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Becoming a Successful Entrepreneur with Guest Mike Koenigs: MakingBank S1E59

with Mike Koenigs



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Avoiding failure isn’t the key to success—enduring it is.

For every entrepreneurial win captured in a best-selling book, or CNBC segment, there are a thousand unseen failures overcome, and ten-thousand unseen hurdles cleared.

Simply put, the price of success is high, and before the big breaks, most entrepreneurs are flat-broke.

Becoming a successful entrepreneur takes guts, resolve, and an insatiable appetite for improvement. The criticism, the cut-downs, and the doubts will greatly outweigh the complements, the accolades, and the money for a long time.

But, for those brave enough to stick their necks out and tough enough stay in the game, the success eventually comes.

Just ask today’s guest on Making Bank, Mike Koenigs, a man who went from meager means to making more than $1 million dollars in a single day.

After barely finishing high school, and electing to skip college, Mike launched headlong into an entrepreneurial career, only to find himself mired in a world of big-time hurt.

Setbacks and miscues left him with a floundering business, where he was forced to use credit cards to pay his employees and a gas-station rewards card to buy his groceries.

It was an unsustainable (and dangerous) way to live that brought him near the breaking point.

Faced with mounting debt, surging self-doubt, and impending professional failure, Mike was left with two options:

Give-up or give it one last shot

He chose the latter and the rest is history.

Today, Mike is an accomplished entrepreneur, cancer-survivor, 11-time #1 bestselling author, cable TV producer, marketer, angel investor, filmmaker, speaker, inventor, and active philanthropist. He has sold multiple businesses to publicly-traded companies, including his most recent exits—Traffic Geyser and Instant Customer.

During today’s episode of Making Bank, he and host Josh Felber will go the distance in discussing what it takes to survive the long road to success, and what it means to live life healthily. They’ll also talk about…

  • Overcoming the obstacle of poverty in childhood
  • Why entrepreneurs make great innovators, but not managers or optimizers
  • Surviving the obstacle-laden road to success
  • Using a traumatic experience—like cancer—to become a better businessman
  • The importance of paying to play—why self-investment is an essential ingredient to success
  • Why being the dumbest person in the room is so advantageous
  • How a clear understanding of what you actually want can expedite it’s acquisition
  • The danger of carrying around old drama

…And much, much more!

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Josh Felber: Welcome back to Making Bank. I am Josh Felber, where we uncover the success strategies and the secrets of the top one percent. I’m really excited today. I have a awesome unbelievable entrepreneur. Mike Koenigs’ in the house with me today.

Mike, welcome to the show.

Mike Koenigs: Hey. Thanks, Josh. Good to be here, man.

Josh Felber: Awesome.

Mike has built and sold multiple businesses. His last two businesses were publicly traded companies. He is also a ten-time number one bestselling author, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, filmmaker and patented inventor. Mike is also a stage three cancer survivor after completing nine months of chemotherapy and 33 radiation treatments, and his doctors say he’s healthy and cancer free.

Mike, you have such an amazing story. I’d love to dive in here today with you, help uncover what you have going on and how we can help everybody out there in the entrepreneurial world.

Mike Koenigs: I’m all set to go, man.

Josh Felber: Cool. I guess, first, what got you involved in entrepreneurship? Did you start off when you were a kid? Did it happen later in life? What really got you connected with it?

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. Well, I’ll tell you, I grew up lower middle class. My dad’s a barber. He’s 78 years old. He still cuts hair. He grew up very, very poor on a tiny farm in Iowa, and he got one pair of shoes the day he got his first toothbrush of his own when he was 11. They started getting running water when he was around nine or ten.

I grew up in a lower middle class environment where there were no extras. I’m the oldest of four kids. First of all, I didn’t like being cold. Second of all, I didn’t like being poor. When I wanted a computer, because I knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to change my life by learning how to write software. My parents said those unfortunate words, “We can’t afford it.” At that moment, I’m like, “I’m going to figure it out.”

I was fortunate enough that a neighbor loaned me … In fact, he forced me to babysit his computer, because he knew that we had no money. During a Christmas vacation I taught myself to code, and I knew that that was going to be my way out of Little Eagle Lake, Minnesota, where to this day a lot of people I grew up with are still stuck there.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Mike Koenigs: I shouldn’t say stuck, because a lot of them love that small town environment. I never did. I felt like a total outsider. I think it was a matter of just feeling rejected, completely out of place, a total black sheep, knowing that someday I wanted to work for Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. I used to keep a backpack in my closet packed from age 14 on, ready to run away from home the first chance I had.

