Behind the scenes of how we were able to profitably grow our company without taking on any capital.
On this special episode with Brent Coppieters from Russell’s team, they talk about some behind the scenes things that need to be figured out while you are growing and scaling your company. Here are some of the cool things you will hear in this episode:
How Brent has figured out how to structure teams with leads to make everything as efficient and smooth as possible. Why they hire Clickfunnels users to work on support teams in Clickfunnels. And why Russell wants everyone near him to max out their tax brackets.
So listen here to find out some important behind the scenes things you have to think about when you’re in the process of growing your business.
Hey everyone, this is Russell Brunson. I’m here today with Brent Coppieters on the Marketing Secrets podcast.
So everyone, I got a really special podcast for you today, I’m so excited for. Right now, where are we at?
Russell: Kauai, Hawaii. This has been our backyard for the last week, and we’re heading home tomorrow, which is kind of sad. But I wanted to get Brent in here to help you guys out. Because obviously in the Marketing Secrets podcast I talk a lot about the marketing stuff, and Brent has been with me now for over a decade. How long is it actually?
Brent: Eleven years at the end of July.
Russell: Eleven years, dang that’s crazy. So that’s when you started? Was anyone else here when you first got started officially?
Brent: Anyone who’s here now?
Russell: Brittany? Was she here?
Brent: Brittany came in after. I don’t think anybody else who was here before I started is still here.
Russell: So Brent’s been the longest, long term person, except Doral maybe. Doral in Romania. We got a Romanian. Our backlight is kind of lit, it’s hard to see us. Brent’s been around for forever and done tons of different roles. Right now he runs the entire operations of Clickfunnels so I wanted to have him kind of talk about the stuff because it’s a big part of growing and scaling a company that we don’t talk about a lot.
But first do you want to talk about your back story, as far as getting into this whole thing. It’s kind of a funny story.
Brent: How much back story do you want?
Russell: We should move over here to the couch so you can see a little better. So I met Brent at church initially. Do you want a pillow?
Russell: That’s how planned these things are. What was one of the first impressions, about this whole business, when you got introduced to it? Because I know a lot of people got through that, especially spouses or friends or potential employees or partners that don’t know this world at all, it’s kind of weird at first.
Brent: Yeah, I had no idea. I was at, met Russell through a church function and didn’t really know what he did. When I kind of thought he made money on the internet, I initially thought eBay, he sold stuff on eBay or you know, I had no idea. I really couldn’t understand. So he had some of the business partners and friends that he kind of worked with at the time and I kind of pulled those guys apart and was kind of asking those guys, “What does he really do?” and one of our mutual friends, he knew that I didn’t understand so I talked to my wife who said, “I don’t know what this Russell Brunson guy’s doing, but it is freaking crazy.” Our friend was sharing the numbers that Russell was doing.
He was going to University, I was going to school as well. He was making more money than my parents combined income was, more money than they had ever made. So I was like, I gotta find out what this guy’s doing. So, like any friend, we invited him and wife over for dinner on a Sunday afternoon. So I just started asking him really carefully, “What are you doing? What exactly is this?” And he just kind of started sharing what he was up to, what he was doing. Obviously he doesn’t brag about what he’s doing, the success he was having and he was having tremendous success.
After they left, we had a good dinner and visited and then they left. I couldn’t sleep for three days. My head was spinning.
Russell: I ruined him.
Brent: You did, I was screwed at that point. After that happened I couldn’t fathom the success. But what was more important there was the value he was providing the world.
Russell: Was that before or after all our kids, we had twins and they had their first son the week before. I can’t remember if it was before or after.
Brent: We had met you before, we’d been friends for a little while. I think that we had our kids and you guys moved right after that.
Russell: All I remember is we had our twins we were in the NSU for two weeks basically. So we rented a hotel room in the hospital and just hung out there and goofed off, and I remember he was coming. “Don’t you have to go to work, or what are you doing?” He thought I was going to go…
Brent: Yeah, I told my wife, “We gotta take dinners over there or something, we gotta help them because they’re in the hospital with these twins because they can’t leave and he can’t work because he’s in the hospital.”
Russell: Little did they know the internet was working.
Brent: I had no clue.
Russell: So that was fun, so then a little while later, Brent started working for us. Initially it was affiliate management for how many years? You did that for a long time.
Brent: Yeah, like 8,9 years, roughly. The hats were always being moved but…
Russell: It’s a small company, you do a lot of everything.
Brent: Yeah, so probably 8 years to really focus on business development, affiliate management and partners and stuff like that.
Russell: And, just so everyone knows, I recently on the podcast had the presentation I gave from Funnel Hacking Live, the One Funnel Away, about the stories, and I talked about Brent in that and it made me cry in the middle of my presentation, it was kind of embarrassing. But you were here for the good and bad. When we went from 5 employees up to 100 and back down to 5 and all the stress up and down. I’m curious, honestly why you didn’t leave when everything collapsed and crashed.
Brent: That’s a good question.
Russell: I don’t know the answer either.
Brent: You’re going to get me vulnerable. Working with an entrepreneur, especially Russell, you know where their heart is and there came a point where he was trying to help too many people. He was employing a lot of friends and family and people that he wanted to provide opportunities for and that was great to a certain point. But there was a point there where the business changed a little bit, evolved and we were needing to make some changes with it. And those changes wouldn’t allow him to support everyone he was supporting.
That was very difficult for him. My wife and I, we cared and loved Russell and Collette and their family. We came to a point where I didn’t want to be a burden, I knew he was stressed and worried about taking care of people. I had a conversation with my wife, where I said I would rather keep our friendship, than have him feel stressed about supporting, having an opportunity for me to keep working there.
So one day I kind of came into your office, and had a real chat. I probably said some things that, I wanted him to understand how important what he was doing was, and also I wanted him to understand that I was okay to leave. I didn’t want him to feel like he needed to provide for me. I would be fine to figure things out. I just wanted to make sure he was okay. Because it was at the point where you were helping so many people, really one hiccup you could have lost everything. All your savings was going back into the company and at some point you just can’t keep doing that.
Russell: Yeah, I got really scared, but somehow we pulled it around.
Brent: Pulled it around and obviously you had to make some tough phone calls and decisions that changed the company at that point.
Russell: Basically we had to, we had 100 and some odd employees, we had all these wrestlers working for me, we had let go the whole wrestling team. We had to downsize. We shrunk from a 20,000 square foot building to 2000. It was rocky and scary but it gave us the ability to refocus and figure things out. Remember we went on a couple trips where we were trying to figure out who were the people still having success in our market. We jumped in a plane traveling to different people’s offices. We spent time with Ryan Dyson and Perry Belcher, trying to figure out what they were doing. With Alex Chafren, what they were doing. People who were our friends, just kind of used this time to figure out what’s actually working today and how do we shift our business model and change everything.
It’s funny how much pain there was during that time. We flew to London. How important it was for the transition for what became Clickfunnels and everything else.
Anyway, so many fun stories we could talk about forever. But we don’t have time for all those things. What I want to talk about a little today is, probably a year into the business when we first started growing, it’s funny I got a message today from Alex Chafren, he’s like, “You sound so calm.” Probably because we’re here in Hawaii but he was like, “I don’t know any other person running a hundred million dollar company that’s as relaxed and able to respond to people.”
Anyway, when we first started, we didn’t know what we were doing. It was just kind of like, we know how to sell stuff. Started selling Clickfunnels, it started growing and all the sudden all sorts of new headaches came up with that. From a software standpoint with Todd and we brought in Ryan and they had to deal with infrastruct