Discovering Your Purpose and Building A 7-Figure Online Business with Marisa Murgatroyd


When you’re at a job you don’t love, it can be hard to quit and do something that matters to you. And even then, it can be a challenge to figure out what that would be – i.e. what your true purpose in life is.

If you can relate at all, then I think you’ll love today’s guest. Her name is Marisa Murgatroyd, and at 4’ 11” (and a quarter) – she might be the shortest woman in marketing. 🙂

She started out as an artist in L.A., working a job she didn’t love. But through a series of events, she quit and went on to build a wildly successful 7-figure online business that fires her up with passion, each and every single day. Listen in, as Marisa reveals how she did it … and how you can too!

In today’s episode:

  • How Marisa went from being a documentary filmmaker and director to building a wildly successful 7-figure business …
  • Three skills that are the foundation of all marketing (in any business) …
  • A counter-intuitive way to discover your purpose …
  • The ONLY 2 ways you can change your life or specific situation …
  • Why “get started” choices are far more powerful than “forever” choices …
  • How not to make every decision you make feel so important (and why it’ll help you move forward faster) …
  • “Beta products” and “blockbuster hits” – what the difference is and which one you need to start with as an online entrepreneur …
  • The moment everything will change for you (use this simple phrase to “flip your switch” on) …
  • And much, much more …

Resources Mentioned:


Transcript:

James Mel:
Hey everybody, welcome to the Get Ahead podcast. I’m James Mel. On this podcast, what I do is I find successful entrepreneurs and I dig deep to uncover the strategies, the mindsets, the techniques and other things they’ve done to get ahead in their life and their business so you can do the same. I know if you’re here, you’re a high achiever, I know you want to get ahead.

James Mel:
That’s a topic I’ve been obsessed with my entire life and that’s what I want to help you do, is uncover the different strategies and the techniques you need to be able to do that to get ahead in your own life. Make sure to grab a pen, a paper, something to take notes with, because as we uncover these gold nuggets, you’re going to want to write them down.

James Mel:
Now, before we jump into today’s episode, I have something really special to give you as a free gift, like any successful person. I’ve got a mentor and I’ve had one for over 10 years and it turns out that he’s also my business partner. His name’s Eben Pagan, and he’s written a book on opportunity. Now, if you want to get ahead in your life and your business, it’s super important that you not only know how to spot opportunity, but you had know how to take advantage of it, and that’s what this entire book is about.

James Mel:
And I’d like to give you a free copy. Not only that, I’d like to ship it to you absolutely free. You get a free copy and get it shipped to you absolutely free. The way you can get this is go to www.jamesmel.com/opportunity, and it’s all on me. Go there now, grab your copy. You’ll be glad you did. All right. Without further ado, let’s jump into today’s episode.

James Mel:
Welcome to another episode of the Get Ahead podcast. I’m super excited for my guest here, Marisa Murgatroyd, who’s one of my friends and just an amazing all around rock star in business and life. I know her, I know her husband. I’ve been to her house, it’s been amazing getting to know you, Marisa, over the years and seeing you build an amazing brand. Your, Live Your Message brand and created something that you specialize in, your Experience Product Masterclass.

James Mel:
You’re revolutionizing kind of the industry with this and everything that you’ve learned. I’ve learned a ton from you. And also in the process, built a multiple seven figure business online, which is super cool as well. Having started as an artist, we’ll talk about that in just a second, but first, welcome to the show.

Marisa M:
Thank you. Super glad to be here and good to see you again, as always.

James Mel:
Yes, right. Virtually, that’s the beauty of the businesses we run, right? Being able to do sometimes in person, sometimes virtually.

Marisa M:
Absolutely. If the real Marisa had to do all these things in person, my life would be radically different.

James Mel:
Wow. I know, I can’t imagine. I remember having my job way back when and work-off. I don’t think I could ever go back. And you started as an artist, right? Like…

Marisa M:
I did start as an artist. Yes.

James Mel:
Wow. Tell us about that. How did you start as an artist? A super creative and now having built up and run a successful seven figure online business.

Marisa M:
Well, it’s really funny. I think I got to that moment in my career as I was a documentary filmmaker and a documentary film director. And I always thought I would be in film and the arts because I loved it. And even though I loved the work, I didn’t always love the job and I didn’t love the boss. And I remember this moment, this day where everything shifted for me. Basically, my boss comes in at about one o’clock because I was actually hired to make films, which in and of itself is a huge accomplishment.

Marisa M:
And she waltzes in the afternoon and says, “Hey Marisa, I forgot my power cable, can I have yours?” And I said, “Well, no, I didn’t have my computer plugged in and I’m about to run out of juice so I can’t give it to you.” Plus, at the time we would print videos to DVD and before you go to DVD, you actually had to do all these color corrections, a lot of really big stuff to get it ready to print because once it’s on DVD and you have thousands of copies made, you’re not going to change it. Today, people don’t even have DVD players, but back then it was different.

