M.C.: This is Cashflow Ninja, episode seven, with America's Chief Officer of Awesome, Kevin Clayson.
John Lee: Welcome to the Clashflow Ninja, the podcast empowering and inspiring people to discover how to generate their own income, and manage, grow, and protect their own wealth in the new economy. Now, here is your host, M.C. Laubscher.
M.C.: Hello, everyone. M.C. Laubscher here. Boy, do we have a great show for you today. We are covering a range of topics in one show today that includes your mindset, creating a financial freedom through monthly income streams from single-family homes, increasing your financial education, why direct sales and network marketing can be a fantastic opportunity for the right person, and how you can turn any day into a great, awesome day through activating gratitude by flipping that gratitude switch.
You're going to have to buckle up and strap yourself in because the energy levels are going to spike with today's passionate, energetic guest. My guest today is Kevin Clayson. Kevin is an international professional speaker who has shared his simple formula for unlimited joy and fulfillment with everyone from elementary school students, to business leaders. Kevin is one of the founders and owners of Strongbrook, a multi-million dollar real estate investment company that he and his partners officially founded in early 2007.
Kevin has been an integral part of growing Strongbrook from its humble beginnings. As one of Strongbrook's primary trainers and educators, he has developed and created much of the company's coaching and mentoring curriculum, and has instrumentally assisted with the development of the company's corporate vision, strategy, and products, and is largely responsible for its nationally renowned and admired company culture. As a seasoned, skilled and nationally acclaimed professional speaker and MC, Kevin has spoken to thousands of middle school and high school students, and is also a highly requested business and corporate speaker, and has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in the personal development speaking, coaching, business, and author world.
Kevin is America's Chief Officer of Awesome, and the groundbreaking author of “Flipping the Gratitude Switch,” the book that launched the gratifuel movement, and has co-authored two books in the Entrepreneur on Fire series. He's also been featured alongside such notable contributors as New York Times bestselling author of “The 4-Hour Work Week,” Tim Ferriss, and alongside ABC Shark Tank business and real estate mogul, Barbara Corcoran.
Before we jump into our interview with Kevin Clayson, I just wanted to thank our sponsors, Audible. You can download any audio book for free when you try Audible for 30 days. Grab your free trial and audio book download at CashflowNinja.com/freebookdownload. And also Thrive15.com. Thrive15.com provides 15-minute lessons in every aspect of business, from marketing and branding, to bookkeeping, from world-class mentors. Get a free month of access and learn new skills in just 15 minutes a day at Thrive15.com/Cashflow.
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John Lee: Hey, this is John Lee Dumas from Entrepreneur on Fire, and you're listening to the Cashflow Ninja Podcast with your host, M.C. Laubscher. You must be prepared to ignite.
M.C.: Kevin, thank you so much for coming on today's show.
Kevin: Oh gosh, are you kidding me? Thank you for letting me come on and be able to serve you and your audience, man. It's a joy to be here.
M.C.: Can you share a little bit about your background and your journey from where you started, to how you became a successful entrepreneur, a renowned and sought author, international speaker, author, coach, and of course, America's Chief Officer of Awesome?
Kevin: Well, let's start with the end, because the Chief Officer of Awesome, that is definitely the title that I have given myself. Let me be clear. You know what? One of my mentors told this story years ago, and he talked about how…he said, “You know why Mohammed Ali was the greatest boxer of all time, right?” And you maybe have heard this. Do you know why Mohammed Ali's the greatest boxer of all time?
M.C.: Because he kept saying he was the greatest boxer of all time.
Kevin: He told everybody he was, so he goes down in history as that, and going, “I don't really have a nickname, so I'm going to create one.” And I love to say the word “awesome.” Everything for me is kind of over the top and I'm very energetic. I'm like…and I'm a business guy, so I thought, “I'm the Chief Officer of Awesome.” So I started to call myself that and I built it into my introductions, and now everywhere I go, that's literally how I'm known is as the Chief Officer of Awesome.
But in order to get there, it really just started about a decade ago when I was in kind of a transitionary period in my life where I was moving from typical 9-to-5 employee mentality, into starting the business with my buddies and becoming an entrepreneur. And that company that we started, that I'm sure we'll maybe have a chance to even talk about, called Strongbrook, gave me an opportunity to build an audience that I had an opportunity to talk to on a regular basis, with the companies that we owned. I've done a ton of speaking with that company, spoke all over North America with that company.
