No one is born to be a salesperson or a leader. They learn to become one. And isn’t it heartening to know that you have the power to be great? In this episode, our guest believes that the only way you can out earn someone is to outlearn them. Putting that philosophy to work, he shows his WHY of Better Way through business coaching with ActionCOACH. Dr. Gary Sanchez sits down with its founder and owner, Brad Sugars. Brad shares with us his amazing career journey that taught him lessons on the power of education and coaching. He also talks about the franchise model of his business, why it works, and why he finds it better in keeping ActionCOACH relevant, top of mind, and state of the art. Join this episode to learn more about Brad and why he thinks business is a profitable enterprise that works without you.
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How Education Helps You Become A Great Business Owner With Brad Sugars
For this episode, I have Brad Sugars on the show. He is the Founder and Owner of ActionCOACH. They have 1,000 coaches around the world. They’re franchise owners. He’s going to talk about why he picked that model. He’s going to talk about many of the businesses that he owns and how he uses that experience to continually improve and find better ways to keep ActionCOACH relevant, keep it top of mind, and keep it where it’s state of the art. He writes books on this. He studies it. I was fascinated because I didn’t know how much expertise he has. He is going to dive into it during this interview. You’re going to love it. I can’t wait for you to read it.
We’re going to be talking about the WHY of Better Way to find a better way and share it. If this is your WHY, then you are the ultimate innovator. You are constantly seeking better ways to do everything. You find yourself wanting to improve virtually anything by finding a way to make it better. You also desire to share your improvement with the world.
You constantly ask yourself questions like, “What if we tried this differently? What if we did this another way? How can we make this better?” You contribute to the world with better processes and systems while operating under the motto, “I’m often pleased but never satisfied.” You are excellent at associating, which means that you are adept at taking ideas or systems from one industry or discipline and applying them to another always with the ultimate goal of improving something.
I have a great guest for you. He is internationally known as one of the most influential entrepreneurs. Brad Sugars is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the number one business coach in the world. Over the course of his 30-year career as an entrepreneur, Brad has become the CEO of nine-plus companies and is the owner of the multimillion-dollar franchise ActionCOACH.
As a husband and father of five, Brad is equally as passionate about his family as he is about business. That’s why Brad is a strong advocate for building a business that works without you so you can spend more time doing what matters to you. Over the years of starting, scaling, and selling many businesses, Brad has earned his fair share of scars. Being an entrepreneur is not an easy road, but if you can learn from those who have come before you, it becomes a lot easier than going at it alone. That’s why Brad has created 90 Days to Revolutionize Your Life. It’s 30 minutes a day for 90 days teaching you his 30-year experience in investing, business, and life. Brad, welcome to the show.
I like your intros. They’re fantastic.
That was a mouthful, but an amazing mouthful. I loved it. Let’s do this. Where are you? Tell everybody where you’re located.
Home for me is Las Vegas, Nevada. I am Australian by birth. I married a Boston girl, so I ended up in the only city in America fun enough for an Aussie to live in. That’s the way I explain it.
I was thinking about that as I know you have an accent. Are there a lot of Aussies in Las Vegas?
There are. The hospitality industry and the casino industry are very big in Australia. There are a lot of professionals from that sphere that move here, about 600 families all up.
Take us back to what you were like. What was Brad Sugars like in high school, and where was that?
High school for me was in Australia. They were two different high schools, in fact. It was in Adelaide, South Australia, and Brisbane, Queensland. My high school that I finished at Sunnybank State High, we always joked that if you survived high school, you didn’t graduate. It was a big school. It had a lot of kids. For me, high school was pretty easy. Being a student was pretty easy.
I’m auditory by nature. In those days, the school was mostly auditorily taught, and that made it pretty easy for me to learn. Most of what I was like in high school is I tell my kids I was a bit of a nerd. I always loved that Bill Gates quote, “Be nice to us nerds. You’ll probably end up working for us.” That was me. I loved getting good grades. I loved doing well, but always also had part-time jobs or part-time things. I was always trying to make money here and there.
