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Rich Schefren: Internet Marketing, BIG Tech & The Future

I'm with an incredibly special guest, a business genius and someone who's personally had an impact on me. Our guest has personally added over $15 billion of additional revenue to his clients over the course of many years.

He's been featured on media outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, ABC, NBC, Fox, MSNBC, The Discovery Channel, The New York Post and many others. After being recruited by Arthur Anderson’s Strategic Planning Division, he jumped at the opportunity to help the struggling family business.

In three years, he transformed the business, having taken it from $1.5 million to over $7.5 million and picking up customers like Prince and Uma Thurman.He invested $7,500 to create a hypnosis center, which expanded to multiple locations and over $13.5 million in revenue within four years.

Taking that knowledge, he packaged it and shared it with others, generating over $250,000 in revenue in one week. It was then he knew he was onto something big and created his venture showing marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners how to scale business online.

Please welcome the Founder and President of Strategic Profits, Mr. Rich Schefren.

Dustin
I'm grateful you're out of retirement. You've been beckoned or called out of retirement. I'm excited to talk about that.
Schefren
It's been a while since we've seen each other.
Dustin
I want to start with this, Rich. You're a summa cum laude. You're at Case Western, accounting degree recruited by Arthur Anderson. You're having success, you're winning awards. You get that opportunity to leave the family business, but on the path that you're on. Many people, they're in their career, they're on their journey. They're having wins there. To jump into entrepreneurship, even though it's family, why did you say, “I'm going to leave this behind and get behind this business?”
Schefren
It was more the opportunity than anything else. It’s interesting how life plays out. I thought that the safest path I could ever take was to work with Arthur Anderson and Anderson Consulting. Who knows if I ended up in Arthur Anderson, I would've found myself unemployed. That was the safe route. It was more about the opportunity. I didn't have any intention of leaving school. I dropped out of school to take that opportunity and then finished several years later. It was more when my dad told me he was going to close that store because it was never a big part of their business, that I knew that that store could be successful and that I had a lot of things going for it. The reason it wasn't succeeding had nothing to do with things that were not fixable.
Dustin
What did you see at the time? You had this Accounting background, you're doing strategic stuff. I can't imagine at the time you had a marketing background or a sales background.
Schefren
Accounting is the language of business. I did read a tremendous amount about retailing and I was always fascinated by the brain. It was a confluence of different kinds of factors that allowed me to have the confidence, but when you're young, you believe you can do anything. I didn't know what was in store for me. I thought the task was going to be easier than it was. We ended up having to fire everyone. It took a lot to turn the store around. What allowed me to win was recognizing that I couldn't compete on any of the terms that were standard. I was competing with Urban Outfitters, The Gap and all those stores. I had to do something that they couldn't do or I had something that I could do better than they could do. That part of that success was a lot to do with tapping into my own interests and my own passions. That was the club life in the early ‘90s in Manhattan. No one else was catering to that market and they tried. The Gap used to shop in our store. Urban used to shop in our store looking for ideas. They tried to go down that road and it didn't make any sense in their stores to have that type of clothing. Over time, with any success, it compounds. We were the first store to bring a lot of brands in that are well known now. That was more because of who we had already become. If you asked me any questions about it, I'd be glad to answer it.
Dustin
The one thing that I recognize, you have this ability to predict what's coming, which we're going to get to, especially when it comes to online and in business. I felt when you told me this story, you created an experience very much like Starbucks did, but this was before Starbucks. You made it a place to go. Didn't you have a DJ come in?
Schefren
We had a DJ. The store was lit and looks different than any other store. My goal was that whether you liked it or disliked it, you would always remember it. We were very effective. The store was unlike any other store. We were the first store to put DJs and we were the first store to bring brands like Diesel into the United States. Renzo, who owns Diesel, was a friend of mine. My general manager eventually became president of retailing for Diesel. Because we were catering to the club life and what that entire culture and the entire lifestyle, not just clothing through it, we then got DJs. Because we had DJs, we were licensing the music that they were playing. We started selling the records in the store with the CDs and they sold well. We decided to build a recording studio in the store. That was right at the rise of techno music like The Chemical Brothers and Madonna recording stuff. Pretty much every major DJ and producer was through my studio because we had one of the best electronic music studios. It was a good time. I don't know if it's built into me. It's an ADD thing more than anything else. I always want to be different. Even if I know the right way, I tried to do it differently for some stupid reason.
