The Hard Truth Every CEO Needs To Hear

On our Fiji trip, I was able to ask Tony Robbins one of my top burning questions about being the CEO of ClickFunnels and honestly, it was something I was super nervous to ask him. I promise you won’t want to miss Tony’s life/business altering answer to my question… Subscribe:


For those of you that don’t know, I got to be a part of a release that @Tony Robbins and @Dean Graziosi put together earlier this year called The trip to Fiji was the prize for the top affiliate marketing promoters for …which was the biggest launch the internet has ever seen (as far as we know) doing over 40 million dollars in its first week.


We love Tony Robbins! Check out this series we made with him all about business growth:

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– So, The Mastermind, I didn’t
really know what to expect.
And I asked Dean,
and Dean was like,
“Oh, we talk about business,
“but we always talk
about business.
“Let’s leverage Tony while we
got him for a couple hours.”
– Okay.
Is Russell gonna join us too?
– Uh…
– Oh is he gonna be up–
– Yeah, he’s right there.
– Okay cool.
I think it’d be worth
taking a few moments,
a minute or two with
each, and have you tell us
where are you right
now in your life?
Where are you?
What’s great?
What’s missing?
What needs to change?
And let’s see if we
can go a little deep
so it’s not a
surface thing here.
We’re happy to answer
marketing and sales
and business
questions, of course.
But my hope for you is that we
go a little deeper because…
How many of you are
between 35 and 45?
(bleep) Virtually all of you.
So, if you’re in that
range, close to it,
every stage of life has
different opportunities
and different challenges and
I’m lucky enough to have
lived almost 60 years now
and I can look back on those
years and see each decade.
And everyone’s different,
nothing’s universal.
But, there’s certain things
that that stage of life
show up for people
pretty predictably.
And if we look at
some of those things,
we might be able to
give you even more help
than just your business,
which will help your
business as well.
So, if you’re open to
it, we’ll go there, so…
– I’d suggest going
deeper than you
even thought you were gonna be
and I also wanna give
it up for Russell,
our other partner and
friend, in helping make this.
What a great friend
and it’s been amazing
for us to get to know you more,
and Colette it’s
been so awesome.
You guys are family now,
so without any further
ado, let’s do this.
– [Russell] In a
way, we basically did
where there’s 10 of us that were
kind of in this
little small group,
and Dean and Tony are in front,
and everyone had a chance
to introduce themselves,
talked about what they were
doing and having success,
so everyone could
celebrate together,
and then talk about what in
your business or your life
you had questions about,
or you were at a crossroads
and didn’t know what to do
and just kind of be vulnerable
and share that a little bit.
I was in the second row
so I had a little while
to sit back and just relax and
a couple hours to watch him
go deep on everybody else.
But what’s amazing about Tony,
when you watch him
do what he does,
his context of
who’s in the room.
He’ll go deep on someone,
he does an intervention.
As he’s doing it, he’s
saying things specifically
that he knows that
Russell needs to hear,
or Jenna needs to
hear, or whatever.
And he’ll say something
and he’ll mention it,
he’ll look at me direct
eye contact like,
“That was for you, Russell.”
I’m like, “Got you.
“Okay, I’m picking up
what you’re laying down.”
So I had a chance to see him
do a bunch of interventions
like Lewis Howes, and Josh
Bezoni, and Billy Gene,
and just all different
people leading up to me.
And from everyone’s
I dot different pieces about
how to structure your life,
how to do your morning routines.
All these cool things made
me start thinking in my head
about ClickFunnels
and the future,
and what do I wanna actually do?
– [Tony] We’ve worked
with individuals,
but how many gotten something
for yourself in each one so far?
Just wanna make sure.
Okay, good.
Just wanna make sure.
– In fact, by the
time he got to me,
I was just like,
“I’m kinda good.
“I know most of the
answers I looking for.”
– [Tony] You should
be up here talking.
What are you doing
sitting there?
No, I wanna be back here.
But there’s one question that
I’ve always wanted
to ask Tony about
but been really
nervous about it.
It’s kind of the
question that like
I don’t think anybody else
would ever dare to ask him
or even bring it up.
– Russell, at lunch today, said,
“What I really wanna ask
Tony is how’s his breath
“always so amazing?”
– How’s what?
– How’s your breath
always so amazing?
– Your breath is insanely good
all the time.
– That’s what he said.
– Probably isn’t right now.
