How to go global?
Brad Sugars started the ActionCOACH brand in 1993 in Brisbane, Australia. Today the company is ranked as the leading business coaching franchise by Entrepreneur magazine. ActionCOACH operates in over 80 countries and has more than 1,000 coaches around the world, coaching 15,000 business every week. The franchise has received numerous awards including Fastest Growing Franchise, Franchisee Satisfaction, Best Overall Company and has been named the number one business coaching franchise in the world every year since 2004. Using the coaching strategies that have helped thousands of companies around the world, Brad Sugars and his executive team helped lead ActionCOACH and its coaches to some of its most profitable and best years ever… in the face of challenging economic conditions. Brad Sugars and his team continue to build “business re-education” to new, more innovative and exciting levels.
30) Leverage and going global with Brad Sugars[00:00:00] Brad Sugars: If you’re not willing to do the learning work, you can’t have financial freedom. You just can’t, you have to study money. If you want to be successful with money, you have to study it. And that’s why I love what you do. I love listening to Mary Buffett’s podcast on your thing the other day. You know, if people aren’t subscribed to your stuff, they really need to subscribe to it. One podcast isn’t enough. You’ve got to keep listening. [00:00:28] Host: Welcome to Financially Free Podcast with your host, Ney Torres. One of the reasons Ney could retire when he was 25 years old is because he was coached by the best. And now through this podcast. So, can you. [00:00:41] Brad Sugars: Well, if you want to take it to a global business, like if you want to turn that business into something that runs globally, something that is massive, it’s going to take three to seven years to do that sort of thing. And depending upon the capital base you have available, because capital adds speed. There’s no two ways about it. If you want to go slow, do it. Through bootstrapping, if you want to go fast, raise capital. And again, there’s another lesson that people are unwilling to learn how to raise capital or they’re unwilling to share the spoils of their victory. They want to do it all themselves. And I don’t want partners. I don’t want that. I don’t necessarily want partners, but I definitely want someone’s capital in here to make my life a lot simpler. You know, I’m looking at this deal with the gyms and I literally sat with my wife the other day, we’re in the pool and I sat down and I said, “So, if we do this, we’ve got to raise X so that therefore we build that business. We will keep 50% of the company will use none of our own money and we’ll use everyone else’s money. And that’s the deal we’ll put together.” Everyone will make a ton of money out of it, including us, but you know, they’re not willing to do the work. I’m willing to do the work. So, therefore, you know, it’s okay that I’m willing, you know, put in my time, energy, effort, knowledge base, where they’re putting in their capital. There’s plenty of people out there with lots of capital that don’t want to do the work by the way. [00:02:04] Ney Torres: Yeah, for sure. If you think about it, there has never been as many euros, as many dollars printed in history, so we’re floating on cash. So, is somebody has your money, right? [00:02:15] Brad Sugars: There’s always money out there if you’re willing to look for it. [00:02:20] Ney Torres: So, before we go to the next level which is how did you grow into a global brand? How do you take those levels those businesses to the next level? If you’re listening right now and you have a business you should check Brad’s Action Coach. So, he has some coaches. What do they do, Brad? When somebody calls you? [00:02:39] Brad Sugars: Our coaches work with business owners to help them grow their business. You know, most business owners are good at the business of their business, but they’re not necessarily great business people now. They, they didn’t go to a business school that taught them how to run their own business. So, in order to learn how to run your own business, we, we set up action coach because there’s a lot of business owners that need that help. And so, having a mentor that works with you with a systematic methodology. Because see, many years ago I wrote one of my books is called The Business Coach. And I wrote that book after we had already coached about 13,000 companies and what I wrote in the book is here is the recipe for how to build a business. This is the actual recipe, the methodology by which you build a business, you know, the average business owner that goes into business doesn’t have any clue about what does it take to actually build a business. And so my coaches work people through that process and take them through it so that, you know, we help them build a business that works so they don’t have to. We help them build their profitability, build their team, build all of those different aspects because again, you know, it doesn’t matter how good you are at the product or the service of the business, management, recruiting, systemization, planning. All of these things are things that we have to learn in order to run a great business. [00:04:01] Ney Torres: Sorry. Can you give us examples of some