In December 2006 I attended “The Turning Point” by Marshall Sylver. At the suggestion of a trusted mentor, Skip Lacour, I invested a few hundred dollars to attend an event I knew nothing about. Marshall, a hypnotist and self-proclaimed millionaire with a flamboyant swagger, seemed like an entertainer, though my expectations were low for any value beyond that. Skip Lacour, 6-time national drug-free bodybuilding champion, author, writer, and motivational speaker has worked with Marshall on his seminar circuit that travels the country. Skip is a legendary athlete that I admired and wanted to emulate. His spartan dedication and resilience in such a thankless sport has given him plenty of street cred. In truth, I believed that meeting Skip would be more valuable than anything Marshall could ever teach me. Both would prove to be invaluable influences and resources in shaping my future.
The morning of the seminar came and I was sitting in the first few rows to the left of the stage. Projector screens lined each side of the stage. A clip from The Karate Kid flashed and it was a scene where Mr. Miyagi teaches Daniel Larusso how to sand a floor, paint a fence, and “wax, wax.” At the beginning of the scene, Daniel begs Mr. Miyagi to teach him karate. Mr. Myagi demands “I say, you have, NO questions.” Mr. Miyagi puts Daniel through 3 grueling days of thankless manual labor with only a few minutes of instruction on how to even complete the tasks. Daniel does not see a lesson in any job. At the end of the scene he is angry and argues with his sensei to teach him how to fight, not a slave. Mr. Miyagi unleashes a flurry of kicks and punches at Daniel who unwittingly blocks each one using the basic lessons he’s learned from sanding floors, painting fences, and stripping wax on wax. With the glazed look of a humiliated teenager, he stands silently and respectfully before his teacher. The movements became part of him. He didn’t have to think about how to react. They bow to each other and the scene ends.
In order to create an abundant life, we must adopt powerful actions and behaviors and transform ourselves to a level of unconscious competence. These qualities and characteristics must be etched into our being. As the projectors fade to white, Marshall appears from the back of the room and turns on over the speakers. “I say, you do, no question” echoes from the surround sound. Marshall has a unique and powerful voice and makes a massive entrance. Once again, he roars, “I say, you have, no questions asked.” Dressed in a silver suit that screams “made to order,” he walks to the front of the room and stands on stage with a commanding and dominating presence. He speaks in a tonality and pitch that I have never heard before. His voice is so clear, suggestive and impressive that everyone in the room is under full attention. In that moment, I knew I was in for an incredible, life-changing weekend. This man had something to offer me, and I took notes.
Was this just another “ra ra” session? Or would this really help me transition from a chiropractic student to a successful entrepreneur and leader in my profession? During those two days in 2006, I learned lessons that cannot be undone. “A mind once expanded cannot be contracted,” is one of Marshall’s symbolic phrases. He was right. Once I raised my level of thinking to this higher level, I experienced a shift in consciousness. The bell rang. The room was filled with more than 1,000 people who paid $600 to $1,500 to attend. He asked “Did anyone do the math” to emphasize the amount of money he made in just two days of work. For most it is unimaginable. We were systematically taught to understand and believe that success is possible and that he possesses the tools necessary to bridge the gap from the ordinary to the extraordinary. Then I realized that Marshall was not successful because of genetics or environment. He grew up with 8 brothers and sisters, without a father and a mother who worked 3 jobs to raise them. Marshall was a product of focus, vision and mass action. Millionaires and billionaires are taking action. They are taking a big risk when others are sitting idly by waiting for better times and calmer waters.
I was excited to see Marshall on stage. I felt my heart pounding and my entrepreneurial emotions stirring. His communication skills were sharp and articulate and it was impossible not to feel challenged. It was like he was talking to me and it hurt a lot through me. He wanted us to embrace those emotions and do something about them. People always buy on emotions and back up their emotions with logic. He would present various offers for other weekend events and seminars ranging in price from $5,000 for a millionaire mentoring program to $30,000 for personal training in his 12,000 square foot mansion. People with credit cards in hand literally ran to the table spending thousands and thousands of dollars to get more of what he had to teach. Including myself. As a penniless student, I realized I still had a lot to learn. With no clear way of getting the money back, I put $5,000 on my credit card to go into the Millionaire Mentoring Program (MMP). This was the biggest single purchase of my life and it was the day I learned to take a huge risk. When we can control our state during periods of incredible stress, taste the fear and digest the anxiety, we grow FAST! That weekend I broke a board with my bare hand. I ate fire without getting burned. In MMP I walked barefoot across an 8′ bed of broken glass. The lessons were ingrained. Follow the instructions. Study the patterns of people who have been successful before. They can be reproduced. Control your breathing. Look beyond your target. Trust your coach. Believe that the impossible is possible. The biggest lesson was to realize now that the only thing that could stop me from doing the impossible was my beliefs. Did I believe I could eat fire? Was it possible to walk on broken glass? Where did my limiting beliefs come from? Once again mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers and big pharma.
