A lot of people who are aiming for success think getting there is all about getting, taking, and accumulating. Mitch Russo shares that having a results breakthrough lifestyle can be had through giving. He basically lives a life of gratitude and the one thing he does every morning before anything else is to ask himself, “Who can I help today?” We’re all here for a reason, and whether you know that reason or not, we’re truly meant to help others find and do what they're truly meant to do. When you step out and start to give, that is where you can find your calling.
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Mitch Russo of Your First Thousand Clients on Living a Results Breakthrough-Oriented Lifestyle
Welcome, Mitch Russo, to the Business Building Rockstars Show. I'm super stoked to have you with me here.
Thanks, Nicole. It’s great to be with you.
I've given our audience a high level overview through your bio, but why don't you bring us up to speed and talk a little bit about what it is you're doing right now to serve and support your people?
The story starts with an event in my life over 40 years ago. I was a troubled teen. I ended up with a drug problem in high school and became so severe that my folks decided to put me into a rehab facility to get better. I'm very glad that they did. I emerged a healthy, strong, and very focused young man. I went off to conquer the world at seventeen, but it was a place that was very dark for me for a long time. Fast forward through all the things that I've done, about a year ago I had this idea. It was basically a problem that I needed to solve for myself and a problem I knew everybody else had, too, which is how can we finish the courses and programs that we purchased with the hope and idea of completing some day? I have a spreadsheet on my hard drive that's a little embarrassing about all the list of all the courses and programs that I bought but never finished. I had this moment where I remembered solving these problem years ago that I had forgotten about. The solution came when I was the CEO of Business Breakthroughs with Chet Holmes and Tony Robbins. We built an Accountability Coaching Program and we charged CEOs $1,800 a month to be part of it. We met with them 30 minutes per week for four weeks a month and we ask them five questions and for the most part. CEOs loved it. We were able to keep our CEO clients accountable. We're able to keep those people who bought our programs in the program and working it just by keeping them accountable.
With that memory, I had the realization that I could build a software platform that would allow me to match people in the same program and get them to pair up as accountability partners. That was an exciting idea when I had it. I noodled it for several weeks and sometimes the universe brings us what we need at the right time when we need it. As this idea was infecting me big time, I couldn't sleep. I'm always thinking about it. How can I build this? What could this be like? What would the experience be like? I ended up getting a call from a friend of mine who happens to be one of the top interface designers in the UK. We worked together many years ago, and he called almost out of the blue and we got talking. I shared with him the idea and he got inspired by it and said, “Let me design the interface for you.” I said, “I know you're expensive.” He goes, “It'll be worth it. Don't worry.” I held my breath and I told him, “Yes.” He went off and he designed this interface. It was fun because we got to work on the phone and on Skype a lot together for a little while. I believe we came up with something that was incredibly perfect and wonderful. I had an interface idea, a design, and a program flow, but I didn't know where I was going to get it built. Again, the universe comes in with solutions just as you need them. I ended up getting introduced to somebody who basically said to me, “We have a team of programmers that are done with us but they're so good I want to put them in the hands of somebody who really needs them.” I said, “I know somebody who could really use them right now.” We got busy and we spent a year in development. The process became so innovative that we ended up filing patents on it as well. What has resulted is something called ResultsBreakthrough.com and this is basically like Match.com for entrepreneurs.
You go on, you create your profile just like you would for Match.com, and you set up exactly what you were looking for in terms of a partner. You select the programs that you purchased or want help with. The next thing you do is you execute a search. When you do the search and you find somebody who also has the same programs, you then invite them to connect. This is very exciting because now two people who bought the same program, who have the same goals and objectives, get to work together weekly or as much as they want and are able to finally get the programs that they're working on done. That’s the genesis of the idea. It's evolved quite a bit. We've built question libraries in there now. If you have a program and you'd like to have accountability for your program, you could put all of your accountability questions right from your curriculum directly inside of Results Breakthrough network so that when you invite your students in, you can then pair them up and they can get started. As a course provider, if you do this, they're going to have higher completion rates than if you just let them off on their own. That's the big idea. That's what I've been working on steadily for the last year.
