If there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

On today’s episode Russell talks about the teachability index, and why most adults no longer have it after completing school. Here are some of the other awesome things in this episode:

  • Why adults are so unteachable as compared to children.
  • How Russell was able to open his mind and become teachable at a Tony Robbins event.
  • And why having a high teachability index will improve our chances for success in business.

So listen here to find out how Russell regained his teachability and has been so successful.

---Transcript---

What’s up everybody? This is Russell Brunson, today is a day that we’re going to have a Marketing Secrets rant.

Alright everybody, I’m not going to lie, I don’t rant very often, but when I do, you guys seem to like it. And today I’m feeling a little ranty. So we’re going to talk about this for a little bit, and what I want to talk about, I don’t know, I’ve talked about this in the past, we’ve called it different things. But it recently was just re-brought to my attention. And it drives me absolutely bonkers.

So what I want to talk about is a concept I learned a long time ago from a dude who is a total con artist, and scam artist, but he was a really smart guy. Most of the scam artists, and con artists are. But he talked about this concept he called teachability index, which is your ability to learn. And teachability goes up and down throughout our lives, depending on a lot of things. Depending on a lot of it, like how open we are.

So for example, when you’re kids you’re very teachable. So your teachability index is very high, because you listen to everything someone says and you soak it up. Then you go to school and your teachability index is high, you listen to everything that’s coming through to you, even if the teachers have no idea what they’re actually talking about, but you believe it because you’re in school, therefore it’s gotta be true. They can’t lie to you in schools. They can’t teach you false doctrine at school can they? But we believe it.

And then the second you get the degree, for some reason in our heads, our brains shut off and say, “I now know everything.” And all the sudden our teachability shrinks to almost nothing. And this is where most human beings you bump into in the world are at. Where they think they know everything, therefore they’re not open to anything, therefore they are stagnant and they stop growing.

I struggled with this, as most humans do, for a while. In fact, I still remember the first time I went to a Tony Robbins event. And I remember he invited me there, and I was just a marketing and sales guy who thought I was a genius and drank my own kool-aid, and believed my own bio, and I thought I was the stuff. And I’m at this event and trying to get Tony Robbins as a client, and I’m going to close him and all sorts of stuff. And Tony’s got this thing, where if you want to work with him, you’ve got to come to his events first, because he doesn’t want to work with people who haven’t experienced him because you don’t understand him and his culture and what he’s doing.

So I went to his event, and I’m sitting there and I walk in with my backpack and my laptop thinking that it was going to be a marketing style event. And anyone who’s been to a Tony Robbins event knows that you’re jumping, you’re screaming, there’s no desk, there’s no table. You’re walking on fire, it’s insane, you’re dancing, you’re giving your neighbors massages and hugs, all things that I do not like to do.

And I was just like, “Nope. No, no, no!” and Tony’s up there teaching these things and I was like, “No. Nope, that’s not true. Nope, don’t believe you. Nope.” And I remember for about 5 or 6 hours I kept doing that. And I’m looking around and everyone’s having a good time, everyone’s having fun, they’re all jumping around and I’m like, “No. Tony does not know what he’s talking about, this is not true. This is not true.” And my mind was closed to everything.

And I was sitting there listening to all this, I started noticing that every new idea or concept that came my way, I instantly shut it down as, “No. Nope, nope. No, no, no.” and it was an instant shut down. And I remember sitting there realizing that man, my teachabilty index is really, really low. Why am I saying no to all these things. He’s challenging my thoughts and my beliefs and things that I thought I were true, things that I’d been raised my whole life believing and thinking. And I kept saying no, no, no.

And I remember that I made this audible switch about 5 or 6 hours into it, I said, “I keep saying no to everything Tony’s saying, and I’m not enjoying my time, I’m not experiencing this, and I feel like I’m missing out on something.” And I remember consciously thinking, you know what? From now on, the rest of the 3 ½ days of this event, instead of saying no to everything I’m going to say, “What if.” I’m just going to experience it and see what happens.

And the next thing Tony explained, at first my instincts were like, no, no, no. And I was like, but what if. What if what he’s saying is actually true? And what was interesting is I was like, huh. If this is true, then this is pretty powerful. And then the next thing came and I’m like, what if that’s true? If that is true, then that’s pretty cool. And then what if this is true, what if this is true?

I started shifting from no, no, no, to what if. And when I shifted that thought in my head, I can attribute the last decade of my success to me changing my immediate impulse from no to what if. And it’s been interesting because in my world, and those who know my story, I’m a conservative Mormon man who likes to sell things online and I wrestle. That’s my, there’s Russell Brunson in a nutshell. If someone’s like, “Who is Russell Brunson?” That’s it.

And even within my religion, there’s a lot of things that happen, where, and I don’t believe that they’re doctrinal, but I believe they’re cultural, but there’s things that happen that people are like, “No, no, no.” And what’s cool is that because of that experience ten years ago, I don’t say no to everything anymore, I say what if. And because of that, my life has been richer, and I don’t mean money. I mean people, people that I would have said no to or would have rejected earlier in my life, because of cultural upbringings and things like that. Instead of saying no I said what if. What if this person actually is a good person? What if they’re struggling just like I am?

