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The Marketing Secrets Show

Aug 26, 2019

A little piece of advice I gave a new entrepreneur 12 years ago that I want to give to you as well.

On today’s episode Russell talks about a conversation he had with Justin Brooke 12 years ago about how he would get back on top if he lost it all. He shares the advice he gave him back then because it is still relevant today. Here are some of the great things to look for in this episode:

  • First hear how Russell and Justin know each other, and how this conversation came about.
  • And find out why 5 good friends is better than 100,000 subscribers.

So listen here to Russell explaining what he said to Justin in a random hotel room 12 years ago, and why it still applies to this day.


Hey everybody, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. Today I want to share with you a piece of advice that I gave somebody 12 years ago, he made a blog post of it, or a Facebook post about it today and talked about how it changed his life. So I thought I would share that with you guys right now.

Alright guys, so about 12 years ago was when I was first starting to hire employees, and I was building my team and it cost money. And I was like, these guys are all expensive, and every person I add takes more of my money out of my pocket. And I was sitting there trying to figure out a way to solve this problem. And I had this thought, what if I got people to work for me for free? I was like, oh my gosh, that’d be amazing. What if all my employees worked for free?

That idea at first was awesome, and then I asked my employees and they all said, “Well, we have to eat.” And I was like, dang it, that won’t work. And I was like, what if I send an email to my list and ask if people wanted to come work for me for free. I would do an internship, but it was an unpaid internship. They had to pay their own way there, their own hotels or living expenses, whatever, but they could come work for me for free for a month and hopefully learn some stuff along the way.

Now, I think I’ve done this 2 or 3 times in the past, and before I get 5000 of you guys asking me, I don’t do this anymore because I literally have had people come here and just beg to work for free, and then they sit around and ask questions and it doesn’t, it hurts more than it helps at this point. But it was really nice for a little while.

But the person who responded back to that first ad, I got a bunch of people responding back, but one guy was so excited, he literally called and text, and emailed every single person I know. I was like, “How do you find all these people’s information?” This is pre-facebook. Anyway, his name was Justin Brooke, and some of you know Justin, he’s an awesome entrepreneur and really cool guy and a friend.

He messaged me and said, “I’m coming out to Boise.” And he did, he jumped in a plane, moved to Boise for a month, paid his own way, and worked for me for free for a month. And it was a really, really cool experience. I learned a lot, he learned a lot and I think it was good. But today he posted a post on Facebook that was really, really cool so I want to read part of it to you. Because I forgot about this, I remember the experience now, but I totally forgot about it.

So this is what he posted, he said, “All you need is 5 good friends to crush any market. Before I explain let me tell you what Russell Brunson said to me one day while I was interning 12 years ago. We were at a hotel watching infomercials, because that’s what marketers do, lol, waiting to visit Steven Pierce’s house for an event the next day. I was just a newb in total fanboy mode. I couldn’t believe I was sharing a hotel room with this millionaire dude who was only 2 years older than me. And somehow he liked me enough to bring me along to a star studded event that introduced me to Ryan Deiss, John Reese, Rich Schefren, Jai Abraham and Steven, the real boss.

“So I asked Russell a question every newb should ask in this situation. Me: Hey Russ, what would you do if you lost it all and had to make it back? Russ: I’d get it back in just a few phone calls. Me: Hmmm. Russ: Relationships are the most important thing to build because if you lost your website, your email list, you can just call up your buddies and get it all back with just a little help. Me: (He had like him with a shocked face, a ghost, and a skull.)”

And then he goes on to talk about in his business over the last 12 years, the times where it crashed or it was going down or whatever happened, he would call up his friends and they would do a list swap or promotion, or help each other. And that’s how he’s been successful. At the very end he said, “Everyone thinks it takes so many followers and so many subscribers to win online, but it really takes just a few of the right friends. Five good friends beats a hundred thousand subscribers all day, everyday, no problem.”

And I thought that was really, really cool and I wanted to share with you guys because I still to this day think that’s true. We spend so much time talking about how we build up our Facebook following, our instagram, our Youtube, our email list, all these things. And all those things are very, very important, but he’s right. If I lost it all today, the first thing I would do is I’d look at who in my rolodex of friends could I get it back.

When my company crashed 7 or 8 years ago and everything fell apart, some of you guys remember me telling this story before, but I got a call from Tony Robbins and he’s like, “What’s going on? What can I help you with?” And I was telling him what happened and he’s like, “Well, if you want, you can come and we’ll absorb your company inside of Robbins Research and you could become a wing of our organization and we’ll make sure that nothing goes down.” And I was just like, “Oh my gosh, worst case scenario I become partners with Tony Robbins.” And that gave me the ability to go and keep moving forward.

But if I was losing my business right now, that’s what I would look at. Who are the 5 or 10 people I know that either I could go work for them or get a job for them, or do something for them, or they could email and promote one of my new products or programs. What would that be? And I tried to spend a lot of time over the last 15 years digging some very, very deep relationships. So if that ever happened, that’s exactly where I would be.

So for you, I want you to think about that. Who are the people around you who are the 5 people or so in your market, that you’ve got a really, really deep relationship where they would do anything for you and you would do anything for them. If their business crashed and they said, “I need to promote my new product.” You would stop whatever you were doing to promote their product and get them back on top, or vice versa. Who are those people? And if you don’t have those relationships yet, I would highly, highly recommend to start cultivating those. Getting to know people, spending time, and investing in those relationships because they are more powerful than a list of a hundred thousand.

So I’m going to end this podcast just kind of reading the last two lines of his post here, because it was so powerful. He said, “Everyone thinks it takes so many followers and so many subscribers to win online, but it really takes just a few of the right friends. Five good friends beats a hundred thousand subscribers all day, every day, no problem.”

So I hope that helps. Go make some friends, get some deep relationships, people that you’d do anything for them, they’d do anything for you. And there’s your financial safety net, there’s your security blanket. Everyone always tells me, “I’m going back to college so I can have a security blanket, you know, something to fall back on.” No, fall back on the relationships, spend time and energy and effort there. It is the secret 12 years ago, and it is the secret today.

Thanks again everybody for listening, thank you Justin for posting that, and for reminding me of that conversation 12 years ago while we were watching infomercials in a random hotel in Texas. Super cool, appreciate you and appreciate all you guys for listening. Thanks so much and talk to you guys soon. Bye everybody.