What do revenue generation and Kung-Fu have in common? In this episode, you will learn that growing a business is not just about the numbers. You will learn that just like in martial arts, revenue generation not so much about the practice but the practitioners themselves. Erik Luhrs thrives in this interesting space where business growth and personal development intersect. Known as the “Bruce Lee of Revenue Generation,” he works with six and seven figure founders, entrepreneurs, experts, and leaders to increase money flowing into their business and joy flowing into their life. In this conversation with host Penny Zenker, he talks in detail about the three pillars of revenue generation, as well as his eye-opening take on the concept of productivity. This episode is full of timeless wisdom and fortune cookie moments that you wouldn’t want to miss.
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Revenue Kung-Fu: Where Revenue Generation And Personal Development Meet With Erik Luhrs
I’m excited to be here and talk with Erik Luhrs because he’s going to help us to see how we can work smarter in creating better flow in our life whether that’s money. He’s got some cool principles for helping us to talk about the three pillars of Revenue Kung-Fu. Erik is known as the Bruce Lee of Revenue Generation, hence the Kung-Fu. He’s the creator of the Revenue Kung-Fu. He works with 6 and 7-figure founders, entrepreneurs, experts, and leaders to increase money flowing into their business and joy flowing into their life. That sounds productive to me and he does that by helping them master the three pillars of Revenue Kung-Fu. That’s what we’re going to dig into his brain a little bit, the superconscious sales and marketing, peerless positioning, and dragon mindsetting. I’m loving this because I also did martial arts with my kids. It was a different form but I’m into this.
Erik, welcome to the show. I’m excited to talk about it.
Thanks for having me.
Why the whole Kung-Fu and martial arts connection?
I started training martial arts a couple of decades ago. I hold two Black Belts in Kenpo, a Black Sash in Shaolin Long Fist Kung-Fu, and I’ve studied about 10 or 12 different systems. I’ve studied things other than Kung-Fu, but Kung-Fu has always been the thing that’s drawn me in terms of arts because of the flow, which is important in all aspects of life. I named my system Revenue Kung-Fu after evolving through a number of different systems, grew in selling to subconsciously generation to peerless positioning, and now Revenue Kung-Fu. Kung-Fu isn’t Mandarin for kicking butt. It’s Mandarin for a skill acquired through perseverance.
To jump in and add my two cents in here is martial arts has a couple of forms that you learn and you learn the same forms. You keep doing them from White Belt, Brown Belt, Black Belt, to the different belt colors and different belt levels because it’s mastering the nuances of them, and each time you get better precision. It’s an interesting connection there.
That’s why I put it together. I decided to call this Revenue Kung-Fu because Kung-Fu is a skill part and perseverance. A great pianist, a piano is their Kung-Fu. A great parent, parenting is their Kung-Fu. A great engineer, engineering is their Kung-Fu. You can choose which Kung-Fu you want to master. I work with folks who are choosing revenue growth as their Kung-Fu. As you were saying, you learned these katas or whatever to begin with. Over time you might learn a few more but what changes isn’t the practice but the practitioner. It’s about who you become. That’s the joy of my work. The tactical strategy is a piece of it but my main focus these days especially is helping people to become who they want to become, and then letting those tactics and strategies for revenue then grow from that.
What I hear you saying is it’s not the practice that creates success. It’s the practitioner of where they’re at in the process, is that right?It’s not the practice that creates success. It’s where the practitioner is at in the process. Click To Tweet
You can learn kata in twenty minutes but I could do the same kata to a White Belt and the triple Black Belt. It could be brand new to both of them. The White Belt is still going to be clunking through it after half an hour, the Black Belt will have already ingrained it and be putting his own secret sauce into it.
It’s important for people to understand that sometimes there’s a simple process for them to follow when they think they know it. They aren’t putting into it what needs to be put into it to see it through. That’s the biggest time management challenges. It’s not the next tool or the next process. The people who jump from tool-to-tool and say that it’s the tool that isn’t working for them. It’s that they didn’t use the discipline to become who they needed to be in the process.
If you want to change anything, you have to change everything.
I like those deep statements so that people can stop and think about that.
I’m like a fortune cookie with no hair.
For those reading, we’re going to scratch the surface. We’re going to know what those principles are, but it’s in the practice and you becoming the practitioner that you need to be, that’s going to make the difference. You got to take it in at first. What are those three pillars that you talk about?
They are the three pillars that I went through in my evolution that I helped my clients go through. Level number one is what I call Superconscious Sales and Marketing. It breaks down into a couple of different sub pillars, guru selling which was the first system I ever put together. The everywhere effect, which is how do you become somebody who is everywhere, and people that your prospects see where we were, etc. You get that notoriety and also the subconscious lead generation, which is how do you create lead generation messaging and processes that affect people on a subconscious level.
