Best selling author, student of human nature, avid outdoorsman at 5 star hotels, speaks fluent smart ass, can see and reflect your life mission in 5 minutes flat, loves having 2 sons so he can play with their toys, still fantasizes about his wife after 25 years, loves ideas, but loves results even more, can simultaneously laugh and cry for different reasons at the same time, has never been star struck (but did not get a chance to meet martin Luther King, and there would have been teenage girl screaming if he had).
Jay Fiset is dedicated to instigating a global movement of Conscious Creators and supporting people to organize their life and resources around their passions and gifts.
Find out more about Jay Fiset at:
Stefan Arnio: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the show Respect the Grind with Stefan Arnio. This is the show where we interview people who have achieved mastery and freedom through discipline. We interview entrepreneurs, athletes, authors, artists, real estate investors, anybody who has achieved mastery and examine what it took to get there. Today on the show I have a good friend of mine, Jay Fiset. He’s well known for JVology. He’s also known for a wonderful event I’ve been too called Mastermind to Millions. Jay, welcome to the show Respect the Grind, thank you so much for having me.
Jay Fiset: Stefan, I really appreciate having the opportunity to come chat about what it takes to make things happen. Thank you for having me.
Stefan Arnio: Awesome. Jay, for the people at home who don’t know who Jay Fiset is, can you tell us in your own words a little bit about yourself so the kids at home know who he is.
Jay Fiset: Sure. This always makes me laugh doing this. Short version is this, is that I spent over 30 years in the intense personal development transformation world. We have about 40,000 people who have gone through our doors doing amazing work about what makes them tick, how to apply themselves in terms of mastery, the topic of your show. About eight years again, through a weird turn of events, I decided I wanted to not just do the face to face heart to heart work. I wanted to actually master this thing called online marketing, which that was a whole adventure in and of itself. That gave birth to a couple of different brands. One of which is Mastermind to Millions where we teach authors, experts, entrepreneurs to position, launch and leap their own mastermind groups. And another business which is called JVology, the perfect mix of people, fun, and profit. We’ve been thrilled to have you come hang out with us.
Stefan Arnio: Been a couple times, yeah.
Jay Fiset: Yeah, and that’s really about assisting people to build long term relationships or joint ventures so that when things like this happen, your friend starts a podcast, I can text and say, “Hey, can you have me on, please?” Those are the three key areas. Personal development, mastermind groups and joint ventures and joint venture training. We’ve been at those combinations for a little over 30 years, which makes me a little bit old.
Stefan Arnio: That’s amazing Jay. I’m saying in 31 years old. You’ve been doing this for 31 years. That’s amazing. 1986 must have been a great year. I think it’s amazing that you’ve been in this business for 31 years and survived because a lot of guys, I’ve been to JVology. Your group there where you have all this experts, thought leaders, info marketers showing up. There’s a revolving door. They come and they go. A lot of guys come in. They don’t make it. They last for about a year. They last for six months, and then they’re back to being a realtor or back to some job they had before. What’s the difference between the people who survive a long time in this business and the flash in the pan people?
Jay Fiset: Oh, that’s a big question. I’m going to give you the small pat answer that takes most people a lifetime to discover. I was very blessed, really, really blessed at about 19 years old to stumble upon what I believed at the time and has proven to be true 30 plus years later what my purpose in life was. I think that many people are attracted, and this is whether it’s internet marketing, this is whether it’s speaking, this is whether it’s coaching, any business, whether it’s real estate investing and flipping, and all those pieces, I think that many people are motivated by the glitz and the perception of freedom and money than they are driven by their mission and purpose.
I crafted a mission statement quite literally 30 years ago. The essence of that mission statement still remains true. It’s not a job. It’s not a business. It’s not a lifestyle. It’s a mission. It’s what I chose to do. I’ve had epic wins and successes that I’m thrilled about. I’ve also been neck deep in shit and sometimes worse than neck deep in shit. Neither of which, and this might sound a little strange, neither of which matter much as long as I’m on mission.
I don’t know how to say that. Like I’ve had people say, “You don’t celebrate.” I’m just like, “Well, this too shall pass.” Same as when the shit, it’s like, “Shouldn’t you be upset?” It’s like, well, no. This too shall pass. I really think that it is lack of clarity, lack of commitment, lack of awareness of mission for people that flip in and out. Those of us that are at it 10, 20, 30 years later, I think it is a clarity of mission and an internal commitment to who I want to be, what I want to do in the world, and the mechanical shade of whatever the business is at any given point in time is whatever it is. I don’t know if that helped answer the question for you, brother.
Stefan Arnio: That’s powerful. It does come down to mission. It comes down to purpose and what are you meant to do. I remember landing in O’Hare airport in Chicago, the most depressing airport in the world. It was gray outside. It was raining. The guys who work at the O’Hare airport in the rain, not happy looking guys. I was looking at the window and thinking, “Man, what would I be doing if I wasn’t doing this?” The answer was nothing. Good thing I’m doing what I’m doing.
Jay, what was life like for you before you found your purpose and before you got onto this path? Was there a struggle? Was there that awkward photo in the album of Jay before he was cool? What was life like?
