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EP 66 | The Predictable Growth Framework with Nick Bradley

10.13.21 | 0 Market Scale

Nick Bradley is the co-founder and director of The Fielding Group, a growth consultancy firm that helps founders and shareholders achieve freedom, accumulate wealth, and accelerate impact by improving business performance. Nick is a world-renowned business growth expert who works with entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors on building high-value companies. Over the last decades, he has built, bought, and sold over 24 businesses with a combined valuation of $5.2 billion. Nick owns several other businesses in various industries—including education, media, and professional services—and continues to build his portfolio via acquisitions and joint ventures. Being passionate about helping other entrepreneurs grow and scale their business, Nick shares his expertise and insight by hosting Scale Up Your Business, the UK’s #1 business podcast. 

Nick joins me today to discuss the eight key areas a business must master to drive exponential, predictable growth. He shares his passion for health and fitness and discusses what sports and ultramarathons have taught him about running and growing a business. He highlights the importance of taking control of your time and explains how time management can give you more freedom in business and life. He also reveals why businesses often stop growing and underscores the power of having a clear business purpose.

“Anyone can build a business that grows over time, but if you don’t know the dynamics of that growth, you can’t necessarily repeat it and create efficiencyit’s not predictable.” - Nick Bradley 

This week on The Model FA Podcast: 

        What health, fitness, and ultramarathons have taught Nick about scaling a business

        How Nick became passionate about fitness

        How to get out of complacency

        The power of discipline, structure, and planning

        Why planning your day gives you more freedom and flexibility

        Why businesses need to have a clear purpose

        The importance of knowing the ideal client you want to serve

        Why businesses that don’t niche down slow their growth

        Staying in your zone of genius and the power of cultivating an ecosystem that can help you scale

        Miracle mornings and creating the best morning routine for you

        The role of clarity and precision in business and life

 

Resources Mentioned: 

        Book: Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

        Book: The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington

        Book: Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

        Book: The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) by Hal Elrod

        Book: The Road Less Stupid: Advice from the Chairman of the Board by Keith Cunningham

        Book: The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller

 

Our Favorite Quotes: 

        “The more you can use your schedule, the more likely you are to follow through with the goals you’ve set.” - David DeCelle

        “Choose a group of people you want to serve. Doing so defines your marketing, service plan, and the experience that you deliver.” - David DeCelle

        “If you don’t take control of your time, the vacuum that exists there is going to be filled by something else.” - Nick Bradley

 

Connect with Nick Bradley: 

        The Fielding Group

        Scale Up Your Business Podcast

        The Fielding Group on LinkedIn

        The Fielding Group on Facebook

        The Fielding Group on Twitter

        Scale Up Your Business Facebook Community

        Nick Bradley on LinkedIn

        Nick Bradley on Instagram

 

About the Model FA Podcast 

The Model FA podcast is a show for fiduciary financial advisors. In each episode, our host David DeCelle sits down with industry experts, strategic thinkers, and advisors to explore what it takes  to build a successful practice — and have an abundant life in the process. We believe in continuous learning, tactical advice, and strategies that work — no “gotchas” or BS. Join us to hear stories from successful financial advisors, get actionable ideas from experts, and re-discover your drive to build the practice of your dreams. 

Did you like this conversation? Then leave us a rating and a review in whatever podcast player you use. We would love your feedback, and your ratings help us reach more advisors with ideas for growing their practices, attracting great clients, and achieving a better quality of life. While you are there, feel free to share your ideas about future podcast guests or topics you’d love to see covered. 

Our Team:President of Model FA, David DeCelle 

 

If you like this podcast, you will love our community! Join the Model FA Community on Facebook to connect with like-minded advisors and share the day-to-day challenges and wins of running a growing financial services firm.

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Nick Bradley  00:07

Clarity and precision; those two concepts are so important in business. Because if you've got clarity, you have more confidence, usually, you have more certainty and then everything else seems to flow. So, again, if you've got a small team, if you've got clarity, and you stand up in front of that team and say, this is what we're doing, this is why it matters; that changes the way that they will operate. So you can see, back to scalability, more people, more process, having a bigger entity, having an empire of businesses, per se; that level of stuff that you're working on through these things we're talking about today, makes a bigger compounding difference on how successful you are.

 

David DeCelle  00:43

Welcome Model FAs. David DeCelle here, president of Model FA, and I'm really excited about the guest that we have today. So it's kind of cool how this came about. If you remember one of our prior guests, Dave Meltzer, who was on our show. We had him on and he also has an arm to his company that helps play matchmaker in the podcast world and someone on his team had reached out and introduced me to Nick Bradley. And at first glance, I was like, hmm, I don't know if it's gonna be a great fit, not really in our industry, per se. But the more digging I did on Nick and conversation that we had, I think he's gonna be an outstanding guest today. So he's not our typical guest as it relates to our industry specifically, but as I read through his background, I think you'll be pretty intrigued with what he has to say. So without further ado, Nick Bradley is a world renowned business growth expert who works with entrepreneurs, business leaders, and investors building high value companies. And over the last decade, he has built, bought, and sold 24 businesses with a combined valuation of 5.2 billion, with a B, dollars. He also works with private equity and venture capital firms across the UK and the US, leading business turnarounds, mergers, acquisitions, and scale ups. He's also the co-founder of The Fielding Group, a growth consultancy that helps companies improve business performance, in order for the founders and shareholders to achieve freedom, accumulate wealth, and accelerate impact. In addition to this, Nick also owns seven other businesses in a variety of industries, including education, media, and professional services, and is always looking to build his portfolio via acquisitions and joint ventures. He is originally from Australia. He's a dedicated family man who has a strong background in physical fitness, having completed 67 marathons. I thought I was cool when I did the marathon a couple years ago in Miami; he's done 67, and 24 ultramarathons worldwide. He's also a qualified personal trainer and performance coach. And finally, his mission is to help create business empires with impact, bring entrepreneurial skill set and mindset to people all over the world as a driving force of progression and prosperity. So Nick, welcome to the show, and I'm very excited to have you.

 

Nick Bradley

That was a mouthful, David.

 

David DeCelle

It is, but it's cool, and not only am I looking forward to the backgrounds and some of the topics that we had discussed previous to hitting the record button, but being originally from Australia, and the UK, I'm just excited to hear you talk, quite frankly.

 

Nick Bradley  03:35

It's great to be here. It's great to be here, but listen, we can cover all of that, none of that, whatever you want to do. But there's a, it's an eclectic journey of lots of different stuff that I'm sure will be of interest to your listeners.

 

David DeCelle  03:47

And I just want to give some context, because this was not in your bio. So the things that I hit on were 24 businesses that have been built, bought, and sold for a valuation of $5.2 billion, talk through 67 marathons and 24 ultramarathons. One would expect, based on those numbers, you'd be in your 60s, 70s, or something like that, and have a lot of time on this earth to be able to accomplish that. But obviously, looking at you, you don't look 60, 70, or 80, so you either age really well or you're still fairly young. So just for some context, how old are you?

