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The Marketing Secrets Show


Aug 5, 2019

The #1 request I get from our listeners is they want to hear behind the scenes from my wife’s perspective on what it’s like running an entrepreneurial family.

On today’s super special episode, part one of three, Russell and his lovely wife, Collette are interviewed by Joshua and Ashley Latimer about what it’s like to be an entrepreneurial family. Here are the questions Russell and Collette answer in part one:

  • What is the best/hardest thing about being an entrepreneur?
  • How is it possible to aggressively pursue business dreams but still have a happy home life?
  • And finally, they talk about one of the hardest times in their life and how they got through it together.

So listen here to finally hear Collette give her first interview on what it’s like to be married to Russell.

---Transcript---

Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I am so excited for the next three episodes for you guys. It’s going to be so cool. So the number one request I get by far, from all of you guys, from all of the people listening to the podcast, from all my funnel hackers, every Funnel Hacking Live, at everything, people ask is, “We want to hear from your wife. How in the world does she deal with you as an entrepreneur? How do entrepreneurial families work?” We get so many questions for Collette all the time.

And I’m not going to lie, I’m very protective of my beautiful wife. This is not her world, she doesn’t step onstage and speak in front of thousands of people. She doesn’t feel comfortable there. The first couple of years of events, she didn’t even come to them. She stayed at home and supported us, and took care of the family. And it’s just something that I was always kind of nervous introducing her to.

And at the very first Funnel Hacking live, I remember she came to it and she said she walked in and she saw the audience and she started bawling, and she’s like, “Oh my gosh, I had no idea that this is what was actually happening.” She’s like, ‘I was supporting you and doing these things, but I didn’t know the fruits of it.” And it’s fun and every year she comes to Funnel Hacking Live now, and she’s sitting on the front row and she’s like, “I don’t understand half the things you guys are saying, but I just love the energy and the people and the stories.” Anyway, she is my favorite person on this planet and I’m so grateful for her, she’s amazing.

I always say you can only be as successful as your spouse will allow you to be. So without her there’s no way that I could have become who I’ve become, and there’s no way that I could have formed this team and built Clickfunnels and all the amazing things that the fruits of all this work we’ve been doing for the last decade and a half would not have been possible without my wife, Collette.

So it’s funny because people always want to hear from her and I always just tell them no. But I am very impressed. Some of my friends, the Latimer’s, Josh Latimer joined my inner circle a little while ago, and he played things so well. He came to the very first Funnel Hacking Live, and the first thing he did, he ran up and found my wife Collette, and to kind of put this into perspective, most people when they see me at Funnel Hacking Live or at the airport, or anywhere, they run and push my wife aside, “Russell!” and they don’t even pay attention to her. And that’s how you tell if you failed the test, if you didn’t say hi to my wife and didn’t acknowledge her, you failed the wife. That’s basically it. If you ever want me to call you back or pay attention, how you treat my wife, is how much attention I’ll pay back to you.

So it’s kind of funny because people always just brush her aside and just ask me the question. And it’s like, ah, you guys missed it, you missed the most important thing in the world to me, and you didn’t even acknowledge it. And Josh was the opposite way. He, first thing, he ran up to Collette and he’s like, ‘Hey, I’m here to thank you. I know the sacrifice that my wife’s gone through for my business to get here. And I know the sacrifice that you’re going through behind the scenes every single day. Just so grateful for you.”

So because of that my wife knew who he was. And because when he asked to do this thing, he’d opened the door and planted the seeds. So reluctantly I finally said yes. He and his wife are working on a really cool project. In fact, it’s not all live yet, but if you go to honorandfire.com, so honorandfire.com, honor and fire, as of right now there’s a family checklist that’s in there, but they’re building a whole system for entrepreneurial families, and what they’re doing is super cool and it’s fun. And I want to share it with you guys.

But this interview is part of one of their training courses they have for families. So they allowed me to be able to share it with you guys. So you guys have a chance to hear 10 questions with my wife and I talking about entrepreneurship and families and how it all works together.

So this is the very first, we’re going to break this into three episodes. Episode number one, we’re going to cover three questions that they ask. The very first questions is what is the best/hardest thing about being an entrepreneur? Number two is how is it possible to aggressively pursue business dreams but still have a happy home life? And number three, talk about a hard time in your life.

So we’re going to share those three questions on this episode, and then when you come back tomorrow, we’ll share with you guys episode number two. So after this is done, pause your phone and go to honorandfire.com, opt in and get the family systems checklist from the Latimer family, and this will help you to grow your family, to be able to have a successful business and a family at the same time. So I want to thank the Latimer family for allowing us to share this interview with you guys, and again, go to honorandfire.com to go opt in. And with that said, we’re going to queue up the theme song, and when we come back, we’re going to listen to the first of three segments of the interview with my beautiful wife, Collette.