Doing things differently in the store was a natural thing to do. Running the store by numbers was also the natural thing to do. Both components added to the success because what we did to take the store from $1.5 million to $7.5 million, we can hold about $1.5 million worth of inventory in the store. We have to turn the store five times a year, which means that if you're turning the store five times a year, you have to sell 10% of the inventory every week. Some clothes sell more than that, some sell less. The ones that are selling less are trying to be on sale. How do we get in front of that? The things that are selling way more than 10% a week, we’ve got to reorder that quickly so that we can maintain the sales of that. You're looking in retailing for the next big hit. There's always an item or something. The sooner that you can figure that out based on sell-through and stuff, the sooner you can get on it.
We managed it very numbers driven on the inventory side. On the salesperson side as well, the commission structure we built was that anything ten times over what you made in sales, you got 5% of. In retail, you want your salary expenses to be 10% or less. All my top producers were getting paid to drive that number down. Because ten times over, they start getting 5%. At the end of every shift, people had to fill out the number of transactions that they had over their shift, the average unit per transaction like a sale price, the average total volume of a transaction. Through those different metrics, we could tell what someone was doing. Were they selling add-ons or not? Were they only selling cheap stuff or expensive stuff? If you were below average in any of those categories, you would be paired with someone who was well above average for one of your shifts so you could see the right way to do it. We had a lot of eclectic clothing, one of a kind and brands you couldn't get any elsewhere and a cool environment. We also were running it like a real business, the latest and best practices for retail at that time.
Dustin
Rich, I appreciate how your brain operates because the accounting part of my world is not definitely down to that level. You've got this accounting mind. You've got this strategic mind. You are in the clothing business, you get this opportunity to get into hypnosis. It seems out of left field from your life journey.
Schefren
What happened was that a Japanese company wanted to license this store concept and it was going to be a huge deal. I was flying back and forth to Japan a lot. In the end, that deal was supposed to happen and the Japanese economy went in the crapper. At the same time, I also realized that even though the deal I made with my dad. The original deal I had was give me the six months that the lease has left to turn around the store. If I renew the lease and we'll be 50/50 partners going forward, I’ll even pay you back any money you lost from the day I took over. When the Japan thing was going to happen, it became clear to me that the deal might be subject to change based on the family business and who makes what.
When the Japan thing fell through, I was heartbroken about that. In addition to that, recognizing the dynamic that I was in, I was like, “This might be a good time to object.” I gave the business back to my family and decided to take some time off and then figure out what I was going to do next. When I was trying to figure out what I was going to do next, I read a magazine called Time Out Magazine in New York, which is weekly. They had an article about a hypnotist. I had never been hypnotized and I was like, “I'd like to try this.” Who knows, maybe I’ll get some clarity as to the direction of my life? I went and I'm highly hypnotizable. Because I'm highly hypnotizable, it was a profound experience. Because it was a profound experience, I wanted to have more of those. I started going more to get hypnotized and then started studying it, started learning it and then decided I wanted to build a business around it. From there, my business skill fortunately is better than my hypnosis skills. I was able to grow pretty quickly.
Dustin
I'm always amazed at retail, specifically when I look at a smoothie shop. I would imagine a hypnosis center. On a typical hypnosis center, is it $50 a session?