At age thirteen, I remember getting in trouble. We moved from Darwin to Adelaide. I’m going to age myself and maybe you. The cool thing was Levi’s 501® jeans. Do you remember that phase in the world? My mom didn’t understand cool. She understood what we could afford, and that was corduroy jeans from Kmart. I remember when I got into a fight with a kid at school blaming those jeans. It was the noise that they make as you walk. I remember at age thirteen deciding I would always have enough money to do whatever I wanted. I would never be in a position to not have something that I needed again. I went to work for doing things. I was doing whatever I could to make some money to make sure I had 501s at the time.
That’s awesome. Were you into sports?
Sports and boy scouts. They were the two things. In Australia, I played cricket and rugby under Australian rules. I eventually moved into volleyball. Volleyball and beach volleyball became my sport. Also, as a young man, boy scouts was a big thing. It was camping, hiking, and doing all those sorts of survivalist stuff. I enjoyed those things.
You graduate from high school. Were you off to school after that?
Yes. I studied to become an accountant at the Queensland University of Technology. I wanted to be a lawyer but didn’t get the grades to get into law school, so I got stuck with accounting. That’s what my dad did, so I was like, “That’s what I’ll do.” It was luckily a great grounding for being an entrepreneur later in life, understanding the numbers.
I do not see, based on your WHY.os, which WHY being Better Way, HOW being Simplify, and WHAT being Contribute, accounting being a good place for you.
I didn’t last in accounting very long. In fact, I never once had a job as an accountant. I interviewed a couple of new accountants. I’m not going to be an accountant.
Let’s think about this for a second. Had you chosen and been an accountant, how long do you think you could have done it?
I could have done it for my entire life, but I would’ve done it differently than most. That’s the thing. An innovator is an innovator. It doesn’t matter whether you are innovating in accounting, marketing, sales, or boy scouts. If you’re an innovator, you’re an innovator. If you want to make stuff better, you’re going to do it no matter what. If I was in the accounting field, I would’ve found a better way. I might’ve ended up in accounting software and done what the Xero guys have done.
That’s the thing. We sometimes fall into a field or a business and we didn’t plan to ever be in that industry. I never woke up one day and said, “Do you know what I want to do? I want to write business books. That’s what I want to do. I want to be a teacher of business. I want to buy companies, build them, and sell them.” There was no dream of doing that. It’s not like I want to be a firefighter-type thing. I fell into this.
Someone said to me that one of the biggest challenges you have in life is finding where you fit in and finding that place where it’s natural for you. Finding your calling was the word he used. It’s important that once you find your calling, you realize that it is your calling and then go for it. This is why I love what you do. A lot of people spend so much time trying to find their purpose in life, not realizing that they probably are already somehow on that purpose. It’s a matter of recognizing it.
It’s the old saying Buckminster Fuller used to teach us that the Bumblebee never knows its true purpose. It never knows its real job is to pollinate the world but it still gets on with its job-type thing. Sometimes, your calling is given to you. A friend of mine has a young son with autism. His calling was given to him. He didn’t ask for that calling. He didn’t request it, but that was his calling. As a man who represents parents with autism all around, sometimes, you are given your calling. You don’t get a choice in it.
I love that. Let’s go back to when you got out of school. You decided on accounting because your dad was an accountant, and then what happened to you? That’s not where you are.
I went part-time in college about halfway through because I wanted to work. I wanted to do stuff and make money. I went into sales. I tried sales. I was selling, advertising, and all sorts of different things. I tried announcing. I tried being a DJ. I enjoyed being a DJ. I tried radio announcing. I was like, “Good times and classic, it is 4VO. You are in Charleville.” That was the station I worked in one summer in West Queensland, Charleville. I was the guy that shut the station off at 12:00 AM. That’s how small our town was. We turned the station off.
I tried a bunch of different things. I got into a bunch of different businesses, everything from pizza manufacturing to wholesale and beauty salons, and started teaching. I was lucky enough to work with a gentleman by the name of Paul Dunn. Paul is still a legend in the business development world. He runs a very large charity out of Singapore called B1G1 or Buy1Give1. It is phenomenal work he is doing with his partner Masami. I learned from Paul about the whole business development world, the whole area, and that sort of thing. I was running a business and thought, “How do I learn this stuff?” Paul was phenomenal.