Joshua: Hey my friends, how the heck are you? I’m so excited that you’re here hanging out with us. You get to look behind the curtain in terms of business and family in a way that I’ve never seen done before. We’re going to ask Collette and Russell Brunson some questions about their family, their culture, their story, and just the raw truth about the good and the bad, and how it’s really hard to grow a business, it’s really hard to be married, it’s hard to be a parent, and you mix it all together and it’s this cocktail of potential destruction. But they’re still there, and it seems like they love each other, I’m pretty sure they love each other. So thank you Russell and Collette for being here. How are you?

Russell: Doing amazing. Glad to be here.

Collette: Yeah, super excited.

Russell: Get my wife on camera for the first time, it’s exciting.

Collette: It’s a big deal.

Joshua: You’re going to owe Collette big time. We gotta think of something really epic to send her, because I know this is not in your comfort zone.

Collette: I’m good.

Joshua: It’s going to help so many people, it’s inspiring to them. So without further ado, the first question is an easy one I think. The first question, what is, from your perspective, the best thing and the hardest thing just about being an entrepreneurial family? Because this is a weird lifestyle. What’s the good and the bad from both of your perspectives?

Russell: You want to start or you want me to start?

Collette: No go ahead, you start it off.

Russell: Alright, I’ll start. I think the best part, my belief, all the people we have a chance to serve. That’s why we do Funnel Hacking Live and these events. Now it’s like we’re internet celebrities. At the airport people come to us, a the weirdest spots people run to us and just the consistent theme is “Oh my gosh, you changed my life. You changed my life.” I think that’s the best part. It’s fun to see the kids, the kids will be like, ‘Dad, we got spotted again.” Which is…. We were at the waffle place the other day and some guy came up and was like, ‘Russell Brunson, you changed my life.” The kids are like, “My dad got spotted again.”

I think that’s the best part, but he hardest part is like, it’s just hard. I don’t know. It’s hard because it’s like, like you said, there’s three big aspects. There’s the marriage, there’s the kids, and there’s the business, and all of them take a lot of time. We did the love language test with the kids on Sunday, and all except for one of our kids’ love language is quality time. Quality time to go around, we’ve got so many kids, you know.

I think the hardest part is sometimes you get caught up in the business side and it’s like, I gotta remember this is what’s actually most important. How do I shift my focus back to them? How do we break away? I think sometimes in business when you’re having success, you get the positive feedback all the time. And then you go home and it’s like, ‘Oh my kids are struggling here.” And it’s harder and you don’t get the immediate positive feedback a lot of times, I think. And it’s just like, okay, but this is the most important part. We gotta go and do it. I think that’s the hardest part sometimes.

Collette:  I think the best thing for me, I guess, it is seeing how lives are changed and things like that, it’s super empowering. I remember one of the first Funnel Hacking Lives I went to, I just had Norah, and I walked into the room and I’m like, ‘What’s happening? These people are here for you?” Being at home with all our kids sometimes, you know, he goes and does his thing, and I’m home. So my eyes were really opened at that first Funnel Hacking experience, and I had a moment. I was super hormonal anyway, but I just bawled. I did the epic cry for a minute because I’m like, wait a sec.

So that’s really cool. So the best thing for me is to see him chase his dream, change people’s lives, but also for being at home, being able to be at home with my kids and, so that’s really cool. I think it’s opposite, the hardest thing for me sometimes is being spotted. Because I’m like, ugh, I’m not wearing makeup today, but whatever. It’s fine. We’re real people. So sometimes that’s hard for me. Or sometimes they’ll get super excited to see Russell and they’re like, “Russell Brunson!”and then they push me out of the way.

Joshua: Big mistake fans.

Collette: No, just kidding. I don’t care. Yeah, so sometimes…..

Russell: It’s true though. If you guys want to be smart, this is why we’re on zoom meeting right now, Josh is a very smart man and the first person he ever said hi to was Collette, and now we’re here. So if it were the other way around, it doesn’t work that way.

{crosstalk}

Russell: Yeah, it was funny, we were on a plane the other day and someone ran up all excited to meet me. He was from Rexburg, which is where Collette grew up. Collette’s like, ‘I’m from Rexburg.’ and he’s like, “Oh.’ And just kept going, and it was just like, alright. I’m not going to remember your name now.

Joshua: I couldn’t have done anything without her. That’s the reality, right. I mean, when you’re doing marketing and you’re the face and you’re being the charismatic leader and stuff, that’s one thing. But there’s times when you’re frustrated and you’re breaking down and you’re crying, it’s hard. And Clickfunnels wasn’t always a hundred million dollar thing, it was an idea and Todd’s coding. The dynamic is so hard when you’re launching something. And this is everything.

