Your Life Equals What
You Believe

A Conversation with
Randy Gage, author of Prosperity Mind

By John David Mann

He has been called, "the modern-day answer to Napoleon Hill" and "a Jedi master of wealth and prosperity," and he is just about the most entertaining and inspiring speaker around. Just ask anyone who has heard Randy Gage tell his story of metamorphosis, from a down-and-out teen whose life was going worse than nowhere, through a litany of business failures to unfurl his wings as a multi-millionaire, philanthropist and one-man business phenomenon whose speaking engagements, books and tapes have inspired millions around the world. Randy has had his share of detractors over the years, largely because he is so cheerfully willing to call things as he sees them; a master raconteur whose verbal pyrotechnics dazzle as they teach, Randy has so little use for political correctness, he might as easily have been dubbed the "Dennis Miller of MLM." (One of his "Randy's Rants" newsletters ends with this opt-out signature line: "So if you're sick, broke and stupid--and want to stay that way--please click on the 'unsubscribe' link below.") Author of the legendary "Escape the Rat Race" audio tape and some of the profession's most stunning materials on personal growth, self-development and the prosperity mindset, Randy is indisputably one of the world's leading authorities on the power of thoughts over circumstances.

-- JDM


In your work, you often focus on helping people transcend their "lack and limitation" backgrounds; what was your own background like?

I grew up poor; not starving-in-the-streets poor, but poor enough, the middle child of a single mom struggling to raise us. Like many, many people, I developed a subconscious programming about what it means to be rich. I started off being jealous of rich people, and jealousy soon turned, as it often does, to hatred.

I grew up, went out into the big bad world and set my goal to get rich--and all the while, unbeknownst to me, I had this programming that said, "You hate rich people! If you keep doing what you're doing, you're going to become one!" So, without realizing I was doing it, I would do whatever it took to sabotage myself, so that I could keep fitting in with all my friends and family and I wouldn't become one of those evil, mean, nasty rich people.


Where does this "subconscious programming" come from?

Practically everyone has been raised with the same lack and limiting beliefs that I had. It's on a subconscious level, so you're not aware of it, but it's still there.

We live within what I call the datasphere: TV radio, newspaper, Internet, email, telephone calls, family, organized religion, government; all these sources are programming us 24 hours a day, seven days a week--and of course, 99 percent of that programming is for lack and limitation.

When I was writing Prosperity Mind, I went back and examined the TV shows I watched as a kid. There was Gilligan's Island, with the crazy millionaire, Thurston Howell the Third--okay: rich people have pretentious names and act ridiculous. The Beverly Hillbillies: these simple, commonsense hillbillies were the foils for Mr. Drysdale and Mrs. Hathaway and all the other rich idiots. M*A*S*H*: there was one rich guy in the tent who was pompous and listened to opera music and had another pretentious name, and everybody disliked him.

Look at what we learned: rich people are pretentious, pompous, stupid, and anyone who's normal hates them. I was programmed for lack and limitation before I was ten years old!


With all that in our background, where do we get enough belief even to take the first step?

You have to counter-program. That's why it's so crucial to use tools, such as audio tapes, CDs, books, functions with success-minded create your own datasphere with a different set of beliefs.

One night, you read Think and Grow Rich before you go to bed; that rests in your subconscious all night. You wake up in the morning and take 15 minutes to read Daily Word or As a Man Thinketh or a chapter from The Magic of Thinking Big. You start building up new programming, bit by bit.

This little bit of new belief gives you enough positive reinforcement to suddenly say, "You know, I'm not going to let my boss get under my skin today," and you have a little victory: you go to work and don't have a drama that morning. You say, "This positive thinking stuff is not half bad."

Then you say, "I think I'm going to call five people and approach them tonight. I've never done it before, but tonight I'm going to do it." You get a little bit of belief, then test that belief, and if the belief is rewarded with fact, now you can extend that belief out to a bigger belief.


And if it isn't? If that first step fails?

Then one of two things happens. One, you keep reprogramming, try again and eventually get that first success. Or two, you do what a great majority of the herd does: you say, "This doesn't's a bitch and then you die." Then you go through the rest of your life of quiet desperation, skating through work all week, waiting till Friday night when you get paid, go to Pizza Hut and rent enough videos to sit in the recliner, rubbing the hair off the back of your head, drinking rancid fermented hops...until the alarm clock goes off Monday morning and you start the process all over again.


You talk about how at first you sabotaged your own pursuit of success; what did that look like?

