Episode 55 - Brad SugarsIt's lights, camera, ActionCOACH! Making conversations about taking action count!
Brad Sugars, Founder of ActionCOACH
Making Conversations about Taking Action Count!
“Ultimately, when you wanna leave a legacy, you’ve got to look at three main aspects…”
(Hear what they are at 14 minutes into the episode) –
– Brad Sugars, Making Conversations Count (November 2021)
It’s quite common knowledge that business owners often make business mistakes.
Sometimes they’re very obvious and other times they’re easy to miss.
One such business mistake that’s probably the most detrimental one you can make, is not creating goals and not having a vision or a path in mind to reaching them.
Formulas are where Brad excels, and he uses them in every aspect of his life, including when it comes to his most important duty – being a family man.
Talking of his formulas, you can benefit from them, for yourself!
For the same cost of every streaming service in existence you can choose to stop being distracted by nonsense, and enjoy Brad’s successful training programmes:
Oh, and without giving too much of a spoiler, part of Brad’s conversation that counted led to him using the Headway app which he mentions in the episode.
Brad’s success as the world’s most trusted and knowledgeable business coach has enabled him to launch a foundation for young people, in which all the learning is FREE.
Throughout his career, Brad has always strived to always do better and his worldwide network of coaches offer ‘Coaching for A Cause‘.
He’s also very open in his acknowledgement and praise for his mentor Jim Rohn, to who he credits a lot of his success.
If that isn’t enough of a reason to listen, Brad offers some incredible advice about how people should be using social media, and how you can consume a book worth of knowledge in just one day.
We also learn just how many telemarketing calls Wendy has made during her career as a leading specialist in telemarketing training, and why this show loves Romania and Dominica!
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. Brad has got the battle wounds from fighting great ideas and also not-so-fond memories of losing some of those battles. But he also knows the thrill of having great successes.
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 30X: Revolutionize Your Life – It’s 30 minutes a day for 90 days, teaching you his 30 years of experience of investing, business and life.
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Full Episode Transcript
Making Conversations Count – Episode Fifty-Five
November 4th 2021
Wendy Harris & Brad Sugars
00:02:22: Raising children
00:05:02: The first of anything is the hardest
00:06:14: Looking after mind and body
00:10:03: Taking pride in what you do
00:11:34: Moving away from negative goals
00:14:18: Leaving a legacy
00:15:33: Learn, earn, return
00:18:31: Make what you love into a business
00:19:49: The learning work is the hardest work
00:21:33: You need to grow into your goals
00:23:49: The importance of keeping teaching simple
00:25:22: The unique pandemic economic downturn
00:26:24: Using social media wisely
00:28:57: WIFLE, whoosh and stretch
00:31:25: Brad’s pivotal conversation
00:36:25: Final thoughts
Wendy Harris: Well, wouldn’t you know, Making Conversations Count is a year old! Can you believe that we’ve been podcasting for that long? We’ve had some absolutely fantastic guests sharing their industry insights and those pivotal conversations. So, with that in mind, we wanted to make sure we brought you something extra special to celebrate.
Now, you may remember that I’ve been awarded the Small Business of 2021 Award from Lloyds Business Bank; and I had the opportunity to be mentored with Steven Bartlett, Diary Of A CEO guy, and youngest Dragon in the Den. Unfortunately, he’s been a bit busy of late and wasn’t able to come on the show in time for our one-year anniversary. So, I got my black book out, and I think you’ll be rather pleased, because we’ve got the world’s number one business coach, Brad Sugars. We’re making conversations about taking action count!
So, what’s new, Wendy Woo? Well, thank you so much to all the listeners that keep tuning in on a regular basis and share the links with their friends and colleagues; it really does fill me up to know that the show and the team are in the top 100 in the charts. We’ve even been in the top 10s for Romania, and I think we were number 1 in Dominica at one point. So, it’s just fantastic that we are reaching all four corners of the globe.
But right now, I think it’s time for us to carry on celebrating our one-year anniversary and get back to that conversation with Brad. It’s lights, camera, action; it’s Brad Sugars!
Brad Sugars: Lights, camera, action, coach, yes!
Wendy Harris: Hey, you like what I did there? So, how is your morning routine, then, talks us through; how does Brad start his day?