Schefren
We should circle back to the point that every business I’ve ever had, I’ve tried to design the business so that it works well for me. In relation to the hypnosis centers, no. I had about 60 full-time hypnotists. This is what got me into direct response because I had been advertising more image style and more sleek stuff and more PR, more Page Six. When I got into the hypnosis world and I had to make the phone ring for people to make appointments, the more I liked an ad, the worse it did. The cheesier I thought the ad was, the better it did and the more embarrassed I was by the ad, the better it did. I was like, “I have a lot to learn here.” While I was learning that, I was also thinking of myself as going into a cottage industry and changing it like SySperling Hair Club for Men. When he invented that, it was a very mom and pop industry hair replacement. Doctors didn't do it. You had to find someone. It’s the same with hypnosis. I felt hypnosis was a very cottage industry. People did it. They advertise themselves but there was no bigger facility type of thing. That was what I was trying to do. In order to do that, we did a lot of direct response advertising.
We eventually got good at direct response advertising. We would run full-page ads in the daily news. From those full-page ads, we had about 40 calls. A couple of years later, we were getting 450 calls from a full-page ad from split testing. They would call for a free screening. About 98% of the people would book an appointment for a free screening, but only 50% would show up for the free screening. We would sell about 70% to 80% of the people that came in for the free screening. The average sale was about $1,500. We had programs that were $3,000 and $1,000. People bought a package and that package was based on the results that they wanted and where they were at. What we did was once they paid that package price, we guaranteed the result and we continued to work with them as long as it took to get the result for that price. We had a lot of automated sessions into this whole processing system. The variable cost of what it costs to satisfy customer, I was paying the hypnotist $25 to $35 an hour, but I was getting paid $250. It was a successful business very quickly.
Dustin
I can see how you made it a success. Originally, I was thinking when I walked by a smoothie shop, it's like, “How many smoothies does it to make to pay the rent?” The key takeaway there is you didn't sell the session. You sold a guarantee, you sold the end result.
Schefren
For sure, we advertised the solution to problems. We didn't advertise hypnosis. Hypnosis was in our ads, but the call out wasn't the people who were interested in hypnosis. The call-out was to someone who was having a challenge with their weight, smoking, some phobia or some habit. The advertising was more problem-centric. I learned a lot there. I learned a lot about the mind during that time too. First, I studied to be a hypnotist, so I recognized there's a lot of stuff as it relates to marketing that I learned about the mind in hypnosis that was helpful later on.
Dustin
What makes you incredibly unique, special and different in this world of internet marketing or businesses that you've got this amazing number mind, accounting mind? You also have experience in retail. Getting into internet and online marketing, I’ve always known you as the heady savvy business strategist and that works for you. One of the things that we talked about is your ability to predict what's next. As we move into online marketing and businesses that want to market online, how has the online business changed and what's the future? I want to know what's coming down the pike so I could benefit from this.
Schefren
What we were talking about how a lot of things are somewhat cyclical and they come back. There's an element of that here. There were a lot of predictions that I made over the years, in the free reports that I put out that have come true. They've come true but I don't think people are fully leveraging what I had to say, even though you can the suggestions are the same. The prediction came true, but the suggestions haven't still been as fully applied as they could be. The biggest elephant in the room is Big Tech. I'm a libertarian through and through, so it pains me to say this but I believe that Google, Facebook and Amazon are all too big. They're getting even bigger and they have too big of an advantage. They are doing things that are not fair to small business and inherently violate the original agreements that these companies were on board for.
The warning sign of all that is it's called Big Tech. Anytime big is in front of an industry, it's certainly a problem like big pharma, big oil, or big tobacco. Generally, we don't call the industry big unless we have a problem with it. Forget about all the crimes they commit that they don't get in trouble for. They pay a fine, whether it's Google buying all the master card data on all of us. Whether it’s Google having a side deal with Amazon and Apple that they won't hire their employees and vice versa. They got fined $500 million for that. Whether it's proof that The Wall Street Journal has proven that Google messes with their search listings to favor their advertisers, favor their own products, so they do mess with their search results. Whether it's Google keeping more people who search on their pages that leave the pages to go to other sites.
When search engines were first established, the inherent agreement was we're going to scrape all the content in the world, but people are going to come to our site to go to your sites, so it's okay to scrape. If you're scraping all the content in the world, but more than half the people that come to the page that do a search don't leave because you've now started to build a walled garden around search. You want to keep people on your own properties and use our content to do that, there's a problem with that. When Facebook convinced the world that the best way to get in touch with people was to have them be fans of your page because then you get in touch with them for free. Everyone from McDonald's to Mercedes Benz was telling in all their ads, “Like us on Facebook.” Everybody got sent to Facebook and every network sent all their people to Facebook.
