The power of hypnosis could be one of the most powerful forces on the planet. Ultimately, everything is hypnosis because everything is what we perceive it to be, and all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, just the same as all learning is self-learning. Marshall Sylver is a respected business consultant and a world class hypnotist. Marshall says while we are 100% in control of our thoughts and emotions, we are not 100% in control of our environment or our world. The one that we’re dealing with in the world are people that are not willing to be responsible. The first thing we’ve got to do to create a life of purpose is we’ve got to be willing to take full responsibility for our current circumstance. Marshall shares his story of how he went from living in a renovated chicken coop to a beach front property using the power of hypnosis.
The Power Of Hypnosis with Marshall Sylver
The value of anything in this world is partially subjective, partially practical. Gold has intrinsic value but mostly its value is subjective. It has been used as currency for thousands of years with little practical application. Silver, on the other hand, has a practical application in many aspects of product manufacturing, healthcare anesthetics. There’s one type of silver that’s the most valuable of all, and you’re about to discover a silver more valuable than any metal or substance because of its influence on the outcome of your life.
My guest is a respected business consultant, sought by Fortune 500 companies and happens to be a world-class hypnotist performing on major stages in Las Vegas. He’s been a guest on Howard Stern Show, David Letterman Show and happens to have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. I’m about to introduce the most valuable silver you will ever know. Welcome, Marshall Sylver, to the show.
Mitch, that is without a doubt, in 33 years of teaching people and 49 years of being on stage, the very best introduction I have ever received. Thank you.
My pleasure. I love taking the time to get to know my guests and crafting this little story that warms my audience up to exactly what we’re going to do. We have a big plan, Marshall. We’re going to change some lives. As our audience knows, I love to start out by going back to the beginning because we all start from the same place. Marshall, give us an idea of how you got started.
I was born and raised on a farm in Michigan. We had no running water. We had no electricity. Often we had little, sometimes no food. Twice my nine siblings, my mom and I were homeless. One time we lived out of a of a motel room that the people were kind enough to give us for the 30 days. The second time we lived out of a station wagon. The second home I lived in in a cold Michigan winter, the local community came together and they realized we were going to die in the car. They renovated an old chicken coop. At seven years old, I moved into the chicken coop house. It had running water, it had electricity. Other than the clucking from time to time, when I get happy, no adverse side effects.
I’ve got to ask you the question. Do you love eggs?
I do. I love eggs. I love chicken. I’ve had pet chickens through the course of my lifetime as pets. These days, my life is very different, based on the things we’re going to talk about on your show. I am at my vacation home, which is right on the ocean in Southern California. I am looking out my window watching the waves crash on the edge of my property. My main residence is in Las Vegas, it’s 17,000 square feet, we call it Prosperity Palace. It’s been a long, amazing run. I’m very grateful. Here we are.
Marshall, I have to ask you because a lot of what you have now seems unreal to most people. You went from the chicken coop very quickly in your story to your beachfront property. Give us a little bit of what happened in between, where was the switch that flipped that made all the difference for you?
I am at my core a hypnotist. Through the course of the last 33 years, I’ve realized that ultimately everything is hypnosis. That ultimately everything is what we perceive it to be. Back in my teens, I always worked hard. I would hold down two or three jobs. I was at my high school. The high school had brought a stage hypnotist in to do a performance. He came in, he did the show and because I was a magician as a young kid, I liked getting on stage. I volunteered for the show, got up on stage. At one point he gave me a suggestion that when he said the words Sonny Boy, I would stand up from my seat in the audience, I’d walked back to the stage, I’d fall on my own butt, I’d roll my pant legs up above my knees, I’d climb on his lap, I’d put my thumb in my own mouth and I’d say, “Sing it again, daddy.”
I remember going back to my seat thinking to myself, “There is no way in the world I’m going to do this.” I am already self-conscious. I’m socially awkward because I’ve worn my sister’s clothes to school for the most part all of my life. I’m not going to embarrass myself in front of the other kids. Yet I go back to my seat in the audience and I felt almost like a magnet was pulling me back to the stage. He says the word Sonny Boy, I stand up from my seat, I walked back to the stage, I fall on my butt, roll up my pant legs, climb on his lap, put my thumb in my own mouth and I say, “Sing it again, daddy.” It was one of those profound turning points for me because I went home that night and I thought to myself, “Was I actually hypnotized or was I just doing what he told me to do?”
