Welcome to the “Making of a DM.” how traveling the world for seven straight years transformed my business, my life and my goals. I’m going to share with you in great detail of exactly what I learned on the journey and still continue to learn. So, with that said, let's get started.
Mark: Good morning. Good morning. Happy Thursday. What's up, DM world? Thinking about you guys over here, coming to you today from Parkland, Florida, and the next three or four, or five months. I always thank you guys very much for being here as me and the family get ready to hop on the plane and roll out of here in the next three and a half hours. Thought I’d take about a half hour here today to talk about something powerful, being that I'm getting ready to travel. [01:06.6]
I wanted to just share with you guys, you may or may not know this that my girlfriend, now my wife, and I traveled for over seven years throughout the country and throughout the world, and I learned a lot about a lot of stuff by doing that. I’ll get to that here in a second, but how traveling the world for seven years straight, it transformed my business and it grew. The truth is this taught me how to get more done in one day that most get done in a week.
So, guys, today, I just want to talk to you about back in December 31, 2005, that's when I stood up and Dina and I headed off to South Beach, Florida, for one month. I was scared. I was frustrated. I was excited. I was nervous. I was happy. I was sad and everything in between. But it was the biggest thing that ever happened to me in that moment because it allowed me to start becoming a virtual, i.e. a real business owner. [01:58.0]
See, it's easy to just fix problems when you're there and you're local. It's easy to make people look better than they are because you take over the reins and just execute the transaction and get it done or the deal or whatever. What I was doing and I didn't realize it, I was just so deep in my business and I had zero clue of how to operate a real business. I said I was a business owner and I owned businesses, and I had employees, but I wasn't really a business owner. I was actually a person that had an idea and I had people working with me on the idea, but I never allowed them to execute to help me build the idea bigger than me, so the company was always growing to mind capacity, never theirs.
What I’ve realized in the travels is that you have to find great people. You have to bring them into your world, share where you're at, realistically share where you're at—don't fluff it up and act like you're a bigger dog than you are—and then share, more importantly, the vision of where you want to go and where you see this. You might have been thinking like, Who the hell is going to believe my vision? I don't really have much going on. I don't have much going on, but outside looking in, it looks I have a lot going on, and when I get bigger, I’ll still act like I have nothing going on because that's just what makes us function. [03:08.7]
Genuinely, that's what drives us, and we feel we're sitting around on our hands. We're complacent. That's our biggest fear, real entrepreneurs being complacent, being a thing of the past and always progressing, but you've got to show that vision. You’ve got to cast it. You’ve got to let them know, “I need your help,” and that's what really changed my life. It was starting to ask people for help. I don't know everything. Actually, the truth is I don't know much of anything, except that I don't know anything. That's what I do know.
What I would do back in the day when I was the cool—what I thought to be cool—cocky, young punk that had business, not really, but that's what I called it, was I knew all the answers. I had all the solutions. I had all the time in the world to fix the problem. Like I said, I had a lot of people running around and sales people in the office and admin, and it was a full operation of a real estate company. The truth is they were all very lazy, not working that hard, riding my coattails, and not only that, that was my fault not their fault, by the way. I'm not blaming them, because that's how I positioned it. I wanted to feel significant. They had to ask me for anything. [04:16.3]
I remember Katie, who was an assistant of mine, she was buying post-it notes, asking for my approval on post-it notes. Seriously? And then when she did it, executed it and it was 50 cents more than what I would have paid, I would blow her up and say, What are you thinking? You're wasting my money, blah, blah, blah. It's so ignorant. It's so stupid. It's so immature. It's so amateur hour.
What has happened through the travel in the recent seven years is important and I'm sharing this with you. It forced me to pick my battles. It forced me to inspire and lead people, and not be their boss. I’d say I don't want to be a boss. I want to be a leader. I want to inspire. I want to drive. I want to grow people just like our farmers grow crops. [05:02.4]
Some farmers grow really good crops and some farmers not so much. I want to be the farmer that grows the best crops. My crops are humans. My crops are people, great people that need good structure, good idea implementers, people that are doers. We're driving right in the front lines with them.
I love that about my businesses as that’s where I'm at today. I have real businesses that produce real, real money every single day, every single week, every single month, every single year, and hundred percent can tell you, I would not be sitting here telling you about the multiple millions of dollars of the businesses I own. They would not be where they're at today if I didn't let go of the reins, if I didn't hand off activities and tasks, because the truth is I was holding my success back. I was the problem. Me, I, as the owner, as the wannabe entrepreneur, as the leader, if you will, in that moment. [06:00.9]
The company was only growing as quickly as I could grow, so I never had people around. I never let people make executive decisions. I never allowed people to mess up. Again, this is my thought process. I was like, If you mess up, you lose my money. If you do a bad deal, that's my money. If you get a contract and you can't close on it, that's my money that I’ve got to come up with that you didn't have access to or whatever. I was very ultra-hands-on.
What I figured out was to start hiring great people, giving them the tools to help design and grow, and then push the limits. Then me, as an owner, I talked about this in my book, The 10-Minute Business Owner, about the island effect. But what happens is picture me traveling for seven years, I'm in the middle of India. My wife and I were having a bunch of stuff planned that day. This is a true story, by the way. I had to work. I had to work. I had a lot going on a lot of moving pieces. I think it was acquiring a company at the time. [07:00.8]
There was just a lot going on and I had 30 minutes, 30 minutes of time to get stuff done, and there was no exploring the internet. It was literally that I had a list and I just went down the list, and did it in 30 minutes or less, and it created this massive constraint. By the way, that's the word we're talking about here today—it’s “constraint”—because the problem is you're constraining your business growth, because you are the bottleneck.
