Level 10 Opportunity - Part 2 of 2
Play • 17 min

The exciting conclusion of the presentation I gave at Stephen Larsen’s OfferMind event.

On this episode you will hear the exciting conclusion to Russell’s presentation from OfferMind about level 10 Opportunities. Here are some of the things to listen for in today’s episode:

  • Find out how level 10 opportunities came onto Russell’s radar.
  • Hear how Russell met Todd and see what they thought their level opportunity was going to be originally.
  • And see how they managed to build Clickfunnels, after Russell had been trying to develop something similar for 10 years prior.

So listen here to find out how you can be on the lookout for your own level 10 opportunity. 


Hey everybody, this is Russell Brunson. Welcome back to the Marketing Secrets podcast. I hope you guys enjoyed last episode on finding your level 10 opportunity. So this is going to be the exciting conclusion of that presentation that I gave at Stephen Larsen’s OfferMind. And it’s not the whole presentation, it’s the intro. I talked about 30 minutes about finding your level 10 opportunity.

And I think it’s a mindset thing because so many people need to get, you know, they hear me talk a lot of times about One Funnel Away, you’re one funnel away. And they’re waiting for this funnel that’s going to change everything. No, no, no, no, you have to multiple funnels. Your first funnel, your second, your third, you keep doing these funnels until you find your thing. And that’s what I wanted to share with you guys. So that’s kind of the context, and with that said I hope you guys enjoy the conclusion of this presentation about how to find your level 10 opportunity.

I want to fast forward to 8 or 9 years ago, 7 or 8, I don’t know. I’m so bad at years. Some people are like, “In 1996” I can never remember. I was in Kenya, that’s all I remember. So I was in Kenya, and it was my wife and I had a whole bunch of marketing nerds, and most of them had wives too, and this was back before there were too many female entrepreneurs, I don’t think we had any female entrepreneurs on that trip. And the last time we went to Kenya we had like half of them that were female entrepreneurs, which is a huge testament to the females. I love it. It makes me happy every single time I see that.

But back then we were all hanging out and I remember because we did this long ride inside of this little jeep, and it was my wife and I and then 2 or 3 other couples, and all the dudes were talking business and all the wives were annoyed. So we got to this stop where we had lunch and then all the wives were like, “Do you guys mind if we go in this jeep over here, and you guys go in this jeep because we don’t want to hear you talk anymore.” We’re like, “But it’s like a 4 hour drive.” They’re like, “Exactly. We do not want to go for 4 more hours with you guys.” We’re like, “Oh, I guess.”

So we jump in another jeep, and I’m sitting next to this guy named Bill Harrison, anyone here know Bill? A couple of you guys. Okay. Bill is probably one of the smartest marketing dudes I’ve ever met. So for context, he’s married now, but when I first met him, he was probably, I don’t know, 50, never been married. I might have got that wrong. But he was obsessed with marketing, and his house, I saw pictures of it. You go in his house, imagine a bachelor pad, but he’s rich, so it’s a big bachelor pad, and every room from floor to ceiling is marketing and sales books. He didn’t have bookshelves anymore because he can’t handle it. Every single room is just piled with books.

In fact, he used to send me boxes of books as gifts. He’s like, ‘Hey Brunson, I just sent you a bunch of books.” And I’d show up and there’s like a microwave box with like 500 books in it. And I’m like, “Are these good?” He’s like, ‘Oh, they’re all good. I’m not going to send you crappy books.” I’m like, “This is amazing.”

So Bill is one of the smartest dudes I’ve ever met when it comes to marketing and sales, like obsessed. You guys think I’m obsessed, he’s that to the next level. He’s awesome. Anyway, so we’re sitting in this jeep geeking out about all sorts of stuff, having a bunch of fun. And we’re like 2 ½ hours into this bumpy jeep ride talking and he tells me this story that just, man, it rocked everything, my whole world. And I’m probably I don’t know, like 6 pages into funnel building at the time. I’ve done a million different things, launched a bunch of stuff, had some successes, had a lot of losses, but as a whole we were doing really well.