Do you know how many courses do you currently have indexed?
There are about 30 courses and we're adding several per week. We recently added a full suite of courses from individual authors. We have Charles Berge’s new courses in there and they're fantastic. All the modules have accountability questions for all of that. I've also been chatting with some of the big names in our industry. I don't think I can reveal who they are, but you know them all and they're all very excited about getting involved.
One of the things that whenever I take on coaching clients is I want to know what their digital assets are. How many people wind up hiring a qualified coach for their business after they've purchased so many digital programs and so many products that they've never completed? They've not had success with it. They get frustrated. It sits on the digital shelf. I like to have it on an excel spreadsheet too but I honestly didn't know that when I started doing it. It took me a while to go back and like, “I can't believe how many thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars I've spent on this information,” and that's all it is. It’s information because I haven't had that transformational experience. I love that you're stopping this from happening for courses that are new that people are getting into. You're reviving all this information people have purchased and giving them an opportunity to go through it again from a different space with a partner and get the most out of it. It's so cool because most of the clients that I've ever worked with have not had a written spreadsheet of their library.
We're helping people recover the money that they spent. In a more artistic way of saying it, recover the dreams that they had and the goals that they set when they bought those programs.
[Tweet “We're helping people recover the money that they spent. @mitchrusso @niczthename”]
I wound up getting into Ray Edwards’ Copywriting Academy and loved it. I still haven't gone through everything, but I'm so glad I did. I highly recommend the program. I probably bought copywriting programs that just never clicked for me. Ray’s program is so thorough. I imagine I probably have gotten a lot more out of that if I had a buddy that was going through it with me. I'm the kind of person who even if I would show up for the coaching calls, the webinar-style group calls, there's very limited time. Sometimes I didn't feel comfortable asking a question with so many people there. I'm excited about what you've got going on. From a course creator's standpoint, can I ask you a few questions?
We've got a lot of listeners who are course creators and maybe one of the concerns I can imagine people having it is, “If I put all of my data into your system, how am I going to stop people from saying they're in the program and getting access to my stuff without paying for it?
First of all, they're not getting access to your training inside my program. They're getting access to the accountability questions for each module. The accountability question might be, “Did you watch video number one?” The second question might be, “Did you complete the four exercises in video number one?” They're not getting what I would call intellectual property. They're getting to see the questions. I also want to share something else with you. When I first presented this, the very first weekend it came live, I happened to be at a mastermind and I stood up and I did a five-minute demo for everybody. A man walks up to me right away and he says, “I run a mastermind for 55 people and we charge$22,000 per person. I just want to buy a year for every person in the mastermind.” I said, “Great.” We started chatting after the session was over and I walked him through the software. He saw where he could put the questions and he said, “I have one concern.” I said, “What's that?” He goes, “I don't want other people to see my questions.” I said, “Because you're coming in as a partner, I'm going to give you a feature that says lock my questions so that your students can unlock them when they get inside the Results Breakthrough Network.” He said, “That's all I needed to hear. I'm in.” What we do is we have two prices. We have a monthly and a yearly price for consumers who come in, and then we have a wholesale price for people who run courses and programs so that they can sign up everybody in the program for a very little amount of money.
That's like as a value add to the course creator. I did not realize that. It’s very interesting.
There are two ways that we offer this to program and course creators. One way is you can buy a seat for everybody and it's roughly $25 a month per person. If you're selling a $2,000 or $3,000 product and you allocate 10% of that for accountability because you know that double or triple the number of people are going to complete, it's worth it. That's fine. Or you and I can work together to create a promotion for your members so that they could buy their own seat inside of basically your accountability channel on the Results Breakthrough Network and they pay for it themselves. By the way, if they pay for it themselves, my company has set up to pay an affiliate commission to everybody who does that with me.