And so I had a lot of opportunities to get to know folks, and to be introduced on stage, and to be interviewed on all kinds of awesome podcasts, like this one. And so the Chief Officer of Awesome just always kind of stuck, but it was because I started a business that allowed us, with my buddies, that allowed us to get in front of a lot of people and have an audience that we could speak to and who we could hopefully serve.
M.C.: Well, let's jump in and start with Strongbrook. Strongbrook is a multi-million dollar real estate investment company. Can you tell us a little bit about Strongbrook and the unique value that it provides in the marketplace?
Kevin: Yeah, thank you for asking. Strongbrook is near and dear to my heart. When we started this company, we were kind of in a weird…I'd never been an entrepreneur, and I started it with two other buddies, one who had some entrepreneurial and real estate experience, and the other guy was kind of like me. Neither of us had come from a background of entrepreneurs. It was just go to school, get an education, go get a job. And when my one buddy Chris asked if my friend Stephen and I wanted to help him start this company, I was all in because I, at the time, was doing finance…or I was actually doing mortgages.
And so I understood a little bit about the financial side of real estate, and I had never put it together with how powerful it could be to have real estate as a part of a portfolio. It was around that time that I'd read “Rich Dad Poor Dad,” so I was really immersing myself into this world of learning to be an entrepreneur and to be an investor. This company that we started really was built on one very simple principle, which is everybody out there teaches you how to do real estate. There's tons of money.
I mean, a multibillion-dollar industry of education, where people say, “Go do this, go do that, go look up this, be a bird dog, go look at 100 homes and try to figure out which one is right.” And we thought, “What if we could start a company that didn't just teach people real estate, but it taught…but then more importantly, it did real estate for them?” And so that's really what we created was sort of a done for you approach to single-family residential real estate investment that has now allowed us to do nearly half a billion dollars in single-family residential transactions, with thousands of clients all across the country whose lives we've had a chance to really impact and change.
M.C.: That's fantastic. What's the statistic? Something like 3% of people that go and invest, and take these courses, and training, and invest in them actually end up doing real estate?
Kevin: Yeah, that's exactly right. There's all these big names and all these infomercials, then people go to these big seminars, they go to the back of the room, they spend 20 grand or whatever to go and learn how to do real estate. Less than 3% of the folks that invest that money to go and learn how to do real estate ever even go and try to do a transaction on their own. Now, that's 3% that even try it, that doesn't mean that 3% are successful, so the success rate is even lower than that.
And just my own sort of personal Kevin Clayson, Chief Officer of Awesome polling, as I've talked to people that have invested in that education and gone and done real estate, I would say that it's probably less than 1% of the folks that ever go in and invest in those educational programs ever become successful real estate investors. You look at conversely what we've done and Strongbrook, and over 85% of our clients transact their first piece of real estate within their first six months. That's the difference.
M.C.: Strongbrook was also created amidst a housing crash. Can you share a little bit about the company's investment philosophy and principles, as well as the values, and then the strategies and the systems that allow Strongbrook to be successful, regardless of the market cycle?
Kevin: Yeah, that's a great question, and it's really key. I would say this. I would say systems increase predictability, predictability minimizes and mitigates risk, minimized or mitigated risk can increase profitability. And so you've got to have a system, which you probably heard the acronym that people make up for that saves you some time, effort and money. And when we put the company together, we had a really simple system which just looked like this. We call it straight path real estate. And for us, in general, it's going and finding the right type of real estate in the right market, and that's the key.
A lot of people just want to invest in their backyard because they want to go and to lick the wallpaper of the home that they're investing in. And so what we said is, “Why don't we do the research? Let's go find the best markets in the country to invest in, and then let's go and invest in really simple and predictable real estate.” So we do a tremendous amount of research, we go into the market, we setup the team and the system right there in the market, and then we attract clients from all over the country and we take them to some of these key markets. In those markets, we're always doing single-family residential real estate that's frankly below the median.
We're looking at three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes, usually not bigger, definitely not smaller, in nice, well kept up communities. We like the price ranges to be anywhere from, depending on the economy at the time, $85,000 up to $150,000. So this is where middle-class America works and lives. And so that increases some of the predictability of these markets. We want the home to cash flow and we want to use a really successful property management strategy so that our clients are making those rents and are not seeing their money fly out the window.