 

Nick Bradley  04:23

I'm 47, you know, 47, I've been around the block a few times. So I've probably got 25, a bit over that, 26 years in business. So I've had a whole range of careers, actually. I've worked in corporate for a long time before private equity, but as you alluded to in the intro, I'm a fanatic when it comes to health and fitness. So not just endurance sports like marathons but all sorts of things like biohacking and energy management's. And so the reason that I've done a lot of stuff I think is because I'm intentional about health and fitness.

 

David DeCelle  04:54

Love it. Well, it looks good on you, and I'll probably look for some tips from you as well. All about that self-care trying to be 55 looking 25. So I hear you on that. So one of the topics that we had discussed initially, and we kind of hit on this very, very briefly with what I just said, but you've done a lot of marathons and ultramarathons. And there's been other folks in my life that have been mentors from afar. So, one of the examples I'll give is David Goggins, who I'm sure you're aware of, and I think he does a phenomenal job sharing the similarities with fitness and business. I'd like you to hit on some of those today as well. So I guess what has marathons and ultramarathons taught you about success, in business and in life in general?

 

Nick Bradley  05:45

Yeah, absolutely. And I think what I'll do is I'll sort of give a little bit of a story around why I've done these things and why I continue to do it. So I got into sport and fitness because as a child, I was really overweight, like massive, like I weigh in kilograms now, which I know isn't great for US audience because no one understands it. I'm 75 kilos now which things about 165 pounds, and I was around 230 pounds as a 10 year old.

 

David DeCelle

As a 10 year old.

 

Nick Bradley 

Yeah, so yeah, I was a big guy, I was a big guy. So and because of that, like I got bullied quite a bit at school, and there's a lot of things going on. So I turned to physical fitness and sport at a younger age in a way of getting out of those scenarios, because they were pretty painful at the time. And so I managed to go from being this really overweight kid to being an athlete within about a space of five years. And my sports were things like rowing and basketball. And at the same time around that, my grandfather, when I was 10, he'd had a really bad heart attack — was actually just before I was 10. But he was the first Australian to run a marathon after having open heart surgery. And I remember, it was 1984, and I was at the finish line when he finished this marathon. And everyone said he was gonna die. But he did it in just over four hours. I mean, like, crazy, right? Good numbers. So that was going on, I was transforming. And I think for me, that's sort of, they say the stuff that happens to you when you're younger, really is a pattern of what happens later on. So it was just a part of my world. So what I found from that is, if you can control or adapt your physicality, it has a huge impact on both your mental and emotional state. And I found that by doing hard things, like hard physical things, and there were other type of sporting endeavors, not just the marathons, it made me stronger and more resilient when I was in the boardroom, and I found that all the way through. So as I was progressing through the corporate ranks, I was very competitive with other people, I got promoted very quickly. I was always very tenacious with anything that I took on; I had a huge amount of grit and resilience because of the stuff that I've gone through. And this is gonna sound strange, because it sounds probably too aggressive, but I used to think of a lot of those things that happened in business in an adversarial kind of way. And I was like, well, I'm here to win. And I had sort of built up that mindset through the physical things that I was doing. So to your question, and David Goggins is a good example of this, I think he says, we only use 40% of our potential or something like that. And I believe that's true, I don't know if it’s the right figure. But I found that by tapping into hard things, and proving that I could achieve hard things, meant that it just had an impact on all these other areas, particularly business.

 

David DeCelle  08:18

So in our industry, I'm not sure how familiar you are with how the revenue model works. But when you collect AUM, assets under management, you're essentially creating a consistent revenue stream for yourself in your business. And I find that with that recurring revenue stream for a lot of advisors, it can, in fact, create some complacency in their life and cause them to not actually live up to their true potential because, for example, whether or not I work today, if I'm an advisor, I still have my check coming in based on what I had done previously. So if I had spent that time working and developing business, that check could be higher. But if that check is more than paying for my lifestyle and then some, it could, in fact, cause me to become complacent. So for those folks who say they want more, but are also experiencing complacency based on how the revenue model works, what would you say to them to sort of break through that mindset?

Nick Bradley  09:28

Yeah, I think in terms of the model you described, I think there's — I don't want to kind of instill this as a point of fear, but there's risk across all types of business models. And the problem with, if you get to a perspective where you're just making the money that you need, you're making the money that pays the bills, it might give you a great lifestyle or whatever else. And you think that that gives you security and certainty. Then I think the last 18 months of what we've gone through the world with the pandemic has proven that actually that doesn't really exist. So it's not really about, hey, I need to then go and build an empire the stuff that I'm doing around making more income, more semi passive and passive income and direct income and multiple streams of that. But it is about making sure that you're not just playing the short game, you're playing the long game. And it's funny, I'll say, I work with all types of businesses; some of them are small, some of the big, some of them are independent people; depends on what's going on. And a lot of people in the last 18 months didn't have a cash runway. They didn't have enough money to just survive for the next, say, three months; if people had six months of cash runway, that was good, some didn’t even have four weeks. And that your point, I think, is a massive risk. Why would you put yourself through that? So I think, if the model is that's how it works within your industry, that doesn't mean it has to be that way. People have to kind of, I think, just think a little bit longer term.

 

David DeCelle  10:41

For sure. So one topic I actually wasn't planning on bringing up but I think it can be woven into this. So a lot of advisors that we work with, and I would say just people in general, I'm not picking on advisors by any means. But oftentimes people can allow the excuse of I'm busy, or I have so much on my plate, to creep in to prevent them from, quite frankly, doing the hard things. Because one of the hardest things in our business to do is business development and prospecting and bringing on new clients. And excuses that I hear range from I have too much work with my current clients, or my spouse and kids need my attention as well. And there's a plethora of other excuses that I've heard, but they kind of follow those themes. Now, for someone like you, where you've had your hand in multiple businesses at the same time, you've done all these marathons and ultramarathons, which it's not like it just, it's that day that you're busy. There's plenty of training that's involved, and you have a personal life, also. How are you kind of constructing your day? Or how are you balancing all these conflicting demands in your life, while still being a high achiever in all of those categories?

