The online world has undoubtedly made it easier for people to connect with each other. Yet the downside is it has also made it confusing to find those that truly value the connections you have built. Taking this business dilemma into consideration is Jonathan Cronstedt, President of Kajabi. Kajabi is one of the leading and fastest growing tech companies, building membership platforms and tools, to simplify the way people operate online. In this conversation, Jonathan will give you the tips on how you can build your community and find the tribe that will help you maximize online platforms and technology. Jonathan will also offer insights on why having an authentic community with a like-minded focus, celebrating wins and transformations, is important.
Have you ever said to yourself, “I’m so overwhelmed, there are a dozen or twenty or a thousand groups that I could be a part of our communities that I could be a part of?” You are like, “Which one is the right one?” Maybe you found that being online is more of a distraction than a way to get focused and help you get your big result. This conversation is all about building community, finding the tribe that helps you focus and become the hero you deserve to be, as well as maximize what you can do leveraging online platforms and online technology. Our guest is Jonathan Cronstedt. He’s a good friend. His friends call him JCron. J, how are you?
I’m thrilled to be here, Dan. This is going to be so much fun.
If you don’t know Jonathan, he’s a business strategist and executive strategist. When he’s not driving outcomes for some of the leading companies that you’ve probably heard of in the world, he’s an incredible dad and husband. He enjoys a freezer full of fabulous vodka and a puppy named Stella.
It’s important to have goals and believe me if you want the bigger bio, I’m happy to send it. Whenever I hear someone reading my bio, I’m like, “I want to hang out with that guy.” I get weird about that stuff.
We’ve known each other for a long time. In everybody’s career, especially in entrepreneurship, there’s ups and downs that we all experience. Let’s hone in on business growth because you come in and help grow companies. You’ve worked with the likes of people like Mike Koenigs, Traffic Geyser, Digital Marketer, Joe Polish, Success magazine and more. You’re the President of Kajabi, one of the leading and fastest growing tech companies building membership platforms and tools to simplify the way people operate online. From your experience in doing this as long as you have, what’s the biggest mistake that most entrepreneurs are making when it comes to leveraging online to build and grow their business?
I’m glad you asked that because, for a lot of people, this answer may surprise them. It’s something from me that when I look at our industry, it really has a goal of creating success and creating transformational impact. Being able to take someone from their current state to their desired state as fast as possible. What gets problematic is in our industries goal of helping people get to that desired after state, we end up giving them so many ways to get there that before you know it, the cognitive overload of choosing a path gets to be far more complicated than executing on a path. One of my favorite quotes about this is from Bruce Lee says, “I don’t fear the man who knows 10,000 kicks. I fear the man who knows one kick that he’s practiced 10,000 times.”
For me, if I were to look at the common denominator and failure, it is this perpetual re-evaluating and switching techniques. It’s like, “I should use messenger marketing because email is dead. I know lots of people making a lot of money with emails. Direct mail is dead. No one goes the mailbox.” I’m like, “The Amish Fireplace Company is still selling giant fireplaces via direct mail.” All of these mediums, these tools, they all work if you put them to work. For me, it would definitely be the overwhelm of I’ve got to have all of these workings in a symphony of the perfectly crafted plan with all of them working at the same time to succeed. It’s like, “No, you need one executed like freaking crazy.”
Drive it deep. Most people are one inch deep and a mile wide. If I hear what you’re saying, it’s go one mile deep on one main thing. As you’re reading, what would happen if you took this mindset, this approach to focus on that one kick, that one strategy, that one little hinged for you that can open a big door and you drove it a mile deep or practiced it and ran it 10,000 times? What would happen to you? I know what would happen because I see what Jonathan has done with other companies maybe like yours and helping them grow, scale and do it with less stress, more ease and without the typical burnout, typical overwhelm and a whole lot more.
You’ve had this incredible journey. You’ve worked with some of the biggest names and experts in the world. Can you remember a time in your business career where you may have hit rock bottom or you experienced what you would call your biggest failure or mistake personally? To put things in perspective, what do you deem is your biggest failure or mistake if you can remember back to that? What did you learn from it that our audience can learn from it moving forward?
