Matt Morris Interview, The Unemployed Millionaire
The Unemployed Millionaire
Today we have a great interview with “The Unemployed Millionaire” – Matt Morris
Matt lives in Dallas, TX and is 33 years old and is also Founder of Success University
At just eighteen years old, Matt Morris entered into his first entrepreneurial venture. At twenty, he dropped out of college to pursue business full-time. At twenty-one, he was homeless, $30,000 in debt, living out of his beat up Honda Civic and bathing in gas station bathrooms.
It was then that he made a life-changing decision to re-invent himself and his career. Due to a massive commitment to personal development and modeling the success of others, his life began to change quickly. By the age of twenty-four, Matt was earning a six-figure income as an entrepreneur and by the age of twenty-nine, Matt was a self-made millionaire.
As you will see from Matt’s amazing answers, we all have a lot to learn from Matt
Enjoy the interview and I look forward to your comments
Matt Morris Interview
The Unemployed Millionaire
Hi Matt, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Before we start the interview proper can you tell us a little about what motivates you, inspires you, your rules for business success?
“What motivates me is having the freedom to live life on my own terms. No boss, no fighting traffic, no alarm clock, no having to miss my daughters swim class, no limitations on when I can take a vacation. I’m inspired by people who are willing to do what it takes to achieve their dream lifestyle. I was blessed to have found the drive and determination to find a way to win in life.”
“The formula for success is SUCCESS = Effort x Skill”
“Keep yourself in great physical shape. When the body is healthy, the mind stays healthy. Physical vitality is a key element in mental vitality.”
1) Thanks Matt, that is awesome. I love the SUCCESS = Effort x Skill quote. You are founder of SuccessUniversity.com – tell us how the company formed and what made you go into this niche.
I started Success University because of a passion for personal development and the massive impact it made in my life. At the age of 21 I was homeless, $30,000 in debt, living out of my beat up Honda Civic and bathing in gas station bathrooms. One night after not bathing for 2 or 3 days, I actually showered naked in the rain in the middle of a church parking lot because I couldn’t find a gas station open in the little town I was in. That night, my life hit rock bottom and I was searching for something, anything, that could help me turn my life around. I popped in a cassette tape by Tony Robbins and was inspired by his story of overcoming adversity which led me to develop a massive commitment to personal development. I began reading a new book on success every 2-3 days studying anything I could get my hands on that would lead me to a successful life. That began the process of re-inventing my life. From 21 to 24 I was able to achieve a six-figure income as an entrepreneur, traveling around the world and living what was a dream life for me. From age 24 to 29 I became a self-made millionaire. Based on what I learned through the personal development industry, I decided to start Success University to help others transform their life.
2) Great passion often comes from an early struggle. Did you face any adversity early on?
At the age of 4 my parents divorced. About a year later, my father broke into our house and murdered my mothers boyfriend shooting him dead right in front of her. My father went to prison while mom worked 2 jobs to pay her way through college and eventually law school. We lived on food stamps, lived in a trailer park and definitely struggled. When my father got out of prison, he became a severe alcoholic despite having gone through re-hab. When I was 13 my father committed suicide.
3) Can you share some of the biggest lessons you have learned personally and as a business as things have grown? If you were to start again, what might you do differently?
The formula for success is SUCCESS = Effort x Skill
When I first got started in business I spent all my time on working hard (effort) and got very little results. When I began studying others to learn the so called “secrets” and increasing my skill, my level of success increased dramatically. If you want to become an expert in any field, become an expert which can be accomplished by simply reading 5 books on any one subject. That will put your level of knowledge in the top 1/2 of 1% of everyone else in your industry.
If I had it to do differently, going into business, I would have found the most successful person I could find doing what I wanted to do and I would ask them to be my mentor. I would study their techniques and strategies for success and I would interview them to pull out their beliefs as it relates to becoming a success. So not only would I study the how to’s, I would study the mindset and metal processes they went through to become a success.
4) What next for you? Where do you see the business in say 5 years time?
I’ve actually sold Success University and given up my title as CEO so I can enjoy my daughter who is 9 months old. I’m enjoying her growing up to concentrate on my writing career, internet marketing and am a partner in a $150 million a year travel club which is in line with my passion for traveling the world.
5) You have over 70,000 students in 175 countries worldwide, the company has generated over $10 million in its first three years in business, this is quite impressive! Could you share some strategies for how you reached such a wide audience?
We actually produced 109,000 customers in just over 4 years generating over $20 million. The #1 strategy was getting the right people involved in the company early on, attracting the right people as we went along and making sure they fell in love with working with us so they never left. I’m smart enough to know that I’m not smart enough to know everything. By surrounding myself with people much smarter and more talented than I am, together, we have made amazing things happen. We also followed the strategy I outline in one chapter of my book – “Why invent the average when you can copy genius”. Most of what we did was not a revolutionary concept. We studied our competition as close as possible to find new and unique ways to market and figured out ways to make those ideas even better. Because we found so many great ideas and implemented them so quickly, we became the #1 most popular personal development website on the internet.
6) Do you have any suggestions for coping with set-backs in business?
Expect them and be grateful for them. The most successful businesses realize that challenges are inevitable. The degree to which you can bounce back from a setback is the degree to which your business will grow. As tough as this may sound, be grateful for the setbacks because they teach you one of the most important lessons of all – what NOT to do. When the team rebounds from a setback, that team will be stronger than it was before the setback. It’s why the MARINES and the Navy Seals are such a tight group – they go through hell together. By taking the valuable learning lessons from setbacks, you set yourself up for much greater successes in the future.
7) How do you keep your business focus – Do you have any suggestions for entrepreneurs who are experiencing challenging times?
Keep yourself in great physical shape. When the body is healthy, the mind stays healthy. Physical vitality is a key element in mental vitality.
Follow the Action Management chapter in my book The Unemployed Millionaire. You must take control of your day and focus on your top revenue generating priorities rather than let your day be eaten up with reactive actions such as emails, phone calls, and other interruptions. Be laser focused on your time management.
Also, continually set goals and keep those goals in front of you at all times. The goals are like your roadmap and without them you lose focus on where you’re going and you end up running in circles getting nowhere.
8) Is there anyone that you look up to and model yourself on?
Tony Robbins for his unique ability to create a system to keep yourself in peak states of motivation. His training above all other speakers have made a profound difference in my life.
My mother for her directness, her love and the pursuit of her dreams. Despite all our struggles, she finished law school and is a judge today. If I can be half the parent to my children that she was to me I will consider myself a massive success in life.
9) Do you have any favourite business related books that you can recommend to other entrepreneurs?
The Unemployed Millionaire – by me 🙂
Good to Great by Jim Collins
21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership by John Maxwell
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand – even though it is a fictional book, it’s been the greatest book on success I’ve ever read.
10) What is the best advice you have ever been given?
You don’t become in life what you want; you become in life what you are.
11) As someone who has achieved success at a relatively young age, what advice would you give to a Young Entrepreneur starting their first business today?
Find a mentor to learn from, become an expert in your field, work your ass off, and NEVER quit.
12) What do you like best about the Internet?
The ability to earn millions from anywhere I am in the world.
13) What do you like least about the Internet?
The time sucking activities like email.
14) Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals / lifetime goals?
To world school my children. My wife and I are going to find the smartest and most well rounded teacher and hire them to travel the world with our family to teach our children history, not out of history books, but to teach them history in the places in the world where the history actually happened.