businesses you have a fixed bought in the past? Fixed maybe from low to high leveled. [00:04:08] Brad Sugars: For me? Dang buddy. I’ve been in everything. I’ve been in everything from dog food, you know, a dog food business way back when — we just saw, so our property management company we just sold. So, in that particular business, when I got into the business and had one office in Houston, Texas. I bought into that business. We built that up and exited for what do we have 13 times multiple. So, you know, and again, I only exited 18 months into that one. So, we were going to actually build that nationwide and the company canvassed and saw what we were doing and said, we’d like to buy this. And you know, when companies from Silicon Valley come to you, usually they’re willing to buy it at a rate that you’re willing to accept and that was the case with that one. So, you know, I’ve been in everything from magazine publishing. Pretty much you name it. We have restaurants, food truck business, and I’m in the food truck business now. Restaurant business right now, a commercial cleaning business right now. So, that one we’re expanding over to the UK from, I bought it in Australia. It’s expanding to the UK right now. So, we expanded it across all of Australia and next is the UK and then the US is following that and then we’ll put that one up for sale. [00:05:30] Ney Torres: Interesting. Okay. Let’s take it to the next level then. I saw an interview of you with you and Grant Cardone. And Grant was really, really interested in taking his brand global because he has a good business, but you have the knowledge to take it to the next level. Did you guys ever do something there? [00:05:49] Brad Sugars: No, we never ended up working together. Grant is a great businessman, but probably not — he likes to do things his way. We’ll put it that way. [00:06:00] Ney Torres: Like most entrepreneurs, right? [00:06:01] Brad Sugars: Yeah. He has his way of doing things. I have mine. I don’t like working that hard. Grant loves working that hard. It’s like, yeah. Good luck. If you want to like that hard, fantastic. Me, not so much. I have my kids, I have my wife, I like hanging out with them and I think I’m going to do that a little more often than work. So, in that interview Grant was looking at — and this is a thing that I come across with a lot of entrepreneurs. It doesn’t matter where they’re based. They stay based there. You know, if I look at American entrepreneurs. American entrepreneur does have a reason for this, you know, the US is what? 30 something percent of global GDP. So, it’s pretty easy to become very wealthy in the US majority of the world’s billionaires are based in the US but the majority of the billionaires have businesses that sell globally, not just businesses that sell locally. You know, if you want to have the biggest businesses, you’ve got to go global. You just have to. I mean, we look at, I mentioned India earlier. Well, let’s just do the numbers. Okay. The America’s North and South together is about a billion people. Africa is about a billion people. Europe’s about a billion people. Asia is about 4 billion people. So, where do you want to be doing business in the next 20 to 30 years? You know, between India and China alone, you’ve got between a hundred and 200 million people moving out of poverty into the middle class every 10 years. You know, you start thinking of that. That’s the population of the US or most, every 10 years moving out of poverty into a middle class. When you think about population of adults, not just population of people and that’s phenomenal. Phenomenal growth and that’s why the world has moved. See if we go back in history, around 1900, you made the most money, if you had the most land hence why the English tried to conquer the lands of the world. And hence why England won the Agrarian age. I mean the Agrarian age was one by the English. We then moved into the manufacturing age where the US won the first half of that because they invented everything, you know, everything from steel to automobiles to electricity to you name it. It was invented in the United States. Those that vast majority of that generational wealth was created there. The second half of the manufacturing age or the industrial age was won by the Japanese. The Japanese learned how to do manufacturing way better than anybody else and absolutely crushed it. But here’s the difference, we moved into the information age. The Japanese were the world’s best manufacturers of VCRs and DVDs, but what the US had going for it and this is why the US one the information age and is winning the information age is it has two things. Silicon Valley and Hollywood see the Japanese made the VCR. Hollywood made the movies to go in the VCR and it doesn’t matter how many ways you can sell the movie. So, it went from VCR then it went to DVD now it’s gone to online. Hollywood is still selling movies from a hundred years ago today and still creating wealth from something they made a hundred years ago. Disney is a great example of that leverage factor because leverage by definition is do the work once and get paid forever and most people don’t really understand that and that’s why most people will work for the rest of their life and never have financial freedom. So, we get to the end of the industrial