From there, I developed the Yearn to Learn. In fact, I was sixteen when I first met Jim Rohn when I developed the Yearn to Learn. I was lucky enough to have won the Rotary Youth Leadership Award in my area. The Rotary Club sent us away for a weeklong training on how to be successful. I came back to town, saw this thing about this guy Jim Rohn, and thought, “I’m sixteen. I might as well go.”
It was $595. I didn’t have that money. I called up, and the guy that answered the phone probably gave me a great lesson. I said, “I don’t have that $595. I’m sixteen. Is there a student price, a scholarship price, or something like that?” He says, “There’s not. You’ll make as much learning by getting the money to get here as you will by getting here.” I had to find a way to find $600 as a sixteen-year-old kid. I sold one of my bicycles that we bought, painted, and done up. My brother and I used to pull our bikes apart a lot, fix them, paint them, and stuff.
I got there and got to do it. That Yearn to Learn is still with me. I don’t get in a car without an audiobook playing. I don’t go for a walk or a run without an audiobook of some sort. I have great earphones that I can swim. I love swimming laps to keep fit. I put the headphones on and they play the book as I’m swimming laps.
When you say you got the teaching bug or you got to teach, what do you mean by that? What kind of teaching were you?
You’ve heard of him because he became pretty famous, Robert Kiyosaki. He and Sharon Lechter wrote the book Rich Dad Poor Dad. Sharon is still a great friend. She’s gone on to become the number one bestselling author in the history of non-fiction books on finance and stuff. Robert brought me to Hawaii to teach. We met when I was 20 or 21, I can’t remember exactly, in Sydney.
I went down to take Robert’s course on how to present from the stage. At one point during the activity, they’d bring all the guys in. You all have to wear your best suits. I was twenty. I didn’t have a best suit. I had a suit. It was a little bit big and stuff. They stood you around the room and said to all the women in the room, “Go and stand in front of the guy that you would take home to mom, and then stand in front of the guy you’d take home but not to mom.” They then said, “Stand in front of the guy if you had a $100 million a year business that you would want to run that business.”
There was one woman in the room who did have a $100 million-a-year business. She stood in front of me with a whole bunch of other women. It was all these guys that look like me with all the gray heads, no heads. I was a 20-year-old kid or 21, I can’t remember which. Robert pulls me aside, puts me up on stage, and says, “These are the things. If you don’t hurry up, this guy’s coming for you.” Me being the smart ass that I was at that stage in life, I said, “When I finish, Robert, I’m coming after you,” and he laughed. There you go. Here we are.
Is he still alive?
Yes. He’s still out teaching and still doing stuff.
All the ladies lined up in front of you. What happened after that? You can’t leave us there.
That’s when Rob invited me to speak. He asked me to teach because I’d helped one of his promoters in Melbourne and one in Brisbane with the sales and marketing of his events. I tripled their sales by teaching them certain marketing techniques and certain sales techniques. He invited me to speak to all of his promoters. If you teach 50-odd seminar promoters how to increase their business, amazingly enough, they want to put you on stage and teach their customer base. I fell in love with teaching. About a year later from there, I invented ActionCOACH. When you’re on stage teaching, a lot of people are asking you the question, “How do I do that? Can you teach me that? Can you help us with that sort of thing?”
I’m probably a bit of a slow learner. After 100 people asked me to help them with it, I finally said, “Maybe I should start a business doing that.” At the time, I had photocopy shops that I was running. It wasn’t in my mindset to do that as a business. I was still doing speeches and things here. ActionCOACH will be 30 years old this August 2023.
Something popped into my head there. What do you see as the value in learning how to speak? I have a friend of mine that owns commercial real estate in New Mexico. It’s probably the biggest one there. We were talking one day and he said, “The turning point in me going from being one of the many to being one of the few was when I learned how to speak.”
Whether it’s speaking or one-to-one communication, how you communicate is so massively important in leadership, sales, and marketing. In any form of a business transaction, there’s going to be communication. What being a speaker allows you to do is to move to leverage. It means instead of motivating one person at a time, I can motivate thousands at a time. It means instead of educating one person at a time, I can educate tens of thousands, but so does all my books. I write all these books and things. I can educate millions at a time. I can educate them while I’m sleeping. We produce podcasts and YouTube. All of that helps educate people while they’re speaking.
