Should I Step Down As CEO Of ClickFunnels

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YouTube Transcript: English (auto-generated)

00:09

  • So, The Mastermind, I didn’t really know what to expect.

00:12

And I asked Dean, and Dean was like,

00:13

"Oh, we talk about business,

00:14

"but we always talk about business.

00:16

“Let’s leverage Tony while we got him for a couple hours.”

00:20

  • Okay.

00:22

Is Russell gonna join us too?

00:23

  • Uh… - Oh is he gonna be up–

00:24

  • Yeah, he’s right there. - Okay cool.

00:26

I think it’d be worth taking a few moments,

00:28

a minute or two with each, and have you tell us

00:30

where are you right now in your life?

00:31

Where are you? What’s great?

00:33

What’s missing? What needs to change?

00:37

And let’s see if we can go a little deep

00:38

so it’s not a surface thing here.

00:39

We’re happy to answer marketing and sales

00:42

and business questions, of course.

00:44

But my hope for you is that we go a little deeper because…

00:47

How many of you are between 35 and 45?

00:50

(bleep) Virtually all of you.

00:52

So, if you’re in that range, close to it,

00:54

every stage of life has different opportunities

00:56

and different challenges and

00:58

I’m lucky enough to have lived almost 60 years now

01:01

and I can look back on those years and see each decade.

01:04

And everyone’s different, nothing’s universal.

01:06

But, there’s certain things that that stage of life

01:09

show up for people pretty predictably.

01:11

And if we look at some of those things,

01:12

we might be able to give you even more help

01:14

than just your business,

01:15

which will help your business as well.

01:17

So, if you’re open to it, we’ll go there, so…

01:18

  • I’d suggest going deeper than you

01:20

even thought you were gonna be

01:21

and I also wanna give it up for Russell,

01:23

our other partner and friend, in helping make this.

01:25

(applause)

01:28

What a great friend and it’s been amazing

01:30

for us to get to know you more,

01:31

and Colette it’s been so awesome.

01:34

You guys are family now,

01:35

so without any further ado, let’s do this.

01:37

  • [Russell] In a way, we basically did

01:39

where there’s 10 of us that were

01:40

kind of in this little small group,

01:41

and Dean and Tony are in front,

01:43

and everyone had a chance to introduce themselves,

01:45

talked about what they were doing and having success,

01:46

so everyone could celebrate together,

01:48

and then talk about what in your business or your life

01:50

you had questions about, or you were at a crossroads

01:53

and didn’t know what to do

01:55

and just kind of be vulnerable and share that a little bit.

01:58

I was in the second row so I had a little while

02:00

to sit back and just relax and

02:02

a couple hours to watch him go deep on everybody else.

02:04

But what’s amazing about Tony,

02:06

when you watch him do what he does,

02:07

his context of who’s in the room.

02:09

He’ll go deep on someone, he does an intervention.

02:12

As he’s doing it, he’s saying things specifically

02:14

that he knows that Russell needs to hear,

02:16

or Jenna needs to hear, or whatever.

02:19

And he’ll say something and he’ll mention it,

02:20

he’ll look at me direct eye contact like,

02:22

“That was for you, Russell.”

02:23

I’m like, "Got you.

02:25

“Okay, I’m picking up what you’re laying down.”

02:28

So I had a chance to see him do a bunch of interventions

02:30

like Lewis Howes, and Josh Bezoni, and Billy Gene,

02:33

and just all different people leading up to me.

02:36

And from everyone’s presentation,

02:38

I dot different pieces about how to structure your life,

02:40

how to do your morning routines.

02:41

All these cool things made me start thinking in my head

02:43

about ClickFunnels and the future,

02:44

and what do I wanna actually do?

02:48

  • [Tony] We’ve worked with individuals,

02:49

but how many gotten something

02:50

for yourself in each one so far?

02:51

Just wanna make sure. Okay, good.

02:52

Just wanna make sure.

02:54

  • In fact, by the time he got to me,

02:55

I was just like, "I’m kinda good.

02:56

“I know most of the answers I looking for.”

02:58

Hey.

02:59

  • [Tony] You should be up here talking.

03:01

What are you doing sitting there?

03:01

(laughs)

03:02

No, I wanna be back here.