I thought about it. I thought, “What if he told you to be confident?” and just because he had told me to be confident, I became confident. What if you told me to get off drugs? At the time I was a drug addict. I thought, “What if he told me to go out and be a multimillionaire?” In that moment I realized that if he had told me that and I believe it to be true and I went out and took those fearless actions, that’s the result I would’ve produced. I also realized in that moment if that was hypnosis, which it was, then this could be one of the most powerful forces on the planet. It took me a little while. I was sixteen then, I hypnotized by first subjects at seventeen. I hypnotized three people in a row. The first was a girl that wouldn’t have anything to do with me. After I hypnotized her, she wouldn’t leave me alone. The other two subjects were just incidental people.
What happened though is my fourth, fifth, and sixth subject that I went to hypnotize, they didn’t respond. Even though I had had success with three subjects, the next three didn’t respond and I just let it go. I said, “Maybe I lost my power.” I didn’t fully understand what it was all about. Fast forward, I’m 21 to 23 years old. I go through eight jobs and eight apartments in two years because I was searching for who I was. I was searching for my legacy. I was searching for what would likely be my profession for a lifetime. I was doing some DJ work for a mobile DJ company and we would do wedding receptions. We worked on the military base and I was making $250 for four hours of my time, which was decent money. I’m also doing something that I liked. There was another guy that worked with me and suddenly he disappeared.
One time I was doing a military base show and I saw him. I saw a poster of him. Turns out he’d become a stage hypnotist. I asked him, I said, “How’s that working out?” He said, “It’s working out great. I was making $250 for four hours. Now I make $2,500 for one hour.” I asked him where he studied. He told me where he studied. I tracked down the guy. I went to his seminar and at 23 years old, I invested every dime I had, $3,000 that I’d been saving for dependable transportation and invested it in the course. It was a five-day, ten hour a day course and within half a day of watching this master, the best in the world at what he did, I realized that I knew what he was doing. I then learned, I knew that I knew. As they say, the rest is history. That $3,000 investment I made 33 years ago, has come back as over $250 million at this point in my career. As we’re launching some large projects, it will come back as over $1 billion in revenue to me.
I want to address the issue of hypnosis itself. Let’s clear this up right up front. When you talked about clucking like a chicken or when you talked about a hypnotist making you do something, would you agree that the art of hypnosis is to get somebody to do something that either they don’t want to do or don’t think they can do? What is your feeling about the definition of hypnosis in that regard?
You said something, and again, I’m semanticist. The exact words that people used to say a lot. You said, “Get people to do something they don’t want to do.” Certainly, hypnosis gives you influence and sometimes we don’t even know what’s in our best interest until after we’ve done it. In fact, sometimes people believe something is completely against their best interest, like buying something for example and later on, they come to find out it was the smartest and best thing they could’ve done. Yes, my job is to assist people in making changes to their subconscious programming, so that they believe in a different reality and act accordingly. If I were to program you to think the thoughts of a millionaire, to hold the belief that a millionaire holds regarding money or about life, you would then see the world through those eyes. You would approach it in that way and you would produce a similar result. There’s no way around that.
It’s a shortcut in a sense because the old saying, “Act as if and then you will,” is still requiring someone to get the courage to act as if. What you’re saying is using hypnosis, you influence the direction of a person’s actions in a positive way or at least we hope you influence them in a positive way.
What you just said is completely true. My job is to not teach a person. My job is to help them become a new person. Rather than being a popper trying to be a millionaire, to help the person recognize they are indeed with absolute certainty a millionaire, even if the money has not yet been deposited in their bank account.
You also said something about going and attending a course about learning how to hypnotize others. What did you do to hypnotize yourself? How did that take place?
Ultimately, all hypnosis is self-hypnosis, just the same as all learning is self-learning. You can have a brilliant teacher and if the student is unwilling to learn, they never will learn. If they just resist the learning process, they won’t learn. Hypnosis is the same way. Ultimately, every single person is in 100% control of their thoughts and emotions, even if the thought or emotion was to give control to somebody else, that’s the individual’s choice. Once again, my job is to figure out where somebody wants to go, through objective reality, figure out where they are regardless of where they think they are and help them get to their destination.
