From Suicidal to Successful With Roland Frasier, the Founder of War Room Mastermind
Q&A Article with Roland Frasier, the Founder of War Room Mastermind
Not so long ago, lawyer Roland Frasier took a handgun, put it to his mouth and thought long and hard about pulling the trigger. The government was looking to put him in jail, his law firm had disowned him, and his wife had left him. Flash forward to present day, where Roland has really turned things around; he is the founder and CEO of an organization with one of the most coveted memberships in the world, War Room Mastermind. The War Room is a very select membership for businessmen who, according to Frasier’s website, “want to learn, grow, profit and positively impact the world” through sharing their experiences, networking, and action.
Before He Became a War Room Mastermind, Roland Frasier Tells Us How He Hit Rock Bottom
It was not one of the happier times in my life. It was a significant period because I had challenges with the government. There was an act called the Patriot Act that happened around 2000, which was when the government decided that the privacy that you were used to was going to be taken away. I didn't agree with it and the government didn't agree with me not agreeing with it. One day the Federal Bureau of Investigation raided my law offices, took all my stuff and there was a complaint filed called the United States of America versus Roland Frasier. It was very hard for me to deal with. That happened while I was overseas and I called my law firm and they answered without my name.
I came back and my wife told me she didn't want to be with me anymore. I'm sure that I wasn't the best person in the world to be around either. So, it's just kind of a terrible cycle; you feel bad and then the people around you feel bad and then you're hard to get along with cause you're depressed and stressed out and then that stresses them out because they've got their own version of what's going on. That was a pretty bad place. And it ended with “maybe you'll go to jail for five years or longer” and “you'll lose your ability to practice law and you won't be able to do the thing that defines you” when people ask “What do you do?”
I'm an attorney. To think about not being able to say that anymore was a lot. That was towards the end of 2002. So there was somewhere between two and three years of just really, really hardcore depression. Six months of just not wanting to get out of bed, kind of running from the feelings by traveling everywhere. Then the Internal Revenue Service came and said: “you owe us millions of dollars also”.
What did the future hold? It was very, very scary. And you know, it was the first time I think I had ever really seriously contemplated opting out and not continuing to deal with it.
I'm not a super religious person, but I was in a church in Denmark, in Copenhagen, that had stained glass all at the top. I was sitting there on the bench, just thinking about everything. I decided that I was going to just to deal with it and face it all, and handle whatever was going to happen. And so that was the decision that I ultimately made. And then after that, once I had made that decision and I had ruled out the option of suicide, it was just one step at a time.
Roland Changed His Mindset by Looking for Strength From Within
It’s not that I couldn't have called the places on Google that appears when you query “How can I commit suicide?”. I could have called those sites or phone numbers that offered to help. Those things are great. My path was just different. I'm a person who looks within to find my strength and not without, and that's not good, bad, wrong. That's just for me.
I think you could say suicide is never a logical conversation. But someone just told me that the guy that founded No Fear committed suicide because he was in so much pain from all of his back injuries and things like that. I believe Robin Williams made the decision (to commit suicide) because he had a brain disease and they said, “you're going to get progressively worse”. So, maybe those people are the very, very few who are making a logical decision, and it’s certainly one that a lot of people wouldn't agree with. But when you're in the height of some emotional situation like I was, there are so many things that seem like they are literally the end of the world. Then you find out later it just wasn't anything.
I had several people that I knew from high school that committed suicide. I think it's just the unknown that scares a lot of people. My wife had stage four thyroid cancer and was told she had 90 days to live. She chose to fight that. She could've given up. She could've committed suicide. She could've said “I'm just gonna go do fun things until I can't do fun things anymore”. But she chose the harder path of fighting that. She's 12 years past that.
I think suicide is a thing that happens when you feel you have no options, that the pain is so great of whatever it is that you're experiencing that you've decided you just can't deal with that and you don't want to.
