The Transition From All-Star To Coach

Marketing Secrets - Podcast (Russell Brunson - FunnelHackerTV)

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A private voxer message I sent to my partners, talking about the next phase for me personally inside of the company.

On this episode Russell shares a Voxer conversation he had with his partners and later his team on why he’s reached the next phase in his journey to become a coach instead of an all-star. Here are the awesome things you will get to hear on today’s episode:

  • Why Russell feels like his career has reached a point where he doesn’t know what his next goal should be.
  • How going to a retreat with self-help guru’s helped him figure out where his focus should be.
  • And why being a coach instead of an all-star could be the way to grow his company from 100 million dollars a year to a billion dollars a year.

So listen here to find out why Russell’s next step is coaching his team so they can take the championship.

—Transcript—

What’s up everybody? This is Russell Brunson, welcome to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I’m excited because today I’m going to let you in behind the scenes of something that made me a little vulnerable (is that the right word?), nervous, but something that’s turned out to be really, really good. I think for a lot of you guys who are the all-stars and you are in the transition point to becoming the coach, this is going to be super valuable for you. So with that said, let’s jump into this episode.

Alright everybody, so like I said, this episode is actually a Voxer that I sent to my partners inside of Clickfunnels. It was after I had a chance to spend a week with a whole bunch of amazing marketers and business owners kind of reflecting on what’s next for me, my next step, my next role. And I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous first off to vox those guys about it, and then after that I actually forwarded it to all the people on my traffic and funnel building team because it represents kind of a shift in focus for me personally and for them as well.

And for me it’s just funny how nervous I was and the vulnerable of like, uh this is this scary thing that I’ve got to try and tackle. But doing so has been one of the greatest things for our company. Everyone’s getting excited now and seeing the vision and rebuying in, and the energy level since I mentioned it has been really, really fun.

So I thought it would be fun to share with you guys. A couple of real quick caveats, is there’s some people I mention, some people who were on the trip as well, some people who are, you know just work internally inside of our team. So I’m going to have my brother beep out, or mute out those names and some of the confidential details. So if you hear little blips of sound, that’s what those are, but do not fear, all the good stuff is still in there for you. But for any of you guys who have been the all-star and you’re transitioning to trying to become a coach, which is the phase of the business that I’m in right now and it’s a nervous, scary exciting everything. I hope this will give you some perspective and help you out. And for those who aren’t there yet, but you’re wondering, “Where am I going? What’s the vision? What’s the future hold for me?” hopefully this will help you as well.

So with that said, let’s jump right into this voxer and I hope you enjoy it.

Hey, what’s up guys? I hope you’re doing awesome. I want to kind of record this for you guys based on some of my thoughts over the last probably two weeks or so, just to get your feedback and then I’m probably going to forward this on to the Funnel team and the Traffic team, just so they have some context as well. But I just wanted to kind of put it in here first and get your guy’s thoughts on it.

Anyway, the last little bit has been really, really good for me. I’ve had some big personal aha’s about stuff and obviously we’ve done a lot of things right, because we’ve gotten to where we are. But I think also I’m kind of in this weird spot where I’m trying to figure out what my next step is and all that kind of stuff. So anyway, at Charfen’s event it was really good because they could help me understand a lot better, the team building and how to do meetings and how to structure things and just, it was really, really good.

But even with that, it still, I left with this weird uneasiness. So when I was at the event, hopefully my car’s not too loud, it’s so loud when I drive. Anyway, when I went to the Mastermind group and we were with those guys up at the trout ranch or whatever, we did all the manly things like fishing and shooting, things I’m really bad at, then we finally got a mastermind together and kind of talked. It’s funny because normally mastermind groups are obviously like, we share marketing ideas, but this one was more like a men’s group, like self-help with a bunch of self-help gurus. So we were talking marketing, they were talking how to make yourself happier.

Anyway, when they got to my turn they asked what my biggest struggle was that I needed help with from the group. And what I told them was basically, I said, my whole life I’ve always had something I was running towards. So when I was a wrestler, as soon as I learned about wrestling I became obsessed with it and I wanted to become state champ. So I would practice and go to matches and win and get my hand raised. Then I got better and became a region champ, I got my hand raised. I became a state champ and got my hand raised. I became an all-american, I had all these goals I was shooting towards. I had college and the next thing.

