Anik Singal is the Founder and CEO of Lurn, Inc. He’s a serial Entrepreneur, philanthropist and best-selling author! He’s sold over $200 Million worth of products online, and he’s just getting started.
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3 Value Bombs
1) We need to look to those who have come before us.
2) When you create the right kind of content, you’re going to be able to drive people through that content to a funnel that is actually able to convert into a sale, lead, or customer.
3) Smart entrepreneurs don’t take “risks.” They have more backup plans than most employees do for their entire life.
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Today’s Audio MASTERCLASS: How Falling 1.7 Million Dollars in Debt and Nearly Dying Led to 200 Million Dollars in Sales with Anik Singal.
[01:57] – Anik shares something about himself that most people don’t know.
[02:44] – Anik started doing research around what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur. There are core characteristics that he found out after talking to millionaires and billionaires.
[04:04] – Anik tells a story about how he has grown as an entrepreneur.
- He was studying to be a doctor and he thought it was not for him. He was miserable.
- He thought back to his younger days when he set up a lemonade stand and started other little businesses.
- He made the biggest leap of his life and switched universities to study business – only to think that wasn’t for him either.
- He turned to Google to search for ways to make money, and that led him to a forum about digital publishing.
- Somebody messaged him directly right about the time he was going to give up, and they spent the next 24 hours talking about business. Until this day, he doesn’t know who that person was.
- He made $300 while sleeping for 6 hours. That was more money than he had made in the past 18 months combined.
- Fast-forward 6 years and he has he grown his business and turned a $100 investment into $10 million a year.
[09:18] – What happened when Anik was 1.7 million dollars in debt?
- Anik was told by his lawyer he should file for bankruptcy.
- He had this moment where he almost died in Amsterdam. He had to be pulled off of the plane. That was his wake up call.
- He told himself, “I’ve got to know what my purpose is. I have to know exactly what my values are. If I don’t know the exact answer to this, I would rather help someone else attain their purpose and work with them than blindly chase money.”
[12:43] – Anik talks about the other entrepreneurs he has met on his journey to writing his book.
- He sat down with Warren Buffet.
- He exchanged emails back and forth with Mark Cuban.
- He met Richard Branson.
- He hung out with Daymond John for hours just few days ago.
- He met Kevin Harrington.
- He and Robert Kiyosaki became business partners at one point in time…
- He had met some of the most successful people in the world.
[14:44] – Anik breaks down how he earned 200 million dollars.
- He is part of 6 different companies. Most of his revenue generated comes from digital publishing.
- The first thing is to focus on lifetime customer value.
- To be able to beat the competition, you have to look past just the funnel.
- The funnel is really just the start, and with the rising advertising costs, a funnel may still put you in the red.
- The second thing is your ability to drive traffic.
- Once you figure out how to drive revenue from an existing customer, it’s just a matter of getting more customers.
[18:19] – Let’s talk about the title of Anik’s book and how he came up with this title.
- The letters S-C-A-P are actually acronyms that represent the 4 stages of becoming a successful entrepreneur.
- S stands for self,
- C stands for catapult,
- A stands for authority, and
- P stands for people.
- The base of the triangle in the title of the book would be the employee, because most of the people in the world are employees.
[21:23] – Visit EOFire.com/escape and get Anik’s book for free + shipping!
[25:40] – JLD asks Anik, “Can anybody be an entrepreneur?”
- Not everyone needs to run their own business.
- Entrepreneurship is about who you are as a person. You don’t have to have your own business to display those traits.
- Smart entrepreneurs don’t take “risks.” They have more backup plans than most employees do for their entire life.
- The right question to ask is if everyone WANTS to be an entrepreneur.
[32:29] – Anik walks us through the 4 stages of being a successful entrepreneur.
- The first stage S – Self
- We have spent our entire life being trained to not succeed as an entrepreneur. We are being trained to be employees.
- We need to stop living for ourselves and start living for others.
- The second stage C – Catapult
- Make a hundred first, then make a thousand. Do what you did to make a hundred, 10 times. Then make ten thousand. Do what you did to make a thousand, 10 times… and so on.
- The next stage A – Authority
- It’s the same as leadership
- You can’t succeed as an entrepreneur without some leadership.
- The final frontier P – People
- The first negative person in Anik’s life when he was starting his business was his father.
- He’s teaching people how to build the right environment. How to know who you really need to remove and who’s just trying to protect you.
- They’ve built an environment where, if you immerse yourself fully, it will be hard not to succeed as an entrepreneur.
[39:32] – Anik’s parting piece of guidance
- He doesn’t have a mission or a vision anymore, but he does have a purpose, and that is to build and support 1 million entrepreneurs all over the world.
- If you want to succeed, give it all you’ve got. Just because you fall, you’re hurt, or there’s an obstacle, don’t stop. With every no, you are closer to a yes. With every failure, you are closer to your success. Just keep pushing forward.
- When life pushes you, stand straight. Smile. Push it back. Keep fighting!
- Go grab Anik’s book at EOFire.com/escape – It’s waiting for you and it’s free + shipping!
John: What’s shaking, Fire Nation? JLD here, and I am fired up because we have such an incredible audio master class for you. Anik Singal is gonna talk about how he fell $1.7 million in debt and nearly died before generating over $200 million in sales, and we talk about some incredible stuff throughout. We talk about some systems, some processes, some automation. We have an entrepreneurial quiz, we have acronyms – there is so much value in this, Fire Nation. You are not gonna wanna miss this.