Marisa M:
Anyway, that happened and she basically said, I said, “I can’t,” but she says, “Well, Marisa, that power cord that you’re working on, I own that power cord. I own that computer you’re working on.” What she didn’t say is, “Marisa, I own you.” And we ended up getting into an argument over it because here’s the thing. We had all these production assistants next door, she could’ve asked anybody else for the power cord, but she had to have mine.

Marisa M:
And I ended up giving her the cord. And a few minutes later, my computer ran out of juice and I couldn’t complete the project. And I really felt like, what am I doing? I’ve spent the last three years building this woman’s business. I have no intellectual property. I make 1000 bucks a week, if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. I wasn’t even an employee with benefits.

Marisa M:
I started to realize that maybe I should be doing something different with my time and with my creativity. But I asked myself, “What could you possibly do?” And when I asked myself that question, I didn’t have a very good answer. I just said, “Well, I know how to make things look good and sound good and tell a damn good story, but who’s going to pay me for that?”

James Mel:
Right.

Marisa M:
As an artist, those skills did not seem valuable. And in the business world, those three skills are the foundation of all marketing in all business. Those are super, super valuable skills. And I just had no clue that these skills were so valuable because my whole life people were telling me that I would never make money as an artist, and that I would never be able to get ahead and I should go work for a well-respected institution and I should do something practical. I had the time, I just didn’t even believe it.

James Mel:
Wow. I’m just imagining what that would be like to be constantly told, “You’re never going to make money as an artist. You have no marketable skills.” After hearing that so many times, how did you overcome that? What was your mindset? What was your strategy to overcome that?

Marisa M:
Well, it probably took me a decade to be honest. Once I realized that the filmmaking career was over, I didn’t really, like I said, know what else I could do, but I started to think about something in the intersection of the entrepreneur world and the internet, because filmmaking was slow and I’m not a patient person and the internet is fast. I thought maybe this is going to a little bit more of my speed. And I just started learning from all the great, too, it’s funny are now my friends and my colleagues and my clients. People like Eben, your business partner, people like Jeff Walker, people like Don Crowder. And gradually realize that there’s a whole nother world out there that I didn’t even know about.

Marisa M:
And then once I started doing it, I realized I was really good at it. That all of the creativity that I had in all the years of experience as an artist actually made me a really good marketer and a really good business person because I can see things differently, and I could communicate differently than everybody else. And once I started to see the results, like people buying from me, people getting results from my work, that changed everything because I knew it wasn’t just in my head, I knew I was actually being able to get results in the real world.

James Mel:
Going back 10 years and here you were, and then you made that transition. And what was the first steps that you remember taking to make that transition online?

Marisa M:
Well, the very first step I took was to quit my job, which I don’t always recommend until you’re proven a business model. But it’s funny because my mom actually is a real sweetheart. My mom’s from Thailand, and she used to write me these notes and she didn’t think that I’ve listened to her so she’d pretend to be writing a note from the Buddha or the Dalai Lama.

Marisa M:
She would quote the Buddha and Dalai Lama, but was really her. And she would say, “The Buddha says that when one road closes, a hundred more will open.” And when I laughed, she gave me $10,000 and she said, “Look, Marisa, you have ever since you graduated from college, you just been working, working, working, and you’ve never taken any time to think about what you really want and who you really were.”

Marisa M:
That just gave me a little bit of a buffer. And I actually jumped in the car. I drove from LA all the way up to Vancouver. I slept on every beach on the coast of California and Oregon and Washington. I ate a lot of kale and kino on my camp stove, and I looked up at the stars and I thought I would find my purpose that way. But I just got home a little bit more broke and I hadn’t found my purpose. Right?

James Mel:
Okay.

Marisa M:
It doesn’t usually work that way. You kind of got to make a choice of trying something for a little bit. I started going to events, these industry events. I joined Brendon Burchard’s Mastermind and I just started getting clients in my branding and web design agency. It’s like I can make websites, I can make brands and that eventually led me to my true calling, my true purpose, my true business.

Marisa M:
But I think a lot of times you’ve got to start at the edges of maybe what you want to do and through doing the work you realize what’s you and what’s not you. What’s fulfilling, what’s not fulfilling, where you love to work, where you maybe like to work a little bit less. And it’s more of a game of hot and cold. Then this making a one time be-all end-all choice. And I feel so many people do what I did, which is try to take that trip from LA to Vancouver, camp on and look up at the stars and just assume it’s all going like lightning bolt through them, with crystal clarity and it’s just not the way that it works.

James Mel:
Yes. The secret’s 10 years old last time I checked. Right?

Marisa M:
Yes.

James Mel:
I mean, I’m sure it works. There are parts of this, I’m half joking, but there are parts of the secret that are really good, but I agree with you. It’s like you just can’t sit around expecting things to come to you.

Marisa M:
No.

James Mel:
It sounds like you took action. You were like, “All right, enough of this, quitting my job.” And you started going to events, industry events, which is really interesting because by doing that, you didn’t know what was going to happen, but you almost put yourself in a position where things could happen.

