If you were given a second chance, what would you do differently in life? Who will you become during the time you have left? Business expert and founder of 11 companies Dan Kuschell used to work hard and play even harder. He pretty much does the same today, except now he is also a hero for entrepreneurs who inspires growth in their business and mastery in their market. Clients will not ignore you if you make an irresistible offer. To do that, entrepreneurs need to learn the demographics, geographics and psychographics of their clients. This is how Dan was able to position himself to be profitable without giving out his products and services for free. Find out what CHAMPION stands for and how you can also be a hero to others.
56: Dan Kuschell – Start With Your Irresistible Offer!
My guest is a business expert who has built eleven companies and was making a huge impact on his clients when disaster struck. A serious health problem emerged suddenly, causing him to reevaluate everything in his life and ask the big question, “What can I do now to have the greatest impact on this world, on humanity during the time I have left?” Let’s welcome Dan Kuschell to the show. Welcome, Dan.
It’s a pleasure to be with you, Mitch. Thank you.
I’m so glad to have you here, Dan. You and I have become friends recently. It’s a thrill to be on the show with you and have you tell your story. Let’s start with that health scare. How did that happen and what was that about?
Do you ever meet those people, Mitch, that are workaholic entrepreneurs that work 100 hours a week?
Never meet any of those.
That was me for a couple of decades. Two weeks after my son was born, I woke up with chest pains and tightness and I called my doctor and I said, “I’m having some tightness in my chest, uncomfortable.” He’s like, “As a precaution, can you get yourself over to the hospital?” I drive in as a precaution, walk into the hospital. I didn’t use the word pains because my doctor also said, “Be careful of the words you use. Languaging matters.” That’s a big part of success in entrepreneurs, languaging and mindset. I said, “I’m having some tightness.” They said, “Okay.” They immediately get me in a chair and they start doing all kinds of tests. If you can imagine, all hell have been breaking loose. People are running everywhere. They bring a gurney over. They put me on this gurney. They rolled me into a room and then they got all kinds of diodes coming in and out of me. It was just a really frantic, chaotic experience.
The long and the short of it, I ended up staying in the hospital for four days. On the second night, they had me sign a disclaimer for a surgery procedure that they were going to do to evaluate my heart. It scared me. That was really the wake-up call, Mitch, because the disclaimer, as I recall, said I had a one in X chance of dying on the table with it. In conversion rates, when you hear 1 in 500, you’d go broke with that and you wouldn’t even think about it. You’d be onto the next thing. When you hear chance of dying at the end of that, it took my temperature. It freaked me out is what it did. I don’t how many of you have a last will or a will that’s fully in order. At that time, I didn’t. I was so busy running my businesses and running my companies that there were certain things that were just in disorder, in disarray. I frantically was writing pieces of my last will that night.
Thankfully, I came out of this experience going, “What am I going to do differently?” I’ve always believed in coaching. I hired another coach. I’m still friends with her today. Her name is Dr. Cristy Lopez. She got me to focus on three critical questions. I had about 175 employees, multiple offices at the time and not focus on all of that or my kids or my wife but get selfish a bit, “What do I want?” Number two is, “Who am I?” Not all the labels and all the goofy titles and all those sorts of things, but who am I? The qualities as a human not doing all the human doing things but the human being things. Third is what do I stand for? Those are the values. That was the turning point. Within two years, I sold my companies, took a break, and really got to focus on what I wanted to do when I grew up, if you will. It’s been a lot of fun the last few years doing what I’ve been doing, being a hero to entrepreneurs, helping the influencers influence more people, helping champions become bigger champions. It’s been a lot of fun.
Dan, that’s such a great story and it really does illustrate that we all need to take a break and ask those three questions. It almost seems as if the universe gave you the chance to stop and really get those answers before continuing in your life, which is a blessing in itself. What were the answers? I’d love to actually hear the answers to those three questions.
