Stacey Alcorn is the Author of REACH! – Dream, Stretch, Achieve, Influence. This book is her blueprint on how to achieve any Big Hairy Audacious Goal, regardless of where you are right now. She is an avid blogger and writes regularly for The Huffington Post.
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Worst Entrepreneur Moment
- Isn’t it crazy how fast it can all fall apart? Just like dominos. As entrepreneurs we’re as scared of success as we are of failure. Here’s how to avoid self-sabotage!
Entrepreneur AH-HA Moment
- Stacey decided it was time to rebrand. It was a massive decision and a major risk. But she had to remember that ‘Your network is your net-worth’!
Best Business Book
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Stacey Alcorn: Absolutely.
John Lee Dumas: Yes! Stacey is the author of Reach!: Dream|Stretch|Achieve|Infleunce. This book is her blueprint on how to achieve any big, hairy, audacious goal regardless of where you are right now. She’s an avid blogger and writes regularly for the Huffington Post. Stacey, take a minute, fill in some gaps from that intro and give us just a little glimpse into your personal life.
Stacey Alcorn: I own several businesses, the biggest of which is a independent real estate company out in Massachusetts. We have about 350 agents. I also own a law firm, a fashion business, and a coaching business. However, all of my businesses are powered by the writing I do, basically, interviewing awesome entrepreneurs. I consider myself the modern day Napoleon Hill and for ten years, just basically interviewing awesome people to build a network, and all of it feeds by businesses.
John Lee Dumas: Super exciting. Well, it’s an honor to be talking with the modern day Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich, Outwitting the Devil – two classics I go back to over and over again. So, Stacey, you’re at a networking party, and somebody walks up to you and they say, “What exactly do you do?” How do you respond in ten seconds?
Stacey Alcorn: “I collect awesome people, and I’ve never met anyone just like you. Would you mind if I interviewed you a little bit about who you are and what you’re all about?”
John Lee Dumas: Wow, throwing it right back on them. I love it. Fire nation, let’s take some notes here. So, Stacey, let’s talk about revenue. You talked about all the different ways that you have businesses and you have ideas coming in, and you’re a busy person. But how are you making the dollars? What are the different activities that are bringing in money?
Stacey Alcorn: The big things that I do on a daily basis are two-fold. Number one, my real estate business is the biggest of all my businesses. We do about $1 billion a year in real estate sales. The good thing for me is because I collect awesome people, most people live somewhere, so I can usually connect them to real estate somehow. So basically, my day is two-fold. Every day I try to interview three awesome people a week and bring them into my fold. For example, this week I interviewed a CEO of a company and he has 400 employees at his company, and I want his 400 employees to buy or sell real estate through my company. So in order to get in front of him, I reach out to him and ask him if I could interview him about his success, and that is just my way of going in. And 95 percent of the time, those interviews turn into very long-term relationships with business partners who end up buying or selling real estate or getting their employees to buy or sell real estate through us.
The other part of my day is recruiting real estate agents. So, I have about 20 real estate offices and each morning still I make about 60 recruiting cold calls to my marketplace to find awesome people to work at my company.
John Lee Dumas: So many people underestimate the power of the conversation – of the interview. That’s so amazing, the hosting capabilities of a podcast or a phone call and just building that relationship. First being that person that’s just asking the questions, seeing where the relationships develop, and then having that long-term connection that can lead to so many great things. So, Fire Nation, try to find ways in your business that you can have these type of conversations, that you can build these types of relationships. And Stacey, you got it all figured out right now. I mean, things are rocking and rolling for you; you’ve really dialed into what works for you, but let’s be honest. Life is cyclical, we have our ups, we have our downs, what would you consider is your lowest of the low, your worst entrepreneurial moment? And Stacey, really take us to that moment and tell us that story.
Stacey Alcorn: I have been an entrepreneur; I’m 42 years old and basically have been an entrepreneur ever since I attended a Tony Robbins seminar 20 years ago. I was working at a mortgage company as an employee, went to a Tony Robbins seminar and literally the next day I went to work and quit my job and said, “I will never work for somebody else again. I am going to achieve my own dreams.” So, I was in the mortgage business, built a massive mortgage business, decided to start buying real estate companies – small real estate companies. And that all started – I bought my first real estate company in 2000 just in a small existing office with about 10 agents. And from, say, 2000 to 2005, 2006 I was killing it. I was young, in my late 20’s, built a big beautiful house, I had two very expensive sports cars, one red and one blue, and I would match them to my outfit every day before I left. I just felt like I did have the world by the balls and then the market shifted in 2005, 2006 and I literally went from having it all, a big beautiful house – I owned a lot of real estate; I had about 60 real estate agents with me at the time – to losing everything. Lost my fiancée who, at the time, decided to leave me to go do something else, I sold my house. So, I won’t say I went into bankruptcy, but I literally sold everything I had in order to keep what was most important to me at the time, which was my real estate business.
