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“Alignment” isn’t a concept you probably think about on a day-to-day basis, but it’s definitely an idea that’s worth considering.
The more aligned you are—the more in-tune you are with your path, your purpose, and your truth—the more capable you are of achieving your goals and your dreams.
Those objectives that—for one reason or another—always seem mired between outright impossible and just out of reach.
And as an entrepreneur, it’s the moonshots you seek. It’s the reason you were never content working the nine-to-five, and the reason you struck out on your own to do something utterly incredible. Something that’s as profitable as it is memorable, and as beneficial for you as it is beneficial for the world at large.
Moonshots aren’t what make successful entrepreneurs, they’re what successful entrepreneurs accomplish after they’ve achieved alignment.
Today on Making Bank, host Josh Felber invites aligned entrepreneur and fellow moonshot-taker, Giovanni Marsico onto the show.
As the founder and director of Archangel Academy, Giovanni spends his days connecting big-hearted entrepreneurs looking to make the world a better place through a combination of philanthropy and purpose-driven entrepreneurship.
Prior to launching the Academy, Giovanni owned a super-successful real estate career in his hometown of a Toronto—a career he has since abandoned entirely to improve his alignment—selling pre-construction condominium units.
Tune in-to hear Giovanni explain how and why he pivoted away from a lucrative career to pursue something that extended beyond his own self-interest, as well as…
- How you can not only discover your gifts but also who you can serve with those gifts.
- Why your purpose is the path itself, not the destination.
- The importance of helping yourself before helping others.
- What happens when you align those with particular skills with those who have particular passions.
- The art of “rejection marketing”.
- Why moonshots can’t be defined, let alone achieved, until you find your alignment.
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Moonshot Entrepreneurship with Guest Giovanni Marsico: MakingBank S2Ep27
Josh: Welcome to Making Bank, I am Josh Felber, where we uncover the success strategies and the secrets of the top 1%, so you can amplify and transform your life and your business today. I’m really honored to have today’s guest on this show, Giovanni Marsico and he’s the founder of Archangel Academy. A learning platform and community of big hearted entrepreneur’s and superheroes that are making the world a better place through purpose-driven entrepreneurship and philanthropy. Giovanni hosts his flagship private event Archangel Mastermind every January in Los Angeles area and hotels in his large-scale fundraisers in his hometown of Toronto every September for thousands of entrepreneur’s called Archangel Summit. Where all of the proceeds are used to support various charities and offer microloans to entrepreneur’s creating a positive impact. Giovanni, I’m excited to have you on the show and it is an honor for you to be in here today.
Giovanni: Thank you so much for having me.
Josh: So, I guess, start off, tell me a little about what you do real quick. And then, how you got to where you are today.
Giovanni: Okay, so my fun answer to that, what do you do question, is that I am a talent scout and connector and curator of superheroes. I’m a superhero geek. I have been since I was a kid and I use that term to reference entrepreneur’s who are super successful, but also creating a big impact and want to make the world a better place. And I facilitate that mainly now through live events, which in my wheelhouse in terms of producing immersive experiences as well as an online academy that we’re now launching.
Josh: Awesome. And so … and I know, I remember, I wanted to make this last years and I just couldn’t make the schedule so I’m excited to attend next year for sure. Tell us a little bit about what got you to where you … Or what were you doing previously? How’d you get to where you are today? What were some of those defining moments in your life, I guess?
Giovanni: Sure, so, previous to this I was in the real estate space in Toronto, which is where I live. Doing really, really well in a very unique niche selling pre-construction condos to investors and I was one of the top people in that industry and I couldn’t stand it. But, I got into it because, like many I guess entrepreneur’s, you have to pay bills and you try to use whatever your talents are to make the most amount of money. And then, you get the golden handcuffs of needing to support what you’re already doing. And, at the same time, for me, and I know this happens to a lot of people because I have this discussion a lot. You feel like there’s something missing. There’s no fulfillment and depression kicks in. Or anxiety. And the silver lining was that by having that success it allowed me to start joining mastermind groups and going to conferences and investing a lot of my own self development and business development. And through that whole process, I would invest six figures a year in events that I would attend. Because I love learning, I love growing.
