12 May May 14, 2019 – ActionCOACH CEO Brad Sugars and MeetUp Magic Sunil Bhaskaran
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Brad Sugars – Founder and Chairman of ActionCOACH Business Coaching and Author of Pulling Profits Out of a Hat: Adding Zeros to Your Company Isn’t Magic – Read interview highlights here
The interesting this about it is this, the need for coaching is so vast, it is so massive. Business owners, business people, executives, just life stuff, people need a coach.
Brad Sugars is the Founder and Chairman of ActionCOACH, the world’s number one business coaching company. He started ActionCOACH because he saw business owners needed simple how-to help and strategies to grow their cash flow and profits – and many simply didn’t know what they didn’t know, leading to struggles with their time, teams and money. Today, his goal is to get the proven ActionCOACH systems, and methodologies out to as many businesses as possible. ActionCOACH Business Coaches currently operates in 55 countries around the world, and provides weekly coaching to over 15,000 companies. His specialties include speaking, coaching and training business owners in areas including marketing, sales, team building, leadership, and development. He’s personally coached more than 40,000 business owners and their companies to greater success, and has built ActionCOACH into one of the fastest growing professional services franchises. He continues to conduct trainings and workshops, including specialized “Unplugged” seminars, and has recently completed his Profit Masters online training system.
Sunil Bhaskaran – Using Meetups to Build Audiences for Business
You can now potentially create webinars and MeetUp groups in different cities and do webinars through those groups, and boom, your audience is way beyond your own geographical limitations.
Sunil Bhaskaran, Founder of The Global Business Mastermind, has more than 27 years of coaching and training experience, leading and training thousands of people in mass audiences to smaller group sessions to one-on-one sessions. He started his first business in the early 1990’s, a consulting company, and bought his first real estate holding in 1991. Since then, Sunil has owned and run successful businesses that grew to 7 figures and more. In that time he has also mentored thousands of entrepreneurs to success through coaching and group trainings. In addition to his personal networking Rolodex of more than 13,000+ people – his meetups alone have a reach of more than 80,000 business owners and professionals and are growing at a rate of about 800 people per month!
Highlights from Brad’s Interview
I think that I have more than five kids, I have thousands of team members and employees around the world. So it’s kind of like I have a lot of them.
The interesting thing about it is that the need for coaching is so vast, it is massive. Business owners, business people, executives, just life stuff, people need a coach. And yet, it needs to have some big groups that make it really professional out there in the world, and do a phenomenal job for it. And what I think that we discovered early on is that there are a lot of people who want to be coaches, and say I just need a framework, I just need a system. And then what I also realized is having a big team of other coaches out there makes their life so much better and so much easier.
Let’s use the US numbers as a very basic format, 20 something million small businesses, let’s just round it to 20. And if every single one of them had a coach, and the average coach had 10, 16, maybe 20 clients, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out. We need thousands and thousands of them, hundreds in every city.
If you think you don’t need a coach, give me the phone number of your best competitor. I’ll coach them.
Know what? You don’t need a coach. You’re good, exactly right. You don’t need one. But nor did Tiger Woods, nor did Roger Federer, nor did any of the greatest of greats in movies, music, media, sports, but they all had them. How come they wanted to perform better than they would do on their own? It’s crazy when anyone thinks they don’t need a coach. You are the one that most needs a coach. It’s like, “I don’t need a diet,” you’re probably the one who needs it the most.
It’s a simple mentality, and there’s an ego thing to it. And I think you would probably see that there’s an ego of I don’t want to admit that I need help. And it’s not admitting you need help. When we first started coaching 25, almost 26 years ago now, people would say to us things like, “Well, what is a coach?” then you got to a point where it was like, “Oh, you’re failing, you should get a coach” or “You’re doing bad, you should go get a coach.”
I was having a good conversation with Marshall Goldsmith the other day, and he’s the top executive coach in the world. And you know him and I fight it out for the rankings of top coach in the world. And I go back to a very simple point that he and I made, we both noticed that in the last few years, coaching has shifted to where people who are doing good and want to do great, invest in a coach. It’s not about a failing, you need help. It’s about, “Hey, I’m doing good, and I want to do great, I want to get there faster,” because you can probably get there on their own. But if you want to get there faster, it probably helps if you’ve got a coach.