Marisa M:
Yes, exactly.

James Mel:
And it sounds like it did. That’s where you got your first client?

Marisa M:
Yes. I think one of my past mentors, Brendon Burchard, used to say, “There’s only two ways you can change your life. Either something new comes out of you, or either someone new comes into your world.” And when you look at that going and studying and going to events, I was both allowing new things to come out of me based on the input that was coming in and allowing new people to walk into my world. And both of those things allowed me to start to get closer and closer to where I would ultimately be.

James Mel:
Right. Imagine somebody who’s in a similar position as to where you were then and is looking to get ahead. What other tips would you give them if they were to go to an event and be trying to figure out or land their own clients or, how do you approach that?

Marisa M:
Well, I mean, the main thing I say is to focus on what I call, get started choices rather than forever choices. I think so many people think about, “I got to make the right choice, I got to make the right decision.” And that becomes paralyzing because it’s impossible to make the right choice and the right decision, because only are things certain in hindsight after you’ve already done them. And a lot of times you don’t exactly know you’re taking one step in front of the next, in front of the next, and before you know it, you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I’ve got a mid-seven figure business.” Right?

Marisa M:
But I didn’t know with each step that I took that that would be the outcome. But I believed in my own resourcefulness. And I also believe, and maybe this is part of my artists background, to approach business with what I call, your creators hat on, your experimenters hat. If you think about business as an experiment lab, maybe a canvas, right? You’re trying things and some things aren’t going to work and some things are going to work.

Marisa M:
But if you look at every failure and every mistake or every misstep as a personal failure, where you’re not good enough or you’re not wrong, you’re wrong, or you’re not worthy. It’s paralyzing. And I think so many people want everything to go right and everything to go perfect. And it’s just not how you learn and it’s not how you create something amazing and great and sustainable in the world.

Marisa M:
You’ve got to look at it like a scientist and just a little bit more impartial, “That worked, that didn’t work, that work, that didn’t work. Oops, okay, let me try something else.” And when you can have that, that more objective approach and not make every decision feel so important and make every mistake feels so catastrophic, I think you’re going to have an easier time and come out with a better outcome.

James Mel:
I totally agree with that, Marisa, because it’s interesting. I mean, when I just remember going to college and being taught in business school, you have to come up with this whole business plan and everything’s got to be correct and you submit it to the bank and that’s how you build a business. And now being a successful entrepreneur, having two businesses myself, I realized that’s not how it works out.

James Mel:
And what actually works out is exactly what you just mentioned, where you’re not afraid to take chances, you’re not afraid to take action. You put things out there into the world as a creator and then you get feedback. And that feedback is sort of your barometer to say, “All right, it either worked or didn’t or kind of worked.” And you just course and you do more things and you keep growing and going from there.

Marisa M:
Yes, there’s no such thing as failure, only feedback.

James Mel:
That’s amazing. Okay, here you are, you went to this event you got a client. Now there’s a big difference, a big gap between getting a client and then building a seven figure business. Right? What would you say is the big break, if there was one that really sort of jumped started your business, your entrepreneurial journey?

Marisa M:
I think that there was no one big break, but I think the turning point from going from say, a seven figure business to a mid-seven figure business, for example, was focusing on developing a blockbuster hit product. I think a lot of people go out there and they just do products. And I teach people how to get started products and beta products and their very first product. And I always say, “Don’t worry about creating your blockbuster hit product because what if your blockbuster hit product was product number three or four, and you have to create product number one and two to get to product three and four. You got to create the get started, beta products before you get to the blockbuster hit products.

Marisa M:
But there’s a certain point where I had paid my dues, I had created a handful of get started products, and they made some money but they never made a huge amount of money. And the next time I wanted to create a product it’s I really want this one to be my blockbuster hit. I’m ready to have something that’s not just linear growth, but creates exponential growth in my business.

Marisa M:
I kind of went into my bat cave and really did the deep sinking and the soul searching to how I could create something that was truly different, unique in the world, almost a blue ocean as they say. Concepts that would create a brand new category that I could own. And I think that shifted me out of a seven figure business into a mid-seven figure business and really allowed me to have disproportionate success faster.

James Mel:
If there is somebody who’s just getting started and they want to get ahead and sort of find their own unique voice or their sort of blue ocean product or service or whatever it is. Based on your experience and what you’ve learned, what would be the number one thing you’d share with them?

Marisa M:
I wouldn’t worry about creating a blue ocean category-redefining product to begin with. The very first thing that I recommend doing is simply creating some kind of beta offer and selling it as many times as you can. And through the process, refining your marketing, refining your delivery, and making it as good a product as you possibly can. Eventually, you might not continue to sell that product and new better products will come out. But it’s that experience that allows you to hone and fine tune your product and your messaging. Make it as good as you can, but don’t worry about this having becoming your signature life-defining product, right?