Jay Fiset: To me I was never cool. That was just not one of the things that was ever used to describe me I don’t think.
Stefan Arnio: Jay Fiset, still not cool says the tombstone.
Jay Fiset: This isn’t exactly the question you asked, but I want to say it because it strikes me with what you were talking about with Chicago at O’Hare and this mission thing. A young man was volunteering at one of our courses. Good kid, really good heart, wanting to help, but was also pretty clear that like, hey, if I got access to Jay and I know what his day rate is, I’m going to pump the man. If there was ever like a five second span, he had a question.
Anyway, so we spend five days together in this particular course. On day four you can tell he doesn’t really know what to make of my answers. Day four evening says, “I think I figured out it out. You are the most successful failure I know.” Going back to the core of your question before is quite literally I graduated high school in Medicine Hat, Alberta. I went and I did a year of pre-law. If you were to look at my attendance rate, that year might be able to be rounded down to six weeks. I absolutely hated.
Came to Calgary. Started a business that I didn’t have a clue how to run, which was construction company that ended up going belly up with a partner. After that I decided I wanted to go back to school, so I went into business administration, figure out what on earth we did wrong. In that process, I took this intense personal development course that helped me heal relationships with my family. Cory, this woman I was in love with from high school, she and I got ourselves back together. We’re happily married now 33 years later. Have two boys.
I went and took this course. Went back to school, and was really just trying to figure out what it was going to be. I got a call to come and participate in the facilitator training program. This is 1988. I didn’t want to go because I knew what the facilitators made. I made more money than that pumping gas in high school, for Christ’s sake.
I still was very clear that the people that were the front of those rooms serving, supporting other human beings with transformation were some of the most perceptive, amazing, almost psychic human beings I’ve ever seen in my entire life.
When they had asked me, I said, “Look. I would love the training because of the value I created when I went through the core courses, and I would love the skills of the facilitator, but I’m not working for you guys. There’s no way I’m working for you guys.” They said, “Well, come apply and see what happens.” That was the beginning of a journey that ended in, there’s a whole bunch of silly stories in there of finishing the course, being sent away, coming back, and getting a job, being fired, ultimately coming back and buying the organization in May of 1991.
I guess that’s a long answer to your question, Stefan, which really boils down to this is that for the most part I was an entrepreneur even through high school all the way through, some of which was legal, some of which was not.
Stefan Arnio: I gotcha. I know what that means. I was real estate, and everybody in real estate was an entrepreneur in high school.
Jay Fiset: I like to say it this way is this whole thing about the personal development work and helping people align their life mission is like I was just in the happiness business from the beginning.
Stefan Arnio: I like that. Happiness is becoming legal now all over Canada and the US. That’s awesome. Jay, I like what you said there, and it’s interesting because you bought a business, so the business you’re in, some that the one that you bought back in the day?
Jay Fiset: Yeah, it still exists.
Stefan Arnio: That’s wild. A lot of guys that are in the transformation space or the training space, they create a business. You bought a business and it survived until today, 2018, which is insane. Tell me about the why buy a business versus just go out there and make your own McDonald’s cheeseburger?
Jay Fiset: That’s a grand question. We have to put some context around this. If I’m giving you too much detail, just jump in and re-direct me. There were really three reasons, one of which was the courses and the programs that that organization delivered, I had never seen anything like it before, the standard of facilitation, the quality of the programs, the consistency of the dlvy, the results that people experienced was a magnitude of 100 stronger, better, more consistent and powerful than anything I had ever seen anywhere on planet earth.
Keeping in mind I’m at this age, literally I’m like 21, 22, by the time this whole thing shakes down. It’s not like I had seen the entire world, but once I had got bitten by this bug, I’d done a couple of other things. Nothing compared. That was point number one.
Point number two is that the organization, when I went to work for them, was actually a nonprofit society. It had been a business that got run into the ground. This group of graduates said this course can’t end, so they created this nonprofit society. The society did quite well for five, six, seven years. Then as often happens in those kinds of organizations, the board of directors and the employees actually doing the work start doing the good old headbutting routine. Basically, then it got driven into the ground.
What they had was great quality content. They had raving fans, and literally what I bought, I wish I had a picture of it. You’re probably too damn young to remember this. Do you remember those recipe card boxes from the olden days?
Stefan Arnio: Oh, yeah, my mom had them with all the cookie recipes and whatever recipes.
Jay Fiset: Okay, so quite literally what I bought, and this nonprofit society basically took that nonprofit status to heart. Ground it into the dirt, and literally what I did as the 18th employee, least likely to succeed. I was the 18th employee. Had zero money because I had just finished getting out of business adminstration, is that I took on debt of just shy of $60,000 with the promise to pay it off in six months when I had been making-
Stefan Arnio: In the 90s too. That’s a lot of money in the 90s.
Jay Fiset: That was starting in 1990 into the beginning of 1991.
Stefan Arnio: Minimum wage back then was like $5 an hour or something, $4?
Jay Fiset: This was a big struggle by the way. I was going to school and paying my way through school waiting tables at Nick’s Steakhouse in Calgary, Alberta. I think you actually know Nick’s Steakhouse.