I’ve said there’s three main things that make coaching work. Number one, as you mentioned, is accountability. Because if you’re both the owner of the business and the CEO of the business, you’re struggling, because the owner is lying to the CEO and the CEO, I was lying to the piano, you know. You’re telling yourself you’re working your tail off. Whereas if you employed someone else to be CEO, you’d push them harder than you push yourself. So accountability is one segment. Education, the fact that the coach comes in and brings new knowledge to the table is a very important part of why coaching works. The third reason coaching works is because if your coach’s a dang good coach, then they have a systematic methodology with which to grow business. I think my eighth book I wrote was called The Business Coach. And I wrote that book.
In a thousand companies–I see this all the time–when people go to cook a meal, and they’re not a massively phenomenal chef, they follow a recipe. What makes someone who is a really good plumber, or a really good accountant or a really good hairdresser think that they know enough of how to build a great business? You might be great at the job of the business, that doesn’t make you a great business person. And that’s what the methodology by which we help people learn is for. This is how you grow a business, the same as a recipe for a cake, you got to follow the recipe or the system for growing a business.
I admire anyone who wants to step into the role of coaching, because it’s a level of responsibility that you take on that is so different, and most people that become a coach do it because their goal in life, their desire in life is to help others. That doesn’t mean you have at your fingertips a systematic methodology that works. And so it really comes down to that, whether the average person that wanted to be a coach could help others absolutely. If I wanted to coach someone real simple, I could just name the 20 things you’re not doing that you should be doing, and make you do those 20 things. And then I run out. This is why my coaches of Action Coach train to within an inch of their lives every single year. They have to go through webinars monthly and weekly, depending on their level. They have to attend training, conferences, retraining, conferences, annual, global, you know, depends on that. And the reason for that is, I want them to not only be phenomenal at business and phenomenal at coaching, I want them to be phenomenal at getting results for business owners. And that’s a combination of many things.
We’re at a point where we select about 1 in every 115 applicants to become a coach in our organization. We have the matrix of six different areas that we go through, looking at their past experience, looking at their human interaction capabilities, all sorts of things. But there’s one core thing that is the driving factor of every single coach that we bring on to our team, and that is that they love helping people. They’ve got to have that love, that desire, because I gotta tell you, some days being a coach is massively rewarding. And other days being a coach is an absolute pain in the backside. It’s like, “Oh, my God, not one of my clients actually wants to succeed today, I think I need to, run down the street and beat them.” But the point behind that is real simple. If you love what you do, you’ll stick with them, and you’ll stick with these people.
I find that they are both the tough person, but also they’re the best cheerleader. I remember one of our clients many years ago, a young guy in the installing business, putting countertops, all that sort of stuff. And he stood up one year, we gave him an award because of the growth of his business and the things he was achieving. And he stood up there and he said, “You know what, I’m lucky that I met a coach when I was 24, or whatever it was, and he believed in me more than I believed in myself.” Some business owners just need someone to believe in them, someone to just say, “Yeah, you can do this.” And it’s hard to explain. But if you haven’t had someone in business, someone who’s been there and done that, that tells you you can do it. It’s a good feeling to have.
They have to do their own marketing, and on a local basis, one of the reasons we went to a franchise operation was that we wanted locals dealing with locals, people who understood the local market. Business lessons and business framework can be the same globally, but my coach in Tokyo, Japan, understands Tokyo business, whereas my coach in Turkey or my coach in South Africa or in Idaho understand their local markets, and can help translate. They’ve definitely got to be localized. I’ve always said that if you want to be a business coach, you also want to be a leader of business in your community. If you don’t want to be a leader of business in your community, then being a coach is not the right thing for you.
How I came up with this book, I’m sitting with a couple of buddies of mine at lunch. And one of them turns to me, and he says it just seems like magic, the way the big companies like IKEA and Amazon grow. And it just seems like magic how they keep making more profits. I looked at them in the eyes, “You can’t be serious about that. You really think that?”
Because the reality is it’s a systematic system, they follow their trading. So as we call them in the book, there are disciplines they follow that other companies don’t follow. And if you’re not disciplined in these areas, then you’re not going to achieve it. And that’s why, when I look at companies with exponential growth year on year, solid, high-performance growth companies, there are certain traits that are similar amongst them. And there’s some that when you’re not doing that, there’s things you’re not doing. I literally had to sit down with one of my top coaches, Monte Wyatt, and sit down and say, “Okay, we need to document this.” And it took me 390 odd pages, which is the biggest of all 17 of my books. This one arrives on your doorstep with a sudden, it’s like 200 pounds, it’s a big one. But to pull the whole picture together of how to get exponential growth, I think we had to go into that level of detail to give people not just why you should do it, or what to do, but actually how.