age, the Japanese were winning. And then of course we move into the information age. Well, the US is going to win the information age because it’s got Hollywood and Silicon Valley and Silicon Valley is if you take a look, all of the most valuable companies in the world are based there. Well, not all of them but a vast majority of them are based there right now because they’re selling information and what information are, they selling? His selling your information and my information to advertise as a, you know, that was the trouble Facebook [00:10:00] got in but they’re still doing it and they will continue to do it and Google does the same. And you know, you sit down and you start thinking about what the possibilities are there. Well, here’s the challenge with that, the world has moved back into the industrial age in the vast majority of the world, you know, Latin America, Africa, Asia they’re building basic things. Roads, houses, doors, chairs. All of these things, all these people coming out of poverty into the middle class, they need all of these things. Cars, you name it, they need all of that sort of stuff. So, that’s why we’re seeing a massive level of transference of wealth. You know, if you look at the Tata industry coming out of industries coming out of India. The steel businesses back on track massively because these countries need the fundamentals to be built. They need basic things. Sewer systems, roadways, you name it. It’s got to be built in all of these marketplaces. And so, hospitals are being built. Electricity stations are being built and that’s where there’s massive wealth coming back again from the industrial age thinking. [00:11:14] Ney Torres: You have a chance to do that because your business model allows you to do that. [00:11:19] Brad Sugars: Business strategy and business modeling is a massive part of success in business. Yes. [00:11:24] Ney Torres: How did you came up with this business model? Can you explain us please for a second what’s your business model? [00:11:29] Brad Sugars: Yeah. Well, so if you’re just talking action coach. Action coaches is a franchised business. So, when we look at business modeling business modeling is contained by four things. Again, if you look at my latest book, I go through this in detail in Pulling Profits out of a Hat. Business modeling’s four things. Leverage, which is the ability to do the work once and get paid forever. Scalability, which scalability by my definition is very simply the next sale cost less and is easier. So, how do we get the business gets easier as it gets bigger, not harder as it gets bigger type of thing. And then we take a look at two other aspects of strategy, and that is marketability and opportunity. Opportunity means the size of the market that you are entering. You know, if you’re entering a market where there’s only a million dollars in sales a year and there’s five competitors, it’s going to be very difficult. If you’re entering a market where there’s a trillion dollars in sales a year, and there’s only two competitors, it’s going to be much easier. Marketability comes down to the ability for the product or service to sell itself. Is it something that people want need and have like, you know, I sit down and I take a look at I’m buying into the gymnasium business? Do people already spend money in gymnasiums? Yeah. Do people want him those? Yes. Do they already have a budget allocated? Yes. All I have to do is convince them to buy from me rather than somebody else. That’s marketability. Now, if you take all four of those points and you create a business model out of those four points, there’s certain business models that work better than others. There are certain business models that have leverage and scale better than others. And I’ll give you an example that everyone can relate to. Let’s use Microsoft and Apple. So, in Microsoft on day, one of starting was highly leveraged and highly scalable. Apple was not. Let me go back in history. See Apple, Korea was a computer manufacturer, so they made a computer and they — so they made it once and sold it once. There was no trick to that, if you are a manufacturer you to sell it once you have to make it once. Steve jobs built that company, now he built it with another negative in my mind and that is that he had the software was built into it, which basically meant he had a debt to the customer to consistently keep building the software. Now, Steve jobs was competing with Bill Gates. Bill Gates built a piece of software. He made it once and sold it a gazillion times and here’s the funny part of that. Steve jobs built the best computer in the world, but the most amazing software [00:14:00] Bill Gates made a reasonably good piece of software that did what it needed to do, but it wasn’t really a high-quality Bill Gates goes on to become the richest man in the world. Steve jobs gets fired from his own company. Now, here’s the comeback story. Steve jobs goes and learns leverage. How did he learn leverage? Fully ran Pixar. May he bought Pixar, he bought Pixar, a little movie company and turned it into a massive thing that he sold to Disney for billions. What did he learn? Well, you make a movie once. How many times do you sell it? You make a movie once you sell it forever and ever, and ever to the point where Disney today still