What are some ways that real estate operators and syndicators could market themselves in today's world? What are the benefits of a mastermind? Kyle Wilson founder of Jim Rohn International, YourSuccessStore, and KyleWilson.com, shares his wisdom.

Tell us a little bit about you.
I grew up in a small town and never went to college. I'm not th e guy you would think of as Jim Rohn's 18-year business partner. I used to do drugs, but I had a significant emotional experience at age 19, which changed my life. And by that age, I started my first little entrepreneurial business, which was a service station. I ended up building that 10 employees, open 24/7, so the entrepreneurial spirit was there. At age 26, I moved to Dallas, and that was a big move for me, I'd grown up in this small town and had never ventured outside of that. And through some very serendipitous experiences, I ended up going to a seminar, and at that seminar, they were looking to hire sales reps. I was in that place that sometimes we're in where we hear something that's so outside our comfort zone, and something I had no skill at, that I just went for it. I was making 100 cold calls a day to go speak for a company like a real estate office or insurance company or a car dealership. Not a friendly audience necessarily to go in and share how to be successful on these different points, and then sell tickets to a seminar. It was a tough gig and even thinking about public speaking was terrifying, and it was a bit of a God thing. I ended up becoming the top sales rep. and eventually went out on my own and started doing my events. I would go into a new city every 90 days, Chicago, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and Los Angeles, and put on these big events. And I would hire Jim Rohn and Brian Tracy or Og Mandino, and we would get 2000-2500 people. Life was great, I was doing something most people weren't willing to do, the price we paid was very disciplined, and very focused, it just took a lot of moving pieces and it took me about five years to get there. I don't want to act like this happened overnight, but we were one of the top promoters in the country.

Jim Rohn came to me (Tony Robbins calls him his mentor, and so many others). Jim was my favorite speaker, and he said, "Kyle, my partner owes me half a million. For this next event, can you just pay me directly?" Because I always went through Jim's partner. I said, "Yes." And he said, "I'll just take it off the tab." And at the end of the next event, I met with Jim and said, "Jim, I would love the opportunity to have an exclusive with you." And that sounded a lot better to me than it did to him. I think he was very gun-shy; he had had a lot of bad experiences. I made him an offer he couldn't refuse. I said, "I'll pay for everything, it'll be my company; I'll pay you off the top, it doesn't matter if I'm incompetent, I'm going to pay you off the top versus a partnership on events that might or might not make money." And we shook hands, it was a handshake deal. And so, for 10 years, we had that handshake, and that first year I took it from 20 speaking dates to 110. I tripled his speaking fee, and started creating some products and one of them became a viral product that we sold 6 million of and we're off to the races.

I'm taking Jim to all these new companies, I had a small team, maybe three, four people helping me with this, and I thought, I could also take Brian Tracy, who I used to represent at my events; I met Mark Victor Hansen, with I later did Chicken Soup for Entrepreneur's Soul with, and I met Les Brown and Denis Waitley and started another company called Your Success Story. And then I would take all those speakers into the companies I had Jim speaking at, and we had a great run. In 2000 is when I started my first "easing" back in the day, newsletters, emails are popular now but I was doing it pretty early in 1999. We built a million-plus list and ended up selling all my companies in 2007. I retired for seven years and now I'm kind of reinventing myself and doing things I enjoy.

That's such a wonderful story, especially the fact that you provided value to Jim Rohn first, before a partnership ever existed, which is what you have to do with somebody like him. He saw that you performed and then your offer was a fantastic offer that he could not refuse (to pay him off the top no matter what). We need to provide value if we need help from somebody, if you're getting started in real estate in our case.
When we see people that we want to work with who are more successful than us, we have to find the thing we can help them solve, that we can bring a skill. A lot of people come, "Hey, Kyle, how can I help you?" Well, they really can't, it would take me more time to have them help me, but if there's a true need that they can solve and if they're smart, they'll just go do it. And I've had some people along the way, just go do it for me, it's like, okay, they made this easy, they made it seamless. I'm glad that you picked up on that because that is a big mistake and I am surrounded by that in my world. People want to be introduced to Brian Tracy, or Les Brown, or Mark Victor Hansen and it just doesn't work that way, they have people paying them 10s of 1000s of dollars to be part of their programs. That's where they have to start, to become part of their programs, let them see you on the front row of every event they do and that's really what happened with me, I was doing these big events, and I had people that we both would know, big speakers that would show up at my events. They're not just trying to get me to promote them or sell their product when I built million-plus lists, they're showing up at my events, too. They're fully participating, front and center.