– [Russell] That’s
actually a real question.
You can text me the answer
to that one some time.
What’s that?
– Alkalinity.
– I literally said
it last night.
– When your breath’s
bad, you’re very acidic.
– Huh.
– Yup.
– That’s all I got.
Just kidding.
It’s hard to put it
as an actual question,
so I’m not really sure exactly.
It has to do with kind
of just direction.
So, obviously,
ClickFunnels turns
five years old in two weeks.
It’s been five years run–
– [Tony] Give him a
hand, that’s awesome.
– Thank you.
It’s become bigger than we
ever, I think, dreamt initially
and it’s been a really really
fun ride as we been growing.
We’re almost 400 employees now.
We passed 95,000 active
customers last week,
we should have 100,000 by
the end of this year, so
a lot of fun things.
– [Tony] That’s what I’m
saying, that’s not a promotion
it’s a business.
– But also, it’s…
I remember the very
first time we met
at UPW like 10 or
11 years ago, and–
– [Tony] Toronto?
– In Toronto, yeah.
And you told me, you
said the reason why
you got in this business
is because of the art.
You were doing your art and
then you built a business
because you had to do it to
be able to support your art.
And I’ve always felt like
that’s very similar to me like
I love the art of what I do,
and that’s what I’m passionate
about, that’s why I love it.
It’s all about that for me,
and as the business has grown,
I’m still in the CEO role,
and I think that’s been one
of the hard things is that
as it’s grown, my ability
to do the art has shrunk.
I have pockets of
times I could do it,
like doing events I love,
I love writing the books,
I love doing content,
but now I’m a CEO also
which, especially at this
level, there’s all the
legal compliance now which
you take my art and then
the lawyers look at it
and they try to destroy the
art before they send it out.
It’s hard and then you get
just all the
government regulations.
We processed $4 billion so
far through ClickFunnels.
Now, it’s just like
the bureaucracy,
that part of it now is…
– Yes.
– What takes up
so much of my time
and my ability to
spend time in the art
has gotten smaller and smaller.
And I think that’s kinda
been this weird spot
where I’m at where it’s like
we have an opportunity, I think,
if we wanted to
exit, we could exit.
But then I have the
fear of if I did exit,
would I lose my art,
and is there a way to
exit and keep the
art, or is it just
do I need to shift
so I can do my art
and not worry about
that part of it?
So, that’s kind of the
question coming into it,
which a lot of stuff you
said to Josh has been…
Was really good for me as well.
– Yours is different
though because
you have really
mastered that business
at a really amazing level
where you could sell it for
a billion dollars probably
on a gross multiple as
you described, right?
So, I don’t think it’s
quite the same thing there,
but I think the difference is
the art matters to
you emotionally.
That’s why I
brought it up to you
when I was talking up here.
It matters to you so much,
that if you don’t have what’s
next before you sell it,
you’re making a big mistake.
So, you either gotta decide
maybe I’ll get a
valuation slightly less,
but all my employees
will win and I’ll win
and I can just keep running
it and I’ll do my art,
I’m gonna hire
someone to be the CEO
and I’ll be the chairman.
That’s what I would do, that’s
what I am in my company.
I’m the chairman, I’m
no longer the CEO.
So, you either decide to exit
because you don’t
want those things,
and in those cases I’m
not the CEO there anyway,
someone else is
doing it, but for me
it was getting in the way
of what I wanted to do.
And the other area’s I
made myself chairman,
I hired CEOs that are really
skilled in those areas,
and then decided what I wanna
do with those businesses
’cause I wanna keep them.
So, I got enough
assets, enough benefit,
I don’t need to sell them.
You have enough assets probably
’cause you live very humbly.
This guy’s one of the
most humble people I know.
He’s like 100
million times better
than he ever projects
himself to be,
he always understates
who the (bleep) he is,
he’s a total (bleep) stud,
and he’s incredibly humble,
is he not?
And it’s incredible.
And he lives a humble life,
and he’s got five
beautiful children,
and he’s just a
great human being.
You all know that I think
if you interact with him.
So, you have all that by the
ass, so to speak, by the tail.
So, to me, it’d be like,
“Okay, I can exit, but
if I’m gonna do it,
“what am I gonna use
that for that’s gonna be
“even more fulfilling?
“Otherwise, I should keep
this and get someone else
“to do the shit I don’t wanna
do who’s even better than me,
“get back into my art.”