Facebook was like, “Thanks for all of your customers, but we're no longer going to show your updates. Your updates will be seen by about half of 1% of all the people that have liked your page and want to see more from you.” Amazon has 95 million people in Prime. That's more than two-thirds of the households in the United States. That's more than will vote in the next election. We're all guilty of that. If there's anything I want to buy, I go to Amazon first. These platforms, they've stifled innovation. There's been nothing new over the last couple of years. They're making it so that it's more difficult to grow a small business. Less small businesses have been started year after year in the last several years. Less VC funding in any area that overlaps into any of these Big Tech giants, less has been done. It's becoming a problem. That part surfaces a lot of what you can do. Some of the things are straightforward and are things that we got away from in the past. Some of the things that I made suggestions about in the past, but I haven't seen them fully embraced.
The first thing is to recognize that we have less of a voice than at any time small businesses specifically. Facebook and Google, because of “fake news,” they give brands greater credence than non-brands. Most entrepreneurs and small businesses don't have a brand. Big business is paying less for the same leads. Small businesses, we have to pay more, which is insane. In that dynamic, I made this back in 2008 when I wrote the Attention Age Doctrine Two. I was talking about potentially becoming the scarcest commodity and that attention was going to go to social media. I made an argument in that report that the prospects have to become more than your target. You have to look at them as your best channel. Most people got that, but they didn't get it fully. A lot of people think of that as word of mouth marketing or something like that, which is more targeted towards their customers. I wasn't talking about their customers, I was talking about their prospects. Part of the reason why a lot of my reports went viral is that my prospects shared it, not because my customers shared it. People read the manifesto and then they felt the need to share with other people and it shared.
Your prospects are more trusted in these platforms. A big shift is getting back to doing marketing that helps people value what it is you offer. I call that more demand creating as opposed to demand chasing, which is getting in front of prospects who are showing all indicators that they might buy soon. Doing it in a way where your marketing message has value in and of itself, so it gets passed along. Another thing is more partnerships. You were around a long time, I’ve been around a long time. Before Facebook, it was very hard for a business mine to find customers because AdWords wouldn't work. If I did make money online, those people are way too green. They still believe in fairy tales. I can't deal with those people. If they're typing in InfusionSoft or ClickFunnels, they're in my market. At that moment, they're looking for InfusionSoft or ClickFunnels. They're not looking for me. There was never a time and Facebook opened up that possibility. What Facebook opened up closed down a lot of partnerships, JVs and affiliates. Maybe it was too much in the market several years ago, but it's too little.
What I’ve seen in Agora especially is to make a lead generation campaign work or some acquisition campaign, a lot of times we can pull in a partner. Whether they're another record company or whether it's outside of Agora and split the lead cost, or do a co-reg deal. All of a sudden, it makes the numbers work. As opposed to what I might think of doing is to redesign the whole funnel to make that thing work. Having a network of partners is valuable and there's a lot more to say about that. Understanding partnerships in a way that is much more than the way it is done now, but not necessarily the way it was done in the past differently. Differently in the sense of joint ventures and affiliate partners who are also adding new customers to their files. In addition to that, also recognizing that's not just joint ventures and affiliate deals. There's more to be done, especially with a few other companies. Aside from that, using non-alternative online stuff because generally, you're going to get not the biggest scale from it but the most benefit, the cheapest allowable cost per acquisition. That would be Reddit, Quora or native advertising, things that are outside of the Big Three.
Dustin
Are you still a fan of being there or having your business there as a lead channel still?