You are the choke point of your growth, of your marketing department, of your finance department, of your implement department, of your funding department, whatever. You are the choke point, I promise you, and until you start, one, you’ve got to admit it, and then, two, you’ve got to start creating a path of what this looks like—I talked about this recently about building out your org chart—what does your org chart look like? Right now, it can be visionary you, COO you, marketing department you, customer support you, financial side you, blah, blah, blah. Ideally, that's not the case. Ultimately, that's not where you want to be on all these seats. We have to eliminate you as the choke point. [08:08.7]
On the island effect as to where I was going with that story as well, I remember me, my wife and kid, my son at that point, we were on an Island. We were in the Bahamas on the Exumas on a big yacht and it was awesome, and I'm sitting there, but I can't relax. I'm very anxious. Us, as entrepreneurs, tend to have these tendencies kind of like, Let's go, let's go, let's go. It's kind of what we do.
I started asking myself, I had my notepad out there. Literally, it was just us three on this huge island by ourselves, and I’m like, How can I in 10 minutes…? Again, I'm trying to constrain the conversation in my brain to find the answer. It's a very powerful concept, by the way. You have to ask a great question, to find a big answer, the right answer that is.
Too many people are around asking, How do I make an extra $100 this month? That's so easy, you don't even do it. That's the problem. It's a shitty question. Everyone wants to make more money, but very few people are doing it. Why? Because most people aren't asking the right question, you know what I mean? So, there's a lot of ways to get on that path. [09:13.3]
But I was sitting on that island and I said, “Mark.” I'm talking to myself. Yes, I'm a weirdo. I know it. I said, “Mark, you have 10 minutes a day to work on your companies or in them, whatever you want to call it. Who do you talk to? What do you talk about? And what data, what information do you need, so for the next 23 hours and 50 minutes of the day, you're not stressed out, puking, sad, happy, whatever it is, so you can be focused and be present during this moment? I have a global phone. Who am I talking to? What are we talking about? What numbers do I need to know?”
What happened was I'm sitting there, and, again, that's a constraint that I have. It's so hard to think about. I'm just staring. I probably smoked two cigars coming up with the answers and it sounds silly, but I had to hire, I had to hire an individual to be my voice, to carry on my messaging for those 23 hours and 50 minutes. [10:18.3]
Here's what I did. I would bring in all my people, anybody that's running the companies, any high-level execs or whatever, so it could be the COO, CFO, could be the marketing manager, could be the deployment manager. It could be whoever is at the higher level that has people under them. So, what I'm looking for is the waterfall effect. How do I do this up here? And that waterfall is all the way down through the company, so we keep the common core values and intact. All my companies have pretty much the same core values. Why wouldn’t they, right? I'd get them on the phone and ask, Where are we at? What's going on?
I started doing that. You don't have to start at 10 minutes. That's just a hardcore constraint number. It might be an hour a day. Right now, if you're working 16 hours a day, maybe you’ve got to figure out how to get to 10 and then five, and then two. [11:01.7]
But the truth is, at the end of the day, for me, and this is God's honest truth, I have multiple companies and I spend zero hours a weekend at this point. It's probably maybe quarterly meetings on some of them and these companies are all generating seven figures-plus a year. I have another company that's one of my bigger companies and I spend an hour and a half a week in that company, and it's literally pretty much just me listening in to the COO talking about what's working, what's not, etc., and, more importantly, having her ask me something. My gift is understanding marketing. Hey, yes, let's spend 750 grand this month. Here's what it's going to look like. Hey, if you need help here, where do you feel the choke point is?
By the way, me as a leader where I'm at in my life today, something I learned and it took me a long time to figure this out, but I don't need to know the answers. Even if I do, I don't need to say them out loud. My job is not to know the answers. My job is to help build better leaders. If I can make better leaders, I don't need to know the answers. I just need to help lead people. [12:07.6]
My conversations constantly are, What do you need from me to help make your life better? What do you need from me to help make your activities stronger? What do you need from me to get that bottom line more profitable? What do you need from me? I'm asking questions to them. I'm not trying to answer their problem. I'm trying to have them ask themselves better questions. You know why? If I can help teach them and have them understand the power of proper questioning, they're going to get better results and that's going to multiply it multiple, multiple numbers for us as a company.
For me, these are the things I'm doing to constrain and that's what I’ve learned through traveling the world for seven years. I’ve visited some pretty amazing places. Santorini, Greece, was one of my favorites, but the truth is I loved pretty much all the places. We live in such a world. Again, I'm a hillbilly boy from Ohio in America and it sounds crazy to say, but I thought the United States was huge. You get out of the country itself… [13:05.8]
Another thing, too. Everyone I’ve met was always super nice. I know, traveling, everyone is like, Oh my gosh, you're going to Paris. You're going here. You're going there. Be careful. And I'm like, I’ve never had a weird encounter that I wouldn't have anywhere else. I've never had anybody treat me differently. No, nothing out of the ordinary, you know what I mean?
For me, at the end of the day, there's just so much beauty out there at all levels and the traveling allowed me to see that. The traveling allowed me to get out of my comfort zone. Actually, I became very comfortable being out of a comfort zone. Every month I would be in a different world, literally, different world, different location in the world. I might be in Malaysia this week and then next week I might be in Bali, and then the week after that, I might be in Bora Bora and then the week after that might be in Maui. The week after that I might be in Texas. You had culturally very different pieces, so I had to create an adaption and I had to stay focused on my routines. [14:03.9]
That's huge, guys, by the way. Routines are drastic. For me, morning routine is the most important. If I don't start the day off right, it typically carries over out through the rest of the day, kind of like when you eat that those chips at 11:00 AM because you're starving and then at 2:00 PM you're eating pizza because what the hell does it matter, you’ve already screwed it up. Just go all in and then I’ll start it back up tomorrow, right, get back on track.
