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4 Big Lessons From Making Tens of Millions of Dollars

I recently celebrated a BIG milestone by turning 40! In this episode I share my four biggest lessons from generating tens of millions of dollars.

Big Ideas

Take Pride in What Makes You Unique [1:22]

My family and I were originally from England, and we moved over to Canada when I was six years old. As a six-year-old who just moved over to a whole new country, all I wanted to do was to fit in. But my accent made me different and unique. I remember, as I was going into grade 2, all the kids were so fascinated with my accent that the older kids in grade 8, particularly the girls, would pick me up, put me on the garbage can and tell me to talk because they just wanted to hear my accent. At the time, I didn’t realize what an advantage that may have been, so I worked as hard as possible to lose my accent. 

The crazy thing is that now in my business, I’m trying as hard as possible to be unique, to stand out. And so one of the things that I’ve learned from that first decade of my life is that it’s good to be different. It’s good to be unique, and to celebrate this uniqueness, because that’s what makes you, you and that’s what people are drawn to.

Failing Doesn’t Make You a Failure [2:53]

There was a really important lesson I learned in the second decade of my life before I went to university. I had always had dreams of playing soccer at a really high level, and one of those dreams was to play at university. But the summer before I left to go to university, I got cut from an elite team that I was playing for, and it was so devastating to me that I almost gave up on soccer. And thank goodness that my parents were there to pick me up, dust me off and encourage me to keep playing the game. They told me to take it easy that summer, play for any team and have fun. So I played for this men’s team, and there was no pressure. But it got me kicking the ball again, playing with the guys and not giving up on the game. 

Later that summer were the tryouts for the university team. Because I wasn’t recruited, I ended up competing against over 350 plus players for about five to seven positions. The trials were grueling, they eliminated people by the hundreds in the first few days, just based on fitness tests and skills tests. Then it got down to the last 20 of us, and these were the final cuts. I remember being so nervous, and there was one moment I’ll never forget – the moment I made the team. 

I learned that failing doesn’t make you a failure but learning from your failures makes you a winner. When I got cut from that elite team the summer before I left university, I felt like giving up on soccer, but I’m so grateful to my parents who kept me on track, and so grateful that I didn’t give up. Because not only did I make the university team, but we went on to win two national championships. 

Be Patient and Play the Long Game [7:43] 

During my third decade, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I understood and realized pretty quickly after graduation that I didn’t want to go into the corporate world. So I decided to start my own business. I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do, so I started doing a bunch of different things, but one of the things I am very grateful for was being tremendously patient with myself. All my friends were going off, getting corporate jobs, making great money and having the luxuries of that kind of lifestyle. Whereas I was still staying with my parents, living in the basement, eating peanut butter and jam sandwiches, barely scraping by. But I kept saying to myself to play the long game. 

One of the things I made a point of during that time was learning from mentors. I would seek out mentors and just do whatever I could to be in their presence to learn, knowing that I may not make the money right now, but through what I was learning from them, I would eventually have an experienced success. And that’s exactly what happened. It led me to some unbelievable relationships and partnerships, and ultimately building my first million-dollar-plus business before the time I was 30. 

So, one of the big lessons here is to be patient and play the long game. So often, we just want to be able to make money and have an experienced success right away. But sometimes you’re better off being patient, learning lessons, knowing that the long game will lead to success. 

Become Known for Something Specific & Focus on Client Results [9:59] 

Now, I enter into my 30s and I’m starting to get a lot more clear about who I am, what I value, the business that I want to run. I started the decade off with the business that we had gotten to a million dollars plus, our software company WishList Member. Then there was a point in time when I realized that I wanted to go in a different direction. So, although the business was booming, I sold my shares in the company, and for about a year-and-a-half, I was just taking time to get clear on who I wanted to serve. That ultimately led to my partnership with Michael Hyatt. And this was going back to the lesson from the earlier decade, because I was playing a long game. I wasn’t in this relationship to make a whole lot of money, I wanted to learn from him about leadership. And so, it was an amazing partnership, and we did some phenomenal things together. 

Then there was a moment when another friend and mentor of mine, Mr. Reid Tracy, really helped give me the clarity of my next steps. He told me to double down on the things that I was really good at and to become known for something specific. That one little shift made a monster difference in the success as I carried through my 30s. We doubled down, which ultimately led to us launching the TRIBE program, and the whole TRIBE experience just took off. 

That success is attributed to two things – becoming known for something specific and focusing on getting client results. We saw significant growth and I accomplished one of my biggest goals – to have a business that generates more than a million dollars by the time I was 30. One of my other goals was to create a business that generated more than $10 million a year by the time I was 40, and we did that too. Because we became known for something specific and we focused heavily on getting client results.

Memorable Quotes

“What you will accomplish in the next year will be miniscule compared to what you will accomplish in the next 10 years. You just have to keep moving forward. – Stu McLaren


Episode 20 – The Circle of Awesomeness

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