And just to give you an idea, when we go and set this up for folks, when we go and take them to these markets and help them invest in the real estate, we find the property for them, we do the rehab for them, we place the tenant for them, and then our clients take title to the property. They own the home, they're the ones that make 100% of the cash flow, 100% of the gain, they get 100% of the appreciation in tax benefits. We make money because our system that we set up is, we own a mortgage brokerage, we own real estate brokerage, we own a property management company, we own an insurance company.
All those pieces that everybody needs in order to go do real estate, we own a company that facilitates that so we can make the standard fees that anybody else is going to make, and then that way we can pass on the profitability to our clients and our customers by helping to facilitate real estate. So for us, it's a volume game of helping folks do as much real estate as possible and change their lives. And we could do the mortgage, we could do the real estate side, we could do the property management, we could do the homeowners insurance and the car insurance.
We can get them a financial strategy with life insurance vehicles or with index strategies, or whatever it takes so that we can round out their entire financial life, so that it's all in one place, all under one roof, it's a one-stop shop. And our main goal is to just help them get financially better than they were before they met us. And it's worked very well.
M.C.: Yeah, that's great. So the interests of Strongbrook and your clients are aligned, and if you take someone through the process and put some…get them to an investment property that cash flows and he's happy, he's going to do more of them with you, guys.
Kevin: That's exactly right, because we feel like it's the win-win strategy. Our companies win and we can make money only when our clients are successfully transacting real estate. So when our clients successfully transact real estate, if they do a good job and they're profitable…this has happened a lot recently where we helped people get into Phoenix and Vegas before a lot of people knew that was a good market to go to. Those homes grew and appreciated, our clients are now selling those homes and 1031 exchanging those profits into new real estate that continues to cash flow.
So they're growing their portfolio and their game plan over time, and they become repeat customers. The vast majority of our business every year is repeat customers continuing to build their real estate portfolio, and then, of course, we always have new customer acquisition as people find out about us through a variety of avenues, and then want to change their financial lives as well. And so, yeah, it really just sort of self-perpetuates.
M.C.: Can you please show the listeners to the type of investor or candidates that would benefit from the programs that Strongbrook offers?
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely. I could make some wide, broad-sweeping statement like, “It's good for everybody,” and it would kind of be true. But if you look at the vast majority of folks that have successfully worked with us, most of them are like the baby boomer type. Now, we've worked with everybody from struggling college students, up to multi, multi, multimillionaires, and everything in between. But the vast majority, the bulk of our clients are people between the ages of 40 and 60, who have been working at a job for 10, 15, 20, sometimes 30 years, have money that they've put away for retirement. It's in a 401(k), it's in an IRA.
They're looking at the math, realizing, “This is not going to be enough even with Social Security to retire me,” and so we're taking some of those resources and transitioning it into cash flowing real estate so that it can generate a residual income. And people like that that have job stability, that have fairly good credit, and that have been working for a number of years in a career, benefit greatly from our product, because they're also pretty busy. But we do the vast majority of the work on the real estate for our clients, so that individual that's a dad, a grandpa, a mom, a grandma, a working-class individual, or maybe they're a teacher, maybe they're blue-collar, maybe they're white-collar, but they've got a demanding schedule, and they also are making good money with some stability and trying to put it somewhere where it really produces for them. We can take that and use our strategies in the real estate to really help accelerate their ability to retire, and build a long-term, sustainable and profitable portfolio and residual income.
M.C.: This is a big problem that you guys are solving as well, with retirement plans, and a lot of folks seeing that their accumulation theory is actually not working and failing, and switching over to a cash flow strategy and concept for them.
Kevin: Yeah, well, 100%. Look at it this way. Just because you make a lot of money and you have a [inaudible 00:16:11] at work does not mean you're going to be financially well for the rest of your life. If you make a lot of money, you also may spend a lot of money. There's a thing called Parkinson's Law, which says basically expenses will rise to meet or exceed income. Think about it, you get a raise at a job, what do you do? You get a nicer car, you get a slightly nicer home, and so you may start making more money but your expenses start to grow with you, and then you're going, “Oh my gosh, there's still not enough to be able to put away.”