03:03

But there’s one question that

03:05

I’ve always wanted to ask Tony about

03:06

but been really nervous about it.

03:09

It’s kind of the question that like

03:12

I don’t think anybody else would ever dare to ask him

03:13

or even bring it up.

03:14

But…

03:16

  • Russell, at lunch today, said,

03:17

"What I really wanna ask Tony is how’s his breath

03:19

“always so amazing?”

03:20

  • How’s what? - How’s your breath

03:22

always so amazing? - Your breath is insanely good

03:23

all the time. - That’s what he said.

03:25

(laughs)

03:26

  • Probably isn’t right now.

03:27

(laughs)

03:29

  • [Russell] That’s actually a real question.

03:32

You can text me the answer to that one some time.

03:36

What’s that? - Alkalinity.

03:38

  • I literally said it last night.

03:40

  • When your breath’s bad, you’re very acidic.

03:41

  • Huh.

03:42

  • Yup.

03:43

  • That’s all I got. Just kidding.

03:44

(laughs)

03:49

It’s hard to put it as an actual question,

03:50

so I’m not really sure exactly.

03:52

It has to do with kind of just direction.

03:54

So, obviously, ClickFunnels turns

03:57

five years old in two weeks.

03:58

It’s been five years run–

03:59

  • [Tony] Give him a hand, that’s awesome.

04:00

(applause) - Thank you.

04:03

It’s become bigger than we ever, I think, dreamt initially

04:06

and it’s been a really really fun ride as we been growing.

04:09

We’re almost 400 employees now.

04:11

We passed 95,000 active customers last week,

04:15

we should have 100,000 by the end of this year, so

04:18

(claps) a lot of fun things.

04:19

  • [Tony] That’s what I’m saying, that’s not a promotion

04:21

it’s a business.

04:24

  • But also, it’s…

04:26

I remember the very first time we met

04:28

at UPW like 10 or 11 years ago, and–

04:31

  • [Tony] Toronto? - In Toronto, yeah.

04:32

And you told me, you said the reason why

04:34

you got in this business is because of the art.

04:37

You were doing your art and then you built a business

04:38

because you had to do it to be able to support your art.

04:40

And I’ve always felt like that’s very similar to me like

04:42

I love the art of what I do,

04:44

and that’s what I’m passionate about, that’s why I love it.

04:46

It’s all about that for me,

04:48

and as the business has grown, I’m still in the CEO role,

04:51

and I think that’s been one of the hard things is that

04:54

as it’s grown, my ability to do the art has shrunk.

04:57

I have pockets of times I could do it,

04:58

like doing events I love, I love writing the books,

05:01

I love doing content, but now I’m a CEO also

05:04

which, especially at this level, there’s all the

05:07

legal compliance now which

05:10

you take my art and then the lawyers look at it

05:12

and they try to destroy the art before they send it out.

05:17

It’s hard and then you get

05:20

just all the government regulations.

05:22

We processed $4 billion so far through ClickFunnels.

05:25

Now, it’s just like the bureaucracy,

05:29

that part of it now is… - Yes.

05:31

  • What takes up so much of my time

05:32

and my ability to spend time in the art

05:35

has gotten smaller and smaller.

05:37

And I think that’s kinda been this weird spot

05:38

where I’m at where it’s like

05:42

we have an opportunity, I think,

05:43

if we wanted to exit, we could exit.

05:45

But then I have the fear of if I did exit,

05:47

would I lose my art, and is there a way to

05:50

exit and keep the art, or is it just

05:52

do I need to shift so I can do my art

05:55

and not worry about that part of it?

05:57

So, that’s kind of the question coming into it,

05:58

which a lot of stuff you said to Josh has been…

06:01

Was really good for me as well.

06:02

  • Yours is different though because

06:03

you have really mastered that business

06:05

at a really amazing level

06:07

where you could sell it for a billion dollars probably

06:08

on a gross multiple as you described, right?

06:11

So, I don’t think it’s quite the same thing there,

06:13

but I think the difference is

06:14

the art matters to you emotionally.

06:16

That’s why I brought it up to you

06:17

when I was talking up here.

06:18

It matters to you so much,

06:19

that if you don’t have what’s next before you sell it,

06:21

you’re making a big mistake.

