Freedom is the doing of the thing that you want. I heard Evan Pagan say once: “Freedom is not the ability to do what you want. Freedom is doing what you want.”
And we put so many barriers in between...And it's when we sell the company, when it gets to $2 million, when it gets to $10 million, then I will do what I want. While we completely miss the fact that the doing of what we want is the thing that will make us free and the thing that will make us rich.
It takes one free person to create change
This is the show for them
We are the creators of the free world
This is Capitalism.com
And we are the 1%
Hey everybody, Ryan here. Thanks for listening to the show. Today, I’m going to share with you the keynote that I gave, the talk that I gave at this year’s Capitalism Conference.
I was really nervous going into this. I have so much intent and emotion behind this talk and I haven’t been that nervous going on stage in a long time, just because I wanted to communicate this idea, which I think is so important right now. In our community, there’s this major blind spot that I see us falling into which is that we need to get the money so we can live the lives that we want. And I feel like I have been guilty of spreading this lie. So I wanted to give my full thoughts on this topic because I think we are all in this because we want a better life. And as part of that better life, we want to make more money. And they can be interconnected, but so many entrepreneurs I know are stressed, overwhelmed like they’re juggling too many things and wondering if they’re ever going to get theirs if they’re ever going to get the payoff.
And this is my perspective on that.
Please note that if you ware listening in the car with kids, I do use some colorful language throughout this talk. So I would recommend maybe you listen to this on a walk by yourself. So, I just wanted to..I try to keep it fairly clean on the show but this is one where you might want to keep kids away from it.
This is a little bit of a different topic for me, a little bit of a different approach. But if you have liked any of my work where I've really opened up, then I think you’re really going to enjoy this keynote that was given at this year's Capitalism Conference. Enjoy!
[Announcer]: Without further adieu, I’d love to welcome back to the stage the one and only “Ryan Daniel Moran”.
[Ryan]: Thank you, buddy…[to announcer] That’s a role reversal.
Hey gang! How we doing?
How’s the day been so far?
How’s the day been so far!!?
This is the fourth time that we’ve done this event. The fourth time we’ve done this. And I started this event because I felt like a lost student. I felt like I had done something, like there as a calling in me and I had no idea how to bring this out, and I had hit about $2M in revenue--not knowing WHAT I was going to do next.
So I decided, at the time, this was back in 2013-2014 that I decided to do the event.
I had about half a million dollars in retained earnings from businesses. And so, I just decided to put it all on the line. And I decided--I had no idea how I was going to get where I wanted to go. My upbringing, I feel like it’s as humble as it gets. We were never in a lot of debt but we never had anything extra. We were on reduced lunch programs at school. When my parents split, my mom was a single mom. I watched that challenge for many years. I’m sure it had a lot of impact on me that I don’t even recognize. And so, when you hit a certain level of success and, I think, there are those of us in this room know that at some point in your life, there’s some sort of calling for something different. And for me, that finally started to catch fire when my businesses crossed the seven-figure mark, having no idea where I was going to take it from there.
So over the past four or five years, I’ve been rubbing shoulders with some of the greatest entrepreneurs in the world...as a student! And after interviewing hundreds of people on the podcast, or personally, or here on the stage...It has held a few consistent themes. And they weren’t the themes I thought they would be. Because I started out on this journey. As a kid, I wanted to own a major baseball team. I wanted to buy the Cleveland Indians.
And so, my life became obsessed with reverse engineering the greatness of others that I thought were ahead of me. I kept trying to find the formula. I kept trying to find the system. Kept trying to find the pathway. And I dug very deep down this rabbit hole to try and reverse engineer how other people have achieved what they had achieved. And as a people...We’re the only thing on the planet that has the ability to envision something in the future. We’re the only species that can do that. Plants...can’t see the future. My cat...doesn’t know the internet exists. No other, no other species can envision a future that’s different than what is. So, what entrepreneurship is is the process of building...that.
So there’s a point, at least for me anyway, there’s this experience of trying to figure out in our heads how we go about doing that. Trying to pull that into the present. Now, for some of us, that’s just “I see a different life than I have right now”. And for others that is “I have this grand vision for something else. I have this thing that I want to solve. I have this passion I want to amplify. And it’s a process of creating that type of a change.”
So, most of us enter into this because we have some life that we want to experience. Something that we want to bring about in our lives or other people’s lives. And in some point in our entrepreneurial journey-and I’ve seen this 100% of the time--at some point, what we thought was going to make us free actually makes us feel enslaved. There’s this point at which we reach a certain level of success or we have something that’s working. At first, we were driven by creating some sort of change in our own lives, and then we start juggling multiple balls. We start taking on different projects. We become...workaholics...
We don’t know how to disconnect. The thing that was supposed to give us freedom becomes the enslavement. Now, I know what it feels like to wake up every day and to feel like something is wrong even though there's success. To feel like “God, I got into this because I wanted to work less so I could...actually, I don’t know what. And yet, I feel trapped by the very thing that I thought would make us free”. And so the only way, at least for me, that I knew how to work through that was to work more. Was to work harder. Was to dive deeper into the how-to. Was to dive deeper into the process. Well, something must be wrong, so let’s figure out a new way to do this. And there’s a continual drive deeper into figuring out how we are going to do this. And at some point, the thing that drove us to get us free traps us.