And we’re sitting there in this jeep and we’re talking and he says, “Man, it’s so interesting.” He’s like, “I feel like I’m one of the best marketers in the world. Russell, I feel like you are too. We’re some of the best, most passionate people who geek out about this the most, but do you know what the biggest problem is?” I’m like, ‘What?” because I would love to know. I’m doing well, but I would love to do more. And he’s like, “We have the wrong opportunity.” I’m like, “What do you mean?”

He’s like, and he goes on, “I have this friend, who he is not a good marketing dude at all. He’s maybe like a level 2 skill set of being a marketer. But he got into this opportunity with this big company and he was able to apply his level 2 skill set into a level 10 opportunity. They just took their company public for over a billion dollars, he cashed out and made insane amounts of money, because he had a level 10 opportunity.” And he’s like, “If I look at this, as I see in this jeep, I feel like I’ve got a level 10 skill set, and my company, while it does really, really good, I feel like it’s like a level 3 or maybe a level 4 opportunity, with a level 10 skill set. So because of that I’m only able to get to a certain level. The same thing is true for you dude. You’re at a level 10 skill set, but you’re looking at level 2 maybe level 3 opportunity, that’s why you’re stuck at this thing.’

I was like, oh my gosh. I’d never thought about that. And I was a little frustrated and I was like, well crap, what’s my level 10 opportunity. I don’t even know what that is, or what it could be. I felt like all the stuff I was doing was good. And if you look at the, you know, I look at all the people through my lens and I’m doing better than all the people around me, like my friends, my family, stuff like that, I’m making more money. But man, what is actually possible? And I didn’t know. I remember coming home from that trip and just thinking, well, what’s my level 10 opportunity.

I didn’t know, but I didn’t stop everything like “Well, I’m just going to wait until it comes here.” I was just like, okay, now I know that I’m looking for a level 10 opportunity. And I want to make sure that as I, when I find it that I’m ready and prepared for it. If they would have handed me Clickfunnels 8 years ago and like, ‘Here, run this thing.” guess what would have happened? I would have crashed it to the ground and burnt it and it would have been a really bad, painful, public humiliation in front of everybody. I wasn’t ready for it.

But now I knew that I have my eye set, I’m going for a level 10 opportunity, but until that happens I’m going to move forward. I’m going to do the next one and the next one. I’m going to try this one and this one and this one and this one. And hopefully in that journey I’m going to have faith as I’m running as fast as I can, I’m looking for opportunities, I’m trying to find stuff and figure things out. And the right people are going to come into my life. I’m going to be introduced to people, I’m going to find opportunities, and maybe this one’s not the big success, but I’m going to open the door for the next one and the next one, and maybe I meet someone through the deal. I don’t know what that’s going to be, but I’m going to run with faith as fast as I can and just do funnel after funnel, after funnel. But I’m going to have my eyes open, looking for what is that level 10 opportunity.

So that’s how it started. So from that point forward I started looking. And as I started looking, these weird opportunities started coming into my path. And some of them weren’t really pleasant. One of them I built a huge company up and the whole thing burnt and crashed to the ground. And that was really painful. Firing 80 people overnight is not fun. And I’m not going to get deep into the pain of that story, but it was bad.

And I thought like, man, this whole thing I don’t even have a level 0 opportunity now. I got nothing. But I kept moving forward, and as I was moving forward I was trying thing after thing, after thing, and I remember in this process of trying a bunch of stuff, I remember buying this website because I was like, “This has got to be a level 10 opportunity.” So I bought this site, it was called championsound.com.

Anyone here ever heard of Champion Sound? No, because it never, one person. Because it’s one of the ones on the list. It didn’t do anything though. I bought it off flippa.com, I tried to launch it, it didn’t work, we had some people sign up and started buying it. The software crashed, it was like an email and text message auto-responder for bands. I was like, “Gall, I thought this was going to be a level 10 opportunity.” Maybe like, I’m doing this thing. And in the pain of this thing not working I was trying to find a developer to help me fix this software.

I went to, what was it back then Upwork, or Odesk, I can’t remember what. I was trying to find someone to hire to fix the site, and I was trying thing after thing and I couldn’t find anybody to fix it. And finally I was just frustrated like, “Alright, this isn’t going to work.” So I sent an email to the host and said basically, “Shut down the site, it’s not going to work. I don’t want to support the people, it doesn’t work, I can’t fix it.” And then I was walking out the door to leave, and as I was walking out the door I had this thought. And the thought I heard for a second it said, “There’s probably someone on your list who could fix this for you.”