For those of you here, another element of this industry is you need so many people that sound like an overnight success. They sound like an overnight success because you only heard about them now that they’re successful. The joke I always make is good judgment comes from wisdom. Wisdom comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment. When I look back over to my rock bottom, it would be the time in my life where I was 100% confident I had everything figured out. I was the vice president of sales at 24 years old of a mortgage dynamo here in Southern California. I was printing money far more than I ever should have been given at my level of age or acumen. It ended exactly as you would expect it to. It all blew up in my face. I went from making millions of dollars a year, owning real estate in multiple states, cars, everything I thought I wanted.
All of a sudden, the market disappears. My income disappears because no one’s writing mortgages. My assets in real estate are underwater because I was leveraged when I bought them. All the car payments are still due. I went from I know everything to, “Dear God, how did I get here?” I went through what I would call the grief cycle. At first, it was, “Those stupid Wall Street guys screwed me over. I did everything right. This wasn’t my fault.” It was, “I clearly should have planned differently. I should have saved more money or I should have sought better counsel. It’s somebody else’s fault.” At the end of the day after going through all those processes, I realize, “No, it was my fault. I could have done things differently. I could have done things better.” I took responsibility for the fact that now I have the carnage financially of the mess that I created.Success is one of the few things in life that you will never know the price of until after you've already paid it. - Jonathan Cronstedt Click To Tweet
From that, it allowed me to say, “If I got myself here, I can definitely get myself back there. How would I do it differently when I get there? How do I want to get there in the process?” That’s what led me to this world of online entrepreneurship. I was fortunate that if you look at my journey backward, all of it makes sense. Every role, every mentor, it connects up perfectly. If you were me then looking forward, you’re like, “I have no plans. I have no idea what I’m going to do. I don’t know who’s going to help me.” The only thing that I had at that moment was the ability to commit myself 100% to the process and not quit. That’s what set me off this journey. My first mentor in the business was Joe Polish. Joe, I’m still incredibly grateful. I would not be sitting in this chair without the effect you had on my role in this industry. My mentorship with Joe was the first and quite frankly, one of the most transformative, but it all happened because I put myself out there. It wasn’t some grand plan it was, “I’m going to try this.”
I want to speak to this because I remember this distinctly. Tell our audience what you did at the time Joe was charging X amount of dollars. You weren’t in a position because you had lost most, if not all.
I was broke. It was hard to pay attention. Those of you that know when industries are doing well, there are a lot of information marketers selling information. I’ve got all this information about mortgage systems. I was like, “These guys are selling these systems, this information marketing thing seems pretty cool.” I go out and I buy everything Dan Kennedy and Bill Glaser had to offer. On the first CD, I pop in. It’s a 1995 Mastermind. Joe Polish is on the CD. Joe says on the CD, “Someday they will erect a statue to my contributions to direct response marketing.” I was like, “This guy sounds like fun.” I call up his office and I’m like, “I would like to hire Joe Polish to teach me how to be an information marketer and consult with him.” They’re like, “Great.” He was at the time $25,000 a day. I don’t even think you can get Joe for less than $100,000 a day now or even if he does full days anymore. I’m like, “I’m totally broke and bankrupt so I will give you $500 for five minutes.” If Joe doesn’t want to talk to me after that, no worries, I’m out, we’re good. Eunice, who I believe is still part of Joe’s world and has now taken on a massive role in the company, chuckled and she’s like, “I’ll ask him.”
I get a call back about an hour later and she’s like, “We’re good. Let’s book your five minutes.” I’m like, “Great.” She’s like, “I’m going to need a credit card for the $500.” I’m like, “Here’s every penny I have.” Literally, we ended up on the phone and I did everything possible to have this five minutes be the most impactful value-delivering of Joe. Here are all of the ways that I am seeing that I can help add value to your business. I’m willing to do it no matter what, at no cost. Let’s make this happen. The call went 90 minutes. Joe said, “I’ll be in touch.” He calls me a week later, “I’m coming to LA. Why don’t we grab dinner?” We have dinner and at the end of dinner, he’s like, “This could be some fun. Why don’t we figure something out?” I’m like, “Great.” He calls me a week after that, “What are you doing?” I’m like, “I’m bankrupt and broke. Not a lot.” He’s like, “Pack for a week, pick me up at LAX tomorrow.” I’m like, “Great.” I picked him up at LAX. We drive from LAX to Burbank. The next thing I know I’m on a Gulfstream 550 private jet with Bill Phillips, his whole team heading to Harv Eker’s Seminar of the Century for Bill to promote what became a bestselling book, Transformation. That was my first experience, my serendipitous introduction to this industry.
