Pulling Profits Out Of A Hat Book Launch with Brad Sugars
Brad Sugars and Brett AlegreWood discuss Brad’s new book – Pulling Profits Out Of A Hat.
Limited until the 19April – Buy the book and Brad is throwing in his special offer to his clients that is Lifetime access to his Profit Masters course which consists of over 70 hours of video, checklists, audios, valued at $997 it’s yours Free. Cheers Brad for the offer.
Simply Click this special link – https://www.gladfish.com/pulling-profits-out-of-a-hat-book-review-brad-sugars/.
Brett: Cool. Hey guys, I’m really excited this morning. I’m here with Brad Sugars, a mate of mine for over 25 years. In fact, I’ve known Brad since the start of ActionCOACHing, or what was Action International way back.
Brad: I’m not that old. You might be that old, I’m not that old.
Brett: It’s certainly been a while. It’s gone quickly, I have to say. It’s amazing to see somebody go from where they and where you are now, and having seen you right at the start, because even before ActionCOACHing I knew you.
Brad: Neither of us had much fun back in those days. We never went for a beer or anything. You know why time has flown for us, mate? Because we run our own business, and we’ve all got lots of kids. You’re at four, I’m at five. It doesn’t stand still in that way, especially as entrepreneurs. I was quoted about a year ago by Richard Branson saying, “We entrepreneurs are the crazy people who will work 80 hours a week so we don’t have to do 40 for someone else.”
Brett: So true, isn’t it?
Brad: Which is the exact opposite of me, though. I work 12 hours a week. It’s kind of funny that way.
Brett: I think, to be fair, you’ve put the hours in previously to get where you are. I think anyone that thinks they’re gonna get off easy and have this Amazon business on their first try, and they may well do it, but it’ll be a gamble, a roll of the dice rather than a methodology, and I guess that leads nicely onto what we’re talking about today, which is your new book: Pulling Profits Out of a Hat.
Brad: Yeah. Book number 17. There’s the older ones up there. There’s 16 already, and actually here’s number 17: Pulling Profits Out of a Hat.
Brett: Looking forward to getting ahold of it, actually.
Brett: That’s out Monday, and so I thought I’d grab you and just talk me through what the book is about, because one thing I’ve always admired about your business, and I had the pleasure of speaking at one of your global conferences a couple years back, and the way you go about coaching is you systemise. The whole thing is about setting up systems, so that you don’t have to work 80 hours a week continuously, and the business doesn’t own you, effectively, and the thing I loved about the systems, and the other side was the passionate people. You’ve got over a thousand offices, 88 countries?
Brad: Yeah, we just opened Russia. That’s country number 88.
Brett: Yeah. 88. That’s impressive, and that would have to make you, I think you’re the largest coaching, and even if you’re not.
Brad: Yeah, we are the behemoth, we are the biggest in the world. Over a thousand offices. We’re the biggest in the world. Number one in the game, and we started the game, so we should be, too. If we practice what we preach, then absolutely we should be on the ball, and that’s what was interesting. I was chatting with someone the other day, and I was telling them about an award we just won and that sort of stuff, and they’re like, “That’s really great.”
Brad: I said, “No, no. Check your coaching company. If your business coach isn’t winning awards in normal business awards, not just business coaching awards, but normal stuff, then you probably should be a little bit worried.”
Brett: This is one thing that you guys, not only did you set up the industry, but you really have led that industry as well, and one of the challenges I have with the whole business coaching right now is it’s sort of gone the way of life coaching where it’s almost the fashion of the day and everyone thinks they’re a business coach, but obviously we don’t.
Brad: 25 years ago, almost 26 years ago now, when I first started this thing, it was August 26 years ago, I sat down and I had to explain to people, because I don’t know if you ever remember Trout and Ries, 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing, and a lot of it still applies today, and one of them was “If you can’t be number one or number two in a category, invent a new category.”
Brad: I said, “I can’t be a biggest business consulting company,” and what happened was a lot of people were asking me for help, and I didn’t have the time, because I was running my own businesses as well as doing speaking, because when you’re young and successful people ask you to speak, and so I said to them, “Listen, call me once a week and I’ll coach you through it.”
