FOLLOW YOUR JOY
How Jordan Adler Raised $3.2 Million for the Starkey Hearing Foundation in Just 8 Minutes...
By Dr. Josephine Gross
Last October in Las Vegas we saw the largest generic training event in the history of network marketing to date. Eric and Marina Worre’s Recruiting Mastery 2015 gathered 8,000 eager entrepreneurs from 85 countries and 173 companies, who came together to learn from the biggest leaders and top earners in the profession.
On Thursday morning prosperity guru and thought leader Bob Proctor taught the audience how to recondition the mind for creating the results we desire, showing that everything we want, or don’t want, is merely a few thoughts away at all times.
That evening, bestselling author and financial forecaster Robert Kiyosaki warned against the biggest crash in the economy that’s yet to come, and how small business owners are perfectly positioned not only to protect themselves, but even to thrive in times of economic uncertainty.
With each passing day and every unfolding session, the energy in the room seemed to rise to new and unparalleled levels of excitement. Friday night appeared to be the ultimate highlight of the weekend, with Tony Robbins delivering a two-hour training on how to elevate your state so you feel unstoppable and magnetically attract people and business.
However, what happened Saturday afternoon blew the lid off many people’s minds, as they witnessed a turn of events that could only have been orchestrated by an invisible hand that knows no limits.
Shortly after keynote speaker and bestselling author Jordan Adler took the stage, he proceeded to auction off a signed $100 bill to the highest bidder. The winner turned out to be a serial entrepreneur and student of personal development, who up till then had been quietly taking notes from his seat in the VIP section.
His name is David Martin, and his outrageous act of bravery and unbridled generosity transformed the crowd, inspiring individuals to go out and earn more so they could contribute to the degree he did.
Read on for a detailed description of the event, followed by a conversation between Jordan and David as they look back and try to capture in words some of the magic that occurred, some lessons gleaned, and some visions that are crystalizing.—Dr. Josephine Gross
What Happened in Vegas...
It all started around 3 PM when Jordan made his usual warm and friendly entry, letting the audience know that the only difference separating him from the average person was that he hadn’t given up on his dreams and kept believing in himself a little longer than most people.
A few minutes into his presentation, Jordan said, “Now, I’d like for us to do an experiment together.” He dug up a $100 bill from his pocket, and brandishing it in front of the audience, he said, “I’m going to auction off this $100 bill. This is a real auction. Let’s see how much we can get for it.”
He started the bid at $50. “Who is willing to pay $50 for my $100 bill?” About 75 percent of the room stood up, the other 25 percent seeming either asleep, skeptical, or waiting to see what was going to happen.
Next Jordan raised the bid to $75. “Who wants to pay $75 for my $100 bill?” A few hundred people did the math and joined the ones already standing. Now close to 90 percent of the room wanted to be part of this winning proposition.
Then Jordan said, “Who wants to pay $100 for my $100 bill?” Some people lost interest and took their seat, but now Jordan added, “What if I personally signed this $100 bill? Who wants to pay $200?” People started cheering. “What if Eric and Marina signed this bill? Who would pay $500 for it?” The excitement was building. “What if Bob Proctor and Robert Kiyosaki signed it also, and I framed it behind glass so you can display it in your office or in your living room? Who would want to give me a $1,000 for this $100 bill?”
A large crowd of enthusiastic takers was now standing, encouraging Jordan to keep raising the bid. “Who wants to pay $2,000? Remember, this is a real auction. If you are still standing, that means you are ready to pay $2,000 for my $100 bill.” Almost everyone kept standing. “$3,000?” A few people sat down. “$4,000?” There was still a large crowd standing.
When the bid reached $5,000, a few more bidders sat down, but the remaining ones signaled to Jordan they wanted him to continue increasing the bid. Half of the room was buzzing with excitement, while the other half sat silently in disbelief. At this point, Jordan became mildly concerned about the situation—he had auctioned off $100 bills before, but the bid had never gone this high!
Totally baffled, he proclaimed through the mic, “Eric, are you in the room? I may need your help here!” At last, when Jordan raised the bid to $10,000 and still had a significant number of bidders, he invited all of them to come to the front of the room so he could have a better overview. He repeated, “Please understand, if you come to the front of the room, it means you are willing and able to pay $10,000 for this $100 bill.”
