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Check back here often for the latest news on our new product releases, awards, recognitions, and other exciting achievements.

Home Automation Podcast Episode #81: An Industry Q&A With Brad Sugars

Building companies that work without you

This week's home automation podcast features our host Ron Callis interviewing Brad Sugars. Recorded live on Monday, July 1st, 2019 at 12:30 p.m. EST.

About Brad Sugars

Brad Sugars came from humble beginnings but has built a life and a business that many would cite as the very definition of success. Sugars, a self-made multi-millionaire, is the founder of the global business coaching franchise ActionCOACH™, an international business speaker, author, and entrepreneur.
Interview Recap

Here are some of the topics Ron had the opportunity to discuss with Brad Sugars

  • Brad's background
  • Brad's new book, "Pulling Profits.

SEE ALSO: Home Automation Podcast Episode #80: A Custom Integration Industry Q&A With Jeff Francisco


Ron: Hello everybody. Ron Callis here with another episode of Automation Unplugged. This is episode 81 coming to you on a special day. Normally I come to you live on Wednesdays and today I'm coming to you on Monday, July 1st at 2:30 PM. This is a special event. I have a very special guest. You may or may not have heard of him. If you are a student or a disciple of business leaders and thought leaders, you have likely heard of his name or read some of his books. But I am super excited to have Brad sugars on to talk with us today and talk about growing a strong scalable business. And we're of course as always targeting this conversation at our integrators and technology professionals out there. And Brad is a customer of ours. He has some of these technologies in his homes and properties and you know, what's a little bit about Brad? So Brad is the author of 17 books, including this one that I just picked up, which is his newest book, Pulling Profits out of a Hat and Brad's going to be talking to us live about this new book. I have not yet had a chance to finish it by the time of ordering it and receiving it and booking Brad. I didn't shame on me. I didn't have a chance to finish it, but I did start it and it's pretty fantastic. Brad is also a well-known speaker. He travels around the world. I've actually listened to Brad speak at different engagements on multiple occasions and of course I follow him on LinkedIn and social media and he's very outspoken as a thought leader, trying to help you folks listening, grow strong businesses. So let's go ahead and bring him in. Bear with me here. There we go. Mr. Brad Sugars. How are you sir?

Brad: I'm well Ron. How about yourself?

Ron: Man, I feel like I'm a kid in the candy store right now getting to talk to you. And I get to talk to you live here with all of our normal friends and peers watching this happen.

Brad: Well, you know, I always loved the fact that technology has made it so much easier to reach people and it's done for every business mine and yours included. So, you know, wonderful technology today.

Ron: You know, back in 2015, Brad, I decentralized my office. So I used to have a big fancy office in downtown Hollywood, Florida where Jody Johnson from ActionCOACH™ used to come and visit me and technology moved forward and I got wiser thanks to that coaching and I looked at cutting expenses and now my whole team is located around North America and working primarily out of home offices.

Brad: So you know, it is the way of the future for a lot of things. But that being said, there's a lot of benefits to having your team under one roof. Working together and collaborating on stuff. So everything has its advantages and disadvantages. The old two-sided coin philosophy.

Ron: No, that's so true. So what we do is we pull our team together at events. I just had my web team in town last week. I'm going to Colorado and a couple of weeks to bring all my content account managers together. So yeah, maybe that account or financial savings isn't as big as it appears.

Brad: Yeah. For us, you know, ActionCOACH™, we have over a thousand officers around the world. So we use a lot of technology to keep in communication and ways of doing it. But nothing beats that end of the day at a conference, having a chat at the bar with a couple of the gang and making those decisions together so everything helps.

Ron: Well, Brad, where are you coming to us from? Just for those that are watching and listening?

Brad: I'm actually home here in Las Vegas right now. So, home for a couple more days and then off spring break with the kids. I had to stay in Vegas cause I became a US citizen all Friday. So I had to go down to the courthouse.

Ron: I saw that on LinkedIn and it said that you gave a speech.

Brad: Yeah, look the judge, asked for two people out of the 50 that were being naturalized that day to come up and have a speech. And of course my kids were sitting in the background going, I bet dad volunteers. And of course, I volunteered. You know, who's gonna miss that? I mean, you get naturalized once in your life who's gonna miss the chance to give a speech about what it's like to come and join America? So, yeah, that was a lot of fun.

Ron: Congratulations. My wife is Brazilian, or from Brazil, and so she was naturalized and I know how big of an event that is. So congratulations to you and your family.

Brad: Thank you. Thank you.

Ron: So Brad, as you know, you and I have spent a bit of time talking. You know, I live in, breathe and operate primarily in this world of technology professionals. You know, many would call them integrators but they're businesses of all shapes and sizes. And you know, we provide marketing services to them, but you wear many different hats.

Brad: Actually we did that today. Yeah.

Ron: As the world's leading business coach enterprise, you serve businesses of all shapes and flavors, in fact, all the world. So could you give our audience just a little bit of your background and maybe walk them through your evolution?

