The Untold Story

The History of War Room

(and why we’re all here)

by Ryan Deiss

It’s a question I asked myself prior to the last War Room meeting of 2015. “How did we get here?”…or more specifically,

“Why are me, Perry, Roland, Frank and Richard running this group?”

It felt strange, and even a bit disloyal, to even ask such a question. It’s sort of like asking your spouse, “Why are we married?” It’s the kind of esoteric question that can yield a positive response if it’s asked in just the right way, but it’s far more likely to land you in hot water.

But it’s a question I asked, because it’s a question I felt needed to be answered.

A Merry Band of Misfits





If you know anything about the five Principals of War Room (Perry Belcher, Roland Frasier, Richard Lindner, Frank Kern, and yours truly, Ryan Deiss), you know that we’re all very, very, very, very, very different.

Not a little bit different…

…very different.

But despite the sharp differences, the five of us share a deep friendship and a mutual respect that is quite rare in business today. We also work extraordinarily well together. So how did that happen? How did we get here?

After giving it a lot of thought, I realized I could track everything back to an unfortunately incident that occurred in 2008.

If you know Perry’s story, you know that he lost everything…his business…his offices…his employees…his houses…his cars…


I’ll never forget the phone call.

Perry and I had been friends for a couple years, and we were always calling one another to talk shop and share ideas, so I wasn’t surprised when my phone rang and it was Perry on the other end of the line.

Only this time, he wasn’t calling to talk business.

He was calling to inform me that his world had just fallen apart, and he needed help. I’ll spare you the gory details, but suffice it to say, Perry needed money and he needed it fast. My reply to his request for help (quoting one of Perry’s own, classic jokes in an attempt to add levity to an otherwise crappy situation) was…

“You caught me on a bad day… I just happen to have it.”

Fortunately, Perry got the joke.

A few days later, I received a phone call from Richard Lindner, who was working for Perry when the sh!t hit the fan. Richard, who, it’s worth noting, was now out of a job, was calling to tell me that he was willing to take out a second mortgage on his home (the one presently occupied by him and his newly pregnant wife) if it would help Perry.

To my knowledge, none of Perry’s other employees or business partners made such an offer. (That’s probably why Richard got the call to move to Austin after Perry and I partnered up to launch our holding company, Idea Incubator.)

Then, fast-forward a few years, and Idea Incubator is in serious financial trouble. Only this time, it’s Roland Frasier riding in on his white horse to write a big check and save us from our own stupidity…

(It’s also worth noting, by the way, that Perry has saved all our collective asses on multiple occasions from making more than a few terrible decisions, too, so what goes around has certainly come back around…)

So that’s how this “Merry Band of Misfits” came to be…

When the chips were down, we’ve shown a willingness to help. Even when it’s inconvenient (and more than a little bit risky), we’ve always been there for one another. 

So that answers the question of, “How did we get here?” 

We got here because we’ve been here. Even when no one else was here, we were here. 

And so the theme of our relationship has always remained the same…

No one is allowed to fail…

…At least, not for long. 

Someone is always there to lend a hand, and when we really screw up, we know we’re not going to be judged or looked down upon because of it… 

THIS is the essence of War Room. It also forms the foundation of our Mission…

Our Mission

100% Success Rate. No Member Left Behind

As a member, if you abide by our Core Values & Beliefs, you can’t fail. We won’t let you.

Sure, you’ll have your ups and downs (just like we’ve had and will continue to have in the future), but unrecoverable failure is simply not an option.

We will accept nothing less than a 100% success rate, and no member will ever be left behind! But this promise is contingent upon one thing…

…that our members abide by our Core Values.


Love, protect and respect your customers.

Never complain. Never.

Remain unusually calm in all circumstances.

Pursue mastery…not merely success.

Commit and figure it out.

Celebrate your victories and live the good life.

Stay humble, and ask for help when you need it.

Stay humble, and offer to help when you can give it.

But Core Values aren’t enough.

They’re a great short-hand and a way to hold one another accountable, but they leave too much room for interpretation. So that’s why we also have a set of Beliefs that expand upon and explain these Core Values…

What We Believe

WE BELIEVE if you don’t have a truly valuable skill, you don’t deserve success…

WE BELIEVE if you take more than you give, any success will be short- lived…

WE BELIEVE if you have to rely on deception to succeed, success will eventually become a curse…

WE BELIEVE that once we have experienced success, we are OBLIGATED to help others do the same.

