Ep 394: Scaling Your Coaching Practice with Andy Bailey



If you are a coach, consultant, trainer, speaker, author, or expert who wants to scale your coaching practice, then this episode is for you!

Andy Bailey is a renowned serial entrepreneur, speaker, and constant adventurer who has built two successful coaching businesses, Petra Coach and Boundless.

Today he joins us to share insights from years of experience and breaks down the top three things he believes business owners need to do to grow and scale.

You’ll learn about nurturing personal growth within your team, mastering sales and marketing, and the importance of profitability.

You’ll also hear about Andy’s own mistakes, gain valuable tips on how to hire and maintain top talent, and hear why you should probably raise your prices.

Don’t miss this opportunity to unlock the secrets to building and sustaining a thriving coaching business!


  • An introduction to today’s episode and who is likely to benefit from it.
  • How AJ first met Andy Bailey and the unusual gift he gave her.
  • An introduction to Andy, his two companies, and what he does.
  • Insight into why Andy values profitability over passion when it comes to business.
  • Why leaders should invest in the personal growth of their team leaders, not just their own.
  • The importance of being good at sales and marketing.
  • A basic business principle for being profitable: be good at what you do.
  • How to approach investing in the personal growth of your team.
  • The most important thing to do to grow your sales: ask.
  • Why you should probably raise your prices and the tendency of people to undercharge.
  • What it takes to scale a coaching business and how to do it.
  • Some of the mistakes Andy made along the way.
  • The time it takes to build anything good and why you can’t skip steps.
  • Why you should be cautious about the decision to scale.
  • Tips on hiring, training, and maintaining good talent.
  • How to learn more about Petra Coach and Boundless.


“First and foremost, [your business] has to be profitable. If a business doesn’t generate a level of profitability, it can’t fulfill a purpose, it can’t take care of others, it can’t fulfill a mission.” — Andy Bailey [0:06:28]

“If I could give you one piece of advice, go be good at what you do.” — Andy Bailey [0:10:34]

“All that [marketing and branding] stuff is good, and you’ve got to do that, but if you’re not delivering at the point of delivery to a level better than everyone else, it’s not going to matter that much.” — Andy Bailey [0:11:08]

“Ask. Ask for the sale. You don’t get a date unless you ask for the date. They don’t just show up.” — Andy Bailey [0:17:22]

“We’ve learned that recruiting the right people is incredibly important, making sure that we do not compromise on that no matter what the story is. ” — Andy Bailey [0:27:18]

About Andy Bailey

Andy Bailey is the founder of Petra Coach and Boundless.me, where a team of entrepreneurial business coaches deploy their no B.S. approach to inspire, transform and scale teams and organizations. Spending most of his time these days in ‘start-up mode’ with his latest growth business, Boundless, Andy serves in an advisory role to the leadership team at Petra Coach.

A serial entrepreneur, Andy started his first company while still in college, which he subsequently built into a multi-year Inc. 500 corporation and successfully sold and exited. Now, he and his team coach C-level leaders, full teams and audiences of all sizes and industries toward mastering the same habits he uses to scale himself, his team and his businesses, as well as his clients’ – which he calls members – leaders, teams and businesses.

Andy is best known for his “No Try Life” approach to personal and professional growth — that is, eliminating the attitude of try. Success always boils down to doing. Further, when your actions are fueled with purpose, alignment and accountability, you’ll succeed more frequently with much less drama. He’s also penned several books on business and leadership success, including the Amazon bestseller No Try Only Do: Building a Business on Purpose, Alignment, and Accountability, more recently, Vitamin B (For Business): Your One-A-Day Supplement for Improvement in Business and Leadership, and his latest, Boundless Life Guide and Journal.

Andy is a member of Forbes’ Coaches Council, 20+ year member of the Entrepreneurs Organization and serves on Verne Harnish’s ScaleUp Leader Council. He and Petra Coach have received a number of notable accolades including Nashville’s Entrepreneur of the Year, Best in Business, Best Places to Work, Most Admired CEO and multiple inclusions on Inc.’s 500/5,000 list.