I think my buddy Hootie said it well on a recent podcast episode we did together. The episode was called “Creating vs. Working”. And he said, “We start this entrepreneurial path thinking: “those guys are working so much and will only get enjoyment at the end of their lives at retirement. How stupid are they! but we are trapped on the same path...working on the next goal, the next goal, and the next goal, just like those who are employed!”.
Can anybody relate to this? Can anyone relate to this feeling of “Well now, I”m trapped in my source of freedom? What the hell went wrong?!”
As a result of feeling that way, there was a period of my life, for years..for years! When I woke up every day with a pit in my stomach knowing something was wrong. And there’s this idea of when you get what you want and it doesn’t satisfy you, it’s like the worst failure ever. And so the natural reaction is, especially for those of us whoa re entrepreneurs who work in silos who have small teams. We think that there are some other ways of doing it that’s gonna fix it. So we shoulder even more of the burden. We work even more. We take on an even bigger and bigger load..until it breaks us. Something's fundamentally wrong with this. Something is not fundamentally wrong with the “how” of we’re doing it. There’s something very wrong with this process. The way that we are approaching it. I mean, if and I know that this is the case universally--if freedom is a primary driver of our lives, why does the thing that gives us freedom in the first place make us feel worse at times?!
There was a period there where I would say “Man, I work so hard for like a few moments that I get a few times a year, so I’m gonna try to cherish those moments a little bit more. I’m just gonna try and savor those moments that I actually enjoy because that’s what I got into this for.
There are times where I wonder, “maybe it’d just be better”...I remember at one point.
Actually, Josh! I said to Josh--we were on a bus on a Mastermind together--and I said “maybe I”m just gonna throw in the towel and get a job! I mean, I think they work a lot less! And sometimes, I think they’re a lot happier and have way fewer headaches than we do as entrepreneurs”
And that’s when you realize that it can be a really lonely journey, that it can be a really frustrating journey. And you wonder when the payoff is going to be. And, of course, in today’s social media world: everybody else is crushing it. Everybody else is killing it. Everybody else is happy as hell!
And so that little dopamine kick becomes an addiction all by itself. And so we continue to work harder. And so this idea of freedom eludes us. And, at least for me, we end up wondering was this even worth it in the first place.
Now, I’ve been fascinated by my own experience in this. And I can tell you: the way I learn is I make mistakes. Like, I intentionally make mistakes. When C-money and I go to do a video and we don’t know what to do in the video, I say “Ah, let’s make some mistake; we’ll figure it out”. That is me: I run fast into a wall and then I go “other way” until I hit another wall and then I turn and “let's go into that..that!”.
That’s how I learn, and I am always willing to just take it all the chips and put them in the middle of the table and say “let’s see how this goes”. I’m not recommending that for most people; it's how I learn.
So my attempt today is to try and let you avoid them. Because there were many many years of unhappiness in my entrepreneurial journey. For me to come out on the other side with even a sense of “Aah, there it is! That's what it was all about! I found it.”
And so, I’m going to show you that path. And use my journey as the case study to try and shorten that curve for you. Because I believe, and I say this and I’m sorry that it’s become a cliche but I believe that entrepreneurs are the source of change in the world. And every year that we spend out of alignment with what you are able to bring to the world is a disservice to yourself. And a disservice to your family. And a disservice to the people around you. And to the thing that you want to make happen in the world. Or to the thing that you just want to experience.
Look! Let’s just cut the bullshit. We are all in this because we want to be happy. We are all in this because even if we’re pursuing the meaning more than the fun, we want to be happy. And we moved away from something that wasn’t making us happy to pursue something that would. And then entrepreneurs, at least in my experience, hit this wall where they are no longer are happy.
So, we can cut all of the fluff. We can cut all of the change the world fru-fru bullshit out of the case. If you just want to be happy. If you just want to amplify the feelings that you want to have, the experience of life. When do you get yours?! When’s the payoff!?
That’s what we’re going to address.
And I think we can boil it down to the three keys. Three things of actually uncovering your purpose. Not in a like airy-fairy way, but what actually lights you up. And to build an empire around it that makes you happy and leaves a legacy. One that you’re proud of. Not one that we just brag about on social media. But one that you were actually the thing that you were made to do.
Number one) Knowing what you want.
Which seem so overly simple that I’m embarrassed to put it on a slide. But the fact of the matter is: most of us are pursuing things that we don’t actually want. Most of us, when we go out to set our goals at the beginning of the year, at the beginning of the quarte, it’s hit “certain revenue mark”. It’s “grow by certain percentage”. It’s hit certain benchmark. It’s to achieve certain goals that we can check-off.
Which, by the way, can pave the way for some really good decisions in the macro. But they are not the thing that we actually want. Most of us are completely out of tune with what it is that we want.
And we know this because they don’t even excite us anymore! We know this because there’s no feeling or emotion attached to them in the first place! We know this because we set them because we think that we have to. Because we got to a certain point and the growth becomes an obligation rather than anything else.
We have this business...it’s growing..what do I do now? I guess I”ll grow more...Ehh, I should probably do that because it’s killing it for this person over here.
