About the episode:
Chris Cicchinelli gives us an inside look of what it is like to run a company that is solely focused on women and their success, health, and much more. Learn how Chris brought Pure Romance from 3 million in yearly revenue, to 350 million in his time leading.
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About Chris Cicchinelli:
Chris Cicchinelli is not only the President and CEO of the world’s largest in-home party company specializing in intimacy and sexual health. He’s also an advocate for women across the globe, inspiring and motivating each woman he meets to stand up and take control of her financial future. Chris knows success does not come easy. As the oldest son of Pure Romance Founder Patty Brisben, he watched his mother’s relentless perseverance as she built her business while raising her four children on her own. Her struggles and successes inspired him to continue her legacy of empowering and educating women today. Since he joined the Pure Romance team in 2000, Chris has engineered explosive growth, taking the company from $3 million in revenue to $350 million. With Consultants in every U.S. state and Puerto Rico, plus new expansion markets in South Africa, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, Pure Romance shows no signs of slowing down—and neither does Chris. He spends over 200 days a year on the road offering motivational seminars and training programs to Pure Romance’s 40,000-plus Consultants worldwide. He takes time to get to know the Consultants personally, and he truly understands how to help them be successful businesswomen. As a dynamic leader, he sets the tone for both the Consultant sales force and the corporate staff in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2018 Chris founded the Living with Change Foundation to help transgender youth and their families. The Foundation is working to create a Center of Excellence for LGBTQ care at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. Like anyone with strong family ties, Chris knows that none of his success would matter without the love and support of his wife, Jessica, and their three children: LC, Max, and Macie. He believes that in business and in life, the key to happiness is building strong relationships.
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Winners & Losers In Relationships, Business, & Life | Chris Cicchinelli
Chris, welcome to the show. This is the weirdest intro because we started talking and here we are talking scotch.
I’m excited to be here. I was like, “I know this guy’s connoisseur.” I went from that to bourbon to now tequila.” I liked that. I saw that in your portfolio. I was like, “I like this.”
How in the world did you transition from scotch to bourbon to tequila? I love sipping tequila and I love scotch. Bourbon is like a lesser form of whatever for me now.
It’s funny I get asked that question a lot. I think it goes like this. It goes by the Yelp model. All my buddies started moving into these different trends and I kept following them. Whatever anybody was serving at their house, I started liking different stuff like tequila. The only thing I thought about tequilas was when we were in high school and people gave us Jose Cuervo, nasty stuff and we drank it. That’s the only thing I knew but now there’s a whole another level of tequila like Clase Azul and Casamigos. I’m enjoying this. It’s different once you start making a little bit of money. You can afford some of the nicer tequilas. You don’t have to do the 151 and all the other stuff that we did in college.
I did a shot of that one time. It was like, “The burning.” That’s what we need for COVID. That’ll kill it right away in your lungs and it’s done.
I think Pfizer came out with a new 151.
We’re going to talk about all the cool stuff with Pure Romance and everything too, but this is how we start. This is synergy right from the beginning. I love it.
You’re in Illinois. I’m an Illinois guy. I was born in Naperville and I saw that. I was like, “They’re in Chicago.” I played Chicago golf. I’m a golfer and I love that. Maybe that’s where I also got the scotch after a good round. You have a little a gallon and you were good to go.
I started getting into golf a couple of years ago before I got sick and I haven’t played since, which is tragic. I ordered a brand new custom set of pings and tailor-made, then I was out only a couple of times and that was it. At that point, I’m like, “I’m going to get good because I need to do deals on the golf course.” This was a few years ago. I started realizing that I loved stopping in the clubhouse after the front nine. It became my favorite part.
I tell my wife all the time I play golf, “The first eighteen holes is for practice. The nineteenth is when I get serious.”
You’re from Naperville. That’s awesome. I’m in Frankfurt. It’s funny because we’re here in Florida. I was there with my son and they’re like, “It must be a lot warmer here with the cold up there.” I’m like, “It’s freaking August. It was warmer in Chicago than it was here.”
I’m in Fort Lauderdale now dealing with some things for business. When I left Cincinnati, it was 94 degrees, humid as heck. When I get down to here, this is nice. I called my wife and she goes, “How hot is it down there?” I’m like, “Not as hot as it is in Cincinnati.”