And in addition you put money in 401(k)s, IRAs, and these retirement strategies that have been proven now for the last 15 years to be a complete fallacy. They will not retire you, they will not work, not to mention all those funds are locked up, you can't even touch them, they're not producing a cash flow. Whereas, if you can convert that somewhere and you could have a residual income that is enough to sort of meet or exceed your standard living expenses, well, now you become financially free and you don't have the stress of “what if” and that's all built into the strategy that we help folks do, and move them from wherever they are to wherever they need to go.
M.C.: Now, you guys, when you first meet with clients you obviously go over their entire financial picture, etc., and see where you could move around assets to make it more economical, efficient for them, as well, plug money leaks, and see what assets they have available to work with before you guys put a game plan together, right?
Kevin: Yeah, absolutely. Because look, I won't tell you that everybody's going to go and be a successful real estate investor. We've got to know where the money's coming from, where it's going to go, and we have to know how many homes do you need? What kind of cash flow do you need? What markets are we going to take you to? Can you qualify to get an investment loan? How many loans can you qualify for? Do we need to go and find you partners? Or do you need to go find partners that we can help facilitate that partnership?
There's so many facets to everybody's individual situatio, that we have to become very customized, very specific. And so before we even give somebody the opportunity to come aboard and really work with us, we like to do what we call a game plan assessment, where we could ask those questions, get a financial snapshot, make sure that we could put a plan together that works and that makes sense. And by the way, we do those game plan assessments completely for free because we want to make sure it's a good fit for you, it's a good fit for us, and together we could go and accomplish some really great things.
And if it's not a good fit, that's okay. We get to high-five each other and say, “Good luck,” but we like to work with folks that have a desire to change their financial lives, have the ability to do so. And by the same token, though, here's the deal. If you feel like you don't have the ability to be a real estate investor, I've got news for you. Wherever you are currently in your financial life, you are exactly where you need to be to become a successful real estate investor. You've got to start where you are in order to become successful in real estate or really anything. So many of us look to the future and think about, “Well, maybe when I have a better job. Maybe when I'm able to put more money away.” Listen, there are things you could do today, immediately, this moment, that can begin your real estate investment journey.
But who's there to tell you that? You could read a book that says, “Hey, maybe you could do this, maybe you could do that,” but in reality, unless you know what it is specifically for you, it's very difficult to go and make it happen. And so we like to do that for folks, to give them a starting point for the rest of their financial lives.
M.C.: Now, besides the real estate part of your company, Strongbrook also now offers an income opportunity for people through a network marketing model. Does this provide an opportunity for people who do not have the resources to invest into real estate to start earning some extra income?
Kevin: Wait a second, you said a naughty word. You said “network marketing.” How dare you? Oh my gosh, people's ears are burning all over the country and world right now. Yes, we did do that. And here's the thing, you and I both know, there is so many myths when it comes to this idea of MLM and network marketing. Here's the deal, I want to just say this really quickly because for anybody that's out there, if you are looking for a way to sort of generate some additional income and you have no idea where to do it, there's only a couple things you could do in the entrepreneurial sphere.
You could go start a brand new business all on your own, it takes a lot of capital, a lot of time, it can be very difficult. You could go and buy a franchise, it takes a lot of time, takes a lot of capital, lots of risk. Or you could go and plug into a system that already exists and use what's there and apply some entrepreneurial and success principles to what's already there and been developed, product done, branding done, everything done, it just requires a little hustle, and you can go and start to generate a really phenomenal income. And if you look at the words “network marketing,” networking is nothing more than looking for the ability to serve folks.
To contribute positively to other people and provide value to others, that's what networking is about. Networking is not “Let me give you a business card, you give me one. Maybe we'll talk one day.” Networking is going and finding someone and it's finding out what their needs are and seeing if you know somebody that could be a solution for them. Marketing is simply informing someone about a product or service that could benefit and bless their life. So when you put those two things together, providing value and interacting with folks because you care about people, and then sharing with them something that could potentially change and serve…change your life and serve them, that's what network marketing really is.
And it gives you the ability to tap into this incredible power of sort of a way to compound your efforts and create a system. Why did we do it for Strongbrook? Well, it was real simple. We existed for years without any sort of a network marketing component. We just did successful real estate for folks. And what would happen, as you can imagine, is we helped somebody do some homes and they're like, “Oh my gosh, this is great.” And then they'd tell their neighbor, they're at the water cooler like, “I'm doing real estate.” And the person's like, “How do you do real estate? I thought you were just like me?”