Real quick: Who is Anik? He’s the founder and CEO of Lurn Inc. He’s a serial entrepreneur, a philanthropist, and now a bestselling author, and he has sold more than $200 million worth of products online, and he is just getting started. Oh, by the way, we have such a killer offer. You’re gonna be able to get the Freedom or Mastery journal – your choice – shipped to your door for free if you’re in the U.S. or the digital version if you’re international, plus Anik’s book, for free plus shipping. It’s such an incredible offer. We’ve patched it together for you, and you are not gonna wanna miss this. As soon as we get back from thanking our sponsor, we are kicking right in.
So, Anik, say what’s up to Fire Nation and share something interesting about yourself that most people don’t know.
Anik: All right! What’s going on, Fire Nation? So, I used to be a drummer. I used to play a cover band when I was younger for Metallica, Pearl Jam. I used to be a little bit of a rocker.
John: That, I did not know. That is incredible stuff. I’m sure there are some entrepreneurial lessons that you took away from that that we can maybe mix in throughout this audio master class – which, by the way, Fire Nation, you are not going to wanna miss. This is how falling $1.7 million in debt and nearly dying led to $200 million in sales with Anik, our guest here today.
So, Anik, give us just a quick overview about what this master class is gonna be all about, and then we’re gonna dive into some pretty sweet specifics.
Anik: Look, we’re gonna go on a bit of a journey. We’re gonna – and, there’s a purpose to it. It’s not just a story. There are a lot of lessons in it. I went into a massive research mode here, and I really looked at what does it take to succeed as an entrepreneur? Now, I don’t care if you’re an online entrepreneur, I don’t care if you’re running a bakery down the street, there are core characteristics that I figured out, found out. I’ve had to talk to millionaires, billionaires. It took a lot of work. We’re gonna dive into all of that, we’re gonna dissect it, and hand it right to you.
John: What I’m pretty fired about, Fire Nation, is that this whole book that came out of this research by Anik – I’ve been reading this because every single morning during my “meditation and reading” time that I do, I’ve been reading 20 minutes of this book, so I’ve really been doing a deep dive for 20 minutes a day for the past week or so now into this book, and some of the stories have just really given me the shivers, and I kinda wanna talk about some of the specific ones, but one of them, Anik has his father actually mortgage his house so he can keep up with payroll.
I was like, “Man, I can’t even imagine me going to my father to do that.” Of course, I would if I had to, but it’s just the courage and the pain that must have been happening all that time. Fire Nation, we all go through these roller coasters of ups and downs of emotions and actual successes with our business. So, kind of break it down for us because I’d love to hear how you specifically have grown, Anik, as an entrepreneur, from $1.7 million in debt to where you are today. Let’s hear about that.
Anik: I gotta tell you, it was one of my best days in my life. Going to my father, albeit he’s been the most amazing dad ever, so it was just – he spent his entire life paying off that home, and with the swipe of one check, I put him back in debt for the entire house. That was probably one of the most painful experiences of my life, and I’ve had quite a few. I’ve been nearly dead on the hospital dead multiple times, but nothing beats the pain I went through in that moment.
So, how did I get there? How did things get so bad that I had to do that? That wasn’t the only thing. I ended up having to take money from those who are very close to me, friends who gave me their entire life savings. I owed people so much money. Forget the banks. I owed every credit card, my local bank – I didn’t care about them as much, but there are people who put their own life on the line for me.
So, how I got to that point was when I went to college, I was gonna study to be a doctor. I grew up seeing everybody get the respect that a doctor does. They drove the nicest cars, lived in the biggest homes. But, as soon as I got to college – and, I worked my butt off to get to one of the best programs in the world. I was set. I was literally on a full scholarship. I get there, and within the first couple months, I’m like, “Man, this is not for me. I am miserable.”
And so, I think back to my younger days when I set up that lemonade stand and when I started little businesses that all failed, but I kept trying to do things. I wanted to study business. So, I make the biggest leap of my life – again, my father and mother support me through it, even though they didn’t want to. I switch universities, I lose my full scholarship, now my father has to pay for me to college so I can go study business, only I get to business school, and within two weeks, I’m like, “Man, I don’t like this either.”
Now, I’m freaking out because dropping out is not an option for me. So, I realize very quickly the problem I’m having is I don’t like just theory. I don’t like just going and learning. I really wanna apply what I’m learning. So, I started looking around. I said, “Let me start something,” but I had $100.00 to my name. So, I go to Google – literally, Google had just started back then – and I type in, “How to make money.” And, Google does a suggestion where it says, “Online,” and I’m like, “Okay, sure, why not? Online.”
From that, one thing after another, scam this, stuffing envelopes, all this nonsense, I end up on a great forum where they’re actually talking about something called digital publishing. They’re talking about selling e-books. Look, I’m in college. I spent thousands of dollars on textbooks. The idea of selling information made sense.
So, long story short, I struggle, I struggle, I struggle 18 months, I tried everything, I struggled, I worked hard, I do everything they say. Nothing works. Finally, I’m about to quit. I post on the forum, “That’s it, I’m done. Thank you, guys. If I don’t make any money in the next 24 hours, I’m out, but I appreciate all the help.” Well, somebody messages me on the forum directly. We didn’t have Skype back then. We didn’t have all these tools. So, they sent me a direct message. They said, “Kid, I’ve been on this forum forever. I’ve seen you for the last year. Don’t quit. I wanna help you. I don’t wanna see you fail.”