So, for me, it's the mornings, man. Today I'm traveling. I’ll be on the plane at noon. Pretty much my day, I got up early again, did the same walk. I mean, my morning routine is super-duper, duper, duper important for me just to get my mind straight, just to give me a little bit of normal in my life. Then I won't be working the rest of the day probably. I have my phone. The truth is now everyone is connected.
See, back in ’05 when I started doing this, we did not have the connection of access to the internet and all that via your phone. I used to have to go to the post office. I used to have to go to the bank. I used to have to do go get a notary public and now they have mobile notaries. They have online banking. I can push three buttons and DocuSign. I don't need to print off stuff and sign it. [15:12.3]
So, for me, constraints is I need to make a hundred grand. I'm not doing anything until I make 100 grand this month. Until my business makes 100 grand this month, I do nothing. I don't think about anything. I don't get [anything].
This is the shiny object syndrome, a piece, by the way. A lot of people start getting traction, and then once you start creating momentum and traction, your brain starts playing tricks on you. It's like, Hey, what about this? What about this? What about this? What about this now? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because you're on a roll. You’ve started creating some revenue, things are starting to happen, but your brain tells you to wrench and starts getting you looking at other places for more revenue.
I'm not saying it's a good or bad thing. It's just you’ve got to be conscious of that and make sure it's aligned with where you're at and where you're going. So, the constraint for me is I don't touch anything until I hit X number, and I made the number a little far-fetched because it keeps me focused. [16:00.0]
This is a true story. I was talking about a boy this morning and he's making more money than he's ever made in his entire life. He's spending more money in a month that he did in 10 years. It's wild. It's pretty cool. It's going on? But we're asking. I was like, Yo, man, this is huge. You're popping off real money now, blah, blah, blah. He's like, Honestly, man, I don't even think about it.
He has passive income streams of 50 grand a pop and it's just coming in through. It's just free money, literally, the way he has it designed. It’s like free extra 50 grand this month, and that may be a lot or not a lot of money to you, but it's a lot of money to him and it's free money. Who doesn't want an extra 50 grand? If you don't want it, I’ll take it, by the way. I want more extra $50,000 a month revenue streams without doing anything. He literally does nothing for it. He has it in his pipeline. It's preset. Once he did the work once, it has kept spitting out rev. I’d say, it’s pretty wild because there's a lot of people I know that were really ultra-hard that don't even make 50,000 in an entire year, can't take vacations, miss a lot of school sports and do all these things.
Back to the constraint thing. I'm thinking about these constraints constantly. [17:02.6]
Hey, here's a constraint. Picture, and heaven forbid this happens to anybody. Picture you get in your car. You drive down the road, you get in a car wreck and you become a paraplegic. Your brain is there. Everything is working except your body part, your hands and your legs and all that, right? Your brain, your sight are still functioning obviously. So, how do you work? Who does the work? Your life has been altered. You've been changed. You've created massive constraints, especially if you've been the construction guy.
That was always my fear, falling off the ladder, breaking my back, becoming paralyzed, so my goal was how do I get out of doing that? Okay, now I'm out of that. How do I grow here? And that's the evolution process, but I create these constraints that really force me to think differently. Mark, you can't talk to anybody today. How do you put a deal together? How?
It might not happen today, but it gets me thinking I’ve got to call someone today to get ready for tomorrow. I need to transfer my relationship value. I need to transfer my money value. I need to set the system up to be able to run without me. [18:10.8]
So, if I don’t start asking that question today, it has to happen today, how is it that nothing can happen if nothing is going to change, except I'm going to lose time?
Another thing, I'm always thinking, picture me just lying in bed all day. You can't do anything much but think and talk and all that, but who's doing the work? What work gets done? What work gets eliminated? See, I'm always thinking as well, when something pops up, it's like, Cool, because I have a tendency, I want to do everything just like you guys, but that's not a good thing, by the way. As you get bigger, it's definitely another good thing. But, for me, what I'm looking to do is I'm more thinking like I'm looking to execute, eliminate or delegate. That's my job. And when things come in to me, my job is to interpret that data. This is alignment. [19:00.0]
A lot of stuff I’ve been eliminating and eliminating some real big stuff over the last three months, major distractions and took it on the chin on a couple of it like lost real money, seven figures on one of them, because I had to eliminate as it was just too much of a time suck, too much of an energy thing that I was burning so much brain cells just thinking about it and it wasn't going anywhere. I was just kind of done with it, so I just pulled the plug and, more importantly, I ponied up and paid the money.
That's a whole other conversation for a different day, but for the constraint gem, again, if there's anything in particular, if you're trying to figure out how to do marketing, if you're trying to figure out how to build your company, if you're trying to figure out for yourself, here's the biggest truth. Once I realized I'm not as important as I think I am in my own company, just because it's my company doesn't mean it's me. Just because it's my company doesn't mean I'm important.
There are guys on there probably, guys that would know me that's done or is doing business with me that realize, and this is not a joke, and they'll say, Hey, man, what's going on with this or that? I’m like, That's a great question. I don't know the answer. They're like, Come on, you definitely have to know. I'm like, I really don't know the answer, but I know who to call. Then I step back and I hand it off to the person that can help them. [20:07.8]
It's not that I don't want to answer the question. Not that I don't want to help them. The truth is I might even be a partner on some of this stuff and I can't answer the question because I'm not in the weeds, if you will. I'm actually on top of the company. I'm kind of more like, picture the maze, I'm sitting on top of the maze looking down saying, Hey, go three feet and take a right. Okay, now you've got a right. Go left. I see it from a different viewpoint, not to say that the maze and going through that stuff is more important. They're both important. And I'm not above everybody. If I'm going to lead, I have to be there to help lead properly because I’ve got 17 people in the maze at the same time with the potential of getting called and asked the question.
