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Author Dave Lukas Interviews Mike Koenigs About Success

March 8, 2010

Dave: Hello everyone!  Dave Lukas here with Mike Koenigs.  I’m in San Diego at Digital Café Studios.

Mike is one of the most successful internet marketing gurus out there who can teach you how to grow a business online, gain a lot of leverage in your life and grow in your success in wealth, and I just want to say, Mike thank you very much for joining us today.

Mike: My pleasure.

Dave: Mike, would you tell us a little about your businesses and what they do?

Mike: My primary business is Traffic Geyser and it’s a tool, it’s a resource and it’s also a way of thinking about broadcasting your message, your product or your service worldwide with the click of a button, so we love to say it’s you everywhere now and the whole idea being able to take let’s say if we were taking this video for example or if one of our viewers is watching and had a product or service, they could demonstrate or show just a little clip, press a button and that video would get sent out to about 30 video sites.  It gets pinged or recognized by social bookmarking sites, social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace and Twitter and then, we transcribe the videos so you have text, we will turn into an article and send it out to 50 article sites, we will then put it on as many blogs as you want and then notify those, so it kind of creates this content web.

Finally, it gets turned into a podcast so it can be downloaded and consumed on iPods and portable media gadgets, so the bottom line is, right now, there are 1.74 billion internet connected users worldwide.  There’s almost 4.5 billion mobile phones and the majority of new phones being sold are smart phones, like the iPhone for example or the BlackBerry or the Android from Google, so your whole goal as a business person, as an individual, an author, expert speaker or whatever is you want to be recognized and found.  So it’s the perfect tool for spreading your message and your content worldwide virtually instantly and then it also captures leads and follows up.  It’s the first point of contact.

So for anyone, they have the ability to spread the word, get attention, capture leads and then finally do the first point of following up and then we teach people how to bond and connect also using video in this content.

Dave: So for really anyone that either has a business or is looking at starting a business, you guys can A) help get them noticed all over the world in different websites, realms and that sort of thing, and on top of that, help them with not only their lead generation, but with their follow up and everything as well.  That’s outstanding.

Mike: Yeah, it’s a great tool.  We've been around almost four years as of the time of this video and we’re used by thousands of people worldwide and it literally works for any business in any language anywhere in the world.

Dave: One of the things we talk about in the book, The Fast Track is that, information is the new currency in today’s age.  The more that you're able to receive information and then utilize that, you can grow your footprint, you can grow monetarily and all of that sort of thing.  Mike, would you speak to that a little bit for us, please.

Mike: Sure, well I think information by itself, and yes, I mean, they say content is king and distribution is kong, as a friend of mine—his name is John Reese, he’s a bit internet marketer too, but these days, information by itself, it’s sort of like someone will come to me for example and say, “Hey Mike, I've got this great idea,” and I’m like, all I need is another idea because ideas without implementation, ideas without results have no value and I often tell people—to sound course or harsh, it would be like, I flush a thousand times more good ideas down the toilet everyday than most people have in a lifetime.  The difference between me and them is I know how to make them, use them, implement them and sell them.

So, again, the point being, what has value is a blueprint, so the information without implementation is worthless and I will also say that the currency of now is brand and I’m not talking about old school agency brand when they’d say, “Well, brand is so important and direct marketing and direct responses,” it has more to do with you for example, Dave Lucas, as of now, certain people know who you are, but the reason you are writing your book is to establish yourself as an expert and authority to associate yourself with big names and bigger brands, which will eventually catapult you to becoming appear with some people who are your mentor.  I mean that’s a lot of what I've done in my career as well.

And you go through an evolution of giving and giving and proving and succeeding and eventually, the media gives you permission to connect with and to sell or if you're selling one on one, after you’ve given, given, given—you’ve educated, you’ve entertained or you’ve bonded, someone says, “Now what do you have to sell me?  What can I use of yours?”  That’s a natural evolution in any relationship.

So I’d say, the brand has to do with the permission you’ve been given by a group or an individual or an organization to essentially sell something I guess would be—in a business sense anyway.

