Episode 49 |

The Personal Development Habits that Create Wealth with Akira Iguchi

Finding and following your passion, while still making a livable income, can be difficult-but not impossible. Akira Iguchi teaches people how to turn their passion into a million dollar business through coaching, speaking, writing, and online marketing. He hasn’t always been wildly wealthy, but found the secret to success: committing to advanced learning, personal development, coaching, and seminars. When you decide to become a better version of yourself and surround yourself with others who are successful, you can create your dream lifestyle. We discuss Akira’s personal story, how to use online launches to make millions, and adding value to build relationships and grow your client base.

Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Get Yourself Optimized! I’m your host, Stephan Spencer, and today, we have Akira Iguchi. He is a good friend of mine. I met him through Tony Robbins’ platinum partnership. We traveled the world together on these Tony Robbins trips to places like Egypt, Israel, and I can’t even remember all the different places, but it’s been quite a fun journey and Akira has a new book coming out here later this year called Lifestyle Millionaire. It’s going to be released in October in the US. He’s a huge, well-known marketer and self-development guru in Japan.

He has multiple international bestsellers. He is an online marketer, coach, and business consultant. He has really taken his life from a place where he was broke and nearly suicidal to becoming a major earner like a mega-millionaire and really successful guy. He’s had some amazing launches-product launches-that are on par with some of the big names in internet marketing here in the US-people like Frank Kern and so forth. Akira has been mentored by Brendon Burchard. He’s, like I said, done Platinum Partnership, which is a significant investment. You’re spending six figures a year to have this kind of access to Tony, his network, and exclusive information.

Akira has founded Nomad Entrepreneurs Academy, which is a business development program for entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches, and online marketers. He’s created multiple brands and assisted big brands with their online marketing, and he’s also been able to take businesses from just an idea to a million-and-a-half dollar business within 18 months. It’s pretty cool, and I’m looking forward to digging in here, Akira-it’s great to have you on the show!

Yeah, thank you, Stephan! Thank you for having me. I’m so excited to be here and giving the information and knowledge to your audience.

Yeah, so let’s start with-you’ve studied with some of the greats like Richard Branson, Frank Kern, Jeff Walker, Brendon Burchard, and Tony Robbins so I assume these have been significant investments like you get to work personally one-on-one with Brendon Burchard, that’s a significant expense. I’m assuming that there is a major ROI there in terms of what you get out of it. Why do you invest so much money in these self-development and marketing experts?

Sure, yeah, at this point, I think, past 15 years, I invested at least more than a million dollars for my marketing and personal development, and hiring those coaches and staff. It’s because I believe that if you’re going to be the best, just learn from the best so I always-as I go to those events, and if I share their stories and wow, if that sounds good, I spent time with the master, I just keep learning. Many people just think, “Oh, I learned once and it’s enough,” but I want to master. If I want to master something, I just keep investing and even hiring them to get to the point-the same level as they do, then I feel like a master so I don’t mind investing that money to get the skills, knowledge, and information to become like them.

Willpower is a finite resource-it gets drained the more that you use it.

Right. Basically, you are using their model and their approach to create your own amazing lifestyle and business-just kind of emulating their funnels, their different marketing channels, and so forth.

Yeah, absolutely!

You’re a pretty big name in Japan. How big? How many people have you reached? How many copies have you sold in Japan? How many people have you worked on in live seminars and so forth?

I have eight books. They all become bestsellers. Total, it sold 200,000 copies in Japan, and also translated into Korea and Taiwan, and became bestsellers in those countries too. Every year, I, about approximately, reach 10,000 people, but my live cast, YouTube shows, podcasts, and emails, I reach 100,000 people every week. I did a big seminar live, I was the only speaker in January, that was 2,000 people, so when I do online launches, I reach to 10,000-20,000 who get to see my videos and interviews. It’s pretty big. I’m very blessed that I could reach so many people, share my message, and help with their lives.

That’s impressive! I mean, 200,000 copies of just one book being sold is a big deal. The Art of SEOwhich is a book I’m very proud of and I co-authored, we haven’t cracked 50,000 copies yet. We’re still down in around 40,000 copies, which is respectable.

Yeah. It’s really good.

Yeah, but that’s the US market here-we’re talking about Japan, which is, I think, a smaller market then the US. Is that correct?

Oh, definitely! Japan has 125-million people so it’s about half-even could be 1/3 of the size.

And yet, you’ve had this huge success with your books, with live events, with your YouTube channel, you’re doing Facebook live videos and everything, and changing lots of people’s lives.

