Jim Rohn was one of my greatest mentors. He was a master of presenting complex ideas in an extraordinarily simple way, he was funny, and he had an incredible gift as a speaker and presenter. In fact, a single quote of his, “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development” was what inspired me to create the Miracle Morning.
For 18 years, his business partner was Kyle Wilson – the founder of Jim Rohn International and YourSuccess.com. He worked to promote Jim all over the world, built a following of over a million subscribers, published over 100 hours of CDs and DVDs, and then sold everything in 2007 to have more time with his children. Since then, Kyle has become the author of multiple #1 bestsellers and provides coaching and consulting through the Kyle Wilson Inner Circle Mastermind.
Today, Kyle joins the podcast to share lessons from his partnership with Jim. You’ll learn how Kyle took Jim from being owed almost half a million dollars to doing over 100 speaking engagements a year to audiences of over 25,000. You’ll also find out how to rethink sales to empower your clients and customers, and discover why Jim, unlike many masters of sales, rarely got upset about the small stuff – and why you shouldn’t either.
- How Kyle discovered his entrepreneurial spirit at the age of 19 – and how it led him to partnering with Jim Rohn.
- What Kyle did to take Jim from speaking 20 times a year to around 4,000 people to doing over 100 speaking engagements annually to audiences of over 25,000.
- Why there are no new ideas – just new ways to synthesize and present them – and how your unique outlook can prove hugely valuable.
- Low hanging opportunities for entrepreneurs to implement to grow their businesses.
- Why customer conversion is a wheel – not a funnel – and how to stop chasing cold traffic when you can build meaningful relationships right now.
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Hal Elrod: Goal achievers, hello. It’s Hal Elrod. Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. And today I am talking with a gentleman who I met a few months ago. I was speaking at an event and the CEO of the company that brought me in to speak said “Hal, you have to meet someone. There’s someone I really want to introduce you to,” and it was the legendary Kyle Wilson. And I had heard of Kyle, like through the grapevine but we had never connected, we never talked. We got a chance to share an Uber to the airport that day, or actually, no, I’m sorry, not an Uber. He drove me to the airport that day, way better than an Uber and we got to talk and I said, “I would love to have you on the podcast.” He’s got a busy schedule. It took a few months but here we are. And I want to give you an intro of Kyle so you know who he is and why I’m so excited to chat with him.
Kyle Wilson, he is the founder of Jim Rohn International, also the founder of YourSuccess.com, KyleWilson.com. And Kyle has worked with top names in the personal development industry for decades. He had an 18-year business partnership with his friend and mentor, Jim Rohn. And if you don’t know, you’re going to find out today that Jim Rohn is one of my greatest mentors, although someone that I never met. Kyle also worked with Og Mandino, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Darren Hardy, Robin Sharma, and the list goes on and on and on. In fact, he’s the author of a book 52 Lessons I Learned From Jim Rohn and Other Great Legends and he’s partnered with Mark Victor Hansen, Jack Canfield on the Chicken Soup for the Entrepreneur’s Soul. So, Kyle for years, decades, like before I was doing anything that I’m doing now, he was filling huge seminar rooms. He had launched and published multiple personal development publications with over a million subscribers and he’s produced and published over 100 hours of DVD and CD programs.
And in 2007, he sold all his companies and became Mr. Mom for seven years. And now he does coaching and consulting. He hosts the Kyle Wilson Inner Circle Mastermind. He’s published multiple number one best-selling books, just the past eight months in fact. And Brian Tracy said that Kyle has made millions of dollars, Darren Hardy said Kyle is the go-to person for any marketing solution, and Jim Rohn said Kyle is his trusted partner and friend. And it is my pleasure and honor to bring on to the show, Kyle Wilson.
Hal Elrod: Kyle, how are you doing, my friend?
Kyle Wilson: I am great, Hal. Thanks so much. It’s an honor to be here.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Well, when I met you, I was so excited and no offense, but I was excited because I’m a huge Jim Rohn fan and you are, we’ll get into the story but I think you’re largely responsible for Jim Rohn making the impact that he made. You had played a huge part in that. So, it was an honor to meet you. So, let’s start with your story because you have an amazing story that’s kind of unlikely in terms of that you ended up doing what you did and working with whom you worked with. You never would have guessed that from your background. Can you share that with us?
Kyle Wilson: Sure, Hal. And by the way, it was so serendipitous how we met. Hearing you speak, I took so many notes. It was so powerful. You were a principle-based marketer and speaker. It’s like I really saw, “Wow, this is home.” I read your books but I did not know how deeply principled you were in your approach to everything. And then at the VIP lunch, you talked about Jim Rohn having such an impact on your life. So, to me, that was truly a serendipitous weekend. I thank Michael Blank for the introduction. But yes, Hal, I grew up in a small town of Vernon, Texas, 11,000 people, never went college, really had no mentors in business and my family wasn’t business-oriented, nor are they today. And also, by the way, I got in trouble. I wasn’t a good student. I actually got into drugs and made a lot of mistakes. At age 19, I did have a significant emotional experience literally turned my life around. It was a spiritual experience and I started my first real business.
