“Business doesn’t get easier; you just get better at doing business”
Brad Sugars, November 2016.
Brad Sugars did a great job at entertaining some 400 veteran and would-be entrepreneurs on a cold dank night in November 2016, at the Newbury race course.
The Billionaire tour event presented by Action Coach, who Brad Sugars happens to be the chairman of, provided a well-equipped and appropriately staffed venue at the princely sum of £20 per ticket. The event was well presented with support from several organisations including BNI, FSB and funding circle to mention a few.
Central to the evening’s proceedings was a bag full of pre-printed pieces of paper, a pen and several advertising brochures for business and restaurants (another of Brad’s ventures?) I mention this, as this is pivotal to the evening…read on.
Australian by birth, but now lives in the USA, Brad Sugars introduced himself and elaborated on the introduction provided by an Action Coach Representative; Brad was, by training, an accountant but you can forget about a dull shade of grey character. He was enthusiastic, motivated, confident and resourceful. Not once, during the three hour session, did I feel tired or distracted from the presentation; a massive bonus!
Brad, by his own account has owned/operated over 50 companies around the world and he has done very well – thank you very much (!) He refers to his wealth a lot during the evening and obviously is very proud of the fact that he had a Ferrari at the age of 21. That said, his comments weren’t misplaced, as the common theme of the evening was about ‘wealth’ and ‘making a lot of money’. So, if those present didn’t like the ‘Loads of Money’ approach then you were probably in the wrong presentation.
Brad explained that he saw his role for the evening was “to be tough on the audience”, as this is the way he believes we learn best. He explained that he would be following some golden rules – these were:
- He was going to educate us, but we need to participate…
- He was going to be our coach this evening, but that we needed to commit to wealth…
- That earning is about learning, and that everyone needs to develop a passion for knowledge to enable growth towards the goal of wealth…
- That action is required to make a difference to our lives…
But whatever happens we must have ‘FUN!’
Detailed below is a very brief summary of Brad’s presentation and some salient points that I found of interest.
Life cycle (Overview)
Brad explained that life and markets is cyclical. Summer is followed, by Fall (Autumn), followed by Winter, followed by Spring back to summer again and that each stage in the cycle brings opportunities. Brad explained that financial markets move on a 7-10 year cycle and that if you are aware of what to look for then great sums of money can be made by judging this cycle correctly.
He then went on to give an example such as “make the money in the summer when all is going well and don’t spend it all! Because come the winter you’ll be well placed to buy businesses or real estate that hasn’t done so well. “
Although this is very high level, a lot of what Brad said during this section does make absolute sense, even though it might have not resonated with all those in the room. What Brad was saying was you need to plan and execute when to invest, when to sell and think through your actions, not just go with the flow.
Some of the colourful comments he used to illustrate his advice included:
“Motivation on its own is pointless – you motivate an idiot and he will just do MORE stupid things!” – so true!
“The problem with the English and Wealth is that you won’t discuss it! (Wealth)”
“To me a stock market crash as a sale, if you have money available you can exploit such opportunities.”
Brad introduced his business philosophy.
This included his formulae for success:
Dreams x Goals x Learning x Plans x Actions = Success
He explained what each heading meant:
Step 1 – Dreams – ‘Doubt kills more dreams than failure, go for big dreams’
Step 2 – Clear Goals gave direction
Step 3 – Now you have a goal, what do you need to learn to achieve it?
Step 4 – Plan – Have one and make sure it is relevant
Step 5 – Action – Only when all the above are in place should you take Action!
Simple, yet effective; I can see if this was adopted by the average person it would aid them in being successful.
Sales Conference (The Sales Pitch…)
It has to be said, the point of the low £20 ticket price (others were available for VIP £75 including food, drink etc.) was to get people to attend the event, so that they could be sold a ‘3 day Entrepreneurs Master Class 2016’ for the special offer of £3k.
This is where the bag full of papers came in. each piece of paper had a different option i.e. red masterclass attendance, yellow – have a free introduction meeting with an action coach, green – buy one of Brad’s (or all) of Brads books etc. The request from Brad was that each attendee should fill in at least one of the forms by the end of the evening.
To say that Brad was particularly focused on the £3k master class event was an understatement. He mentioned it with increasing regularity in the hope of filling up the course date, which I believe was taking place in December 2016. All sorts of sales ploys were used during the presentation including “those of you who fill in the form and take it to the other side of the room will get a special deal” (which turned out to be that you could take your son or daughter along with you; and that you can take a second person along for free – which it stated on the form anyway).
It has to be said, this did become a little tiresome and detracted from the good stuff being said, but I guess his measurement for success was how many people he could get signed up, so following his mantra of taking action – he went all out; a small negative against the backdrop of a most enjoyable and productive evening.
Wealth (The final frontier! sorry couldn’t resist)
Back to the event, Brad explained that the key to growing wealth starts with the commitment to invest 50% of what you earn and live on the remaining 50%. He states he invests some 87% of his earnings back into his investments and that as you do this your time moves from focusing on ‘making money’ to ‘ managing it’; in essence, make the money work for you!
He presented a simple pictorial highlighting that as you invest, you get more in return, so you can invest more and have less reliance on earnings…a very simple representation of his proposal, but very effective.
Leverage (Key to success)
In order to achieve this reinvestment of 50% of what we earn, he believes we need to stop doing and adopt his ‘Leverage Model’ which simply means ‘find ways of doing things once, but get paid ongoing for it’ i.e. by changing what you do or trying something new like writing a book. He does go onto state that this shouldn’t be underestimated, as generally tasks which require a great deal of effort tend to give little return in the short-term.
However there is no simple route through, as the trap of working ‘in-the’ business and not ‘on-it’ will not lead to wealth, as one person can only achieve so much in the time available. Brad used the analogy of an ‘Owner Manager hairdresser’ who complained that she wasn’t earning as much as the people she employed; he explained that “if you cut hair and that’s all you do, then you will never become wealthy, as you can only cut so many hairs a day; simply put, your ability isn’t scalable. She would need to manage effectively and look to grow her business to other outlets in order to create wealth.” Sounds pretty obvious stuff, but sometimes the route through problems is clear to all but those involved.
He continued, “it goes without saying that if you do an employee’s job such as cutting hair, you should only expect to get employees salary. Simple.”
I can’t argue with that…
The crux of the matter, as Brad explains is that “unless you are doing an owner’s job, which is ensuring the business has a strategy, correct systems, training, marketing, sales, innovation, learning etc. then you cannot complain about receiving an employee’s salary, as you are the architect of your own downfall.”
He goes onto explain the well-known story of Steve Jobs, Pixar and Apple stating that things changed for Apple when the business model changed from ‘make it once, sell it once’ to ‘make it scalable, sell it over and over and over’ by the introduction of iTunes. This change was the basis of Apples rise to success.
Moving on from here, Brad asked people in the audience to stand up if they were business owners, then started asking people to sit down if they thought there business could do without them for 24hrs, 6 months etc. finally ending on indefinitely. To which a total of four (I think) people remained standing.
The overall goal, he explained is for your business to “Be a commercially profitable enterprise that works without you” So that you can get on with other things such as making your own personal wealth!
In part 2, we look at Brad’s Cash flow and Capital ladder, the importance of habits, the entrepreneurs ladder, importance of positive goals, buying a business, 4 keys to success and the importance of adding value. All to follow shortly…
*Please be advised that this is only a snapshot of several hours of presentations and is not meant to be a record of the event, but a taster!
Nigel stone has, over the last fifteen years, started, led, consulted and nurtured both UK and European businesses to achieve quite outstanding results. Please feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org