WE BELIEVE it’s never ok to complain. You can (and should) offer suggestions and speak your mind, but…

WE BELIEVE that grumbling by itself accomplishes nothing, and is the preferred medium of cowards and self-appointed losers.

WE BELIEVE it’s never ok to panic or despair. Our situation (no matter how bad they seem) are not unique, and someone who’s been there before is always ready, willing and able to lend a hand. And along those lines…

WE BELIEVE it’s an honor and privilege to be in a position to lend that hand.

WE BELIEVE the past doesn’t define a person…

WE BELIEVE in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt…

WE BELIEVE in giving respect in advance, but expecting it in return…

WE BELIEVE in being loyal to a fault.

WE BELIEVE there’s no shame in living the good life. (We work too hard to pretend like we’re “just like everyone else.”) But at the same time…

WE BELIEVE you shouldn’t spend more than you make. (It’s irresponsible, and destroys autonomy.)

WE BELIEVE that our work does not define who we are, it is simply a means for us to realize the best that we can be…

WE BELIEVE you should finish what you start…unless it isn’t working, in which case you should obviously try something else…

WE BELIEVE success is never guaranteed, so you should always have a Plan B (and a Plan C, a Plan D and Plan E while you’re at it)…

WE BELIEVE there are no sacred cows…

WE BELIEVE if your business isn’t growing, it’s dying…

WE BELIEVE a smaller piece of a bigger pie is better than 100% of a smaller pie…

WE BELIEVE the pie can always get bigger…

WE BELIEVE you can teach an old dog new tricks. In fact…

WE BELIEVE it’s essential for “old dogs” to always be learning new tricks, because…

WE BELIEVE it’s never ok to become outdated. (The tragedy of new technology is that it’s often wasted on those with the least experience.)

WE BELIEVE processes are more valuable than products…

WE BELIEVE a good reputation is more valuable than processes…

WE BELIEVE relationships are more valuable than products, processes, and even a good reputation…

WE BELIEVE that both success and failure are temporary conditions, therefore…

WE BELIEVE in remaining humble at all times.

WE BELIEVE there’s no shame in asking for help when you really, really need it. Because again…

WE BELIEVE it’s both an honor and privilege to be able to say…“You caught me on a bad day…I just happen to have it.” 🙂

Now I don’t know about you, but I want to be associated with business leaders who share these Values and Beliefs.

I want to know that if I screw up, there’s a group of people who have my back. 

And so that is why War Room exists. 

And that’s what makes War Room different. 

We aren’t in this group to take…we are in this group to give. That is the tradition of this group, and as a member it is your job to ensure this tradition continues. 

If you’re inspired by this challenge, then I’m glad you’re here.

Welcome to War Room!

Co-Founder, War Room Mastermind January 10, 2016


ryan deiss
perry belcher
richard lindner

The Team

DeAnna Rogers

Director of Events & Membership

  • Oversight of all War Room membership details including assets, payments/collections, introductions, etc.
  • Oversight of War Room team and all event production & facilitation
  • Helps members with strategy focused in monetization & ROI for live events including: budgets, teams, contracts, management & publication.
  • Advises on member experience, events, & connections

Matt Parmely

Marketing and
Monetization Manager

  • Development - production for all marketing, content, & sales for War Room
  • Management of all assets & teams for War Room campaigns, website + media, content creation, & analytics
  • Helps members with content & promotion for the War Room program, it's members, & overall reach
  • Advises on virtual membership experience and tools

Carol McCrary

Events Coordinator

  • Organizers War Room's meetings & live events
  • Coordinates with facilities & logistics for War Room meetings
  • Helps members negotiate venue contracts & find + work with vendors
  • Advises on event experience

Carey Naab

Sponsorship & Sales Manager

  • Oversight & execution of all War Room sponsorship and event related sales opportunities
  • Assists with event production and coordination for War Room meetings & events
  • Helps members with sales strategy for all event related sponsorship packages, relations, fulfillment, & pipelines
  • Advises on monetization and event sales


Click on the button below to chat with a War Room Specialist and start the application process…

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