The Burn with Ben Newman: Episode 27 with Andy Frisella

Andy Frisella Interview with Ben Newman The Burn

About Andy Frisella

Andy Frisella is most well known as the CEO of 1st Phorm and the host of one of the most popular business podcasts,The MFCEO Project.

Andy is from St. Louis MO and has built his businesses well into the 9 figures and has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, Inc, and many other media outlets.  His real and unfiltered approach to life has captured the attention of thousands pursuing their chance at living the life they dream of.

His natural gift of communication has given him the gift to share his experience in a way that no other business person has done to date.  Andy used his immense following to launch his #75hard campaign which is Andy’s mental toughness training program.

Full Interview with Andy Frisella and Ben Newman

Andy Frisella: I’m just a dude who wanted to get somewhere and realized that it wasn’t magic, and other people have the same ability to get there too, they just weren’t fortunate enough to have a person in their life like I had my dad and you had your mom to inspire, and teach, and show me how to do shit.

Ben Newman: Welcome back to another episode of The Burn.  Now, you all know I get fired up for episodes every single week.  But man, this one is very, very special, because I’m getting this guy, who I’ve known for almost five years, to go a little bit deeper than he ever has.  That’s my goal.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, right.

Ben Newman: Because Andy Andy Frisella and I have shared some pretty cool experiences, some pretty cool memories, and he doesn’t know this, and he’s probably gonna tell me to shut up and stop and start the interview, so he’s got to let me roll for a minute.  He is one the individuals that inspires me to think differently, to think bigger, and to show up differently in my life.  And I pay attention in relationships to the details of what makes a human being a human being.  And I think back five years, right, so I’m going back, and it was about 8:30 or 9:00 at night, and you and I are talking on the phone.  And I remember saying something to you.  I said, “Man, you have this natural gift to speak.  You have this natural gift to, like, be on stage, to inspire people.”  I’m like, “Dude, you are going to fill stadiums.”

Andy Frisella: I remember that.

Ben Newman: And I — but your answer wasn’t about like, dude, it’s gonna be amazing, I’m gonna give — I’m gonna have standing ovations in front of tens of — it was more of, “But I feel like I can really make a difference with my message.”

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: And here I was saying to you, “Bro, you’re gonna fill stadiums.”  And it was about the message.  And here’s one thing — and I know I don’t need to do this for you, but I want to do this for you.  I think the world that we live in today, it is fricking unfortunate.  It is unfortunate that people look and go, look at this guys’ house, look at all these cars.  All this guy cares about is money.  And what I want to help people understand on this episode is when you talk about the highest performers and this burn that lies within, don’t just throw stones at somebody, because you think you know the way that they are.  I think about you sleeping in the back of a store where people told you you had no business running the store, when you made $7 your first day.  I think of the pain that you went through in business.  I think of you fighting for other individuals that put scars on your face.  I think of you going back to your high school, Vianney High School.  This is stuff people don’t know.  They’d rather just be like, oh, the dude with all the cars and everything.  You go back to your high school; you and your partners give money back to the high school where you played.  You could say, man, like, look at me, I’m doing this stuff.  I’m gonna have a billion-dollar company; forget about my high school.  I think of those answers to your questions where you say, no, man, it’s not about filling stadiums, which you now have done.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: So, in other words, I knew what I was talking about.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, you did.

Ben Newman: But I think about the fact that it was more about the purpose behind it.  And now I see what you’re doing with Ed Mylett.  I see what you’re doing with Arete.  I see you wanting to change people’s lives.  I’ve seen you go through a transformation yourself, which as inspired me, because you told me you would do that.  And I remember we had lunch, and you looked at me, and you said, “You watch.  You watch what I’m gonna do.”  And I just think about this confidence, this fire, this passion that now it’s just out.  And I feel like, for me, over the last five years, even though we don’t connect as much as I’d like to, because we’re both running crazy, dude, I feel like you are taking on the world where there — you talk about the burn, like I feel like this burn is so hot inside of you.  Anybody could try to put it out and it’s not possible.  And I think you’re only scratching the service of the impact you’ll have.

Andy Frisella: Well, dude, I appreciate that.  A lot of people don’t realize, you know, you were the guy who taught me how to frame a talk.  You know what I’m saying?  Like, I didn’t even know how to do public speaking when you and I were — I can remember us drawing.  My first talk we ever — I ever gave ever, we drew out on this board about 10 yards away from us right now.  So, dude, you know, we’ve both come a long way in that five — it seems like it was like 100 years ago.