Brad: Yeah. Dang. I've been in business myself since I was 15, so I've always had something that I was doing. You know, I've been looking at employing people since I think I was well 15. I employed my friends, but not really. I just paid the money to do stuff. They weren't actual employees at that stage. I didn't really know how to do that. But from 19 or 20 onwards, we've got real employees. Today I've owned and operated anyway. It's another 50 companies. I'd have to sit down and actually write the list to do it today. I run nine companies. I work 12 hours a week doing that. Tuesdays and Thursdays from nine till three are my work hours. And that's basically what I do. ActionCOACH™ has grown to be. I mean we're still by far the number one business coaching company in the world. But now with all of the other businesses that we run, helping entrepreneurs, helping people build great lives. My cleaning company, I have a commercial cleaning business. I have a property management company. So, you know, we invest, I'm basically an entrepreneur. I buy companies that I see. A bit like Ray Kroc. I guess in the beginning I used to buy broken companies and fix them. Nowadays I find a great little business and I expand it and put it all over the country or all over the world. So, like the cleaning company, I found that one in Melbourne, Australia, and took that one to England and now bring it to the United States. The property management company, I found that one in Houston, Texas. Now it's expanded across the whole of Texas and now we're in the middle of a deal that's expanded for 2200 offices across the US and Canada. So yeah, that's sort of basically what I do. I'm an entrepreneur, but I'm a father of five. So, you know, that's why I don't go to work until nine o'clock. And I finish by three cause the twins, they're only five years old. So, I've got to get them to school each day and pick them up. I prefer to be doing than going on and doing board meetings. But yeah, so ultimately my goal in business is to build a business that runs so I don't have to. If it works, I don't have to. Therefore, you know, it's a real business. Otherwise, I found that I really wasn't building the business. I was building the job and I worked for an idiot myself. You know, it's like I have crazy am I thinking I can be the CEO and the owner, see if you're the CEO and the owner, I find you're doing a bad job at both. Cause you know, the CEO lies to the owner and says, "Oh, I did a lot of hard work today and the owner believes their stupid lie. You know, that's the sort of thing. But no, that's me. That's I guess the fastest version of the story I can get to.

Ron: No, and I'm just putting it out on the public record. I'm that, that dummy that you just announced the CEO and owner. So guilty as charged. A lot of the businesses that I work with every day at One Firefly, I mean many of them are owner-operators. Many of those owner-operators have many jobs and work long hard hours.

Brad: Almost every one of our clients, that ActionCOACH™ starts that way. And that's the thing, you know, I see that entrepreneurs and executives, business owners, they have some of the hardest working people on the planet. The challenges is they do the wrong hard work. In most cases, they're not becoming better business owners or better entrepreneurs and becoming better at the actual technique of their job. And once the technique of your job is important, what's more important is being a great business owner. As you get better at business, it gets easier. It's not the other way around. Business ain't going to get easier. First you got to get better at it.

Ron: No. Amen. How in the world do you manage nine companies and work 12 hours a week? That just sounds fascinating. We don't need to go into too much detail. I mean, you have to say that only to get lots of followup questions. Like how is that possible?

Brad: You know, the reality of it is if you build great people, they build great companies. If you don't build your people, then you end up doing all the work. And so my goal over the years is always to build great humans. And so with 25 years in business, I've built a lot of great humans over those years. And a lot of those people now run companies for me. You know, they're my CEOs, they run the businesses, they do that stuff. And so other times it's set by, you know, buying a business and keeping the great business partners as shareholders of the company and having them. They love doing the running and the business. But you know, the goal of me as a business coach is to teach people. Excuse me, is to teach people how to run a business that works without you. And there's a recipe and a format for that. In fact, one of the, I think it was the third or fourth book I wrote a, I wrote a book called the business coach. It's gotta be 15 years ago now to McGraw Hill publication. And I wrote that once we'd coached 13,000 business owners to success and then went back and said, well, what is the systematic methodology for doing that? How do you actually go through and it's a six-step methodology and we teach people through that. And that's why I wrote the book because I wanted people to understand and this is the thing, right? Let's, let's say I'm a technology professional and I've got to install something, right? Guess what? I follow the instructions. I followed the step by step to actually do that. Now, if you're a business on that and you don't follow the step by step, then hang on a second, go learn the step by step. And that's what you know. Now, ActionCOACH™ coaches about 18,000 business southerners a week in the world and hundreds of thousands on our hurt programs every month. But we show them the steps to build a great business. That's a good picture. I'm actually dressed up and that one there, I actually look like I work in that picture. It looks rather official. It's funny though, when you run nine businesses and people say, "Oh, you must be so busy." Yeah I am. I'm really busy. I got to go and play with the kids. But I'm not trying to say that to be paying the butt to people. I'm saying that, but I want people to understand if a kid from Brisbane, Australia can do it, then you can too. It's possible for people to build companies that work without you. Okay. I had one of my clients, this was even harder than most integrators are going to find it. This guy was a doctor, medical doctor, hot surgeon, top heart surgeon in all of all the Georgia, the board, the board of all of that. He then has something go wrong, has to have an operation, get two stents put in himself. He comes to me and one of my coaches after him and said, listen, if this ever happens to me again, I'm out of business. So how do I build a business that's not reliant on me? How do I build an actual organization where it's not me? It's an organization that works whether I can show up or not. And just because you love what you do today doesn't mean you don't love it in five years or ten years. And just because you love what you do doesn't mean you're always going to be healthy enough to do it. So you've got to build something. And that's also, it comes back to the big point Ron. What most people miss about businesses, they miss the one most important factor. You've got to build something that's a saleable enterprise. You gotta build something that you can sell. Otherwise, you only get paid in cash flow. If you don't build something you can sell, then you end up missing the vast majority of wealth that's created in business. Business wealth is created by creating saleable items. You know, Bill Gates isn't the richest guy on the planet because of the profits of Microsoft or the, the salaries he collected from the company. It's because of the value of the company. So you want a company to be highly valued. It's gotta be a business that works whether you show up or not. Otherwise you've got to sell it to another industry professional. And most of them don't have the cash line around to come and pay you big money to buy your business. So you end up selling it out on a payout to them that, to a management buyout of some sort. So yeah, we want to create assets out of businesses, not just cashflow streams.

