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Principles Versus Tactics: Navigating Platform Changes with Kyle Wilson
On this show, we’ve got some great people that are from different walks of life, from different businesses, and they’re all bringing extreme value. I can tell you that our guest is absolutely one of those people. Kyle Wilson is with us and he is the Founder of the Jim Rohn International Organization, YourSuccessStore.com, LessonsFromNetwork.com and KyleWilson.com. This guy is juggling a lot of different things at the same time. He’s worked with top names in the personal development industry, including his eighteen-year-old business partner, friend and mentor, Jim Rohn. He’s also worked with Jeffrey Gitomer, Og Mandino, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Darren Hardy, and Robin Sharma. He’s been the wind beneath their wings.
He’s the author of 52 Lessons That I Learned From Jim Rohn and other great legends that he promoted that I promoted. He partnered with Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield on Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. I could go on and on talking about how Kyle has filled seminar rooms. He’s launched multiple bestselling books and personal development publications. This guy is a rock star and he’s here with us. You’ve worked with some incredible people.
I’ve been very fortunate. Part of that was learning to create platforms. I became a seminar promoter. When you can fill up rooms, you can attract great people. That’s how it all began with a seminar promoter and then I adapt it. When the internet came around, I built a huge email list. That was the platform for people with great content to get their message out. It’s been a phenomenal journey.
What was one of the biggest challenges that you had starting out creating that?
I always say it starts with zero. Whoever you’re following, whoever you want to become, whoever that competition is, they started at zero. I had to start at zero, I had to learn through the school of hard knocks and challenges. It took me a while but I got pretty good and a big part of it was the influence of Jim Rohn. I’ve discovered this message and followed his principles and philosophies. That helped me grow as a person. The whole seminar promoter world requires a lot of activity and a lot of effort. I had to become a student, had to learn, but it’s something that over time, I got pretty good at.
How did you adapt? Things have changed a lot in the different platforms from when you started with Jim Rohn to how you might be promoting. What’s the biggest thing that you learned about navigating the change?Never let a tactic interrupt a principle. Click To Tweet
We say there are two things. There are tactics and there are principles. Tactics change. Social media is a big tactic. Whatever the tactics are, those are always going to change. The principles don’t change. The principles are bringing great value, building an audience, building relationships, connecting with the audience, and having great products and services to offer. Once I understood the value of creating service, bringing great products, retain the right customer and building that relationship and then understanding the power of having advocates then empowering their advocates, I created a couple of different tools over the years. One moved over six million copies and a viral marketing tool, the Jim Rohn quote book that I have done for Zig Ziglar and other speakers too. What it was is empowering our advocates to go share the message. That’s the principle. I use the tactics of the book, but the principle was having a great product, having great service, and then finding out how to empower your advocates to go spread the message.
That is super important. I love that differentiation. I always talk about strategy and tactics. What’s important for everybody who’s in business is that those principles are what guide us in our business. Tactics may change and we can pivot and strategize on how we’re going to do them, but the principles have to come first, don’t they?
They do. I always say, “Never let a good tactic interrupt a principle.” A lot of people say, “This works. Let’s try this latest gadget,” as long as it doesn’t violate the principle and I see that happen often. People get caught up in something and oftentimes it doesn’t work. It works enough. Everything works. Putting business cards on windshields work, it just doesn’t work very well. People get confused about the risk-reward on some of the tactics they use. It’s crazy to me to see these companies will go out and spend fortunes and have horrible customer service. That makes no sense. Companies spend huge fortunes and have a subpar product. The core of any business is to have a great product, great service, great customer service, and be relational. It’s about relationships.
I’ve been on all sides of this. I was pre-internet when I had to build it all with no list. I was one of the early adopters to the internet. I built a million plus list. I’m looking currently. It’s about connecting with people and relationships, getting them from social media platforms to get together. I do inner circle masterminds and that’s where the real magic happens is when you can actually get people together. It’s just understanding how that works. Many people are doing things that I don’t think are sound. It’s because they bought into a get rich quick if you will.
Someone says, “Here’s how you go get 10,000 followers on Instagram in a month.” You could do that. You know it’s ethically wrong in how you’re doing it. There are many unintended consequences in how you do it versus building it the right way, which is great content, sowing good seed, and letting there be a harvest. I’m a big believer in being a farmer. If I’m going to go create a fantastic wine and have a vineyard, it’s going to take some time. That’s going to outperform over time someone else trying to get a quick result. You’ve mentioned I’ve done a lot of things. They were spread out, but the accumulation of doing good things that last, that’s the power. People just have to be patient. Jim Rohn said, “The twin pillars of success are greed and impatience.” It’s a hard lesson for all of us. Once people realize when you follow the principles, you do things right, it’s amazing that the results will happen.