You said that people are responsible 100% for their thoughts and their emotions. It doesn’t look that way when we look around the world today. We see our jails filled with people who of course were all innocent, if you ask them they’ll tell you that. How does that translate from the idea of being 100% in control of your thoughts and emotions to doing something different that may be a risk for you, in a positive way, to advance yourself? How does that happen?
While we are 100% in control of our thoughts and emotions, we are not 100% in control of our environment or our world. You mentioned the people in prison. Yes, some of them are innocent and are there wrongfully. Many that claim to be innocent, of course, are not. The one that we’re dealing within the world in a huge way is the world is filled with people that are not willing to be responsible, that they’re always the victim. They scream and they marched for questionable causes, all the while unwilling to be 100% responsible for their own situation. The first thing that we’ve got to do to create our life on purpose is we’ve got to be willing to take full responsibility for our current circumstance.
I was married twice before I met my one true wife. I met her in Boston, Massachusetts at a seminar that had over a thousand people. I had been married twice before. My first marriage was when I was young and we ended up being friends after we divorced. We just realized we weren’t right for each other. My second marriage, I was married for eleven months and the divorce took four and a half years because my ex-wife was a very selfish human being. She was being paid spousal support by me, so she was making thousands of dollars on a monthly basis for doing nothing. I was paying her attorney’s fees, I was paying my attorney’s fees and unbeknownst to me, she was dating the judge. The divorce took four and a half years.
Here’s the thing though, even though it was very unpleasant, it cost me millions of dollars. I married the girl and nothing can take away my responsibility. I wouldn’t have been in that circumstance if I hadn’t asked her to marry me and then followed through and finish the marriage. There were signs that it wasn’t the right thing to do, yet I’m the one that did that action. If I could go back, would I change things? Probably not, because now I am married to the most amazing human being. I know that at least part of me had to go through the previous experience to acknowledge what I have and therefore, I treat the woman that is my one true wife, the woman that I’m married to, Erica, I treat her in a way that the old Marshall never could have.
You used the word responsibility. I’d like to substitute that word, in my world, we call that accountability, personal accountability. I am personally accountable first to myself that means that I know and must be aware of exactly what my actions have as an effect in my life and the lives of others. Tell me what you think about how people now can change their lives and in fact grow their business much faster than they’re currently doing it?
I have an expression that I use, “If your phone isn’t ringing, pick it up.” If you’re not getting reactive business, get proactive business. Ask yourself the question in any given moment, “What is powerful, productive and positive and leads me toward what I want?” Do that action now and that some is better than none. You may not be able to conquer the whole thing at one time, yet there is something, even a small action that you could do right now, that will move you closer to where you want to go. I was consulting with a client of mine who’s going through some challenging times. They are stressed and they told me that at times they’re depressed. I said, “When you find yourselves in those moments, do something that you know you can do successfully. Even if it means organizing your sock drawer, even if it means clearing your desk, even if it means taking the trash to the curb. Do one thing that you know you can do well that nobody can interfere, and then do another one and then pretty soon you’ll realize you’re not in hell anymore.
Yes, the distinction of the semantics between responsibility and accountability, in my experience, there is no right or wrong. There’s consequence. I didn’t have kids with my first two wives. I have three beautiful babies now. One about to turn seven, one that’s five and one that’s three. When I met my wife, I was instantly smitten with her. After we started dating, she asked, “Do you think you’ll ever want to be married again?” I said, “Absolutely not. I have no reason for that.” She said, “Okay.” She didn’t get angry. She didn’t say, “Okay, next. That’s what I want.” She just stayed joyful. I remember a couple of weeks after that, we were at an event, somebody else’s event that I was speaking at. The speaker said, “I’ve never seen you so happy Marshall. I’ve never seen you so much in love.” I said, “I’ve never been this happy or this much in love.” He said, “When are you guys getting married?” I said, “None of your business,” and my bride put her hand on my shoulder and she said, “Whether Marshall and I are ever legally married or not, we will be together for a lifetime.”
