Falling Is Part Of The Game With Kane Minkus
Do you let fear and uncertainty hold you back? Tired of getting knocked out of the game when things don't go as planned? Let's face it -- life happens! Today's guest is a master of playfully and curiously embracing fear, uncertainty, and failure. A firm believer that "falling is part of the game," he empowers clients worldwide with the strategies they need to "face the fear and do it anyway,'' all the while knowing that they have the tools to get back up and succeed. If you’re ready to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and charge toward success, tune in as host Ellie Shefi chats with multi-award-winning and best-selling author, international speaker, strategic advisor to 9 figure entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 corporations, consultant, and Founder of Industry Rockstar, Kane Minkus. Renowned as one of the world’s most impactful business mentors, Kane is regularly interviewed by major media outlets, has been featured in over 300 publications, and is a consultant to companies including Sony, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Microsoft, and Apple. He has taught nearly 4 million business owners award-winning sales, leadership, marketing, and business strategies. Together with his Industry Rockstar Senior Advisory Dream Team, he has started more than 60 companies and generated over $2 BILLION in revenue. Committed to helping entrepreneurs align their passions and visions, he’s on a mission to help conscious business owners grow and scale their companies. Generously sharing his actionable tools and strategies, this is one episode you do not want to miss!!
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Falling Is Part Of The Game With Kane Minkus
Today's guest is a multiple best-selling and award-winning author, a sought-after international speaker, and a dedicated philanthropist who has raised over $5 million for charity. He is the Founder of Industry Rockstar, one of the biggest business training and investing companies in the world. He is renowned as one of the world's most impactful business mentors.
Regularly interviewed by major media outlets, he has been featured in over 300 publications. He is a consultant to companies, including Sony, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers, DreamWorks, Apple, and Microsoft. Since 2006, he and his partner Alessia have delivered over 2,000 presentations in 32 countries. They have taught nearly four million business owners their award-winning sales, leadership, marketing, and business strategies.
Together with his Industry Rockstar senior advisory dream team, they have started more than 60 companies and generated over $2 billion in revenue. Committed to helping entrepreneurs align their passions and visions, he is on a mission to help conscious business owners grow and scale their companies.
Please welcome Kane Minkus to the show.
You have had quite the journey! What was your first foray into entrepreneurship?
Whenever I hear that bio, I always wish my mother-in-law was listening. Thanks for that.
My first foray into entrepreneurship was when I was quite young. I grew up in a house where my father was a Chief Financial Officer for a $500 million company. I grew up in a wealthy, financially stable, well-off environment, but I learned pretty early that he was not happy. As much money as he earned, he was never happy. He was always grumpy. He was always unhappy.
I learned later that he worked for a CEO that was very disrespectful and not a very fun person to work for, but he never understood how to create any more wealth for himself or any more money. He was an employee his whole life. Although he cared deeply about teaching us great things, he taught us to stay in school, get good grades, go the traditional routes, and then you can become retired and happy when you are older.
As the youngest of three children, I knew that wasn't going to do it. I learned very early on that money is never going to create happiness. It's going to create some options. We had a nice home and the ability to travel and nice bells and whistles around us, but there wasn't that happiness and that fun factor. I thought, “That's not what I want. I want to have a life of fun, passion, excitement, and greatness.
My real first entrepreneurial thoughts started at a pretty young age, about five or six years old, watching my father put on his Windsor knot. That was one of the things I remember my dad taught me that I have taken into my adult life, how to tie a Windsor knot. I rarely wear a tie now, but sometimes it's necessary.
I remember very early on thinking I just want to have fun. How do I have fun and have a great life? Him having a high salary, I was conditioned growing up in nice environments, traveling a lot, and driving nice cars. I thought, “How do you have both?” I didn't know at five years old, but it became a mission for me - how to have both.
I started in music. My first love was music. I started playing the piano and singing at around five years old. I said, "I'm going to do it through entertainment."
I went down that path of entertainment and ended up getting into performance. By the time I was a teenager, I was performing all over. I ended up becoming a record producer for Sony Music. I wasn't working as an employee for Sony, I was a contractor. At some point around 19 years old, I was producing and co-producing records and working on different records with famous artists that you would know by name.
Napster then came along and shut down the entire record industry. If you are a dinosaur like I am, you'll remember at least the record stores. All those went out of business. At that time, they stopped paying all the producers because they got nervous. They didn't know what was going on with the music industry and sharing was going on. It was a big transformation.
I called up a friend of mine who was living in California. I was in New York at Sony. I said, “We are doing all the work and we are not getting paid. What do you think about starting our own business?” We knew nothing about it. We were average kids. He said, “Sure. Move out to California. You can sleep on my couch. We'll get something started.”
I packed up a truck and I moved out to California. We started our first business. At that moment, I was $40,000 in debt. I had blown through my credit cards. I had no cash in the bank. I had no knowledge of what I was going to do. No career. I had finished music school, but you don't take any jobs out of music school. It's either you create it or you don't. That was the start of it.
My very first entrepreneurial career was launching a music business with a friend of mine. I distinctively remember that we worked really hard for six months at it. Six months in, my business partner came into our little bedroom/office. He said, “My girlfriend is pregnant.” I said, “I had nothing to do with that. What are you telling me that for?” He said, “I've got six more months to get this business off the ground or I have to get a job because I have a baby coming.” That kicked us into high gear and I had a thought at that moment. It was the first time that I ever had this thought, “I don't know what I'm doing. How am I going to get this done if I don't know what I'm doing? How can somebody get something done if they don't know what they are doing?”
There’s action, and then there’s sustainment over time.