And I always felt like in the events I attended there were things missing. And I got so frustrated that I just decided to use my gifts of event production to create the event I wanted to attend. And that was back in 2014 with the people that I wanted to surround myself with. Which are people like me. You know, superhero analogies. And it was always a side project, because I was still doing real estate.
Giovanni: Up until … So, it was always one annual private high-level mastermind in Los Angeles every January. And then, at the last year, I had a big awakening and so much catalyst for growth and I decided I’m cutting off real estate completely. I’m cutting off people I don’t want in my life completely. And everything changed where now Archangel is my only focus. We do more than one event a year. We have a lot more going on. And my life is completely changed. I’m completely happy, completely fulfilled. And completely aligned with what I believe my path is.
Josh: Alright. So, tell me what is your path and how’d you get … I guess, first of all, how’d you come up with what your path is? Cause I know a lot of entrepreneur’s we struggle with that and it’s like where do I go? Maybe you sell a business or a business fails. Where do I go from here? Like you said, you feel lost. You’re in that space zone.
Giovanni: Right. I think it comes from understanding the connection between discovering what you’re gifts are and discovering who you can serve with them in a way that lights you up. So, the lighting up part is very important. And sometimes it’s invisible to the individual, because you feel like it’s just part of your everyday. You don’t realize how extraordinary you could be at one thing. Like what your “superpowers” could be. And sometimes you need that external feedback of people telling you, “Wow, you’re really good at XYZ.” And for me, as an example, people kept saying over the past three years, “You’re so good at connecting people.” And I thought, what the heck are you talking about?
Giovanni: I just know you and I know her and I think you should meet and blah. And then I realize, oh maybe this is a talent or a skill or a gift that other people don’t quite understand. So, matching up what your innate abilities are, what your talents are, what your gifts are, in a way that helps other people who you love further down their own paths is a key indicator.
The other thing I discovered is your body is like a tomb fork for truth.
Giovanni: I’ll try this analogy, where if you are experiencing highly charged negative emotions, it’s simply your body screaming at you that you aren’t aligned to your path. And on the flip side, if you experience highly charged positive emotions, it’s your body saying now you are aligned.
It can happen in conversations, it can happen in relationships, it can happen in the work you do. And the more you zone in on what that looks like for you, the easier decision making becomes, the easier it is to stay on course.
Josh: And that makes a lot of sense. You have all these energies around and a lot of times we just ignore that and push that off and push that off and brush that off and so, what is your defining purpose and what is that whole focus for you now?
Giovanni: I think it’s an organic thing. It’s not … It’s ever changing, but overall I like to say that my purpose is to make ten billion people smile. So, I’ve had this in my head whereby the time there are ten billion people on the planet, whenever that is, could be the next fifty years, I want to have touched each individual’s lives indirectly through my own tribe. Through my Archangel tribe.
Giovanni: And my purpose is to find other people who are aligned with me, who have the same beliefs, same missions. And help them get further down their own paths. And help them dream bigger and discover what their moonshot is and I love that we’re moonshot. Like their big epic mission, how they’re gonna make change. And provide them with whatever tools and support and connection and resources they need to get to where they want to go.
Josh: And I think one of the key points you mentioned too is it’s organic, it’s ever changing. I don’t think we have just one set thing and as we grow older and as things change throughout the world, I think we have to modify and adapt our mission our purpose for that specifically.
Giovanni: Right, I think some people are so focused on the destination, they miss out on how beautiful the journey is and how beautiful the path is. If you think of your purpose as the path itself versus the destination, it makes life so much better. And just stay aligned to where you are and just have fun with the adventure.
Josh: One thing, what was one or two pivotal points or defining moments that actually transformed your life? That made you take that next step to move towards this path?
Giovanni: A big, big, big one was last summer. I went to a retreat in Ireland hosted by a guy name Philip McKernan. The event is called Brave Soul, where he’s masterful at helping you seek your own truth. And he’s not a woo woo guy at all, he’s like the exact opposite. He’s very Irish and very awesome. But, part of that process is he shines a light on the things you don’t want to shine a light on internally and helps you go deep and figure the stuff out. Let stuff come up. And one of the big aha’s for me on that trip … There were two things. One was, I had this pattern or programming in my head, and belief structures that I have to be selfless. I have to always put other people first, give and sacrifice myself throughout the process. And realize how much bullshit that is, where you’re on a plane using that analogy, if the masks come down you have to put yours on first otherwise you stop breathing you can’t help other people.