I had one business seized by the IRS, another business where my partner was stealing from me, another where the manager stole from me, and a fourth where the highway department did extensive work on the roads and diverted all traffic away from my store.

In each of those cases, I had what looked like a valid, external excuse for why the business didn't work. And that's all a lie: the truth is, I manifested all four of those failures because I had lack programming. I didn't believe I was worthy of being wealthy.

I chose the crooked partner and the crooked manager. I opened the business without enough money to support it. I opened the business without doing research on the highway. I did stupid things that guaranteed my failure, because that was in accordance with my subconscious programming.

Take a kid whose father was a coal miner who never made more than $30,000 a year his whole life. This guy grows up, goes through college, now IBM wants to start him off at $35,000 a year, with an HMO, company car and benefits package. His father was the salt of the earth, worked his fingers to the bone, working 18 hours a day, got black lung...and here this guy's driving around in a Buick making sales calls, sitting in an air conditioned office, yakking on the phone, making more than his father ever did.

Most kids idolize their parents, even if they don't realize it. On a subconscious level, this guy feels guilty. Chances are good he'll sabotage that job, blow that promotion, force himself to get fired...whatever it takes, so he won't earn more than his dad did. It's a psychological glass ceiling.


You see people who struggle, complain and say, "I'll never make this work," and it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. But you also see the opposite: people who say, "I'm gonna be great, I'm gonna kick butt and take names!" and there's no truth to it, they're kidding themselves. What's going on there?

It goes back to building up your belief systematically, level by level.

Someone comes up to you and screams, "I'm gonna be your next diamond, you better knock down that wall and get a bigger meeting room for me next month, 'cause I'm gonna bring 200 people myself..." and he gets his first check and it's six dollars and twenty-three cents, and you never see him again. His goal is to be a Diamond Director and earn $75,000 a month. The chasm between his current reality and where he wants to be is so great, he loses his belief.

It's so important to chunk down those big dreams into doable goals.

You can't start out your new distributor with a goal of becoming a Diamond Director in two years. That goal is meaningless to him. A much better goal for him might be to have three people in the business by the end of the month; or, to be Supervisor (or whatever your first pin rank is) in 60 days--or in 90 days, or even 120 days. Those are believable goals.

Right now, I have a very bold, daring, imaginative goal: to make $100,000,000 in the year 2004. A hundred million dollars?! Coming from where I was in the past, this is an outrageous, ridiculous, ludicrous goal...but not based on my current reality. I've built up to it gradually: I reached the point where I made $10,000 a month, then $100,000 a month, then I became a millionaire and then a multi-millionaire. We have to work with ourselves and with our people, growing the audacity of our goals as we grow the audacity of our beliefs.


How do you discern between a bold goal that serves someone, and a boast that borders on blatant hyperbole and self-deception?

At the end of the day, a goal is real if you can look in the mirror and believe it when you say it. It's great to dream big, but can you say it to the mirror with a straight face? That tells you whether it's real or an idle boast.

I've created a 31-day prosperity program called, "The Midas Mentality," named for the fabled king Midas, who had the golden touch. I believe I have the Midas touch, I really do: everything I touch turns to gold, platinum or Prada!

There was a condo I really wanted, but someone else was set to buy it, so I overpaid $100,000 above market to get it. Two years later, I sold it for a $265,000 profit, because the market went through the roof in that area. These things just work out for me...I just have this Midas touch.

But here's the critical part: for 35 years, I had the exact opposite.

For all those years, I had the manure touch. I would snatch defeat from the jaws of victory at any cost. I didn't want to do it, I didn't think I was doing it, but I would do it every time--because of the subconscious programming I had. I didn't believe I was supposed to be healthy, I didn't believe I was supposed to be happy, I didn't believe I was supposed to be successful, so I would not allow myself to become any of those things.

It was only natural that I would be on my way to an important job interview, and find I had a flat tire. You could say, "That's just bad luck." No, it's not. The reason I got the flat tire is that I didn't buy new tires when I needed them. And why didn't I? Because I was spending eight bucks a day on cigarettes and coffee and $20 a month on cable TV; I didn't prioritize. Other people, in my exact same circumstances, might have said, "Hey, I need to keep my car in good condition," because they were acting as better stewards of the money the universe gave them. I don't believe there are accidents or coincidences.


"But what if I just have a lousy sponsor?"

[Laughs] Listen, I've been all over the profession, consulted with some of the most successful people in the business, and honestly, here's what I've seen: nine times out of ten, the high achievers in network marketing have lousy sponsors!