I barely passed high school. I never went to college, but I started coding, and I started consulting, because my dad was the endless networker, and he’d say things like, “Yeah, my son loves computers.” Invariably, an insurance sales person or someone who managed a business would say, “My secretary, we just got a computer. We don’t even know what to do with it. Do you think he could come in and teach my secretary … or teach someone in my office how to use it?” He said, “Yeah, I think he’d do that.” Then my dad would tell me about it, and I’d be like, “Yeah, hell, I can do that.” I had absolutely no idea what I was going to do.

That evolved into someone saying, “I know this guy who’s got a business and he needs a billing or accounting system. Do you think you could do that?” I’d be like, “Yeah, I can do that.” I had no clue, so I taught myself how to write at the time Pascal, the programming language, in two days, because I had a deadline. I was in the dirt, and I made a commitment, and I wasn’t going to make my dad look back, right?

Josh Felber: That’s awesome.

Mike Koenigs: I think the next layer was, a friend that I went to school with, his dad worked at Unisys at the time. He said, “I got a general here that needs some help, and all these knucklehead nerds can’t figure out how to make a militarized mainframe computer and a submarine talk to a microcomputer. Do you think you could figure that out?” I’m like, “Hell, yeah, I can do that.” This was back in the day when a cable that connected one computer to another one was this big around (indicates size).

Josh Felber: Wow.

Mike Koenigs: It just evolved, and pretty soon I started a business and I started a business. I had no clue what I was doing. I’m just a stupid kid from Eagle Lake who didn’t want to make his daddy look bad.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: That’s my answer, man.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome. It’s kind of interesting. We have a similar parallel with, I’m known as obviously. The other fact is I started a computer business when I was 14, because I wanted to have that Commodore Omega computer. Didn’t have the cash to do it. That’s really cool.

You’ve evolved over the years and started numerous businesses. Obviously, two of them now you say are publicly traded.

Mike Koenigs: Yeah, yeah. They sold the publicly traded companies. I built and sold seven. I’ve started countless, when you include products. I mean, hundreds of products at this point, but go ahead. Ask the question and I’ll give you the answer.

Josh Felber: Yeah. No, definitely. Along the way there was obviously probably some failures and things like that. What was one of your biggest failures as an entrepreneur that, did you ever look back and say, “Man, why am I doing this, and should I still stay in the game?”

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. I would say that the short answer is, “How about a thousand failures every year,” and you just learn from them and move on and don’t get attached to them and don’t allow the trauma to get to you.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Mike Koenigs: One of my biggest ones was really a combination of failures. One of my first companies was called Digital Café. We were one of the first interactive marketing agencies. We didn’t start off that way. It was just a couple of guys who wanted to make movies.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: At the time I had written video games. The company got sold. I was doing crap work, and I’m the worst employee imaginable. In fact, I am unemployable, and the only letters behind my name are ADHD and OCD. My business partner at the time, Ed, he and his brother had made five feature length movies by the time they graduated from college on Super 8, okay?

We’re like, “Let’s figure out how we can make movies and video games and combine them.” That was before the world of CD ROM, before the world of the internet existed, and we started crafting movie scripts. In the meantime, we had to make a living, so we started this little agency doing photoshop retouching before anyone knew what photoshop was, and I did digital audio editing. I had one of the first cards that could plug into a computer to capture video so we could manipulate video and output animations, and people would pay for this.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: Agencies at the time didn’t have in-house creative departments that knew any of this stuff. One thing led to another, and pretty soon we were doing what were known as branded video games. We did a video game that shipped in six million boxes of breakfast cereal for General Mills that had America Online installation software on it, so America Online sponsored this thing.

Josh Felber: That’s cool.

Mike Koenigs: Before the big breaks, we were broke. Because we were working for agencies, they took 90 days to pay us sometimes.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: We reached a point where we were, I was using credit cards to pay my employees. We were $250,000 in the hole. I had went through a recent divorce because I couldn’t keep my priorities straight. I was like, business, business, business all the time, and finally my wife decided to run … I should put it this way. She is an awesome human being, a really, really sweet girl who I grew up with, but she was more interested in one of my employees than me. I’ll just put it that way. That was a little kick in the you-know-what.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Mike Koenigs: Then I got to the point I was living on my gas card. I was using a SuperAmerica gas card and buying my groceries on 7th Avenue in downtown St. Paul.