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AJV (00:02): Hey everybody, and welcome to another episode on the Influential Personal Brand. I’m so, so excited to get to introduce you guys. To my friends a Andy Bailey today. Before I give you a formal introduction to Andy there are two things that I think is really important for everyone to know. Who’s tuning in is one, as you guys know, since you listened to this podcast, you know, we serve the expert, community coaches, consultants, trainers, speakers, authors, or any of you who want to be one of those things. And a huge part of what we’re gonna talk about today is how does scale your coaching practice, right? But we’re gonna talk about the business components, the personal components the leadership parts, the sales parts. And so if that is you and that sounds appealing, then this is probably an episode you wanna stick around and listen to. The second thing that you need to know is how I met Andy Bailey, which now would be, I don’t know, 14, 15 years ago. AB (01:03): Hey, right after you moved to AJV (01:04): Nashville. I mean, it was like within months, and we got connected through a mutual acquaintance. But I remember coming to your office and I was working at our former company, and I met you there, and I still have it, and it’s sitting on my son’s shelf. And you gave out this little Yoda, these little bobblehead Yoda. Do you know what I’m talking about? AB (01:24): Hundreds and hundreds of those things we given out. But yeah, , AJV (01:28): I still have it. Do you really? I should have brought it up here as proof that I still have it. But it’s AB (01:35): My AJV (01:37): And I carried around. I still, I had carried around that to two companies, several offices, a new house, and it has made its way onto the shelf of my son’s, both of my son’s study room. And, you know, for years, people would come into my office and they would say, are you into Star Wars? And I’d be like, no, I’ve never seen it. And they’re like, why do you have a Yoda? And I’m like, oh, well, I’m gonna tell tell you this great story about this person I met named Andy Bailey, who did not give me something with his logo on it, but gave me something that now makes me tell his story everywhere I go. So I have used that on stages on podcast interviews. And you may not know it, but I talk about that little Yoda and meeting you all the time. AB (02:22): Well, I need to get a bigger stash of Yodas to start. That’s gonna be the the outcome . AJV (02:27): Yeah. And, and I still have that little sucker. So I just think that’s really important because so many of us are trying to figure out in a world that’s really noisy, how do you stand out and how do you be memorable? And sometimes it’s the personal things about yourself that stick with people the most. And I don’t get to see Andy a whole bunch. She’s now lives in Colorado, but I still have your Yoda on my shelf. And so I don’t see you all the time, but I think about you every single time I walk by that little Yoda. So, again, for those of you who are tuning in I’ll give a quick formal intro of Andy. But this is, that’s one of those things that’s like, we’re all trying to figure out how do we grow in business? How do we scale? AJV (03:09): How do we get people to know about what we do so they can buy your products and services? And often we skip past the simplest of things, which is just help people get to know you. Be memorable by just being you, which is exactly what Andy did for me 15 years ago. And now you’re on this show set. Now let me formally introduce you and we’ll get down to business. But Andy Bailey is the founder of two awesome companies Petra coach, which we’ll talk about, and his newest company that will also talk about called Boundless. But he helps businesses scale to the point of selling or scale to just the point of healthy profitability. He helps so many people that I personally know with their leadership teams, their sales teams, their executive team. He’s a serial entrepreneur. He and I are part of the same EO group here in Nashville, the Entrepreneurs organization. He is a, a speaker and a constant adventurer. So without further ado, Andy, welcome to the show. AB (04:10): Oh, aj, thanks for thanks for the introduction. There’s a lot in there for sure. We’ve been an EO member for since 1997. When I speak to those groups, I always kind of weave that in. And I’ll say, is anybody older than me in the, or? Like nobody in the world has been a member longer than 97. I’m sure there’s a few, but if there are few and far between, AJV (04:27): Oh, that’s so funny. You know, things, I, I just hired two new people and on both of their you know, I’m like filling out payroll yesterday and both of them were like, born in 2000. And it was like, how old am I? What do you mean? We’re born in 2000? So when you said 1997, it’s like, I’m like, I was just filling these out yesterday going 2000. How old are you? I’m like, doing the math and it’s like, oh my gosh, you’re babies. You’re babies. Well, I, I’m I’m so excited to have you on the show, one, because I just, I know you personally, I know that you’ve got such a breadth of wisdom of not just in business, but in this really awesome niche business that we happen to be in, which is in the coaching world, right? It’s like you have built an enormously successful coaching business that helps other people build their businesses. So there’s so much dual benefit of the conversation that we’re gonna have today. And so I’m gonna start super broad and I’m just like, whatever wisdom you have to get, I’m gonna take this personally as like my free coaching hour with Andy, cuz you’re real expensive. But for everybody else’s gonna get some benefit too. So here’s my first question. If you had to nail it down to like the top one to three things that you think business owners need to do today to grow and scale, what would they be? AB (05:49): That’s pretty easy. So I, I think in this order of importance, and this is never