They say, “Oh, you've got to meet these guys over here at Strongbrook.” And so our company naturally was growing through a referral-based business, even without us creating a referral-based business. And so what we did is we just really made that referral side of the business more formal. We formalized it and said, “Well, let's give it some real power and let's pour some gasoline on that puppy and see if we could continue what's already working in order to get exposure to more folks.”
And that's really been key to us getting all across the country and having people learn about us and learn what we could do for them, which gives us the ability to serve more folks and provide more value, which then makes more money for us and makes more money for them. And so we did do that and it has provided a phenomenal opportunity for folks that otherwise would have never been able to invest in real estate. But because we created the system that then plugged into our real estate system, we've had people that have completely transformed their financial lives as a result of compounding those two things together.
M.C.: Yeah, I have had some very, very positive experiences personally with network marketing. My mother is a wellness coach for Herbal Life, and I first-hand just see the incredible opportunity that it provides for people and change the life. And in the past they did some consulting for Pampered Chef, and I've had friends, or friends that have been involved with Avon and other companies. Just some of the things that I've seen with network marketing companies is the enormous emphasis on personal growth, which is so, so key.
This is something that you cannot skip. Because the big thing that…just from my personal experience that I've learned is it's more important of who you become in growing towards your goals and getting to your goals and hitting the goals, the person that you've become. Once you've hit that goal, you're just going to set another one, but you keep growing and developing personally. And the second thing is the quality business training that network marketing opportunities offer. It's outstanding.
I've been through my sales courses, and business development, and training programs, and I did my MBA, and just some of what I've seen is, these companies do a fantastic job. And then they offer a huge support network, a lot of peers, which is huge in business, your mastermind groups and your communities, and then also the mentorship opportunities. Now I've seen on your website too, a Strongbrook website, of a program called Limitless and the Limitless University of Transformation. Can you speak to that?
Kevin: Absolutely. We've got a Limitless event that's happening right now. Because you said something that's really key, and I think it was Jim Rohn that said, “Your income can really only grow to the extent that you do.” And one of the things that we found is, we were helping folks transform their mindset, because you cannot become a successful entrepreneur, investor or anything unless you transform that mindset. If you go into a new opportunity with the same broken thinking that's kept you in this downward financial or really emotional spiral, you can't possibly assume that because you've joined a network marketing company, that magically you're going to make money.
You've got to change the way you look at the world, and we saw that. And so one of the things that we've spent a lot of time on is helping folks to sort of change that mindset, to break through some of those limiting beliefs that they have. And Limitless was an event and is a company under the Strongbrook umbrella that's grown, that does just that. So if you go to LimitlessSeminar.com, you can take a look at what Limitless is, and what it is, it's a breakthrough event. So it helps with belief breakthrough, it helps transform the way you look at the world, the way you think about what's been around you your entire life.
It helps you shift it so you can realize, “Oh my gosh, it's maybe been about me being broken more than about the world treating me in a bad way. I'm the one who's actually created this reality, and I have the ability to change it and transform it into something incredible. I don't have to believe that I have certain imitations in some aspects of my life. I can get rid of those limiting beliefs and break through to a new level.” And that's really what Limitless does. We do these three-day workshops that are incredible and have a number of other events that spin off of those, so we really have a lot going on.
We've got the real estate that helps transform your financial life, we've got the network marketing or direct sales side that helps you transform your income that can even grow into a real estate portfolio, and then you've got the whole mindset and belief breakthrough, and all of that, the network marketing company benefits from if you introduce people to really anything we do. But we feel that all of those components are really essential to somebody changing their life in every way possible.
M.C.: There is a concept and philosophy that you talked about, flipping the gratitude switch. It had a profound impact on me the first time I heard you explaining this on Entrepreneur on Fire with John Lee Dumas. Can you just tell my audience a little bit more about that concept and philosophy?