Symbiotically, I happened to be doing some personal development workshops and things. I got into different conferences. I happened to meet a guy who called himself a business coach. He was a cool guy and he said, “I sold a media company in Los Angeles to move back to San Francisco to work with my parents who are executive coaches.” I knew nothing about executive and business coaching. I had never even heard of it before. In my family, that never existed. Nobody had a coach. That wasn't a thing.
I said, “Can you help us?” He said, “What do you do?” I said, “I have a business.” He said, “What's the business?” I said, “It's a media company.” He goes, “How many customers do you have?” I said, “None.” He said, “It doesn't sound like much of a business, but I will come by your offices and see if I can help.” He came by and met with my business partner and me. He said, “I sold a company that was like this and I coach companies. I think I can help you guys out.” We said, “That's great but we are totally broke.” He said, “I could take equity in your business. I think there needs to be a little bit more drive and a little bit more commitment to it. What can you guys pay?”
We scrambled together about $1,500 a month. We split it. I was playing at a piano bar at that time, performing and making some money to stay alive. He took a percentage of our company and a little bit of our money each month, and we started building this business with this coaching. This guy was extraordinary as it turns out. It turned out his parents were some of the top executive coaches in the Silicon Valley, so we struck gold with it.
In four years, we built the fifth largest media company on the planet which still goes on now. What we were doing is we took our musical talents and we created soundtracks. Instead of for records, we were doing for video games, television, film, and advertising campaigns. We ended up creating more soundtracks for gaming, film, television, and advertising than almost any other company on the planet. We were doing close to around 800 or 1,000 projects a year. Some smaller and some bigger. That was our first foray into it.
They often say necessity is the mother of invention. What I hear you say is that was not only true for you once, but twice. First, you saw your dad. You saw that he had all the material success but he wasn't happy. That was a pivotal moment for you. Another pivotal moment was when your co-founder came to you and said, “I have six more months. We need to make this happen because I have a baby on the way.” Walk us through the mental shifts and the mindset that you had to develop when you heard those words from your co-founder, and you knew something had to change.
I went on to start 24 other companies, which I won't get into all those stories because it would take way too much time. We became serial entrepreneurs. Eventually, we started mentoring businesses and launched a mentoring company and incubator. For many years, I have been doing that and we have had millions of businesses come through our trainings.
The interesting is that we work not only on strategic work with them. Every business owner needs to understand strategic work, but they also need to understand the psychology not only of themselves but also the marketplaces. We look a lot at that.
I have spent about 30 years in human potential and development work. The thing is you said something quite interesting, which is this observation of other people around me and this necessity.
Those two things are important because there's this essence of intrinsic drive. I spend a lot of time and I have been on stages and toured all over the world with people like Tony Robbins, Robert and Kim Kiyosaki, and countless others. These people look a lot at the psychology and the human behavior of successful people because we all understand that it's a combination of both what you do, who you are being in the moment, how you are thinking, and what your beliefs are. It's a mixture of it all. Some people say, "It's 80% mindset." It's a mixture. You have to not only understand yourself and your thinking, but also understand what you are doing and how you are executing it.
I grew up in a family where it was a lot about you can't do it. You can't be a musician. I remember my dad used to say to me, “Nobody makes any money in music so figure something else out.” I would say, “There are people that make money in music.” He would say, “Who?” “Madonna, Phil Collins, and Peter Gabriel.” He would say, “They got lucky.” I realized that there are people who believe that success in doing what you are passionate about and having a major impact is an element of luck. I wasn't willing to accept that because I didn't feel like I got lucky. I am not a gambler because if I ever gamble anywhere, anytime, I’ll lose all my money.
It's not about gambling. It's about how you understand who they are, what they do, and how they think so you can take what you are passionate about and be successful. There's this essence of drive for a lot of people when they are told they can't do it, they are not good enough to do it, or it's not going to work. There's something intrinsically in me that said, “I'm not willing to settle for that. I am going to figure it out.” There's that drive and that commitment to figuring it out.
Funny enough, I have three children and we are extremely conscious about our parenting. We’re consistently offering them great praise, love, encouragement, and support so that they develop healthy relationships with themselves and healthy relationships to success. We work with them on money, success, sales, and all the things. We are spending endless days decoding for entrepreneurs that didn't grow up in those environments. Yet there's an interesting double side to that, which is what we see and this is documented for a lot of parenting: When you give the kids all the love and the support, they also don't get that burning edge of, “I'm not good enough. I'm going to prove it to others.”
What we are very fascinated with is how you create a leader, an entrepreneur, a business owner, or a founder of any size company. We work with clients from five-figures who are just getting started, all the way up to nine-figure companies. It doesn't matter. To me, it's about human achievements. When it's put into the business, we look at the success patterns and the strategies. How do you create somebody that is happy, complete, feeling grounded, feeling good about themselves, and driven?
That's the million-dollar question. That's one of the things that separates people who are stepping into their full embodiment of life and taking life by the reins. They are intentionally creating a life that they love that brings them happiness and joy while retaining that drive to do more, be more, have more, and live more.
What are some trends that you are seeing in the clients that you work with? How do you help them harness that power and that fire within?
This is exceptionally important because where you angle your passion, drive, and attention are over your life. To us, it's about a sustainable game. A lot of coaches, trainers, facilitators and speakers want to get people motivated to take action. We ended up working with a lot of motivated people that are frustrated. They are in action, but then there's also the sustainment over time. When I was 29, I essentially retired. I had sold over a dozen different companies and I could have spent the rest of my life not working. I had to face the question, "What will drive me to go on?"
In 2019, we were doing 200 conferences a year in 32 countries. We were bringing 60,000 business owners a year together in different conferences, and then COVID shut down all of the live opportunities and the live conferences across the world. We had to say, “What do we do? Should we leave it alone? Should we take a year off or a couple of years off? What should we do?”