a popular answer cause I’ve, I’ve, I’ve given this answer at colleges and at talks before and everybody wants me to say stuff like, you know, find something you’re passionate about or define your purpose and put a big, like, you know, all that stuff is great, but first and foremost, it has to be profitable. Hmm. If a business doesn’t generate a level of profitability, it can’t fulfill purpose, it can’t take care of others, it can’t fulfill a mission, none of that stuff. Mm-Hmm. matters. I’m not saying one’s more important than the other, but if you don’t have the money, you can’t run the business. Yeah. You know, and I watch it happen quite a bit. So profitability would be at the very top of the list, making sure that that’s in check. AB (06:39): We were talking about people earlier. You, you have to, and we see this in EO quite a bit now. I have the fortunate I get to go talk to a lot of EO and business people and big groups and big crowds and usually leadership or the leader themselves, they invest in their own personal growth. Hmm. But they don’t do the same for their team members. Hmm. If you take a, a general business that’s about five or 10 million in revenue, and if you took their p and l and just looked at what is the education line or the learning line the majority of that’s gonna be tilted towards the owner of the business, the entrepreneur themselves, and then it just goes right down the scale all the way to the frontline. So we’ve got to make sure that we’re investing to grow our people. AB (07:24): Sometimes I’ll, I’ll speak to it as, you know, if a business is growing at 20% a year, everybody in the business has to grow at 20% a year. They have to build additional capacity. Capacity can be knowledge or skills or, you know, feeling better, whatever it might look like. But we have to make sure that we’re investing in the people. So, so profitability, focusing on to the individual. And then I think they gotta get really good at sales and marketing. Hmm. You can have a lot, you can have a lot of really screwed up in your operations side, and that stuff’s a little bit easy to fix, but if you don’t have anything coming in the front of the house, it’s hard to, to work on the back of the house. Yeah. Making sure that what you build, the engine you build is a profitable engine. Making sure that you’re growing your people at a pace that you’re growing your business and then making sure that you have a way to go get people in the door to buy or to to sell your services or your product too. AJV (08:23): Mm-Hmm. Those are good. And I have a question for each one of these cuz I think these are one just sound business like sound business principles that we often neglect in the sake of do what you wanna do and, you know Yeah. And that’s also important. But those should important that those should a little bit be the, well duh, you should do what makes you happy, but at the end of the day, it also has to work, right? And working means it’s profitable. So if you, generally speaking, had to just give anyone who’s like, their businesses could be, maybe they’re a speaker, maybe they’re an attorney, maybe they’re a dentist, maybe they’re a coach or anything in between, right? But it’s like, if there were just a couple of simple keys of going, like, this is just basic business 1 0 1 when it comes to getting profitable, what do people need to know? AB (09:13): Be the, be the, be be good. That’s the answer to your AJV (09:16): Question, . Yes. AB (09:17): Yeah. That AJV (09:19): . Yeah. Actually do what you say you do, right? AB (09:23): Yeah. well we have some rules in business. One of ’em is do we say you’re gonna do be, you know, be on time every time, finish what you start and say please and thank you. Like that’s four rules in business that everybody should be following. Your competition doesn’t do that. It’s easy to outpace your competition if you do those four things. But what I’m saying about being good is if I stack up everybody else that does what I do and you know, people are gonna pick me, I, this sounds like an arrogant statement, but people are gonna pick me outta that lineup nine out of 10 times. I’ve, I’ve literally had spent a thousand days in rooms with teams like let that seek in for a second, 1,008 to 10 hour days working with teams of people over the last decade plus all the prep work, plus all the reading, you know, the 300 books that went into it. AB (10:09): I’m good at what I do. I’m really good at what I do. That means I don’t have to go market myself all that much or go sell myself all that much. It means I can be more profitable. It, it means I can do all the things in business that I want to go do. Now my job now, because of the scale of Petra, is to get other people to be good, which is a whole nother challenge. And that’s what I’m working on. But the answer to the question is, if I can give you one piece of advice, go be good at what you do. Yeah. Really, really good. AJV (10:41): I love that. What I wrote down for myself is be so good at what you do that you’re the only option, right? It’s like you so outpace everyone around you that you are the only option because you’re so good at it. AB (10:52): That’s right. That’s right. Whatever is your chosen field. If it’s writing or speaking or coaching, especially your audience, you know, probably a lot of solo entrepreneurs or solopreneurs, you know, they’re, they have to, they, they probably spend a lot of their time in as my website, right? As my business card ride. Do I have my, my thing put together is the cover of all that stuff is good and you gotta do that. But if, if you’re not delivering at the point of delivery to a level better than everybody else, it’s not gonna matter that much. AJV (11:22): Mm-Hmm. . Yeah. You know, it’s interesting we talk about this all the time at Brand Builders Group is that people often want to skip the fun, what we would call the fundamentals of building your personal brand. Which is, you know, ultimately what problem do