About 50 people made their way towards the stage as Jordan continued raising the bid. “$20,000!” No one budged. “$100,000!” Now a few people returned to their seats, while a dozen or so remained standing. “$200,000.” A few more people dropped off. “$300,000” Not much movement... “$500,000!” At this point only a few bidders held their hands up. “$1,000,000!” Now only two males remained standing—an Asian gentleman dressed in a sharp suit and a middle-aged American dressed in khakis and a relaxed-fit shirt.
“$1,500,000!” Jordan shouted. At this point, the Asian challenged the American gentleman, “Okay, what’s your final bid?” He declined to answer. The Asian appeared to do some calculations and then blurted out, “$3.1 million!” The American calmly said, “$3.2 million!” The Asian gentleman threw his hands up in the air as a clear sign of surrender. Jordan could hardly believe what was happening, but he kept his cool and called the winner onto the stage, congratulating him as the room burst into a thundering applause.
“What’s your name?” Jordan asked.
“David Martin,” said the gentleman.
“Why are you willing to pay $3,200,000 for a $100 bill?” Jordan continued.
“Personal development,” was David’s answer.
Jordan thanked him profusely and announced that the entire amount was going to the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Then he turned to David and said, “Why did you put up the money without even knowing where it was going?” To which David responded, “I knew it could only be going to a good cause.”
By now Eric and Marina Worre had joined Jordan and David on stage to express their surprise and gratitude on behalf of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. As the crowd settled down, David was escorted to the back of the room where the event coordinators took his details to complete the transaction.
Needless to say Jordan was dumbfounded but overjoyed for what had just happened. In just 8 minutes, he had raised enough money to provide hearing aids to thousands of people around the world who couldn’t afford them. He made an effort to compose himself and finished his training.
By the end of the afternoon session, hundreds of people were flocking to David to get their picture taken with him. Still giddy with excitement and in a state of utter disbelief, they asked David all kinds of questions about what had moved him to such an extreme act of generosity. David kept signing autographs and obliging to his newfound fans, surprised and delighted by the ripple effect of his joy-inspired action.
A Conversation with Jordan Adler and David C. Martin
Jordan, what did you want to teach people with your experiment?
Jordan: Having done this exercise several times before, I figured the $100 bill would auction off for more than it had previously done, because of the size of the audience. The purpose was to show that what something costs is not the same as its value per se. Transposed to network marketing, if the cost to start a business is $400, that’s not necessarily the value of the business. I paired it with some training that shows people there are ways to increase the perceived value of anything, regardless of what the true value is.
At the beginning when I ask the crowd to stand up if they would be willing to give me $50 for my $100 bill, I’m always surprised by how many remain seated. I figure they either don’t have $50 in their pocket, don’t believe it’s true, don’t feel like standing up, or don’t think they’ll ever win the $100 bill. It’s the exact same dynamic that goes on when we show the business to somebody.
Then when I raise the price to $75 for that same $100 bill, what’s interesting is more people stand up—maybe because it’s more believable. When I get to $100, it’s always baffling to me that 10 percent of the crowd still wants the $100 bill. Maybe it’s for the recognition, I don’t know. Then, we just add value to that $100 bill by adding some things that don’t cost me anything, but increase the perceived value.
For example, I’ll sign the $100 bill. Now the bid goes up to $150, then $200. It usually caps out at around $300 to $350. Then I’ll have Eric and Marina sign it. I’ll just continue to add signatures on the bill from people I figure that audience might be attracted to. We just keep adding value, like we’ll put it in a frame, and we talk about how it’s going to inspire the winner to do more and achieve more in his or her business.
The purpose of the exercise is to speak and explain value into that $100 bill, and every time I’ve done this there have been people in the crowd who are willing to pay a lot more than $100 for that $100 bill. At this most recent event, when the bid went over $5,000, I started to be surprised, as this was higher than I’d ever seen it go. When it hit somewhere in the range of $70,000 to $80,000, I had lost all understanding of what was happening.
David, what was going on in your mind?