Ron: We have one of your customers, Esteban just posted. He said, "Hello from Ken in Cancun, Mexico. He says, I'm an integrator and take advice from an ActionCOACH™ here in Cancun. Greetings Brad.

Brad: Hey, you know, good to see you, Esteban. I was just down in Brazil and we had a lot of our clients from all Latin America come on down and teach all about to what we're doing lightly and told him all this stuff from the new books. So it was a lot of fun.

Ron: Yeah. Well, let's jump into that new book cause I know what's going to happen is we're gonna blink and our time here today is gonna move on. So I picked it up and I know that there are five pillars, if I'm saying that right, we use that.

Brad: We use the word disciplines, Ron, mostly in the book because it's not something you'd get it right once and then you can walk away from it. It's a discipline. It's something you've got to stay on top of the everyday. Like, you know, if, if I take, say business development is one of the five disciplines, sales, marketing, customer service, sort of fit under that umbrella. What you did in sales five years ago doesn't work as well today. What you did in marketing three months ago. That doesn't work as well today. You know, while the core principles of marketing remain the same. And it's funny because a lot of the technology professionals are all like, well I get old, my business from, from word of mouth, I get it all from referrals.

Ron: I've heard that once or twice or 10 times.

Brad: Well it's just cause your other marketing is not good. Let's be honest about that. You know the funny thing is I'm the ideal customer for your average person on your show. Cause like the thing is I'm that guy with the big house and more technology than you can poke a stick at. I'm the guy with 17 miles of cabling and his house. So yeah, that's, that's me. It's people like how do you have 17 miles of cabling or you see I pick the houses first and then you worry about that. But see, the interesting thing is yeah, you may find them by word of mouth, but if I'm, if I can't find you online or if I can't search for you. If I can't find you in where I'm looking, then I have to resort to word of mouth. And that's the challenge. Word of mouth isn't usually the first source by which someone finds a person. Word of mouth is usually the second or third source if I can't find them elsewhere. So that's where your marketing has to be really strong and to have a real growth business. And this is interesting because with pulling profits, I wrote that book. A buddy of mine sat me down at lunch when Danny said, Brad, you gotta ask, it just seems like magic the way these companies like Yahoo and Ikea and all of these, it just seems like magic. How Amazon keeps multiplying and growing and this sort of stuff. I'm like, but if you think that's magic, then don't watch the show and tell. It's got a show tonight. You know, I'll go watch that. And it's interesting but I got the book written. Penn did pull it out of a hat for me. It was kind of fun. You know you sit back and you look at it and you think if you don't know the systematic methodology, you have a business that grows year on year exponential growth and of course you're not going to do that. So I sat down and said all right, I don't write the book on that. And two years later I'd come out with that thing you just held up, which is like two and a half pounds and 300 odd, 390 something pages.

Ron: It isn't going to come out in paperback or is it going to stay in hardcover? Cause it is, it's a hefty, it's an empty item.