you solve? What’s the unique way in which you solve it? Who do you solve it for? And how do you make money solving it? That’s step one. Step two is what do you have to say that forwards the conversation? So it’s developing your true thought leadership. And then number three is then how do you wanna say that? Right? That’s the art, the artistry of our content, the art artistry of our spoke, of our body of work. And what I find so often is people wanna skip all of that and they wanna have a pretty website, right? Because there’s this tangible pretty thing that’s like, look how pretty this is. Or they wanna jump straight to social media or they wanna, you know, they wanna do all the things that make it look like something versus having back to what you say, it’s like, make yours content so good, you don’t have to market it. Right? And it’s like, that’s hard and it takes time. A lot of effort. AB (12:33): The time piece is probably the one that’s most difficult, especially in our time now. Cause everything is instant and you have an entire generation that grew up on everything is at my fingertips. If I want something, I just push a button in the car comes, picks me up, takes me. Like all that stuff is instant. There’s no real concept of time. And you’ve heard the statement and everybody probably has heard the, you know, every success overnight success is a 25 year journey always, AJV (13:00): Right? AB (13:00): Mm-Hmm. Petra is now 12 years old. I mean, that’s a, that’s a decade long business journey. And if you look at it, you go, man, these guys are doing great. Well, we weren’t doing great 12 years ago, and we were charging nothing and working our asses off and, you know, screwing a bunch of stuff up, but learning along the way. But we built on a little bit of success and then built on a little bit more and built on a little bit more and we didn’t stop being good and we kept mm-hmm. looking for what’s the next good. And we still do that today. AJV (13:29): Yeah. And that kind of leads into the second thing that you said, which is be growing as yourself, the leader, right? The entrepreneur, the business owner, but also have your team grow. And so I’d love, do you have any just kind of like tips or, you know, best practices, rules of thumb, whatever we wanna call it, of how much do you invest in your team, right? Like what, what’s a good budget policy? Do you let them pick? Do you pick like what’s a good practice? AB (13:57): I don’t think there’s an answer to what not, not a universal answer. You know, if you’re, you know, 10% of gross margins should get, like, that stuff probably doesn’t exist cuz everybody needs something in a little different degree. But certainly if you’re running an organization that has people in it, other than you, you should be working with the individuals to figure out where are their gaps. You know, what is the place, not weaknesses, but gaps. Mm-Hmm. what they need in order to, if your business, I said this to you earlier before we got on, but if the business is growing at 20% a year, that’s 60% over a three year period, every person around the table had better be 60% better, stronger, faster, smarter, all the stuff. Or when you reach that place, you’re gonna hit a ceiling and not be able to grow past it. AB (14:42): Or you’re gonna Yeah. Experience a lot of chaos and pain. Right? So what do you have to do? And sometimes that’s people skills. Like, Jimmy, I need to teach you how to actually deal with people and, and sometimes that’s knowledge and you know, I need to learn you how to learn how to code something, right? There’s, there’s, it depends on the, the position and what the outcome is. But if we do it, if we wait until it’s too late, then it’s too much to grasp. You know, if you, if you wait until you’re 40 pounds overweight and you start working out, it’s really difficult if you start doing it now while you, you can keep it in check kind of thing. So small bite sized pieces, but the key is to sit down with team members and find out what are we doing to grow you. Mm-Hmm. not what are you doing to grow the business, but what are we doing to grow you? And it doesn’t have to be like 50% of the person’s time or 5% of the person’s time. It can be small things. If we do it on a regular basis, that’s AJV (15:37): Good. AB (15:38): The company just don’t focus on that. AJV (15:40): That’s good. But that, I mean, that’s the whole, that’s the whole concept. I remember hearing this years ago, it’s like, if you grow, the business will grow, right? So it’s like, you know, it’s like we’re all, businesses are just a collection of the people, right? And their experience skills, knowledge, right? It’s like, businesses don’t exist without humans. Some human has to be there. So it’s like, where are you growing? And as long as you’re growing the business will likely follow you in some capacity. All right. And then the third thing, sales and marketing, which you kind of referenced this a little bit. It’s like, man, if you’re so good that you’re the only option, kind of sell yourself. But in a world where it’s easy to compare your step one to someone else’s step 1000, or you’re year one to someone else’s year 12. And when you get in a world that’s so noisy with distraction of, oh, we’ve gotta, you know, we’ve got this growth funnel and we’ve got this email thing and we’ve got this new website thing and you’ve got all things digital that are real distracting and surprise, they actually cost a lot of money and also take a lot of time, what would you say are the one to two things? It’s like, just pause for a minute. If you really wanna grow sales, this is what you need to do. What would you say? AB (16:58): Ask AJV (16:59): . AB (17:02): Ask, ask for the sale. I mean, most people are, you, you, we don’t get what we, I mean nobody, you don’t get a date unless you ask for a date. Like they don’t just show up. I mean, maybe they do these days, but they typically, you have to ask in some form or fashion. We hide behind