I mean, I’d always sold stuff in the neighborhood, go knock on the doors and whatever it is, but at age 19, I started a little detail shop, small town. You have those where you can get your car cleaned up, and I’ve had a job in high school where I clean cars. And then that led to a service station and, Hal, I’m not even a car guy, but somehow, I got into owning a service station. And you know, the entrepreneurial spirit came out. Within two years I had 10 employees. We were open 24/7, but eventually, I’ve really had this calling to sell everything and to move to Dallas for whatever reason, start a new business similar to what I had. And I moved to Dallas at age 26. Within a year after some challenges with my new business startup, I went to a seminar. And the guy putting on the seminar, I met him and he offered me a job to come work for him and the job was basically you make 100 cold calls a day so I can really relate to your Cutco experience.
I had to make 200 calls a day and you’re trying to book two meetings a day to go to companies, give a presentation, give value but then sell tickets to an event. I took on the job. I was no good in the beginning but I became very good after about six months. And little did I know that would lead to meeting Jim Rohn and promoting Jim Rohn. And probably within two years, I was getting 2,000 people in a room and I would hire Jim Rohn, hire Brian Tracy, hire Og Mandino. And I did that for about four years, traveling around the country every 90 days putting on a new event. And again, you’re someone that can probably relate to that more than most, running those 440s if you will. It’s not even a marathon. It’s like a 440. It’s this huge charge to go to a city you’ve never been to and get 2,000 people. In 1993, I talked to Jim and him and his business partner or the partner owed him over 400,000 and that’s the second time Jim had a business that had failed pretty colossally through a partnership.
So, I said, “Jim, I think you’re the best speaker in the world. I’m a pretty good promoter. I know you’re not really game for a partnership, if you will, but listen, I would love to have exclusive rights to promote you and market you and, listen, it’ll be my company. I’ll pay for everything and I’ll pay you off the top every time we book an event. If we create products, we’ll do some sort of royalty deal but I’ll pay for everything.” And, Hal, that was a handshake that lasted 18 years. So, that was 1993. And so, just a powerful life-changing event for me.
Hal Elrod: So, the Jim Rohn partnership, that was preceded if I understand right with you working with Brian Tracy and maybe some others. What led into that?
Kyle Wilson: Yes. So, I would go fill up these rooms and I would hire speakers and I’ve been to a Brian Tracy, Zig Ziglar event and I thought, “Okay. Let me try and get two amazing speakers,” and my first big event was Brian Tracy and Og Mandino. And I think we had 1,300 people and this is after me doing little 200, 300-person events in Dallas and then Houston and San Antonio and working for Jerry. But eventually, I went out on my own, I had some different approaches I wanted to take to the marketplace. And I had this obsession, if you will and again, you talk about that in your newest book. And I had an obsession to get 2,000 people in the room to go from 300 to 2,000. And that involved in the equation I had to solve. You know, Jim Rohn will quote the Bible and he’ll say, “If you search, you’ll find,” but rarely does a good idea interrupt you, right? You have to go searching.
And I want the search, how do I get 2,000 people in the room? And sure enough, wow, within two years, I was getting 2,000 people in the room. And then Jim was my favorite. So, I started booking Jim. Brian and Jim was like the perfect combo. I mean, what a great one-day event. And sure enough, like in ‘93, when I made Jim that offer to take him to the marketplace. At the time he was doing about 20 speaking engagements for the marketplace. The rest was private with a company called Herbalife that had him on a retainer.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I remember that.
Kyle Wilson: Yeah. And I took him from 20 dates at 4,000 to that first year 110 dates at 10,000, eventually, 25,000 and it probably wouldn’t have happened without Brian because I had to leverage Brian to create a two-day event with him and Jim, that I can take into every marketplace and tell the promoter, “Listen, if you want to book Jim, I’ll give you exclusive rights in that marketplace. But if not, I’ll bring Brian and Jim in,” and excuse my language, but I told him, “I’ll kick your ass,” with the events they were doing. Because they were charging $250 for a Brian Tracy event and Tom Hopkins and I was charging $99 for Jim and Brian and Brian gave me that exclusive right to do that six months before or after an event. If it wasn’t for that, I don’t think I could have created the leverage to make all these connections with the promoters in each marketplace to now take Jim Rohn in as well.
Hal Elrod: Wow. So, well, I want to ask you about lessons that you learned from Jim. So, for me personally, and this is for anyone listening if you don’t know this, I know Kyle, when we met, I told you this but it was a single Jim Rohn quote that not only changed my life, the course of my life, but it gave birth to the Miracle Morning. And the quote is, you know, it’s in the Miracle Morning book. It’s in my keynote still and I’ll share what that is, “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.” For me, that made me realize, “Oh, if I want to achieve the success that I want in my life, I’ve got to focus not on achieving the success but on becoming the person that I need to be with the knowledge and skills and the qualities and characteristics of who I need to be to achieve that result, that goal, that dream, whatever it is for me. And that’s where I decided to create this morning ritual called the Miracle Morning and the rest is kind of history, as they say.