As your friend, you
love what you do.
You light up when you do it,
I love being around you
when you talk about it.
It’s like Jesus
has come to Earth
and is coming through his body.
It’s a beautiful
thing, you know.
So, for you to sell that is
really exciting right now.
I don’t know if it’ll be
exciting five years from now,
unless you found the
next most exciting thing
that you’re gonna build
and make happen and go do.
‘Cause the money’s not gonna
change your life, brother.
It’ll change your
life for the moment,
it’ll provide some
comforts or some securities
maybe more than you
have, but, honestly,
the lifestyle you
have, you got plenty.
I would not let the
momentum of the business
determine where my
life is gonna go.
I decide where my
life’s gonna go
and decide where the business
needs to go based on that.
‘Cause, otherwise,
everyone around you’s
gonna push you towards
it, and because
a billion dollars, like
that’s the big number
everybody wants to
hit, not everybody,
most people wanna hit
a million dollars,
but a billion dollars,
oh my god, you know.
A billion dollars’
unbelievable, but
most of your life probably
won’t change very much.
So, maybe decide
how you’re gonna get
the assets you want for
yourself and your family,
but where you could do the
art still and keep growing it
just for your own fulfillment,
and because you have so much
to give and you’re like,
how old are you now?
– 39.
– [Tony] You’re not
even (bleep) 40.
You haven’t even gone on
your (bleep) journey yet.
It’s beautiful what
you’ve accomplished.
No, I mean it, that’s
not derogatory.
It just means, “Holy
(bleep), I’m 60.”
You think about
the next 20 years,
what you can do from
where you are now.
Where I was at 39,
most people are like,
“Oh, it was unbelievable.”
It was like (bleep) nothing
compared to what I’m doing now.
So, I wouldn’t sell myself
short for the money.
Still get the money,
you should be smart.
You should take it off the
table, you built something,
you should do it.
Should help your people do it.
It’s figuring out
what your plan is
that’s gonna be more fulfilling.
That’s the most important thing,
’cause in the end,
it’s the fulfillment
that’s gonna make the
quality of life happen.
It’s not gonna be the dollars.
And you love what
you do, brother.
– [Russell] I do.
– And you’re getting pulled away
from some of it, as you
said, more and more,
so all the more reason
to sell the business,
but that’s not
really the reason.
That just means you
shouldn’t be doing that role.
Find somebody who’s so good at
the role, loves that (bleep).
– Yeah.
– [Tony] That’s who
you put in there,
that they thrive
on that (bleep).
It’s like knowing what
your greatest gifts are
and staying with
those even more.
The business wouldn’t be here
because of your CEO role.
The business is here
’cause of your vision,
and your influence,
and your passion,
and your creativity,
and your intelligence,
and your (bleep) caring,
and your ability to teach,
and your humility.
That makes everybody go, “Man,
“he really seems
like an easy guy.
“If he can do it,
I can do it too.”
You don’t seem like
superhuman and you are.
But you don’t seem like
it, which is what makes
more people be able to succeed.
I’m 6’7 so sometimes they
think I’m super (bleep) human,
and I’m not super
(bleep) human, right?
But they think I am, so
then sometimes it was like,
“Tony can do that
shit, what about me?”
But if they spend
enough time with me,
they see they don’t
have to do what I do.
They can do what they do
even better, you know?
Makes sense?
– I think, for
sure, your company,
and, obviously, you’re on
track to do great things,
but I think if you got
the right CEO in place
who loved being a CEO as
much as you love marketing,
there’s another level
of exponential growth,
’cause I know you.
You and I market, we
think a lot alike,
we have great conversations.
You’re just getting pulled
away from that genius of yours.
Your biggest growth could be
just what Tony’s talking about
is a CEO that loved
running the day-to-day
as much as you love marketing,
and you got back
into your craft.
I think there’s another
exponential growth
waiting with that decision.
– It’s also timing.
You should probably take
something off the table, right?
But still keep your vehicle
unless you’ve
found a better one.
You need to get out of
what you don’t enjoy.
‘Cause when you do what you
enjoy, you (bleep) crush it.
And you feel alive.
She knows better
than anybody, right?
There’s two types of marketing
that are sucking your energy,
external or internal marketing.
External marketing is
the time you’re spending
serving the customer
and the client,
or maybe your internal clients.
