Our guest today might have the most controversial and thought-provoking book of the year. There is huge buzz around Risky Is the New Safe. Its author, Randy Gage, joins us for a talk about how the rules have changed and what it takes to succeed as an Entrepreneur in the new economy.
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- “The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.” – Randy Gage click to tweet!
- At 30 years old, Randy found himself with a business just auctioned off by the IRS for failure to pay taxes. His business was $55k in debt and on the brink of despair. That was a low moment for Randy, indeed, but listen as he reveals the mindset that brought him back.
Entrepreneurial AHA Moment
- Randy has so much experience and knowledge. His AHA moment truly packs more wallop than one might expect. You simply must listen.
- Randy just launched his new book Risky Is the New Safe and is spending every waking minute promoting it to the world. Listen as he shares a defining moment in his life and how this moment shaped Risky Is the New Safe.
- I love Randy’s answers here. Both deep and inspiring.
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John Dumas: Hire Fire Nation and thank you for joining me for another episode of EntrepreneurOnFire.com, your daily dose of inspiration. If you enjoy this free podcast, please show your support by leaving a rating and review here at iTunes. I will make sure to give you a shout out on an upcoming showing to thank you!
John Lee Dumas: Okay. Let’s get started. I am simply thrilled to introduce my guest today, Randy Gage. Randy, are you prepared to ignite?
Randy Gage: I am!
John Lee Dumas: Alright! Our guest today might have the most controversial and thought-provoking book of the year. There’s a huge buzz around “Risky is the New Safe.” Its author, Randy Gage, joins us for a talk about how the rules have changed and what it takes to succeed as an entrepreneur in the new economy.
Randy, I’ve given Fire Nation a little overview about what you have going on right now, but take a minute. Tell us a little bit about you personally, and then about your business.
Randy Gage: Yes. Of course I’m crazy this week because the book has just launched this week and it’s rocking all over. Not just the country, but the world. We launched the German edition last week and the Russian edition next week and some other languages coming out. So it’s a little bit berserk right now, but in a great, good kind of way.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome, Randy! Well I’m just very thankful you’re going to be able to take a couple of minutes today to talk with Fire Nation about that and then about your journey as an entrepreneur in general. So let’s start off as we start every show off, with a success quote or a mantra that you really enjoy because again, we like to get the motivational ball rolling for all this great content you have for us today. So Randy, what do you have for Fire Nation?
Randy Gage: Well, mine would be “the only free cheese is in the mousetrap.”
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Randy Gage: [Laughs] It’s probably quite different than any usual one you hear from anyone else. Actually, I was on a radio show once, and then the host said to me, “If you could summarize your whole philosophy of success and prosperity in one sentence, what would it be?” First, I was kind of aggravated that he was like trying to take this complex topic and put it into such simplicity, but the more I thought about it, I said, “You know what? Yes, I can. Here is the philosophy. The only free cheese is in the mousetrap.” I think your listeners will really appreciate that too because they know the value of personal responsibility. They understand that as entrepreneurs, we take personal responsibility. We don’t look for free cheese. We know that there’s rules of the universe that everybody applies by and all success is creating value for value exchanges. So I think it’s a good quote to start our conversation today.
John Lee Dumas: I do love it. It makes a lot of sense. Can you just take it down to the ground level real quick and tell us how you have applied this mentality or this quote to your everyday life or your business?
Randy Gage: Well, I struggled for so long. I was broke for the first 30 years of my life and had so many challenges, relationships, issues and health challenges and things, and it kind of culminated when I was 30 years old when I lost my business. It was seized by the IRS and they auctioned it off for unpaid taxes. So everything was broken down and I finally had to ask myself, well in all these broken relationships, all these dysfunctional relationships, all these business failures, all these health challenges, is there one person who was always at the scene of the crime? [Laughs] Of course I didn’t like the answer to that question, but that was really the important question for me to ask because that’s when I stopped looking at blaming the government and business partners and exes and relationships and everything and really started taking responsibility that hey, I can create my own success and I’m the guy responsible for that.
John Lee Dumas: Wow! Well that sounds like you’ve had quite the entrepreneurial journey, Randy, in so many ways, shapes and forms. That will lead us to our next topic, which is failure. You’ve already touched upon a failure that you’ve had, but can you share with Fire Nation a failure or a challenge or an obstacle that you’ve really had in the past that you feel would really speak well to our listeners, and then take us through how you overcame that and how you really propelled yourself into the current success you’re now experiencing today.