Brad: You know. Look, I'm still an old guy from a book perspective. I like a hard copy book. It is an electronic book and they're currently recording the audiobook version of it, but I liked the book that I can make notes in. I like a book. I can take notes with the ideas cause that's what I did with this book with my coauthor Monty is we made sure that it gave you strategies of not just what to do and why to do it, but exactly how to do it. And so as people go through, they come up with like a dozen ideas each chapter of things to, to add to it. But if you look at business development today, what we were doing six months ago, 12 months ago isn't working today. Like if you're an eater, if you're an integrator and you're not creating content online, if you're not actually out there creating good content proving that you are an expert in the marketplace, then you're crazy. If you're not like an average integrator, ask them what their Google ranking is. What's, what's your Google rating? Tell me what your Google rating is for your business. And they look at you like you're an idiot. And it's like hang on. Who's the idiot in this conversation? The person who doesn't know that their rating from their existing customer base online or the guy asked him a question. If you don't have testimonials from every single one of your people, if you don't have the before and afters, we don't have all of this stuff in your blog, on your site, on your LinkedIn, on your Facebook, on your Twitter. If you're not doing all of this stuff and having it posted on Instagram, if your clients aren't posting testimonials about you after you finish the job, that's why you have to resort to the only word of mouth. And if you want a business that grows exponentially, you need to be in charge of its growth. It's marketing, not waiting for conversations to come to you. So three things for people to do from there. Number one, ratings. Check every rating site for your industry in your marketplace or every local rating. Second, make sure you video every single job. Make sure you got photos, make sure you've got it all out there. It's on every single thing and makes sure you got testimonials from every single client and forget the sales and the customer service aspect of biz dev. Just focus on that little part of marketing and get yourself out there. But from a content perspective, you gotta be seen as the expert. See a guy like me goes, well hang on, does this guy know his stuff? And I watch a few videos of you teaching your stuff out there and boom, all of a sudden I got this guy does know his stuff or this gal is a genius when it comes to these things, you know, you, you're out there trying to sell high-performance audio in your retail store. What makes you the expert or high-performance audio? Cause I'm going to look you up online before I come to your store. I am this, it's just going to happen that way. And most of all I'm probably going to look you up on this thing on my cell phone and do it from there. So mobile friendly, all that stuff. So you don't get me started on that subject wrong. I can go, I literally can go for days on the marketing subject cause I think that that's why you seek like a dozen of my 17 books around marketing and sales. So no, and I, by the way, just a small plug out. I've got my stack here of your theories around I've lived, eaten in.

Ron: Yeah. My staff, if they actually read these books, they'll realize a lot of what we do at One Firefly is simply built.

Brad: Ron, you're not that big a genius.

Ron: Brad Sugars. That's the guy. So, so we want people to buy your new book Pulling Profits. But I have on the screen these points which you call disciplines, strategy, business development, people execution, and mission. It, can you give your version or explanation of what that means as it relates to this small business technology professional that I work with every day and that is within the industry that I reside in.

Brad: So let's finish off the business development sales side of it. What's the structure for your sales and what does it look like? When I get into most of the smaller businesses, they don't actually have a sales system. They don't have a sales structure. And so you've actually got to go down, break it down. What is step one, two, three, four? What are the 10 steps to a sales cycle? And if you're a retail store, what's the 10 steps like the retailers? What kills me is is you walk into a retail store and they'll ask you the question. I know a lot of you guys to do it by appointment, but if you walk into a retail store and they ask you stupid questions like, hi, can I help you? It's like you just want to punch them in the face when they do stupid things like that and like how are you? It's still in business. If you're asking the one question that's guaranteed to get to know every single time, you know we teach people to ask a simple question, Hey, have you been in our store before? And if they say yes, you say, great. I thought I recognize you. If they say no, fantastic. Let me show you around, show you what we got. You know, it opens a conversation. It doesn't get shut down immediately soon, but you've got to break your sales down and go through it step by step. Telephone calls cause a lot of you guys and gals get phone calls for that business first line. Every time someone answers the phone, write this down word for word. If you've gotta read, watch this video, rewatch the video or buy the books and get it from that first line. Every single time someone calls your business, no matter what they say, how much for this can you do this? Whatever, whatever. The first line, "Hey, thanks for your call just so I can help you. Best is it okay if I ask you a couple of questions?" And then you've got to script some questions. Now from customer service, what is your customer service? and again, that's where if you read my book instead of repeat business, it goes through how do we build a raving fan out of a customer? Because what you've got to remember is that repeat business equals profit, right? So it's that ongoing service contract is that ongoing money that you're going to get is where the profitability of businesses, too many technology professionals seeders that one-off kicker and just in out. Do know that if you run your business based on that then your business is really tough cause you got to keep getting new customers day in and day out. What's the ongoing, how do you manage, where do you make that money? Lifetime. Why is it that every gym in the world has gone to a row fee based or subscription based? Why does Microsoft, why does no one, why does everyone have that as software as a service? Because that's how you make real money in business. Repeat business. So that's biz dev. Let's touch on what do we go to next?

"It's been a real challenge for my space to grow because so many of these businesses aren't limited by opportunities for new work. They are limited by the staffing they have."

Ron: People? I would challenge that the economy has been so good for so long and God willing, it'll be that way in the future. But I'll just speak in the past, up until the present, it's been a real challenge for my space to grow because so many of these businesses aren't limited by opportunities for new work. They are limited by the staffing they have, right?