One of them related to what do I want. I had these companies. I had all these employees and team members. I was really proud of what we had built and the experience and being a part of Joe Polish’s Genius Network. I was the third member in the community and I grew up in that community. I think it was Tim Ferriss who had said this initially at one of the meetings in Genius Network, “Be willing to destroy anything that isn’t excellent.” I looked at my business and I go, “Is this really excellent? What’s going to have to happen to be excellent? Are the clients I have, excellent? Are these who I want to be a hero to?” Using Dan Sullivan’s terminology of who do I want to be a hero to a question. Essentially, it started with inventory, taking inventory of excellence in all the components of the business and things. Then the question related which was, “What do I want?” is like, “Who do I want to be the hero to?” I looked at it and I said, “Is this really who I want to be a hero to?” In many ways, we’ve heard in our business one of the best things that we can do from a strategy point of view, I believe I’ve heard in different ways you teach this in some of your materials, which is raise your prices. It’s one of the best strategies we can all do.
The other part is be willing to fire your clients. I don’t know that I would recommend my approach for everybody, but I essentially fired everybody. I fired all the clients. I transitioned, is probably a better way to say that. I was willing to let it go to have the ability to let it grow. It started with that framework. I think a big part of that was be willing to destroy anything that’s not excellent. If you want to have a breakthrough, you’ve got to be willing to break something. Break the old habits, old patterns, old rituals, old ways of thinking to disrupt it to get the new better, innovative way. If you are listening to this show, you are a disruptor, you are an innovator. Working with Mitch, you are somebody who has already got that framework and maybe this little tweak will give you a 30-degree turn that can make what you do even better.
I love the way you describe it because it’s so much part of life and business. Here’s the interesting thing for me. There’s an element of this that’s completely not intuitive. I’ll give you an example. When I was building Timeslips Corporation, we had gotten the company to about $2 million, $2.5 million in sales and I was stuck. I was really trying to do everything I could to get it past this point. I had one of my mentors tell me, “You’ve got the wrong team and that’s why you can’t get there.” I had to do the non-intuitive thing and I had to fire all of my management team almost at the same time and bring in very experienced people to take it from there. This was heartbreaking for me because these were my founding employees. These were people who were with me on days two through 600, and yet here we were at this point pretty much having to let them go. Once I did, we absolutely took off like a rocket and made it right to the next level. There you go. That’s a great lesson. I’m really glad that you repeated it here on the show. What about the last one? What do I stand for? That’s a hard one, Dan. What do you stand for?
Companies have value systems and you hear you’ve got to have company values especially as you scale it up. I brought that psychology and philosophy into my home. We have an acronym which is CHAMPION. I gave you the very condensed one, but C stands for choice, courage, commitment. H stands for higher purpose, health, because I let my health get away from me, frankly. I also let my higher purpose get away. I let my career get in front of God and in front of my family in many ways. When you work 100 plus hours a week, your family sometimes takes second rate. Today, I’m not willing to do that as much. I’m not perfect at it. I’m certainly not going to claim to be perfect at any of this stuff because it is a journey, but the higher purpose and health got built in. A is action-taker. The number one thing that most entrepreneurs can do to transform their game, it’s not new ideas, it’s taking action, it’s implementing, it’s execution, so action. Next is mastery and mentoring. If you focus on mastery, you’ll get it. If you hang out and get ideas and strategies that are from ducks, you’ll be a duck. If you get strategies and models from eagles, you become an eagle, so focus on mastery. Mentoring is the way to be able to do that or mastermind.
P is purpose. What is the purpose of what it is that you’re really pursuing and doing? I is invest in yourself. I think the number one factor I want my kids who are eleven and nine is to recognize that they’re the best investment they’re ever going to make. When my kids come to me and they want books or they want education, I always will let them know, “I will always support you in moving forward with your education as long as you complete it,” which ties in with some of the other values, so invest in yourself. O is be an opportunity seeker. Look to say yes as much as you can first but with discernment. Be an opportunity seeker. Then the N is never quit on you overall. The old saying, “Quitters never win and winners never quit” is a half truth. Sometimes you’ve got to know when to say win. You’ve got to be willing to pivot. The most successful businesses in the world pivot. 3M, with their company with Post-it notes the original version, had they stayed driving down that tunnel, the company would have been very different compared to what they transformed in that division with Post-it notes. It was by an accident. It was pivoting. The never quit on you is never quit on that many ways, the above practices, strategies, to innovate, disrupt and be the best. In other words, pursue mastery.
Dan, let’s get back to your history here. We all make mistakes, we all have failures but let’s talk about the one that really caught fire first. Which one was that?