So, that lesson for me was if I had to, you know, I’ve learned tons from Jim, that probably was the most impactful. Were there some key lessons that you learned early on from your 18-year friend, mentor and business partner, Jim Rohn, that that made an impact for you and that would make an impact for the audience?
Kyle Wilson: You know, Hal, so many. In fact, I think you know I did a quote book just like in those beginning.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Kyle Wilson: Jim Rohn, I’m like, what’s Jim’s secret sauce? What will make him stand out? And I thought he’s so profound. He takes the complexity. He makes it simple. He does it with humor. He can say it so well. So, we created a quote book and out of that was over 1,000 quotes and got it down to 365. And eventually, a little gift book of 110 that move 6 million virally, because Jim is so prolific. And so, you could take almost any one of those and there’s a profound lesson but if I had to get it down to three or four, I think and again, just like the quote you mentioned, it’s also subtle, right? It sounds too easy. It sounds too simple. But the first one, again, just too simple for most people, right? They’re going to go try and find the fancy. But it was basically that the major key to your future is you. You know, it’s not the government. It’s not the economy. It’s not your relatives. It’s not the competition. It’s not any other factor. The major key and it’s similar, I think, to your quote as well because what it ultimately gets down to is we get to control what’s going to happen to our future.
Because the most important things that impact our future is not all these external things. It’s our thoughts. It’s the decision to read a book versus just watching mindless TV or to listen to a podcast. Our health decisions, right? Every part of the most important things that impact us we get to decide. In as simple as that sounds, I got to tell you, I was politically minded at the time. I was focused on all the things going on in the world and sure enough, as Jim would say, five years will go by and some people will have massive improvements and some won’t, and it won’t have to do with that. Two people in the same exact job, same exact circumstances can have totally different results, all based on the ability for us to impact our own life by these simple little decisions. I think the other thing that was so powerful for me was he said success is predictable.
And so, it’s like a garden and if you plant a seed, if you plant tomatoes, and do time, you’re going to get tomatoes. Now, you got to water them and you got to plant them at the right time and take good care of them and occasionally something will happen but more times than not, you’re going to get a predictable result. And that gave me faith and confidence to go pay the price. I know in Cutco, you paid a price. Writing your books, you paid a price. I too had this belief that if I went out and made the hundred calls and knocked on the doors and did the presentations that I could get a powerful result. And so, a lot of people again, you and I both see it out in the marketplace today, people are giving away the magic pill or the shortcut, right? What if I marry, hope for the lottery in business versus if you just go do the deal, you’re guaranteed success more times than not, not every time, but more times than not that puts things in your favor.
So again, it was just a whole different approach. And again, I bought into it. I had the faith. If I plant the seeds in due time, I’m going to get the result. And here’s the cool thing is when you do it that way, it has a compounding effect, right? Everything is, again, it’s just like having a vineyard or having a pecan tree. As it continues to grow, you’re going to get a compounding growth and compounding effect. And I call it principle-based marketing and principle-based how you approach building a business. So, those are two. Let me give you a third one that’s really powerful
Hal Elrod: Please do.
Kyle Wilson: Jim said, “If you want to be successful, learn to bring value to the marketplace.” He said, “If you want to be wealthy, learn to bring value to valuable people.” And again, he didn’t say learn to network. He didn’t say learn to stay in touch. He said learn to bring value. And I really took that to heart. It’s like how can I bring value? And by you having a podcast, by you writing a book, you bring value to the marketplace, and that allows you to attract valuable people. And so, that’s an encouragement I always have for people is find ways to create platforms, to bring value, or create a product, create a better mousetrap that people really want, find the greatest way to bring value. And so, I ran with that as well. I wasn’t focused on connecting or networking. I was focused on how can I bring massive value.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. You know, listening to this, I am reminded there are no new ideas, right, which it can be frustrating as an author too, because you have what you think is a brilliant idea. You’re writing a book and you put it in the book, and maybe you’ve experienced this, right? And then you find it somewhere else in a book that was written 30 years ago or 1,000 years ago. You go, “No. How did he plagiarize me, but he did it 40, you know. Something’s not making sense.” But I say that because, you know, I don’t know if it’s just the wisdom in the ether but three of the quotes that I have written in my books. The first one so you said the Jim philosophy your quote was the major key to your future is you. Not the government, not your family, nothing other than you. Well, in the first quote that I ever wrote for my first book was, “The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you have the power to change anything in your life.” And I go, it’s a different way of saying the same thing Jim was saying decades before.
The second one, you said success is predictable, right? That really gives you confidence because, well, if I do the things that will produce the success, I’ll get the result. And for me, I’ve always said that every result is preceded by a process. And if you commit to that process without being emotionally attached to your results along the way, your success is inevitable, which is just a longer – basically Jim was better at saying what I’m trying to say. I just take more words to say it. And then the last but not least, you said if you want to be successful, learn to bring value to the marketplace and I’m trying to think of how I phrase that in one of my quotes, which is, oh, the more value that you add to the lives of others, the more valuable you become to others. And Zig Ziglar said, “The key to get everything you want is help enough other people get what they want.”
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