People compromise a principle for a tactic. They’re looking for that quick result and I think that’s brilliant to check in when you’re developing something. Any type of company as you said, make sure that you’re checking in on the process and its quality from start to finish. A lot of people focus on one step of the process and they don’t manage it all the way through and that’s where it will bite you in the butt.
A lot of times it’s out of ignorance. It’s their first go around. They bought into a get rich quick type of mentality. I’m talking about internet marketing and that is my world. I’m an online marketer. I’ve built a million plus list, I have hundreds of products. I watch so much BS out there and people say, “I build it and they’re going to come. I’m going to make so much money. Let me throw it out there.” That’s the opposite of the truth. It’s not going to happen. If it ever did happen, it doesn’t happen now. Your stuff has to be good. Converting cold traffic into buyers is very difficult and very expensive. The only way to make it work if someone’s thinking long-term is to do it right. Create something people want and then put it out there in a smart way. Build a foundation. I have zero interest in doing one and done type of activity.
Anything one-time without a residual long-term compounding effect is just a bad use of time. When we’re talking about productivity secrets, one of them is to make sure everything you do is going to have a long-term build to it. We talked about being strategic. What’s that one domino you can knock down that will knock down the rest of the dominoes? When people think, “I’ll just go out there and people are going to buy,” it’s their first Rodeo, they haven’t gone through the experience. That’s not going to happen. It’s got to be good or at the end of the day, you’re churning through people. The results are going to be very minimal if not actually very bad.
You have to check in on yourself and do your homework. It could be from ignorance, it could be from greed or impatience. It’s a different way of thinking to think in terms of the long-term. The residual income and creating something to last, it seems like people don’t think like that anymore or is it just me?
It’s a lot of noise. Fortunately, there are a lot of people that are very principle-based and you’re surrounded by them. I’m surrounded by them. Because of all of the noise on social media, a lot of the marketing noise, it gets clouded out. Everyone has to have a little bit of experience. My favorite clients are people that have failed because they’re not living in La La Land. They had figured out, “What they said didn’t work. How do I do this to make it work?” We can get somewhere because we’re going to do it right. A lot of times, it is out of ignorance and the aspect of greed and impatience along with it.
Outside of what you just said, which is critical, is focusing on those principles. What are some of the other things that you guide them around so they can be more strategic and work smarter?
Going way back when I partnered with Jim Rohn is this thing called The Wheel. Picture a wheel with the hub in the middle and you’re the hub and add spokes and every spoke is a product or service. The goal is when people get on the wheel, you take them around the wheel. With that in mind, my biggest goal is to get people on the wheel and build a relationship with them. It’s different from a funnel, people are caught up in the funnel. “I’m going to get cold traffic and I’m going to take them down this funnel and sell them something,” which does have an agenda to it. The wheel is more building a relationship and they pick and choose which folks they’re interested in.
Back to the strategic part of it is you have to be strategic about what those spokes are. I have some examples of one idea that changed everything. One spoke, if you added it, we get more people on the wheel and take them around and build the relationship. The question is finding that secret sauce. That’s the question I always tell people. You’ve got to begin with what makes you special. What makes you unique? What can you offer that most people can’t offer? Typically, it’s whatever makes you unique. Sally Hogshead said unique and different is better than better.
When we’re authentically ourselves, being authentically who we are, there is something powerful that shines through that truth that we carry. You’ve got to discover what that is. Once you discover it, make sure that that’s part of the wheel. Everything I’ve ever created, whether it was with Jim Rohn, Denis Waitley, Ron White, Chris Widener, different people currently, people I work with. I’m always finding out what is that secret sauce, what makes them unique, then making sure what’s the one product. Don’t focus on twenty. What is the one thing that we did that would knock down the dominoes? For Jim Rohn, it was a little quote book. We sold six million of it. Then I get another one, a little audio called Build Your Network Marketing Business. It sold millions, but more importantly, it got people on the wheel and we built a relationship with them.
From there, they came to our seminars, they bought our program. We weren’t this constantly trying to upsell people to something bigger. We were actually building an audience, building a tribe, building relationships, getting great value. That’s when you have advocates and there’s nothing more powerful than having people out saying how great you are. A lot of people are in that cold traffic cycle versus warm and hot traffic. How do you get warm and hot traffic? You have to build a relationship, give people great values, and give them something they want. A lot of people take their customers for granted. That’s a bad principle, that’s a bad philosophy. How do I serve the people that love me? By taking care of them, they become advocates and you’re in the warm and hot traffic.
