Hey everybody, welcome back to the show! Today, I have a special treat for you! At our Investor Fuel Meetings, we have what we call “hot seat” presentations, where our members give and share their stories, tips, intimate details and for the most part, they are exclusive to members of the group. Of course, they will share a lot of great information with you as well here in the show, but some of the things they share behind closed doors as you can imagine are more private and are really restricted to just members only. We also have some great content with a keynote presentation or high-level presentation from members or guest speakers that we might share with you. In fact, this week that’s exactly what I’m going to do! There’s a gentleman named Sean Whalen and if you haven’t met him, he is absolutely amazing. He has an incredible story of doing thousands of deals, becoming a multi-millionaire, and then losing it all in the market downturn. It’s a mid-life crisis that might resonate with you as an entrepreneur. Sometimes we say we’re doing things for our family, but it doesn’t feel like it. The people that we say we’re doing it for are the last people to get our time because we’re focused on building the business. It’s a great message and you’ll get a lot of value out of this! Hope you enjoy, let’s jump in.

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Mike:Hey, everybody, welcome back to the show. Today, I have a very special treat for you. Now at Investor Fuel, our mastermind meetings that we host quarterly, we have a number of different presentation types. Our main presentation type is called a “hot set” presentation, where our members present out on what’s working in their business. They share some resources for other members, and they talk a lot about where they’re having challenges in their business, and then we advise one another, kind of a board of advisors to one another to help each other in our businesses.
We also have another presentation type. Now, by the way, those “hot seat” presentations are behind closed doors, members only. We would never share those to the outside world because they’re very private and personal.
But we also have something called effectively expert presentations, like keynote style presentations and things like that, that we might periodically share with you. In fact, I want to share one today. So a lot of great information happens at Investor Fuel meetings.
So I have a keynote presentation that I want to share with you today. Now a lot of our keynote presentations are usually done by our members. We have some very sought after speakers that are members of our group, and so we actually have members presenting those quite often. But every once in a while, we bring somebody from the outside that has a lot of value to add and we think would be a great fit for that meeting.
So there’s gentleman named Sean Whalen. If you haven’t heard of him, he is an amazing guy. He has an amazing story, and he’s really kind of taken the world by storm with sharing his story of just being who you are, being honest with yourself. And a lot of that came through really his experience. So he has an incredible story of doing thousands of deals, becoming a multi-millionaire and kind of successful by everybody’s kind of traditional standards, but then he lost it all. Really, it was kind of a midlife crisis point that I think will resonate with you as an entrepreneur.
Now you may not have been through anything quite that dramatic, but I know you’ve been through some tough times if you’re listening to this show, because you’re either an entrepreneur or a real estate investor that has been through some ups and downs, right? So what happens a lot of times we say we’re doing this for our family. We’re working so hard for our family, and Sean’s story is based off of that as well. The problem is, is the people that we say we’re working so hard for are the last people to get our time and our attention, because we say we’re working hard on the business for them, and surely they would rather have more of us than us working more.
So it’s a great message. There’s a lot of great lessons to learn inside of here. Sean is not afraid of the f-bomb, so be prepared for some language. If you have a problem with that, don’t listen. But it’s a great message. You’re going to get a lot of value out of this.
Let’s go ahead and jump in. I hope you enjoy it.
Professional real estate investors know that it’s not really about the real estate. In fact, real estate is just a vehicle to freedom. A group of over 100 of the nation’s leading real estate investors from across the country meet several times a year at the Investor Fuel Real Estate Mastermind to share ideas on how to strengthen each other’s businesses, but also to come together as friends and build more fulfilling lives for all of those around us.
On today’s show, we’re going to continue our conversation of fueling our businesses and fueling our lives. I’m glad you’re here.
[inaudible 00:03:33] there’s some stuff going. There’s health problems. There’s problems with relationships, things like that. And the truth is, is we are real estate based here, but at the end of the day, like if your shit is falling apart behind the scenes, [inaudible 00:03:45], right? So we try to be real here. There’s no way possible that I could be as real as my boy Sean Whalen here. So he’s going to come up in just a second. I’ll share a story with us now.
If you don’t know Sean, he has flipped over 4,000 houses, right, and he lost it all. And he has a message of in all that struggle of finding and asking a question — What in the hell is this all for? He lost his family. He lost his marriage. He lost a lot of things along the way, and sometimes you’ve got to hit rock bottom before you figure out where you go from here and figure out how to build a life with purpose and with meaning, right?
So are you ready to go, buddy? Guys, stand up. Please help me welcome Mr. Sean Whalen.
Sean:Hey, where’s that laser pointer? I didn’t know they even still made them. Are these still a thing? [inaudible 00:04:53] You guys, thank you very much. I’m glad to be here. First things first, I want everybody to stand up. Why is that funny, [inaudible 00:05:05]? I want you to shake hands with five people you don’t know and tell them good morning.
Guys, I’m glad to be here. It’s funny being in the real estate experience, because I did real estate for a long time.
How many of you are on social media? Okay. Now, when I ask a question, do me a favor. Like I’m an all in guy, right, like I am an intense dude, but I love like life and the whole thing. It’s like if you’re going to be here, get the most out of this, right? So if it’s like, “Yeah, I’m not really sure . . .” Like how many of you are on social media? Okay.
How many of you use social media for personal reasons, personal stuff? Like you share stupid pictures of your dogs and your [family 00:06:51] and crap like that.
How many of you are on social media for business and use it to make money for your business? Okay. How many of you use social media to flip properties and invest in real estate? Okay. Cool, cool.