And I’ve shifted from no’s to what if’s and it’s opened up amazing, deep relationships all over the place. Idea’s have come to me. I went from no, no, no’s to what if, and it’s opened up this whole world that’s been amazing, it’s been life changing for me and for the people around me.

So I wanted to share that because, and I’m not going to share the exact story because the person may or may not be listening and it doesn’t really matter, it’s just the concept of someone who is great in their field, who is an amazing person, amazing at what they do, they were at Funnel Hacking Live, And they just heard somebody talking about something that they should have, especially in their field of expertise, they should have said, what if. And if they would have said what if, they would have learned and grown and been able to help their clients so much more.

But instead of saying what if, they said no. And because of that, they stopped progressing. And I think that for some reason, and you know it’s funny, there’s a word and it’s not a word I say often because most of the time I look at it like a curse word, which is funny. Some of you guys are going to laugh that this is like the worst curse word for me, but it’s the word damn. Damn is stop, and your stopping yourself. You’re literally damning yourself when you’re saying no to things.

There are things you should say no to, but I think that things should come and you should look at them and try to figure things out in your mind. Pray about it, whatever it is, but don’t just throw out everything as no all the time. Open it up and say what if, what if this was true? What if this is something that could help me? What if this crazy person onstage who has helped 300 people naturally cure cancer, what if they know something that I don’t know? What if something I can take from this, what if there’s a piece, what if there’s a nugget I can take back and use in what I do?

I look at marketing, I look at the last 15 years of me doing this business, I can count the number of friends who started 10 years ago and are still doing this business now, on one hand. The reason why, most of them, they learned it all. Their teachability index shrunk and they’re like, “I know how this works.” And they were certain, absolutely certain what they were doing, and because of that when things shifted, things changed, they fell apart.

I would say the reason I’ve been around, the reason why I have such longevity in this business, why I’m one of the few dinosaurs that have been doing this now for 15 years is because 10 years ago I had this lesson, instead of saying no I said what if. And now when new marketing ideas, new concepts, new social networks, all this stuff that’s always shifting and evolving and changing, instead of saying no I say what if. And it opens up my mind, it opens up the possibilities.

And I think for all of us, no matter what sphere of influence you are in, the worst thing you could do is to lose your teachability. To think that what you learned in school, to think that what you learned up to this point, is absolute truth, because it’s not. It’s the absolute truth of what you have right now, but there’s more out there.

You may not agree with everything someone says, like I love Tony Robbins, but I don’t agree with everything he says. But because of that, I don’t say no to everything. There’s a, for the Mormons, one of our Articles of Faith, it says, “If there is anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy we seek after these things.”

So for me, it’s like I’m looking for those things. I meet Tony Robbins and I don’t agree with 100% of everything he agrees or believes or says. But if there’s anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, I seek after these things. So I’m with Tony, I experience him. I’m like, what if this is true? What if this is true? Does this fit in my view of the world and if not do I need to shift my view of the world? Or is it something that I can disagree with this piece and push it aside, but I can still get all this amazing stuff. I don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater, or whatever that expression is. I’m able to look through those things and say what if.

What is good, what is virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy? Because I’m seeking after those things, I want them, I need them in my life. And there are all sorts of spots. Like all truth for me, is not in the Mormon church. It’s there, but I find truth from, I find so much truth from my friends that are Baptists, that are Muslims, that are Buddists, that are Atheists. I have friends that are gays and lesbians, I learned so much amazing things from. I don’t just shut all those things down, I don’t think anybody should.

It doesn’t mean I have to embrace belief’s or doctrines or things that I don’t feel comfortable with. It doesn’t mean that I have to believe everything someone’s teaching me about health or about fitness or about finances. But because I disagree with one little piece, I’m not going to shut down everything, I’m going to say what if. And I’m going to take the good and push out the bad, and from that I’m going to get a more whole picture, a more truthful picture of life in the world and the reality that we live in.

So I hope that helps somebody. I hope that helps a lot of you guys. I just hope that, and I know I’m preaching to the choir. Those who listen to this podcast, aren’t the kind of people who shut down their teachability index. You guys still have it open, you’re listening, you’re trying to learn. But maybe you’re super teachable in the marketing sphere but maybe you’re not as teachable in the thing that you actually do, in the business, in the fulfillment of the thing.

Maybe there’s other truth out there. And maybe you don’t believe all of it, but maybe there’s some that you could bring back that you could add to what you’re doing, that will make you more special, that will make you more different, that will make you more unique. And those are the things that make you more money. Those are the things that help you have the bigger impact. So look for those things. If there’s anything virtuous, lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

Alright with that said, I’m going to bounce, you guys. We are doing a swag drop today, and we are launching the OUR funnel, so a lot of fun stuff happening in the next hour and 14 minutes that I’m looking forward to. So I’m going to head out. I appreciate you guys. If you are enjoying this podcast, please go to iTunes, rate and review it, let me know. With that said, I will talk to you guys all again soon. Bye everybody.