Stefan Arnio: Oh, I’ve eaten at Nick’s Steakhouse, man. It’s still there.
Jay Fiset: Totally. It’s still my favorite pizza in the universe. I paid my way through school and I worked two nights a week there, and I made about 1,400 bucks a month waiting tables going to school. I finished school and I get this job as a junior, junior, junior, junior facilitator in training, and the pay was 1,000 a month. That was the pay. I had to go to work full-time and take a $400 pay cut and pay taxes.
I cut this deal that said I would pay off that debt in that time frame. What I don’t realize, Stefan, is that they didn’t say yes because they thought I would do it. It’s the board of directors made a decision that if the snot nosed kid even pays 5,000 bucks of the debt, that’s better than sticking the universe with the full bill because we’re crumbling and going under.
Stefan Arnio: What was the debt for? They borrowed the money? The box of cards?
Jay Fiset: They grew too fast, so 18 staff members, first and foremost. That got a little bit crazy. And they moved from a crappy old hole in Kensington in Calgary to almost an entire floor on 6th Avenue Southwest in Calgary. The rent frankly crushed them as did the salaries.
There was lease holder improvements that still had to be paid for. There was back rent that had to be paid for. There was staff that had to be paid for. It was a mess is the polite version. It was a great debate about just let this thing die an ugly death and then start over and negotiate.
Stefan Arnio: Take the box of cards and just get out of there.
Jay Fiset: Exactly, and there’s a bunch of silly stories in there as well, b really what it boiled down to was this. If I wanted us to have a clean, fresh start, then that transition had to be handled in integrity. And, if I wanted to make sure there was still some momentum behind the organization, then it dying an ugly death is not going to help anyone or anything in any way, shape, or form.
I went and cut this deal with the board of directors. They said yes not because they thought they’d be held to it, but because they thought it would pay off some of the debt. Six months to pay off all of the money. By the third month the board of directors was coming in with checks to personally support me in handling that debt. It was May 21st, 1991, they transferred the rights and assets to me. That was how that transpired. it was a very convoluted and complex process because there’s 17 other people that should have done that not me. There was all kinds of drama and entertainment and all the rest of it. Then of course a couple of them ended up coming to work for me that I had to fire later. Just all the fun and entertainment of being a 22 year old clueless kid with a mission.
Stefan Arnio: Wow, save the world, change the world like every kid, every Millennial wants nowadays.
Jay Fiset: Honest to goodness, I still believe it is that whole piece is that I fervently believe then and I believe now that everything we do is about raising conscious and helping people to wake up enough to do their own thing on planet earth instead of being an unconscious sheep. That to me is what makes all those ups and downs and ins and outs just like, whatever. We’ll figure that shit out.
Stefan Arnio: Let me ask you this, Jay. What was so special about that content? What was so special about the magic in Frosty the Snowman’s old silk hat you found? What was the magic about that that made you just dedicate your life to it?
Jay Fiset: That’s a really personal story. I’ll do my best to give you the shortest version of it. I’ll give you the intellectual, and then I’ll give you the specific. The content is one thing. Make no mistake about it, and I believe that we still teach some of the 10, 12 fundamental truths of human success and human happiness. Let’s be clear about it. It’s the same 10 or 12 fundamental truths that have been taught, hell, back into the Koran, the Bible, every single personal development course, in AA. It’s slightly different page from the same fundamentals. Let us be clear.
Content is one thing. Contextual delivery and what it actually means to a human being is another thing altogether. I believe that what we deliver in those transformational programs is one of the best combinations of what I call head, heart, feet.
There’s lots of large training organizations, things that are very distinction related. It’s quite heady. It’s like, well we’ll us this word instead of that word, and I know you know what I’m talking about. That has value, all of those pieces, but you know what? I was always a smart kid. I could not go to school and get 95s, which is what I did for all of schooling, up until pre-law, and then that didn’t work out so well. That school didn’t transfer very well. I was always a smart kid. Tricking my brain because of a word or a distinction or a NLP pattern, it was just a rearranging deck chairs to me.
What was different in this course was that there was a bridge between this actually made sense and was not some airy-fairy, woo-woo bullshit, number one. Then number two, it broke through to my heart in terms of what was really most important in my life, in my world, full stop. Then the transition between those two pieces of this isn’t just a novel idea. How am I going to be this in the world? How am I going to put this into action? How am I going to show up and heal relationships with my dad? How am I going to show you and be honest enough to tell Cory that I dearly love her?
At the time, by the way, I couldn’t utter those words because I was a chicken shit for lots of different reasons. It really is that the best, and by the way I said this long before I owned it, the best combination of head, heart, feet that I’ve ever come across anywhere.
Stefan Arnio: There just was some magic in that combination.
Jay Fiset: Yeah. It’s highly experiential. It is here is the concept, what does it actually mean, and what goes on. I’ll tell you absolute without a doubt have I not had that intervention of stumbling across this course, and by the way when I went to the course I didn’t think I was going to a personal development course. I thought I was going to a sales course. I didn’t even know what the hell I was getting into. That’s a funny story as well.