What he said on this trip is being selfless is the most selfish thing you can do, because you can’t actually serve. If you’re sacrificing yourself. And I switched, there was this paradigm shift for me, where I switched to leading by example instead of sacrificing and trying to be selfless and never thinking about myself. So, that was a huge shift for me.
Another big shift at that trip was that, at the time, I was very overweight and to me, every additional pound of body fat on my body was a demon I hadn’t addressed, a difficult conversation I hadn’t had, a problem I was trying to hide under the rug. So, for me to lose the weight, I had to address the issues first.
Giovanni: So, I left that … And that was cutting out the wrong people in my life, quitting real estate, all these big major decisions that were plaguing me. And once I did, since January 1st when I quit real estate, I’ve lost 60 pounds.
Josh: That’s awesome. That’s amazing. Can you stick around for a minute? We’ve got to take a break real fast.
Josh: Awesome. I am Josh Felber, you’re watching Making Bank and we’ll be right back. Welcome back to Making Bank. I am Josh Felber. We are speaking with Giovanni Marsico from Archangel Academy and how his life has been transformed to go out and create purpose and fulfillment and helping other entrepreneurs fulfill their dreams and their life as well. Giovanni welcome back to Making Bank.
Giovanni: Thank you sir.
Josh: So, your transformational point, you were over in Ireland? That’s where the mastermind was?
Josh: That’s really cool. And so that’s helped you then create some transformational points in your life. Now how has that affected you moving forward? I know you’ve said you lost weight. You’ve been able to quit real estate. And then, what has that done for your Archangel Academy and moving forward with your focus and your mission?
Giovanni: Oh, we’ve had exponential growth. 2016 our revenue was five times 2015 and I expect the same thing to happen in 2017. Looking strictly from a business model prospective, but in terms of the impact we’ve had and we were able to produce the Archangel Summit event in Toronto where we had 1500 people come out for our very first iteration of this event. Which is unheard of in the event space. And with speakers like Gary Vaynerchuk and Seth Godin and Robin Sharma. And all of the profit from that event is going into a fund where we’re going to be able to use that money to donate to charities, which we’ve already donated over six figures to building three schools. Which I’m super happy about.
And we’re starting a microloan program for startups in my world. Like entrepreneur’s who want to create impact who need some kind of cash flow. So, I’m super excited about that. And we have our online academy launching. Archangel Academy. So, there’s so much impact being able to happen, because of my personal transformation.
Right? So, none of this could have happened unless I started working on myself first. And I’m in a mastermind where we actually connected Genius Network and one of the tools that Joe Polish uses is that handout where you talk about where you are now and where you want to be and how would you rate yourself from one to ten in different areas of your life? And I remember on the financial business side I would always have higher numbers, but on the health, I would have like a two out of ten, relationships, I would have a zero out of ten, because there wasn’t anyone. And now, all that’s flipped, where it’s all nine and ten out of tens. Right? I’m in the most epic love relationship ever. All of my friends are incredible and they’re very aligned with both of us. Business to … Everything’s just magically better.
Giovanni: It’s never perfect and it’s always an upward curve in terms of growth.
Josh: No, and that’s exciting. I know one of the things and at work, I’m utilizing that sheet before is definitely helpful in figuring out where you need to go and how to get there and who you need to have around you for sure. Who’s been some of your role models along the way?
Giovanni: In the events, Joe for sure with what he does with Genius Network. And my good friend Jayson Gaignard with his mastermind talks. I’ve been doing events since I was 16, so I’ve always had passion for that and I look up to, for example, Cirque Di Soleil as the epitome of immersive experiences.
Giovanni: So, when I produce entrepreneurial events, they’re more of a show than a conference. Cause often times I find, and this is what I said, I designed the even I would want to attend. I don’t want it to just be a bunch of speakers on a stage sharing wisdom. That’s important, but for me, it’s more important to also entertain. To have crazy aesthetic, immersive experiences, a lot of connection between the people that are there. So, part of what we do, is we facilitate connection between people who can either … who have aligned passions or if someone has a gift and another person has an obstacle, making sure that those people meet at the event. Because we all go to events where you don’t know who’s in the room.
