Noah St. John is known as “The Millionaire Habits Coach” and founder of SuccessClinic.com, a global peak performance and business growth company.
In today’s interview, I interview him about how your business success is impacted by your mental state, like understanding the internal vs. external, asking the right questions (or “afformations”), and more.
Watch the video of my interview with Noah or read the transcript below!
LinksNoah’s Website “The Book of Afformations” by Noah St. John Book Noah to Speak “Get Rid of Your Head Trash” Book by Noah St. John Deadline Funnel
Jack Born: Hey, everyone. This is Jack Born. I’m the founder of Deadline Funnel, and I’m here yet again with another expert. This time it’s with Noah St. John, and so let me introduce Noah. So, Noah is known as the “Father of Afformations”, and we’ll be talking a little bit about that in just a little bit, and the mental health coach to the stars, working with Hollywood celebrities, eight figure company CEOs, professional athletes, top executives and entrepreneurs. Noah’s coaching clients have added more than $2.7 billion by following his methods. Noah has also appeared on over 1,000 media outlets, including ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, Entrepreneur, and Success Magazine. So, Noah, awesome to have you here.
Noah St. John: Well, thanks, Jack. It’s great to be here.
Jack Born: So, why don’t we dive in and start talking? So, I was first introduced to you from our mutual friend, Perry Marshall, and I bought one of your previous books. So, before we hit record, I said, “Wow, that’s an impressive bookshelf behind you.” So, why don’t we start with, just share with the audience, what you were telling me before we hit record about all the books behind you.
Noah St. John: Yes, absolutely. So, yeah, these are some of the books that I’ve written here. I’ve written 15 books so far, and also these are my books in other languages. And also these are some books I’ve helped my clients publish. So, a lot of people hire me, you know, as you mentioned to help them scale their business. So, we’ve helped a lot of business owners, you know, add six, seven, and eight figures to their business. What we like to say is we can help you to make basically as much in 12 weeks as you did in the last, the previous 12 months. We’ve had that happen quite a bit with our clients, but you know, it all started very, let’s just say very humbly a long time ago, over two decades ago, in fact. I started my company successclinic.com in a 300 square foot basement apartment at Hadley, Massachusetts. I had $800 to my name and a book on HTML. So, I self-taught, I taught myself how to use HTML, how to create web pages back in the nineties. So, yes, my company is actually seven months older than Google, believe it or not. And I had no idea what I was doing. I had no money, no marketing skills, no sales, nothing. And I just really had a dream and a deep burning desire to help people and to make a difference around the world, as cheesy and corny as that sounds, that’s really why I started. But you know, all these years later we’ve helped, as you mentioned, our clients add over $2 billion, you know, seven and eight figure CEOs. And I just want to say before we get started, that I’m a huge Deadline Funnel fan, and that’s why when I saw this on, you know, you sent it out over an email for people to be interviewed, I really jumped at the chance because I’m a huge fan of Deadline Funnel. I’ve been a customer for at least four years, and it’s really made a big difference in our business. So, I just want to say kudos to you, Jack, for creating this wonderful tool that I recommend to all of my clients.
Jack Born: Well, thank you. Thank you very much. Maybe if we have time at the end, I’d love to hear how you’re using it in your business, but I want to focus this conversation on you and the clients that you help, and especially because the topic that we’re gonna be talking about for a little while today is about “head trash”. And I find that, you know, for me personally, I know there was a moment in my life where I had to go and debug some of my own head trash and once I removed that code or got some of that code out of the way, as I call it, things really smooth out from there. But before that, I just kept running into my own obstacles. One of the ways that I tend to describe this is like, you’re driving down the road, and you’re wondering “why won’t the car go faster?” And someone points at your feet and says, “by the way, buddy, you’ve got, while you’re mashing the accelerator, you’re also mashing the brake at the same time.” That’s head trash. That’s holding you back. But you’re the expert on head trash. Tell us about head trash and your view on it and why that’s so important to fix.
Noah St. John: That is actually my analogy that I’ve been teaching for 20 years, what you just said, so –
Jack Born: I might’ve stolen it from you, and passed it around.