sells all those movies that Pixar made, you know, Toy Story, Monsters, Inc. They’re all still being sold today and still being, I mean, they’re even rides at Disneyland for it now. The toys are still sold everywhere in toys stores. Disney is a genius at all of this stuff. Disney’s probably the biggest genius at business strategy of any company that I’ve ever come across. That’s why I love to look at, you know, how have you Disnifyed your business? It’s a whole other subject. But Steve jobs came back to Apple after having learned or he learned management and leadership, and that’s very clear in his book or his autobiography about how he had to learn those skills but he came back understanding leverage, and he came back to Apple and put them straight into the music business and here’s how Steve jobs as an even more genius than me. I talk about leverage meaning do the work once get paid forever. Steve jobs said, “hang on a sec. Why should we even do the work? Let’s sell something that we never even have to buy or never even have to build.” So, they started selling music and you start sitting down and thinking of the genius of this stuff. And so, they didn’t even invent the iPod. The iPod was invented by Sony. It was an MP3 player. That’s basically all it was. They just made it pretty, you know, Sony’s marketing department were atrocious. They named it, the MP3 Player. you know, they should have kept their marketers that built the Walkman. That was a huge hit and then Sony lost it. [00:16:00] But on top of that now Sony actually pays 30 cents on the dollar to Apple to sell all the music that Sony owns and Sony makes. So, that’s another great story, but you sit down and you start thinking of it, Steve Jobs then not only did he move into the music business, then he moved them into the app business and they didn’t even know apps were going to be a thing, but magically, everyone wanted to create games for this thing called the iPod. And then it became the Itouch and then it became the iPhone. And now not only that people started playing games on it and they said, “hang on, we can’t play games on this small screen.” So, they invented an Ipad and then people started to watch movies and TV on it. So, they started selling those as well. Then they went and bought Beats headphones so that people could — because Beats had the contract for subscription music. So, they bought Beats to turn it into a subscription music system. And now they have a subscription TV system. And while you’ve got this amazing, so many great business models that Apple users that become a genius and becoming the highest capital valued company in the world. So, that’s the short version of that story. [00:17:04] Ney Torres: And you do pretty much the same? [00:17:07] Brad Sugars: Well, yeah. So, what I do is I buy companies that I see and I think are a great company like I bought a company down in Australia called Bucket List Life Coaching and the young man that runs that Travis Bell is a genius at helping people create a life plan. Great genius at it. And so, I sat down and said, here’s how we’d make this a global brand and now he owns Bucket List Coaches in I think, 40 or 50 countries and expanding at a rapid rate of knots, adding new coaches every week around the world who are delivering Bucket List Life Coaching. And, you know, instead of him doing all the work now, he’s got hundreds of people around the world doing all of the work. [00:17:47] Ney Torres: Well, talking about leverage. How do you started your — I think you have a thousand offices if I’m not mistaken? [00:17:54] Brad Sugars: Action Coach has more than a thousand offices around the world and you know, I started the same way everyone else does. I did all the work myself and I wish I’d known what I know now. I wouldn’t have done it quite that way. [00:18:08] Ney Torres: How will you do it today? [00:18:10] Brad Sugars: Today, I would raise the capital and going out from the business, you know, and that’s just a very different way. I bootstrapped it through and I actually wore bootstrapping as a badge of honor thinking, “wow, look how good I am. I’ve made this all on my own.” No, it’s probably better off to go and actually make it by bringing on investors and taking on some capital and opening much faster. [00:18:33] Ney Torres: So, you do that through live events, right? [00:18:36] Brad Sugars: I did a ton of live events. I literally worked my tail off traveling the world, doing live events. Yes. [00:18:41] Ney Torres: I think you were the first person to be given popular pre-live events and — [00:18:47] Brad Sugars: Yeah, everyone hated me back in the industry back in the day because I worked out half, I did free events that I had sponsors paying for. So, I went and got sponsors who paid me to do these seminars for free to the marketplace. So, I was doing marketing and advertising seminars and newspapers and radio stations would sponsor them because they wanted business owners to be advertising with them. So, they got great markets awareness and I got great sales. So, I could in the early days I would sell a course for I think it was around a thousand dollars. And so, I would have a thousand people in the room and I would sell them a thousand-dollar course. And Hey, Presto I’d make a ton of money and the radio station was happy and