February 23, 2022

Episode #8: Brad Sugars – ActionCOACH

Internationally known as one of the most influential entrepreneurs, Brad Sugars is a bestselling author, keynote speaker, and the #1 business coach in the world. Over the course of his 30-year career as an entrepreneur, Brad has become the CEO of 9+ companies and is the owner of the multi-million-dollar franchise ActionCOACH®.

As a husband and father of five, Brad is equally as passionate about his family as he is about business. That’s why, Brad is a strong advocate for building a business that works without you – so you can spend more time doing what really matters to you.

Over the years of starting, scaling and selling many businesses, Brad has earned his fair share of scars.

Being an entrepreneur is not an easy road. But if you can learn from those who have gone before you, it becomes a lot easier than going at it alone. That’s why Brad has created 90 Days To Revolutionize Your Life – It’s 30 minutes a day for 90 days, teaching you his 30 years experience on investing, business and life.


Hello this is coach Tim Campsall and i’m your host for the Self- Made is a myth make a difference together show where we’re talking with successful business owners to hear their story of the journey to building their business and because we know that achieving success in business is not something we can do on our own we recognize the folk that folks that helped us to excel i’m excited to have a fellow business owner from the business coaching industry with us today my guest is a best-selling author a keynote speaker and the number one business coach in the world over the course of his 30-year career he’s become the ceo of more than nine companies and is the founder of action coach please join me in welcoming brad sugars to the show g’day how you doing tim i am awesome thank you it’s great to have you on today brad so let’s start i’ll have you uh introduce yourself and uh tell us a little bit of your personal story you know where you were born where you live your family and some of your hobbies oh born and raised in brisbane australia although we moved around australia a lot as kids darwin adelaide back to brisbane currently i live in las vegas nevada so uh as they say it’s the only city in america fun enough for an australian to live in so uh that’s that’s that part uh my wife is actually from uh massachusetts and uh we have five kids one of them is currently in college in massachusetts one’s at college in alabama and the other three are here in school so four daughters one son so therefore everyone can understand my world a little bit i love it and what do you like to do for fun uh sports watching sports going to concerts uh travel those sorts of things you know with a big family you’ve got a uh you know there’s always something to go and see or go and go and do there’s always a kid’s concert or a kids game or something so you know big family means big life i guess is probably the thing and that and then also for fun i work i love business i love what i do so um you know the the old saying of if you do what you love you’ll never work a day and your life is so not true if you do what you love you’ll work harder than anybody else because you love it you know it’s uh that’s that’s sort of my theory anyway uh awesome what’s a funny story that your family likes to tell about you oh okay so i i when you sent these questions i sort of pondered that and i said there’s two answers there because one is the fun you know from when you’re a kid you know like my dad loves telling the story of when i uh sold my christmas presents to my brothers he tells the story that i apparently set up a garage sale at my bedroom door and uh he said by eight though i’d worked out not to sell it to them i rented them to them so that way i got to keep it and got their money um so yeah that one and then from the other side i’m sure my wife would love to tell stories of of my craziness and you know we we we do have a big family and uh we always we celebrate birthdays really big and usually it’s me who starts the cake fight so uh and uh but our house manager and housekeeper both beg us to never do it inside on the wooden floors again