How many of you have ever seen any of my social media, a video, a post? Okay. Now real talk. How many of you have no fucking idea who I am? [inaudible 00:07:30] I like this. I like this. This is cool.
So social is a trip, man, like this entire experience, isn’t it? I mean, if you really think about how fast social media has come into our space, like I used to do the old-school way of like knocking on doors and actually picking up a phone and calling somebody and being like, “Hey, man, I want to do business with you. Can I take you to lunch?” How many of you still do that? Now it’s like we just [inaudible 00:07:42] the pop-up messages and all of this other stuff.
So I want to share with you a couple of different things today, not only about how I’ve been able to reach almost 900 million people through my videos and through my messages, how I went from flipping almost 4,000 houses, just under 4,000 houses.
Mike:You’ve got to round it up. Typically, we round it up.
Sean:You round up. The fish was this big, but it’s really this big. Like I’m making a million dollars. Now technically, I made $875,000, but we’ll call it an even mill. That’s kind of game, isn’t it?
Who do you follow on social media? Who do you pay attention to in life? Think about that for a second. Like who are you really motivated by and inspired by? Do you have people that you go to, that you search out, that you look for, for inspiration? Yes, no? Or do you just aimlessly wander through social media trying to find the next funny video of a fat kid falling off of a skateboard? Right?
But this dynamic and this reality that I’m going to share with you today, my story of how I got to this place and why I’m standing up here now is it’s really fascinating because there’s millions and millions and millions of people like looking for something. What are we all looking for? Money? There’s a fuck ton of money in the marketplace.
We can cuss here, right? Are there any kids here? No kids, good. Like there’s a ton of money in the marketplace, right? So we don’t need more money. Like what are people starving for? What are people looking for?
Participants:[Food. 00:09:11] Reality.
Sean:Reality.
Participant:Freedom.
Sean:Happiness. What is happiness?
Participant:It’s different for everybody.
Sean:What are we looking for? What do we want? What are we searching for?
Participant:Fulfillment.
Sean:It’s different for everybody. The one thing that I am absolutely certain of is that everybody is looking for something. Like everybody’s looking for something. Everybody is trying to find a connection.
You turn on the news lately, what do you see on the news? Like shit. It’s not a black and a white thing or a Republican and Democrat thing. People are pissed. Like we’re beating the shit out of each other. Why? Why are people so angry? We have tons of money.
Participant:Everybody wants something different.
Sean:Why are we so upset? See, I played by their rules. Okay? We’ve all been programmed [inaudible 00:10:06]. All have of us been programmed to lie. Do you believe that? Your parents programmed you to lie. Your schooling, I don’t care where you went to school, whether you went to private school or public school. I want you to think about this for a second. Ever since we were little kids we have been told to lie. [inaudible 00:10:28] Right?
But think about this. Back in elementary school, sit down, quiet down, slow down. Don’t say anything that’s going to offend anybody else in class, right? Are you with me on this? Think back. I know some of you are a little older, a little bit slower. You need a little more coffee to get going in the morning.
But really think about when you were a kid. Like this was our reality, right? I’m 40 years old. We’re not all that far apart in age. Like we were programmed since we were little kids, whether it’s through our parents, our religion, our schooling, to just chill the fuck out and do what you’re told. Right? Would you . . . How many agree with this?
Participants:Yeah.
Sean:Yeah. [inaudible 00:11:09] In elementary school, what would happen if you were like me and you were a little rambunctious turd? How many of you were rambunctious turds and got into troubles, right? What would happen if you did that at school?
Participant:If you got in trouble, you’d get sent home.
Sean:Well, they call your parents. So you get in trouble with the school. And then if you’re like me, you’d get home, and then your dad would whoop your ass too. So I’m like, “Shit, man, I can’t get in trouble anywhere. I just better shut up and do as I’m told.” You understand this?
Participants:Yes.
Sean:If you’re religious, you go to church. “Like you’re going to go to hell. This is bad. Don’t do this.”
And this entire psychological programming that we’ve had since we were little kids, do as we’re told. We go from elementary school, middle school, and high school. It’s the same thing. Sit down, quiet down, slow down. Don’t say anything that’s going to offend anybody. Right?
Now here’s the insane thing. In high school, they add another level to this insanity. And the insanity is this [inaudible 00:12:15]. What you’re going to do now is you’re going to leave this school and you’re going to go to another school, and you’re going to study for a couple years. You’re going to go broke. You’re going to go upside down. You’re going to take on a shit ton of debt for a degree that you hang on your wall prestigiously and frame it. Maybe by the time you’re 40 . . . Do you know what the average age is of Americans paying off student debt today, by the way? Forty-one. Forty-one. Fact, look it up. Think about that shit. That’s fucking nuts. That’s insane.
But what do we do? We did it. We played the game, right? And you’re going to find a cute little girl. Sorry about that.
Participant:Watch it, Sean.
Sean:I’m sorry. I’m really sorry about that.
Participant:You asked if there was kids? You didn’t say [inaudible 00:13:08].
Sean:Hey, I’m just flying by the seat of my pants. I’m Sean, by the way.
Sarah:Sarah.
Sean:Sarah, good to meet you.
You’re going to find a pretty girl, and you’re going to settle down. You’re going to get married. You’re going to bang out a couple of kids. You work at this job. Maybe at some point in time you get a gold watch and you can retire and you can actually enjoy life, use your 401(k), your IRA, and then die. Right?
