Cameron Fous on Clarity, Power & Follow-through
Marni Melrose 0:00
Alright, so I have a very special guest today, Cameron Fous, and I am in his iconic entrepreneur program. So, you get to listen to one of my mentors. I thought that his story was really interesting. So, Cameron, why don't you tell us kind of where you started, and where you are now, because I've been watching you over the last few years. I definitely think that you qualify as somebody who has an extraordinary life and something that you've created. So tell us about that.
Cameron Fous 0:39
Yeah, it's been interesting. I don't know when this all kind of started. I had some family friends who were both stockbrokers growing up, and I thought their life looked really cool. They're always wearing like, big long suit jackets. BMWs and I was ... something about the stock market fascinated me. So, I went to school to learn finance and become a stockbroker. What you realize when you get into school, you don't learn anything about the stock market, you learn about accounting and stuff that you don't care about. So, I decided to start learning about the stock market while I was in college. I became a member of this website that was basically talking about stocks and teaching people how to do stocks. And, I basically just kind of became obsessed for the next three years and learned how to day trade the stock market while I was still in college, and eventually dropped out my senior year of college because I was like, "Why am I doing school because I'm not even going to class anymore." All I did was learn about the stock market. And so, I started a website in 2006. Started documenting my journey through learning how to day trade the stock market and I did that for free for two years kind of building up my reputation, just basically providing value and kind of sharing my story about what I was experiencing while trying to learn this crazy game of day trading the stock market. Then 2008, I launched it as a business. I was either going to launch a business online and start selling an online product. This was like, a long time ago when it came to selling online products. I've been selling online products for over a decade or go into corporate finance and do the whole nine to five thing I was like, I don't know if I do that like part of me thought, okay, I want to like wear a suit and tie to work and like do that whole kind of thing. But at this point, I've been working at home for two years already. And, the comfort of having the freedom to choose if I wanted to work today was kind of like, I don't know if I want to give that up where I have to go to work and actually have a boss and do all that stuff. And, I have had odd jobs here and here now throughout there, and I never got along with boss. I don't do well with authority figures. I was always getting in trouble with the police. I've been to jail several times. So, I don't do well with people telling me what to do. And, so that was kind of like the deciding factor of, "Okay, maybe I should just start this online business and launch this product." I had no idea if it's gonna work or not. I was fucking scared. I'm like, this is scary. I'm this like, drunk college kid that apparently knows things about the stock market. I don't know if anybody will listen to me. So, I just decided to say fuck it and I went for it. And, I made like 30 grand in 30 days with people signing up for my product that I had launched, which is basically no different than what I was doing before. I just said, Hey, guys, my access to my blog is no longer free. So apparently, I was providing enough value that people still wanted to know what I was talking about when it came to the stock market. Then the 2008 market crash happened. I basically almost lost everything. I ended up having to get a job downtown. My business was dead stop.
Marni Melrose 4:05
San Diego right.
Cameron Fous 4:06
Yeah, in San Diego
Your a local boy.
Marni Melrose 4:11
But, not right now you're in Bali right?
Cameron Fous 4:13
Yeah, I currently live in Bali.
So yeah, it was crazy. So, and then I got fired from that job. So I thought my life was over. Then the market bottomed and everything was great and I had a killer 2009. From there everything just kind of steamrolled between day trading, having $70,000 months day trading, then selling over $100,000 in day trading courses in the same month, almost $200,000 month, I was in 2014. Then, from there building out a team, learning more about the business side of things and content side of things such as YouTube, and that's really where my business started taking off is once I started growing my brand on YouTube. So, all that was great. Crazy life, traveling all over the world doing crazy exotic luxury travel things. Eventually, it kind of got to the point where I was like getting ahead of myself, of like my ego and doing things for YouTube and doing things for content and not necessarily portraying who I was anymore. And so, it all kind of just led to depression even though I was making a bunch of money because, if you get too carried away on social media, and you start feeding the machine because you know what the machine wants, and the machine wants extravagant bullshit. Humans are fucking stupid.
