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9 Lessons For Winning More In Business

Brief Overview

It’s my birthday! So in this episode, I look back on my career and share the top 9 lessons for winning more in business.

Lesson #1: The Work You Do Today Will Set You Up for the Future [01:00]

When I was a teenager, I worked my butt off! I grew up in the middle of nowhere, and in the middle of nowhere, there’s lots of farms. So, I worked on farms. Tobacco farms, ginseng farms, fruit farms, you name it! It was a lot of hard work, but for a teenager, I was able to earn a some good money—which is what paid my way through university. All the money I earned, put me so far ahead that I didn’t graduate with any debt. So, the big lesson learned during that time frame is that the work you do today, will set you up for the future.

Lesson #2: Get Clear on What You Want [02:22]

In my university days, I used to work for a company called Trojan Sports Marketing. I was in charge of a 3 person team. But what really inspired me was the Founder of the company, Mark Harrison. The company was working with huge brands, and he had built this business from scratch. This made me realize that we have the capability to create whatever we want. This was one of the early seeds of entrepreneurship for me.

During this same time period, I was a part of a soccer team that won 2 national championships. And what I realized is that winning happens because of what you do every single day and not just what you do on game day. It taught me patience, belief, and the power of momentum. At the beginning of the season, we lost our first game 6-1. We got smoked! But, over the course of the season, we had completely shifted as a team. Not only did we rack up a whole bunch of wins, but we also ended up winning the provincial and national championships.

This taught me to think really long term, to have a big picture strategy and to bring that down to the day to day. The big lesson for that second chapter of my career was to get clear on what you want, because with a good strategy the opportunities are endless.   

Lesson #3: Trust Your Instincts – AND – Patience Now, Win Later [05:34]

I made a really bold decision that changed the trajectory of my life. I made the decision that I would not enter the corporate world after university! Despite being offered a super lucrative opportunity, I decided I wanted to make my own path. At first, I ended up becoming a motivational speaker because I was super passionate about the subject of creativity. I started sharing my message with high school and college students. I was working hard, but it was tough and there was only so many speeches I could give in a given year before burning out.

Eventually I went to a seminar to learn how to grow my speaking business. It expanded my mind and when I applied what I learned, I immediately grew my business. Overall, in this chapter of my life, here’s what I learned. Firstly, trust your instincts. Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself. Secondly, patience now, win later. I was willing to let go of making a bunch of money in the beginning, so that I could learn and expand my capabilities.

Lesson #4: Words Matter [11:04]

I put my business on hold and decided to move down to Mississippi to embark on an opportunity as an operational manager for a seminar company. Not only did I earn a bunch of money, but I learned SO MUCH. I also developed some incredible relationships with people who I’m still connected with. Guys like Russell Brunson, Jeff Walker, David Fry and Ray Edwards. They all became great friends. Also during this time, I invested $16,000 USD to join my very first mastermind group. Which was almost half my salary!

Through the group, I started learning how to market and sell products online. And so, eventually I decided to apply some of the learning’s. I made my very first online sale—$07.95! It was one of the most significant moments of my career. It helped me see that it was possible. I was able to create a product, and sell it online to someone who had no idea who I was. The big lesson I took from this chapter of my life, is that words matter. It doesn’t matter if you’re selling something online or in person, if you’re engaging in a conversation or giving a presentation, I learned that words matter and just how impactful they are to our businesses.  

Lesson #5: Try Stuff & Fail Fast [14:24]

I decided to leave the seminar company and venture out on my own. When I left, I got a call from Alex Mandossian. He was a regular speaker at the event I used to attend for the mastermind group, so we developed a friendship. He asked if I had ever thought about being an affiliate manager? Anyway, turns out, he wanted me to become his affiliate manager for an upcoming launch. So I accepted his offer and looked at this as another big learning opportunity.

