Enjoyed catching up with an absolute legend in the MLM world, Max Knowles, on a recent trip to Miami. The conversation; around Network Marketing, business, making your first Million, developing thick skin, and so on, got so INTENSE, we decided to hit the record button…
BEAST MODE. WITH MAX KNOWLES.
Paul: Hi folks, how are you? Paul McFadden here, with my business partner Billy Farrell, and our guest, Mr Max Knowles. So, before we get kicked off with things, this is pretty exciting. So, we’re here in Miami just now. Billy, why don’t you tell us bit about Max and then we’ll just jump in to what we’re going to talk about.
Billy: Cool. Okay, so this is fun. We’re in a hotel lobby over here, shooting raw, no plans, we’ll see where we go. The funny thing is, Max was someone who I watched on YouTube when we first started network marketing. It was one of those ones that when we were getting involved in network marketing, MLM, I began to watch YouTube to see the different people who were the poster boys, who were the big hitters, the Senior Vice Presidents in the game, and Max was someone that I really resonated with, with his story, and I began to follow his videos Then when we started to succeed in network marketing, 500 people, 1000 people, 2000 people, 3000 people, and beyond, we would actually show them Max’s videos, Max’s trainings, because it resonated with that real, raw, coming up hard, getting to work, making shit happen philosophy. Then we’ve seen you go on, whether Barcelona, Munich, Rotterdam, somewhere, we’ve seen you in London and it was cool. So, we were hitting it hard in the UK, you were hitting it hard here, and we were watching your journey, and then Mr McFadden happened to have change meeting with you.
The Chance Meeting
Paul: One of the biggest things for me, Max, is that we were in the beginning of the network marketing business and I thought I have to get over to LA. At the time, there was a big convention, probably 20,000 plus people there. You were speaking at the event, and a big thing for me to go there, was to come and listen to you talk because, as Billy said there, when you’re looking at a number of different people who are at the top of the industry, you start to look at and you try to say to yourself, “Well, that’s what I want to be. This is what I want to build, and you’ve built something with a whole group at Dynasty, and we wanted to replicate that, which we did. So we were pretty much copying exactly what you were doing. You were the person we looked at for inspiration, to follow that path that you were laying out. In LA, we came along. It was great to see you and things have just blown up and then we met when we won a certain production to go to an exclusive retreat, which for me happened to be Costa Rica where my wife was. So, back to Costa Rica, we caught up there and it’s been great. We’ve had a relationship since. We’re here in Miami. I thought it’s too good an opportunity to miss not to have this conversation with you. So for those who are listening who don’t know who you are, tell us a little bit about your background, where you’ve came from and bring us up to speed.
Not Looking for a Business
Max: Sure, sure. First of all, thanks for having me on, definitely, it’s great to connect with you guys. It’s been great seeing you guys. It’s been what, 2 years since we last connected. But yeah, my story is very simple, started in business at the age of 18. So that was roughly 13-14 years ago, and I was not looking for a business. I was actually just looking for a way to make extra money to pay for school. I couldn’t find a job, so the only other option was to figure out what I could do independently to make money. So, I got introduced to network marketing, actually twice. The first time I saw it, I didn’t know it was network marketing, but I liked the idea of being able to work for myself, do my own thing and make as much money as I wanted to make. The only thing I wasn’t excited about was the product, so the second time I got introduced to network marketing, I immediately saw the value that was happening, different product line, different compensation plan, and I decided, you know what, I’m just going to go ahead and give it a shot.
So I got involved and I really didn’t have a lot of success in the beginning, just because I had no experience in sales, or marketing or anything like that. So I had to figure it out, nor did I have the mentors or the training in my initial stages, but I think that was probably the best thing that happened because it forced me to organically learn by getting into the trenches, doing the work and after about 6 or 7 months, I started seeing the success. After about a year, I started seeing a lot more success, and then within 3 or 4 years, I made my first $1million in the business and then from there, it just escalated again and again and again. Then from that, we were able to then transition into other things, as most entrepreneurs do.
Network marketing was our stepping stone onto the world of entrepreneurship, and through the financial freedom we gained from that business, it’s given us the opportunity to now multiply across different industries. So it’s been a great journey.
The Importance of Mentors
Billy: So Max, what do you think the importance is of having mentors, having people you look up to? So when you started, you organically learned. Did that involve an element of learning from people who were further down the path than you?