Giovanni: And I’m very passionate about making those connections happen. Again, leading back to my earlier thing about not realizing how important connecting people was to me.
Josh: Yeah. I know I get the same thing. Everybody’s like, “You’re a connector. You just know the right people to put together and put in place.” So, that’s why I think, that’s why when I met you I was like, “Oh man. He has a lot of similar qualities like I do.”
Josh: How about, I know you said you’re a big superhero person, so what’s one of your superhero mentors or role models?
Giovanni: You’ll love this story. So, my favorite superhero is Professor X from the Xmen and I think I’m the only person who says that. Cause most people say Spiderman or Batman or Superman. And I’ll tell you the backstory. When I was 10, my elementary school did IQ testing and they labeled me as gifted. Which, talking to my parents, they were like, “oh, that’s a wonderful thing. You’re really smart, blah, blah, blah.” And then, the kids in school would pick on me and make fun of me and bully me for being smart. There was actually a day, I’ll never forget, where they ganged up on me saying, “Stop doing so well on your tests. You make us all look bad.” To which I went crying home. I was like, “what? I don’t get this.”
But, I got into superhero comic books when I was a kid and the very first Xmen comic I picked up, the first page had a picture that said, Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters. And I saw that word gifted and when I read the comic I thought, “Oh my God, this is like a superpower.” So, that’s when all the story connected to me and I’m very open about this, I’ve literally modeled my business model for Archangel after the Xmen.
Josh: That’s cool.
Giovanni: So, he has a school where he teaches, in his words mutants, but in my work entrepreneurial gifts, how to figure out what their gift is and how to use it to make the world better. And then, the top students become the Xmen, like the team of superheroes who go out and do big things.
So, I have my event in Toronto for the students and I have my event in LA for the superheroes to connect. And I model everything after superheroes, cause fuck why not.
Josh: No, that’s awesome. Sounds like you probably have some daily habits or routines and stuff-
Giovanni: I do.
Josh: That keeps you on track and really keep you focused. Kind of give us maybe a quick overview of what that is and how that’s worked for you.
Giovanni: This is actually a big, big, big factor in my personal development. So, all of my weeks look the same, all of my days, like every Monday has the same structure. Every Tuesday has the same structure. And my mornings are insane. So, we wake up at 4:30, we have our gratitude practice. And what we’ve done is take people from my Archangel group and just adopted all their teachings. So, Hal Elrod. If you know Hal.
Josh: Sure. Oh yeah.
Giovanni: And his Miracle Morning book. We do all of his components and then my good friend UJ with his five-minute journal. All of that we do. And we train and exercise every morning. And then, there’s a journaling practice and then, for me, since one of my gifts is ideation and strategy and thinking, I always have an hour in the morning for just deep thought. Where I have the highest energy for that. And then, I usually do my calls between 11 and 1pm. And then, I have a lot of free time in the afternoons, so that I’m always scheduled to be more productive during the day. But, also have more free time. Because a lot of people have this fallacy that to be more productive you lose free time. I think it’s the opposite. If you cut out all the … If you trim the fat of checking Facebook three times an hour and all of those kinds of things, you actually have way more time than you think.
Giovanni: And if you’re hyper-focused during your productivity time, you can be way more open for fun.
Josh: Yeah, no, it’s for sure, I think we get so distracted by all the technology and all the different things, which are good. But, if you have that set timeframe that you focus on that and just utilize that to move your business forward or whatever you need to do for that. But, definitely some really cool ideas that you mentioned that you do throughout the morning. I know, we usually try to do with our kids every morning we go through get them working out a little bit. Do some kind of movement. The love The Muse, they’ve been using The Muse headband for their meditation now. So, trying to see how many birds they can get, how calm they can be. So, it’s definitely really cool and I think it sets a good base as we grow and keep getting older.
And like you mentioned earlier. Definitely leading so other people can model and follow along as well of how you want to be or how you want other people to be. For sure, is a big thing.