Brad: And magically by that silly statement I created this whole business and therefore a whole profession, and you asked me to talk about the book, I’ll get back to the book in a moment, but interestingly enough, and as you know building a business, it’s not the easiest road in the world. It’s sometimes the hardest, sometimes the loneliest road in the world, but what we discovered over many years of coaching business owners, 25+ now, is that there’s a systematic methodology to do that, and that’s why, if I come back to the book, I was sitting at lunch with a mate of mine, and sorry if I sound both Australian and American everyone. I’m Australian but I married an American and I’ve lived here for a long time, and he says to me, “It just seems like magic, the way these companies like IKEA and Amazon and Apple and all these, it just seems like magic how they make a bunch of money.”
Brad: And I sat there, I said, “No, it’s not magic. It’s a systematic methodology.”
Brad: And that’s why I did it. It’s not pulling a rabbit out of a hat, or you don’t pull profits out of a hat, it’s not that, it’s there is a secret to exponential growth in business. It’s not really a secret now, because it’s in the book, but what I did was I sat down and I said, “Let me look at our clients who are growing exponentially.”
Brad: In other words, year on year, multiplied growth, and consistent year on year, not just did it one year and then plateaued, or dipped type thing, but consistent, and there’s five core disciplines that we go through and that we’ve been coaching them in, and that we use to help them get that level of results, and the five disciplines are; Strategy, Business Development, People, Execution, and Mission. All five of these need to prevalent, and we call them disciplines because it’s not, “Hey, I did that once,” it’s a discipline.
Brad: Your business must be disciplined in all five areas to the highest degree if you want exponential growth. If you want to scale fast, you’ve gotta have all five disciplines working strong.
Brett: I talk about it all the time. I think discipline is the biggest missing thing in any business. We talk about systems, you can set up a system, but if you’re not disciplined enough to continue applying it then you’re not gonna get a result from it.
Brad: I always struggle. People often ask me, “Why do businesses fail?”
Brad: And I always have the same answer, and it’s, “They didn’t know what they were doing.”
Brad: And people say, “But they’re very smart people.”
Brad: I said, “Yeah, but the one area that they failed in, they didn’t know what they were doing.”
Brad: And this is where business is a consistent learning thing. The hardest part of business isn’t the doing, the hardest part is the learning. It’s like, why’s your first million the hardest? Because you gotta learn how to do it, and if you’ve never run a business doing hundreds of millions a year, you’ve never run a business doing hundreds of millions a year. Once a year I invite 10 businesses to Vegas, I sit down with them a week and teach them how to go to a billion, and they just sit there, and they go, “I would never have thought of it that way.”
Brad: And I said, “That’s right. You know why? Because you’ve never done it before.”
Brad: It’s interesting, mate, because I still own nine companies, or own major shares of nine companies, and I sit back and I look at them, and I’ve built them, as you can tell by my really high corporate appearance, I’m involved. I get involved once a month. I’m in my board meetings with them. My CEOs do a great job, but I’ve built the business so that it works so that I don’t have to. I built the business to scale, and that’s where I don’t care if you’re an executive in the largest banking organization in the world, or the largest corporate structure, or you’re a brand new self-employed person, if you don’t understand the recipe for business success, you don’t understand it, and that’ll take you down.
Brett: I think one of the challenges that I have, too, is you get these books which, no disrespect to the four-hour work week, but it’s almost sells people that business is done in four hours, and it can be, and all respect to you because you can do it that way now, but I know the work you’ve put in over the years, and the ups and downs along the way, because it’s always an adventure.
Brad: Do you remember the beginning when it was the four-hour work hour? You had to do four hours work in one hour?
Brad: I still remember, mate, when you came into my office on 303 Coronation Drive, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. It was Milton, I think it was. We couldn’t afford the big rents, mate, and I still remember sitting there in that business, and I’d slept in that office three, four nights a week. That’s what it took in the beginning, but I didn’t know what I didn’t know back then, and that’s where I think a lot of business people, especially corporate executives, mate. The biggest challenge for a corporate exec is to just to admit, “Holy shit, I should read something.” Sorry about that, “But is should actually read and learn more.”
Brad: I go back to coaching. I said something before I think’s really important. Coaching started out as a “What’s that? It’s like consulting.”
Brad: Then it went to “You’re failing, you should probably get a coach.”
Brad: To now it’s like, I was sitting with an exec from a very large corporate the other day, CEO in fact, and he said, “Listen, I got these five guys that I think are gonna go somewhere, can you get them a coach for me?”
Brad: And that’s where I think we’ve flipped from, “I don’t know if you need a coach,” to “Hey, I need to invest in my best people so that they’re getting coaches,” or “I own the business.”
