Marketing Secrets - Podcast (Russell Brunson - FunnelHackerTV)
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How to set your moral and your legal boundaries and then break the rules in the middle.
On today’s episode Russell talks about being a rule breaker while still being able to keep himself out of jail and out of hell. Here are some of the fun things he shares in today’s episode:
- Why Russell considers himself to be a rule breaker even though he follows a strict moral compass, as well as a legal one.
- How some entrepreneurs can go too far with rule breaking if they don’t have a moral compass to begin with.
- And how Russell can justify the rules he does break without going against his own morals as well as the confines of the legal system.
So listen here to find out what kind of rules Russell believes are meant to be broken, and what kind aren’t.
What’s up everybody? This is Russell Brunson, welcome to the Marketing Secrets podcast, and as you can probably tell if you’re listening, we are finally once again streaming from inside of my jeep, which gets me excited. Today’s episode is called how to stay out of jail and Hell.
Alright let’s have some fun. Okay, we’re getting close to the 4th of July and my sister and her family are over and it’s been fun. We were hanging out last night on the field watching our kids play soccer until midnight. And we were talking about business and things, and it was funny because she, I was teasing her and I tease my wife and I tease a lot of my close friends who are rule keepers, I was kind of teasing them. “You guys, you follow every single rule and it drives me crazy. I’m a rule breaker.”
And my sister came back and she’s like, “You are kind of a rule breaker, but also, I know you. I’ve known you since before you were born.” You know, my entire life my sister has known me, and she’s like, “you’re also, you keep the rules. You’re very strict.” I have rules around, anyway, I have these rules that I keep. And I kind of thought for a second, and said, “You know what it is, I think I know what it is. If you look at this, imagine a circle and then around this circle, I have all these barriers and these are all my moral rules.”
So I have these moral rules of things that I will not break, my thou shalt not’s. Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not fornicate. Thou shalt not….all those kind of things, but I have my own that are in there. And these are all the rules that I have to keep myself out of Hell, because I don’t want to go to Hell someday. And we could talk forever about what my belief is on that, but I have a moral compass, these moral blocks and I’m very strict on those.
I’m a rule keeper, when it comes to those kind of things. Things that I belief came from God that are like, thou shalt not…I follow those rules very, very, very strict because I believe that they are vital and essential.
Then if you look at that circle and go out to a bigger circle. Like imagine a little circle is inside that has all my thou shalt not’s, my moral compass. And then you go on the outer rim, a bigger circle that’s out. So the little circle is inside of that one. So the outer circle, this big huge outer circle, these are all the things, the rules that if I break will put me into jail.
So it’s like, you can’t steal from people, you can’t lie, I guess these would probably be moral ones as well. But these bigger rules. You can’t…I’m trying to think of the best way to explain it. I explained it to my sister yesterday, I said, I watch shows like American Greed, I love American Greed, if you guys haven’t watched that you should watch it. And the reason why it’s so good is because it’s all these scams that happened that people end up in jail.
And what’s amazing is that half the time I watch those I’m like, “Oooh, that’s a good idea.” And then halfway through the show you’re like, “Oh my gosh, that’s illegal? Whoa, I didn’t even know that was a law. Holy crap. Okay, note to self, there is an outer limit. There’s a rule I can’t break.” And it’s all these brilliant things that turn out illegal. A lot of times we don’t know what’s illegal, because we’re entrepreneurs who are just running it and if you’re not aware of the outer limits where if you break these you can and will go to jail. You can get in trouble.
In fact, there were, probably 7 or 8 years ago I made this offer and I was like, “This is the greatest offer of all time.” And we launched it and we sold it and we sold the crap out of it. And I was so excited and I remember I came back and was telling my dad about it and he’s trying to have me explain it to him, so I explain it to him 3 or 4 times. And my dad’s like, “You can’t do that.” I’m like, “Why not?’ and he’s like, “what you just sold is security.” I’m like, “I don’t know what that means.” He’s like, “you have to have a securities license to sell securities, and what you sold technically is a security and if the government finds out what you did, you can go to jail for that.” I was like, “What? I had no idea.”
So I started freaking out and I’m like, “I gotta understand security law.” So I was trying to learn those and understand them and figure out, oh my gosh, these things I did. And this is why what I did was illegal and I didn’t even know, but now I know. So I had to go back to everyone I’d sold this thing to and I was like, “Hey, turns out what I sold to you is illegal, but if we make these shifts and these changes to it, it falls within the bounds of what’s okay.”