So, tell me a little bit about how do you … What’s the work life, I always like to say balance, but integration almost. How is that for you?
Giovanni: Well, again. Because of how insanely structured my routine is and my schedule and my rituals are, I have a lot of blocked off time for date nights for example, for time with my son. And children which is very super important. So, that when I’m with them I can be present and not thinking about 50 other things. And I learned another wonderful strategy from a strategic coach Dan Sullivan, where he has this time system. Focus days and buffer days and free days. And the premise is to block off your free time first and work around that. Where a lot of entrepreneurs think free time is a luxury or a bonus if you get stuff done. But, if you start with the free time first and plan around that, you’re almost forced to be more productive.
And free time doesn’t become a reward anymore, now it’s more about recharging your battery so you can become more productive during your productivity time.
Josh: Yeah, I totally agree with you. I mean, normally it’s fill up the week with work and then try to fit in when you can do something for yourself.
Josh: And if we don’t take that time and have that space for ourself, I was just out with Brenden Bershardall last week and working with him on a lot of high performance coaching stuff that I do as well. And just designing your days and your months how you want to actually be and then putting work around that. Definitely is a flip-flop of what most people are used to for sure.
Josh: So, what kind of legacy do you want to leave for future generations with this whole Archangel Academy and everything that you’re setting up? What does that look like to you?
Giovanni: I really want to disrupt traditional economics and philanthropy. I don’t think there should be a distinction. I think that people either focus on making a lot of money or creating impact as if they’re polar opposites somehow. I think the legacy I want to leave or lead is that they have to be related. You have to do both. Meaning with every transaction that your business does, somehow people’s lives get better. The world gets better. Just things, get better.
So, instead of thinking, “Well, let’s make a lot of money first and maybe we’ll donate to charity later. Or let’s start a nonprofit, money is evil,” that kind of mentality. I just want people to feel like money is a tool you use to create bigger impact and build a business around that kind of concept.
Josh: Yeah, no I think that’s great. I mean, with education and with financial, I think we really need to really take a look at how that is and like you said, figure out a way to disrupt that and change that. So, we can actually start to really empower and help people move forward for sure.
So, tell me, what … Maybe two to three different strategies or success tips that have helped you throughout your life and have gotten you to where you are today. That you could share that people can take action with.
Giovanni: Yeah, for sure. So, one is something I call Rejection Marketing. And this works so well and it’s counterintuitive, but what I did is I didn’t focus on a product and figure out who needs the thing. I focused on the people first and figured out what they needed. In tandem with the work I was doing. So, we’re very crystal clear on what an Archangel is as an avatar of a person. And often it’s mainly a duplicate of me in terms of what the beliefs are, what the core values are, what the core mission is, what the dreams are. And then that’s who I serve. So, it’s more about starting with the dream client first and then figuring out where they are, where they want to go, what’s missing and how you can help them get there as the business model.
And then, they either have to be a hell yes or no. And nothing in between.
Giovanni: Right? And by doing that, the people you surround yourself with become what I call battery chargers. So, there’s either people who charge your batteries or drain them. And if all of your clients, all of your team members, all of your friends charge your batteries, imagine what you can do. Imagine what you can create and produce and the impact you can have. And I remember in real estate it wasn’t like that. Most people drain me. I still did well, but it takes so much more extra energy to get to that place.
Giovanni: But now, it’s like everyone supports the mission and movement and everyone is highly positive and engaged. And think about it from getting referrals, for example. It’s so much easier when the people are aligned and they know who to look out for. To me, a big win is always when I get an email introduction saying, “Giovanni, you have to meet Lisa. Lisa is an Archangel.”
Josh: That’s awesome.
Giovanni: That kind of idea, right? Because that, once you get to that point, that means the people in your tribe are crystal clear on who else should be in the tribe.
Josh: So, that was negative marketing. Or rejection marketing.
Giovanni: Rejection marketing. Yeah.
Josh: Okay. So, what was … you said you had another one too?
Giovanni: And this is like the easiest business model ever. Once you figure out who your dream client is, have a conversation with them about where they are going. What their dream is. And discover what’s missing. And in terms of product development, it’s so easy after, because what you start to see is patterns. Right? If you interview a hundred people and they all say something similar about where they want to go and what’s preventing them from getting there.