This is the American dream. Like this is how we have been programmed. We’ve been told what this box looks like, this box of normal, the normal box. What happens if you’re like, “I don’t like that. I’m going to quit my job and start a business”? What happens? You’re family is like, “Shit. We need to do an intervention. Sean’s having a meltdown. He’s going to quit his great job making $77,000 a year. Bro, you only have 16 more years until you can retire with benefits.”
How many of you have heard this shit?
Participants:Yeah. Oh, yeah.
Sean:It’s racket. But the crazy thing is it’s still going. After your kids . . . How many of you have kids? You understand that every single one of your kids, and I don’t care if it’s a private school or a public school, they’re all being taught the exact same thing. Like we’re perpetuating insanity.
Do you want to know why people are so fucking mad? Do you want to know why people are going insane? Do you know want to know why we’re beating the shit out of each other? Do you want to know why we’re at war with each other? People are pissed. They’re pissed.
And if they’re at all like me, when you’re like a multi-millionaire by the time you’re 25, I was a little bit like . . . I was kind of on the upper echelon of the success chart, because of the way we’re programmed, right, you’re going to have this job and you’ll be able to afford like a minivan. And if you work really hard, then maybe you can buy the Escalade. I was the Escalade guy. I worked really fucking hard and built a business and turned 30 and had the watches and had the houses and had the cars and vacation wherever we went, whenever want. And I was fucking miserable. I was angry. I wasn’t sure what I was angry at though.
I worked 20 hour days building this empire, building this deal, doing deals. Single-parent home. Multi-millionaire by 25. By all intents and purposes, I was so far ahead of everybody else inside of this box, and I was freaking dying inside. “How are you doing?” “Good, man.” Inside I’m like, “Dude, I fucking hate my life.”
How many of you have ever felt this way? Real talk. I know it’s early in the morning, but don’t bullshit. Real talk. How many of you have ever just woken up and been like, “What am I doing? Like, is this it? Like, is this it?” Great to go to Disneyland once a year. Ha, ha, ha, we eat at the same fucking restaurants and do the same dumb shit. I mean, my dog pisses in the same corner. My kids cry about the same crap.
Like, do you understand what I’m saying? Like we’ve been programmed, friends, since we were little kids like what a normal looks like. And I’d have you consider for a second that there’s a lot of people right now on this planet, probably many of you in this room that are pissed as shit, that are frustrated, that are [inaudible 00:16:33] things you want it to be, you want to do, you want to grow, you want to build, you want to expand, you want to do what the fuck you want to do, but you can’t or you don’t. Why? Because it’s not normal. It’s not normal.
I played this game. I started a real estate investing company. I didn’t start in mortgages. How many of have you done mortgages or the mortgage game? Back in like the early 2000s, you could be like half retarded, not politically correct, so, you know, whatever. You could make money in mortgages, and they made a shot ton of money in mortgages, right?
Like I was the guy who was going out and doing things differently, building, growing, expanding. I had a laser pointer. It was really funny. I literally think the last time I used a laser pointer was like in the early 2000s. [inaudible 00:17:19] my business. I’m not mocking you, bro. If it works for you, great.
I built a huge mortgage company. I got fired from a real job. I worked for the [inaudible 00:17:31] hotel, believe it or not. I wanted to be in hospitality, because I like people. I like talking to people. I love people. I got fired from the job. I was actually like really, really, really brilliant at what I did. I was a sales manager. And my boss didn’t like the fact that I was killing everybody and crushing it. She fired me.
From that point on, I never looked back. I started in the mortgage game and made a ton of money in the mortgage business. I got into real estate and started buying properties. I started doing investing, and I started doing big development deals in my early 20s, like a lot of success at a really, really, really young age.
My parents split up, so I really didn’t have a dad to call. I didn’t really have any coaches or mentors to look at. Why? Why don’t most of you have coaches or mentors? Actually, I shouldn’t . . . Let me rephrase that. Why don’t most people have coaches or mentors? They’re just too fucking private. Right? [inaudible 00:18:20]. I’ll solve it myself. Put your big boy pants on. I did that, and I burned through a million fucking dollars. Hindsight is 20/20, right?
So I parlayed and I put all my money into developing [inaudible 00:18:32]. What happened in 2008? If you were in the development game, you got your ass kicked period. Millionaires, billionaires broke in a matter of 12 months. Done and done.
The fascinating thing was I saw an opportunity. How many of you got into the REO game back then and started like looking at deals and properties? It was like freaking shooting fish in a barrel, right? You had been in the mortgage game. Like well, shit. I don’t know what happened to those mortgage [inaudible 00:19:01]. We didn’t know. We didn’t care. Unless [inaudible 00:19:05] was coming in and saying, “We’ll give four points and back you in a loan.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me? That’s like $20,000.” At 23 years old, that’s pretty fun isn’t it, making 100 grand a month?
So I saw the huge opportunity, and I was also getting my ass kicked. And how many of you have read my book, or well, it’s actually sitting around the house? I talk about in my book how I felt like I was juggling bowling balls. Okay?
Like one day I went into a bankruptcy hearing because my development company was getting its ass kicked, and I fought so long to try and hang on to it. And my lawyers were like, “Dude, great job. But, you know, this is not [inaudible 00:19:43] tens of millions of dollars that you have put into this game, and you’re not going to be able to get out of this.”
So I ended up having to go through a bankruptcy. Have you ever been through bankruptcy? You have? Great. There’s no shame in that, bro. That’s why I’m so damn smart today because I went through it. You know?
I went through this experience where I went through a bankruptcy hearing one morning, and a couple of hours later I was being featured and having a photo shoot for being a 30 under 30 entrepreneur, because we were flipping all these houses and crushing it. On the other hand, I was getting my ass kicked.
