In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome a guest that was at the top of his list when started the Misfit Entrepreneur, Craig Ballantyne. Craig is the owner and head editor of Early to Rise, arguably the most popular daily source for bettering your health, wealth, self-improvement, and lifestyle. Dave has followed ETR for almost 15 years and says that the Misfit Entrepreneur would not exist without many of the great tips picked up from reading it each morning. It’s a staple in his personal growth routine.
Outside Early to Rise, Craig is known as a top Productivity & Success Transformation Coach and the author of The Perfect Day Formula: How to Own the Day and Control Your Life.
He has been a contributor to Men's Health magazine since 2000, and his articles have also appeared in Women’s Health, Oxygen, GQ, Maxim, Men’s Fitness, Muscle and Fitness, and many others.
In 2001, Craig created the popular home workout program, Turbulence Training, and in 2013 he created the Home Workout Revolution Bodyweight Exercise Program. Over 100,000 men and women have used his 6 Minutes to Skinny weight loss system since 2014.
Craig’s online success has led him to create books and a coaching program to show others how to take their ideas and help thousands of people. He holds seminars around the world, and he teaches at the annual Sovereign Academy camp every summer in Lithuania.
But it wasn’t always easy, Craig had to overcome many obstacles on his journey to success, and his toughest battle was fighting crippling anxiety attacks. He finally discovered how to beat them with his 5 Pillars of Transformation, and today Craig shows men and women how to use the 5 Pillars to lose 10 to 75 pounds, get a raise and make more money, find the love of their life, and overcome really any obstacle in the way of their success.
Craig grew up in Canada and went to college to be a strength and conditioning coach for hockey teams. In college, wrote a newsletter to Men’s Health and got put into the magazine showing how just taking action can pay off. Craig, started helping people of all walks of life and came out with Turbulence training in 2001. In 2011, he bought Early to Rise. But it wasn’t easy, in 2006, Craig started to get very bad anxiety attacks including mental and physical issues. He couldn’t do anything at 100%. He couldn’t exercise. He couldn’t think at optimum levels. It really consumed his life.
Through learning to control his body and using meditation techniques, Craig was able to overcome his anxiety after many months of practice. He took the lessons and tactics from this to create a system to really help people overcome obstacles in their live and grow themselves.
One of the ways that Craig overcame his anxiety was through what he calls the 5 Pillars of Transformation:
These can be used for all areas of your life from changing the way you feel to reaching a goal or any kind.
At the 8:30 mark, Craig walks through how he used the 5 Pillars to change his life and give examples for each one.
Pay close attention at the 11:40 mark as we explore how Craig came up with his 12 rules for living and how you can use this technique to help you in your life. As Craig, says, “Everyone has rules for their live, but don’t necessarily call them rule…or write them down, but they have them whether they are conscious to it or not.” These rules provide the structure to make it easier to do the things you want to become more successful.
At 16:40, Craig gives the template of the 5 rules that everyone should have in their life:
At the 22:30 mark, we talk about one of the most powerful techniques of the most successful and Craig’s recommendation of how to do it.
Craig also discusses and expands on his “3 C Formula:”
Craig took this and applied to his day. He notes that we have more control over our mornings (when we get up, the first things we work on, etc.).
Craig also shares his sometimes controversial, 10, 3, 2, 1, 0 Formula and how it’s helped him achieve more and succeed further:
• 10 hours before bed, stop drinking caffeine
• 3 hours before bed, stop having heavy meals and alcohol
• 2 hours before bed, stop work
• 1 hour before bed, get away from all electronic light (phones, tablets, etc.)
• 0 is the number of times you hit the snooze button in the morning
We also discuss Craig's thoughts on business and some of his best decisions in business, advice on starting an online business, his challenges now and how he is overcoming them, and who his mentors are.
Best Quote: "There are two types of people. There's proactive people that succeed and reactive people that struggle."
Craig’s Misfit 3
In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome friend and longtime mentor, John Mariotti. John is the former President of Huffy Bicycles during some of its most successful years. He also held positons as a group president at Rubbermaid and then Chairman of the Board for World Kitchen before retiring. He is now the president and CEO of the Enterprise Group - an advisory and consulting group to CEOs, Presidents, & C-suite level execs.
John is also a highly published author winning numerous awards including “Top Books for Small Business.” He also contributes regularly to Forbes, Fortune, Industry Week, the Wall Street Journal and many others.
You can learn more about John at www.Mariotti.net
You can also view John’s books at His Book Page on Amazon
John’s story spans over 4 decades of leadership, but it was how he reinvented himself as an entrepreneur at age 53 after being a CEO, President, etc. that is really interesting. We spend time talking about many subjects including the secrets of how to keep your success sustainable and going for decades. John gives his best wisdom and insight across topics from leadership to sales, and building an organization.
One of the most important strategies John shares is the simple secret formula for creating a world class, high performing organization that you can remember with the 5 fingers on your hand. He breaks it down into these things:
John shares many examples of how to implement this strategy.
We also discuss lessons John has learned from some of the greatest business leaders of our time, such as Sam Walton of Walmart, and what it means to “Think big and try small.” John shares his top thoughts on Negotiating, Sales, Managing People, Optimizing an organization’s operations, Service, and Leadership. We also discuss his mentors in life and the lessons learned from them, as well as some of his biggest mistakes and lessons learned.
Best Quote: "Waste nothing. You only have 3 resources in business - time, talent, and money. Waste none of them. If a product isn't in the hands of a consumer or client, its useless. Everything you spend from where its made to where the consumer or client can use it is waste. Eliminate as much as you can of it!"