It was actually my very first company. I was in my early twenties, just out of college. I got introduced to direct response marketing. I worked in a company that did direct mail for the health club industry and consulting. I did that interim basis while I was playing baseball in college and going to college. My sister got me a job there. I got so fascinated by how you could put words on paper and people would then respond and buy stuff from you or you could put an ad on radio and instantly, you could get 100 phone calls with one little ad or you could do that in a newspaper or you could do that in a magazine or you could do that on TV. I got obsessed with all of this stuff. I went to college to be in teaching and I love the ability to teach and contribute from that side of it, but I got more excited about the psychology of direct response marketing, quite frankly. Fast forward, I was in this particular company off and on for three years while I was going to school. I was like, “I think I can do this better.” I was evaluating, “How far am I going to go down this track of mastery as a teacher or what else?” Then I was like, “What else? What if I could take the teaching and I can combine it with direct response marketing?” I looked at that and I started my first company, a better mousetrap. I innovated, disrupted what the other company was doing.
I started that first company. When we came out of the gate, our first client was in Mountain View, California. The number one lesson for all of us, especially when we’re new, is having an irresistible offer. Here was my offer. If you were a health club owner, Mitch, we’d come to you and go, “Mitch, if we could show you a way to generate a couple of hundred new clients in the next 60 to 90 days and it wouldn’t cost you anything upfront and my company will take the risk. We’re going to run TV ads for your company. We’re going to run radio ads for your company. We’re going to do direct mail for your company. When we generate results, then we’ll split the profits on the back end 50-50. Would that be something you’d be open to?”
Yeah, certainly if I was a health club company owner, I would.
That was our lead-in. We would literally go do that. On the back end of it, really what we did is we brought in sales training. We brought in training for support team and business growth strategies. This is back all the way in 1992. One of the other things that I realized is a gap. I think we’re all in the business of filling gaps. That’s what we do as entrepreneurs, “Take things from a lower level to a higher level.” I looked at it back then and said, “What’s the big gap in most of these small health club owners in what they’re doing?” They have teams. Most of them are doing this as a hobby. They don’t treat it as a business. I was like, “How about we create an assessment?” Back in 1992, I had hired a guy named Cyrus Azari who, if I can recall because it had been a long time I believe, had cashed in stock at Apple and he was doing independent freelance work. I hired him and he created a custom program. We would go in and do these assessments. Essentially what it would do, imagine if you were the club owner, Mitch, I’d go, “How would you like to know how effective your team is at selling, influence, persuasion and closing?” This is ’92, by the way, so this was part of what we did. Basically, what I wanted to do was create our version of a before and after picture. We had seven categories that we built this on, of selling and influence, etc. We would be there for about 60 days. We would be coaching and doing training. At the end, your team would take the assessment so you could have a very clear before and after picture. Plus, you’d have all the results on top and then we’d leave you with a done-for-you ongoing training program that your team could implement and take action on.
Out of the gate, my partner and I, we launched this, did a bunch of direct mail. We generated hundreds of clients. I believe within our first year, we did somewhere close to seven figures. I’m 22 years old, I’m learning about building a business. Then what happened is my best friend business partner, one of them decided he basically go compete with us. He took some money. Anyway, it was one of those stories. I didn’t know about agreements back then. I was just focused on customer acquisition, building the business, clients. I wasn’t looking at some of the other things too. I was focused on primarily marketing and selling.
It just struck a chord with me when you talked about the assessment. The assessment today is probably one of the most powerful tools in my arsenal. Whenever I work with a new client, I have them fill out 150-question assessment questionnaire because what I really want to know is where are we starting from, what are the assets we have to work with, and what are the untapped channels that we haven’t yet tried? This idea of an assessment is very, very powerful. Even today, you can go to many, many websites and find a quick quiz which in a sense is setting you up to understand what the weaknesses or strengths are that you have so that they can help aim their product at exactly what it is you need. This assessment is very, very powerful. You used it to the max, it seems. That was great. Did you stay in that business?
I did for about eighteen months and then ran into some of the issues with the split-up of the partnership and that sort of things. Then I found myself having to regroup. I stayed in the health club industry doing consulting, basically management for clubs and then transitioned out of that. My next business, I worked in the seminar industry, essentially working to fill seats and part of it came with a business opportunity. I did that for a number of years as well. Fast forward to today and several companies later, I’ve been fortunate to work and be a hero to entrepreneurs to help them build, grow and scale their businesses.