If folks have courses that they want to get the value from, that they have not yet completed, they can visit ResultsBreakthrough.com. You have a free trial, don’t you?
We do. I'm going to announce the free trial. I generally don't do this, but because you're so special and you have such a great show, I wanted to let everyone know that if you go to ResultsBreakthrough.com and you click any of the red buttons on that screen, you'll get to a page where if you scroll down to the bottom, you'll see three boxes, monthly, yearly pricing, and a try it now for free button. If you try it now for free, you'll be able to create your profile, but you won't be able to search for partners. For you, Nicole, I'm going to give everybody 30 days of full access. All you’ve got to do is use the group code WINNER. If you do that, you could set up your profile. You could start searching for partners and you can have sessions for up to 30 days and see if you like it.
We're just going to take a quick break for a word from our sponsor and we'll be right back with more from Mitch Russo.
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This is the opposite of how we normally do the show. Normally, we talk about the products and stuff at the end. I'm very excited and definitely when you told me about it, I was super stoked. If my listeners don't already know you, Mitch, if they haven't already experienced your show, if they haven't already experienced working with you, something they may not know is how extremely generous you are. You're such a valuable resource and you're always looking at how you can help people, make life easier for them and connect people. I remember right after we recorded for your podcast, you were asking me about my production and how I do my show notes and stuff like that. You said, “Look at this,” and you showed me what's going on with yours. You told me about your marketing guy who is your producer and you're like, “Let me connect you if you want to connect.” Within 24 hours, he became my marketing guy. I don't think I realized how interesting and valuable it was to interview people right from the beginning and to get to know about experts and to help them use my platform to reach more people who they could help. What took me a while to figure out was how to also just in a one-on-one way provide resources to people, to just not let it be, “Let me help you get your word out,” but take that next step to say, “What are you looking for right now? What are you working on? How could I support you?” “How can I support you?” is a very general question to be able to ask people what their needs are and be able to then introduce them or give them tips or strategies or anything like that. Can you talk a little bit about how you do that? If it's intentional, if it's just natural, like how did this evolve or have you always done it?
There's a feature I didn't tell you about inside the ResultsBreakthrough.com system. There's a box on your profile that if you check it and agree to be a ten-minute mentor, it's a voluntary program, and if you checked that box through a third party, through charitable organization, we will set you up with an inner city high school kid who would love to be connected to an adult who's non-judgmental and could listen and share what their life is in the world that they live in. When I told you about my troubles with drugs, I had this feeling, “What would have happened if I would've had a ten-minute mentor, an adult that I could've shared my life with and the troubles that I went through as a high school kid? Maybe I wouldn't have turned to putting a needle in my arm.”
Part of what I decided to do with this business was to turn it into a way to help a lot more people in a much bigger way, which became my mission. It started with a great idea to make a program to help a lot of people become accountability partners and it's evolving into something that potentially can help. My goal is 10,000 high school kids all over the country, and that's just the beginning. For me, when I meet somebody new, one of the first things I want to know is, “Who can I connect you to?” I could say, “How can I help you?” That's a general question. I like to ask, “Who can I connect you to?” because I have a vast network of people that I know and they're all like you and me. We're so open to sharing what we know and who we know if it could help another person. Immediately when we talked, you connect me to somebody else who ended up on my podcast, who now I'm helping promote her programs, etc. That's the way the world works. To me it's just the natural way that allows me to feel like I'm participating in life. Does that make sense?
It makes a lot of sense. Something you just said, I just want to touch on. You said, “That's how the world works.” A lot of people don't realize that because that's how the world works but I would venture a guess that the majority of people don't recognize that. They get stuck in the drama of the news and all the bad things happening and all the unfortunate, horrible situations and these are things that people talk about and people perpetuate because they're talking about it. I hear about different crimes and things and people speculating on what the perpetrator was going through and what the victim was going through. Having been in law enforcement, it's hard for me to listen because number one, it's never what people who have no connection to the actual situation seem to think based on the media, and number two is why are we having this conversation? We can focus on what we do want. We can focus on being the people who we want to see more of in the world. The more I think we focus on that, the more that is our reality. When you and I were just in San Diego, it was like we were surrounded by all these incredible people who are all of that mindset. Who can I introduce you to? I was introduced and positioned like a rockstar to so many people who have groups and audiences that are far more like at a far higher level than I've even been reaching out to. People were introducing me to these people and saying, “Nicole is the expert on podcast guesting.” We need her at our mastermind. We need her to come and teach our people and like many of these people, they're down for your kind of people.