Interestingly enough, there's a research report that shows that when somebody sells a business or they sell or exit their company, if they don't start something within six months of exiting, they have a very reduced likelihood of ever creating that success again. There's an element of how we keep our intrinsic drive. I will give you a few things. One is challenge. Humans are driven by challenge, whether it's a challenge against somebody, themselves, competition, or something. There's this element of being lit up by challenge and being motivated by that. Humans are intrinsically lit up by challenge and motivated by challenge.
One of the things that we do both with our children and ourselves, and also our students and our clients, because we still run programs with thousands of students and business owners a year at all levels now, are continually looking at how we can challenge them. Many times, people get bored with their businesses when they are feeling like they are not challenged anymore. I have worked with billionaires who are feeling lost inside because they feel like they aren't being challenged by it anymore. Sometimes we change the challenge. It's not challenges about making money because it's not important to them anymore. It could be a challenge of becoming a more powerful leader or a more powerful communicator. Someone who can motivate, inspire or show up in a different way, and that could be their challenge.
You can spend the rest of your life challenging yourself to be growing dimensionally. What we need is more dimensional people on the planet and more evolved people pushing out and challenging themselves in all sorts of different angles and areas. Challenge is a big one and we encourage people to challenge themselves regularly.
What we need more of on this planet are more evolved people pushing out and challenging themselves in all sorts of different angles and areas regularly.
It’s constantly learning and growing. Tony Robbins likes to say, “Ask better questions. You'll get better answers.” It’s retaining that curiosity about how something works. How can you evolve? How can you grow? What’s the next challenge? Where's the gap for innovation? What's another problem that you can solve? The questions are endless. The challenges and the opportunities to find them are endless.
You help people hone in on those opportunities and then develop their passions and their skills with the strategy and the mindset to step up and be the leader to be challenged to evolve. How did all of the twists and turns of your own evolution and your own companies lead you to be sought after by world leaders?
It's in this conversation. I had grown up in a family where my parents were constantly challenging me. My parents had a patent in brain development for children. I was the last of several children. There's a whole story there too but again, that’s a lot of stories. When I was born, my older sister was diagnosed with learning disabilities. My parents went into a real research time to understand how you develop top-level thinking because they wanted to help my sister become more proficient with her studies and her disabilities. She became an extraordinary leader and a very successful woman.
I was raised in an environment where we were constantly being challenged to keep thinking to the next level and think at different levels. As an adult, I started constantly seeking out people who could challenge me. It’s maybe because they were better than me at something. In my mid-twenties, I was working with a gentleman named Rick Belluzoo who was the CEO of Microsoft. We were doing some stuff and Bill Gates was around. They would always say, "If you want to have a powerful experience as a founder, entrepreneur or business owner, you should be the dumbest person in your business. Not because you are dumb, but because you are around people that are challenging you and that are much smarter than you. You can rely on them and delegate, but mostly because you can learn from them.”
I have always been seeking mentors. Whether it's Kevin Harrington, one of the original sharks from Shark Tank who became an advisor to our company. He pushed and challenged me around thinking about deal-making. He would say to me, “Why would you want to build a business when you could be engaging or pulling together parts and doing deals together?” I went, “That's so interesting.” A guy who rarely would own things constantly put deals together and make billions of sales. This guy has done $6 billion in sales off of putting deals together. I started to challenge that.
I started to engage people like Les Brown, who is considered one of the top motivational speakers in the world. He came in as an advisor in our company and started to challenge us about how we could tell stories better, speak more powerfully, and influence larger groups of people. I had spoken regularly in stadiums of 10,000 and 20,000 people. He had spoken in stadiums of 80,000 people. I had not done that.
The question that we ask is, “What if we did that?” Not, “Could we do it?” or “Can it be done?” What if we did that? What difference could we make? This is a question we ask our entrepreneurs to ask themselves. It’s not, “How can I get it done? Why should I do it?” It’s, “What if this could get done? What would be the difference?” Start to understand how we can act as entrepreneurs to make a massive difference in the world.
It’s not, “How can we do it?” It’s, “What if we did it? What does that look like? What are the possibilities?” It’s opening your mind to possibilities and knowing that it can be done. I love the questions that you are posing. It's not a matter of, “Can it be done?” It's a matter of, “What if we did it?” It's a matter of framing it through the lens of possibility, and then expanding your thinking and putting yourself in the rooms with people who are more successful, people who have done it, or people who are thinking even bigger than yourself. We don't need to go do it alone and we don't need to reinvent the wheel.
To your point earlier, there are so many people who have already done the things that we seek to do. They have already carved the path. They are already doing something similar. Being able to study how they are doing it, what they do, what's their journey, what are the tools and strategies that they are implementing, and then being able to model that. Modeling is so important.
You are in proximity to the biggest and the best. You have lived exactly what you are saying, which is don't be the smartest person in the room. If you are the smartest person in the room, go into a different room. You've achieved all of these things, but the journey to entrepreneurship is filled with twists and turns, and ebbs and flows. It's not always as easy as it can sound. Share with us the biggest challenge that you have faced on your own entrepreneurial journey and how you navigated it?
If you had asked me that prior to 2020, I would have given you a different answer. The last couple of years showed me that adaptability is probably the most important skillset that an entrepreneur can have. There's a great quote and I'm forgetting who said it. I'm pretty certain it was a brilliant woman who said it to me in honor of Women's Day. It might have been Mary Morrissey. It's, “As soon as I got a handle on life, the handle broke.”
I love the quote because it's so true. As an entrepreneur, as soon as you think you've got a handle on something, you will be shown by the markets, the world, the universe, the economies, your customers, or whatever that things are changing. Being a musician, I have discovered that a lot of successful entrepreneurs, business owners, and investors have some sort of creative background. There's something to be said about the foundation and creativity. It’s to take whatever and create something from nothing, and be willing to change it or see it from a different angle in a moment or an instance.