It’s dealing with your advocates. If they already love you and you take care of them, then they’re going to go and spread the word and then you’ve got an alternative sales force if you want to call it right, who are advocating on your behalf. It’s easier than like you said, just trying to spray and pray approach by knocking on everyone’s door and that’s not going to get you as far.
Many funnels out there are trying to take cold traffic and turn people into a sale so quickly. I get it. I understand. There are some scenarios where I get it, but for the most part, the more you can realize that if you have an opportunity to build a relationship. For example, I know we’re going to bring it up in the end, but it applies to what we’re talking about that is called 52 Lessons I learned From Jim Rohn and other legends. People get on it and then I give them a weekly lesson. I don’t try and sell them anything. What I do is when I’m talking to my list, if I have an event coming up, I tell everyone about the event. If I have a book project coming up, I tell everyone about the book project, but they’re not in the funnel.
I’m not trying to drive an agenda. I’m giving them great content. A lot of people wouldn’t be able to afford things I do and that’s totally cool with me. I’m not trying to sell them. I’m building a relationship talking to my audience and that’s what I tell people. Whether you’re a doctor, whether you’re an accountant, whether you’re a speaker and author, the key is you want to be building a list and talking to the list. I’ve given them a great value and then occasionally give them something to say yes to and say, “I would love to be part of what you have coming up.” In my mind, that’s fishing versus hunting. I’m not hunting, I’m actually putting out stuff. Those that want it will say yes.
I like how you’re comparing it to the funnel and so that we can see that it’s more of a relationship builder than a funnel that quickly weeds people out. When they’re not in the relationship, they’re selling. That’s why you’re so successful and why you’ve created successful speaker brands, and different people that you’ve been working with are raving about you because you’re helping them to build those long-term relationships.There's nothing more powerful than having people out saying how great you are. Click To Tweet
I get the benefit of feedback. Part of it is over the years, I pay attention to everyone that says yes to anything. It’s always fascinating. Some people in an event, they sign up for whatever you’re doing. Some people though, it’s five years later but the cool thing was they got on my wheel, they got on my list. I’m not just trying to bombard them with stuff. I’m building a relationship. When the time’s right, they say yes. Sometimes there are people, they’re not candidates for what I’m doing, whether it’s economically they’re not there or right for them, sometimes they refer someone that it’s right for it. The key is whether you’re doing a podcast or an interview or you’re speaking, or you’re at a meet-up or you’re at an event, you’re meeting people, if there are potential candidates to build a relationship with I always encourage people, have a list and start talking to the list.
Give great content. Become a utility. Be someone that’s connecting people in the marketplace. There are so many great things that can come from that. Part of it is that platform. We begin the call with, you’ve created a platform. When you’re a part of someone’s event, you can send it out to your list and invite people. Now you’re more valuable when you’re a speaker or if you’re on a podcast or you’re doing an interview or you’re sharing responsibility with someone on an event. The more you build your audience, the more valuable because you’ve created a platform.
Those are great ways. We’re talking about taking back time. When we’re more strategic and we’re building a long-term asset, that is a way to take back time. It’s an investment in the in the beginning, but that investment pays off tenfold. I am a total believer in that because, for me, some of my best and most loyal clients are not the ones that said yes right away. Sometimes it’s the ones that I’ve built a relationship over time and then they became clients. They have been clients for ten plus years. I totally appreciate that value, that relationships are valuable no matter what stage they’re in.
It was having to list a lot of people think, “I don’t have time to deal with the responses.” That’s the number one thing. It’s actually the opposite. I have more free time than most people because I have systems. I let my list and my system do the work. I put good stuff out. If people are interested, they say yes. I send them, “Here’s how they could sign up or whatever they want, or if they want some resources, I give them a link to go get those resources.” What I am doing is building these relationships so when they’re ready, they say yes versus someone we have to hunt. We go out and get a new customer and I get that a lot. People are having a start over so often. If they created the right systems, they can have massive amounts of time and it also creates all the right behaviors and right results.
Systems create leverage. They enable you to scale and critical in taking back time. What are some of the systems that you recommend that you use?
I don’t know how many people have a list. If you’re a doctor, you should be talking to your audience. You have seasonal things coming up. School’s about to start, anyone in athletics has to get a physical. When it’s flu season, all these different things. If you’re just putting stuff out to your audience, first of all, you’re first on their brain and second of all, “We need to go see Dr. Jones and get our physical done.” To do that, that’s a missing piece for so many people. I use AWeber. There are a lot of different things you can do, MailChimp and some free services. I use AWeber because it has the best delivery rates for $20 a month.