There are so many learning lessons in what Jonathan just shared with you that I hope you’ll take note of. What would you share with somebody? What were your greatest insights from this knowing that you recognize is a game-changing strategy? What would you advise someone else to do as they’re looking at building their momentum, building their following and getting access to top talents like Joe and others?
I would say two lessons immediately come to mind. The first of which is a quote that I don’t know if it’s mine. I’ve made it mine. If it’s stolen from somebody else, please email me and tell me so I can give them credit. It’s this idea that success is one of the few things in life that you will never know its price until after you’ve already paid it. It’s something that you can only choose to buy it, but you won’t know what it costs until after you’ve written the check. When you decide, I am going to be successful in this industry, you don’t know if it’s going to take you a week, a month, a year or a decade. What I can tell you is if you’ve made the decision and you follow through on the decision, life will never keep it from you, but you have no idea how long it will take life to give it up to you.
That’s one part of it for me that had I known that it would take me probably two years and having traipsed across the country from Orange County to Phoenix to Atlanta to Connecticut back to Phoenix with events in eight or nine other states during that period. I don’t know that I would have said, “I’m ready to pay that price.” I had already made the decision that I was going to buy it. All of that was then par for the course. The other aspect of it is one of my favorite quotes from Mike Tyson, like him or not, this is an amazing quote, “Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face.” If you are not approaching your life with the assumption that you are going to get punched in the face, when it happens it’s going to shock you. It’s going to leave you feeling caught off guard, depressed, bummed out, “It’s not fair.”
If you go into everything assuming you’re going to get punched in the face, when it happens, you’re like, “I’m where I’m supposed to be. I’m in that part of the process. I got that out of the way.” Those would be the two things that I think looking back on it for me were transformational that I wish I had known at the outset. The other one that I would give credit to MJ DeMarco, author of The Millionaire Fastlane and the fact that process is greater than an event. You are in a process of becoming what you need to become to have what you desire to have. By going through the process when you get it, you will be capable of handling it. Unlike me in the mortgage business, which was not a process, it was an event.
I happened to be good at scripting. I happened to be good at phone sales. I happened to end up with way more money than I knew what to do with. As a result, it all went away. When a fool meets someone with experience, the one with experience leaves with the money and the fool leaves with the experience. This is an opportunity for me to look back on it and say, “That was an event. I wasn’t ready for what I got but had it been a process, I would have been.” That’s something for me as well that I’ve tried to fall in love with this idea that at moments where I’m like, “It’s not happening fast enough. It’s not happening the way I want it to.” That’s the process and you’ve got to learn to embrace it.
Jonathan, you have carried your talents through a lot of different companies and had a huge impact. Now you’re working as the President for Kajabi. You work with a lot of these different clients in Kajabi in the last couple of years. From what you’ve seen, if you could put your finger on it and say, “Here are the three biggest breakthroughs not only for the company, for you guys and how you guys have had explosive growth, and one of the fastest growing tech companies out there but also with clients,” what would you say would be the one the three most important breakthroughs you think that a group of entrepreneurs or business owners could take action on?
I would say that number one far and away, nowhere near its equal, is this idea of community, of being able to find and foster a community of your true fans. That’s something that is not easily done. It requires time. It requires consistency. It requires authenticity and transparency that absent it, it becomes another marketing ploy. That being said, marketing prowess will get you a long way, but marketing will help you start a community. Keeping and growing a community will help you not have to market as hard. The reason that I share that is for us community is twofold. It’s not only a group of like-minded individuals, but it’s also helping and building into those like-minded individuals to help them achieve their goals that really helps the community become this self-perpetuating growth engine. It not only has elements of tactical improvements. The things you have to do to be more successful in whatever the unifying belief is of that community, in our case, digital entrepreneurship. Also the elements of celebrating and recognizing those rites of passage that are hard-woven into the social fabric of the human experience. For us, our community is equal parts, tactics, growth and improvement, and equal parts celebration and helping people feel like they’re not alone.