That’s the base level because the purpose of that is to give people who haven’t got anything going on, sales and marketing-wise to give them the foundation, or if your sales and marketing are all screwing to hone it in and get some cashflow going to get that machine moving. Once you’ve got that, you’ve got that pillar in place to say, “I’ve got things rolling at least money-wise the way I want.” Your business can only grow to the extent that you do so in order for you to expand your business truly, you have to expand yourself, which means bringing yourself into your business.
Once you get past the first level, you say I’m bringing more of myself into this business. The next level is what I call Peerless Positioning. That is made up of your raw brand, peerless position, and finding a resonating market or an audience that resonates with you. Your brand is now figuring out what is my mission, values, position, purpose, etc., putting all those pieces together and all the elements of positioning with the right audience.
You’re starting to mix you and the audience at a deeper level. Finally, the highest level of my training, as you said earlier is Dragon Mindsetting. When you get to that level where you’re like, “I’m using the best tactics and strategies. I got the positioning dialed in and brand dialed in. Things are growing, but they’re spoiled a little bit or they’re not going as fast as I want. Something feels off.” It feels like there’s an almost microscopically thin wall between where I want to be, where I want my business to be, and where it is.
It doesn’t seem like I can get through that wall. That’s your mind and all of the limitations in your mind. The highest level is about changing, not just your mind, but your identity because it means you’re showing up as a less powerful version of yourself. You’re not showing up as the full turbocharged you that you are. For some reason, you keep jumping in your smart car and showing up to work every day instead of in your V12 Ferrari or something. It’s about we want to go in and we want to work on our beliefs, drivers, and beingness. All of a sudden, when that happens, you shift your identity instantly. The brand shifts, positioning shifts, marketing shifts, sales shifts, everything locks into place. It’s like a waterfall after that.
I want to ask you a question and go back. If I understand, you said that the peerless positioning was where we review our brand and get our audience that resonates. Wouldn’t that be the first one? Everybody talks about getting clear on your audience before anything else. Help me understand the order. I get the identity piece because we don’t step into the identity that we need to be in to be at the next level. I get that being the end level that will shift everything. Those other two, I don’t understand the order.
I was working on how people show up to me and what stage they’re at. When you’re doing basic sales and marketing, you’re not saying I’m talking to everybody. You have an idea of who you’re after at that stage, especially when they’re starting out in business, if they haven’t brought themselves into the business, then they’re out there trying to compete. They’re saying, “This is my audience.” The first thing is to do a little bit of research that you can do some research, find out, “I can use this messaging on these people and they’ll respond.” It’s a very one-dimensional transaction thing.
You’re not saying, “Do I feel for these people? Do I have a connection to them?” You’re saying, “This is my audience of the moment.” When you get to that higher level and you say, “I’ve taken this business as is, as far as it will go being generalized in its approach and why to go after. I want to start bringing this more in alignment with me and me more in alignment with it.” That’s when you would sit back and say, “Now I want to find a resonating audience. An audience that resonates at the same frequency as I do, as it relates to me as a person or my mission, my purpose, etc.” You’re moving into a higher level of going to market.
That’s where you got some experience with who’s attracted to you and who you’re working with. You’re at 2.0. You’re integrating all that you’ve learned and who you are. It’s like 1.0 is doing the best you can at that level and then it’s raising it to 2.0. The 3.0 is when you shift your identity and then your business shifts as well because you are that next level of your business.
You’ll lose a certain amount of people as you shift. Some people who were barely hanging on at level one, by the time I get to level two, they’re not into what I’m into or whatever like the things you will attract more but different people. You’ll go deeper then as you go to 3.0 as you said, you’ll go even deeper.If you want to change anything, you have to change everything. Click To Tweet
It’s more of the right people and ideal customers that are going to do more with you, go deeper with you, and grow with you. You’re coming from a different perspective in this, even a more spiritual perspective of your business growth as I would see it, how do you define productivity and why?
For productivity, let’s say you can be very productive. You say, “I have figured out what my best use of time is in my business. I figured out where I should segregate to other people, where I should outsource, and put in these systems.” You can line all that stuff up and your company can be very productive. At the same time, if you are not personally resonating and what you were doing is not your passion and coming from inside you, even if it is productive, it’s destructive internally to you because it’s like, “I’m not in love with this but it pays the bills. I have all these people depending upon me. It’s not what I want to be doing. I don’t even enjoy it anymore, but I have to. It’s all streamlining.”