Now, this person had zero history on the forum. I didn’t know if I should trust him or not, but thank God I said yes because I almost didn’t. They offered to spend the next 24 hours with me. You know what? Until this day, I don’t know who it was because they never replied to me after the success came, so I was up that night until 3:00 in the morning going back and forth with them doing things.
I finally went to sleep, I wake up six hours later, I plunge towards the computer – I remember almost hitting – falling and hitting my head on the desk – and I check, I log in to ClickBank, and there it is. I had made just over $300.00. I made $300.00 sleeping six hours. I made more money than I had made in the past 18 months combined. It was crazy, and I could never get ahold of that person again. I sent them a thank you message, never heard back.
But, from there, I started my success. That was the last day of my life – that was literally about 14 years ago. I’ve never had a day in my life, no matter how bad things got, where I made less than $300.00. And, I grew my business, I graduated, didn’t get a job, I started hustling, I worked hard. Before I knew it, six years later, I had turned a $100.00 investment into $10 million a year. I was flowing in it at 96 employees, three offices around the world, seizing the world, taking day by day.
Well, you know what? I still lived at home. I wasn’t burning money. I wasn’t buying shiny objects and gold chains. I was working hard, investing into my business, but then 2008 happens, the market collapses, I’m a first-time CEO, and I’m just looking around, but the industry that I’m in doesn’t get affected, so I start to accelerate my investment. I start to double down, triple down, except a year and a half after 2008, it impacts our industry. Everything collapses. Revenues fall by half. I don’t know what to do, so what do I decide to do? Double down. I hire more people. I increase expenses.
John: Well, let me fast forward you a little bit here. So, you get to $1.7 million in debt. What happens?
Anik: So, I get to this debt point, so everything falls apart, now I’m starting to loan money, my life is falling apart, my relationship is falling apart, health is falling apart. I have a moment. I’m on the phone with a lawyer, and he flat-out says I just need to declare bankruptcy.
John: So, Fire Nation, listen to what this journey was. Ecstatic making $300.00 in a day to now running a company that’s in three locations around the world, $10 million annually in sales. He’s living from home. He’s not trying to get caught up in the entrepreneurial bling-bling life, but now he’s $1.7 million in debt because things turn, sales stop coming in at the rate they were, so you’re looking at bankruptcy now. Keep it going.
Anik: I refused. I wasn’t gonna do that. The people I owed money to are the closest people in my life, who trusted me, so I shut it all down. I had this moment where I almost died in Amsterdam. They had to pull me off of a plane. I had bled almost half my body’s blood out. It was a mess. That was my wakeup call. It literally took me to the brink of death to say, “What the heck is happening here?”
So, I came back, I shut down all my offices, I went from 96 people to six, and I said, “I’m gonna stay in this room until I figure out what went wrong,” and that was when I started to reverse-engineer all the mistakes I had started to make once the success came on. I discovered my success was really not me. It wasn’t my brilliance. It was a house of cards. Really, it was meant to happen that day or sometime else.
So, I started to really just go back to the basics, go back to what had made me successful that first six years, and before I knew it, 16 months later, I was paid back, I had paid every penny back with interest, I was back on top, but I had to ask myself one very strong question during this time, and I’ll tell you this – everybody listening should ask themselves this question. I told myself, “Look, I am not doing this for the money. I already tried that, and I saw what happens.
So, here’s what’s gonna happen: I either get to know exactly what my mission is, what my purpose is, I get to know exactly what my values are. If I don’t know the exact answer to this, then I would rather help someone else attain their purpose and work with them than to blindly chase money.”
And, that question led to so many breakthroughs for me that have led me to where I am today because we paid back everything in 2013, and I’m literally – at this point, we’ve sold over $200 million worth of products. I do $20 million plus a year. I’m invested and the co-owner of six different companies, all super successful. One more launching in a couple of months. It’s just been amazing, but my entire way of being an entrepreneur took a huge shift, and I’m so grateful that I had that horrible incident in my life that literally killed me, almost, but I’m so grateful I had it.
John: So, Fire Nation, this is why we go over the stories of these successful entrepreneurs, because guess what? They weren’t always successful, or guess what? They were successful, and then they just had a really terrible business experience – $1.7 million in debt – but then they learned how to drag themselves out, how to climb out, how to do things the right way. So, we’re gonna be learning from this.
Now, Anik, as you’ve been creating this book eSCAPE, which, to me, as a reader and consumer of this book, I can just tell this is your life’s work, this is your life’s blood, sweat, and tears poured into these pages. It’s really – the stories are riveting, it’s amazing to really see you going through this process step by step, but you’ve also met incredible entrepreneurs along this journey. So, what kinds of entrepreneurs have you met and interviewed during this process?
Anik: Oh, man. I’ve sat down with Warren Buffett, I’ve had emails back and forth with Mark Cuban, I’ve met Richard Branson. I just recently – days ago – hung out with Daymond John for hours, Kevin Harrington, Robert Kiyosaki and I have become business partners, Bob Proctor, Les Brown – I mean, I could just keep going. I have met some of the most successful people in the world, and it’s such a blessing, but it is through those interviews and through those interactions with not just them, but also, let’s just talk about my students.