What are some ways that real estate operators and syndicators could market themselves in today's world with all the technology, and now even ChatGPT?
After I sold my companies, I retired for seven years and I decided in 2013, after a ski trip with a couple of guys, Darren Hardy and a few others, they had a San Diego mastermind and they said you should go start your own in Dallas. And I thought, I sold my million plus list, I don't have any employees anymore, I don't have a team and I don't have any intellectual property. I used to get dozens of top 10 results on Google for all the speakers, and all the products, but I didn't have anything. Anyone was ahead of me because they even had a blog, and I was starting at zero, but I did have huge relationships, I was one phone call away, I had the knowledge, and I also had the money to write. I wasn't having to go create something out of desperation, I could build it the right way, which is important.

I had to put myself out there and my first thoughts and observations were social media. I'm a big believer, in The Wheel which I started in 1993, you're the hub and each thing you do is a spoke. The big question is how to get people on the wheel, and then take them around, and I think a lot of people leave out is the getting them on the wheel part. And I thought social media had a couple of powerful components: 1) anyone in the world can find you and you can reach anyone else in the world and, for the most part, it's free. And so, I thought, "Okay, I'm going to have to get in the social media game." I didn't want to, I was still missing my story, and I was living a very almost private life. I wouldn't even do a Jim Rohn post, and not even mention that he was my business business partner and that I owned Jim Rohn International, the company that I'd sold. I was diminishing my story. I have a lot of highly successful people around me, but they don't like social media, one of the things we had talked about was, how much influence do you want to have and if you don't want to have any influence, just go disappear and hope people will find you, but depending on your desire to influence other people's lives, you have to put yourself out there, that's just undeniable. There are a few exceptions but for the most part, we have to be willing to put ourselves out there. It's our ego that doesn't want to be judged, it's not our ego that puts itself out there, it's our ego that doesn't want someone not to like our post, or to think we're being arrogant, and I had to be content to say some people are going to judge me, they're going to say, "Oh, I'm bragging, or I'm whatever", versus the other people that say, "Kyle, I've been following you, you're making a difference in my life."

In 2017, I was at a bar in New Orleans watching a football game and there was a guy there that was bodybuilder, an older guy who worked on an oil rig. And a couple hours in, we're drinking beer, and a couple of days later I see him again at that same bar, we're watching another game. We became Instagram friends. He messaged me a couple of months ago and said, "Kyle, I can't tell you the influence you've had on me. I want to learn more about your Inner Circle, I can't afford it, I'm not in the business world." I said, I'm doing this thing called Memory Marketing in February, that might be perfect for you to come to, it doesn't cost a lot of money, and we hang out for a couple of days. He was the first guy that signed up. How did that happen? We became friends on Instagram. How many times did he reply over six years? Hardly ever. But he was watching. People are watching, a lot of times when it's crickets, we think no one's paying attention and we're putting ourselves out there, we're talking about a deal and what we don't realize, and I learned this when I had the huge email list, people are going through maybe a divorce, people are going through maybe putting their kids through college, they don't have money, maybe someone has a serious health issue, maybe there their parents are going through things and they're having to take care of them, maybe they bought the very thing you're selling a week before or month before. There are 50 reasons why they're not ready for your deal but it doesn't mean they're not paying attention.

Back to the wheel, my thing is if I can get them on the wheel, that's not a funnel, funnels have agendas, I'm not talking selling, everything I've ever taught is about attracting, it's about fishing versus hunting. I've always talked about marketing as principles and tactics and tactics change all the time. The tactics to fill a room in 1993 changed in 2004, and that changed 2010, and that changed 2016, and today is also different, but the principles haven't changed at all. The core principles are:
1) Build a relationship with people, and build trust. To do that, you have to have a way to talk to them and social media is the first step, podcasts are great for that as well. And from there, getting people onto an email list that you have a little bit more control over.
2) You have to show up where the people are. I'm a big proponent of events, especially specific types of events that are industry related and your avatar will be there. You have to show up sometimes whether it's groups or events, or that can be online. But again, anywhere I go, there is an intention, if I meet my avatar, is there something of value I can bring to them in the way of some resources. I have a bunch of free resources and that's how we became friends, you got on my email list, and we followed each other on social media, and we met at an event. I've done that 1000s of times but I also am not going to just hard sell them, it's the wheel. They go on the wheel, you put it out there, there's no agenda and when the customers are ready, that's when it happens. It's not about who, it's when the right person is ready, and taking the agenda out. But first, you have to get them on that social media's first step, or that email list.