One of the things that the community does is it removes the loneliness of being an online entrepreneur. You’ll meet people in this industry that have had partners for a decade that they’ve never met in person, which is wild to think about. What that means is when it’s you in your echo chamber at home on the screen, you’re not sure what’s going on. If anybody else is engaged in all this weird stuff, that’s now important to you or when you go to cocktail parties and people look like you have a third arm growing out of your forehead when you tell them that you’re working to make money online. The community is the antidote to all of that. If you’re looking for the economics to justify the qualitative benefits, everybody knows that it’s eight to twelve times the cost to sell a new customer than it is to better serve and sell an existing customer. A community is an opportunity to continue to understand the needs of your marketplace. Continue to serve them iteratively. It becomes this self-perpetuating motion machine of profit and impact and purpose.Life will never keep success from you, but you have no idea how long it will take life to give it up to you. - Jonathan Cronstedt Click To Tweet
In building a community, what are a few tactics that our audience could put in place if they were going to do it on Kajabi with your platform? I want you to make sure to share it a little bit like where people can go take advantage of the tools you offer and other places. What are some tactics somebody could do that would give them the ability to grow a community and maybe another layer of it is how to best support that community?
First off, go deep not wide. Most people when they try to start a community, they’re like, “How can I have it be as big as possible? How can I have it appeal to as many people as possible?” That is a fast path to being boring and uninteresting. No one is going to want to be a part of it because you’re not speaking to them specifically. I wouldn’t start a group that’s called fitness. I wouldn’t even start a group that’s called Fitness Over 40. I would start a group that’s called fitness over 40 for expecting or post-pregnancy mothers. If you are able to build a community that is so specific that everybody in there is dealing with the same challenges is trying the same solutions and is banding together with a common cause, that’s the name of the game. If you go back to our example if you started at fitness, that’s not going to work because you’re going to have some people in there that want ripped abs. You’re going to have some people there that would like to not be embarrassed when they take their shirt off. You’re going to have some people in there that are trying to figure out how to get fit without weights using only body weight with the time they have at home.
You can’t have a community that’s that broad when all of those people are all trying to find people like them. If I go as specific which we even have a Kajabi user that has done this. If you go as specific as fitness for senior citizens over 65 that want to be able to exercise at home that also lives in Hawaii, that’s a community where I can say, “Go to a beach and workout. The weather is great,” and everyone’s going to be like, “We’re going to the beach.” Starting deep is going to allow you to build a solid enough foundation that you can begin growing if you imagine it rather than a line, imagine it as concentric circles. You’re going to start very small right at the bullseye. If you nail the bullseye, you’ve now earned the permission and opportunity to go one concentric circle out. When you nail that, you can go one concentric circle out from there. You’re going to make sure to nail the bull’s eye because if you don’t, you’re never going to get anywhere else.
Let me speak to the contrarian that might be going, “That sounds great for others, Jonathan, but I’m different. My programs and my services are for everyone. I can serve everyone. You don’t understand, I can serve everyone.” What would you say to that mindset to solve that false belief?
There would be two answers. Number one would be if they caught me in the evening after I had visited my vodka freezer, I would probably laugh at them and say, “That’s darling. How are you doing with that?” If it wasn’t that, I would say, “That is so awesome that you have something that is that impactful and that broad. You’re going to be able to build it into a complete behemoth.” What I do know is if you can’t craft a marketing message that has that one person say, “This is just for me,” you’re never going to get the one person because all you will be is another option on an endless shelf of options. You will miss the one person that’s looking for what you offer.
Speaking of the one you offer, we want to help you avoid that mistake. Not only does it apply building a community. It applies building your business across the board. You’ve got to go be the normal avatar exercise. What Jonathan’s talking about here is going deep, going a mile deep, going way beyond the typical demographic idea, the typical surface things, go deep. What would happen to you if you went deep? What’s the worst that could happen? If you don’t have a community as big and as deep and as responsive as you want, why not give Jonathan’s strategy a try for the next few months, the next six months, the next year and see what happens. You’ll be amazed that if you’ll narrow down upfront, you’ll broaden out faster than you think. It’s contrarian. It doesn’t make a lot of sense logically but when you do it, it’s amazing what happens. What are some examples of some stories where you know of some people who have narrowed down and they exploded and were able to explode out of that?