The reverse is the opposite. That’s what you’re telling me. In Chicago, I love the Western and Southwest suburbs where I’m at. I always talk about the three most sought-after suburbs, which are Frankfort, Naperville, and then Hinsdale where people settle. When they have some success in their life and want good schools, it’s some of the places that take care of the surroundings. It’s like the Downtown areas. I love Downtown Frankfort, Downtown Naperville, and Downtown Hinsdale. Those are beautiful.
I went to a place that you guys have. I can’t remember where it was. I don’t know if it was in downtown neighbor. I can’t remember exactly if it was neighbor or one of the other suburbs I was in, but I love that little downtown and what they’ve been doing there. I love to see that. I’m in Downtown Cincinnati and we’re trying to come back from this whole COVID. The town has been destitute. Nobody has been there or anywhere. A lot of people downtown are trying to get back in. They reserve those markets. We don’t want to lose our downtowns. That’s for sure.
There is a lot that’s trickled down and starting to come back to. I’m curious too because there’s been a lot of people at home since 2020. How has that affected Pure Romance? My guess is that thing has skyrocketed.
It’s interesting because, in March of 2020, I was nervous because we were very much in-home. That’s all we did. Those were very in-home events. Somebody would come into our home. There will be 10 or 15 women there. One of our partners would come in, they would do a presentation and they already private order because everybody wants to keep everything confidential. The moment that we started hearing that there was going to be a lockdown, I started panicking because we had a group of partners that were like, “We don’t know what to do online. How do we transition to digital?”
It’s amazing to sit back and think from March 23rd until April 1st, they figured it out. It would have taken me five years to do what we did in seven days. It was out of necessity. I say the most desperate, you will always find an answer to. The most desperate always will come up with a solution. That’s exactly what happened. They had to transform the business and from that point, April of 2020, up 58%. May of 2020, up 118%. June of 2020, up 120%.
We started ramping quickly and we didn’t do one in-home party, not one in-home event. I think what people need more than anything is certainty. I did go on every day. Every morning at 9:00 and every night at 8:00, I was broadcasting through our 41,000 partners, “Here’s the deal. If you do the following steps, you’re going to be okay.” That’s what people need. People need to know things are going to be okay. They need certainty. It’s a human need that we all go through. That’s what led us to have a 100% increase in 2020.
You have 41,000 partners. I did not know that you had that many. That’s incredible. I know places like the Pampered Chef and all those. It’s very different industries but the same type of sales model, the in-home whatever. I know they suffered tremendously. What do you do? You try the food and you’re not trying the things.
A lot of people were trying to get creative with their relationships. I was like, “I got to be home all this time.” I traveled before this for twenty years for 250 days a year. My wife didn’t even know who I was. Thinking about 2020, I’m home every day, working at the office trying to figure out everything that was going on. People reach into the relationships and figured out what works for them. I think that they started getting more exploratory in their relationships, which was also something that set the industry skyrocketing at that time. You were done with Netflix in one month. You’ve seen everything. You watched the Lion King or whatever.
You’re going back to binge-watching Breaking Bad from a few years ago. I was like, “I guess I could watch this again.” That’s so crazy. I was reading a little bit about you. My team put some stuff together for me too, but you followed in your mom’s footsteps with Pure Romance. What does that exactly mean?
Growing up as a kid, my mom started this in the basement in our house in 1993. I’m going off to college. She started in the industry in 1983. I was growing up as a relationship enhancement child. My mom was working in this business that was out there, teaching women to go out there with their bodies, teaching them how to go out there about the relationship. All of that stuff was important. I never thought I would ever be going into this industry at all. I ended up going and working for a publicly traded company out of college down in Atlanta, Georgia.
My mom came to me and said, “I want you to go out there and grow this business. I think I have something.” I said, “Mom, here’s a deal. I’m working for a publicly traded company moving up. I make more than you do. There’s not a prayer in Vegas that I’m going to come back. I will get a job nowhere in the world if I’m selling sex toys.” This is 2000. Lo and behold, we sat down and talked. We worked it out. I ended up coming back because she did have something that people didn’t want to talk about. She had a great way of taking it from a bookstore or online.