I watched a friend of mine who went from being a … He was in college for seven years as a sophomore, a full-on alcoholic, living on a trust fund, run out of money, had a crap job, and in six months lost weight, quit drinking, became a vegan, and wrote a book, became a bestselling author, was on the road traveling all over the world, and I’m like, “What in hell did you do?” He said, “I’ll take you out for dinner next time I’m in town.” I’m living on fricking gas cards and crackers, right?

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: Picks me up in a brand new car he bought with cash. I’m like, “Whatever you’re doing, I need it,” and he said, “I went to a Tony Robbins event.” I saw his infomercial on TV. I bought his sayings, and I swore to myself, no matter what I’d do, I’d figure out a way to make it happen, so I left that place, walked in my apartment at the time, and in my mailbox is a brand new credit card with an $8,500 limit. I went upstairs, turned on the TV, and guess who is on.

Josh Felber: Tony was on.

Mike Koenigs: Tony was on an infomercial.

Josh Felber: That’s awesome.

Mike Koenigs: I picked up the phone. I called. I had it rush-ordered. It was delivered two days later. I open it up. I listen to the first 15 minutes. Inside the coupon, good for $500 off one of Tony Robbins’ event, picked up the phone. The guy on the other end is a guy named Chris Hendrickson, who took my order. Two weeks later … Oh, and, by the way, they were sold out, but he said, “I think I can get you a ticket anyway,” so I racked up, put everything on this credit card, including my travel. It was like $8,100, so I get 400 bucks to survive on.

Two weeks later I’m in Hawaii filled with a room of 3,000 people jumping up and down and hugging, and where I’m from, hugging dudes means something else.

Josh Felber: Just didn’t go, yeah.

Mike Koenigs: I’m like, “I’m going to get out of here. This ain’t going to work for me.” For three days I’m a grumpy jerk thinking about how I, now I’m really screwed, right?

Josh Felber: Sure.

Mike Koenigs: After three days I decided to start jumping up and down and hugging dudes like everyone else, and I walked out of that event … It was called Life Mastery … with a plan. Then six months later I turned my life around. I’d lost weight, quit drinking. I became a vegan too. A year later our business is being purchased by a billion-dollar-a-year advertising agency, but I’m going to tell you, along the way, I was in a world of hurt, man. It sucked big-time. It was like, I felt like the biggest, stupid loser, and it didn’t matter what kind of visible successes there were. I knew the truth behind the scenes was I was screwed, and I felt like a total failure. The truth is, everything’s a mindset game, man, everything.

Josh Felber: Hey, can you stick around for us? We got to take a quick break.

Mike Koenigs: Right on, man.

Josh Felber: Awesome. I am Josh Felber and you’re watching Making Bank, and we’ll be right back.

Josh Felber: Welcome back. You’re watching Making Bank. I am Josh Felber, where we’ve left off speaking with Mike Koenigs about his business and the struggles that he went through and the challenges to overcome failure, overcome living off his credit cards, his gas cards, and going to a Tony Robbins event and actually transforming his life.

Mike, welcome back to Making Bank.

Mike Koenigs: Thanks, man. Good to be here, Josh.

Josh Felber: What was one of those key points that you, that just switched everything on for you that you were able to come back and bust through and everything?

Mike Koenigs: I think it was having a compelling vision, and I was able to write down an entire life plan on one piece of paper. Some of it was driven by how do I want to feel and being able to visualize an end game, so I got really, really, really specific. I got that way with my next mate as well. I wrote down every quality that I was looking for in someone.

Interestingly, as a result of going down this path, going down the [inaudible 00:13:19] path, I got turned on to Deepak Chopra, Wayne Dyer, a whole bunch of other people in that space, and a few years later I ended up meeting a woman who is now my wife, who used to work for Deepak Chopra. She’s a published author herself and then worked in the field with some people whose number one clients and best of friends were Neale Donald Walsch, the Conversations with God guy, represented Deepak and Wayne Dyer and Louise Hay and just about every other big name in that space, so I got exposure to. Those people ended up becoming my clients’ customers.

