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Episode #220
Phillip Stutts

Using Data-Driven Marketing To Grow Your Consulting Business

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Summary

If there is one thing the corporate world can learn from politics, it is data-driven marketing. By looking at actual audience behavior and relationship-building tactics, effective strategies that yield tangible results can be developed. Michael Zipursky sits down with Phillip Stutts, Founder/CEO of Win Big Media, to share how he came up with his undefeated systematic approach by utilizing his political marketing experiences. He explains how well some strategies used in political campaigns translate to corporate businesses aiming to achieve record-high sales. Phillip discusses the power of a good referral system, a consistent agenda presentation, effective recruitment techniques, and more.

I’m excited to have Phillip Stutts with us. Phillip, welcome.

Michael, thanks for having me. I’m super pumped to be here. Let’s roll.

You are an author, the Founder and CEO of Win BIG Media, a corporate marketing agency. You’re also the Executive Chairman of Go BIG Media, a political marketing firm. You’ve appeared on ESPN, CBS, Fox, CNN and a whole bunch more. You’ve been interviewed by some very well-known names like Anderson Cooper, Gary Vaynerchuk, James Altucher and the list goes on. I want to get into how you’ve used your marketing skills to contribute to over 1,400 election victories, including presidential victories. Before we do that, let’s go back in time a little bit. How did you get into this world of marketing and politics? Take us back in time a little bit.

I grew up as a 1980s kid and I was one of the first generations of ADD kids, Attention Deficit Disorder. It wasn’t ADHD. We didn’t even have the H back then. It was just ADD. I was one of those kids and back in the ’80s, it was a curse to have ADD. I was told I was dumb. They put me in classes that were right above special ed. It’s all because I had a problem concentrating, my attention span and all that stuff. I ultimately knew that I had to do something that I was passionate about in life as I went through high school and college. Everybody was like, “You should get a sales job selling trucking beds.”

I’m like, “I’ll throw up every day if that was my job.” There’s nothing wrong with that. For me, personally, it wasn’t. I knew I had to have something that was exciting, fun and purpose-driven. I didn’t care about money. To this day, in a weird way, money doesn’t drive me. It probably drives my wife insane that I don’t think this way, but I don’t. I’m purpose-driven. I started reading about politics and political campaigns when I was in college. I didn’t get into the policy issues as much like how are we going to change education, environment, tax structures or things like that.

I wanted to know how the marketing game of politics was played. I’ve always been fascinated by it. When I turned 22, I did an internship on a presidential campaign in the United States. I got hooked on working in the political world because, despite all the negativity associated with it, you’re still fighting for things, people and the policies that you believe will help shape your country and community. That’s what drove and motivated me. That’s why I got into politics. You may go through this, Michael, but I went through that midlife crisis.

My parents’ generation went out and bought motorcycles, wore durags and got weird. Now, the way I looked at it was I couldn’t keep doing the same thing I’ve always done. I had a friend that was a huge, massive land developer in Hawaii. He’s like, “Do you think you could apply your political marketing tactics into my corporate marketing into selling this land and all this stuff?” I said, “That’s interesting. Let’s see if we can try it.” We did and we blew out of lot sales of his property. I’m like, “There’s something here.” I decided, “Maybe that’s something we can develop.”

I’ve written two books on how to utilize political marketing strategies and tactics in order to grow your bottom line. I created my own corporate marketing agency that we’ve now grown like crazy. There’s a niche in the marketplace and the reason I tell you that is because I’m completely convinced that marketing nowadays is rigged against the business owner in every way possible. The social media platforms change their logarithms. They canceled and downgraded people. Sometimes, we see this a lot with Facebook.

Facebook was an incredible platform to advertise on a few years ago and now it’s not. I know the reasons why, but it’s not anymore. Most business owners don’t know that. They’re running the same campaign over and over again. It works until it doesn’t and they don’t know why. I got obsessed with that and said, “I’m going to be an outlier in this market.” I developed a systematic approach to marketing that makes you and ensures that the business owner has an ROI on their marketing spend every single time. We’ve developed that to massive success. I’ve written a best-selling book on it and that’s where it led me to meet you.