And it becomes this comparison game, not even a comparison game to other people. Although that is very true. There’s a comparison to even where we are right now. And so there’s a constant battle between where we set our priorities and what we actually want because they’re very rarely in alignment. There’s a quote from a book that I read recently that I...It’s one of the best business books I’ve read in a long time: It’s called Clockwork.
The quote is this: “Traditional teachings tell us to first determine who we are serving and to meet their need. You need to sell what the customer wants, otherwise, you won’t have anything to sell.”
On the surface, this theory seems to make sense. Most of us have followed this theory. But it ignores the most important element of a successful business: You!
I’ve seen wonderful businesses pivot into disdain and failure. The owners keep shifting their offering to match what the customer wants until the customer starts buying.
But in the process, they neglect to consider what they, the owner themselves, want! They ignore what their heart calls out to do. And while the business may be winning customers, it is losing the heart and the soul of the business.
Sure, it may make money. But at what cost?
Now, I like money. A lot!
Because it amplifies whatever you want to amplify. It allows you to make decisions and to create realities that wouldn’t exist without it. But when the customer or when the demands of the marketplace become the goal in and of itself, we often trade our own desire to live the lives that we want and that’s why we started in the first place.
So how do you discover it?
One of my favorite philosophers who is no longer with us is Alan Watts. And I’d like to play what he had to say on the matter: “St. Paul said that the laborer is worthy of his hire. And uh, I, as a philosopher, mere philosopher, you know..dealing in higher things..always insist that I be paid for my work. And I get the highest fee I can get. And people say: “Oh, you’re just out for money. And I say: “that's none of your business” Because I give most of it away...My own needs being extremely simple. Although I enjoy good food, I don’t even own a television set. And, uh, You know, it’s a very simple life. But I’ve got enough. And enough is as good as a feast! You see a lot of people don’t feel happy unless they have another thing beyond money which is called status. And status, to a very large extent in our economy, consists in conspicuous consumption, in having this thing or that thing or the other thing, in having a swimming pool, a Ferrari, certain kinds of clothes. Certain kinds of house with an enormous styled picture window and so on and so on and we think we need all of that because we’ve been persuaded by a certain kind of propaganda. That that’s how we ought to live. Because we haven’t asked ourselves whether that was what we really wanted.
Because we haven’t asked ourselves if that was what we really wanted. Because we haven’t asked ourselves if that was what we really wanted. That’s the line that I go “oh…”
Because we haven’t asked ourselves if that was what we really wanted.
I really appreciate the fact that a philosopher from the 1970s was worried about maximizing his value in the marketplace and negotiated the highest fees that he could get. I rather appreciate that. While also recognizing at the same time what he really wanted so he could spend the money so he could amplify exactly that. This reminded me..Most of you know: I went to college thinking I was going to be a pastor. I was raised in a Baptist church. I was a born-again Christian for most of my life. Walked away from the church shortly after college. I no longer consider myself religious.
But I find some of the teachings of Jesus very interesting. And I’m paraphrasing Matthew 19 on this slide. Forgive me those of you who like to proof text and you’ll accuse me of removing a few verses--I did. But to paraphrase Matthew 19: this is one of the passages that we used to debate in pastoral school or even in church because it had one of the “naughty lines”. That’s what we used to call them. One of the lines that we used to fight over.
So a man comes to Jesus and says “teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And Jesus says to him: “keep the commandments and if you would be perfect, go and sell what you possess and give to the poor and you’ll have treasure in heaven. And come follow me!” When the young man heard this, he went away sorrowful for he had great possessions.
Jesus said to his disciples: “Truly I say to you only with difficulty only a rich person will enter the kingdom of heaven”. Again, I tell you, here’s the “naughty lines” that people fight over: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.”
I got into a debate, actually, with one of my business partners when we started our business because we both had Christian backgrounds. And we had to actually talk about undoing some of the guilt that existed around having money because of this verse.
And what I love about this passage--and I promise not to get into a full sermon on this topic--but, what I love about this first of all is the man says to Jesus: “what thing will I do? What thing can I do? What can I do to get the thing?” It reminds me so much of the experience that I have when I’m working. Like, when I’m feeling like I’ve got 18 hours of work that I need to do every day and then I go “what do I need to do on top of what I’m doing to get the result that I want? What’s the thing that I have to keep doing? Will you please give me the thing that I can add to my existing todo list-- which is already way to freaking long-- in order to feel like I”m on track??!”
And what’s interesting is..I love, I just love how people miss this. It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven.
First of all, side rant: Jesus rarely talked about heaven being a place in the sky that was when you died. Man, we would fight so many fewer wars and have way fewer debates if we recognize that he wasn’t talking about that. But most importantly, this is so interesting: there was, there was a place in Damascus. It was a very narrow road. A very narrow passageway. And it was referred to as the “eye of the needle”.
And camels couldn’t pass through it.
It was too narrow.
Camels couldn’t go through the wide area….unless they did one thing.
You see, camels couldn’t pass through..not because they were too big but because they were one of the main forms of transportation at the time. And so what would happened was they would carry these bags on the side of them.
And so, their own bodies combined with what they were carrying could not pass through this narrow way. Unless they did one thing: they had to drop their possessions.
