Noah St. John helps people make money. Since 2009, he’s helped coaching clients add over $109 million in sales. His works have been published by Hay House, HarperCollins, Mindvalley, Nightingale-Conant, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher. He’s a highly in-demand keynote speaker, famous for inventing Afformations, a new technology of the mind, and helping people make more money and have more fun. He’s also the author of 14 books that have been translated into a dozen languages.


In This Episode

Starting his website seven months before Google existed, Noah St. John has been the definition of patience, determination and perseverance. In this episode of Modern Ontrapreneur, Landon sits down with Noah to discuss what kept him going through years of relative failure, giving your leads something they want vs. something they need, and how you have to provide real value more than ever now that the internet levels the playing field.

Topic Timeline:

0:55 “Do What You Love and the Money Will Follow” Is a Lie

You have to master marketing to succeed.

5:22 I Figured This Stuff Out

Noah didn’t quit because he could see results from his clients.

7:30 The “Why-tos” and “Why-not-tos”

The reasons to do something vs. the reasons not to do something.

9:40 Evergreen Webinars

Find the right messaging, and the leads will follow.

11:05 Chatbots and Live Events

What’s next on Noah’s business road map.

11:46 Eliminate “Not-Enoughness” From the World

When you believe you are not enough, that causes other problems.

13:15 With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

The internet is a tool that levels the playing field, so bring value to the table.

We hear a million times, ‘Do what you love and the money will follow.’ That is the biggest lie that’s out there.

– Noah St. John

Show Transcript:

LR: Hi. I’m Landon, and this is Modern Ontrapreneur. Today I’ve got Noah St. John. Noah helps people make money. Since 2009, he’s helped coaching clients add over $109 million in sales. His works have been published by Hay House, HarperCollins, Mindvalley, Nightingale-Conant, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher. He’s a highly in-demand keynote speaker, famous for inventing Afformations, a new technology of the mind, and helping people make more money and have more fun. He’s also the author of 14 books that have been translated into a dozen languages. Amazing. Thank you so much for being here.

NSJ: Oh my pleasure, Landon.

LR: We like to start by going back. We just talked about how successful you’ve been over the years, but if you could like go back and have your younger self, or your older self rather, tell your younger self something smart, what would it be?

NSJ: I sure have a lot of advice for that young man because I started my company,, in 1997 in my college dorm room with $800 and a book on how to do HTML. I’ve literally been doing this for two decades. I own … actually is one of the original personal development websites on the internet. Believe it or not, I’m seven months older than Google. Seriously. We’re talking dial up, you remember? All that stuff. I’ve been doing this a long, long time. I just really had a dream. I had a real strong desire to help people, to make a difference. I discovered some things in the personal growth space that people weren’t really talking about back then, and frankly, they’re still not really talking about it in a way that I feel is helping people. A lot of people come to me after they’ve spent tens of thousands of dollars, even over $100,000, on all the gurus, all the big names out there, but yet they’re still stuck. They come to me and they go, “Hey, Noah. I hear you’re the guy that helps people get unstuck and helps people make money,” as you mentioned. It’s actually up to half a billion dollars now that we’ve helped people make, our clients. We’re six, seven, and yes, eight figure increases, literally just helping them to implement some simple, simple procedures. To answer your question about what I would tell my younger self, first of all, I would say, “You’ve really got to master this whole thing called marketing,” because as you just talked about in your keynote here at Ontrapalooza, I’m just a real big fulfillment guy. I love making people happy. I love taking care of people. I love making them beyond happy. I like making them thrilled, like making them a hell of a lot of money. They’re pretty happy about that. I honestly really believed that whole cliché that we hear a million times, “Do what you love and the money will follow.” That is the biggest lie that’s out there. That took me years to figure it out because everybody says it. “Do what you love and the money will follow.” I said, “Okay. I’m doing what I love. Where’s the money?” I didn’t realize that they’re really lying when they say that. What’s true is, “Do what you love,” that part’s right, but then you have to show people how, why that doing what you love will help them. Then the money comes. I wish I would have figured that out a long time ago because that took me years. I’m going, “Man, I’m doing all this great work. Where’s the money?” That was really annoying, and it took me way too long to figure that one out.

LR: How long did it take you?

