Understanding the “Pride Cycle” can keep your business protected from yourself.
On today’s episode Russell talks about the pride cycle and how he stays humble. Here a few of the amazing things in this episode:
So listen here to find out how to keep yourself humble in your business so you don’t have to be humbled.
What’s up everybody? This is Russell Brunson and welcome to a late night Marketing Secrets podcast.
Hey everyone, I’m in my home tonight, right now. My wife and my kids are asleep, I’m about to head to bed. I still got kind of a stuffy nose. Monday my cold went away, then Todd and Ryan and Karen and Nick and a bunch of people flew into town this week to do a big hack-a-thon, working on some new updates in Clickfunnels, Clickfunnels Actionetics MD, and a bunch of just insane, cool things that we’ll be showing at Funnel Hacking Live, and we basically pulled two all nighters in a row and low and behold my cold came back.
So now we have official proof that sleep does correlate to if you’re going to get sick or not. So yeah, you should sleep more often. So tonight we actually went home early, it’s a little after 10, so I’m going to get some sleep tonight, which I’m excited for.
But I wanted to share a quick message with you guys that I thought was really cool. I was catching up with my Voxers with my inner circle members and answering them and I had a really cool conversation tonight through Voxer with one of my inner circle members. He’s a Clickfunnels member, Two Comma Club winner, and an inner circle member his name is Akbar Sheikh. A lot of you guys may know him, he’s very prominent in our community. And it was a really cool conversation.
I’m not going to share the whole thing, first off, just confidentiality with my clients, second off, it doesn’t matter. Kind of the end result of what we talked about ended up being really cool and I thought I would spend a little bit sharing it with all of you guys because I think it’s important.
So Akbar was talking to me, he basically was talking about business owners and entrepreneurs have success and a lot of times they stop being humble. There’s a concept called the pride cycle, so those who went to seminary like I did, there’s a concept called pride cycle and this is how the pride cycle works.
So first is you are humble and you’re eager to learn and try to grow or whatever. And because you’re humble, you start having success. You start learning and growing and developing and you go in this circle. So those who are listening, you can’t see my finger, but those who are watching, I’m making a circle with my fingers. It started kind of going up, having success, start learning and more good things happen and all the sudden you get to the very top and boom, you’re having success. And what happens when we start having success, we start drinking our own kool-aid and becoming prideful and start thinking, “Man, I am amazing.” And what happens at the top of that, this is the backside of the pride cycle.
So then the Lord, or whoever it is, humbles you and basically you become humble back at the very bottom, and you cycle, and then hopefully you’re sufficiently humble where you can learn and grow and start this process up again. You go up and then you get to the top of the cycle, and then usually people at the top become prideful and then they crash again. So this is the pride cycle.
This is happening around all day long. It’s been happening since the beginning of time. You can see it with political leaders, religious leaders, you can see it in people, humans, anyone in your own life, you’ve seen it. I guarantee you’ve see it. If you step back and look at your own life, you’ve seen the pride cycle. It’s a true thing that’s happening.
So we were talking about that, I think people a lot of times ask me, “Russell, how do you stay humble with things happening.” Because I’m scared of the pride cycle. I’ve gone on the full loop and the bottom is not very much fun, so I’m trying to figure out how I stay up here. And the thing that I know is that when you’re prideful, you have to crash. If you believe scripture, it says, “The Lord will have a humble people, either you will be humble or he will humble you.” So I’m like, okay I’m going to be humble, because I don’t want to be humbled, that sounds horrible.
And it’s interesting, the next thing I kind of told Akbar was about, I had a friend that was in Mexico on this marketing thing and I was talking to this guy that became a friend later, and he’s super wealthy. He buys and sells businesses, and makes a ton of money. What’s interesting, we’re talking and he wanted to hear my story so of course, as most entrepreneurs do I tell him the highlight reel of how cool I am. And he’s like, “Oh, not impressed.” I’m like huh.