Noah St. John: I think it was mine because that’s mine. (chuckling)
But I mean, for everyone watching, so, to jump off that analogy, which is, yes, what I teach, think about your goals. Okay, so for everyone watching this, I want you to think for a second about your goals. What do you want, right? Now, every guru talks about that, right? “Set your goals and (mumbles). You need a check from the neck up, and I’ll just (mumbles).” We’ve heard this a million times, right? And so, it’s not exactly wrong. It’s just what they never talk about is what happens after you set your goal, right? So, what happens for most people is they set the goal. You know, “I want to double my business. I want to grow my revenues. I want to scale. I want to, whatever it might be; I want to publish a book or create an online course,” whatever it might be, right? And so that’s your goal, right? So, it is like you’re driving in your car, right? And so the problem is that, for most people, literally millions of people, they’re unknowingly unconsciously driving down the road of life with one foot on the brake. Now, here’s – but here’s where it gets even worse. So, they know they’ve got a problem. And so they go, “man, I need to fix this problem. I’m not reaching my goal. So I know. I’ll go to the gurus.” The gurus, they’re everywhere. You can’t throw a rock without hitting a guru these days. And so, guru number one comes up and you say, “You know what your problem is? You need to use a more expensive type of gas. The gas you’re using isn’t strong enough. You need this really high octane gas.” And so you go to the gas station. You go, “all right, I’ll put in this expensive gas.” You spend your money and you get back in the car, but you’re doing the same habit. So, you get the same result.
Guru number two comes along and says, “Okay, you need a new set of tires. That’s what you need. These tires aren’t good enough. You need a more expensive tire.” So, you go to the tire store. Buy these really expensive tires. You spend more of your money. Get back in the car. Same habit, same result.
So, then guru number three comes along and they say, “Listen, what you need is a new car. “This car isn’t good enough. You need this expensive German sports car. That’ll get you there faster, right?” It’s like, all right, even though your car is perfectly fine, you know, like, “I guess I’ll listen to that guy. He puts all these pictures of, you know, helicopters and jets on social media, so he must know what he’s doing,” we think.
And so anyways, you spend all this money. Buy a new car, but you’re doing the same habit and the same result. So, what I do is I come along and I say, “By the way, did you know you have your foot on the brake?” And people say, “No.” And I say, “Did you know if you just do a couple simple, easy things, you know, really actually working less than you are right now, in fact, you can just get your foot off the brake, which means you’ll reach your goal a lot faster, easier, and with a lot less stress.” And you’re like, “Really?” And I go, “Yeah, I mean, it’s actually pretty simple. You just do these simple things, and there you go.” And they go, “Where do I sign?” (chuckling) ‘Cause I mean, who wouldn’t want that, right? Who wouldn’t want to, you know, for example, make as much in 12 weeks as you did in the previous 12 months? Who wouldn’t want to double, triple, quadruple -we just had a coaching client that I worked with who increased by 800% in his first year. Another increased by 1,500%. I mean, this happens over and over again. The reason is, it’s not because I’m so brilliant or whatever. It’s because that these highly successful people are doing things unconsciously that they’re not even aware of, and therefore they can’t teach it. So, that’s what really I’ve been doing for over 20 years now is teaching the unconscious habits of highly successful people that they’re not aware of, number one, and number two, they definitely can’t teach.
Jack Born: So, is that where your “afformations” come in? And I want to, why don’t we spell that out? Because we’re not saying affirmation. Why don’t you talk about the difference, and hopefully we can dive into some of these simple things that you tell people so that they can start to make way more money with less effort.