Let’s talk about something you said there because you and I have something else in common. Before I started Timeslips Corporation, I had been in sales. I was selling electronic components. There are many, many stories I could share with you about that experience. Here was the uptake of it. I was basically sold a job where everyone else’s territory they turned down, they gave to me. I was told I had a $2 million territory. I actually barely had a $200,000 territory. I, at that point, realized after I was in the job for three months that I was sold the bill of goods. I said, “I don’t care. I’m going to make the best of this.” I went in and I started working with the engineering teams instead of the purchasing agents. I was able to get a lot of our products into the pipeline. A year later, we started seeing huge quantities of our parts being purchased to be designed in and built into these products. It wasn’t until fourteen months later I received my first check. Those checks continued. They were in the $30,000 to $35,000 a month range. Remember now, this is back in 1980, 1981. I, at that point, went around starting to fill bank accounts with $100,000 and then leave to open up an account at another bank because of the FDIC insurance. I ended up with a sock drawer filled with these passbooks, each with $100,000 in it, all earning 5% on my money.
It got to the point that there was that moment in time when I realized that the job I was working could potentially go away any minute and was about to, actually. I said, “What do I want to do now? What do I want to do with this money?” You were 22 years old. You had $1 million. That’s a lot of money for a 22-year-old. I don’t care what year it is. You obviously decided that you were going to parlay that into the next thing. Tell me a little bit about that thinking. Did you even have the thought that, “I got all this money. I could do something else like maybe travel for two years or something like that?”
Did you ever meet people, Mitch, that are really good at making money or generating money but not necessarily keeping it? I would say that for more of my career, I fit into that category. I’m just being real. In my career, I’ve been through bankruptcy and divorce and these things and it’s been a lot of hard learning lessons. I have had a tendency to overcommit certain things. In my growth of companies, in many ways, it’s been about putting up all the money back into the business and the growth of it. That means team, it means infrastructure, support, to a point of even overdoing it. Historically, it’s been very easy for me to invest in myself. I think I have my dad to thank for that. He introduced me to my first, I’d call it a seminar. It was a baseball clinic. When I was ten years old, he took me to Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti to a coach named Ron Oestrike. I can picture the manual we got. I felt like a duck out of water because I was the only little kid. I remember being there. Everybody else was high school, college and mostly coaches. I was in this clinic and one of the things that struck me in the book was this idea of PMA. I know you know what that is because it’s an old-school strategy, but a lot of people today don’t probably know what it even is. PMA was the key focus of this whole thing. It said, “Success in business, sports and baseball is 90% mental and the rest physical.”
I can picture that and that applies today probably more so than ever. We’re getting bombarded with all these different things. My mindset has always been to invest in myself, invest in my education, invest in the business, and invest in people even to a fault. I would say that I had a lot of this money after that first company. Then I parlayed that into the next thing, but then in all likelihood, as I’m trying to think back to that time, I overspent. I got my numbers out of whack. Ultimately, fast forward a bit, I had gone through business bankruptcy and personal bankruptcy or whatever and then regrouped and had to start all over again and learn from those painful lessons overall. Still, the number one focus is growth and mastery and how do you get that. If you want to learn the lessons of ducks, hang out with ducks. If you want to learn from the very best, hang out with eagles, which is one of the great gifts that your followers here and the people that you coach, that you’re masterminding that they get to learn from you. Look at all the experience that you had, the successes and even some of the failures when you can just literally eliminate. Imagine taking 20, 30, 40 years of business experience and working with someone like you. What’s that worth to somebody? Where I can, I look to do that as often as possible.
To this day, I still have a coach and an accountability partner because without that, I wouldn’t be as far along as I am. I sincerely believe that all of us should be in a position to be able to have someone who is on our side, who is guiding us, who is keeping us accountable and helping make us successful. We’ve been talking strategy now in a sense and life strategy and what I’d like to do is see if we can shift over to tactics. We have a lot of people listening who are either really just getting started, they’re probably potentially working on a job still and doing whatever they’re going to do part-time until it really scales. Let’s talk about some of the tactics that they can use to really accelerate where they are to where they want to be. Give me a couple of ideas of what you would do.