Regarding the events, face-to-face is huge. If we had only met via Zoom calls, it would never have been the same as meeting in person. And the more we met in person, a stronger friendship developed.
You have to show up, and it's always worth it. You're going to learn something, but you're also going to meet other people and it's huge as far as building the list and every other thing. The thing most people don't do though, is they don't establish that connection. Instagram’s easy for me, sometimes it's Facebook, if they want my free resources, I'll ask for their email. But just finding some way, and I think LinkedIn is a big tool, that's a preference for a lot of people in the real estate investing world. And then, you can start building a relationship.

You also have a course as a side note, I'm going through it right now and it is very helpful, but you have to do the exercises, you have to pause, write what you're telling people to do, and move on to the next module. Otherwise, you're just learning for the sake of learning and if you're not implementing or doing the homework, it's not going to go anywhere.
What I love about that is I think we do spend way too much time learning things that we don't need to learn and that's the value of a coach or the value of a group or the value of your podcast where you have different topics. I owned a gas station and from there I ended up cold calling, then learning to do presentations, learning to sell, getting referrals, then learning to put on events, learning to create products, publish books, build an email list and become a leader with 20 employees, I became the agent for speakers. Everything was very specific that I had to learn and so there's so much I don't know but what I had to learn is where I put all my focus, all my energy. What is the problem in front of me? And I think, having put on a lot of events, there are a lot of people that just love to learn and they confuse the learning with doing and so I love that you made that reference. It's not just hearing it; it's figuring out what you need to do next and then focusing on that.

What are the benefits of a mastermind? What have you seen come out of your mastermind in terms of partnerships, growth, and becoming a thought leader in their industry?
I'm thinking of Mark and Tamil Kinney ended up starting their own mastermind, I coached them, they were part of my group for a couple of years. Tom Burns who wrote Why Doctors Don't Get Rich, Kiyosaki signed the foreword of this book. Tom has been a member since 2017 and I coached him for three years, he raised 700 million. Michael Manthei, who has been a member for five years, I coached him and he has built this incredible community where they're doing huge events. I've probably had at least a dozen people who've been part of mine that I coached that went on to create their own masterminds. Marco Santarelli, who's an amazing guy, he's part of the LA group.

We've had a lot of success and there has been a lot of business that happens inside the group, but it has to happen authentically. That's the key when people show up. If you show up and there's a common connection, or a common relationship, amazing things happen. I do have more entrepreneurs and professionals than I have investors, we probably have 25% investors, but a lot of my entrepreneurs and I'm thinking of Black Robert Crockett and Adam Futura, these big entrepreneurs have now invested a lot with the investors. There are all kinds of connections happening. I think tax has been one of the biggest topics because Mike Pines, a member, he comes speak and do Q&A, and he's just one of the best. I see Simon Bailey message me here, he has 12 bestselling books, and gets 60,000 to speak. He has been a member for three years; he'll come and speak and do master classes. We always do master classes at each mastermind, all the people I'm talking about will do Masterclass, Claire Hoover on self-storage, or whoever it is so, there's just a lot of talent.