06:23

So, you either gotta decide

06:26

maybe I’ll get a valuation slightly less,

06:29

but all my employees will win and I’ll win

06:31

and I can just keep running it and I’ll do my art,

06:33

I’m gonna hire someone to be the CEO

06:34

and I’ll be the chairman.

06:36

That’s what I would do, that’s what I am in my company.

06:37

I’m the chairman, I’m no longer the CEO.

06:40

So, you either decide to exit

06:41

because you don’t want those things,

06:43

and in those cases I’m not the CEO there anyway,

06:45

someone else is doing it, but for me

06:46

it was getting in the way of what I wanted to do.

06:48

And the other area’s I made myself chairman,

06:50

I hired CEOs that are really skilled in those areas,

06:53

and then decided what I wanna do with those businesses

06:56

'cause I wanna keep them.

06:57

So, I got enough assets, enough benefit,

06:59

I don’t need to sell them.

07:01

You have enough assets probably 'cause you live very humbly.

07:03

This guy’s one of the most humble people I know.

07:04

He’s like 100 million times better

07:06

than he ever projects himself to be,

07:08

he always understates who the (bleep) he is,

07:10

he’s a total (bleep) stud, and he’s incredibly humble,

07:12

is he not? And it’s incredible.

07:14

And he lives a humble life,

07:15

and he’s got five beautiful children,

07:17

and he’s just a great human being.

07:18

You all know that I think if you interact with him.

07:20

So, you have all that by the ass, so to speak, by the tail.

07:24

So, to me, it’d be like,

07:26

"Okay, I can exit, but if I’m gonna do it,

07:28

"what am I gonna use that for that’s gonna be

07:30

"even more fulfilling?

07:31

"Otherwise, I should keep this and get someone else

07:33

"to do the shit I don’t wanna do who’s even better than me,

07:35

“get back into my art.”

07:38

As your friend, you love what you do.

07:41

You light up when you do it,

07:43

I love being around you when you talk about it.

07:49

It’s like Jesus has come to Earth

07:49

and is coming through his body.

07:51

It’s a beautiful thing, you know.

07:53

So, for you to sell that is really exciting right now.

07:58

I don’t know if it’ll be exciting five years from now,

07:59

unless you found the next most exciting thing

08:02

that you’re gonna build and make happen and go do.

08:04

'Cause the money’s not gonna change your life, brother.

08:06

It’ll change your life for the moment,

08:07

it’ll provide some comforts or some securities

08:09

maybe more than you have, but, honestly,

08:11

the lifestyle you have, you got plenty.

08:13

I would not let the momentum of the business

08:15

determine where my life is gonna go.

08:17

I decide where my life’s gonna go

08:18

and decide where the business needs to go based on that.

08:21

'Cause, otherwise, everyone around you’s

08:23

gonna push you towards it, and because

08:25

a billion dollars, like that’s the big number

08:26

everybody wants to hit, not everybody,

08:28

most people wanna hit a million dollars,

08:29

but a billion dollars, oh my god, you know.

08:31

A billion dollars’ unbelievable, but

08:35

most of your life probably won’t change very much.

08:36

So, maybe decide how you’re gonna get

08:39

the assets you want for yourself and your family,

08:40

but where you could do the art still and keep growing it

08:44

just for your own fulfillment,

08:46

and because you have so much to give and you’re like,

08:47

how old are you now? - 39.

08:49

  • [Tony] You’re not even (bleep) 40.

08:51

You haven’t even gone on your (bleep) journey yet.

08:52

It’s beautiful what you’ve accomplished.

08:53

No, I mean it, that’s not derogatory.

08:55

It just means, “Holy (bleep), I’m 60.”

08:57

You think about the next 20 years,

08:58

what you can do from where you are now.

09:01

Where I was at 39, most people are like,

09:03

“Oh, it was unbelievable.”

09:04

It was like (bleep) nothing compared to what I’m doing now.

09:07

So, I wouldn’t sell myself short for the money.

09:10

Still get the money, you should be smart.

09:11

You should take it off the table, you built something,

09:13

you should do it.

09:14

Should help your people do it.

09:15

It’s figuring out what your plan is

09:16

that’s gonna be more fulfilling.