One of the things that we do with our kids right now is our kids are not in school. We educate our kids. Our kids are trained right now and we are training our daughter. We have a seven-year-old daughter and we have been training her since two years old to be in the creative arts. She has been trained by songwriters, dancers, and gymnasts. She has been trained in all sorts of areas around creativity because I think the most important part of the training for a child is creativity. It’s not math, science or things like that.
The idea is that creativity, adaptation, agility, and the ability to change quickly are the most important aspects of an entrepreneur. What I would say now is that the ability to adapt quickly to the environments and the changes that are going on is the most important thing. The biggest mistake that I have ever thought or have made is thinking that we got it and it's going to go on like this forever.
You've got your processes and systems in place. You have your team in place. You are on autopilot. It's working. You've gotten the results that you want. You get a little bit complacent and stop innovating, and then the handle breaks.
She says, "You are being too arrogant. Don't be so certain that it's going to always stay like this." It's that essence of, "It's going well now, but what are we doing to prepare and look at the long term?” As soon as we stop, as soon as we get complacent, or as soon as we assume that things will go on like this, we have lost the game of adaptation, which is what a business is.
Business is always growing or dying. It's never staying the same. In the light of its growth, things can look like they are staying steady. People have always thought they always want to keep this flat line. If we think about it, the way our lives work and the way our heartbeat works on a heart meter, it goes up and down. We don't want a flat line. That's a totally different signal.
We want a life of up and down. That means we need to prepare for those. Like I said, the biggest mistake I ever made is when things were going well, we would say, "We got it. We figured it out. It's going well. It's going to always go like this." Looking back on that stuff, when we did that, we did ourselves a disservice by not being ready and future forecasting how things will go if things completely changed.
Would you say that the ability to pivot, adapt, change, futurecast, constantly innovate, iterate, stay present, and not get complacent is the difference between a five-figure and nine-figure entrepreneur. Is that the secret sauce that allows a company to grow, scale, and be sustainable?
There are a couple of differences. A lot of people overvalue motivation. If you get out there and you do stuff, you are going to end up in a successful position. Although motivation and taking action are very important, understanding the strategy and business models is also very important. That's why we have combined both.
As soon as we get complacent and assume that things will go on the same, we've lost the game of adaptation.
I spent many years in personal development workshops and seminars, which were wonderful. They were great for me to have discoveries about myself, help others have discoveries about themselves, and have breakthroughs about how we were being with people and leading and communicating. It's great and it's a part, but I feel like a lot of the world has gotten overly oriented towards, “Change the way you think. Change your motivator. Get yourself motivated.”
That is one component. It’s like having food for the day is one part of your day, but we also need exercise, communication, social life, and all sorts of different things. To me, understanding the strategy is very important. I sit down with a lot of motivated entrepreneurs and business owners. They come to me when they are motivated. When I used to tour with Tony Robbins, he would get them motivated. He said, “You are motivated. Now go to that guy.” Now that you know why and you are motivated, you need to know how to get it done, the daily execution of it, the strategies and decision-making, and the nuances of discussions, conversations, emails, business strategies, and how to manage those.
There's a whole world to that a lot of younger entrepreneurs say, “That's the details. That will get handled later.” It's both. It’s understanding that and becoming savvy, and the strategic understanding of your business details while also putting in the heart, being motivated, and having that passion. These are things that are extremely important to put together.
I love that you are bringing up that point because especially during COVID, we are seeing an influx of entrepreneurs. The knowledge industry and the self-education industry have exploded. What we are seeing is so many people who are passionate. They are excited but they have no idea about the strategies or the steps to take to bring that passion and vision to life.
I love the programs and services that you offer that help them develop their strategies. Tell us a little bit about that.
For the past several years, we have had a lot of people coming through. We help business owners from launch all the way up to eight figures. If they want to exit their businesses or go public, that becomes a different world. We look at it a lot from the launch to the eight-figure level. From the launch to six figures, we call it Launch and Grow. Once we hit six figures to seven figures, we start to work with them to scale up.
We offer training programs, mentorship programs, workshops, seminars, and advising to do this. We have been acknowledged as extremely world-class at what we do. There are a lot of business coaches and a lot of people that talk about it, and we have the experience in doing it. My wife and I started over 40 of our own companies. Half of which have been eight-figures, and the other half have been high seven-figures.
We have done it many times. We have coached hundreds of thousands of business owners through our programs, educating millions, and having thousands of private advisory sessions. We also understand how to translate that combination to achieve success. That's a different skillset. Somebody can be successful and I have met incredibly successful people. I've spent time with massively successful people like Sir Richard Branson over the years. We have done a lot of different events with him and all sorts of fun things. We have learned a lot by observing him. He did not spend his life decoding what he has done and turning it into systems, education, and training people. It hasn't been his journey.
Although you can certainly learn a lot from being around someone so extraordinary, there are people that have taken the time to decode their methods and continue to research methods and turn them into systems that others can consume. There are also those that are inspiring to be around. Both are great, but what I have learned is that I have learned a lot more from those that have taken their time to structurize things into training programs, workshops, or some sort of transferable consumable education.
That's what we did here. We wanted to allow people not to just look at successful people and wonder or hope that they can break off a little bit of their success, or hope that they can get around them. When you sometimes ask very successful people about why they were successful, sometimes they have no idea why. They haven't spent their life being inside of the decoding of it. They have been inside of doing their skillset or running their company.
We have taken it upon ourselves to not only be a success ourselves and make an impact, but to be able to turn those success systems into tangible frameworks that other entrepreneurs can learn and then apply no matter where they come from. We have been very passionate about the international landscape. We have had students and clients from over 80 countries, and we have been in 32 countries a year with our conferences, the US being just one. We spent the rest of the year in 31 different countries, helping people from Japan all the way down to Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand. Everybody throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Anywhere we could get to that we could be helping entrepreneurs, and understanding that different cultures and different beliefs require integration in different ways at different levels.