Yeah.

That’s amazing!

Thank you.

What sort of messages are you delivering to these people so that they can change their lives? I mean, what’s the core of it that the kind of transformation you’re trying to achieve in the people who you’re reaching?

Yeah, my core message is, I’m teaching them how to turn their passion into a million-dollar business by coaching, speaking, writing, and online marketing. Many people want to find a passion first point. They want to do something to enjoy their life. They want to do something they like, but even after they’re finding, many people struggle with monetizing them. They just kind of enjoy as a hobby or they have, “Oh, I like doing that, but I don’t want to make it into a business,” or they try but they don’t know how to get people in their live events or they don’t know how to make money out of it so that’s my strength and gift to teach those people how to find their message, share it with the world, and make high income for them. That’s my message.

Many people want to find a passion first point. They want to do something to enjoy their life. They want to do something they like, but even after they’re finding, many people struggle with monetizing them.

Right. What would be an example of a rags-to-riches sort of story of like one of your students who read your book or attended one of your events and became crazy wealthy?

Yeah, sure! I have a few good ones. One of my students came to my seminar, I think, about two years ago. He was working for a big company in Japan. He is 40. He was living a comfortable life. He had his family, kids, and he was the manager of this big company. When he came to my seminar, he kind of remembered what kind of life he always wanted to live. It’s like freedom, travel all over the world, helping others so he wants to be inspired, then he quit his company a few months later because he was the manager, then he was showing my videos in the morning meeting and so many people think, “Oh, he went to the cult or something,” but he was so inspired, and he wanted to do by his own.

Because he was working for the direct marketing company selling supplements and so forth so I advised him, “Oh, why don’t you become the expert for direct marketing to people who want to sell their products online like a supplement or anything?” He said, “Sure!” I helped him to find up his message and helped him to promote then he did a first online launch a few months after starting his company. He made about $300,000. Then he did a second one about a year later, and it became $500,000. Then he did one recently-the third one-and that was $600,000. Now, he’s traveling every month to go to Bali. I think he’s now in Europe going to the cruise ship and then he got his own Mastermind, he had many events now with hundreds of students so pretty much in two years, he established himself as an expert. He made his own community and helping so many people to start their own direct marketing business, and he enjoys his life.

That’s amazing!

Yeah.

Let’s take you now. You came from a dark place.

Mm-hmm. Yeah.

You were contemplating suicide. You had, really, no money.

Right.

Could you share your story like where you were and how you got to where you’re at now because you’re kind of like a Frank Kern or Tony Robbins of Japan, which is kind of deal so-?

Yeah, thank you. My story is starting from-I was growing up in Japan, like typical, I’ll say, middle-class families, my dad used to work for a Japanese company for 40 years after he graduated in the university until he retired. I have two brothers and my mom is a housewife so it’s pretty normal, but as I grew up, we didn’t have much money. My parents have so much love and teaching. My dad, especially, taught me work ethics-working hard, and my mom is Christian so she taught me how to love people and accept others and stuff. As I grew up, during my teenage years, because of my dad, who was working for a big company in Japan, we had to move around in Japan, and as a teenage boy, it was hard. I have a few friends, but I had to move. When I moved to junior high school when I was 13 years old, I started to be bullied. It was hard. I felt like there’s no one who could help me and I didn’t know what to do. At that point, I wasn’t good at communicating with other kids around me or even myself. I didn’t know how to ask for help from teachers or my parents even. I just decided to tell my parents-I mean, I haven’t been able to tell, but I just stopped going to school.

As a result, I had to change schools for five times, and every time I was bullied, and I was really disappointed. I was so down. I barely graduated high school, then I started working for a hotel as a waiter with a minimum wage, which is $8 per hour. I was working there for about a year then I felt like, “Wow, this is something I could do longer than a few months,” because I couldn’t continue something more than a few months like work or sports or studying or anything. I felt my life was becoming a little bit better. However, one day, I was serving cocktails, and I just dropped it. My manager got so mad. He was so mad and told me, “Hey, Akira! Do you know how much that costs? That’s $20 per cocktail, and that’s almost double your hourly salary,” then something hit me. I felt, “Wow, that’s so true!” It’s like one little cocktail cause two hours of my time, and I don’t know what I’m doing.