Brad Sugars: I’m honestly dealing with the kids. So, as a father of five, two of them are in college, but the young ones still have to get to school, so it’s 6.45am, get the kids up, get them to school. Once the kids are in school, which is usually about 8.15am, I’ll work out, and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I’ll come into my office here at home and do some work; and the other days, I’ll generally do something else and enjoy myself!
Wendy Harris: When you’ve got five children and I’ve only got two, I can imagine that that’s enough to keep you busy.
Brad Sugars: The thing with kids is that as long as you’re proactive and you keep ahead of them, it’s pretty easy. The moment you fall behind, it’s pretty tough. I try to use an analogy of basketball in that, when you’ve got two parents with one child, it’s pretty easy, you can gang up on them, type thing, it’s two on one; then, when it’s two kids with two parents, it’s like okay, now you have to play man on man, it’s like a defensive strategy.
The moment you get three or more, you go to zone defence and it’s like, okay, where am I playing today?
Wendy Harris: All that you learned with those that are older at college, because I’ve got a big age gap between my two children. Meghan’s 27, she may be 28, I forget, I don’t want to admit how old I am; then the other one’s 13. So, people say to me, “What’s it like having such a big age gap, what’s the difference?” And it’s like, I had lots of energy the first time round and not many rules, and now I don’t have so much energy, there’s lots of rules. So, you’re perhaps on that spectrum somewhere between the two?
Brad Sugars: Yeah, I think having 19 down to 3, but also, the babies were born when the other kids were sort of 10, so they were a great help. I think the biggest difference between the first time round, first child, and then the fifth child, I think it’s just a lot easier with the fifth child, because you’re not panicked and worried like, “They did what? They fell? Yeah, that’s fine, it doesn’t matter. Did they die? No? Okay, all good”.
Wendy Harris: A good friend of mine, with her first, was obsessive with the cleaning up and the wipes and all of those sorts of things. Then she had the second and it was less so. And then, when she told me she was having her third, I said, “It will be the kitchen dishcloth you’ll be using next”, and she texted me one day and went, “Wendy, I’ve done it, I have sunk to that level”!
Brad Sugars: It’s like a lot of areas of life, where what we done when we’re first doing it, because you talk about money or business, why is your first business the hardest? Because you’re learning it while you’re doing it. Why is your first million the hardest? Because you’re learning it while you’re doing it. Why is your first child the hardest? I always joke with my friends that there’s a reason you get nine months’ pregnancy; it’s so you can get your head around the concept of, “Hang on, I’m going to be a parent? Okay, I’d better read some books on the subject then”.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, and they’re all liars!
Brad Sugars: What I’ve found, and this is books on any subject, if I can take away one or two good points, I’m pretty happy about it, it’s one of those things. It’s worth the time to get those one or two pointers. And I know, when I found out we were having twins, the first thing I did is went on Amazon and ordered half a dozen books on how to raise twins, because it was like, “Okay, I’ve never done this before”.
Wendy Harris: You’ve got to divide and conquer here?
Brad Sugars: Well, twins is both harder and easier. I found that there’s certain aspects of it where they just amuse each other and they keep each other amused. When you’ve got one child, it’s parental responsibility and amusement; so, yeah.
Wendy Harris: Family is all about action for you, and being a hands-on dad sounds to me like it’s really important for you. This is the same, whether it’s running your business; everything can be quite relentless when you’re in the thick of things, and I think sometimes we all forget about our mental wealth and looking after ourselves. You mention that you work out, which is good to keep your body in shape, but does that help your mindset as well?
Brad Sugars: Well, the mind, if you look at it, is multiple aspects to it. You’ve got to look at the chemical makeup of your body, which working out does a great deal. I mean, just your gut health alone affects your happiness levels from serotonin. So for me, it’s about five things.
Number one is keeping physical health. If you’ve got physical health, mental health is much easier, because I went through a period of depressive episodes, not actual depression, after Route 91, where my wife and I were both in that mass shooting, and I had to go and see a therapist for PTSD. And I think that the physical, when I stopped working out and stopped exercising, it was much harder for the brain to be in a good space when it’s not getting oxygen and it’s not getting blood flow.
The second thing then is the eating well. You’ve got to eat well to have good physical health. So, eat, water. I get two of these bottles every single day on my desk and they have my name on it and the date, so I have to drink them before lunch. The third thing about mental health is to always be learning, always keep new knowledge coming in; because, if there’s new knowledge then there’s hope, if there’s new knowledge then there’s brightness of the future. When we don’t have new knowledge and all we’re doing is watching Netflix or some stupid TV show or YouTube stuff or TikToks, there’s no brightness of the future, there’s no ability to see what the next phase of life is.