Giovanni: And you become the bridge for that gap of helping them get from today to tomorrow. Making their life better or whatever that looks like. It’s always gonna be different, but I think the key to all of it is spotting the patterns. And the language might be a bit different, but once you pick up on what those patterns are, then you create a product or service or whatever that looks like that solves those problems. Versus trying to come up with the product first.
Josh: And I think that makes … I know one of the things that in business as entrepreneur’s sometimes we just like, “Oh, hey I love this so I’m just gonna go out and do it.” Not seeing, hey is this what the market really needs.
Josh: And so, by you flip-flopping and say, “Okay, let me go see what the actual needs are,” and then filling those gaps in has allowed you to build what you built today then.
Josh: Phenomenal. So, tell me what was the best book of 2016 that you’ve read?
Giovanni: Oh my God. I actually took … I took a hiatus from … Is that the hiatus? A detox or a cleanse off of books from this year. I literally all I did was listen to podcasts.
Josh: Okay, how about your best podcast then?
Giovanni: I’m sure that’s consumed … For me I love your show, I love Tim Ferriss, James Altucher and Art of Charm are probably the ones that I consistently listen to. And Joe Polish’s I love Marketing.
Josh: Marketing, yep. Excellent. And then, what’s one piece of technology that you couldn’t live without?
Giovanni: Right now? If you can see it. My Fitbit. This thing has changed … I love quantifying health. And being able to measure even just steps by itself is so huge for me, because I can better my best. And heart rate and sleep and all of that. And I’m getting … I just got a Muse. That’s why I smiled when you said it. It just showed up the other day. So, I’m gonna start with that. And any other technology that can help quantify health I think is something I’m geeking out on right now.
Josh: No, that’s cool. I know with all the advances, everything coming, it makes it really helpful to, like you said with your Fitbit, know where you are or getting that feedback while you’re using the Muse to really help you become more and more focused. And I think there’s some awesome things coming down right now. So, tell us a little bit about Archangel Academy, where can people find some information? And why they need to be there.
Giovanni: Yeah, so, the event in LA, the private mastermind, we started to theme each year. So, this years theme is moonshot. The event is actually called Archangel Moonshot where we have … the essence of the entire event is people coming in who have an epic mission and everyone in the room is gonna help them get there faster. And this is like game-changing big, big stuff. And then, in terms of … We don’t often promote the speakers for a private event, but because of the theme, we have Naveen Jain coming who’s a billionaire who just got approval to have spaceships go to the moon. Like, so literally, an expert in Moonshots and Jim Quick who’s a brain expert and his whole tagline is “We help you create a superhero brain”. So, we’re friends and we’re very aligned in our superhero geekness. And then, Dr. Shefali Tsabary who’s an expert in mindset and the awakened self and also parenting. So, we have a bunch of people who are themed on that topic of Moonshots. Helping people become the best versions of themselves so that they can create massive impact and that’s our private invite-only event. But, you can go to ArcangelMoonshot.com to apply for that.
And then, our big public summit, which is Archangel Summit is next September in Toronto. September 9th and we have people like Simon Sinek coming and Danielle LaPort and a whole bunch of big speakers that we haven’t announced yet. And that’s the big fundraiser, so we’re excited about both events.
Josh: Cool. And then we’ll actually … There’s a link right over to the side, so people will be able to click on it and go check out both of those events for sure. What’s one last thought you want to leave our viewers with before we wrap up here?
Giovanni: One of my words for this year has been alignment and alignment to truth and alignment to your path and alignment to your purpose and I would encourage everyone to have that word stuck in their head. And use their emotions, use their body as that tuning fork that I mentioned to figure out are the current things in their lives aligned or not? And if they’re not, make those changes, because literally, it’s … Transcending and transformative and I don’t even have the right word. It’s just, everything changes for the better.
Josh: Awesome. Well, Giovanni, it was an honor to have you on Making Bank today. Sharing your story. What you have going on with Archangel Academy and Summit and just being able to give back and help other people move their lives and transform themselves as well. So, again, appreciate your time today.
Giovanni: Thank you so much for having me.
Josh: I am Josh Felber. You’re watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.