Marketing today is rigged against business owners. Social media platforms change their logarithms and cancel people all the time. Click To Tweet

Let’s go back to that time where you had experience in political marketing and campaign, that whole world. You have this friend who’s selling lots in Hawaii. What did you bring to that experience? What did you take from the political world and bring it into the land sales world that was different? Illustrate that with a bit of an example.

A lot of corporate marketing agencies play a lot of tactical games or sit around a table and say to the business owner, “We love your business. Let me tell you. We sat around and brainstormed. Here are a couple of ideas we know will help you grow.” How do they know it’s going to help them grow? They don’t know. They’re guessing. Everybody guesses. 99.9% of marketers guess. What I have in politics that have translated or transferred over to business in the marketing world is the ability to take the guesswork out of marketing.

How do we do that? With this particular business owner, he had spent $50,000 in a marketing campaign. Most of it is going to the Wall Street Journal weekend edition where in their hard copy paper, you list these developments in cool places like Hawaii, Alaska, Vancouver and all this stuff. The marketing agency had told him to do that. The marketing agency made a bunch of money off of a $50,000 ad buy and they got one lead into their business.

When I sat down with him, I said, “Who are you marketing to?” He said, “The Wall Street Journal. People read that. They’ve got money.” I said, “That’s going to go to people in New York.” He goes, “Yeah.” I said, “People in New York aren’t buying a property in Hawaii. What is your market?” He’s like, “I assume it’s probably people in Hawaii. There’s a military base nearby, so maybe military families.” They’re people that have moved into these developments from the lower 49, probably California and Arizona, because that’s where they vacation when they go.

I said, “Why don’t we look at that market and devise a strategy to help you?” We went in and did a deep dive into the customer markets, both military families in the area of Hawaii that were selling land plots. We also went in and looked at the marketplace and found that people that were buying properties in Hawaii were 55 and older, not younger. This Wall Street Journal ad could go to anybody. You don’t know. It’s 55 and older who are thinking about retirement that wants to retire in Hawaii.

We ended up finding that market only marketing to those people. He told us, “I’ve lost so much money. I’m only going to spend $5,000 on this campaign.” We ended up getting him 723 leads. He ended up converting over 100 people who bought lots and the development sold out within six months. My point is this I’m obsessed with customer data. That’s probably the great pivot we could go to. That’s where I get granular. For the people reading now, this is the secret sauce. If you want to know the way that you can take your clients or business to the next level, wait until we talk about what’s available out there on the data side.

Before we do that, how common is it that you can trace back to a campaign or marketing initiative that the core of what went wrong is that the consultant, entrepreneur or business owner did not have real clarity around who their ideal client was? Is that one of the top issues?

I’m not saying they get their customers wrong 100% of the time. That’s not what I’m saying, but all their problems derived from not understanding where their customers are, what they want to hear from that business and delivering on that.

CSP 220 | Data-Driven Marketing

 

You had this experience in the political world. You worked with this one friend client in Hawaii land sales. You’ve created two companies. One company that focuses more on political marketing and one that is more for business owners and marketing. Which one of those came first?

I’ve spent 26 years working on political campaigns, reading the data of voters and interpreting that for politicians. That’s all I do now. I interpret the customer data on the corporate side and build marketing campaigns for the business owner. It’s the same thing, just in different lanes.

How did you go about landing your political clients when you’re building that from initially? Walk us through your experience. If you look at your first few clients that led to the growth of the business, where did they come from?

I invested $120,000 in 2015. I had no clients. Now, we’ve done over $55 million in business on the political side. We’ll hit over $100 million in two years and I’ve never spent $1 on advertising. If I lose more than I win, I’m never going to get hired. Everybody knows my record. All my competitors know my record in politics and you better win. At this point, we had elections in the United States, Virginia, New Jersey and some other places that we ended up having 26 wins. I’ve been a part of 1,433 election victories since 1996. I’m known to win.

The second is relationships. I’ve spent many years in a very insular industry and built great relationships. People know my reputation. My reputation has helped build relationships and I’ve leveraged those relationships into referrals. I call them the three Rs. It’s reputation, relationships and referrals. I’ve built many referral mechanisms out of my company that has produced millions of dollars of business.