a bunch of that doesn’t put us face to face with people. Mm-Hmm. AB (17:19): , you’re wanting to get an engagement, sell a book, sell a case of books, you know, book a speaking thing and you’re talking to somebody, ask ’em for the sale. Hey, are we ready to do this? We ready to get this on? Whatever it is you’ve gotta say, and I explain it like this to salespeople, my own salespeople included, before that moment in time you didn’t have anything. Nothing. You didn’t have the sale. You did not have the sale. You had zero, so you got no risk in it already. Mm-Hmm. , take the risk. And the second thing would be pricing. Most of the people that I’m, I’m making some assumptions here so correct me if I’m wrong, but I would, I would eventually guess that, that most of the people that you work with are way under charging for the services that they provide. AJV (18:06): Way undercharging. Let me make sure you heard that way. Undercharging. Most of you. AB (18:12): Yeah. Yeah. And I find that even in business, especially in small business, and it’s one of the hardest things we do. Like we, we coach it’s 10 million to a billion dollar companies now. But anytime that we go into an organization and we do a financial review and, and we have like le we call ’em levers, we can pull these levers. One of the levers is increase in price. Hmm. And you would’ve thought I just shot somebody’s dog in the room and made ’em watch. When we started talking about we’re gonna have to do a 3% increase in price, well shut the market and paper costs 17% more gas is 40% increased freight to bring the stuff to the warehouse went up by 70% last quarter. What do you mean you’re freaked out about passing along this percentage increase to the customer? Well, I’m gonna go tell ’em. AB (18:54): It’s a price increase. Everybody’s got a price increase. Mm-Hmm. and most of the services that we offer have value on the other side of it. And I think what we get tangled up in is our own minds of what’s just me on the stage for an hour or, you know, it’s just the written word, you know, that my creativity shouldn’t cost all that kind of much. Mm-Hmm. . But what you’re bringing to the table is not what you’re doing in that room or what you wrote on that page. It’s the 18 years of experience or five years of experience or the thing that you lived through that was pure hell. And now you’re gonna go tell the story. That’s the thing. That’s the value. Now you put in the work for 18 years, eight months, three days, whatever your story might be, that’s what you need to get paid for. AB (19:37): Mm-Hmm. . So I tell businesses a lot, especially little ones. I remember we have a mutual friend in Nashville. I won’t mention her name, but she is in the wedding business. Okay. and, and the first time I met her, she asked me if I would have a business, you know, could I help her with her thing? And it was probably her and like one other person. And the first thing I told her was, double your prices. Don’t even talk to me anymore. Go back to your office and double your prices. Now, I didn’t talk to her for a a while and she came and found me one day and said, I did exactly what you told me to do. Certainly did doubled my business, not just my number. Doubled my business in the first year. So those two things ask and charge more. AJV (20:21): Yeah. That’s so good. You know, it’s so funny cuz I know exactly who you’re talking about. And, and not only did she double her business, she had a wait list. She had a wait list of people who wanted her services to do their, you know, very at that point, high-end weddings. And it did double her business and then had a wait list. Because I think a part of that is, you know, I think what I have found anyways in a lot of programs out there is if you, if you don’t have confidence in your own pricing, the consumer base has just a lack of confidence in what it is. And it’s like, that’s only this amount of money. It can’t be that good. It’s like we even associate pricing with quality, which is often not true. Right. And I think the great analogy to that is a book, right? It’s like, I think books are one of the most undervalued and most important things in the whole world because it’s like, you think about how much I prepared Noah offense and for this podcast and it was like 10 minutes. But you think about how much I would prepare for a blog, I don’t know, maybe it’s 20 minutes, but how much time I take to prepare for a book is years. Yeah. Right? The amount of editing and distilling and back and forth and it’s what, $24 and 99 cents to buy a book? AB (21:41): Yeah. You make books. I got a couple of ’em myself, AJV (21:44): You know, and it’s like, but it’s like I think we, we go, oh well, you know, but Right. Somehow it’s like, if I wanna coach with Andy, it’s gonna cost me $20,000. Right. It’s like, or I could read a freaking book. Right. And it’s not that it’s, they’re clearly different, but a lot of times we just undervalue things because they are underpriced and it’s like when you get it priced right, people actually, you attract the right audience. And I just, I see that happen with our clients all the time. It’s, they’re not attracting their right audience because they’re not priced right. They’re attracting an audience that actually is the opposite of what they’re looking for based on pricing. AB (22:20): Well, they, and they won’t volume too. They, they’re, you know, well I can get, they won’t buy it at that. Everybody else is charging $99 and if I charge more than $99, they won’t buy it. Well, everybody’s buying the other person’s now. It’s like, you know, do you want all of those because you gotta go do the work that represents all of those. If you triple the price and you got one third, the amount, you’re actually better because you’re working one third is often or the same money. Like Correct. It, it, it, it doesn’t make any sense. I mean we, we’ve got, we in our organization, Petra today, we’ve gone from, I remember the day that we went to $2,500 a month was our standard fee for coaching. We have companies today that are 25,000 a month. Mm-Hmm. , same, same person, exact same person. Pretty much the same process has evolved over the course of time a little bit, but pretty much the same process, A lot more knowledge, decade of knowledge in the room. But from 2,500 to 25,000, I go see somebody for two days, every three months they pay me $75,000 for two days and I go get it. I feel like I do a good job. We have good results. Then they make another a hundred million dollars at the end of the year. Everybody’s happy. Yeah. AJV (23:35): Yeah. It’s kind of back to, it’s like people don’t pay for time, they pay for experience. That’s right. And your ability to consolidate that and to super easy to, you know, like to comprehend strategies and principles that my team can then go and deploy. Right. That’s what we’re paying for. So, kinda on that note, you mentioned Petra, which you have scaled to a very healthy eight figure coaching business over the last decade. So if we were to just take a moment and narrow in a little bit of, not general practice, but like scaling a coaching business, like what does it take, what do you need to know and how do you do it? What do you got for us? AB (24:15): Well that’s, that’s a, I should probably write that book cause a lot of people wanna know that. What I did in the very beginning when it was just me, was a, I went to some kind of thought leader gurus that are around the coaching world. And I started asking the question, cuz this is what I do and I teach other people to do the same thing. If I wanna achieve something, go find somebody who’s already done it and just ask ’em how they did it. You’re asking me now. So I went to two or three people who are kind of kings of the methodology and just said who, you know, I, I would like to, I’m my history comes from recurring revenue. So I learned the reoccurring revenue thing back in when I, in my twenties. So I did not want to just trade my time for money for the rest of my life. AB (24:58): I wanted to make sure I built something that returned return revenue without me doing it back in the story. So I asked a few people and they said, you know, I don’t really know of anybody that that took, you know, a methodology turned and that they would deliver to a group of people and turned it into a practice with. So I had to figure that piece out on my own. Extremely difficult, more difficult. And I, and I started a software company aligned, as you’re familiar with it’s in New Orleans has 25 or 30 employees, does great down there. We’ve got a marketing company as well you know, in, in the Petra imbalance. So I, I started these kind of traditional businesses alongside this coaching practice after having a traditional business for 18 years prior to that and exiting it, coaching practice factor 10 more difficult to scale factor a 10 . AB (25:52): Like, it, it’s an incredibly difficult thing. So how did I do it a little bit at a time? So we’ve made some mistakes early, we got some wrong people in the seats outta necessity. I learned that lesson really quick, meaning there was so much business coming in the door that I just really needed the relief. Mm-Hmm. . So I’ve put a couple of coaches in place who were not good at what they do. They weren’t any remotely near good and turned them loose on these people who quickly ran away from them. So I had to kind of back that up. So I learned, well, exactly what am I looking at looking for in a coach? I didn’t really know. I, I like intuitively knows, so defined exactly to the letter what that looked like mm-hmm. . And we are incredibly intense on anybody who wants to work inside of the organization as a coach today. They have to go through, we called it gauntlet. You know, I talked to a guy today and he wanted to be a coach. I said, look man, we’re like the Navy Seals, you know, we take the best of the best in the world and then we put ’em through hell and if you make it through hell, then maybe we’ll invite you in. You gotta be ready for that kind of thing. So people, some people are attracted to that process, some people are repelled by it. There’s a reason that that exists mm-hmm. AB (27:01): . And then again, it’s when you first got someone in, so I go get another coach, we bring ’em back in. There’s a period of time that, and it’s usually somewhere between 12 and 24 months. They go through a training process and then day one in the room with the client, they completely fall apart. Like they forget all their training, what they’re supposed to say, what the next steps are, what page, like forget absolutely everything. So they screw up for about a year to two years. And we call it burning members. We call our clients members because we know we are putting companies in there now they’re getting value, more value than they would get from the open market, but not nearly the value that they’re gonna get if they came to this person when they were two years in. You with me? Sure. Mm-Hmm. , we, we charge less for it. We’re very open and straightforward. They get a lot of time with the coach, but the coach’s abilities aren’t developed yet. But we, we’ve learned that recruiting the right people is incredibly important. Making sure that we do not compromise on that no matter what the circumstance is. And then training and retraining and training and retraining as we go down this path. And nothing replaces experience. AB (28:20): We can do all the online training, all the shadowing, all the books, everything, everything. But as your speakers on this absolutely understand you’re not as good. I don’t care what, you know, from stage, the 50th time as you are gonna be the 500th time experience is the best teacher. AJV (28:43): Yeah. So funny. One of our early mentors, when my husband Rory was competing for the world championship of public speakers, I, we remember this so clearly, and Eric Chester is the one who told us this. He said, the only difference between a good speaker