My guest today didn’t even make it into the 12th grade, yet he's a self made entrepreneur with over 25 years of sales, marketing and training experience. He also happens to be the CEO of Lightspeed VT, a world leader in interactive training and communication based systems.
He’s worked with folks like Tony Robbins, Daymond John and Grant Cordone. He’s the host of Dropping Bombs and Bottom Line, Brad Lea.
You can find him on Social Media at TheRealBradLea. A handle that fits well because Brad likes to tell it how it is, likes to keep it real. As Brad says, “Clarity is gold in a world of chaos.”
WATCH THE VIDEO INTERVIEW:
[02:45] Before Success There Was an Idea
Brad shares with us that his success wasn’t intentional. Like most start out, he refers to himself from that time as a “dumbass high school dropout” even though he was testing at the college level. You see, Brad was kicked out of the house at 16.5 years old because he forgot to mow the lawn. Forgetting was his goto response and this last incident the catalyst. His dad felt he needed to go out and learn a few things.
Learn he would! Brad explains that he went out into life a gorgeous, young, invincible teenager in a hot ‘77 Camaro all souped up and running around town like he was God’s gift to women. He decided he needed to be a movie star and so he quit school to set out for Hollywood.
Many of you reading this can likely relate, Brad tells us that he didn’t start out wanting to be an entrepreneur. In fact, it wasn’t until he was 30 that he decided to build a training company.
As a young man, he didn’t like working for people and wasn’t a fan of being told what to do.It was the need and want to do things for himself that acted as a driving force.
When he was 6, he had no allowance, had to make money, knocked on doors to mow lawns. Learned how to be a better person when younger. Brad tells us the story of how he learned about win-win situations and how he lost a job pulling weeds by taking advantage of a deal with a neighbour. I highly recommend listening to him tell the story, it’s fantastic.
The moral of the story? “You can’t create situations that aren't win-win and expect them to last,” Brad says.
[06:45] The Accidental (Inevitable) Entrepreneur
I had to know, for someone who started out wanting to be an actor, how did Brad end up creating a software and training company? Where’s the bridge?
Brad tells us that he had a starring role in a movie. 3 days before production the producer's son got out of rehab and, as a reward, the producer gave his son the part. Suddenly Brad was out of the movie and had to listen to everyone explain why he was out - the guy who makes the money makes the rules.
This was the tipping point for Brad and he made the decision that he needed to get rich. He started selling cars and was making money and getting attention. He ran a car dealership and other dealerships began asking him to go and train at their locations. He was making a decent amount of money, more than he was making selling cars. Though not long after, he realized that going on-site and training these people was not an efficient way of doing things.
Brad explains that he was training people for 5 and 10 thousand a day and it wasn’t going to last. That really got to him. It’s not what he was training but how. Training should not be something you did but something you do.
He felt the need to create a technology so that he could deliver what he promised to deliver. He started a company and created this technology because there wasn’t what he needed out there at the time.
Before long, Brad faced competition. People loved their trainers and nothing he could do or say could change their minds. So instead of competing against them, he started to enlist them. They would see his training, learn it, and want to go out and teach it. He private labeled the technology and let the trainers get the people for him, using the technology. That’s when Brad really felt he became an entrepreneur.
[12:40] To be Successful, You Must Pivot
Brad made a lot of pivots, a lot of transitions. “Too many people out there think that I’m going to focus on one thing and go after it until I achieve it.” Brad took the feedback and input and used it to change directions until he found his niche.
Gurus, a lot of them, tell you to focus and never give up. “That’s bullshit.” Brad expresses, “You have to pay attention to what’s going on in the word and listen to the feedback and the data you’re getting.” Like obstacles in the roadway, you have to steer around them.
Brad started out as a training company, then went to an online training company, then a SaaS model platform. Three major adjustments. If he hadn't made those adjustments, he might be beating his head against the wall rather than moving forward.