When I put together my 30X Life programme, teaching people the life skills and life success formulas, because life doesn’t come with a manual, it comes with a mother or a mentor. I love my mum, but she couldn’t teach me life success principles, because she never learned them. So, you’ve got to find a mentor who can help you understand what it takes for that. So, new knowledge is a big part of it.
The fourth thing, I think, for mental health is making sure that you’re around the right people. Too often, when someone is in a negative place, they hang out with other people who will collude with them and allow them to —
Wendy Harris: They feed off each other, don’t they?
Brad Sugars: Yeah. Well, it’s like you’re feeding them or you’re allowing them or you’re accepting their negative behaviours, and to me that’s a very big part of it. The other thing is, you’ve got to have something from a work or a charitable perspective or something where you’re giving. If you want good mental health, you’ve got to be giving. You can’t just be receiving for good mental health; you’ve got to be doing something that serves others, not just you. So, doing that charitable work, doing all of those things is a big part of it.
It took me a while to get through all of that and learn that from the darkness side of it of the old, “Why did I survive?” and all that survivor syndrome. There’s so many things that you have to go through to understand it, and it brings up so many other things and makes it in your face. But I think, for human beings, we need to understand that unless we were magically given the manual of life on day one, we need to find a mentor to take us through that and educate us as to what does life look like and how do we have a successful life.
Wendy Harris: You’ve just made me remember something that I was talking about earlier with a fellow BNI colleague, and they were saying how they feel about what they do, they’re really passionate about it; I understand, you know. And we came out with this statement, which is that everybody ought to want to do a good job. However, for me, doing a good job is something that I’m then proud of, I can be proud of what it is that I’m doing, so it doesn’t matter if it’s today, or when I’m not even here, and it’s kind of that legacy of what you leave behind.
What advice would you give, Brad, to somebody who’s looking at doing something that they can be proud of, because they’re not necessarily in that place right now?
Brad Sugars: Well, you’ve got to go back to the three main levels of goal setting and the three main levels in life. So, your first level of goal setting is negative or away goals, meaning, “I want to get away from a negative”. So, “I don’t want to be overweight, I don’t want to be broke, I don’t want to be in a bad relationship, I don’t want to be working 80 hours a week”.
The first layer of goal setting for humans is generally a negative level. Now, that’s inspiring for about a day and it motivates you; and the problem with it is that, “I don’t want to be working 80 hours a week, I don’t want to be working 80 hours a week”, eventually people give up and just go, “Oh, to heck with it, I have to work 80 hours a week”. They expect the negative.
Wendy Harris: It ruminates, doesn’t it?
Brad Sugars: Yeah. So, for me, my lesson on that was, I was 13 years of age and we moved from Darwin in Australia to Adelaide and in Darwin, kids didn’t even wear shoes to school. In most of the cases, you wore a pair of shorts and a T-shirt. Adelaide, it’s long trousers and a button-down shirt. I found it hard to fit in, especially because I’d aged myself here. The cool thing at the time was Levi’s 501 jeans.
Wendy Harris: I’ve still got mine, Brad!
Brad Sugars: And so, my mum didn’t buy those for us. We got corduroy jeans from Kmart.
Wendy Harris: The market store.
Brad Sugars: I don’t know if you’ve ever worn corduroy pants, but when your legs rub together, it makes that sound!
Wendy Harris: You could start a fire!
Brad Sugars: Yeah! Well, I ended up in a fight with some kid who was making fun of me for my pants, and into the principal’s office, and my mother brings me home, she’s yelling at me and the old, “Wait till your father — go to your bedroom”. I found her scissors in the sewing kit and cut those jeans up, because that was the thing, and I vowed and declared on that day to never not have money for myself to buy things.
Such a negative experience turned into me deciding that I wanted to be wealthy, that I wanted to always have money. That was 13 where I made that negative goal. It wasn’t until I was 16 and started studying, I won the Rotary Youth Leadership award in my area, and they sent me away for a week’s long training on how to be a leader and how to be successful at 16, which was, by the way, why I started the ActionCOACH Foundation. If any young people aged 12 to 22 and you’re a student, you can get all of my teaching for free through the foundation.