So, I sold everything and I ended up living in a tiny run-down investment property that I had originally bought because I was going to flip it and make money on it. But the market turned so quickly, I ended up living in it. So, I went from having it all to having really almost nothing in a very short amount of time. And, I go back and I constantly reevaluate what I did wrong the first time because I don’t ever want to get back there again.
John Lee Dumas: Well, Stacey, before we dive into that, isn’t it crazy how fast things can just fall apart?
Stacey Alcorn: Oh, God. It is so scary that literally any of us could potentially lose it all overnight.
John Lee Dumas: Right. It’s insane. But I will say one thing, Fire Nation, this is why it’s critical and you’re listening to our words right now. Something you can’t lose overnight unless you obviously have a traumatic head injury is the knowledge, the experience, the information that you’re learning, that you’re gaining. So, they can take a lot away from you, but they can’t take away the things that you’re putting inside your head right now so that when it does come time to start anew, if it comes to that, you’re off to the races from day one. So, Stacey, looking back, you said you evaluate that stuff a lot. What is really the biggest takeaway – the thing that you really want to make sure that our listeners get from that kind of post evaluation?
Stacey Alcorn: That the one thing I did poorly back during those days is, I came from no money, so growing up, basically, anything I have, I built on my own. I did not grow up from money, my parents did not have a lot of money, my dad was an auto mechanic, still is an auto mechanic, my mom, a stay-at-home mom. So, I built everything I have on my own. And the mindset I used to have when I had my big beautiful house, my cars, is I would go for walks or I would be driving and I would always tell myself that I came from nothing, I’d be okay with nothing. I came from nothing; I’d be okay with nothing. I had programmed that into my head. What I was trying to tell myself is that really, I don’t need all these big beautiful things, but I know I improperly programmed myself because I told myself so many times that I would be okay with nothing, that one day I woke up and the universe gave me exactly what I asked for, which was nothing.
John Lee Dumas: That’s so well put. That’s so well put, and a past guest of mine, T. Harv Eker, wrote a great book, Secrets of the Millionaire Mind because so many people think that entrepreneurs are scared of failure, and that’s true in some ways, but a lot of us and in fact most of us are scared of success and we don’t even know it. That’s a subconscious fear that lives within us all. And we have to read books like Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, and listen to interviews like this with Stacey to realize that we need to open ourselves up to success – to having it all and to enjoying it and to continue to draw more of the greatness towards us instead of letting the universe lead us astray. So, I love all of this, Stacey. Let’s talk about another story that’s a little more fun to talk about. This is an Aha moment, an epiphany that you’ve had at some point in your illustrious journey as an entrepreneur. And you’ve had a lot of these Stacey, but bring us to one that you really think is going to resonate with our listeners, and tell us that Aha moment story.
Stacey Alcorn: I would say the biggest one, especially after having lost everything in 2005; I did eventually reprogram my mind and started rebuilding my real estate company. And last year, one year ago, April 2014, I took my entire company through a rebrand. So, I had bought real estate offices under a franchise for 14 years under the same franchise and left them one year ago. So, I had to get my 260 real estate agents in one room and say, “We’re moving. We’re starting our own independent company,” and it was the scariest time of my life. It was one of the worst times of my life because there was a chunk of those real estate agents, roughly one third who chose not to join us on our journey. And your expenses don’t change, so, you’re paying all of the same bills, you’ve paid a million dollars in rebranding your real estate company, and one-third of your income just walked out the door. However, the biggest thing I was prepared for even on the bad nights one year ago, I would go home every single night and reread chapters of Think and Grow Rich. And I knew that as bad as I felt at that moment, that my success was not about the people that were leaving, it was about what I programmed in my own head. My success, going forward, would 100 percent depend on me, nobody but me, and how I got up and approached the next day.