Getting a freeway of taking it and making women feel comfortable about their bodies and about their relationships. That was the biggest thing I looked at. She was redefining how people would look at the relationship. She saw the divorce rate creeping to 60%. She knew that these things were happening. She said, “I don’t want more people to go through divorce as I did. I want them to be able to have communication in the relationship because if communication breaks down, it’s over. If sex breaks down, done. You’re even toast.”
We were doing $1 million in 2000 when I came back and I’ll never forget this. I came to our office the first day. I came back from Atlanta. I’m like, “What’s our growth strategy?” She said, “What do you mean by our growth strategy? I sent your ass to college. You need to figure this out. I need you to figure out how we’re going to grow.”
I come in and I put a plan together. There was this company called Barbizon Modeling. Maybe some of you guys know about it or whatever. They would go around the country looking for the next Guess jeans model. This ad came on the radio and said, “Come meet this lead photographer to the stars. You could be the next Guess jeans model. Come out to the Sharonville Holiday Inn and get your picture taken by him and be in California next week.”
I’m like, “Is there anybody that’s out there doing this?” I go to this Holiday Inn off of 42 right by where I live. There were hundreds of people that were looking to be the next Guess jeans model. Here I am. I have five cups of coffee that night. I’m like, “I’ve got it. I’m a marketing guy. This is brilliant.” I come into my mom’s office the next day and I said, “Here it is. Come meet Patty Brisben. Take your steps to make your dreams come true. Own and operate your own Pure Romance business now. Get started and come to a hotel in St. Louis.”
My mom goes, “That is the dumbest idea I think I’ve ever heard in the entire world. Why would anybody come to meet me?” I’m like, “Mom, you are like the Nike shoes to Mary Kay. You’re exactly what this industry needs. We need to go out there and we need to tell people about it.” I remember we spent $30,000 of our money. We had $33,000 in the bank. I don’t know if I was dumb or naive or whatever at this time. I’ll never forget my mom coming to me and saying, “Chris, we’re going to take this chance and we’ll do it.”
We ended up going to St. Louis. We brought in two people that time and that’s where the ball started rolling. We only bring in two people in that timeframe. Literally, our business went from $1 million that year. We went from city to city. We went to a U-Haul for three years. We went from $1 million to $4 million, $4 million to $8 million, $8 million to $16 million, $16 million to $32 million. Now we do over $350 million in revenue. We didn’t come home. We lived on the road. We traveled. We were helping entrepreneurs own their businesses but think about that. I go back to people all the time. If I didn’t take that chance and risk, where would I be now?
That’s part of the gap that you see in a lot of entrepreneurs because a lot of entrepreneurs are just business owners. That’s about it. It’s playing it safe. It’s creating little incremental growth strategies and making a living. This was a few years ago when I spoke at Harvard. I pulled this up and I was like, “Why is it the smallest business owners still only bring home between $60,000 to $80,000 a year? The owner, with all the weight, responsibility, pressures of people and clients, and everything. It’s not worth it if you’re doing that. Go work for somebody else if that’s all you’re going to do.”
I’m in total agreement with you. I see this all the time. I see too many people want to play it safe. That’s the biggest misnomer. I didn’t know that I was spending $30,000 at that time and being one of the best decisions I ever made. It goes back to the same thing. I make those decisions out all the time. We spent $4 million on a rebranding campaign.
Everybody was like, “Why are you going to rebrand? Why are you spending that money?” If we don’t spend that for $4 million, how do we get to the next $400 million? I’m not playing forward to stay wherever I’m at now. Too many people are like, “I’m making $60,000. I’m good. That $60,000 will start chipping away with inflation and all the other things that you’re going to get on.” You might as well go work for somebody and be able to get off at 5:00 if you want to go make $60,000, $70,000 or whatever. That’s just my belief.
I appreciate that you also own your decisions. I’m very similar this way. When a decision is made, there’s no second-guessing at that point. It’s all in. It’s moving forward as if it’s already been accomplished. Whether it’s going to be a failure or not, who freaking cares at that point? You’re proceeding as if the outcome is going to be exactly how you intend it to be without ever looking back behind you.