So, at 16, Jim Rohn taught me a very different thing. He said, “You want to set positive goals”; that’s layer two of goals, is how to do that positive. Now, the challenge with what you’re asking about legacy, Wendy, is that until people have fulfilled a lot of their positive goals, as in having the house or having the car or the relationship or the travel or the experiences that they want, it’s very difficult to move them to legacy phase, where they’re thinking about doing something for the world or something for others, or something that will leave a legacy in their world.
But when we each them about legacy, it’s easy for them to find, because a great mentor of mine once said to me, “You’ll only ever be as big as your competition”. That’s why, for ActionCOACH, we wrote the vision of World Abundance Through Business Re-education. So, our competition is an abundant world and to me, that is what I’m fighting for every day, and that’s why I love coming on your podcast, and that’s why I love teaching and educating, because it’s really important for that.
But ultimately, when you want to leave a legacy, you’ve got to look at three main aspects of what it is. Number one, what are you good at? Number two, what brings you joy? Because, if you’re good at it and it brings you joy, then number three, how can you financially afford to do that? In some cases, you’ve got to make a ton of money elsewhere to be able to do the thing that you want to do; and in many other cases, you can afford to do it by doing what you love.
For me, I love business coaching, so I’ve built ActionCOACH into an organisation that has more than 1,000 offices in 83 countries, doing hundreds of millions of dollars a year. That adds value to the business owners we coach, but it also allows me to build my foundation and do my work where all my coaches in the world also coach charitable organisations for free. Every coach has part of our Coaching for a Cause programme. It allows me to do online trainings, where I sell them for $99 a piece where they should be $10,000, based on the value of the information. But because of what I’ve done over there, I can afford to do all of that sort of stuff, either a totally different either free, or very, very cheap for people to allow them to get my knowledge and apply it to their life.
I leave a legacy by educating, I think; that’s sort of the thing. I like the idea of learn, earn, return. So, you’ve got to learn first. That allows you to earn and then you can return it back and do well with what you’ve done.
Wendy Harris: That’s a new phrase on me, Brad, and I know most of them, so I’ve been educated. And I think you’re right though, it’s relative, the cost of anything, because we only know what we know by the questions we ask, or the experiences that we’ve been through. So, the cost to somebody who’s maybe starting out and would struggle to find $99 is only relative to the big organisation that’s maybe got 1,000 staff and turning over millions of dollars. So, I think that there are weights and measures in place that you are looking to kind of even that balance for everybody.
Brad Sugars: Yeah, absolutely. And for me, as a young man, I remember working my tail off, just to get $20 to buy the next book, as a 14-, 15-year-old kid, trying to find that next book, reading Think and Grow Rich, reading The Richest Man in Babylon, reading How to Win Friends and Influence People, Jim Rohn’s books. And doing those things, I still remember, at 16-and-a-half, when I had to make enough money to go and see Jim Rohn at the Brisbane City Town Hall, and it was $595. I called up and asked for a child scholarship from the salesperson, or whoever answered the phone and they said, “Son, we don’t get away tickets, and you’ll learn as much from making the money to be here as you will out of being here”, and he was right.
I knuckled down and it was $595 and at 16, that was basically everything I could muster. But I paid for it and I went to that event and I took the notes, and here I am today, many years later. I’m now 50, I’m happy to admit, halfway through.
Wendy Harris: Me too; welcome to the 50 club! I’ve been in it for a couple of weeks now. I’m still celebrating!
Brad Sugars: Still celebrating? Celebrations are a very important part of success.
Wendy Harris: Absolutely.
Brad Sugars: So, if we don’t celebrate it, we don’t get more of it. If you’re not grateful for what you’ve got, don’t expect more. We see that with all areas of life; people are not grateful enough for what they already have and they expect more, or they’re not responsible with money. If you’re not taking care of your money and you’re making $50,000 a year, what makes you think you’ll be blessed with $500,000 a year. Be responsible.
Wendy Harris: That’s true!
Brad Sugars: If you don’t take care of the small amounts, the big amounts will never be given to you; no one will trust you with that. The universe won’t trust you with massive amounts of money if you’re not responsible with small amounts of money.