But what's cool about this constraint thing, I don't know how to send in. I don't know how to do 99% of the work my teams do and I'm not trying to learn it. These guys were very professional. I have data scientists working for us. We have high-level professionals at many levels that have crazy degrees working for me every day, working with us, not even for me, for the team, with us every day. We're just growing and pushing. [21:06.7]
Yesterday, someone started at one of our companies. I forget her name now. She's brand new. Literally, I just found out about her yesterday like, Hey, so and so started. I'm like, That's awesome. Great job. Back in the day, I had to run the ad. Back in the day, I had to do the interviews. Back in the day, I had to call them up and tell them yes or no. Back in the day, I had to onboard them. back in the day, I had to manage them. Back in the day, I had to keep them updated. It's so much.
And now, again, I’ve transferred my power. I've transferred the wand, if you will, handed the wand off to them and gave them and, more importantly, empowered them to make decisions. And you're going to mess up with that. You're going to lose money sometimes. I can tell you, if you have the right people and you're communicating with them and leading them, you will accomplish more in a day than most people do in a month.
In December, we're doing a mastermind over at the Ritz-Carlton in St. Thomas. He’s in the DM family. We were talking and he set a goal to be in Tahoe in the next six months or so and he’s out there with his family for the next month and he's out of Virginia. [22:08.5]
But what's even cooler about this is some fun things happen when you set big constraint moments. He's actually generating real revenue, not that he wasn't before, but now ultra-real revenue. He's forcing… The universe aligns with us. The universe will be as big as we can think and dream, and when you commit, the universe commits. When you're half-assing, then you're going to constantly have half-assed results at best. You're always going to be unfocused. You're always going to be disappointed. You're just going to be mad. But when you set that real destination and there's no return, you will make a happen. It just happens. I don't know how to explain it. I don't know how it works, but it does work.
For me, I think the reason most people, truthfully, and why I want to share this message today, I think most people don't really believe what they believe. That's the truth. I don't think you believe you could actually travel the world for seven years and your first thing in mind, Who the hell wants to do that? I'm just using that as an example, whatever that is. [23:15.7]
You say you want to go on a vacation for a month, I don't really believe it. If you haven't done it, I don't believe that's what you really want, unless you show me your timeline, unless you show me where you're going to stay, unless you know how much it's going to cost, unless you know what it looks like with your dailies and all that, and what do you need to have in place to make that a reality?
You might say, Oh, I want to travel for a month like that. Cool. Who the fuck doesn't? Everyone wants to do that, but who really wants to do it? And then, you set the time. You start forecasting. You start creating that vision. You start. The truth is the journey is really what you're seeking, not the destination. The destination just gives you a timeline to create the journey to get the results that you really want, and you don't even know that. [24:00.5]
When I started traveling, one month turned into six months. Six months turned into two years. We didn't even have a house. We moved everything into a storage and traveled for two years without a house in the States. We were literally not living in hotels. We were renting houses or condos on the beach or whatever, and it was amazing. The way I had planned it, if anybody knows me, my trips were in California and San Diego on a Friday. We're trying to extend the lease for another week or a month and they're like, Yeah, someone's moving in or tomorrow morning. Okay, cool. Boom, what do you do? With the beautiful thing of the interweb, you jump online, you book a ticket to Maui and then on the booking the ticket, once you’ve booked that and you're like, Oh, shit, I need a place to stay. You go in there and find a place to stay.
Most of you guys are here planning to plan to plan to plan to plan to plan. Set a destination. What you want will happen. What's the worst case that could happen? I have to sleep in my car? What's the worst case seriously? That would never happen, but it could. You can sleep on the beach. There's worse spots to sleep at. What's the worst case scenario? You have to sleep in a cheap hotel for the first night until the other room is available? There's a lot of stuff here. [25:09.2]
I do believe for all of us once, and again, that is great. It's the magician effect. It's not to say you're not working. In fact, by the way, there are 24 hours and 50 minutes. If I'm only working 10 minutes a day, if that's that map, that's the hard constraint, I'm thinking. I'm plotting. I'm creating. I'm expanding. I'm nurturing my vision. Looks like I'm hanging out in the pool and just walking around with a cigar? But I'm plotting. I'm genuinely thinking about something way bigger than where I am at. Dude, I could be in a $50-million mansion and I'm thinking about something way bigger. I'm thinking about this as just a stepping stone to whatever is available.
Just get your mind on fire thinking about the opportunities. Of course, there are obstacles. That's what makes it fun. If everything you did was easy, you wouldn't do it, I promise you. Especially for growth, because growth is all about progress. It's all about learning. It's all about like, Oh shit, I'm capable of what? Man, that's awesome. It makes you feel good. It gives you confidence. [26:16.3]
Do little constraints like, if you're having trouble sleeping, getting up in the morning, the constraint is you’ve got to set a time and you’ve got to get up, and you’ve got to keep track of it for the next 30 days, keep score. You can't miss it for 30 days straight. If you go five days and you miss it, you’ve got to start back from day one. Now you’ve got 35 days. If you miss it on day 27, guess what? You’ve got to go back to day one. Now you’ve got 57 days that you've got to do no sleep, sleep and wake up at the same time.