And he asked me, “So have you always just had success?” And I was like, I kind of told him, “Well, twice I’ve pretty much bankrupt my companies.” And he’s like, “Well tell me that story, that story sounds more interesting.” So I kind of tell him the story and then he’s like, “Good, good.” And I’m like, “What do you mean good? That’s not good.” And he’s like, “No, you’ve cycled. I will never work with an entrepreneur who hasn’t cycled at least once.” And I was like, “What do you mean cycled?” and he said, “You built a company that crashed. If you haven’t cycled, you’re still going to drink your own kool-aid, read your own bio and believe it. It’s not going to be good.”
And I was like, oh how cool is that? First off, cycling sounds way cooler than failing, but second off, I was just like, how interesting, it’s the pride cycle. He only works with people who have at least cycled once, because they’re sufficiently humbled that they’ll listen to advice and they’re going to grow.
So Akbar and I were kind of talking about this, and then his message back was like, “I’ve been down at the bottom, but I’ve gotten to the spot where I’m kind of at the top. I don’t want that to be part of my story. I don’t want the crashing part of my story, what do I do?”
So I just wanted to share this piece of advice, because this is kind of what I told him and I think that it’s important for all of us to think about. So what I told him, first off, from a business, basically I learned….because he asked, “Is it about diversification? Is that the key?”and I was like, “Well, kind of.” I believe in diversification in some things but not your business. I think everyone should go…whatever your business is going to be, you should go all in. You shouldn’t diversify your business. I think having multiple businesses is the fastest way to destroy your business.
And I know that from personal experience, from a decade of it. So this is not me just philosophizing, this is me doing a lot of businesses and none of them could grow. Having a sole focus, you’re not diversifying your businesses, you’re diversifying the pieces around your business. Where are the singular failure points? For me, my first time, or my second big business crash was, I was running on one merchant account and that was it.
So it was like, diversification of merchant accounts to protect myself, so if this goes out and this goes out, I have protection. So that was number one. Diversification of traffic sources, yesterday’s podcast I talked about the Facebook slap, it’s coming. If all your eggs are in the Zuckerberg basket, you could be in trouble.
I know so many people that all their eggs were in Google’s basket, it was PPC, and PPC shifted, businesses gone. When then it went to SEO and SEO’s shifted, businesses gone. Diversifying your traffic source, you need to make sure you’re doing traffic from at least two sources. If you have a sales person, at least two sales guys. If you’ve got a programmer, at least two programmers. Diversification inside the business to protect, but not diversification of your business. You shouldn’t be doing 5 different businesses. That’s the opposite of good.
So that’s number one. And then number two, is trying to remain humble. And it’s hard sometimes. So it’s like, I need to keep myself sufficiently humble, because if not I’m going to be humbled. So it’s like, what does that mean? For me it means praying to God, it means not being a jerk. It means remembering that it’s not me, it’s an amazing team of people. It’s remembering that the only reason I’ve been given these gifts and these blessings is because there’s a purpose for it. I’m trying to help other people and if I lose sight of those things, my head can grow fast.
And I understand, I have a fat head anyway, I can’t wear hats. This is actually a true story. I can’t wear hats because I have a fat, the circumference of my head is enormous. I’ve tried my whole life to wear hats and I can’t. You’ll never see me in a hat ever, because my head’s so fat.
So my head will continue to grow and swell, so that’s number two. Just being aware of where you are on this pride cycle. If you are sufficiently humble, that’s good, stay there. And then as you start having success, try to stay humble because it’s hard.
Number two thing was, I look at all the people that I know, over the last 15 years of doing this, and I’ve seen people go through this cycle. The ones that don’t make it back up are the ones who are too prideful to learn. It blows my mind. Between Christmas time and now I’ve had three friends who have had businesses that have crashed, that have come to me saying, “Russell, I see what you’re doing. Is there any way I could come to your office and just shadow you and see what you’re doing so I can understand and get my business back up?” and all of them are close friends and I was like, “yeah, I would definitely be game for that. But first you gotta read my two books. Read Expert Secrets and Dotcom Secrets, because that’s the foundation. So read those, then let me know and you can come.”
So I told them that, and none of them have read the books and won’t come. They won’t learn. I’m like, are you kidding me? I feel like at this time of my life, I’m at the top of my game. Again, this is me when my head starts to swell. I don’t think there’s a lot of people who understand marketing better than me, at this point, marketing and sales. Not because of a big ego, but I’ve dedicated a decade and a half to this right, at a high level. Super intense, super immersion, super not just theory, but testing and testing. I don’t think there’s many people who know more than that.