We have a Kajabi hero that they teach something that at its outset you would assume is so niche that you’re going to make $5 with this idea. They do a course on dressage, which is the technical name for horse ballet, but it’s not even all of horse ballet. It’s ab exercises in core strength for horses in dressage. If horse ballet wasn’t small enough, we’re going to go ab exercises for the horses that are in dressage. You’re probably thinking for the three people in the world that are interested in that but this was a significant enough course and community launch for this Kajabi hero that enabled her and her husband to move to their island of their dreams, which I won’t disclose. It is an actual island, not their whole island but they’re on the island. They now have this business that they are working with this community of dressage individuals adding products as they go. The foray into it was this very specific ab exercises for horses in dressage. That is how niched you can be and still be successful. That’s illustrating the power of going that specific.
The other thing that I would add to it as you’re looking at developing a community, find ways to celebrate the wins that people are experiencing. Not the way that you would experience them because for Dan, for myself, we have done so many landing pages that if Dan had called me up and said, “I did it. I made a landing page.” I’d be like, “What are you going to do with the other nine hours of your ten-hour a day?” It’s not where we’re at. However, if you built a landing page, you want to shout it from the mountaintops that there is now a page on the internet that proves that you are in digital business and it puts an email on your list when you put it in the box and it’s like magic. If you miss the opportunity to celebrate the wins as your community describes them not based on your own criteria overlaid on that community, that’s one that I would go back and figure out. My wife has a photo in our house and it’s in our wine room and it says, “Until further notice, celebrate everything.” It’s something that as you look at your community if you do nothing but master being the greatest authentic cheerleader for the wins that your people are experiencing in your product category, you’ll win.
You’ve got tens of thousands of clients that you get to see this Play-Doh Fun Factory. What are some creative ways that people are celebrating wins and what have you seen as a result of celebrating those wins do for those businesses that are doing it well?
My favorite example is us. It’s one of the things that I’ll give the example of us and then I’ll give the example of the person who says, “We can’t do that because we’re not you.” We’ve got our Kajabi Hero Program. The Kajabi Hero Program is something that when you have sold your first $1,000 on the platform, we’re going to celebrate it. We’re going to send you out a Kajabi hero t-shirt. You can’t buy it. You can only earn it. It’s going to come to you in the mail. You’re going to get your photo taken with it. We’re going to put you up on our hero wall on our site where we celebrate our heroes. We don’t stop there because then at your $10,000 hero level, we’re going to send you a custom hat. At your $50,000 level, we’re going to send you a custom hoodie. $100,000 and you’re going to get a custom jacket. $250,000 and you’re going to get a backpack. $500,000 and beyond, we have some secret stuff that I can’t share. We’re going to meet you at every level we can and celebrate those wins. It’s something that then we also within the application, we celebrate other wins that are not monetary. We’re going to celebrate your first subscriber. We’re going to celebrate your first sight, your first product. We’re going to give you badges within the application that you can share on social when you do those things. For us, it’s about celebrating every win the way that you define it.If you're not approaching life with the assumption that you are going to get punched in the face when it happens, it's going to shock you. - Jonathan Cronstedt Click To Tweet
If we go back to our users and how they’re creating it, one of my favorite communities is a guy named Greg Todd. Greg Todd was a physical therapist and he came to Kajabi. Greg, as a physical therapist, you’re directly connected into the time for dollars process. You have an hourly rate that no matter how good you are as a physical therapist, eventually you’re going to hit some type of ceiling. He was like, “I love physical therapy. How can I impact my clients in a way that’s not limited to my hours? I’m going to design a course about all of the other elements that I wish my clients knew what to do when they’re not in my office.” Here are the stretching exercises, here are the dietary improvements and here are the fitness regimens that will work while you’re going through physical therapy. He builds this and all of a sudden, his clients start getting more results. He has more up sales done. He’s excited. He has a physical therapist and sees him doing and is like, “I’d like to do that for my business.” Greg is like, “This can be cool.”