What I hit on a little bit is the idea of building and creating an irresistible offer. I had somebody they were like, “What do you get paid today? How do you like to get paid?” It surprised me and I said, “My fee is $1 million, but you don’t pay it unless you make $10 million.” It creates sticker shock of course and they go, “How does that work?” Then you get an opportunity to explain it. I would go back to even my simple example, my very first company from 1990, create an irresistible offer. How can you deliver something that’s so good, and I use the title from Cal Newport, which is So Good They Can’t Ignore You. How can you deliver a value in advance, which I think originated as a Dean Jackson framework but it was adapted by numerous other people ahead of time? What can you deliver to your potential clients and show proof ahead of time that makes it easier for them to say yes upfront? Then done right, it actually allows you to charge more for your services. It keeps you away from having to negotiate or really get into the whole hard-selling game of any kind.
That would be one thing is look at positioning your product or service in a way that you can come up with an irresistible offer that gets you a yes upfront. You’ve got to be able to structure it the right way so that you can make it profitable for yourself because you don’t want to give stuff away for free, because that’s a bad strategy too. You want to be choiceful. Adam Grant talks about it in his book, which is Give and Take. There are three types of people we meet in the world. Givers, number one, takers, number two and matchers. Who do you think the people that get hurt the most are in society: people who are givers, people who are matchers or the takers?
I believe it’s the takers.
That’s what most people say according to his research. It’s actually the givers. Guess who are the ones who get to benefit the most?
I can’t guess now.
It’s also the givers. Where givers make the mistake, in his research, it’s the people that they go give to. They’re giving in advance to the wrong people. You’ve got to be very choiceful of using the Dan Sullivan question which is, “Who do you want to be a hero to?” Number one, what is your irresistible offer? Two, be very choiceful of who do you want to be a hero to. Go up the ladder. Even if you think you’re already up the ladder, try to go up the ladder even higher to work with the more successful category. Be affluent in whatever industry or niche that you’re in. Number three is learn and get a mastery in at least the psychology of direct response marketing. Not that you have to be the executor, implementer or action person in your company to do it, but just know that direct response marketing is going to be one of the highest yield strategies or tactics that you can use. What is direct response marketing? Because sometimes people get it confused. What is selling? What is marketing? I’ve heard Joe, I’ve heard Gary Halbert, I’ve heard lots of people define it. Real simply, marketing is storytelling and selling is influence. With direct response marketing, marketing is what you do to get people on the phone with you or face-to-face with you so that they’re already, that’s the keyword, already prepositioned, prequalified, pre-motivated and ready to do business with you at some level. How is that different than selling? Selling is what you do when you get them on the phone with you or face-to-face and how well are they prepositioned, pre-motivated, and ready to do business with you.
If you can picture it, how does this all play? Ideally, if you understand sports even a little bit, football. In football, field position is important. All of us do some level of marketing in your business. It may be good, it may be highly effective. You might be the best in the world. You might be someone like Mitch who, when he puts ads out on the radio, more times than not, he’s going to get people to call and he’s going to get a response and he’s going to be able to build into integrated systems so that it’s profitable. Or a magazine ad or a TV ad or any number of things, but all of us do marketing. Some are really great, some are the best in the world like Mitch. Others are maybe just getting started and struggling at it, but we do all have some level of marketing. It’s like football. It’s like field positions. If a team kicks off to you and you catch the ball at the goal line and you go two yards and get tackled, you’ve got 98 yards to go. Your marketing got you two yards, now it means your selling has to do the other 98% of the work. That’s where you see people needing to have hard closers and you have these certain misconceptions.
In the other end, if your marketing is really good, what it does for you is gives you better field position. You take that same kick off at the goal line, you return it out 92 yards and now you’ve only got eight yards to go. As far as you’re selling, number one, you can have less sales people because marketing will eliminate the need for as many sales people. Number two, it eliminates the need to really do a lot of, we’ll call it hard selling, high-pressure selling, stronger selling, however you want to look at it. There’s still influence involved but you want to be in the influence business, not necessarily traditional sale. Those are a couple.
I want to add one thing. One of the things that come before learning the psychology of direct response marketing, storytelling and selling is truly understanding who your customer is. Believe me I’ve done this many times unfortunately, there’s nothing worse than putting all the effort into building a product, figuring out how to sell it and market it, putting together all the campaigns and spending all the money to build it and then have it launched to the wrong audience. Or have it launched to the right audience but with the wrong message. Knowing who your customer is, is the first step in any successful venture. It’s the step that so many of us missed during the dot-com era when we would have a great idea, get a bunch of crazy VC people to stand behind it with millions of dollars and off we go and build this stupid thing that nobody needs.
