Hello and welcome. This time we're chatting with a true game changer, someone who has become a legend in internet marketing circles. These days. He's known as a digital marketer, an author, a speaker, a software developer, an online marketing educator, and marketing consultant. It's a real honor for me to welcome to the show Mike Filsaime.
Probably the best intro I've ever gotten, what a true professional. So happy to be here excited to give out some great content.
You're too kind. Well, you've become one of the biggest names in internet marketing, there's no arguing with that. Was that always an ambition for you, Mike?
Wow, I think I have to be completely transparent here. I've never been asked that question. When you meet me I'm probably the guy that when people finally meet me, especially in person, they'll say, "What a nice guy. What an easygoing guy, very unselfish." Different types of things. I only say that because I've heard that. I'm kind of laid back, but boy, deep inside, there is a driver of me that wants to be number one, at everything I do. I'll just give you a couple examples. I was the type of guy that when we would play foosball in my office, I'm going to try to say this as PG as I can, I would win nine out of 10 games. I used to sing the Cranberries song when I would start doing the comeback on somebody, I'd start singing, "I'm in your head, I'm in your head," and I'd score another goal. I would relish kind of the way Michael Jordan did in winning a game. And when I'd lose, I'd put this big smile and go, "You got me high five," I would go into my office and grab a pillow and scream "Fuck!" The F word right? Make sure nobody heard it. But yeah.
There's a competitive nature to me. I think part of it comes from wanting to fit in and wanting to prove. It's not something I don't talk about much. Maybe I've spoken about it once or twice or to a couple of different people. It's just something that me and my brother have recently come to realize. I don't think I've ever spoken about it publicly. But, my dad and my mom were born in Haiti. You give me a Dominican, and anybody that's Dominican, especially, I'm from New York, and it's hey, Dominican. You talk about an Italian, Italian pride, "kiss me I'm Irish." People have this pride of their culture to be Russian, to be whatever it is, right? Puerto Rican, Jamaican man, all these different things right? And then to be Haitian, I'm sure was the same thing, not when I grew up. I grew up born 1967. I'm in high school in ninth and 10th grade, and this virus comes out called the AIDS virus.
You could imagine, you didn't have the 24 hour news cycle, the internet and everything like that. It came on a little bit slower than the Coronavirus. But this thing if you're old enough to remember it, it scared the hell out of people. When people didn't know, especially when people didn't know if you can get it by touching someone, by looking at someone. We didn't know that it was through, bodily fluids and intercourse and blood and things like that. My dad was a very well respected person in the automotive industry, and he went for an interview one day. It was a Mercedes Benz dealership and they're loving him. They're absolutely loving him. All of a sudden they bring the staff in and all the staff is like, "Lionel your accent, where are you from? Is that French or Canadian?" He's like, "No, actually, I'm from Haiti. It's a French accent that you're hearing." "Oh, wow that's beautiful." All of a sudden, one lady goes, "Haiti. Isn't that where aids comes from?"
Everyone's like, everybody's face just went pale. Then my father, they said, "Lionel, are you from Haiti?" And so my dad lied, and said, "Oh no, my parents were from Haiti. " They were like, "Oh good, we got a little scared there." My dad came home and told me and my brother. "Right now with the AIDS virus..." This was years before Magic Johnson. "Do not tell people that you're from Haiti." Then Believe it or not, my friends had known and I started hearing things from my friends, like their parents weren't allowed to play with me anymore and stuff like that, and I'd be like, "Hey, what's going on?" And, kids will be kids. "It's because your family has AIDS." I'd be like, "What?" I'm talking 10th grade, not seven years old. Right? So I had to hide about from who I was. My brother, we recently had a talk about that. I said, "When did you start telling people you're Haitian?" He says, "Maybe three years ago."
We had this thing that we would say we were French Canadian, or Martinique, or something like that. When you would ask me, it was like this thing that you knew you were a fraud, talk about imposter syndrome. Somebody would ask you ... Because if you look at me, I could pass for a Dominican, a Puerto Rican, a Mexican, an Iranian, a Persian, an Iraqi, Middle Eastern, a Hawaiian, or a Filipino." You put me in that environment, if I walk into a bodega in Hempstead, New York, they're going to start talking to me in Spanish. If I'm in Dubai, I'm going to look ... I have this very, very worldly ethnic Look, it's probably ... People, they look at me and they say, "Mike you have a very interesting look, do you mind if I ask where you're from?" Then I say, "What do you think?" Then they're saying, I don't know, either Filipino, Arab, it's really tough to tell." When I say Haitian, and they're like, "Oh, my god, never would have guessed."
I had that question my whole life. As soon as I started seeing that question, I would start sweating. I'd want to get off of it very, very quick, because I didn't know if they knew something different. Or there would be another friend around that would go, "That's not true, you're Haitian." Right? Oh, my goodness. I can't even tell you how tough this was for me." Yeah, so I think that that created something inside of me that wanted to fit in on a deep level. So I could talk to you about the things that I was competitive at. I've wrestled in high school. I wrestled my brother, my friends all time. It was the most important thing in the world to me. I wasn't the best wrestler in practice, but I worked really hard.
There was always this guy, Mike Dell-Poehler. He was the varsity guy and I was the junior varsity guy. He had more experience than me. He was varsity the previous year, but I knew if I'd practice a certain move, and I knew he was a better wrestler than me, but we used to have these things called wrestle offs, because the best man wrestles on Friday night, that's the way it is, or Saturday whenever we'd wrestle, so they were very fair that way.
There was none of this participation trophy stuff right? Back then you earned your spot on the varsity team. I would go on the wrestle off, I'd walk up there very shy. I would play a play very, very coy. Then as soon as we would go in, I would blast and I beat this kid every single week, every single week, and he'd beat me up in practice. The coach I remember the coach's face would go. "All right, Filsamaith," because I wasn't Filsaime back then, that's an internet marketing thing. That's for another story. They say, "All right, Filsamaith varsity, Dell-Poehler junior varsity." He'd throw his sneakers at the wall and take off his headband. I had the same mentality going into the wrestling match.
I wrestled my high school year I went 18-0-1. When I was 18-0, I had never been pinned. I can tell you that the very last match that I had, I went on to this guy. His name was Craig Redding. He went to the States. My very, very last match this kid taps the handshake thing. We start going, about two and a half seconds in I was blinded by him doing a fireman's carry his arm and bicep when ... He tucked in and his arm and bicep right into my crotch, pretty much nearly knocked me out.
I saw stars and I got up and I said to my coach, it's the most embarrassing thing ever. I said, "What happened?" He goes, "You got fucking pinned, that's what happened." It was my last match of my wrestling career. I never played in college or anything like that.
Telling that story today completely, completely haunts me that I was 18-0 and I ... Being on a wrestling team, I don't know if you did any high school or college sports or something. To me I wasn't in the military, but I can only say it had this camaraderie of there was some brotherhood that was going on there. To walk off in "disgrace" those things lived with me ... I remember bowling a perfect game almost nearly and I missed the strike by one pin in the 10th frame, and like how I ... I cried for days about that, my dad was trying to tell me, he'd call me Kik, "Kik, please get over it. You have to get over it." I couldn't come out of my room.
Yes, there's this competitive thing inside of me and I don't necessarily think consciously I said I want to be on the Mount Rushmore of internet marketers, but I get motivated by seeing other people's marketing. I say, "That's some magic that they're doing right there. How can I apply that to the outcomes that I want to achieve?" I don't want to emulate somebody. I already have a goal in mind. I have an ends, an end game and I see the means given to me by somebody else. "What the heck are they doing with that video? They just made a cinematic movie, that's never been done before. Can that work for this?" Ad then I'll try to apply it. In that sense, I want to be the best that I can be. There's a book by Jim Collins called Good to Great. The first six words of that book, it could be five, we'll count them, but I think it's six is, good is the enemy of great. That's six words. That's how the book starts. Good is the enemy of great.