With this opportunity, I got to see behind the curtain of many 7-figure launches. I got to see what was really working behind the scenes. Before you know it, I had many more people reaching out to me wanting me to manage their affiliate programs. So, I was getting paid to learn what these people were doing with their big launches. The big lesson from this chapter is, try stuff and fail fast. Being a part of all of these launches, I got to see how all these entrepreneurs would try all kinds of stuff, just to see what would work.

Lesson #6: Stress Sucks! [17:01]

After years of managing affiliate programs and being very profitable with it, I knew it wasn’t the business model for me. My schedule was dictated by my clients schedule and we were ALWAYS in launch mode. I knew this business model would eventually kill me. So, what this chapter of my life taught me, was that stress sucks. Moving forward I wanted to build a business that minimized stress.

Lesson #7: One Idea Executed Really Well Can Serve A LOT of People [19:26]

This was a BIG move in my career. In 2008 I developed a partnership with a few others and we created a platform called Wishlist Member. It completely took off! In month 1 we did $6,000 in sales with no marketing. In month 2 we did $13,000. And in month 3, it jumped to $20,000. I knew this was the business. I ultimately ended up letting go all of my clients and focused 100% of my attention on growing this company. It gave me an opportunity to learn A LOT about the world of memberships.

In 2014 I decided it was time to move on to other things. When I left Wishlist Member, we were powering over 60,000 online communities and membership sites and generating millions and millions of dollars. And the greatest part, was how smoothly the exit went. The big lesson… one idea executed really well can serve a lot of people and can make you a lot of money.  

Lesson #8: The More You Grow, The More Your Business Will Depend On Great Leadership [23:31]

Eventually I sold my shares in Wishlist Member. During this time, I partnered with Michael Hyatt. Michael was super tired of always being on the road. He wanted to leverage what he was doing in way that wouldn’t take him away from his wife and kids so often. So, I was able to help him.

We partnered together and created a membership site called Platform University. One of the big reasons why I wanted to move forward with that partnership had nothing to do with money. While I knew we would do well financially, to me, this was just another one of those big opportunities for me to learn—more specifically as it related to leadership.

Michael was the former CEO of one of the biggest publishing companies in the world. I knew at some point, I needed to learn those skills if I wanted to take whatever company I’m leading to the next level. We launched Platform University and in the first year grew it from 0-2500 members, 4500 in year 2, 6000 in year 3, and when I eventually left that partnership, we were at 8,000 members.

Later, Michael invited me to partner on other areas of his business. I got to watch how he led his team, how he empowered them, how he guided them, and how he stayed hyper aligned to his vision for his life. I saw how to become a great leader.

Lesson #9: My Long-term Success Depends on the Quality and Volume of Client Stories that I Get to Share  [29:46]

This brings me to chapter 9—the chapter that I’m currently in. After exiting my partnership with Michael (another smooth departure) I knew I was ready to teach all of the things I knew about growing successful membership sites, to A LOT more people. At first, I started off with smaller workshops where I could share my experience and see how it would work for others. I realized quickly that I had a lot of value to give.

I eventually ended up partnering with my brother in-law and one other individual to launch a new membership site. Our first launch was a MONSTER success. We did $3.35M for the first launch of our signature course called Tribe, and the overall company did $6M in the first 10 months of business.

This period of time has also been one of the biggest moments of clarity for me when it comes to business and marketing strategy. What I realized is that I absolutely love sharing the stories of our Tribe members. There are so many incredible entrepreneurial stories in a wide variety of markets who are just taking their ideas and putting them into action and serving thousands and thousands of people.

This has been one of the most fulfilling chapters of my career. I feel like I’ve learned so much through the years, and now I finally have a platform to share it all with others. What I realized is that my success depends on the success of the stories that we get to create and share.

I certainly don’t have everything figured out. There’s still a long way to go. There’s still a lot to learn. But after 38 years, I’m very grateful for all that has happened. Thank You!

Memorable Quotes

If you want to grow your business, you have to have great leadership.” – Stu McLaren

If I’m not generating great clients stories, something’s broken.” – Stu McLaren


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