NSJ: Honestly, the first 10 years I never broke six figures. From 1997 to 2007, I never broke six figures. After 10 years of hard work, and really making a different for people and helping a lot of people, I ended up $40,000 in credit card debt working out of my parents’ basement. Try that one on for size. I was like, “Yeah. This sucks. What the heck is going on here?” That was when I knew I had to do something different. We hear that all the time. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different result. I said, “Noah, you’ve got to do something different.” That was when I made a decision that really changed everything, which was I hired my first real mentor. That was someone who was where I wanted to be and could show me how to get there. In this industry, we really get very … It’s very seductive when you get those people … You actually even mentioned this in your talk also, is about these sort of overnight successes or “Here’s what I did,” and you even said it, then you try it, and it doesn’t work. Why is that? I kept scratching my head, because I’m going, “I’m paying these guys all this money. Where’s my success?” It’s because they don’t have a system. It’s all depending on their personality. Once you take that personality out of the equation, it doesn’t work. Again, that took me way too long to figure out. The point is what we have at, we have a system that works irrespective of personality. That’s why … I’m just a real shy introvert. My idea of excitement is curling up with a good book and just going to the bookstore, go to the library, read books. Boring, right? When you have a system, then it doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, whatever, and that it really is mostly personality-dependent. Hiring that mentor, that was the thing that turned it around for me. Then we basically doubled or tripled every year since then.

LR: Yeah. I got a couple questions about this.

NSJ: Sure.

LR: Not to focus on the dark night of your soul overly much, but I think that I certainly also took a long time trying to figure it out. We were five years in before we had any real traction at all. That was actually after I had already had a significant success in another kind of career. I was used to actually doing pretty well, and then all of a sudden, it was like just wall after wall after wall. Ten years is a long time. Why didn’t you quit?

NSJ: What I mentioned earlier was that I had these two epiphanies in 1997, when I literally realized what was not being taught in the personal development industry. I’m the guy that literally filled in the gaps. That’s why, as you mentioned again in your opening, that I’m actually the only author in history that’s ever had his works published by Hay House, HarperCollins, Simon & Schuster, Mindvalley, Nightingale-Conant, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul publisher. The reason that happened is because I figured this stuff out. It was literally just like an epiphany. I knew I was right, but I didn’t know if I was right. You know what I mean? Like you know it, but you’re like, “I hope I’m right. I think I’m right, but … ” I didn’t have anyone to test it on except myself. I’m like …

LR: When the world tells you no for 10 years, how come you ….

NSJ: But it didn’t. See, it was just that I was a sucky marketer. I just sucked at marketing. I knew that because I was getting results for my clients.

LR: I see.

NSJ: But see, it wasn’t a result for me because of sucky marketing. I knew that was the only hurdle I had. It wasn’t the product. The product was fantastic. The delivery was … My clients were making a ton of money. I’m going, “Where’s my money?” It was because of that piece that was missing.

LR: It was the feedback from the market that kept you going and …

NSJ: Absolutely.

LR: … you’re just like, “I got to figure out how to turn this into a business.”

NSJ: Exactly. I just have to figure out marketing. That’s when I hired that mentor, was basically … I know this is really embarrassing, but I didn’t know what the word monetize meant, even as late as 2007. I’m like, “What’s monetize mean?” How naive is that? How dumb? Here I am doing all this stuff. I’m going, “You got to monetize. What does that mean?” Duh. You know what I mean? It was really hard.

LR: Yeah. It is. I got another question. You talk about a system that takes your personality out of the thing, but systems only work if you follow them.

NSJ: Exactly.

LR: Where do you find the discipline to follow a system?

NSJ: It all comes down to your why-tos and why-not-tos. This is something … Again, you asked that question, and that’s what I was getting to, is that it comes down to your why-tos and why-not-tos. Anything that we are faced with as humans, we have a decision to make. Every decision we face comes down to your why-tos and why-not-tos, the reasons why to do the thing versus the reasons why not to do the thing. This is something I always say at my live events. I say, “Right now, we could all take off all our clothes and run screaming down the street. Why don’t we do that? Because we don’t really want to do that. There’s a lot of reasons not to do that, but you could do it. You could all do it right now. Why don’t we do that? Because we have why-not-tos of doing that.” The reason that I kept going was my why-tos. I knew, like I said, I knew I was right and I knew I just didn’t have the marketing in place. You’re right about the discipline comes from your why-tos. The reason you stuck with it, for example, as you just shared, hitting the wall after wall. You obviously had a why-to. You had a deep desire. In my case, it was just … Number one is I like being right, and I like being told that I’m right, kind of like most people I think. We just like to hear, “You were right.” It’s like, “Wow. That’s like better than money.” It’s like, “Really?” It just makes you feel so good. My point is that even when you’re not getting that feedback from the world, from the market, if you still know you’re right, then that, for me, is what kept me going. Do you know what I mean? It’s never been about the money for me, although I’m like, “Well, you need the money too. You’ve got to have both.” I’ve never been money motivated. The other thing that I see in this industry, sadly, is that a lot of the people who are dominating, who are taking up all of the air in the room, are really motivated by money. They’re really good at making money, but they’re not really great at helping people. That’s why a lot of people, after spending a ton of money, come to me, and then they start to get unstuck. That’s when they really have that explosion.