Randy Gage: Well, when I lost that business to the tax authorities, I mean I curled up in a ball. I was $55,000 in debt, which at that point in my life might as well have been $50 million, right? I sold my furniture, I was sleeping on the floor. I just totally had to regroup, but that was really when I said, “Well, let me really decide, what do I want to be when I grow up? What do I want to do? Did I really want to work 18 hours a day in a restaurant, 6, 7 days a week the rest of my life anyway, or could I do something different?” And so that really was a breakthrough for me and it was a good thing. I’m often asked, if you could do it all over again, what would you do different? I wouldn’t change anything. Every obstacle I’ve had, every challenge I’ve had – and I’ve had a few, let me tell you. But they all gave me wisdom, lessons, I developed character. We have to understand that our challenges, they cause us to become a better person, cause us to develop character and skills and things. And so those things really do make us better. So in my case, it was certainly a helpful thing for me.
I would say this. I think this would really be helpful to the people listening. Most people if we asked, if you said, “What’s the opposite of success?” 99 out of 100 are going to say the opposite of success is failure, but that’s not true. I believe the opposite of success is mediocrity, and failure is just part of the success process that we go along the line. In the new book I’m talking about Mark Cuban and Richard Branson and some of the most successful people in our world today, and all of them would tell you the same thing. I was listening to an interview with Mark Cuban just a week ago and he was saying, “Hey, you know what? You only got to be right one time.” In his case, he was right one time and it made him a billionaire. And yet he went through many challenges, many trials and tribulations and many what other people would call failures, but if you learn from your mistakes – that chapter in the book I’m talking about is actually called “Move Fast and Break Things.” That was kind of the mantra of Mark Zuckerberg and the Facebook clan as they were plotting their world domination, right? They just understood, hey, we just got to move fast and break things. It’s going to get people with bruised feelings and everything isn’t going to be politically correct and we’re going to make some mistakes, but you know what? We’re going to clean up. Just clean up the mistakes, move forward and move on, and I think that’s the secret of success for all entrepreneurs.
John Lee Dumas: That resonates so well with me, Randy, and it resonates so well with Fire Nation because just one tried and true lesson is that if you’re not failing, you’re really not improving yourself as an entrepreneur. You’re not pushing your own limits. You’re not learning from these mistakes that we have to make every single day because that’s truly what defines us as entrepreneurs, how we react to these failures. Mark Cuban is obviously a guy who reacted well to his failures. Mark Zuckerberg obviously reacted well to different challenges and obstacles that he had to overcome. So I just love the example you gave. I thank you for it. It rings so true on so many levels. Let’s use that to now transition to the other end of the spectrum. We’ve all had failures, but we’ve also had these aha moments that have just propelled us and moved us forward. I mean for you, you’ve already shared a couple of aha moments that you’ve had that are so special, and that’s one great thing about being an entrepreneur, is that we do have these aha moments every single day that inspire us. Can you take us back to a time when you really had a huge light bulb that just went off and you said, “Aha! This is something that I can do. This is going to resonate with me, with my business”? Can you share that with us, Randy?
Randy Gage: I kind of fought the Internet for a long time. I didn’t even want to do email for three years. I had people screaming at me to get an email account. Because I’m not a tech guy, I’m not a gadget guy. But I finally said, “You know, I believe the future of business is online, and I’m going to become at least proficient with it.” I’m going to get a website, I’m going to get an email, I’m going to check this thing out, I’m going to see. That, as a result, led me to go on and to make many, many millions of dollars from online, right? A similar thing, probably four years ago, I said, “Well, I need to really check out social media. This is really blowing up – Twitter and Facebook and YouTube.” And so I started with Twitter. I went down and I kind of took – what I do, I like to take all the books and articles and CDs and DVDs I’ve been buying and I kind of stack them up and then I’ll go to Key West. And then I’ll take a couple of days and I’ll just plow through all of these stuff that I have. So I kind of did a weekend like that where it was the “social media weekend” where I was going to check out and really come to a determination on social media. I said, “Yes, Twitter is the big one. I’m going to get proficient on Twitter. I’m going to open up an account, learn how it works there, see how people connect there and see what it’s about,” and I did that. And then I did Facebook next. And then I said, “Wow! The future is video. Anybody who’s under 40, they’re the video, Internet TV, television generation.” So then I started working on my YouTube channel.