I always had something I was aggressively running towards, where all my time, energy, effort, thoughts were moving toward that thing. And my senior year I was trying to be an all-american and at the Pac 10 tournament you have to be the top whatever, one or two spots in the Pac 10 to qualify for the nationals. I was seated, I shouldn’t and it’s ridiculous I didn’t, but lo and behold I choked and I lost and my career ended three weeks before I thought it was going to and it was the worst feeling in the world, losing. And then I was like, that’s it. I’ll never wrestle again. And it’s like my whole life, 15 years of my life up to that point was that and then it was gone and taken from me before I was ready.

I would have gone into severe depression, I did a little bit, but I had this little business thing that I was doing at the time and to get my mind off the pain I just jumped into business and became obsessed, and that’s all I did for the next 8 years of my life. I gained 50-60 pounds. I was unhealthy, I was unhappy. But I had this thing and I was like, I had a new goal right. I wanted to make money online, I was chasing it.

And at first I had this goal, I wanted to make whatever, if I make 6 figures a year that’d be insane. So I was like running towards it, and running towards it, and as soon as I hit it my hand got raised and I was like, cool now I’m going to make 7 figures in a year. And I was running, running, running, and I made 7 figures in a year. And then I was like, I’m going to make 8 figures in a year, and that one took me a lot longer. We ran it for 3 or 4 years and almost got there and that’s when the whole company crashed and then we built it back up. And then still, we maxed out at 3-3 ½ million during that time.

And then Clickfunnels came and it was like, oh my gosh this is the thing. And I could see the opportunity and I started running, as we all did, started running and the goal is to build a ten million dollar a year business. And then boom, we hit and it was like, “Cool, let’s do 15 million.” Then boom, we did that. And then this year it’s like, “Let’s hit 100 million.” And we’re going to hit that this year. And then for me it’s like, “What’s the next goal?” What is the next goal? Going from 100 million to 200 million isn’t that exciting. It’s like winning another region champ. Where’s the next state championship, where’s the next national’s? What’s the next thing?

And for me it’s like the next thing is a billion, which is so far away. It’s honestly the reason why I didn’t keep wrestling, because the next level after where I dropped off was the Olympics and I knew that to get the Olympics is like an 8-12 year thing. And I was like, I don’t have 8-12 years left in me. So that’s why I stopped wrestling at that point.

And for me it’s like, that’s where it’s at right now. A billion dollars seems so far away. I’m like, well, do we sell? I guess that could be a hand raise. But then I’d be going through severe depression because I got nothing else after. This is my thing. So anyway, that’s kind of my question then. I don’t know what to chase, I don’t know how to get my hand raised, I don’t know what the next thing is. Because of that, I feel like I’m spinning in circles being really, really busy because I feel like I need to be busy. Because that numbs the pain of not knowing what the next challenge is going to be.

So that’s kind of where I’m finding myself at. So I kind of shared that with those guys, and we spent the next hour getting personally developed. They were personally developing me, it was fun. And there are a lot of good things that came out of it, but the one voice that I heard that was speaking directly to me was basically like, I’ve always been a player right. It’s like I’m an all-star, and I haven’t been a good coach. I’m going to caveat that, like I have been a good coach to our clients. I’ve coached Brandon and Kaelin, Alex and Layla, all these people. I’m good at coaching people that are our students. But I’m like the worst coach ever for our internal team, our agency we’re building out.

In fact, I was thinking about it. I feel like I’m that guy who, I’m the A-level player, the all-star and I’m playing on this team, and everyone on the team is good, but I have this weird thing where it’s just like…for example {Name Redacted} writes copy and it’s good, and instead of me coaching her on how to make it great, I grab it and I steal the ball from her and I’m like, “I’m just going to fix it.” And I fix it and I go and dunk the ball. “Look how good I am.” And I get my significance hit. Or {Name Redacted} will do a funnel and it’s good or something, but I’m like I could fix this. And I jump in and change stuff because I want to be the all-star and it’s good because we’re putting out amazing stuff, but it’s also bad because it’s like, I keep trying to be this all-star and it’s not helping the team, it’s hurting the team more than anything and I’m sure it’s discouraging to them and a whole bunch of other things that I probably wasn’t aware of until I started thinking through this.

And I think for me, the next evolution, if we’re going to get to a billion dollars, it’s not going to be by me being an all-star. If you look at basketball teams, teams that have one all-star, they have an all-star who gets all the screen time, but the teams never win the championship. The championship teams are the ones that have an amazing team. And I realize that, if we’re going to get to a billion dollars, from the marketing side I can’t keep doing what I’m doing. Number one because I can’t handle more, number two, it’s not how we’re going to scale.

