By Rick Weinberg, Editor, California Business Journal
Email: Rick@CalBizJournal.com / Mobile: 949-648-3815
You can feel the energy and excitement soaring through you as you cross the threshold. Inside the room is Mel Cutler’s Entrepreneur Revolution and Success Academy staff dancing, singing, jumping and whooping it up.
It turns out that the seminars and speakers that follow over the course of the next three days – particularly Cutler himself — are even more overwhelming and invigorating than walking into room amidst Boggs’ powerful vocals.
“This is a weekend that is going to change your life,” says Michael Gee, who is attending Cutler’s event for the second time. “I couldn’t get enough of it the first time so I’m back for Round Two. It changed my life.”
Cutler, the mastermind and choreographer of the operation, is part entertainer, psychologist, coach, comedian, motivator, teacher, friend, brother, doctor, philosopher, therapist, healer, innovator and showman. He transforms people’s lives … literally. He changes them personally and professionally, inspiring them to “step out of their comfort zone” and overcome challenges and barriers to become the absolute best – and most successful – person they can be.
He changes their mindset, the way they view themselves — and the world around them.
There are approximately 50 people sitting in the private conference room, patiently waiting for the “star” of this weekend show. Before Cutler appears, a video flashes across a big screen. The video features some of the people Cutler has touched through his inspiring Entrepreneur Revolution, a multi-step program that is a little like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and rejoicing at the top when your journey is complete.
“I came here with a lot of limiting believes and I left fully confident that I could do almost anything,” Christine Lenches-Hinkle says. “I feel renewed and re-invigorated.”
Cutler finally arrives onstage amidst a standing ovation.
Brace yourself for Lesson No. 1.
“The Entrepreneur Revolution transforms you from the inside out,” Cutler says loudly and enthusiastically to his captive, sitting-on-the-edge-of-their-seats audience. “Everything you have today is the result of action — or the inaction – you have taken in your lives. This event is about learning how to trust yourself more, become more confident and become more certain.”
Cutler pauses for a moment and looks at his audience. There is silence.
Then he booms: “In this day and age, there is a right way – and a wrong way – to conduct core business fundamentals. At Success Academy, we challenge the status quo by creating life-changing curriculum. We believe in thinking differently.”
After each profound statement, Cutler stares at his audience in silence, making sure his language strongly resonates with each and every person. He wants them to think about themselves, why they made the decision to be in his audience, what’s holding them back from fully succeeding in their lives and in business, and how to move forward.
“People who are unwilling to change and adapt have no chance to succeed,” he says. “They have no hope. You must be willing to change in order to grow beyond your dreams, personally and professionally. You must invest in yourself with education. You cannot ever stop learning.”
The audience nods their heads in agreement.
Cutler then talks about the power of the brain, its staggering functionalities, and how you can train it to rid yourself of past problem and fears – and overcome your flaws and flourish in every way possible.
“If a foundation is built on sand, it will collapse,” he says.
Same thing with the brain, he points out. If your foundation is not strong enough, it creates weaknesses. The stronger your foundation, the stronger you are in every aspect of life.
“Your brain,” he says, “is a user guide. When you purchase a car, what’s in the glove compartment? A user’s guide, of course. And that user guides tell you every little thing that is going on with your car. If any light goes on, you simply refer to the user guide to pinpoint the problem.”
Not so with your brain, he says. “It would be great if the doctor who delivered you handed you a user guide for your brain.”
The audience laughs. They know Cutler is right.
“Your brain is made to solve problems,” he says. “It’s like a heat seeking missile.”
Blank expressions appear on the faces of many participants.
Reticular Activating System is the set of connected nuclei in the brains of vertebrates that is responsible for regulating arousal and sleep-wake transitions.
“Every excuse you have makes your problem bigger,” Cutler says. “If you like problems, fine, then keep making excuses.”
He looks at the audience and paces along the stage.
“A lot of us are programed to make excuses,” he adds. “It’s the environment we grew up in. It’s our mindset.
“Yet, it’s not what you know,” he adds. “What matters is how fast you can adapt and change. Companies do not go out of business in one day. It takes years of malpractice of being inflexible to get there.”
And then you have to find a way to unwind it your mindset, to disconnect it and reconnect it.
