You can meditate and get all the benefits of meditation at the touch of a button. That’s what the Holosync Audio Technology promises to deliver. Bill Harris of the Centerpointe Research Institute created the Holosync technology with borrowed recording equipment setup on his kitchen table. Bill recalls he developed Holosync around the information he came across with about what goes on in the brain when people are meditating and a paper by a researcher about a certain characteristic of the brain that when stimulated would change the electrical patterns in the brain. The technology took off and now, nearly 2 million people in 193 countries have used Centerpointe programs to improve their lives. Bill takes us through the back end of how it all began and talks about the benefits of their various programs.
Listen to the podcast here:
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Improving Lives Through Holosync Audio Technology with Bill Harris
Our very special guest is Bill Harris of Centerpointe.com. Bill is the President and Director of the Centerpointe Research Institute. He started Centerpointe in 1989 with borrowed recording equipment setup on his kitchen table. Nearly 2.2 million people in 193 countries have used Centerpointe programs to improve their lives. He’s one of the best known personal growth teachers in the world, sharing the stage with Jack Canfield, Stephen Covey, the Dalai Lama, Sir Richard Branson, and addressing the United Nations among many other things. Bill, thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you for inviting me.
I’m an old entrepreneur myself. I started back in the ’80s doing what I do. Things have changed quite a bit. Tell me what was it that made you start your business back in ’89?
When I was in my late twenties, I got married. My father-in-law was a Vice President at Gillette, about to retire. He didn’t think that me teaching music lessons and jazz improvisation at a local college was going to keep his daughter in the lifestyle that he has. He suggested that I go into the real estate business. I was a druggy never-do-well jazz musician at that point.
For some reason, I did it. I learned so much about finance and how deals are financed. Soon, everybody in the office was coming to me because their deal would start to fall apart because they were doing it in a conventional way. I’d say, “There are ways that the owner can take that paper. He can sell the paper and get his money right now.” I would put all these deals cuts. I was getting 10% of everybody’s deal. I was doing better than the broker because I was getting my stuff and everything.
I learned how to sell during that time. I went and took a lot of courses in sales. He suggested I read, Think and Grow Rich. I read, Think and Grow Rich. I’ve read it almost 60x times at this point. I read it over and over. I keep finding places and I thought, “I don’t remember this being in there.” If you read something 56 times or something you would remember all of it, but there are a lot of stuff in there. He was saying, “You should set goals. Write them down.” I started doing that. My hand would shake as I would write them because I had no confidence that I could do any of it. A lot of people when they’re starting off, they’re afraid. They don’t know what to do. They don’t know how to do it. They don’t know what to do first. I was just like that.
Bill, you went through some personal stuff, didn’t you then inspired you to start creating the Holosync Technology?
I don’t know if anybody even knows what Holosync is. I was really interested in meditation. I was a very repellant, negative, difficult to deal with person when I was younger. Somebody suggested that I should learn to meditate because they probably wanted me to calm the fuck down. Everybody would say, “You’re so intense,” and so I learned to meditate.
Being a type A personality, I became a type A meditator in the sense that I was very disciplined about it and all that stuff. I was also a science geek. I’ve taken all the pre-med sciences in school. I was into science. I would read papers that scientists had written that were in peer review journals and that stuff. I ran across information about what was going on in the brain when people were meditating, which I found very interesting. A lot of that research was done at Harvard and the world-famous Menninger Clinic and a few other places.
Then I ran across this paper that was by a researcher at Mount Sinai Medical Center where he was describing a certain characteristic of the brain that when you stimulated it with certain very precise combinations of sine wave audio tones through headphones, you could target certain things to one side of the brain and certain things on the other side of the brain. Essentially, it would change the electrical patterns in the brain. There was no reason given for doing this in this paper.
You created a technology that would mimic the same brainwave patterns as if, let’s say, I was a Tibetan Buddhist monk who had been meditating for decades.