It was her uttering those words that I looked over at her and I realized it wasn’t marriage that I was opposed to. It was divorce. What happens is there are a-ha moments, I call them turning points, where we get it. We understand the reason that we were dragging our feet or the reason we weren’t succeeding at something. I’ve made a lot of money and I live an amazing lifestyle that I am extremely grateful for. There are many people that do things similar to what I do that have not created that financial paradigm or financial reality. It’s not that it’s not possible, it’s that they look at the world in a different way.
As a performer, I love being on stage. I’ve been on stage since I was seven years old. I have headlined on the main stage of most major casinos in Las Vegas. My last run was at a place called Planet Hollywood on the main stage of the theater there. 1,500 seat, a gorgeous showroom. I had gone away for ten years, had been doing some other endeavors, and I decided that I wanted to basically retire in Vegas with my big production show where I appear on stage in full-sized helicopter and I hypnotize people to walk on broken glass or make their bodies human staircase will I walk up them with their necks or their ankles on supports.
Before the show opened, I started interacting with some of the mid-level management people. I don’t judge people based on how much they earn. I judge people based on how they treat other people, including myself. I was reminded very quickly the reason I wasn’t there for ten years and the show opened up. Two weeks into the run, my mother died. At the end of the month, I had done something in that showroom that had never been done since the showroom was built. We had turn away business, we were sold out. The idea was that I was going to be there on an indefinite run and at the end of the month the landlord, who sublets from Caesar’s, came to me and said, “You did something we haven’t been able to do in ten years. You sold the showroom out.” I said, “Thank you.” He said, “We’re glad to have you here. We’re going to have to bump your rent a little bit.” I said, “Really? To what?” He said, “Double.” I said, “Okay.” He said, “We’ll also have to get six months in advance.” That was definitely not in the agreement.
My own experience has been that when you encounter painful resistance too much painful resistance, and too much ignorant resistance. When there’s resistance for no reason, it’s nature’s way, it’s God’s way of telling you, “Maybe you’re not where you’re supposed to be.” The reverse is also true. When things align in such spectacular ways that it has to be a gift, then it’s also something that even if you get minor resistance, you say, “No, keep pressing. We’re in the right place at the right time.” Part of the responsibility is the thing you described, sensory acuity. Not only recognizing what’s going on in your world, also recognizing the impact that you’re having. When you’re on the right path, doors fly open. When you’re on a path that maybe you thought was the right path yet it wasn’t the right path, you’ll find doors shutting down. It’s important to practice perfection, believing that finding your life less than perfect is a waste of time. It is what it is. It is your life. Let it unfold.
You were talking about other people who do what you do and you said it’s because of the way you look at your life. The question is, how can we change the way we look at our lives to bring more of what we want? More prosperity, more love, more freedom into our own world now?
First and foremost, money cures most things. You show me somebody that’s wealthy, I’ll show you somebody that probably has a good relationship to money. They think money is a good thing. They believe that that money can take care of good things. They like to sell things. I teach in one of my seminars a concept called velocity. Velocity, as it pertains to economics, is the speed at which money changes hands. Let’s imagine that I’m in Vegas, it’s late and my family’s at the beach house. I realize that I’d like to go be with my family. It’s too late to call in my pilot. I don’t want to put him on the spot like that so I’m just going to drive. It’s a nice drive and I figure I’ll meditate for the four hours it takes me to get from my home in Vegas to Carlsbad.
I get on the road and it’s Electric Daisy Carnival Weekend, which is a big dance thing. 125,000 people there, many of them from Southern California. It’s bumper to bumper traffic and a drive that should take me four hours, I’m six hours into the drive and I’m only three quarters of the way there. I need to stop. I either need to get a room or I need to get some coffee. I need to get something or I’m not going to make the rest of the drive. I pull over this little flea bite town. The town, I’ve never stopped that before because there’s nothing there. There is a motel which is actually an otel because the letter M is broken on the sign. There’s an otel there, there’s a bar and grill there. There is a grocery store and there’s a gas station auto shop, that’s all. There’s nothing else there.