Noah St. John: Absolutely, and so, here’s one of my books, it’s called “Afformations.” So, there it is. So, if you can see that it’s A-F-F-O-R-M-A-T-I-O-N-S, and you go to afformations.com and learn more. But basically, every self-help guru and every self-help book says the same thing. “You’ve gotta use these affirmations”, with an I, right? So, affirmation, as we all know, is a statement of something you want to be true. So, like, for example, when I’m teaching private workshops or when I’m doing, you know, workshops or keynote speeches for, you know, companies or organizations, virtual or live, one of the things I like to do with my audiences, I like to say, “All right, everybody, we’re gonna play a little game. Everybody say the affirmation in the way that all the gurus taught us. Everybody stand up and say, ‘I am rich.'” Everybody says, “I am rich.” And you know what happens next? Everybody starts laughing. And I go, “Well, what are you laughing at?” They say, “Well, I’m not rich.” And I say, “But you just said you were.” And they go, “Yeah, but I don’t believe it.” See, now that’s the problem, right? We’ve been taught the same thing by all the gurus who say the same exact thing. Here’s the statements. Write them in the positive. (purposely mumbles) and I did this. We’ve all done it. And I got nothing, right? So, for years and years, I did everything they said, and you know, “I’m happy. I’m rich. I’m successful.” No, I’m not. I’m broke, unhappy and miserable. (chuckling) So, it’s like, why isn’t this working? So, what I realized, one day, it was actually in the shower, April, 1997. In my books and my programs, I call it “the shower that changed everything” because literally it changed everything.
We’ve all had those ‘aha’ moments in the shower, right? And so on this particular shower, I realized that when we’re talking about beliefs, we’re talking about human thought, but what is human thought? It’s the process of asking and searching for answers to questions. Not statements, but questions. For example, if I say to you, “why is the sky blue?” Your brain immediately starts to search for the answer. Scientific studies have shown what I’ve been teaching for the last two decades, which is that once you ask a question, your brain can’t not search for the answer. So, I said, “wait a second. If the human mind is automatically searching for answers to questions, why are we going around making statements we don’t believe? Why don’t we cut out the middleman?” And I realized through that process, again, you know, which I teach in my programs, is that what you really need to do is rather than saying a statement you don’t believe, you just flip the whole thing to a question that you can’t not search for the answer for. And I know that’s bad grammar, but it really, really works. And so that’s one of the reasons and in fact, that’s one of the, well, it’s the foundational power habit, I talked a moment ago about the unconscious habits of highly successful people. This is what we call “the power habits”, the power habits of unconsciously successful people. This is actually the foundational power habit. It’s the first thing they’re doing that they have no idea they’re even doing this. So, in other words, what most people are going around is saying really negative, disempowering questions. In fact, this is what’s amazing, Jack, is that everyone who’s watching this program and every human being on this planet is already using my “afformations” method. They’re already doing this. However, the problem is two-fold. Number one, they don’t know they’re doing it, of course, because, you know, if they’ve never heard of me or never heard of my method, then they don’t know. But even worse, number two is, most human beings are unconsciously asking really, really disempowering questions.
For example, “why am I so stupid? Why am I so fat? Why can’t I lose weight? Why does nothing ever work out for me? Why isn’t my business growing? Why is there more month left at the end of the money”, right? And when you ask lousy questions, what do you get? Lousy answers, and that creates a lousy life. So, now using my “afformations” method, not affirmations, but afformations, you can literally change your questions, change your beliefs, change your habits and change your life.
Jack Born: Let’s really connect the dots here. So, earlier you gave an example of the affirmation of “I am rich”, but you’re talking about how everyone laughs at that because if you’re not there yet, if you don’t feel that way, if it’s not true when you look at your bank account, you know, there’s a disconnect. So, how would you swing that around into your afformation?
Noah St. John: So, literally, it’s like flipping a switch. In fact, we call it “flipping the abundance switch” in your brain, and all you need to do is ask, “why am I so rich? Why am I so rich?” Now at first, that will sound really stupid. Your brain will go, “huh, what?”, and that’s why you have to use the entirety of the method. It’s not magic. It’s science.
In fact, as I just stated, you’re already doing this. Literally every person on this planet is already doing this. But again, as I said, you know, you don’t know, and you haven’t been trained how to do it. So, but the point is, you say, “why am I so rich?”, for example, and then your brain, through the process of the embedded presupposition factor, which is just a fancy way of saying “your brain searches for the answer to the question”, you literally start to focus on what you have instead of what you lack. Now, watch this. Remember in that great, fantastic, wonderful movie we all love, “The Secret,” right? Remember that? They said, “All you have to do is think about money and it pours in from the sky.” I’m not sure what planet that works on, but it’s not the Earth. But wouldn’t it be nice to move to that planet where you just think about money and it just falls in from the sky?