so yes take the cake outside fight outside where we can hold it

so brad tell us how did action coach come about at what and at what point did you have the confidence that you could run this business you know uh look i’ve always been blessed with confidence i don’t think that’s something that that was was ever a challenge like my dad instilled into us boys our two brothers my dad instilled into us boys is to back yourself you know trust your own judgment back yourself you know he never put it quite that nicely i always say listen most of the world are idiots don’t follow them you know it’s like that sort of thing but action coach started uh i by accident really um i was at the time running other businesses and uh was asked to give speeches and so by giving speeches people would come and and because when you’re young and successful people want to know how did you get successful young i mean it must there must be some magic to it or something and so it’s sort of when giving speeches people would come and ask can you help me can you help me and in the end because most of the time i would just say no sorry i’m too busy no sorry too busy and then you know you get that aha moment of hang on about 100 people have asked me if i can work with them maybe i should do that and you know it’s that thing of when when you’re in business and people keep asking if they can buy something or do you do this do you do this do you do that and and you keep saying no we don’t do that no we don’t do that start doing that i and so i was um i’d given a speech i was in auckland new zealand and uh i was sitting at the hotel and i was across the road from this beautiful rose garden i was sitting in the hotel and thought all right if i’m going to do this i’m going to do it properly so uh like a good australian i went and got a notepad and a pen and a six pack of beer and sat in the in the uh hotel and designed the business over the coming few hours actually wrote the business plan and the vision and mission and here we are 20 that was at 93 so we’re 28 years later it’s almost 29. that’s awesome so brad um for the benefit of everyone listening tell us a little bit more about action coach we started the business coaching industry or profession we now operate in 83 countries i’m very proud to say we coach businesses in three communist countries china russia and vietnam and and that to me is great that we’re having an impact at that level you know we coach business owners one-on-one we have about 18 000 clients around the world doing that we have about 280 000 clients in our group programs each year um and uh uh yeah so we’re just under 1100 offices i believe around the world and yeah making a difference with business owners every day you know my team sort of has a bit of a saying you know we save one business at a time and and in many cases you know it’s saving a business in other cases it’s taking a good business and making it great fantastic so brad um tell us about us somebody in your life who pushed you or inspired you uh that you could you could do more than than maybe you thought and what was the impact that that they had on your life yeah i’ll go back to rather than a singular person to a group i was 16 i was uh doing debate and my friends jody her dad saw me at a debate one time and he saw me give a speech another time and he nominated me for the rotary youth leadership award in our area and you had to go in and give a speech and and you know apply for the award and do an interview and so i won the rotary youth leadership award and that they then sent me away for a week-long training on how to be a leader how to be successful and i think that was probably the big turning point that led me to go and meet jim rohn or go and listen to jim rohn and just it got the yearn to learn i got that yearn to learn and uh you know that simple factor of uh the more you learn the more you learn you know if you want to be better at something you got to study it and so you know you studied i studied people i study success i study all those things and um the more you and even today i’m you know jim rohn used to say though you can’t no one can do your reading for you he didn’t know that was before audible so uh you know and headway i love the headway app too that’s another great one that uh the book summaries on audiobook summaries do a book in 20 minutes so um i i know that you have a story about jim rohn when you first met him share that with everyone i love it well yeah i was 16 um i was sitting in the brisbane city town hall listening to mr rhone and took as many notes as i possibly could uh two two things that stood out during the seminar that he said to all of us but to me i felt like it was he was talking directly to me and he said never wish your life were easier wish that you were better and i wrote that down i ended up typing it up in big writing and putting it up above my uh desk so that i could stay focused on getting better and he added to that work harder on yourself than you do on your job and that to me was a i guess a big thing about that so i ran down to him after the event and asked him to sign my notes sort of thing and uh because i hadn’t i didn’t have a book of his yet to get him to sign so i asked him to sign my notes and uh he did and i asked him the simple question what can a young man like me do to guarantee i’m successful he said read a book a week for the rest of your life and it wasn’t a book every two weeks or a book a month it was a book a week and so i just set about doing that the local bookstore became you know i’m pretty sure i became their best customer um and people you know how did you pick a book well i’d look for ones i didn’t have yet and just started and i remember reading mr rhone’s first two things he said the richest man in babylon and how to win friends and influence people so started with those two and away we went yeah i love your the phrase that you use uh you must earn or must learn to earn yeah look i mean it’s really interesting that if you set a goal you have to grow into the goal you can’t achieve a goal as the person you are but set the goal so if i set a goal of running a marathon then obviously i’m not capable of running a marathon yet i have to do the training i have to get the mentor i have to maybe join a running club or i have to practice i have to do all those things and people in business and money i don’t know why they perceive that you know i’ve set the goal well okay great you want to double the business fantastic you need to start reading books on people who doubled their business you want to start learning how to double your business you want to read marketing books and sales books and you want to build a better team great read books on team building and management and leadership and um it’s you can’t be good at something you haven’t studied let’s just put it that way so brad what’s your biggest learning as a business owner build your people they’ll build your business no more complex than that you know if you you hire good build great they build a great company for you i go back to when i first learned the lesson of of hiring people i’m probably 20 years old and i went to my dad and said you know what dad i just can’t get good people and my dad is a very dry blunt man and uh he looked me dead in the eye and he said brad you get the people you deserve i went what he said well you’re an average manager running an average business the highest caliber of person that’ll want to work for you is average it’s like stabbed through the heart thanks dad you know it’s it’s you know it’s when people say you’re a motivational speaker i i personally don’t like that it’s like no i’m an educator not a motivator if you motivate people they just do stupid things faster if you educate them they know what to do and how to do it type thing and so that’s why i very much fall into the camp of you can’t you know when you’re recruiting people on your team you can’t there was a saying i forget who said it and it was you can’t hire knight you can’t uh teach nice but you can hire nice people you know you can’t motivate people but you can hire people who are motivated by your vision and by your goals sort of things so it’s keep on finding the people who are motivated with what you do not the people who are motivated to do you know who are just want a job sort of thing yeah i think that’s the mistake a lot of folks make right is higher based on skills and experience and then realize after the fact that they’re not a cultural fit and now you’re stuck with a bad person yeah you know and