I didn’t know I was really doing that. I just said, “These are the brain wave patterns of meditation. This guy says that by doing this, you can change brain wave patterns. I wonder if I could create those of meditation. What would that be like? Would it work? Would it be as good? Would it be better?” I was a graduate student in music composition at the time. I went into the engineering lab at the college I was at and borrowed a bunch of equipment from the head of the department. I got him to give me this equipment. I had no idea how to use it, but I figured it out. I bought some other equipment that I needed. I remember I bought it from a catalog. I don’t even know how I figured this out. I bought it from a catalog for television repairman. It was a measurement equipment to measure electrical stuff.
Was this back in ’89 or way back?
’85. I started playing around it and learning how to duplicate what this guy was talking about in this paper. I started listening to this too as if we were meditating. It blew our minds. It was so potent. When we’ve finished listening, we felt stoned. I was into being stoned in those days. We were stoned on our own neurochemicals. The immediate effect of it was cool. Over time, over the next four years, between ’85 and ’89 when I started the company, my whole personality changed. I calmed down. I stopped being angry. I stopped saying snarky, nasty things to people and all kinds of other things. I stopped being depressed and I stopped being anxious. All these things that had made me repellant, I was alternately charming and repellant as some people describe me in those days.
[Tweet “The extent of your ambition is the extent of your confidence.”]
People would hear that we were doing this. They said, “I want to try that.” Over those four years, we had about 150 people in the US, Canada and Europe. In a hundredth monkey sort of way, in 1989, quite a few of them began saying to me completely independently without even knowing each other, “You should create a structure where to use this and start a business.” Let me tell you the extent of my ambition in those days, which was the extent of my confidence.
I was making about $30,000 a year at the time on some rent from properties that I had bought when I’ve been in real estate before. I was making about $3,000 a month, which has a lot more spending power than it has now. It was probably more $10,000 or $12,000 a month of spending power. I was just loafing around doing this and playing around with this thing. I thought, “If I could make another $30,000 a year, that would double my income. That would be unbelievable.”
I didn’t know anything about how to run a business particularly. I kept my customer list on 3×5 cards in a little plastic recipe box. That’s how sophisticated I was at the beginning. What happened was that this changes people so deeply and profoundly. I now know that what it does is it calms the limbic system, the source of fight or flight and, “Stupid. I want it now, who gives a shit about the consequences,” kinds of decisions. It also enhances the prefrontal cortex, which is part of the brain that’s responsible for executive control, learning from experience, pattern recognition, creativity, managing your emotions, and a whole lot of other beneficial things. This profoundly changes those two key parts of your brain.
People have really huge changes in things they never thought were changeable when they used this. At any rate, the company limped along for a while because I didn’t know what I was doing, but then I began to get in with some of the top marketing copywriters in the world. Now, I’m known as one of the top copywriters in the world. I learned from these guys.
Then things started to open up and pretty soon it was spreading like crazy. At this point, I’ve stopped telling it up, but I’ve been saying for five or six years that we sold over $180 million worth of this stuff in 193 countries. It became something very successful. As Seth mentioned in the introduction, as a result of that, I was asked to share the stage with the Dalai Lama. I spoke at the United Nations. I was a founding member of Jack Canfield’s Transformational Leadership Council. I was a founding member of Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute.
You’ve got a couple of bestselling books.
My first book, Thresholds of the Mind, there are over 1 million of those books in print. I guesstimate that I made about $40 for every book that was in print because it was personally designed to get people to be excited about using Holosync. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Bob Serling, he is a marketing guru. Bob had this newsletter and this other friend of mine who was also a guy that was on the circuit doing marketing and speaking in front of groups about marketing, Brad Anton. He sent me this newsletter that he had done in the early days of the internet when a lot of ineffective bullshit things were happening on the internet.
