If you’ve ever felt like friends, family, and your colleagues didn’t get your renegade entrepreneurial quirks, tendencies and obsessions, you’re gonna love the personal improvement and productivity tips Dr. Gene Landrum, the authority on “Entrepreneurial Genius” shares with you in this interview

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personal improvement-productivity tips

This renegade's insights will serve as a bullshit protector for your entrepreneurial mind


It’s Lewis a.k.a. Nerd #2 a.k.a. L.L. Cool Nerd.

Being the founder of a company is a unique experience.

The majority of people don’t “get” it. Why? Because in their lives they’ve gone from being kids who were ordered around, to employees who are ordered around and have their jaw locked on the tit of the company they work for. So, they know nothing of shouldering the ALL the risk of building a business from scratch and being in charge of making it spin off profit.

Dr. Gene Landrum “Gets” It.

He started 5 companies, took two of ‘em to over $100 million dollars, the most famous was Chuck E. Cheese, built the first 150 locations. Retired at 48. Went back to school and got his doctorate on the “Innovator Personality.”

He wanted to see what drove a Bill Gates (Microsoft), Fred Smith (Fed-Ex), Bill Lear (Lear Jets), and other founders who changed the world with their business concepts. This led to 12 books and him becoming a full-time professor on the topic of entrepreneurship and management.

He tells the kids that if something is in their textbook that, “If we can’t relate this to something that’s going on out in the street, we ain’t touching it, man.”

“What does it mean out there on the street, in the real world?” is one of his core driving questions when it comes to passing down knowledge.

Scott Tucker, an information marketer and coach to mortgage brokers, conducted an interview with him which I’m giving you the notes I took on it. Scott was, don’t know if he still is today, a big student of Dan Kennedy’s.

I believe he saw Gene speak at Dan’s 2006 Renegade Millionaire Retreat, heard the interview Dan did with him, and secured this interview with him here to do for his Super Producers club.

Do Yourself A Favor And Get Your Hands On Gene’s Research . . .

“The Superman Syndrome” is an outstanding book that he wrote. It revolves around the premise that if you want to be what you’re not, you gotta start being what you want to be. You can’t keep doing what you’re doing or you’re gonna keep getting what you’re getting.

You gotta walk into a phone booth like Clark Kent, tear off your shirt, put on your cape and say to yourself and the world, “Hey, I’m different! I ain’t playing the same game anymore.” Gene is convinced you have do this.

He’s found in all of his research of rich, famous, and powerful people that they’ve faked themselves out into being what they’re not.

Hitler and Napoleon were two men who were so deluded that they thought they were God. Napoleon was Italian and took over France. Hitler was Austrian and he took over Germany. Their delusions allowed them to overlook these mere inconveniences and thus allowed everyone else to do the same.

“Myths are printed archetypes and models for understanding your own life. They can make heroes out of those that heed them.”

Carl Jung

Look at Oprah.

When she was 20, she got a job as a news anchor on a TV show. She was scared as hell because she was gonna be the first black anchor in Nashville Tennessee or wherever it was. So what did she do?

She said, “I know. I’m not Oprah. I’m going to be Barbara. Tonight I’m going to dress like Barbara. I’m going to talk like Barbara. When I walk out in front of that camera, I’m gonna be Barbara.” Back then Barbara Walters was the queen of news casting.

She did. And guess what? Now, a lot of people would consider her better than Barbara. She certainly richer than Barbara.

The only way she shined at the crucial “Make or Break” moment was because she understood that sometimes you gotta be what you’re not to be more than you are at the time.

What Does The College Education Have To Do With Making Money?

Steve Jobs (Apple)  told the graduates at a speech he did at Stanford, that the best thing he ever did was drop out of college. He credited this with making him innovative.

Gene is a professor so it makes him a heretic to say this. He believes that college is an immensely important factor to change yourself and become more than you are and that you better know something or else you ain’t gonna change nothing.

You never have the guts to change something you don’t understand. Sometimes in college we learn what we can do and what we can’t do. This is good sometimes and bad a lot of the times.

Gene talks about how at one time he had 5,000 sales people working for him and that the best deals ever made in this group were by people who didn’t know where they should be doing. They were too stupid to know they couldn’t do this deal.

Not only did Steve Jobs not graduate from college. Bill Gates didn’t either. Both of these guys were massively delusional, in a good kinda way, about what was possible.

When You Get a Harvard MBA, Do You Start At The Bottom?

Nope. You land your ass right in a cushy middle management job.

One thing Gene has found in all the research he’s done for his 12 books, is that the majority of these guys start in the gutter. Doesn’t matter what business, what discipline, what endeavor. It’s his belief that one of the reasons for their success was that they knew their business from the bottom up.

If you get too much education, unfortunately, you start out too high and you never learn from being in the bowels. Look at Gene. He wore the Chuck E. Cheese costume and had kids pulling on the tail and jumping on him.