I've had people go, “I've got 50 members who would love to hire you.” I'm like, “What?” Instantly, literally in the course of the week, I have all these contracts coming in that I never could have foreseen or tried to get but for being generous and for being open to the relationships and for being willing to connect and willing to share points of view like the person that I connected you with for your show. I sat down and spent over an hour with that person giving her every bit of my expertise that I could, answering all our questions which is now integrated into her program. A lot of people would say, “I'm not giving away my trade secrets or I'm not sharing this.” You share with the right people. You don't share with slime balls. You don't share with people who are out there to take. You share with like-minded people who want to be mentors, who want to support hand up philosophies. What are your thoughts on that?
In order to get, you have to give. That's a very simple way of saying it. I don't give to get. I already have. My position is I feel abundant in my life. I feel lucky to be where I am every day in my life, living in this beautiful life that I live in. It might be temporary; tomorrow it all might end but today and every day, I wake up with a feeling of, “I'm thrilled to be here today. Who can I help today?” I keep a journal. One of the questions I write down almost every morning is, “Who can I help today? Who can I connect with another person who needs their help today?”
[Tweet “In order to get, you have to give. @mitchrusso @niczthename”]
I love that, “Who can I help today?” to start your day.
In fact, it's one of my accountability questions in my own program with my own accountability coach. “Did I help at least ten people last week?” It's on my list. It's there because it's important to me. I won't lie, it makes me feel good. It's that simple. If I help another person, I feel good. I particularly feel great if they got enormous value from the time that they spent with me.
I just wrote that down. That's going into my morning routine. Who can I help today? It's such a different position than most people take and so I love it. Are we going to talk about mindset some more now? Should we go there?
Let's go back in time to when you were CEO with Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes, can you tell me a little bit about how you wound up there in the first place?
I started a software company. When I built that software company, I had this sales guy calling me named Chet Holmes. He was a pesky, persistent guy. He did not let up. He just had decided that I had to be one of his clients. As a result he just kept coming at me and I kept saying, “No” or I would say, “That's not good enough. You have to do better on your pricing, etc.” Until eventually, it must've been a year, a year and a half or so, I finally bought. When I bought and worked with him and got into the magazines that he advertised in, it basically changed my company. The timing was right. It boosted our revenue by almost 40% just by running magazine advertising in the journals that he created. We became great friends. He would travel all over the place and we would always arrange to meet whenever he traveled to the East Coast. I would fly out to New York to hang out with him. He'd fly into Boston. Whenever it was, we would always meet. As the company grew and grew and I sold the company, we still stayed friends. I even brought him in as a sales trainer to Sage when I was running Sage.
All throughout the years after that, we spoke every week. We would debate faith and philosophy and life and time, and all the great conversations that good friends have. One day, he asked me, “I'm having some difficulty with something going on at my company. Can you step in and help me?” I said, “Of course. That's what friends are for. I would do that with you hardly without a doubt, without hesitation.” I stepped in. I helped him with the problem. At that point, I said, “Your problem is solved. I hope it was worthwhile for you,” and he goes, “Where do you think you're going?” I said, “I told you, your problem is solved.” He goes, “No. You're staying. I want you to be part of the company now.” I said, “Really?” He said, “Yep. You’ve got to stay.” I accepted a position to work with Chet, just helping him out. Eventually, a few months later he promoted me to be the president of the company. I said, “Yes.” Then we began negotiations with Tony Robbins. It was in that conversation, and these conversations with Tony happened every Thursday night, and we would talk for months on Thursday nights to try and figure out a structure that would work for the three of us to form a company together, and we did and that became Business Breakthroughs International. That became one of the highlights of my life working with Chet and Tony. Having Tony Robbins as a business coach and mentor for five solid years was an amazing experience, one I'll never forget and one that Tony and I are still friends to this day, so I always appreciate him.