I think the real answer to the question is, I came from a quote from Manifest Your Destiny, which was a book by Wayne Dyer, that I listened to the audio-book probably 300 times, and it was something to the effect of, “Who do I need to become right now to become attracted to that which I desire?” One distinction he had is, everything you desire already belongs to you, and you belong to it, and the only thing separating you from it is time.

I would also add to that, action, implementation, but taking on that mindset made me feel comfortable in my own skin and get over a lot of old trauma that I had been carrying around from being, feeling stupid my whole life, feeling poor, feeling less than, not being good at, just not knowing what I was good at and not feeling good at it and not getting feedback from peers who were equals.

The thing is, I think the net net is are riches, and this is a Brian Tracy quote, which is, “Our lives are changed by the books we read and the people we meet,” and I would go so far as to say, “Our lives are transformed by the people we surround ourselves with that hold us to the high standard that they see inside us, the spark, the spirit and the divine inspiration.” Sometimes we can’t see it in ourselves. It’s just the nature of the ego, and it takes a long time until you can learn to control your own ego and also see past your own delusions and illusions that are keeping you stuck.

You just got to get a freaking great coach. You got to surround yourself and be the stupidest person in the room, and if you’re not the dumbest person in the room in a group, it’s time to move on to a new group and be pushed to a new standard.

Josh Felber: Right. Yeah, I know.  I know we both agree in that area. We run in some similar circles with surrounding yourself with the right people I think is definitely a big key and then taking a step back. Get everything down. Getting a clear, concise vision of who you are or where you want to go is definitely a major key piece in transforming in your life and moving things forward, so that’s really awesome.

Mike Koenigs: Yeah.

Josh Felber: Now, moving on, that was your big failure you had. You’ve had some awesome wins as well. You even have your own show out there today still, right?

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. It just got picked up for TV. It’s on cable now.

Josh Felber: Wow. That’s awesome.

Mike Koenigs: Yeah, yeah. We did the first season, 20 episodes, and I got picked up on TV, and now planning on up to start Season 2. Yeah, it’s been really interesting. I’ve learned a lot from that experience. I could do two days just on doing shows, man.

Josh Felber: That would be a whole other episode.

Mike Koenigs: Right on.

Josh Felber: Congratulations. That’s awesome.

Mike Koenigs: Yeah.

Josh Felber: I know you’ve been working hard at that for a while. Tell me what’s been I guess your most best or biggest business success and in the most fruitful in the terms of not maybe dollar wise but what that purpose type business was for you.

Mike Koenigs: Yeah, yeah. I’ll give you the lowdown. I think the big distinction here is Gary Vaynerchuk articulated this really, really well, which is, you’ve got to be in the dirt all the time. Whenever I’m at my very finest, means I am working with people who have big freaking problems and can’t figure out how to sock their way out of a wet paper bag or dig themselves out of the holes they’re in.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Mike Koenigs: It’s in helping them and creating some transformation.

Back when I first got married, I first moved to San Diego, I was consulting with a lot of authors and experts, and I had a garage studio. I was doing video and audio for them. Along the way I figured out, I’d figured out how to hack the search engine, so I figured out how to massively generate highly searched engine web pages, and I built a utility with a friend of mine that could generate over 50,000 optimized pages a minute and then how to submit them, and I could own and dominate just about any search engine, and I was selling my time still to higher-end clients and customers that would hire me, like Citrix, for example, would hire me to generate all these pages to advertise an event, for example.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Mike Koenigs: If you fast forward a little bit, I also figured out how to do that with video. This is again in the early days of online video, before there was a YouTube, it cost a fortune to put video online, and you were relegated to little tiny postage stamp videos, and you had to convert it into flash and do all kinds of complicated plug-in crap, and it sucked.

I had a client and I had been shooting videos, testimonial videos, for, it’s a integrative hospital located in Mexico. They did treatments that weren’t available in the US. The point is I’m surrounded with a lot of people with a lot of problems that all of them had one big problem in particular in common, which is they needed to find a way to get attention, engage an audience, get people to know, like and trust them and buy their stuff, at least pick up the phone, right?

I knew that video could do it, and I had created a product called the Internet Infomercial Toolkit. It was me learning how to persuade and influence using video, and I adapted the television infomercial, which changed my life, into something that would work online, but the problem was there wasn’t an easy way to get that video all over the place and start showing up in the search engines. What I figured out how to do is hack the first online video service, which was Google Video, in such a way that if you uploaded your video, within about 15 or 20 minutes, you showed up in Google’s results, which meant you showed up in Yahoo’s results and elsewhere.