Even though productivity is going up, your personal satisfaction is going down. I always say, “Look at ways. Can you hand this off to somebody else who wants that? You can go do what you want to do.” It breaks down into there’s purposeless productivity and purposeful productivity. It’s not only a case of being productive, but it’s being productive in a way that feels fulfilling to you. You should always be productive, but are you satisfied? The other thing is that we can make anything like very hyper productive and stuff, but if it’s not bringing you joy, if it’s not delivering you where you want to be, then the productivity-for-productivity sake is not sufficient. It has to be productivity for a purpose. I feel that productivity and the purpose are both being fulfilled and look at how productive we are. I’m empty inside.
Being productive in your eyes is getting stuff done but getting stuff done that is purposeful. It has to have that purpose behind it. I liked what you said that, in some cases, the more productive that you become, the more destructive it is to you if you’re not in alignment and being fulfilled by it. I like the productive, destructive, and the alliteration bit of that. That’s why it’s important to define it. Nobody has defined it in the same way because everybody sees it as different. Society says it’s getting stuff done, but the reality is that if you’re dead inside, then that’s not productive. There’s an energy to each one of these stages and you talked about flow and energy in Kung-Fu. A discipline is a form of energy as well. How does energy play a role in productivity?
Going back to, is it purposeful or purposeless? Let’s take a look at a company and the founder of that company. If the founder of the company is so excited about what the company produced could be a product or a service, whatever it is. They feel that every time a new widget that they produce is delivered that their mission, their purpose is expanded that much more on the face of the earth. Every day, they’re like, “I come to work so excited and everything.” The team around them is excited. That energy then moves into productivity because I’ve worked on loading docks at 2:00 in the morning. We weren’t running around happy pappy like how fast can we load a truck? It was like eight guys dragging their feet because nobody else even the guys who owned the company wasn’t excited about it.
Energy is contagious. You either bring people up with you or you drag people down with you.
When you see in those organizations where the founder is excited and the people beneath him or to her excited, people can then see in themselves like, “If I come here and I do this, I fulfill my mission.” It’s this ongoing everybody’s mission is fulfilled. Everybody’s purpose is fulfilled, etc., then that energy and that productivity, adding in tactics and techniques that will make it even more productive. It’s like gravy or cherry on the top. Conversely, you can have the best systems in place, but if you have people who are like, “I’d rather be anywhere than here. If you weren’t giving me money, I would not be here. I can still stand at the same place doing the same job, but I can do it slower, less accuracy, and less care.” The productivity, quality, and the company suffer.
That purpose piece is the difference between a transactional relationship and an ownership relationship like owning, feeling, and being a part of it.
Either you love it and you don’t.
We’re talking about ways to work smarter in this. As I move from stage 1 to stage 2, what’s one thing that helps me to get there to work smarter and get to that next level?
When you’re moving up from basic sales and marketing into positioning, the thing that motivates you there is, “I feel like I’m running on red right now in terms of I’m getting leads, sales, and everything else like that.” It’s the purpose. I’m not excited by it. I want this to be an extension of me rather than me being a servant to it.
What’s a tip on t how to break through that? Is there an exercise that I can do or something to think about?
Start asking yourself why you are doing that. Simon Sinek’s Start With Why is to ask yourself, why am I doing this? People talk about positioning a lot with differentiation. I’ve always said, “If you’re trying to be different, you’re not.” It’s not about people who are trying to figure out why I’m different, that’s like an advertising exercise or a marketing exercise. It is not truly you. It’s like, “What shtick can I throw out there? We all wear yellow hats. It doesn’t make my pizza taste any better but thanks. It’s what am I bringing here? What am I doing? What do I believe that’s bringing me here?” That’s the difference. I believe everybody has a unique position within themselves. Therefore, they can have a unique position in the marketplace for their company. It’s that most people are afraid to start looking within because they’ve been conditioned to say, “No, it’s all tactics, strategies, techniques, and superficial level stuff.” All of that internal junk is woo-woo from new age personal development stuff. I need a better Facebook strategy. It’s nice but it’s not the same thing.
You got into energy and connection as to why we’re in this business in the first place. Why are you in this business? I worked with a jeweler and he looked at his business completely different. Going from, “I sell jewelry” to a deeper meaning that “We create happiness through a love connection.” It’s much more than jewelry. When you said that about the yellow hats for the pizza, I love that because what a great way for whatever business you’re in to think about what doesn’t make your pizza tastes better. If that owner thought about why they got involved in this business, and it was because of grandma’s sauce. It was grandma’s sauce that they were so excited every time that they went to grandma’s house and she made pizza and meatballs with it. It creates a different level of passion that’s been delivered from the owner to the people who work there. That gets lost over time as well. It’s not finding it, it’s keeping it. That’s the challenge too is not getting caught up in all of that other stuff that you talked about and forgetting that connection to grandma’s sauce as an example.
That enriches when you know it’s about grandma, grandma’s sauce, and what grandma meant to you. That opens up a whole new world in terms of your marketing messaging and your connection to your audience. That’s not there if you were worried about your yellow hat.