I talk about in my book about juggling bowling balls. I felt like I was juggling bowling balls. And I related this not only to this experience in my life but how life really is. Like when you’re at work, you feel like you need to be at home, right? How many of you understand this, fellows? You’re working and like she’s like, “Hey, when are you coming home?” You’re like, “I’m trying to do the deal, man.” But then when you’re at home, what are we doing? We’re in the deal. We’re connected to the . . . I talk about being connected on my BlackBerry. I’m dating some people here. I think you’re too young to have a BlackBerry.
I mean, we’re at Disneyland. I’m like, “Honey, like we’re at Disneyland. Why aren’t we having fun?” I’m connected to my BlackBerry because I’m trying to do the deal. I’m trying to make the cheddar. I’m trying to flip the houses, build the empire. And there’s this insanity that goes on in a man’s brain of like I have to be home, but then I have to be at the office. When I’m at the office, I’ve got to be at home. It’s like juggling bowling balls.
So I’m going through this experience, where I’m losing millions on one hand and I’m making millions on the other hand. I’m trying desperately to hide the fact that I’m getting my ass kicked. [inaudible 00:21:22] sticking your head up your ass for two years? That’s what I did Why? I asked myself that question. And people ask me all the time like, “Sean, what happened? You had money. You had everything going, like sure you were losing some over here, but you were making a bunch over here.”
And then I went into what I like to call [inaudible 00:21:41], which is essentially me drinking myself to oblivion and trying to figure out why the hell I’m even alive for two years. I mean, we’re working hard, right? Isn’t this the game that we’re all playing, trying to build these empires, find respect, find the admiration of our friends and our colleagues and our peers? Isn’t that like why we’re doing what we’re doing?
That’s what we were taught that success looked like. And I spent 18 months trying to figure out why the hell I was even here. I literally had 171 employees. We were flipping 50 to 75 houses a week all over the country. And I literally went in one morning, called my lawyer and I said, “Enough. Just draft up a document.” He drafted up a one-page document. And I met for breakfast with my minority partner, and I turned the entire company over to him and I walked out. I never cleared my office out. I just left.
I left a 10-year marriage. There was no separation. I’m just like, “We’re done.” There was no cheating. There were no drugs. I just mentally, emotionally, psychologically checked out.
And what’s really fascinating as I travel and as I speak and as I coach and [inaudible 00:22:56] and I’m meeting with CEOs and entrepreneurs and business owners, there’s a lot of people that feel this way. There’s a lot of people that are just fucking numb. There’s a lot of people that don’t [inaudible 00:23:06]. There’s a lot of people that are like sitting back and going, “Is this what this is all about? Like this life game, this life thing, why I’m here, why I’m working, why I’m [inaudible 00:23:15], why I’m hustling?”
In the midst of all of this, in the midst of this divorce that I went through, I got really angry, like super angry.
How many of you have ever been angry? How many of you have ever been just like so angry but you don’t even know what you’re angry at?
Participant:Yeah.
Sean:You’re just fucking pissed. It’s insanity. But at the same time it’s normal. But see I was at a place in my life where I didn’t talk to people. Why? We don’t do that. We don’t do that. [inaudible 00:23:53] It’s the same for you, ladies. Same for you.
We don’t talk about our stuff. We don’t share our feelings. We don’t share our feelings because it’s not cool. Because it might make somebody else uncomfortable. Remember how we were raised? Shut the fuck up and do what you’re told. If I tell you I’m having suicidal thoughts, “Oh, shit. Hey, man, uh, there’s a hotline. You should call it. I got to run.” That’s what we’re playing. That’s the life we’re living right now.
I went through this divorce, and I was insanely angry. I was so angry, and I was really bitter. And what do bitter people do? They hurt people. Hurt people. Hurt people and hurt people. I was like desperately like trying to get at my wife and get at the market, get at my partners and people, and I was just fucking pissed. But I didn’t know what I was mad at.
Well, my ex-wife was living in our 9,000 square-foot house. I moved into a little shitty two-bedroom condo, because that’s what you do when your divorce, right? She’s dating a guy that’s 11 years younger. Remember I’m still angry. How did that work out for me? He didn’t have a job at the time. She would drive across town [inaudible 00:25:10], pick him up, driving back to our 9,000 square foot house, and they’d hang watching movies and the whole thing. My kids living in there. The entire deal. I got that [story after story 00:25:20] experience I’d like to share with you, like this depth of insanity. Talk about [inaudible 00:25:26] like breaking point. The reality is [inaudible 00:25:30] me being pissed, me needing to reach that breaking point.
One night, after feeling that weight, stepping back and going, “I think I might have fucked up. I had to burn all this to the ground. Why did I walk away from all of this? Maybe it’s wrong. Maybe like not having the answers is how we’re supposed to live. Maybe I’m supposed to just continue to do as I’m told. Maybe like I should just carry on with this way of being and that will keep me happy.”
One night I pick up the phone and I call my ex-wife. I said, “I need to talk to you.” She’s like, “I don’t want to talk right now.” I was like, “No, you don’t understand. Like it’s heavy [inaudible 00:26:09].” Like mind you I’m in this mode of like insanity where like I don’t care if I live or if I die, and I’m still flipping some houses. I’m still making some money because it’s easy. The game of Monopoly is easy. But I’m miserable as shit. I’m like, “We just need to talk.” She says, “I don’t want to talk to you.” And I hear in the background, “Is that Sean?” “Oh, sweet Jesus. I don’t want to murder anybody tonight. So tell that fucking dude to shut up.” “Hang up the phone.”