Someone taught me many moons ago that if you’re making money while you’re asleep, that’s wealth. That always caught my mindset of, “How do I create things?” Buckminster Fuller said, “You create models and artifacts.” That’s why every time I teach, it is based on a model. I have the 5 Ways to Multiply Your Profits, 6 Keys to a Winning Team, and 9 Steps to Systematizing a Business. I create models.
The reason I create a model is that it’s easy to teach and easy to learn. There’s no hidden agenda behind it type of thing. Artifacts mean videos, podcasts, books, training courses, and franchises. You create those because then you leave something behind and it’s not dependent upon you. Most people when it comes to their own success in life, it’s dependent upon them and only them.
If we look at some of the best examples of translating great skill into great fortunes, the number one that comes to mind is Shaquille O’Neill. Shaq goes from being a guy that created good money by being a basketball player but all the time studying to end up with a doctorate. Here he is, possibly one of the largest owners of food-based franchises in the United States. He puts his face on the ring cameras and takes a shareholding. He puts his face in front of Papa Johns and becomes a shareholder. It is those sorts of things. You’ve got to take your best skill and turn it into lifelong income, not just a one-off.You've got to take your best skill and turn it into lifelong income, not just a one-off. Click To Tweet
Who taught you how to get on stage? Was that Robert Kiyosaki? Who taught you how to get on stage, how to present, how to pull the audience’s attention, and how to take them on a journey?
That was the first part of it. From there, I kept studying the art form and watching. One of the great things for me is I get to speak on a lot of stages around the world. I get up there and have Gary Sanchez go in front of me. I sit there, watch, and go, “That’s a good strategy. I like that strategy.” It is by watching all of the great speakers and seeing how they do it. Success leaves clues is not a new statement. If you’re unwilling to study someone who’s successful in your industry, don’t complain. The old joke of, “Don’t complain to me about the results you didn’t get for the work you didn’t do,” is still alive and well.
You talk about Jim Rohn. One of my favorite things that he talks about is setting a goal for what you become in order to achieve it. That’s what I hear you saying.
I reverse that even and say, “The moment you set a goal, it is not possible for you to achieve it.” When I was sixteen, I met Jim Rohn. From him, I set a goal of retiring at age 25. It was a financial retirement because retirement’s not a function of age. It’s a function of finances. When I set that goal, my buddy, Leon, who lived around the corner on Pompadour Street, his dad sat us both down and told us how that was not possible. I told Leon and he told his dad that we’re going to retire at 25. His dad was an engineer in the city, so he knew exactly what that looked like.
The thing was Leon’s dad was right. Sixteen-year-old Brad could not financially retire, but I was willing to learn and grow into that goal. That’s where my formula is with dream-goal-learn-plan-act. You got to have dreams because without dreams, and W. Somerset Maugham said it best, nothing if not at first a dream. It’s not something, but nothing if not at first a dream.
Dreams become goals. Dreams are 10 to 20 years out. You have no idea how they’re going to be achieved or if they’re going to be achieved. Goals are like that from tomorrow to five years type of thing. The most important goal is the daily goal, in my opinion, then it is a weekly goal, and the monthly. Having a five-year goal is irrelevant if you don’t have daily goals. Daily goals make you achieve your weekly goals, which makes you achieve your monthlies, quarterlies, annuals, etc.
From your goals, then you have to determine your learning plan. If I set a goal to double my revenue, I’ve got to go and study ten books on how to double my revenue. I’ve got to go and study ten companies that did double their revenue. I’ve got to go and study ten people that have taught how to double their revenue. It could be podcasts or books. You name it, I’ve got to study that.
From that study, I then write the plan. I set a goal to run a marathon. If I go and get no new knowledge and write a plan on how to run a marathon, I’m not going to be that successful at it. If I set a goal to get a marathon, I got to join a running club. I’ve got to read books on it. I’ve got to read and study. I got to listen to podcasts. I got to study people who’ve run marathons, learn how, create a marathon plan, create a training plan, and all that stuff. That’s where people are unwilling to do the learning work.