Kevin: Yeah, I had got to a point in my life, even as we started the business, where I was in kind of a dark place. I didn't feel like I had the money that I wanted at the time. Anybody that's started a business from scratch knows there's going to be tough times. And I, even having spent a lot of time learning about personal development, reading a lot of personal development books, going to a lot of seminars, I was still in a rut and I really didn't know how to break out of it. I was tired, I was exhausted, I was traveling all over the country, but I still wasn't making the money that I thought that my life should be at a different spot than it was at the time a few years ago, and I didn't know what to do.
I was having a hard time breaking out of that rut that I was in. I had this quote come to my mind from Darren Hardy who wrote a great book called “The Compound Effect,” wrote another one recently called, “The Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster,” and I had heard him speak at an event, and he talked about keeping this gratitude journal for his wife and it totally changed their marriage. I had that thought come to me when I was in this dark place, and nothing else was working for me, and so I thought, “Well, maybe this gratitude thing. I mean, I've heard of that before. I think it's being thankful for stuff, I guess, I don't know, but maybe there's something to that gratitude thing that could change my life.”
What that did is it led me on an incredible journey that helped me to realize, all the books on my shelf, none of them gave me an instruction manual on how to go and cultivate gratitude in my life. They told me I should be thankful, they told me I could be thankful for good stuff, but none of them told me how to really use and channel and activate gratitude in a way that it could change my life. And so I went on this journey of discovery, trying to read and research, and there was nothing out there that gave me that instruction manual, yet there was so many success books that said gratitude was important.
So what I did is I figured out what for me, and now for thousands of others, has really helped to cultivate gratitude, and it's what I started to call flip the gratitude switch. Because what it became is this thing, without going into the whole story, what it became is, when I would have something frustrating happen to me or when I would fail, rather than sitting around and just stewing in the discontent, I would immediately try to find a way, in that moment, to become thankful in the frustration. Now, this is key. A lot of people think that gratitude is something you should feel thankful for things. We look around and look at how beautiful it is outside and we go, “Wow, I'm thankful it's a nice day. I'm thankful I have kids.”
All of those things are good, we should be thankful for those. The only downside is if you're thankful for stuff that's already awesome, it may provide a little bit of fueling in your life tank, but the way you really do what I call powering up with gratifuel or gratitude fuel, is you take the frustration, you take the thing that when you fail, and you try to find gratitude in that circumstance, whatever it may be. And if we can look at the world as becoming thankful in the circumstance, whatever it may be, and realize that gratitude is something that we do, not just something that we feel, now we begin to transform life.
And so this idea of taking a frustrating moment and flipping this internal switch to become thankful in that circumstance completely altered the entire trajectory of my life, and it has been the most powerful formula thing that I have found to become happy and feel fulfilled and content, and like I'm in control. And flipping the gratitude switch, I say you flip the gratitude switch, and the formula for doing that is actually F-L-I-P, and I go into what that formula is. I go through what F is, what L is, what I is, and what P is, and it creates this really simple formula and kind of philosophy that whenever life's frustrations show up, whatever they may be, you've got something you could do immediately and internally that has a massive and profound and immediate impact on you.
And even a biological and chemical impact, so that it can change the way you feel, which alters the trajectory of your life and puts you on a course that leads you to unlimited joy and unlimited happiness, and allows you to really look at the world in a very different way. It has created so much more success and happiness for me in my marriage, with my kids, in business, and it's doing that for folks all over the world now. And I'm so thankful for it and so excited that it's really getting out there and the movement's kind of growing, because it's made a big difference for me, and I love seeing it makes a difference for other folks as well.
I never anticipated that. I was just looking for something that worked for me, and it turns out it's something that works for everybody. And so that's been such a joy and a pleasure to be able to go through that process and figure out how gratitude could be something you do, not just something you feel, in order to change your life.
M.C.: Fantastic. Thank you for sharing that.
Kevin: You bet.
M.C.: Now, one of the habits that I've observed of wealthy and successful people is that they're always studying new subjects and learning new skills. What are you currently studying and what skill sets are you currently learning?
Kevin: I've been spending a lot of time really becoming much better at Internet marketing, and learning how to build a good funnel and learning how to build good lead magnets. One of the things I've been spending time on recently is understanding how to build custom audiences on Facebook and how to drive traffic to your awesome offer or your awesome service that you provide, so that you have the ability to serve more folks and change their lives.