When you are working with entrepreneurs and all these different levels around the world, what are some of the biggest limiting beliefs or struggles you've found? What are the stories that they are telling themselves that you can help them with? You guys get right into the mindset. You help them because, without the mindset, they are not going to take the action and implement the strategies that you are teaching them.
It's a good myth to bust because a lot of people think that more successful people have fewer fears or concerns. I have been with billionaires that have the same concerns as stay-at-home moms that are trying to get their first business started. A lot of it does revolve around things like, "Am I good enough? Am I smart enough? Am I capable?"
There are these eight core questions that we noticed people have been asking. We often say that these are questions that are not only unanswerable, they are not even a question to be had. The question is, “Am I valuable enough?” The question to me is like, “Why is it even a question?” If you are here on the Earth, then you were here by virtue of the universe deciding you should be here. There are many more important questions for success, and to go back to your quote about Tony, "Ask better questions to get better answers."
What I noticed is that a lot of people get stuck in these conversations, and a lot of it comes from childhood. My wife and I are working on a book right now. We have discovered that there are about 110 belief systems that parents and educators, based on the current system, inculcate their children into that are causing them to have to work against the belief systems of success and wealth.
Running a business is about building personal wealth. I have a family that are very highly paid employees, and they build very successful wealth. It's not like you want to be an entrepreneur because it's cool. You want to be an entrepreneur because you feel that intrinsic drive to create something that's not there and take it out to the world. Your pathway as a professional is to not only serve, make a difference, and bring great things out to help people through business, but also to create personal wealth for yourself and your family.
Businesses are the vehicle for personal wealth. What happens is a lot of parents and educators unknowingly inculcate polarizing belief systems that don't work. I will give you an example. One of them is we tell our children, “Don't talk to strangers.” Why? Because strangers are dangerous. That's typically our response. I grew up in that world. My parents had said to me, “Don't talk to strangers. Strangers are dangerous.” They do it out of protection. They don't want you to get kidnapped, taken away or whatever. They do it because they love their children.
In the ‘80s in the United States, we used to have billboards along the side of the road that says, “Stranger danger. Don't let your children talk to strangers.” This was ingrained in the culture. We then all grow up. We go out and start networking. In business, one of the most important skillsets that we have to have for success is that we can talk to strangers. I get on stages. I did 250 events in 2021 and 180 events before that. I have been doing 200 events every year for the last several years. I step onto a stage and I'm in front of hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of strangers.
I had to spend a significant amount of time re-encoding a belief like that. There are about 110 of those beliefs.
As a father, I can understand that. We were living in Sydney, Australia. We opened our South Pacific offices for our company. I had my older son who is a teenager. He was about 4 or 5 at the time. I was putting him into the car in his car seat one morning. This young girl was walking by with a backpack. She was walking to the beach. We live right by the beach. She says to me, “How are you going?” I said, “Not bad.” That's how they greet each other in Australia. I said, “How are you going?” She said, “Not bad.” I said, “Have a nice day.” She goes, “Thanks,” and she walks on.
Running a business is about building personal wealth.
My son sticks his head out of the car and said, “You can't do that.” I said, “I can't do what?” He said, “You can't talk to her.” I said, “Why not?” “She's a stranger.” I went, “Oh.” We talked about it because I didn't want him to think that. I teach him a very different belief which is that strangers are friends waiting to meet you. I believe that's who they are. I have met millions of people all over the world. Everybody I have met was a stranger until I met them, shook their hand, heard an extraordinary story of their lives and their journeys, and learned so much from every stranger that then became a friend.
To me, that’s who strangers are. We have identified over 100 belief systems that are limiting people. They say, “Don't play with money.” “Why?” “Because money is dirty.” The kids are ingrained that there's something wrong with money. "I shouldn't want it. I shouldn't use it. I shouldn't have it. If I have a lot of it, maybe that makes me dirty or wrong." We are talking, "It comes out of a machine." We say these things and we have mapped out all these things. We are writing this book now to start to bring awareness to educators, parents, and even the individuals that are now grown-ups.
The great part about humans is that we are malleable and changeable. We are not who we are. We are who we are becoming, and therefore we can become different. We might have to put a little more work in for ourselves. If we spent 20 years in a family that ingrained things and the words were very negative, no problem. You cannot choose the family you came from, but you can choose the family that you hang out with. You couldn't choose maybe the beliefs that you were given or handed down but you can start to analyze those, break them apart, and re-install new beliefs for yourself. You can actively choose your destiny.
That's what our new book is about. We are going to be sharing this because we have done the research over the last 10 years with hundreds of thousands of business owners sharing their beliefs. There are a lot of surprises. There are the core ones like, “I don't feel I'm worth it. I'm a fraud.” There were 80 or 90 of them and I thought, “I didn't even think about this. I would have said the same thing to my children and made the same mistakes because it's so natural."
We were programmed with what we hear and what we see as a child. That came from the way that our parents were programmed or that society has developed.
I love the awareness that you are bringing in this new book. I can't wait to see it out into the world, to shine a light on that and say, “Let's evaluate.” Does that belief serve you? It may have served you up until now, but at this point in your life, does that belief serve you?
Is that belief aligned with who you choose to be and what you choose to value? If not, then I'm sure your book will address, "Here are ways to shift those beliefs to create your own new beliefs, to create the new neural pathways, and to be able to watch the language that you use, watch the perspective that you hold, watch the programming that you are speaking over yourself and your family. I cannot wait to read that book. It will be incredibly powerful.