I’ve taught over 250,000 students worldwide, some of whom have gone on to become more successful than myself, and a bunch who haven’t. They haven’t been able to make a dollar. I’ve talked to them, too. I’ve talked to everybody to put together what this book has, and it literally was just research after research, interview after interview, but yeah, I’ve met some of the most successful minds – the most brilliant minds of our generation.
John: Fire Nation, the more that we can learn from these people, the more than we can read from these people, the more that we can listen to interviews from these people, it’s so incredibly important because history does repeat itself, and we as individuals are all standing upon the shoulders of giants. I want you to remember that I have learned from people that have come before me interview-wise, of course, and people who have maybe gone through Podcaster’s Paradise and are now podcasting their faces off – they learned from me and gained from other people that we have in that community.
So, remember, we need to look to those who have come before us, and that’s what’s Anik’s done, and that’s what made this book eSCAPE so powerful. So, I wanna get to the $200 million in sales because that’s such a huge number for people, and in fact, it’s probably such a big number, Anik, that people are just like, “I can’t even relate to that because that is just so beyond.” That is eight figures – that’s nine figures. It’s insane the actual amount when you think of those dollars and sense, so break it down for us in a more manageable way. How did that happen?
Anik: Well, as I told you, I am a part of six different companies, and most of it, though, has come through digital publishing. I love selling digital products on the internet. I think that that is one of the biggest movements we have right now, and it’s opened the gates for almost anyone in the world to be able to go into business. Margins are awesome, traffic is instant, the tools are amazing out there, so most of the $200 million has been through digital publishing.
I have six different companies. Between all of my companies now, we’re doing north of $30-32 million a year, but one of my companies is really the dominating force there. It does over $20 million a year by itself. But, I would say literally 95 percent of that $200 million has been me selling digital products.
John: So, let’s talk specifically about these digital products. To get to that number, what did you have to learn? What process did you have to go through? What steps did you take to make that dream a reality?
Anik: That is an awesome question. So, the first step I had to learn to be able to attain such ridiculously high numbers is really focusing on lifetime customer value. A lot of people out there – I understand the big hype lately about funnels, funnels, funnels, but to be able to beat the competition, you have to look past the funnel as well. The funnel is really just to start, and with the rising advertising costs nowadays, a funnel might still put you in losses.
So, where you’re really gonna make your money is in that one to six weeks from the day that someone becomes a customer. That is where I keep my core focus. Actually, I find my core focus being in that timeframe a lot more impactful to my business than being focused on the immediate funnel.
The second thing that has had massive impact on that is the ability to drive traffic. Now, whether that traffic comes from our affiliate relationships – and I’m very good at harboring and nurturing relationships – or it comes from Facebook, Google, or YouTube, or any of the many other sources we use, but that is a skill that I literally spend daily – every day, I spend hours just perfecting my ability to drive traffic because once you figure out how to drive revenue from an existing customer, then it’s just a matter of getting more customers.
So, those have been probably the two core focus points that have contributed to me being able to generate these kinds of sales.
John: So, Fire Nation, I want to break this down even further. So, when you’re gonna create the right kind of content, you’re gonna be able to drive people through that content to a funnel, to the funnel that actually is able to convert into a sale, into a lead, into a customer, and then you’re able to also reach out to other people in the industry for the affiliates so you can build off the know, like, and trust that they have with their audience. So amazing, so important.
And then, of course, there’s advertising, like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Google – there’s all these places that when you have a funnel that converts, when you know that you have an offer that can generate revenue when you put people through this funnel, then you have this opportunity to just say, “Okay, let’s drive people to the top of this funnel through content, through affiliates, through ads, and let’s see the numbers coming out. Let’s adjust as we need to adjust and just start generating that revenue.” You wanna add anything to that, Anik, before we move on?
Anik: No, man. You’ve summarized it perfectly, and that’s exactly it.
John: So, I do wanna talk about your book because your book is cool for a number of reasons. No. 1: eSCAPE. It has a very special meaning. The “e” at the beginning, the “e” at the end, employee to entrepreneur, and just the general logo of it all – So, let’s talk about that. Let’s talk about your book, the title, what’s behind the actual logo specifically.
I’m personally curious, being somebody that’s reading it right now, I’ve read some things about it, but I really want you to dive deeper into this because I think, Fire Nation, as you’re listening, realize that when you’re creating your book or your content, it needs to stand for something. Branding means so much. It needs to create a story, and Anik has done that so well.
Anik: Thanks for asking. I want everybody who’s listening to imagine the following. The word “escape,” E-S-C-A-P-E, but imagine it with a little “e” and all upper-case letters S-C-A-P-E. Now, imagine a little arrow that goes from little “e” to the last big “E.” That’s how to go from employee to entrepreneur. And then, the middle letters, which are S-C-A-P, are actually acronyms that represent the four stages of becoming a successful entrepreneur, which is actually the subtitle of this book. It’s called eSCAPE: The Four Stages of Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur. So, “S” stands for “self,” “C” stands for “catapult,” “A” stands for “authority,” and “P” stands for “people.”
Now, if you were to look at the eSCAPE triangle, the base of the triangle would be “employee” because most of the people in the world are employees. Now, the very next part of the triangle as you go up – so, it starts to get smaller and smaller as you go towards the peak – the next after “employee” is “self.” That’s where the personal development industry comes from. But then, even far fewer people make it from “self” to Stage 2, which is “catapult,” and fewer people make it to Stage 3, which is “authority,” and fewer make it to the final frontier, I think, that you have before you become a successful entrepreneur, which is “people.”