It’s that difference between strategy and tactics. I imagine with your programs, Mitch, that I’ve briefly looked through to understand what you do more and what you offer, I know you go deeper into this. Even taking a first step as you’re listening and you’re like, “Dan, Mitch, how can I get started right now?” I would say, “Number one, who do I want to be a hero to? Then identify what are their characteristics.” I’m going to give you a couple of the surface ones but then I’ll give you a couple of maybe you hadn’t thought about briefly here, which is we’ve got demographics. What is their age or age range? Are they male, female? Then you go into things like geographic. Where do they buy stuff similar to what it is you offer now? What are the complementary things that they buy? Really start looking broad at your market and that person.
Then you go into the psychographics. I know you likely go much deeper than this in your program as well, Mitch, but it’s the psychographics. Really get in their shoes. A great exercise is either identify who are your five best clients right now or if you don’t have who you want to be a hero to yet, project like, “If I was going to have my ideal clients,” put names to them and faces and then go, “what are their biggest dangers? What are the biggest things keeping them up at night? What are their biggest distresses? What are their biggest insecurities in their business today?” You might go, “I don’t know that.” If you already have those clients in your business because they’re already buying stuff from you, you can call and ask them. Just go, “I’m doing some follow-up. You’ve been a valued client for some time. I’m just curious, what are your biggest challenges you’re dealing with or the biggest problems or frustrations you have in your business right now?” and really get clear by asking. If you don’t have them yet because you’re just starting, project it. Do the best you can to think. Get in their shoes at a deep psychological level.
Then the others, “What are their big opportunities?” If you could ask them or project for your ideal customer or client, one year from today, two years from today, three years from today, what are the big opportunities you’re most excited about going for? If you can essentially hit that momentum of where they’re going, you can be a great assist for them and ride a wave together versus having to push boulders up a mountain and create more of a push-pull type scenario. It becomes all pull. What are their dangers, their opportunities and then strengths? By the way, there’s D.O.S. exercise and there are lots of different things that work for it, but I’m borrowing this from Dan Sullivan for simplicity.
Strengths, what are their biggest strengths in their business today? One of the projects I work with right now, we find that our clients, their biggest strengths is they’re all very good at selling their company and so on. What they don’t have is a one-to-many model, which is where we can help fit. There’s more to go into but this is the brief, down and dirty version that can get you started right now. You identify five people. When I do this with my companies or clients that I work with, literally I get very specific on names. I would go Joe Smith, Dan Griswold, Robin, etc. I would just go name by name and go, “What are their dangers? What are their opportunities? What are their strengths?” You’ll start to see some things that are similar, that complement each other. Now, it also gives you a framework for your messaging when you know your clients in many ways better than they know themselves. You’ll hear your clients when you do this right where they’ll go, “I feel like you just know me so well.” This exercise is a great way to do that.
It’s something that I remember doing early on when I first started my first company and now we do it with every client to make sure that we’re on target before we launch into building all these plans and strategies. It’s terrific strategy and I’m so glad you shared it. Dan, at this point, what I’d really like to do is I know a lot of people have been excited about the conversation so far. I know a lot of people would be interested in hearing more about you and how they could reach you and maybe visit your website. What is the best place for people to find you? Where is that place and how should they go about doing that?
If you want to go deeper with some of the strategies that we’re sharing, get a glimpse or a glance at how we operate, I’d encourage you to go check out our free master class series that we’ve got available. You can do that at ChampionBusinessBlueprint.com. We rotate these master class trainings with different strategies as we build into them. Another, you can go check out our podcast/radioshow where we’ve got over 100 hours of some of the top experts. You can go check out the show at GrowthToFreedom.com. Those will probably be the best two places. I’ll throw out a plug for one of the big projects I’ve been working on for some time. I’m really proud of this community and see how it’s grown over the last several years. You can go check out Genius Network in the annual event. You can to go GeniusNetworkEvents.com.
I just about glossed over one of the most powerful contexts that I know you have, which is Joe Polish and his Genius Network. I think a lot of people may have heard of Joe and might even have heard of the Genius Network. For those who don’t know what that is, can you give us a quick overview of what it is?