What are some of the biggest fears, limiting beliefs, and paradigms that you discovered in your research? We talked about money and strangers, but what are some of the others that were recurring?
There’s one of the beliefs that I discovered and tested. I was in an elevator in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. I was giving an event and there were about 3,000 entrepreneurs that were coming for the three-day conference I was hosting. At the end of the day, I was wiped. We had spent nine hours doing transformational work and strategic work with them, teaching and going through exercises and everything. I was wandering to the elevator to go back up to my room, fall in bed, and go to sleep.
I got on the elevator and this woman and her young daughter get on the elevator with me. I'm standing at the back. It's a very high tower that we are in. As we start going up, I started hearing the daughter say to her mom, “Mom, when can we go to the pool?” Her mom didn't answer her. She ignored her or didn't respond, which sets up a whole another set of belief systems that we'll talk about another time. Her daughter starts to get persistent. She says, “Mom, when can we go to the pool?”
This girl must have been seven or eight years old, and she was persistent. I love persistence. We teach our kids that when it comes to business or deals and things like that, no never means no. No means that you haven't found the right way to negotiate it. You haven't got it done. We have a very persistent group of children. To all the parents out there, be careful what you teach your children because we teach them young so we don't have to recode them later. I will tell you, it creates a very dynamic and complex home environment.
This girl starts getting persistent. She says, “Mom, when can we go to the pool?" Almost like that old Bart Simpson routine. Her mother stops her and says, "The more you ask, the less likely it is to happen." This is all going on in front of me. A little family discussion going on. I had so many emotions come up. At first, I got angry that a parent would say that to a child. I then got angry that a woman in the world be told not to ask for what she wants, which made me angry in itself because we need more empowered women, not less empowered women, and to see that the source of that came from a trusted source, a parent.
Now, parents are training their children how to think. With complete respect to parents, it’s a complex job because you probably want your children to go off and become more successful, impactful, and extraordinary than you were. Yet you are limited to your own abilities of how you think unless part of the way you think is to inculcate them with the interest in constantly questioning everything. It's a very interesting dynamic, and we have been very conscious of it. We engage our children to question everything, to consider everything, to decide, to be persistent, resistant, consistent, and to ask for whatever they want.
That creates a very complex environment because it's much easier to have submissive children, whether it's in school or at home rather than to deal with complexity. We have been willing to sacrifice peace and ease in order to create curious, contemplative, confident human beings. I don't think we could talk about it to others and then not demonstrate it at home. You can't say to people that the educational system does not support, and then send our kids to traditional school.
We homeschool and have an alternative way of educating our kids. I believe that one of the biggest dichotomies in the world about mentors and coaches is they tell people one thing, and then they live a different life. I'm not looking for that. I'm looking for integrated mentors. When I take on people, I always say, “I want someone who integrates what they are talking about.” Otherwise, forget it. I don't want someone to just pay lip service. I want someone who has lived and experienced it, and has gone through it, good, bad, easy, ugly, or whatever it is.
One of the things that we understood is that people are often told that being persistent is annoying. Anybody who's a professional understands that if you want to get things done, persistence is a key to success. The Beatles had to be persistent to get their records into the stores or even get signed by the record labels. We all know Jack Canfield who has a great story of how many publishers he had to go to and rejected him on Chicken Soup for the Soul.
I don't know anything about this woman in the elevator. She and her daughter stepped off the elevator. I never saw them again. I'm going to assume that with those belief systems, she is probably not particularly impactful. It's not a judgment. She's perfectly lovely and however she does things is great, but we are looking to create super achieving entrepreneurs and successful leaders with a dimensional and heart-centered approach, and feeling empowered.
When people feel empowered and they feel connected to love and they feel able to create, they tend to and typically end up in positive contribution situations, not negative contribution situations to their communities. What we are doing here is we are trying to create the most empowered people. Not just empowered with love and energy, but empowered with love, energy, and money so that they can create whatever they want, and feel powerfully connected as humans and souls on the planet.
What is your North Star? What is your why? We have talked a lot about leaning into this passion and this purpose. Why are you so driven?
Selfishly, because I do think people should be connected to their selfish interests. I think that's important. We need to be equally selfish as we are selfless. We work with a lot of women who put everybody else in front of themselves. There's a good time and place, and a lot of value in being selfish as well as selfless.
One of the most important skillsets for success is being able to talk to strangers.
My selfish interest is to create a more functional, powerful, and supportive world for my children and my children's children. I used to tell my children that I don't know why they were born into the world, but they are here for a very important reason. I believe that my oldest son is here for an extremely important reason. I don't know what it is. As every year goes by, he starts to get more and more interested in things like climate change. He's got a European background and roots, maybe he'll create important inventions to change and save humanity.
I think about my daughter and we named her Aranya, which means singing queen. I wish we named her Aranya Bella, which means beautiful singing queen. She's fascinated with entertainment, performance and songwriting. Maybe she will write songs that move the world and change the way people look at things. Our little guy who's getting started, we are engaging him right now. He's demonstrating huge athletic capabilities. Maybe he'll be someone who changes the planet around athletes. I don't know.
What drives me is to be able to leave our planet a better place. Honestly, I don't see it heading that way, and I haven't seen it heading that way since I was a young child. I don't think things are getting better. I think things are getting worse. I grew up in America but I spent half my life in Europe, so I have a very split sense of culture. The old mentality, especially in America, is this idea that things will always be better tomorrow. There's always a better tomorrow. I think it's starting to fade.
We are seeing right now, not only over the last few years, the shifts and the ripple effect that is happening. I think the work that you are doing is absolutely critical not only with your own family but with the book that you are writing. It’s the ripple effect that that's going to have, and the millions of entrepreneurs that you've shaped. It is the entrepreneurs, the innovation, the opportunities that are created, and the ripple effect that is going to hopefully shift the trajectory of what we are seeing right now. That alignment of vision and purpose, and standing up and saying, “Is this the world that we want to live in? Is this the world that we want for our children?”