That’s when I decided to quit the next day. I was wandering around town, and I stopped by a big bookstore in Osaka in Japan. I didn’t have any intention to pick up any book, but there was one book that became a bestseller at the time-about 15 years ago in Japan-so that was the book that transformed my life. It was the Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. I started reading that book and then something hit me. It was teaching about success and how to think about it in life-how to be successful and how to develop yourself. Nobody taught me in my life. I started reading those personal development books such as Rich Dad Poor Dad, Think and Grow Rich, and 7 Habits, and I was hooked, “Wow! If I follow this direction, I will be successful.” I found a very interesting fact: Those books are all coming from the US so I thought, “Wow!” because I had a not so good past, and at that point, my life wasn’t great so I couldn’t expect a great future at that point in my life. I felt, “If I go to US, then I follow these books’ philosophy, I’ll be happy, rich, and successful,” so that was the idea I got when I was 20 years old.

I couldn’t speak English at all at that point. I decided, “Okay, I want to go to the US,” so I had to go to a university in Japan to learn how to speak English, which I did, then I studied abroad in the US when I was 21. Because I wanted to reinvent myself, I want to go somewhere nobody knows me. I was kind of starting my life over, but in reality, it was really hard. I moved to Buffalo upstate New York during my first year, which was good, then I moved to New York City in my second year. I didn’t know anyone in New York City, and since it’s a big city, it was hard to make friends, and my communication skills wasn’t that great so I couldn’t make friends as much. I skipped in school and I felt depressed. About three or four months, I felt depressed and homesick. It was really tough.

At that point, I was becoming nearly suicidal. I was living in a tiny, small studio in New York City and was looking down the alley where there were so many garbage and stuff. I asked myself, “If I jump from here, I can escape my life,” but on that day, something happened to me. Even when I’ve been reading the personal development books and stuff, I still couldn’t figure out how to change my life. I believed that there were answers somewhere, but I haven’t found the answers yet, that’s why I wasn’t successful. That night, there was one song that played on the radio-I was listening on my computer-and that song was Hero by Mariah Carey. That song goes like this, “There’s a hero if you look inside your heart…” When I listened to the lyrics, I got chills. I felt like I was hit by a thunder and I was like, “That’s so true!”

I was looking for the answer because that’s how I was raised: “The teacher has the answer. The textbook has the answer. Somebody has the answer for you so you have to learn,” then I have to look for it. However, I’ve always tried to look for the answer outside of myself, which is why I was getting depressed. I felt powerless because I didn’t try to search what kind of gift I have inside, what kind of unique power or strength, or the hero that’s inside me. From that day on, my journey has begun. Every day, I started to try something new in my life. Even if it looks easy for other people, but was hard for me-for example, going to school, talking to strangers, introducing myself, and other small things every day. I think, at the time-14 years ago-the first event I went to was Tony Robbins’, and that transformed my life too.

I believed that personal development, but it’s different that you know in your head and you experienced it. When I experienced it, I felt, “Wow, that’s a real deal. I want to be like him in the future. I want to inspire others, coach people, and help transform their lives.” That was 14 years ago. After a few years, I moved back to Japan-that was 2007-so that’s about 10 years ago. This is my 10th year doing my own business. I moved back to Japan. I started my business with $300. I was living at my friend’s apartment because I couldn’t afford the rent. I started teaching people how to learn English effectively. I was doing seminars and coaching. Then I moved to life coaching. Then I started doing big seminars and so forth so 10 years later-of course, it’s up and down, but I had faith.

I was believing myself that I’m going to figure out. I wasn’t good at public speaking, I wasn’t good at coaching, I wasn’t good at online marketing or videos or anything, but I knew I was good at doing something continuously so that’s the decision I made when I stopped by business. Ten years later, we became one of the biggest companies in personal development, coaching, and live events on my marketing company in Japan that we do eight figures in business, and we recently did I feel online launches and many bestselling books, and now, I moved to Los Angeles to expand my business in the US and publishing book in the US. That’s the little story since my teenage years.

Wow! That’s amazing!

Yeah.

I am floored. I didn’t know. We’ve known each other since 2010, and I did not know that story of where you came from. That’s a tough place to be-depression, feeling hopeless, not really knowing anybody, and feeling really alone. To turn your life around like you did-like you said, to have an eight-figure launch. An eight-figure launch is incredible.

Thank you.

So, hats off to you! One thing that really strikes me about you is your perseverance. You don’t give up. You just power through it, and you have this knowledge, this drive, and determination that it will work out. That you will crack this thing-whatever it is that you’re attempting. What’s the secret for making that work for you? How do persevere in times where it’s like, “This just doesn’t seem to be working.” Is there some sort of methodology or approach you use or a way of meditating or something because a lot of people will give up?