It's my favorite thing I do. I started it in 2015, based on Darren and John saying you should start your own, I'm said, "I love what you guys are doing", but I was retired. They said, "Go start your own." And when I started, I really did have the intention, and it has not changed nine years later: who would I want to spend time with? Can they make me better? How can I help them but also, how can they help me? My masterminds are different than a lot of the others that I've seen in the sense that first of all, it's not about me, it's about the group of people in the room. I am a promoter at heart. I don't have a desire to be a speaker. Speaking is a bit uncomfortable for me, it's just not my gift. I know my gift, I'm a marketer and promoter. I love talent, I love to see people who are win-win focused. I highly dislike a lot of the agendas I see out there, a lot of the manipulation, a lot of selling the dream whether it's in the real estate world or my marketing world. I want authentic people, we have great people like Colonel Tim Cole, Ron White, and Newy Scruggs and all these amazing people and each has their gifts. For mine is a little bit different. I did it for me, I want high-quality people, and that does not mean the most successful people per se, that's not a litmus test for me. A litmus test for me is, are they authentic? Can I trust them? Are they win-win-focused? I have had people come in that don't get invited back because they had an agenda. They're there to do all the things I have a little bit of a disdain for. People come in and they think, okay, this is my tribe, these are amazing people and we have it all, we have fitness, we have investors, we have entrepreneurs, we have people with 500 employees. I've a single mom who has a hair salon, too, and she is a great fit as well. My goal is who can it help and whether are they going to be a good fit, and that doesn't mean they have to come in as a contributor. A lot of people don't want to be contributors. A lot of people want to just soak it in.

I have, Newy Scruggs, he's a 12th-time Emmy-winning sportscaster, and he hides in the back. He says, I am here to recharge my battery, I'm not here to be the guy that's up teaching. We have brilliant tax attorneys, brilliant lawyers, just amazing people. When I started it, I intentionally started in Dallas and Los Angeles. I live in Dallas, and I love California. We have live events and not everyone can make all the live events. I do about 14 days total and that includes a lot of two days. We also have a Facebook group and a membership site with a lot of content.

We do monthly masterclasses where I've had Brian Tracy, Mark Victor Hansen, and Jeffrey Gitomer, I'm calling them favors all the time. I also have a monthly marketing call where I have two partners: Paul and Sharia, who are more on the tactical side of marketing. I'm the principle-based, but they're the tactical and so we'll talk SEO, social media, websites, and all kinds of things, we do that once a month and we have Q&A's. What's cool to me is to have Bill Collin and Def Leppard spend the whole day with us in person, he has also been on three of our virtual masterminds, and he'll stick around and take questions. We have these people that are massively successful that are also fans of other members and they get to ask whatever they want. It's a special group and at the same time it is a business model. People said, let's go do this in Florida, let's do this in Nashville, let's do this in Chicago, I'm not interested, we have an amazing group. My job is to make sure that Tim Cole wants to keep showing up. I have some members that are my true north on making sure we're doing something special and I think that having trusted people, a lot happens, there's a lot of teardrops, a lot of vulnerability, people are going through things. Although it's a business mastermind, people are going through things and we create that space as well.

I have a Dallas group, and I have an LA group, they're very different environments but we all come together. Being judgmental doesn't serve us well for the most part, we get to be open, and realize that we can learn from everyone. One of my favorite Jim Rohn's quotes was, "Be a student, not a follower, make everything you do the product of your conclusion." The bottom line is we can learn from everyone, you don't have to agree with everyone, find one or two things that make sense, but make sure it's the product of your conclusion. And so, we have people that show up and they're open, but then they're going to make the final choice which is what you want people to do.

It's not only showing up, it's also following up. Building that relationship, having the people there see who you are and what you stand for, your character, those are all really important things. I had a guy the other day reach out to me, I don't remember ever meeting him and he said, "How can we partner up?" And I don't even know he is! I don't know what he stands for, I have never seen him in action. People need to build a relationship first.
The after parties are where a lot of that happens, it's always a reception. If it's at my house, I'm eventually kicking people out. I've been amazed because when I started this, in the beginning, a lot of people signed up because of me. They're either Jim Rohn fans, or because I coach Darren Hardy and Robin Sharm, they're huge Darren Hardy fans, or Brian Tracy fans, but they stay because of the people. They might come in for me, and I've sat back and watched, and everyone is connecting with someone. It's amazing how there seems to be the right fit for everyone there. We have relationship experts, we have experts on every level, like the book you were in, there's expertise across the line. And again, the master classes help expose that because they'll talk about going through a divorce, health issues, or tax, and how to save on your taxes with investing. And people will then pick the one that's the biggest need for them and then that relationship will carry on. I think you met Stormy Hill, who's this amazing doctor, a psychologist who has all kinds of things, it's amazing how much good stuff does happen. And that's why I feel so enthused about it and I don't want to screw it up, it's delicate.

Kyle Wilson