Marni Melrose 5:42
I have a T-shirt that says social engineering specialist, and on the back of it says, because there is no patch for stupidity.
Cameron Fous 5:54
Yeah, it's unfortunate that a lot of times like even though Gary V preaches all the time like just be yourself but a lot of times just being yourself isn't going to get the attention that you need for your business and so you have to try to find balance that you can do it in a way that's also authentic but in a way that also works because you can be ... yeah and entertaining. So, somebody else I was watching the other day made kind of a valid point like don't try to beat your competition just try to be different. How can you be different?
Marni Melrose 6:26
You know what, when I actually started watching you, was because I started trading Bitcoin. And so, I thought, I want to learn about the stock market to and I started watching you but I started watching you right at the transition between when you decided that this was all a little bit too much. And, you actually had a bit of a breakdown and it was that video ... I'm like, wow, this guy is actually totally authentic. Just laying it out there like it is. That's what I really appreciate about you was that you were honest about the way that you felt. And, you weren't afraid to say, "Hey, my life sucks." You know? I'm making a shitload of money but I'm not happy.
Cameron Fous 7:24
Yeah. What video is that? Was it the one on I decided to ...
Marni Melrose 7:28
When you sold everything.
Cameron Fous 7:30
Yeah, so basically I had accumulated a bunch of bullshit, I had like three cars, really nice condo ... a boat.
Marni Melrose 7:38
Your Mazarati your ... what was that other one, that black one?
Cameron Fous 7:41
I had a 1968 Camaro.
Then, I met a girl that kind of changed everything. I had already wanted change big time. I just didn't really have like anybody to support me in this change. I was still stuck in my kind of great group of friends but we were all kind of just doing ... It's hard to change habits and behavior if your environment is still the same.
Marni Melrose 8:04
Totally get that.
Cameron Fous 8:05
I didn't have really like an exit plan or a support system that could help me with that. And so I met this girl ... We basically kind of like fell in love on day one. She moved in my apartment on day one. She was a digital nomad traveler, so she didn't really have anywhere else to go. She just was like staying at her friends we met and then she stayed at my house that night and then never left. So yeah, so then I decided that I was going to sell all my stuff and just like, I was actually going to move to Florida because I was I wanted to be on East Coast time frame because the stock market opens at 9:30am over there, versus 6:30am on the west coast. I don't like to wake up that early. It's not ... I like waking up early. I think it's important to wake up early. But, the problem with waking up that early. For day trading the stock market is you have to be 100% sharp right at 6:30 in the morning. And so, I am a slow start, so I need to like, I need to wake up get my coffee like fucking this ... get into my groove?
Marni Melrose 9:11
Mind right? Yeah, I'm the same way if I don't have my coffee, you know I have a really high IQ, but it's like cut in half before my calm.
Cameron Fous 9:23
No I don't like, I'm addicted I can't function without it. I haven't tried I don't even want to try. Anyways, like you're saying, I left the USA after I decided I hated Florida. I was like I went to Florida and actually signed a lease at a condo downtown. After three days I was like, I don't know what I'm doing. I don't know why I'm doing this. I hate this. Then so, I called my girlfriend and said, Hey, what do you think about us is traveling the world together? And I'll back out of this lease. She said Okay, let's do it. And then so at that point, I had sold everything. I went and flew to Massachusetts to where she was at her mom's house at the time. And, we just kind of decided like, okay, where are we going? We're like, Alright, we're going to Thailand. So, I flew back to San Diego. got everything ready filmed the video cried like a baby talking about how happy I was.