Right. I’d say, even in my 15 years, like us-we always go to different events, different methods, all the coaching, meditation, and everything. I’m sure by now I tried almost many forms of personal development. Even to this day, I find changing myself was hard. Changing yourself is hard. It’s not easy. But changing the environment is much easier. What do I mean by that? If I were by myself in Japan, all my friends were just students at the time so there was no chance that I’ll be successful. By finding that, “Okay, if I want to be successful, I need to hang out with successful people.” That’s how you change your environment. If you want to become healthier, you want to hang out with people who ask you, “Hey, do you want to go to a gym class? Do you want to go to a yoga class?” rather that, “Hey, do you want to get beer and fries?”

Or sundae, yeah.

Yeah, exactly. It doesn’t matter who you are because we are all human beings influenced by our environment and other people easily. It doesn’t matter how strong your will is, we’re all human beings easily influenced by other people, in a good way or bad way.

Yeah.

That’s what I found. I decided, “Okay, I don’t have strong will. However, I like to be influenced by greater people.” When I started the business, I want to be financially successful so I decided, “Okay, where can I find successful and rich people? The answer is, in personal development and business seminars,” so I decided to go to Tony Robbins and other online marketing seminars. It’s not only attending the seminars, but also becoming friends with speakers and the people attending the seminars because they are serious about becoming more successful, richer, and healthier. That’s how I’ve been changing my life around. I always make sure that I’m in the right environment.

Every year, I have a different theme. At one point, I want to become healthier and build more muscle so I joined the gym, hung out with healthier people, and hired a personal trainer. It doesn’t matter if I have a strong will or not. Because I have that great environment of becoming healthy, I became healthy. When I was starting the business, I joined other Mastermind group and I was hanging out with successful entrepreneurs that’s why I was always learning how to do better marketing and sales and making great products and offers. That’s why I became successful. It doesn’t matter if I have great knowledge about stuff. I just make sure that I was with the right people and the right environment. That’s the key.

Right, and that’s a big reason for me why I am in so many Masterminds myself. And why I joined the Platinum Partnership with Tony. It’s to be in that peer group of outstanding individuals who are not successful in a traditional sense with money, business, possessions, and all that, but really, they’re focused on growth and contribution, and that’s something that I’ve found really refreshing. Hanging out with my Platinum Partner friends, they’re all about giving back. They’re all about making a difference and leaving a legacy, not just building some big empire for themselves and their families, but this is about a much greater purpose.

Yeah, I agree 100%.

I like what you said about changing the environment. That’s much simpler than changing your will or your kind of internal wiring. One thing that struck me when you were describing that was, I remember way back in the day, when I took parenting classes as a new father, I was 20 years old-

Wow!

Can you believe it? I had my first kid at 2. I was actually a stepfather at 19. I got married at 19, and I became an instant stepfather.

Wow.

Then I had my first biological child at 20 and then another one a year-and-a-half later, and then another one a few years after that. I needed some skills on how to be an effective parent so I took this class called Parent Effectiveness Training, and there’s a book with the same name. One of the things that I learned from that book and from the training was to simplify the environment so rather than trying to discipline your kids so that he or she does not go raid the cookie jar all the time, just simplify the environment instead. Get rid of the cookie jar. Get rid of the cookies. Just make it not appear. Get it out of the house even. Don’t even just stick it up on a shelf or drawer somewhere, but not have it in the house.

You talked about having will, and this is something a lot of people don’t realize: Willpower is a finite resource-it gets drained the more that you use it. Every time you walk past the cookie jar, you’re expending willpower. So get rid of the cookie jar and stop squandering that precious finite resource of willpower on stupid stuff. Every time you pass by the cookie jar or the candy bowl or whatever, just stop it and get rid of the stuff. Just like you would do with the child. You simplify the environment, and you get rid of it so it doesn’t become an issue rather than trying to discipline the kid or discipline yourselves to just say “no” to the thing. Just get it out of there. I love that distinction.

Willpower is a finite resource-it gets drained the more that you use it. Click To Tweet

Yeah.

I’m curious of what’s been the most powerful peer group for you? Because I think you’ve been to Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson, and you’ve been in multiple Masterminds. Are you in, let’s see, there’s Yanik Silver’s Maverick1000, I think you’re going to go to one of his events that will come up soon so I’m just curious, what’s the most powerful peer group you’ve been in?