Nobody had figured out how to use it. Bob said, “Most of what’s going on in the Internet these days is complete crap, but here are some things that I found that work”. He then listed four or five things or whatever it was. I read it. I thought, “That’s exactly what I’ve been saying. Most of this stuff that people are going to use is bullshit.” I ended my email by saying, “There’s one thing you didn’t mention that I’ve been doing that when I started doing it, it increased my sales by 400%, instantly. Sincerely, Bill.” I didn’t tell him what it was.
In about three minutes, my phone rang, and it was him. I told him what I was doing. As far as I know, I’m the first person to do this. Although somebody else may have thought of it before I did, and I just didn’t know about it. When we offer a free hosting CD, a free special report, a long form sales letter, in return we asked people a series of question. We said, “You fill out the survey and we’ll give you this stuff.”
The survey was questions you’d ask a prospect if you were going to sell them something. We’re asking of these benefits, which one is most important to you and if you’re not completely sold on doing this, what’s the one thing that’s holding you back? A few key questions that we’re asking. I started off doing this manually because the numbers weren’t that big in the beginning. I wrote them back a personalized email responding to what they said in the survey.
People bought in droves. Then, we automated it. After about six months, people were just giving us all these benefits and we sorted them. I explained how I did this. There’s no point going into the whole thing because it’s not a novel idea anymore. Bob said, “What a great idea. Can I interview you on a teleseminar?” That was a new thing then. I said, “Well” I was actually thinking about my schedule of when I can do it. He thought I was thinking maybe I don’t want to do it, so he said, “I’ll pay you $5,000.” I said, “Sure,” so I did it.
You went from kitchen table to $100, $200 million in sales. I know Kevin’s got some questions about how you pulled that off.
This is part of it. There’s something that we said earlier that made me think of this but it’s also a good story. I found out that Bob had made $240,000 on the teleseminar. It was all about my idea. He repeated the teleseminar many times as any intelligent marketer would. You got something that brought in a quarter of a million dollars for spending an hour. Now, he had it on tape so he just ran it a number of times. Then he told his list, “Here, you can have this. Use it however you want. Make whatever money you want to make from it.” He sold that to a guy who you may know of.
I’m pretty sure Seth knows of him, Corey Rudl, who was one of the first people to have a course on how to make money online back in the ’90s. He sold the shit out of it and everything. The headline Bob used for this was, “Mysterious Mr. H Quadruple Sales Overnight with One Simple Idea,” or something. I became known all over the marketing community as the Mysterious Mr. H. All the people that came to see what I was doing that had been talked about in this, almost all of them bought because I had this well written, long form sales letter and people bought. I’ve always had this crossover into the how to make money online guru because of that.
With 2.2 million plus folks in your database now, do these people pay one-time monthly fees? Do you have continuity? How’s the structure of your revenue streams?
First of all, the program that we have that’s been built around this Holosync Audio Technology is a built-in backend. There’s the initial level and then there are twelve more levels after that that are custom recorded, which is another story, but it takes ten to twelve years to go through all these levels.
I didn’t even know about the six through twelve because I’ve only gone through one through five.
It takes a certain amount of time for your brain to make the changes that it’s being stimulated to make until there are certain signs that you’ve made them, then, you can go onto the next one. Of course, there are people that drop out along the way because they don’t quite get it. That’s one reason why I made a lot of money. It was because there’s a built-in backend where people get into this. It’s so amazing. You feel so good when you use it. People get addicted to it in a good way. That’s one reason. The other thing that I did accidentally that turned out to be a brilliant idea, I should say that I thought of this but I didn’t think of it for the right reason. I started sending out these follow-up support letters every two weeks to people when they started.
When they went over to the next level, there were another series of letters. These were actual letters in the mail in those days. Then, they became emails and now they’re videos, but there’s also an audio and written version still. One of the things I did in these letters was I described all the ways somebody could do this wrong, misunderstand what was happening and therefore quit. For instance, people have this assumption that when you meditate, your mind is supposed to be quiet. It becomes quiet over quite a few years when you meditate. Holosync creates the same benefits of meditation, but about eight times faster. It accelerates getting to this place that you see some monk or something and you think he’s so calm and peaceful. He’s so present. This happens a lot faster.