Wendy Harris: I think that’s true in what you were saying about doing the thing that you love, or that you’re good at, that sometimes you do have to work at another job to be creative, because it’s never going to be a monetary thing; and that levelling up from here to legacy is often, yeah, they’re not doing what it is that they love and there’s too much anchorage around the materialistic.
Brad Sugars: Or, Wendy, you can learn how to make what you love into a business. I’ve coached many, many people through doing exactly that. One of my friends who loved rally car driving and thought that was a hobby, I said, “Well, hang on. How do you create that into a business? Do people want to come and sit in a rally car and be driven around racetracks? Yes, people would pay a lot of money to do that”.
Wendy Harris: Oh, yeah!
Brad Sugars: People would pay money to learn how to drive a rally car; people could pay a lot of money for that. My eldest daughter right now, she loves photography and she’s at college and she’s studying business, but she’s also minoring in photography. I said, “Well, how do you make money out of photography?” I happen to have a very good friend who’s one of the highest-paid photographers in the world, Peter Lik, who does amazing photographic art. You sit down and you say, “Look at what Peter’s doing. He’s doing 100 million a year in sales from photography. Start just thinking, you know, think of it from a business perspective, think of how you can add value, where do people want to pay it?”
She got her first paid photography gig, so she’s very excited. 19, in college, getting her first paid photography gig and, yeah, everyone has an ability to do it. The challenge though, Wendy, is most people aren’t willing to learn. The hardest work for success in life is the learning work; it’s not the doing work that’s hard. Working 60 hours a week, 40 hours a week, 80 hours a week, that’s not hard. It is hard, but it’s not as hard as doing the learning and growing. The growth of a human being is difficult.
I tried to explain this to some young people in our foundation a few months back, and what I tried to show them was that, “Listen, when you set a goal, you’re not capable of achieving that goal, but you’re capable of growing into the person who can achieve that goal”. I remember at 16 years of age, when I met Jim Rohn, saying to myself, “I’m going to retire by 25”, because retirement’s not a function of age, it’s a function of finances. So, being financially in a position to retire is very different to being the age of retirement. So, I didn’t ever want to need to retire, I wanted to be able to retire.
I told this to one of my friends who told it to his dad, who was an engineer for the city council. He happened to sit us both down and explain to us how it’s not possible to retire at 25, how that didn’t happen and it couldn’t happen and it definitely wouldn’t happen for you.
Wendy Harris: It’s like the careers advisor, isn’t it, saying, “Well, son, I think you need to lower your expectations”.
Brad Sugars: Yeah, the lower your expectations is a global thing right now. It’s like, “Oh, no, there’s not supply chain issues, you’re just being a Karen”. “What? No, there’s supply chain issues; face it, it’s the way the world is!” But I still remember when I set that goal at 16 of retiring at 25, my friend’s dad was technically correct. Me at 16 years of age couldn’t achieve that goal. I had to grow into my goals.
When people actually understand that your job is to grow into the person that will achieve your goals, then they start achieving their goals. Your growth is the only limiting factor on your goals, and your lack of knowledge and your lack of skills is what’s contributing. If you could have achieved your goal, you would have already done it, because you’d have had the knowledge.
So, I’m very clear in my teachings that, when you build your dreams, you turn them into goals; and from your goals, you decide your learning. A goal is a way of saying, “Okay, I want to have this. Okay, great, then I need to study this”. You want happiness? Study happiness. You want to have wealth? Study wealth. You want to be successful in sales? Study sales. If you don’t study it, you can’t expect to be good at it.
I coached my oldest daughter when she played soccer, I was coaching a soccer team. I think it was the under-11s or under-10s team.
Wendy Harris: Not the most competitive dad on the sideline!
Brad Sugars: You know, my wife made me become the coach, because that way I could yell and not be told off for yelling at the kids!
Wendy Harris: Red card!
Brad Sugars: She actually became the referee so she could red card me if she wanted to! But when I was teaching this young girl, we were teaching laces kicks. All the kids try and kick with their toes at the beginning; then you teach the inside of the foot, then you’ve got to teach the top of the foot. Well, I sent them all to the fence and said, “Okay, go and do 100 kicks like this and come back and tell me when you finished if you got better”. She did 5 and came back and said, “Coach, I’m no good at those”. I said, “Great, do 95 more and come back and tell me if you got better”.
You see, people expect to be good at things that they haven’t done. Like, someone says to me, “I’m no good at sales”, “Oh, really, how many sales calls have you made?” “I’ve made four or five”. “Okay”.