So, we’ve created what we call the eSCAPE triangle, but these are the four stages, and there’s basically five elements inside of each of the four that will help you understand, test, perfect, and when you do, you will truly raise what we call your e-score, which is your probability of succeeding as an entrepreneur. It doesn’t matter what kind of entrepreneur, what kind of business. That just doesn’t matter.
John: The e-score – I just love everything around that. To do a little bit of a recap, Fire Nation, eSCAPE – that’s the name of the book, and he has an arrow from the “e” to the “E,” and a little side note, I don’t know if you did take any inspiration, Anik, from Amazon, but Amazon has something similar where it’s “Amazon,” and there’s an arrow from the “A” to the “z” because they want you to know that you can get everything at Amazon from A to Z. That’s a little thing. So, next time you see the arrow on Amazon, if you didn’t know the meaning of that arrow, then that’s it, from A to Z.
Now, he has from “employee” to “entrepreneur,” and of course, the “e” is for “employee,” and that S-C-A-P is “self,” “catapult,” “authority,” “people” as you’re moving through those stages, and then getting to the point where you’re at the final “E,” which is “entrepreneur.” Super cool. Anik, why don’t you tell Fire Nation right now what’s gonna happen when they head over to eofire.com/escape?
Anik: Very simple. So, when you go there, you’re gonna see first of all the endorsements and what the book is about. Feel free to read up, watch the video to get more informed, but really, what I want you to do is go ahead and fill the form out. We’re gonna send you the book. The book is free. I’ll pay for the print; I’ll pay for everything. You just cover the shipping and handling. We’re shipping it worldwide, same fee. I am actually genuinely going into a bit of losses for the book, and that’s okay because for me, it’s about the message.
You go there, you see a form, you fill it out, I will ship you the book, but here’s the cool part: You do not have to wait for the book to arrive at your home to start reading it because for those of you who are international, that can take a little bit of time sometimes. So, right now, for anyone who shows me they’re committed and just pays for the shipping, we’re actually giving you 100 percent free access for a lifetime on the digital classroom of the book, so you can actually start reading this book within the next few minutes right from your home while you wait for the book to get delivered to your house as well.
John: Fire Nation, I mean, this is one of those offers that I am completely getting behind because I have the book in my hand, it’s incredible, and now you can have it in your hand for just the cost of shipping. So, that’s eofire.com/escape, and something really cool – really cool – I haven’t done this in about two years now, and I’ve only done this for one other person, Russell Brunson, when he launched a Marketing Secrets book. I really wanted to dive into the fact that this is such a powerful offer, such a powerful book, I wanna make it even more appealing for you, Fire Nation.
So, anybody that heads over to eofire.com/escape and actually goes ahead and orders this book – because obviously, immediate access, you can start reading it anytime now, and then you’re gonna get the physical copy shipped to your doorstep for just the cost of shipping – I’m also gonna go ahead and have my team send you your choice of the Freedom or Mastery journal, hardcover copy, to your house if you’re in the United States.
If you’re outside the United States, you’re gonna get your choice of the digital version of either the Freedom or Mastery journal, but for everybody in the U.S., you’re gonna get a physical copy of the Freedom or Mastery journal, your choice, when you sign up for this offer. So, for just the cost of shipping, the book eSCAPE, you’re gonna get that to your doorstep plus either the Freedom or Mastery journal, whichever one you want, to just accompany you on this journey.
Of course, for those of you who don’t know, the Freedom journal is all about accomplishing one goal in 100 days. It is a killer journal, over 35,000 copies sold. The Mastery journal is not far behind it sales-wise with how to be productive, disciplined, and focused in 100 days. So, they’re both absolutely incredible journals, and you are going to get your choice of one of those two shipped to your door if you’re in the U.S. or the digital version if you’re overseas. So, this is absolutely a no-brainer, and we’ve got some more value coming your way when Anik and I get back after thanking our sponsor.
So, Anik, we’re back, and I have a question for you. Can anybody be an entrepreneur? I just wanna know.
Anik: That is a super question. So, here’s the deal: Everyone can be an entrepreneur. I actually think we’re all born entrepreneurs. Here’s what I want you to do. I want you to watch a toddler as they’re going about their day, and it’s so amazing: The very thing you tell them not to do, they want to do. They want to experience it, touch it, feel it.
Now, I did this test with my 3-year-old nephew a few years ago when I said, “What do you wanna be when you grow up?” And, he looked at me and he said, “I wanna be War Machine.” Now, of course, I took two offenses to this. First of all, I’m a big Iron Man fan, so I said, “Why would you wanna be the sidekick? Be Iron Man.” But, the second thing is I told him, “You can’t be War Machine. War Machine doesn’t exist.” And, man, you should have seen the anger and the vigor in his eyes. He said, “I wanna be War Machine! I will be War Machine!” I said, “Wow, look at that.”
So, first of all, we’re born with the qualities of entrepreneurs. It’s actually society and our educational system that beats it out of us. But, I wanna introduce you to a concept of intrapreneur, which has become very big in our world today, and that is why I think everyone should and can be an entrepreneur. Not everybody needs to run their own business, so when you look up the definition of “entrepreneur” in Webster’s Dictionary, I actually disagree with the entire thing.