That's very important. Having trained millions of people globally, we focus on a transformational approach while empowering them with the strategic approach. We have a three-day event that we have run for over twelve years now called Start at the Top. It is the essence of how do you start at the top. Not just start at the top to change things, but start at the top of your industry. Start at the top with whatever you are doing. You don't have to work your way up. We don't have time for that.
We need smart heart-centered people to be able to be at the top of their industries, professions or careers. They need to have that power so that they can make the changes because the policy-making and the choices that humans are making are not the ones that are going to be serving us in the future. We need heart-centered and conscious entrepreneurs. That's why when you introduced me, I said, “We are very focused on conscious entrepreneurship.”
What I have learned is that money magnifies what's in your heart. If you give somebody a tremendous amount of money and they have a tremendous amount of compassion and empathy in their heart, they will create charities or organizations, companies, products, services, or divisions. They will empower people that carry those values as well. That adds more fuel to the right fire. That's the best metaphor.
To tip the world's consciousness, we don't need a majority of the world. Historically, we have shown that we need 10% to tip towards a consciousness. We work on tipping about 10% of the world's entrepreneurs and leaders towards conscious capitalism. Sometimes we go into large organizations. For people who are reading, forget about the media. Forget getting anything accurate out of the media.
I go into large organizations all the time where we have major leaders in large organizations that care deeply about everything. All the constant thinking that large corporations are out for money and they don't care is not true. It's made up of human beings like you and me who care deeply. Sometimes there are decisions that are made that I also would not necessarily agree with. It is organizations that have a complex tug of war going on, and then you get the small businesses. The ones that can make faster decisions, are more focused on one person or a smaller group of people's values that can make faster and more agile decisions.
That's why I have chosen to work with smaller companies between launching and eight-figures. I feel like the ability to make quicker and more agile decisions leaves me feeling like I'm making more of an impact on people that can make faster changes. Whereas in my twenties, I did a lot of corporate and Fortune 500 advising, consulting, and executive coaching. They are lovely people and great. Everybody is amazing, but the ability to make a difference, I see is in the power of the small business owner. I would consider small business even up through eight figures.
I'm on a mission to empower as many people at that level to be able to make decisions, create the money, and then make the differences with their families and with the choices they are making so that we can come together. I don't believe necessarily that one person can easily make a huge difference, but I believe one person can start a fire that can bring together a huge conglomerate of people that have similar values and make a difference.
What would you say to people who say, “I agree with you but I'm so afraid of doing the wrong thing. I'm so afraid of making the wrong decision,” and so they don't do anything.
My wife is a brilliant woman entrepreneur. I'm so grateful to be with her because we get to share so much. She's a serial entrepreneur herself originally from Italy. She's a wonderful woman to raise children with as well because we have such alignment on how we frame everything. We always encourage the kids to take big risks because we want them to expand and grow. That's our thing.
We grew up in families where everything was like, “Be careful. Don't take those risks. You can’t do it.” Now with our kids, we are like, “Go crazy. Go as big as you can. Let's see what happens.” Consequently, it gets complex. When we go out hiking, my daughter wants to climb the tallest mountain. We would yell at her, “Come down,” but she doesn't care because we have built in her to take the risk.
My wife has a saying which is, “Falling is part of the game.” My sport when I was young was ice hockey. I grew up in the city of Chicago. We played a lot of ice hockey. I was a big hockey player. My young daughter got into ice skating a couple of years back. You get on the ice and the first experience you have is you fall over. She was a little bit disheartened because it's something that's harder to get started in. You start by falling everywhere. My wife gave her this line that falling is part of the game. Every time she falls, she knows she's in the game. She's learning. She's moving forward. Each fall and mistake are part of that. It’s the idea of failing to success, and all of those synonyms of how we would say this. We say failing is part of the game or falling is part of the game.
That's what I would say to somebody who's saying, “I don't know if I'm going to do right. I'm so afraid to make mistakes,” which is a very common thing. We were interviewing Richard Branson about how he feels about making mistakes or failing. We had about 8,000 or 10,000 people in our audience. Alessia was interviewing him and she said, “You've done so much successful stuff. What would you say to people that are concerned about failing and that's why they don't go for it?”
He says, “I'm concerned about failing. I don't like to fail.” They had a crash with the Virgin Galactic that had come back. He said, "When people fail in Virgin, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Airlines, or Virgin Galactic, people die. Nobody wants that." We understand that as much as you do to prepare for success and to make sure you make as few mistakes as possible, falling and failing are part of the game.
You got to decide. You are either in the game or you are not. If you are in the game, then you understand failing, falling, and getting hurt are part of it. If you are not in the game, then it's okay. If you don't want to be an entrepreneur or a founder, no problem. Some people even had been there and said, “It's not for me anymore.”
You start by falling everywhere. Falling is part of the game. Every time you fall, you know you’re in the game and that you’re learning and moving forward.
Find people that you think are on deeply powerful missions and bring your talent to support them. That is equally as important as you running your own business. It's not about what you are doing. It's about how you are playing the game. Sometimes you are Michael Jordan, and sometimes you are supporting Michael Jordan. Either way, success is not because of one person, it's because of the team.
Just get in the game, whether you are Michael Jordan or supporting Michael Jordan. I love that analogy because each and every one of us has a purpose. You mentioned that earlier, particularly, in the examples with your children. Each and every one of us has a purpose, so get in there, take action, and be part of the game.
You serve at such a powerful level. You are out there day in and day out, truly living your mission. You are a force for good. You are out there impacting, advising, mentoring, and serving. How do you refill your cup? How do you make sure that you are able to stay sustained, recharged, and recalibrated to serve at that level?