Fast forward a few years and now Greg has his own live events with physical therapists that are now implementing his processes for these digital bolt-ons. He recognizes them with t-shirts, with swag. He has nights where everyone dresses up as your favorite superhero because he loves Superman and shows up as Superman. It has turned into this community of what would be run of the mill physical therapists, looking at a lifetime billable hours in front of them and basically saying, “This is my working life. This is my hourly rate adjusted for inflation.” Not exciting but he’s been able to take that and turn it into a community of people that now have a limitless future of being able to bolt on cool and exciting products and expanding their businesses. He has a community of physical therapists that he gets to celebrate. He gets to be in a relationship with, party with and mastermind with. That’s one of my favorite examples.
As you are reading this, what could you do to put your community together? It starts with one. You can’t impact 100,000 until you impact a 1,000. You can’t impact 1,000 until you get your first 100 and you can’t get your first 100 until you get your first one. What would have to happen for you to take action and commit to starting to build your tribe like Jonathan’s targets? Start celebrating the winds of your tribe to be able to have a bigger impact and bigger reaching contribution? Jonathan, you’ve been sharing some incredible insights here. I want to give you an opportunity. You work with Kajabi as the president. You’ve got an incredible platform that shows people how to build community, how to leverage the community, how to go deep with it. Where can people go to learn more about what you’re up to, the impact you are making and all that stuff?
First of all, you can always head over to Kajabi.com and dive right in. We’ve got some amazing opportunities for you to be on the platform for our fourteen-day trial or there are also opportunities to engage in what we call our 28-day challenge. It would allow you to double your trial length and you can literally create sell and be in profit before your first rebill cycle ever takes place. We’ve got a lot of opportunities that are designed that if you’re sitting there thinking, “I don’t know tech, I’ve never made a course.” We can answer all of those objections and get you to market in less than 28 days, which we’re excited about. I know we’ve talked a lot about community so I’ll dive into what we’re building at Kajabi to better facilitate you being able to create community faster and easier.
One of the things that we’ve seen is this idea of the community largely gets relegated to a Facebook group. I’m sure many of you are in far too many of them. Like anything when marketers get ahold of it, there’s this newness then it’s mainstream and abused entirely until it gets to be less effective. Facebook groups I believe personally are trending that way. That we’ve gone to a place where there are so many of them. They’re so hard to check. I can’t see my kid’s graduation photos because I’m too busy being bombarded by group messages. I don’t want to be in the groups anymore because when I go, then I’m looking at cat photos and I’m looking at ads. Before you know it, I’ve bought three things on Indiegogo and I can’t remember the group that I was supposed to. It’s not conducive to the transformative experience that we believe the community is meant to represent.
At Kajabi, we’re building a community module that you are going to be able to add on to any product experience. If you’re creating a digital course on fitness or weight loss or horse ballet as it were or whatever category it is, you’re going to be able to bundle with that or up sell from that in exclusive member community. The reason we’re doing that is because the community is only going to exist tied to the products that you choose to tie it to. Meaning everyone in that community is there with a like-minded focus. They’re going through likely the same material at the same time. It creates this environment of camaraderie but also gives you the course creator, the ability to create that transformational impact faster by moving them into a more coaching and consultative interaction rather than relying on a Facebook group that is distraction central.
What we’re trying to do is we’re trying to say we’ve seen the power of community. We’ve seen what community can do for transformation. How can we make the community easier? How can we make it in such a way that you don’t need to go to Facebook and watch your group 24 hours a day, seven days a week to make sure nobody’s coming in strip mining for leads and posting goofy stuff? How do we take the magic of community, the transformational elements of community and build it into a way that you’re able to leverage it? That it’s something that helps your business rather than give you something else to manage in your spare time.
Not only that but the other risk is if you’ve built any momentum at all as a business already and you’re beyond the new stage, if you put your community on Facebook, it’s distraction central as Jonathan put it. You’re taking your best customers, you’re paying customers and now you’re making them vulnerable to the other distractions and it takes that out of your experience. I see this happening a lot. I love the direction that you are going. You’re giving people to put a moat around their business.