The best thing is you can get on a live call. There are two or three things of why I would do AWeber over many of the other free resources. It’s not a CRM. You don’t want your email list to be a CRM. That’s the other big mistake people make. If they try to do everything in one system, like a constant time pack. I keep my CRM system that, but to make email marketing work, I have a separate way and I put everyone in my AWeber list and I talk to people that way. I have it segmented into different groups. Not everyone’s going to get the same message. If it’s not applicable to a particular group, I’ll make sure they don’t get that message. That’s one system, my email list.Become a utility. Be someone that's connecting people in the marketplace. There are so many great things that can come from that. Click To Tweet
Another system, I have this inner circle, I have these book programs, I have high-end coaching and if someone’s interested and I feel they’re a candidate, I’m going to do a call with them. People reach out to say, “Can you talk?” I always give them a week to my scheduler. I use Acuity and if they don’t want to click it, I’m fine, we’re done. It’s one of those things. I’m going to make people jump through that hoop to schedule a call with me. We can talk if it’s a good fit for them and a good fit for me. That keeps my life simple.
I block out time in advance. Whether it’s a coaching client, two-hour, four-hour, one-hour or someone that I’m talking to the prospect for some of my high-end services and those are 30-minute call, everyone gets the same link. I never have to try and figure out if I have time, they don’t book it. I’m very careful what I block out. I know not everyone has this luxury but I usually will not do a call before 2:00 PM. I have my time, Tuesday and Thursday, for four-hour blocks that I do all my calls and some of my high-end coachings on a Friday. The rest of the time is when I’m working on my business and working on myself. That’s another huge time. The tip is to make sure you have your own personal time every morning. That’s probably number one is blocking out that first couple of hours every morning. I’m pretty protective of that time.
I love that you don’t take calls before 2:00 PM and that you’re clear. Those are definitely best practices that people have, that they carve out this time where they say, “This is my time to build my business or to develop myself to take care of my health.” A lot of times it starts the day proactive versus reactive. The minute you check your email and you’re on calls, you’re not as proactive as when you’re working strategically on driving that scalability or working on your health and things like that.
Not everyone has that luxury, it’s just my business. I can do it that way. There are exceptions, there are times I have to make an exception, but because of how I do my schedule, it allows me to make that exception. I have an important interview I’m going to do with Success Magazine talking about Jim Rohn’s legacy. Fortunately, because I have that time blocked out for myself, I was able to say yes. It definitely works for me and it took me a while to get here. It’s just a couple of simple things. It’s important also to have a place for everyone. For me, everyone that I meet, there’s a place. I have all kinds of free resources. If they want to be part of my other things, I have three core things I do. If they want something beyond that, it’s probably not going to be a fit for me or for them.
I’m very clear about what I do and what I don’t do and why I do it and why I don’t do it. There’s so much free stuff that there’s a place to put people. I think that’s another thing. Life gets simple when you know that whoever you talk to, they’re either a candidate or not, and there’s a place for them to be on your wheel, if you will. Social media is a good example of that. We have friends on social media. It doesn’t always have to be agendas. You like, you comment. They’re not necessarily customers. That’s great. They appreciate, they follow you and you follow them. For me, I made sure I have things that applied to everyone with some of the resources I do.
Where can they reach you to get your 52 Lessons so that they can get to know more of those stories and more about you?
They can go to KyleWilson.com. It’s pretty simple. We’ll see you at the top. It’s a weekly lesson. Jim Rohn, Brian Tracy, Denis Waitley, Aaron Hardy, Les Brown, some amazing lessons and collaborations I’ve done with some pretty cool people.
You’re taking your valuable time to invest in these lessons. Kyle has 52 Lessons. All you need is one that’s going to make a difference, that’s going to create an impact for you so that you can work more strategically in growing your business and focusing on the things that are most important to your life so you can be efficient and effective, more productive, more balanced and happier in your life. That’s the goal.
- Jim Rohn International Organization
- 52 Lessons That I Learned From Jim Rohn
- Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul
- Build Your Network Marketing Business
About Kyle Wilson
He’s worked with the top names in the personal development industry including his 18-year biz partner, friend and mentor Jim Rohn, as well as Jeffrey Gitomer, Og Mandino, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Darren Hardy, Robin Sharma and many others.
Kyle is the author of 52 Lessons I Learned from Jim Rohn and Other Great Legends I Promoted! and partnered with Mark Victor Hansen and Jack Canfield on Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul.
Kyle has filled huge seminar rooms, launched and published multiple personal development publications with over a million subscribers and has produced/published over 100+ hours of DVD and CD programs.
Kyle sold his companies in 2007 and became a Mr. Mom for 7 years. He now does coaching & consulting, host the Kyle Wilson Inner Circle Mastermind and has published multiple #1 Best Selling books the past 18 months.
Darren Hardy says Kyle is his Go To person for any marketing solution and Jim Rohn said Kyle is his trusted partner and friend.