The way that we’re going to grow to the next level is I have to retire from being an all-star player and become an actual coach. Two or three weeks ago I did the first training to our team on Hook, Story, Offer and trained them and everyone got excited and it was a really cool thing, and it was me coaching them. One of the guys in the group, his name’s {Name Redacted}, he’s the one that wrote the sales video for {Redacted}, if you’ve never seen it, it’s the greatest sales video in the history of the universe. He wrote the sales video, put it out there without having a list at all, and day one did like 350 thousand dollars in sales. Day two it was over a half million and it blew up. It was basically the best offer in the history of mankind until the FTC shut them down and they got in trouble for it.

But he’s probably the best living copywriter right now. And he was doing these one off things like that and making a bunch of money but it wasn’t a company. And he and his two brothers partnered up and they built out a whole company and they have 150+ employees and they got 17 fulltime writers now, and this year they’ll do half a billion dollars in sales.

So I asked {Name Redacted}, “How’d you do it?” and he’s like, “The way I did it, I couldn’t keep writing, to get to this level I can’t keep writing all the copy. So I built this team of writers and what I do, my job is I come in every single day and I give a copywriting course to my guys. I login and train them through copy and they get better. That’s how we were able to scale and grow so big because I have 17 writers I’m training every single day. I’ve become a coach. They probably don’t write as good as me, but they write good enough, really, really good level, and they’re getting better and better. That’s how we’re able to scale. It’s like me as an all-star, we could have gotten to 100 million dollars, but we couldn’t have gotten to 500 million, there’s no way.”

Anyway, it was really interesting, and the other thing he talked about when he does copywriting training, it reminded me of how {Name Redacted}, do pair programming, where it’s not someone codes and you login and you’re like, “oh.” And you change stuff. Basically he brings the copywriter in and shows it on the big screen and shows, “You’re a great copywriter, but I’m going to be super anal here to get this perfect. And we’re going to go through this line by line.” And he would tell the person, “You need to change that period to three periods. You need to change that to a capital here.” And literally does the whole thing, but makes the person do it while he walks them through it, and that way the person is seeing why and understands the reasons behind it.

Anyway, for me I think that’s the next step. I have to start transitioning away from being an all-star and hogging the ball and not developing my team, to actually focusing on becoming a really good coach for our team. So that’s kind of my big realization.

Two other things to kind of add to it, if you read the book Do Great, it kind of talked about different levels of leadership. Like level four versus level five. Level five would be someone who builds it and when they leave the company continues to grow and excel, level four leader is someone who leaves and secretly hopes the whole thing collapses to prove how good they are at what they do. I think right now I’m a level four leader which is horrible and I don’t want to be, I want to be level five. So I want to transition myself that way.

And then the last cool thing I want to share and then I’ll be done. My dad, and I was just thinking, I have the same thing with {Name Redacted} and all our project managers so far, they started doing project managing stuff and something happens and instead of just coaching them through it I rip it away from them, and it’s why we’ve gone through four or five people trying to do this. It’s like, I’m a destructive force. Not because I want to, just because I’m still learning.

But anyway, my dad when he turned 60 a little while ago we did a big family reunion thing for his birthday, and my mom went through each decade of his life, zero to 10, tell us about that life, 10-20, you know when he was an athlete wrestling, then 20-30 he became…started his career and stuff like that, and 30-40 he was a dad and he was coaching us as wrestlers, and he was like a coach. And then 50-60, the next phase, and 60. You know, kind of walked through the decades. And my dad was a great athlete and it was kind of fun because I asked him afterwards. I was like, “Of all the decades what one was your favorite?” and he was like, “By far, my favorite was the decade when I was coaching you guys. That was my favorite, the best years of my life were those 10 years.”

And I feel like I need to get to that point where I’m retiring from being an all-star and coaching our team. I think that’s my next challenge. I think I’m going to love it. I think it’s what our team needs, what our company needs before we’re going to get there. So anyway, I’m sure all you guys are thinking, “Of course, that makes sense.” But for me it was like a big aha, and giving me permission to shift my focus a little bit in an effort to help develop everybody and get our team to the best team in the world.

Anyway, I just wanted to share that. Appreciate you guys and I will talk to you all soon. Bye everybody.

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