Josh Felber: Wow.

Mike Koenigs: With a buddy that I met at an event, interestingly, we built a utility that evolved into Traffic Geyser, which was a push-button utility. You put your content in this thing, press a button, it would go online. Well, YouTube came out. Then pretty soon 30 and then 50 and then 75 video search engines came out.

Then what happened next is we figured out how to social bookmark and social network. The net net is, I met Frank Kern through a mutual friend. He was at the time this mysterious surfer dude living in La Jolla, and I had been living in California actually longer than he did, and I had wanted to meet him, but we got together through this mutual friend. I helped him out with some video marketing. He really didn’t know how to make videos and put them online, and I had a lot of equipment, and I showed him the process. I introduced him to my video editor, who to this day he still works with.

I became sort of a poster child for a product he was releasing called Mass Control, and he said, “Why don’t I tell everyone in my list about Traffic Geyser,” so he came over, we did an interview, and I took this Mass Control video. I put it in Traffic Geyser. We pressed the button, and 20 minutes later it was all over the place, okay? On video, completely unscripted. We released that video, and I got a lot of people who’d got into my software, because we had a one dollar trial.

Josh Felber: Oh, wow.

Mike Koenigs: Then my business model was recurring. It was a monthly 97 bucks a month for that software. As soon as he did it, because he was such an influencer, a whole bunch of other people got on board and said, “Hey, can I promote it to my list?” It was like, “Bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam.” It was crazy.

Josh Felber: Flooded, yeah.

Mike Koenigs: Here’s what would happen. About a year later, I was talking to, interviewing and chatting with my customers, and I noticed that almost all of our most successful customers who use Traffic Geyser the most were small business owners who were doing video marketing for other small businesses. They were using the tools and agency, and some of them had built seven-figure agencies in a year, okay? They were charging $10,000, because it was special, secret magical sauce, because no one knew how to crack the search engines quite this easily by making a video and pressing a button basically. I started interviewing them, and I found out what the common patterns, the common threads that all of them did, and I overlaid that, and there I had a system, okay?

We ended up creating a system by interviewing your own customers, figuring out the best practices, building it, and selling it as what became the Firepower Business Builder Blueprint. We made 1.6 million dollars during a one-week launch, and the way the story goes, I called my mom. I said, “Hey, mom, I made a million dollars in a week,” and my mom was like, “That’s great, honey. Your dad’s outside shoveling the snow. Why don’t I … I’ll have him come in. You can tell him the story.” I told my dad, and he goes, “We’re really proud of you, son. What is it exactly you do? Something online with computers or something, something with the internet?” The best thing is, I said to my parents, I said, “The best part is I know how to do it again.”

Five months later we launched a product called Main Street Marketing Machine. This time I called up my mom, and I said, “Mom, I made a million dollars in 44 minutes,” because we had started the launch, and I had the support of some of the biggest people online, Frank and Jeff Walker, and all those guys at the time. We hit 2 million dollars in a minute or … in an hour and 14 minutes, and we did 9.1 million dollars in sales.

Josh Felber: Wow.

Mike Koenigs: I’m telling you, that was the result of hard f’g work, and it doesn’t mean I got to keep all the money.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: Because we grew too fast. I hired too many people. I made every classic, stupid entrepreneurial mistake. Listened to the wrong people. It was insane what happened, but we blew up. We got to from half a million dollars in sales to a million dollars in sales to 4 million and then 13 million dollars in sales a couple years in a row. We were just rolling. At the time we weren’t keeping much of that, because it was like, “Oh, let’s pile it back into the business. Let’s grow the business. Let’s hire more people. Let’s expand the software,” instead of sticking to our knitting and doing one thing really, really well. All the follies of a young man with a big ego. I learned a lot of lessons, man.

Josh Felber: I think that’s the classic story of all the entrepreneurs. You get in and you’re driving hard and you put that money back in and everything. Like you said, you don’t have that experience or that mentor or somebody to help guide you along.

Mike Koenigs: You don’t even know what’s going on. You know what I mean? You don’t take a moment to breathe.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: Until I got forced a couple years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer, and that was like, time stopped, whether I liked it or not. That definitely, a lot of my friends, a lot of people in the industry are telling me they like the post-cancer Mike a lot better than the pre-cancer Mike, and I like him better too.