Marisa M:
Just get going. Because here’s the thing, you can sell something once and it’s kind of… basically it’s chance. You could sell something twice and that’s a fluke. Once you’re able to sell something three, four, five, six times, it becomes more of a proven business model. I don’t recommend quitting your day job if you still got one, until you know you can kind of replace the revenue in your own business.

Marisa M:
In just looking at it like an experiment, looking at it as something that’s an evolution. Doing the best you can, but not thinking in those blockbuster forever terms at the beginning. Just having grounded expectations and then allowing yourself to exceed those expectations.

James Mel:
Yes, that’s so true because I think a lot of people, myself included when I was just getting started, look up to mentors and people that we idolize and we see the big blockbuster hits that they have, and we almost think that we’re supposed to do that right out of the gate. Whereas, what you just mentioned, just take some action. It could be a beta, it could be whatever your first version, just get it out there. You have to scrape, be resourceful, whatever you got to do, get it out there. And then through that process is how you’ll eventually get better and better and then eventually develop your blockbuster.

Marisa M:
Yes. And I call it, the iterate your way to awesome process. The process works like this. You got an idea, you take action on that idea, which leads to clarity, which leads to momentum, which gives you better ideas that you take more action on getting even more clarity and more momentum. And I say that’s the opposite of the stuck cycle. And the stuck cycle is where you got an idea, you proceed to over analyze that idea, which leads to perfectionism and procrastination, leaving you stuck on the same idea for a very long time and never making any progress. You really want to take that, iterate your way to awesome approach. And if you do that, you’re kind of okay idea will sooner or later become a really, really good potentially blockbuster hit product idea.

James Mel:
Thanks for sharing that Marisa, and what’s awesome is that you’ve taught this same process to over 5,000 students.

Marisa M:
Yes.

James Mel:
And I’m curious what’s the difference that really allows some students to get ahead using that versus others who maybe don’t do as well?

Marisa M:
I mean, I think it really is a commitment to just keep taking action. I mean it’s so easy for things to feel more difficult than you expect or to have a setback or have a “failure” and all of a sudden get off track and fall off the wagon. And the thing is, you’re going to fall off the wagon. The question is how long you stay off the wagon and how quickly you get back on? Right?

Marisa M:
It’s the students that have the resilience and have the mindset of just like, “I’m going to figure it out. I’m resourceful, I can make this happen. I’m doing this, I’m committed.” I call it flipping the switch. You flip the switch and your commitment to say, “No matter what, I’m doing this.” Right? And when you say that it changes everything.

James Mel:
Language is so powerful. I believe that when you open up opportunities and look for ways you can do things versus, “Oh, I can’t do that,” or, “That’s not possible.” It’s a game changer. Now, you mentioned resourcefulness a bunch of times and I think this is one of the most important concepts to really getting ahead and being successful in life, in business, everything like that. Do you have an example you could share from either your personal experience or a student’s experience of an example of resourcefulness?

Marisa M:
Let me think about a very specific example. Well, I guess what I see all the time is that students are like, “Well, how do I do this?” Google. “How do I do this?” Google. “‘How do I do this?” Google it, right? Or, “Oh, I spoke to this one person.” I said, “No, ask them again.” Right? And it’s just this matter of the world is at our fingertips all the time. And it’s so funny. I mean, I’m can’t believe I’m about to quote Socrates.

Marisa M:
Socrates, was really, when he first… the advent of the written word, he was really terrified that with the advent of the written word in books that humans would bathe in the lake of forgetting. Meaning that once you have books, you would no longer have to remember anything because you could just look it up in the books.

Marisa M:
Now obviously, the internet is 10 times, a hundred times, a thousand times more accessible than books. And I think it really has had people bathe in the lake of forgetting. And it’s not just forgetting information, but it’s forgetting about their own inherent capability and to figure things out. It’s like when, you know you can google it, sometimes people don’t even google it they just want someone to tell them. But then when you know you can google it, it prevents you from just figuring things out on your own so that, really getting up and trying stuff out and seeing what works, you can’t bypass that.

James Mel:
Were there any roadblocks or what roadblocks did you encounter when you were just sort of getting started and getting momentum? Is there an example or a story you have of a roadblock and how you’re able to overcome it?

Marisa M:
Yes. Well, what I will say is that my very first product that I created, my first online program, it sold zero, zip, zilch, nada. Right? And I ended up being super duper disappointed. Then I did what any self-respecting entrepreneur would do, I launched another product, right? And this one did better. I sold some over the course of three years, maybe I made $100,000 or something from this product. Hardly the million dollars per year I make on several of my product lines now but it was something.

Marisa M:
But I came into a different problem. It was a problem that a lot of people who bought were not completing the programs and getting results. And that was really hard on me because I’m not selling products to make money. I mean, yes, I want to make money, but I’m selling them to make a difference. I remember going up to friend of mine and asking if she saw the same things, if she was experiencing people buying her programs and not finishing them and not getting results.