The learning work of success or learning work is the hardest work because it involves growth. It involves personal growth. It involves personal knowledge acquisition. The crazy thing is, and Jim Rohn said this in a roundabout way, “I guarantee you if you read a book a week for ten years, you will achieve the life you want.” If I said to someone, “You got to read a book a week for ten years or you got to work a job where what you do is shovel poop for ten years,” people are like, “I might shovel poop for ten years. That seems easier.” It’s crazy to me. I always say if you want to out-earn me, you got to outlearn me. Learn becomes before earn.If you want to out-earn me, you got to outlearn me. Learn comes before earn. Click To Tweet
Step one was dream. Step two was goal. Step three was plan.
It is learn then plan.
There are four steps?
The fifth is act, so take action. If you build that dream, the dream’s got to be turned into a step-by-step goal at some point. The goals have got to be turned into a learning plan at some point. When I meet someone who wants to do better at business and they want to increase their sales, they make a statement like, “I’m no good at sales.” I’m like, “How many sales training courses have you attended?” They’re like, “None.” I’m like, “How many sales books have you read?” They’re like, “None.”
I’m like, “How do you know you’re bad at sales?” They’re like, “I tried it once and I was really bad at it.” I’m like, “You tried something you had no training in and you are bad at it.” They’re like, “That makes sense.” If you’ve had no training in playing golf, you’re going to be bad at golf. We expect to be good at certain things because it’s like, “You’re born a salesman.” No one’s born a salesperson. You learn to be a salesman. No one’s born a leader. You learn to be a leader.
I remember I was 20 or 21 and running my own business. I went to my dad and said, “I can’t get good people.” He looked me dead in the eye and says, “You get the people you deserve.” I’m like, “What?” He said, “You’re an average manager running an average company. The highest caliber person that wants to work for you is average. If you want great people to work for you, you better run a great company, become a great leader or a great manager, and then you can attract great people.” I’m like, “Thanks.” You can see where I got my motivational streak from, can’t you?
Exactly. It sounds like learning is such a big part of continual learning. I bet you see that over and over in the clients that you worked with as well as the coaches you work with.
My coaches generally are learners because that’s the nature of the person that wants to be a coach if that makes sense. For our clients, in a lot of cases, the reason they are where they are is they’ve given up learning or they never even took up learning after high school-type thing. They learned how to be a great hairdresser, not a great business owner. They learned how to be a great plumber, not a business leader or a business owner-type thing.
What I say we do at ActionCOACH is help people become great business owners. My definition of a business is a commercial profitable enterprise that works without you. If you have to be there, it’s not a business. It’s a job and you work for the idiot. Let’s be clear about that. When I first started in business, and you hear it a lot with the old hustle and grind, I thought my job as a business owner was to be the hardest working one in the room. I wore it as a badge of honor, like, “I worked six days a week. I worked sixteen-hour days. I even sleep in my office. That’s how hard I work.”
Little did I realize how stupid that was because me working that hard covered up all the problems in my business. It covered up that the sales systems weren’t that good. Rather than building a business that worked without me, I built a business that if I left, it died. I built a trap. I didn’t build a business. I built self-employment. There is a big difference between the two.
That’s where a lot of the business owners that come to us as ActionCOACH, we sit down with them and explain to them, “Your job is to finish your business. Your job is to build it so that it can work so you don’t have to. Your job’s to build an asset that is saleable, not to build something that means you have to work 60 to 80 hours a week.” Richard Branson used one of my quotes one time. It was this quote that said, “Entrepreneurs are the crazy people that will work 80 hours a week so they don’t have to work 40 hours a week for someone else.”
There’s that badge of honor that we misplace or put towards that like it’s a gift for us to work so hard. I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to work my rear end off, so I get that. I’m sure there are a lot of people that are there as well that are reading this.
It’s where I started because that’s all I knew. I didn’t know any better. I didn’t know that my job was to create an asset, something that ran without me. Here we are. If the business still was based on me, the most we could probably do was tens of millions. Doing hundreds of millions a year is because it’s not based on me. It’s based on my team and based on what they do and how they do things.
How do you get a business owner from the mindset of, “If it’s going to happen, it’s up to me,” to, “It’s going to be up to we. I’m the smallest part of it.”
It’s gradual. It’s step-by-step. The old, “No one can do it as good as me,” and, “You can’t get good people,” all of that stuff has to shift. We’ve got to teach them to let go. That also means there’s a lot of skillset development in that person. When you’re a self-employed business owner, especially if you’re a solopreneur, every job’s yours. Sales is yours. Marketing is yours. You make the sale and do the work. You’re in that seesaw level.