I’m glad you said that because that’s something that we don’t talk about a lot. Quite frankly, we should talk about it more than so many creators out there are literally relegating control of their future to platforms that they have no ability to influence. Every week you see a $20 million YouTube ad revenue property that gets shut down because they make some comment that YouTube didn’t agree with or the people that Patreon chose to kick off the platform because they didn’t like their views. You look at the individuals over the last few months that have been taken off of iTunes or taken off of Facebook, taken off of Twitter. It’s literally these people that benefit these platforms. That their following, their content creation, their community development is benefiting the ad revenue of these platforms, yet these platforms can choose to go like, “You’re out. We’re done.”
You now have a month, a year, a decade of business dedicated to your income stream in your future that you no longer control and you can’t even influence, God forbid, you can’t even call somebody over there to find out what happened. At Kajabi, we do believe that if you are a creator, if you are someone who is building value, you need to own and control that community. You need to own and control those products and you need to be able to own and control that audience. That will never happen when you’re putting that on a platform that isn’t yours.
I’ve heard Joe say a thousand times, if I heard him say it once, is never lose your audience. These other platforms when it’s free to leverage, you are the customer. The reality is if you’re tired of you being the customer, you work hard to build your clients. You build hard to build leads. You’ve worked hard to build a profitable model. Literally, putting them on another platform that Facebook or Instagram or any of them, I don’t want to use specific names per se, but they own it they own your customers. They’re taking over that experience instead of you. What would have to happen for you to get control of your client experience to leverage and multiply and grow? Kajabi can be an answer for you. I encourage you to go check out what they’re doing at Kajabi. You can take their fourteen-day trial. You can take advantage of the 28-day challenge. As Jonathan said, you can create it, you can sell and be in profit before you even have a payment due, which is a pretty cool risk reversal, pretty cool proposal, an irresistible offer. Take advantage. Jonathan, as we come down the homestretch here, what were you known for in high school?
I would probably say other than my award-winning personality and sense of humor, I was a water polo.
Who gave you those awards?
Self-given. It’s funny you mentioned that because my senior year, the award that I got from my senior graduating class was most likely to look in a mirror and biggest head. I was fairly egotistical about it. I’ve gained my humility over the years since how sure I was that I was awesome in high school. I’ve always gravitated towards the social elements of life. That’s always been where I love to be.If you have your health, you have everything. If you don't have your health, you'll give everything that you get back. - Jonathan Cronstedt Click To Tweet
What is something most people don’t know about you that you’ve never shared on any other podcast before?
I would probably say that I treat my dog like a child. I don’t mean like I love my dog. Keep in mind, I’m a big guy. When I got married, I was like I want a big dog and my wife is like, “What about this 25-pound little white fur?” I was like, “No, not interested.” Now, I am the guy that will walk that dog on a pink leash while it’s wearing a sweater. I will feed it food from my plate. I will cuddle with this dog. I literally treat this dog like a child and it is the tiny least masculine dog you can imagine.
You and I got a chance to sit down at dinner many years ago right after you got married. You had shared the story of how you and Nicole met and a lot of cool other things there in San Diego when we met. If you are going to turn in Nicole right now and thank her for the support she’s provided you and given you and how she showed up for you to be your best self during the ups and downs in this entrepreneurial journey, what would you thank her for?
I would say she has always viewed me as far better than I view me. If you go back to my story and remember when I talked about my bankruptcy and losing everything, there was a time period there where a friend of mine took pity on me. He was a travel agent out of college and he calls me up and he’s like, “I know you’re broke. I know you literally can’t rub two nickels together. I’m going to Europe for eight weeks. I’m cashing in all of my frequent flier miles, all of my familiarity trips, come with me.” Here I am. I’m in Europe. I’m literally eating at McDonald’s because that was what I could afford when I was in Europe off the $0.99 menu. Nicole sends me a MySpace message. We weren’t together at the time when I had all my life figured out she’s like, “You’re a vapid, horrible person. I don’t want to be around you because you’re arrogant and you think you have it all figured out.”