I’m like, “Look, I’m struggling.” Like I didn’t know which way was up and which way was down, which way was forward and which way was backwards. It’s really not too different than like when you turn the TV on today and people don’t know what the fuck they’re doing, what they’re saying. They have no like moral foundation or standard. People just refuse. People are bouncing around. In the Scriptures, it talks about being tossed to and fro with every of doctrine, right? Like that’s where I was. Like I don’t know what’s up and what’s down. I did what I was told. Why do I hate my life? Like why did I burn this thing to the ground? I don’t know. Why am I mad at this guy? I don’t know. Why an I mad at that guy? I don’t know.
She ended up hanging up the phone. That night I drink myself to oblivion. That night I put a Ruger P95 in my mouth, and I spend an entire night trying to decide why I should or shouldn’t kill myself. And the things that were going through my mind were, dude, if you kill yourself, like your kids are young enough that she’ll actually marry someone normal, that has a 9 to 5. Like you made millions, Sean, but like look at what you did. You burned the whole business to the ground. You lost millions too. And I’m wrestling with myself thinking like if I blow my brains out right now, she’ll marry somebody normal, and my kids will have a normal fucking life.
[inaudible 00:28:04] for two weeks [inaudible 00:28:00] security. And the other side of my brain said, “You can’t do that, dude. You can’t do that. That’s a coward [inaudible 00:28:15]. A coward’s checkout. You’re not a coward.”
So I don’t . . I can’t explain God to you. I’m not here to tell you about God, but I will tell you that I believe in God, because I’ve seen three babies come out of a woman’s vagina, and that doesn’t happen by rocks just sliding [inaudible 00:28:34]. So I personally believe in God. I believe in [inaudible 00:28:38]. I can’t prove it to you, and I can’t prove to you that he exists. You can’t prove that he doesn’t. But I believe in God. We’ll just leave it at that. Okay?
Somehow, someway God allowed me to make it through that night. And I woke up the next morning with this pistol next to my head and a bottle of whiskey on the floor. And I did for the first time something that I had not done in my entire life. I reached out for help. I didn’t have an addiction problem. I wasn’t like drinking sauce all day long. I didn’t know how to not be angry. I didn’t know how not to be angry. I was pissed. I didn’t know how to solve these problems, like I was mad at everybody. I blamed everybody. You turn on the TV, what do you see today?
Participant:Blame.
Sean:Blame. Everybody’s at fault. It’s not my fault I’m poor. It’s your fault because you’re rich. Like God, I’m fat, but it’s because I don’t know. Well, it’s because you eat it at McDonald’s every fucking day. That’s why. Take some accountability.
I took no accountability. I blamed everybody for everything. And I reached out [inaudible 00:29:42]. I don’t know how to not be angry. I don’t know how to navigate through this. So the alpha male, the guy who built businesses, the guy who had never really asked for help like finally reaches this point where he’s like, [inaudible 00:29:54]. I don’t know how to make it past this.
And I spent a year on a journey, trying to figure out why I was even alive. I spent a year trying to figure out like why I was here. The money game was easy. The real estate game was easy. It’s easy to flip houses and make money. It’s not hard. I used to joke with people, like, “What do you?” I’m like, “I play Monopoly for a living,” because I really did. That’s what I did. I was really fucking good at it. Still good at that. I didn’t know why I was here, because I did everything I was told to do, but it didn’t make me happy.
How many of you understand what I’m talking about right now? How many of you have played the game that you were taught to play and saying to yourself inside, “There’s got to be something bigger than this”? Real talk. How many of you think that?
The crazy thing is no one talks about it. The crazy thing is if you decide to go do something different, leave your job, start your business, whatever, you’re fucking nuts, and you’re pushed right back in the box by the people closest to you, by the people that are like they’re supposed to be there for you, like you push all night. Why? Because they’re living in a box.
So I ended up doing something that was really difficult for me, and I reached out for help and I hired a coach. How many of you have coaches? I know you’re here at a mastermind. But how many have a coach? Good. If you don’t, hire yourself a coach. I’m not here to pitch coaching or whatever, but hire a coach.
And the reason that this became so powerful for me and such a turning point for me is because I had always taken the easy route. I had always taken the easy route. Yes, [inaudible 00:31:30] and you’ve got contractors that you want to kick in the teeth sometimes, whatever, whatever. You know, that’s all part of the game. But like everything, the path of least resistance is the path that we take. And when it’s easy to blame somebody, when it’s easy to find somebody else at fault for why you are where you are, it’s easy to go that route, right, instead of taking accountability and saying, “Yeah, I screwed some things up.”
When I hired this coach, the very first thing that he had me do was write my ex-wife a letter of appreciation. Yeah, that’s exactly what I said. Like, “Yeah, right. Sure, buddy. Yeah. I just paid you 15 G’s for that? Fuck off.” I’m like, “Give me something else. It’s like I’ll run naked through the streets. I will climb a mountain. I’m not writing her a letter.” He’s like, “You’re going to write her a letter.” And I’m like, “Fuck you.”
And I spent three months, three months trying to write her a letter of appreciation, because I truly like wanted her to get hit by a bus. Like if I got that call, “Yeah, she choked on her food and died last night,” like, yes, [inaudible 00:32:34]. Like some serious shit, some serious anger, some serious resentment. And I was like moving past a lot of this and working through a lot of this, and I realized I had a lot of resentment toward like how I was raised and how I was programmed. Like [inaudible 00:32:48]. We’re upset. We’re frustrated by this shit, because a lot of us are playing by the game. We’re playing by the rules, and it’s not making us very happy.