I remember looking at that, and it took me about two minutes to turn the page. I said, "What the hell does that mean? Good is the enemy of great." Basically what it means is in some sense your higher power, godly universe put us out here with a potential. Isn't it a beautiful thing, to strive towards potential in everything we do, in our faith, our relationships, our health, our fitness, our finances, our relationships with our kids, people, everything?" We have an opportunity, there is something great in us. In hat stone lies the Michelangelo sculpture, right? For us to be good at anything is really a disservice to what our true potential is, and that's what I took from it, and I found that to be profound. You might have a few questions, I can't help myself but go deep into even the simplest of questions, but so that's a long answer to a short question.
Oh, don't worry. I love it. I love the fact as well that you've harnessed your competitive streak and you're using it in a really positive way. I think that's quite refreshing to hear. Because I think a lot of people look at those of us who are competitive, and it's almost seen as a bad thing. Whereas actually, if you are competitive and you want to get out there, and you want to change the world ... Everybody uses Steve Jobs as the example of someone who perhaps he knew what he wanted and was able to push forward. I think that it's great that there's a poster child and that people look up to people like Steve Jobs. But in terms of your own career Mike and the way you've been able to motivate yourself, who's inspired you would you say?
The one and only, one and only my dad. There is my dad and there's nobody else. I can write a book, and there will be different people in there that I will give credit to. There are people in internet marketing certainly that have paved the way for me that are invaluable, but my character, my dad. He's a legend of a man, he's a hero, to me and everybody in my family. He was just ... He was raised right maybe a little too tough from his military dad, and I will say this, some of the things that ... the way that I was raised and my brother was raised, not my sister, but my brother, the way we were raised, quite frankly, would probably have put my father in jail in today's world, and I have no issue with it. My father came from the spare the rod spoil the child school, he never hit me with his hand, he would use the belt. It was never out of rage, it was never uncontrolled. He would come home in this great mood and my mother would be saying, "Wait till your father comes home, wait it'll your father comes home." I mean, why? Because my mother said nine times don't do something and I went out in the back and painted the house or something ridiculous, right when she told me not to.
"Leave that there, you're going to spill the paint on my brand new deck," and she's not looking and what do I do? I spill the paint. My father would come home, and he wouldn't be more upset that I spilled to paint, it's that, "Did your mother tell you not to do that, and did you disobey her?" It was one of those types of things with my dad. He'd come home in this great mood and I'd go in and hug his leg. He'd be, "Hey, Kik, how are you?" And then, "Do you know what your son did today?" And my dad would be, "Is that true?" He'd say, "Go in your room, I'm going to meet you there in 15 minutes. He'd have his dinner or whatever. He'd come in and he'd say, "Do you know what you did? Blah, blah, blah." He'd say, "Okay." He'd ... I put my hands behind, he'd say move your hands, I'd get the belt. My brother would get it too or whatever, and we'd be crying like anything. Then, but it really was the type of thing that I'd be looking over at my brother and I'd be smiling. Then my brother, my dad would go, "He's laughing." My dad would go, "Is this funny to you?" And I'd get another one.
It was just a discipline thing. Just another example, my dad had this weird thing that he would do, when we'd get in trouble, it was, "On your knees." That was the thing. We'd have to go into the corner of the room on our knees, we weren't allowed to slack we'd have to put our hands ... Like I dream of genie style and you cross fold them over our chest, and we'd have to be on our knees for 30 minutes. What would happen when I'd get off? I would go to my dad and I'd say, "Dad, I'm sorry." He would say, "Come here, sit next to your dad," watch TV together. I love the guy. Everything I did was I had to be disciplined a certain way. Now, I'm not advocating for the belt or anything like that. I don't have kids, I don't know what's the right thing to do. But I don't have any issues with the way that I was raised. My dad taught me a couple of things. I wasn't one of those kids ... I remember when I would say something, my friend would say something like, "I want to get that bike," and I would say something like, "Oh, cool. When are you going to get it? Are you going to talk to your parents?"
It would be like August and they would say something like, "Yeah, my dad's going to give it to me for Christmas." That, to me was the weirdest thing. I was like, "Well, that's weird." And just in my head, it's probably the right way right? In my head. It was like, "Why are you getting something for Christmas? That's a long time from now if your parents can afford it." My dad's attitude was more of a reward system. If I wanted to bike, my dad created a contract, I had to mow the lawn six times never be late. He'd literally had me sign these things, and it was on the refrigerator and I call him from work and, he'd be like, "Kik, did you mow the lawn?" And I'd probably lie and say, "Yes." "I'm going to come home and if it's not cut you're not getting the bike." So I'd go mow the lawn and I had ... So for me everything was a reward based system with grades and allowance. Everything was tied into this performance. He would call me top shelf. Even today, he calls me top shelf when we talk.
His belief was you're not better than anybody and nobody's better than you, but you can do anything you put your mind to, and that came from him coming back from the car dealerships, coming into the house at 11 o'clock at night and I'd be sleeping, I'd be sleeping. He'd come in and he'd go, "Kik." I'm like, "Yeah, what's up?" "Come on, come keep your dad company, come into the kitchen." I went ... "How'd your day go?" I'm like, "Dad, I'm tired." I'd be sitting there like falling asleep, he'd be there with us crackers and his cheese and he would be giving me lessons like, "Kik, let me tell you something about the way the Italians negotiate.
Don't ever ask them to sign anything until you shake their hands. These people are people of pride, and they will tell you things like, 'I've given you my word. My word is more important than anything on a pen.'" He literally gave me life lessons about cultures and different things like that. To me, again, a long answer to a short question my dad is the person that formed me.
In terms of the motivation as you were getting into your marketing career because I mean, you've achieved so much, there's been Butterfly Marketing, which we'll touch on in a few moments, there's WebinarJam, there's the Evergreen Business System, Kartra and of course, now there's your GrooveFunnels and GroovePages and whatever. How proud are your parents of what you've achieved?
Because that's a bifurcated question, right? Let's start with my dad, so that we can easily segue. My dad is so proud. I'll spare you the reading of the text. But literally, he sent me a text the other day talking about how proud he is of me and how he talks to people about what I do. If you know my dad, I have to warn you and warn him. You come to my house, I say my dad's a talker. He will trap you in a corner and start talking to you about the French Revolution, and health and all these different things. You'll say, "Oh, no, no, Mike, I can't wait to see your dad". Then I'll see you he'll get you and I look over and you're sending me the signal. Then to my dad, I have to tell him, "Don't trap people with your intellectual conversations." You can see where I get it from. I can talk a lot. "He'll say, "Kik, I've been around for a long time. I can read bodily cues. I Know when people don't want to..."
No, he can't. He'll talk to your ear off, so yes, he's very proud of me.
My mom, on the other hand gave me a completely different upbringing, completely different outlook on life. I would win, talk about being competitive, I won the presidential physical fitness award all six years, it meant the world to me. I was the fastest kid in the school, I had the fastest time in the 600 yard dash just being the fastest, all these things just meant stuff to me. When I had the presidential physical fitness award, I came home and I left it right on the kitchen counter. I came back after playing softball or kickball or whatever out on the street with my friends, and I came back and it was gone. I said to my mom, "Mom, where's my presidential physical fitness award?" This is just typical. I don't remember how it would be, but I can give you a typical scenario. It would have been, "I don't know what you're talking about."
"Mom, you're the only one here. I left it right here. There was certificates here." "I don't know it's not there, if it was that important to you, you wouldn't have left it there." "What are you kidding me?" So I'm searching all over and guess where I find it? And this is like a patch, like a patch not just a piece of paper, it's a certificate signed by Jimmy Carter probably automated right. But to me, I didn't know that then. And a certificate that I've had for five years prior, this is my sixth. I'm going to get it sewn on, and it's now in the garbage with spaghetti sauce on it."