Do You Credit Your Success With Chuck E. Cheese To Your Not Being a Restaurateur?


Gene has 7 Chuck E. Cheese’s up and running and he was trying to do a joint venture with Holiday Inn and the president told him, “Gene, you can’t have a rat in a restaurant, man, what’re you doin’? We kill rats in restaurants!”

Gene thinks he was too stupid to know that. He said, “But guess what? I got a rat in there and he’s doing real good and he ain’t goin’ no place.”

Maybe you know this, maybe you don’t, but as of today, Chuck E. Cheese has a better brand recognition than Ronald McDonald has.

What’s great is Gene just made that name up based on how it rolls off the tongue like Mickey Mouse.

He knew a guy who’d been in the restaurant business for 25 years and he was one of Gene’s first General Managers, and he asked Gene what he knew about making pizzas and he said he didn’t know shit. So he hired someone to do that. That’s what you do when you’re innovative and creative.

Start With The Answer

Gene credits his success with starting with the answer.

He says that if you want to write the world’s greatest novel, start by writing the very last line. Then go back to beginning and start it so then you know where you’re going.

This is what Gene did with Chuck E. Cheese. He asked, “Where’re we goin’ with this puppy?” He knew he wanted to fill a void in the market place for parents with small children.

Gene knows he’s not a restaurateur. He calls him a marketer. He says that if you walk into a Chuck E. Cheese, you can clearly see that this ain’t no restaurant – it’s a marketing concept.

How Do Become a Billionaire Like Michael Dell By The Age of 22 Without an Education?

Michael Dell, Dell Computers, another college drop out.

In his book, “Entrepreneurial Genius,” Gene tried to figure out the qualities that make someone rich and famous at the billionaire level. When he did the research, it blew him away.

Michael’s father was a doctor, his older brother was on his way to becoming a doctor, and Michael was a freshman at the University of Texas and his parents suspected something was up, so in the second semester, they drove up and walked up to his dorm room and said, “Hey, we were in the area and thought we’d say hello.”

They asked him where his text books were and he was busted. He told his dad that he’d taken the money given to him for his books and went and bought computer parts with it. He pointed out that there was a huge demand on campus for computers and how he’d been making computers and selling them and doing real good at it.

His dad went crazy. He told Michael he was ruining his life.

What Michael noticed when talking with retailers is that he knew more than the guys who were trying to sell him a computer – who were getting a 30% commission for selling him a computer.

This made him say to himself, “Hell, I can give that 25% back to the customer in selling it to them direct that much cheaper, and keep 5% for myself for my work. I’ll just leap frog all these steps IBM is going through – resellers, distribution, retailers, etc.”

This little idea of his led him to making $60,000.00 a month – out of his dorm room as a freshman.

He told his dad he could beat IBM. Well back then, 1982-83 IBM was doing $25 billion dollars a year in business. 6 weeks later, Michael dropped out of college without telling his parents and incorporates Dell Computers with zero help from his parents. Almost 10 years to this date, he passed up IBM by going where they wouldn’t.

Find The Pack – Go Someplace Else

This is something Gene preaches to his students.

Do what your competitors aren’t doing or won’t. By doing this, Michael Dell is now worth $20 billion dollars. At 32 he became a billionaire. But what if he’d listened to his dad?

Our parents, mates, teachers, and preachers are well meaning and like to tell us what they believe is right for them. Most of the times what these people think is best is based on what they believe to be safest. Dropping out of college in pursuit of nothing isn’t safe. In pursuit of a proven concept – whole different story.

Gene changed the game the same way with Chuck E. Cheese back in 1977.

Just in case you haven’t seen it, this place has robotic animal characters on stage singing happy birthday and other songs, kids dancing on the dance floor to this music, guys in the rat costume running around serving up beers and pizzas, slides going, even in 77 it was frenetic.

He brought his mom to show her his baby, his first proto-type and after letting her have the “experience”, asked her what she thought. She said, “Honey, when are you gonna get a real job?”

She didn’t get it. Most people don’t.

What Do You Think About Negotiating and Being Able To Walk Away From Deals?

You have to be willing to walk.

Always be willing to walk away from a relationship, a job, or a deal.

Donald Trump says, “The worst possible thing you can do in a deal is seem too desperate to make it.” This makes the other guy smell blood and you’re dead in the water.

You only get the behavior you pay for – in others, and ourselves.

If you pay for quick, you get quick. Enron was playing to jack up the rate of their stock and they got that. They also got to wear orange prison jumpsuits.

We get the behavior we pay for.

One thing he does, even he doesn’t need to, is carry with him at all times, 5-10 hundred dollar bills. It does something special to your mind when you’re sitting on at least $500 dollars cash that you can use to get yourself out of a jam. And it even has an effect on you walking in to do a deal with someone.