She sends me a MySpace message and says, “How are you doing?” I’m like, “I lost everything. I’m completely broke. I’m in Europe trying to find myself.” She is like “That sounds like an interesting story.” Me never wanting to miss an opportunity, I’m like, “It totally is. Let’s talk about it over dinner. I’ll see you when I get back.” I get back and she picks me up from the airport. We go to P.F. Chang’s, which is the highest of Chinese cuisine. At P.F. Chang’s, I couldn’t even afford our first date. I literally didn’t have a card that would go through to buy P.F. Chang’s. My now wife of eight years picked up the tab at P.F. Chang’s and proceeded to pick up the tab for probably the first month and a half that we were together while I was trying to put my life back again.
If you can imagine the young woman going back telling her parents, “I’m in a relationship with this guy. I think it might be serious and I’m paying for all the dates and he can’t even pay for P.F. Chang’s Chinese food.” She has always seen something in me even at the times that I didn’t see it. She continues to be my greatest source of support. She also continues to be probably the best insight and intuitive voice in my life. I am very logical. I spend all of my time in my left brain. She is the right brain that I don’t have. The intuition that sees things notices things, gets feelings about things that I don’t and quite frankly wouldn’t be here doing what I’m doing without her.
There’s the glimpse of JCron for you right here. If you want to go deeper, go check out how he’s having an impact with Kajabi. Go to Kajabi.com. Check out what they’re up to. What are one to three action steps you hope that our audience take as a result of our time?
I would say that whatever you’re thinking about doing, just do it because odds are if you’re thinking about it, you’ve been thinking about it long enough. This industry is truly waiting for you to decide what it is you want to do because there’s already an audience out there that is waiting for you to do it. You have to decide to do it and get busy doing so. Short version, just take action. It’s not that scary. Second is after you take action, keep taking action. Don’t play business, do business. Don’t organize your desk, don’t go out and buy file folders. Don’t buy 37 tools. Stick with one plan. Stick with one tool until it gets to a level that you have mastered it so well that you can’t help but add another. Don’t be a level one with 100 things, be a level 100 with one thing.
What’s something I should have asked that I didn’t ask you?
You probably could have asked me how my fitness is going. For those of you that don’t know, Dan has been a great mentor in my life for many years. I met Dan early on right after the Joe Polish story that I shared with you. Last time I met Dan, one of the many times, we met up in Chicago. We were someplace fun and we had dinner at a restaurant in a hotel. The bottom of the escalator we’re hanging out and Dan had gotten into a ridiculous shape as I saw him and I’m like, “Where is the rest of Dan?” He’s like, “I decided to make it a priority and stick to it. How’s your health?” I’m like, “I was an athlete in high school and then I stopped working out. I kept eating and kept drinking and I continue to get larger. Depending on how you measure it, I might be succeeding.”
Dan was one of the people that challenged me. He was like, “If you have your health, you have everything. If you don’t have your health, you’ll give everything that you get back. Time to make health a priority.” Every time he sees me, he’s checked in. Literally, when we’re looking and getting on his podcast, he asked me, “How’s your health doing? How’s the workout stuff doing?” I’m happy to say I’ve been working out. I’ve lost weight. I wouldn’t say I’m an athlete yet, but I would at least say that I can lift boxes without getting winded. That’s a win. More than anything, I appreciate you’ve always checked in on that with me.
Dan is an amazing mentor. You can have access to Dan through Growth To Freedom. Any way that you can get access, you will be far better off having him in your life. The nuances from his career, the growth that he’s creating for the companies and works with his private clients. He brings all of that benefit in all of those insights to this podcast. It is literally the only free lunch available. Make sure you’re plugging in, implement it. Going back to that, do it. You’ll be far better off and you’ll look back a decade from now amazed at what’s happened.
Jonathan, it’s been a pleasure to have you with us. I encourage you to take action with what Jonathan said. Go check out Kajabi.com. Take the trial, take the 28-day challenge. Find out what Jonathan is up to. He is also somebody in your life that will pay dividends. The bottom line is, be willing to pay because if you don’t, you won’t pay attention. He lives by that philosophy and psychology. He can show you how to leverage that too. Take action. Seize the day and we’ll see you next time on GrowthToFreedom.com.
Jonathan Cronstedt, or JCron to those close to him, is a dangerously dedicated executive strategist. When he’s not driving outcomes for industry-leading brands, he’s blessed enough to be married to Nicole, enjoys a freezer full of fabulous vodka and a puppy named Stella.