I definitely say Tony’s Platinum was one of the most high-level. However, more than that, I became great friends with many of them-you and other friends. It’s like many Masterminds. I enjoy and I’m inspired, but sometimes, that’s just it-you enjoy the few days, and you kind of go back to your house, and just hang out with the same friends. I think Tony’s program will change something inside of you. It will also change something in your peer group. I was hanging out with many of them outside of the Mastermind as well. I’ll say that was one of the best group too. Also, yeah, as you mentioned the Necker Island-I was there with Sir Richard Branson and other top entrepreneurs such as Jeff Walker. That week, it has definitely expanded my mind because I was in the right environment. It’s one of the best environments in the world, Necker Island in the Caribbean. Also, surrounded by super, high-level entrepreneurs who always think bigger and always find solutions. I started to think bigger after attending the Necker Island Mastermind. I’ll say these two Masterminds had the most powerful impact on my life.

Right, and are there masterminds that you’re in or peer groups that you’re in where it’s very much about contribution and growth? I mean, not that Platinum Partnership isn’t. I mean, a lot of these trips you’ll-

Yeah.

You’ll have a dedicated day-a contribution day-

Right. Yeah.

You’ll build a school. You’ll kind of work on some community activity, but there are, I’m sure, organizations out there where that’s the focus, right? Like, Habitat for Humanity. The peer group you’re in is, “Hey, let’s build a house for a family,” and that’s all you’re doing so I’m just curious-are there Masterminds or peer groups that you’re in that are just solely devoted to contribution and growth?

Richard Branson’s Mastermind that we went to Necker, it’s $40,000 per week, but it’s purely for contribution. All the money goes to his foundation, Virgin Unite, where they help entrepreneurs in poor countries. I think that’s a great idea because we can easily give money to homeless people or poor people so that they can buy their food for a day, week, or month. However, we teach them to make money through entrepreneurship. Then, they start to find the customers and business ideas, making their money by themselves so they are helping to build that entrepreneur’s school in South Africa, Caribbean, and some of the poorest country in the world. That’s how they help those people in their own unique way.

Yeah, so as the saying goes, “Give the man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach them how to fish, and you’ll feed them for a lifetime.

Yeah, exactly.

Let’s move on to how to tap the inner resources within yourself because that was a big turning point for you when you realized it was within you. It wasn’t an external solution that would provide you with the answer-

Right.

And make you wealthy, but as Tony Robbins says, “Your best resource is resourcefulness,” and he has the event, Unleash the Power Within, which is all about what’s inside of you instead of answers external that you’re going to get from some book or some resource so, what the best advice that you would give people to tap into the what’s inside of them, that untapped potential, that resourcefulness, and the inner superpower?

Sure! I’d say look back on your own life. Find some of the most difficult moments in your life. That’s painful for some people definitely, but find what you learned from that, how you got over, and who did you become after that. I always asked those questions, and I think I did this exercise at a few events. I find it so powerful. For example, I think because I was bullied in junior high school and high school, it made me more compassionate with other people and gave me the power to help people who suffer because I had suffered, and I don’t want other people to suffer and feel the pain so that made who I am today-starting my own business, doing live events, and coaching to help people. Also, when I moved back to Japan in 2007, that’s another story.

When I tried to go back to the US from Japan after the Christmas break, I got stuck in the airport because they couldn’t find my registration with the university. I was like, “What do you mean? I registered before coming back to the US.” They couldn’t find it so they had to call my university in New York. They said, “Oh, from some reason, it didn’t go through,” so my registration didn’t go through. I said, “Can I come back to the school for the semester?” because I had everything-my apartment is there, my friends are there, and my girlfriend is there. They said, “Oh, you can come back, but for the full semester,” meaning eight months later. That was generally four semesters-Easter to September-so I’m like, “No way!” I had to move back to Japan.

That’s in 2007. I felt so depressed, and I couldn’t have any hope. I’ve always wanted to just stay in the US, having friends, starting business, and stuff, but I felt like I couldn’t waste my life for eight months. That’s how I originally started my own business. I moved to Tokyo and started from nothing. Because of that thing that happened, I finally started my own business-no excuse-and I’m speaking right now. Because of those things that happened, I was able to write my books, tell my stories, and help other people. If I look back, that was the hardest thing in my life, but it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me if I look back now. The hardest problems or sufferings you have are becoming your life’s gifts.