Doesn’t work that way. That’s called magical thinking. That is a lie. They lied to us. It doesn’t work that way at all, but it’s sort of right. That’s what, see, what’s so funny, is that it’s sort of right. So, when you afform, instead of affirm, you afform “why am I so rich?”, and then you follow through with action, what you’re doing is you’re flipping the abundance switch on in your brain and you go, “oh, why do I have so much?” Because it is true that what you focus on grows. If you focus on “why am I so stupid?”, you’re gonna find the answer to your question. If you focus on “why am I enough?”, you’ll also find the answer to that question. So, it is literally that powerful to start to use this foundational power habit.
Jack Born: So, I can attest to the power of questions in a couple different ways. One is that, through mindfulness meditation, which I do on a regular basis, one of the things that it’s helped me do, I haven’t achieved nirvana yet, but it gives me the ability to hear the conversation as it comes up. And so there’s a slight air gap between the thought coming up and me getting wrapped up in the thought. And so, it allows me to hear the conversation a little bit better rather than just being carried along for the ride. And in the process of doing that, what you soon realize is “wow, there is a lot of conversation going on in my head.” And some of those conversations are in the form of questions like, you know, “why is so-and-so so unfair to me?” Like, “why did this happen?” Like, you know, this “poor me” stuff, and that’s just one version of the question. The other area where a question has really been powerful for me, but this is certainly not the only one, was I remember when I was competing against other people to become Perry Marshall’s affiliate manager. And that was a pivotal change in my life, winning that contest. But I remember this was during Christmas, and he had sent out like the third round of things that you had to do, and I remember it’s just a few days before Christmas and the initial thought that went through my head was, “who does this guy Perry think he is like that I’ve got time – I’m supposed to be wrapping gifts for my kids”, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then all of a sudden, after the negative thoughts ran through me, I thought, “but wait a second, what would I do if I had to do this? Like, if I could compete, like if I could actually find out a way to do this, what would I do?” And all of a sudden, all sorts of opportunities opened up. “I’m like, oh, I could send an email to this person. I can reach out to that person.” And who knows what would happen? Well, a lot happened.
And so, yeah, I think for me, asking the right questions have been really, really important for refocusing my energy on the things that I can control. And really in the end, I mean, how else are we gonna move forward unless we just focus our time on what we can control?
Noah St. John: That’s right. I love how you described that, and that reminds me of something that Stephen Covey wrote years ago. In fact, he talks about that in his book, “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” and he writes about the story that he was in a library and he read a book that changed his life. And in the book it said “between stimulus and response, there is a gap. And in that gap lies our freedom.” And that’s the point, you know, to your, to jump off your point. Most people have stimulus response like this. In other words, somebody, you know, looks at you funny and you’re like “(angry sound)”. You know? And we lash out, right? Or, you know, somebody cuts you off in traffic and you know, whatever. And so that’s the point. We forget that there is a gap, a space between stimulus, meaning what happens in our outside world, and response, which is what happens in our inside world.
So what I’ve been teaching my clients for over two decades is there’s only two things that create our life. The first thing is the quality of your communication with the world inside of you, and the second is the quality of your communication with the world outside of you. We all live in two worlds, what I call the inner game and the outer game, right? So, 85% of the reason that I’ve helped my clients make so much money over the last two decades is because I’ve taught them how to master their inner game. In other words, to put it simply, 85% of success is inner game. The 15% is the outer game. You have to do both, though, like I said. There’s some productivity gurus out there that say, “get more done in 12 weeks than most people get done in a year”. And I’m like, “why would I want to run around like an idiot?” That doesn’t make any sense. And then of course, you’ve got the guys in “The Secret” that say, “all you have to do is think about money and it pours in from the sky”, which is bull. I mean, that’s totally a lie, right? So where I am is I’m right in the middle, which is yes, we have to take action and we have to do the woo woo stuff, right? The inner game stuff, if you want to call it woo woo, ’cause it really kind of isn’t, it’s actually hugely important. But we also have to take that action. So, like I said, I’d rather do less, not do more, get more done. No, I’d rather have just more results flow out of me doing less at the same time. And really that, a lot of that, 85% of that, really comes from mastering our inner game.
