And then from there we decide where the right direction is. Well, we saw very quickly that certification was gonna be a perfect fit, and so they went forward and we built their certification program.
So the number of recurring revenue streams that come from certification, I’ve never seen less than 3, and I’ve found as many as 8. And this is for a company that’s never even had more than one product. So this is the power of what certification can do, and I don’t even care if you already have a sales channel.
This is an alternate sales channel. This is far more valuable, far more powerful. These people within two years will become more important to you than your own employees. That’s how amazing and powerful certification is, and what it can mean to your company.
A.J. Lawrence: Yeah, it’s funny. I’ve done work in the past for large corporate B2B sales groups in developing certificate or what they call their education offerings where they provide certification or they pay for certification in their own products. So they’re taking that and using it differently.
I do like that because it’s very successful for large organizations to get to know that partners sales and engineering teams are certified. Strip it down, take it now down to somewhat in that two and a half, five, seven and then up. You create something a little more and you get a lot of the benefit of franchise without the legal structure or their overhead. That is very interesting.
So you talked earlier about how you came about it, but did you find that it was a change in the sort of the mindset of how you were going through, looking at growing the company, that you came about it versus just sort of the opportunity that you saw it from before?
Mitch Russo: Well, what was happening is that I was struck with some issues, particular problems, and I had no idea what I was about to do would result in a massive 350 person army of salespeople and paid me for the privilege of selling my products. All I was trying to do was try and hold down the hold times on tech support. That’s where it started.
Tech support was getting past 20 minutes. And it was like, wow, that’s just unacceptable. I wouldn’t imagine my poor tech support people after someone being on hold for 20 minutes. The first thing that happens is they get yelled at, and that’s not a good place to work. So what we were trying to do is find a way to deploy our best customers, to help other clients in the field, and that later turned into a full-blown certification program.
A.J. Lawrence: Very cool. You had mentioned earlier in the shadow about creating generational wealth. How do you think about creating- do you think about even creating a legacy and how do you think about that? What does it mean to you to create a legacy?
Mitch Russo: People don’t generally create their own legacy. Their legacy follows them. And most people would say it follows them after they passed.
So I don’t really think about it. First of all, I don’t ever think about dying because I’m not going to die while I’m still alive. So the bottom line is that it doesn’t really occur to me. I just live my life. If you want to think about how I leave a mark on this world, it’s going to be with the people that I impact.
I mean, more than anything, that’s the only way to. There are no things or books or tapes or videos or websites that is a legacy. It’s the people. It’s who we have changed or have helped become who they are. And once you get to the point where you have a certain amount of personal wealth, you realize that that’s no longer important.
In fact, I challenge anybody who’s become wealthy to tell me that that was the goal that they started with. And that’s the goal that they ended with. Because once they did become wealthy, they no longer cared about it anymore. And they no longer care once they bought their Porsche, whatever their thing was. The bottom line is that now the question is, How do we impact the largest number of people for the greatest amount of good without giving things to them?
See, I’m a capitalist. And I’m a very proud capitalist. So I don’t believe in handouts. I don’t believe in giving stuff. I don’t believe in retribution. All I believe is you want help, I can help you. But I’m not going to give you anything. I’m gonna help you get to the next level on your own, not so that it was me who did it. It was because it’ll be you that did it. And once it’s you that did it, you now have the confidence and ability. It’s like teaching a man to fish. You now know how to do it. And not only can you do it for yourself, but you now can go forward and teach others too.
A.J. Lawrence: No, I definitely agree. Cuz for me, I moved my family to Southern Spain to give my children a greater life experience. And the way I always think about it is, I don’t want to give them money, but I want them to be able to create. I want them to have the tools they need to create the dreams they want to create.
Mitch Russo: Exactly. Very well said.
Well listen, just to be clear, things are wonderful. I mean, you should have things. People should have things. Things are part of this universe, part of this dimension. They’re not evil. All of them come from this planet. Everything is sourced here on Earth, so far that I know of, so it’s all good. There’s nothing bad about it.
A.J. Lawrence: No, well said. Well, Mitch, thank you.
Mitch Russo: Thank you, A.J. It’s been a pleasure and always here to serve if you need me for anything.
A.J. Lawrence: Thank you, Mitch. That was a really insightful episode. I’m really happy you came back on the show. You can find out more information about Mitch and how to connect with him and check out his program in the show notes below.
Matter of fact, I’ve signed up for the Profit Stacking Secrets already and just the first few emails and access you get is really, really great. I can’t wait till I start using some of it in my business soon. So check it out.
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