Internal marketing is
dealing with all the (bleep)
that frustrates you
and pisses you off,
and if you’re spending so much
time on internal marketing,
you have less for
external marketing,
the business will not
have the same value,
or, more importantly, even
though the business keeps going,
you aren’t feeling
the same value.
So, there’s only so much E.
I got a lot of it,
you guys do too.
E meaning pure energy,
but there is a limit
no matter who we are, no
matter how strong you are.
So, you gotta say where
is that energy gonna go?
And if there’s any mistake
I used to make, by the way,
it’s to stay with
people way too long,
’cause I’m a very loyal person,
but what I’ve learned is
if I’m not loyal to the mission,
if I’m not loyal
to the best players
by trying to stay with somebody,
if you’re gonna play
with Michael Jordan,
you better be (bleep)
ready to play.
Otherwise, go play
somewhere else.
Nothing wrong with you
not wanting to give
the same amount as I do, but
you shouldn’t be on this team.
Find somebody that loves to
deliver as much as you do
on the marketing like Dean said,
it’ll be a different
game for you.
– As a consumer of your content,
I listen to every
podcast that you release
and I can hear you
just trying your best
to squeeze in that time
on your drives to work,
or wherever it can be,
and it’s always gold.
I always do kind of
leave those episodes
thinking like, “What if
Russell just had more time
“to create, to write, to do
what, frankly, you do best?”
And so, I think that chairman
is a really interesting role
for somebody like you.
That was cool.
– [Tony] Give him a hand.
– Well, thank you both so much.
I feel like I’ve
already gotten so much.
(calm inspirational music)
– [Russell] Yeah, I think
a lot of entrepreneurs
they start their
businesses because
they’re passionate
about a thing.
I’m a great photographer,
or I’m a great
designer, whatever.
They get into because of
the passion for the thing
and then you have to
learn all these businesses
to be able to support the art.
And I think it’s interesting
how we all eventually
have to become the
CEO of our business
because we’re the ones who
are the most passionate.
We get stuck in the CEO
role because that’s where
you need to be to
drive the ship,
but a lot of times
that’s what then makes it
so you don’t even spend
time with the art.
And then you start, in
some cases, resenting it.
It shifts really quickly
from being an entrepreneur
to back to being a job.
It’s kind of the opposite reason
why most of us got
into this business.
I’m not exactly positive
what I’m gonna do.
For sure, what I’m
gonna do is I’m gonna
try to have an
inventory of myself
to really sit down
a bit and think
what are the things that I love?
If I was to design
my perfect week,
what would that look like?
If I was to design a perfect
month, a perfect year.
I think a lot of times,
we don’t focus on
architecting that
and designing it,
so instead, come to the
office everyday and it’s like,
“Ah, there’s a whole
bunch of fires.
“What fire do I put out
first, second, and third?”
Instead, it’s coming
back so, “Okay,
“who’s the person who can
be in charge of the fire?”
If I was to build this
from ground up right now
with only put
myself in spots that
they give me most passion
and fire and excitement,
like what would those be?
Almost like writing
your own job description
for your own job.
This is my job description,
I do this, I do this,
I do this, I do this.
And then make a job description
except you don’t like as much.
And take that job description,
like who’s the person
that wants this job?
‘Cause there are
people who love it.
I phone up my funnel
building team, I’m like,
“You guys are so lucky.”
I have to go have a
meeting with so-and-so and
you get to build
funnels, I love it,
I love sitting down at a
whiteboard and architecting,
and figuring out the designs,
the branding, the logos,
the hook, the author, the copy.
Like being in the
middle of that,
and when it’s done
you see the funnel
like how beautiful it is.
I love that part of it.
And the second part I love
is getting that ah-ha moment
for other people like
when they’re like,
“How would a funnel
work for me?”
And you explain it to them
all someday like they get it.
There’s something about that.
That’s the other part, so
I think it’s understanding
who are the people
that are obsessed with and
love the things that I don’t
and let’s give
those things to them
and let me just do what I love.
(“Miffed” by Tom Rosenthal)
♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪
♪ I think I have survived ♪
♪ But I don’t know ♪
♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪
♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪
♪ I think I have survived ♪
♪ But I don’t know ♪
♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪
♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪
♪ I think I have survived ♪
♪ But I don’t know ♪
♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪
♪ Oh it’s been a ride ♪
♪ I think I have survived ♪
♪ But I don’t know ♪
♪ I’m miffed without your love ♪

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