It sounds like most business owners are very guilty of being quite reactive when it comes to referrals. They love referrals. They want more of them, but they don’t do anything to go out and generate them. For you and we are thinking about your own company or clients in the world of professional services, what’s 1 or 2 examples of something that you’ve done or seen people do that works well to generate more referrals?

The one that we did that was the biggest generator was we found a complimentary industry that wasn’t a competitor and they had much bigger and larger clients in our industry. We went to them and said, “We have this service that you don’t. You don’t want to build it within your company. You don’t want to have to hire 6 to 20 people. You don’t want to have to pay insurance, unemployment or taxes. Farm it out to us and we’ll split all the profits with you.”

No one in our business had ever done such a move. They never asked for referrals in the political marketing space. They’re so selfish and it’s insane. I said, “If I act unselfishly, I wonder if we can grow this thing fast.” That’s probably been the number one growth we’ve had. Now, we don’t utilize that referral system anymore with them because we grew out of them. We offer the same services they do. We’ve changed and adapted the intent and purpose of our company, but that launched us from zero to millions early.

There’s this other company or organization that is offering something that you don’t offer. I’d love to hear what you did. Who did you target? Was this the CEO or owner of the company, an executive director?

Consultants want more of referrals but don't do anything to go out and actually generate them. Click To Tweet

There was an ad agency that was much bigger. They’ve been around for many years. They had a great reputation. They had tons and tons of clients and people flocked. They didn’t have to do any business development. People came to their agency. They shot TV ads but they didn’t do digital ads. I went to them and said, “I’m a digital ad guy. I’m not a TV guy. You can sell digital ads, we’ll do all the work and we’ll split the profits with you. You don’t have to hire anybody out. You can take free money.” They went, “Who doesn’t like free money?”

In fact, there’s a saying in politics and we call it mailbox money because it shows up in your mailbox, and you don’t do anything for it. We had that partnership for four years with those guys until they said, “We want to build this internally.” We said, “We want to shoot some TV ads now.” That’s okay. We’re still friends with those guys, but at the same time, we worked ourselves out. It gave us four years of unbelievable growth in the company. Now, we don’t have to do those things anymore because we have the reputation and the business to not have to give out our profits.

When you reached out to them, who did you reach out to in that company and agency? Was that through an email or phone call? How did you start that conversation?

We knew who they were and they knew who we were. We weren’t unknowns in the industry. We just had started a new company. It’s a very small industry. We reached out to the founder and the CEO, who was at the time 60 years old and he’s like, “This digital thing is so confusing. I don’t want to do it.” We’re like, “We’ll pay you. You bring us the clients, we’ll do the work and we’ll give you money.” That works every time. If someone came to me and said, “Phillip, you don’t have to do anything. You don’t have to do any work, and we’re going to send you checks.” I’d probably be pretty happy with that.

The key that you mentioned that stands out to me is making it very easy for the other party. You do all the work, they get the benefit, but it does benefit you as well.

We were taking the work off their plate that they were, one, felt like they were losing out on. Two, they didn’t want to do it. It was a pain in the ass for them. Three, we were bringing in clients to them. We got some clients that wanted TV shoots. We said, “Give it to them.” They were like, “These guys not only are they making us free money. They’re not giving us clients.” We built a great strategic plan together with them.

With your marketing company now that’s working with business owners, not on the political side, one of the things that you start off every engagement with is a very deep dive research report that gets into identifying all those customer demographics. I know it’s millions of points of data. What is that typical entry point into the firm? I have a whole bunch of other questions on that.

You probably get the sense I’m obsessed. It’s like in politics. I like politicians before they get elected rather than when they’re elected. I’m not in love with them. I’m in love with the voter in politics. I want to know what the voter cares about, what moves someone to say, “I am going to take the effort to go vote for an unknown, even an unsavory politician, because they represent these issues that are important to me.” I’ve been obsessed with that forever. It’s empathy.

CSP 220 | Data-Driven Marketing

 

When the politician asks me to work for them, the first thing I say is, “What issues do you want to run on? Are they economic, environmental or social? What are they?” Inevitably, they tell me 10, 15, or 20 issues they want to run on. No matter what, no one wants to hear fifteen issues from a politician. They want to hear 1 or 2. Keep it simple. What we do in politics is we pull the voters in that district and if it’s a presidential campaign, in the country.