I’m like, my list? My list isn’t that big. There’s not people who are developers. It’s just like, but I’m like, alright. I try to listen when I hear voices like that. I’m like, alright. So I walked back into the office, I turned my computer back on, I send an email out and it just says, “If you know Ruby on Rails, I’m looking for a partner.” And I just kind of told them the story, “I got a site, it’s not working, it’s broken. I’m going to throw it away, but if you know Ruby on Rails, and want to be partner, email me back.”

I sent it out there and an hour later I get an email from this dude in Atlanta who looks like he’s younger than me, which is kind of funny, except he’s got a beard. And I click on it and read this thing, he’s like, “I’m a Ruby on Rails developer, and I’d love to look at it.” So I send the login, he logs in, I go to bed and wake up in the morning and it’s like, “all the issues are fixed. Here you go.” And that was Todd Dickerson, who came into my world.

And what’s crazy, Todd, it’s fascinating because Todd came into my world at the bottom of everything, broke, broke. Out of money, nothing left. And he came in and he came in a weird spot and he’s like, “I want to come work with you.” And I’m like, ‘I can’t pay you.” And he’s like, “That’s cool. I’ll just work for free.” And he worked for free for over a year. Coming in because he was just like, same thing, looking for an opportunity, looking for an opportunity.

So we’re like a year into this relationship, friendship, working on different projects. And we went to a Traffic and Conversion event together and I could tell, I remember how broke we were because we shared a room. This is probably 7 years ago now, so we’re sharing a room and that night we’re walking around hanging out and I see Bill Harrison and we bump into each other again, and we start talking. And somehow in this conversation the whole level 10 opportunity thing came up again, which was kind of random because it was just like a freak thing. We talked for like 15 minutes and we left, and it reminded me of this thing in Kenya that happened a couple of years earlier. I was like, oh my gosh, I forgot about that.

So that night I told Todd, I was like, “Look, this is the deal.” I told him the idea that I just told you guys about a level 10 opportunity. And Todd’s like, ‘Dude, what’s our level 10 opportunity?” I’m like, “I don’t know. Do you know?” He’s like, “No.” I’m like, “Crap, we gotta figure this thing out.”

And then we’re like, “Oh my gosh, I know exactly what it is. It’s this thing and it’s going to be called, WPUndies.” And we got the word press logo and we got someone to design it with underwear, tighty-whitey’s on it and we were freaking out excited. And Todd started coding this thing, and it’s one of the things on this list down here, I’m not sure which page it is. But we’re like, ‘Dude, this is the big idea. It’s going to be this thing that you put on your word press site like underwear that helps protect it. And a third of all the websites in the world are on word press. It’s going to be insanely big.”

So we’re so freaking out on our level 10 opportunity we start working, we start building this thing, and we’re doing it. And as we’re building it we find out that word press sucks because you plug in a thing, and then you have like 8000 different hosts, and somebody shifts the hosting over here and over here. And after we got the thing out there, we’re trying to support like 5 customers, we’re like, “Oh my gosh, this is the worst business we ever were in. This is not a level 10 opportunity.”

We start freaking out and we’re not sure what to do and Todd’s flying back to Boise to plan, “Okay, what’s the next thing we’re going to do?” And on the flight over, Todd lives in Atlanta, he’s in the airport at like, I don’t know, I was still asleep here in Boise. It was the same day, some of you guys have heard this story before, it was the same day that leadpages got $5 million dollars in funding. So Todd’s jumping on a plane, reads this article and then he forwards it to me. And he jumps in the air, he’s in the air for 4 hours flying to Boise. And he’s flying, he’s just livid because Todd is the most genius developer in the world, and he knows that leadpages sucks. And he’s like, ‘I could build this today.”

So I wake up in the morning and I read the article, I’m like, ‘Leadpages? That software sucks, we could build this today.” He shows up into the office, he walks in little Todd is all angry. I’m like, ‘What?” He’s like, “Leadpages got $5 million. What are they doing that we’re not doing?” I’m like, ‘I don’t know.” He’s like, “I could build Leadpages today. Do you want to build it.” I’m like, “Yes, we’re gonna build leadpages, we’re going to take them out.” We’re all excited. “This is our level 10 opportunity. We’ll get $5 million in funding too, it’s going to be awesome.”