Marisa M:
And she said, “Oh yes. But Marisa, maybe some people aren’t meant to succeed.” And that just felt like a punch in the gut because I believe that everyone is meant to succeed. One of my biggest roadblocks, but it’s become one of our biggest competitive advantages is figuring out, how do I work with every single individual student? How do I understand their unique starting point, their pace, their strengths, their weaknesses, their natural design and create programs that can get as many people as humanly possible across the finish line to mission accomplished?

Marisa M:
And that’s taken me years and years of trial and error and experimenting with gamification and adult learning theory and things to figure out. But I really believe what Zig Ziglar, once said that you can have anything in life you want to feel just help enough other people get what they want.

Marisa M:
When I was first beginning and struggling to help people really get what they want, that was challenging because I was losing faith and losing confidence. But I’ve really kind of used that to pioneer a whole new methodology to get anywhere from 10 to 30 times the results from my students that other programs and products get.

James Mel:
Wow. You’ve essentially taken somewhat of a weakness and turned it into a strength and just mastered it. Now, it’s become almost part of your… It is your blockbuster product.

Marisa M:
Exactly. I really believe that you teach most what you need to learn. The number of people that I’ve got in my audience who are teaching money mindset, who have the most poverty consciousness to start with, it’s huge. A lot of times whatever you’re struggling with is the biggest gift.

James Mel:
Makes me think of something else. Like the bigger a challenge something is, the harder nut it is to crack, the more opportunity there is.

Marisa M:
Yes.

James Mel:
Hearing that before and it sounds that’s exactly what you did, which is amazing. And being, I mean you specialize in experience. Every single event I’ve gone to that you’ve done has always been top-notch. There’s always surprises. Last time I remember there was $100 gold pizza. I didn’t even know those existed and we were eating $100 dollar pizza custom made with porcini mushrooms and all truffle oil, all that stuff.

James Mel:
And that is something I’ve told so many people about. I posted on my Instagram, all that sort of stuff. It created an experience and I got to think that for somebody trying to get ahead, these days there’s so much people trying to take our attention, that sort of stuff. What do you feel it takes, Marisa, to standout to really get ahead if somebody’s just getting started or trying to get their big break?

Marisa M:
I often say that there’s 3 billion people online, but only one you and there’s so much unlearning get to what’s truly you. Because so often we start in a business and we’re doing what we think we should do or what we were told to do, or what we think we need to do in order to be successful. But when you can actually get quiet and tune into who you really are and what you really want, and how to express that in a way that’s actually unique to you in your natural voice. And to get rid of all the need to be professional or need to be serious, or need to prove yourself and show credibility and just let your freak flag fly even if you’re not afraid or whatever it is. Just be you and do you.

Marisa M:
And that is a process of distillation. It’s usually not just a flip someone switches. You have to give yourself permission to know that not everyone’s going to like you and some people are going to judge you, but you’ve got to turn up the dial on your unique expression and allow yourself to sift through everything that is not yours. All the derivative products, all the derivative marketing, all the ways in which you’re influenced by so many people and get to your voice.

Marisa M:
And it’s so fascinating. One of my favorite authors name is Haruki Murakami, and he is a prolific writer in Japan. Won every award imaginable for his books. And the way he found his voice is kind of amazing to me. I read his first novel and I discovered that he could not write very well. His first novel was a huge flop, it wasn’t very good. What he did is he ended up writing a novel in English. In English he had half the vocabulary, right?

James Mel:
Wow.

Marisa M:
He couldn’t speak fluently and it wasn’t his native tongue. And he found his voice by writing in another language because it allowed him to kind of disassociate from all the cultural influences in all the ways he thought he could be, and then get to like a bare bones minimum of expression. And then he kind of created his own hard-boiled style. And then he translated back in to Japanese. And that was like fascinating to me. But I think so much of finding your voice is like getting rid of what’s not yours.

James Mel:
I love that. And the first thing is that I love how you actually live your message. I mean, exactly what you just shared with us there is what you do. I remember the last time I saw you speak on stage that’s what you did. You dressed up and I can’t remember what it was. Was it bunny?

Marisa M:
I think I had zebra ears and a zebra tail.

James Mel:
Zebra ears. Yes. And it’s just, that’s you, right? And I remember during your launch a couple of things you did, fun things like that and it’s like, “Wow, who is this?” And that’s you, which is, maybe nobody else did that. And that is such a good example of you wearing that.

Marisa M:
I wore the ears on stage because I kind of planted the seed at the beginning and I was at the end. Can you believe that I made $1 million wearing these ears? Right? Or something like there was, maybe though I wore those ears on a livestream, I did at least maybe half a million quarter. I can’t remember how much it was, a quarter million, half a million just wearing those ears in a live stream. People feel like they have be so professional, but a lot of times when you’re just you and doing things that maybe are not what you should do, people fall in love with you even more.

James Mel:
It’s so true. And I found that, as you know, I’m building my own personal brand now. That’s what I’ve embodied and I think back to when I first started in business, one of my first roles was sales. I did sales, and I remember just trying to be perfect and thinking I had to follow this script and be perfect at it and it never worked. I didn’t get any sales, no one even wanted to talk to me.