[15:05] The Cake is a Lie
I couldn’t help but bring up the fact that, in the training space, there seems to be more and more content but fewer results. Brad thinks that, in many cases, the people taking the courses aren't doing the work.
Training correctly is uncomfortable. Look at top athletes - why do they train all of the time? Brad says, “It’s because training isn’t something you DID, it’s something you DO.”
What church would you go to where the pastor has only ever read the bible once? They have to read the Bible a hundred times, memorize and practice it. They have to go through it, a lot, to get the skills to where they need to be. When someone reaches the end of a course and feels it didn't work, Brad feels that likely, they didn’t fully understand it. They probably didn’t apply it and most people don’t hold themselves accountable.
“People aren’t holding themselves accountable to the techniques and disciplines they learn. They want a shortcut.”
Companies don’t do what it takes to learn the material and lack follow through to make sure those skills are retained. There’s no secret, no magical way to become amazing at something. If you want to kick ass, you have to put the work in. There has to be repetition and accountability.
Brad shares a great story with us about how to make more money. It’s magic. “Do more of what you are doing.”
Let's say you sell cars. People come on the lot and you sell cars. If 100 people came on the lot and you talk to all of them, and you sell 20 cars, that would be great. What if you talked to 200 people? You’d be on track to selling 40 cars.
If you make money doing podcasts and you want to make more money, do more podcasts.
If you sell homes and want to make more money, sell more homes.
To get more, you have to do more. There's no magic pill. Hard work is the only answer. It comes down to how you are using your 24 hours in a day.
[26:48] The Fear of Discomfort
Sometimes I wonder if the fear of discomfort actually prevents people from succeeding. It’s 100% true, according to Brad.
“It’s just like when you get up in the morning to go to the bathroom. Why don’t you just stop in the kitchen and take a piss? It’s because you’re heading to the bathroom. You know that’s where you want to go and where you need to go. Why don’t you need to re-motivate yourself all the way down the hallway and through the house?”
Pick where you want to go, then likely you’ll want to move on to the next thing. Brad reiterates that it’s not magic. Everyone has heard this before, it’s not rocket science, but it’s true.
When you get to the point where you can’t handle any more work, hire someone to do the work for you. Pay them less than you're getting. Then go back to finding more work to take on. Keep growing and expanding.
[29:30] 5 Factors to Success
When Brad was at 10x Growth Conference, he said: “Here’s the 5 Factors to Success, Guaranteed Success if you do these 5 things.” Brad shares them with us.
Take a chance, take action
Be really good at solving problems. You’re going to have problems, get good at solving them.
Make adjustments you can’t keep pounding your face against the wall expecting the wall to come down.
Train your ass off, get books, get info, learn. The more you learn the more you learn.
Never give up.
Brad had a small role in a show called Knots Landing with Alec Baldwin. One day on lunch, when walking with Alec to a restaurant, Brad asked him for advice. He wanted to know what the biggest secret was to being a star. Brad shares the anecdote with us, but it comes down to this: Figure out what it is you do want. It’s easier to get what you want than it is to figure out what you want. Then go get it.
“There is no key to success, it’s a combination,” Brad stresses.
What makes you happy and successful might make someone else think you are a loser. What makes me happy and what makes me successful might not make you happy and successful.
What does success look like to you?
[40:35] Get Everything You Want in 90 Days
Before we closed out, Brad imparted some words of wisdom. He offered to share with us his process. It’s guaranteed to work but you have to do it step by step. Are you ready?
Determine what you want.
Look down and bust your ass for 90 days.
Look up. You either have it or you don’t.
Don’t have it? Rinse repeat.
At some point, you’ll look up and you will have achieved what you set out to achieve. It will have been within 90 days.The question is - will it be one 90-day cycle, or 30? For Brad, it was 18 years of 90-day cycles.
Often people give up when they are just about to hit something. You just need to keep doing it.
If you haven't already, I recommend listening to the episode, we had a great time and Brad shared some amazing knowledge.
What’s something you want to achieve in 90 days?
Follow Brad Lea @TheRealBradLea