These are constraints to get you confidence. The truth is once you have constraint value and understand the value of it, it starts giving you confidence. It starts having you see what's available, the opportunities. More importantly, really, you have to check leaving out the door. It's going to show you that you're not that important to your company. You are the bottleneck or you are the person that’s the constraints. You are the choke hold of opportunity and growth, I promise you. [27:13.4]
I’ve seen this. I've been it. I do it every day. This is our life. I'm telling you, once you tap out and say, You guys don't need me. By the way, this is a true story. During my travels, I'm on these calls. I really like to know what's going on. Why? It makes me feel good. Sometimes I don't need to know what's going on. The truth is most of the time I know what's going on. I just need to hear it out loud. How do I know? Because I have KPIs.
KPIs are daily indicators, key performance indicators, if you will, of if the company's moving forward or backwards. For example, if one of my companies has 50,000 leads a day and I hear 50,000, 50,000, 50,000, 2,000, red flag. 50,000, 50,000, 80,000, 90,000, 100,000, 200,000, that means the company is growing. I don't need to hear anything else because that number, if that number is going up, the company has to or the profits have to go up because they're directly aligned. [28:03.7]
We have a percentage-driven number. If we spend $100, we make X. If we spend $1,000, we make XX. If we spend 200,000, we make XXXX. So, once you know your direct number one KPI number, everything else will work its way out and that's all I need to know. The truth is, and this is the truth, a lot of these companies, I’ve told you earlier, I don't talk to anybody. I don't need to talk to anybody. On my phone, I have Google Spreadsheets. I can click two buttons and see exactly where they are at at any time.
Pretty much a lot of my partners, not all of them, but a lot of them, I could see exactly where they're at. I can see if they have a lagging revenue. I can see if they have their revenue opportunity. And if I see a hole in the thing, from my experience, they're in the weeds, they're in the system, they're in whatever, I'm outside non-emotional, not in daily activity, so pieces. I might oversimplify the action, but I’ll share the vision of what it should look like. If I see a hole in the revenue, I might say, Yo, let me send this to my team, or on XYZ do XYZ and we'll produce an extra five grand or 20 grand or 50 grand. [29:11.5]
This just happened three days ago when it was Sunday. On Thursday, we had a hole and a gap in the company, and I said, “Dude, send out an email. Say this.” They only sent it to 10 people and within 12 seconds, literally minutes later, they had a $15,000 order sale for Sunday only and it crushed it. We made an extra 15 grand because it was producing. It was a goal. They were trying to hit a number, and then the advertiser won a lot. They earned a lot of money as well and that's what we want, it’s win-wins.
But sometimes when you're in the weeds, you don't see the opportunities. You only see the chokehold. You only see the constraints because if I say, I need you to go work and make more money, I don't care if you work harder. I don't care what kind of work it is because it's an alignment. You might take that and be like, Dude, I'm so busy. You don't understand. I don't need to understand. That's your self-limiting constraint. That's your self-limiting belief that you can't make more. I know you can, but you're not going to go to do it the way you're doing it. You're not going to be able to do it if it all relies on you. You never will. [30:12.2]
If you're riding the financial, emotional, mental roller coaster of business, it's not because that's the only way. That's the wrong way. That's not right. You're going to have ups and downs. That's called life in general, but you’ve got to find an upward trajectory and you’ve got to find the happy medium inside of that. You’ve got to figure out, get your company growing, get you growing. Nothing grows until you do, by the way.
But as I'm building these companies and building these businesses, people are coming to me with the answers. People are coming to me understanding my highest unique value is understanding the business aspect of it. Does it make sense or not? Yes or no? How big, how small? Is it duplicable, replicable? How big can we really go with this? Is this a $10-million-a-year marketplace or is this a $100-billion-a-year marketplace? What is it? What does it look like? Is it aligned with our core values? Is it aligned with where we're going? That's the stuff I'm thinking about. That's the stuff I'm plotting. That's the stuff I'm organizing. [31:10.8]
Then, not only that, now I'm thinking, once I had these dots of, Hey, this is where we're at. This is what we want. Here's how we're getting there. My job now is to start connecting the dots. I might get mad and say, Hey, man, you're amazing at this. Tell me how much it is to make this happen? and pay him for his service to help my team. Not help me, but help my team, and then my team, obviously, we all win. He makes money. He helps the team and he’s in his core ability. It’s easy money for him. Team has easy money. Everyone is winning. Most of you guys are trying to figure out how to grow without paying, grow without doing. That's not how real life and real business works.
So, constraints. Where's your chokehold? What's holding you back? One thing I realized in my companies when I started traveling, and, again, I meant to tell you the story earlier, is marketing and sales is the business you're in. Everyone is coming to me saying, Mark, it's not working. [32:07.6]
I had a guy recently who said, “Man, for three years, this has not been working. For three years, it has not been working. I've only made a little bit of money,” and I'm like, What's not working? What does that mean? And he told me. He’s like, Man, I'm just trying to make 100,000 a month or this or that, but I’ve only spent 15 grand in three years in marketing. First of all, you'd spend that in a minute, let alone a day, let alone a week, let alone per month to get results. In three years, it's not working.
When I hear that, that says you're not working. You're a pussy. You're scared. I get it. I was that guy. But you’ve got to understand until you realize you're in the marketing business and sales business, everything else bangs as a business. Water, I mean, they're marketing and sales. Listen, if it wasn't marketing and sales, why is this bottle unique? Why does it have its name on it? Why does it have black and red, and this is what it looks like and this is the name, and this is the story behind it? Dude, that's marketing and sales, and then there's the delivering of it through a bottle of water. [33:13.1]
So, we get it twisted. We sit there and when you fall in love with your product. You’ve got to fall in love with the process. The product is the product. This is why a lot of you have trouble pivoting, because you have your identity tied to your bullshit mindset at all times. We all do this. So, it's like, and I told you this, I'm a construction worker. I'm a real estate investor. No, I'm not, dude. I'm a business owner. I just did construction. I just did real estate. I do those. I did this. I did that. Why can't I be a business owner who has business in a bunch of things?