Brad: And they hired a young guy, they trained him up. He leaves and goes work for someone else or starts his own business. Scott's in competition with you. So let's, let's understand humans, but let's start with the mission because that leads us to the people. Okay? So the mission is, in today's world, the world of business has actually shifted, right? Let's do baby boomer generation, baby boomer generation, easy to manage. You wanted them to do something. You said, Hey, go do that. They did it. Right. Today we're managing a younger generation and from the millennials through, I call them, see, these are mission-driven humans. In most cases, they're no different from the people today. And I hear that a guy the other day and he's mid-sixties complaining about millennials. I'm like, dude, hang on. W w when were you a teenager? So I grew up in the 60s I'm like, yeah, you are the worst generation ever. How can you ever complain about another generation? You just got to manage differently. And so what we look at is the mission of the company. This is where it comes down to. Why do people love working for you? Not why do they love a job? Why do they love working for you? Do they love coming to work? And second, do your customers love doing business with you? The mission is greater than just making a profit. If there is nothing greater than just making a profit, you will have trouble getting people and you will have trouble keeping people and you'll have trouble with customers wanting to refer you and do business with you over and over and over again to create disciples in this day and age is what we're looking at and that's why the mission of the business. Now, if people don't have a better mission, I'll give them the simplest mission you can have and that's to be the best technology professional in your area or if you want to call it something different. The technology professional than do that. But to be the best in your business category, in your area of business that stop there if you have no other mission. Now that leads me to people and I want people, Ron, from about 20 years old, I think I went to my dad and then my business then which was in the pizza business and manufacturing wholesale pizzas through supermarkets. And I said to my dad, you know what dad, I don't know what it is, but I just can't get good people. My dad looked me dead in the eye and he says, son, you get the people you deserve. You're an average manager running an average business. The highest caliber employee you're going to get is average. And it was like, let's see, you can see you're on, you're on motivation as a nice kick in the pants. Oh yeah. Like, you know, I love my dad, but Oh my God, do you have to give me the advice? So dry and so straight to the, you know, punch me in the face every time I asked for advice. No, but you know, that's the way he is. But he was right. You know, until I want it to be a good manager and a great manager and then a good leader and a great leader and start running a great company. Great people don't want to work in an average company. It's, it's as simple as that. So you got to start looking at where do the great people want to work and what do you need to build the business to be? Cause here's the reality of business. You can't build your own business, your people. And if you don't build your people, they don't build your business. Now flip that over and you get the argument of good, hang on. Every time I train my people, they leave and yeah, and every time you don't train them, they stay. And they're still bad at their job. So you've got to invest in people, but you got to do the opposite. You gotta do the other thing as well. And that is building a place where people want to stay. Build a place where people want to work and where they want to come. And they want to be doing that thing. You know, they've got to see growth potential. They've got to see all of those things. Now how would I do that right now? Well, first of all, we got to remember this. People management starts with recruiting. Recruiting starts with your reputation in the marketplace. So what are you doing to build your reputation in the marketplace on LinkedIn? How many groups in LinkedIn are you in that are like, there's gotta be integrated groups on LinkedIn? I'd have a look, but I'm sure there is. If there isn't in your area, start one, you know, be the either moderate or that group type thing on Facebook on the same thing. So join those groups. Start being an industry professional. Start writing articles for blogs about the industry, where the industry growing. Because if you're not seen as that, these young people wanting a job, they will also research you. If you don't know your rating on Glassdoor, how are you going to go out there and recruit good people? And so this is where the recruiting starts with your reputation. Now my, my whole book instant team building actually goes into a structure of recruiting because what we believe is that recruiting is, thank you, buddy. What we believe is that recruiting should be ID, selection process, not a selection process. And where does that start? It starts with your understanding. And there's a great book written by Jeff Smart. And what Jeff wrote about is before employing someone, you gotta be able to write three pages. Oh, sorry, who not, why. Thank you very much for correcting me on that seat. Every book, you've got them all. No wonder you that guru with this stuff. So Jeff, when Jeff wrote the book, he said, you're going to be able to write three pages before you employ someone. On the first page, you have to write down what is their job. And you have to be, you have to fill the page. If you got to fill the page, you don't know enough to recruit the person. The second page is, tell me about the person, what's their background, what's their training, what skills should they have, what the et cetera. And again, if you don't fill a page, you don't know enough. The third page is how will you know when they've done a good job? And that, and again, you've got to fill the page. What is, how are you gonna measure them? How are you going to know what they're doing? How are you going to, what will the business, how will the business look like? If that person came and did a phenomenal job of helping you build the business, what would change? What would grow? What would, and so once you've got those three, then you know enough to be able to go and even do an ad to, to recruit the person. Otherwise, you don't know enough to write an ad. You know, people go and they say, I want a salesperson. What do they write at the top of the thing? Good salesperson need it. And that, yet they've never learned anything about sales. So they don't even know what interview questions to ask. It's like someone said the other day, well, I, you know, I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna learn marketing. I'm just going to employ someone in marketing. I said real. That'd be great strategy but hang on a second. How would you know that there are any good at marketing if you're not learning anything about marketing, so two shake, so mission and people go together, my friend. How you recruit, how you recruit. Then induct, because induction's a very big part of it. That first 90 days, 30 to 90 days of a new employee. If you just throw them straight into doing the work without actually helping them learn about the history of the company, the vision of the company, where are you going? All of those things. Of course, they're not going to respect the company if they don't know its history. If they don't see a photo of your first van, the first truck you had out on the road or your first retail store or the first sale, you may, if they can see photographs of that stuff, then guess what? They can't get. They can't respect your business that much if they don't know the history of it.