Eventually, you move up to manager. You get on that merry-go-round of you employ the people and think they’re going to make your job easier when, in fact, in the beginning, they make your job a lot harder. That’s because you don’t have systems. You don’t have recruiting systems. You don’t have training systems. You don’t have proper planning systems, cashflow systems, and all of those things that we need to develop. The building of a business owner is teaching that knowledge.
As a business owner, you’ve got to become a great business owner. I then take that one step further and teach people to be investors and then entrepreneurs. An entrepreneur doesn’t own one business. They own many. The millionaire wants to be the CEO of one business. Billionaires want CEOs to run their companies for them. I don’t want to be CEO. I like chairman. I like the title of chairman. I love being chairman. I meet them once a month. I give them all of the things to get done and the way they go.
In fact, most of my CEOs are so strong. I’ve coached them to be strong CEOs. Most of them come to me with all the things that need doing and ask me 1 or 2 questions for advice. I then sound out about 2 or 3 things that I’m noticing and they say, “We need to look at that,” and off they go. I run 11 companies 2 days a week, and I build content on the other day of the week. I work three-day weeks because that’s what I like. I have five kids.
Let’s talk for a minute about ActionCOACH. That started many years ago. How did that start? Why did that start? Take us on the path that you’ve taken ActionCOACH on.
It started back with that story of Rob Kiyosaki when people kept asking me to speak. People were, from there, asking me to help them. I said, “I don’t have the time. I’m running my own thing. I’m doing these speeches. If you call me every week, I’ll coach you through whatever I can.” That was it. I didn’t even charge them for it in the beginning. I didn’t know. Eventually, I built a team around that. We were one of the first-ever white-collar franchises in the world because we wanted to expand fast. At the time, there were only two other white-collar franchises, ERA or Expense Reduction Analysts and a tax franchise group. We evolved across the world pretty quickly with that.
Our franchise has grown to the point where most of our franchise partners around the world have large teams of people delivering the coaching and the education. All business owners are part of our educational membership program. We find a lot of business owners who need the knowledge. They’re willing to do the work. They just need someone to give them that extra bit of knowledge as to how they do that.
When I turned 50, it was COVID. What are you going to do? I built a TV studio. I went into my TV studio and did 30 days for 30 minutes a day on everything I knew on how to grow a business, and then another 30 days on everything I knew about success principles and the theories of success and life. I then did another 30 minutes a day for 30 days on wealth and how to invest and stuff. It was like, “I got nothing else to do. I might as well go and teach everything I know and put it down.” I get messages probably every other day on Facebook or Instagram from someone that says, “We sold our company for this, and this happened. We want to thank you for everything you taught us back then.” That’s the exciting part for me.
Why did you pick the franchise model?
When you look at business, the strategy of a business or the business model is usually flawed for most business people. The strategy of a business has to have four things. 2 of them are business models and 2 of them are industry. The two business model ones are leverage and scalability. There must be leverage. My definition of leverage is to do the work once and get paid forever. In every layer of the business, there must be leverage. If you get a customer once, you keep them forever.
Everything you do has to be about the long-term, not about one-offs. I would never go into a pool-building business, but I would invest in a pool maintenance business-type thing. If you get a customer, keep them for life type of thing. The most expensive thing in business is getting a customer. The most costly thing in business is losing a customer. Repeat business equals profit is what I teach all of my team around the world. If you got repeat business, you got profit. No repeat business, no profit. It is pretty simple that way.The most costly thing in business is losing a customer. Repeat business equals profit. Click To Tweet
The second part is scalability. My definition of scale is that the next sale costs less and is easier. Franchise number one was a lot of work and a lot of money to get it up in development. Franchise number 1,000 has cost me a lot less and is a lot easier to sell than franchise number one. As we get bigger, it gets easier and less work, not more work.
Back in the day, and I’ve sold out of it since, we had a rental business renting out fridges, freezers, TVs, and white and brown goods or stainless steel goods. If you looked at it, the first refrigerator we rented out took a lot of work. Number 100 is less work, less cost. Number 1,000 is less work, less cost. Number, 10,000 is way less work, way less cost. It’s all about that.