Just listening or are there any light sensations involved also?
We’ve had many, many knockoffs. The only reason anybody else knows about this stuff and it’s widely known of is because of Centerpointe. We’re the ones that created a good product and marketed it correctly. What I did is I described all the ways somebody could somehow decide to quit and I pre-framed, “This is going to happen.” This would be like if somebody was taking a course on how to start a business and you said, “Usually at least by six months, sometimes sooner people start saying, I don’t think I can do this. This is too hard for me. I’m not smart enough. I don’t know what to do next.” You do something, and it doesn’t work out the way you hoped it would and you have this idea in the beginning.
You’re almost overcoming all the objections in advance.
When somebody has something happen that is what I just described about the business, that happens to almost everybody new to being an entrepreneur is that you go, “What? Everything I’m doing isn’t working. I must be an idiot. I should quit.” They don’t realize that the longer you’ve been in business, the more times you’ve failed and the wiser you become because of it and all that. That’s natural.
You learned something really important. If your pre-frame that, then when that happens, people say, “They said this would happen,” and he said what to do when this happened. I did that for a whole lot of things so in a mail order business or Internet business these days, where you’re lucky if you get 5% of people to open the damn package and use the product. We will have 40% of the people that use the first-level by the second-level. Of those people about 48% will buy the next level.
[Tweet “The longer you’ve been in business, the more times you’ve failed and the wiser you become because of it.”]
For our audience, where do you want us to send them to learn more information about Centerpointe and all of those things and all things Mysterious Mr. H?
The main website is Centerpointe.com. That is not a page we send people to usually. We could create a page especially for your people to go. That is a long form sales letter. It’s a damn good letter but that’s not where we usually send people. It’s an old page.
One last question for Bill. Do people who want to stop smoking or lose weight, is this for all those kinds of situations and make more money? Can you solve problems in your life? Is that ultimately where this goes?
Absolutely, because one of the things that I have discovered is that almost all the “negatives” that people want to get rid of, negative feelings, negative behaviors, procrastination, not being persistent, all the things that keep you from winning and being in entrepreneur and all the positive things that you want to develop, it may not have when you start. I certainly didn’t. Being motivated, confident, persistent pattern recognition, problem-solving or having a pleasing personality, all these things help you so much in being a success.
The negative things are caused by an overactive limbic system and Holosync calms the limbic system. Those things begin to dissolve. If you thought they were an integral part of your personality, the positive qualities are the result of an enhanced, stronger prefrontal cortex so Holosync does that too. I have a hard time selling this in the sense that people think I’m overselling it sometimes because I’m saying all these negative problems are going to disappear. All these positive things you’ve always envied another people are going to begin to appear. People think I’m overselling it and after they do it, they say, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but you were underselling it if anything.”
Bill, thank you so much for joining us.
You are very welcome. Thank you.
- Think and Grow Rich
- Holosync Technology
- Jack Canfield’s Transformational Leadership Council
- Ken Wilber’s Integral Institute.
- Thresholds of the Mind
- Bob Serling
About Bill Harris
Bill Harris has been a personal-development seeker, teacher, public speaker, author, therapist, workshop leader, and business owner for more than 35 years, and has become one of the world’s best-known personal-growth teachers. A featured teacher in The Secret, Bill is recognized for creating Holosync® audio technology, currently used by nearly two million people in 193 countries. Bill started Centerpointe Research Institute in 1989 with borrowed recording equipment set up on his kitchen table. In addition to his own workshops and video courses, Bill is a frequent speaker at scientific and transformational forums and conferences and is known for his ability to explain difficult subjects in an engaging and easy-to-understand way. He has shared the stage with many top human-potential leaders, including the Dalai Lama, Jack Canfield, Dr. Stephen Covey, and Ken Wilber, and in 2003 was invited to address the United Nations Values Caucus.