And Jesus is here talking to a rich man saying “sell your possessions if you want to be perfect”
And he goes away sad and why? Because he had many.
And the way that I interpret this. What this means to me now is that so many of us work so damn hard to get anywhere and reward ourselves with possessions or reward ourselves with more egoic pursuits, with more things that we think are going to prove our value, make the business what we think is going to be the key to our success while ignoring our own souls, calling while ignoring the thing that we wanted to do in the first place.
Mostly because we’re comparing ourselves to other people. Mostly because we perceive other people as having found the thing that we think we are pursuing.
I did a podcast on my realization of this when I really got away from the noise and this is an Instagram post of what I journaled about...of me realizing that I had done most of my work, most of my pursuits feeling like those things were going to be the pathway to really being happy. And I said in this: if I make a few million more, then i’ll be able to do what I want...which seemed to be more pursuits of...ego?
What if I didn’t need any of that.
What would I want then?
What would I want then?
What would I want then”?
And I know this much: it wouldn’t be based on numbers.
Gary V was the first person that I booked ever to speak at one of our live events. Because I thought: he’s ten years ahead of me and I wanted to find out what he knew that I didn’t.
It’s really interesting: if you’ve never watched the recordings of the capitalism conference that we publish on Youtube. It's amazing how things connect with you differently as you grow in your journey. And Gary's was my favorite because as I learn, as I mature, more what he says impacts me. And there are certain things that I realized that he had figured out ahead of me and this is one of them.
[Gary] “I, very early in my age, I’ll tell you one of the pillars that I think will bring you value. And I have not figured out in the last 20 years how to help this, but I will tell you. I can tell you right now: there's no secret. There’s no model. There’s no system. But there is something that completely maps the success through and through. I just don’ know how to teach it. I actually don’t know if it’s teachable. I’d like to say it right now because I was deploying it as a 15-year-old.
Which is: if you are fortunate enough to be sitting in this room right now and you think you have self-awareness, then you are very gifted and you have a real shot of winning. The single biggest reason people don’t win or build bigger businesses or are successful is that they lack self-awareness. They hope and dream to be something and have tricked themselves to what they are actually about. The second that you are willing to accept who you actually are and put yourself a position to win around that skill, the second you start seeing the upside. And that’s what happened to me. I ate shit. Entrepreneurship was not sexy when i was 15, 16, 17. The way to make it was through education. So getting Ds and Fs, my friends parents thought I was a loser.
If I was a kid now and acted the way I did then. In today’s school system, they’d be like “oh, there’s the next Mark Zuckerberg!”.
Right? It’s cool.
Back then, it wasn’t viewed that way.
And I had to basically live 4-5 years of my life where literally outside of my mom, my dad, and me, everybody in the outside didn’t think that I would be successful. And it was really interesting, what helped me through that was I just knew who I was. I didn’t care. I just knew”.
[Ryan] I think the reason why we have such a hard time identifying what it is that we want outside of external numbers is that we already have it. We’re just not aware of it. We already have it. And I don’t mean the thing that we want because most of us want to be something not have or do something.
We want to be happy. We want to be free. We want to be creative. We want to be in flow. W want to be connected. We want to be growing. These are the things we want to be
And yet we get lost in the path in doing the thing that we think is doing to allow us to do that. When money in the first place was going to be the thing that amplified that, it was going to be the thing that liberated that. And instead, we get attached to the result rather than in tune with what it is that we wanted in the first place.
So, I do think that self-awareness can be taught. I do think that there’s a way to recover what is.
And number one, it requires you to get real quiet.
Because most of us distract ourselves in the art of “learning”, of putting on a podcast while we’re on a shower. Of every 3 seconds checking the phone. Of finding the next audiobook. On finding the next thing to read. So that there is never a moment in which we’re quiet.
You know, I think, there’s a lot of talk about psychedelics and psychedelic research going on right now. Like, it’s having its second heyday. And I think part of the reason why psychedelics are becoming kind of pop culture right now is because...for the first time in our history if you have an emotion, you don’t have to deal with it.
For the first time ever, the second, the half-second you’re bored: the phone comes out. The half a second you feel any sort of loneliness. The quarter-second you feel anything that you don’t want to feel, we distract ourselves. And sometimes we call it learning. Sometimes we call it checking. Sometimes we do it because we’re afraid we’re going to miss something. And we’re never quiet. Never.
We don’t even know what quiet is!
We are constantly feeding the voice in our head that is constantly running around like a hampster.
And, we are constantly comparing ourselves to other people.
When you’re real quiet, it’s real easy to identify what our best and worst experiences were.
By simply identifying what our best experiences are that we want to have more of...THAT’s a clue to your purpose!
That’s a very clear sign of what lights you up!
That’s what the money is for.
Hey! A quick note for you amazon sellers and brands who want to be on Amazon but haven’t made it a priority yet. I am often asked about changes with reviews or changes with Amazon’s with terms of service. Or changes with what’s going on with ranking and all of that kind of jazz.
And I’m proud that I’ve partnered with one of our back-room members, his name is Jeff. He runs an agency that specializes specifically in optimizing your Amazon presence.