Yeah, it is like, yeah, it's like one of the best days of my life just like I was so excited. Not only being in love with someone at the time, we're no longer together but being loving like having getting rid of all this weight that I had on my shoulders. I'm continually portray this image on social media, all for money when it really wasn't who I was I really wanted to be. So I traveled the world for three years and kind of trying to figure out what I want to do because I knew I wanted out of this industry of day trading. And I didn't really know what I was gonna do, but I knew I was really good at content. I knew I was good at marketing. I knew as good at running a business doing 50 to 150 k per month for years mostly through organic reach on content. So, that was when I came up with iconic which was what you're part of now the iconic entrepreneur which is basically just an eight week program on not only how to get your like mindset, right and clarity, right ... how to find fulfillment because money doesn't buy happiness at the day. Yes. Who doesn't love money? I love money. I want to make awesome shitload of money. Yeah, but at the end of the day, if you don't find fulfillment in what you're doing to make that money, you kind of feel empty at the end of the day.
Marni Melrose 11:39
Balance and integration. That is what I really, talk about in all of the work that I do is, you know, I've, I grew up in a wealthy family, and, you know, if you could have a hell of a lot of money and still be totally miserable, and that's, that's what I identified with you. I saw that in my family, where they could be totally out of balance, totally disintegrated and unhappy. And, I didn't want that for myself. Then, when I saw that in you, I'm like, Yes.
Cameron Fous 12:20
Because, it's all situational. Just like you're saying, if you're born into it, you don't really know anything else. Your like, okay, I know, this comfort level. It doesn't matter. Doesn't matter if you have money. It's the situation about how you feel.
Marni Melrose 12:32
Believe me i have seen the other side too, though. My family lost all of our money. So, I've had the total opposite side, but luckily, most of my formative years were in that. And ...
Cameron Fous 12:50
Yeah, it's crazy. I mean, it's hard to get that message across. I mean, you really can't ... It's very hard to teach people life lessons without them experiencing it for themselves. You can only ... Usually, when people relate to something or connect with the lesson that you're talking about is because they've experienced that in some way, shape or form. So, when I tell people, I was unhappy, even though I was making a shitload of money, if they don't have money, they can't relate. They're like, this guy's an idiot. I don't understand what he's talking about. Why isn't he happy? That doesn't make sense to me.
Marni Melrose 13:20
He should be happy.
Cameron Fous 13:21
Yeah. It's empathy. Can they relate or not? And, so it's difficult to teach anybody anything in terms of a life lesson like that, unless they can relate. So, it's hard to get that message across especially, I'm 35 now, and I started day trading when I was 20. When I was 20, my mindset was, I don't give a fuck about anything except for making money. That's it. You make money, I'm going to be successful, I'm going to be happy. So, it's hard to tell people that they don't have money because they think money is going to be the answer to all the problems and maybe it will be. You dont know.
Marni Melrose 14:00
Or, sometimes they they have an inner ... because I'm in the coaching industry and business coaching and, partially life coaching as well, right? I coach the business owners. Sometimes people have a misconception about money, is money evil? That I've seen so often just totally sabotage people trying to get them into that space where they understand that money is a good thing.
Cameron Fous 14:38
Yeah, cuz money can be evil. It can cause a lot of problems. It can ruin relationships.
Marni Melrose 14:44
It can magnify everything, right?
Cameron Fous 14:46
Yeah, in a good way or a bad way. You never know. Yeah. So, that's crazy. But yeah, so now I run two companies. I have "IKNK" which is what you're part of and I still own iknktraders.com which is e-trading company it's ... so, I took a step back, I retired. I haven't made any day trade since 2018. Now, that we're seeing this huge thing with the Coronavirus, and the market in complete meltdown. For me, it's not an issue for me that's an opportunity. And so, because I went through a similar situation between 2008 and also 2009, which was when we saw H1N1 the bird flu and so both those situations created a lot of opportunity as far as making money in the stock market. Obviously, it's a crappy situation but we're all in this regardless whether you like it or not, you either want to take advantage of it or let it take advantage of you. There's going to be winners and losers and a lot of that is totally situation on what you choose to do. A lot of people are just sitting at home, doing fuck all watching Netflix drinking wine, but other people are actually like, what can I do at this time that can I can actually thrive throughout this situation. We're seeing not only a massive spike on my YouTube channel, my YouTube stats are blowing up right now, both through search and the algorithm. And, we just shot a podcast right before this with my trading team, we had like three sales while we're designing podcasts because everybody's at home. Now everybody wants to learn how to make money. And so, there's definitely a lot of interest right now in the stock market as well. So it's cool to see a lot of steam and even potentially coming back part time to trade. We'll see just because I know how awesome 2009 was because it was easy money. And so, potentially something I wouldn't do it full time. I don't want to do the pressure of like, shooting all these crazy lifestyle videos for it or before I was doing live trading in front of like 200 to 300 people every morning at 6:30 in the morning. So there's a lot of stress and pressure involved with trading. It's not easy at all. By any way shape or form, but it is quick in fast money because I only day trade for 90 minutes or less, you can make $200 to $5,000 in 90 minutes. But, you don't learn that skill without a lot of time and effort, stress, crying and bullshit.