"I'm happy to say at One Firefly we have a 90-day onboarding process. So much time."

Ron: I agree with everything you just said. I'm happy to say at One Firefly we have a 90-day onboarding process. So much time. I started my business 11 years ago, so I can't remember, but I'm pretty sure that's probably an idea I got from your book.

Brad: Oh, coach Jodie and coach Doug Jodie.

Ron: And coach Doug for sure. So by the way, there's one of your other teams, Sanjay says "Hi from India, says he's an ActionCOACH™ based in India. And I have to say that the principles of running a business shown by Brad works globally. He is a genius." There you go. You just slip him 20 bucks.

Brad: Thanks Sanjay. Sanjay's killing it out there in India by the way. He's doing amazing things with some of the businesses and the scale of business growth in India is phenomenal. So he's doing great. Thanks.

Ron: Oh, that is, and then, by the way, I have another one I'm going to throw up on the screen here. Gil says, "Could you ask Mr. Sugar's now this is completely from left field here, you see, he said, but what to lock into a business? To buy it. And how do you value the business?"

Brad: I'm going to give you two very quick answers. Gil number one, read my book, Billionaire in Training. That's about how to buy, build and sell companies. And from an EBITDA perspective, yeah, you've got to do a bunch of research, but every industry has a different rating. Free but die. Every business has a different thing. So it's hard to know without an industry, but yeah, go into that for certain.

Ron: Awesome. Well then yeah, that's all it for the comment. By the way, if you're out there listening to Brad really preach it and deliver some awesome content and of course, do not forget to go pick up the book, the actual book, Pulling Profits, and you'll get the detailed version of but don't forget to like this live feed. And if you're watching this on replay, don't forget to still like it and comment both.

Brad: Let us know where you're from. I love seeing that we got people from India and stuff like that. That always excites me. Seeing how many places we reach around the world. Ron, type in where you're at, everyone watching.

Ron: Yeah. Type in where you're coming to us from. And if you feel so compelled, don't forget to share this, that we do put out this content every week because we want to help you. We want to help you grow your business and we're pulling in really awesome, talented guests such as the one and only Brad Sugars. But share that. Please don't forget to do so. So Brad, if I were to and I'm mindful of time here.

Brad: No. We've got two to go, don't we? We still got execution. Okay.

Ron: We're going to I, that's what I was going to say. I didn't know if you had the time to go through the rest of those points. I'll stay here all day if you're willing to.

Brad: Well, let's touch on execution. Execution is pretty easy if you don't have a growth business. If you've got a business that's just doing the same thing every day. Execution is dead simple cause you got people, they're already trained, they already know what they're doing and they're going to keep just doing that same thing. If I were the got a growth based business execution really comes down to three main things and that is management. So managing the people and management is a dying out. I don't know what happened, but somewhere in the 90s management became a dirty word. And people like, Oh, you don't want to manage, you just want to be a leader. But hang on, management is about two things. Competent, productive people. If you've got a new person, they're not competent, they're not productive. You do need to micromanage them. But that beginning until you've built them into a competent, productive person, you're going to have to do that. The second point behind the execution is planning without, with a lack of planning, that will be a lack of execution. It just is, you know, no one, I would never have a technology professional come in and want to do the technology of my house without an absolute clear plan. And yet they're willing to run their business. We had an absolute of plan, you know, well-run that we made you plan every 90 days as a business owner every 90 days. Come up with the next 90-day plan. I want to see what your plan is for the next 90 days and one day a quarter to plan the 90 days is the smartest thing anyone can do. And the third thing is systems and the most basic system ever as a checklist. You know if you can start with base checklists. Some people say, actually, I had a guy after an event about a month ago, he says to me, but Brad, you know my staff sometimes they do a great job and other times they don't do a great job. I just can't get consistency as well. God show me the checklist, they follow up and he looked at me, he goes, well they don't have a checklist. Well, there you go. If they had a checklist, it's like why do pilots have a checklist every time? Well, cause pilots like to succeed at their job 100% of the time. Cause if they don't, we're all dead.

Ron: Well for those that are watching, one of my friends is a pilot and I'll go flying with him. He flies corporate jets and I'll sit in the copilot seat and this guy's been flying for a professionally for 25 years. He will go through his checklist, his cards item by item, by item as he's making sure this plane is doing what he wants it to do. And you'd think he's done this. How many hundreds, if not thousands of times yet key follows the checklist every 100% of the time. And to your point, Brad, failure is not an option when you're in a jet. You know, you want, I'll sit here all day long, do your checklist. We're good. No rush. Yes.