So, if you’re a brand that is neglecting amazon and you've heard me talking about it and saying “you know, we’ve got to get this together!” or if you’re an Amazon seller and you know you need to turn your attention to audience building and funnels and the stuff that’s really going to grow your company, I would recommend that you give a quick shout to my boy Jeff at Turn Key Product Management. They’re at TurnKeyProductManagement.com.
Like I said, they’re in the backroom, they work with my team and the rest of the big companies and equity groups that are involved in our little circle and they’re usually ahead of everyone else in what’s working, what’s compliant, what review strategies are cool and kosher and are actually effective and they’re not out there hawking a bunch of info-products, they’re actually doing it.
So, they’re an implementation agency that just handles it for people.
And, they run their own businesses. Some of which they have built and sold kinda like yours truly, so I feel really good about partnering with them and recommending the big companies and the brands that I work with to outsource their amazon management to jeff and his team.
So if you’re looking to add some automation into your arsenal, I would recommend the good folks at turnkeyproductmanagement.com.
And Jeff and I are on speed dial with each other and are collaborating on what’s working so you’re always getting what’s the latest and greatest in the Amazon world.
Contact those guys if you’re looking to outsource, automate, and optimize your Amazon presence at TurnkeyProductManagement.com
The best experiences that you’ve had..That’s a sign. That's a guidepost into what you got into this game for. Now, what’s interesting about that is that most of them came real natural. Most of them came real easy.
There’s a couple of tests that I like to identify this because as entrepreneurs we want to have a test to tell us, we want to verify what we already know.
One of them is Wealth Dynamics. Wealth dynamics appointed me...it’s basically an entrepreneur personality type, ie. what kind of entrepreneur are you? I was a star first, investor second.
Took me about 6 and a half years to discover what that meant but my happiest moment was when I had an audience and when I was doing something on the investor side.
I mean, you realize: I am shocked! I am shocked that people don’t like being on stage! I’m shocked by this.
I just think “Everyone must love that. Doesn’t everyone love to have an audience? Doesn’t everyone like to record their thoughts in a podcast?”
It’s so obvious to me that I don't understand.
And I realize now, that what’s the same thing that so natural and easy for you, I would loathe and hate.
And we tend to pursue relationships or hire people that are just like us rather than honoring where you’re really unique and where other people are really unique which is why I really like Dan Sullivan's Unique ability and the Colby index is another really good personality index.
But what all this ends up doing is uncovering what's really easy and natural for you.
Jesse Elder [sic] said once, I think here at our first ever event. And he said “the hardest part is hearing how easy it is. Of uncovering the things that we do that prevent us from getting quiet and identifying what we wanted in the first place.
Anybody know this guy?! This handsome dude! This was JP’s first ever, I believe, his first ever “funny video”.
It’s funny if you go to his youtube video and sort by oldest, a lot of his videos for years were teaching style, spiritually-minded videos. And what I loved about this was that he actually had to put in parentheses “funny” in the title. And the reason, he shared some of this in a podcast that we did together.
He did this because he was afraid that being funny was going to be bad for business. That highlighting his own uniqueness was going to be bad for business. It was going to sabotage the business. It was going to make things crash and burn. And then came JP Sears out of nowhere the last couple of years, and it’s had meteoric success.
And that has been the thing that I’ve unpacked as I’ve interviewed hundreds of people and rubbed shoulders some of the World’s most successful people. It was always that!
It is never that they found the strategy that they implemented. It was always that they went back to the thing that once they applied to a strategy caught fire.
That was the moment.
That was the turning point.
And our head doesn’t want to hear that because it can’t make sense of it...because there’s no other comparison for it, because we each bring something different to the table.
There’s a formula that Greg Reed shared on, this was on like episode 4 of my podcast way back in 2013 and he calls it his success formula. And it looks like this:
Passion + Talent + Action/Association + Faith = Success
Now, I did not like this when he shared this with me.
And he shared it with me for the first time when I was going through one of those really dark years. Because it felt like...I felt like I was out of alignment and I felt like I was never going to achieve what I wanted to achieve.
And he shared this to me and it frustrated me because I’m sitting there going: “How does someone who is passionate about baseball, religion, politics, and business. Who’s good at coming up with ideas and talking?! I have no idea how that becomes success!”
And this really frustrated me. So I ignored it for about 5 years and then came back to it and went “woahhh I get it now:. And I’ll share about that with you as I go on.
But I want you to think about this for a second: the passion and the talent and then acting and surrounding yourself with people and working like hell is the foundation of the formula.
And number 2) the second step: when we’ve started to identify our best and worst experiences, when we’ve gotten real quiet, when we’ve started to identify what the heck it is we actually want. Number 2 is knowing how to get there.
Now we love the “how-to” in entrepreneurial internet land. We love the “how-to”. We love the process. We love the system. We love reverse engineering and then pulling it into ourselves so that we get the same result. But when the “how-to” becomes the focus, then we are obsessed with the distribution system rather than the doing.
Which is why we have so many annoying Instagram experts. So many annoying facebook ninjas. Why I finally realized why I really resisted the idea of being the “Amazon Guy” because the idea was the distribution comes later.
Freedom is THE doing. Freedom is THE doing of the thing that you want.
Freedom IS you acting out what it is what you want.