John Lee Dumas: It’s all about the games you’re playing with yourself, Fire Nation, in your head. Are you telling yourself the success that you are going to achieve, or are you letting yourself know that you are doomed to failure. And even though it’s okay to fail, “It’s okay; it’s okay,” are you saying that? Because then you are attracting yourself towards that failure as Stacey did when she was saying, “It’s okay if I go back to nothing because I started with nothing.” And yeah, that sounds good because it’s kind of comforting, but that’s you attracting yourself towards that. But instead, Stacey said, “You know what? I’m going to go back to Napoleon Hill and I’m going to read and understand Think and Grow Rich, and I’m going to understand the power of thinking positive, of affirmations of drawing myself towards what I want,” and that continued to pull her forward. So, not stressing about the 33 percent of her employees that left, focusing on the future with the 66 percent of people that were left and what she was going to do to cause success in that world that she had now created for herself. So Stacey, what’s the one take away you want our listeners to get from that Aha moment?
Stacey Alcorn: That only you drive your destiny. Although it feels like sometimes we don’t have control of our destiny, the only person that controls your destiny is you. It’s never going to be about other people or outside influences, it’s what you have going on in your own head. And I always recommend, read Think and Grow Rich. Very rarely do I read a book multiple times, but that one is just a go-to book for me.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, it’s on my speed-dial. Stacey, what’s your biggest weakness as an entrepreneur?
Stacey Alcorn: Saying yes. I say “yes” way – One of my mentors is Darren Hardy from Success Magazine.
John Lee Dumas: Yeah, I just had him on the show last week. He’s amazing.
Stacey Alcorn: He is awesome, and every time I see him I talk about the businesses I’m doing, and he’s like, “Stacey, you are a mosquito at a nudist colony.” He’s like, “If I could just teach you to say “no” occasionally so that you can focus on one thing, you’d be amazing.” But I’m really bad at saying “no,” but I’m having fun. I like to say “yes” and try lots of things.
John Lee Dumas: You’re having fun, but I will say listen to this quote by Derek Sivers and try to keep it close to your heart. “If it’s not a hell yes, it’s a no.” Simple. Simple. And that’s so important, Fire Nation, when you get to the level that Stacy’s at when it has to be a “hell, yes” for it to take her bandwidth which is incredibly valuable. Stacey, what’s your biggest strength?
Stacey Alcorn: My network. I have a massive, massive network. Today, for example, my real estate company just one year ago, I was dying. One year ago, the company was dying, had lost one third of my agents, I got down to 190 real estate agents. Today, we’re at 350. It is 100 percent having built a massive network – an army of people that support what I’m doing, what my company’s doing. When you have a network, the world is your oyster. Nothing else really matters.
John Lee Dumas: Fire nation, your network is your net worth. Remember that. It is so critical; it’s so important on every single level and Stacey interviewing a minimum of three people a week, that does nothing but bolster an incredible network. And Stacey, you have a lot of things that you’re excited about. Over 300 agents now, you’re on the rise. What’s the one thing that you are most fired up about today?
Stacey Alcorn: I am so fired up. I try to teach this to my own real estate agents. I am so very fired up about the interviews because anybody can interview anyone. I feel we live in a time when it’s very hard for people to be heard. I don’t care if you’re a millionaire, a billionaire, if you have a thousand or five thousand employees; we live in a world where it’s very difficult to be heard. So, when somebody reaches out to you, even a complete stranger and says, “I would love the opportunity to pick your brain to talk to you about your success,” it is very rare for somebody to turn you down. Today, I write for Huffington Post; honestly, anybody can become a Huffington Post writer. I now write for Entrepreneur, but when I first started doing it, I didn’t have anything except for my own little newsletter. I would say, “I’m writing an article for my newsletter.” So, you don’t need to have a powerful platform behind you. Just start going out and getting the interviews and those interviews will help you get access to powerful platforms like Entrepreneur Magazine that will share the information. But if you go out and ask 10 people that you want to do business with – find people you want to do business with, pick ten, reach out to all ten of them, and say, “Could I have the opportunity to come sit with you for 30 minutes and interview you about who you are or where you came from?” First of all, ask for 30 minutes; they’ll give you usually three or four hours because they have a lot to say; so, book extra time. But they’re going to spend time telling you all the secrets to their success which you can bring into your own business. They then want to help you build your business and you will start to garner this massive network of people who want to help you.
John Lee Dumas: Words of wisdom, Fire Nation. Once you build these relationships with successful people, they have a vested interest in your success just like Stacey said. They want you to succeed now. They like you, they know you, they want to see you succeed. And Fire Nation, we’re about to enter the Lightning Round. But before we do, let’s take one minute to thank our sponsors. Stacey are you prepared for the Lightning Round?
Stacey Alcorn: I’m ready; I can’t wait!
John Lee Dumas: What was holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur?