Schefren
You need to be there and that you need to recognize what it is and what it's good for. They can be leveraged in lots of ways, but you don't want to build a business that is reliant on any one of those channels. It means that you should be bringing people across numerous channels. Have their snail mail, have their phone number if you can get it. Have them follow you on YouTube, Instagram, or on Facebook, as many places as possible. Potentially even move people around through sequential storytelling so that you can build out as many platforms as you have. If you lose one or two, you still have a way of surviving. That's the issue. With Agora, if they get kicked out of Facebook or Google, we can get someone on the phone. At $1.8 billion, we can get someone on the phone, but most small businesses can’t. Getting kicked out of these places is a death sentence. I’ve coached how many companies through that. I don't think it's fair for companies that are competing with us to also have that ability to kick us out and then also not have to take our calls. It's a very one-sided situation and these companies are getting bigger and that's making the market more difficult. The idea that less organic traffic online is problematic. That's what the net effect long-term for businesses is not good.
Dustin
It's funny you talked about some of the things that were caught in the media and talked about. The Big Tech, Google doing this and Facebook paying a $5 billion fine. One thing I wanted to ask you about is I came across this where Google Chrome is going to shut down the cookies for affiliate marketing. What's your take on that?
Schefren
They don't need cookies. Google, Amazon, Facebook have what's called an identity graph. An identity graph is basically where you have the name of the person and every different piece of contact information that you can have on that person. Google, Facebook, and Amazon have that because they have platforms that people log into from all their devices. Amazon has my TV device ID because I watched Amazon Prime on my television. I’ve also watched YouTube so Google knows my TV. Either one of them could do retargeting to my television for local ads. People do that. They have my cell phones, they have my iPad because I’ve logged through all those devices, so they know who I am. They not only know who I am when I log into their platforms, but because many people have Facebook retargeting on their sites or like buttons on their sites, Facebook gets all that data. They buy a lot of data too. The same with Google. You'll see a bunch of these probably over a couple of years.
Big Tech supposedly is doing something good, but that's because they don't need it anymore. It's them pulling up the ladder behind them, so that no one else can have the level of data that they have. They're getting rid of cookies. Chrome is 66% of the browser market. That's exactly my point. We were talking about this. I'm 48, so I have at least 48 years’ worth of experience on this planet. I remember when Bell had the monopoly for phones and your only option was renting a phone. There weren't phones for sale. There were no cell phones, there was nothing. People didn't see any of that stuff until they broke up the phone company. As soon as they broke it up, phones went up for sale. I don't know if we'd have cell phones now if they didn't break up the phone company. I don't think the Chrome browser would be 66% of the market or that Google would own 95% of the search market if the government hadn't broken up Microsoft. If you think about what have these companies innovated in the last several years? Pretty much nothing because they're not in the innovation stage anymore. They're in the maturity stage, where it's all about maximizing income. What have they done new?
I love Apple and I wouldn't put Apple in the same group of these companies, but what does the Apple come up with that's new? Nothing specific. The last thing was a watch. These companies are more sitting on their wealth and trying to get as much as possible by building bigger walled gardens, by preventing people from leaving their platforms. With their data advantage, it becomes an uphill battle that these companies are too strong. They've spent $435 billion on acquisitions. Those acquisitions have been companies. Some they have incorporated into their model and others they've squashed. They didn't want that technology out and they have the money to do that.
Dustin
When you talk about the acquisitions and them not innovating anymore, they're buying that. Sometimes they're killing it because they don't want any competitor or they're figuring out how to clone another company.
Schefren
Amazon is so powerful that they work inversely to the rest of the retail stock market. If Nike makes an announcement that they're doing something with Amazon, a branded store or something, you can bet that other retailers are going to go down and every other shoe company is going to go down as well. When Amazon bought Whole Foods, every other food retailer went down. When Amazon announces a great Black Friday, all the other retailer's prices go down. There’s that. Antitrust law got changed many years ago to make it so that you're only a monopoly if you're charging predatory prices to your customers. There's no charge. The challenge is that when you look at what Amazon is valued ad, Amazon’s valued ad is 40, 50 times earnings, which means that at some point, investors believe that Amazon will charge predatory pricing once they put everyone else out of business. Why would it be worth so much more than what they earned today unless you believe they're going to earn a lot more tomorrow. They're going to earn a lot more tomorrow because they're not going to take the losses that they take today. Other people would be out of business and it will be too late when they start raising the prices and say, “This is monopoly,” but there won't be any other companies around. It's problematic.