In fact, that's often what caused them to be good: they were forced to create a duplicatable system, to do their own recruiting meetings, to create trainings. Meanwhile, the people who come in under the "superstar" sponsor are often very weak, because they let their sponsorship line do everything; they get into co-dependency and enabling behavior and never become leaders themselves.


So, should the first condition of success be that you go look for a lousy sponsor?

Maybe it should be! [laughs] I had a sponsor once who told me he was going to "drive me penniless from the business." I had to ask the company to send him a sanction so that he couldn't contact the people in my organization. In another company, my sponsor was terminated...for raiding my organization! And I'm grateful for all those circumstances: they made me stronger.


What self-limiting beliefs do we tend to hold in network marketing en masse?

The deadliest, most insidious belief in this business is the one that says, "I'm not going to talk to people I know; I'm going to go prospect a bunch of strangers, and once I'm successful, then I'll talk to the people I know." That's a symptom of a disease, which is that you don't really believe in the business. If you did, nothing would be able to stop you from telling the people who matter most to you.

Another deadly belief people hold is, "I'm afraid to approach people because they might think it's a pyramid." This belief doesn't serve us at all--and it's just not true. It's really all about another belief, the one that says, "I'm afraid I'll be bothering the people I talk to." This is total lack programming!


Isn't that a testament to human ingenuity: we make up stuff that simply isn't true about why we should be ashamed of our own business!

The truth is, if you've got something that can help people choose their own hours and pick the people they work with, has unlimited income potential, travel opportunities, tax advantages, you can build residual income know how many people want all of that? And you think that you'd be pestering or bothering people?!

If you had an opportunity to tell your friends about investing in an oil well or in stocks and bonds at an incredibly low price with a great potential upside, wouldn't they all want to hear about it? Of course they would. But we make up these beliefs that they don't want to hear from us--and they're all nothing but symptoms of the lack programming we've got at the subconscious level.


Let's say I've read everything you've said so far, but there's still a voice inside me that says, "I just don't think this stuff is going to work for me." What can I do to get myself out of this place?

First, know that it's not about network marketing. People often ask me, "Did you become a millionaire doing network marketing yourself, or did you become a millionaire training and consulting for network marketers?" And I always answer the same way: "Yes!" Here's what we need to understand about prosperity: it really doesn't matter what you do for a living.

If I were a hot dog vendor, I still would've become a millionaire: I'd have 350 hot dog carts licensed out around the country. If I were a plumber, I'd be a millionaire, because I'd have the biggest plumbing contractor business in south Florida. If I were whatever--fill in the blank, because it's all in your mindset. When you create the multimillionaire mindset, it's irrelevant what you do: you will find the business that will create that result for you.

Now, does it make sense to do smart things? Of course! Network marketing makes sense because we're talking about residual income. Saving money makes sense because we're talking about the principle of compound interest. Investing in real estate makes sense because, like network marketing, it uses the concept of leverage. The more of these things you do, the richer you'll become, and the quicker.

Would it make sense to keep your regular day job and also work in network marketing and build some residual on the side? Yes. Would it make sense to take that residual income and invest it in real estate or some other investment that grew it further? Absolutely--then you're adding leverage on top of leverage.

Network marketing is certainly a wonderful choice for prosperity, because it invokes fundamental principles that are necessary for prosperity. But ultimately, if you don't change your mindset, it won't matter if you're in network marketing or real estate or construction or grocery stores: you will be only as successful as your subconscious programming will allow you to be, regardless of what business you are in.

Prosperity doesn't come from the government, the economy, your company, your sponsor. Prosperity comes from within.


Have you decided that rich people are no longer the objects of your hatred?

Yeah, I have! That was a big thing for me, too.

Was there literally a moment for you where you said, "You know, maybe they're not so bad!"?

No, but there was an actual day when I woke up and said, "Holy cow, I hate rich people! That's what's been stopping me for 35 years!"


I'll bet that was a hills-are-alive-with-the-sound-of-music moment!

I heard Elvis singing "Blue Suede Shoes".


Have you gone through periods of doubt since then where you've said, "Well, wait a minute, maybe rich people really are evil after all..."?

No, but there've been times of doubt where I've said, "Uh-oh, maybe somebody's going to find out this is Randy Gage here who's having this success--and they're gonna come and take it all back!" I haven't had that feeling for a year or two, but as recently as a few years ago....


So it's not something you do and then it's done; it's a lifetime habit, checking in with your beliefs.

Every second of every day. It's As a Man Thinketh: the connection between your thoughts and your circumstance. What you're living is the thoughts to which you give precedence.