Wendy Harris: I’m sorry, that tickles me with what I do.
Brad Sugars: I’m pretty sure I was no good at sales until I did 1,000 sales calls. And then you ask, “How many books on sales have you read?” “I haven’t read any books on sales”. “How many sales training courses have you attended?” “None”. How can you expect to be good at something if you’ve not done any reading, studying, training, mentoring? You’ve got to learn before you earn, is probably the simplest way to put that.
Wendy Harris: Certainly, I’ve been picking up the phone since I was 17. So, we did a quick calculation that I’ve got to be nearly approaching 2 million calls, and I’m still learning and I’m still reading. I’m teaching, but I still learn from my students too.
Brad Sugars: When you teach, you have to actually in your brain — when I write all of these books, I have to mentally go back and deconstruct how I do things, and that’s why teaching is so important, because you mentally deconstruct. That’s why everything I teach, I break down into very simplistic formulas, the formulaic approach that someone can understand in five minutes and then teach it to others. Because, if someone understands the formulaic approach, then it makes it simple.
One of my old accountants used to joke with me. He said, “Your last name should be Sucrose, not Sugars, because you’re a simple Sugars!” Yes, everything’s got to be boiled down to the easy. That’s why, I remember when I wanted to become a teacher, I studied teaching. And Einstein said, “If you can’t teach it simply enough, you don’t know it well enough to be a teacher of it”; that’s paraphrasing, of course.
Wendy Harris: Yeah.
Brad Sugars: When I sat with him I said, “Yeah, everything has to be made simple so that people can understand it quickly”. I remember going to college and at university thinking, “Hang on, they’ve overcomplicated this”.
Wendy Harris: Yes, “If I was five years old, would I understand?”
Brad Sugars: Yeah, but it’s like, “Hang on, are you guys trying to make yourselves look smart by making this complex?” Yes, that’s exactly what they were doing.
Wendy Harris: That’s basically just described the people that try to rule the world, isn’t it?
Brad Sugars: Oh, let’s not get into the whole political spectrum! You look at the pandemic we’ve just been through and take out the fact that it is a human tragedy, because I’m not an expert in that side, I’m an expert in the business and financial side of it, it’s been one of the most unique economic downturns of all time, because we’ve only had one-third of businesses go under, we’ve had a third of businesses able to virtualise and stay in business, and we’ve had a third of businesses that are absolutely booming. Now, it’s not exactly a third, a third, a third, but it’s around that.
Wendy Harris: No, but it’s there or thereabouts.
Brad Sugars: And you’ve also had more economic stimulus put into the world during this time than we’ve ever seen historically, so it’s kind of a very unique situation that we’re going through financially and I love studying it and watching how it plays out. So, I’m a little concerned with inflation at the moment, and the inflation rates are going to be very, very high coming very soon.
Wendy Harris: I think you could be predicting similar to what we predict on our sofa when we’re watching the news too. I’m just going to rewind a little bit, Brad, and take you back to trying to explain to those children about learning and growing into yourself, because as you were talking, I sometimes get these creative ideas in my head, and this is kind of how I explain it to my 13-year-old, who sits there with her phone like this.
I said to her, you know, I want to see what it is that she’s been on. You can see the screen time, but you can also see what apps she’s been on as well. I basically say to her, “You’re always going to be my 7-year-old if these are the apps that you’re looking at, TikTok, Instagram”, rubbish basically, or non-educational; even though she would say, “Oh, I heard this interesting fact today”, “Oh, where did you hear that?” “TikTok”. It’s not strictly true.
I said to her, “You’re learning”, which is sort of what you were explaining. It’s a bit like, if you drain your battery on your phone and you charge it up, the next day that you drain your battery, what are you filling yourself up with, because if you, yourself, as a vessel, is layers of learning and knowledge, finding out about things, then it’s going to take a long time and lots of battery charges to get to where you need to. That has changed her way of thinking in terms of how much she uses her phone and what she uses it for.
Brad Sugars: Yeah, I’m very clear that social media is here to stay, so what I try and do with my students and my own kids is I look at, who are you following on this? Because you can use social media. If people follow me on social media, they’re getting great, new knowledge every day of their entire life. If people follow “silly cat lady”, they’re getting no value in their life. There can be a lot of value if you’re following the right people on social media and learning from the right people.