So I’m mindful of stuff, I look at trends, I look at what’s happening. Then when I say, “Hey, this looks like it’s going to be something big,” I’ll take the time, look at it, and then if I think it’s going to fly, then I just jump in. Even though I don’t know what I’m doing yet, I’m not afraid to jump in and find out what it’s all about.
John Lee Dumas: That’s great stuff, Randy. Let’s really go down to the ground level. Pick one of the social media tools that you really had an aha moment with, and then share with us some specific actions that you took with that tool and how it actually did make you money.
Randy Gage: Well, if I take my blog, it’s probably where I connect with people the most. In my case, I’m a writer. Even though I know more people like video or audio or whatever, in my case I’m a writer at heart so I like the blog. So that was the first thing I started doing online, was doing a blog. And then as I looked at people who were successful bloggers, they all posted a lot. They posted 4, 5 times a week. So I said, “You know what? I’m going to make that commitment and I’m going to get on 4, 5 times a week.” My blog has become one of the top half percent of the world in terms of traffic and it produces – oh, I can’t even tell you how much stuff, but just people find me there, they follow me. Relationships are built on trust, with BLT – Belief, Like and Trust. If people believe you, like you, trust you, they spend money with you. I think a lot of people find me through my blog and they say, “I believe I like this guy and I trust this guy.” And then when I write a new book like Risky is the New Safe, I create a new DVD album, I offer a new seminar, consulting services for companies or whatever, they come, a lot of them come through having initially met me through the blog.
John Lee Dumas: I love that, Randy. Let’s take a second now and let’s really dig deep into your new book. Can you take Fire Nation because we’re all curious about this process. Can you take Fire Nation through the process of coming up with an idea for a book, and then your process of actually creating this book and then actually any content that you’re willing to share from this book, and then actually the ending point, which is the launch and the distribution of this book? Can you take us through that whole cycle?
Randy Gage: Yes. Here is the initial thing. I wanted to write “Think and Grow Rich 2013.” That was my secret goal.
John Lee Dumas: I love Napoleon Hill.
Randy Gage: Yes, and I did too and it was so influential to me, his work in my life. I wanted to write the book that Napoleon would write today with social media and mobile apps and the cloud and all of the things going on. So I wanted to write this practical application book of how do you create wealth in the new economy? That was the game plan. It changed radically when I took a trip to Phuket, Thailand. I went down there to do one of my bucket list things. I wanted to ride an elephant through the rainforest. So I went down there, I’m at an eco-preserve to do that, and I come across a monkey-training show and they’re training monkeys to replace humans. I thought, well, that’s fascinating! It’s to harvest coconuts from trees. Once they trained these monkeys, they can harvest a thousand coconuts a day. I don’t think like normal people think. I’m watching this show and I’m saying, “Hmm, I sure hope nobody from American Airlines ever sees this show.”
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Randy Gage: [Laughs] If they do, somebody in Dallas is going to be saying, “Hmm, could be get 2, 3 flight attendants replaced by monkeys on every flight, on every triple seven, handing out bags of peanuts?”
John Lee Dumas: [Laughs]
Randy Gage: And then I say, “What does that do to the job market?” We’ve used animals as beast of burden for centuries, but this is like physical dexterity, opposing digits, labor. And on that same trip home, I overnight in San Francisco. I’m in the airline lounge. The next day, there’s a couple there with a little carrier and they have an adorable puppy with them. Well I love all animals, so I go up and I asked if I could play with the puppy, and the woman tells me the puppy is a clone. I laughed. I think she’s joking. No, she’s not joking. It turns out it really was a clone. They actually were on my flight to Miami, they live in South Florida. And it wasn’t even the first cloned puppy. It was just the first cloned puppy that had been brought back to the United States.
I have to tell you, that puppy licked my face, and that changed everything on this book because I’m a sci-fi geek and I know Star Wars and the Clone Armies and everything, but that’s sci-fi, right? I knew they had cloned sheep and cloned a camel. I had read those reports. But I don’t know, I just pictured it in a test tube, and he’s adorable and frolicking and licking your face like the most adorable puppy you’d ever rescue from any animal shelter and you realize this puppy came from the DNA and was cloned in a laboratory? Your whole world changes because then you say, “Well how long is it going to be before they clone humans?” You can say you hate that and you’re against it and it’s against God’s will and the UN should outlaw it and say whatever you want. It’s still going to happen. And then the question says, “So if Jones & Sons Hardware on Main Street could clone more sons, why would they ever need to hire more employees?” What’s going to happen when some renegade nation starts cloning armies? What’s going to happen when somebody starts cloning sex workers? What does this do to the fabric of society, to the job market, to the economy, to everything?