Yes. Yeah. That was my mom. She would go clean my room. I had the Thurman Munson card from the New York Yankees which was worth a lot unwrapped right? He had died from the Yankees and everybody saying, "You need to save this thing." Gone just thrown out. "Well you shouldn't leave them under your bed." All those different things. One more thing, you lose a dog, you lose a cat, or her mother would die. Not much to shed a tear. My mom was a very, very strong person. Her answer to everything was, "Ours is not to question why, ours is to do or die." She would say things like, "You live and learn. Tomorrow's another day.
All roads lead to Rome. If we were lost..." My mother, you couldn't rattle the woman, literally, nothing ... So the things that were important to me, she would just tell me, "Mike, stop complaining about things that can be replaced, you're not talking about health, you're not talking about this." She was a very Matter of fact person and I think perhaps from there ... Is she proud of me? I'm sure she is, but I have this thing that I do with my mom, because she never ever said I love you up until just recently.
I would just say to, Michelle, "Watch this." I'd be putting it on mute and go, "Watch this, watch this, we're getting off the phone. All right mom." She'd like, "Okay, Michael, it's been great talking to you. Make sure to call your mother often and I haven't heard from you in three months. You shouldn't just call me for my birthday." "Yeah, you're right, mom. All right. Have a good day. I love you." "Okay, bye-bye." I'd say to Michelle, "See that? She can't say." About a year ago, I did one of those things. She said love you too. I like literally almost like, like, broke down in tears because I was with Michelle and I was like ... I got all choked up and I said, "Wow, she actually said I love you." Now she's saying it more. But that's the type to tell you that the difference of personality is between my mom and my dad. My dad wanted to be conversational and my mother was, here's your food. Hard working, go to work, do shopping. She was there to raise the kids. Leave her alone, let her go watch her things on TV, she liked to read books. I'm not saying good, bad or indifferent. My mom was the best mom anybody could ever ask for, she was just different than my dad, very matter of fact. It didn't matter if you won or lost that type of stuff.
Yeah. It sounds to me, like that it in a way they've both influenced you, encouraged you in different ways to become the person and the successful person that you are in terms of everything that you've achieved in your life. In terms of going right back to when you discovered your interest in marketing, what was the first thing that you thought, "Actually this is the direction I want to go in?" I'm sure that you had the usual background of being encouraged to be a doctor, or an accountant, or one of these traditional jobs if you like, but you chose a different way forward. Why was that?
Excuse me. Let's talk about what my parents expected from me. I was not raised in that family, where ... there were certainly never like, "You're going to be the president of the United States." There was never anything like, "You need to go to college. You need to become a lawyer, and you need to become a doctor." I don't think they ever spoke those words. Although my dad is really proud of this his uncles that are doctors, like that's the thing in their family. Many of his sisters, and that his sisters husbands are either doctors or teachers, like education was ... The fact that you had an education and a degree was more important than anything to my dad, more important than anything. Having said that, my dad's dream was to have me and my brother own a car dealership with him, that my dad was an entrepreneur. He instilled in me being an entrepreneur.
He was the type of person that said, "You need to do every job in the dealership Mike." You should do the porter for a day, you should clean cars, you should do this, you..." He would say ... He'd had this expression, it's not his, but he would say, "You need to inspect what you expect." You need to have an understanding of everything down to its core level, if you're ever going to manage it, or understand where the numbers come from. There was a lot of entrepreneurship. He's talking to a 15 year old when he's saying this stuff. He likes to hear himself talk, I wonder where I got it from.
He literally liked to pontificate and intellectualize these different things, and so got in me. Where did the entrepreneurial spirit come from? It's either in my DNA or my dad groomed me. Because I was an entrepreneur in high school. We have to go even before computer science or computer programming. I was a terrible student when it came to reading comprehension.
I was the most interested kid in college in philosophy and psychology, but I would get a C, because the way tests are done, they're done to play with your head. They're there to fool you. They're there ... My mind isn't made for when you give me four different things in a paragraph yesterday, and the paragraph spoke about zero gravity, it spoke about g force, it spoke about time dilation, all these different things, so I heard all four of them, and now you asked me a question that's multiple choice, that has all of those answers in there? Yeah, I had a great concept of those things.
But if you're going to ask me about an occurrence over Owl Creek Bridge, and I frigging loved the story, but you're asking me, what was the daughter's name? And then you gave me four names, and I put the wife's name. Yeah, I failed in those things. But where I excelled tremendously, was in math. I was the smartest kid in my class when it came to math.
What I found to be extremely tedious and boring was homework. I didn't have a discipline for it. When I understood something, I knew it in my core, and I did not like to do something 400 times. Seven times three, three times 21. It was like that stuff killed me. Even as a good math student, I wouldn't do as good as I should because I'd never turned in homework. I was just one of those kids. I'm just being honest with you. What does it matter at 53 years old that I tell you these things.
When it came to math, man did I fly through. In school, they probably had it in the UK too, I think we had something called basic intermediary something that started with a P and then advanced. I was in the second phase, the average face for everything. Then when it came to math, they put me in the advanced classes. I got 100 on the trig, algebra, geometry and pre-calculus Regents Exams, the state exams. I got 100 on all four of those things. What is coming? What is coming up right in this time from a guy that's in ... graduates in 1985, starts a senior year 1984 so '83, '82, '81. 1981 I'm in ninth grade.
1982 my friend Mike Batusio across the street, he doesn't have an Atari 2600 or an Intellivision. He has this keyboard thing. Then, "What the hell is that?" It's a Commodore VIC-20, and he's writing a computer program for next loop with poke this and volume plus one. He made the computer go, he hits run and it goes ... I'm like, "Oh my god, he literally just programmed that, and I can understand what he did." I immediately gravitated towards that then a Commodore 64, the Commodore 128 the IBM XT. I became a self taught programmer, and very difficult back then. You could barely even find books on these things. They weren't even teaching it in school. By the time they're teaching it in school, who in the world is going to teach you computer programming in your senior year? It's a new industry. It's literally just popped up. So what do they do? They send Mr. Weston, who's a math teacher over to Stony Brook University to take a crash course in computer programming and puts his heart and soul into it.
He's coming in and he's teaching this thing. Two weeks into class, probably the last week of September. He says, "I'm giving you an extra credit exam and this extra credit exam is due before the Christmas holiday. Here it is. I want you to put in Roman numerals and output the decimal answer." I got to tell you, this is not easy, because here's why, "What does an I represent in Roman numerals?
That is a one if I'm not mistaken.
Yes, but it's also a minus one. Because if the number is IX, that number is nine, not 11.
But if it's XI it's 11. When I have something like, VII, that's eight. But the VIIX does not mean two, it's not eight minus ... Or that I it's not seven with IX meaning nine like so. It was a very complex thing to know when you figure out when you add a number or subtract it. When is that I not added to the previous numbers, but it's subtracted from the number coming to it? Extremely complex. In my opinion, probably a great extra credit thing. What do I do? I go in, I learned about this thing called a mid string and I basically break down every character. Then I had to create an algorithm that says, if the number is greater than the number it proceeds, then it's this, else if it's less than it proceeds and all these different things, and it's not working, it's not working, and I'm up till 3:00 in the morning and 4:00. Finally, I crack it in. Every single thing I put in, everything that I put in, is now working.