I pull into the otel, I go up to the counter and there are no cars in the parking lot, which lets me know there’s nobody there. The owner of the motel is behind the counter and I say, “How much to stay in your motel?” He said, “It’s $100 a night.” I look at him and I say, “$100 a night? How can you do that?” He said, “We’re the only game in town,” and he sounds remarkably like Jack Nicholson from The Shining, so I’m a little bit concerned. I said, “I tell you what,” I pull a $100 bill out of my pocket, I put it on the counter, I said, “Let me check out the room. If it’s suitable, I’ll stay. You keep the money. If it’s not, I’m just going to come back, get my money, get a cup of coffee and be on my way.” He said, “Sure.”
I no sooner get out of eyeshot. He grabs the money, races across the street to the bar and says to the owner of the bar, “Mac, this should take care of my tab in full.” The owner of the bar takes the money, hands it to the guy seated across the bar, drinking at his bar. He says, “Billy, this is for the groceries I bought at your grocery store.” Billy takes the money, hands it to his drinking partner Rod, he says, “Rod, this is for the repairs you did on my car.” Rod winks at the woman at the end of the bar, hands her the money and he says, “You know what this is for.” She grabs the $100 bill, runs across the street, back to the motel, puts the money on the counter and says to her husband, “Here’s the money I borrowed from you, paid in full.” I decide I’m not going to stay. I come back out to the foyer to the lobby, grab my money and I’m on my way. The question I have for you and your audience, Mitch, is were all those tabs, all those debts paid in full?
They were paid in full. I keep that $100 bill in my pocket. It has a velocity of one. The second I put it on the counter and all the hands that it traded, it became a velocity of six. The challenge most people have, the reason most people don’t have what they want is they are unwilling to do two things. They’re unwilling to buy, first and foremost. More importantly, those that are afraid to buy are always resistant to sell because they don’t buy and because they don’t sell, their own personal velocity or economy is diminished. People that make money spend money. It’s the bottom line Law of Economics.
For me, I spend a lot of money. I have 17,000 square foot, $10 million home in Las Vegas. I’ve got a $10 million home on the ocean here in Southern California. I drive a Rolls Royce. I fly around in private jets. I don’t do any of those things to impress other people, in fact, just the opposite. I’m an ordinary man. I’m a high school dropout. I dropped out of high school to take on a job so my mother wouldn’t kill herself working three jobs to feed the family. The point in all of this is that I am an ordinary man. I’m not smarter than anybody in our audience right now. I definitely am not harder working. I don’t do anything I don’t want to do. I only do what I love.
I am not more creative. I’m not more humble, that’s for sure. Which is another one of the things that gets in the way for people is they have programs in their brain that they think work and yet do not. One of those programs is don’t show off in front of the other kids. Don’t try to pretend you’re better than they are. What if you are and what if you had that programming growing up because your parents wanted you to fit in? You spend a lifetime putting a bushel over your light, and rather than just living at your fullest and being all that you can be. You taper it down because you don’t want other people to feel bad about themselves.
There’s a book by a phenomenal writer, she wrote Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead named Ayn Rand. Ayn Rand wrote a book that not many people know about, it’s called The Virtue Of Selfishness. It’s a short book. It’s a short read. I read it the last time I was flying back from China. The book can be summed up in the warning they give you on a commercial flight. “In the event of a loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will drop down from the ceiling. Please place yours on first, then assist the person beside you.”
The reason you’ve got to do that, if you don’t put the oxygen mask on yourself first, you’ll pass out and you won’t be able to help the person beside you. You’ll be useless. Both of you will be useless. By putting that mask on first, what it allows you to do is then take care of yourself so that you can take care of other people. That’s another one of the things that gets in the way for people is they aren’t selfish enough and the ones that are selfish, are overly selfishly. You’ve got a society where the people that left town in Atlas Shrugged just throw their hands up and say, “I’m willing to help you. I’m not willing to support you. You’ve got to learn to take care of yourself and be responsible.” You couple that with the mindset, Mitch, of people not willing to sell and not selling something that you believe in is doing damage to people you care about. If you believe in what you’re selling, you have a moral and ethical obligation to sell it.