Ben Newman: Tombstone days.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, Tombstone days.  That’s right, man.  That was a good talk too.  But, you know, the truth of it is that I learned a long time ago that if you want to make money, it’s got to be about the message.  You know what I mean?  So, I don’t want to sit here and pretend like it’s this — only this thing where it’s like, oh, dude, I’m just doing this — ‘cause we just talked about this off the camera.  You know, a lot of people like to pretend like they’re Jesus.

Ben Newman: Yep.

Andy Frisella: I’m not Jesus, man.  I’m just a dude who wanted to get somewhere and realized that it wasn’t magic, and that other people have the same ability to get there too; they just weren’t fortunate enough to have a person in their life like I had my dad,  and you had your mom, to inspire, and teach, and show me how to do shit, right?  So, the purpose for all of this, everything that we do is to improve other people’s lives, but I do that knowing full well that it’ll create a paycheck too.  You know what I mean?

Ben Newman: And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

Andy Frisella: There’s not.  I think it’s the way — and that’s what people don’t understand.  They look at it as it’s impact or financial success, when, in reality, if you want massive financial success, those things are perfectly aligned.  You see what I mean?

Ben Newman: Without question.  And that’s where I look at some of the things that 1st Phorm has done.  I remember going in — and as I told Sal, and we talked about in our interview on The Burn, your brother, that, you know, the first time I walked into supplement super stores, I mean, he owned the place, and he was treating me like —

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: I mean, it was amazing.  I didn’t know — that was the first time we met.

Andy Frisella: Right.

Ben Newman: And it’s the experience.  It’s the relationship.  And it bleeds through.

Andy Frisella: Right.

Ben Newman: And you’ve changed lives of your employees.  You’ve changed lives of people who were at one point a fan of 1st Phorm, who are now part of the 1st Phorm family.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: And so, I think it’s an interesting point that, you know, some people just, they look for certain things, so they see it a certain way, but you guys live a certain way.  So, share with me — you say your dad, which I know, and I met Big Jim, right?

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: We were on — even the MFCEO episodes we did with Big Jim.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: I mean, you can tell, like, your fire, I mean, it was lit by a father who believed in you.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, yeah, for sure.  And that’s — that in itself is something that took me a long time to realize, ‘cause when you’re young, you don’t realize what you have, and I didn’t realize that I had a situation growing up where I had literally one of the smartest business people still to this day — I told Ed Mylett on the phone today, I said, “Out of all the people I’ve met in my — in this personal development space, still to this day, the smartest guy I’ve met is my dad.”  To this day.  And I lived in the same house with him.  So, I had a tremendous advantage.  Now, he didn’t give me money.  He didn’t invest in our company.  He didn’t do all these things that, you know, people probably think, but what he did do was provide me with this knowledge that you really — just not everybody gets.  So, I grew up at first thinking like, dude, everybody knows this shit.  You know what I’m saying?

Like, when we started doing MSCEO Project, I’m like, yeah, everybody knows this, and then I started realizing nobody knew it. You know what I mean?  And so, that’s where the purpose comes from.  The purpose for me personally and my personal brand with the personal development space comes from the understanding that most people just weren’t that fortunate to be taught to live in the same house as somebody who’s a brilliant businessperson.  So, I just take the information, I share it, because I feel like it’s the obligation.  I feel like that’s what God gave me, so I’m — it’s my duty to get it out, you know?  And that’s where that part of it comes from.

Now, on the business side of things, with 1st Phorm, you know, for the first 10 years of my business career — partial development is my business as well as now, but when I say my main business, you know, we’re talking about sport supplements, and nutrition, and a health space.  The first 10 years in business I spent trying to sale shit.  Like, you know, I can remember playing games in our retail store with my business partner, see somebody walking in, and us be like, all right, what are you gonna sell them, you know?  And that’s — which is the complete opposite of how business should be done.  And whenever the switch — the way it flipped for me was I had a situation where we weren’t making any money; we were 10 years into this business, and we weren’t making any money, so I had to look at myself and say, okay, well, you always wanted to be successful and wealthy, and you wanted to have — but you’re not gonna have that doing this.  So, I started looking at other options.  I went out and I didn’t have an education.  So, I looked at all the things I could do.  None of them appealed to me, because basically they all went back to me trading my time for money.