Now, the way it worked back then, you couldn't save your work. Because they used a mainframe in the school and I had a Commodore. I printed my work and I've got, 70 lines of code. I get to the school at 7:00 AM. My hands are shaking, and I hear the bell ring I'm missing homeroom because what happens is when you type it in and you hit run, it then says syntax error, "Oh shit line 30," I type something. If you know anything about programming, or if anybody hearing this, they're laughing right now. Then you had to do what was known as a proof right? I had to now give the five different Roman numerals and I put them in, and then it gives the output and then I have to print the source code, and they're kicking me out of the room. "Let's go, let's go. Let's go." Finally, I walk into class with this Cheshire Cat, just shit eating grin, let's say. And I walk in and I say, "Mr. Weston," this is like week two of school and the day after he announces the bonus, I said, and I've got like 17 pages of printed stuff. I said, "Here you go." He goes, "What's this?"
And I said, "That's the extra credit." Man am I waiting for him to give me a hug. He looks at it, barely looks at it. He goes where did you get this from? And you got to remember, there's no internet back then. It's impossible to get this code offline. There's no GitHub, but in his mind, "Who showed you this? Who's this uncle that you know at the university, where'd you get this from?" And I said, "I made it. I've got the smile on it. I made this last night. I've been up all night, and I ran here early this morning." He goes, "That's not possible." I said, "Why I did this? What are you talking about?" He says, he goes, "Because it took me a month to do this.
You're telling me that you did this overnight?" And I said, "Mr. Wesson, yes." He goes, "Explain to me the code." I did what I did to you. I said, "Well, you have to do this as an algorithm because you can't do this blah, blah, blah. What I did is I created a mid string and all..." He just looks me goes, "Huh." Still not fully believing me and he goes, "Okay," and he puts an A on it, hands me the paper and walks away, very defeating feeling for me, completely redeemed, completely redeemed as the year went on, because he would be doing, let's say, like a bubble sort, like how to sort random numbers into ascending or descending order.
He'd get stuck and he would literally say, "Mike, what am I doing wrong?" And I'd say, "Do you mind if I come up?" And he says, "Sure." I'd come up and I'd be working on the whiteboard with him like that. He said, "Oh, okay, thank you, thank you have a seat." He learned to respect me. He had suggested to me, "What are you doing after school?" And I said, "I don't know I think I'm probably going to get into the car business. My dad..." He says, "No, Mike, you need to become a computer engineer." I was, "What would they do? " "Well, you can, you can write programs and structure." You got to understand, back then there was, who would give me a job that somebody was doing computer engineering. We didn't know what we didn't know. There was just.....
Of course. What year was that Mike? What year was...?
1984. I graduated in '85, so this is 1984.
At that time there's no such thing as iPhone apps. I just didn't get it. However my dad is playing the lottery and back then New York State lottery's, two games for a buck, and he played 20 bucks. He played the same numbers every week. So 20 bucks you got 40 tickets, and he played it on Wednesday and Saturday. He'd get home from the car dealership and Channel 5 news at 10:35 PM, on Wednesdays and Saturdays would give you the winning number. "The sixth number is 17, and the supplementary number is 42." My dad is falling asleep waiting for these numbers, he gets his ticket, he gets a pencil because they didn't ... You couldn't computerize read your tickets back then, you had a circle them. He would start circling looking at the number. You can imagine by the third card, he's falling asleep. "Dad wake up." "Oh yeah." "Hey, let's go to bed." He put the cards on the counter and he never checked his tickets ever, ever. They would just stack up.
He had this little stack of tickets that one day he's going to check and we used to joke we might be millionaires and we'd never know it. I said, "What a great project." I'm going to write a computer program that stores my dad's numbers onto a disc, and every single week, "So dad, you ready?" "Yes." "Here's the numbers, ready? 17-22-36-42-48 supplementary 11." Enter. "Oh, dad you got four ... three, two whatever, you won 12 bucks." "Oh, cool. Which ticket?" "Whichever one has these numbers." We loved it. It was great. I realized that every state was different. Maine was five numbers, some didn't have a supplementary, whatever it was. I figured out the rules for all the states. Excuse me. I called a magazine that was where I used to go with my dad. It was called Lottery Players Magazine.
It was for lottery junkies and information on all 50 states, strategies. You can imagine, like what you would have for a casino, they had for a lottery in this magazine. They were doing all different types of ads. I'm reading these classifieds, and I said, "I want to put an ad there for my software." I call up. I said, "I'd like to place an ad." "Sure, hold on." Guy gets on the phone. "What do you want to do? These are the rates. Three lines is this. It's going to be $125." "Okay, I'll do this." "All right, what's your ad copy? Go ahead, read it to me." I said, and I read the ad. He goes, "Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. Are you telling me you have a computerized program that will check the numbers for all 50 states?" Doesn't this sound like such a joke right now? But back in 1986 at this point, this was revolutionary because there was no such thing. Most people were just starting to get computer so you hear program, IBM compatible. All these things were different turns back then.
He was blown away. He says, "Where are you?" I said, "Long Island, New York." He says, "I'm in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, would you be able to drive out here?" I'm like, "I don't even have a driver's license. My dad can take me." He takes me out there, makes me an offer. He buys the software. He offered me 35,000 for the software, but since it was written in a Commodore, and it had to be rewritten for an IBM, he offered me $25,000. My dad said, "Take it." I sold him the source code. What did I have a need for it? I could still use it. I instantly got the bug of being an entrepreneur from that point on, understanding opportunities that were in the back of classifieds, I bought Russ Whitney, who is a friend of mine, and he lives here in Coral Gables, Florida. I've been to his home and we've gone out to dinner.
Russ Whitney used to be doing television commercials, how to buy real estate with no money down, and they had this thing called the Biweekly Mortgage. By making half a payment every two weeks, you pay your mortgage off in 19 years instead of 30 because there's 26 bi weeks, which actually makes 52 weeks in a year at 26 payments, biweekly is 13 monthly payments as opposed to 12. That extra month goes straight towards principal reduction. I buy this Macintosh computer and I'm knocking door to door, and I'm placing ads in for people following his system, go to the courthouse, find out who just got a mortgage, call them up and tell them that they could save 10 years off their mortgage and blah, blah, blah, and I became an entrepreneur overnight. Everything that my dad baked into me, I became the junkie buying things from Don Lepree.
If that name doesn't ring a bell to you, he was a guy in the United States that would say, "I'm going to show you how to put a tiny classified ad in a newspaper that will make money and then how you can do that in every single little newspaper, and just get these checks coming in," and blah, blah, blah. Obviously, that didn't work. Or maybe I didn't apply myself it was too much work, but I was that guy. I was chasing the dream. I take computer science. As I told you, there was no career path at that time that I believed in. I had gotten married young, and my brother was in the car business. He was doing well. It's 1988 now, and he's making 50,000 a year. That's probably close to 90,000 a year today, and I just got married and I'm 20 years old. I dropped out of college. I got into the car business. That's where I learned how to become a salesman.
I was in that for 14 years and I was a piece of crap for 11, and I was fortunate enough to get hired into the largest privately held automotive group in the country, and then I moved up the ladder very quickly to sales manager to finance manager, to finance director, to general sales manager, then to general manager. Back and forth between Toyota and Hyundai dealership. I ran the largest Toyota dealership in the Northeast region as general sales manager, and the second largest Hyundai dealership in the United States as a general manager. We didn't mess around, my competitors did 70 cars a month, we were doing 500 cars a month.
I learned the processes. I've learned everything about what it takes to build trust with people in urgency, scarcity, authority, all these different things I learned there. Real long answer again, but what created me to be an online entrepreneur were these accidental accidents that happened, that my friend happened to have a computer that I was a good math student, that I fell in love with it. I liked computers. I was the first person on the internet. I was addicted to watching Home Shopping Network and QVC when they used to have a computer every single week. "You're going to get this with 7,000 pieces of software. You get the upgraded mouse." "Oh my god, I need a new computer!" I wanted one. I was addicted to that, addicted to CompUSA. I was addicted to Gateway 2000 or Gateway Computers, and then Dell. I just always wanted the latest technology.