So I went and shifted those things, but I spent a lot of time studying and entrepreneurs who go to jail to try to figure out what they did wrong and why they did it, and where they pushed the boundaries too far, and all these kind of things. You know, I’ve got probably half a dozen friends who have spent time in jail who are amazing entrepreneurs who just didn’t understand the outer limits of what’s okay to do and not to do.
Sometimes they were aware of it, sometimes they weren’t aware of it. So for me it’s like, what are the boundaries, what should I not be doing? I want to make sure that I don’t go to jail. So I have those rules as well.
So I have this outer ring of rules, that are all the things that will keep me out of jail. And I have this inner ring of rules of all the things that will keep me out of Hell. And then in that space between where the inner ring ends and the outer ring inside of there, there’s a whole bunch of rules that are like society norms and the way things are supposed to be done and all kinds of stuff. And in there, I break all the rules I want, because I don’t believe those rules matter.
So for me, I look at that and I’m like, I think it’s important to have rule and law and order and things are important. And I think it’s very good for you guys, for all of us, including myself to really define, here are my thou shalt not’s. I will not break these rules under any circumstances because I want to keep my soul and make sure I’m a good human being and things like that. I’m not going to lie, cheat and steal. I’m not going to be unethical, I’m not going to…all those things that are core.
And then the outer rim are things that if I were to break, even if I don’t agree with them, I’ll go to jail and it’s not worth any risk to do that. And then in that gray area in between is where we get to play and we get to break the rules and be creative and do all sorts of amazing, fun things to actually change the world.
It’s funny, I was ready Aubrey Marcus’ book the other day, Own The Day, which is a really good book. But as I’m reading it, Aubrey has different belief patterns than me. So most people what would happen if you read that, if you’re a rule keeper, you would read some of his stuff and really quickly a lot of you guys would get turned off, “Oh no, he’s…”
A couple of examples, Aubrey has an open relationship. So him and his wife, they go and have sex with lots of other people and he’s totally cool with that. For me, it’s like, that breaks all of the moral compasses that would make me go to hell. So instead I just take that and throw that out and I’m like, “Okay, I’m not going to trust his opinion on dating advice because it breaks my moral compass and therefore I don’t believe it.” So I throw it out.
And then in his book he’s talking about, for him, “The best new tropics in the world. One is nicotine, don’t smoke cigarettes because they’re really bad for you, but you should be taking nicotine supplements.” I’m like, that’s against my moral compass, therefore I shall take this piece of knowledge and throw it out the window.
And all the things that break my moral compass I throw out the window. And anything I learn that’s amazing but it breaks my legal compass, I throw it out the window. And everything in the middle now we get to have fun with. So aside of that, his book is amazing. But his moral compass is different than mine, so he breaks things that I don’t agree with. So instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, I just say, these are things that I don’t align with because they break my thou shalt not’s so I throw them out. But in here there’s some amazing stuff that I’m learning from him that I can actually use.
So for me, I don’t know, I wanted to share with you guys because I think a lot of times, even in my until last night, I had broken the world into two types of people. There’s rule breakers and there’s rule keepers and I was like, “I’m a rule breaker.” But it’s not necessarily true. I break rules within the confines of what I’m not willing to do. I’m not willing to lose my soul, I’m not willing to go to jail. I don’t want to go to hell or to jail. Those are my two confines, but everything in the middle there, I’m going to play, I’m going to move things around, I’m going to have a lot of fun, because those don’t matter to me.
When we were in Amsterdam I was telling Dave and Brent and John this story about one of my friends Dave Leconney, and Dave told me this story. He was, this was back when there were tons of these computer stores and he would go to all the stores and buy and all their liquid, their leftover stuff. Hard drives and computers and monitors and all that stuff. I may be telling this story kind of wrong, but the concept is right.
So he’d buy all this stuff and then he’d go to the mall and go to the parking lot and do these big, huge Saturday sales and promote them like crazy and he’d get people from all around the city to come, and he’d make, who knows, 50-60,000 dollars in a weekend selling all this old computer stuff.