David: When Jordan began the auction, I remembered having seen similar exercises before in network marketing and sales trainings. There are different approaches people use to show how to create more value than the price of the product or service, thus making it more desirable. Yet something struck me that this was different. I can only describe it as intuition.
When Jordan asked how many would pay $50, I stood up, reached into my pocket, grabbed all my cash and credit cards, and put my hand in the air. I held my money and my cards up the whole time till I walked up to the front of the room. Later I heard from Eric’s son who was watching from the green room how he predicted I would be the winner based on my posture, including my hand in the air.
The reason I didn’t let my hand down is I had an intuition there was a lesson, and I wanted to learn all of it. If I wasn’t the last person standing, there was going to be a portion of the lesson I was going to miss. I don’t know when it started, but when a number of us were still standing at $1 million, I realized I was having what I’ve since described as a public out-of-body experience, and things just sort of accelerated to the end from there.
Jordan: I had a similar out-of-body experience. Like David, I received a lesson from this, but not until after the exercise was complete. After my presentation when I was backstage, I realized you were all in. There was no backing down. You were going to do whatever it took. You knew in advance that you were going to see the job through, and there was nothing that was going to stop you from winning.
I could see that $100 bill framed with all the signatures on it and the perceived value of that being $20-25,000, but when we got beyond that, my feeling was that it was no longer about the $100 bill. Was that true for you?
David: For me, it was about more than the $100 bill from the very first moment. As you added a frame, and this signature, and that signature, none of that mattered to me. When we reached $100,000, I believe that created a paradigm shift, as Bob Proctor would say. Everyone in the room had lost sight of the $100 bill.
Jordan: It was almost like a fog came over the crowd. It felt like a real light energy. It was almost Godlike. I don’t know how else to describe it. It was very uplifting and euphoric. Did you feel that?
David: I did. I was in joy the whole time during this out-of-body experience. It reminded me of another transformational workshop I attended with my 15-year-old daughter on her birthday last May. She actually chose to forego celebrating with her friends to attend this training called Humans Being More, provided by our network marketing company. While creating yet another vision board, a song popped into my head and I started humming it. I didn’t know the name of it, so I asked around the room. Eventually someone told me it was Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.
It became my life song over that weekend, and it came with an image of me as a “money conductor,” which has two meanings: a conductor of the energy flow called money, and also a conductor of an orchestra of people earning money. These images flowed into my mind and onto my vision board as well.
During your presentation, I was in joy from the moment I stuck my hand in the air at $50. About a week later, a business partner asked me an interesting question. He said, “Did you ever have giver’s remorse?” I’d never heard that term before. I told him no. I never had a moment of doubt.
Jordan: There’s no question in my mind that the butterfly effect of what happens as a result of that moment will far surpass what you paid for that bill. I think we all know those wheels are already in motion.
David: I agree, and that became immediately clear when the session ended and people started coming up and talking to me.
Earlier, when Jordan invited me on stage, I said the lesson for me was personal growth. I committed to that the moment the auction began, not quite knowing what it was about, but I was trusting. Jordan hadn’t said where the money was going, so I was operating on intuition. I knew it wasn’t going in Jordan’s pocket, or in Eric and Marina’s pocket. I knew the room was full of givers—people who help people.
When Jordan revealed on stage that the money was going to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, I was pretty excited and realized that the other lesson for me was contribution. I’ve gotten even more excited since as I’ve visited their headquarters in Minnesota and understood more about their work.* Knowing where the money was going elevated, if that were even possible, my level of joy. It added a concreteness—helping people hear and understand each other.
After the presentation, as you were walking out, people stopped you.
David: They started to take selfies with me, which felt a little weird, because I hadn’t done this to get attention. Other people were shaking my hand and congratulating me. I didn’t make it out of the room for quite a while. The experience I had was that people were grateful, inspired, and curious. I loved how a number of people were inspired to earn more money so they would be able to contribute at the level I had contributed.
Jordan: Inspiration is what everyone was feeling in the room. When 8,000 people are inspired by an act, that’s going to lift the energy of the group to a level that many people, including myself, have never experienced. Honestly, on a speaker’s stage I’ve never experienced that level of life energy. It was pretty amazing.