So, having gone through everything I went through, I feel like I have the credibility. I'm in a position to say “I literally was there with a gun in my hand” and that's a tough spot to be in.
Roland’s Journey Left Little Time for Dwelling on the Past; He Focused on Success Instead
For me it was: I'm going to look back and see how I got to this point. And then I'm like, “well you made some bad decisions and you ignored the advice of some smart people and people that cared about you, which put you in this position”. And then how did I treat those people? The people that left, did they leave because they're bad people? Or did they leave because I was beyond their ability to help? If you can separate your humanity from the decisions that you've made, then you can elect to make different decisions today, I'm just me, today, here.
Now there are haters that'll come out and say, “you know, you did this and you did that”. And it's like you have to say, “I did and I wish I hadn't, but this is who I am now. And I respect it if that's not something you can deal with, I'm cool with that”. It's better in my opinion, to not let that define you. I don't think I have any right to be mad at people who wouldn't want to do business with me or wouldn't want to be friends with me. I think it's a loss probably for both of us. And it's a filter too though, of the compassionate, thoughtful, open minded people that I would like to have in my life now.
To me, dwelling on the past is not productive. I'm not going to allow myself to be whiplashed with the past. You can't flog me with my mistakes. I'll own them. And if that doesn't work for you, fine, you have to believe who I am and how I am now. And if you don't, I understand and I'll wish you no ill will. You can spend your time apologizing for past mistakes or you can spend your time doing good going forward.
I think that any limitation on success is only your mindset. The only reason that I didn't invent Facebook or Microsoft or something like that is because I have limitations in my mind that are stopping me from thinking as big as I could think. Where am I thinking too small? How can I think bigger? How do I increase the quality of the relationships that I've got? How do I get myself in front of the things that will propel me to the places that I want to be? And voraciously learning and networking constantly.
It's understanding that I am so far from being the person that I want to be and I'm so far from being the success that I want to be, but I am happy. I am, but I am not content to remain where I am.
So, always looking for how can you improve yourself in every single way is important.
For Those of Us Who Are Not “Masterminds” Yet, Roland’s Advice Is to Look to Mentors
People ask me from time to time, who are your mentors? And I'll be like, “well, this week it was Conrad Hilton and Henry Ford and John Rockefeller” because I was reading their autobiographies. And I think that you can have virtual mentors by surrounding yourself with smart people who have written their wisdom in a book, in the form of an autobiography. So I really like autobiographies from people that I respect in some area. And so, I read a lot of those. They're at the library. And the second thing is, there are always people who are willing to give back if you show some progress.
I do think there are people that have lots of wisdom to offer. I think they can be fantastic mentors. And then there are lots of free mastermind groups as well. So, I belong to several free masterminds that don't charge any money to be part of. And it's just people who get together. Like here in San Diego, we've got a couple of those that I belong to. They'll meet once a month, some of them once a week. And who is to say that they're better or worse than the ones that cost 30, 50, a hundred grand, right? It's what are you going to get out of it. I believe very, very strongly that modeling, mentoring and masterminding is the key to everything. So, if you find mentors that can help you have the mindset, and show you the shortcuts, and you get the models of people who have already proven that a certain thing works, then that's your starting point. And then you tweak and adjust and split test your way up from there. You can only succeed with those three M's.
People Don’t Sue People They Like; Even If They’re Business Partners
So, the first thing that you learn as an attorney practicing law is that people don't sue people that they like. So, you have to like the people you're going into partnership with, as human beings. And if you don't, then you just shouldn't do it. If you're doing it just to make money, don't do that. That's a mistake because although a partnership is very marriage-like, you must understand it is generally less understanding than a marriage. You might be more understanding of family or a spouse than you would be of a partner.
And then, what's their history? Have they had successful partnerships in the past? Do they speak well of their past partners, or ill of them? Have they sued lots of people, been in lawsuits and things like that? That would be a pretty big red flag. That would be an “out” for me. The other thing is if you have the blessing of doing a joint venture first. This is like “let's do a transaction together so we can figure out if we get along first”. If you try that thing and it doesn't work and you lost the money and things are still good, that's a really good indication of somebody that would be a good actual partner past a joint venture. Then you get to have fun.