I saw the name of the show, All In. I was like, “This has got to be my guy.” I like it. I am down with this because I am a firm believer in it. I’m working for this public-traded company and I’m getting lunch with the CEO. Before I left, he goes, “I’m going to give you one piece of advice.” I said, “What?” He goes, “Whatever you do, wherever you go, if you’re in a legal battle, a deal mode, growth mode, marketing mode or whatever you’re in, as long as you’re the last person at the table, meaning you’re pushing all those chips all the way in, you got to beat everybody. Everybody is going to sit back and go, ‘You’re the most competent person at the table.’” That is by going all in. You’re saying, “This is what it is. I’m going to work every hour. I believe in my decision and the people that I’m surrounding with. I believe in this deal and the marketing message that we’re doing.”
For most people, the problem I see with them is they don’t believe in anything. One thing they don’t do is they don’t believe anything in themselves. You’ve probably heard this all the time. I cannot stomach when I hear people go, “You got to fake it until you make it.” No, you got to believe it until you become it. Don’t fake it until you make it. I hate when I hear it. Once you start believing in stuff and believe in yourself, you know those chips are going all in. Let’s play the game.
It’s awesome to have the power of being able to say like, “I’m going to be this.” It’s more like, “I am this,” in the present moment, even if you’re not already because it will take place at that point. I love that. I’ve heard the “Fake it until you make it” all the time, but believe it until you become it, that’s incredible. That inward focus on yourself is the toughest part of that too.
Somebody asked me, “Why am I writing a book? Why did I go into The Secret Is You? Why did I do this?” I tell people I’ve worked with 250,000 entrepreneurs. We’re in business for many years. The biggest thing is during COVID, you kept hearing people need a side hustle and they are going to start their own business. To be honest with you, 80% to 90% of them fail within a year or even two years.
The biggest thing that they don’t do is they don’t believe in the main product and themselves. They think, “I’m going to be selling this and that’s going to be it. I’m going to be selling this nice widget.” I’m like, “The product is never what you’re selling. The product is you.” People are like, “How do I get this?” You got to plan all this other stuff that you have. They see me and what I have now. They’re like, “That’s amazing. You’re so lucky.” First of all, I’m not lucky. I worked my ass off to get to where I am. I also understand one thing and the secret is I’ve got to believe in myself first.
I got to believe in my schedule and what I’m doing. Am I taking care of this person? I didn’t want people coming out of COVID thinking that starting a business was easy because it’s not. Until you understand the thing you got to get right first, it’s not your product. It is you. You’ve got to figure it out you. You got to lead you first, understand you first, see where your deficiencies are first, and figure out what you need to continue to grow to start your business.
I need a siren or something. Your mic drop moments are incredible. I love that you’re bringing it. It’s straight truth though. You’re going to get me going and get me frustrated with some things. You mentioned some words in there. There’s something that happened a few years ago when my book came out. That word that you said, the luck, came up in a conversation with a friend. A newer friend that I’d only known for maybe about a year or so. He goes, “Your book came out. You’re doing all these media appearances. Things are going well for you. You’re really lucky.”
I looked down and I’m like, “What? Do you know how much I’m travelling? Do you know the hours I’m putting in? Do you know the ten years before this is what was invested to get me to this point and now I’m stepping out?” I was compassionate and nice. I’m like, “I don’t believe in luck. What’s going on now and what you’re seeing is momentum from the past ten years of effortlessly investing in myself first.” It’s like you’re saying, Chris, which then spills out into everything and everyone else around me.
I love the word momentum because that is absolutely the point. I love what you said about the ten years you put into this. I didn’t make money for my first ten years. I tell people all the time. I made more at the publicly-traded company than I did with my mom. When my mom hired me, I was making $100,000 a year in Atlanta. I ended up going in and working for her for over $22,000. I said, “This is the best thing that has happened in my life.” I was 25. I could make those decisions and do that stuff then.
When I did that, I was like, “Let’s go in.” For the first ten years, I made less than $60,000, and then the tipping point, and then it just shot. That’s where a lot of people get frustrated in the process. What I keep saying is the process is what gets you to what you want. Everybody is so focused on the outcome. They’re focused on, “I want to be a millionaire. I want to have this. I want to have that.” I love the fact that you can have every vision board and every goal board that you want to have, but what you need to understand is that’s the outcome.