Based on the chatter afterwards, I think most people in the room felt that. People were talking about it at the closing party and backstage. For hours and days people were posting and sharing comments online. Some were saying, “Let’s see if he really comes up with the money.”
David: There was only one odd comment in the hallway afterwards. One guy said, “Can you adopt me?” It was the only person who was even attuned to the money at all, and to, “Is there more?” The vast majority of the people were open minded, grateful, and giving. There was a comment on Facebook I found interesting. Someone said, “I got up and left the room in disgust when the bidding got to $20,000. Later when I heard where the money went, I realized I was in the wrong paradigm, I needed a paradigm shift.”
Jordan: I saw another comment on Facebook from someone that said, “I’m 100 percent confident this was all set up,” but that was somebody who watched it live stream. Everybody in the room knew this was real. The vast majority of the comments showed people were inspired. I would be very surprised if there was anyone in that room who didn’t feel lifted up by the experience.
David: I also learned some people were curious. They wanted to know, “Who are you? What are you up to?” I told people that the personal growth and contribution that took place were really the culmination of a much longer evolution, which had somehow been compressed and accelerated that weekend.
When I was telling people what I was up to, it was different from what I would have told them four days earlier. People made genuine offers to help me in making my visions come true. I pursued a number of these offers, and so far several collaborations have formed from that. The ripple effect is already happening.
The event changed the people in the room. How did it change you, David?
David: I needed some time to integrate the experience, so it was actually a couple of weeks later, after I visited the Starkey Hearing Foundation, that the words came to me. You know how there are these weekend workshops where you learn to “lock in your millionaire mindset”? What happened to me in Vegas is I locked in my billionaire philanthropist mindset.
In that moment I gave away a little over half of my net worth. I had never done that before, much less in just a few minutes. Yet I had no giver’s remorse. I saw more money coming into my life to replace it, so I felt no lack by what I had done. I felt only joy.
When I say “locking in my billionaire philanthropist mindset,” it certainly is an abundance mindset, and it also means I may never be measured as having a billion dollars in my possession at any given moment, but I know I will have earned and given away or contributed at least one billion dollars in my lifetime.
Jordan: When you went back to your everyday routine, did you find yourself telling people about the experience?
David: I shared it with very few. One of the things I’ve learned through network marketing, and it took me a while, is not to “snap people’s mental rubber bands.” Stretch them a little. In the beginning I snapped way too many of them, because I’ve known since junior high school that I was here to make a huge impact on the world. I’ve walked through most of my life with big visions, including when I started in network marketing...
Anything we can take away from the experience and apply in our businesses and lives?
Jordan: A few things come to mind. The first one Eric brought up. You don’t know unless you ask. If I had not gotten up there and asked the crowd to participate in this exercise, that $3.2 million donation would not have happened.
Second is to know that we can just keep on going. I might have put a cap on the bid. I could have said in my mind or out loud that the maximum we would raise was $15,000 or $20,000. The truth is, you don’t know who’s in the crowd. You don’t know who you’re talking to. You don’t know who’s there and what they’re capable of. The same applies to the people you share your network marketing opportunity with.
David: A number of people said, “I want to earn enough to do what you did.” I’ve had an interesting experience since with my 15-year-old daughter, who is quite mature. She’s one of the few who has heard the whole story even though she wasn’t present.
“I have only $200,” she told me.
I said, “You could give $100, or the same percentage I gave.”
She said, “That’d be about $125.”
I said, “Okay, you could give $125 of your $200 away, and see how it feels.”
My wife Celine found her life purpose in our visit to Starkey. She is a multi-entrepreneur, more on an individual level than a large organizational level. She’s always been capable of earning a lot of money, but never really been driven to do so. She’s motivated to do so now, because she’s committed to contributing 50 percent of her earnings every year.
There are better known teachers, including Jim Rohn, who have pointed out that we can all give. The number that seems to resonate with my daughter and my wife, inspired by what I did, is giving 50 percent. For someone else, it might be 10 percent. Tony Robbins shared that as a young man, he gave 100 percent of his last $17 away to a boy in a restaurant so he could buy lunch for his mom. Giving away a percentage of your wealth, or of your income, may be a good practice to try. See how it feels, and what shifts it may cause.