Max: Yeah. So the thing is, what I had to do, is kind of what you did. I was here in the States, you were in Scotland, so you’re watching YouTube videos, learning from the distance. So even though I had no direct mentor, I definitely had access to videos, and books and all that. So I had to seek out the information from other people, and that was my initial training. My learning from what other people have done, even though it wasn’t direct. I was able to start applying that in my own business right away and begin to start seeing what was working, what wasn’t working and then gradually as I started having more success, I was able to start associating with people at a higher level. Then naturally, that created new partnerships and mentorships and then escalated it, you know, tenfold.
Billy: So, do you think that’s important then, to form partnerships with people who are already at the top of their game, even if they’re not necessarily a financial benefit to you?
Max:Yeah, absolutely. I think there’s definitely value in that, but I also see a big fault, where a lot of people connect themselves with mentors either too much or too soon, and what ends up happening is they never depend one their own self reliance, to figure things out. So they’ll then seek out a mentor to solve a problem. Whereas, if they didn’t have that access to their mentors, they would be forced to figure things out on their own, and then create those mental connections on how things were done, and that was my benefit, because even though there were mentors from a distance, I was kind of forced to figure out things on my own, and it helped me to really develop that thick skin So, I think there’s definitely value in mentors but we don’t want to become too dependant on mentors or we become handicapped, if that makes sense.
Billy: You have to do the work.
Max: You’ve got to do the work.
Billy: So you learn from the best, pick up what you can from them, then you apply and you learn as you go.
Billy: Yeah, but you start with that plan, that model, that path.
Max: Yeah, if you have mentors that can help you out on the journey, absolutely, take advantage of it. The main thing is just don’t be handicapped by it, where you think that your mentors will take you across that finish line.
Billy: That’s a problem because in property, in MLM, whenever we’ve done anything like this, sometimes people will become so hooked on their mentors that you’ll hear the attitude “I believe in you Paul, I believe that you will help me achieve this”, and that’s bullshit because you need to believe in you.
Billy: You need to believe in yourself, is that fair?
Max: Yeah, absolutely, I think you said it best at dinner the other night. You are the lighthouse, you’re shining a light, creating clarity for people to help direct them on the journey but you’re not gonna be the captain behind the wheels steering the ship. That’s up to them, right? You’re just a lighthouse.
Billy: Love it.
Paul: With network marketing, it’s got its negatives. People have the whole idea of pyramid schemes, all this kid of stuff. Forget that for a moment, network marketing is very strong. It gives you some business principles. It helps you become resilient. It helps you build a network. It helps you learn a lot. It helps you to sell, which a lot of people don’t understand and realise, because you’re having to go out and sell a product or a service.
So what are some of the biggest lessons that you took that’s now assisting you in business now for what you’re doing?
Max: I think the biggest thing is really understanding people, the dynamic of what makes people move, what makes them tick, because whether you’re selling a product, whether you’re selling service, whether you’re doing real estate or anything else, it’s all the same, why? Because you’re dealing with people. So, network marketing at his rawest form is person to person marketing, right? You’re dealing with the individual on individual level, and you’re trying to convince them to basically step out of their box of comfort and do things they’ve never done before. Which in our case is starting the actual business. Most people had no business being in business, but yet we’re trying to inspire them to do that, right? And so, it definitely taught me a lot about human behaviour and I think beyond human behaviour, learning how to use that to move people in a specific direction. Obviously in business you want your client or prospects to make a purchase to sign up for this or sign up for that. So taking that concept and applying it across multiple businesses had proven to be really powerful.
Paul: Yeah, for sure. The thing with network marketing as well is when you start building the team, and if you want to pull it back to a business. When you’re building a business, if you want to scale, if you want to do bigger things, you need a team, and you need to understand people, working with people.
So what are kind of some of the lessons you’ve learned with growing your business, whether it’s being within network marketing or your current business just now? Maybe tell us a bit more about that, what the goal is, the vision is. And again, a team helps you to grow and expand, doesn’t it?
Max: Yeah, absolutely. Team is everything, especially in network marketing. I guess the concept of having a solid team, more than anything. I think the big thing with business is that we’re not just in business to push a product. You can do that, you can push a product, but I think that today people buy differently and do business differently. I think people want to be part of something. So, the idea of having the team is, you want to create a movement around whatever your idea or your vision or your product or service is. So, having a team of people like you have here, you have people on camera, you have people that are creating the content, you have people, I’m sure, who are taking care of the clients and all that, so you have all the pieces in place so you can make a greater impact. If it’s a one man show, you can only do so much, right? So, the idea of a team allows you to really create that movement, create a greater impact, and ultimately, you get to scale, leverage, and that’s how you’re going to be able to have a life as a business owner. I mean, you can’t do it all yourself, right?
Billy: Flying to Miami and hanging about drinking whiskey with, you know, these sort of characters.