If I hadn’t “accidentally,” if one would believe in those, stumbled into that course I’ve said many times number one, I would not be married to my dear, lovely wife. I would likely be struggling with addictions, and I’d be shuffling my money between alimony payments is what would have transpired without a doubt.
Stefan Arnio: So, let me ask you this, Jay. I talk to entrepreneurs all the time. This is a show where we interview entrepreneurs. I think entrepreneur is the new rock star in the economy today. People don’t worship rockstars anymore. Rock and roll is done. What’s in place of that is Gary Vee and Grant Cardone and these entrepreneur rock star guys. Their brand is big and all this. How important is personal development to succeeding as an entrepreneur these days?
Jay Fiset: I’m going to say to you I don’t think it’s just these days. I think it’s the beginning of time. Every battle is first one insight. I don’t give a shit what anybody wants to say about techniques and tools and processes and all the rest of it. We live in a world right now that is drowning in information. Nobody needs to know how to do anything. Aren’t allowed anything short of brain surgery, we can Google. You and I could figure it out in Google in 15 minutes period. That is not what the issue is. That is not what is necessary. What the world desperately, desperately requires. We are grabbing information. We are starving for wisdom and the capacity to direct our energy.
The truth of the matter is this. Most of humanity cannot direct their energy and it’s getting worse, and worse, and worse in terms of these beautiful like damnable devices. The game is won or lost internally. The truth of the matter is I have a bit of a unique perspective on this. When I start in this personal development realm. I kid you not. People say it’s like, “So, you did one of those personal development courses?” “Oh, yeah, it was amazing, astounding, changed my life.” “Well, you know you look pretty normal. What was wrong with you?”
It was like you’d have to have something seriously wrong with you if you go do some of that weird shit. Where today it’s virtually, particularly in the entrepreneurial spaces, virtually it’s like if you’re not doing something like that, what the hell is up? What’s transpiring?
To me, and I can go on a big long rant about this. I’ll try and keep it concise. If people aren’t dedicated to discovering what their prime unconscious drivers are, if they are not dedicated to actually figuring out the state of being that they want to be committed to in their lives, if they are not clear and conscious enough to align their actions and the design of their life to line those pieces up, I don’t give a shit how smart, how educated, how much money they invest, how glitzy it looks on their goddamn Facebook page, they are heading for an epic fall. Period. It is not a question of if. It is only when.
30-odd years later, I used to say this after I’d been at it about 18 years. It’s like, well, I’m not going to worry about somebody agreeing or disagreeing because here’s the truth. In time I get to be right. 1000%, every single time, in time I get to be right. It’s not if, it’s when. I’ll stop my rant, but I think it’s a little bit important as you can tell.
Stefan Arnio: Yeah, yeah. It’s amazing. I teach people real estate and real estate flipping, raising money, a lot of techniques. We came out with a personal development course. I didn’t want to make a personal development course, but I realized I’d done some work that maybe the other students hadn’t done. The people who haven’t done the personal development work, you give them the keys to the Ferrari. You give them the keys to the kingdom. You give them the keys to the business. They crash it right away. What are some of the fundamental things someone has to have aligned on the inside before they start succeeding in business?
Jay Fiset: I’m going to tweak that question just a little bit, Stefan, because people can succeed in business this fast being out of alignment, but it’s not sustainable. It’s a little bit of a tricky question. This is a little bit of what I was alluding to earlier, which is Joe Bob has the consciousness of a potato and he’s making lots of money. Clearly I don’t need to do that dumb shit. Joe Bob does have the consciousness of a potato. You’re absolutely right. That consciousness is going to bite him in the ass at some point in time. I can guarantee it.
I’ve only personally worked with 40,000 people, and I’ve been doing it for 30 years. In time, I’ll get to be right about this.
Stefan Arnio: Is it karma? Is that another fancy word for karma that Jo Bob is a potato, and karma is going to bite him in his potato ass?
Jay Fiset: I wouldn’t use those words. By the way, just to be clear it is that many a time in my younger days if I look back I describe myself is I had the consciousness of a potato. Joe Bob isn’t purely fictional. To answer your question, for sustained, and this is what I want to tweak. For sustained success, and not just financially, but I’m talking about in our relationships, with our families, taking care of our health, having some freedom through money, making a meaningful contribution in the world, for those pieces to actually occur, first and foremost is that I’ve got to understand what my needs are.
Most of the universe is still running around being motivated primary by their unmet needs, which they can’t, number, consciously acknowledge, and number two, they don’t really want to, even if they did consciously acknowledge it, they don’t want to tell anybody. They think there’s something wrong with having these needs and these wants.
At the top of the list, figure out what the hell the needs are, and then let’s design our life, let’s design our business, let’s design our relationships so that those things are naturally, easily, and joyfully met. Once people start coming from the space of an absence of needs, that absolutely transforms every single thing about who they are, how they show up, what they create.
Stefan Arnio: I feel like there’s vague terms. I want to bite into this a little more. Are we talking Tony Robbin’s needs, certainty, uncertainty, love and belonging? Are we talking about those needs?