There are only eleven types of business models that have both leverage and scale. Franchising is one of those. Another is the rental business. When you look at that model, you must pick a model that has leverage and scale. You then look at the other two segments of strategy, and this is all in Pulling Profits Out of a Hat. The other two are marketability and opportunity size. Marketability means that the market already buys the product. It sells itself.
I have a commercial cleaning business. Why? It’s simple. If you have an office, a gym, a store, or something, you know it needs cleaning. You don’t have any say in whether it gets cleaned. All you have a say in is who cleans it and how often type thing. You have to get it. You have a budget for it. All we have to do is convince you to buy from us, not to convince you to buy. That’s the marketability side of it.
The opportunity side of it is how big the marketplace for that is. Unfortunately, a lot of people go into business. They might live in a small town and there are twenty restaurants. If the entire annual spend is $10 million in 20 restaurants, the average one’s going to be doing $500,000. You can’t survive on that sort of thing. You’ve got to look at it. That’s why geographically, you sit back and see it.
I find a business that is a great little business in one city, one town, one state, or maybe even one country. I say, “This business here in Melbourne, Australia, should be everywhere in the world.” We had a property management company we built and sold. It was based in Houston, Texas, in one location. We built it up across Texas. We’re about to go to the rest of America. We had a Silicon Valley company come along and want to offer Silicon Valley multiples. We said yes.
Listening to you riff about this, it’s fascinating how much thinking you’ve done versus doing. Do you set up a time every day or every week periodically? How do you do your thinking unless this is what you learned from somebody else?
There are three ways. Number one, I write books. I wrote a book called Raise Your Hand Marketing because the way marketing has shifted around the world. I’ve spent the last few years studying the shift in marketing because it’s so different than it was back when I first started in marketing. The tools are different. The market is different. The way we do it is different. When I’m writing that book, what I have to do is work out, “What is my formulaic methodology? How do I do that?” What Raise Your Hand is all about is how I offer something that gets a prospective buyer to say, “I’m interested.”
I do eBooks, downloads, podcasts, webinars, and so many different things. I have billboards that offer my book for free if you’re a business owner. They raise their hand and say, “I’m that book.” What does that mean? It’s, “I’m a business owner who’s interested in growing my business.” That is a great prospective customer for us.
We do one where we interview business owners. We say to them, “We’d like to interview you for our business spotlight series on how you grow your business.” If they say no, we know they’re not interested in growing their business. If they say yes, we know they’re interested in being publicized and growing their business, so we interview them. At the end of it, they ask us, “How does this business coaching thing work?” We do a lot of Raise Your Hand and stuff on that sort of thing.
The second thing that I do to learn it is teaching. I put on seminars, webinars, or that sort of thing. I find to teach, I have to think through more to be able to state how I do it. The third is I create a model. I mentioned this one, which is from Pulling Profits Out of a Hat. In that, it’s the five circles of discipline. What are the five circles that create exponential growth? If you’ve got all five of these circles working, you get exponential growth or you don’t get exponential growth.
Those are the three things that I don’t put aside specific time for it. If I was to add a fourth, it’s I buy companies and I do stuff. This isn’t, “Let me sit and postulate in my university office and teach what I think.” This is, “We bought a marketing agency in London last year. It’s scaling at a rate of about 30% quarter on quarter.” We’re sitting there going, “What things do we have to confront in our businesses?”
I’m getting my partner in our catering business and we’re going to a new solid site. He’s asking all the questions about leasing, and I’m having to go, “How long has it been since I did a lease? My CFO does all the leases these days.” You got to think back. Being a mentor to people makes you think more than being a student.
If people are reading this and they’re not familiar with ActionCOACH, tell them a little bit more about ActionCOACH.
It is very simply put. Business ownership is the loneliest job in the world. Owners struggle with either team, time, or money. They’re either struggling with people, working too many hours, or money, or a combination of all 3 or 2 of those sorts of things. What we do is work with those business people to help them become better business owners. We coach them, educate them, and put them into a community of other business owners because we want to get rid of that loneliness factor.Business ownership is the loneliest job in the world. Owners struggle with either team, time, or money. Click To Tweet
I always found as a young man being a business owner, I couldn’t talk to anyone about my business problems. My friends didn’t understand. They didn’t own a business. My family wasn’t business people. I couldn’t talk to my banker. In fact, I’d probably try and hide everything from my banker. By building that community and that education and giving them the accountability of coaching, we find that builds the results for those people.