When this internet came out, when I read the sales letter from Frank Kern that's telling you that you could sell a digital product and take money from PayPal, this company that just came out and it'll be in your bank account overnight, my head exploded. I didn't have this thing that said you're going to be number one at this. Never, because there was no industry back then. There weren't gurus. There were hacks, and I was one of them, but I said to myself, something said, "Oh my god, I think I'm born for this. I think this is ... I'm not a career guy." I got the understanding that this is going out all over the world. When I put my first product online, and it was online for three days, and I'm using a traffic exchange, and all of a sudden I heard, and I looked at AOL, my eyes just opened right up and it said, "Notification of payment received item number one, $19.95."
My heart literally just started pounding and I could hear it through my ears. I clicked and I saw a customer name and I said to myself, there is something that I did, that I created, that somebody wanted, and I wrote the words that made them want it. It was that simple for me. Wash, rinse, repeat. Get better at finding products that people want. Get better at finding out where they are, so that I could get their eyeballs to read my message. Number three, learn how to write a message that gets them to buy. That's the secret sauce. Create a product people want, find out where those people are, and create a compelling message, obviously a business grows out of that and a staff and all these disgusting other things. I don't mean that it's disgusting. I mean, the stuff that's not fun. I love my staff. They're the only reason why I'm successful. But that to me was the point where I just ... I'm telling you, I said to myself, life will never be the same again. 14 months later, I quit the car business.
Couple of key things that have stuck out to me there. First of all, I can't believe you went with a Commodore 64 and not the Atari 800. I'm an Atari boy. Yeah, but also the fact that you were creating content. Okay, it was computer programs, the ones that checked the lottery numbers. You were a content creator, even back then, and you're able to sell that content, that computer code for an incredible amount of money back then. To be taking that much money for, as you say, lines of code and to be then developing that into being a game changer, a pioneer into making money online when the internet came around, I mean, it is quite impressive story already. Of course, we're in just at the beginning. That's how you got started. Then of course Butterfly Marketing came along.
Just a quick interjection there. If you notice, I never said I was motivated by money.
Of course, yeah.
Not anywhere in this first 40 minutes of the call or whatever it's been here. Maybe a 50 minutes here. I never said that, "This is how I'm going to make money.' For me, going back to being accepted, I love the fact that somebody wanted a product, that I was accepted. That was validation to me. I was seeking validation. I wanted to create something that that people wanted. When they bought it, it was validation. For me, I'm customer focused for validation, without a doubt. I guess there's some underlying thing that enjoys praise or being praised for doing a good job. Number two, I love the task of creating it, and the message and the marketing, the creating the VSL, the creativity of writing a sales letter. I love all these things.
Then, what I call refresh mode, hitting refresh and seeing what your stats are, that, to me, is sitting back eating the apple and just, yeah, saying, "Well, what else did you expect?" That's not my main motor motivator. I have everything I want. I drive a Honda Accord. I have one car. I live in a beautiful six bedroom house in the suburbs, but I've been to every country, possibly, in the world, with the exception of three that I want to go to, and I will go to them. I've had a Corvette Z06. I no longer have one. I've had a Hummer. I've had a Nissan GTR. I've had a Mercedes Benz Coupe. I was the 41st first person, civilian, to jump out of a Halo dive at 32,000 feet with Yanik Silver.
I've done the zero gravity dives. I've flown mig jets. I've done everything that you would think you want to do when you make money, and then I've realized, no, really what I really like to do is have a purpose and be an entrepreneur, and drive my fully loaded Honda Accord. I thought it was all about that when I was young. I thought being wealthy was about that. Now it's more about being healthy and living long enough, and being able to put some money in the bank and leave a legacy. Just wanted to put that point out there about what my motivators are and my drivers are.
Absolutely, and it's a key point as well, that money isn't always a motivation because money will follow success, usually. If you have a product that's desirable and people will get value from, of course, there is then that value exchange. They will give you their money for what you are offering them. Yeah, that's a really key point. I mean, I guess I first came across Mike Filsaime through Butterfly Marketing, and for anybody that's not heard of that, could you just maybe explain a little bit about what Butterfly Marketing is, and also how much it impacted on who you are as a person?
Yeah, I'll try to make these quicker, but it's going to be tough.
We'll talk about how Butterfly Marketing came about. I saw this young kid named Mike Chen, launched a site called Instant Buzz. I later bought it from him. It was a great investment, but essentially what it was is, imagine a Chrome extension, but it was actually a Firefox and Internet Explorer plugin, or whatever they called it. You know on your browser where you see your address bar, and then sometimes underneath that you might have a bookmark bar. Well, what you did is you put an additional bar on their browser and when you put that bar on your browser, it puts you into this free advertising network that you could place an ad that would show on the browser every single time somebody refreshed the page or load a new page. There would be a static ad up there and it would say something like, "Get leads for blah, blah, blah," or, "How to get traffic," or, "The best software platform to do X, Y, Z." People were advertising.
There was a little text ad that was on the bar. How it works would be, if you refer ... for every time you refresh a page, you get a tenth of a credit. Every single time ... you refresh a page 10 times, you've earned one ad that's going to show up on somebody else's browser, but if you refer somebody, you will get a tenth of a credit for everybody that they refer. This goes down 10 lines in a downline, so you can ... if you refer five people who get five people, that's 25, 125 ... you go all the way down. You can have a million people in your downline, so start referring this product, because every time your downline network is adding a new tab in their browser and refreshing their page, you're earning your credit. Well, okay, great. It's called a traffic exchange. Pretty brilliant. Somebody should bring that back now and make it for Google Chrome. You have my permission.
Our product was called Instant Buzz, but I bought that from Mike and I had my own traffic exchanges that were doing different things. My first product was called Don't Touch My Ads, A-D-S. Basically, how it worked is, you would download the software on your computer and you wouldn't see any ads, but as soon as you stop typing, you set a timer that says, I want the ad to go off after five seconds of not typing, after 30 seconds, after one minute, after five minutes, kind of like screensaver, right? Here's what would happen. If the ad shows up, you got a tenth of a credit. Every 10 times somebody else's ad shows up on your desktop, you just earned a credit that goes into the network and your ad will pop up on somebody else's desktop when they stop typing. I think it was a pretty brilliant thing. In fact, it did very, very well for me.
Basically, what people were doing was downloading an adware that they opted in to see an ad that wouldn't harass them until they stop typing. They type, they get up, they go to the bathroom to take a bio break, or they sip their coffee or make a phone call. When they come back, there's a little ad on their desktop and they could click X, but they just earned a tenth of a credit. When they see 10, they get a credit. Now, if you refer it to five people and so on, we give you a downline that went down 10 levels, so you had an incentive to refer. That was the basis of this. I created mine because I saw that Mike Chen created not only Instant Buzz, but another one called Fly-In Ads, but basically what happened was, there was a one time offer when you signed up for free that would give you 5000 ad credits, and the ability to color your ads with highlighters and red font, and bold, so your ads will stand out. This will normally sell for $1.99 a month, but you can buy this right now. This is a one time offer. You can buy this right now for $97, one time.
If you pass on this, you will never see this again. If I'm going to give credit to the person that invented this, it was Mark Joyner. I can say this because I don't believe a one time offer ever existed in mankind, in the sense that you were ever made an offer that said, "This offer's only available now and when you come back, it's going to be this price." Obviously, it was done in the car business and different things like that. "If you come back later, the price is going to change," but in the dynamic of signing up for something, seeing a page that says, "Wait before you continue, this offer will never be made to you again. This is a special one time offer," and putting a countdown timer there that was developed by Mark Joyner. Now, this will convert at a ridiculous number, if done well. Ridiculous number. I launched Don't Touch My Ads. I modeled this thing and I create this one time offer. I get 5000 members my very first day.