and a great speaker is a thousand speeches. I said, go give this presentation a thousand times and a promise to you, it’ll be great. Yep. And that’s what he did. That is literally what my crazy husband did. In the back of a Denny’s with two, two people to any school or free club that would have him. And, and that first 12 months when he was competing, he did that speech probably 340 times. And that’s once a day. Y’all like, there’s only 365 days in a year. And out of 25,000 contestants, he came in second. Right. What he says he is the number one loser . But it’s like, you know, but it’s like, man, it was, he’s doing it every single day. You think about that, it’s like you do anything every single day over time, you’re just gonna get better. AB (29:52): There’s, you have no choice. But most people, most people will not go do that. And we talked a little bit prior about, you know, just the societal viewpoint today is, I won’t give me that now. I deserve it. Mm-Hmm. , no, you don’t, you haven’t done it a hundred times or 340 times or a thousand times. You don’t deserve it. You’re, you’re not going to be good or great until you go put in the work. And that the work part is the, the part that most people won’t go do. Only a few. And those few will ex, you know, exceed and show up and, you know, get, they’ll get the brass ring or the golden ring or whatever it is that they’re chasing. AJV (30:37): Yeah. I think that’s a good reminder to all of us. And even like starting Brain Builders Group, like we turn five years old in just a couple of weeks. Right. And it feels, it feels like yesterday, right? But we were build building our first coaching company for 12 years. And you know, the thing that I’ve learned is like, the more that you do something, the quicker you can redo it and make it better. But, you know, it’s like we stepped into building brand builders groups constantly frustrated of like, why isn’t this working fast enough? Right? And it’s like, but you look up one day and you’re like, oh, that’s because it’s like, again, I just, I have, I have so much to learn in the patience category, but it’s like, and it takes time to build anything good takes time. And if you rush it, you’re gonna cut corners and you’re gonna skip things that are crucial to the foundation. And I know from our community and from people listening, it’s like, man, you wanted to work so bad and you wanted to work so fast that you’re often tempted to just skip steps. But it’s like you’re always gonna have to repeat those steps at some point. AB (31:39): And everybody’s looking for a like a silver bullet. Like a, can I use a piece of technology? Can I use a, you know, like no , you can use it, but you’re not getting a skill from it. AJV (31:52): Yeah. That’s good. So I, I think one of the things too, because you have done this, how many, how many coaches do you have at Petra? AB (32:01): There’s about 20, 25, 26, something like that. AJV (32:03): That’s a lot. That’s a ton. So if you were to give any tips, and I know we only have a couple of minutes left here, but if you were to give any tips for people going, wait Andy, I have to go hire people. Like where do I find good talent? Like how do I find, attract, train, and keep good talent? What are your tips? AB (32:27): First of all, it’s a decision process. And I, I’ve had this conversation, especially when somebody, I, I, I’ll use an example. Been working with the company now for a while, like a decade, a while. And when they first approached me, highly successful, highly profitable, just a few people kind of run like a fraternity house. And they were in the sales business and they all made great money, I’m think, I mean like millions a year, right? So, and they want, but he wanted a business. He’s like, you know, I feel like, I feel like I need a business. I’d like to, I wanna scale this thing. I wanna turn it into an actual business. I know it’s just a job right now and it’s a good job, but an actual business. I’m like, are you sure dude? Like, you need to be sure. AB (33:12): And there’s nothing wrong with solopreneur lifestyle business, you know, staying small, staying small and being great. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Cause it takes an enormous amount of energy to scale something beyond yourself. Mm-Hmm. a group of people to look, smell and act the way you want them to look, smell and act on a regular basis is not an undertaking for the lighthearted. So the first is be very cautious with even the decision. Cause you know, we glorify business people and put ’em on magazines and talk about their organization. You know, it’s a 10,000 person group or a hundred thousand person group or whatever. But the glory is the end result. What they don’t see is, are the years of the pain to get there. So the first point of that is be cautious of making that decision in the first place. AB (34:07): The second piece is you’re going to lose money before you make money. Mm-Hmm. So if you make 2 million a year doing what you’re doing today as a solopreneur, you probably are gonna get to a place where you make it half million dollars in the first three years of your little venture off into being a business. Cause now you’re paying other people to do this stuff 30% as well as you were doing it until they can get it up to the a hundred percent where you want them to be. And you gotta be willing to suck that up for a period of time in order to get scale on the other side. Right. So you’re gonna, it’s gonna cost you not just effort and energy and time, but a lot of money to go build something like that as well. So at the end of the day, just be cautious with the decision itself. AJV (34:48): Yeah. I think that’s actually really wise. And sage advice because I think we often get so tempted where we think we have to scale. We think we have to grow. And the truth is, you AB (35:00): Know, you don’t have, AJV (35:01): You don’t, AB (35:02): I’m at a place right now with Petra where we, we, you know, we had