the newspaper group was happy and all the attendees were happy. But everyone in the seminar industry that used to charge people for their live events was like, “why are you doing it for free? You’re killing yourself.” Like, “yes, I know I am. I’m killing you.” I remember in Australia in the first two years of doing that in Australia and New Zealand alone, we had 288,000 people attend our free events over two years. [00:19:57] Ney Torres: 200,000? [00:19:58] Brad Sugars: Yeah, 288,000. [00:20:01] Ney Torres: Wow. [00:20:01] Brad Sugars: Yeah. We were doing massive venues thousand people at a time. We just kept doing them. And so that gives you an idea of how many events I was doing, but we would sell them into a two-day event from the two-day event. We would then upgrade them into coaching and they would work with my coaches and do that. And we still use that very simple philosophy today, doing something for free that leads people to us and get some (inaudible). And whether it’s a free podcast, like I’m chatting with you or whether it’s a free download or an eBook or a free video training course or something along those lines. You know, my latest program actually, early last year, I sat down and said, you know what? I want to record everything I know on video. So, that I’ve got it so that if anything ever happens, I’ve got it all. And so, I wrote a program called 30X Business, which is 30 minutes a day for 30 days with me. And we were going to sell that for a thousand dollars. When COVID hit and I just said to my team, “let’s just make it $99.” And so literally my 30 years of business knowledge is condensed into 30 days of training and we made it $99 and I recorded another one 30X Life, which has all of the success principles of life. How do you have a successful life? And again, 30 days, 30 minutes a day. And currently I’m in the middle of writing the one that you’ll be happy about. I’m running 30X Wealth. So, I’m, you know, get in the studio starting next week and start recording 30X Wealth. So, all I know about building wealth in 30 minutes a day for 30 days, and I’ll let people have that for $99 just because I want, you know, ultimately, I want everyone to learn all of this stuff. I want everyone to understand that if you want financial freedom, you can have it. And here’s how to do it type thing. Because my biggest challenge when I was young is that most of the people who were teaching hadn’t actually done it. I love being able to teach this stuff as someone that yes, and people sort of look at it and they go, “well yes, you have the life, you have the businesses, you have all of the things. So, you must actually know what you’re doing type thing.” And what they don’t see is the investments and that sort of stuff. So, you know, but teaching that material is very important to me. So, I’m very happy to get that out there. So, if you want to put a link to 30X on there, buddy, make sure that everyone can get to the 30X Business and 30X Life and by the time they’ve finished both of those I’ll have finished recording 30X Wealth. [00:22:33] Ney Torres: I was looking at it yesterday. Actually, those are the questions I have for you, Brad. You explain it very well. Explaining what you’re doing now in COVID-19 while you’re seeing with COVID-19 the future of live events. [00:22:44] Brad Sugars: If you want to take a few minutes on COVID-19, I’m happy to look at that. [00:22:48] Ney Torres: Please. [00:22:49] Brad Sugars: What I’m seeing is a V-shaped recovery. This is my fourth economic downturn that I’ve run business through. The first two, I saw the first one, I actually really didn’t know what I was doing and I tried to do the head down, you know, if I just hunker down and work a bit harder, I’ll make it through it and it almost killed me. You know, I didn’t know what I was doing. The second one, I knew I had to take action and do things. It was a bit better by the third one, by 2008, I knew exactly what to do. In 2008, I literally got on the road and started teaching business people. I think I spent the entire year and it cost me about a million bucks to travel the world and do free seminars for people because I wasn’t selling anything. I was just doing free events to help people. And I got to about 110,000 people. Well, this time during COVID, I’ve got two over half a million people, just because of online and being able to teach online and we’ve saved a lot of businesses. I even did a free 10 day course for people if they want that, if you can throw them the link for that my Free 10 Day How to Survive and Thrive COVID, there’s a lot of information in that about what to do for business but I see this one, not like 2008 was an L shaped recovery. It was years of recovery time. This one I see as a V-shaped recovery. I see the recovery being very quick for three reasons. One is that only about a third of businesses were fully shut down. About a third of businesses, learned how to pivot and find a new way of doing business in the middle, or they went viral or went virtual or did something to stay in business. And about a third of businesses are actually having boom record times during this period. So, you’ve got to, you know, how much would you love to be in the acrylic business right now creating clear screens for, you know, all of the retailers out there and the