Jordan: Watching the video, I noticed David was the only one who didn’t let his arm down for a minute. He was saying, “I’m the one who has been chosen to be the recipient of whatever blessings come from this exercise.” The whole time he’s holding his hand up. That’s somebody who’s all in, and it’s a powerful lesson for everything we do.
Many people start a network marketing business with the expectation that the company is going to make them rich, versus them being the cause of the company’s success. Somebody who’s all in says, “I can be the difference as to whether this company makes it, makes it big, or fails.”
David had this unwavering commitment to be there till the end, to be the one. You had complete faith that when you give, it comes back to you, that giving is the most abundant thing you can do.
David: Another lesson I’d like to leave the readers with is to follow their own joy, or whatever name they call their most positive emotion. Focus your work and your life around that. Trust that everything will work out, even if the path may not be clear. In addition to choosing the emotion, choose the thoughts, and then do the daily actions that bring you that feeling, so that you continuously live in that emotion. That will take you towards whatever you define as your purpose in life. The results will be there, I promise you.
Can you share some of your visions that were fueled by attending Eric’s event?
David: I’ve known to some degree throughout my life that I’m here to make a large difference in the world. Despite growing up in Wisconsin, I somehow knew it was “the world,” not just the U.S.
I’ve had the good fortune of helping hundreds of people become millionaires, and I went to Eric’s conference in search of the next form of how I was going to make a difference. There’s a much longer story there about how the different pieces came together—how I was impacted over time by Bob Proctor, conversations with my wife Celine, Robert Kiyosaki, then Tony Robbins, and also Brian Carruthers’s talk on money mindset shortly before this auction. The net result is two primary initiatives that I’m working on now.
One is a global financial services firm whose focus is economic empowerment and economic development, whose culture and values are such that we love helping people earn more money in less time, and build wealth. We love helping our customers earn more money from their hard earned money, and we love helping our colleagues earn more money for the value they’re creating for our customers, their colleagues, and their communities.
In terms of economic empowerment, I’m thinking at the 7.3-billion-people level right now, so the language I’m using is at that level. Obviously, to deploy it as it gets person to person, the language has to change a little. Economic empowerment includes personal and professional development. And it certainly includes financial education. I noticed there were presentations by two network marketers at Eric’s event on that very topic, by Brian Carruthers and Kathleen Deggleman. There was a confluence of focus on financial education that seemed to be rising up in the awareness of network marketers, which for me confirms that this broader definition of economic empowerment is an idea whose time has come.
The second initiative I’m focused on is this: I firmly believe in the value of a pay-for-performance economy and the pay-for-performance business models, of which network marketing is a wonderful example. I am unwilling to let those who question these meritocracy business models, these models that pay people for the value they create in the world, to go unanswered. I’m unwilling to allow the uneducated and the skeptics to slander these business models, much less bring them down.
I’m committed to furthering these pay-for-performance business models in the world. I will, of course, be using it in my own firm, and I’m committed to being an ardent supporter of them throughout the world, in whatever form they take. Network marketing is a well-known one, and there are some others. To me the common thread is they pay for performance and results, they pay for value created.
Jordan Adler’s Beach Money book and audiobook serve as a roadmap to creating long-term success in network marketing, including time and financial freedom through residual income, and work that’s fulfilling by adding value to the lives of many others. Long before the book was published, Jordan decided that its purpose was going to be two-fold.
KIVA is a nonprofit organization that helps individuals lend money to the working poor. Its mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty. This is done by micro-financing (giving small loans to) outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities to provide economic opportunity around the world. Kiva lenders create a revolving loan fund to continuously empower entrepreneurs who may not have the economic infrastructure or freedom to enjoy network marketing, but have the passion and spirit to be in business, support their families, and lift their communities out of poverty. When the loans are paid back (98 percent are paid back in full), the money is immediately lent to the next entrepreneur.
So far, over $400,000 has been loaned to thousands of entrepreneurs through the efforts of this giving project. This contribution made Jordan Adler the biggest individual donor in the history of Kiva.org to date. Congratulations, Jordan Adler!!
By purchasing the Beach Money book or audio, you are helping Jordan reach his goal of “1 million copies sold,” and in turn funding thousands of people, forever. Thank you for contributing to this world-changing legacy!