But I also think there’s more people that study more than me. I still study because I want to stay sufficiently humble. I’m always learning. I’m in mastermind groups, I pay other people for coaching, I have multiple coaches happening all the time. On my phone, if I was to show you my iBooks account, I have I would say conservatively at this point, probably 350-400 thousand dollars in courses on my phone that I listen to every single day. Old school stuff, new stuff, I’m always trying to learn because I don’t want the market to shift and me be left behind.
I need to be sufficiently humble so I can continue to learn, so I can see what’s happening, be aware of the trends, be aware of the evergreen things that are never going to shift. I’m always learning. Partially for me and also, I heard Rick Chefren say this one time, “I get paid to think for a lot of people. That’s why I have to learn and study because I’m sharing with other people and I’m thinking for other people.” I feel an obligation to that too.
I have a lot of people following me and listening to me, and I need to consume and learn and keep on top of the game so I can continue to get back. Because I get paid from my tribe to contribute back. So that’s number two.
And then the third thing is sometimes we need to cycle. Sometimes it’s not always because you’re prideful, sometimes you’re just going the wrong direction. I look at my business over the last 15 years, I was running in a direction, and I thought it was right at the time, maybe it was right at the time. I learned a lot of things and met a lot of people and we served people the best that we knew at the time, and then everything crashed because that thing shifted.
And then I started this direction, running, running, running the best I could, the best that I understood. I made a lot of mistakes but I met amazing people and I learned and learned and learned and built this thing up and then it crashed again, and then it shifted.
I look at during those times, during the crash, I was just devastated. I thought I was doing the right thing, I thought I was doing what I supposed to be doing, but it didn’t work so apparently something was wrong. A lot of times, like with me, it’s not because you’re doing something wrong, maybe God needed you over here, but you were running this direction. So he had to force this thing so you’d be humbled enough to listen, to move. And then boom, humbled enough to listen and be able to move again.
I look at my life now, I look at the path, I look at the people that I met because of these things that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, that have built Clickfunnels. I met Todd because of a crash here, I met Dave because of this, I met Brent, I met John, I met all the people on my team, Ryan, and all these amazing, and I mean there’s so many people on my team, I could go on for hours. But those people, I picked up each of those people during these journeys, these ups and these downs that became a part of our team that made the foundation that we needed to be able to build Clickfunnels.
I look at now, my life, I’m like, can you…those things were necessary. So sometimes you can be doing everything right but you just have to trust God. God may need your business to crash for him to get you to where he needs you at. And it’s just being okay with that. In fact, I was talking to, who was it the other day? Someone the other day, about that in my own life. I was just like, Clickfunnels is awesome. I love it, I believe it’s my mission. But maybe this might not be the end mission. Maybe there’s something I’m supposed to do over here. What does that mean? I don’t know yet, I just need to pay attention. I try to be sufficiently humble so that when it comes it’s like, maybe the business crashes, maybe I need to sell the business, maybe I need to keep it forever. I don’t know, just trying to be humble enough to listen so we know. What’s the plan, where we’re trying to go.
So it’s just stepping back and putting our faith in God and saying, look, I’ll go where you want me to go. I’ll do what you need me to do. If you need this to end, that’s okay. What am I going to learn from this? Where am I going to go from here.
So anyway, I hope that helps somebody out there who’s listening. Because it’s pretty cool, pretty special. So there you go. There’s the pride cycle. This is seminary, early morning seminary. I didn’t go to early morning seminary. It’s seminary 101. But that’s what happens.
So for you guys to understand, where are you at in the pride cycle? Are you at the bottom, are you humble? It’s so awesome, cherish that, study, learn, grow, stay humble, and then as you start coming up towards the top, stay humble because that crash is never fun. But if you do crash, understand there’s a purpose for it.
Hope that helps you guys. I appreciate you all. Have an amazing night. I’m going to get to bed, get a couple hours sleep before the morning waits, a few hours. So much fun. I’ll talk to you guys soon. Bye.