I heard Evan Pagan say once: “Freedom is not the ability to do what you want. Freedom is doing what you want.”
And we put so many barriers in between...And its when we sell the company, when it gets to $2 million, when it gets to $10 million, then I will do what I want. While we completely miss the fact that the doing of what we want is the thing that will make us free and the thing that will make us rich.
It's a weird mindfuck. It’s a really really weird thing that we have to undo.
See we’re marketers. We’re entrepreneurs. We can amplify anything. Most of us have won at something.
Even if we don’t give ourselves credit for it because we’re comparing ourselves to other people, we’ve won at something.
We’re winners! We buck the trend. We change the system. We can amplify whatever we want.
So be very careful what you amplify.
Be very careful what you give that talent to.
Be very careful what you gift that energy to.
Russel Brunson was here last year, and he went through that whole funnel system. And it’s been funny to watch as many people think the funnel is the way. So people look at the numbers of the funnel and build a funnel and they hate their lives whereas his entire point in the first place is “if you know what it is that you want to bring about, this is the way to amplify that”.
And that’s when you see people explode.
When you marry what it is that you want, what it is that you and your company brings to the world, marketing becomes the amplification of that rather than the thing that allows you to do step 1.
I started to notice this when I was backstage with Jessie Eisler a couple of years ago. And he’s built and run a couple hundred million dollar companies. And I asked him why do you come to give keynotes? Why do you like to do this kind of stuff?
And he said “This is just what I like to do! This is me free! This is me doing my thing.”
And, he shared with me that every time he does that, really big businesses just kinda show up. Really cool opportunities just kind of happen. They just kind of show up.
Tom billing was exactly the same way. Because if you listen to his story, he did kinda something that a lot of us do: he walked away from something that wasn’t making him happy. And he started doing this thing. He liked it so much that he was in the kitchen cutting up quest bars by hand. Six years later, it’s a billion dollar company!
Interesting. Experienced this when I met Mos Ali. Spoke to him at an event earlier this year. Got to 100 million in 2 years. And it was so interesting to hear his story because he said “Everyone else was telling us exactly how we should do it. Was telling us all the distribution mechanisms to get our product to the world. But none of them felt like what we wanted to do. None of them felt like they were our unique thing in the world They took us out of alignment of who we wanted to be in the world. So we just didn’t do any of those and said ‘I mean, they might be great opportunities but I’d rather much rather build a business that I’m happy with.’
And the result was they got acquired for 100 million dollars two years after being founded.
It’s so easy for us to put money as the thing that makes us free. But money is a byproduct of value. That’s all. Money is the exchange of value.
The more value we create, the more money we create.
But value is unique by nature. It doesn’t happen by copying or model what the next guy or gal does. It’s unique by nature. You are unique by nature. Your company is unique by nature. And so when you follow the proven plan of someone else, you diminish that uniqueness, you become less valuable and you make less money.
It’s the opposite of what everyone else talks about.
And then you distribute that unique value.
That’s how you get what you want.
That’s how you are free!
That’s how you amplify and grow a business.
Your upside is not from learning a new strategy or adding another todo item. It’s by distributing and amplifying you and your company’s uniqueness.
And many of you, especially you physical product sellers, are resistant to this idea of doing anything unique. You’re afraid of the uniqueness. And so you fear what’s gonna happen when other people start distributing the exact same thing as you.
Both of you become less valuable. That’s what happens!
Your job as an entrepreneur is to create and distribute unique value and you do that according to what it is that you want because that’s what you got into this in the first place.
Okay so step two is knowing the how. It’s distributing the uniqueness. Step 3 is knowing “who” you need with you.
Look, we all feel alone in this game.
All of us.
Every single one of us. It’s by our nature. Because we know there’s something unique about us. We know there's something weird about us and so, as a result, we always felt a little bit separate from the rest of the group because we’re all a little bit unique and weird.
And entrepreneurs are the one people in the world who see something different about life and try to change it which is a lonely journey, by nature.
Now, for some people, that’s just you’re unique and so you’re kind of alone in this and it’s your greatest strength.
But for most of us, that feeling of being alone puts us in survival mode. Which is really odd because when we’re in survival mode, we start doing things, pulling things towards us which starts pushing other people away which perpetuates the cycle.
Which is why….you get a lot of angry people on the internet.
Loneliness begets more loneliness because we end up doing the things that create survival mode and push other people away.
You realize...guys! We’re made to be in groups of people. So your uniqueness was supposed to be the greatest gift that you bring to the rest of the group.
But in this world, we’re all our own tribe!
No wonder we feel too alone. No wonder we feel like we carry too much on our backs. No wonder. No wonder.
Here’s the thing...We never meet the people who help us build that empire, who build the thing that we want…. It literally cannot happen until it reflects the thing that you want.
Because other people want to feel that same thing.
They want what they want too.
So, look, if what you want out of your business is to be cash flow positive and to make 10 million dollars in EBITDA a year. Great!
Make it your mission!
Publicize it! State it! Internalize it!
Don’t try to add some purpose-driven bullshit to it if it’s not what you want. Own it!
Because then you’ll be able to go recruit other people who want that too.
Now your missions are aligned. Now your visions are aligned.