James Mel:
And I realized it was because I wasn’t being myself. I was trying to follow somebody else’s script and it wasn’t until I sort of got the key parts of what it is we were trying to do. Have the format and then just let it all go and just be myself and just spoke from inside of me.

Marisa M:
Yes, congruence creates resonance. What I mean by that is that everyone, your audience has finely tuned B S meters. Basically, you’re out of alignment with yourself. Everybody can feel it. You’re just, they’re not going to be compelled to buy from you, to follow you, to share you.

Marisa M:
But when you’re in full alignment and congruence with yourself, you’re expressing you, “I’ll be it.” I call it turning up the dial. You’re really turning up the dial on your expression. Then all of a sudden people feel the congruence and then they resonate. They’re drawn towards you.

James Mel:
I 100% agree. That is so awesome. The other interesting thing, I think about your story and journey, correct me if I’m wrong. But you met somebody else at an event too, your current heart-

Marisa M:
I did. My husband.

James Mel:
Right? Your husband. Yes, Murray. And I think he’s the one that told me that story. But this is really interesting because again, I noticed how again, you put yourself in a position, you were at an event and then you met your husband there. And I’m curious because, well, every time I’ve been at your house and we’ve done events, you two work so well together. And I’m curious like how it’s not easy working, you guys work together too. How have you been able to make that work and get ahead in both your personal life and your business life?

Marisa M:
Well, to be honest it’s an ongoing evolution where, I think the main thing is for us to each own the pieces that are ours to own. What are the things that are in my genius zone? What are the things that are in his genius zone and being the masters of our own domain, and then collaborating in the areas where we’re not strong, if that makes sense.

Marisa M:
I’m realizing more and more that I cannot build this business alone. And obviously once you get to the mid-seven figures, you really have to kind of rely on a whole team, a whole village to create the kind of experiences that I want to create. And that’s actually been one of the hardest lessons for me to learn. Is because I am an independent self-starter. I want things a certain way. I feel I can do everything until I can’t.

Marisa M:
And at some point, I mean, I’ve burned myself out before. I got to realize that, you know what? We all need support. We all need guidance, we can’t do it alone. If you want to step into the biggest, best, brightest version of yourself, you’re going to need someone who can reflect back your brilliance and someone who can help you overcome any limitations or weaknesses and the higher people who are stronger than you in areas where you’re not strong.

James Mel:
I think that’s such an important message, Marisa, because so many of us see these “self-made” people and we think, “Oh, they did it all themselves,” and whatever. And in my experience, just like what you shared, none of us are self-made. We’ve got team members, contractors, partners, all sorts of different people we work and interact with that help us in any business we’re a part of become successful.

Marisa M:
Yes. Not to mention our parents. It took a sperm in a bag.

James Mel:
Yes, that too.

Marisa M:
Wow, yes.

James Mel:
Wow. The sperm and the egg, we’re going to go there. Yes exactly. X chromosomes and Y chromosomes too, a perfect combination. Wow. That is the ultimate product experience, isn’t it? Wow. All right.

Marisa M:
Welcome to the world.

James Mel:
Yes, where’s your touch at these days? I thought you guys were having kids, now you are out.

Marisa M:
Hey, not having kids now.

James Mel:
Get you a dog soon, I think.

Marisa M:
A dog, yes.

James Mel:
Okay. That’s good to know. I’ll make say, for you a dog as you know I’ve got three.

Marisa M:
I do know that.

James Mel:
Yes, that would be awesome. That’s so, and it’s really interesting because one of the other things you mentioned is that with you and Murray, is obviously you have complimentary skills. What if back when you were getting started or whatever, or trying to get ahead, how did you deal with maybe some of the things that you were weaker at? What’s your take on that? Focus on your strengths, focusing on your weakness? How did you do it?

Marisa M:
Well, I think part of it’s a willingness to learn. I see a lot of people who practice some kind of bypass where they’re like, “I suck at this, therefore I’m not going to do it.” And I think that as an entrepreneur you need to learn things. Some of the areas that I suck at the most are finance and operations, right? And admin, right?

Marisa M:
I’m a solid marketer, I’m a great product creator. I’m an incredible creative. I’m okay with being on stage and video, but all this other stuff of running the business is really not fun for me. But if I just waited for the miracle hire to come in and solve all my problems for me, then I would be burying my head in the sand and some of the core areas of the business that determine our profitability. I think part of it’s willing to learn at least a foundation baseline amount just about everything.

Marisa M:
And then when you are making hires, whether someone knows what they’re talking about, whether someone’s making good decisions or not, but not to ever delegate responsibility for your success to anybody else, or wait for some magic person, magic hire magic opportunity. You are the only magic, right? You want to be able to rely on, I mean, to consult with other people, to get support, to get advice, but ultimately the only path to true success and freedom is to realize that you are in control of your destiny and only you.