And so the book really went in a whole different direction and I’m looking at cloning and biogenetic engineering and then how mobile apps affect marketing and how social media affects marketing and how [Unintelligible] the Euro is going to collapse and what that will do and how that affects business because the whole premise of the book in every way, whether I look at technology, government, economy, anything, is we’re entering the most cataclysmic change we’ve ever seen in human history. It’s going to be faster than any time ever before. This is going to create catastrophic challenges all over the world for people, but those catastrophic challenges are also going to create breathtaking opportunities. That’s the premise of the book. It’s a book about how to create wealth in the new economy. Readers will really see – I mean if you look back, you’re going to see some of the greatest legacy wealth in American history was created in the Great Depression. Look back at your recession and depressions and times of economic upheaval, that’s when some of the greatest wealth is always created.
John Lee Dumas: You came up with this idea, it changed for various reasons, you’ve created this book, and then now the launch process comes. Can you just take Fire Nation through a little bit of what it takes to launch a book and why for instance this week is just so insane for you right now? Give us a glimpse into this part of your journey.
Randy Gage: Yes. I mean you can probably tell by my voice I’m hacking and wheezing and coughing. I’ve been doing 10 interviews a day for a month, traveling. I launched the book in Germany. I did a thing in Istanbul. I flew to Germany, I launched the book there. I flew to London, I flew home from London. I was home for 16 hours. I did a book launch in Miami. I went to Dallas. I did a book launch there. I came to Houston where I’m at today. I’ve got an event tonight and an opening keynote tomorrow. Next week I’m going to Ukraine, launching the Russian-Persian. Books don’t sell themselves. They don’t launch themselves. You kind of get out the word. Obviously, you got to write a great book. You got to write a book that people want to read. So you do that first. Then I got 67 endorsements for the book from thought leaders from T. Harv Eker to Brian Tracy and Larry Winget to Bob Burg and Jeffrey Hayzlett, a lot of real important people in the business space, marketing space, self-development space, and they raved about the book. So they became my front guard, if you will. They were out promoting it.
Then I got involved with my tribe on Facebook, in Twitter. I was posting excerpts on my blog and put some excerpts on my Facebook page and started doing interviews and the buzz really has been building. The release date was Tuesday. Grisham has been going up and down and other people have been going up and down, but we’ve been locked in at number 1. We won’t hear The New York Times of course and Wall Street Journal. You won’t really know. You never know those until the week after, but the publishing insiders tell me we’re going to debut a bestseller. The advance sales are so strong that we’re definitely going to hit all the bestseller lists. So definitely social media has played a big part in that for me. I’ve got a lot of people who have really taken on the book, got excited about it and they’re telling everybody in their world about it.
John Lee Dumas: Wow! Well, on behalf of Fire Nation, Randy, congratulations! I mean this book sounds phenomenal. Thank you for the buildup to it, the actual content that it holds within and a little glimpse about what it means to launch a book because that’s just really interesting and it’s great to see a sneak peek into what is sure to be a bestseller. So thank you for that. On that note, can you share with us, have you had an I’ve made it moment?
Randy Gage: I call my mother every week and she would say, “Have you ever thought about getting a real job?” because I was an entrepreneur and nobody in my family was an entrepreneur. My mother, she was an Avon lady. She raised three kids by herself, knocking on doors selling Avon. And so she just never really understood what I do. I was pretty successful by most people’s standards. I think my mother was still like, “Oh my poor kid! He doesn’t get a real job where every Friday they’re going to give him a paycheck. I always worry about him.” So she worked for Avon her whole life and she became a District Manager for Avon and she was like directing 35 women in Wisconsin who were Avon ladies in her town or whatever it was. I don’t know. And then one day, she was talking to her boss, “Hey, we’re bringing this guy to speak at our convention and train all of our people. Maybe you know him. He’s got the same name. His name is Randy Gage. She was like, “What?! That’s my son!” She said, “Yes! See, this is his book! I read his book!” So that’s like then my mother stopped asking me when I was going to get a real job, and so I think that was the point where I felt like I made it [Laughs].