That weekend spent learning Marshall’s insider secrets to massive wealth, influence and success correlates well with a lesson I learned elsewhere called “Be, Do, Have.” As a 25-year-old college student, I wanted what Marshall “had.” Sorry for the bad grammar, you’ll see what I mean in no time. I wanted to “own” a big mansion on the beach in San Diego. I envisioned myself in a private jet flying all over the world to speak and empower people to take big risks like I did. I should have had the Rolls Royce against which he stood so arrogantly in the photo!
Steven Covey teaches that you should always start with a goal in mind. First, decide exactly what you want, then create the background words. Unclear targets are not hit, so we have to be precise. I mapped out this elaborate life for myself on paper to determine what I wanted to “have.”
The first question I should have asked was who is Marshall. Too often our desire to “have” disappoints us in what is needed to get there in the first place. Too often we do things wrong. How many people say they want to make a million dollars this year? How many people would actually be willing to work that hard or want to embrace the kind of stress it takes to get there? We forget that there is order in the process. In order to “have”, we must first “be”, then “do”. Only then can we “have”. We are led to believe that we must “do,” so that we can “have,” and then we will “be.” We’re sorry, but it doesn’t work this way. So who is Marshall? What he “be”. That’s the fundamental question I had to answer for myself in order to understand how to become successful like him and not become him. Is it safe to say that he is a very trustworthy person? That. Does he project great value? That. Is he comfortable accepting huge amounts of money for his products and services? Absolutely!! Does he believe with all his heart that he is helping his students? No doubt. Is it also fair to say that it might be difficult to become a successful multi-millionaire without first raising my own confidence, worth and comfort by accepting money for my extraordinary services? No doubt!
It is clear that Marshall “becomes” confident, influential, persuasive and remarkably comfortable receiving money. When he sells, he sells as if he is doing the customer a favor. But what is his day like? Keep in mind that millionaires and billionaires think differently. They “do” differently. First of all, they don’t waste time. If they’re worth $1,000 an hour, they’re not doing a $100 job themselves. Very simply, they don’t exchange pennies for dollars. His first advice was to find a maid. Stop wasting time folding towels and vacuuming. The rich have the same 24 hours as the poor, they just use their time differently. They squeeze the juice every day. Delegate everything to create the most opportunities to work on your own wealth vehicle. Stop getting bogged down in the little things. Why is Marshall paying $50,000 for a private flight? His answer, my answer, and your answer: “What is the most efficient use of my time?” He can’t stand arriving at the airport 2 hours early, waiting in security lines, only to have his luggage lost. He likes to take off with the seat back, the table down and a drink in hand. Private flying saves him time, reduces stress and allows him to be more creative and productive. His time is so valuable that private flying allows him to earn more money.
To “have” you must first clearly define what you want. What do you want? More money? Great wealth? How much? More free time? What would you do with it? A healthier life? How would it feel and how would you do things differently? Maybe you just want less pain? What does a person with less pain do differently than you? Do you think they eat, move and think differently? I guarantee! Do you want to see Europe, Hawaii, maybe Australia? Define it, see your future and start LOOKING for what you want now. Start studying people who have what you want and ask yourself who they are. People don’t hit unclear targets. We were deceived as children. Our mothers, fathers, teachers, preachers and big pharma lied to us. They thought they were helping us and protecting us. They raised us to be good boys and girls. They taught us to mind our manners and do as we are told. We learned that when you are sick, you take a pill or drink some medicine. When you get hurt or get really sick, you go to surgery. What were we taught about money? “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” — Do you think we are rich? “Do you think we are made of money.” – We don’t live like that.
We are programmed to be poor. We have been unconsciously taught not to take responsibility for our own health, wealth or future. We learned that we have to go to school, grow up, get a degree so that we can “hopefully” find a “good job” working for someone else. I wonder what other people’s mom and dad taught them growing up? I bet it was different than you and me. Has anyone ever told us that we should grow up and create? Did they ever say, “Don’t go to college so you can get a job. Grow up and be awesome!” We never got a permit! “They” never said it was okay for us to think for ourselves, to create and become abundantly rich, abundantly healthy and forever in control of our lives.
Marshall learned this lesson the hard way. He didn’t “have” anything growing up. He knew that he HAD to change in order for things to change. He had to “be” someone different on a fundamental level. People like Tony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, Steven Covey, Oprah Winfrey, Donald Trump, Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have also realized this. They understand that our experiences shape our beliefs and that our beliefs dictate our behavior. In order to change our beliefs about money, health and happiness, we need to change our thoughts. We must adopt more of the qualities, actions and beliefs of those we wish to emulate.
As an exercise, outline on a piece of paper everything you want to have in life. Then clearly define who the person who has these things “to be” is. Write what they “do”. Remember, success leaves traces. There is no reason to complicate the process by inventing what has already been done for you. Finally, ask yourself why you want to “have”. Without a clear why driving you, your likelihood of success and abundance is little more than hope. Hope is often followed by little or no action. “Be”, “Do” and indeed you can “Have” whatever you want in any aspect of your life. I am Dr. Shaun Stuto and I wish you an abundant life.