Max: Without a team, it can get pretty boring, pretty quick. I mean, if you’re going to be all by yourself making all this money, what are you going to do? Sit in the corner by yourself? So you need people to celebrate with.
Billy: So what are you doing now, Max?
Max: So, we do consulting. We actually work with small businesses and we help them, which is interesting because the same principles and dynamics that we use in network marketing to grow our organisation to tens of thousands of people, we found that there are principles and and strategies in the network marketing world that work in the traditional business world too. And what’s missing in the traditional business world, I think, is the value that network marketing has. It’s the idea of creating that team environment, creating that culture, creating that vision and movement that inspire people on another level. So we work with small business owners. Whether it’s to increase their sales for business or it’s to bring that culture and team environment into their business. I call it organisational optimisation. So we organise their organisation and then optimise it to get everyone performing on a higher level. So, in a nutshell we basically apply network marketing principles to the traditional businesses.
Billy: Awesome. Okay. Couple of quick fire questions and then we will wrap this up. We appreciate your time, we know you’ve got places to be. So with people who are going into business, would you recommend that they build up an MLM alongside their existent business?
Max:You know, I think it all depends on where that person is. If you would have asked me that question maybe 5 years ago, I probably would have said yeah, absolutely. But I think today more than ever, focus is the most important thing, attention and energy and resource. So I look at MLM, network marketing as a way to create cash flow, especially if you’re coming from a place like I was, at 18 with no money, no resources, no contacts. So it was a great starting point for me then go make a few extra hundred thousand dollars for a little cost investment of 500 bucks and I could flip that within a year or two. So for me, at that starting point, it was good, but for someone, if you have a business, you have resources, you have all the access you need, you probably don’t need to do that , right? I think it all depends on your goals long term.
Billy: So I think there’s one word that we’re getting here. Focus. Focus. Whatever you’re doing, focus. Be the best, be the biggest, so what you can in that one thing, that you’re becoming an expert in.
Max: That’s right.
Paul: So what would you tell the Max who’s just turned 21, knowing what you know over the last 10 years or so?
Max: Invest in real estate. Invest in real estate. Yeah, if I could talk to myself at age 21, it would be, you have to plan, and not just plan, you’ve got to be, the same way we all plan to make money, the key is what are you planning for with the money once you make it. So I had a game plan to go make money. We made millions of dollars in our mid twenties and we didn’t have a plan for the money. When you don’t have a plan for the money, guess what? The money is gone, right. So if I would have been able to tell that to myself at age 21, for sure it would have been a lot different, fast forward a couple of years later.
Paul: That’s one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in business as well because the it’s same story. In mid twenties, you’re making that first million, not having the wealth thermostat, which you talk about all the time, Billy. It’s like a lottery win, someone wins a lottery, before you know it, it’s gone. So that sometimes happens when you don’t have that plan. Where you’re not focusing on the bigger picture, you’re not focusing on where the vision is and where you’re going, it’s all about the money. Listen, that’s fine. We’re all doing this to make money, but what’s the purpose for it? Because you end up buying things that you think you want, to show off a little bit. You’ve got a lot of these lifestyle entrepreneurs and there’s nothing wrong with that if there’s some substance behind it. So it’s good. That’s my lesson for my 21 year old as well, I’d be like, come on, when you make this money, invest it better, don’t think you need to show off and stuff.
Billy: Some people would say, when you make the money, spend it and use other people’s money to fund the business, and to an extent, you do want to use other people’s money, but at the same time, if you’ve got money coming in, take that money, and funnel it out where it needs to go. Then if you’re sitting there thinking, okay, what now,? Then you’re forced to create more cash flow. You’re forced to focus to find new avenues, to find new streams in your existing business.
Paul: So where’s Max going? Have you got a plan or vision for the next, you know, whatever?
Max: Well, we are in the process right now of building a brand. You know, what’s interesting is the idea this year was to start building the foundation for my personal brand. We can start putting out massive content. We have a lot of content, but it’s interesting because as you’re sort of going down that path, that’s when we had an influx of outside business, people wanting us to help them. So it’s kind of like figuring out how we’re going to juggle the two. Ultimately the goal would be to help many other businesses, small businesses, be able to make that shift into the digital era because we’re seeing a big gap, you know, old school versus new school, and a lot of people are stuck in the middle trying to figure out what to do. So, I think over the next 2-3 years, we’re going to become a powerhouse in that space of helping business owners make that leap.
Billy: Awesome. Well, thank you for coming on.
Max: Yeah, absolutely. Thanks for having me guys.
Paul: Yeah, brilliant, thanks Max, appreciate it.
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