The other thing that I've really been spending a lot of time getting real clear on is the process of writing, publishing, and successfully turning a book into more than just something that you find on Amazon, but really into a movement that can launch something for you and for those that may be following and interact with you. And so really drilling down and understanding funnels and Internet marketing and how to drive traffic through custom audiences, and then how to take that thing that you're really passionate about and turn it into more than just an idea, but a business and a movement that can change a lot of folks.
I've been spending that ton of time learning from gurus, and learning from awesome marketers, and reading lots of books on how to take that and do that so that you could change more people's lives. Because I'm just a huge believer, the more people you can reach and impact positively, the more your income is going to grow. But the key is, as Viktor Frankl says, I don't know if you know Viktor Frankl from “Man's Search for Meaning,” that's a great book, but he says…
M.C.: Great book.
Kevin: Oh great. In the foreword, he has this quote that I love and he basically says, “Success comes only when you forget to think about it.” Meaning, be more dedicated to a principle and to a set of values, and to serving other people and losing yourself in the ability to serve the world. When you do that, you can become successful, but it only comes precisely because you forget to think about the success of it. And so I've been trying to get really focused on, “How do I reach more people to serve them with my message?” more than, “How do I go find more people to buy my stuff?”
Because if you think of it like that, now you're not in the business of serving folks and providing value. You're in the business of trying to take their money. Whereas, I'm a big believer of, if you provide value and service, if what you have is awesome and changes their life, they're going to want to exchange benefit and value for value. You give value, they exchange value with you in the form of currency, and that allows you to have a more abundant life while helping them have a more abundant life, and it again becomes that win-win. And so that's really what I've really been spending a ton of time really learning and figuring out how to do.
M.C.: I like that. Strive to become a man of value rather than of success, and the success will automatically come later once you provide enormous value for others.
Kevin: So true.
M.C.: What's the best advice you've ever received and the most important lesson that you've learned through your journey?
Kevin: This is a good one. I love that question. I have a mentor in my life who I've worked with for a couple of years, a gentleman by the name of James Malinchak, who's…he's been College Speaker of the Year. He was on ABC's show, Secret Millionaire, and he said something to me that really had an impact on me. He said, “Everything you do in life falls into one of two categories, especially as a business owner and an entrepreneur. Everything you do falls into one or two categories. It is either contributing to your freedom or contaminating your freedom.”
And it gave me a new lens to look at everything I do throughout the day. Is what I'm doing right now contributing to my freedom and allowing me to do more of what I love, or is it contaminating it? If I take this meeting with this person, and I don't think that it's going to be productive at all, and maybe we even have…there's contention there, that's going to contaminate my ability to feel more free, and it's going to clog up my schedule. So I'm going to go ahead and allow that to float away, and I'm going to focus on what can contribute to my freedom. And that has changed my business and changed really the way that I look at everything, and it's been a massive help.
M.C.: If you cannot pass on any money to your children and grandchildren, and you are only allowed to pass on five principles and values to them to build wealth and be successful and happy, what would they be?
Kevin: The work's already been done for me because one of my favorite books in the world teaches five laws of stratospheric success. And there's a book written by my good friend Bob Burg and his co-author John David Mann. It's a book called “The Go-Giver.” And if you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. It's short, it's simple, it's beautiful, and it teaches these five laws of stratospheric success. This is what I do pass on to my children. I've got three kids, my son who's two, my son who's four, and my daughter who's seven, and I already teach them gratitude and I teach them these principles, and here they are.
Number one is the Law of Value, which says, “Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.” The second would be, what in the book Bob Burg and John David Mann call the Law of Compensation, which says, “Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.” Then the third is the Law of Influence, which says, “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people's interests first.” The fourth is the Law of Authenticity, which says, “The most valuable gift you have to offer to humanity and the world is yourself. Being authentically and truly you, not putting on a mask and trying to be something you're not, but being you, creates the most success possible.”
And the fifth is the Law of Receptivity, and this is one that actually a lot of people have a hard time with, and it says that, “The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.” If you think of how often somebody tries to give you a compliment and you deflect it, “Oh hey, you did awesome.” I get this after I speak. People come and say, “Wow, you were so great up there. That was one of the best talks,” whatever they say, and I go, “Oh no, no, no, I'm sure you've heard better.” When we do that it actually doesn't…not only does it not help us, but the person giving us the compliment, it doesn't really make them feel good.