This also aligns with where I'm going and it has the vision, and I just want to build people. I want to help people grow. I want to make people and create their faith, their best lifestyle. I want them to live the most amazing life in the world. I want them to make a lot of money with me. Why wouldn’t I? I don't understand why you wouldn't want that. [34:02.3]
Back in the day, for the first 12 years of my life, I used to not think like that. I used to think, How do I pay you less? How do I work you harder? How do I save 12 cents on this and that? How do I get that deal for a better number? How do I sell you at a higher number? How do I not pay you as much, but work you three times the amount? That's how my brain thought. That's how I was trained. I didn't know any better.
Again, I talk about this in Magician vs. Mule. Get the book. It’s The Giving Book, the way you live your life. Because I see it, I ask. I don't know, it's a good book. I read it to my son. This actually is The Money Tree by my boy, Mister E. This is the money tree based on that book, obviously, but I’ve been giving out money trees, so kind of that's what that's connected to for me. It's the money tree. But I do like the book. Obviously, you cannot give the world, but that's a great book. The Giving Tree is an amazing book. I think everyone should read it on a simplistic level, but yet very powerful.
So, I would recommend, and I’ve got to go here because I’ve got to get packed for Ohio for the next four months, but I think you guys need to realize I'm here for you. I want to help you. I want to see you succeed. I want you winning. [35:12.1]
When I started figuring out these constraints, I’m trying to… People come to me all the time like, How do I do this? I'm trying to figure out how to go deeper inside myself because some of the stuff is just I just did it, and it's like, What did you do? I just did the work, dude. What kind of work? I don't know. Lots of work. It's not just one thing. It's kind of like when people ask you, Dude, what's your favorite place? Why do I have to have a favorite place? I have a lot of favorite places. Is there anything wrong with that? No. Right? There are a lot of cool places out there. There are a lot of amazing people out there.
When I'm traveling, it forces me to get tighter. When I'm traveling when we do events and stuff, the DM family guys and all that, guys, I'm very rarely on this 24. I'm more deep thinking. I'd rather write on a pen and paper. I'd rather read the real book. That's the only thing I do read. It’s real books. When I'm taking my walk, I might be listening to an audio book, but when I'm at home reading, I'm definitely reading real books. I’ve got to print it off. I'm old school. I got to have the highlighter, orange and blue, because it means different things to me. [36:10.9]
But as we're growing, these constraints get bigger, and until you start asking these very high-level constraint questions, things aren't going to change. You're going to be stuck in the cycle. You're going to be working harder. You might even be making a little bit more money, but you're always going to be a slave to your business. The business is never going to serve you.
See, when I realized, and again, this is what I realized, the travel is I need my businesses serving me. Have you ever asked yourself this question, for real? How can the business serve me? Here's another example. I was on a call with my company. I was on the call every day at 10:00 AM for 10 minutes and then I’d be on another one, and then I’d be on another one. I stacked them up because these are my calls. Boom, where are we at? Everyone comes on and says their numbers kind of like a huddle call. [37:05.2]
One day I called the COO and said, “Yo, do you ever need me on these calls?” She's like, Actually, no. Why are you even showing up? I said, “I don't know. I just thought I should support you.” She's like, Mark, I already know you support me. I can contact you anytime I want. I don't need you there. If anything, Mark, the truth is you might be messing it up.
And I'm like, But I don't say anything. She's like, I know, but people feel they can't talk openly maybe around you or maybe they're afraid to be embarrassed. Maybe they're afraid to be wrong. Right, because I come off like, Dude, fuck that. You can't say that. What are you talking about? No, do this, do that. That's my nature. That's just kind of what I do. I'm not saying it to be mean. I'm just saying it to move it forward.
Some people, if you're outside in and you're in the company and you're just doing your daily activities, you might see that as a little harsh. You might see it as a little weird. You might feel like I'm attacking you and it's not. That's who I am. I'm excited. [38:03.7]
I was like, That's interesting, and actually it messed with me for a couple of days. I'm like, I think she just told me I'm not important to my company, and then I started realizing just because it's my company, it's actually our company, our meeting, my team.
So, then I started having this discovery that they don't work for me. I worked for them and it's just like I know my rules and responsibilities. I'm more of a board member than a CEO and that company, by far, and that company produces real money every single day, massive amounts of money.
So, as I'm stepping back, I start realizing. I called up one of my companies that is involved and said, “Do you even want me or need me on these calls?” Nope, No, no, no. Not one person said yes. Very interesting.
Now, keep in mind, I had a rhythm. They understood the path. They understood the 10-minute conversations, because I have a company right now that’s more on the licensing side. A lot of people on there, they do daily calls for an hour. I might invest an hour a month and it's not me talking one on one. It'll be shooting a video or doing a call with them and just sharing a message, 12 hours a year and it produces a lot of money. [39:20.7]
Back in the day, I used to be on those calls. I used to listen in. I used to see what was going on. I used to help them, but I wasn't helping them. Oftentimes, most people don't believe this, but I’ve had an office for six years. Peter has been running an office in Palm Beach. I don't go there. I very rarely do. I have amazing artwork in there. I always jokingly say it’s my art studio that I never look at, but I go there when I'm doing events and that's it. I don't think I’ve ever been in there when there's not an event going on. I don't have to. I don't need to.