you’re that that’s a challenge too you’re not actually stuck with them don’t back don’t make a bad decision twice is a simple thing you made a bad decision fix it make a good decision and fix it type thing so um but you know i i you’ve got to have a very clear culture you’ve got to have a written documented culture if you want to hire based on culture you’ve got to know what your culture is you know when you look at business who you are and why you do what you do is more important than what you do the who and the why is very important that’s why when you look at action coach i’m very clear on our vision very clear on our mission very very clear on our culture it’s documented it’s there i’ve recorded videos on it so whenever if a brand new person joins our company in vietnam they can watch the video and learn from me the history and the vision and the mission and the culture of our organization so and i know it’s something that you encourage all of us to to bring to life in our day to day too so in our monday huddles with our team we review one of the culture statements a week and you know read it out loud and then everybody goes around and shares what it means to them and and maybe what they need to be doing more of to bring it to life all right so we know that business success doesn’t happen in isolation and um there are other people who help us along the way tell us of a challenge that you had during the years and and a fellow business owner who helped you get through that well i’ve i’ve been lucky in that a lot of my companies have had great business partners and a lot of the times they’re the ones who you turn to um you know like in life you turn to your life partner and in business i would turn to my partners and you know we would help each other through certain things like you know you look at 2008 uh when the economy crashed you look at 2020 when the pandemic and the economic crash and all of those things and you turn to the people on your team and and you do that and so as as you know as the at that at the start of the pandemic as a partner in 11 companies you know i had to turn to all of our partners and we all had to you know dig deep and decide how we’re going to get through this thing are we going to come out better or are we going to come out worse are we going to survive it or are we going to thrive through this thing and the fact that we made a decision to thrive through it i think is the big thing one of my business partners in australia in our commercial cleaning business you know we sat down at the start of it and literally you know just made the decision that you know what we’re going to run we’re not going to walk we’re not going to hide from this thing we’re going to run we’re going to use this and build this and turn it into i forget who it was it was uh maybe andy groves the his head of intel and he said you know in a bad economy will kill a bad business you know a bad business will get killed by a bad economy because the old saying of a rising tide floats all boats uh is very true when economy is booming a lot of people think that they’re great at business but it’s just that the economy is booming um he said that a good business will survive an economic downturn or a negative time negative economy and a great business will come out of it strong you know and that’s where we had to pivot we had to do things um even right at the start of of the thing one of my business is a food truck business now imagine how bad that looked for us um all the festivals all of the events that we go and take the food truck we’re a big catering company weddings you know we do all weddings with food it’s just they’re all gone and you know we had to sit down and turn it and we were lucky enough to find some sites where we were able to put our trucks that uh the business owners in those spots wanted us there and we wanted to be there so you know it helped them that people would come looking for food and it helped us that they had people coming buying from them um but you know in those times people couldn’t get food they couldn’t get groceries everything was sold out and our business you know we turned into you know a basic food store you know we we turned our trucks into basic food um instead of doing gourmet stuff it was like okay it’s spaghetti and meatballs night every member of the family’s getting spaghetti and meatballs tell us how many and we’ll give you that many in a serving type thing but yeah i think we’ve had more business owners help us and i i like the word co-opetition um i may have invented it i’m not sure but the word co-opetition is in our mission statement as a company in that we we cooperate with our competitors and we all get better because the vision of action coach is really about the more the more the more one business thrives it employs a bunch more people therefore there’s a bunch more people with money to be customers of other businesses and so the more we can make every business thrive the better and people think that there’s a competitive nature in that there’s a scarcity and that’s not really the way business works when all businesses are booming all businesses are booming so yeah so you took that survive and thrive principle beyond your own businesses and did a lot of work for just the business community in general tell us a little bit about that yeah when the economy turned this is my fourth downturn that i’ve run business through the first one beat the living daylights out of me i’m very happy to admit i was a young man the economy went bad and i’m like okay head in the sand just knuckle you know no didn’t work the second one i i got through it okay the third one we thrive through it and this fourth one we thrive through it again but what i did in 2008 when it happened we didn’t have the technology we do today so i went on the road uh in you know the economy sort of 2010 was when it got to its point and i literally spent a million of my own dollars flying around the world giving seminars to people about how to survive and thrive through this thing well this time uh because of technology i was able to teach and in the first few months we got to uh like i think it was half a million people in the first few months doing webinars on here’s the top 11 things you need to do to get through this thing and you know and then we did webinars on how to market in in that economy because your marketing had to shift your sales approach had to shift everything had to change because people were in worry and panic mode and you know and and you have to do things differently in those times you have to sell differently after market differently so yeah we we spent a lot of time i literally sat in front of this thing for pretty much all day every day teaching um different groups i remember teaching 50 000 uh entrepreneurs in russia at one point and just you know sitting there and under translation for most of them obviously but just helping anyone that wanted to listen get through this thing fantastic so brad if you had to pick three people in your business owner journey that you’re most grateful for being there to help your overall growth who who would they be and and how they help you one of my first bosses paul dunn uh paul who now runs a massive charity called buy one give one uh based out of singapore a great mentor and still to this day a good friend and mentor if ever i need anything and i know that i’ve had paul come and speak to my teams around the world so paul would be number one um number two i would say uh he was the ceo of my company when i could no longer be the ceo of my company you know every every business owner has to realize that at some stage you will burn out in your own business you’ll get sick of your own business you won’t want to be in your own business so that’s why you build a business that works so you don’t have to and there was a point where i needed i think action coach was about 10 years old and i handed it over to victor fratelli to run it because we were sitting at a conference in phoenix and he looked at me said i think it’s time for you to take a break i’m like yeah i’m just going to go and you know i’ll head back to my room and he said no no no i think it’s time because at the time i it was like if another person asked me about the five ways to multiply your profits it was like okay i’m so sick of this it’s like a rock band that got sick of their fa of their number one hit song type thing you know so yeah when he took over and ran the business for me when i couldn’t um i i think that was a very important aspect of of what happened