Jack Born: So, speaking of inner game, I know that there’s been a lot written on willpower. What is your viewpoint on willpower and how that either plays into what you teach or do you teach against it? Tell me about willpower.
Noah St. John: Willpower, again, this is what a lot of gurus teach, and they say, “just grit your teeth. Just get it done.” And, and again, it’s not exactly wrong. The problem with willpower and again, numerous studies have shown what I’ve been teaching for 20 years, is that it’s just a limited resource. It’s not that it’s wrong or bad. It’s just a limited resource.
Let me give you an example. So, let’s say you’re in your kitchen, right, at your home for everybody watching this. You’re in your kitchen and all of a sudden, somebody comes along and puts a plate of chocolate chip cookies there, and they just came out of the oven. They’re warm. They smell like chocolate chip cookies do. And you’re like, “Hmm.” And then they say to you, “Okay, now, don’t eat a chocolate chip cookie. Whatever you do, don’t eat one of these. Don’t eat one of these. Don’t have a chocolate chip cookie.” And you’re walking by and you smell – what are you gonna do? I mean, you’re gonna, first of all, you’re gonna wait ’til they leave and you’re going to have like ten. (laughing) You’re just gonna gorge yourself. ‘Cause why? ‘Cause what they told you, it goes against human nature. See, human nature doesn’t change. Human nature has been around for hundreds of thousands years and it ain’t changing anytime soon. So the point is, it’s not that it’s wrong or bad, it just doesn’t really work. So, the point is, what I teach is again, the unconscious habits of highly successful people. They don’t use willpower. They just get things done, but understanding what a habit actually is. And a habit is five stages: the cue, routine, reward, craving, belief. We don’t have time to get in all that, but basically it’s really just changing a couple little, if you think about a clock, it’s just changing a couple things on that clock, a couple little levers that make huge changes in your life. So, you know, like I was saying a moment ago, oh, I’ll give you a quick example.
I was speaking at a seminar in Los Angeles for a group of about a thousand entrepreneurs. This was before the pandemic, and I just finished speaking. I was walking off the stage. A man came up to me, and he said, “Noah, I want to hire you as my coach. You’re the coach I’ve been looking for.” Now, I didn’t know this man from Adam. Ironically, his name was Adam. (chuckling) And so I said, “Okay, what what’s going on?” He goes, “Noah, I’m totally stuck. I’m only making 4 million a year.” Now, of course, I had to laugh. I was like, “That doesn’t sound like a big problem. A lot of people would like to be stuck at 4 million a year.” He goes, “No, Noah, I own this company. I’m the CEO of this company, and we grew to 4 million in revenues really fast, but then we’ve been plateaued for the last four years. Four years with no growth.” And he says, “I’ve hired every guru out there, all the big names.” He named every name, you know, all the names that we know, and he said, “I’m totally stuck. I spent tens of thousand dollars.” And he said, “As soon as I heard you speak, as soon as I heard you speak about head trash and foot on the brake and afformation, everything you just said,” he said, “I knew you are the coach I’ve been looking for.” He hired me on the spot.
Long story short, in that timeframe that I worked with him and his company, mostly with him, ’cause I do one-on-one as well as group coaching, but in that period of time, it was about 18 months, his company went from being stuck at 4 million for the previous four years to over $20 million in sales. A six times increase in less than 18 months. And why did that happen? Because of what I’m sharing here. We helped them with inner game. We helped him with outer game, but it was 85, even I would say 90% inner game that was literally why he was holding himself back. Unconsciously, he didn’t know he was doing it. We were able to fix it and boom, the results were pretty amazing.
Jack Born: But for everyone watching, there’s two things that I want you to pay attention to. Number one, I believe that what Noah is sharing is really valuable. And I’m a big believer in asking yourself the right questions in the inner game. And number two, in coming back to what Noah was talking about, about communicating externally and internally, rollback the video about two minutes and listen to the story that Noah just told because that is a perfect example of how you tell a story and you communicate a transformation. So, very well done. That’s, that’s a really, really good, good story to, a great example of being able to communicate and message effectively in a story. And everyone who follows me knows that I’m a big believer in stories. So, that’s great.