We find out 15, 20 or 25 issues that the politician said they want to run on, which one resonates the most and which one of those issues they knew this politician was going to run on that issue, that he already believe in it. It’s not something he doesn’t believe in, but if they knew he was going to run on the issue, he could win the election.

We then come up with 1 to 2 issues that we know if we run our campaign on those, we’re going to win the race. To go back to your question, how we do it in Corporate America? It’s the same way, except it’s a little bit different in this way. I became so obsessed with this in thinking there’s something here that can help businesses. I went out and created a partnership with the largest data collection analytics and AI company in America.

In our database, we have 240 million Americans, 550 million connected devices and we are tracking ten billion online purchasing decisions every day and a trillion searches. That’s my database. I can take your business and customer list. Let me be clear here. I can only do this in the United States. There are too many privacy laws on data in Europe, Canada and anywhere else. We overlay that customer data online and can track their movements.

We don’t know who they are specifically. We know IP address, how they are doing or what they are doing. What they are purchasing or buying and then we can match it to our model audience of billions and billions of data points. I can spit out a 55 to a 75-page report on everything you’ve ever wanted to know about your customer or client. We do this on the B2B side.

I’m talking about the social media platforms in chronological order. What they specifically read and watch because we track their OTT movements or connected TV movements. We are tracking what they’re reading online. I can even tell you the top three values in the lives of your customers or clients. I spit out this massive report. I can tell you why they make purchasing decisions and the messages they want to receive from you as the business owner. I know everything about them. My whole job as a marketer is to eliminate the risk of the business owner each step.

When a business owner says, “I want to run out with this marketing. It seems we got to start with our brand first.” I say, “Why?” They go, “We got to build the brand before we get them to come to the website.” I say, “What if your brand is off in the minds of the customer?” We can also track these same customers putting a pixel on your website or we can build a model or lookalike audience based on what the business owner tells us. We can slice and dice it a million different ways.

We’ve done it for Fortune 200 companies but I got the exclusive licensing deal because I said to myself, “Fortune 200 companies can afford a $200,000 data report, but small businesses can’t. I wanted to offer it to small businesses.” I pay $500,000 every two years to an exclusive licensing agreement and charge small businesses a fraction of that cost so that they can look at their own customer data and get smarter in their marketing. The reason again we do this is we are in an age where people are disconnected and people are living on their phones.

People are running around and changing their spending habits and behaviors. You need to be on top of that if you’re going to communicate and message them. The crazy thing is not just on spending money. We’ve helped so many B2B companies help with their sales process because now we know what the customer thinks. Let me give you an example. This is my favorite one too. We work with one of the largest title companies in the state of Florida. The title company is when you go to close on your house, and the title company sets up the closing and all that stuff.

People nowadays are disconnected and living on their phones, running around and changing their spending habits and behaviors. Businesses need to be on top of that. Click To Tweet

No one has ever bought a house and said, “I wonder who our title company is.” The customer is the real estate agent. This has happened to me dozens of times. They say, “Phillip, you’re buying this house. The closing is at this title company on Wednesday. We’ll see you there.” I’m like, “Okay.” I go because my real estate agent tells me. We started working with them. They were number three in the market and they wanted to be number one. We ended up saying, “Give us all the real estate agents that you’ve worked with within the entire regions of Florida that you work in.”

We overlayed that online and tracked them. We found out a lot of different things. We found out that 72% of the real estate agents owned dogs. They were buying dog food, dog toys and searching for dog things. We knew that they own dogs. If you knew that as a business owner that 72% of your entire market like something that wasn’t offensive to the other 28%, that’s a game-changer. It’s me telling you, “I can tell you the top values in the lives of your customers.” We said, “We got to brand this company around dogs.”

We started running ads on dogs. Dogs can walk around the office. They have dogs on the website. They have bio pages and all that stuff. They’ve now become the number one title company in their region in Florida. They are an over $1 billion-dollar company. They didn’t become a billion-dollar company because I ran an ad on dogs. The whole point is to find deeper connections with your customers or clients. When we look in the data, that’s what we found.