So it was totally authentic, the whole saying thanks to Collette, because Clickfunnels did change our life. Joining inner circle changed our life, for lots of reasons, but I know that that doesn’t happen without her doing all kinds of stuff, holding you up, doing, just its huge. And I know that other married entrepreneurs know exactly what we’re talking about right now.

Real quick, I forgot to ask in the beginning. How long have you guys been married? I think a lot of people probably know your story in general. But how long has it been, how many kids do you have? Tell us about that.

Collette: So we’ve been married almost 17 years, it’ll be 17 in August. And we have 5 kids ranging 13 to 4.

Joshua: Yeah, we’ve been married 17 years in July. That’s awesome. Ready for question number two?

Ashley: How is it possible to aggressively pursue business dreams and still have a healthy home life?

Russell: This is my question?

Collette: {affirmative sound}

Russell: You know it’s interesting, it’s kind of weird right now, we’ve had a lot of friends who have been in business recently who have made the split. And it’s like, ugh. I don’t know, every time it happens it’s heart wrenching for us. It’s like, oh, you did the hard things together and when you’re supposed to be celebrating that’s when they split, and it’s tough.

You know there’s a quote that this guy David O. McKay said, “No success can compensate for failure in the home.” And that’s a thing that rings in my head all the time. When I’m at work and I’m stressing out at all sorts of stuff and then it’s like, the kids’ wrestling practice is happening, or we gotta do this, or whatever. In my head the easy thing is I’m too busy, I can’t do that. But then that quote comes in my head, “no success can compensate for failure in the home.”

And a lot of times I just had to stop and be like, the day is done. I gotta be done. Even though there’s so many things happening, there’s so much stress and anxiety and a billion emails I gotta answer to and 500 voicemails. You know all these things, I just have to stop and come home. And I think that’s a big part of it.

I think the other thing that’s been really good, we kind of learned this early in the marriage. I think sometimes, there are times when you have to pull an all-nighter, or you have to be gone for a weekend. And I think at the beginning of our marriage I was really bad at letting her know that, until it’s like 9:30 at night and she’s like, “Where are you?” and I’m like, ‘Oh I’m not coming  home tonight.” And then that’s when the friction would always happen. I think I got better at knowing, okay next week Todd’s coming to town, there’s probably going to be a night or two that’s going to be… When you were aware of it, then it was okay and we were able to kind of figure things out. So communication is a big thing. I don’t think we’re the best communicators, we’re still learning that part of our life.

Collette: We’re horrible communicators.

Russell: We’re still learning that, but I think as we’ve gotten better, that’s where it’s like I’m able to go really, really aggressive because I know that, like she knows that I’m gone this time and she can support it, and then visa versa, and it helps to even it all out.

Collette: Yeah, I second that 100%. I think communication is huge, and we’re not the best at it. And it’s been a lot of, I mean sometimes, upset and sad and whatever, the emotions that come that are angry, not sad, angry. But I really feel blessed, like Russell said, there are a lot of people that do this journey and then you know, sometimes it’s so hard that the marriages do fail or the partnership fails. So I really feel blessed, because I really feel it’s also attitude, and I feel like we’ve portrayed a lot of positive energy to our family and to our kids, and then they kind of see that too.

And I just think that’s really a neat thing. As aggressively as this entrepreneurship world is and as fast and furious Russell’s brain works and goes, it’s really cool for them to be like, “Oh my goodness.” But for me too, as a mom, seeing a couple of the kids, their brains kind of taking over and starting to aggressively  have these dreams, and I’m like, “How do I…?” you know. But it’s really cool. How do I keep that a healthy thing for them and discourage them and say, “Wait, wait, wait, let’s do these other things first.”

Russell: It’s hard sometimes when Dallin has this million dollar idea. We’re like, “Did you do your homework yet?” and he’s like, “I don’t want to this. If I have to do homework, you have to.” {inaudible} it’s tough.

Joshua: So awesome. I know you guys are believers too, and that’s a consistent theme with a lot of the high achievers that we’re going to be interviewing for this. That’s a anchor, I know that’s a huge part of your life as well, right. We love Jesus, we’re a Christian family and stuff. Question number three, I’m going to ask you about a time when it was really hard, which maybe that never happened for you. But you’re talking about love language, I think there should be a book about fight language too. Ashley’s fight language passive aggressive, so like, she just doesn’t talk.

Ashley: I’m getting better. I’m getting better.

Joshua: When she doesn’t talk I tell her to stop yelling at me, because I say that that’s the equivalent of yelling, it’s just a different methodology.