Stop thinking about that and start thinking about the next phone call, next email, and next text message. What’s going to get you to that outcome? That’s what most people don’t like. They don’t like the work. They want the stadium that’s cheering for them. They want to be the greatest, but when you’re putting the work in behind, nobody is there when you’re doing those late nights, or when you’re thinking about the next thing and how you grow it. You’re doing that. That’s where people give up. It’s because they start feeling sorry for themselves.
It’s incredible too when that momentum and that tipping point happens. Did you have a moment like this? I still have them all the time to where something amazing pops. I have to sit down on my chair. I got a standing desk. Even though I believe it so much up until that point, when it happens is almost when there’s a moment of disbelief. You then start to recognize prior to that. It’s like, “This is the culmination of everything I’ve been doing.” It’s overwhelming when it happens.
I’ve had several different tipping points in my career. One of the tipping points was a couple of years ago, we made an acquisition, which I have never done acquisitions. It was a company that wasn’t fond of us. They thought we were the bad company or whatever. Everybody has these things. I remember coming into that company that we purchased. Their color was red and we were pink. I said, “Let me tell you something. This isn’t a red thing, a pink thing or a green thing. What I’m going to tell you is I’m going to teach you how to run a business, how to own a business, how to operate a business, how to control your inventory and make more money.”
I remember them sitting down and coming at me with guns blazing, “I can’t believe you’re taking us over.” I remember telling them, “If you give me six months, I’ll triple your business. I guarantee you that.” That was a pretty big statement. In six months, I quadrupled their business. Within a year, I made it 5X of what it was. That was our tipping point because I took this challenge on where you walked in the room and everybody did not like you. I was not used to that. I was so confident in my product, myself, my team, and the organization that we built. This was in 2016. It showcased that all the hard work that we put up for those sixteen years paid off. That was a huge tipping point for us to be able to take what wasn’t homegrown and make it part of our family.
I’ve got a curious question here. You’ve got 41,000 partners and it was awesome that throughout the course of 2020, you were meeting with them twice a week to encourage them and keep them moving. What separates it? If it’s anything else like any home scenario, it seems like there’s this large swath of partners with pampered chefs or something. Those are the only way I can think of. It’s not sex toys. It’s a completely different industry. There are different barriers and everything else, but the business model is somewhat similar. What separates the top performers from everybody else? What’s inspiring about them is that other partners can say, “I want that. I need that in order to get there?”
It’s so funny that I get asked that question a lot. The first thing that separates the top from the bottom in pretty much anything is that the top people do believe that they can design their own life. The top people have this belief in themselves like, “I’m going to run through the wall. Why is there only a certain amount of CEOs or C-Suite people?” These people think differently than everybody else. You design a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom or these houses, but people don’t design their lives.
Every moment like this moment with you is a Pinterest moment for me. I’m going to think about things I hear from you. I’m going to put those on my little board. I’m thinking, “That’s great. I’m going to use that.” The top people or the top performers design their life and commit to that process. They commit to the extra phone calls or extra emails. They have a certain thing of like, “Maybe me or maybe you.” I had a chip on my shoulder.
I remember my high school telling me I was going to be successful. I graduated 167 out of 169. I was D for Diploma. I remember they go, “Go to trade school.” There’s nothing wrong with trade school but I was like, “I’ve never even changed the light bulb. What are you talking about going to trade school?” I think the top people have a different persona on how they attack things. You attack things probably differently than some of your friends do because you want more. You decided for you and your family that you’re going to put those extra time in the extra hours. That’s what separates the people at the top from the people that are just getting by.
There’s something that was sticking out on what you said too. I’m going to unpack this a little. I’ve said that if I can visualize myself in it, I know what’s going to be and I can believe in it too. I can close my eyes and see that. I did a whole solo episode that I recorded about how to put yourself in that place to design things and visualize. There are things that I didn’t go into that can hold you back from doing that, which is what you’re talking about now.
You’ve got baggage and you start to blame these things. You start to blame the lack of success in your life on all the people before you. It was their fault that you’re in this place now that you’ve never been able to achieve or step up exponentially or create that momentum. You start to blame everybody else, but this is the same thing. You’ve got to put yourself in front of a freaking mirror. It’s not your dad’s or mom’s fault. It’s not where you worked before. It’s not your friend’s, kid’s, dog’s or cat’s fault. It’s your fault. Once you decide to own that, you can believe in yourself and then finally start to create what you want.