There are two components to that definition, and I don’t think they apply anymore. No. 1, they say, “Somebody who runs their own business.” Now, that used to be true 20 years ago, but today, Google, Amazon, Netflix, Yahoo, Microsoft, Tesla – you name any big company, they are deploying intrapreneurship. They don’t wanna hire employees. They’re hiring intrapreneurs. So, we’ll talk about what that is in just a moment because it opens up the floodgates for everybody to become an entrepreneur.
So, I think an entrepreneur technically is – entrepreneurship is about who you are as a person, your qualities, your behavior traits, so you don’t have to have your own business to display those. Second part of the definition was, “Who takes greater risk than the rest for return.” I gotta tell you – the smartest entrepreneurs I know don’t take “risks.” They have more backup plans than most employees do for their life. So, I gotta say, I don’t know if I agree with that as well, but yes, I think everyone can be an entrepreneur.
I think the right question to ask is does everyone want to be an entrepreneur? That’s why I love intrapreneurship, because you can get a lot of the benefits of an entrepreneur as people commonly think about without some of the struggles and some of the pain, so it depends on what season you are in your life. I just wanna ask you after you read this book and you get a thorough – finally, someone tells you what it really takes, it’s okay to say, “I don’t wanna do that. That’s not for me. I’m not in the right season of my life.” Or, “Let me be an intrapreneur. I’ll get there, and then I’ll work my way to the own business if I decide to do that.”
But, yeah, absolutely anyone can. It can be taught. Some people will be more natural at it, but the real question is do you want it? Do you know what you’re getting into?
John: So, there’s so much power behind everything that Anik is saying, Fire Nation, and a story that I like to refer to a lot is people look at Richard Branson as the prototypical entrepreneur, like this guy takes risks and he just owns islands, planes, trains, and spaceships, and all this stuff, and guess what? When he decided to launch Virgin Atlantic, the plane company, what did he do when he decided to launch Virgin Air? He went ahead and said to Boeing and said, “Hey, I wanna lease these planes for X number of months or years, but if this doesn’t work, I’m gonna give them back to you and you need to give me X number of dollars back that I didn’t use through this lease.”
So, he negotiated a completely risk-free opportunity for him – not a completely risk-free, but a very low-risk opportunity for him where as if it didn’t work, he was gonna be able to get out of it and return the planes and say, “Hey, this just didn’t work,” and Boeing had to sign that, or he wasn’t gonna do it. So, just realize that entrepreneurship isn’t all about just throwing the die for one lucky roll or taking these massive risks.
You can do things like being an intrapreneur, like Anik was saying. You can do things like being a side-preneur, just testing things out while you’re working your job or whatever. So, there’s many ways to go about this, and it’s definitely not about just throwing caution to the wind and diving all in and trying to make this happen. So, let’s talk a little bit more about intrapreneurship and the new trend towards that, Anik. What do you really wanna make sure Fire Nation gets?
Anik: Yeah, absolutely. So, listen: First of all, intrapreneurship is all we do here at Lurn. We’ve got a team of over 65 people now, not a single employee. These guys are all running their own departments, their own divisions, as if they are literally running their own business. And so, what is intrapreneurship? Look, an entrepreneur goes out – you hear about it all the time – they raise money from angels or venture capitalists, they get mentors, they get people to help them, they hire employees. Well, they basically try to build this infrastructure above them to be able to support them.
Well, an intrapreneur comes into an existing infrastructure and paves and carves a path for themselves within that, so they don’t have to spend the effort and the money and the time to build an HR team. Their larger organization provides that. They don’t have to spend the time and energy building an office. The larger organization basically acts like a venture accelerator or a venture capitalist for that intrapreneur. So, they get to come in and really innovate and build and control their own little division as if it was their own business.
And so, look at the Sony PlayStation, for example. Most people don’t know this, but the Sony PlayStation was actually a result of intrapreneurship by somebody who took his daughter’s Nintendo and just couldn’t stand it. He wanted to make it better. And so, he invented the Sony PlayStation.
Google – how many of you have a Gmail account? Most don’t realize that was a result of intrapreneurship. Google allows its employees X amount of time every single week to just do whatever they want. Google’s Ad Sense program – result of intrapreneurship. Facebook – one of their biggest breakthroughs at Facebook was news feed ads. That was a result of intrapreneurship.
So, intrapreneurship is people or are people that are at these companies that are being financially very well rewarded, that are being provided resources, the hardships are being mitigated, and there’s a huge trend towards this. You go to the West Coast – these companies don’t even wanna hire an employee. This trend is now starting to seep over to the East Coast. I really wish I had invented this word; I didn’t, but I will tell you this: I will spend the rest of my life promoting it and getting people to see the light at the end of that tunnel of intrapreneurship.
John: So, within the book eSCAPE, you talk about the four stages of becoming an entrepreneur, and I think this would be super valuable for Fire Nation for you to walk us through these four stages so that we can all kind of resonate about which stage we’re at and about what the next steps should be.
Anik: Absolutely, would be happy to. So, I’m gonna go through these in general first, right? So, remember, in the book, we dive into specifics. Each stage has five core characteristics and behaviors that I deliver to you that you can actually test yourself on. So, first and foremost, we have S. That is the first stage; that is the self. Let me just tell you something: We have spent our entire lives being trained to not succeed as an entrepreneur.