and third i’m not going to go with any one person i’m going to go with all of the team members in my company because a business is only as good as its people you know if you build your people they build your business and so my goal every day is to work with great people to recruit great people and sometimes you got to recruit good and make great um you know because there’s not many people out there to get a job at this point and but that’s that’s really it my team is the business the people that i’ve brought on and built the team and and you know this our action coach team of coaches and franchise partners around the world are phenomenal group of people and the reason we are number one is because we recruit number ones and so i’ll keep staying with that theory awesome so brad as you think about the next three to five years what are the biggest challenges that you see that you’re going to face to to achieve your goals and who are the type of people that you’re going to need around you to solve those yeah um i would say when i look at the next three to five years community is a very big part of our success and so we’re in the middle of trying to recruit a chief community officer whose job really will be to continue to build our community um to build it at our franchise partner level to build it at our client level and to build up to the wider business community to really uh take our business to that community i’d say the second would be uh recruiting our business is growing at such a rate that we’re in consistent need of people you know in in our organization around the world we add between all of our franchise partners we had about 100 people a month and so when you sit down and you start thinking of adding 100 people a month between our marketing people our sales people our operational people our franchise partners our coaches our trainers it just consistently there’s a hundred people a month needed and so you know having a great hr person is is really important uh in in that role um i would say if i was to look at a third challenge