 

Nick Bradley  11:59

Yeah, I mean, I'm incredibly intentional with everything that I do. So the thing with busy, and I'm quite direct about this is, busy, I hate the term busy, because I think it's a victim state. We've all got the same amount of time, no one can judge or choose that. But how we use that time, and both the opportunities and the sacrifices that we make around that time makes the difference between what people achieve and don't. So, like, well, I'm too busy to do something; well, you're not too busy, you just don't know how to prioritize, or you don't know how to say no, because that's the reality of it. Gary Keller wrote a really good book called The ONE Thing, which is really great, because it says, like, if you want to make something really extraordinary, focus on one thing and get that done, and so achieve that result. So in terms of your question, I have a relatively structured and disciplined approach to planning. So I will plan my week on a Sunday, it takes about 90 minutes. And if you looked at my diary, you'd see that it's extremely full, if you like, with the things that are aligned to my goals, not just for the next year, but for the next 90 days. And so I'll make sure I fill my diary up on a Sunday with the things that are important. And that's not always business, there's a couple of business things in there that are important in terms of results for the next 90 days. But, back to running, marathon training, time with my family — everything, absolutely everything is diarized, and I plan the week out. So I know that I'm going to the gym this week to do three sessions of CrossFit. I know I'm doing X amount of runs, it's all in the diary from Sunday. Now, some people look at that and they go, oh, yeah, but you don't have any flexibility. Something comes in left field, etc. My response to that is, yeah, but if you don't take control of your time, if you don't manage your time, the vacuum that exists there is going to get filled with something else. And if that's not something that you've intended, it could be someone else's priorities, someone else's dream, let's say, then why is that a good thing? So for me, most people when they're in that state of I'm too busy, I'm not getting enough done, I'm not achieving what I set out to achieve. The first place they've got to look is their prioritization against their vision for their life, their vision for their business, and the goals they've set. And if they're not time blocking actions against those things, well, then, of course, they're never going to achieve it.

 

David DeCelle  13:59

Yeah, I agree. I think we speak a similar language in that sense. And perhaps it's a result of my passion, and I think your passion as well, around the book Traction and making sure that not just that you're applying that to your life. And for those of you who haven't read Traction, I would highly suggest it. We actually just recently released a blog on our website as well. There you go. He's holding it up. We also released a blog on our website recently that talks about Traction, and it's more of a quick summary to get you motivated to actually read the book. And I think that traction is something that you don't just implement for your business, but to a certain extent, other aspects of your life as well on a personal basis. So similar to you, the way that I go about planning is I plan for the year when the year starts or when the prior year ends, I should say, and I combine sort of methodology from traction with like the quarterly rocks that they refer, also, combine the methodology from The 12 Week Year, which I'm sure you've read or at least heard about.

 

Nick Bradley  15:02

, actually, yeah, I love that book.

 

David DeCelle  15:05

Perfect. So, I plan on a quarterly basis on those larger items that I'm focused on. I then, similar to you, spend some time on a weekly basis. But I also plan on a monthly basis as well. So it's basically taking this year-long goal, breaking it into quarters, breaking it into months, breaking it into weeks, and then even breaking it down into days, where at the end of every day, I call it posting and planning, which was a phrase from the previous company that I worked with: posting and planning. So I will post my day, basically, it's a reflection; what went well, what didn't go well, how can I change that? What am I grateful for? How could I have done better? And then I plan out that very next day; even though I've already planned out the week, things perhaps could change, or whatever I learned from that current day could be applied to the following day. And it's just these micro moments on a daily basis that build up to that year-long vision that you have for yourself. So I think we're similar in that sense, as it relates to the importance of not just planning but also reflecting.

 

Nick Bradley  16:08

Yeah, and I'll just add one last thing to that, which is for people listening to this, that doesn't mean that you just fill your diary with work things; like I mentioned before, I've got my training in there. But for example, I still play basketball as a 47 year old, I've got to go training tonight. And I love that, it’s one of my favorite parts of the week, so I make sure that I've got that scheduled in there. So, and time with my family, I said before, date night with my wife. So when someone looks in the diary, they see it's full, but what they don't appreciate that it's covering six to eight categories of where I want to spend my time. And every week, I don't have it standardized, it's not like it's the same. There are things where I have to up weight, let's say business, in a week, because a deal is getting done, a transaction. Sometimes I've got an easier week so I'm doing more exercise. So it kind of works in that way. But all in the all, the things that are important are getting the attention they need.

 

David DeCelle  16:52

So again, speaking the same language, I’m just looking at my calendar now to give everyone listening perspective. So to Nick’s point, all the work stuff is in there, the priorities are in there. But things that are also in my calendar are my journaling, my boxing class, my walk or run, my meditation, my audiobook time, my business development time, my boating time, my family and my girlfriend time, yoga time, all that stuff is in the calendar. And it really creates a sense of freedom, even though it seems inflexible; it's freedom, because it's less things that you need to think about, you already know what you're going to be doing that day. You already know that if your day is structured appropriately, you're moving yourself forward, you're moving your business forward, you're moving others forward and progressing in all those areas of your life. And, I think the more you can use your schedule, and the more you can be proactive and reflective in planning, the more likely you are to follow through on the goals that you set initially at the beginning of the year.

 

Nick Bradley

Absolutely.

 

David DeCelle

Cool. So another thing that I wanted to ask is, you work with a multitude of different businesses, both yours and others, and there's eight key areas that you would consider that businesses must master in order to drive exponential growth. I'm curious to know what those eight things are, and I'll plan to ask some follow up questions along the way.

 

Nick Bradley  18:18

Yeah, sure. Let me take you through it. So a little bit of context, again, for everyone listening in. So part of my career was over 10 years in private equity. So a lot of those acquisitions to exit, that you mentioned previously, and those big numbers came from working with what we call portfolio companies in the private equity sphere. So I was the guy that went into those companies and did turnarounds and scale ups. And quite often those businesses were in a worse state when I came into them than what they were when they were acquired. So that means that the valuation was what we call underwater, less than what was paid. And so from that, I realized that if you want to create a valuable business, so a valuable business is one that's not only valuable in terms of what it could be sold for, but it's also what it can give back. If you've got a business that's generating high levels of cash, then you have a better quality of life, right, because you've got more money, more profit coming back to you, dividends to be able to do stuff. And so the eight areas which are broken down into kind of four sort of categories, if you like, and I'll explain how this all works. It comes from that decade in private equity, and I call it the predictable growth framework. And the reason for that is anyone can build a business that grows for a period of time. But if you don't know the dynamics behind that growth, in other words, you run a campaign, it works, but you don't understand the depth of how you achieve that, then you've got a problem, because you can't necessarily repeat it, and you can't create efficiency around it, and therefore it may not come back. It's not predictable. Whereas if you have what we call growth precision, you have built structures, systems, processes, automation, all those different things that the business operates in a unified way, that you get a compounding effect of the performance of that business. And therefore that business is of higher value from a private equity standpoint, than one that just doesn't know what it's doing. It makes common sense, but the question then is how do you actually do it? So the eight areas underneath the sort of four categories work like this. So the first one that I look at, and I looked at when I used to go into these turnaround situations, was what I call purpose and plan. Okay, so purpose meaning, is the intention of this business, the reason why it exists, absolutely clear? So, for example, this business exists to solve this problem in this way. And the direction that it's heading, the vision sometimes comes under this part of the categorization, is clear. Now, that's all fine if you've got a clear vision, and you know why it matters. But the next part, you've got to have a plan, often called a strategic plan, which is simply the set of choices that makes sense to be able to achieve that purpose and that vision. Now, you might say, well, hold on, yeah, of course, every business has got that. Well, they don't, they don't; and the ones that get overwhelmed and get stuck, let's say, the first place you look is there because if that's convoluted, if that's not clear, if there's a haze all over those two areas, then all of a sudden doesn't matter what sits underneath that. Everything you do underneath that is going to be lucky if you're not clear on those couple things.