That’s Cutler’s specialty – helping you reprogram yourself.
Just like he did for Michael Gee and thousands of others.
There are three components to Cutler’s “Mindset” strategies:
“In your mind, you must see yourself as being successful,” Gee says. “That’s what I did. And it works. I never thought this would have so much an impact of me, but it did. Mel Cutler reprogrammed me and now I’d doing better than I ever have in my life.”
Cutler is a self-made millionaire who … lost it all. Then gained it back. And lost it again.
His story is captivating.
Born in Toronto, Cutler and family moved to Orange County, California when he was a toddler. He was born with Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disease that many children cannot live with past the age of 13. He survived, barely.
At 16, after years of partying, doctors told him that if he didn’t change his lifestyle, he wouldn’t be walking on planet earth much longer. “That shook me up,” he says.
Thus, his transformation began … slowly.
He was a typical teen — distracted, detached, confused. He couldn’t find himself, his talents, and his niche in life. He didn’t have any idea about what he could do for his future.
He lasted just one year in college and jumped from job to job. To get by, he worked valet at a popular Long Beach restaurant. It didn’t help that every night he’d watch the wealthiest of the wealthy pull up in their Jaguars, Land Rovers and Porsches, Rolex’s on their wrist, and a gorgeous young woman on their arm.
“What do I need to become one of them?” Cutler would ask himself over and over. One day, he conjured up the “chutzpah” to ask one of the wealthy regulars his secret. Amazingly, the man invited him for a cup of coffee at 7 a.m. the next day. “I hadn’t seen a clock with 7 a.m. on it in years,” Cutler laughs.
He made it to the meeting and it changed his life forever. He learned about RAS, how his brain functions, how he can rid himself of past hurdles and fears, how he can push beyond it and create a new and successful life. He learned how to surround himself with an all-star team of colleagues.
He re-learned, so to speak.
“It’s about how fast you can learn – and unlearn,” Cutler says. “I had to change my mindset, first and foremost.”
His new life was beginning. At the age of 19, Cutler scraped up all of his savings — $5,000 – and convinced a few of his friends to scratch up the same amount to start an internet business. Before long, it went national and the money was rolling in.
His first million was made. But Cutler and his partners didn’t change quick enough and their dial-up internet business was steamrolled by the new DSL kids on the block. Cutler’s company went bankrupt.
He bounced back and built several other businesses. Most of them failed. One was the equivalent of winning the lottery … for a while at least. That company went under too.
After that crash, Cutler sat back and contemplated his next career and life venture.
Meanwhile, a friend of his was leaving for Roatan, a spectacular island in Honduras surrounded by nothing but beach. He invited Cutler to join him. With nothing on his plate except time, Cutler went.
And he didn’t leave the island.
He loved it so much that he had all his belongings packed up and moved to the island. He started up a few businesses, including a surf shop and a pirate-ship shaped bar. “I wasn’t making much money, but it was fun,” he says.
One year passed. “I was happy but getting a little bored,” he says. “I wanted to do something bigger, something better. I had an urge to want to help people.”
So Cutler asked himself these three questions:
“If I had an unlimited amount of money and resources, what would I be doing?”
“If I had an unlimited about of time, what would I be doing?”
“If I could do anything, what would it be?”
He looked back and thought about the great mentors and supporters he had and thought:
“What if I could help people the way those people helped me by sharing wisdom, strategies, processes, techniques – helping create a new way of thinking, a new mindset to help them push themselves and their business to a new level.”
He studied, researched, talked to everyone he could and grew into what he is today.
“I trained my brain to be a positive influence on other people’s brain and their thought process,” he says. “What I do is help people think smarter.”
Michael Gee was slowly building his business, ProFit Ergonomics Solutions — emphasis on “slowly.”
A friend mentioned Entrepreneur Revolution. Gee was intrigued. He wanted to check it out. When he left his house, he told his fiancé that he’d probably just spend a few hours there and be home for lunch.
“I called her at lunch and said, ‘Honey, I’m sticking around for the rest of the day,” Gee recalls.
When he returned home that night, he said, “Honey, I’m going tomorrow, too. Don’t plan on me being home until late.”