What we look at is the five major disciplines. There’s five disciplines that if you are good in all five of these, your business will be growing strong.
First is strategy. Most business owners have never actually sat down and designed their business from the ground up. They thought of their product or service first, and then decided how to get it to the marketplace. Strategy includes things like scalability and leverage, how do you actually design a business model that has these things built into it? That means as you get bigger, it gets easier, not harder. And I think that strategic thought process takes a lot of business people a while to actually learn.
Second, we go into business development, sales, marketing and customer service, how do they work together? How do they actually perform? Because, very simply put, if business development isn’t a discipline you’re strong at, there’s very little chance that you’re going to have high growth.
Third is people. You don’t grow your business, your people do. If you grow your people, they’ll grow your business. And there’s no other way to grow a business than to do that.
Fourth execution, you got to know that you’re doing the job and doing it well. You’ve got to make sure there is a system for your people doing their job, following the plan. We teach people the discipline of how to make that happen. People is about leadership, execution, about management, and making sure that they work well together.
And then finally, the Fifth Discipline of mission, where we look at how is it that you get people to love buying from you. It’s about the community as a human connection. Mission is how to get people to love coming to work, with high employee engagement, and great customer engagement and referrals, and repeat this. All of that sort of stuff is coming from the mission.
I think that it’s very simple for people to think it can’t happen for me, it’s not possible to happen for me, is the biggest challenge. You don’t know what you don’t know. And when someone from the outside walks into your business and sees, here’s the five things you need to be doing immediately to increase the profitability of your business. You’ve been seeing that picture for a year, but you cannot see, as the old saying goes, the forest for the trees in your own business. So can it make an immediate impact? Absolutely.
In Action Coach, we literally guarantee people within 17 weeks to be paying for ourselves when we work for free. Because we know how fast we can get results in business. The challenge for the average business owner is they’ve been doing it 5, 10, 20 years, and they ran out of ideas. And I’ve always said it bluntly, your business will grow to your level of incompetence. The moment you run out of ability, ideas, and knowledge of what to do next, the business stops growing, and time keeps growing from there. As everyone knows, a tree is either growing or dying. As a business, if the business isn’t growing, it’s dying, just like a tree.
I think people can easily work on their own. But if you’re going to work on your own, that’s like saying, I don’t need a personal trainer to make sure I stay fit and healthy. I know for me, I’ll keep healthy on my own. But if my trainer shows up, he’s a big guy, he’ll make sure I do a lot more work than if I was just there by myself trying to do this thing. So if you want to get there, it’s pretty simple. I think most business owners are very smart. I think most business owners, if they’re shown what to do, how to do it, why to do it, will get to work and go do that. I don’t see many lazy business owners out there; I see lot of them that want to succeed and want to succeed more.
The challenge is the difference between where people are today, and the goals that they have for their business. Knowledge, there is a lack of knowledge. And you can spend the time reading the books and doing all the stuff. And that’s fantastic. And I agree that everyone should continuously read. But let’s say each book gives you maybe 5, 10, 15 ideas, whereas a business coach who’s been there, done that as the system might be able to walk in and say, “Okay, those ideas are fantastic, and they will grow your business. But they’re not the idea I want you working on right now, right here today. Because this point here, this point here and this point here, they need to be fixed before we deal with any of that other stuff.”
Sometimes, again, it’s about the forest for the trees. Sometimes it’s just too hard to see in your own business, the 10, 20 things you should be doing immediately. And by immediately I mean immediately to make sure the business keeps growing and growing well.
The key to a great relationship with a coach is trust, you’ve got to trust each other, you’ve got to trust them enough to tell them the truth. And over the many, many years, I’ve coached people through everything from saving marriages to helping them with their kids and that sort of stuff. Because your coach ends up becoming one of your best friends, because you tell them stuff you won’t share with anyone else. I’m going to share one of the loneliest jobs in the world. You can’t go to your staff and tell them your problems. You don’t want to run to your bank manager. In fact, you want to hide it from your bank manager. You don’t want to go home and tell your family, especially your spouse, you know you don’t want to worry them about stuff. Who do you going to talk to?
You can jump on it on ActionCoach.com or BradSugars.com. You’ll find me on all social media. Actually, not all of them. I’m not on Pinterest. I’m not really a crafty kind of guy. But you’ll definitely find us there, and books everywhere good books are sold. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Books A Million, you name it. You’ll find it. They’re fantastic.