That is so true because more people would rather give excuses than efforts. People are like, “I’ll give you this.” Do you know what’s played a huge igniter in all of this? It’s Fakebook and Instalie. Those two places have done a disservice to people because everybody is now comparing their lives. It’s like, “I can’t have it because this person has this. I won’t be successful because I don’t have that in my life.” I’m like, “Are you kidding me?” My mom was making $4.25 an hour working for four pediatricians. She put herself out there.
We had concerned citizens from family values picketing at my house as a kid. How many times would people try to shut us down? They think we’re running brothels or all this stuff. How many fights I’ve had to get in from conservatism out in the Southern Bible belt area? All we’re trying to do is we’re trying to make money, educate people, and give people unbelievable products. If we would have given excuses of why we couldn’t, we wouldn’t be where we are now.
I’m sitting here and I laugh because I have first-world problems. I’m sitting here on a 110-foot yacht now. I’m going through and dealing with stuff. I wouldn’t be sitting here now if I didn’t put my time in and not making excuses. Have I had a lot of failures? I’ve had a tremendous amount of failures. What I will tell you is I’ve learned from each one of those that knock you again. Most people have failures and they repeat that failure. That’s insane.
That plus the ownership of the failure, to begin with. Every one of those failures is like, “It was this person’s fault. That was that person’s fault. It’s from fifteen years ago. It’s how I grew up.” Once you let that go is when you can finally move forward.
That’s the biggest thing. Can you let it go? It’s like the movie Frozen. You let it go and move on.
There were some who posted on my Instagram feed. It was in 2020 but they were going through this founder’s video for my cybersecurity company to humanize me, which was great. I found a video from when I was seventeen years old at a talent show in high school. I got a standing ovation from 300 kids that attended. I was playing Glycerine by Bush. I have guitars hanging on my wall. I got one sign from Head of Korn, Brian Welch. It sits up there. I met him in my car one time through a mutual friend. He was like, “Do you know the guitar you got hanging on your wall? Come meet me here in twenty minutes?” I’m like, “Why?” He’s like, “Trust me. Come bring it.”
I get there and there he is standing because they’d known each other for a long time. I grabbed my dad’s guitar which was hanging on my wall. It’s acoustic. I popped up my phone right here in the studio and played Glycerine again. I’m like, “I need to show the contrast.” Twenty-four years later, I started playing it. I was like, “I still got it.” I should bring it on. It’s cool seeing that progression because even at that moment, I created what I wanted at the age of seventeen.
I remember in this talent show, you’re only supposed to have one slot. That’s it. Everybody else in the show had one slot. I had three because I went up and I asked for these things. First, I was voted on by the choir as one of the student conductors, so I conducted the entire choir, which was incredible. I was like, “Can I play my guitar too?” He was like, “Yes, sure. That’s cool. No problem.” Later, I’m like, “My brother who’s five years younger than me is a pretty good singer. Can I bring him in and sing a song?” It kept going. It’s like I own the show at seventeen years old.
You design it. You didn’t even know that you designed it. That’s where I think so many people get off the bag starting it. They don’t design it because I don’t think they think that they have the power to do it. The power is you’re confident. When I first got on, I was like, “This guy confident.” You’d exude that when you walk in. It’s something that I always say. The most confident in the room wins. That’s how it goes. That’s true. I tell my kids all the time, “I want you to be smart. I want you to be book-smart but I’d also like you to be confident because confidence is very key to your success.” Not cocky. There’s a difference.
There’s an interesting point on that too. I went through this with a coach a while back because of traumas in my own life coming from a religious environment and humility. I looked up the definition of humility. The definition of humility is a low opinion of yourself. When you look that up and you have any spiritual background, it’s like, “Is that what God wants if we’re made in the image of him, to begin with?” I don’t know where you lie but it was this weird contradiction. Some of that came up.