 

David DeCelle  21:07

So, said differently, as I'm thinking about applying this to financial advisors, one thing that we suggest for advisors is to choose a particular group of people that you want to serve. So be it physicians, entrepreneurs, retirees, just like a particular group of people, that way you're able to — that is defining your marketing plan, that's defining your service plan, your experience that you're delivering, things along those lines — is that along the same lines, as to what you’re referencing?

 

Nick Bradley  21:39

That's coming up, that's coming next.

 

David DeCelle

Okay, cool.

 

Nick Bradley

This is more about the individual founder, or the person who's running it. So, let's say, an independent financial advisor who is going into kind of growing a business, why are you doing that? You mentioned beforehand, why does someone stop their growth when they're comfortable? Unless you've got a clear intention of what you're trying to achieve, the problem is then that you don't know how to manage the rest of it. So I'll give you an example of that. If I have a small business, and I'm employing people, but I'm not clear on my purpose, or more importantly, I'm not engaged by it, I don't know why the hell I'm doing this; that has ramifications of how you work with everybody else. And the other thing is, particularly in this industry, your clients are going to feel it.

 

David DeCelle  22:17

So what I reference, just to use an analogy, was more of like a 10,000 foot view. You're talking about no, before we even get there, we’re at 30,000 feet or a higher purpose. Okay, understood.

 

Nick Bradley  22:29

Your 100% on it now. This is right at the top, we're now gonna go down to 10,000. Okay, so the second part, the second kind of two areas under the category is what I call products and proposition, and they are different things. So back to the point before, and so first and foremost, to understand that, to understand the value proposition, you need to firstly understand who you're trying to help. So this is the clarity — you might call it sometimes it's called niching, or niching. But who is that ideal person that you want to solve a problem for? And again, when businesses are stuck in growth, in other words, they're at a plateau, it's usually that they haven't niched down enough. I used to work at Boston Consulting Group for a while, and we used to talk about the power of the niche. Because the more that you can mean a lot to someone versus a little to everyone makes the biggest difference in business. So firstly, it's do you understand who that person is? Do you understand the problem they have in a very, very granular way? And can you solve that problem in terms of providing a result with your offer, your proposition and your product, the combination of those things, which absolutely means that they must work with you. Now in this world, again, you know your listeners and financial advisors better than I do, but it doesn't really matter. I've worked across lots of professional services groups before. The more someone is known within their industry as being the best that they possibly can be helping that individual, they usually have a better quality businesses and they often have more scale, even though it feels a bit counterintuitive, because you're going narrow to then become bigger.

 

David DeCelle  23:54

I'd like to get your thoughts on this piece before we go over to the third point. So one of the things that we believe and we help our advisors with is that you can't, to your point, be all things to all people and actually scale. There's going to end up being bottlenecks in your business. If you're making a bunch of different promises to a bunch of different people, and then having to fulfill those promises, it's tough to really scale that out, particularly with a service based company. So we believe that if you're going after, say a retiree, you're going after a business owner, you're going after a doctor, you're going after an executive, the questions they're asking themselves through their decision making awareness and due diligence process, and even their temperaments are different. Retirees tend to think similarly, business owners similarly, doctors similarly, and therefore that then determines what your actual marketing strategy should be so that they can feel as if you're speaking directly to them and their situation. Would you agree with that, cross industry, or are we kind of off on our thinking?

 

Nick Bradley  25:03

No, no, you're 100% on it. And what I want to kind of help people here, I think listening into this, is you can't underestimate the importance of the right offer at the right time at the right price, let's say, and that applies to anything. And quite often, one of the magics of what we call direct response marketing, there's two types of marketing. You've got brands, which normally has high value but takes a while to build up, brand equity. And then direct response is getting someone to take one clear, specific action. Now in the world of direct response, the way that you write the narrative, the copy, the story, the message, the offer, aligns to what you just described, whether it's a doctor or someone retiring. You can see straight away that the message and the way you present that message is going to be fundamentally different, depending on who you've chosen. Now, if you want to create a really stunning business, that level of granularity, a word that I've taken from my conversation with Jay Abraham, actually, that level of granularity, the depth that you go within this category we're talking about, the product and proposition, is going to make the difference back to driving predictable growth.

 

David DeCelle  26:05

Understood. What's the third point? So we’ve got purpose, call it specialization to summarize that, what's number three?

 

Nick Bradley  26:12

Yeah, so that's where we start. And this might be an interesting one for your listeners, because this is where, in gaining scale, usually scale means that you've got to bring other things into the business. So this is where we talk about people and process. So, it depends on people's aspirations. I know there are a lot of people who are single or solopreneur type financial advisors, but you still have to have people in your ecosystem that help you scale, even if they're just independent.

 

David DeCelle

Or technology.

 

Nick Bradley

Yeah, exactly. Processes important here, because I've worked with businesses where they've got a clear, let's call it, ecosystem around everything they're doing. So there are only a certain number of processes in any business. You need a process for creating awareness of what you do, you need a process for driving leads, you need a process for converting those leads, you need a process for fulfilling those leads, and then you need the economics that run all around that. It doesn't matter if it's you, as a sole owner of your business, or whether you have a team, you still need to have an understanding about how all those interrelated processes work in a system way, so that you drive predictability.

 

Patrick Brewer

Hey, Model FAs. I know you're enjoying this conversation, but I wanted to take a quick break to talk to you about the Model FA Accelerator. This is a unique collaboration between us and you, where we help you build a financial advising practice that you can be proud of. We focus on the foundational concepts around how to pick a niche or a specialization, how to price your services, how to construct an offer that people are going to buy, and then how to market it and sell it in a way that will get people to sign on the dotted line and become clients of your firm, all while giving you the information to scale, and set up workflows and operational processes that will allow you to reclaim your time and build a practice that doesn't run you. So if you'd like to hear more about that, go to www.ModelFA.com/accelerator or www.ModelFA.com. Hover over Work With Us and click on Accelerator. Hope to see in the program.