It took me three months to even write her this letter. And I will tell you the letter that I wrote her, I probably didn’t mean anything that I wrote in it. Fuck you, you’re a great mom. I hope you die. But you’re great mom. [inaudible 00:33:09] And it was 14 months I went on a journey. And instead of being a dick, instead of being angry, I said positive words. I shared positive messages, and I wrote her letters and sent text messages. Instead of being the angry asshole that I was, I just started to think positive, and it was difficult.
And what’s fascinating to me is when I hired my coach and went down this path, it wasn’t like, “Hey, do I need to make more money? I want to scale my business.” It was like internal stuff. It was looking inside, which is where most people don’t look. Why? It’s easy to just look outside. It’s easy to go outside and put Band-aids on gushing wounds through money and success and cars and watches and accolades. That was my entire upbringing. That’s how it was. I was super successful.
I wrote these letters. I wrote these letters. I wrote these letters. And our divorce was really bad, like we had to pick up and drop off our kids from a police station for like six months. Divorce sucks, man, especially when you’re driving a piece of shit like I was. And we’d pull in, and there would be a cop car [inaudible 00:34:14]. She’d be on one side. I’d be on the other. And my kids had to get out and walk around and get in the other car. It was nuts, man, the amount of anger, the amount of insanity. I had restraining orders against her. She had restraining orders against me.
Have you ever just been really fucking pissed off, [inaudible 00:34:30] shit? Yes or no?
Participants:Yeah.
Sean:Yeah. How many of you have made mistakes before? How many of you have made a lot of mistakes? What’s fascinating [inaudible 00:34:41] I’m scared of screwing up. Like, no, you’re not, because you’re an expert at it. Like you’re an expert at fucking things up. I’m an expert at fucking things up. We’re not afraid to screw some things up? What are we afraid of? We’re afraid of getting judged by everybody around us. That’s what [inaudible 00:34:58] about a year. We get to a place where we’re actually civil, like talking. We don’t need lawyers talking to us and the whole thing. I was actually like going to the house and picking up the kids, and she was coming to my house to pick up the kids.
And in the midst of all of this, she married the guide, the kid, who was 11 years younger. But he did get a job. He got a job. He graduated with a degree in international business, because that’s what successful people do is get a really, really ambiguous, expensive degree, and then they get [$100,000 a year 00:35:33] jobs, right? They now own an ice cream store, believe it or not. [inaudible 00:35:40] They’re getting ready to have a kid.
You had all this together, this test, this test. Who was the test for? How many of you have been tested?
You have one of two options. You can pass the buck to somebody else. You can blame everything on everybody else. Or you can own it.
I started owning my shit, which was really scary. Very vulnerable, right? Well, one day I went to pick up my kids, and they had just gotten a baby. Like just that mentality that [inaudible 00:36:18], and the entire was crazy. I pull up in front of my ex’s house. And our deal was I’d send a text and I’d honked the horn, and the kids would come out.
Today I sent a text and honked the horn. And the door opens and my son comes out to the door and he’s like, “Dad, Dad, come see the baby!” I’m like, “No. Get in the car. Get your brother and sister and get in the car.” This kid. And he scurries off. And a couple of seconds later, my daughter, God bless her, comes to the door, “Dad, come see the baby!’ “Get in the car. We’re going. Let’s go.”
Next thing you know, my ex-wife pops up, “It’s okay.” I’m like, “All right. Fuck.” [inaudible 00:37:13] I don’t want to do this. This is not comfortable for me. I don’t want to be in that house. I don’t want to see this woman right now.
I end up getting out of my car. I’m sweating to death. [inaudible 00:37:27] walk through the [inaudible 00:37:32] My kids went over and grabbed the baby. “Here, Dad. Hold the baby.” I’m like, “Oh, this is heavy. What do I do?”
So I’m holding the baby, and it was a really cool experience. The years of the most insane anger and frustration, pain, pain, and contemplation of suicide, to be sitting here now and literally I’m holding this baby. It was something that I can’t even describe. So I snapped a little picture, snapped a selfie.
At the time, I had a couple hundred friends on Facebook and used Facebook like everybody else. I just watched the videos of, you know, whatever it is you watch videos of. And we went home that night, and as my kids were getting ready for bed, I did this Facebook post and I shared that picture. And for the first time in as long as I could remember I did something that I had never really been willing to do before — told the truth. [inaudible 00:38:36] out on this public domain site where all these people are going to see like this truth. And I was like I was angry. I was kind of a dick. I said a lot of really mean and evil things. I didn’t have any answers. But like there was no light. There was pure darkness in my life. And this picture, no one will have any idea how much this picture means to me.
When I went to bed . . . I just hit send and posted it. It was scary as shit. It’s scary to tell the truth, isn’t it? It’s scary to type out what we really want and what we really feel, how we really feel. We don’t do it, which is why 51% of all marriages are ending in divorce. It’s not because of money and sex. It’s because we’re fucking liars. We don’t know how to fight about the truth. To anybody ever, we lie.
We woke up the next morning. I pick up my phone, and that picture had 1K next to it. I’m like, “1K likes, what does that mean?” And every hour for the next two weeks, that post had over 1,000 likes, and then 10,000 likes, and then 100,000. And it went on to go viral. I don’t know what viral really means, but this post reached hundreds of millions of people like all over the world, hundreds of thousands of comments on this one post. My inbox started getting flooded with people going, “Oh, my God, you figured it out. Teach me how.” I’m like, “[inaudible 00:40:04]. I’m in the middle of all of this working through this shit myself.”