Scott Tucker carries $1,000 bucks in his wallet all the time, even when he’s buying stuff with the credit card to more easily track his business expenses.

Gene learned this from the guy who invented video games, Bushnell. He used to drive around some beat up station wagon, yet he always carried around 10-20 $100 dollar bills with him ALL THE TIME.

Synthesize Your Way To Success

This is in essence, to a certain extent, allows you tattoo the “S” on your chest and act like what you to be in order to become more than what you are.

Gene calls this “Synthesizing To Success.”

He’s done a ton of research that proves this is actually what successful people do. Think about how if you walk around with a laborers mentality, you attract a laborers pay. “We become what we believe,” is actually the sub-title to his super man book.

Gene is a big fan of Joseph Campbell and Joseph is famous for saying that we need to jump into a fantasy. Just be careful what horse you jump/myth on.

Who Would You Be Today If Your Mom Had Done This To You . . .

Richard Branson is a dyslexic tenth grade drop out. He became a billionaire by age 39.

By the time he was 16 he’d had 2-3 different businesses. Pretty much all the guys Landrum has studied have had this in common, being entrepreneurial at a very young age.

Gene believes this comes from a success imprint from very early on. And the opposite is true also. He believes our prisons are full of people who had an uncle or someone in their life that laid down a failure blueprint – “You’re never gonna amount to shit! You’ll always be a bum!”

Richard Branson has been knighted by the Queen of England. Polls in England have shown that if he ran, he could be Prime Minister. They interviewed his mom and asked her kid could become a billionaire.

She said, “I didn’t want Richard to be a weakling. I see so many parents sheltering their kids and telling them what they can’t do. So when he was eight, I put his bike in the trunk, I got a sandwich and a map and I drove 100 miles from London. I dropped him off and said, “Hey Rich, get yourself back home. Good luck.”

What doesn’t break us, makes us.

It took Richard 3 days to get home, sleeping in parks along the way, and in one of his memoirs Richard speaks of walking in the door of his home feeling like a conquering hero and never again being afraid of anything in life. This is the same guy who’s selling privatized space travel.

To the extent that you remove the risk from an equation, you’re diminishing the reward that can come to you as a result of your efforts. The only way Gene feels we learn in life is through getting bloody noses.

What Gene found when he had thousands of sales people working for him was that the ones who never had a sour deal, that never went out on the edge and took a marginal deal, were never the top sales people.

And of course, all of your deals can’t be shitty or else you won’t be in business anymore, but having 10-15% that are marginal, was a commonality of the sales super stars he had. They were the ones being rewarded with awards and money for taking the risks. This is true of everything in life.

As you remove risk from anything you do in your personal life, or whatever area you’re seeking results from, you’re lessening the rewards of that risk.

There is no belief that is not invalid at some higher level of learning

“It’s not in the budget,” is a belief.

A  better belief to have is, ‘If it’s not in the budget. This means we do a small test to prove that it has the power to double sales.” To hell with the budget.

The answers to all questions is, “Yes.” Just say “Yes.” People get locked into their security mindset and stop themselves from becoming as great as they could be.

Our left brain is in control of our inhibition. It’s the voice that says, “Don’t do that, that’s dangerous.” or “Oh, no, it’s not in the budget.” 80% of the world is left brain dominant.

This is why budgets are sacrosanct in the world. 80% of a corporate board is made of left-brain dominated people. They’re wrong.

As long as your left-brain is in gear, your mind can’t solve problems. This is why people find they get their best ideas/solutions in the shower or while they’re sleeping. Your right brain is where all your creativity is but both sides can’t be in gear at the same time.

Harvard Researched Proof Of This . . .

 In a study they took what were perceived to be the 10 worst novels written in 2001 and then looked at what profession the authors of the books were in. English professors – all ten of them.

When you’re focusing so much on being right, you’re choking your ability to be creative.

The golfer that sinks the most putts, the guy who’s practiced putting correctly for hundreds of hours, do it on auto-pilot. This proves that when you think you’re interfering with what the body knows how to do.

Dr. Seuss, the author behind “The Cat In The Hat” never wrote a check in his whole life. Gene believes that had he been able to write out a check, he wouldn’t have been able to write “The Cat In The Hat” because he would’ve been too precise, too exacting. His books are too off the wall to have any kind of left brain interference.

The only people who don’t make errors are the people who don’t do shit.

Sam Walton Built The Largest Corporation In The Universe (Wal-Mart)

This company is bigger than GE. It’s bigger than Exxon. It’s bigger than any in the world.

Guess what? He didn’t run his company like Sears did. He refused to call his managers, managers. He instead called them “partners.” And this made sense to them because they all owned stock in Wal-Mart.

If they didn’t have money to buy stock, he loaned them the money to buy it because he wanted them to own a piece of the rock and were truly a partner of his.