Literally, our systems and our educational system – I’m not saying anything bad about them, but these systems were created decades and decades ago, and they have not evolved, but yet, we as humans in how we live and what we interact with every day has evolved. So, unfortunately, we are being trained to be employees. So, what happens is a lot of people – they work for decades for another company, they save money, save money, save money, and one day, they say, “That’s it. I’m gonna start my own business.”
And, I think that this is why we see so many businesses fail. It doesn’t have to do with the fact that Walmart moves into their neighborhood or that financing gets low or the economy dips. It has to do with the fact that they’re applying self characteristics, they’re applying thinking patterns, behavior patterns that have been taught to them that are employee-focused. So, prime example here: When we are being – when we’re growing up, when we’re kids, we live for ourselves until we start understanding the power of the word “no” and until we start understanding the power of praise.
So, we start going to school, we do something, teachers praise us, parents praise us. We crave more of that, so we start to make daily decisions based around that. We try to act in such a way to get praise from others. We stop living for ourselves and start living for others, and we continue to do that through school. Then, we graduate high school; we try to build this rap sheet to hopefully get into college – some fictitious person would decide if we’re worth it or not – same for a job, and on and on. So, I explain in Stage 1 here how to revert that, how to literally decode and recode that decades of training.
All right, now, let’s say you get through that. You gotta move to “C,” “catapult.” I have so many students that come to me all the time. “Anik, I wanna make $1 million. Show me how to do this.” Literally, I love this. I turn to them, I say, “Have you made $100.00?” And, they hate that question. They say, “Anik, I don’t wanna make $100.00, I wanna make $1 million.” I’m like, “But, have you made $100.00?” The point I’m making is why don’t you make $100.00 first, then make $1,000.00? You know how you make $1,000.00? Do what you did to make $100.00 ten times. Then, go make $10,000.00. You know how you make that? Do what you did to make $1,000.00 ten times.
John: Let me break in here for a second, Anik, because Fire Nation, let me just tell you how much easier it is to go from $10,000.00 to $100,000.00 than it is to go from $100.00 to $1,000.00. It is a lot easier because at that point, when you’ve made $10,000.00, you’ve really figured stuff out. You just need to amplify, you just need to go to the affiliates, and the ads, and more content, and adjust your funnels, and it’s just about pouring fuel on the fire. So, just remember that, and that’s why your point is so true Anik about, “Have you made $100.00 yet first? Have you made $1,000.00?” That’s the process you have to go through, Fire Nation, to figure this out.
Anik: Absolutely. I couldn’t agree more. And so, see, we’ve gotta learn to create momentum. We’ve gotta break the big goals down into digestible things that we can start to really win, succeed, and create celebration. This isn’t something – honest to God – because at work, we’re given the chunks. Your boss tells you, “Do this, do this.” You don’t have to think for your own. And so, we have to code that.
Then, we move to “A.” Now, look, “authority,” which is basically the same as leadership. You can’t succeed as an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, whatever, without some leadership, without authority. I’m not asking you to be a charismatic leader that gets in front of 40,000 people and inspires a revolution. No, I’m asking you to be able to inspire your customers, your vendors, your team members. You need to be able to lead. You need to be able to make decisions. You need to have control and authority.
Guess what? Growing up, how many team captains are there on a team? How many class leaders are there? Most people – 95 percent of people who are maybe a little shy or maybe a little reserved – they never get a chance to stand up and learn. So, we have to decode that and recode authority and leadership into ourselves because you won’t make it unless you do.
And then, the final frontier – I call this the final frontier – “P,” “people.” There’s emotions involved. Now, there’s this horrible advice that is taught out there by the personal development industry, which I contest in this book and I work against, and that is “Cut the negative people out.” You know what? When I was growing – when I was in my business, the first negative person in my life was my father. He was scared for me. He knew he couldn’t help me, he couldn’t guide me. You know what? When I was building this beautiful Lurn Center here that cost me $3.5 million so I could provide a physical home for entrepreneurs, my mother was so scared. She was negative.
When I was deep in debt at that time, my girlfriend – now my wife – she was so scared for me, she was negative. Where would I be today without these three amazing people in my life who loved me the most, who supported me the most? People are negative because they don’t understand you. They can’t see themselves doing what you wanna do and they wanna protect you.
So, when you start deleting these people, you’re deleting those who love you the most, but I teach you in “people” how to build the right environment, how to balance that, how to know who you really need to remove, and who’s just trying to protect you. We literally build an environment where if you immerse yourself in that environment, it would be hard not to succeed as an entrepreneur, and that’s the final frontier, and you get all four of those going, and I’m telling you, you’re gonna make it as an entrepreneur.
John: All right, Fire Nation. So, first off, the Lurn Center that he’s talking about is gorgeous. I’ve actually taken a video tour of it, and just so impressed with what you’re building over there. Fire Nation, he’s investing $3.5 million in his dream and what he knows is going to literally change the lives of thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, hopefully one day millions and millions of people through the Lurn Center, and that’s L-U-R-N. So, this Lurn Center, again, is absolutely stunning.