No matter what size of business you are in, we have a program for you. We coach the top fortune companies in their executive and their CEO coaching programs. We work with the smallest brand-new startups and young Millennial that are very excited about the business and who have an idea and want to get the education for it. We’ve built programs to go from one end of the spectrum to the other to help the entrepreneur and C-level executive to take the business to where they need it to be.
This is the last question for you. What’s the best piece of advice that you’ve ever been given or the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?
I’ll do both if I can.
The best piece of advice I was ever given was from Jim Rohn. It was, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job. Never wish life were easier. Wish that you were better. If you get better, life gets easier.” It’s the same as sales. If you get better at sales, it gets easier. If you get better at marketing, it gets easier. The flip of that is from me. The best piece of advice I can give anyone is your job in life is to be the best version of yourself. It’s not an average version of you. It’s an okay or a just-get-by version of you. How do you be the best dad, best friend, brother, sister, parent, or leader? How do you be the best version and show up as the best version of yourself? That comes with the theory of creating the best version of you too.Your job in life is to be the best version of yourself. Click To Tweet
I love it. For people that are reading, if they want to follow you, learn from you, join ActionCOACH, become part of ActionCOACH, or hire an action coach, what’s the best way for them to connect with you?
Go to ActionCOACH.com or BradSugars.com. Go to any of those. If you hit any form of social media or that little thing called Google, you’ll find us anywhere. I don’t try and hide. I’ve even got a Pinterest and a TikTok account. I don’t dance. Interestingly enough, my number one TikToks are me writing out handwritten quotes on a note, putting it to speed, and then leaving the meme of the quotes. Whenever I explain anything on TikTok, I write it out. I do it as a video writing it out. In my Five Ways to Multiply a Business, I handwrite it and away it goes.
That’s awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time and spending it with us. I appreciate it. I look forward to staying in touch.
I love being on the show. I love what you’re doing. For anyone reading for the first time, make sure you subscribe to this thing.
It’s time for our last segment, Guess Their WHY. We’re going to pick Betty White. I wonder how many of you know who Betty White is. If you’re in the 40-plus crowd, you probably know for sure who Betty White is. She’s been around forever. She passed away in her 90s. It seems like she was going to live forever. She was always doing things differently. She was always pushing the limits. She was always reinventing herself. She was always a lot of fun. Sometimes, she would show up serious. Sometimes, she would show up as wacky in a certain way. I’m going to say that Betty White’s WHY is to challenge the status quo and think differently. What about you? What do you think her WHY is?
Thank you so much for reading. If you have not yet discovered your WHY, you can do so at WHYInstitute.com. You can use the code PODCAST50 to discover your why at half price. If you love the show, please don’t forget to subscribe and leave us a review and rating on whatever platform you’re using to tune in to the show. Thank you so much. I will see you next time. Have a great week.
- Brad Sugars
- 90 Days to Revolutionize Your Life
- Rich Dad Poor Dad
- Pulling Profits Out of a Hat
- Raise Your Hand Marketing
- Pinterest – Brad Sugars
- TikTok – Brad Sugars
About Brad Sugars
Internationally known as one of the most influential entrepreneurs, Brad Sugars is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the #1 business coach in the world. Over the course of his 30-year career as an entrepreneur, Brad has become the CEO of 9+ companies and is the owner of the multi- million-dollar franchise ActionCOACH®.
As a husband and father of five, Brad is equally as passionate about his family as he is about business. That’s why, Brad is a strong advocate for building a business that works without you – so you can spend more time doing what really matters to you. Over the years of starting, scaling and selling many businesses, Brad has earned his fair share of scars.
Being an entrepreneur is not an easy road. But if you can learn from those who have gone before you, it becomes a lot easier than going at it alone. That’s why Brad has created 90 Days To Revolutionize Your Life – It’s 30 minutes a day for 90 days, teaching you his 30 years experience on investing, business and life.