And I remember having a conversation with Chris, and saying, “Dude, you know, we might not ever be rich doing this,” but it’s pretty cool when people, like, walk out of your retail store, and then come back in six months and they’ve lost 100 pounds or they’ve lost 50 pounds, and they’re crying, and they’re so fucking grateful for what you taught them and how you helped them through that process.  That’s cool.  And I — we kind of came to a conscious decision where we’re like, well, that is cool.  Instead of us going out and trying to make money, we’ll just stay here doing this, because that’s a fulfilling career.  And so, we kind of like gave up on our dreams of becoming successful business guys.  But a funny thing happened, when we quit focusing on the sales, and we started saying, okay, now let’s just replicate this, what we liked, right, the person who came in and actually changed their life.  When we — we had a conversation.  We said, “Okay, well let’s just try to replicate this as much as possible.

Well, now all of the sudden, we’re servicing the customer the way that they wanted to be serviced, because we just flipped a little perspective in our brain, and we grew 100% in sales five years in a row.  Then we started 1st Phorm.  1st Phorm started growing, you know?  And all these things snowballed off of just a perspective — switch of perspective of our actual intent about the process of selling, right?  So, we no longer was selling, now it’s helping.

Ben Newman: So, here — this is pretty fascinating for me in hearing this.  So, you talk about when that moment switched, when it turned to all relationships.  That’s on the business side.  I want everybody just think of where you are right now, whatever excuses, doubts, uncertainties, fears are holding you back from maybe recognizing that opportunity is right in front of you.  And it’s so powerful to hear that, because we all have that moment where you guys made a choice to switch it.  You could have been like, yeah, relationships matter, but man, we’ve got to move product.

Andy Frisella: Right.

Ben Newman: But you didn’t do that.

Andy Frisella: Right.

Ben Newman: Now, here’s the other switch I want to take people to, okay?  You looked in the mirror, and you looked in the mirror and you said, I’ve got to change.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: And I remember the video that you guys produced.  You’re sitting on the edge of your bed.  So many of you watching, you know the video that I’m talking about.  And it was that moment where you said, “I’m looking in the mirror.”

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: And this is one of the things.  When I say you inspire me, it’s not the money, it’s not — it’s the fact that you and I had conversations where you said, man, I’m changing this.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: And most people, faced with a 100 pounds of change, they do not change.

Andy Frisella: Right.

Ben Newman: And you didn’t do any surgeries.  You didn’t do the fast fix.  You literally identified a way where you said, I’m gonna lock in on a daily basis, no different than what you’ve done with 1st Phorm.

Andy Frisella: Mm-hmm.

Ben Newman: And you attacked it, and you crushed it, and you continued to crush it.  You did tell me, you said, “I’m gonna look like The Rock one day.”

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: So, we’ve got to get an interview of you and The Rock, and get you — that’s got to happen at some point in time.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, it’s coming.

Ben Newman: He’s got to come do a Arete or — I mean, come on now.  The Rock —

Andy Frisella: We’ll figure it out.

Ben Newman: You and The Rock need to get in the same room.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: But I think about you — you flipped the switch, and there was something — and the way I look at it, to me that was the opportunity where — because nobody would have ever called you out.  Let me start there.  You could have stayed 100 pounds overweight, and people would have been like, this is the dude, this is my guy, he inspires me.  But you made a choice that most people wouldn’t have had the courage to make.  And what I want to know is the culmination of your life, I want to know — when I talk about the burn, I want you to take us into your mindset, into your gut, into your heart when you’re looking into that mirror and you’re saying, do I do this or do I not do it?  Because I think, if we’re totally being open here, you’re looking in the mirror going, I don’t have to.

Andy Frisella: Right.

Ben Newman: But maybe I will.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: So, take us to that moment when it flipped, because I think that’s the culmination of your service making a difference in other lives, giving — everything I mentioned earlier, take me to that moment.

Andy Frisella: Well, I was 350 pounds, man.  I mean, I’m running a vitamins company that is designed around health and I wasn’t healthy.  I’m public speaking, I’m starting to get, you know, asked to speak publicly, and about discipline, and about getting shit done, and I’m 100 pounds overweight.  And I saw a video of when you and I did that event here in St. Louis with Aeneas Williams.

Ben Newman: Yeah.