Brad: But his lack of arrogance is what makes him successful. It's arrogance that makes a salesperson think, I don't need scripts anymore. It's arrogance that makes a doctor, thank God I need to follow a checklist. I can just do this on my own. Hospitals with checklists have much lower debt, mortality rates, much lower infection rates than hospitals without checklists. So we see that time and time again. So yeah, follow the three main points of execution. But then let's go to strategy C. Strategy is where, like I said at the beginning of this a little bit of strategy at the beginning of this was a difference between Ray crock and the McDonald brothers and McDonald brothers strategy was to work every day and they lodged making burgers to sell X number of burgers to X number of people and that one little location and they had a great time. Ray Kroc strategies. The opposite of that, you know, his, his strategy was how do I have this on every street corner in the country and now every street corner in the world. You know, when, when you look at strategy, let's take say the music business, right? You can be the drummer in the band. Okay, plays a gig on a Friday night. You can be the guy that owns the joint, they play the gig out on the Friday night. You can be the manager of the band. You can be the production company or you can be Spotify or iTunes up here at type thing. There's a strategy with which you choose to run your business. It comes down to four main things. Number one is leverage. My definition of leverage is to do the work once you get paid forever. So how do you work one time and get paid longterm? Like you know what, why do I build a business once it runs without me, I get paid forever. I buy real estate cars, I buy a house once I get paid rent forever, I ran a book because you know I have, I write the book once I get paid forever. So this is what we're looking at. How do you get a customer wants and stays with you forever know? And second is scalability. So what's the scalability of your business? Scale by definition is the business. So the next sale costs less and is easy if your business gets harder as you get bigger than your scale. The strategy is incorrect. So this way lately, I keep hearing these words wrong lately in a, annoys the heck out of me from all these internet gurus of that. You know you got to hustle and grind.

Ron: I already know where you're coming from. I have a similar annoyance factor with certain individuals.

Brad: It's like hustle and grind is the new stupid. If you have to work 18 hours a day in your business, it's because there's something wrong in your business and people say to me that Brad, when you started out, you did that. I said, yeah, I know I was stupid. I didn't realize in the beginning I thought it was a badge of honor as the business owner to be working harder than all my employees. I thought it was like, yeah, beat the chest. I'm the, I'm the owner. I work the hardest and then I realized I, I forget someone told me some and I just went, hang on. That's the dumbest thing ever. I'm not an owner when I work 18 hours a day, I'm an employee and you work for a maniac. I've worked with someone who's a slave driver and he won't even pay the proper rates. I'm not even making, and so I had to sit back and go, hang on. This isn't a problem about work ethic. This is a problem about, I haven't learned enough about business to be able to run my business properly, to not have to work 18 hours a day and still make a profit. I get it. Everyone wants to prove that they're a hard worker. But hang on, I'm doing the right work. And then you don't have to see it. If you look at owners work versus employee's work. If you're a technology company, right, and you're the one in laying cable, you're the one inputting sound systems in or you're the one doing that stuff. That's an employee's work. It's you work once and get paid once. Owner's work starts with work once paid mall term. So for example, doing business planning, doing systemization, recruiting people, training your people. That's work that you do once it pays you back long term. Ultimately you want to get to work that you do it once and it pays you back forever. That's the owner's work. So employees work, work, one's paid ones, others work, work. One's paid forever or at least long term. Okay, so that's where leverage and scale come in. This third part is the opportunity size. I see a lot of businesses where they say, you know, we, our goal is to make 10 million, we'll do your market research. Is there even 10 million worth of business in the local area that you traded? No, there's not. Okay. Then how big business do you need to be? Do you need to be statewide, nationwide? What size do you actually need to be to hit your level of goals? Opportunity, size of big part of the strategy. And then finally marketability. Is it something that, you know, you have to work really hard to sell it or is it something that sells pretty easy? Most of the guys are in high economies. I've got something that sells pretty easy. They know in low economies it shifts, but that's, that's a different story altogether.

Ron: For the sake of time, Brad talk to my audience about how many of them I know are loving what you're dishing out because it's, you're talking about this promised land of a better, more profitable, more scalable, easier business to run. How do they engage with that? What's the answer is the answer to get your books and listen and practice it is the answer to use a coach. And how do you differentiate, know which way to go?

"You can only grow your business to your level of incompetence. Once you run out of ideas and knowledge, the business can't grow past you."

Brad: I think the first answer is rewatch this video. Second answer is subscribed to all the bronze podcasts. Make sure you've got them all coming every day. Third, yeah, you've got to get new knowledge. I mean, whether it's my book, someone else's books, you know, you're, you can only grow your business to your level of incompetence. Once you run out of ideas and knowledge, the business can't grow past you. You know, so that the main way of saying that is a fish tanks from the head down. The positive way of saying that is that as you grow as a business owner, so your business grows with you. Okay. So you've got to do that. Maybe it's getting a coach, you know, jump on ActionCOACH™, stop harm and go and chat with this. Your first coaching sessions are always free with us cause we, you know, we'd done my team around the world literally does four hours. So yeah, down that bottom left side, invest in yourself. Get a college.