I know when I put out videos on Instagram or on Facebook or LinkedIn, or put things up on Pinterest or YouTube and all those sorts of things, it’s serious value. The people I follow on Instagram, I can go on Instagram and walk away booming and feeling great about myself, because I’ve just watched two speeches and read ten memes that, you know, great affirmative stuff.
Wendy Harris: Fill you up, yeah.
Brad Sugars: So, be clear on the fact that the thing itself is not a negative; how it’s used can definitely be a negative for a lot of people.
Wendy Harris: Absolutely right. Now, Brad, I was talking to one of your action coaches recently, and I let slip that I was going to be talking to you. Conversation’s at the heart of everything that we do, because it’s all about communication and getting that message across in our learnings and teachings, and what have you. And I said to Julie, what should I ask Brad that would be interesting for people that maybe don’t know too much about ActionCOACH, and here’s what she said. I’m to ask you, “What’s a WIFLE, whoosh and stretch?”
Brad Sugars: So, all three of those things are rituals. So, when you’re building an organisation, when you’re building a team, and even a family, if you want a team to stay together and build its culture, you need to build rituals into it. So, a WIFLE for us is how we start a meeting, and it’s called What I Feel Like Expressing. So, everyone in the room says what they feel like expressing. It brings everybody present, it brings everybody into that current space.
A whoosh is at the end of a learning session. It’s a move that’s developed from Tai chi. In Tai chi, the meaning of the move is to let go of what we need to let go of, and lock in what we need to lock in. Now, we don’t do it in Tai chi, where it’s a very graceful, very slow and beautiful move; we just do it as a whoosh and we say that, but it locks in and gives us that. And, what was the third one?
Wendy Harris: The stretch.
Brad Sugars: So, at the start of a learning segment, we do a stretch. We stretch up and over and back and forward, and it’s stretch the body before you stretch the mind, and it tells people that we’re now going into a learning environment, so stretch, sit and be ready. But the whole concept of rituals, and by the way, I spell rituals, R-I-C-H, not R-I-T, because habits are things that form without proactivity. Habits are generally a reactive thing that forms.
Richuals are things where you proactively decide, “Okay, a richual of mine is that I’m going to wake up every morning and read half and hour”.
Wendy Harris: It is actually, yeah!
Brad Sugars: But these are richuals, these are things where you have proactively decided to do these things in order to build yourself or build your world or create a better space for yourself. So, that’s what the three of those things are, richuals to create a better world for our team.
Wendy Harris: How fantastic that you’ve created something that actually anchors the brain into that learning. So, Brad, I ask everybody that comes on the show to share a conversation that created a turning point for them in their life or their career, and this is something that we haven’t spoken about before. That’s what I always love about this segment. So, what are you going to share with us today?
Brad Sugars: I’m going to go back to Jim Rohn, who I mentioned earlier. At the end of that event at 16 years of age, I went down to Mr Rohn to have him sign my notes and he’d taught two things during the day that really stood out to me. The first of those were, “Never wish your life were easier; wish that you were better”. And then the second thing was, “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job”. So, if I keep working on me, I would get better, therefore life would get easier. If I get better at sales, sales gets easier; if I get better at marketing, marketing gets easier; all the different aspects to it.
As I had him sign my notes, I said, “Mr Rohn, is there anything you can tell me as a young man that will guarantee my success?” He said, “It’s very simple, young man. Read a book a week for the rest of your life”; not a month or every two months or every two weeks, it’s a book a week for the rest of your life, so I started doing it. I’m now thousands of books in and these days, I can almost do a book a day, and I’ve found a little app, called Headway, that gives me book summaries of all the best books in the world. So, in 20 minutes, I can listen to an entire book, or a summary of an entire book.
So, I sit down and I go back to that point of Mr Rohn giving me that insight into, if I read a book a week for the rest of my life, I’m guaranteed to be successful; because if you go 10 years a book a week, that’s 520 books. Now, you think about the knowledge acquisition in 10 years of 520 books. You can’t have a less successful life if you’ve read 520 books about success or money or business, or just any of that.
That’s why, when I built my 30X, I have three programmes that I teach now, and they’re all online programmes. It’s 30 minutes a day for 30 days, and that’s why it’s called 30X; so, you’re 30 times your knowledge in 30 minutes a day for 30 days: 30X Business, Life and Wealth. So, I take the three main functions of creating success. Go to Life, understand all the life success principles; understand the business success principles; and the wealth success principles.