I loved the way that you say those afraid to buy are afraid to sell. Connecting those two things together for many will be the first time they’ve heard that it is absolutely true.
The reason that is and I just want interject is that every single thought we hold creates a physical response in our body. If someone holds the subconscious belief of don’t sell me anything, when they go to sell because they hold that thought, they will telegraph that when they go to sell and they will not be successful.
We talked before about hypnosis and then you mentioned the term internal programming. Marshall, how do we fix our internal programming? Is hypnosis one of the ways we can use?
I have been involved in hypnosis since I was sixteen years old, and I turned 56 this year so that’s 40 years of understanding and being involved in the process. I’ve had a phenomenal life, I’m very grateful. In fact, when I met my wife, that was the last piece that was missing from my life, was just a really exceptional human being to share my time with. When we had our first baby, Sterling Sylver, my first son, he was born via hypnosis. Some people would say he was conceived by hypnosis and I would argue with that. He was born via hypnosis at my home in Las Vegas, Prosperity Palace, in the bathtub with no drugs, no doctors, no pain. When I caught Sterling in my hands and I cut his umbilical cord, I made a decision in that moment that I would be retired forever. That I’d spend the rest of my life flying around with my beautiful bride, my son and that we would just see the world.
I would spend all of my waking hours with them. My son Maximus was born in the bathtub via hypnosis. No drugs, no doctors, no pain. I caught him in my hands and said, “I am glad that I’ve been blessed in the way that I’ve been blessed. That I can stay retired and spend all my time with my family.” My daughter Prosperity was born and I caught her in my hands and cut her umbilical cord. As I was looking into her eyes, it occurred to me that little girls are very expensive. I probably should get back to work. I decided that I was going to go back to work. It wasn’t that thought. I was inspired. There was something when she was born, when Prosperity arrived, I said, “I’m not done yet.”
I don’t know what I want to do because there’s a Buddhist curse that in my early 20s I couldn’t wrap my head around how it could be a curse. The curse is may all of your greatest desires be instantaneously fulfilled. With the marriage to my bride and the birth of my children, I had everything I wanted. I couldn’t even imagine wanting anymore. I drive a Rolls Royce Phantom. I have more cars than I have garage space. I have two homes so there’s always a home that there’s nobody there. I have more than what I need or wanted. I thought, “What could you possibly want that would motivate you?” We have a program, it’s called Turning Point.
One of the initial things the program is designed to do is to turn up people’s wantingness. I thought, “It’s not for me that I would want something.” I said, “What would you want for others?” I said, “First and foremost, I’d like to give Erica a billion-dollar check.” I want her, even after I’m long gone, are able to provide for her. I want her and the kiddos protected in a way that is unmistakable. I want my daughter to never be impressed by what your son owns. I said, “That that certainly could inspire me, not for me, for her.”
The second thing I thought was, “If I come out of retirement, it’s got to be a legacy project. It’s got to be something that is not about me. It’s got to be something that in fact, after five years, doesn’t need me. It can run on its own.” I realized that there is a space that is beyond programming. There is a space beyond belief. What that space is, is certainty. Certainty is the absence of all doubt. Certainty is a knowledge that it is done, whatever it is. Whether it’s a certain marriage or you are a certain millionaire or you live a certain life or have a certain family. That place of coming from certainty makes people respond differently. They don’t slow down. They don’t come from a place of fear. They come from a place of love.
When you are certain that your success is a given, then you just continue to follow through. I’m launching two companies. I’m launching a company called Certainty Incorporated, which is a for-profit that utilizes the technology and the curriculum that I’ve developed over 30 years. We’re also launching Certainty Institute. Certainty Institute is a 501(c)(3), a nonprofit whose purpose is twofold. Number one, to lift up homeless people that want to be lifted up. I’ll clarify that. My mom, for the last twenty years of her life after I retired her, after I started taking care of her, ran a homeless shelter down in San Diego near Carlsbad, which is why I bought a house in Carlsbad to begin with. She ran that for twenty years. We were homeless. It was near and dear to her heart.