Brad: Actually, I’ll flip that around. I was sitting with an entrepreneur the other week at lunch, it was a friend of my wife’s, and he said, “I don’t think I need a business coach.”
Brad: I said, “Really? Who’s your biggest competitor?”
Brad: And he said, “This bloke.”
Brad: I said, “Great. Give me his phone number.”
Brad: And he looked at me like I was an idiot, and I said, “No, no, no. Give me his phone number. I’m gonna call him and coach him.”
Brad: He said, “You don’t wanna coach him. Why would you coach him?”
Brad: I said, “Well, you don’t want it, so I may as well coach him.”
Brad: This is what people don’t understand, that there’s an unfair advantage to having an expert on your team who knows how to grow business. And they’re not really even on your team.
Brett: I think one of the challenges with entrepreneurs and leaders is, it’s almost like to get to the top we’ve gotta fake it until we make it, so we act as if we know everything, but it’s almost like you’ve gotta flip that around at some point and go, “You know what? There’s so much I don’t know.”
Brett: Because with disruption and changes, and all these things that are happening in the market, so much is changing, and I find that I’m consuming more now in terms of learning more and educating myself more than I probably ever was before.
Brad: That’s where you get to what is the CEOs job? What is the job of a CEO? And these days I’m the chairman of the company, I’m not even the CEO, but in my books the CEO has two real jobs. One is recruiting, and the other guiding is in where we’re going, and you can’t guide us in where you’re going or come up with new strategy unless you got new ideas, and you’re not gonna get new ideas reading the same old stuff, and that’s why even just listening to us chat here today, I would imagine that we’re sparking ideas for people on different things, and that’s why sitting and listening, audiobooks, this, that, you name it, reading the good old hardback. This is the heaviest book I’ve ever written. 370-odd pages, and because there’s so much to take in I went with a full color print run, because trying to help people understand the five disciplines and how they all work together, and who are the five constituents, and how do you satisfy the constituents like the shareholders, the team, all of that sort of stuff, the community, because you have to satisfy the needs of all the stakeholders, all the constituents as well as take care of the five areas of business, in order for the business to have sustained consistent exponential growth, and that to me is a big part of it.
Brad: I think that it’s really easy, mate, to sit back on the sidelines, and as much as I love reading books I love writing them more for one reason, because all I do I write what I do. I don’t write theory, I don’t write what I think might work, I write what I actually do. That’s why all my books, people love them when they read them because they go, “You made it seem so simple.”
Brad: And that’s where Einstein, you remember Einstein’s quote on that? “If you can’t make it simple, you better not being teaching it.”
Brad: Something along those lines.
Brett: On those constituents point, I think it’s really important, because we’ve been told for many years, the customer’s always right, and it’s almost like this focus on customer, but now you realise that actually that was a bit of a ruse. There’s a truth in that, but actually there’s so many other stakeholders or constituents, as you call them, in a business you need to address.
Brad: If you’re not addressing the staff, you don’t have any customers. It’s pretty simple that way. If you’re not addressing the shareholders, you don’t have anything because they’re pulling the money out, they’re out of there. If you don’t address the community, the community has to be taken care of, and the CEO, the leader of the company, these are certain things that we have to understand, and the relationship between them and the success of a business is quite phenomenal. When you look at the mission of a business and its relationship with the constituents being community and staff, you have to understand that without that, those two constituents can’t buy into the success of your company, and when they can’t buy into the success, it’s like I talk about mission, and let me go into a little bit of details what I mean by mission, I use the word love associated with mission. Do people love coming to work for you, and do people love buying from you? Not like, not “Gee, it’s good. It’s convenient,” or, “They do a good job,” or “They’re okay, I don’t hate them.”
Brad: Do they love buying from you? Do they love coming to work? Because without that engaged workforce, which today you look at the statistics, we have the worst engagement of employees in the history of employees that there is. People go, “That’s the millennials.”
Brad: It’s not the millennials. Every generation, I had someone who’s a friend of mine. He grew up in the 60s complaining to me about millennials the other day. I said, “Are you for real? What did anyone say about your generation back in the day? Come on, let’s be honest about this stuff.”