LR: Yeah. Tell me about … Marketing, you figured it out. What’s working today in your business? What’s like the hot thing in your business for…?

NSJ: What’s really, really nice is webinars. You spoke a lot about webinars also. That’s why I really enjoyed your keynote here at Ontrapalooza. Evergreen webinars are really, really going well. Again, it took a long time for me to figure out the message. What’s so funny, and I just have to say this, is that for years and years, I tried to sell people what they need. Finally, finally, after a long time of failure and struggle, I finally realized people don’t buy what they need, they buy what they want. That was like the big aha for me. Again, see, this is all marketing stuff. This isn’t about the product. The product was perfectly perfect, but it was the description of the product. I saw other people who were great persuaders, great salesmen, really slick and had all the pieces, but then the thing sucked. It’s like, “Dammit!” They got more attention because they’re better at getting attention. My message for the folks watching is if you know you have a good product, and maybe you’re not so great at the marketing, don’t let that stop you. Keep with it. Don’t stop, because if you got something good … You do have to figure it out though. You do have to figure it out, but keep going I guess would be my message.

LR: Awesome. What are you learning right now? What is your cutting edge? What’s new for you?

NSJ: I’m really enjoying this Ontrapalooza experience, and I certainly can recommend it for everybody watching. If you haven’t been to one, make sure you come. For example, talking about messenger, Facebook messenger, or chat, chat bots, we’re going to be instituting that. It’s so funny. That’s literally what’s right up in our company right now, and there’s somebody on stage talking about it. I’m like, “See? That’s great. I love it.” Already giving insights that we didn’t know, so I was like, “Ooh. That’s really good.” We’re going to be instituting that. We do our own live events. That’s going very well. Coaching and mentoring. Just kind of keeping scaling up really.

LR: When you think back, or think forwards, say towards the end of your career or your life, looking back, what would you like your legacy to be?

NSJ: I’ve felt my mission has been to eliminate not-enoughness from the world. Most human problems, they come from a belief that we humans carry around that we’re not enough. Then when you believe you’re not enough, that causes other problems. That makes people lash out and bullies, and, again, you can just point to almost every problem from not-enoughness. Certainly when I work with entrepreneurs, that’s one of the things that we work on. We call it the inner game, what happens in your head. I call it your head trash. My latest book is actually called “Get Rid of Your Head Trash About Money.” Folks can get that for free on our website, but my point is that most people are in a place of fear, which means not enough. When you’re coming from fear, that is never going to work. It’s never going to cause the earth to be a happier place. When you’re coming from enough, you’re coming from love, and that, there’s no question that that can’t help but make the world a better place. That’s what I’d like my legacy to be.

LR: Awesome. Tell us, though, your website where we can get that book.

NSJ: Sure. The main website is That’s our main website, or just, my name. If you want to get the book, it’s called Get Rid of Your Head Trash About Money, you can go to

LR: Sendmeabooknoah …

NSJ: Very easy to remember.

LR: Awesome. We call this thing Modern Ontrapreneur. What do you feel like the responsibilities and opportunities are that are unique to our moment in history as entrepreneurs?

NSJ: I think it comes back to what I just said a moment ago, which is that we do have, as Uncle Ben said in Spider-Man, “With great power comes great responsibility.” I’ve always believed that. We do have great power with this amazing, infuriating tool called the internet. That’s all it is. It’s just a tool. It is the greatest communication tool that’s ever been devised by humans. One of the wonderful things is it levels the playing field. Somebody working in their basement can be just as big as some huge fortune 500 company, in terms of what they put out to the world, in the sense of value. That, I feel, is the responsibility, is to bring actual value. I’m kind of on a quest right now I guess, you could call it a mission, because so many people come to me and they’ve been ripped off. They’ve been ripped off by the hucksters, the salesmen, the con artists. I really hate that. It makes me mad. It makes me angry because I’ve been ripped off. I’m pretty sure most people have been at this point, and that’s sad. It makes me mad. I really want to say for me, for my clients, for the folks I interact with, “Okay. We must bring actual value so that we can get rid of those guys, at least lessen their impact.” I feel that that may be our greatest responsibility at this time.

LR: Yeah. Noah, it’s been a total pleasure. Thank you so much for being here.

NSJ: My pleasure.

LR: Would you mind signing our wall?

NSJ: Oh of course. I’d be happy to.

LR: Thank you.

NSJ: Absolutely.


Want more Modern Ontrapreneur Podcast?

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About Ben Cogburn
As Ontraport’s Traffic Manager, Ben Cogburn spends most of his time in our parking lot. Just kidding, he’s our resident digital advertising guru. As a geology enthusiast, Ben graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara with a degree in Environmental Studies. So to say that he likes rocks is an understatement. You can find Ben hanging out with his rock collection, playing video games or hunting down new figurines to add to the impressive display he has on his desk.