Dustin
Rich, you've painted this picture. I love the game, so I didn't know it to this level. You've educated me on that, but what do you say to the person that's like, “Why don't I go put my money in index funds? Why don't I get into real estate?” Why even be a part of a business game or online marketing if this is the case?
Schefren
What I would say is that the online environment is more of the canary in the coal mine. What I mean by that is that if we leave the internet to the side for a second and we look at society. Every change in the way we power things and the way things get done has created massive societal change. The last revolution was the industrial revolution. When it happened in a span of about 120 years or something that, but we went from having 92% of the population as farmers to 4% or 6%. 90% of the population, their jobs changed. Not only their jobs changed, where they live changed, everything changed. In every of these industrial type of revolutions, hinges of history or however you want to call it, life was very different after than before. Life stayed the same for a long period of time, but then nothing changed until the precipitating event. The invention of steam energy first and electricity. With AI, that is going to to happen again. It's not going to happen over 150 years or 120 years. It's going to happen over a ten-year thing. That is a total shift of all society.
If these tech companies don't get broken up, it's going to create a more imbalance of people. It's a winner take all model. I would say that being online, first of all, you're at the forefront and that's still where all opportunity primarily is. We can't even fathom what opportunities are out there. To even talk about what's immensely doable today and also what's possible tomorrow. Nobody saw Uber coming because that required 4G. No one knew what was going to happen once we had 4G. 5G is 100 times more powerful and faster than 4G. No one has any clue of what we might do with that. As far as new apps, new things, that's cool. In addition to that, there's still going to always be opportunity online because of the network of people out there. I believe at some point things will get split up and then when things get split up, there will be tremendous new opportunities. Also, technology opens up a big opportunity. This specifically is a good takeaway for everyone reading. I used to teach systems and one way of looking at a business is to look at it as a system designed to get the customer an end result or outcome. The mistake that people talk about like the railroad industry made was they saw themselves in the railroad business, not in the people moving business.
Blockbuster versus Netflix. Netflix offered a more convenient model to watch a movie at home than Blockbuster. Your business is a system. The system is, “I want to enjoy a relaxing movie at home, which system do I want to use? Stream it or go drive far?” Your business is a system to get the outcome. With the Internet of Things, with 5G coming being rolled out, what you'll see are more and more businesses partnering with their customers. As a silly example, imagination is your limit here. Let's say the average bed costs $1,000. The average bed lasts a year and a half, 500 days. On average, you're spending $2 a night for a night's sleep. In the future, there might be a mattress company that says, “We guarantee an 80% efficiency rate in sleeping. You don't pay for nights that you don't sleep that way and you pay $3 a night when you get a great night's sleep. We’re your partner in sleep and we're going to optimize everything that we can so that you get the best night's sleep possible. When you don't, you don't pay.”
We're moving more and more towards a society where we don't own stuff as it is. I’ve moved to the Apple finance program. I buy a new iPhone every year, but I only pay for half the payments and then they take that one and they give me the next one. I don't ever own the iPhone anymore. I'm renting it. There's a tremendous opportunity, but that opportunity is an innovation. In addition to some new best practices that every online business should follow because there are these behemoth Goliaths that can kill us at any moment. We're ants walking around in a parade.
Dustin
I know that you look at things many levels deep and that's the true value I believe you bring to the world. We touched on AI a bit. What do you see below the surface? Is there anything that concerns you? Ultimately, how do we benefit from this?
Schefren
The things that concern me are the same things I would think concern everybody for the most part. I see some other concerns as far as Big Tech, what they're doing, how much they're getting away with and how they're changing our society so that they can get away with it as far as laws and things. I’ve never been a big fan of spending a lot of time on social media and I’ve never liked it. On another level, I understand it very well but personally, I don't understand it. I don't get the whole idea of comparing my inner life to other people's social life. It doesn't do it for me. There was a great book written by a sociologist, Robert Putnam. The book is called Bowling Alone. It's about the effects of technology and how technology pulls us together and then pulls us apart. If you look at TVs or anything like that, TVs were very hard to come by. When someone got it in your neighborhood and everybody came over to watch it. Everyone on the block came. Eventually, everyone had their own TV set in their home and then the whole family would watch. It was bringing people together. Now, there's a TV in every room and on every device and you can be alone watching it.