Josh Felber: With all your businesses and then actually getting cancer, how did that transform your life, or how did you look at your life from that point forward?

Mike Koenigs: Yeah. I think the biggest thing is, a couple things happened. Some of them were professional. Some of them were personal. The biggest one is, when your body doesn’t work, and part of this, the best way I can frame this is, at my worst case, after having major surgery … Look, I didn’t know if I was going to for sure survive. At the time the doctor came to me and he said, “Look, you got a big freaking tumor inside you. If you don’t get the thing cut out, it’s the kind that’s going to kill you, and you will probably not recover in six months and do something about it now. Make an appointment now.”

At my worst, after getting the surgery, and, again, cancer is an odds game. It’s stats and it’s numbers, and it’s all about, if you do this, this increases your probability of survival by that.

Josh Felber: Sure.

Mike Koenigs: I got a young boy. At the time he was ten. He’s 13 now. I’m like, “I’m going to stick around for him.” At the expense of maybe something that could happen to me later from the treatments, in this case, between surgery, pretty intense chemotherapy and then radiation, I was too late stage to do an integrative therapy or fully integrated therapy that had a high probability of success. Here’s the thing. Integrative medical doctors, there’s a jillion out there, and it’s hard to differentiate which ones are real and which ones aren’t.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: They don’t go to prison for giving you bad advice, where a doctor will and does. We could argue that point forever, but the bottom line is, I’m at Duke University Medical Treatment Center, 2,500 miles away from home, laying in a pile of my hair that I’m waking up into every day, because your hair falls out. I got an hour of strength a day, and time stops. The good news was I was able to get some good people I trusted, who I’ve known a long time, to come in and help run my business, including a buddy of mine I’ve known for 30 years. He cleaned it up. The truth is, my businesses ran better and were more profitable when I wasn’t there. How’s that for who dilly?

Because I was spinning so fast and telling people what to do and being an entrepreneur with ten ideas a day, giving the wrong people the wrong … It’s like stupid stuff. The good news is that’s me. It’s like, I’m an innovator. I solve problems and I know how to solve them fast. The thing is is you got to have the right kind of people who can interpret that and implement without breaking a bunch of other stuff in the meantime. What we call my alter ego is the “Disruptosaurus.”

Josh Felber: Right. I saw that.

Mike Koenigs: Right? Yeah. What I can tell you is I made a lot of big decisions. I came back. I really cleaned up my life. I slowed down. I simplified a lot, but I also wrote my first book. Then I ended up writing three books while I was recovering from treatment. Each one of those became a business. Each one became a launch. Each one became a multi-million-dollar movement, and invariably it became one of the best business opportunities ever, because what the first thing someone who meets you says when they find out you’re an author, “How did you do it? How long did it take, and do you know someone who can help me write my book?” It’s like, “Yes, as a matter of fact, I think I can help you.”

We basically taught people how to do books as a business for other people. We’ve gone on to, it’s the new Main Street Marketing Machines basically, is a fantastic business, and it accelerates and really pushes you and makes you an authority and an expert, and it just changes everything, and it allows you to tell your story in a way that, to a captive audience and replicate yourself.

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: Anyway, the bottom line, my biggest takeaway with cancer was my boy, even at 13, he’s as tall as me. He still instinctively reaches up and he holds my hand when we walk, and I have a picture of that that I carry around everywhere I go. Anytime someone says, “Hey, Mike, can I pick your brain? Can I take you out for lunch,” I have a couple rules. The first one is, I don’t let anything get in the way of another moment with my son, especially these innocent moments, when he still does that, right? It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.

My other rules are, I’m not going to work with anyone who’s cheap on their way to success, and if you don’t pay, you don’t pay attention. If I’m going to take time and spend it with someone, they’re going to make an investment, because I would prefer to trade that time in with my son, and there is no trade here. I’ll take my son over any business opportunity any day of the week, you know?

Josh Felber: Right.

Mike Koenigs: I make my Sunday my sabbath with my family. Even though I married a Jew, I was raised a Catholic, and I’m not really affiliated or associated with any particular belief system, but I take that day off, because the silence and the family time’s important for the brain. I never used to do that before.

I’m going to work with people who are serious, and if they’re not serious enough to invest in a coach, just like I invest probably a quarter million. I’m in seven Mastermind groups. I’m in a hotel room talking to you right now, because I invest an enormous amount of resources, time, energy and money into people who are better than me, and if I don’t have skin on the line that’s relatively painful, nothing’s going to happen. I invest in expensive Masterminds when I couldn’t at the time, right?