Dave: Certainly, you know Mike, I was once told by a very large venture capitalist that it’s 5% idea and 95% execution and I think that’s really real, and let’s talk about that for a second.  For those out there that are looking at starting either a business online or really any type of business, obviously, the web presence and what you can do with it nowadays is obviously a must for any of that.  If you had to give some advice for somebody just starting out to get started on a very basic level, what would you tell them?

Mike: Okay, well I think the first thing is, nothing sells better than proof.  So, someone has a product or a service or is thinking about it, they should always start with the end in mind.  In other words, the results and the benefits and we always hear about benefits driven selling versus feature based selling, so if I were going to use Traffic Geyser as an example, what every business needs is visibility and once you have visibility and attention, you have to have permission and you do that by answering questions, giving away content and in order to do that, you have to get noticed and you have to get found.

So one of the strategies we teach is, if you made a bunch of little videos about the top ten questions that people ask about your product or your service or you and distribute those all over the place, eventually people will find you.

Dave: What’s a great way to—for those that are out there obviously, people are money conscious, they want to be able to do great work and everything, but a lot of times, obviously, they don’t have a recording or something like that.  What’s a great way for somebody to create some videos like that?

Mike: You know what, it’s so funny, I just noticed I had a box down here.  This is the device as of now that I recommend, it’s a Kodak ZI8, this thing you can buy for under two hundred dollars and it shoots high definition video.  It looks great!  So, one of the things that I've done for example to attract—I’m always looking for people who are interested in using videos to promote or market their business, so one of my most popular videos online is a review of this camera that I give away, so people see it and I say, if you’d like to learn more, go to my website and in this case, I tell them to go to Mike’s Gadget Giveaway or I review great new products that will help you save time, make money and have more fun, which is what my customers want.

Dave: Absolutely!

Mike: And then they will in turn buy my product, so I just say, you need to create content that people who would use your products or services would be attracted to.

Dave: You know, talking about video and obviously there’s so many ways that you can market yourself whether it’s print, whether it’s email—all of the different things you need, even texting and that sort of thing nowadays—why has video become such, I guess, 800 pound gorilla in a room to help people get themselves to notice faster on the search engines and all of the different things.

Mike: Well, the number one thing is—let’s start from the bottom line is Google who is the biggest search engine right now, followed by YouTube, the second most popular website online, so right away, proof that video is most popular and when you make a video and you name it the same things that people are searching for online, in other words, most people are either ready to—they want—they're researching something to buy, they are trying to get the answer to a question that they are asking or they are buying something or they are up to some no good.

But what I tell them is, if you're naming videos that answer questions that people are searching for and they watch your video and they're like, “Hey, I really like Dave.  He answers some great questions,” and at the end you'd say, “Now, if you’d like to learn more about this great new camera, go to davelucas.com and sign up in there.  I’m going to give you 20 free videos that will teach you how to get great results in your business,” or whatever the call to action is, “and this free special report.”  You might hold up this thing and it’ll say and the free special report which might just be the transcript of your free video.

That whole system I just described without getting into all the details, I call it the 10 x 10 x 4.  It’s an instant content creation system that attracts search engines to use, so to directly answer your question, in terms of sheer volume, if you look at the entire pipe looking down the internet right now, 60% of that pipe is filled with video at any given time.  The majority of the content flowing through is video and so, by popularity alone, next Google, Yahoo, Bing will prioritize video in the search engine listings by ranking because that’s what people love.

Dave: And so the more you refresh your video and do that sort of thing, obviously the higher you're going to get and that’s where Traffic Geyser comes in for people.

Mike: Exactly, so the way to think about is, Google rewards those who create frequent relevant content, so if you were making a video a day, a week ideally, about relevant content and topics and naming it the same things people are searching for, not only are you going to show up high in the search engine listings, this has a massive network effect and Traffic Geyser, we’re broadcasting out to about a hundred and forty or a hundred fifty different locations, but that content also gets picked up and syndicated by dozens of other sites, so it replicates itself very rapidly.