 

David DeCelle  28:04

So when you think through a particular process, say, for an advisor, or really anyone, and they're thinking about say hiring new people — because we have a particular philosophy,  and I’d like to get your take on this — where we bring them through, and I'm sure you've either seen this or heard a variation of it, which is called an energy audit where you have the four quadrants. It’s what I love to do and am great at, all the way to what I hate to do and what I’m bad at. So we bring them through that process of basically trying our best to make sure that they stay in their Zone of Genius, the things they love to do and the things that they're great at, while delegating, automating, or deleting everything else. And finding someone where your Zone of Incompetence is someone else's Zone of Genius, and you kind of fit together like two great puzzle pieces, do you do anything in addition to that, that would be helpful to some folks as they think about scaling, specifically with human capital?

 

Nick Bradley  29:03

Yeah, I do something similar, I use some different tools. But my sole belief is that where you get the highest energy, which has impact across everything, which generally leads to the highest levels of impact, is where, as you call it, it's your Zone of Genius. It's where you are energized to do it, you're good at it, and therefore, it doesn't feel like it's work, right? So if you want to get really disciplined around this point, you just do that thing, although, that couple of things, and everything else in your business, and you could argue your life actually, gets leveraged. Right, that's what you should do. Now, everyone goes, oh yeah, but that's harder than it sounds, and it’s not. It's a decision but it does take steps to get there. So, I go as far as saying unless you love gardening, unless you absolutely love it, it’s a passion, a hobby of yours like mine is for running, then why are you doing it? Because that could be time that you're spending on something that actually is one of your highest values. So in terms of, I suppose, a resource or a framework that I like around this area, I've done a lot of work with Dr. John Demartini, and he calls what we're talking about now values. And he talks about in terms of values and voids. So a value in his world is not like integrity, honesty, something you put on the wall in a business; it's the thing that you get the highest energy from, and he recommends having sort of three to five values in some sort of order. And he's got a values exercise on his website, which is very good. And I get people to do that, because what usually happens is you find out if someone's like, to go back to Gino Wickman and Traction, if someone absolutely loves building processes, running the machine, optimizing, looking at metrics, that's their highest value, put them in an ops role. If someone loves being out with customers, loves building relationships, building networks, put them in a commercial role or sales role. But they're the sort of things you've got to work out if you’re going to start to scale because you don't want people in the wrong seats, again to use Gino's terms, wrong people wrong seats, because they're just not going to have the impetus, the energy, the drive to get what needs to get done. So you're going to create that success.

 

David DeCelle  31:01

Cool, we're on the same page, then. We're not, Model FA, going down the wrong path.

 

Nick Bradley  31:06

You're doing well, so you're doing well.

 

David DeCelle  31:09

Alright, so we have overarching purpose, we have specialization, who are you serving, we have process; what’s number four?

 

Nick Bradley  31:17

So I'm gonna go through all of them. So at the moment we've got purpose and plan; product and proposition, because they do align under that second one, the brand comes in as well; then you've got people and process; and the last one is profit and performance. Now remember, my frame of reference here is coming from the private equity turnarounds. So I'm looking at how you create a valuable business. And a lot of the people that I work with had the ambition to exit their business; they want to sell it for what is called a capital event one day, so it's coming from that, but the same things will work in any business. So profit is also another term for cash flow, right? So it's the ability to generate cash that you can either take to build wealth for yourself, or you can invest in your business or do something with. Lots of businesses, and I get really [31:56] about this, lots of businesses that are set from the outset, don't understand the importance of that. And you see it a little bit in the sort of tech, VC world where businesses are getting investment, investment in high end technology, before they make profit. But what people don't understand is even in that world, you have to show a pathway to that, even if it's not real. So, profit is king in everything, cash flow is king. Performance really is a catch all for do you understand what drives performance? So going back to my sort of metaphor of a really good business that's running under growth, precision, predictable growth, it runs like a well-oiled machine. You have to understand the performance metrics and cadence that's driving that return, that profitability, that overall value. So again, there are eight points under sort of four areas, four categories. And quite often, when I go into a company, we do an assessment against those eight areas. And we look at the scoring against each to see how well optimized it is. And then that will then indicate the first areas to triage, to work on, to then get, if the business is stuck, to get it unstuck and get it moving forward and creating momentum.

 

David DeCelle  33:01

Cool. Yeah, I think it's definitely helpful. I feel like a lot of businesses in general, and specifically advisors as well, I feel like that's an exercise that they've probably gone through at some point in their business life, to at least a certain degree. Very rarely does someone just put a sign up on an office and say, I'm an advisor now, and put no thought behind it. So there's some thought behind it. But I also find that they kind of go astray for a little bit and forget why they're doing what they're doing or forget who it is that they're serving. And, they forget the other points that you make, because it's almost like a check the box sort of exercise when you initially start the business. So my next question to you before we transition over to some of the books that you had mentioned that you're passionate about, do you suggest like, hey, review this x, often? Do you suggest that it's an ever changing sort of thing that you're doing? How would you suggest that this stuff stays top of mind, to keep these folks dialed in to whatever their end goal is?

 

Nick Bradley  34:13

My recommendation is that the scoring, if you like, or the assessment, should be an annual thing; it should be part of your annual planning. Now, the reason for that is a couple of things, which I think are really important. So back to kind of this idea of who do you target? And why does it matter? All that stuff. The pace of change in the world right now is so crazy, the levels of disruption. And disruption, that's a big word, and people think, oh, even if I've got my own solo business, I can't get disrupted. Well, you can because what happens if your market, your ideal customer, their world has changed in whatever way and you don't understand that? So what I find by going through that assessment or asking those questions of yourself, you are starting to not be so much in the business, you're starting to be a bit more external again. And one of the things that happens with most people when they get lazy, is they do the work upfront, then they think, well, that's it, it's done, now it's going to run; and then they just look at the internal things that are going on, and then all of a sudden revenue stops or revenue declines. And because they've been so insular, this idea of working in the business, not on the business, all those sort of things, then all of a sudden the business stops. Now, that's when they get in touch with me and my team, and half the time, it's not a hard fix. That first piece, I wasn't being flippant, that sort of purpose and plan, going back and getting clarity in those areas quite often unlocks any other issues that are happening in those other areas that I mentioned.

 

David DeCelle  35:28

Cool. So let's transition to, you had submitted a few books that you really like; I'm going to hit on one of them, and I'll explain why in a second. But for those of you who this may be your first episode, I ask all of our guests what their favorite book is. I think that there's so much information out there, and I want to promote learning to the industry. And, coming from someone, I'm 30 years old now, and I was the one in high school, in college that just would not read the book. I would find someone to summarize it for me; I'd share my two cents at the beginning of class so I had a free pass the rest of the class and wouldn't get called on. But I've since fallen in love with reading books that I could choose to read. And I've read a few 100 books over the last couple of years. And I want to promote that to others, be it actually reading or audio books. So there's three books that you mentioned, when we were chatting, so Think and Grow Rich, I think that's a staple. We've actually had a few guests use that and we've talked about that, so I don't want to dive into detail on that one. Traction, which we already had kind of alluded to, we have a whole blog post on that; I highly recommend it. So the two that I want to hit on is The Miracle Morning, and The Road Less Stupid. Let's start off with The Miracle Morning. What sort of impact has that had on you and in your life? And actually, what does your morning look like?