And what was really fascinating is I went from having a few people to having 50,000 followers inside of 30 days. They were all looking at me like, “Dude, you have these answers and these solutions.” I’m like, “No, I don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. I’m not Dr. Phil. I don’t have this shit figured out. All I did was share with you my truth.”
And I found something in this. I found that people are starving [inaudible 00:40:39] truth. People didn’t engage with this post and thousands and thousands and thousands of likes and hundreds of thousands of comments because it was a great picture. It was fucking real. It was real. And there was blowback from it. There were a lot of my ex-wife’s friends who were like, “Yeah, he’s a dick. Yeah, I can attest to the fact that he was angry. I was there when he said some dumb shit.”
What is vulnerability? Think about that word. Most people think vulnerability is like something scary. Vulnerability is like the ultimate superpower. Vulnerability is the ultimate superpower.
Have you ever seen somebody that’s like deathly afraid of public speaking and they have to like give a presentation at work or a church something? And they’re like freaking out. “I’m going to die. Like I’m going to really die up there. If I have to do this, I’m going to die.”
You understand what I’m saying? And they’re like sweating and they’re dying, and it’s like crazy and it might not be the best, but they get up there and like, “Holy shit, I’m going to die.” And all of a sudden they get on the stage and what happens? “I feel great. Oh, [inaudible 00:41:52] black out. I don’t know what I said, but I feel amazing. I felt great.” Like that’s got euphoric reality. That’s that dopamine coming out, because it’s true you’re pushing you into something that’s not comfortable.
Vulnerability is the ultimate superpower, and for the first time I was vulnerable in sharing this post. And what I have found over the last four years, in sharing thousands of posts and telling my truth and literally having almost a billion people watch my videos and millions and millions of people engage, is that my mess became my message. All of the shit that I had been hiding, all of the things that I had been like recluse about, putting it in this lockbox inside because I couldn’t talk about it because it wasn’t socially acceptable because you can’t talk about that shit, I started talking about it, and two things happened. Number one, I felt better. How many people would like to feel better?
Participant:Yeah.
Sean:I’m not saying [inaudible 00:42:54]. But how many people want to feel fucking better? You don’t want to feel better? You do or you don’t. Why didn’t you raise your hand?
Participant:[inaudible 00:43:01] Sean:You’re too cool. That’s right. Raise your hand.
Like I felt better. Think this through for a second. Like we’re dealing with an obese culture, a heavily medicated culture. Little kids they get outside of the box and we pump pills down their throat to get them to shut the fuck up. We’re doing that as adults. We’re pumping Xanax like they’re Skittles. That’s the [inaudible 00:43:29] of reality, because we can’t talk about who we really are, what we really want, how we really feel, because he might judge you or he might get upset. Or Aunt Lisa might not come for Thanksgiving.
So what do we do? We just keep playing small and playing small and playing small. And all the while, who’s the one hurting the most? Us.
Number one, I learned that I felt better as I started sharing me and sharing my truth and sharing my reality. Number two, I found there is a massive, massive, massive, massive, massive marketplace starving for this, starving for truth. I’ve done more real estate deals and done more deals based off of my own personal story than I ever did hiring some fucking drone photographer to get me the footage. I want you to think about that for a second.
Like the rules, the way that we’ve been programmed, what if it’s wrong? What if the normal is thinking outside of the box? What if the normal is talking about who you are, what you love, what you like, and not giving a fuck who likes it or not? If Aunt Lisa doesn’t come to dinner because you like Trump, so be it.
What do we do? Play small. Why? To try to appease other people. You know how many clients I have that say, “Sean, I can’t. I’ve got a business. If I share who I am, I can’t talk politics. I can’t talk about politics, because I might lose clients.”
How many of you have said this before? How many of you legitimately like have said this or heard other people say this? Like everybody. I can’t share what I want to share. I can’t [inaudible 00:45:14]. I can’t say what I want to say because I have a business and clients.
Do you know one of the stupidest things that you can do is try and sell everybody. One of the dumbest, fucking things that you can do as an entrepreneur and as a business owner is to try and appease everybody.
I did a post the other day. How many people follow me on Facebook? I did a post, and it ruffled some feathers. So I [inaudible 00:45:39]. Surprise, surprise. This lady was talking about how she doesn’t have any money to invest in any coaching or any type of skill sets. But when she does, then she will invest to get the skill sets. I’m like, “You understand this is baggage, correct? You understand until you change your mindset and you learn the skill sets, the money is not going to follow suit? That’s a broke mentality.”
People went that shit crazy. How dare you publicly shame this woman. I’m like, “Tell me how I’m wrong.” Hey, it’s truth, and the truth does lie to people. What’s really interesting about this is over 2,000 people unfollowed me in literally like a matter of an hour.
Do you want to know what I was doing the entire time? Good. See you. Those are 2,000 people that never would have done business with me. Those are 2,000 people who don’t think the way that I think. Those are 2,000 people that aren’t after the same objective that I’m after, which is success, which is growth, which is life. Those are 2,000 people that are fucking [butt sore 00:46:47] by truth.
And guess how many fucks I gave? Zero. All these people are like, “Do I need to purge? I’m going to purge my social media. I’m going to purge my Facebook.” Do you know how fucking dumb that sounds? You’re going to sit on the shitter and go, “I don’t like him. I don’t like him. Now, he’s blocked.” Delete, block, delete. Do you know how dumb that is? Why not just speak your truth and allow the people that don’t want to be in your space to leave? Why not speak your truth and allow the people that want to do business with you to come into your space?
Who do you do business with? That was a question.
Participants:Oh, people you like, trust, and respect.