Exactly! Like Tony Robbins say “Your worst day can become your best day,” and he tells that story of how his father who is really abusive went to the door-it was Thanksgiving-and a random guy comes and brings a basket of food for Thanksgiving because they were poor, and Tony’s father was full of pride and ego and slammed the door on the guy’s face, and the guy put his foot in the door. Because this guy is a big guy, it just bounced off of his foot and he said, “Sir, you need to take this basket. Don’t do this to your family out of ego or whatever,” then the next day, Tony’s father just went off and left, abandoning his family permanently. That was one of the worst days of his life, and it became the best day because it galvanized Tony to make a difference.

To this day, he feeds millions of people at Thanksgiving and Christmas with basket brigades and stuff. It’s just an amazing thing, and you had a similar experience where you had this horrible situation where you couldn’t go back to school because of a snafu that had nothing to do with something you did wrong or anything, it was just a seemingly bad circumstance, and yet it was a huge gift. I’ve got many of those examples too. When my wife, at the time, surprised me by saying she was going to file for divorce, I thought that was just the end of my life. It was horrible. I was so depressed and everything because I did not want to ruin my kids’ lives and have them be children of divorce.

That’s what I cared most about, and that’s why I was still in that marriage even though it wasn’t satisfying me, and yet, having that impetus to make a huge shift in my life, and that’s how I ended up going to Tony Robbins’ event doing firewalk at Unleash the Power Within. I was in the midst of depression, going through a divorce, and hadn’t been on a date for like a year or two at the time. It took two and a half years before I had my first date because I was just such a wreck. I was socially awkward and not loving myself, and that firewalk at Unleash the Power Within was the turning point in my life. It’s that same thing that Tony talks about your worst day becoming your best day. It became this huge gift. I ended up finding my soulmate at a Tony Robbins’ event. It was Date with Destiny, and you were there at that Date with Destiny!

Yeah.

You got to meet Orion.

Absolutely. Yeah.

There are so many of those occurrences where you just need to look back at these with a different pair of eyes and a different perspective, and you can see the gift. It’s like, as Orion says, “There’s a gift there, but maybe the bow is on the bottom, and you just haven’t looked enough to see that it’s a gift.” Another one-my grandfather had raised me for a lot of my childhood, and he was really abusive. As a consequence, I had to be very resilient and very mature for my age. What that led to was, I was able to get married at a very young age and be very responsible, and I was ready for that. I have three, beautiful, grown daughters who are 20, 23-almost 24, and 25. I wouldn’t have those wonderful children in my life if I hadn’t have gone through what I had in my childhood with my grandfather.

That wouldn’t prepared me to be ready to leave childhood, start my own family, do it right, figure out how to be a good parent, and everything if I hadn’t gone through that so for all you, listeners, I encourage you to really evaluate with a different lens all of these traumatic experiences and see the gift in them because it can change everything. One other thing too-I want to point out another quick story is that, a lot of times we will kind of put rose-colored glasses or we will put a spin on the story to feed our egos, and I don’t think that serves us because then we’re lying to ourselves so one thing that comes to mind, for me, from my history is, when I dropped out of my Ph.D. in biochemistry to start my business.

It was similar to you, Akira, in that I had a not ideal circumstance happened. I mean, it kind of pushed me into action because I wasn’t uncomfortable enough to take that leap, and start a business with no money, no business skills, no business training, and no marketing classes or anything. It was all around molecular biology, biochemistry, and so forth so I was not prepared to start business, but I just winged it because I had this conflict with my advisor at the time who didn’t like it that I had a family and that I wasn’t wedded to being at the bench doing my experiments day and night. It came to a head and he’s like, “You need to either find another lab and another advisor,” which means, starting over basically with Ph.D. and losing a year of time or, “You can stop here, get a master’s degree, and then just move on with your life,” and so that sucky situation and that jerk of an adviser was a huge gift because that gave me the push I needed to go out on my own and start a business, which I was able to grow, and we were in three different countries.

I was able to move to New Zealand for eight years just because I wanted to. I had that kind of location freedom, and I was able to sell and have a successful exit to this business in 2010-15 years later, and none of that would have happened if I hadn’t butted heads with this guy because I probably would have been just not uncomfortable enough. I mean, who knows? Who knows what would have happened? It was a combination of things, but the story that I normally tell-and I’m here telling you this different story that is the more the reality-but the story I like to tell is, I met some guys from Netscape at a conference in 1994, and it was so early in the web that everyone was using the Mosaic browser. Nobody or a very few people have heard of Netscape yet. I hadn’t heard of Netscape yet, and I had built a website for my department at the university so I met Rob McCool-I was referred to him, and he was the inventor of Apache, which is the webserver that runs most of the internet.