If it’s...to work as little as possible while still producing a profit. If it’s to amplify a message. Whatever it is what you want, you can do.
But if you're lying about what you want to bring into the world, you bring on other liars.
Or people who were misled to be a part of your mission in the first place.
And guess what: you’re never going to have a synergy which means you’re always going to be carrying this thing on your back and feeling alone.
You never really meet the people that drive the company to where you want until you’re honest with yourself about what it is that you’re building.
Jeff Woods is going to be sharing tomorrow. And he is going to be going through --I’ve asked him to lay out the “empire building” model. It was really helpful for me. But this is a little bit of a preview. This little graph right here was the first ever model of Disney where Walt Disney was laughed out of the room because it was “too crazy” to build.
Of course, it was too crazy to build!
Nobody’s ever done it before!
Nobody’s ever done what YOU do ever before! You have never existed before! No vision has ever existed before!
And he [Walt Disney] was laughed out of the room for it. Jeff will be breaking this down tomorrow in more of a step-by-step model.
But one tool that's been really helpful to me has been the “vivid vision”. This has been shared by Cameron Harold here on the stage a few years ago. It’s the process of 1) getting real freakin quiet and 2) putting in a two-page document what it is that you actually want the company to look like.
I use this for a filtering tool when hiring. This is made to elicit either a “hell yes!” or a “no”...because if they’re not a “hell yes!”, like let's go home! There are other things you can do. There’s other things we can do.
If this isn’t your thing, it’s totally fine. Because if you’re not happy, we’re both not going to be happy.
So we end up doing this thing a lot of times where, when you’re hiring your first people you think that other people are only motivated by money and so you feel the need to always work out the numbers perfectly rather than creating an environment and a structure and a way that makes people live the lives that they want.
Entrepreneurship is a route to get the life that you want.
So is working for somebody else.
Like, we’re all trying to do that: live the lives that we want.
So if you’re honest about the life that you want, then you can also create it for other people too. You can invite them into that vision which allows you to build the empire that is what you want to bring to the world.
Jeff Hoffman called it building your New England Patriots, the perennial winner, the team that keeps going back and winning.
You know what's funny about the Patriots? They don’t have a lot of stars. They got one now because he’s probably the best quarterback ever. But apart from that, there’s no standouts. There’s a system. It’s a family. It’s a culture.
And they all have one aligned goal, one aligned vision and it’s win Superbowls. And people join because they want to win Superbowls, not because they want to be stars.
And when that is all aligned, then you can be a perennial winner. The answer to almost all of your problems is who: Who you’re with. Who you’re doing this for. Who you’re trying to impress. Who you need to meet.
But the first who...is you. And if you’re not real honest about what you want, you’ll never get it.
Because you’ll be building something that you don’t.
These three keys are knowing what you want, identifying the unique value that you bring to the world, knowing how to get there, and actually doing, being the freedom. Freedom IS the doing of it! Is the amplification of that uniqueness and then surrounding yourself with people who are in the exact same mode of wanting to amplify what their uniqueness is.
Very briefly, I’m going to share myself as the case study. Because this was really hard for me. This was really hard.
I spent so many years, so many years trying to figure it out. Trying to build something that I really didn’t want. And sacrificing my health, my happiness, getting all of the external things and feeling more trapped than ever.
Not knowing what was wrong! And what was increasingly frustrated about it was that when I did my exercise of “best and worst”: my best moments were when I got drunk with Billie Jean and argued about politics, religion, and abortion.
By the way, did anyone ever see this video? Yeah! 4 people watched it! And I didn’t give a fuck! It was so much fun!
And the reason why I share this is because when I made my “best and worst” list, all of my best were times when I was performing, times when I was a kid, times when I was doing the things I thought were easy. So I had done that before this experience and I hung out with Billy and I went back to my hotel and journaled “How could I do this every day?! You wouldn’t have to pay me. We would just talk about big ideas and then hug it out at the end. It would be great!”
That’s totally weird, by the way, I’ve come to find. Not everyone enjoys this, but I sure did.
So, this is frustrating for me. This isn’t what I think my skill set is. This isn’t what I’ve practiced for ten years.
But because I been thinking about this for a long time, I was reminded by an experience by Carl Icahn a famous investor, tweeted this tweet and he said: “We currently have a large position in Apple. We believe the country to be extremely undervalued. Spoke to Tim Cook today. More to come!”
This tweet added 10s of billions of dollars of valuation to Apple. A tweet!
That’s weird. That’s not supposed to happen....
So, as I modified that success formula, as I started to pay attention to this, I started to see where my uniqueness could be applied to the actual doing.
And so I was having dinner with Tim Ferris. We were at this restaurant in Austin, special thanks to Jason Hartman who made this happen. And uh it was funny a mouse, a rat, we were sitting outside, it ran up a tree.
And Tim says, “Wow, I really want to tweet or share on social media that I just saw a rat at this restaurant but I know that it’ll really hurt this restaurant.”
And I was like, wow that’s powerful. That’s kinda badass to say that you can tweet and hurt restaurant sales. That’s kinda cool.
But I was kind of fascinated by audiences. You’ve heard me talk about audiences for years, right? Because I’m fascinated by this idea that somebody who has an audience can impact a brand or a business.