Brad: I know my generation, you and me, parents weren’t complaining that we were too lazy, wanted it all now, and didn’t wanna work hard. Every generation says this about the following one. It comes down to great management. I did a speech in Dublin, which was bloody funny, mate. You’d laugh at this. The person before me was Lady Michelle Mone, and she’s a member of the house, and after me was Sir Richard Branson. You got a Lady, a convict, and a Lord. I thought it was hilarious, but Richard was asked one question in the group setting, and he was asked, “Have you had to change your management since managing millennials?”
Brad: He said, “No, we’ve always done good management.”
Brett: That’s so profound, isn’t it? I think that’s one thing I love about talking to yourself and guys like you, and having these discussions is, it’s amazing the distinctions you pull out of what you need to be doing and what you don’t need to be doing, and I think, I don’t know how long we’ve been chatting now, 10, 15 minutes, but the distinctions you get, and I imagine with this book, those five disciplines are gonna yield lots and lots of different distinctions, which I think in this day, and the one point I was gonna make was, one of the challenges I have right now is people think that there’s so much change and disruption going on that everything is changed. What I’m finding is, that’s the white noise in the background. Actually, the fundamentals haven’t changed since we learned them way back when.
Brad: I had a guy I was talking to the other day about marketing, and he says to me, “I’ve gotta get really good at this LinkedIn and Facebook and all of that sort of stuff, our corporate is just not doing good in that.”
Brad: I said, “Oh, really? How many referrals did you get last month?”
Brad: He said, “What do you mean?”
Brad: I said, “Tell me, how many referrals did you get? Show me your referral program of what you do to get referrals from your existing customer base.”
Brad: He said, “We don’t have a referral program.”
Brad: I said, “Maybe we should start there. Let’s start with doing the fundamental core stuff.”
Brad: I believe you’re right. There is a big white noise out there about the change, change, change, change. What we’re seeing, and I’ll use Apple as a very simple example, Apple’s business strategy, I teach strategy in the book, Apple’s business strategy was genius where no one owned a computer in the beginning. They were selling computers, and if you wanted the best you bought an Apple, if you wanted something else you bought a PC. Once everyone owned a computer, Apple’s strategy was awful, because no one in corporations wanted to spend that much to have Apple everywhere, so they had to either bring their cost down or something else, and second of all, Apple didn’t charge for their software in the beginning, they had to bring that in where software’s now a secondary purchase, and you have to buy that to upgrade type thing. Apple comes back, and Steve Jobs comes back, and he says, “Hang on, while I was over at this thing called Pixar, I learned this strategy called Make it Once and Sell it a Billion Times. What business can we go into?”
Brad: He went into the music business. He’s a bigger genius than I am, he’s not making one sell it a billion times, he’s never make it, but sell it a billion times. Apple’s never made a song in their life, and here they are with this amazing platform that sells music every day and takes a 30% clip on the way through, and says, “Hey, Sony, thanks for letting us sell your music. Oh, and by the way, thanks for inventing that MP3 thing that we used to actually sell it on. You guys at Sony are geniuses.”
Brad: That’s where Sony messed up their strategy. Their strategy messed up. They could’ve owned that market. Apple came in, owned the market with decent marketing, and a decent product and all that sort of stuff, built the platform. But you can also have a satisfied of being in the music business or being a drummer in a band that plays at a pub on Friday night, or the pub owner that puts the band on on a Friday night. There’s so many strategies in business, and I don’t think most execs, most entrepreneurs, have never actually sat down and examined what is our strategy for the entire business? At its core is it scalable, leveragable? Are we able to grow faster and get easier as we grow? And I don’t think that.
Brad: That segment of the book alone is the reason to read it. If you don’t get strategy right, your business is harder as you get bigger.
Brett: That’s key, because certainly that’s been one of my challenges with one of the particular businesses that I’ve got is that it’s not scalable. Unless I own the property and I build the property, I can’t do it.
Brad: I know, you’ve already got it.
Brett: [crosstalk 00:19:27] my team, and I’m actually gonna give them all out so we’ve all got a platform to talk from.
Brett: One point I was gonna make, too, is one thing I like about your books, actually, and one thing I love about you, and it may be the Aussie, it may be whatever, but actually is the way you write and the way you present is all very implementable. In other words, you can read it and then you can go, “Okay, let me put that in place.”
Brett: I think that’s one of the key things. Although I haven’t read the book yet, I’m looking forward to it, I’m pretty sure it’ll be in the same vein as all your other books.