Jay Fiset: Yes and no. I’ll say it in another manner. By the way, that’s a model that works, and if somebody was willing to actually dive into that, that would actually get them to a particular degree. There are more complex and more specific models. Just to be clear about, I’m happy to share with you, Stefan, that this probably takes a little bit longer. Let’s just use some of the easiest ones … I say easiest and then I get started. It’s like that’s not easy. One of the key pies that transpires for us as human beings is that what we think we want and need is a placeholder for something much deeper.
It’s interesting. Often what we think we were and need, what it’s placeholding, is actually a deep seated fear, a limitation, a perception of lack, a perception of not good enough, a perception of a whole variety of things that we as human beings make up these unusual beliefs and perspectives that block and hinder.
Often, what transpires is that if we can’t just tell the truth. By the way, if we just go back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, one of the simplest models in the universe is that if you talk to people, most of them, if they have a little bit of awareness, they’re on the path to enlightenment. They’re on the path to self-actualization. They’re on the path to all those sorts of things. The truth of the matter is, their relationships don’t work. They are still epically stuck down at their basic needs, and with a leg in, trying to create relationships, or their love, belonging, and tribal connection needs are met.
We’ve got a world full of people trying to pretend they are further along than they are just bites them in the ass. If we could just back up the freaking bus, and have our relationships with our kids work. Our relationships with our moms and dads work, that one foundational piece provides a pathway to self-actualization. We’ve got a bunch of, pardon my language, but I’m going to say this clear as I can, bunch of fucking wingnuts wandering around preaching and pretending to be self-actualized when they can’t have a relationship that lasts more than 90 days, for Christ’s sake. I went on a rant, sorry. That sometimes happens.
Stefan Arnio: With deep stuff. I know some people are going to listen to this, and go yeah, man. Some people are going to listen to it and be like I have no idea what they’re talking about.
Jay Fiset: And some of them are going to say, “He’s an asshole.” All three are probably right.
Stefan Arnio: Maybe. I’m probably the asshole on this show. Don’t worry, Jay. Don’t worry, Jay. I got you there, buddy. With all that, you’ve been driving this business for a long time, Jay. 31 years, congratulations. That’s unbelievable. What’s the key to having a sustainable business especially in training and information? 31 years is a long, long time. I’ve been in the information space for like five or six years now, real estate for 10. You get a medal at 10 years. They give you a medal for being around that long. 31 years, what’s the key to having a sustainable model, sustainable business? How do you do that?
Jay Fiset: Well, I’ll tell you what I did that I know made a monumental difference. Eons ago, like back in 1991, I crafted and created a database where we tracked people’s contact, interest, needs requirements, all those pieces. The truth of the matter is what I should have done is we were about nine years ahead of Infusionsoft and One Shopping Cart and all of those kinds of things. I should have left the personal development business, and actually done a software business because that piece of software that we created, spent about 400,000 buck on it by the way, way back when. That piece of software is what kept us in business when all sorts of other organizations came and left.
We could serve. We knew where they were at. We knew what was going on. Those little recipe boxes that had 358 people in them was the beginning of that database. That tracking not just of our clients, but their wants, their needs, their requirements, their family, drove a whole bunch of specific design. When I bought that organization, it had about 200 hours of content. At last count, we were just shy of 1,000 hours of content. We designed, developed, created programs, structures. I just finished a facilitator development program at the summit we designed through that process. I think it was really tracking data.
I want to be clear about this. I’m not talking great, you’ve got Infusion software and Shopping Cart and you have a bunch of email addresses. Our level of knowledge of our client for back in the 90s was stunning. Absolutely, utterly, and completely stunning.
The short answer is this. We adopted technology that nobody else was doing at the time, and we used it to build relationships and to help people fulfill the needs that they wanted, going back to the previous comment. In that, certainly we had a bunch of ups and downs and all those sorts of things through that process, but that’s what even in the skinniest of times, we just went to our database. Who can we serve? Who can we help? What needs have we not addressed yet? That’s one of the reasons why we ended up with 17 different weekend programs because people asked us to deliver, or there was a huge need that was communicated to us. That would be the short answer.
Stefan Arnio: What I love about what you’re saying there, Jay, is two major marketing keys. One is knowing the database, having the database in the first place. I love the story of Harry Rosen. Harry Rosen was a guy, Canadian, clothier guy, dressing up men downtown Toronto. Back in the 50s, he had a box of cards and he wrote everybody’s name down, and their dog’s name, and their wife’s name, and that box of cards turned into a CRM down the road, and Harry Rosen’s a great retailer now. There’s that, which is amazing and interesting and the relationships and the systematization of that.
The other thing that I love about what you said is knowing your customer and what they want. Talk to me a little bit about exactly how to know what is it that your customer wants, and filling that niche with the exact right product. This is some that I think entrepreneurs mess up all the time. We make what we want. It’s like Christmas. I’m going to get you the gift I wish I got to you, and then you’re going to give me the gift you wish you got to me, and neither of us is happy.