Stacey Alcorn: Originally, it was lack of capital and lack of network.
John Lee Dumas: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Stacey Alcorn: That I could be and do and have anything in the world I wanted if I was willing to reach for it.
John Lee Dumas: What’s a personal habit that contributes to your success?
Stacey Alcorn: One hour every single day for the past 20 years of my life, I’ve time-blocked it into my schedule, I read books.
John Lee Dumas: How do you find your books?
Stacey Alcorn: Always recommended from somebody. So, for example, you just told me to read Secrets of the Millionaire Mind; I will have that on order and shipped to me from Amazon before we even get off the phone.
John Lee Dumas: Wow, Stacey, you are an action-taker. Speed of implementation, Fire Nation; these are critical skills. Do you have an internet resources like Evernote that you can share with your listeners?
Stacey Alcorn: For people that are considering doing the interviews, all I would say is the upgraded paid version of LinkedIn because it allows you to send inMail, LinkedIn Mail to powerful people to ask for those interviews.
John Lee Dumas: If you could recommended one book for our listeners, Stacey, to join Reach, your book, on our bookshelves, what would it be and why?
Stacey Alcorn: I’ve already said Think and Grow Rich. The second one is How to Win Friends and Influence People. It is the whole concept behind the interviews. It’s a very old book by Dale Carnegie, but I tell people that book is more important than a college education because it’s going to give you everything you need to be successful in life and business.
John Lee Dumas: More important than a college education and an MBA combined. I’m saying it right now because it is so true. Fire Nation, I know you love audio, so I teamed up with Audiobooks and if you haven’t already, you can get an amazing Audiobook for free at EOFireBook.com. Stacey, this is the last question of the Lightning Round, but it is a doozy. Imagine you woke up tomorrow morning in a brand new world identical to Earth but you knew no one. You still have all the experience and knowledge you currently have, your food and shelter is taken care of. All you have is a laptop and $500. What would you do in the next seven days?
Stacey Alcorn: Easy. I would make a list of movers and shakers in the new world, either by reading periodicals, magazines, going online, finding who are the people that own the businesses in the area. And I would reach out and I’d start interviewing every single one of them.
John Lee Dumas: LinkedIn would be a great opportunity to get in that inMail as well, right?
Stacey Alcorn: Yes, absolutely.
John Lee Dumas: Stacey, let’s end today on fire. So, share a parting piece of guidance, the best way that we can connect with you, then we’ll say goodbye.
Stacey Alcorn: My website is StaceyAlcorn.com and if you go onto StaceyAlcorn.com and register for my weekly newsletter which is where I share all of the articles – so, if you love Napoleon Hill and love hearing about what other entrepreneurs in the world are doing, sign up for my weekly email and you will see a spot on there where it asks you where you came from. If you put in Fire Nation, I am going to choose one person who I can reach out to and I will write an article about you to share with the world as well.
John Lee Dumas: What? I mean, awesome stuff! I love that. And what’s your parting piece of guidance?
Stacey Alcorn: You can be and do and have anything in the world. You can have anything in the world you want if you’re willing to reach for it, and all you have to do is believe in you.
John Lee Dumas: Believe in you, Fire Nation. And I believe in you because you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with and you’ve been hanging out with Stacey A. and JLD today, so keep up the heat and head over to EOFire.com. Just type Stacey with an “e” in the search bar. Her show notes page will pop right up with everything that we’ve been talking about. Her book, her book recommendation, resource, you name it; it’s all going to be there. But of course, go directly to StaceyAlcorn.com. We’ll have a link to that as well and if you sign up for her newsletter and check Fire Nation as how you heard about us, she’s gonna select one person, and what is that awesome person going to get again, Stacey?
Stacey Alcorn: I am going to reach out to interview them about their success, how they built their business and their article will be featured on either the Huffington Post or Entrepreneur Magazine, whichever they choose.
John Lee Dumas: Okay, Fire Nation. Take advantage of this opportunity. I want to see a lot of people jump on this. I want to see you take advantage of this. Take action. Fortune favor’s the bold. I can’t wait to personally highlight on Entrepreneur on Fire whoever gets highlighted. So, this is going to be like a triple whammy because you’re going to get featured by Stacey, by Huffington Post and by us. So, take action. StaceyAlcorn.com. Sign up for the newsletter, click Fire Nation, she’ll be in touch and Stacey, I want to thank you for sharing your journey with Fire Nation today. For that, we salute you and we’ll catch you on the flip side.
Stacey Alcorn: Thank you.
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