 

Nick Bradley  36:54

Yeah, so for those who haven't read that book, it's by Hal Elrod and it's really good. I mean, there's lots of different thinking and science behind routine, routine and habits really, and like what habits do to overall performance. But the thing I like about Miracle Morning is that it's a very simple structure. And if you haven't got — you don’t know where to start to start to bring some of those, let's call, habits and disciplines into your life, what Hal does is just makes it quite simple. So I started using The Miracle Morning over a decade ago, it certainly feels like that long, or the concept of what he talked about. But now what I've done is I've evolved it. So I have a slightly nuanced version that works for me. So for people who aren't aware of what it is, he has this concept called Savers, which is kind of six things that he suggests that you do in the morning when you first get up, that then sets you up for the day, it sets you up with the right intention. And the first one is silence, which is usually some form of meditation or prayer. So when you get up, a lot of people kind of rush around in the mornings. They look at their phone, they see an email that they have to action, and all of a sudden, they're in a state for the rest of the day, which is like I need to catch up. It's not a good way to start your morning. The best way to start your morning is to just ground yourself and get really, really clear on what you want the day to be like. So he talks about meditation, he talks about exercise, and there's a lot of science, again, about raising your heart rate in the morning. It doesn't have to be crazy stuff, like just going doing some yoga, some press ups, going for a walk, maybe going for a run, all that sort of stuff; just to kind of, again, get blood moving through your body. That's stuffs really, really important. He talks about visualization, making sure that you kind of, you're visualizing the day, and also visualizing what you're trying to achieve. So again, that sets the right intention. He then gets into journaling, writing everything down, gratitude, all those sort of areas. And what I tend to do these days is I meditate in the morning for 20 minutes, I always do that when I get up. I do transcendental meditation, which is a different type of meditation, but it works for me. Meditation can be quite hard for people who are kind of on the go all the time. I always do that. I drink water, I drink a full liter, at least, of water first thing in the morning, before I have anything like coffee or that sort of stuff. I always go to the gym in the morning, whatever that is; it's either weights or it's running or something like that. And the other thing that I do religiously, is I do what is basically now called cold therapy, but I have cold showers. So I'll jump in the shower before I officially start my day, and instead of going in and having nice warm shower, I'll start like that. But then I'll do around three minutes of literally cold turned on full bore and you stay there. Now that's — I encourage everyone to give that a go. But oh my god, the first week of doing that, I mean, have you tried that, David?

 

David DeCelle  39:25

So everything that you're sharing right now is great. And there's a lot of those things I do in my daily routine as well, and I can speak to the effectiveness of those. The challenge for me with the cold shower is it worked well when I was living just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and I enjoyed it, and I've done like ice baths and things like that too. And I really like it, but ever since I moved to Florida, the cold water doesn't get cold enough to where it even has an impact. So I need to get like aluminum —

 

Nick Bradley  40:00

You know what Tony Robbins has got?

 

David DeCelle

Like a tub or something like.

 

Nick Bradley

He’s got a plunge pool that apparently is permanently set on 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and every morning he just jumps in. And I think that sounds great. It's probably cost like 20 grand.

 

David DeCelle  40:10

Yeah, I need something like that, because the water doesn't get cold. So yes, I like it. Yes, I have done it. Ever since I moved, I haven't been able to get it cold enough to where it has the impacts that it's supposed to have.

 

Nick Bradley  40:21

Yeah, as I said, like, this is the important thing, before we move on to obviously, the next book; you don't have to follow the stuff that Hal Elrod talks about religiously. I tried some of the elements and it just doesn't work for me. But the important thing is that you have something that you do that just sets up your day, so that you're emotionally, mentally, physically set up for that day. And I find that if I get up late, for example, last night, I had a very late night, so sleeps important to me. So I didn't kind of rush my morning routine, I just went through and did a very shorter version of it. If I don't get up and do that, then the rest of the day, it feels like I'm trying to catch up with the day, as opposed to lead it.

 

David DeCelle  40:57

I agree. I even, so I typically wake up anywhere between like 4:30 and 5:30 in the morning, and I don't take my first meeting until 10 am. Because beyond that, just like you, slammed with stuff to do. So I give myself essentially a whole day before I give up the rest of my day to others. And that's very important to me. It’s the whole idea when you're on an airplane, secure your mask before helping others. That's kind of how I structure it as well. So it seems like we're similar in that sense. So I just went ahead and actually, as you were chatting, went on Amazon and bought that book, because I've read, as you alluded to, other ones that you everyone kind of has their own take on morning routine and whatnot, and it's important to fit that into your life. So I haven't read that one so I got that on the way. And I also got The Road Less Stupid, but I would like to hear about what I just bought so I know what to anticipate.

 

Nick Bradley  41:51

Yeah, so I've got some, I’m just looking down here, I've got like a little library down here next to my studio, and I've got Keith Cunningham's book there. So, The Road Less Stupid is a great book, because it's one of those books you can just pick up and read. It doesn't have to be cover to cover. And if you know who Keith Cunningham is, he's the guy who kind of wrote business mastery for Tony Robbins. And what's really good about the way he talks about, let's call it leadership, business leadership, it's kind of — some of its really obvious, but it's the things that we just know we just should be doing. So he has this, this really good concept, I'll give you one part in the book, which I love, which he calls thinking time. And I structured this in my week, every week, and he say you should have at least one to two blocks in your diary per week for 45 minutes, which is thinking time. But it's active thinking, so you don't just go in there and sit down and go, oh, what am I gonna think about today? You prime yourself with two or three questions that you are going to literally sit and journal on for that session. And so one of the ones he suggests, which is a really powerful question is, again, in business, what is it that I am not seeing? And then you journal to that question, and it's really powerful. What I tend to do is, if I've got that blocked in my diary, I normally have it as a morning session. I'll set two or three questions out the night before, so I write them down, again in my journal, and then I'll go to bed pretty much straight away. So that's the last thing that I've done is write those questions down. I'm having some herbal tea, going to bed, and then through the night, I'm getting ideas. So my brain’s working while I'm asleep in my subconscious. And then when I get up in the morning, I sit down and go, okay, those questions; then all of a sudden, I've got a whole heap of things that come out. And super powerful, because for people who, I think again, back to that in the business versus on the business, people who are kind of in the day to day, they're running around like crazy, just making sure things work. This is a point in time where you are giving yourself that space to be able to work on the big things that are going to either stop your business from failing or accelerate some form of growth. And so that's one example. He covers a whole heap of stuff. It's too much to mention, but that's the sort of thing that's covered in the book.

