6 Tips On How To Grow A Global Business … From Brad Sugars – Founder of ActionCOACH

By Paul Slezak - Sep. 30, 2014
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When a 3-hour seminar is promoted with a promise to show attendees how to break out of their daily rut and successfully grow a global business, you’d expect to walk away with some pretty solid take-aways, right?

Last week RecruitLoop was a proud supporter of a series of seminars hosted by Brad Sugars – the founder of ActionCOACH. And as one of the supporters of his “Uncensored” series, in addition to exhibiting at the events, we were also able to sit in on the workshops and hear what the renowned motivational business speaker had to say.

Pretty solid take-aways? Absolutely!

Now for many, Brad Sugars probably doesn’t need too much of an introduction. But for anyone not so familiar with the ActionCOACH success story, please allow me to bring you up to speed (well at least in a few lines anyway).

Although he claims to have been selling his Christmas presents to his brothers at the age of seven, Brad Sugars started the ActionCOACH brand when he was in his early twenties. Today the company is internationally recognised as the leading global business coaching firm and one of the leading and most awarded franchises.

We attended two of the workshops on his Australian “Uncensored” road show during which Brad was able to share his story with close to 500 business owners.

His presentations were informative, engaging and at times extremely entertaining.

I wanted to share some of his tips and tangible strategies for breaking out of the daily rut and growing a global business. At least these are the main take-aways that resonated most with us. [I’m smiling as I write this, since right now I am actually on a flight from Australia to the USA to spend a few weeks over in our San Francisco office … just part of taking the RecruitLoop business global!].

1. What’s your identity?

How do you identify yourself? Do you say, “I am a small business owner”? Or do you say, “I’m an entrepreneur”, or “I’m building a global business”?

Whatever comes after those two small words “I am …” is what you are in the minds of others. They’ve already made their decision.

Without wanting to sound too ‘out there’, if you want to grow your business, you really need to Think Big.

I had a client once who, every time we caught up, would say to me as he walked me out of his office “Remember, Paul … go big or go home!

He was right.

2. What are your goals?

Brad referred to three different types of goals and he explained why it’s important to understand your mindset behind each one.

  • Negatively phrased goals – like “I don’t want to work 80 hours a week” or “I don’t want to work on weekends”. You’ll probably keep repeating the goals over and over but then just end up continuing to work 80 hours every week and work all weekend.
  • Positively phrased goals – like “I only want to work 6 hours a day” or “I only want to work 4 days a week”. But you can’t just repeat these goals (like affirmations). You need to start planning exactly how you can make this work for you and the business.
  • Legacy goals – these types of goals that you set for yourself are about achieving something bigger than just you, and bigger than just your business.

3. Why it’s important to communicate your culture, vision and values

Brad explained that if you can’t communicate your core values, and the vision and the culture of your business then you won’t be able to motivate your staff (existing and future) or get them excited to join you on your journey.

He shared the Zappos success story – how they started out and where they are today. By the way it’s an inspiring read!

Co-incidentally we recently shared some of our own ideas around the importance of defining culture.

4. Why you need to get your recruitment right

As someone who has been in the recruitment game for two decades, I couldn’t agree more with Brad here. To grow your business you must nail your recruitment process.

Brad shared the analogy of a sports team who do everything they can to attract the best of the best (often paying whatever it takes), because they want to win and because they want a team of top performers.

He also shared his philosophy of “hire slow … fire fast”, one that is shared by many successful business leaders.

If you’re still convinced you want to do all your recruiting yourself, RecruitLoop has plenty of resources to help you get your recruitment right. Sorry … I couldn’t resist!

5. Understanding your role as The Leader

In presentations I have given over the years, I’ve often explained how “Leadership is the art of keeping all the people who hate you away from the ones who haven’t made up their minds yet” (it usually gets a laugh!)

One of my former bosses used to talk about the “4 C’s” of leadership and it was reassuring to hear Brad referring to them too …

  • Clarity – Having a clearly thought out strategy
  • Climate – Creating a team of high performers
  • Communication – A good leader will never be accused of over communicating
  • Courage – It’s OK to reveal your vulnerability. Nobody’s perfect.

Don’t let others drive your business. Take the reins. You need to run the show.

As my former boss used to say … “You can’t let the lunatics drive the bus”.

6.  Why you need to sell what people want – not what you want to sell

Boy was it refreshing to hear Brad say this.

Whilst it might seem so obvious, too many business owners fail to grasp this concept.

Brad gave the perfect example the of the Cirque du Soleil phenomenon.

They started out as an ordinary circus selling tickets to children for $10. They then they realised if they marketed the circuses to adults (and not just to children) they could charge more. Then they asked the adults what they really wanted and the answer was live music, less animals and more of a concert like setting.

Today Cirque du Soleil sells tickets for $200 with sold-out shows all over the world.

Are you selling what people want to buy or what you want to sell?

*      *      *

This was just a snapshot of three jam-packed hours of information. But as I mentioned I wanted to share a few key take-aways. You can always read more of Brad Sugars’ tips in his books.

Special thanks once again to ActionCOACH for inviting RecruitLoop to support Brad’s series of seminars. If he gets on the road again, we’ll certainly help to promote any future events.

With more than 1,000 offices in 46 countries, ActionCOACH delivers its proven business development systems to tens of thousands of business owners every week, owners who turn to business coaching to get the freedom and lifestyle they sought when they first went into business for themselves.

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.


Paul Slezak

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.

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