When I used to, Peter would be like, Dude, get outta here. I'm like, What are you talking about? He was like, The sales guys, all they're going to stand around talking to you. They're excited. They want to high-five you. They want to do this. They want to do that. And he’s like, You're messing it up. [40:01.8]
Then, me, I’ll say something different that goes against what Peter might have said to them because he's planting a seed to help them grow and I'm coming in half loaded, excited, like, Do this, do that. You’ve got to see what else we're working on. Check this out. He's like, You're messing up what's going on. You're actually hurting it, not helping it, by being here. I said, “Okay.” And so, you start listening.
Back in the day, I'd be mad. I'd actually be like, I’ll show you. I'll show up more. It’s stupid. Once you really come to the conclusion that you're not that important. Again, you are important, but not that important in the dailies of your company. You realize that you need to be focusing on big. You need to be focusing on expanding. You need to be focusing on poking the bear, the sleeping dog, if you will. Wake them up. How can we get bigger? Where can we go? What does this look like? Who are we doing it with? And just keep growing.
So, Beacon, anything else on this? I mean, you know this to be true with me on the constraint side, but any thoughts on this my man, before I go?
Beacon: Yeah. I mean, it's definitely a great way to pivot your mindset and thinking like, All right, three major questions. Who do I need to talk to? What do I need to talk about? And what are the numbers that are showing up that we're producing results? [41:12.3]
Constrain your brain to start thinking simple. For me, that's what I have to go through because I'm very creative. As we know, I’m on the creative side and ideas flow so effortlessly. It's like you can get caught in that idea flow and ideas and stuff like that and forget what's happening on the day to day. You don't have the day to day set up with key stuff that you can literally for 10 minutes a day just see the trajectory of where the business is going, is it going up or is it going down, that's all. All my ideas, all that, it doesn't matter. Just those key 10 minutes is what matters. Then after you get that handled, all that other stuff can go. So, that's my thought on it, basically.
Mark: Yeah, man, it's funny. Everyone comes to me like, Mark, I have the best idea. I'm like, Yo, pipe it down. I don't need that. Beacon, you know this to be true. I don't need ideas. The truth is real entrepreneurs don't need ideas. Their problem is never an idea. Their problem is execution of ideas. They're looking to hire you to execute their idea. [42:08.3]
Then, once you get a certain level, then now it's like, Yo, come to me with a plan. I don't want ideas. I want the plan. The plan is the work I want that. I don't want the ideas. I want you to execute the idea to plan and get it rolling. Beacon, you know this is true. You and I have talked about this like, Where are we at? What are we doing? How are we going there? I'm more focused on results, not necessarily ideas. That's a fact. I mean, that's a hundred percent the truth, right?
Mark: Regardless, salespeople are a unique breed. They definitely do need hand-holding, but what I’ve had to realize with salespeople is I can't solely focus on only sales. I know that sounds crazy to say, but salespeople have cycles. There are cycles in the company. There’s a cycle in humans. They have emotions. They have families. They have lives. They're not just machines. And what I realized with salespeople is you’ve got to get data, front end data.
Sales actually are lagging indicators of action, just so we know. It might take you seven calls to get one sale, but if you see that they're only calling six times, the solution is not to get pissed off at them. The solution is to teach them how to call seven times, not six times, and explain to them why. You’ve got to show them the path. [43:12.3]
Then, as you guys know, salespeople, pretty much everyone in life, tries to take the path of least resistance and if I can give them the tools, for me—and, again, this is data for me, by the way. I'm talking for me as an owner—I'm more looking for front end data points. How many calls a day? How many actions equal results?
I don't know what that number is, but you know, you guys, we're all in sales, there are slumps in sales. It's a real thing, so I'm not getting pissed off if I'm traveling. That might just be a fluke or a thing. I would say, try for a year, try for three months, try for six months. There's a balance that happens. Maybe it spikes up in sales because they're excited you're out, because what they want to do is they want to over-deliver to prove to you that they're capable of making it happen without you. They're trying to prove you wrong. That's a good thing. It's not a bad thing, by the way. So, they'll try to prove you wrong, so the sales spike up. [44:00.1]
Then, the daily process kind of settles down because you're gone for 15 days and they fall back into the same routines. Because the sales popped up, now they're kind of complacent and lazy. You're not driving the narrative so hard on the front end because you're relaxing. You definitely always need a manager to manage these people, period, but then you're going to see it kind of cross up and go back up a little bit more typically.
So, you're going to have a spike that’s going to come back down, settle down to where it goes and push it up, but if you're focusing only on the sales, you're always going to be pissed off because it is a cycle. It happens to me. It happens to everybody in sales. It’s not an anomaly. It's a normal thing. It seems abnormal when you're in it, especially when you need sales and you need money, but the truth is the only thing you can control is the front end initially.
I'm looking. What's your call count? What's your talk volume? How many contracts went out? How many contracts came in? Where's the bottleneck? I'm looking for inefficiencies. I'm looking for effectiveness. When are you calling? What are your call times? How quickly are you getting the leads? What are you sending, an email or sending a video or sending something? I'm looking for opportunities. [45:00.2]
The truth is I'm actually trying to make their job easier. I don't want salespeople. I want order takers. I like order-taking myself. I want order takers. That's why I like to do positioning like I'm doing now. Become an authoritative position by sharing real data and real shit. People tend to pay money without selling them. They've already sold themselves. That's not a bad thing. That's what you want to do. That's what I'm going to do. That's what I will do and I’ll continue to do. Why wouldn't we do that? That's why I write books.
Writing books is the hardest thing I’d ever do in my life and I’ve written 12 of them, two more on the pipe. I hate it, but I love the outcome. Fall in love with the process, which process is what it is, but I'm really looking for that outcome to pop and it gives me authoritative positioning. It's great for marketing. Again, marketing and sales.