And we time the sending of this content over a period of time so it looks natural to the search engine so it doesn’t look spammy or overwhelming and again, the whole idea is in different media types, get prioritized and valued so by transforming the content into both video and to text with our transcription feature and articles and blog posts and audio for example, it’s going to stabilize and the more you create, I mean, you literally create—it’s like a tsunami of traffic that you can't stop after a period of time, but you can't just make one video and expect to get free traffic for life.  It doesn’t work.  It’s sort of like, if I said, “Hey Dave, you’ve got this great idea, you’ve written this awesome book, you put a classified ad in the local newspaper, would you expect to get traffic for life?”  No!  Does anyone care about a classified ad?  No!  But if you do interviews and you create articles and you write about it and you share with people all of the reasons why reading this book will change their lives, all the reasons why it will achieve the benefits it will by following this simple steps and get into some detail, people are going to be like, I've got to buy that book right now.

Dave: Sure, certainly.

Mike: That’s the way the search engines work too.

Dave: You know, one of the things that you're probably wondering right now as I did when I first started learning about Mike and what he did and stuff, how did this guy figure all of this out?  How does he know all of this stuff?  Briefly, I just want to touch on it, if you would just—how you got to this point because I think it’s really an amazing story of how you got here.

Mike: Okay, well the basic back story starting from the beginning as I grew up in a small town, it’s Eagle Lake, Minnesota.  I went by a sign for almost 20 years, it said, population 763—it’s a tiny town in south central Minnesota.  I’m the oldest of four.  My dad is a barber and I had no real  mentors, no resources, we’d be considered lower middle class by economic standards, but my dad gave me permission to work in the—on a work bench and gave me tools at the age of five, so I was like taking stuff apart and putting them together.  I like figuring out how things work, and I also loved junk mail, so I used to sign up back in the magazine days when you get those little cards that had circles on them, I would circle all of the numbers and literally, I’d circle all of them to get mountains of junk mail and I didn’t realize it, but I used to—I’d memorize like the JC Penney Christmas catalog or the Sears Christmas catalog and I loved to copy and I love to read.

So reading, learning and figuring out how things worked and I loved technology and when I was 14 years old, a neighbor loaned me an Apple for Christmas vacation.  They went on a vacation, I taught myself how to program and I wanted to learn how to write video games.  That was my goal and my dream when I was a teenager and by the time I was 18 or 19, this actually started when I was 16, I was actually consulting with local insurance agents and helping them with their computers.  They wanted to build a database or a mail merge system.  It was simple stuff, but I constantly got exposure to technology and learning consulting.

And in my early 20s, I started a company called Digital Café, prior to that, I had written video games and I’d also done some contract work for the military and I started this little company called Digital Café and ten years later, sold it.  We were a marketing agency that helped advertising agencies with new media stuff, so we did screen savers, we did branded video games and early digital video work, so it was like we were a weird aggregate of art and music and entertainment and we coined the phrase branded entertainment, we created the first CD ROM game that shipped in six million boxes of cereal for General Mills, it was called Checks Quest.

To this day, it still has a little cult following online almost 20 years later, but sold it nine years later to a large advertising agency.  I wasn’t rich as a result, but I was comfortable, made an independent feature film called Bill’s Gunshot, like it got picked up by Warner Brothers and there’s a poster in the other room actually, I’ll show it to you in a little while, but then I got introduced to internet marketing and along the way went through some challenging personal times.  I got introduced to Tony Robbins’s work and Deepak Chopra and Wayne Dyer and was influenced by them.  So if you fast forward to today, I figured out kind of unlocked the key to combining video and music and entertainment and the marketing and education and software and subscription services, so my three primary companies are all about subscriptions, so they are membership basically and they involve a lot of education, so we teach people how to use them and teach people how to make money and build their businesses and I’m actually producing another feature film called Success Leaves Clues.  It’s very similar to what you're doing really and I’m in love with the idea of being able to educate and create entrepreneurs and innovators worldwide because I think the strength of our world economy is built upon and based upon the entrepreneur and our ability to give and educate and leave the world a better place.

Maybe the last thing, the long handed commercial is—my wife has a foundation called the Just Like My Child Foundation and we’ve been building schools in Uganda and hospitals, sending young girls in schools to school and doing micro finance and micro enterprise.