Wow.

He, at the time, was working at Netscape, and he had created Netscape server, which was based on his previous program, which was NCSA server, so his web server software was running much of the internet back then too, and I had never heard of the guy, I met him at a conference, and I’m like, “Wow!” I was all starry-eyed and everything. That’s the story I like to tell about what inspired me to make this shift and start a business, but in reality, it was the ugly push with the advisor who just didn’t understand what it was like to have a family and be in school. Instead, that was the push for me that I needed. I realized we’re starting to get out of time here so I want to make sure we cover a couple of other topics. Let’s jump into the idea of online launches as a way to build wealth because it’s something that I would say would be a probably foreign to many of our listeners, the idea that you could actually make eight figures like many, many millions of dollars off of a product launch, and it doesn’t even have to be a physical product-it could be a digital product-it seems like, maybe, a fantasy to some of our listeners.

Sure.

Walk us through how this can become a reality.

Yeah. I found the product launch for Mirror in Japan actually in 2009. One of my friends was the one who was doing online launches in Japan at the time. My struggle was, I was doing the live events at the time. I was having a hard time to get people to my events because only sales letter, you can write and selling marketing copies, but I thought my gift is that, if they come to my live events, they’re going to transform their lives, but the hardest point is, they have to come. They have to be there to transform. They couldn’t tell between my events and other people’s events before coming so when I saw the video, I was like, “Wow, this is the way and the only solution for online marketing, and this is the future for the marketing.” That is what I found out. I felt it immediately. I learned how to shoot the video, and my first video was horrible. I was so nervous, and I didn’t know what I was speaking about, but I just started doing that. I did it on my first launch. I made my live events around $500, and I got 50 people so it’s like $25,000 so the first launch wasn’t too bad. Then I just kept doing that. I did a launch where I only sold 10 products, but I felt like I still gave the value to the people who are reading emails.

I believe in always giving value. It’s not about sales tactics or whatever, but just giving the value to your audience, even if they buy or not. That is what I think is the bottom line. It’s also everything about building the relationship. Nowadays, it’s so hard to believe something online because everything’s saying, “Oh, I can make you rich,” or “I can teach you how to get clients,” or “I can make you successful or whatever,” that made people hard to believe something online so I believe it’s everything about relationship. Just focus on how you can build a deeper and meaningful relationship with your audience and customers. That’s what I always think of.

The third is, definitely offer what you’re going to offer to them, what’s your product and how is it different from other people’s product. Also, who you are going to be after buying your products and practicing your teaching. What kind of life you can have, what kind of lifestyle you can have, who you are going to hang out with, and where are you going to live-you have to explain more about the details about the destination you’re going to get there. That’s the key to online launches. It’s not only about getting people or how many lists you can get. Of course, it’s an important factor, but it’s more important to give value and build relationships. Also, giving them unique offer-just look at what your rivals are doing then you look at their products and offer then ask yourself how you can make things better and make your products more unique and more appealing to the audience. I always think about that.

It’s not about sales tactics or whatever, but just giving the value to your audience-even if they buy or not.

Yeah. It’s all great advice. I love what you’re saying about really being focused on delivering the value because it is about delivering massive value and not just increasing your list size. It’s not about you-it’s about your constituents. It’s about the people that you serve and adding value in their lives. The riches, the wealth, and all that is a side benefit. It’s karma. It’s just the universe rewarding you for doing good in the world. I love that as kind of a primary focus. I also like what you said about having a unique offer. Be remarkable, in other words. Really stand out from the competition, and do something different, unexpected, and distance yourself from all of the regular gurus, and especially the ones who are less than reputable. There’s this really funny video that’s going viral right now on Facebook. I don’t know if you’ve seen it but it’s JP Sears-the hippie guy with the long hair-who is doing this spoof life coaching video about how to get rich. It’s hilarious. I’m going to share in the show notes for this episode.

Sure!

I’ll send you the link too.

Sure.

It’s hilarious.

Okay.

 But the idea here is, basically, a lot of people are jaded by all these get-rich-quick schemes and slick internet marketers saying, “Here’s how you can get the life of your dreams you know the life of your dreams or whatever. Just distance yourself from that because the stuff that those guys are doing is all about them. You’re not earning the success. It’s just like push-button success without putting in any of the work. You put in the work. You put in the passion, the drive, and the desire to make the world a better place. It’s not just about, “How can I make as much money as possible with delivering as little as possible.”