people serving. I mean that you imagine how much money they making right now. Furniture companies they’re having an absolute record. You imagine how many people were sat on their couch for the last few months and realized we need a new couch, you know, and back yards, oh my goodness. You cannot get a pool company these days because they’re also busy trying to build pools for people that didn’t have pools and stuff like that. There’s so much, there’s just so many businesses making record numbers right now. Add that to the fact that you have government stimulus to the tune of the average government stimulus that was given. So, the governments did stimulus, did stimulus packages anywhere from four to 20% of GDP, you look at the US two and a half trillion that the percentage of GDP is ridiculous. And they look like doing more than that and I imagine by the time cause the US election is coming up, I imagine by the time the election comes around our president will do more stimulus packages just to win votes. I mean, to get the election, the economy back to where he wants it to be. And then the third thing is there will be a vaccine or a cure come out at some point in time. The day the vaccine or cure comes out, the rebound will be ridiculous. It’ll be very fast. So, that’s why I see it as a V shape. Recovery and people need to get running and get their businesses moving very fast. If they want to take advantage of this one, because it’s not going to be a long downturn. [00:26:01] Ney Torres: So, what do you want your legacy to be? [00:26:04] Brad Sugars: That millions of people got into business or survived in business because of my knowledge, see the world doesn’t need more employees. It needs more entrepreneurs; it needs more employers and employees. And so, I would love to see a lot of people said, you know, “we survived in business because of Brad sugars or our business got where it is because of Brad Sugars and Action Coach and the team. That’s really the biggest thing that I see as to — the thing that I want people to think of our vision for our company as world abundance through business reeducation. We want to create an abundant world one business at a time. [00:26:35] Ney Torres: And if I want to start learning how to buy businesses and turn them around in six months, where do I go? [00:26:42] Brad Sugars: A, grabbed a billionaire and training or any of my other books. Yeah. B, jump on bradsugars.com or actioncoach.com and get started with us either one of those or jump on any of the social media and follow me there because I do a video pretty much every day on social media. Drive time, I sit and chat with people for five minutes about some aspect of business or some aspect of success of the day. [00:27:08] Ney Torres: And final question, what would you tell yourself when you were starting out? [00:27:13] Brad Sugars: Go faster. [00:27:15] Ney Torres: Go faster. [00:27:16] Brad Sugars: Yeah. Now look, I do, you know, self-doubt is one of the biggest killers of entrepreneurs where, you know, instead of planning a hundred million dollar a year business, they plan a million dollar a year business. And you know, the reality of it is I could have gone a lot faster than I did. Knowing what I know now. Definitely, but learn faster too, I think is probably the other thing because that’s the biggest key to it. The faster you can learn it, the faster you can achieve it. [00:27:45] Ney Torres: Wow. Okay. Well, thank you very much. Oh yeah. Who cleans their house? That’s 2000 square meters of a housing Las Vegas. By the way, why Las Vegas? You could leave anywhere in the world, why Vegas? [00:28:01] Brad Sugars: It’s the only city in America fun enough for an Australian to live in. That’s one of the very good reasons. Who cleans my house? So, we have a very good house staff. So, our team of people that run our house are very strong. [00:28:17] Ney Torres: Wow. For people will visit the Brad’s social media. He has probably, if not the biggest, one of the biggest houses in those Vegas and the pool probably too. [00:28:29] Brad Sugars: Yeah. The pool. Actually, I was very proud of the pool. We got a, we were in the top five, the year we built it. We’re in world’s best pools. We were in the fi we were running the five finalists for best pool in the world and my pool builder was very, very happy. So, but it actually got on a TV show. I think it was a TV show world’s best pools. And that was, it was on that. [00:28:52] Ney Torres: I did see it. I did see it. It was — yeah, they explain how they build it or the tour there. Very good, sir. Thank you so much for your time. I really appreciate it. [00:29:01] Brad Sugars: Hey Ney, wonderful. I love the work you’re doing. Keep educating people out there. We need more people doing that. [00:29:08] Host: Did you learn something today? How can you apply your insight? What’s next for you? The fastest way to make things happen is to just share this podcast episode with more people that may find it valuable to talk about it with them and surround yourself with likeminded people. Hope you found this valuable. Don’t forget to subscribe. See you next time. [00:29:54] Warning: This podcast references opinions and is for information purposes only not intended to be investment advice, seek a duly licensed professional for investment advice.