Working smarter is finding why you’re doing what you’re doing so that you can tell that story because it’s the story that connects people, going to sell the pizza, and not anything else.Don’t just be productive. Be productive in a way that feels fulfilling to you. Click To Tweet
People are looking for something to believe in. They’re looking for that resonance, something to connect with. That authenticity, when you start going from the external marketing tactics to internal drives, wasn’t towards your why you’re doing what you’re doing. You start to make that connection deeper and deeper.
It’s true that more than ever. Even though we’re in the age of social media, what we think is connection. We’re more disconnected than ever. We can see the dichotomy with COVID, the mask wears, not mask wears, politics, the Democrats, and the Republicans. We’re more disconnected than ever to the different groups. More than ever, I agree that we are looking for something to believe in, something to belong to, and something to be part of. If we can get our heart, messaging, and get that clear in the core of our business. That can be a huge part.
I’m going to ask you one more question. I want to talk about the identity piece because that’s another crucial piece that we hold ourselves back unconsciously for fear and whatever reasons. We don’t step into that new identity. What’s something you’d like to share in that aspect? The key thing that helps us to break through, just like you gave us about the why that helps us to break through from Stage 2 to Stage 3.
People are looking for something to believe in. What people are looking, for now, more than ever, but normally, now more than ever, is leaders to believe in, with a story, and then with a product or service, etc. Those are three stages. I see a lot of people fall into that trap of making your business all about systems, you have something sellable, and it takes you out of it. When you say, “I want to be the leader, the driving force behind my business.” It’s not just a commitment to say, “I want me to show up at the office and talk to my employees every day?”
It’s, I’m going to be the face and go out there. There has to be, not just the mission and the purpose and everything, but you were stepping into a new identity because if you’ve been somebody who’s saying, “I wanted to build a business and made a lot of money.” You’re saying, “My grandmother had great messages that I want to deliver to the world. She put sauce on our plates but it’s what she put into our hearts and our minds that mattered most. That’s what I want to put out there.” By doing that, you automatically have to say, “I can no longer be the person who lives behind my desk and looks at numbers. I’m going to go out there and I’m going to have to talk.
In media, I’m going to have to do videos, posts, blogs, articles, books, or everything because then grandma’s message, how far and how wide. Now it can move beyond pizza, it can move into personal development and different types of foods. My grandmother used to use the garden every day. Now I realized that having your own garden is very important.” It becomes a movement but a movement needs a leader. For most people, they have to step into that identity. Again, that’s inside of everybody. The fact of the matter is sadly 99.9% of people in their lifetime will never step into that. They’ll live those lives of quiet desperation, passing on saying what might have been.
I want to point out for people who are reading because this is my belief anyway, is that identity and stepping into that next level of leadership, community, and serving beyond ourselves is important. I also want to say that systems, tools, and things like that are also important. I know that you’re not saying don’t create systems. We have to have systems and processes to make things work smoother to communicate better and create better quality. That’s a phase of the business. We need to understand that it’s a means a purpose to getting to serve a larger audience then step into that leadership, because if we don’t do that, then we’re not creating the time for ourselves as leaders and others within the organization to be able to dedicate to that next level. I want to point out to everybody. It is important and it’s part of the process.
The way I make the comparison is this. It’s like the frosting on the cake. You need the frosting because frosting makes the cake but if you don’t have cake underneath the frosting, what are you going to bite into?Everybody has a leader inside of them. Sadly, 99.9% of people will never step into that in their lifetime. Click To Tweet
You can’t just have the frosting. They’re needed together.
They are both necessary to make a beautiful cake.
Thank you so much, Erik, for all of your wisdom and everything that you’ve shared. Where can people find out more information about you and your programs?
Thanks so much, Erik.
Thank you all for being here. We went a little deep here and sometimes we do that on this show because it’s not about the tools and the processes. It is about the stages of our personal growth that align with the stages of growth of our business. It is about that energy. I always talk about, it’s not what we do, it’s how we show up for what we do. A lot of what we talked about now has to do with that. A lot of great tips here and good fortune cookie moments. You might even want to read this again because there’s some good stuff in here. Depending on what stage you are in your business, you may catch different things. Go ahead and make sure that you subscribe to iTunes or whatever so that you get notifications as the show comes up and as we have different guests. Thank you all.
- Erik Luhrs
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About Erik Luhrs
Erik Luhrs is known as the Bruce Lee of Revenue Generation, and is the creator of Revenue Kung-Fu. He works with 6 & 7 figure Founders, Entrepreneurs, Experts, and Leaders to increase the money flowing into their business and the joy flowing into their life, by helping them master the 3 Pillars of Revenue Kung-Fu: Superconscious Sales & Marketing, Peerless Positioning, and Dragon Mindsetting.
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