That's so wonderful. I love the story. I love that you just shared it. It is the same journey we've been talking about just being open to those opportunities. I'm impressed that Chet was persistent for a year and a half. He didn't take no for an answer, although that says a lot about you too for being so patient. That must also speak to who he is and how he delivers, coming from a space of value and knowing that what he has to offer you is going to make a difference and an impact in your business.
Chet was known for his pig-headed discipline. You might call it his tagline. Before he passed away, he shared that story many times. Here's the way Chet would have told you if he were sitting here right next to me, he wouldn't have thought of himself as being necessarily overly persistent or bugging me to try and get me to sell. The way you would phrase that is he says, “Mitch, I have a moral obligation to bring you into this publication because I know it's going to work for you. I know what you will get from it. I know that I will affect you and the all the families that work for you. That's why I do this. That's why I will not give up until we work together.” That is the philosophy of his life and that is the philosophy that I try to live as well, which is to understand and know that if you have something that is so wonderful and so powerful, not because you think so but because you've seen the transformation that what you do has in others, then you have a moral obligation to close that sale, to get that client because you can change your lives. If you don't then boo-hoo for you because you're the one who blew it, not them. You're the one who loses out. They'll lose out too but you just lost out. Stay focused on why and how, what you do benefits that other person. That's what I mean by having a moral obligation.
So many entrepreneurs struggle with sales, struggle with taking that stand and going the course. Most people take no for an answer. It's something that I'm always challenged with and continue to be challenged with. I'm going to go back to this interview time and again. I'm emotional right now. It’s just such a beautiful place to end the very seemingly short interview and just honoring Chet’s legacy. Any final words of wisdom for you before we leave everyone with some more ways they can reach out to you?
I don't know if I have so much wisdom to impart because I basically have gratitude. I just want to say that every one of us, you, me, we're all here for a reason. It doesn't require that we know the reason, but we're here for a reason. Stop trying to run around and say, “I can't find my reason. I’ve got to figure out why I'm here.” Forget that. You're here because you're here. The best way to search for and find what you're truly meant to do is to help others find and do what they're truly meant to do, and that potentially can be and where you find your calling.
[Tweet “Stay focused on why and how. @mitchrusso @niczthename “]
We can go to ResultsBreakthrough.com and try for free the software by entering all caps, the code WINNER at the bottom. Do you want to share about the podcast or anything else that you're up to that people can find you and listen to more of your sage advice?
You can go to MitchRusso.com and the name of my podcast is Your First Thousand Clients. This is a show focused entirely on helping people get to a thousand clients and beyond. It's that simple. We bring people on, smart people, generous people like you who have gotten to a thousand clients and beyond, and we try to understand and unpack their wisdom as to how they did it so that you could do it, too. It's called R&D, rip off and deploy.
Mitch, thank you so much for being here with us.
It’s my pleasure, Nicole.
- The Invisible Organization: How Ingenious CEOs are Creating Thriving, Virtual Companies
- Your First Thousand Clients
- Mitch Russo’s LinkedIn
- Mitch Russo’s Facebook
- Mitch Russo’s Amazon Author’s Profile
- Your First Thousand Clients’ iTunes
About Mitch Russo
Meet Mitch Russo, who started a software company in his garage, sold it for 8 figures and then went on to work directly with Tony Robbins and Chet Holmes to build a $25M business together. Mitch wrote a book called “The Invisible Organization – How Ingenious CEOs are Creating Thriving, Virtual Companies and he’s here with us today with a whole new mission!
Thanks to Danny Iny of Lift for supporting the Business Building Rockstars Show.