5 Life Lessons from Billion Dollar Entrepreneurs

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Eleven days ago over 400 men and women from all corners of the globe came together at our second annual Perfect Life Retreat with a single purpose…

To discover the tools, strategies, and tactics required to make more money, get more done, live their perfect lives and become Unstoppable.

And let me tell you, it was nothing short of amazing.

I was blown away by the energy, enthusiasm, and passion on display during those two days and I can’t wait to see you all again next year for The Perfect Life Retreat 3.0!

Now that the dust has settled and I’ve had time to reflect on some of the amazing wisdom shared by our world-class speakers, I wanted to share the lessons and insights from the event that had a profound impact on my life.

No matter what level you play at, it’s impossible to spend two days with people like Bedros Keuilian, Joel Marion, Shanda Sumpter, Sharran Srivatsaa, and Tim Grover and not walk away with some ground breaking new ideas.

The lessons I’m about to share with you are nothing short of life-changing and, if you’re willing to apply them, I promise you’ll see some amazing changes happen faster than you ever thought possible.

1. Transformation Doesn’t Happen in Isolation

One of the simplest but most profound lessons of the entire event came from my good friend and mentor Sharran Srivatsaa.

Born into a family of humble means in rural India, Sharran is the true embodiment of the “underdog” success story.  

After coming to America with nothing more than the clothes on his back and funding for a semester of university, Sharran quickly rose through the ranks of the entrepreneurial community building multiple 7-figure businesses and growing Teles properties 10x in five years (from $350 million to more than $3.5 billion – that was not a typo)in yearly revenue.

Although Sharran brought an immense amount of value to the retreat and shared dozens of priceless strategies to get more out of yourself and life, one lessons stood a head and shoulders above the rest.

“Transformation doesn’t happen in isolation”.

As simple and “unsexy” as this might sound, this single sentence really is the key to lasting success.

So many of us with the entrepreneurial personality type feel a crushing pressure to do and achieve everything by ourselves.

We romanticize the concept of being “Self Made” without ever realizing that true and lasting success never happens in a vacuum.

The most successful, prolific, and wealthy individuals on the planet didn’t rise to their positions through sheer willpower and determination alone.

They had a team of mentors, coaches, and allies in their life that helped them elevate their game and reach the next level of success.

In the internet era, it’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that more knowledge and information are the solutions to our problems.

More often than not, however, it isn’t information that we lack, but the connections who will help us execute on the information we already have.

It doesn’t matter how much you know or how many skills you have, if you aren’t surrounding yourself with the people and influences who will help you elevate your game and achieve the next level of success… you’ll always remain stuck in the mud.

You’ll spin your tires for years, making lots of noise and motion, but never achieving real momentum.

Right now, I want you to think about where you are in your life and business.

What challenges are you facing? What “impossible” obstacles are in your path? What problems do you have that information alone won’t solve?

Now I want you to ask yourself, “Who do I know that can help me solve this?

Maybe you need a coach to keep you accountable to the daily actions required to move towards your dreams.

Maybe you need to hire someone to offload the menial tasks that drain your energy and steal your focus from big picture projects.

Maybe you need to find a mentor who can provide an objective set of outside eyes on your life and business and help you identify the leaks in your “bucket” that are stopping you from success.

Whoever comes to mind, I want you to write down their name and send them a message right now to get the ball rolling.

Seriously… Don’t read the rest of this article until you’ve sent that text or email.

… I’ll be here when you’re done.

Did you send it? Good!

Because the sooner you can surround yourself with the right people, the faster you’ll be able to transform your life and achieve your biggest goals.

Transformation doesn’t happen in isolation.

So get off your island, and find the people that you need to help you take your life to the next level.

2. Know Your Numbers

Few  entrepreneurs are more effective and prolific than my good friend and mentor Joel Marion.

When he was in his early 30’s, Joel went from working as a school teacher (earning less than $50,000/year) to building a 9-figure supplement company in the span of only 18 months.