possibly but see i look at it as a massive opportunity in the the viral the virtual nature of the world this virus has turned the world into a virtual world in such a way and and we can look at that from you know the the metaverse and investing in in crypto currencies or currency trading as i like to refer to it as uh or nfts and that sort of thing or we can look at it in the point of view that um you know we now have as many employees in countries other than the us that work for my office here than we do in our office here so you know that virtual nature of business today is a massive opportunity but also it’ll bring its own communication and and time zone and all of those sorts of challenges and so now we need a lot more software to see what people are doing every day and to measure and manage what they’re doing because we can’t look over their shoulder anymore you know and so i’d say that opportunity is also going to present in its in its growth challenges fantastic well thank you for sharing that brad we talked about jim rohn earlier um one of the quotes that i love is we become the average of the five people we spend the most time with as you think about that is that something you find exciting something that makes you nervous from a business standpoint you know from a business standpoint that’s great uh you know when when i go back to that all the time i go dang so i’m getting more like my kids or maybe they’re getting more like me it’s that that is the thing no from a business standpoint i i’m very lucky to have some uh very good friends and um one of the challenges and men face this more than women today that is having a group of friends having a good group of friends when i first moved to las vegas um it was one of those things as to you know how do you build a group of friends like i had in my hometown of brisbane australia so i just i did what any crazy person does i started the handsome men’s club and uh i’ve got a group of i’m not sure if you’ve ever seen it if you haven’t jimmy kimmel jimmy kimmel did a skit called the handsome men’s club and it was based on that i said you know what i’m just going to start the handsome men’s club and so you know we have a group of guys we get together and uh we hang out but we have a group chat thing on our phones and we’re always just talking sport and stupid stuff but then when it comes to the economy you know i got a couple of guys in that that are absolute geniuses at math and economics and you know i sit down and chat with them and ask them you know what where do you see this happening when you look at the nfts and cryptocurrencies one of my buddies he’s a trader of current and you sit down and go explain to me how you trade those things you sit there and you just by about sentence number two you’re like all right got it i just learned that i have no clue what it is you know but i think that having um building a good solid core group of friends is something that men need to get better at right um you know i watch my wife is great at they go to girls lunches girls trips and all that and the guys are like oh yeah we need to go we’re all busy okay no no no we’re all getting together chairman the chairman has spoken everyone is required let’s go and have a beer love it you mentioned about uh traveling so i think i think that is definitely a a challenge for for folks who especially to your point men who have chased their career and moved multiple times and have lost track of folks so i i love that idea of just being intentional about you know building that that friendship community yeah as a young man in my early twenties all i did was work and i realized when i sat down and i teach a course now called the purpose workshop living a life on purpose and i sat down and and realized that i needed to create a role for myself and it was i created a role for creator of fun times you know and became the host uh because it’s just one of those things if you don’t do it you you just you become the hermit type thing it’s easy to just curl up and netflix and chill as they say and that’s easier than going out but you’ve got to keep it awesome so brad if there was something uh catastrophic that happened to your business today who’s the first person you’d call and and uh what would that conversation be oh i’d have to call my wife first always um you know i uh what would the conversation be uh honey i’ve got to make sure one of the other businesses gets bigger now um you know we’re pretty lucky tim and that you know it’s not luck it’s we’ve invested so you know what when you start out in your career you have to make enough money to not just pay the bills but to have extra to invest and as you increase your income you need to increase your investment percentage not your spending so you know that that to me is just something we as people need to do and consistently do um so that we have the ability to not have to in the beginning you have to work for money but that should only be 10 years of your life if you learn money and you study money and that’s why i do did my 30x business course and my 30x wealth course and my 30x life course because if you study the principles of wealth it’s relatively simple if you study the principles of business the principles of success in life so wonderful so brad you’ve um sounds like you’ve been blessed with some incredible people who have helped you in your journey if they were all on the show here today what would you like to say to them

yeah see in my mind i go to the funny answer behind me yeah share that one first you know y’all you all need to buy me a beer

let’s all have a beer um

probably i mean obviously there’s the obvious choice of thanks but that’s that’s sort of a little too obvious to be the answer if you know what i mean um you know when you when you sit down you look at all the people that have helped you along the way you’ve also helped them um it’s it’s hard to help someone without helping yourself in in that way when you do something charitable you feel better about you not just them better about themselves so um yeah i’ll stick with the obvious thanks but definitely all right let’s get a beer i love it so brad it’s uh it’s been a pleasure speaking with you today i appreciate uh the opportunity to have you on the show and uh and sharing your insights and and uh stories about people who have helped you in your your business journey perfectly listen if you’re if anyone watching this or listening to this if it’s your first time please subscribe the stuff tim’s doing with this is great there’s some great interviews on here and uh you really need to subscribe to this and listening awesome thanks brad for everyone who tuned in today thanks for listening to the self-made is a myth show with your host coach tim camsell be sure to help us spread this movement by liking the show and posting about it on your social media to join our movement go to be mad together dot com okay folks that’s a wrap make sure to pay it forward and i’ll see you all next time