My view of Genius Network vision, it’s bigger than just a community. It’s about reducing suffering for entrepreneurs. It’s a place where high-achieving entrepreneurs come together to connect, to collaborate with each other and to contribute, to help each other get those next big breakthroughs in their business.
I’ve never been, which we’re hoping to change that, to one of these meetings. Everyone I know who goes says it’s just an incredible experience. Dan, I’ve got two more questions for you. These are the questions that I ask just about everybody who’s on my show. The reason I do is because for me, it paints a picture of really a sense what they value and who they are. Who, in all of space and time, would you like one hour to enjoy a walk in the park, a quick lunch or an intense conversation with?
I would say one hour intense conversation would be with Derek Jeter.
Tell me why.
I see Derek as someone who, in many ways, transcended the game of baseball. He transcended the position, demonstrates leadership qualities. I don’t know Derek, although I played against him on some All-Star team years ago when I was playing. He seems to be somebody who brings out the best in others. He’s a visionary leader. He also does things right not just on the field because that’s one way, that’s the fun stage, but he also does things that seems right and it’s congruent off the field. I would want to understand his rituals, his habits, the things that he does off the field that played into who he is on the field.
I don’t know anybody directly connected, but I love the idea of maybe being able to help you realize that dream. I’m going to check with my network and see if anybody knows him. The last question, the grand finale question is the change the world question. I think this comes back down to really your values as a person. I know it does for me and I know it does for many of my listeners. Here’s the question. What is it that you’re doing or would like to do that truly has the potential to literally change the world?
I’m getting the chills thinking about it. It’s the whole reason I got in this industry. The first thing would be to eliminate suffering for my mom. Why I say that is my mom, like a lot of people in the world today, they suffer from depression. I think it’s a tragedy. My mom is a very severe case. She is bipolar schizophrenic, manic-depressant. From the time I’ve been as old as I can remember, this has been a challenge in our family. Just seeing my mom suffer this way is a big reason why I got in our industry and started studying brain chemistry and behavior. It just happened to be that you could work with behavior in the marketing and business growth side of it. My big vision personally is about reducing suffering for humanity as it relates to depression and this disease because it is a terrible disease. I find that a lot of entrepreneurs suffer from this. It’s part of the reason that I ended up teaming with Joe for the time that we’ve had together because his goal is to reduce suffering for entrepreneurs. His passion project right now that he talks a lot about is doing that in the addiction world.
There are a lot of complements to it. My mom has had seven shock treatments in her life. There are a lot people who’ve had it worse. My mom, just this loving human being in many ways, she used to be with all the meds she’s been on in her career, her life. She’s a fighter and she’s feisty and she’s loving and lovable and then she’s her own worst enemy because of this disease. I want to try to understand it so I can be just a better son for my mom. I also would like to think there would be a way to crack the code for all types of people that are suffering from this or their family as well.
One of the people that I love to learn from is a guy named David Nagel. David says that it’s what we suffer from that we can derive our greatest gift to humanity. I think that’s what you’re describing here. I certainly wish you all the luck. I also will offer any support I can possibly provide in your mission to help change the world by eliminating or severely curtailing depression.
Also the stigma around it because it’s misunderstood. I’ve seen, from the time I was a little kid, how people seemed to not lean into my mom and probably for good reason in many ways, but a lot of it is misunderstanding and stereotype and so on. I think there’s a lot of work to do there about educating and creating awareness around it. I don’t have the answer right now but if you’re asking what would be the big mission and vision, it would be get the business stuff out of the way to bring a group of people, thousands of people together that could go contribute time and money to help bring better research and awareness around this.
It’s a great mission. I also want, at this point, say this has been a great conversation. I hope everyone listening has really, really listened hard because Dan is a brilliant individual who has a lot to share. Go to his website and take a look at that free course. Not many of our guests give away an entire course for free, so go to ChampionBusinessBlueprint.com and take this course. It’s going to be an incredible experience. Dan Kuschell, thank you so much for your time. I really enjoyed our conversation. I look forward to the next time we speak.
Resources Mentioned in This Episode:
- Dan Kuschell
- Dr. Cristy Lopez
- Genius Network
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You
- Give and Take
- Derek Jeter