 

David DeCelle  43:48

I love that, and I love the idea of writing down that question right before you go to bed. I'm a big believer in your subconscious mind and allowing that to take over and get the creative juices flowing, so to speak. And then waking up and scribbling as much as you can for 45 minutes, and I'm sure you've had — I'm going to implement that, I think that's fantastic. I'm sure you've had a lot of like aha moments, right? When you wake up and you start writing and you're like, oh, my God, this was right in front of me, or whatever the situation may be.

 

Nick Bradley  44:16

Yeah, and a lot of people that I've sort of coached, if you like, and I've suggested to do that, particularly if they're overwhelmed in their business, it's been game changing in terms of the ideas. Because when you come back to it, and that's why we started with purpose and plan, is that clarity and precision, those two concepts are so important in business. Because if you've got clarity, you have more confidence, usually; you have more certainty, and then everything else seems to flow. So like, again, if you've got a small team, if you've got clarity, and you stand up in that front of that team and say, this is what we're doing, this is why it matters. That changes the way that they will operate. So you can see, back to scalability, more people, more process, having a bigger entity, having an empire of businesses, per se; that level of stuff that you're working on through these things we're talking about today, makes a bigger compounding difference on how successful you're going to be.

 

David DeCelle  45:01

I love it. I'm gonna report back to you once I’ve done the book and let you know my takeaways. So thank you for that. So before we wrap up and head into the after-hours portion, which I'd love to hear about some of the trials and tribulations and funny stuff during your business life, as well as the physical life with marathons and ultramarathons. But before we do so, if anyone wants to connect with you or learn more about what you do, consume content, things like that, where should we be directing, folks?

 

Nick Bradley  45:30

Yeah, I've got a few different things. So my podcast is called Scale Up Your Business. And literally everything that we've talked about here, plus another 170-odd episodes worth of my private equity, turnarounds, and scale ups, it's all there. I don't hold anything back. So I point people to there first, because I think it's very helpful in lots of different stages of business, not just scale up. And then we've got our community on Facebook, which is called The Scale Up Your Business Community; it’s about 5000 people in there now, all business owners at different stages. So they're the first places I like to direct people to because there's a lot of value in those resources. In terms of me personally, I hang out on Instagram. So it's @NickCBradley, LinkedIn you can find me, and Clubhouse; I'm on Clubhouse a bit, quite a bit. I run a room every Wednesday 1 pm UK time, which is called The Scale Up Room on The Scale Up Your Business Club, where we have about 200–300 people in the room. And I've got a really great group of moderators on the stage answering all sorts of business growth, scale up questions and that sort of thing.

 

David DeCelle  46:21

Love it. Well, I think for those of you who are listening, not only can Nick's content be applied to your business, but even though he's based in the UK, the predominant amount of business that you do is in the US, correct.

 

Nick Bradley  46:33

That’s correct, yes; it's about 70–80% in the US, yeah.

 

David DeCelle  46:37

Okay, cool. So think about your own book of business. Are you working with business owners and entrepreneurs? Are they struggling with some of these things? I think it would be very easy to point them in the direction of Nick’s podcast, of Nick’s content, or perhaps they're looking to prepare to exit and it makes sense to make more of a formal introduction between the two parties. So I would think past just yourself and figure out is there anyone in your book of business that would find this valuable, because that's just another way to advance the relationship with them and get them to that raving fan status, if you are bringing in a resource that's going to have an impact on their business and their lives.

 

Nick Bradley  47:14

You just reminded me actually of something as well, because particularly people who are in their 60s or 70s that are business owners, there's two things, and I’ll just finished with this. They often want to sell that business at some point, because having a business for 30 years means there's a point where you just kind of had enough of that. I do make acquisitions of businesses like that all the time, and I teach people how to do that. But the other part of that is, there is a pathway to exit, the point you're alluding to, there's a point where about sort of 12 to 24 months out, if they want to maximize the value of a business prior to that capital event, then my business, my consultancy, comes in and works specifically on what we call scale to sale, that area.

 

David DeCelle  47:49

Awesome. Love it. For those of you who want to connect with me, just Google David DeCelle, you'll see all the links there. I'm probably most active on Instagram. You can check out our website ModelFA.com. In the top right portion of the website says Read, Listen, and Watch. That's our blog, our podcasts, our video series. Similar to Nick, we don't hold anything back with our content, it's just a matter of what you actually do with it to be able to get results and make progress in what you're working through. And for those of you who would be open to leaving us a review on iTunes, I think this episode is fantastic and would love to hear your thoughts through a review. And if you do so, take a screenshot of that review once it posts and shoot me a text to 978-228-2338. And what will happen is you'll get an automated response with a link for you to enter in your first and last name; you will be added to my phonebook, so to speak. And then beyond that automated message, it's me; it's not like an automated thing beyond that. And that will allow me to communicate with you with ideas, have you be able to reach out to me, and by going ahead and doing that review will give you access to a portion of our digital course that is for paying clients. We’ll give you a portion of that, and the title of the video is called a comfortable approach to earning referrals. So as a thank you for leaving a review, we'll go ahead and do that, just send us a screenshot, and if you could just include Nick Bradley's name so I know what episode it's in relation to. So appreciate in advance for that. Nick, appreciate you being on the show. We're going to head into the after-hours portion but wanted to say thank you and express my gratitude and excited to build our relationship moving forward. I know you're coming to Florida at some point soon so hopefully be able to shake some hands and give some hugs and put an actual face to the name beyond just video. So thanks for joining.

 

Nick Bradley  49:39

Yeah, thank you very much, David. I very much enjoyed the conversation. So I appreciate being on your show.

 

 

David DeCelle

Awesome.

 

 

 

After-Hours

 

 

Nick Bradley

Oh, there's a lot of stuff to be consuming!

 

David DeCelle  49:58

Yeah, well, and I struggle a lot with similar to you, like, I hate when someone says I'm busy, because I get it, I think it's a cop out. And I think it's a lack of them taking ownership on what their priorities are, and actually doing something about it. It's kind of just like kicking and screaming, and, I'm exaggerating a little bit, but like a temper tantrum. It's like, well, that's not solving any problems by just screaming that you're busy. So I like the spin that you put on it. But yeah, I think we're pretty similar in a lot of ways. And if those things that we’re similar with is part of what got you to where you are now, then, being 30 years old, man. I’m excited

 

Nick Bradley  50:43

Oh man. Well, yeah, you've got 17 years on me, man. So you're okay. Now, and on your point, I think a little bit around, there are times when I catch myself saying that, I'm busy, I'm busy. But what I realized it is, is it's an emotional reaction to the feeling that you're not going to be able to get what you want done. So it's overwhelm; it's just, it's an anxiety state. So it's not to say that you can fundamentally cure it. You just need to be aware of it and understand that you're going to go through periods, that you just don't use it as a crutch, which is why a lot of people just live their whole life every single day in that way. And they're the ones that end up not achieving too much, in my opinion.