I have a lot of things that refill my cup. Some are silly little game things. I love changing the dimension of modality for myself because it's rejuvenating and recuperating for me. I love athletics and exercising. I workout at least once if not twice a day. We have a gym at our house. I love to put on trainings when I'm working out. Right now, I've got a whole training around financing and mergers and acquisitions that I'm listening to. I get to workout for 45 minutes and listen to my thing. That recuperates me because I get to contribute to my own education and my own growth. I also get to move into a modality of physicality.
I spent a lot of years as a young person performing, dancing, and moving. I like changing modalities from intellectual to physiological and physical modalities. I also love things like comedy. I listened to endless hours of comedy. I love laughing. When I would travel on planes, I would go from America to Asia every 12 weeks to be running tours or to Europe or going to Australia for 22 hours flights. There, I'd be listening to 20 hours of Robin Williams, George Carlin, and all these great comedians that I love.
I love entertainment and I like to recuperate by doing completely opposite modalities, and doing things that scare me. The kids love to go rock climbing, so we'll go out and we'll do rock climbing and things that are different. That change of modality to me helps me recuperate, and then there's the other stuff. Spending time with my wife and being romantic and having fun. We go out and we go dancing. We are taking salsa classes. It’s changing that modality and having dimensionality. Playing music. I still love to play music, perform, write songs, and things like that.
What I would recommend to everybody is to take the time to do those things. We meditate and we take time to make our smoothies, do yoga, and then change those things and keep this dimensionality because that dimensionality keeps us much more balanced. The balance is what keeps us happy.
As we start to wind down here, let's imagine that you have come to the end of your life best lived. It has been balanced and joyful. You have impacted billions of lives for generations to come. You have played full out and you've left it all on the court. What do you want them to say about you?
I want them to say, “I don't need him anymore.” One of the things that I would say to my clients and my audiences is that I want to get to a point where you don't need me anymore. I'm not here in this business to be a coach that's needed. I'm here to share the wisdom, the systems, and the abilities so that it becomes integrated into you, that can then get advanced and evolved into something else that can go on.
It’s a little bit like being a songwriter. I spent 20 years in music, songwriting, and producing. As a songwriter, we would channel through the artistic and the creative, and then we would give it away. I look at that almost like children. At some point, my children won't need me. My daughter is so confident. She does not need me already. I'm like, “We won the game. More date nights.”
I work with entrepreneurs as if I'm raising my own children. They need to become self-sufficient and not need me. If they want to come to me and continue to bounce ideas or have that yearly check-in, that's very valuable, but they don't need me.
What I would love billions of people to say by the time I'm done is, “He came, he saw, he conquered, and he left. Now, I will carry that torch of whatever he was talking about.” It's not about Kane. It's not about me. It's about the things we are bringing through our bodies, voices, thoughts, minds and souls, and then sharing that, evolving it, putting our touch on it, handing the torch like the Olympic torch off to somebody else, and letting them run with it for the next generations.
How can people get in contact with you? How can they learn more about your programs and the things that you do?
You can certainly reach out in all the classic social media ways that we are active on. Our assistants and teams check all the messages and send us things that seem would be great partnerships and people who want to be part of our programs. Also, watch online for our programs. Look us up on our website at KaneAndAlessia.com. Come find our mentoring programs.
If what we are talking about here seems to resonate with you and you are saying, “I would love to have people who get the integration of the conscious, the systems, the strategies, and the heart,” then come find us. We are pretty visible online. You can find out what we are doing. Find our books and programs. Find us for advice and things like that, and then let's talk. We love working with great people. Although we like to take a lot of time off and spend it with our kids these days, we also love to continue to work with heart-centered and driven entrepreneurs.
You are now going to be bombarded with people who will reach out to you because you are incredible. Any parting words you would like to share?
The phrase that always comes up for me is, "Just do it." Take the actions.
I can't say how many friends, colleagues, or family members I have had to spend years convincing to move on from something that wasn't feeding their souls. The parting words are, "The action you take will always create a better next step." If you are worried about whether the next step is the right step, the answer is yes. Just go do it.
I have never heard anybody that has taken life by the horns ever say, “I wish I didn't leave that marriage I wasn't happy with. I wish I didn't leave that company I wasn't enjoying. I wish I didn't leave that situation.” They always said, “I'm so glad and I wish I would have done it earlier.”
The number one thing I heard when I would be sitting in transformational seminars at 18 and 19 years old - because I got introduced to them early - is, “I wish I would have done this when I was your age.” I didn't know what that meant because I was young, but I promised myself and said, “There are so many people saying this to me. I should pay attention. I'm going to live my life so that I never look back and say, ‘I wish I would have done that.’” Whatever it is, just do it.
Thank you so much for being here. To our audience, whatever it is, just do it. Get started. Take that action.
Until next time.
About Kane Minkus
Kane Minkus is a multiple best-selling and award-winning author, sought-after international speaker, and dedicated philanthropist who has raised over $5 million dollars for charity. He is the founder of Industry Rockstar, one of the largest business training and investing companies in the world, and is renowned as one of the world’s most impactful business mentors. Regularly interviewed by major media outlets, he has been featured in over 300 publications and is a consultant to companies including Sony, Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Microsoft, and Apple. Since 2006, he and his partner Alessia have delivered over 2000 presentations in 32 countries, and have taught nearly 4 million business owners their award-winning sales, leadership, marketing, and business strategies. Together with his Industry Rockstar Senior Advisory Dream Team, they have started more than 60 companies and generated over $2 BILLION in revenue. Committed to helping entrepreneurs align their passions and their visions, he’s on a mission to help conscious business owners grow and scale their companies.