The sales teams go out, and one of the first questions they have when they meet with a real estate agent is, “Do you want a dog? We’re this dog-crazy company. Let me tell you the story about the dogs.” Every time, it blows him out of the water. The sales team is now using it as a talking point. It doesn’t cost you anything. We want to use data for good, not to steal things and collect and try to trick you or anything like that. We want to use it for good but we want to find deeper connections with our marketplace.

You create this as your frontend offer. It’s the first thing you would do with a new client.

I won’t work with you unless you undertake it because I don’t want to be more successful than the business owner.

You start with that before you go into, “Now we know what the opportunities are. We can help you with managing the ads or rolling out a marketing campaign.” When you started thinking about this as an offering, how did you arrive at this structure as opposed to it being a bigger engagement and hourly thing? You’ve productized and packaged this. Did it always look like this?

I got fired from a client and that’s how it came out.

CSP 220 | Data-Driven Marketing

 

A lot of people in our community are always looking at how they can package and position place value on their expertise. These discovery offers are a good way to approach. I’d love to hear how you got to where you are.

I wrote my first book, which Jay Abraham wrote the foreword. It’s called, Fire Them Now: The 7 Lies Digital Marketers Sell. It did great, built the corporate marketing agent, launched the corporate marketing agency with it and started picking up clients. This is the biggest client we have ever picked up. It was an eight-figure company heading to be a nine-figure company. They sold supplements. They came to us and said, “We’re ready to go to this nine-figure company. Help us.” They’re like, “I’m obsessed with politics. It would be exactly what we need. No one else is doing this marketing. Let’s go.” I said, “Awesome.”

We started running some campaigns without utilizing the system that we do. We were taking all these political tactics and utilizing them randomly. We were started having some success for the guy and it was like, “This thing is crushing. This is awesome.” He’s like, “I want to run a campaign on my largest or the best-selling supplement I have on Instagram.” We said, “Let’s do it.” We had our professional photographers out. We took pictures of the supplement. We put up this post. We have taken it live and presented it to the owner with all the messaging and ad campaigns. We were looking at the data, too, so we knew it would work.

We’re about to launch this campaign and we showed it to him, and he said, “What in the hell are you doing?” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “You can’t take a picture without a human on it and put it on Instagram. It would ruin my algorithm. I’ve spent five years building this on Instagram. Whether it’s paid or it’s organic, if you screw around with it, Instagram will take my algorithm and put it in the trash. How do you not know that?”

I went, “We made a mistake. I’m so sorry.” He said, “Okay.” I said, “Let us fix this. We’ll talk to you in 3 to 4 days. We’ll present you with a new one with an athlete pictured with the supplement. We’ll get on this and fix it.” We hung up the FaceTime. That was the last time I ever talked to the guy. He ghosted to my company and me. He was the biggest client at the time we had ever landed.

What did it teach you in terms of your offering that you’ve now developed? What was the lesson?

I was so pissed and distraught over this that I locked myself in my office for two weeks. One of the things that one of my mentors Keith Cunningham teaches is this thing called thinking time, where you write down a question in longhand on a pen and paper, and write for 45 minutes and answer the question and all these crazy things that happen. You can go on YouTube and look up how the process works.

I did a thinking time, and the question was, “What are we doing politics that we get so right that can help businesses grow?” I wrote and wrote. I realized and I’m the first person in politics to ever identify that there’s a systematic approach that we take to elect politicians. Everybody does it inherently, but no one’s ever verbalized it in politics. I went, “This is it.” There is a five-step system that we utilize to elect any politician from presidents to dog catcher to mayor. If you do it the right way, you win almost every single time in politics.

I go, “We should try this systematic approach with businesses on the corporate side.” I called my team together and said, “We stop all the campaigns you’re running for our clients now. We’re going to follow the systematic approach.” I call it The Undefeated Marketing System. It’s the title of my second book. You can go on Amazon. It’s in my manifesto. It tells you step by step how it came about, where we did it, and the success and the failures we’ve had with it. We started utilizing it.