So you have to be able to say: “this is going to be fun for me and I also know it's going to be fun for them”. And then you get to money.
The 5-80-5 Tool Allows Businesses to Increase Their Lead Flow by 500%
You created this tool called 5-80-5, allowing people to increase their business value by 5x, reducing expenses by up to 80%, and increase lead flow by 500%. Tell us more.
This came about as a result of a company called Spectrum Equity, a growth capital company. So, growth capital companies are companies that they don't want to buy you as much as they want to make a minority investment to give you the capital that you need to get to the next level.
They said, tell us about your income. And we're like, okay, our income is X. And then they said, how much of your business is one time transactions? And we said “this much”. So, then they said that if we changed our “one time stuff” to “recurring”, they would give us five times what we were expecting. I was like, okay, we're going to change to recurring. You see, investors are about de-risking their investment. If you have to make a new sale every single time you go out, that's more riskier than if you've got people who have a proven record of paying you a certain amount of money for a long period of time. So, we completely re-engineered our business around a repeating, or “recurring” sales model.
So, we had actually opened an office, hired people, had an HR director. It was a shared services model that cost just under $50,000 a month to have all of these people producing content for us in the Philippines. We had five companies that were equally using the content. Then each of these companies would get a bill for 10K a month. And, we said: “well, gosh, what if we started providing content to other people?”
And we said, okay, let's open a content as a service company and we'll turn this expense center into a profit center. And so, I ended up calling that “ETP”, or “Expenses to Profits. I think it's about ninety to a hundred thousand dollars a month in profits. It went from a 50k negative per month to a profit of 100k a month.
And then the third thing was we had gotten in with a company called Infusionsoft, now called Keap. And we were doing a co-registration on leads where Keap funded our marketing to get leads. We nurtured and shared the leads. We sold our stuff and then whenever a lead wanted to get a demo of Keap’s product, we sent those prospects to them. That's kinda cool. So, basically that started out with them paying $25,000 a month of our ad cost.
The name “5-80-5” was given to me by a guy named Joel Weldon, who is part of one of the Masterminds. I loved it. So, that's what the 5-80-5 is - you simply move to a subscription revenue, that's about a 5 times your valuation. We were able to actually turn our expenses into a profit center. I say up to 80%, even though it could be a whole lot better, and it was for us. And then the other 5 was the co-registration thing where you take something that you're good at, particularly if it's leads, and help somebody else gain business while they pay for your marketing costs.
What’s a Day in the Life Like for Roland Frasier?
I like to try to think about the three things that I'm going to accomplish during the day. I can get about as much as five minutes of meditating in before my mind starts to wander. So that's something I'm working on. I usually use the morning to catch up on everything, do any kind of posting I need to do, that sort of stuff. The whole rest of the day is meetings. There's quite a bit of travel because most of the deals are not here in San Diego. So, I'm out and about on the road doing different things.
There’s a lot of global expansion. We just launched the “Scalable Mastermind” in the UK. I have a lot of speaking engagements in Europe as I work to expand my personal brand and our other brands there. We have some strategic partners in Russia. We'll be doing a traffic conversion summit in Russia in November of next year, which will be nice...and cold.
I've got a book that will be coming out, early fourth quarter next year. So that's an exciting project.
I really love having an impact, a positive impact on the lives of the people that come into contact with me or my content. So, if I can help one person to feel better about themselves, to take action, to get to the things that they want, and to not make a bad decision, I’m happy. I'm trying and I'll continue to adapt and try to find new ways to reach people. I get messages all the time from people that have made big changes in their lives from listening or watching or hanging out with me and the content that I've got. And that's just amazingly rewarding.
Interested in Learning More about the 5-80-5 Tool?