I know from reading, I need to get, I need to add to my library some of your more recent books, but I know years ago I read one of your books when Perry first introduced me to you, and you’ve got this concept called “The Noah’s ARC”, A-R-C. Can you talk about that briefly? I know we’re coming towards the end of our time here, but if you could just share that concept and then maybe we could wrap things up.
Noah St. John: Absolutely, well with a name like Noah, you know, I had to do Noah’s Arc, right? I mean, come on, that’s just too obvious. But this is spelled A-R-C, just for everybody at home. So, it’s A-R-C. So, A-R-C, very simply, Noah’s Arc, stands for “awareness, routines and community”.
So, awareness is what I, you know, a lot of what we’ve been talking about today, but you know, of course there’s more to it, but basically the point is you can’t change something unless you’re aware of it, right? In fact, one of my coaching clients years ago, he said, “Noah, as we were doing this work, it’s like, you turned a light on in a room that had been dark my whole life.” And as I thought about that, I’m like, “that’s exactly what it’s like”. Because think about this, if you’re in your home and someone comes in and they turn off all the lights and they shut all the blinds and it’s totally dark and then they tell you, “all right now rearrange the furniture here.” And you’re like, “I can’t see.” And they go, “Well, set your goals. Get motivated. Come on. You can do it.” Now, see what they’re doing? They’re doing what all the gurus do. They’re pumping you up and saying “get excited”, but meanwhile, you can’t see, right? So, with that, you know, you’re hitting your shins, you’re like, “man, I can’t stand it.” So, what I do is I come in. I go “click”, and they go, “oh, well, there it is. There’s a coffee table. There’s a chair.” So that’s the point of awareness, literally turning on the light, as I say, flipping on the abundance switch.
Number two is routines. All right, so, that’s what I was talking about a moment ago about these power habits. It’s literally understanding what you do. Again, getting that space between stimulus and response is a big part of that.
And then number three is community and connection, right? So, two C’s if you want, but you know, community meaning it’s hard to change anything alone, right? If you’re trying to change your habit, if you’re trying to grow your business, if you’re trying to create a program, whatever it is, it’s just hard. You know, there’s help available out there. You know, find a coach. Find a mentor. Find somebody out there, right? And just get the help that you need. I wish that I would’ve had this information, you know, 30 years ago when I was starting out or even just thinking about having my own business because it would have saved me, frankly, tens of years and hundreds of thousands of dollars. So, don’t make the same mistake I did and wait too long to get help. Get the help that you need because it really is available, and make sure you have that connection and that community that can really support you as you’re making these transformations in your life.
Jack Born: So, where can someone learn more about you? And you mentioned before we started the recording, you’ve got a free plus shipping offer on a book. So, why don’t we talk about those?
Noah St. John: Right. Absolutely. So, there’s two places. So, it’s my name, NoahStJohn.com. Just like it’s spelled N-O-A-H and then S-T-J-O-H-N, NoahStJohn.com is where you can learn more about my programs. If you want to bring me in to speak, just go to booknoah.com. And then for this book, which is called, “Get Rid of Your Head Trash About Money,” it’s very easy to remember, sendmeabooknoah.com. So, sendmeabooknoah.com and I will send you a book. So, yes, it is free plus shipping. So, you know, the book is free. We ask you to cover the shipping. So that’s sendmeabooknoah.com.
Jack Born: Awesome. Well, so Noah, this has been great. So, it’s clear that you are a very skilled communicator, but I think like you were saying 85% of success or somewhere in that neighborhood is gonna be internal.
I think a lot of people are held back by their issues around money, around success, around beliefs about what they can do or can’t do and so, yeah, I think that cleaning up that head trash that we all have can only help. I think that we have head trash in many different areas of our life, so, I’m really, really happy to be able to share this information with my audience. So, I appreciate your time.
Noah St. John: My pleasure. And again, let me just give a shout out for Deadline Funnel. For all of you watching who haven’t gotten it yet, make sure you get it. It’s a great tool to use. And I use it throughout my business, and it’s really been a game changer for me. So, thank you, Jack, for creating it and for having a wonderful tool for all of us.
Jack Born: Absolutely. My pleasure. And it’s as a result of having an amazing team. So, congrats, kudos to my team. All right, Noah, thank you so much.
Noah St. John: My pleasure.