On top of that, you don't just say, "Facebook ad customer. Facebook ad customer." You now take that customer and you turn him into another advertising department, old school's called word of mouth. It then became viral marketing, but the process that I did by giving everybody tools became Butterfly Marketing. Butterfly Marketing was a software that allowed you to create an affiliate in an instant account, give them a page to download the fulfilment, give them their links, upgrade their commission's, and everything like that. It was the most successful software of its kind, bar none. I did a million dollars in five days with that software, $575,000 in one day. It put me on the map. It started the reputation of who I am today. I always talk this and I'll say the same thing with you, there have been, I believe, 11 human beings to ever walk the earth, they've all been Americans. The first two were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and the other nine that followed, can you name another one?
I made 19 grand in a day. This is 2003, right? I mean, this is blowing my mind that I made more in a day than I made in two months in the car business, but you know what? In the next five days, I am going to make more money than I made an entire year in the car business. I am shaking with disbelief of reality. What is happening as this is happening? My AOL inbox is sounding a jiffy pop popcorn machine, it's going ... Every one of those is a $19 payment. Again, these things are going off in my head of wash, rinse, repeat. Crack the code. What is going on here? Butterfly Marketing comes from this original premise and then taken to steroids. This is the premise of Butterfly Marketing.
Butterfly Marketing says, give something away for free, have an upsell. They will buy it or they won't. When they sign up, instantly make them an affiliate for that product. In order to do that, they have to have an account so it can be tracked, which means that when they sign up, you need to ask them for not only their name and email address, which is a normal squeeze page, but you need to have them create a password, and they're creating an account, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, WordPress, this membership. They can do it today, essentially, but in 2005, in 2006, creating an account with people that sends them a welcome email and makes an affiliate, the technology didn't exist, so I created it.
The premise to continue is, you give something away for free. You also have them create an account where they enter their password, so now you can create them as an affiliate. You don't tell them yet. You show them the upsell and then after the upsell, they land on a page, which is the access page where they download the product that you're giving away for free. You say something like this, "Hi, it's Michael Filsaime. Thank you so much for requesting my free report on how to blah, blah, blah, how to set up a PayPal account," right? Whatever the report was.
"Now, you may have noticed, after you downloaded the report, that there was an upsell for $19, or for $47, or whatever it was and I also gave you three additional products, and I gave you audio products and my other course that normally sells for $97. You can get all of that for $19. Now, if you purchase that, you'll also see that on this page below the download for the free report that I gave away, but you'll also notice underneath this video, do you see there's an affiliate link? What I've done is I've gone ahead and I've already signed you up for my affiliate.Now, here's the thing, by giving this away to five people, this free report, one out of five people will buy. That $47 will be a $25 commission to you, or whatever the case is, right? That means if you tell five people about this, you'll make $25," and I would call this the do the math stack.
I would say, "If you tell 10 people, you'll make $50. If you can tell 100 people, you'll make $500. If you could tell 1000 people, you can make $5,000. If over the next year, you can tell 10,000 people, you'll make $50,000. I've done one thing better, I've stacked a bunch of promotion tools that already have your affiliate link. Not only will you see your link here, you'll see 10 steps. I've pre-written emails for you that you could send to your list. I've actually given you some traffic exchanges, called safe lists, if you don't have a list where you can send emails. I've written a blog review. I've given you banners. There's a signature that you could add to your email in Outlook or Gmail, and there's a little video that shows you how to do that. Every email you send will have this. You can go into these popular forums and change your signature."
I give a list of these different things to do, and then eventually develop it to, "Here's a tweet," and all these different things. The secret magic over the top driver then said this, "One last thing. You'll also notice right underneath this video, it's in green, it says your affiliate percentage. Now if you didn't buy the upsell, your affiliate percentage is 25%, but if you did buy the upsell, we've automatically upgraded you to 75%. That means you'll get 75% of the sales as opposed to 25%. If you didn't buy the upsell, and you know that you could make some money by just telling a few friends, you might want to click the button right underneath the video that says 'upgrade me now' and you'll have a second chance to get this upsell, and you can upgrade to the 75% over 25%." This was now increasing your upsell conversion rate.
On top of that, you don't just say, "Facebook ad customer. Facebook ad customer." You now take that customer and you turn him into another advertising department, old school's called word of mouth. It then became viral marketing, but the process that I did by giving everybody tools became Butterfly Marketing. Butterfly Marketing was a software that allowed you to create an affiliate in an instant account, give them a page to download the fulfillment, give them their links, upgrade their commission's, and everything like that. It was the most successful software of its kind, bar none. I did a million dollars in five days with that software, $575,000 in one day. It put me on the map. It started the reputation of who I am today. I always talk this and I'll say the same thing with you, there have been, I believe, 11 human beings to ever walk the earth, they've all been Americans. The first two were Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and the other nine that followed, can you name another one?
I've never asked anybody that can tell me another man that's walked on the moon. Not without having to think really hard or to go to Wikipedia, but we all know Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Sometimes people say John Glenn because he was the first one to do a spacewalk for the United States, but so why do I say that? Well, John Reese was the first guy to do a million dollar a day. He did it on August 5th, or August 4th of 2004. Then he wrote a report after his friend John Reese consulted with him. On how ... Jeff Walker consulted with him on how to do this anticipation launch. John Reese later told him, "Dude, your stuff is so great, you need to make this a course and call it Product Launch Formula." That became the third million dollar launch. I was the second.
John does this report. It's called one man, one product, $1 million, one day, and I read that report. He released it in August of 2004. August 31st, I read this report. He says ... and before that, nobody had ever done more than $70,000 in a day. In fact, Jeff Walker's email address was email@example.com because he was famous for doing six figures in seven days. John Reese did seven figures in one day. It changed the world. John Reese said in the report, "Here's how I did it, I believe that this is a milestone like Roger Bannister, breaking the four minute mile. I believe that nobody thought that this could be done, that a million dollars could be made in a day, but I've just shown you how you can do something to attract just 1000 people to buy a product for $1,000, and that will give you a million dollars. I hope that inspires you to have your million dollar day."
You can go look when that report came out, when John Reese did his Traffic Secrets launch. You'll see it was August of 2004. You'll see he released that report in August 31st of 2004, and you will see that the domain name, Butterfly Marketing, was registered on August 31st of 2004. I almost choked up and just started crying right there. I really almost did because that report was so inspiring to me. I saw it. I knew it was true. He gave me the formula for a million dollar launch. I went to work on this software idea that I was doing in my marketing. I said, I'm going to create a software that lets people replicate it. I released that software. That was August 31st of 2004 and by January 31st of 2006, I released it, and I did that on purpose. It wasn't six months later. It took me 18 months to become Buzz Aldrin.
It took anybody 18 months to follow in John Reese's footsteps and do a million dollar launch. Excuse me. From there, immediately after that Nitro Marketing did it. Jeff Walker did it. Stompernet did it. Rich Schefren did it, all the same year. I was lucky to be Buzz Aldrin and be that guy. I couldn't go anywhere. I became one of the Beatles. I became Paul McCartney and John Reese was John Lennon. I became that guy and it helped me be like ... Okay, so there was the Beatles, but then there was the Rolling Stones. I was part of that Beatles. I was that guy that, 14 years later, I'm on an interview and I've done so many different things, and we're talking Butterfly Marketing, and I love it. That's how powerful that software was. We're bringing it back and that's a whole other thing. We don't have to talk about it, but I'm building all of those things into GrooveFunnel, so if you like the strategy that's coming, we don't need to talk more about that. That's what Butterfly Marketing was and that's what it did for my career.