Andy Frisella: Right?  And I saw myself on video, and I was like, holy shit, bro, like, you’re an embarrassment to what you talk about.  And it didn’t come down to — you know, I was already wealthy at that time.  You know, people don’t realize that.  Like, this isn’t a new thing for me.  I’ve been making a lot of money for a long time, you know?  So, it wasn’t about making more money; it was about being true to what I said I was and what I thought I was.  And, you know, when you start to win other people’s games, and you’re winning the games of life, right?  Like, you’re doing good in your marriage, you created a successful business, you’ve got a nice house.  I had all that shit, you know?  But the truth is, is I was winning other people’s games on 30% of what I was capable of, and I knew that.  So, I started to think, well, fuck, dude, if I’m winning this game at 30%, what am I really capable of?  And that’s how I started to think about it.  And I realized that no matter how much money I was making, I still wasn’t happy, because I wasn’t living authentically with who I thought I was, okay?  Because in my mind, and people maybe watching your show, I don’t know how — in my mind, I thought I was the baddest mother fucker on the face of the earth.  That’s the truth.  When I look in the mirror, that’s what I see.  When I look myself in the eye, that’s what I see.  Even when I was fat, that’s what I thought.  But there was a time where I had to look at myself and say, dude, you’re full of shit; you’re not.  You’re 100 pounds overweight.  You’re standing on stage telling people to get their shit together, and you can’t get your own shit together.  You’re running this, this — you’re doing all these things, and you’re a fucking hypocrite.  And that’s where it came from, dude.

And so, it was part like, I’m not okay with being a hypocrite, and it was part I wanted to prove to myself that I was who the fuck I said I was and thought I was.  You know what I mean?  And then, it was also part that if you’re winning everybody else’s game at 30% of what you’re capable of, what can you really do, you know?  So, all those things kind of came together for me and created the unrelenting desire to make that change, you know?  And I wanted to show people, like it doesn’t matter how much you have to go, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got 400 or 500 pounds to lose, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got 20 pounds to lose, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got 30 pounds to gain.  I can be done if you dedicate yourself to winning every single day.  And that’s something I think people need more of, you know?  And I knew that if  we were gonna send that message long term, and we really believed in the message that we said, I was gonna have to lead that movement.  And so, that’s where that started.  And now, you know, people are like, “Well, how come you don’t talk about 1st Phorm?”  Because it’s not about me anymore; it’s about them you know?  How come I don’t do the videos, and how come — it’s because I don’t want it to be about me.  I want it to be about real people doing real shit, making real impact, real change, so that other real people can be inspired by that, you know?  Because the truth is, is people look at my life and they don’t think it’s real.  They think it’s not conceivable about how I live compared to — you know what I’m saying?

Ben Newman: Yeah, absolutely.

Andy Frisella: Right.  So, I would rather them see other real people change, so that they believe they can do it too, because people will have a number of excuses in their brain, and I want to eliminate the most of them I can.  One of the excuses I want to eliminate is, oh, but he’s different, he’s special.  ‘Cause like people coming in now to our ecosystem, right, they come in and they said, oh, well, dude — they weren’t there in 2015 when I did this and ’16.  You know what I mean?

Ben Newman: Yeah.

Andy Frisella: So, they’re like, oh, this dude’s in pretty good shape, he’s — you know, he’s brash, he’s got this and this.  They don’t — they weren’t there for the 21 years that we’ve been doing this.  They weren’t there for the struggle, or the pain, or all this shit.  And so, it’s just a much more effective strategy for me to step out and let other people do the leading.  You know what I mean?

Ben Newman: I hope people are picking up on something here.  Authentic, vulnerable, serving others —

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: — putting others before yourself.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: Last time I checked, for those of you that were doubters, who were focusing on cars, and big houses, and money, I think you had it twisted.  And here’s the exciting part for me, for you, ultimate overachievers, right?  And I’ve been waiting for you to do this for a long time.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: But another thing I admire about you, I have a tendency in my life, I want to go so fast sometimes to get out the next thing.  And I thought you could have written a book five years ago.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: But you always seem to wait for the right time.  And let me — one more thing and I’m gonna turn it right back to you.  Yesterday, I walked into a car dealership with my wife.  She wants to get a new car.  And we walk into the dealership, the guy Chris comes up, introduces himself.  “You were on MFCEO.  I — you were on MFCEO.”  And it — it’s just a great feeling, and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you and Vaughn welcoming me in to have the opportunity to do that with your guys for some many episodes.  And he comes up, this dude used to weigh 400 pounds.

Andy Frisella: I know exactly who you’re talking about.

Ben Newman: This guy —

Andy Frisella: You’re talking about —

Ben Newman: Chris.

Andy Frisella: Chris Brown.

Ben Newman: Yeah.

Andy Frisella: I know exactly who you’re talking about.

Ben Newman: Chris literally — the dude weighed — see, you knew exactly who I was talking about.  That’s not money and cars; that’s ‘cause you care about people.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: This guy weighed 400 pounds.  His energy, his passion, his enthusiasm —

Andy Frisella: He’s an amazing dude.

Ben Newman: Yes, around the choice that you made.  He’s selling great cars.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, yeah.