James Mel:
That is a serious knowledge bomb you just dropped there, Marisa. Just to break that down for everybody listening, I totally 100% agree with this and it’s something that I think a lot of people overlook. Is the fact that we, each one of us is responsible 100% for our life and our business. And exactly what you mentioned, even when you build a successful business, seven figures, eight figures, whatever you do, you as the entrepreneur as the owner is still ultimately 100% responsible.

James Mel:
Even if you have other people that you hire or work with or contract, it always comes back to you. And I think that’s a really, really important mindset to have because otherwise it’s easy to blame and point fingers and then take no responsibility.

Marisa M:
Oh yes. One of my students, her girlfriend was in a Mastermind and she was observing from the outside because she sees all the students come from mine and he’s like, “Marisa, my girlfriend was saying that half of the people are really engaged, loving the Mastermind. The other half are complaining about it.” Right? They all have the same experience.

Marisa M:
And some people were making the most out of every opportunity and some were just like, “Well, no, this isn’t what I need. I need this, I need that, I need this.” And I see that somewhat with my students. I’m obsessed with customer experience and helping everyone get results. But I know too that no matter how good I make something, how many holes I plug, there’s always going to be someone who like, “No, I want it this way or I need it that way.” Or just is going to complain about everything and not appreciate anything, and demand it to be a particular way.

Marisa M:
And we had one student recently, he said, “I am not going to be limited by Marisa’s beliefs.” Something like that, whatever it is. And it was fascinating because the student isn’t making any money. Right? This is someone who’s not making any money saying that she doesn’t want to be limited by my beliefs. And I do have some beliefs. I do believe that business takes effort. I do believe that you do have to do some work.

Marisa M:
I do believe that you have to grow yourself every single day and rise to the challenge and rise to your own greatness. I do believe you have to take full responsibility for your own success. But if those are limiting beliefs, then I don’t know. I don’t know what are empowering beliefs, right?

James Mel:
Yes, our beliefs shape us. And it’s having you being a successful entrepreneur, you’ve obviously had to change your beliefs over time to be where you are now and take responsibility and know that you can achieve anything. It isn’t fun.

Marisa M:
Absolutely. And it was just fascinating to me because sometimes I’ll see people that they want things to be a very specific way, but one of my early coaches said that you have to earn the right to pride and prejudice. If you want to have these, be-all end-all ways that you want to do things, have you earned that yet?

Marisa M:
At this point in my career, I could say, “Okay, I want to do things this way.” But even that, every time I’ll be humbled by the market because the thing is I’m changing all the time, but so is the world, so is technology and so is consumer expectations. As soon as I think it’s got to be my way or the highway, I’m going to be left behind.

James Mel:
So true. And I know you’re the type of person that’s always learning. You’re always learning, always experimenting, always trying new things, which is awesome. Total innovator on that side, by the way. It’s amazing. One other thing that you mentioned a couple minutes ago that I want to highlight too, Marisa, is how you mentioned that as an entrepreneur it’s really important to know all the different components of your business and be able to do them yourself.

James Mel:
Even if you go on and hire somebody else so that you can effectively manage and even know if they’re doing a good job or not. And I think this is something that a lot of people overlook and it’s one of the ways that I’ve been able to personally get ahead in my life. Is, again, I think a lot of people have this conception like, “Oh, I’m going to be an entrepreneur. I’m just going to delegate and outsource things.”

James Mel:
And that’s great at a certain point. But you and I both know, I mean, when I started my real estate business, I did everything. Found the tenants, did the walkthroughs with them, did the financing, did all of the searching for properties with my real estate, everything. Every single thing. And that put me in a position now to be able to hire a property manager, a general contractor. And the way I always approached that was, I was getting paid to learn in those early stages of all the different components and knowing how all those elements came together to form a system.

Marisa M:
Absolutely.

James Mel:
Really important.

Marisa M:
That thing is above you and nothing is below you is what I always like to say. I was hiring for an assistant at some point, and we do monthly live events. This assistant would support the events. She’s just like, “Okay, I’m happy to support the events, but I refuse to clean. I refuse to do any dishes, I refuse to sweep. I’m above that in my career at this point.” I’m like, “Okay, you’re not hired.” Because here’s the thing, I still do dishes. I still sweep the floor, I’ll still go and stock the bathroom in the middle of an event if it needs to be done. I am not above that. And I, at this point make $15,000 a day but if it needs to get done and there’s no one else around, I’m going to do it.

Marisa M:
If you get to the point to say that something is above you or below you, that’s off. And on the flip side, if I say, “Oh, I’m never going to be earning eight figures, or I’ll never have a nine figure company, or I’ll never be able to do what Richard Branson does,” or whatever that is, then I’m also setting myself for a very certain set point or a ceiling on my success. I’m willing to go in both directions as needed, doing work “below me” as well as work above me because that’s how I continue to grow and how I stay humble and hungry.