If you're a business owner or an entrepreneur and you don't try to solve problems, you probably shouldn't be one. Click To Tweet

Honestly, every single company that has undergone this five-step undefeated marketing system has grown their bottom line. Almost every business owner comes to us, having failed at marketing, fired multiple marketing agencies come with their hands up, and said, “I can’t get this right. I don’t know what I’m doing. Sometimes it works, and sometimes, it doesn’t.” We’ve solved that problem. We had to learn a lot of lessons along the way, but we’ve got this thing on lockdown. All we do is optimize the hell out of it every single day. It’s growing every business.

There is a set of business owners out there that want to get a rich quick pill. I don’t have the get rich quick pill. I have a methodical approach that grows your bottom line every time, but you have to put in the work to do it and the companies that have had explosive growth. For example, we work with a 106-year-old furniture chain.

While working with us following this undefeated marketing system, they’ve had ten record growth months in the last twenty months. We work with a national pest control company that had the greatest month in the history of their company. They had been around for many years. We work with a law firm out of New York that’s been around 27 years, and they have grown 8X since working with us doing The Undefeated Marketing System.

I want to jump in because I want to ask you and find out here. For those that are reading, you’ve talked about the power of this frontend discovery offer that you have, where you’re overlaying data and turning that into a powerful report that can identify big opportunities. I want to talk about what you do with that in a moment.

For those who are getting started and very early in their marketing journey, if you are getting started and didn’t have a budget to invest thousands or tens of thousands, what would you recommend that somebody can do? What will be the opportunities and practices to try and take some of this knowledge and use it to move forward to make their clarity on their ideal clients even better? They can’t tap into that rich database that you have with millions of data points. What can somebody do if they don’t have a lot of money to invest in doing that? What would be the opportunities for them?

If you’re a business owner or an entrepreneur and you don’t try to solve problems, you probably shouldn’t be one. It’s a great question because most people that start as I did, where I put my own dollars into the company, don’t have a lot of money to start and say, “I can’t invest $7,500 in the state report.” I was doing an interview and someone said, “Let’s say you want to start a restaurant. How would you utilize the first step of the undefeated marketing system?”

I said, “First of all, I’d flyer the neighborhood around the restaurant and tell people, ‘Buy one entrée, get one free. Come try our restaurant. Bring butts in seats.’ The second thing I do is I would train my entire workforce, all the waiters and the hostesses, to figure out what people are ordering, what did they like the most and what’s the best. I’ll take note of that and enter it into a database every single day.”

Eventually, you’re going to find out what sells the most and what sells the least. If you’re a smart business owner, you start selling more of what people want and build your menu around the things that people want rather than the things they don’t want. The other thing is you ask your customers, “What did you like about this restaurant? What moved you? Why would you come back? Would you come back? What would make you come back?” You enter into all that data. It’s hard work. It’s also the way you build. It’s got a guaranteed success rate. Once you do that, you start building an advertising campaign.

CSP 220 | Data-Driven Marketing

 

Let’s say you spend money without a marketing agency. Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, all these people have metrics and data that you can grab out. What were people clicking on? What were they not? Did you offer a 2 for 1 deal on an entrée or did you just show this menu? What part of your ads got the most ROI? You optimize to that. There are a million ways if you have any ingenuity that you can figure out how to get better data and understand which is the best data. We’re not always there. I’ve been in those shoes. I understand that.

What you’re saying here is that earlier on, if you’re not in the position to invest more upfront, it means you’re going to be doing more manual collection of data and more analysis annually. If you’re able to invest more, it’s going to allow you to accelerate the amount of different things that you can test, the data that you can get access to right away and essentially answer some of the questions you might have.

Regardless, it’s all about looking at where are the opportunities and not taking a blind leap of faith and going, “I’m going to do this campaign and see how it goes.” You could do that, but you still have to analyze it. What I’m hearing you say is far too often, what people are doing is they’re not doing enough testing and not asking enough questions. They are not gathering as much data as they could and should be. That data, when you analyze and go through it consistently, that’s where the hidden gems are and big opportunity lies.

Find out what your customer wants and give it to them. If you don’t have money, that’s it on a bumper sticker.

There’s so much more that we can get into. Before we wrap up, I have a few more questions that I want to go over here and we’ll make sure that we can direct people to where they can learn more about your books, system and everything else that you’re offering. You’ve accomplished a lot in your business. You’ve grown two businesses. You’ve written books. You’re on media. You are a high performer. When you look at your habits, what are 1 or 2 things that you find that you do on a consistent daily basis that helped you to perform at that high level?