Dave: That’s fantastic, Mike.  And it really is just kind of the all American story and that’s kind of why I asked you to tell it, so thank you very much. Along the way, you talked about how—you met some great mentors that helped you out, could you speak to—we mentioned a lot of different mentors throughout the book The Fast Track and give a check on resources and that sort of thing.  Can you talk about the importance of mentors in your life?

Mike: Yeah, well, I’m going to give you two things.  I’m going to give you something you didn’t ask for, but it’s something that I found that it touches a lot of people because one of—I ask myself a huge question back in 1996 when I saw Tony Robbins for the first time.  I was at Life Mastery and it was during a low point in my life where I was a quarter million in debt, had been recently divorced, I was fat and unhappy.  My business doing badly and after watching him for three days, I remember looking up and saying, who do I need to become right now to be attractive to and to support with and do business with Tony Robbins.  I thought, my God, that guy is amazing.  He had a profound effect on me and that was the turning point in my life and literally nine months later, our business was being acquired.

So I went from a quarter million in debt, 30 pounds overweight, terrible love life, recently divorced, literally living in my partner’s spare bedroom.  It was two—being financially secure and free for the first time in my life, svelte, did not drink, didn’t eat meat.  I was a Vegan, all kinds of great things happened and in nine months and it came from asking that question.

So, what I realize now is something that attracts me—other than just contributing and giving back on a worldwide level is being able to have access to the people who are my mentors and access goes far beyond because right now, if you lost everything, you had to start from scratch, but you had access to your mentors, your peers and friends.  You can rebuild anything in a matter of months that you can be financially where you are or beyond.  You could still have your reputation hopefully, right?  Which is the greatest currency of all and so, I think the answer to the question is when you start modeling your mentors, these are the things that are a byproduct of that and the greatest gift you could give a mentor is proof that their systems work.

So the people who are in my life now who are friends, it’s like Tony.  I just talked to him two days ago and I gave him a gift for his 50th birthday for example.  I gave him an iPhone application and I always ask, what can you give someone like that that money can’t buy.  Yes, he could buy an iPhone app, but if someone understands their business and understands them and they trust you, okay, that’s currency and I’m not doing it for that.  It’s because this guy gave me the greatest gift ever during the most difficult time of my life.

He gave me my life back, honestly, that’s the way I feel to this day and Brian Tracy is another man who I have in my life.  We have that in common—working with him and John Asseraf and the list goes on and on, there’s a lot of—Joe Sugarman is another one.  One of the greatest direct marketers in the world.  Blue Blockers, sold 20 million pairs on TV.  I’ve modeled him, everything I've learned about television and selling online with video is based on his work.

So, I think it’s critically important that you find a mentor who resonates with you at the point where you are in your life because we eventually outgrow the message unless we’re evolving with them or they're evolving with us.

I always say, until you have achieved greater success than your mentor, you don’t have any right to modify it.  I've modeled them and figured out and learned their language, their internal language, understand how they think and communicate, learn and that’s how great fortunes are made.

Dave: Absolutely!  I believe—the same thing, as you guys know it.  In the book, if you're reading it, it talks a lot about how, I can only get you to a certain point because I've only come to a certain point so far and that’s—well, I sit with Mike today because he’s someone that I was able and fortunate to be connected with, obviously he can help us grow in the fast track companies and all of that sort of thing, but he’ll also help you grow as well.  There are certainly far more people that want more and obviously are expanding that, every day throughout their lives and do seek them out and that’s the importance of mentors and how they can help you.

Mike, is there anything else for the audience that you think that they should know from just getting started in a business standpoint or just overall for their life and that sort of thing.

Mike: I’m going to give you probably the most powerful strategy that I live by right now and it begins with—and look, I’m going to first say that I’m constantly in a state of learning and education and reinvention and what I would recommend to everyone is the greatest gift you can give yourself is the gift of detachment, so when you can start your life everyday and recognize and understand that what I knew yesterday may be completely irrelevant to me today and if you're attached to the way things should be or need to be—that is the first sign of rigor mortis setting in.  This is a classic deep pack lie and that flexibility is life and rigidity is death.

And so when you are inflexible, you're on your way out and so how can you use this right now?  So the first thing is you have to be open to learning new things all the time and acknowledge the fact that everything you may have learned or everything you may know might not work for you anymore, in other words, truth is a variable and there are different kinds of truths.