If you don't think I'm here to figure out marketing and sales, the truth is and this is the straight truth, I didn't know how I'm going to ever convert this into revenue. I have zero clue, but I do know if I keep showing up consistently every day, sharing real value every single day, giving you guys the goods, something good will come from it. [46:02.1]
My buddy, Matt, asked me yesterday, “What's your path to revenue?” I really genuinely don't have one today. Maybe today on when I'm on the jet, I’ll have one because I need to pay for that jet. Maybe not. I don't know. But I do know that I'm going to keep showing up. I do know I want to help you. I do know I'm doing deals every day. I'm buying companies every year. I'll buy any company that makes sense. If I have the capital and the understanding, and it's aligned with where I'm at, I'm in.
I'm looking for e-comm stores. I'm looking for companies that are rowing in the data space. If you're in the data and email marketing space, I'm definitely down to talk. If you're in the text and email marketing space, if you're in the publishing space, those are the kinds of companies I like to buy it. I like the growth of them. I like to see them. I understand them and I have great teams to help expedite growth as well, and they'll push me. They’ll make me better. We’ll make the company better. We'll make everyone more money. That's a good thing.
So, for us, at the end of the day, my constraint is this, gun to head. You have to make a million dollars in 60 days. What do you do? You stop talking about all the ideas. You start executing. [47:02.1]
Massive intention, hardcore. Gun to your head, not only your head, your family’s head, the people you care about the most. They're going to kill them if you don't get this million dollars in 60 days. What do you do? Who do you call? What does it look like? What is the path? And it has to be done legally and ethically. You can't go steal or rob a bank or anything like that. You've got to provide a service, provide a value. Is it coaching? Is it consulting? Is it mentoring? Is it courses? Is it emailing? Is it phone calling? Is it meeting in person? The answer is it's all of the above maybe. You have to produce a million dollars in 60 days or less.
It's super-duper doable for all. The problem is most of you don't have that constraint. Most of you are saying, I’ll get a million dollars. I'm going to be a millionaire one day. What day is that? I don't know. You're not going to be able to [do it]. You're never going to be a millionaire if that's your answer ever. You have to set a date. You have to set the constraint moment because it gets you focused on your actions. [48:03.9]
You have a different vibration to the world. The universe is trying to align with you. Evans is not fucking around. He's getting this million dollars a day. We have to help him do that. They start coming together. You share your message. People on social share it with their people. It really starts growing and gets bigger and bigger and bigger, just the podcast show, The Making of a DM, just like Magician vs. Mule. All these pieces are to help provide real value.
My constraint one day, maybe I wake up one day and I need to do something big and I need your help. Now I have a relationship with you. It might be a one-way relationship right now because it's me talking to you and with you, but not talking together. Even though when I'm talking, sometimes you're like, Dude, I feel like he's talking to me right now. That's a good thing. That means we're connecting. That means we're going to do something eventually. We don't know what it's going to look like nor do we have to. It's just that I'm planting seeds today.
See, most people are trying to make it. They're trying to plant the seed and harvest the crop at the same moment. I'm not. I understand I'm building relationship capital with you. I'll bring the goods. If you ask a question, I’ll answer the question for real. I won't bullshit you. I have nothing to sell you. I really don't. You can ask my friends. I have zero path today, but who knows? Maybe one day I’ll do something cool. [49:20.9]
Let me ask you guys a question. If in December, me and a couple of buddies put together a yacht trip and it's 20 grand a piece, give or take, it will be $20,000 for three days. You're going to be on a yacht with me, with my boys, and we're all going to be talking business. We're going to be talking life. We're going to be hanging out. We're going to be connecting for three days. Would you pay 20 grand for that to hang with, let's say, 30, 40 people on a yacht, in the Caribbean?
And I'm talking, you’ll have the chefs. You won't have to lift a finger. You don't even have to feed yourself. They'll feed you. I'm being for real. If you've ever been to a Four Seasons, multiply it by a hundred of the service level. There will be five to six people on your boat from the chef to the captain, to the team, to the staff members, deckhands, etc. They'll be taking care of everything you want. Your favorite breakfast, your favorite lunches, your favorite meals, your favorite snacks, whatever you want will be there. [50:19.3]
Is that something you would want to do? Because that's something I'm going to do and I’ve been doing it for years where we take people out on a yacht. Twenty grand. It would be 20 to 25 grand a person, depending on what size of a yacht we get because, again, what we're looking to do is connect. So, I'm sure there'll be lots of people that want to do this, right? Tons of stuff, tons of opportunity for all of us.
I can tell you right now, I’ve been going on for multiple years now. Every time I do, I realize how small I'm playing. Every time I do, I realize how unimportant I am for my companies to grow. The truth is I hold them back. I want to guide them now. I’ve realized I can help them at a higher level by not being in the day to day and are genuinely wanting to drive them. [51:05.4]
I'm going to have the gun to the head in about three seconds if I don't get out of here because I’ve got to get packed up to get on this plane, but I appreciate you guys being here. I hope to connect with you guys. Make sure to check me out on Instagram @MarkEvansDM. You’ll see the jet today. You’ll see what I'm hopping on and also, hopefully, providing some great content to you.
Please let me know if you need help on anything. I just want you to know I'm here for you. I'm rooting for you. I'm definitely your biggest fan. Don't let anybody tell you what you can't do, and if they start talking that shit, just look at them and say, Tell me what I can do then, and then they're going to bring it to their level and you're going to realize how full of shit they are.
Focus on you. You’ve got this. It's not always easy, whoever said it was. Not only that, it wasn’t easy even [for] me. Thinking about you guys. Make today count.
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