The way that it works for me is that I don’t do things every single day in the same lane. I’d be a contrarian in that answer. Some people need that. I have a very addictive quality. It’s a part of my ADD, which is I have to be engaged in what I’m doing and once I get engaged, I go all in. It’s hard to be married to that. One of the things that I’ve struggled with is loving myself over the years and I’ve had to learn how to do that. It means that I can’t always follow the things that are going to make me the most successful in business.

I was in therapy not so long ago. My therapist said to me, “You could be a billionaire. You got that. That’s an option on the table, but everything else is going to fall away. Your marriage is going to fall apart. You being a dad is going to be not working out. You’re going to be very imbalanced in life. There are going to be a lot of things to suffer, but you’ll build up a lot of money. You have to make sure you understand what that choice is.” This is for me. This is my story. For me, I have to break myself of habits because if I don’t, I get imbalanced and go hardcore into one thing and ignore everything else.

Is there one example of how you’re able to break yourself from going too deep?

I can wake up at 4:00 AM and work out, meditate and come into the office about 6:30 AM. I will read, write and study for about five straight hours. Even as an ADHD kid or ADD kid, I could do that. The problem is I’d miss my daughter’s breakfast or taking her to school or I would miss an intimate, nice conversation with my wife over coffee that morning. There are mornings where I can do that and mornings where I can’t do that, and I have to be okay with that.

I do transcendental meditation, but I don’t always do it because it shouldn’t be checking something off a box. It should be, “Do I feel like it? Is it going to help me love myself even more?” I have to figure those things out. I could work every Sunday for twelve hours. I could do it so happily. I love it. It would be the best. No phones are ringing and no emails are coming in. I could do it every day. Just give me a shot and I’d love it. That’s not good for me. Ultimately, I don’t love it. I love laying around watching cartoons with my daughter. I’ve got to learn to have that balance. For me, that balance is I mix everything up all the time and it keeps me on my toes.

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For the last months, what’s 1 or 2 books that you’ve listened to or read that could be fiction or nonfiction, but you feel had a big impact on you?

One would be Steve Rinella’s book on survival skills. The guy has a show on Netflix called MeatEater. He’s one of the only people ever to write hunting books that have made the number one on The New York Times best-sellers list. He’s got one on survival, hunting and camping skills. For me, personally, I’m 100% into hunting now. I’m doing things that are outdoors more and loving myself more. These are the things I want to do. That’s been really good.

The book I’m reading now has been a game-changer. It’s called The Gap And The Gain by Dan Sullivan and Ben Hardy. They wrote a book that changed my life about Who Not How. I realized that all of my mistakes in business came from me asking, “How can I do this?” Rather than, “Who can help me do this?” Every time I answer a who, I have success. Now, they wrote a book called The Gap And The Gain. The premise is we’re always shooting for a 10X return and when we don’t get it, we sit there and bitch and complain about how we didn’t meet our outcomes and it depresses us.

They teach that if you look back to where you were a year or two years ago, if you saw how much you’ve come along in the last year or two. Rather than thinking about what you don’t have, think about how great things have gotten, be happy about that and keep striving to be better every day for that 10X goal. Be happy, excited, and grateful that you’ve come 3X and not 10X. For people like me, that’s a good reminder.

Phillip, it’s great having you on. There are a lot of gems in the conversation and so much more that people could dive into and learn, whether it’s with your books, from your website and the content you put out over the years. If there’s one place that you would recommend that people go to learn more about all that, where should they go to connect and learn more?

A couple of things. One is PhillipStutts.com and I have a podcast called The Undefeated Marketing Podcast. We’ve had Jay Abraham, James Altucher and Peter Diamandis on whose Elon Musk’s business partner. You can subscribe to my blog there. Also, the data that we talked about, we offer a free data assessment for you or anybody out there that’s interested. We’ll talk about your customer or client list, and we’ll tell you how it looks with our data. It doesn’t cost anything. My team will do a call with you on it. The direct link is PhillipStutts.com/insights.

Phillip, thanks again so much for coming.

Thank you, Michael. I love what you’re doing out there. Keep it up.

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