In an argument for example, there are three truths—there’s your truth, my truth and the truth and maybe there's four if there's someone else involved.  But the next thing is, if you are at a place of transition in your life and that could be recently lost a job, recently divorced, recent addict, recently—just reached a point in your life where you are not satisfied and/or you're at a place where you know there is more and there's more sides to this, many facets to that, but I think that’s what all entrepreneurs have in common is we’re always reaching, we’re always in transition, we’re always looking for better ways to improve upon and leverage an opportunity.

So, what I would say is, find a mentor that you resonate with, buy their stuff and become their greatest success story and then if you really want their attention, sell their stuff as a partner or an affiliate, now what will that do?  Well, number one, it’s going to make you a stronger and better person and if you learn their voice and you have them inside your mind, it’s a classic think and grow rich, you have a virtual boardroom and you’ll learn their voices and they will be able to communicate with you.

So whether it’s Jesus or Mohammed or Krishna or religious leader or Zig Ziegler, I know you talk about Zig often or Tony or Brian Tracy, when you have their stuff, you have that voice.  They're going to lead you and guide and you can ask them questions and so feed the mind, critical skill to learn.

So getting back to this, if you become their greatest success story, they will love to make you famous and turn you into a figure head of their product.  Unbelievably powerful strategy.  Secondly, if you sell their stuff and they're writing out checks, the business can't ignore you.  Those two combined can turn you into a famous person in a very short period of time and we all know that your life can change with a snap of a finger.  You can have a radical transformation and achieve great results in as little as 30 days, ninety days, you can have a transformation and in three years, you can build a true organization with fortune.

So there are all sorts of opportunities that you can leverage and build and so that’s one of the biggest strategies that I’d recommend everyone think about and–

Dave: Excellent Mike, it couldn’t have been better said.  You know, we talk about that throughout the book from the Chapters of the mindset to the qualities of successful people and how to find mentors and that sort of thing and really utilize what they do to kind of be a faster way of doing things, like cliff notes in a sense, to help you get to your next level even faster and that’s the—I guess that’s the whole point of the book.  It’s that there are a lot of people looking to get to the next level and that sort of thing and there are a lot of ways to do it.

But we've taken the time to meet with people like yourself and really figure out the faster way to do it and have fun along the way, so I just want to thank you very much for your time.  Again, here at the Digital Café in San Diego.  It couldn’t have been a better experience to meet with you, Mike and I really appreciate your time and hopefully, we can have you again some time.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely!  And I know we’ve got some conversations about some ways we can work together and build businesses as well and I think at the end of the day, starting from a place of service, this is one thing I forgot to leave out and I learned this from a friend of mine, I call him my Shaman light.  He’s one of my business partner’s husband.  His name is Brian Hilliard.  He’s married to Arielle Ford and he says there's a big difference between a give when it’s like this and give like this and the give like this is when you're not expecting something in return.

So opening yourself up to being able to give with no expectation and my wife quoted this.  This is something I gave her in her last book, it’s expectations are the enemy of happiness.  So if you're attached to someone else’s gratitude, you're going to be endlessly unhappy.  If you're attached to expectations, you're also going to be endlessly unhappy.

So when you run your personal life and you run your business by giving your gift freely, that’s when the most majestic returns come to you.  It’s when the universe is working like—it’s like an absolute zero when you have perfect conductance, I guess, I think that’s the proper word.  It conducts perfect energy.  That’s the point I’m trying to say.  So I would say that in business and our personal lives, to get ourselves out of the pickle worry and to eliminate poverty, it’s subject to great education.  Ignorance is the ultimate enemy and giving people the right, the freedom, the ability to earn an income and be able to have control over their own lives is the great democratization formula.

So that’s really what we have to do when we become realized beings, we have to operate with that in mind, so that would be my way of finishing this off and I know I've been blathering on here for a long time, so—

Dave: The knowledge is wonderful, Mike and thank you very much and for all of you out there, if you're wondering to know more about Mike or you want to learn more about Mike, you can visit him at www.trafficgeyser.com.  I appreciate your time.  Thank you very much and look forward to seeing you in our next video.

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