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Mike Koenigs: I don’t know if that fully answers your question, but it’s how you slice time and be conscious of every freaking waking moment and determining where you’re going to expend that energy, and everything around you is either giving you energy or it’s taking it. If it’s a pile of books or magazines sitting on your bed stand, every time you look at that, it’s sucking something out of you, you know?

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Mike Koenigs: The concept of Feng Shui has validity, so I think just paying attention and being conscious and knowing that there is a benefit to getting put into place where you get the wind knocked out of you, where you get to reexamine life, whether you like it or not, has value. Failures are teachers and trainers and fail forward fast by … That’s the secret to a great life, I think.

Josh Felber: That’s a great takeaway. Even a part of that is I really try to spend time with my family and then teaching my kids, like, “Hey, guys, it’s okay to fail. That’s what’s going to help make the big changes in life, help you learn, and help you towards what’s going to make you successful.”

Mike Koenigs: Right on, man.

Josh Felber: Cool. We’re almost out of time. Give me something that, the best technological item that you can’t live without.

Mike Koenigs: Well, I’m going to tell you … technological item. This is going to sound so … I have every gadget imaginable. I drive a gadget. I had a Tesla Roadster when it first came out, and after selling my businesses, I have enough income where I can just buy a lot of stuff. I’ve really gotten simple lately.

My best gadget is, no kidding, it’s my iPhone and two apps. One of them is, because everywhere I go, I dictate, I record, and I have stuff transcribed, and I create plans and action plans. Then another app called TapeACall. TapeACall lets you record phone conversations. It bridges them, which is a really, really handy thing.

Josh Felber: Cool.

Mike Koenigs: I could go on and on, man. I can give you a book of gadgets. In my show I do a gadget review or two every episode, but an iPhone is a portable television studio in your pocket that you can change the world with. I’m doing this from my phone on a selfie stick right now on a table in a hotel. It’s a miracle. The reality is all of us can be communicating with almost half the human race right now. Most of them, there’s billions of Smartphones out there. You can be doing some business with everyone, and the real thing is, how you going to package and tell your story?

I look at it as a portable storytelling device, a broadcast device, that allows you to bring peace on this planet by conducting commerce. It’s like, I think make business. Entrepreneurs are the last bastion of, we’ve got an economy. We’ve got a world, economics and everything else that could fall apart at any moment, but if you’ve got good ideas you can implement, and do deals by influencing, persuading and building an engaged audience, man, the world is your oyster, always has been, always will be.

Josh Felber: Cool. Awesome. Where can our audience, if they want some more information on you and go find you and your show and everything?

Mike Koenigs: Sure. I think the first one is, go to my website, and I’m going to give you a shortcut link, which is It’s like Mister Biz with no vowels.

Josh Felber:

Mike Koenigs:, or It goes to the same place. Subscribe to my podcast, which is Follow me there. You can go grab a couple of my books. There’s one, this is one of them called Publish and Profit. It’s free on my website.

I’m a huge believer in … Write a book, because it’s the best way to package yourself imaginable, and the greatest gift you can give me is take some advice, implement and write to me. I’ll see you on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, and tell me how you’re using the tool that’s going to change or save a life or help you reinvent yourself. That’s what I live for. It’s like when someone walks up and says, “You don’t know me, but I’ve been watching you. I’ve been listening to you for years, and you gave me this piece of advice, one little nugget that changed my life, and I know you feel that too, Josh.

Josh Felber: Yeah.

Mike Koenigs: You have people walk up to you and having a show positions you. It elevates you. It puts you in a different field that most people don’t get to. It just enables you to change lives and make them better. You get rewarded along the way. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful thing and a beautiful way that the universe works.

Josh Felber: Definitely. Mike, it’s an honor to have you on the show. I’ve followed your work for a while.

Mike Koenigs: Thanks, man.

Josh Felber: It’s been really awesome to be able to connect and share your story and hopefully gives our audience some awesome nuggets of information from you today, so thanks for coming on Making Bank.

Mike Koenigs: It’s my pleasure, my friend. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to be on your platform.

Josh Felber: Sure. Thank you again. I am Josh Felber, and you are watching Making Bank. Get out and be extraordinary.