Just maximize that input-output ratio so it’s not, “I put in as little as possible and get the maximum out.” No, you’re out there delivering real value in the world, changing a lot in people’s lives, and that’s why you’re able to share case studies like the guy we talked about at the beginning of the episode who was just a salaryman, and you turned his life around, and there are so many others in your group of fans and followers who you’ve changed their lives. Many of them haven’t even spent any money with you. They are just watching your videos every week-one of those hundred thousand people. You said that, right? One hundred thousand people a week?

Yeah.

That’s impressive too. Hat off to you on that one!

Thank you.

I think this is really an important concept for our listeners to get. If you are out for yourself, you’re just not going to get the success, but if you are willing to put in the effort, earn the success, add massive value, and make it all about adding the value and being of service, the money is going to come.

Absolutely! Everybody loves watching sports like NBA Finals or Super Bowl or baseball. You can’t pay money to beat them. You can pay money to learn from them, but you just can’t pay and, “Oh, I paid $10,000 so I’ll be the top baseball player.” You can’t. For you to become the best of what you do, of course, you can pay money to learn from the best plus you have to work hard to practice. If you want to become a good speaker, you have to practice speaking. If you want to become a good coach, you have to practice to become a good coach. If you want to become a great marketer, you can pay and learn, but you have to practice that. Those are two, important key factors-not only learning and investing. Many people think that’s good enough, but the second part is more important-that you do the job. That will make you even more successful.

Yup. You just can’t just hire somebody else to do the workout for you.

Yeah, exactly.

To get the muscles, you have to do the work yourself.

So true!

How would people work with you or learn with you? I know you have a Lifestyle Millionaire Academy and your books. You also have online video and things-where would people turn to learn more, to potentially work with you, hire you, sign up for your courses, and etcetera?

Definitely check and visit my website: AkiraIguchi.co or check my Facebook page-it’s Akira Iguchi. My Facebook page is coming now, and I upload inspirational quotes and good messages every day-a few times a day. You can also watch my videos on YouTube-just visit YouTube and find Akira Iguchi. You can listen to my podcast as well on iTunes. My book is coming out on October 11th. It’s called Lifestyle Millionaire. I think on the website, you can sign up for my newsletter so if you sign up for it, I’m going to send you more valuable videos, live events information, new books coming out, or new training videos so sign up from there so I can send you plenty of valuable information.

Perfect! All right, well, thank you so much, Akira. This has been a lot of fun, and I hope this stimulates some of our listeners to make a big difference in the world-maybe quit their day jobs and change the world. Hopefully, that inspires some of you, guys. I hope it inspires all of you. If you wanted to check out the show notes, the transcript of the episode-we’ll also create a checklist of action items to take from the discussion that we had here over this episode-be sure to go to getyourselfoptimized.com and check out all that there. Thanks again, Akira. Thanks again, listeners. I will catch you on the next episode. This is Stephan Spencer, signing off.

Links & Resources Mentioned

Your Checklist of Actions to Take

☑ Invest in personal development and business masterminds if you want to become a millionaire. If you are going to be the best, you have to learn from the best.

☑ Changing yourself is not easy, and takes trial and error. Try different types of coaching, methodology, and even meditation to help you find the path to success that works best for you.

☑ Check out Akira’s podcast, where he interviews fellow entrepreneurs and professionals who have carved their own path in life.

☑ Your past does not determine your future. If you’re struggling, finding a way to invest in learning from others in your ideal industry can help you to move forward.

☑ Seek out and become friends with people who are serious about becoming more successful, richer, and healthier. Our lives are impacted by the people that we surround ourselves with.

☑ Always build relationships. When you show value and build trust, people will choose your events over others.

☑ When planning for an online launch, give your clients a unique offer. Research what your competitors are offering and ask yourself how you can make it better, and more appealing.

☑ If you want to become a millionaire, you have to put in the work. You may be passionate, but you also have to match the drive, the desire to work, and the desire to make the world a better place.

☑ Commit to at least one personal development or learning experience every month. There are many live events and online classes you can take, you can hire a coach, or you can even just watch free videos and webinars online.

☑ Create a business game plan before giving up your day job. Working long hours will be worth it when you are able to confidently leave your job to follow your dreams.

About Akira Iguchi

Akira Iguchi is a 3-time international bestselling author and the founder of Solo Millionaire Academy, a business development program for entrepreneurs, speakers, coaches, and online marketers. He has a new book coming out later this year called Lifestyle Millionaire, which will be released in October 2016 in the US.

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