John's Misfit 3
In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome Steve Cunningham. Steve is founder of Readitfor.me, one of the most unique and exciting breakthroughs in personal growth and development released in a long time. In fact, Dave liked it so much he became a customer! Readitfor.me, is a service that delivers a summary of a best-selling business and personal development books to their members every single day.
Their mission is to:
Read it for me is used by some of the largest corporations in the world, as well as many major influencers and entrepreneurs. In fact, Tony Hseih, founder of Zappos had this to say about readitfor.me, "We use Readitfor.me here at Zappos, and we love it. Pursuing growth and learning is one of our core values, and Readitfor.me lets us do that in a fun and engaging way."
Steve holds the record for shortest law career ever, one week. He had gone to school for law and business, but within a week found that law was not for him, so he went into a family business and started a media company within it. In order to perfect his craft, he begin to study and perfect social media techniques for meeting influencers and acquiring clients many years before it really became popular.
He also studied and read voraciously as many books and materials he could get his hands on about business and entrepreneurship. He found that many of the potential clients he was meeting with were entrepreneurs and one of the best ways to build rapport was to see what books they had on their bookshelves and discuss them. But the funny thing was that many times, they would admit, they actually hadn’t read the books…they just had them on their bookshelves!
This gave Steve an idea. He could take those business books that everyone wants to read, but doesn’t have the time and condense them down to a 10 minute read, or a quick audio or video. He could then use it to open doors for his content marketing business and use it as a case study to show how things can go viral on social media and grow a business. And that is exactly what happened. Within a very short time, the summaries were shared all over the world, put in email newsletters, and shared on social media. Steve even starting getting calls from venture capitalists.
So a case study, an experiment to gain new clients for content marketing, very quickly turned into a business and recently, Steve stopped doing content marketing and social media services all together to focus on Readitfor.me full time.
Make sure to pay attention at the 7 minute mark when Steve talks about the “in-between moments.” Also tune in at the 10 minute mark where Steve talks about going from knowing nothing about creating and starting an online e-learning business to creating Readitfor.me. It truly proves that anything can be learned.
Steve talks about his tipping point when he did 10x his sales in one month. The key to this was to go HUGE and create an absolutely off the wall offer. And it worked
That is the offer Dave saw that was limited for a very short window and bought the service. What did Steve do? He went from a monthly/annual subscription to a lifetime subscription for a ridiculous price! He only does this for very specific partnerships. His thinking was, "Why plod along and get a subscriber here or there, when you can offer something of such ridiculous value that it is too good to pass up." His rational was, "If I make it such a good deal and get a million clients in a shorter time, it’s the same as getting subscription clients 1 by one over many, many years."
The response was insane!
Here are Tips and things Steve has learned in building Readitfor.me:
Top Books Recommendations from Steve:
Goal Setting and Task Performance (From an old text book delivered via module at Readitfor.me
Best Quote: “Always challenge assumptions you are making and why you are doing what you are doing…”
Steve's Misfit 3
In this episode, Dave is excited to welcome long time friend and quintessential Misfit Entrepreneur, John Ruhlin. John is the founder of The Ruhlin Group – a gift strategy and logistics company. The Ruhlin group helps clients send world class gifts to cut through the noise, Increase referrals, and strengthen retention with their most important clients, employees, and prospects.
John is known around the world for creating unique experiences through gifting. A practice he calls Giftology. In fact, that is the title of his recently released, best-selling book. The Ruhlin group counts everyone from major league sports teams such as the Miami Dolphins and Chicago cubs to organizations like Nascar and many of the Fortune 500 including Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley as clients. They have also been profiled in INC magazine, Entrepreneur, and Forbes to name a few.
How did an Ohio farm boy learn the principles of radical generosity and building a great business from the Amish? John's story gives us the answer. John started out in farm country in Ohio and worked like any of us would through high school and into the early years of college. But, John always had the entrepreneurial itch and it was this itch that led him the most unlikely place for farm kid, selling high quality knives for Cutco. Not only could John sell, but he quickly became one of the top sales people in he company and continued to be the number producer for years.
But, it was an encounter in his early knife days with a friend of his family that left a radical impression on him. John was working hard to reach high levels starting out and had sold everything he could to this family friend. It was then that the man asked what else he could buy. John didn't know what to say, this man had bought everything he possible could. It was then that this man decided to buy sets of knives to hand out to the wives of his business partners. John was confused, what would he want to do that? It was then that John learned his lesson when the man, "Take care of the inner circle." Over the years John has perfected this practice into a concept call Giftology.
And recently John released this strategy in a book titled with the same name. It is already an instant hit and best-seller. Giftology is the Ruhlin Group's play book for the last 16 years. We discuss this in detail and John explains further about his early inspiration for gifting and how it left a lasting impression on him.
John goes in depth on what it means to take care of the “inner circle” and the concept of “radical generosity,” why most people suck at gifting and how you can use this to your advantage in your life and business.
John talks heavily about the difference between a gift and an obligation. Some of John's best advice centers around a very counter-intuitive philosophy - You should not use your logo or company information as part of your gift or in strategic gifting.
As John says, "Most people don’t see the difference between a gift and a promotional item. Don’t turn your biggest prospects, clients, or opportunities into a piece of advertising for you."
John also discusses how to overcome your limiting beliefs and take calculated risks that pay off. As with most entrepreneurs, there are always tough times along the way. We discuss how John lost almost everything and came back and the core principles that help him through. John also explains his unique perspective on how he stays grounded and what he does to intentionally make himself feel small.
Best Quote: "Most people don’t see the difference between a gift and a promotional item. Don’t turn your biggest prospects, clients, or opportunities into a piece of advertising for you."
John's Misfit 3