Yeah, it's an interesting time. The world is never gonna be the same after this. It's all ... so much stuff is gonna be moving online right now.
Marni Melrose 17:33
And, I can't tell you how many zooms I've been on. Like, I actually just got over Coronavirus myself. And so, for the days that I was awake because I slept for two weeks. The days that I was awake. I mean, I've been on zoom after zoom after zoom of all of the coaches in the coaching industry and we're all like, okay, how do we pivot? What do we do? What do we do with all of this stuff? And, how do we help people because there's a lot of people who are, looking to move their business online, just like, your program helps with that, right?
Cameron Fous 18:18
Marni Melrose 18:19
So, that's awesome. Well, thank you so much for that. So let's, let's talk about clarity. Right? What for you, helps you be clear about what it is that you want.
Cameron Fous 18:35
A lot of things that I try to have clarity on is ... you can obviously do things short term for short term gains. But, if you're starting a career or you're doing anything you got to think about, in five years from now, am I still gonna be wanting to do this? Am I still gonna be motivated? Or is it, today your like shit, I don't really feel like doing this, but I might make money doing it. So for me, I'm trying to like, be 100% clear on do I actually like doing this? Because, if I don't, I'm not gonna actually build something meaningful in it long term, or I'm gonna burn out.
Marni Melrose 19:17
Cameron Fous 19:18
That's kind of where I ended up with my day trading company. In the beginning, I was addicted to it. But, there is so much stress involved that I'm like, I fucking hate doing this. So it's a drag to wake up to do it every day. And so, for me clarity is is trying to find just fulfillment if you actually like doing it, because that's what people always ask, How do you stay motivated, you get motivated by having something to look forward to. If you're not looking forward to waking up and doing whatever you need to do for your job or for your day. You're not gonna be motivated because you have nothing to look forward to. Because, you don't give me shit about it. So, really clarity for me is finding things to look forward to. If you're not looking forward to anything, then you're not happy. Because, you don't like what you're doing.
Marni Melrose 20:07
What I hear you saying is knowing where you want to go. And, when you want to get there and the things that you need to do to get there, help give you clarity, right?
Cameron Fous 20:18
Yeah. And that's also just like you said, a lot of people know what they want, they just don't know how the fuck they're gonna get it.
Marni Melrose 20:25
Cameron Fous 20:26
So, everybody knows, oh, what do you want? Like, I want to make more money. I want to be happy. How are you gonna do that? What's the plan?
Marni Melrose 20:35
It's the disconnect between what I say I want and what I'm going to do to get there right.
Cameron Fous 20:43
Yeah, and that's basically kind of the power of mentorship. Just like, you're in my program. You also help mentor people, you're in other ones as well. And, to get clarity you need a plan. A lot of times that requires help. Usually when you winging it on something you have no clarity. You know what you want. You just have no fucking clue how you're gonna get it. That's when you lack clarity and you wake up every day stressed out because you're like, I don't know what I'm doing.
Marni Melrose 21:07
Yeah, exactly. So now let's talk about power and I term it in a way of like willpower. So just like you said, you know, when when you are facing tough times, what helps you to have the willpower when things are shit, or you're having a bad trade, the willpower to carry on right because as we know, as business owners, everyday is not perfect.