He later went on to build an 8-figure side hustle (with only one employee) in only 6-months.

And if that isn’t enough, he managed to grow his Instagram following from 0 to 1.2 million in only 5 months.

Needless to say, Joel knows his stuff.

But what I found most interesting about Joel’s presentation is that none of what he taught was particularly complicated.

He didn’t talk about the latest SEO tricks to climb your way to the first page of Google or share some convoluted social media strategy.

In fact, the entire premise of his presentation can be summed up in 3 words.

“Know your numbers”.

That’s it.

One of the biggest mistakes modern entrepreneurs make is that they don’t know the numbers behind their business.

Even people at the 7 and 8-figure level are often clueless about what it really takes to find, acquire, and keep a customer and, by extension, what it takes to scale their business to the next level.  

If you have any desire to grow your business quickly and effectively, then you MUST  know your numbers.

Take a few hours sometime this week to figure out:

  • How much it costs to acquire a lead on each of your paid traffic channels (e.g. Google PPC, Facebook ads, affiliate marketing etc.)

  • The conversion rate of those leads into paying customers and any cost associated with conversion.

  • The lifetime value of your average customer.

  • Any other pertinent metrics such as: The average value of an email list subscriber, the revenue generated by each product/upsell, the value of your respective social media followings.

When you know your numbers, business decisions become easy.

You no longer have to guess how much money you should invest to scale at a certain pace or how much funding you’ll need to add a 0 to your company’s revenue.

You will know with absolute certainty what is required to take your business from where it is right now, to where you want it to go.

3. Lead with Generosity

Have you ever noticed how many entrepreneurs will give lip service to things like “Impact” and “Generosity” and “Giving back” but fail to actually do anything to bring these values into the day-to-day operations of their businesses?

During her absolutely mind blowing presentation, my good friend Shanda Sumpter, founder of Heartcore business shared a simple but highly actionable strategy to turbocharge your business’s growth.

“Lead with generosity”.

One of the biggest problems facing entrepreneurs today is that they are operating from a place of scarcity.

They cling tightly to every penny that passes through their business and never miss an opportunity to try and get more money without offering additional value.

But here’s the thing…

If you are serious about taking your business to the next level, then you need to take this attitude and flip it 180 degrees.

Instead of asking yourself, “How can I get more money from my customers” ask “How can I give more value to my customers”.

Instead of asking, “How can I make this product worth the price?” ask “How can I make the bonuses of this product worth more than they’re paying for the product itself?”

I know that this seems like a completely backwards and counterintuitive way to do business, but in the 21st century, leading with generosity is the only path to success.

When you lead with the giving hand and provide so much value to your customers that you could increase your prices 10x and sleep like a baby, they will love you for it and become raving fans for life.

They’ll do everything in their power to make sure that their social circle knows about you and what you offer and they will give you more exposure and word of mouth marketing than you could reasonably achieve on your own.

If you’re in the startup phase of your business where every dollar counts, it’s ok. You don’t need to reduce your prices or give away your most valuable products and services for free.

Instead, look for ways that you can go above and beyond to serve your customers.

  • Put a handwritten “Thank you” note in every package that you send out.

  • Send an unexpected bonus to one of your customers to give them extra value.

  • Connect one of your clients with someone who can help them improve their life and business.

  • Give away 80% of your best content for free and deliver results in advance for all of your leads and clients.  

Find small ways to provide extra value and be generous in the way that you do business.

I promise, it will come back to you 10x over.

4. Your Purpose is Everything

When my good friend Bedros Keuilian took the stage at the Perfect Life Retreat, he didn’t start his presentation by talking about business or income or leadership.

No. He started by talking about his dog, Cookie.

A few years ago, despite his hectic travel schedule, crazy business hours, and growing family, Bedros found a German Shepard puppy at a pound and decided to adopt him.

When he sat down with a trainer to figure out how to bring the new pup into the family without (much) drama, the trainer told Bedros something profound.