And as I’ve continued to surround myself with other people, I was really struck by the worlds of Brian Lee, this was last year at the Capitalism conference and Brian was talking about how his entire process is, he goes audience first and the impact that an audience brings to the world. then he raises the money and he stays in the production chair and he just brings the people together because that's what his core skillset is.
And he's super humble about it, puts great people in place, and he stays out of the way.
I went huh, this is really interesting.
I've listened to people like Gary V. talk about how that’s the trend, how that's the wave in business.
How the unique audiences, the weird audiences are the things that will put the big brands out.
So when I wrote my vivid vision, we went through it as a team. I started with this: our endgame is simple, to have an audience that's so responsive that we can take any business to new heights. We promote products, people, or brands. We impact them by leveraging our audience and network. Every relationship that we foster, every customer that we take under our wing, every video that we release exists to make this endgame a reality.
Because this is what I want to do anyways. And If I can build the business to put me in the place to just do what I would do anyway, I'm happy no matter what the result is.
And the cool thing about this is: Do you have any idea how good it feels to just say what you're up to in the world and not care if somebody copies you and not care about what anybody thinks about it because it's just what you want to do anyways.
Tom Bill said to me the exact same thing: they had a mission as a company that they wanted to bring out, and if someone else could do it better than him...he was happy for them.
So, I spend a tremendous amount of time and energy doing weird things on the internet like drinking wine in front of a camera and launching podcasts… Because it's what I would be doing anyways… I can't NOT! I can't not talk about all of this.
And all of you are here, like there was no goal.
There was no path.
There was no formula...until there was, and I stopped enjoying it. And it became less unique and it became less valuable. And it's taken shedding all of that attachment to go back to “This is just what we do anyways, and if we get paid for it, that'd be really fun.”
And so, my empire, after a whole lot of being quiet and doing a lot of work, is building an audience and building brands and combining the two together.
So I have a business with my partners, Clement Wan and Max Kurwick of developing and investing in brands with purpose. Of building brands that we're just excited about.
We had a meeting recently. And I had two beers so I was sloshed. Two beers and I could barely stand.
And I put my cup on the table and said “We need to do more things that we like doing just because we like doing. That's what we're here to do anyway. That's the point. That's why we got into this.”
And so my empire is taking an audience, because it's what I would do anyway. And launch businesses that we’re excited about, because it's what we would do anyways. And investing in other entrepreneurs that are doing the exact same thing: launching brands and businesses that we're excited about.
And Capitalism, the platform, becomes a way that we amplify that and incubate other businesses. And, at the same time surrounding ourselves with people who ware playing a big game.
We said in the vivid vision that we're here to bring exciting businesses in front of an audience to light their fires and in order to do this we continually cultivate a responsible audience of high-achievers and maintain a pipeline of dealflow as we empower emerging entrepreneurs because that’s what I’d want to do anyway.
But what’s interesting is that when you’re really really clear about what that is, the monetization model, the path forward all shows up...We’ve all seen the trend of brands being acquired for billions of dollars.
Hell, do you guys know George Clooney had a tequila company acquired for $4 billion dollars--more money than he ever made as an actor. Because he had an audience.
And he just did it because he wanted to do it.
That’s where our greatness is.
What about you?
Your greatness doesn’t come from a system that you apply or a path that you follow, it’s innate to you. When you’re so clear. When you’re so in-tune with what that is.
And not like finding some outside purpose..the thing that you wanted to do anyway.
The thing that you wanted to do. the thing that you would do just because...Like, you got into business because you wanted to do this thing!
When you are in tune with that, that’s your greatest shot. That’s how you make it.
When you know what that is because you’re quiet, because your in tune, and because you just do it anyways. That’s when you create a life that you actually love. And the crazy thing is: its when you actually create the biggest business that you’ve ever had.
And that is when all of the stuff that we spent so much energy trying to learn and trying to figure out just becomes the thing that makes that even better.
And that is when we start to surround ourselves with team members and partners that help amplify and help bring to the world what it is we want to do.
That’s how we amplify and bring to the world what it is we want to do. That’s when it all comes together.
That’s how you build the life that you want. that’s how you change your family and your community.
That’s how you actually create the ripple effects that matter.
Because this world doesn’t need you to reverse engineer some system.
It needs you to be completely lit up.
It needs you to actually BE free because that is how you create the life that you want for yourself, for everyone around you.
And that is how you change the fucking world!
I love you.
I support you.
I believe in you.
Hey! Thanks for listening all the way to the end. It means a lot to me. Thanks for listening to these thoughts and I would love to hear yours. If you shoot me a DM on instagram, I am @ryandanielmoran or if you’re more of a twitter type, I’m @ryanmoran on twitter.
I would really l love hear your thoughts on today’s episode; I hope it provided some freedom for you, some freedom to build the business and the empire that you want.
Not what I tell you you should build, not what the case studies we feature here tell you you should do, but what you want and what makes you happy.
And I hope that our work moving forward gives you the freedom and the knowhow to be able to do those things.
And now that I know what I want, I feel very proud of what we’re doing here at Capitalism.com.
And very thankful to have you as part of the journey. I appreciate you. I’m rooting for you. Thanks for supporting the show. Talk to you soon