I think it’s important for businesspeople and people that want to be in business, just anyone, to study, and that’s where Mr Rohn changed the course of my life, I think. I remember at 31, I actually got to be on stage with him, I was his opening act. Sydney Convention Centre, 5,000 people, and I remember showing him my notes from when I was 16, and he said, “Wow, these are great notes. Please call me, Jim” and I said, “Yes, Mr Rohn”. Some people earn that right; it’s definitely Mr Rohn for me.
Wendy Harris: I mean, he is an incredible human being, isn’t he, for the lives that he touches and the wisdom that he shares. Clearly, he has made a big impact on you for what you and what you do, for you to be where you are now as well. And, wow, thanks, Mr Rohn!
Brad Sugars: The ripple effect is large!
Wendy Harris: Absolutely, absolutely right. So, I’m a bit of a book addict. The podcast has one of my bookshelves on there as recommended reading, because like you, if you don’t read, it’s all about lots of different perspectives, because you might not get it from one person, but you might layer up and understand more. You mentioned, I think, life, business and wealth is your 30X?
Brad Sugars: Yeah, they’re the three main areas that I like to teach on.
Wendy Harris: Do you cover that yourself in a book, in one of your own?
Brad Sugars: All my books are really on business and wealth. I’m thinking I should really start writing some books on life, but I put it all into a — what I wanted to do was to make sure that all of the things that I teach were in one place, because you never know when it’s going to be your time. So, when I hit 50, I decided I’m going to put everything I teach into one place, and put it all there online and allow people all around the world to learn it.
Wendy Harris: It’s a magic number, that 50. I know that I was watching it a few years out getting ever closer and I made a very conscious decision of what it was that I — I wanted to be the person that I’m going to be by then, and I had to turn the tap on a little earlier than the 50, because it just doesn’t happen when you wake up in the morning. So, keep learning.
Do you know, I could carry on talking to you forever, I think, Brad. I think we’ve got lots and lots more nuggets that we could share, but maybe we’ll do it again, hey?
Brad Sugars: The next time we chat, we should do business; and then the time after that, we should do wealth. But that way, we can have all three subjects on podcast and have it saved for posterity. That’s the greatest thing about what this virtual world has allowed us to do. You’ll have people watching this podcast in India and watching it from South America, or from wherever they are.
Wendy Harris: Yeah, from Romania.
Brad Sugars: And this knowledge base can get through. I remember in 2008, when we hit a negative economy worldwide, I basically started travelling the world and just started teaching and I think for that year, I spent $1 million and got to about 180,000 business owners that year, teaching them how to survive the economic downturn.
Well, with this pandemic, in the first six months, I reached 500 million people from right here at the desk of my house. I literally recorded everything here and just kept teaching and teaching. That’s why, if someone jumps on my YouTube channel, they’ll see tons of hours of video that they can sit and watch and learn it all, because it just had to be done, and my action coaches helped literally hundreds of thousands of businesses owners survive this thing, by giving our time for free, because that’s what the economies of the world needed. Lots of fun!
Wendy Harris: No point keeping it all to yourself!
Brad Sugars: By the way, for those of you watching Wendy’s podcast for the first time, hit the subscribe button. She keeps doing this all the time and has some amazing content. Make sure you subscribe; don’t just listen to one.
Wendy Harris: Thank you very much, Brad. I’ve gone all goosebumps for that! It’s been an absolute blast. It’s time for us to do the wrap-up and we’ll make sure every way of getting in touch with you and your ActionCOACH team is in the show notes. I can’t thank you enough for your time. Have a fabulous day with the family.
Brad Sugars: Thank you, Wendy, looking forward to it. Bye for now.
Wendy Harris: Now, I hope that you took lots away from that. The offer will be in the show notes and it will be on our website, www.makingconversationscount.com. There’s absolutely stacks of things that you can learn just by tuning into Brad’s YouTube channel. Make sure you subscribe, because he is constantly adding to that back catalogue and library of lessons.
But really, what I want to know is, will you be using the stretch, WIFLE and whoosh for your meetings? Drop me a line and let me know. Next week, we’re going to be getting it right with video, because we’re making conversations about video count with Simon Banks.
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