Ron: No, I'm going to share that link here on the screen here. Just for those that are maybe in a place where that would be better for you to see.

"If a business isn't growing, it's dying. And that's just the reality of life. A tree isn't growing, it's dying. Everything that isn't growing is dying."

Brad: Did clicking on. Excellent. So, but, but here's the thing. I think Ron, it first starts with just thinking, thinking about what we've been saying today and saying, okay, cause you know, you can go boutique in a business, you can go global in a business, you can build your business, you can do all sorts of things, but you've got to sit down and say, if business isn't growing, it's dying. And that's just the reality of life. A tree isn't growing, it's dying. Everything that isn't growing is dying. Whether it's dying because competitors are beating you or in business. If your sales are steady, your costs are always rising. Where are you going to be in three to five years? You know, you're out. You know, wage rises are being enforced across the country right now we're seeing that and that's just remarketing forces as well, that we're getting wage rises. So I think it's important to understand as a business person, you gotta grow, you gotta grow your people and you've got to keep looking at. But it all comes back to a very basic thing. If you want to grow the business and get clear on that and then we can teach you how to learn. And how is something we've all got to do though. You know, same as I going to do what everyone else got to do and I'm gonna keep reading to, you know, Jim Rohn once said to me no one can do your reading for you. And little did Jim know at one day we'd have Audible and someone does all my reading for me now. So, you know, I just sit in the car and get it read.

Ron: So Brett, I'm going to just put up on the screen here a couple of more people that are seeing hello. Hi there. Liz is saying hi from Texas. Welcome, Liz. And we have Kristen I don't know where she's coming to us from, but then I have Jamal, he's coming to us from South Africa.

Brad: Very nice, very nice. See, I like it that we spread around the world. We've got India against South Africa, we got the US we got all across the place.

Ron: We're all over the place. We're all over the place and Brad, I'm going to put you on the spot. I'm going to ask you publicly here. I'm going to mail you my copy and can I get an autographed version or a signed in scripted version?

Brad: Absolutely. Now I'll tell you the easy way to do that. Just buy another one Ron, but shipping direct to my office and I'll sign it from there and pass it onto you.

Ron: But that you know why I like that. Then I can gift one. There you go.

Brad: You have one for that. You can have one for the bookshelf and one to make notes and that's always a good one. I would highly suggest, Ron, since you have such an amazing business that every member of your team should get a copy in there. I've been a salesman all my entire life. I never miss an opportunity to make a stand. You would say, you know, I don't like being a salesperson. Really. You don't believe in your product. You know, it's like a guy said to me the other day said, Brad, I just don't want to be a pushy salesperson is not really what's wrong with your service. Hey, you wouldn't have out the wrong. Well if they don't buy from you, they buy from your competitors or your competitors better or worse than you said no. They're much worse from there. So, okay. So if they don't buy from you, you're inflicting upon them and negative service, you better sell to them. You better sell a, never would have been the way, but listen, come join me on any social media gang. I'm out there on all of them except Pinterest. I'm not really that crafty. But yeah, face, LinkedIn and stuff. All those come find me. Twitter.

Ron: That's right. It was an honor to have you on the show, sir.

Brad: Good to be here, Ron. Thanks for being such a raving fan and thanks for helping all the businesses that you're out there helping every day cause we business owners need the help and we need people like you doing it. So thanks for doing that.

Ron: Awesome. Thank you, Brad. Be well sir. There you have it. Everybody. I see that Facebook is pixelating me here. Not quite sure what's going on. There might be a bandwidth issue, but, I hope you enjoyed this 81st episode of automation unplugged proudly brought to you by One Firefly my day job and definitely check us out. Visit us on let me put some contact information up here, visit us over at our website and give us a call. If there's anything we can do for you, I will remind you because we have some new audience members here that we are now active, newly active on Instagram and that is not, a platform that we've been active on much. We just kind of ramp things up in September of last year as in lots of activity going on there. So definitely visit us on Instagram. You'll find this at forward slash One Firefly LLC. And thank you everybody. Thanks for hanging out with us. And Brad, again, you are an awesome guest. We're gonna push this out to the world and make sure everyone sees the message. And you rock, by the way, Brad, I've worked with all your assistants and I know, I think you still hear me. You're down there. You could still hear me, right? I don't have your contact phone number, so I don't know, message me on LinkedIn cause I want to send you something, but I don't have a way to get in touch with you, so make that happen for me. That'd be awesome. And everyone, I will see you next time. And thanks for watching Automation Unplugged. Be well. Bye.


Brad Sugars is an international business speaker, author and entrepreneur with an inspiring resume. A self made millionaire and founder of the global business coaching franchise ActionCOACH™, Brad’s successes are far too many to name.

Ron Callis is the CEO of One Firefly, LLC, a digital marketing agency based out of South Florida and creator of Automation Unplugged. Founded in 2007, One Firefly has quickly become the leading marketing firm specializing within the integrated technology and security space. The One Firefly team work hard to create innovative solutions to help Integrators boost their online presence, such as the elite website solution, Mercury Pro.

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