Technology has pulled us apart. There was a gentleman by the name of BJ Fogg. He ran the Stanford Persuasive lab, which is where a lot of this dopamine hit tricks developed from. He's written a book about being healthy with tiny habits. He doesn't like being associated with that Stanford Persuasive lab, but nonetheless not exactly designed for our best interests. What you have if you think about it is you have the smartest people in the world all gathered where they have collected the most amount of money the world has ever seen. They spend their time trying to figure out how to keep people who alone, spend more time in front of their computer alone, spend more time comparing their lives to others alone and making it addictive by putting in dopamine hits.
This is our Manhattan Project. We are putting our brightest people and investing a tremendous amount of money into what is negative to society. I'm not a fan, but I am a fan of all the wonderful things that it's provided too. It's a great time to be alive. Eventually, these companies will be stopped, but for the next couple of years, the entrepreneurs who get it are going to be in a place of righteous opportunity at some point. A lot of people will go out of business and then they're going to have to figure out what to do. Nobody is sure what that future looks like because it could be a lot of white-collar jobs we lose, because white-collar jobs are easier to replace with AI. It's easier to do incredibly difficult math than it is to teach a computer how to pick up without messing up the plant.
Everything I'm talking about here would put everything else in flux too. Grant Cardone believes that everyone is one paycheck away from poverty. That's why he invests in rental properties because he believes that most of the United States doesn’t have any money anyway. If they want to buy a new car, they have to wait until its 0% financing. If you think real estate is going to be great because you're going to buy and hold, maybe it's not. It might be a horrible investment. I'm not an economist and I'm not a real estate investor. Because these companies represent such a huge portion of our economy, 15% of the S&P, these five companies Big Tech, there's no escaping the effect of these companies, regardless of the work you're in.
Dustin
You do things historically. I’ve watched from afar and up close a couple of times. You do things differently than what other people are doing. There's something to be said about that. One of those things you've got coming up, people would traditionally put out an article about this. They may do a webinar, crack open a Facebook Live, although that might be counter to the message. You've got something monumental. You're working on that, that's coming up. It's a 24-hour broadcast. Tell me about it and how many Red Bulls you think you're going to need.
Schefren
I’ve done this before. Before I take on any campaign of importance, and I look at every campaign as a sprint. I look at business as more for me, a series of sprints where I'm competing with a lot of people who are running a marathon. My job is to use that extra speed to run out of the front. Gather a lot of attention. Focus that attention on a message that builds a case for what it is I want to share with the world. This time is no different than any other times in the past, except I took five years off. I spent a lot of time with my family. I did a bunch of soul searching then sold a portion of my business to our publishing. In order to help them with the platforms, because that was the original idea, I was coming in to help them. I started studying AI and data. I realized that that wouldn't be enough.
As more of a strategist than a generalist, I realized that in order for Agora to win going forward, they would need me to reach out to a bunch of experts, the best in the world at pretty much every area of online marketing. If I was going to do that for Agora, who's been my client for many years, that I might as well do this for the market because this is the market that I grew up in where I became more successful than I ever thought I was going to be. I wouldn't want to see this market get destroyed. I think it's going to, or at least for a lot of people. I made a lot of phone calls and called in a lot of favors, and we're doing a 24-hour live stream on February 19th.