Cameron Fous 21:37
No, there's a lot of bad days. That's for sure.
I think as far as willpower is ... again, one of the big things that overcomes willpower is, just like I was saying before, is if you actually like doing it. If you have passion for it. If you don't, then you're going to give up. You're like, well, nothing's working, because a lot of times in business and entrepreneurship or day trading, whatever ... a lot of times, whatever you're doing never works. You just keep trying it and you spend all this time to put together this new thing. Then, you put it out there and doesn't work.
Marni Melrose 22:18
And it's like flop.
Cameron Fous 22:21
Yeah. And so ...
Marni Melrose 22:23
What I hear you saying is you need to have passion in the process.
Cameron Fous 22:30
Passion and patience. A lot of things aren't gonna work. I have a tattoo on my arm that says, "It's gonna be fine." Yeah, it is representative of how much bullshit I've been through. Now with the enough, time, acceptance ... time and acceptance of the situation. Everything is always turned out fine. Aside from like, dying or something. But, everything ... life is this a bunch of failure. For the most part. I have another tattoo right here that says, "Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm."
Marni Melrose 23:03
Exactly. That's why you were where you are today, I think really, right. You see this failure as like, Oh, just get back up and get back in the game.
Cameron Fous 23:18
Yeah, because it sucks. It is part of the game. And, it's just same thing that goes, in day trading. A lot of people think you have to win a lot in day trading to make money and you don't, you can lose like 70% of the time and still make money if you manage the risk correctly. So, I tell people, that the sooner that you can accept that losing is normal, the sooner you're going to win. Because, a lot of people take a bunch of losses, maybe half the time or like I'm a fucking loser. I'm losing half the time. Yeah. But, if you have those losses, and you can cut those losses and you understand that that's just part of life. Then those winners, some of them are going to work. You have to continually have passion and patience to find those winners. So, yeah, it just boils down to understanding that losing is very normal.
Marni Melrose 24:09
That's awesome, I'm so glad that you you present that. And so, what about follow-through? Like, when you say that you're going to do something? Do you have any structures that you would share with somebody else about what helps you with follow-through?
Cameron Fous 24:29
As far as like setting a goal and achieving it?
Marni Melrose 24:33
Yeah. Or when you say that you're going to do something and then, following through with it. So you have the clarity, right? Then, you have the power, you're going to do it. But, what keeps you on track, right? With actually doing that?
Cameron Fous 24:52
I think, I'm a very one focused person, I do multitask a lot but the more I multitask, the less I get done. There's a book called, "The one thing," that's actually pretty good. And, it's basically talking about how much mental calories you have in a day and how you need to prioritize what's most important at the beginning of your day and least important at the end of the your day, because you will also reach burnout and whatever you need to get done, you need to be doing the most important things in the morning. So, for me, I try to do all my like deep focused work in the morning, I like to turn off my phone. Nobody fucking talk to me, because I'm getting these things done. And, lately what I try to do, even though sometimes this is difficult, because some things need to be done in timely manners, but I also have other big things that need to be done because they're going to move the needle even more. So, that i i try to focus on completing one task at a time.
Marni Melrose 25:53
Cameron Fous 25:54
As much as possible. So that I can get that done quicker because if I try to do 10 things at once ... Then I might get them all done, but it might take a year for any of them to get done. Rather than I can just nail down the most important things that need to get done. Focus on that like 90% of time, get that done and then trickle down. Yeah, the ladder of what else needs to be done.
Marni Melrose 26:19
Then, delegate the things that somebody else can do that aren't as important for you to do.
Cameron Fous 26:27
As long as you're financially able to, you should always outsource anything that you don't need to actually do yourself.