John Lee Dumas: That’s a great I’ve made it moment [Laughs]. I love that! So Randy, we’ve now reached my favorite part of the show. This is the Lightning Round because I get to ask you 5 or 6 questions and you can just come back at Fire Nation with amazing and mind-blowing answers. Does that sound like a plan?
Randy Gage: It sounds like a plan.
John Lee Dumas: What was one thing that was holding you back from initially becoming an entrepreneur?
Randy Gage: Fear of success. Not fear of failure, which is what most people think. But I had what I think most people had, which is fear of success because I had worthiness issues.
John Lee Dumas: Yes. One of your endorsers, T. Harv Eker, speaks so well of that in “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind.”
Randy Gage: Yes. I could tell you, training people on prosperity for the last 20 years, that’s the number one issue that I see for most people. They self-sabotage themselves, as I did for many years, because they don’t think they deserve success.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best business advice that you ever received?
Randy Gage: Part of growing your business is you’re going to have to know when to fire clients, which seem really shocking to me, but it became true because I was consulting, and then it got to the point where my consulting company was bigger than my clients and my clients couldn’t afford to pay me what I needed to get paid to do the kind of stuff I had to do. And so I had to fire some clients and say, “You know, I [Unintelligible] you, but you’re not in the level of the companies that I need to be working with right now,” and I’ve had to do that as a process as my career has developed, and I think most people will. They’ll start off with a certain type of client and the caliber of their client will have to gravitate up and they will have to let some clients go to make space for new ones that are more appropriate for them.
John Lee Dumas: What’s something that’s working for you or your business right now?
Randy Gage: Harnessing the power of the tribe through social media.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! I love that.
Randy Gage: Yes. That’s when you can really connect with people and get – because a lot of people think social media is just where you broadcast out announcements and pitches at people. That isn’t what social media is about. Social media is the chance to really connect with your tribe and engage with them and build dialogue. That’s when they get excited about your work and they become proponents of your work. That’s what’s happened with the book. It’s really blowing up right now and I credit my tribe with that and the role of social media.
John Lee Dumas: What is your favorite business book that was really instrumental in your life?
Randy Gage: “Atlas Shrugged” by Ayn Rand. It totally blew my mind the first time I read it. I reread it every year. It introduced me to the idea of living my life and running my business via congruent philosophy and it was mind-boggling for me, that book.
John Lee Dumas: Well that’s quite an undertaking because I’ve read that book and it is not short. It really allows us to appreciate the situation that we have right now in the United States, so I could not agree with you more there. Randy, you have just given us some great actionable advice this entire interview. I can’t wait to link your book up in the show notes. There are so many good things that I’m hearing about it. I can’t wait to dive in myself. Thank you so much for joining us here today. Give Fire Nation one parting piece of guidance, then give yourself a plug, and then we’ll say goodbye.
Randy Gage: Well, here would be my parting guidance, and it’s the reason why I wrote Risky is the New Safe. I think we live in the greatest time in human history. There has never been a better time to be alive, never been a greater time to create wealth. There’s never been an easier time to go from broke to actually a multimillionaire or even a multibillionaire because of social media, because of the Internet, because of the cloud, because of all these developments. There’s never been a greater time to be alive, yet most people don’t know that yet. Millions of people don’t know that yet. They think we’re in the dark hours because they are listening to the news, they’re reading the morning newspaper, the jobs reports, and that isn’t what it’s about. So I want people to understand you could have gotten in that DeLorean with Michael J. Fox and set the dial to where in the future you could go. This is the moment you would want to go to and it’s going to be a breathtaking time. I hope everybody listening will get the book, read it, make the most of it and really recognize that risky really is the new safe.
John Lee Dumas: I love it. So give yourself one parting plug.
Randy Gage: Hey, check out riskyisthenewsafe.com. I’ve got a couple of webinars up there on how to create wealth and some interviews and all kinds of resources. I’ve got a 15, 16 video to take you through the book chapter by chapter and what it can mean for you and how you can apply that stuff. So riskyisthenewsafe.com, it will be a great resource for you guys.
John Lee Dumas: Awesome! It truly will be. It fits so well with all of Fire Nation, with our principles, with our mentalities, with what we do every single day. This will be linked up in the show notes. Thank you so much, Randy, for joining us today. On behalf of Fire Nation, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flipside.
Randy Gage: Alright.