meeting, we had a meet half a half a day meeting today. I mean, our business does really well. It makes, it makes really good money. I’m not that involved in it anymore. You know, I’ve built it so it could run on its own. That’s what we do with other companies, might as well do it my own. So all of my businesses operate pretty much without me. But in order to go from where we are to the next level, you know, the 25 it’s gonna take a lot of my time and attention and I’m weighing in my mind like, am I actually willing to go do that or am I OK where I am and could I point my energy in another direction? So the, I’m, I’m making that decision personally while I’m telling you guys the exact same thing you asked me about how to, where to go look for a great team members to be in a coaching, right. Put down the attributes, not the skillset. Mm-Hmm. AJV (35:55): . That’s good. AB (35:56): What are you looking for from an attribute standpoint before you look at the skillset? Skillsets can be taught, attributes are innate and they’re just part of the being. AJV (36:06): Mm-Hmm. AB (36:06): . So what are your core values of your business? What is the purpose of your business? What are the pure attributes that you’re looking for in a human being to ? You know, I wrote an article years ago AJ called sharing a toilet seat. It actually was in the Tennessee, if you remember that old, that AJV (36:21): Old office. Yeah. AB (36:22): . And it was about I said, look when you hire somebody, you’re gonna sit on the same toilet seat that they sit on. Aren’t, don’t you wanna take just a little bit of time picking that person like, like hiring somebody. Right? And then it went into what are the inter what can you do to slow this process down and be more just more pointed with making your decision. AJV (36:43): Yeah. I actually, I love that it’s, you know, and actually I really love that it’s what can you do to slow the process down versus, you know, how do I speed it up? And I think so often it’s like, how do we make faster recruiting decisions and how do we expedite the onboarding? And it’s actually, I really love the advice of like, no, slow it down. Right? It’s like, don’t make these hasty decision decisions. Know exactly who they are. Make sure they know who you are. And that, again, takes time. So slow it down. AB (37:15): Well, you, you’ve had the experience. I’m making an, again, another assumption and I talk to a lot of business people. You know how difficult it is to get somebody out of your business once they’ve been there. AJV (37:25): Oh yeah. It’s, it’s annoyingly difficult and to do it, there’s not gonna create any sort of legal ramifications or everyone leaves on good terms and everyone’s happy. It’s like, you know, it’s, it’s, you know, it’s a little bit like getting married. And you know, for those who’ve been through this getting divorced, it’s often a lot easier to get married than it is divorced. AB (37:49): Super easy to get married, super easy, really difficult to break that thing up. Yeah. Same thing is true and AJV (37:55): Painful for all the parties involved. So slow it down. I love that advice. AB (38:01): You wouldn’t rush into a marriage you would date for a while. You’d pick different people, you’d sit with ’em, you’d talk like, you learn about somebody before you make the commitment. Same thing is true here. AJV (38:09): Yeah. I think that’s so good. Andy, if people wanna learn about Petra and what you do for businesses, and if somebody’s in a state of like, I am scaling and I do need this kind of advice, where should they go to learn about Petra? AB (38:22): Just go to petra coach.com. We have some online tools and some downloads there. We also do some live events virtual live events. May the 18th, I don’t know if this comes out prior to May the 18th, but we, we do have a live event in Nashville that people are welcome to sign up. Most of this stuff is free as well. AJV (38:39): Ah, that’s awesome. And I’ll put all that in the show notes. But then also you’ve got this awesome new company boundless, stop me. And that’s really more about the personal development side. And so can you give us your 32nd? Tell us about Boundless and where people go to find out about it. AB (38:54): Yeah, so as we were talking about earlier, like growing the individual inside of the business, that was a missing component inside of Petra wasn’t something that we could spend a lot of time with. So we started the business a couple of years ago that St took the tools for growing an organization, a company. And we just turned those tools into tools for the individual. We call it high performance for high performing humans. So it’s literally, think of it as life planning. Where you, where you gonna be in your life? What do you want in 10 years? What do you want in a year? Very, very detailed. We created a journal system that goes along with it so you can write every day. And it’s a process I’ve been following personally for 12 years and I just turned it into this stuff. It’s been, this has been a fun journey creating this. AJV (39:35): And people can go to boundless.me to check out the more personal development side. And then also in the show notes Andy’s been so gracious, we’re gonna include an awesome QR code where you can just sign up for quick, easy little, you know, snippets of information that’ll come to you every day. And so that’ll all be in the show notes and I’ll put all of the other links in there so that you guys can learn, stay in touch and continue to get these awesome pieces of wisdom from my good friend Andy Bailey. Andy, thank you so much for being here. I so appreciate you. And for everyone listening, make sure you stay tuned for the Cliff Notes version of this episode, which we’ll release shortly after this. We’ll see you next time on the influential personal brand.

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25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

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