Sean:People that you like. People that you trust. And people that you respect. What did you just say, sir?
Participant:People like you.
Sean:People like you. Would you agree with that? Would you agree with that, yes or no?
Participants:Yes.
Sean:You do business with people that are like you. You do business with people that you like and respect and trust. Think about this for a second. [inaudible 00:47:50] social media game. What are we doing with our life period? We’re trying to appease everybody.
I’m here to tell you that if you want to grow your business, I’m here to tell you if you want to expand your business, tell the fucking truth. [inaudible 00:48:06] Tell the truth, because the more I get to know you, the more I want to do business with you. The more I get to know you, the more I want to do business with you. The more I get to know you, the more I want to do business with you. The beauty is along the way you feel better, because you’re not overthinking and rethinking and hyper thinking about, shit, I can’t say this and I can’t . . . I’m going to end up saying what? Nothing. Closed mouths don’t get?
Participant:Fed.
Sean:Fed. I want you to contemplate this for a second. What if . . . rhetorical question. What if the single greatest tool of your expansion in 2019 isn’t your fancy, fancy whizmo gizmo website, you auto-drip responder, Google Google Google whatever, that everybody’s out here pedaling and pushing. I’m not sure if you’re pedaling it or whatever. [inaudible 00:49:01] What if the ticket to your liberation, not only internally, mentally, psychologically, emotionally, what if the ticket to that liberation is your truth for you? Do you sell more when you feel better or worse?
Participants:Better.
Sean:Better. Are you a better father or mother when you feel better or worse?
Participants:Better.
Sean:And you know what’s fascinating is we turn the TV on, and everybody is angry. Everybody is fighting. Everybody is fucking pissed about something, blaming someone for something.
Why? We just don’t like hearing truth. We’ve been programmed to be offended by things that we don’t like. We’ve been programmed to lie. And our entire culture is buying into this shit.
Don’t believe me? Look at the stats. Are we fatter or skinnier? Are we healthier or more unhealthy? Are prescription drugs going up or down? Is divorce going up or down? Fathom for a second, my friends. Your mess is your message. People are going to judge you either way. Newsflash, I hate to break it to you. If you’re fat, it’s because you’re a lazy piece of crap. If you’re ripped, it’s because you take steroids, because you’re on drugs. If you’re poor, it’s because you’re undisciplined and uneducated. If you’re rich, you’re a snake oil salesman. You must be ripping people off.
No matter where we go, no matter what we do, we will be judged. No matter what I post, someone is going to judge me. Thousands of people will leave and unfollow me. Good. You’re not my tribe anyways.
Fathom for a second as moving forward and moving forward and moving forward and moving forward in life, sharing who you really are, what you really love, what you really like. Why do we follow people? Their Facebook looks better than our Facebook? They all look the same. They all have that same blue hue color and the same profile picture box. You don’t buy and people don’t buy from you because your website is fucking fancy. They either know you or they don’t know you. And I’d have you considered for a second that I don’t say what I say on social media to be polarizing. I say it because it’s my truth. It’s how I feel.
How many of you think, and some of those of you who don’t, but do know who I am think that what I say is polarizing? Yeah? It’s truth. It’s truth. And what is truth doing to our marketplace right now? What’s happening in our marketplace? Crazy Uncle Larry is in the White House speaking all kinds of crazy truth, and people like him. What the fuck is happening? What’s going on? Do you know how many fucks he gives? [inaudible 00:52:19] zero. What’s happening? People are starting to wake up. True or false, that you can smell bullshit from a mile away?
Participants:Yeah.
Sean:True or false? If you can, then guess what? So can all of your followers. If you can, so does everybody in town where you live and try to hustle deals. So why not give them [inaudible 00:52:39]? You accomplish two things. You feel better, and you make more money.
It sounds really simple, doesn’t it? It sounds like you’re describing something [inaudible 00:52:47]. I can tell you that I built a multi-million dollar business over the last four years simply by sharing my truth. My website is not fancy. [inaudible 00:52:59] my ClickFunnels. How many of you use ClickFunnels? Yeah, it’s great. It’s pretty. It’s like the most basic stuff that I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on web programming and designers[ inaudible 00:53:10].
Why? People are starving for truth, and I’d have you consider being here today that your mess is actually your message. The thing that’s directing you to the marketplace, the thing that people are looking for, wanting so desperately to find is truth. And when you can talk about addiction, when you can talk about all of the things going on in your world, guess what we’re all dealing with? Every single one of us, sex, money, politics, religion, depression, divorce, bankruptcy, mud, all of this. We deal with all of this every single day. But we’re talking about what? Nothing.
What would it look like if you became the person who just talked about what you wanted to talk about? What would it look like if instead of playing the game, the program we’ve played since we were kids, if you legitimately just continued to share who you are? What would it look like for you as an individual to be starting to really understand that your mess is actually your message? I have literally made millions of dollars by talking about putting a gun in my mouth. Every single person has told me, “You can’t do that. You can’t share that, Sean. It’s going to offend people.” “Good, let them leave. And let the people that [inaudible 00:54:27] with it come. That’s my tribe. Those are my people.”
And I’d have you consider, as you leave here, you’ve got two options. You can keep playing small, you can keep running the racket, you can keep playing by everybody else’s rules, you can keep playing by how you were broken as a little kid, sit down, quiet down, shut the fuck up, don’t say anything, stay inside this box. Or you can say, “Fuck it. I’m going to do what I want to do. I’m going to say what I want to say.”
Watch what happens. Watch what happens. As soon as you realize that your mess is actually your message, it’s 100% liberation from there.
My friends, thank you very much.

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