But if you were to receive that and say, “You know what? Thank you so much for saying that. That really made my day. I know I have even more room to improve, but man, you really…thank you so much for that.” If you could stay open to receiving, it allows you to give more freely, and the same thing could go for your financial life. And so all of that I feel like is just so valuable, and those five principles and those five laws from that book “The Go-Giver” is exactly what I pass on to my kids.
M.C.: That's fantastic. I actually printed out the sheet of it and had it in my office, too, of that. I love that book.
Kevin: It's so good.
M.C.: Are there any other books that you would recommend?
Kevin: Oh, there's a ton. If you go to my website, KevinClayson.com and you click on “Books,” I actually have a link to books that I really love. But I'd recommend…I talked about this on Entrepreneur on Fire, my buddy Hal Elrod's book, his phenomenal, called “The Miracle Morning,” that's a book that's really changed my life. “The Go-Giver” is a book that's been really powerful. From a business standpoint, a book that I really love was written by Jon Huntsman called “Winners Never Cheat.”
It's about doing the right thing in order to really become more successful. And another one that I always refer to, one that really helped me, is a book by a guy, his name is Gay Hendricks, and the book is called “The Big Leap.” That's a phenomenal book. And if I could give you maybe just one more that had a profound impact on my ability to just focus on tasks at hand, a guy by the name of Greg McKeown wrote a book called “Essentialism,” which really helps you understand how to do the one next most important thing before you think of all the other stuff.
He makes the point that we always talk about our priorities, but in the word…priority is not supposed to be plural. We make it plural. But what's the one most important thing you could do right now? Finish that thing before you move on to the next. And all of those books, plus a gazillion more, have all had a profound impact on me, but those are some of my favorites that have really made a difference for me.
M.C.: That's fantastic. A lot of them are going right onto my Audible list right now.
Kevin: Yeah, yeah, good old Audible. That's another one of my favorite things ever is Audible. Man, that thing, love it.
M.C.: It turns any place into a classroom.
Kevin: It sure does.
M.C.: So Kevin, how could my audience learn more about you, Strongbrook, the real estate, the income opportunity, your books, the blog, training, and speaking engagement opportunities?
Kevin: Yeah. Probably the best gateway is just to go to KevinClayson.com. I pretty much link to everything from KevinClayson.com. You could also go to my blog where I write about the gratitude stuff, which is so powerful, and that's Gratifuel, so G-R-A-T-I-F-U-E-L dot com. So Gratifuel.com, KevinClayson.com, those are the best places. You certainly could visit Strongbrook.com. That's our company website, and it'll link you to the kind of good stuff that we do there.
And the other way that I always recommend is connect with me on social media, friend me on Facebook, or like my fan pages, or follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on LinkedIn. I'm very accessible and love to interact with folks through those mediums. And so, yeah, just reach out to me, subscribe to my YouTube channel, I mean, whatever, you're going to find plenty of ways to get to me and my stuff. But a lot of that really, you go through the gate at KevinClayson.com, and we'll be connected.
M.C.: Perfect. Kevin, fantastic to have you on the show. You always bring so much enthusiasm and energy. It's fantastic. Thank you for spending some time with us, you provided a ton of value for my listeners, and thank you for sharing so much powerful information.
Kevin: Well, thank you for being an awesome face who goes out there and actually provides value for other folks by doing a podcast. Congratulations on that. There's a lot of people who don't take that step, so congratulations on what you're doing. Thank you for letting me come and thank you for that way that you're serving the world. And let me know how I can help you or your audience in any way in the future. You're a good man, appreciate you.
M.C.: Thank you, Kevin. Thank you for spending some time with me and my guest, Kevin Clayson, today. You can find all of our show notes and prior shows at CashflowNinja.com, and you can also join our community and mailing list by texting the word CASHFLOWNINJA, one word, all capitalized, to 44222. That's two 4s and three 2s. Community members on our mailing list get weekly shows sent directly to their inbox, along with other valuable resources and information. Thank you so much for your support and sharing the show with family and friends. Until next time. Live a life of passion and purpose on your terms.
Man: You have been listening to the Cashflow Ninja with your host, M.C. Laubscher, the podcast empowering and inspiring people to discover how to generate their own income, and manage, grow, and protect their own wealth in the new economy. Today's show notes and resources are available on our website, CashflowNinja.com. This presentation is for educational and informational purposes only.
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