One day I asked her, “Of the homeless people that you take care of, how many of them don’t want to be homeless?” I figured she’d say most. It surprised me when she said, “Half.” I said, “What about the half that wants to be homeless?” She said, “They like the lifestyle. They get by. They don’t have to work anymore than they do. They get handouts and they like it.” I said, “Tell me about the other half.” She said, “The other half are homeless because something happened. Maybe they fell into addiction. Maybe they got divorced and spiral. Maybe they were fired from their job and couldn’t get another job.” She said, “They want their self-esteem back. They want their confidence back.” Certainty Institute, that’s one group of people that we want to serve.
Our people that want that hand up by providing free educational courses, by providing programs that would allow them to get back on their feet, to gain their confidence, to pay it forward, to become a responsible, contributing member of society. The other group of people that’s near and dear to my heart, partly because I have children and I can’t understand anybody causing harm to children, is to expose and hold accountable people involved in child sex trafficking.
You have quite a mission ahead of you, Marshall. I’m glad that you’re doing these things, they’re all super important. You said, “Certainty is the absence of all doubt,” and I look at my own life and I look back at the time when I started my first company. We had $5,000, a garage and a product. When we created that product, I had certainty but I also had fear. There was this element of I hope it works. I’m certain it will work, but I hope it works. It did, it worked and it grew to basically a 100-person company. We sold it for eight figures. It was great. Tell me the difference between somebody having such complete certainty that there is no fear?
Fear is a shade of doubt. There’s no way around that. I also think that fear is useful though. Fear means pay attention. I don’t think it means to stop. It means put attention on something. That which we experience fully vanishes, even from a place of certainty. First and foremost, entering anything with doubt is silly. There’s no point, it doesn’t help you. Even if I’m wrong, even if I’m certain of an outcome and I’m wrong, it’s okay. Approaching that thing with the belief that it’s not going to work out increases the likeliness that it will not work out. Approaching something from a state of certainty and a position of certainty increases the likeliness of success many folds. The idea of having a fear and doing it anyway is quite okay. In fact, most people are well served to have a degree of fear so they don’t step out in front of moving trains or do things that would cause them harm.
The challenge becomes approaching something from a point of view that you never do it because of that fear and uncertainty. For me, I’d rather fail forward fast, figure it out because oftentimes the only way we can know whether a decision is a good one or a bad one is to make the decision, even if it’s a bad decision. The other thing I know is that not making a decision is making a decision for not. By not choosing something, I’m choosing it’s polar opposite so I’m actually choosing something. The universe has a funny way of making choices for us, whether we decide to or not.
Not making a decision is making a decision. What I fully understand and I’ve experienced in my life is the idea that what we experience fully vanishes. The fear of getting onstage, the fear of borrowing money to start a business, the fear of learning a new skill and spending a lot of money to do it fully vanishes when we do. That’s what you meant?
That’s 100% what I meant. That which we experienced fully vanishes. Somebody is concerned about their financial circumstance and because they’re concerned, they’re afraid to look at their bank account. Two things, number one, it’s either better or worse or exactly what you think it is and knowing it will be useful. Sometimes people will get out of shape and they’re unwilling to step on the scale and say, “What’s the score right now?” Sometimes people know their relationship isn’t going well yet they’re afraid to ask their spouse, “How are we,” when you’ve got to do that? Rather than burying your head in the sand and pretending like nothing is going on, it is better to go to the doctor and get that checkup.
It is better to check in with your spouse. It is better to take a look at your bank account and determine if it’s not where you want it to be, good, feel bad. Feel that pain. In fact, even turn the pain up. A lot of times people don’t have money because they don’t have great wealth because they have a comfortable amount of money and they never take any risks. You take a look at anybody that’s been massively successful, like Musk or a Sergey Brin or a Zuckerberg and it all started with the smallest of things. The Nike Tennis Shoe Company was started on a waffle iron. Dell Computers was started in a dorm. Apple was started in a garage. Sometimes people don’t realize all great things started small, so start already.
Everybody needs to pick something and get into action. When you do, even when you fail, you’ve made progress. That fear I was talking about earlier when I started my company, yes, I was afraid. That fear motivated me. That fear kept me on the edge. When somebody came out with a product that looked a little bit like ours, yes, I was afraid. I was motivated to find out what it did and improve our own software to make it do it even better.