Jay Fiset: Yay, you got a blender. Here’s what we did. We did it very, very early. In every single one of the programs, and by the way I’m going to say something you’ll think is probably silly, but it’s true nonetheless. When you’ve been at something as long as I have, there are things that work so well that we forget to do them.
Stefan Arnio: Right, it’s like Wayne Gretzky. He’s a good hockey player, bad coach because he’s unconsciously competent. He doesn’t know to drop his wrist or whatever. He just does it and forgets about it.
Jay Fiset: Yeah. So here I was at the beginning. We closed the deal for this company. They don’t have a database. I hire somebody to do a database on a PC. We get it, and I’m pretty excited about it, but then it’s like wait a second. There’s only one person who can work on the database at a time. To get a second person, way back when they only thing was something called Token Ring, which cost more than the computers to connect it to. Anyway, we ended up throwing that thing away. I bought a Mac. I started with File Maker Pro 1.2 about 6:00 at night.
Stefan Arnio: You’re dating yourself.
Jay Fiset: I know. 6:00 at night one night and I didn’t go to bed. At 8:00 the next morning we had the framework of the database that we continued to use and develop for the next 20 plus years. Anyway, the point to that is once that was there, I just wanted to know everything about everyone period. Every single time we did a course, there was a feedback sheet about what we could do better and all sorts of things, and on the back is that we would survey them about different content, different ideas, different things that they believed they needed to be able to apply and to integrate what they learned in a better manner.
That’s where Masterminds came out of. Was, hey, I want some long term support group. Or, one of the very first things we designed was something called the couples weekend because at the time it was probably 75% women, so what do I need to get this done? It’s like I need my husband, my partner, my boyfriend to understand what the hell just transpired. So, we designed a couples weekend. Literally we just surveyed them, and then we put those forms that they filled out into their file in the database. If ever we were stuck for a little cash or a little idea it’s like, well, let’s go and see in terms of the interest on topics, what topic has the most interest? It’s like, jeez, there’s 490 people who said they’re interested in a couples weekend.
Why don’t we frame out what it’s going to be, make some phone calls, see if we could sell it because we generally sell it before we build it. We would do that. It’s like great. We got 30 people in the couple’s weekend. We’re going to design it. That’s how we went about that, but we quite literally if you took a course from us, you filled out one of this forms. By the way, depending how many times you took it because we did personal best level one, personal best level two, personal best level three, we would just continue to update that data in those processes.
I set up the system for when my sales people would call people, they could not leave that person’s file until they updated what they were most interested in. They couldn’t just say, “Hey, it was great to talk to you Stefan. Bye.” They couldn’t get out to call the next person until they updated what the interests were. It’s like, “Hey, what are you working on? What do you think is coming up in your life and in your world? Would do you think you’re going to need in the next six to nine months?” We just kept asking them, and asking them, and asking them.
Stefan Arnio: Wow, there’s a lot of very sophisticated marketing techniques going on there under the hood. I wish we could do a play by play of how sophisticated some of that is doing the surveys. Again, that’s where companies live or die is they get that product matched with the exact same thing the person wants. I always talk about blackberry research emotion. They’re sitting on a billion dollars of cash at one point. They can’t come out with the next phone. They can’t figure it out. All they need to do is bring a couple 16 year old girls in the board room and say, “Okay, girls, what do you want to see?” They could have solved the problem, but they never surveyed the customer.
There’s massive, massive value in that piece you just said. Jay, let me ask you this-
Jay Fiset: I got to tell you one other thing because I think you’ll appreciate this.
Stefan Arnio: I appreciate it all. Bring it, man.
Jay Fiset: All of those surveys, one of the things we kept hearing about was people wanted to know how we were surviving when other organizations were flying in and flying out, and flying in and never coming back, and all those sorts of things. Ages again I did this weekend workshop for people to design databases custom to their audience and what they were going to build. The honest to goodness truth is it was not well received. I think we only had like 12 people in it or something like that. Of the 12 people, not one of them implemented the database stuff because it just was like no legs, no landing gear. They just couldn’t connect it. We were just a little bit ahead of the curve in that domain. It was like, “No, I don’t think so. That doesn’t make sense.” They couldn’t connect those dots at the time.
Stefan Arnio: Well, it’s mega high level. What you said there, Jay, I feel bad because that’s almost like $1,000 you should charge everybody listening to this podcast right now for what you told them. They didn’t pay. They didn’t know how awesome and amazing and timely that is. Even today, my company, we take surveys at events all the time. I don’t know where they go after. I’m pretty sure we’re not attaching them to files in CRM. I’m pretty sure we’re not doing that. Sometimes we’re left on a launch or a product. We’re launching something to a dead space because nobody wants it, or nobody perceives they want it, or maybe they think they need it 12 months from now but not today.
There is some extremely high level marketing, real gear, and meat in what you’re saying, but unfortunately it might be falling on deaf ears because until you burn the bread a couple of times you’re not going to listen to this master baker in front of your face.
Stefan Arnio: Let me ask you this, Jay. You started out in your own words a bit of a failure. Today, I’d say you’re a success. Did success change you, or did you change who you were to become a success?