I remember just, it was one of those 'wow' moments, I think, as people discovered Butterfly Marketing, particularly from my perspective, when I first saw it, it's like, I get this. This actually makes sense. I love the philosophy behind it. Also, it made it simple, in a way. It explained how you could take the steps and be able to generate a business off the back of it, and I just thought that it was truly groundbreaking. Now, you mentioned GrooveFunnels. That's your latest product, isn't it, Mike?
Yes. Just to tie in Butterfly Marketing to that, I'm now writing a book called Butterfly Marketing, and we're doing the biggest case study on Butterfly Marketing the world has ever seen. We have GrooveFunnels, which is, it's a brand. It's not an app, it's a brand. It's an entire platform filled with apps, actual apps, called GroovePages, which is the world's best landing page in marketing funnel builder. Beats anything out there hands down. We have Selling Groove affiliate, which is essentially how you sell your digital products. You get that. You list your products, your price points and you get your affiliates. We have Groove Mail, which does your email marketing, like Infusion Software or ActiveCampaign, or MailChimp, but with tagging and behavioral based ... blah, blah, blah. Nothing revolutionary, but it's all tied in. We do it very easy and better than anybody.
I sound like Trump there, "We're the best, better than anybody. Everybody's saying it." We also have Groove Member and Groove Video, and it's going to have a Groove Blog, Groove Desk, Groove Survey, Groove Quiz. We're even been building a little page builder for Shopify. It's got everything to help you leave every other platform there is out there, including WordPress, have everything all rolled into one. We don't know the price yet, but we're going to try to get all that in without having to tier it at $99 a month. We'll see, but definitely the first five, the core products, GroovePages, Groove Mail, Groove Sell and Groove Affiliate, and Groove Video and group member, those six are going to be $99 per month. What we're doing is, we've given Groove Sell away for free. People can go to groovesell.com, and they'll never have to give us a credit card. They get the full suite of Groove Sell and Groove Affiliate.
It's like something you would have, like a PayKickstart or SamCart where you'd pay $99 or $149 a month, but with us it's free.
Why we're doing that is it's the butterfly model. If you say, what's the catch? The catch is, I've got an upsell into the entire suite, but if you just want something to sell your products, and you're happy using ClickFunnels and Active Campaign, you go use that, and many people will. Groove Sell is free. Then when they come in, they'll be an offer to upgrade if they want the entire suite, but what we've done is we followed that same path. We give something away for free, we offer you an upgrade if you want more. We give you all the tools and the banners, and the reviews, and the blog reviews and the thank you page ads, and the email swipe and all of that stuff, one click post on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc.
We incentivize you to refer people because you get locked into anybody you refer, not only by a cookie, but we lock that person with a parent-child relationship in our database. Even if they upgrade a year later on a different computer, you still get upgraded, but we also do one thing better. We do a two-tier program. You also get paid on anybody that they bring in. This is classic Butterfly Marketing. It's a two tier system baked in parent-child, grandchild relationship, locked in for life. This is "an opportunity" to get as many people early before somebody else gets them because then they own them for life.
Then the last thing about Butterfly Marketing with that is anybody can promote this for free, and we give 20% commission on referrals, and 5% override on the second level, but if they upgrade to our full suite of GrooveFunnels with Groove Mail and GroovePages, and all that good stuff, well then, they get upgraded to 40% commission on level one, and 10% commission on level two. I would talk about why GrooveFunnels and these other platforms I had about Kartra and WebinarJam, if we have time, why there's this one I had those others in the past because they are similar, but essentially, that is GrooveFunnels and that's what my company is today.
GrooveFunnels is the wrapper that goes around all the other apps that you just mentioned, so GroovePages-
... Groove sell, Groove Cart and so on. Okay, that makes sense and you're right. My next question was, why? Because you've already got these other systems that you've been involved with, that you've built over the last few years, like Kartra, like WebinarJam. Why GrooveFunnels, Mike?
I did forget two products and that helps me segue into this, two products that are also going to be part of GrooveFunnels is Groove Webinars, to do live webinars and automated webinars, like my previous products, WebinarJam, and EverWebinar, all baked in at that $99 price. Trust me, we didn't bite off more than we can chew. With a special pricing that we've done, we've raised $2.2 million. We put it all into the development. We have the world's best developers. We've done in 10 months what we couldn't do in seven years in my previous companies, with, quite frankly, better quality developers and really good partners.
It looks amazing. It really looks amazing.
Thank you. I'm trying not to make this a commercial for us, but to talk about me here and how did this lead to this? I've learned a lot of different things. There's nobody online ... This is actually nothing to be proud of, what I'm about to say. There's no marketer online that's even come close to have launching more million dollar brands than I have. I believe I've done more million dollar launches than anybody because I have time on my side. I've done on average 2.5 per year since 2004. That's hard to beat. The mistake that I made was that all of these were different brands that took my focus away, and I was working with different partners.
What we've done with GrooveFunnels is a compilation of Evergreen Business Systems which became EverWebinar. Yeah, well we have WebinarJam. Well, we have Groove Webinars. Deal guard ... Well, yeah, Groove Sell is for free, except we don't even take any money when you process. Kartra, well, that's GrooveFunnels Suite, plus we have even more. Traffic Fusion and Hyper Java, well yeah, we have thank you page ads built in. Power Link Generator, yeah our tracking links, they have that pretty link type functionality. Viral Friend Generator, yeah, we have a built in telephone in the promotion tool suite. Butterfly Marketing, yeah, we've baked it in. What I've done now is I've taken my body of work with the latest technology, and I've incorporated everything all into one, including what's working today, funnels all this stuff, and then created a platform that is literally untouchable. What's bad about what I did in the past, is Viral Friend Generator didn't talk to Power Link Generator, which didn't talk to pay.com, which didn't talk to Butterfly Marketing, which didn't talk to Hyper Java, which didn't talk to Evergreen Business System.
There were all these scripts that you installed on your own server like WordPress and all those nightmares that came with updates, instals, cron jobs. "It's not working for me. Who's your hosting company?" My journey has led me to create this all-in-one platform. Now, I started doing that in 2011, with Deal Guardian, which morphed into Kartra. We also did two separate projects, WebinarJam and EverWebinar, which were three products, where me, I'm putting them together. Not to mention, we also have Groove Cart, which is a competitor to Shopify, all in this platform. It's just absolutely amazing what we've been able to do, but what happened with, and I try to say this as good as I can. My former partner, Andy Jenkins has passed away, so I'm going to try to stick to the overarching facts here.
This was my company with Hector. I had Evergreen Business System. We had deal guardian. We were developing Webinar Jam. He wanted to be an educator and do things like Video Genesis and Traffic Genesis, and I wanted to do software, and I wanted to leave and go launch that product. He said, "You've got to choose your partner," and I said, "Well, why don't you come take this journey with us?" Long story short, Andy came into the company and took over a third of it. I had a third and Hector had a third. What happened was the dynamic changed. I went from being the visionary CEO of a software company, like I am right now with great partners, to an equal third partner, no longer a CEO, no longer the visionary, with a person with a very strong personality that also had his ways of learning to do things. Let's say he was never wrong.
The problem was, we were two marketing guys with a little too much respect for each other. In the world of money and development, and entrepreneurship, there's an expression that says 'money likes speed'. Money loves speed. Andy and I would always say, "Hey, I came up with an idea. Let me run it by you. You know what? I think we should do this. Let's talk to Jeff Walker. All right, blah, blah, blah." We were getting too much information. "I think we should do it this way." We had too much respect for us for somebody to just say, "This is how we're going to do it." Then from there, the dynamic did change. Andy's personality started taking over a little bit more. He started running it more as his company and I became more of an employee in it. It no longer became fun for me. We had some disagreements, and we came to an agreement that one of us would leave.