Marni Melrose 26:33
Exactly. And one thing that on one of our meetings, I thought was really valuable, you said that you should set the systems up yourself so that you understand the processes in the systems. Once the systems are running, that's when you start to outsource it. But, if you outsource it beforehand, I remember you had this with an agency, right? And, you outsourced it before you understood it and then it didn't go well, right?
Cameron Fous 27:11
Yeah, I fired every agency.
Marni Melrose 27:19
Yeah, you got to understand the processes, otherwise you don't even know if you're being taken advantage of, and I thought that that was really valuable. Absolutely.
Cameron Fous 27:31
Yeah. Now for sure, it's very important that you understand all aspects of your business. Almost everybody starts out as a solopreneur, where you're starting from the ground up. You don't have the finances to support a team. So, you have to learn everything yourself. But, at the end of the day, you can't become an expert at each one of these things. You have to focus on what you're the best at and how you can help the company grow. Doesnt mean you can't learn all these other things such as YouTube advertising, Facebook ads, Google ads, YouTube ads, funnels, automated webinars, all this shit, Instagram, planning ... there's so much stuff that goes into running an online business. And, it's important that you know, all those things. But, at the end of the day, you do need to delegate all those tasks, because otherwise you're not going to get anything done, you're going to burn out. Just focus on, what can I focus on the most where I actually have fun doing and I'm not going to burn out and then everything else can be delegated to somebody else, but I do understand these systems so I can make sure that they're doing it correctly. But hopefully, they're an actual expert in that field. They could probably teach me something as well.
Marni Melrose 28:45
Right. Exactly. Like Richard Branson says, "Always hire people who are smarter than you are."
Cameron Fous 28:51
Marni Melrose 28:56
For sure, for sure. Thank you so much for that. I always have our speakers leave our listeners with their free gift. So, tell us more about what you're offering our listeners today.
Cameron Fous 29:16
Yeah, well, I got multiple things. Because, I am multitasking. It really depends. It depends on what they're currently going through. Somebody just messaged me yesterday on Instagram. He's from Singapore. He's like, "Hey, man, I've been following you for, for a couple years. I just lost my job and I don't know what to do. I have a little bit of money saved up. He's like, I'm interested in your course." I said, "Well, which one? What do you ... What are you trying to do?" So he's like, "I don't know, I ... any of them. I don't have a job." So I said, "Well, if you're looking for something that can actually make money right now. Then day trading is definitely opportunity because we are seeing a crazy situation where the stock market is seeing a huge decline and it does create opportunity." Now I'm not saying a day trading is easy, very difficult game to get into and very stressful, but there are big rewards by student, Matt just had a $70,000 month last month. So there's a lot of money that can be made in the stock market, but it's not it's quick money, but it's not easy money. It's stressful money. Yeah. And so that's one opportunity. Then, I first said, "Well, do you have any skill sets?" And he said, "No."
Probably why he got fired.
So, that's when I recommended potentially day trading because he's looking for something that he can do financially. But, if you have any sort of skill set that you're trying to sell online, or grow your brand on YouTube, that's what I teach people at Iconic. That's kind of where you came into my program because that's where I started out I started out with just learning a skill set which was day trading. Then, I turned that skill set into a business because there was a demand for it and then started selling online products and services in 2008 and then scaled that to 50k to 150k per month. That was mostly through just YouTube and Instagram as far as my content marketing, organically. So that's what I do at iconic because I have two programs. I have one called YouTubeFluence, which is basically, you don't really have a business yet but you want to start growing your personal brand on YouTube. That's YouTubeFluence. That's iknk.com and then also IKNKentrepreneur, which you're in which is an eight week program, which is basically everything I know about running an online business in an eight week format. To learn how to do that if you want to sell anything, basically online, mostly online courses, but you can basically use a lot of the stuff in the marketing content techniques and the sales philosophies to sell anything online.
Marni Melrose 32:00
That's awesome. Well, definitely link those below our interview here, and I totally appreciate you taking the time to do this with us, Cameron. It was a lot of fun.
Cameron Fous 32:15
Yeah, for sure. Thanks for having me on.
Marni Melrose 32:17