Marshall, this has been an incredible experience spending time with you. I look forward to spending more time with you at the Turning Point event in Scottsdale. I have a question for you. This question is a question I ask all my guests. I like it so much because it helps me understand who they really are. Who, in all of space and time, would you to have one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?
My mom. I miss her so much. She passed in 2013. She was the kindest human being I’ve ever known. She was a phenomenal soul who raised ten children. Without a doubt, of any of the other minds that I could pick or talk to or know better, that hour would be best spent just with my mom. Giving her love and being able to say thank you again and again for all that she’s done. I don’t have a firm belief in reincarnation, I do believe certainly in DNA. I get a sense that my daughter is my mom reborn. She’s incredibly bright for a three-year-old. From birth, we’ve programmed all three children to know that they are geniuses, to know that they are loved, to know that the world is a better place because they’re here.
My youngest, my daughter, Prosperity, she has sensibilities like my mother does. One day I was sitting at lunch with her and she said, “I remember when I was in mommy’s belly.” I said, “You do?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “What was going on?” She said, “My brothers were talking to me.” I said, “Really? What were they saying?” She said, “They were saying, “We can’t wait to meet you sister.” Interestingly enough, they said it all the time. For her to have known that was just remarkable to me. I laughed a bit and she said, “I’m funny.” I said, “Yes, you are.” She said, “Funny means money,” which it does. I said, “You’re just remarkable.” She said, “Daddy, can I share a secret with you?” I said, “Sure.” She ran over to my chair, she whispers in my ear, “I have an attitude of gratitude.” I said, “Yes, you do, sweetheart.”
My mother lived an incredibly hard life. She was very poor and she was abused on many occasions by many different people. I’m so grateful that I’m able to give my children a childhood that my wife and I didn’t have for sure, also a childhood that my mother didn’t have. Whether it’s just a fantasy of mine that makes me feel good or not, I don’t care. My mom is definitely the person I would want to talk to, which often gives me a pause when I’m dealing with my own children, to just be a little more patient, be a little more understanding, compassionate and see the world from their viewpoint empathetically.
Everyone, let Marshall’s story be a reminder that our moms, our family, the most important people in our lives, take a moment now. Have the thought to get in touch soon before it’s too late. Thank you, Marshall, for that.
You’re very welcome.
It’s a great choice, and now the final question, the grand finale question, the change the world question. What is it that you are doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
I talked about it and sometimes people hear people talk and it’s just talking. I have a thing that I teach called Entrepreneurial Exaggeration. What that is, is people that accomplish great things don’t figure out how they’re going to accomplish great things before they determine they are. We put it out in the universe and we say, “This is what I’m doing.” Coming out of retirement, a very comfortable and very joyful retirement into what I knew would be hard work again and certainly time consuming. Something that would consume me for the next five years in a huge way, it had to be something that was legacy-like. As I launched both Certainty Institute and Certainty Incorporated, as we roll out Certainty, it is my intention to be awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics for making the world more certain, for bringing certainty to the planet.
It is my intention that there will be, first across the North America, 100 Certainty Centers where people can go and be entertained by a show of certainty, be inspired by that show to want to learn more about the technology of certainty and certainology. Begin utilizing that in their lives to make it a more certain world, to help people be responsible, to help minimize government by minimizing dependency, to help expand personal responsibility, to help people not be in a position where they can be controlled by other people because they don’t need other people’s support. They might want support, and they don’t need it. That is my legacy piece, Mitch. That’s the thing that is most important to me, is to be able to put people in a profoundly more responsible circumstance by joy, not by force.
Marshall has made it clear that he’s here to change the world. Marshall, thank you so much for your time.
I’m excited to have you at Turning Point as well. It’s going to be amazing. For everybody in our audience, I want you to know that there is a way for you to win at the game that you’re playing. It’s just different than how you’ve been doing it. In order for things to change, you must change.
Thank you, Marshall. We’ll talk again soon.
Thank you, Mitch.
To enter your name for a free ticket to Marshall’s event called: Turning Point, please send your request to Mitch@MitchRusso.com. Mitch will be giving away five total seats to lucky listeners. Each ticket normally costs $1997 but five lucky listeners will go free.
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