Gee was mesmerized by Cutler. He felt renewed, rejuvenated, re-inspired, overjoyed.
“It really wasn’t about understanding what to do or how to start a business, but about having the right mindset to accomplish it,” Gee says. “Motivation is very short lived. That’s a problem. You can find a lot cheerleaders among your family and friends to motivate you. But having the mindset is quite different. You need to understand exactly what it is.”
Gee thought about his past. He recalled all the things he had thought about doing, all the things he wanted to do … but never did them. He wondered why.
Cutler had the answers, instilling into a Gee a new mindset, renewed heart and passion.
For instance, for three years, Gee put off an important exam for his sports medicine certification because he was starting his ergonomics business. He figured he would just pay a fine to get reinstated. Not the case. He had to take a challenging national exam.
After participating in Cutler’s workshop, Gee took action. Literally. For three months, he studied every day and every night … while working full-time. He ended up acing the exam.
“From that point on,” he says, “it was one action step after another completed, one after another.”
“It was amazing,” his wife says. “He was a new person, a better person, with a new mission.”
The newer and better Michael Gee does not allow negativity to hold him back any more. The negative self-talk in your head that says ‘I can’t do this,’ or ‘I don’t have the money,’ have been eliminated from his thought process.
“I just forgot about all that negativity and developed the strongest desire to succeed,” he says. “There was no one who knew more about my business than me. But I didn’t have the mindset to succeed. Now that I do, I’ve applied that mindset and now I see my success right in front of me.”
And the amount of new work that is coming to Gee is overwhelming, he says. It’s just like what Cutler told him: “When you have that strong desire and the mindset behind it, riches come faster than you can accept it.”
“And it’s truly happening to me,” Gee says. “When I think back now, it was so easy to develop this mindset.”
What it comes down to is “psychologically removing roadblocks,” Cutler says. For a lot of people, it’s “I don’t have the money or time to put into myself or my business, I don’t have the resources, I don’t know enough people.” All excuses. All bad excuses. Yet changing your mindset eliminates those roadblocks, Cutler says.
“I thrive on helping people overcome those roadblocks and become the best they can be. My satisfaction lies there,” he adds.
Lisa Darmousseh is a lot like Gee. She landed in Cutler’s workshop after moving from the Bay Area to Orange County and suddenly finding herself unsure, less confident, distraught, and afraid of the future.
When initially asked about Cutler, Darmousseh laughed and said, “How much time do you have?
“I can go on and on and on about him. He changed my life. He freed me from past problems and doubts.”
Darmousseh and her husband Albert had just sold their Bay Area floral business and were looking to start a new one in Irvine. They called it Grand Floral Events.
Somehow, Lisa developed self-doubt and fear, even after 30 years in the business.
“I wondered, ‘Can I do this again – and can we be successful at it? I wasn’t a kid anymore,” she says.
When she went to Cutler’s seminar, she remembers thinking, “What’s this 30-year-old guy going to tell me that I don’t know already. I’m 50. I’ve accomplished a lot.”
Well, as soon as Cutler began speaking, she was spellbound.
“I could not write things down as quickly as they were coming out of Mel’s mouth,” she says. “Everything he was saying impacted me in such a deep and powerful way. He completely changed the way I had been thinking. He totally changed my mindset. I’m a different person today — a better, smarter and more rational person in everything I do.”
How so? Well, when Lisa was attempting to land a big account for her floral business, she was quickly rejected.
“Normally, I’d just say ok, leave, get in my car, go home and forget about it,” she says.
This time was different. She thought about the meeting over and over in her head. Then she called the gentleman she met with and “explained to him all the things we can do to make his business better and help it grow,” she says. “I shared with him all the experiences I had in this industry.”
She spoke confidently, proudly, courageously.
After she finished, the gentleman said, “Lisa, you do not know how important it is what you’re telling me. I have not heard this from anyone before. The way you run your business is aligned with the way we run ours.”
There was a pause. Then he said, “You’re hired.”
The account is valued at more than $30,000 … monthly.
And now Grand Floral Events is moving into a bigger building.
“I give all the credit to Mel,” she says. “I was not attached to my fears that day. I applied all the tools that Mel taught me.”
220 Newport Center Dr. #11-547
Newport Beach, CA 92660