He told the managers, “Any promotion you want to do, do it.” Kmart didn’t do this, along with a list of other things and now they’re bankrupt.

You’ve gotta be prepared to be different to make a difference.

You Have To Step Back To Move Forward

When Tiger Woods was on top of the world in 2002, he was making $75 million a year as the most dominant golfer who’d ever lived. He hit a slump soon after this and wasn’t winning and guess what he did?

He changed his swing. Changed his game.

He came back and won the masters and the announcers were asking him how he’d ended his drought. He said something to the effect that he decided he had to go backwards in order to move forwards. He changed his game and now he’s reaping the rewards and it’s paying off.

Not many people would be willing to go from being on top of the world to moving backwards in order to make progress. And part of this comes from being understand yourself. If you don’t understand you, it’s very difficult to understand anyone else.

How do you motivate behavior if you don’t understand behavior? If you’re charged with firing people up, you better know how to do this. You can change the world if you understand behaviors of the people who can help you and hand you money.

Would You Be Willing To Quit a Job That Paid You a Million Dollars A Year?

Jeff Bezos was 29 years old in 1994. He was doing research for his boss on Wall Street. He’d graduated from Princeton so he wasn’t a dummy.

He was making a million dollars a year, got married, discovered the internet and was fascinated by it and took an idea to his boss about how to use it in their business. This was before there was a WWW or Netscape or any of that.

His boss shut him down and told him he was really good at doing what he was doing now and to just get back to work.

At this point, Jeff exercised the “Regret Minimization Theory” asking himself, “When I’m 80 years old, what am I going to regret doing and not doing? Will I regret quitting this job? Or will I regret not chasing a dream that I really think makes sense, that’s really turning me on?”

Two days later he quit. No more million dollars a year. Jeff didn’t know anything about selling books and decided to start Amazon.com.

Think about what Amazon has to do with selling books. Nothing. But in reference to this whole “Superman” thing, he knew it was the biggest river in the world. He decided from the beginning he was gonna be big.

He didn’t get a pay check for 2 1/2 years. His mom bailed him out once. His dad bailed him out once. And four years later, he’s a billionaire. He has changed the world of selling online.

His ability to take a calculated risk and pursue a dream paid off big time.

In this company they had come up with the way to become ninja at selling books, fulfillment, online commerce, software development, and he hired his wife as his CFO, who was an art major.

One thing he did was interview people for days at a time, not caring whether they had experience in the field or not. He wanted to know if you were successful at anything at 10 years old, at 15 years old. He asked people what they did.

As a result of this, he hired athletes, artisans, musicians, entertainers, etc. His guiding principle was whether or not you had a successful track record. He found that if you’d been successful, you’d keep on being successful.

And if you haven’t ever succeeded, he didn’t have room for you. Bill Gates fundamentally built Microsoft the same way. Jeff would hire people and tell them to find somewhere to sit and something that they think they’d like to do.

There’s a ton of psychological data that proves that if you allow people to do what they dig, (Montessori proved this in education), they’ll work 3x harder than if they’re given orders by you of what to do.

Stop being so autocratic. If you’re giving orders, it’s a job. If they get to do it, then it isn’t. That’s when you’ll get people eating, sleeping and breathing their work.

Be More Like Walt Disney . . .

When Walt Disney was producing Snow White, the first animated cartoon ever made, he had to sell his house in Palm Springs, he almost filed bankruptcy, he had a nervous breakdown, Bank of America would not loan him a nickel, his brother Roy said he was crazy, Hollywood moguls told him that people wanted to see good looking women – not his stupid animated characters.

Did he listen? No.

Snow White keeps being re-released every six years and has brought in hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.

When Walt got the idea for Disney Land, his brother told him he’d finally lost it and wanted to commit him. Roy told him this was the stupidest idea he’d ever come up with.

Walt knew he was onto something. He went for it trusting that he got it and they didn’t. He was right.

Life is too short to be following someone else’s dream for you. They’ve got the opportunity to do their own thing. You owe it to yourself to follow your bliss.

A question to ask yourself to find what your bliss is, “What gives me goosebumps? What turns me on?” and then pursue that.

If you’re with me still, I know you connect with Gene’s message.

What you’ve seen here is nothing compared to all the stories you’ll find in the treasures that are his full books.

This means it’s time for you do yourself a favor and get online and go to www.genelandrum.com or to Amazon and get all of Gene’s books as present to yourself.

Talk soon,

Lewis LaLanne a.k.a. Note Taking Nerd #2 a.k.a.

PS. Gene is bad muthafucker when it comes down to breaking down the mindset of the entrepreneur. Guess who else is? Tony Robbins. If you want to see his personality improvement insights and productivity tips on this topic that people paid a shit ton of money to get, you definitely want to go here now . . .