09:18

That’s the most important thing,

09:19

'cause in the end, it’s the fulfillment

09:20

that’s gonna make the quality of life happen.

09:21

It’s not gonna be the dollars.

09:24

And you love what you do, brother.

09:26

  • [Russell] I do.

09:27

  • And you’re getting pulled away

09:28

from some of it, as you said, more and more,

09:30

so all the more reason to sell the business,

09:32

but that’s not really the reason.

09:33

That just means you shouldn’t be doing that role.

09:35

Find somebody who’s so good at the role, loves that (bleep).

09:37

  • Yeah.

09:38

  • [Tony] That’s who you put in there,

09:39

that they thrive on that (bleep).

09:41

It’s like knowing what your greatest gifts are

09:44

and staying with those even more.

09:45

The business wouldn’t be here because of your CEO role.

09:47

The business is here 'cause of your vision,

09:49

and your influence, and your passion,

09:50

and your creativity, and your intelligence,

09:52

and your (bleep) caring, and your ability to teach,

09:54

and your humility.

09:56

That makes everybody go, "Man,

09:58

"he really seems like an easy guy.

09:59

“If he can do it, I can do it too.”

10:00

You don’t seem like superhuman and you are.

10:04

But you don’t seem like it, which is what makes

10:05

more people be able to succeed.

10:08

I’m 6’7 so sometimes they think I’m super (bleep) human,

10:10

and I’m not super (bleep) human, right?

10:12

But they think I am, so then sometimes it was like,

10:13

“Tony can do that shit, what about me?”

10:15

But if they spend enough time with me,

10:16

they see they don’t have to do what I do.

10:17

They can do what they do even better, you know?

10:22

Makes sense?

10:23

  • I think, for sure, your company,

10:27

and, obviously, you’re on track to do great things,

10:29

but I think if you got the right CEO in place

10:32

who loved being a CEO as much as you love marketing,

10:37

there’s another level of exponential growth,

10:38

'cause I know you.

10:40

You and I market, we think a lot alike,

10:41

we have great conversations.

10:42

You’re just getting pulled away from that genius of yours.

10:45

Your biggest growth could be just what Tony’s talking about

10:48

is a CEO that loved running the day-to-day

10:50

as much as you love marketing,

10:51

and you got back into your craft.

10:52

I think there’s another exponential growth

10:56

waiting with that decision.

10:58

  • It’s also timing. You should probably take

11:00

something off the table, right?

11:03

But still keep your vehicle

11:04

unless you’ve found a better one.

11:06

You need to get out of what you don’t enjoy.

11:09

'Cause when you do what you enjoy, you (bleep) crush it.

11:12

And you feel alive.

11:14

She knows better than anybody, right?

11:17

There’s two types of marketing that are sucking your energy,

11:20

external or internal marketing.

11:22

External marketing is the time you’re spending

11:23

serving the customer and the client,

11:25

or maybe your internal clients.

11:27

Internal marketing is dealing with all the (bleep)

11:29

that frustrates you and pisses you off,

11:31

and if you’re spending so much time on internal marketing,

11:33

you have less for external marketing,

11:34

the business will not have the same value,

11:36

or, more importantly, even though the business keeps going,

11:38

you aren’t feeling the same value.

11:40

So, there’s only so much E.

11:42

I got a lot of it, you guys do too.

11:43

E meaning pure energy, but there is a limit

11:45

no matter who we are, no matter how strong you are.

11:47

So, you gotta say where is that energy gonna go?

11:50

And if there’s any mistake I used to make, by the way,

11:51

it’s to stay with people way too long,

11:53

'cause I’m a very loyal person, but what I’ve learned is

11:56

if I’m not loyal to the mission,

11:57

if I’m not loyal to the best players

11:59

by trying to stay with somebody,

12:01

if you’re gonna play with Michael Jordan,

12:02

you better be (bleep) ready to play.

12:04

Otherwise, go play somewhere else.

12:05

Nothing wrong with you not wanting to give

12:07

the same amount as I do, but you shouldn’t be on this team.

12:10

Find somebody that loves to deliver as much as you do

12:12

on the marketing like Dean said,

12:14

it’ll be a different game for you.