When it comes to being cocky, when I start saying things, I’m like, “I don’t want to sound cocky.” He’s like, “You’re stating a fact. There’s a difference. It’s the intention behind it. If you’re only stating facts and truth about yourself or about anything else, that’s not arrogance or being cocky. That’s only saying, ‘This is the way that it is and you can back it up too.’” Your intentions can be, “I’ll show you or I’ll teach you. Hopefully, what I told you now inspires you to be that way.” Some of your top performers, I’m sure they take some of the others that are below them in performance levels. They are starting probably underneath their wings and say, “This is why I’m so good. It’s a fact.”
You said the one word, intentional. There’s intentional leadership that’s out there. There’s intentional decision-making that you have to go through and you intentionally want to help other people. I always say that one of the ten things that we know to be true inside of our organization is that we seek to serve in all we do. Service is a part if you want something more in life. That’s why I keep saying 41,000, my goal on my goal board is how do I go to 82,000.
I always feel the more I can serve, the more people I can help, the more people I can be able to be there for. The more my life gets better, the more their life gets better because we’re part of this community. We’re part of a group. We want to see each other grow. I believe in being intentional with our leadership and decision-making. It’s intentional of how you and I got here. We both were committed to coming here and showing up. You asked me to do this. I always have this one thing. If somebody asks me to do something, which I appreciate you asking me, to be honest.
By the way, your show is amazing. I will say one thing. If you’re going to show up, show up. Don’t give your B game. Don’t get in there when you’re doing a sales call every time you’re auditioning for your next show, next order, next sale or whatever. Many people show up how they’re feeling for the day, “I got this issue. I got that.” Be intentional with every conversation, every meeting, and everything that you do. It pays dividends because people go, “What do you know about that?”
I’ve worked with 250,000 women entrepreneurs. Now, I would tell you how many millionaires I’ve made. A lot. The question becomes, “Do you want to follow this game plan or not?” For most people, the biggest question I say to them is, “Do you want to commit to the process where nobody else is going to cheer and nobody else is going to be excited for you to get the outcome that you want?” The question that they have to decide is, how desperate they are? How much do they want it? Do they want to put in the time and energy into it? What you find is most people think it and say it, but they never just do it, as Nike said.
It’s interesting because my team was like, “Have fun with this.” I’m like, “I always have fun,” but they’re expecting this to be a little saucy because of what you do. Now we’re dropping a lot of truth bombs all over the place and helping people’s lives. That’s how it’s supposed to be. I do have a question about this. It’s probably one of the biggest barriers that you have in this industry. It is what you’ve talked about a little bit and touched on. It’s taboo and helping people overcome that. It’s interesting with your model of the home presentations to make it more comfortable and everything. If you order something online from Lovehoney or whatever those other places are, it’s always discreet packaging. You’re right. If sex goes away in a relationship, it’s done. It’s dead.
The biggest thing that we do is that we create a safe environment. It’s all women only. I get a lot of heat for that but it is a women-only that they come in. Everyone goes, “How can you be a man leading this?” I have a whole board of about 80 women that steer the product development and all the things that we do. My biggest thing is giving them a safe environment where they can come in and normalize the relationship. We lead through education. We’ve taken the whole taboo and we call it the CD Bookstore look. We’ve taken the TNA off of all the packaging.
We focused on education and giving it the Nordstrom sax type of feeling. We want people to come in and they went out. We went in to understand that this is going to be a great valued product but a high-end educational piece. What we’ve found is most people have lost their creativity when it comes to their relationships. Most people have lost their creativity when it comes to almost anything in this world. They go to Pinterest to find everything.
I have to tell our sales force, “You’ve got to be the Pinterest of some of these love life and relationships. How do you lead with education?” Ninety-one percent of women don’t even want to take their clothes off in front of their partner because they have a fear of body image issues. This is real and this is what they discuss. How do they overcome that? How do they build that confidence in each other?
It doesn’t matter what size. It’s more of a mental thing here. How do these women help each other to be able to overcome that? What do you need to tell your partner to give you more affirmations around this? A lot of people think we lead with product and education. Product is secondary. That was the difference in how our business has been able to scale. That’s why we stay out of all the taboo stuff. We don’t use slang. We don’t use four-letter words. We stick away. It’s a different model. We want to make it upmarket.
That’s a good point. You see these things from all these meme sites on Instagram and everything is the four-letter words. Everything is over-sexualized because there is a part that that can exist. What I see you doing is a very healthy way to improve relationships and form connections between people, not even just the connection in the relationship, but the connection with the women back to themselves, which is powerful.