Russell: You should totally write that book, that’d be the greatest.

Joshua: So tell us about a time in your journey whenever, whatever comes to mind, that was really hard. Maybe there’s friction, maybe its financial uncertainty, God knows you went through a lot of that. How did you get through it?

Collette: Um okay, let’s see.

Russell: There’s been a lot of it.

Collette and Russell: {crosstalk} sunshine and roses as much as people think.

Collette: No, it’s really a hard journey. I want to say, I’m going to start with Ellie. When I was pregnant with Ellie, I feel like I was kind of struggling with my identity a little bit and things like that. Where was I going with this? I think back, our marriage was kind of struggling, was it our seven year itch? Okay, the seven year itch and I was really going through a funk, and he was going through a funk and we were trying to figure out things. You guys, therapy is amazing. Do it. Hard times through marriage and then business. So I would say, it’s good to have coaches, it’s good to have, like Tony Robbins changed my life. I went to that UPW that I came home on cloud number 10,000, and I feel like I came home a better wife and mom. And I feel like you need to redo that because I feel like all the sudden you go down that slippery slope again.

So relationship wise, I feel like 2007ish, but then business wise, 2010 we took a pretty big hit. But communication, I didn’t really know so I was like, ‘Let’s go to Disneyland. Let’s go to Disneyland.” And he’s like, “We’re broke.” And I’m like, ‘What? I thought we were rich.”

Russell: I was trying to protect her from this.

{crosstalk}

Ashley: I can totally relate. Totally relate. Sometimes I was like, ‘Oh I need to…” I told my mom I went to, sorry this is about you guys, but I went to the ATM and I was like, ‘Mom, I don’t know if I can get $40 out to go to a garage sale.” And she’s like, “Okay.” And I look at my bank account, and it’s like multiple figures, like thousands and thousands, and she’s like, ‘So are we good?” And I’m like, “Yes, I guess we’re good.’

{Crosstalk and laughter}

Ashley: We could go buy a house maybe, I don’t know. What do you want to go buy?

Collette: It’s so exciting, the entrepreneurial world.

Russell: Yeah, I was thinking about for me, the hardest is, and I shared this story at Funnel Hacking Live and it’s funny because afterwards Collette came up and hit me. Remember, “Why didn’t you tell me about all of that?”

Collette: I was mad.

Russell: I was trying to protect you.

Collette: We’re a partnership, and he held a lot of information from me. So at that particular, it was Dallas I believe, and I was bawling my eyes out, because I’m like, “You were going through that alone. That’s not okay.”

Russell: Yeah, I was trying to keep it a secret from her, because I’m the man, I don’t want to…

Collette: True.

Russell: I was always, we always had enough money. Back then, basically we had a paycheck every single month that covered all our living expenses, and I was like, as long as that doesn’t shift, then her world doesn’t have to shift at all. I didn’t want to put any stress or pressure on her and the kids. So I knew that if it ever got worse, if I got lower than that, I’d bring it up and I was like, I can handle this. And I’d go every single day and just, we had, it was horrible, we had to lay off 70-80 people in one day. We lost all of our merchant accounts, it was just battle after battle. It was like a year of just, like the most stress and pressure ever.

But I think one of the most impactful moments of that whole journey, I don’t remember where it was in the timeline, all I remember is that I was trying to take all this pressure and this burden myself. Because I felt like it was my fault, I’d messed up, and that was not just keeping it from her, but keeping it from God, keeping it from everything. I remember one morning I was in the room and I was just …

Collette: It was a disaster.

Russell: I was a disaster and I didn’t know what to do, and I didn’t want to go into the office, but I had too and all these things. And I was just in tears and I remember, I don’t know if you remember this…

Collette: I totally remember.

Russell: I remember you grabbing me, and pulling me to my knees and you’re like, “We need to pray right now.” And I think you prayed for me and prayed for the business and prayed for everything. And it was just one of those moments where I was just like, I’m not alone. I have my wife, I have God, I have other things, and I need to rely, I can’t keep relying on myself. And that was really the turning point for me. So that was definitely the hardest part, and probably the coolest thing that came from that and helped me to be more open.

Joshua: Thank you so much for sharing that. That is heavy stuff. That’s exactly what we’re looking at, because I know that that’s the case for everybody in their own way. That’s the reality. Because when we’re front and stage, you’ve got to be doing the thing. But there’s all this stuff happening behind the scenes that’s just incredible. Did you have something you wanted to add to that Collette?

Collette: No, it was funny because I was thinking of that exact same story when I grabbed him and pulled him down like, ‘we need to pray.” Anyway, that was really cool that you shared that, felt that energy.