Ben Newman: My wife is gonna buy a car from him.  But like if I the guy was selling trash, I probably would have been like, I just want to buy a car from the guy to support the guy.  But his story, that inspiration, you are only scratching the service, because one of my mentors, John Gordon, who is one of the biggest and best-selling authors in the world — he sold millions of books.  The impact he has has been so incredible.  I mean, the book is written in all these different languages.  I cannot wait for that to happen with you, because to me I think about that burn, I think about the 20+ years of you fighting this fight, and there’s something about a book that comes out in the right timing, so the patience thing is huge.

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: But that book is what’s gonna touch so many people, because people have been waiting for it.  You mark my words, New York Times best-seller, I guarantee you, the first week, and it’s literally — you talk about the burn; it is gonna set fire, and you’re gonna have to figure out how you want to spend your time.  You’re gonna have some choices to make.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, bro.  It’s — believe it or not, it’s not — I am very strategic in everything I do, but that’s actually not one of them.  I think one of the things, the reason that we haven’t done more books is because I just don’t want to do another book.  Like, I don’t want to do a book just to do a book.  Like, I feel like there’s so many guys out there right now, and girls too, that they do a book that is really just a rehash of some other shit that someone else said quite honestly better than you anyway.  So, I never wanted to be that guy.  You know what I mean?  And just do something because I could do it.  So, I’ve been, you know, waiting to put out things that are maybe new ways of thinking.  You know, as I get more into business, and just more into life, dude, and, like, more mature.  And I’m very immature; let’s set one thing straight.  I’m extremely immure.  That’s the truth.  I’m probably 10 years mentally behind people that are my age in, like, social maturity, okay, but I’m also 10 years ahead of all of them, because my maturity doesn’t limit my thinking, right?  I’m still able to think like a kid, and I’m able to think big picture, and I’m able to think big concepts.  And those are the things I want to do books about.  I don’t want to just do books, like, that are rehashes of, like, let’s say, for example, Tony Robbins stuff, right, which is my tone.  ‘Cause that’s — everybody’s doing that, you know?  So, I wanted to do some things that were paradigm shifting and mentally shifting for real.  You know what I mean?  And that’s — I am excited about that, because let’s face it, when you get a book out people look at you a little different.  You know what I mean?  To get a good book out there, they look at you a lot different.

Ben Newman: Yeah.

Andy Frisella: So, you know, the stuff that we’re putting out and that my team and I are working on is paradigm shifting stuff.  And I’ll tell you all about it.  You’re gonna really like it.  But I’m not gonna tell you about it.

Ben Newman: So, last question, you and I up on that board —

Andy Frisella: Yeah.

Ben Newman: — and you came up with Tombstone days.  One day, your tombstone is gonna sit in that ground.  What are people gonna say?

Andy Frisella: Man, I hope they say that I made the world a better place by being here.  You know what I’m saying?  The money, the cars, the fucking success in business and all that shit, you know, being recognized and all that, it’s cool.  It’s all cool stuff, but it’s just entertainment for while you’re here, you know?  I think the main thing that I would want people to say is that they were better off for knowing of — either knowing me or knowing of me, you know, and that’s what I try to do.  And the lesson here, for those of you guys who are watching this, and you want to be successful is to understand right away that that mentality in financial success are completely parallel.  You know, so many people, because they don’t understand finances, they think that you have to pick between doing the right thing, and being a good person, and being somebody who cares about other people, or being rich, when in reality we live in a world where those two things actually are aligned perfectly.  It’s just that people don’t give it the time of day to really think it through.

Ben Newman: Well, I appreciate Big Jim lighting that spark inside of you.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, me too, bro.

Ben Newman: It’s turned into one hell of a fire.

Andy Frisella: Thank you.

Ben Newman: It won’t go out, and I appreciate you.  I appreciate you continuing to inspire me.

Andy Frisella: Yeah, man.

Ben Newman: So, thank you, brother.

Andy Frisella: Well, dude, thank you.  I wouldn’t be here without you, man.  That’s the truth.  So, it goes both ways.  You know, a lot of people don’t realize that.  But if you go back and listen to the first 100 and something episodes of our podcast, this dude was a big key player in that, and that’s what got this thing rolling.  And, you know, I wouldn’t be doing all these crazy personal development things if we hadn’t had crossed paths.  So, I owe a lot to you as well.

Ben Newman: I appreciate you, brother.

Andy Frisella: Likewise.

Follow Andy Frisella

  1. Instagram: @andyfrisella
  2. Podcast: The MFCEO Project

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