James Mel:
So important. That in itself is a gem, that mindset, that attitude, that is how you get ahead. For everybody listening, that is how you get ahead. Again, you don’t have to do it, but that’s just programmed in you which is amazing. Thank you for sharing that.

Marisa M:
I’ve got to do what it takes. Because remember, I’m ultimately responsible for my success, so I will do what it takes.

James Mel:
Exactly. Final question for you, Marisa, here is, if say somebody is feeling behind in their life, in their career, in their relationship, in business, whatever it might be. What are some action steps, maybe three action steps you recommend that they take to start getting ahead?

Marisa M:
Well, I think part of these are mindsets because being behind is a feeling, and it’s a perception and it’s not necessarily the truth because your entire life has prepared you to this precise moment in time where you’re poised and ready to get your gifts out to the world in a much bigger way. The very first is to let go of the feeling of being behind and to say, “I’m exactly where I need to be right now.” Right? At this moment. And then moving forward to not keep waiting and preparing, but to say, “I’m as ready as I’ll ever be.” Right? You’ll never be more ready than you are right now and the only way to get more ready is to take action.

Marisa M:
I would say immediately take action. And then I would say, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. You don’t have to figure it all out by yourself. Even if you have to do all these different things, find a mentor. Find someone who can support you step by step in building the kind of business you want to build. Not just someone who’s done it for themselves, but someone who’s been able to demonstrate that they do it for other people and with other people.

James Mel:
I love that. So simple, so concise. First step, look at the story you’re telling yourself. And I love how you reframe that language of like, “Hey, if you think you’re behind, you’re behind.” Reframe it, “You’re exactly where you should be right now.” And then you have a choice. You can either do nothing and continue getting the same results or take action.

James Mel:
And then what you mentioned is, find someone who’s doing what you want to be doing. Model them, mentor to them, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. It’s perfect. I love it. That’s exactly what I did and I bet it’s what you did too, right?

Marisa M:
Oh, yes.

James Mel:
It’s great. And as I think back to our conversation here, the other thing that I think is really apparent for me in your entrepreneurial journey is that you’ve never been afraid to invest in yourself. Starting from that very first thing, I think the thing that helped you get ahead is going into those events. I’m sure that was a big deal for you, investing that money, traveling there, hotel, whatever you had to do.

Marisa M:
Oh yes. I’ve invested a good portion of what I earn every single year, year after year from the time that I was in a nonprofit making $58,000 a year and investing about half of my paycheck too. Now, I’m probably still investing half of our profits on the business and growth.

James Mel:
I mean, we were in a mastermind together spending tens of thousands of dollars. That’s because it’s the commonality, that’s how you get ahead.

Marisa M:
Absolutely, yes. If you don’t invest in yourself, how can you expect someone else to invest in you?

James Mel:
Good point too. Exactly. Well, Marisa, this has been amazing. Thank you much for everything that you shared, the systems, the breakdowns, the mindsets. This is been really fun.

Marisa M:
Absolutely. And I did want to give you all a resource if that’s okay with you.

James Mel:
Let’s do it.

Marisa M:
We talked about creating products that get people results, right? I put together a viral product checklist, which is the 10 core experiences that you want to stack into your product, your program, your services, whatever you’re selling to get people hooked on ultimately achieving their greatest goals and overcoming their biggest challenges through you and through your products, so they refer you and buy from you again, and again. As well as the things you should avoid doing in your programs if you don’t want to send them hurrying for the refund button, right? If you go to liveyourmessage.com/James, liveyourmessage.com/James, you can grab that resource.

James Mel:
Liveyourmessage.com/James, go there now to pick this up, I’ve been through several masses, workshops, top-notch stuff. She is the master of this stuff. Check that out now. Marisa, thank you so much for joining us here.

Marisa M:
Absolutely. Take care and go out there and live your message.

James Mel:
Well I hope you loved this week’s episode. If you did tell your friends that would be a huge favor for me and it can help build this community and we can all get ahead. And something I’d like to do is give you a special gift. It turns out that one of the ways to get ahead is to be able to find spot and then take advantage of opportunity. We all know this and it turns out that my business partner and mentor Eben Pagan, has written a book on this very topic and I’d like to give you that book and ship it to you absolutely free.

James Mel:
The book is called, Opportunity: How to Win in Business and Create a Life You Love. And all you got to do is go to www.jamesmel/opportunity. Enter your details and I’m going to send you the book free. You’re going to get the book for free and I know you’re going to love it. I have learned so much from Eben Pagan, over the 10 years we’ve known each other and it’s truly been one of the ways I’ve been able to get ahead in my life, in my business. And I know what you learn inside of this book is going to help you do the same.

James Mel:
Go there now, www.jamesmel/opportunity and grab your copy while you can. I’ve got 4,000 copies and I’m doing this for and sending absolutely free. Shipping is on me, the book is on me, so grab one while you can. And thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for joining here. Thank you so much for an investing in yourself to get ahead. By you getting ahead, it’s going to inspire other people and then we’re all going to get ahead. Have an amazing week and I look forward to talking to you on the next episode.