 

David DeCelle  51:23

Yeah, I agree. You got to be able to push through that, work past that, and like I said, take ownership of the situation. One thing I forgot to mention, I just finished this book, actually this morning. Do you know Tim Grover?

 

Nick Bradley  51:34

Yes. So he's, I think he's coming on my podcast.

 

David DeCelle  51:38

Excellent. He's a beast.

 

Nick Bradley  51:39

I think I've got Tim coming on. So yeah, so I'm sort of now represented by Evan Carmichael. You know Evan Carmichael?

 

David DeCelle

Awesome. I don’t know.

 

Nick Bradley

He's…how to describe Evan Carmichael. He's got over a billion, I think, subscribers to his YouTube channel. And he represents, he does all the bookings for Tony Robbins, for Lewis Howes, he's pretty well connected. But yeah, so through him is where I'm getting access to Tim, I think that's happening, that's not confirmed 100%.

 

David DeCelle  52:06

Love it. Well, his first book, Relentless, is fantastic. I'm not sure if you've listened to or read that. But his other book Winning — and I would read them in order, Relentless then Winning — is fantastic. And he just released it, I want to say, like two or three weeks ago or something like that, but that will give you, especially if he's going to be on your podcast, I would read those two.

 

Nick Bradley  52:28

Well, I think he’s coming on because of that book. I'm pretty sure that's the reason so I'm gonna buy it now. I've got Ryan Holiday coming on as well in about three weeks’ time.

 

David DeCelle 

Love it.

 

Nick Bradley 

I love his The Daily Stoic and stuff like that. Really good.

 

David DeCelle  52:39

Yeah, I've read that. Love it. So let's go to, and you can take this in whatever direction that you want.

 

Nick Bradley  52:46

I've got about another 15 minutes until I've got a client at half past, just so you know.

 

David DeCelle  52:50

You're good. We're in the after-hours portion right now. So, all good, but want to spend five minutes or so, and you can take this in whatever direction that you want to, be it your business life, your physical life, as it relates to marathons and ultramarathons. You've had a lot of exposure to a lot of high level things, be it physical activities or business activities. I'm curious to know, I'm sure there's a lot if you're human, like me and everyone else. But what's one embarrassing story along your journey that you'd be open to sharing with me? And of course, every single one of our listeners?

 

Nick Bradley  53:28

Yeah. Okay. Do you know what? I've got — this is one of those questions where I've got probably so many different things that have happened, I'm just want to kind of think of a really funny one. Okay, so there are so many, there are so many. A lot of them are what I'd call it, whether it's embarrassing, or whether it's — I'll give you the embarrassing one first, and then I'll tell you about a heap of failures. So, years and years ago, when I got into private equity, before I did that I worked for a big education institution in London. So I came from my previous background was media, working for News International under Rupert Murdoch, and then I worked for Getty Images, and then I went into education for a while. And I was working for a very traditional entity in the UK, that had been founded in the 1830s. And it's, it's basically like a trustee driven entity. And the head of the organization was Prince Philip, as in the Queen's husband. And so, he would turn up now and then in the building, like really crazy stuff. But because it was this sort of, had a mission for the greater good around education, it had a global remit. And as a board director of that company, I had to go and present awards at different places around the world. And it was like more of a kind of a showing good faith thing, from the sort of the UK colony going out there to Sri Lanka or places in Africa and all that. So the embarrassing story is this: I had to go to Sri Lanka for an award ceremony. It was kind of like what's called a hospital pass in the UK or might be same thing in the US where, so when someone throws you the ball right before you're about to get tackled, and it's called a hospital pass, because you're about to get crunched by someone, and you’re about to go to hospital. So someone said, you're gonna go and do this award ceremony. So I get on the plane, went to Sri Lanka, turned up in this literally tin shed, like, massive tin shed, and there was 700, I think it was 770 people getting awards. Okay, now that's like massive. So not only am I in this hot tin shed in the middle of Sri Lanka somewhere, I'm gonna be there for five hours, smiling and shaking hands with all the family members that have come; you’ve never see anything like it. So I had to give a speech, did all that, and then, this is the bit. For the 770 people, and, now here's the thing, in like all countries, there's a way of pronouncing their names.

 

 

 

 

Nick Bradley  56:28

Okay, so here's the bit. So not only was I there to shake hands let’s say with these 770 people give them award, I had to read out their names. And, of course, in a foreign country, there's a certain way of pronouncing someone's names. I kid you not, for literally three to four hours, or whatever it was we’re doing this, I'm reading out their names, and I'm butchering every single name to the point where people in the audience — and remember, there's all these people getting awards, there’s thousands of people there, really, it’s huge —

 

David DeCelle 

They probably really didn't even know if their name was called or no.

 

Nick Bradley 

Well, they didn't. They didn't. And it got so embarrassing that about an hour into it, they had to get a translator to come out because I'd call a name and then five people would start running up.

 

David DeCelle 

Oh, my goodness.

 

Nick Bradley 

So this whole thing was just so embarrassing. I had a colleague there at the end, and he just said, man, you died up there. You absolutely died up there. It was embarrassing.

 

David DeCelle  57:26

Especially because at least if it was like one person or one name, it's like, oh, that was bad, but move on. No, you were like, you were stuck for three hours doing it over and over and over again, and fully knowing that you're messing it up.

 

Nick Bradley  57:42

And like, the whole time. Imagine how stressful that is like this. In this situation, a lot of these people have never gotten award for anything in their life. This is the first time that they've been recognized academically, right? Because it's a third world country, but. So that's one that comes to mind.

 

David DeCelle  57:58

That's funny. That's awesome. Well, Nick, I do very much appreciate your time. I'm excited to connect with you on all the social platforms, be fans from afar. I know that we're looking to connect in the coming weeks, as well, to see what synergies there may be between what you guys do and what we do. So I'm excited for that. And hopefully, like I said, when you are in Florida, we'll be able to meet in person. Who knows maybe, I know you briefly mentioned this when we talked last time, but maybe I'll be able to solidify, perhaps an actual move to Florida, and we welcome you if and when that happens. So appreciate you being on the show.

 

Nick Bradley  58:39

It's been really good. Thank you for your time. Great questions. And I said, I hope more than anything that I provided some value to your audience today, and there's some insights and tips and tactics and strategies that they can take away and help improve what they're doing.

 

David DeCelle  58:52

Awesome. Thanks, man. Talk soon.