Brad: When I wrote my book Billionaire in Training way back when, which is how to create wealth through business, I wrote the Wealth Coach, and the Wealth Coach, I’ve had friends of mine who give it to their teenage kids, and say, “Listen, I read it and I got all these distinctions, but I gave it to my kids and they actually understood it too, and now I can have a financial conversation with my kids.”
Brad: As you said, this book, you give it to your staff, and they will understand it, and you’ll have a conversation about implementation with your staff.
Brett: Funny enough, because that’s actually the plan for my business. If you’re one of my clients, you’re gonna be copping this sweet [crosstalk 00:20:42] implementation soon, because I’m sure, and I have no doubt there’s bits in the book that we’re missing right now.
Brad: I don’t care how good you are, and I’m supposedly the best business coach in the world, and I work with the best executive coach in the world, Marshall Goldsmith, and I have all of the best and that, but there’s still stuff every day that I can’t see. It’s forest for the trees stuff, mate. That’s why you need a coach. When you’re in your own business, you can’t see that stuff, it’s just too hard, but if you walked into my business you could probably find five things I needed to fix, and if I walked into yours I could see five things. There’s five things that you can’t notice and that I don’t notice. I don’t think anyone should ever be upset by that. I think they should be upset if they’re not actually getting some help to find those things. If you’re that head-in-the-sand business owner, or that head-in-the-sand exec who’s just saying, “I got it, I got it, I got it, I got it,” then you’re gonna be the one in trouble at some point in time. Learning is key.
Brett: Yeah, yeah, absolutely.
Brad: I actually do literally teach this stuff for days on end in my courses, but all I can say to people is just one thing, because Brett’s a mate of mine, he said to me, “Brad, my people need something better.”
Brad: We had an offer that ended three, four weeks ago with just my clients, and what we’re doing, over the last 25 years, up until year 17 I’d recorded every single thing on video from year about seven onwards. We put it all into an online business school. If you attended all the courses you would’ve invested 25-26,000 bucks to go them all. All of that is now online. It’s all in a business school. We call it Profit Masters, and if you bought it you can go onto the website and see it right now. You gotta pay a thousand bucks to buy it. We’re gonna give you a thousand-dollar course, all my training courses, all for free when you buy a $25 book. It’s because we’re stupid, but it’s also because I know one thing: my goal is to get to New York Times best-seller, and here’s the deal I’m gonna make with all your people. I’ll give them that thousand bucks, but I need them to at least promote the book for me some way, shape, or form. Give me a shout out, give me a photo of it, or the best way to do it, what we’re doing, and I’m getting a few magician friends to do this, you’re gonna do a thing pulling the book out of a hat.
Brett: I haven’t done that one.
Brad: That’s gonna be our hashtag. Pulling profits. My wife had that genius idea. She’s a bit of a marketing genius, my wife.
Brett: Awesome. Just to finish off there. Mate, appreciate the chat and look forward to catching up, but I think if you’re in a business, or this is even for employees, if you want to become a better employee, more valuable, so you can go to your boss and ask for a raise, then this is the sort of stuff that you need to understand.
Brad: It was interesting because I was chatting with someone about this the other day, and they said, “I work for someone, why would I bother reading it?”
Brad: I said, “Because you don’t wanna work for someone eventually. You wanna be the CEO at some point. Hello.”
Brett: Yeah, absolutely. I think, for US$24.95, you get in a thousand-
Brad: I’m sure there’s a couple of bob in there for postage and handling there, too. I’ll give you the link. You can put the link below for everybody to click on.
Brett: Get the book, have a read of it, it will expand your mind and gets you thinking, and the other side of it is, too, is that whatever country you’re in, wherever you are, if you do want to take it the next step, which is the coaching side, there’s coaches everywhere. Literally, 88 countries. But I think right now get the book, have a read of it, I think you’ll be really impressed, and if you haven’t read any other of Brad’s stuff, look him up, he’s done incredible things. I’m really, really impressed. I’m really, really thankful that I met him many, many years ago, and [crosstalk 00:24:49].
Brad: It’s good to be there, and I’m looking forward to my next trip to Singapore to hang and have a beer or two.
Brett: Definitely, definitely. All right guys, we’ll leave it there. Mate, thanks very much, appreciate it, always great to chat, and even I’ve got some distinctions today. Pulling Profits Out of a Hat, jump online, check the link, and get it.
Simply Click this special link – https://www.gladfish.com/pulling-profits-out-of-a-hat-book-review-brad-sugars/.