Now, let’s kind of rip through these four things again, Fire Nation, because it’s so key to remember what is the “S?” That’s “self.” Recode those decades of training that, for whatever reasons, are weighing all of us down on some level. The “C,” “catapult” – you need to create momentum. You need to break things down into digestible parts. You need to first make the $10.00 before you make the $100.00, before you make the $1,000.00, before you make the $100,000.00. That’s how it goes. That’s how the process is: All starting by creating momentum.
“A,” “authority”: You need to be a leader, Fire Nation. You need to be able to make decisions, make that happen. “P” is “people.” Who should you be removing and who’s there to actually protect you? You need to understand there’s a difference between the two, and you don’t wanna just cut people out of your lives because you think you need to cut them out of your lives. You need to actually think about that process.
So, Anik, this all leads beautifully in my opinion to what you have created – as, up to this date, your life’s knowledge into this book, eSCAPE. So, talk to Fire Nation a little more about this in general, how they can get this literally for free with just an investment in shipping, and then we’ll kind of wrap this up and say goodbye.
Anik: Yeah, listen: First of all, Fire Nation, thank you for being here and listening. For me, my entire life – I don’t have a mission or a vision anymore. I have a purpose. That’s it. And, my purpose is to build and support 1 million entrepreneurs all over the world. And so, this book for me is the first big step I’ve taken towards doing that because we’re really gonna get the core things you need that no one’s telling you, no one’s teaching this stuff. It’s not out there.
So, right now, go to eofire.com/escape, and we’ve got these books printed and waiting for you. They will ship within 24 hours of you putting in just the shipping cost. That’s it. That’s all you’re covering. It’s the same for everyone all over the world. We’re shipping everywhere, okay?
Now, I don’t want you to wait for you to receive the book because I need you to get started on this right away. You never know what you learn that can have a deep impact on your life right now, so what I will do for you is I’ve built a beautiful, beautiful digital classroom – it’s actually inside our Lurn Nation platform – and I’ll let you in on a little secret: When you get into the Lurn Nation platform, we have over 25 other courses in there for entrepreneurs that are free, 100 percent free for you to take, everything from how to build an outsourcing team to how to do Facebook ads to how to do copyrighting. We’ve got it all in there in addition to this book.
So, I want you to start reading this book right away. When you do start reading this book, you and I are gonna go on a journey together. Most people who read this book told me they did it in two to three days because it was such an easy read. This book has been written by a copywriter, by the way. I’m a copywriter. I wrote every word of it. This was not ghostwritten. This was every word – bit is me, and I wrote this for readability, I promise you. Even if you’re not a reader, you will read this book. You will finish it.
John: It is super readable. I loved it.
Anik: Thank you, thank you. So, there you go. Go to eofire.com/escape. Get yourself a absolutely free copy of it while we still have them. You’ll see that Daymond John wrote the foreword. That’s one of the sharks from Shark Tank. Listen: You don’t get a foreword from Daymond John unless you nailed something on the head inside that book.
John: So true.
Anik: So, all I’m saying is you need what’s in this book. Trust me: I’ve been around, I’ve taught over 250,000 entrepreneurs, I’ve seen it all, heard it all, done it all, and I wanna hand it to you. This isn’t about the money for me. That’s obvious. This is about the mission, and the message, and my purpose. And so, I’d love to be able to work with you and help you if I can, and if you’d like, eofire.com/escape – I’ll ship this book out to you and give you instant online access.
John: Fire Nation, invest in yourself. Trust me, you are worth it. I know you are worth it just by the fact you are listening to this podcast to improve yourself on so many different levels. And, what are you investing in? You’re really just investing your time because you’re gonna get this book for free minus shipping. You’re gonna get your choice of the Freedom or Mastery journal completely for free – I’m even taking care of that shipping myself, Fire Nation, so you’re not even investing in that, you’re just getting your choice of the Freedom or Mastery journal for free.
You’re gonna get immediate access when you sign up to that Lurn digital classroom which has over 25 incredible classes, Fire Nation, that are going to continue to help you on this journey, and whenever you come up with another question, go to this digital classroom and say, “Hey, have they done a class on this yet?” The answer is probably yes, and you can take it then. Don’t feel overwhelmed. You don’t have to take these 25 classes at once. They’re there for you when you needed.
So, head over to eofire.com/escape; get this book right now to be shipping within 24 hours to your doorstep. Then, of course, my team’s gonna reach out. You’re gonna get your choice of the Freedom or Mastery journal shipped to your doorstep. You’re gonna let us know. We’re gonna do that for everybody in the United States. Outside the U.S., we’re gonna give you immediate digital access to the Freedom or Mastery journal of your choice. And, Anik, I’m actually gonna let you take this home, brother. Give us a parting piece of guidance and then say goodbye to Fire Nation.
Anik: Thank you so much. Listen: First of all, I just wanna tell you one piece of advice that Mark Cuban gave me that I hated when he did; I loved to hear later when I figured it out. That is focus. Listen: You wanna succeed? Give it all you’ve got. Give one thing all you’ve got. Just because you fall, just because you hurt, just because there’s an obstacle, don’t stop. With every no, you’re closer to a yes. With every failure, you’re closer to your success. Just keep pushing forward.
Lastly, I just wanna say look, when life pushes you, stand straight, smile, and push it the heck back. What’s the big deal? Keep fighting. Come on. All right, so, with that said, thank you, everybody, for your time and your attention. I wish you all the success. Go out there, be blessed, change the world, fight for your dreams, and I promise you they’ll happen.
John: Eofire.com/escape, and ignite!
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