That’s been the big piece in Pure Romance if you say the one thing. Our biggest thing is how do we meet through education? How do we help small business owners? My other big piece is to instill confidence in their body image, confidence in their relationship, confidence that they can go out there and all these other aspects. That’s been the secret sauce of everything that we have.
I’ve got lists of questions in front of me and it’s awesome because we’ve touched on a lot of them so far without even having to read them off. This has been amazing.
I appreciate you. You got a great following. Your show is very well-recognized. You’ve done a great job. That’s the other thing too. We got to show appreciation and recognition for people that are doing great things. You’re doing fantastic stuff out there. I know you probably don’t like to hear the accolades because I’m the same way. I’m more of a pusher than I am a receiver but it is true. We got to tell people and celebrate people’s victories more frequently.
I appreciate that. I appreciate what you’re doing and likewise. I had to learn over the past few years to be able to accept a good compliment when it happens. That’s a good point in growth as an entrepreneur. You have to be able to look back and say, “I am making a difference.” You know that because it was a struggle that I had for a while. I’m stopping at the moment as I was saying. I sit down and feel for a moment that that tipping point happened or you accomplished something. In 2020, getting 41,000 partners, have you sat and thought about this yet? Have you said, “I got 41,000 partners through a pandemic successfully in 2020?”
It was very challenging during those times. Every morning at 9:00 AM and every night at 8:00 PM, every day, Monday through Friday, I’m going there. I’m trying to get people to want to come into our warehouse and pack orders or whatever. I’d go in there on Saturdays and Sundays to make sure that the orders were out. The volumes are crazy. They were off the chart. The biggest thing is people ask how. I said, “Communication and honesty will go so far in your organization. Communication and honesty will keep people in the know.”
The number one thing that people despise about the company that they work in is they feel like they’re not communicated to. They feel like there’s a lack of communication. Now, we’ve kept this internally. We used to do a daily roll call. At 9:00 AM, I’d have my 41,000 people. At 8:00 at night, I’d have my 41,000 people get back on. At 4:30, we’d do stand-up with all of the 200 employees that I have.
We kept that going. Now, we go Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We don’t do it every day. What I’ve found is we surveyed the employees. When the survey came back, it’s like, “I have worked at Pure Romance for over ten years and I have never been in this much knowledge about all the inner workings that happen. I’m so much more in love with my job.” They’re not even in the office. Everybody is remote and they love it more than they ever had because they felt more in the know. They felt like they could answer questions and they knew how to respond to things.
Thank you for supporting so many people. That’s like an extended family and you’ve affected all their lives too. Even beyond that, all the women that you’ve helped become more confident, secure in their body image and in their relationships. I’m sure you’ve saved marriages too. That’s incredible. I love it.
I love getting the emails, cards and things that are coming in for people that their relationship went to a whole another stratosphere which is great. Sometimes, adding those date nights back in. Can you make date night every night? Can you make it a little bit fun and be more intentional with your relationship? I think it’s important.
Where can everyone go to find you?
You can find me on Instagram, @OfficialPureRomance. PureRomance.com is where you can find everything. If you’re interested in looking at any of my stuff, it’s Chris Cicchinelli. I’m on Instagram and Facebook. If you want, you can get my book, The Secret Is You. It’s got all of the stuff that I’ve done for many years working with 200,000-plus business owners.
Can you do this because I’d love to buy ten of those and can you sign ten of those for me? I’d love to give them away for the first people that DM on this and say, “I need that.” If you’re reading, all you have to do is go to my Instagram account, @MrRickJordan. DM me and say, “I want The Secret Is You.” We’ll send you a signed copy from Chris. I appreciate everything you’ve said and we’ve had some fun with it. I want to go have a drink with you now.
I’m in. First of all, that was the first thing that was on my mind at 10:00 this morning.
Thank you for coming on. I appreciate you.
- Chris Cicchinelli
- Pure Romance
- Patty Brisben
- Barbizon Modeling
- The Secret Is You
- @OfficialPureRomance – Instagram
- Instagram – Chris Cicchinelli
- Facebook – Chris L. Cicchinelli
- @MrRickJordan – Instagram