Jay Fiset: Well, I don’t think either changed, to be perfectly honest with you. I think that it depends on the measure of that. I think at any given point in time, I think I’ve stayed true to my mission. If you were to take a snapshot at any point in time over the last 30 years, by most people’s standards, you would say one of two things. He’s brilliant and he’s killing it, or he’s almost dead and going bankrupt and just randomly take them. That would happen. To me a good example of that is, we bought this old 1910 brick warehouse downtown Calgary. Decided we were going to renovate this thing. It turned into an epic, epic error. We thought we were going to have to bootstrap like a quarter million bucks and it was going to take us a couple of years. If we built it ourselves, my brother-in-law had built homes. It was all going to be fine. We were going to do it ourselves, blah blah blah.
We buy it. We get a little bit down the road and we discover that he can’t do any of the work because it’s a commercial property. It all has to be done through ticketed electricians, ticketed plumbers, ticketed all those sorts of things because otherwise we can’t get building permits for it. What we thought was going to be a stretch and a son of a bitch at a quarter million dollars turned into $770,000.
Stefan Arnio: A mega son of a bitch.
Jay Fiset: I spend literally five years of my life while we were wrestling with that building. I spend five years of my life every five cents that came through the door, we divided it seven ways and just paid people. It was just this cash management juggle. It was so bad that that brother-in-law and his wife, my sister Lynn, came to do an intervention with Cory and I which was three and a half years in. It was like you guys need to stop this. This is going to kill you and you’re not making any money. It’s like, look, we’re this far in. We’re going to see it through. It’s like, no you need to do this. No. We’re this far through. We’re going to see it through.
I sold that building for 2.5 million bucks a couple of years ago, and we bought it for 220 or something like that. It housed our business and it housed our home for like 22 years for free because we rented out the other spaces. That was one of the foundational pieces of creating wealth, but if you were to look at that first seven years, you’d think I was batshit crazy. But, I wasn’t. What I mean by that, and also when I sold and made the big money, you might think that that was a great thing or I’m batshit crazy, but I wasn’t. It was just what was the choice that was most in alignment with the mission, and the other mechanical shit I’m not going to get too sucked in or worried about.
I don’t think it changed. I just think I got clear about what I wanted, who I wanted to be, what I was going to do. If I tried something, I’d do my damnedest to see it through. Which, by the way, isn’t any different than today.
Stefan Arnio: That’s powerful. Jay, we got about 10 minutes or so left. Joint ventures and masterminds. I know you from JVology. I know you from coming out to your group of people who they’re all different types of leaders. I know there’s results based people. There’s heart based entrepreneurs there. Tell me a little bit about why you’re spending all this time and effort and energy on JVology and joint ventures, and then we’re going to segue into masterminds because those are two things.
I think joint ventures are a big black box to a lot of entrepreneurs. They don’t know much about it. Masterminds are a totally abused word that people don’t even know what that is. They don’t know what it is. Maybe they think they belong to one, but they don’t.
Jay Fiset: They’re paying for one, but it just isn’t one.
Stefan Arnio: Yeah.
Jay Fiset: To answer that question, I’m just going to take one step back because my three brands, the creator’s code, this is the personal development stuff we’ve been talking about that I’ve been at for 30 plus years. JVology which actually preceded mastermind to millions, which most people don’t get. Preceded it. Have launched let’s call it six or seven years again. Then mastermind to millions really picked up steam end of 2014, beginning of 2015. That’s the range of those.
If we take two steps back there’s a golden thread between all three of those businesses, which is this. They all stand for creating conscious communities of choice. What that means to me in a nutshell is this, is that most entrepreneurs are far too independent. They want to try and do it on their own. They want to reinvent with wheel. They want to build and buy. I’m going to reinvent the wheel, and mine’s going to be rounder and smoother, and it’s going to be much, much, much better. Go to the store and buy a fucking wheel thank you very much.
Stefan Arnio: We can swear on Respect the Grind. We just respect the grind. That’s okay.
Jay Fiset: I’m very clear that through all the ups and downs that I was talking to you about, that there has been one thing, one thing that has absolutely made the most difference for me even way back when, when I didn’t really get what a mastermind group was, when I didn’t understand what a joint venture was. Here’s what I did have. I had an unbelievably committed family who all worked with and for me. I had a circle of friends. I still have my dearest friends from elementary school that I can count on, that are always there for me, all of those pieces.
This idea of conscious community of choice, it just became clearer and clearer and clearer to me as I got a little older and had a little more perspective is that I’m here because of the people that I surrounded myself with. I’m here because of my willingness to support other people. I’m here because of my willingness to accept support when shit has hit the fan. I would not be here if that wasn’t the case.
JVology really became this idea of well what if? I can’t do everything that my clients want and need. It’d be crazy to, but I know lots of great people like you. When people ask me about real estate, I always talk about you. I always talk about Mike Wolf. You want to learn to do your own? Do you want to learn to do turnkey businesses? Poof. You’re the two people that I always recommend based on what the answer to that question is.
It just became clear to me that I wanted to more strategically create a conscious community of choice around my businesses, around who do I serve and support, around how is that going to go. Mastermind to millions became this next element to that. If this is so game changing for me, and we’ve integrated it into our personal development thing, and I’ve launched hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of masterminds to support people to live into that transformation, why wouldn’t we support other people with that process?