“Your dog is a herder. Breeds like his need a purpose, a reason to be alive… Otherwise they’ll go stir crazy and start digging holes and stirring up all sorts of trouble.”

As funny as it might sound, you and me are just like that dog.

Whenever we lack purpose in our lives we start to go stir crazy.

We will sedate the numbness of our lives with TV, drugs, alcohol, video games, and any other form of escape we can find.

We’ll develop self-sabotaging habits that steal our joy and prevent us from achieving the success we desire.

To achieve success at the highest level, you must realize that your purpose isn’t everything… It’s the only thing.

Without it, you will be knocked down by the storms of life and never find the strength to get back on your feet.

However, when you have a crystal clear purpose, a reason to get out of bed each morning everything changes.

And the best part is that you don’t need to have your purpose figured out right now.

You simply need to be moving in the right direction.

When Bedros started working as a personal trainer, he had no idea that he’d be running an Inc 500 franchise and leading more than 750 locations.

He simply decided that he wanted to help people feel better in their body’s and get fit without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a gym membership.

Your purpose will evolve and grow overtime.

All that you need to do is pick the next target and go after it with everything you’ve got.  

Slowly but surely, your true purpose will be revealed.

Remember the words of the great Steve Jobs:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

5. You Built Your Walls and You Can Knock Them Down

One of the core principles that I’ve been developing over the past year or so is the concept of “label lies” and the Operator Mindset.

Here’s the thing, nine times out of ten the #1 thing that’s holding you back in your business and your life isn’t your lack of information, your lack of connections, or your lack of skill… It’s the way that you’ve labeled yourself.

We all do it.

We’ll say things like:

  • Oh, maybe you can be successful Craig, but I’m not an extrovert like you are (ha!) so sales are hard!

  • I’d love to wake up earlier and spend those early hours taking action towards my biggest goals, but I’m not a morning person.

  • I’m just bad with money, there’s no way I’ll ever be financially successful.

  • I’m not smart enough to grow a 7-figure business. Don’t you know that I have ADHD and dyslexia?

ALL of these labels are lies that we’ve bought into and allowed to rule our lives.

But today, I want to challenge you to eliminate those label lies from your life and instead, adopt a new set of beliefs, a new identity.

The identity of an Operator.

Simply put, an Operator is someone who shows up and accomplishes the mission, no matter what.  

To an operator, there are no excuses, only challenges to be overcome.

You’re not extroverted or good at sales? Fine! Retrain yourself to be more extroverted (just like I did) or hire someone who can sell better than you.

You’re not a morning person? So what! Find a friend or mentor who will hold you accountable to waking up early and train your body to adopt a new sleep schedule.

You have dyslexia and ADHD and believe that these “conditions” are holding you back from success? Guess what? Some of the most prolific entrepreneurs and creatives in all of HISTORY had those same issues and overcame them.

Whatever label you’ve attached to yourself that isn’t serving you must be ripped off like an old bandaid.

The more you reinforce a label lie, the more power it holds over you.

So today, I want you to commit to eradicating these limiting beliefs from your life.

Adopt a new identity, a new label… The label of the Operator.

Show up, get it done, every time, no excuses.


If you will take the 5 lessons that I’ve shared with you and truly take them to heart and, more importantly, take action on them, I can promise you that your life will be unrecognizable in 12 months.

Get started now.

Get around people that inspire you. Know your numbers. Lead with generosity. Find your purpose. And rip off those negative labels now.

Your greatness awaits.

Need help getting to the next level? Visit this website to fill in an application for coaching with me, and we’ll see if you and I are a good fit to work together. Talk soon!

Craig Ballantyne

If you want to double your income, work less, and become the ambitious millionaire you've always wanted to be... Craig Ballantyne is the coach who will help you do it. With more than 20-years of experience as an entrepreneur and five 7-figure businesses under his belt, he specializes in helping "struckling" entrepreneurs get out of the mud and build the business of their dreams. To see if you qualify for Craig's "Millionaire Coaching Program" send an email to support@earlytorise.com with the subject line "Millionaire".