I decided to take the buyout. The most polite way I can say it is mommy and daddy got a divorce, and they kept the kids. A very tragic thing happened after that. I had my two year non compete and while that happened, Andy had gotten cancer and unfortunately, he didn't make it and passed away. Now his wife, Sarah and Hector are running the company, but for me, I felt like Steve Jobs. I had a passion for this thing called the Lisa and the Macintosh, and one day I find myself out of my own company. These things happen in business as they happen in marriages. Right now, with the Steve Jobs metaphor, I am at NeXT Computer. Steve went on to find NeXT. They ended up getting bought out by Apple. I'm not going to go get bought out by this other company. Frankly, I'm the visionary of these ideas these.
These were my ideas and I left the soul of that company, and I took on something else and it wasn't necessarily I wanted to do. I just wasn't happy anymore. I needed to move on, wait my turn, and now I'm with a company where I've got partners that excel in their things, Matt Serralta, Matt Nous , John Cornetta, and myself, and a couple of little minority partners as well, like Anna Rupe , Joe Jablonski and Finn, and we round out an incredible team that lets everybody stays in their lanes. My partners, they've seen me come up. They know I'm a software visionary. They know I have a passion for this. They give me their input, but they let me drive the car. That's why we're able to do the incredible things that we're doing very, very quickly. What's needed is an incredible operations team, people that know advertising, people that know how to develop the software. You need all those people. I can be a visionary, but we need those other people and that's where they fit in. That's why we're creating this magic.
It sounds to me as well, almost like you've been on this this journey of, for want of a better phrase, self development, but as part of that comes also developing and upgrading the software you've made previously as well, to take that to the next level, and also to learn from your own mistakes and not make those same mistakes again, in terms of making all these new products, these GrooveFunnels, apps if you like, all integrated, all talk to one another, which, you're right. I mean, that is a visionary way of looking at things, to go, how can I take what I've already done and make it 5, 10, 20% better than it was previously? It sounds to me like it's a fun project for you, if nothing else, and to put the past behind you, and to be able to move forward in a really positive way after that two years of non compete. Good luck, Mike. I mean, it sounds to me like you've already got the vision, the roadmap for where GrooveFunnels is going to be and how you're going to get there. More power to that.
Thank you. Let me wrap up by saying this. I'm going to use a metaphor and this may be maybe dated, and for some people it may be spoilers, and I've learned that when it comes to TV series that are online, like Breaking Bad and those types of things, spoilers can last three days. It's not a movie. You got to be able to talk about episodes, so forgive me if you're hearing this too soon. It's going to be a very minor spoiler, but I'm a big fan of Better Call Saul. Last night's episode that I just saw, has Kim and Jimmy McGill, who's basically Saul Goodman before he's turning into Saul Goodman in the fifth season. She quits the law firm that she's making, who knows, maybe half a million dollars a year or something, but who knows, right? It's a really, really good job and she just quits. She just quits after she thought that Jimmy was killed by the cartel, and found out that he was alive. It made her realize what is only important to her as she's looking at her table while she's dealing with this multimillion dollar bank that is throwing out this guy that's on their land, and throwing them off the land.
Meanwhile, all she cares about is doing pro bono work. She quits. Jimmy, Saul says to her, "What are you doing? You made a ridiculous choice. You should have spoken to me," and she said, "I did what was right in my heart." "How are you going to make money?" She basically just said to him ... He says, "You don't seem to realize what ..." and she says right to him, "What you don't seem to realize is, this is none of your business. This is what makes me happy and I'm going to figure it out from here." Again, without getting a little bit too choked up. That was what was happening to me. When I was talking to my dad, and everybody telling me I'm making mistake, this is going to be a big company worth something, just sit out, quit the company, but maintain your shares. I said, "I don't feel happy in what I do. This isn't going to make sense with you."
Sometimes we make decisions, and they're the wrong decisions. We don't know. Hindsight will tell us, but yeah, I was fortunate enough to say I've got enough life experience that I want to do things that make me happy, and also do things that are fulfilling to my customers and the people that are around. I sat on the sidelines and it's four years later now that this is ... two years on the sidelines, two additional years to develop this and it feels very good. I'll wrap this up here. I'm assuming we're done, unless we have another question to do, but I'll say this. What does it feel to be fulfilled and to know that you're in a good place? Am I in a good place? Yeah, the answer would be this. I've quit smoking.
I used to forget my phone when I go downstairs and the fear that I'd have to go back up the stairs was that when I went back up the stairs again real quick and came down, "You all right, babe?" "Yeah, I'm okay." "What's the matter?" "Nothing." I couldn't go up and down stairs twice without hearing my heart .... My grandfather died at 49 of a heart attack. I'm going to be 53 this year. I started having these feelings of I've effed up in my life. I've effed up. I was frigging smoker that thought that the chickens were never going to come home to roost, and I've got high blood pressure. I've lost Andy. I've lost my friend, Sean Wander. I've seen my friend Bill Harris die. I've seen another friend, Mike. People around me are starting to die and I think that I'm special. I'm just not.
I'm an out of shape guy. What the hell does all this shit mean if I'm not around to live it? I've quit smoking. I do a daily walk, even if it's pouring rain, come hell or high water. I remember the first three days of the walk, I would say to Michelle, "Babe, slow down. Why are you walking so fast?" She's goes, "I'm not, babe. I'm just walking." "Alright. Well, we're not in a race. We're just getting an hour in. We don't have to get three miles in, alright?" It was just me being embarrassed that I was getting leg cramps from walking. I couldn't do a one hour walk.
For me, I've seen, with the love of my wife, and my partners and this company, I've really had this thing like I don't want to mess around. I have something that I enjoy so much. I'm not building this company to sell it, and neither of my partners. We love what we're doing. I think I came really, really close to tempting fate there with just thinking that I could out survive this thing and watching people around me die for different reasons. Some of them weren't even their fault, obviously. The black widows and silent killers, these high blood pressure things, and I'm in a place right now where I've never been more happy in my life than I'm actually looking at it, like well an idiot, then good is the enemy of great.
Take what about your life and put it into your health, and your relationships and things like that. I know this is a long interview we've gone on here. I don't know how long it's been here, 90 minutes here, but yeah, I just hope people enjoyed me being a little bit of a storyteller here. You're doing a great thing here with these interviews, and I've listened to many of the others have been done. It's always a pleasure to do this. I never know where these roads are going to take us or what I'm going to divulge about myself, whether it's explicit or implied. People can read between the lines, but yeah, it's good. It's good to be able to do something that you like and then know that money is a byproduct of that.
Yeah, it's great to catch up with you, Mike. It really is. I've really enjoyed our hour and a half in your company. It sounds to me that you've had that wake up call. I'm super impressed that you've given up the smoking, that you're walking more, getting fitter. I think what I'm most impressed by is your Donald Trump impression. I was wondering if you could give us another blast before we wrap things up.
All right, let's see. I usually just play around, but let's see. "You are fake new..." No, I can't even do it. I can't even do it. I'm a little too on the spot there.
Thank you for even trying though. That's great. Mike, how can we find out more about you? How can we find out more about GrooveFunnels?
Best thing to do is one of two things, go to Groove Digital FB, as in Facebook, groovedigitalfb.com. Our Facebook group isn't open only to our customers. It's open to everybody. We give free trainings every Tuesday and every Thursday. We do a Facebook live every day at a random time. We're constantly putting free content. We have two monthly newsletters that we post, a new one that we're doing right now. Then we're putting all of my archives for five years of MDC monthly, every month in what we call a retro. If we release the May issue, now you get the May 2009. It's just a great community and it's free to join. You don't have to give us your email address or anything like that. If you want the free software over at Groove Sell, so that you can sell your products and you don't want to give us a credit card or anything, just go to groovesell.com, and you could start using our software.
Sounds good, great stuff. Mike, thanks once again so much for your time. It's been an absolute pleasure chatting with you. Thank you.
Same here. Thank you very much.