All of the people who are jumping into the coaching world, they’re trying to trade time for money, that is a broken model before they start. We could help with that. That’s really this answer of how those pieces came together, which is I want to serve and support human beings to create conscious communities of choice, so they’ve got the support when it’s great. They’ve got the support when it’s shitty that they can actually be bold and brave enough to plant a flag and to lead a tribe, that their tribe has the support that they need.
I’ll say just one last thing on that because I know you do a lot of reading and stuff as well. We are heading for a time of change on planet earth that is unlike anything humanity has ever experienced. We can all make up stories of what it’s going to be of we’re going to be enhanced. We’re not going to be enhanced. We’re going to be fighting the machine. Who the hell knows? The truth is we don’t know.
What we do know is this, is that change continues to accelerate. It’s going to get more difficult. Just a little sidebar, by the way if you question this, then number one … That might be just statewide. I might actually be wrong about this. One of the top, I’ll say this. One of the top employment areas in the United States is transportation and delivery. Think taxis, UPS, long hauls, big trucks, all those sorts of things.
We are quite literally about five years, just five years from all of those jobs being gone. Gone. Not slightly adjusted, gone. Buy a new car that does this thing automatically, and you and your salary and your requirements are no longer necessary. It’s one of the top employment aspects of all of the United States. That’s just one teeny, tiny, industry.
Anyway, we’re going to head into a time that we don’t know what’s going to happen. Here’s the one thing I know to be true. All the other shit I don’t know. This part I do. When things are difficult, what human beings have always done and have done well, is that we have clustered together. We have served and supported. We have stood up for one another. Even in tragedy like 9/11. We can come together beautifully.
Part of my mission for mastermind to millions, that’s a double entendre. Yes, I want you to make great money all those things, but I also want millions of people in mastermind groups so that that support is there when these changes come our way. That’s the only way we’re going to have a snowball’s chance in hell is my humble opinion. That was a long answer, but really that’s the ame.
Stefan Arnio: It’s brilliant. Bringing people together through the hard times is really how you get through them. Jay, we got to wrap up here. What’s the one thing that young people need to succeed these days? What do you think has been lost to the generations? Talk about the young people now? What do they need?
Jay Fiset: I wish I knew the answer. I got two boys, 12 and Jax will be 8 this summer. It’s not really different than what I just said. It is one of the reasons why family is so important to me is that they need community. They need real connection. They need to connect with human beings at a level beyond 144 characters. I know you can text longer now, but it was that at one point in time. The capacity to navigate and have some emotional intelligence. To be able to stand both in good and bad. They need some freaking resilience because the truth of the matter is that the vast majority of North American kids, and I a guilty of this. We do our best. We talk about this a lot. We didn’t want to raise self righteous, entitled, shit head, North American kids. Some days I think we’re succeeding, and some days I think we’re failing.
It really is this piece of contribution. It is this piece of ownership. It is this piece of accountability. It is this piece of being in relationships, and it is this piece of navigating presence and directing energy. Simply put, we’re doing our best, and I look forward to coming back to this episode in 10 years and saying we did it well or we didn’t. It is to me in my life in all seriousness, it’s the most important question that I feel I don’t have a complete answer to, but I’m trying to do my best.
Stefan Arnio: Well, it sounds like we just got to respect the grind, you know? Just respect it, keep grinding, keep going. Jay, how can people get in touch with you if they want to know more about JVology or maybe mastermind to millions?
Jay Fiset: Probably the easiest because we’ve always got dates and stuff going on all over the place, is to just go to JayFiset.com. If they’re interested in discovering what a mastermind actually is, and maybe even running one, we always have a bunch of free resources at mastermindtomillions.com. JVology, we always have a bunch of free resources there as well, which is just JVology.com. Yeah, we’re easy to find. Me or my assistant is always on Facebook in some way, shape, or form.
Stefan Arnio: Awesome, well, thank you so much for being on the show today, Jay.
Jay Fiset: I appreciate it brother. Thanks for having me.
Stefan Arnio: Thank you. Hey, it’s Stefan Arnio here. Thank you for listening to another episode of Respect the Grind. If you love the content today, I want to invite you to take a look at my program Stefan Arnio’s Blueprint to Cash. If you’re somebody who’s just getting into real estate, or maybe you’re somebody who’s already in real estate, has a couple properties under their belt and wants to get serious, this is the program for you. The Blueprint to Cash is a very powerful program. My team uses it. I use it. It’s the exact steps you need to get a deal in eight weeks or less. If you’re somebody who wants to acquire more deals, acquire deals at 40 to 60 cents to the dollar, or just get all around better at real estate, check out my program at BlueprinttoCash.com/podcast. I got a special offer waiting for you. That’s BlueprinttoCash.com/podcast. Try it out. You’re going to love it. It’s a great start in real estate, the Blueprint to Cash. It’s also a great restart if you’re somebody looking to take it to the next level. I’ll see you guys on the other side. Respect the Grind.