12:16

  • As a consumer of your content,

12:18

I listen to every podcast that you release

12:20

and I can hear you just trying your best

12:23

to squeeze in that time

12:25

on your drives to work, or wherever it can be,

12:27

and it’s always gold.

12:29

I always do kind of leave those episodes

12:31

thinking like, "What if Russell just had more time

12:35

“to create, to write, to do what, frankly, you do best?”

12:40

And so, I think that chairman is a really interesting role

12:42

for somebody like you. That was cool.

12:45

  • [Tony] Give him a hand.

12:46

(applause)

12:48

James.

12:49

  • Well, thank you both so much.

12:51

I feel like I’ve already gotten so much.

12:56

(calm inspirational music)

13:03

  • [Russell] Yeah, I think a lot of entrepreneurs

13:05

they start their businesses because

13:07

they’re passionate about a thing.

13:09

I’m a great photographer,

13:10

or I’m a great designer, whatever.

13:12

They get into because of the passion for the thing

13:15

and then you have to learn all these businesses

13:17

to be able to support the art.

13:19

And I think it’s interesting how we all eventually

13:22

have to become the CEO of our business

13:24

because we’re the ones who are the most passionate.

13:26

We get stuck in the CEO role because that’s where

13:29

you need to be to drive the ship,

13:32

but a lot of times that’s what then makes it

13:33

so you don’t even spend time with the art.

13:35

And then you start, in some cases, resenting it.

13:39

It shifts really quickly from being an entrepreneur

13:42

to back to being a job.

13:44

It’s kind of the opposite reason

13:45

why most of us got into this business.

13:48

I’m not exactly positive what I’m gonna do.

13:52

For sure, what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna

13:53

try to have an inventory of myself

13:55

to really sit down a bit and think

13:56

what are the things that I love?

13:57

If I was to design my perfect week,

13:59

what would that look like?

14:01

If I was to design a perfect month, a perfect year.

14:02

I think a lot of times, we don’t focus on

14:04

architecting that and designing it,

14:05

so instead, come to the office everyday and it’s like,

14:06

"Ah, there’s a whole bunch of fires.

14:08

“What fire do I put out first, second, and third?”

14:10

Instead, it’s coming back so, "Okay,

14:11

“who’s the person who can be in charge of the fire?”

14:14

If I was to build this from ground up right now

14:15

with only put myself in spots that

14:18

they give me most passion and fire and excitement,

14:20

like what would those be?

14:21

Almost like writing your own job description

14:23

for your own job.

14:24

This is my job description, I do this, I do this,

14:25

I do this, I do this.

14:26

And then make a job description

14:27

except you don’t like as much.

14:29

And take that job description,

14:30

like who’s the person that wants this job?

14:31

'Cause there are people who love it.

14:35

I phone up my funnel building team, I’m like,

14:37

“You guys are so lucky.”

14:38

I have to go have a meeting with so-and-so and

14:40

you get to build funnels, I love it,

14:41

I love sitting down at a whiteboard and architecting,

14:43

and figuring out the designs, the branding, the logos,

14:45

the hook, the author, the copy.

14:47

Like being in the middle of that,

14:48

and when it’s done you see the funnel

14:50

like how beautiful it is.

14:51

I love that part of it.

14:53

And the second part I love is getting that ah-ha moment

14:55

for other people like when they’re like,

14:57

“How would a funnel work for me?”

14:59

And you explain it to them all someday like they get it.

15:01

There’s something about that.

15:03

That’s the other part, so

15:05

I think it’s understanding who are the people

15:07

that are obsessed with and love the things that I don’t

15:10

and let’s give those things to them

15:12

and let me just do what I love.

15:15

(“Miffed” by Tom Rosenthal)

15:17

♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪

15:18

♪ I think I have survived ♪

15:21

♪ But I don’t know ♪

15:23

♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪

15:25

♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪

15:27

♪ I think I have survived ♪

15:29

♪ But I don’t know ♪

15:32

♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪

15:34

♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪

15:36

♪ I think I have survived ♪

15:39

♪ But I don’t know ♪

15:41

♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪

15:43

♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪

15:45

♪ I think I have survived ♪

15:48

♪ But I don’t know ♪

15:50

♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪

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