It starts at 7:00 PM and is going to go until February 20th at 7:00 PM. I don't think there's ever been this amount of talent in one room at any given time. I say that because we have Russell Brunson from ClickFunnels coming in. We have Ryan Deiss from Digital Marketer, Todd Brown, Jeff Walker, Mike Filsaime, AnikSingal, Mike Dillard, and Anthony Morrison. There are about 30 to 40 people that are coming. The whole idea behind it is to give people strategies that are working so that we can get people off on the right start. We can also share a bunch of strategies that will work but will become increasingly more important as Big Tech starts with their 2020 plan. The goal is for everybody who gets on the live stream to walk away with very specific steps that they can take with very clear ideas of how long it will take, how much upside they'll have as it relates to moving their business forward. What new things should they be looking at? What things should they be thinking about stopping? How to build on that and not be caught off guard by Big Tech?
Dustin
If someone’s saying, “Rich is a machine. He can stay up for 24 hours and probably going to catch a piece of that.” Is that an opportunity they can come in and out, depending on where they're at?
Schefren
We first did a live stream back in 2006, 2007 where we broadcast it live from a seminar. We snuck a line through the hotel. We had a big truck outside. It's crazy. That was the first time that was ever done from a seminar. I did this 26-hour stream back in 2008. When I did that one, I'd say that we got a lot of people in the beginning and then more and more people came each hour towards the end because they wanted to see if I was a master or not. That was my answering questions for 26 hours. This is a lot of people and it should be a lot more entertaining. If people come on early, they need to be careful because they might end up watching the whole thing. It's not only going to be great information, it should be rather entertaining too.
Dustin
For people that want to come and check this out, which I highly encourage them to do to get access to you in the end part of that session. Your brain will make them richer in their personal life, business life and how you think. How do they get access?
Schefren
One other thing too that I didn't mention that I think people would be excited about is that when they register for the live stream, what they also get are three presentations that I did at Bill Bonner's castle and France to all of the international publishers of Agora. I did a two-day workshop. It's something I’ve done for them before. We taped the first three presentations that I did for the publishers. People get those presentations for free, the videos and the slides and everything. The first presentation is Eleven Ways to Increase Conversion Rates without Changing a Word of Copy. The next one is Thirteen Sneaky Ways to Increase Cart Value and Email Sales. The third one is VSLs, Webinars and Other Methods of Stealth Selling. Some of our international partners have their best month’s right after that. I will take some of that credit. Those presentations are behind the scenes what we as a company, Agora, me as one of their top marketers teach all the other top people in the company about marketing. People would get a lot of value out of that. The best thing would probably be if you're going to have a redirect link on your website.
Dustin
Do they need to enter a code or can we give them a special link that they would get access to?
Schefren
When they get there, they will see a vault. It's going to ask them for a code. We might as well make that WealthFit. They just type in that. They can come to the safe, they'll put in WealthFit and then they'll be greeted by the next page, which would be the registration page for the live stream. We'll be sending a lot of information out prior to the live stream so that people can maximize their time and get the most value. The other plus to this is that there are many people who claim expertise and it's very hard to vet people. What I can promise anyone reading and anyone who shows up in the live stream is that all these people have been vetted. These are the people that created the models that people are using, have created the models that were developed also, the people that will develop the future’s models. What I’ve tried to do is get the best, but also the best from the past and the best now in all these different categories. It's going to be great and people will be blown away. I imagine that it will be one of the biggest events of the decade.
Dustin
I'm looking forward to it. Rich, I want to say thank you big time for the impact you've had in my life. Thank you big time for making the time on your whirlwind tour here and coming on the show. Paying it forward and opening people's eyes to things because it's easy to get into, “I'm going to optimize this and optimize this,” and not see what Big Tech is doing or whatever else is going on. You're giving people some incredible awareness.
Schefren
If what I’ve said has no interest to someone, at the very least, the takeaway should be to start paying attention to what Big Tech is doing. At some point, you're going to be caught off guard and it might be sooner than you think, but at least see that as a potential threat coming down the pipe.
Dustin
I want to thank you big time for reading this blog. If you know someone that could benefit maybe an aspiring online marketer or perhaps yourself, maybe you're a business owner or entrepreneur that has a network of people, share the wealth as we like to say here at the Get WealthFit Show. Pass it along because this event is only going to happen once. This is a great opportunity to be a part of something monumental and benefit big time. I can’t wait to have you back for the next show.

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