So we’re so excited, and then Todd asks this question, “Well, if we’re gonna set it up from the ground up, do you want to make it better than leadpages?” I’m like, “Heck yeah.” And he’s like, “What do you want?” and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, are you serious? Let me show you.” And I started showing him like all of these, “I want to be able to do this by myself without you guys because you guys are way too… I want to be able to do this. I can’t do Photoshop and Front page and all these people to do this.”

And that started this journey onto Clickfunnels. Let me show you guys real quick, if you pull my slides up, level 10 opportunity, and this is kind of a side story, before somewhere in this journey, actually before I met Todd, it wasn’t like Clickfunnels was a unique idea. I wasn’t the first person to think like, “We should build software that makes it easy to build funnels.” I wasn’t the first person. In fact, this was in 2005, this was the first time I tried to build it and we called it Clickdotcom.com that would have been confusing huh. I would tell people that, “So Click.com?” “No, clickdotcom.com” they’re like, “Wait? What?” I’m like, “No, it’s…”

Anyway, so this was the first time I was like, ‘If we build this, it’ll be huge.” So that was here in Boise, I ended up hiring 6 developers. I was selling all this crap and I was trying to take all the money to build this. I thought this was going to be huge. 2005, so this was like almost 10 years earlier we had tried this. And this was all different pages, if you look at it it’s kind of funny because I think we called it, it was before sales funnels, I think we called them sales processes and sales flows before we ever called them funnels. But we had built the whole software, we designed it and tried to build it.

It’s funny because I talk about how if I would have got Clickfunnels 10 years ago, I wouldn’t have been able to do it. And its what happened. We tried it 10 years before I had Todd. I didn’t have the right people. And it crashed and burned. Again, we spent probably 2 or 3 years trying to build this, ran out of money during that whole crash, we gave up on it. That’s why when I did meet Todd and I asked him, can we build it? Part of me was like, “I’ve tried it before. I know other people who have tried it. I had a lot of other business partners, not business partners but friends who sat down like, and tried it as well. It just didn’t work. It was a good idea that just wasn’t simple to do.

But we met Todd and then Dylan and made it possible. So this was 131 funnels later, this is the night that we started on the Clickfunnels project. It’s the only picture I have from that night. I wish we would have done more. So this is Todd here on the right hand side, some of you guys know Todd. On the left hand side is Dylan, and Dylan is no longer part of Clickfunnels, but he was one of the original cofounders with us. Dylan’s the one who built the original editor. So if any of you guys like the editor, that’s Dylan’s brainchild. He had spent 6 or 7 years prior trying to build a website editor for himself, we started building Clickfunnels we partnered together and plugged it all into one super system.

But I wanted to share this story with you guys because as soon as we were aware of a level 10 opportunity, our eyes started looking for it, but we didn’t stop. I want, hopefully that gives some, a lot of you guys out here, especially ones who you’ve been doing this for a year or less than that, or a couple of years, who just  haven’t hit it yet, or you’ve had marginal successes. Don‘t stop. The key is not waiting for the big opportunity. “I’m waiting for my Clickfunnels.” It’s do your thing as fast as you can and keep doing it, and doing it, and keep doing it. And as you keep doing it, you’ll get better and you’ll get better, and eventually it will get worthy enough that when a level 10 opportunity shows up you’ll be prepared for it. That’s the key.

So don’t get upset like “Oh my funnel didn’t work. This thing didn’t work.” It’s going to be tough, there’s going to be frustrations, things aren’t always going to work the very first time, or the third time, but if you keep doing it and keep doing it, for me it was 131 times before I hit my big thing. And I’m hoping for you guys, you get it a lot faster than that. But even if you don’t, it’s worth it.

I’m now, man, 16 years in this business, and it’s funny because I get people all the time they’re like, “You guys just came out of nowhere.” And it’s like, yeah. 16 years, that’s a long time I’ve been focusing on this. But it’s something I’m obsessed with and just kept doing it, and kept doing it and kept doing it. And when you keep doing your thing, the opportunities appear, they show up, and if you’ve done the work you’ll be prepared and ready for them.

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