So he was doing that, and again, there’s nothing morally wrong, there’s nothing legally wrong, he’s not going to go to jail for that. But he was breaking rules in between. So the cops came and said, “Hey you can’t do a store out here. You can’t do that.” And he said, “Why not?” and they said, “Because it’s against the rules.” And he’s like, “What happens if I break this rule.” And the cop said, “I’m going to have to give you a fine.” And he’s like, “What’s the fine?” And the guys’ like, “$150 a day.” So Dave is like, “Done. Give me the fine.” So the guy gave him a $150 a day fine to go and make 50 thousand dollars in a weekend.
That’s a rule I will break. I’m not going to go to jail or to hell. So I break that rule to get done the thing I need to get done. So there’s a practical example of this.
Anyway, I just wanted to share that with you guys because I think that for the rule keepers, I think if you, a lot of you guys are struggling with success because you’re stuck with these are the rules, this is what’s okay. And a lot of times creation and entrepreneurship and growth comes from bending or breaking the rules. So for the rule keepers it’s like okay, let’s set your moral compass. Here are your thou shalt not’s to keep you out of hell. Here are your thou shalt not’s to keep you out of jail.
Set those as the outer and the inner limits and then in between that space there, let’s go and create and do and don’t worry about the rules that you may get in trouble for or somebody may look down on you, or society won’t like you or whatever those things are, be okay with breaking those rules, but not the ones that are going to get you into hell or into jail.
And then for the rule breakers who are breaking all sorts of rules, I’ve got a friend who’s got a big company that just got shut down by the FCC last week. They were on the outer limits, they were breaking these rules and these things that I was aware of and I assume they were aware of. But for some reason they were looking at it and they were just like, “Well, we’re big enough we could fight it in court.” Or whatever, they have these things. But the government does not care. If they want to shut you down, they will.
If they looked at CLickfunnels for some reason, “We don’t like you.” I can’t do anything about it, they can shut me down by snapping their fingers and it’s over. So it’s like I need to be very aware, what are the outer limits of the rules and then try to stay off those limits as much as I can.
So for the rule breakers, set some, make some rules. Make your inner circle rules that are keeping you out of hell and then your outer circle rules keep you out of jail and then only break the rules in that space in between. And that’s where amazingness comes from.
So I hope that helps you guys a little bit. If you’re not aware of what are the laws, you don’t have to go and read the law books because they are confusing, but go watch American Greed, go watch shows like that, that talk about entrepreneurs who try things and then end up in jail. Because you start seeing a pattern of like okay, if I’m selling this kind of thing, it’s a security and I have to have a securities license, and I have to have accredited investors. If I’m selling….
I had a friend the other day who was pitching me on this whole thing, I was like, “Dude, that’s illegal.” And he’s like, “no, it’s not.” And I’m like, “No, no, it’s illegal.” And I had to explain to him security laws and how they worked and all this stuff and I still don’t think he believed me. I’m like, “Dude, you watched American Greed, study enough stuff and you start seeing the patterns and realize that is a brilliant idea, but that will turn into a ponzi scheme because of this, this and this. This is a brilliant idea but that’s illegal because of this.” A lot of times the brilliant ideas are illegal. So you gotta be aware of the outer limits.
And then again, the other side is you need to have a moral compass. In this industry, unfortunately, it’s not a thing that people focus on. And I see people who get into drugs and sex and partying and they stab each other in the back and they will steal from their customers and they will sell things to people that they shouldn’t be selling things to and they do all sorts of stuff because of the almighty dollar they worship.
And for me, it’s like it’s not worth it. When you get hit by a bus and die and all that money disappears, you’ll find out really quick it’s not worth it. So my question for you guys, what’s your moral compass? What are your thou shalt not’s? And yours can be different than mine. I’m very strict on a lot of things, things that I believe in. A lot of it comes from my religion and my faith and I don’t believe in drinking, I don’t believe in doing drugs, and I don’t believe in lying, cheating, or stealing. I believe in doing things ethically. I believe in treating people right.
So these are my moral compass and I’m not going to go and break those rules, because they’re important to me and I believe it’s what keeps me out of hell. So keep yourself out of Hell and out of jail. If you do that you’ll have fun in the in-betweens. I hope that helps you guys. Appreciate you all, I’m going into the office, going to have a ton of fun in the gray area between those two and breaking some rules, changing some lives and having some fun. So appreciate you all, have a nice day and we’ll talk to you all again soon. Bye everybody.
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