Brad Smith – Your Brand Amplified Transcript

Welcome to Your Brand Amplified the podcast where we interview marketers, publicists and brands to learn their stories, what makes them tick and tips and tricks that make a difference. Welcome back to another episode of Your Brand Amplified. I am your host, Anika Jackson, and I'm here with Brad Smith, founder and CEO of Stellar Insights and executive coach to CEOs Fortune 500 for many, many people and full disclosure, little old me as well.

00;00;01;05 – 00;00;31;23
Anika

Welcome to Your Brand Amplified the podcast where we interview marketers, publicists and brands to learn their stories, what makes them tick and tips and tricks that make a difference. Welcome back to another episode of Your Brand Amplified. I am your host, Anika Jackson, and I’m here with Brad Smith, founder and CEO of Stellar Insights and executive coach to CEOs Fortune 500 for many, many people and full disclosure, little old me as well.

00;00;32;02 – 00;00;48;09
Anika

I was really excited to have Brad come on and talk about his journey to becoming a coach and then also why it could be important for somebody to have a coach. I think a lot of people don’t understand the different coaches that are out there and what they can offer and all the value that you can get out of it.

00;00;48;09 – 00;00;54;07
Anika

And and I know that I’ve gotten a lot of value out of our relationship. So, Brad, thank you so much for joining me today.

00;00;55;04 – 00;00;57;06
Brad Smith

I’m delighted to be here. Thank you, Anika.

00;00;57;15 – 00;01;04;20
Anika

Absolutely. So you were not you didn’t set out to be a coach that wasn’t your life dream and what you were doing.

00;01;04;20 – 00;01;22;16
Brad Smith

Oh, my God. No, no, no. Somebody had told me, you know, 25 years ago. 30 years ago. Oh, yeah, this is going to be your ideal occupation. I would have I would look at them say it was just not even anywhere close to me. I had no idea.

00;01;23;10 – 00;01;33;10
Anika

So talk about your journey. You actually were in a completely different field and how did that happen and how did you discover the wonderful wide world of coaching?

00;01;34;14 – 00;02;09;22
Brad Smith

OK, so I was raised by a really brilliant man. He was- had a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and a Ph.D. in biochemistry. And he was a product inventor. But he was also a really gregarious and he raised me to be a chemical engineer; think like a chemical engineer. I can remember the process he took me through. So I wound up at college and had signed up for business as my major like the week before I went to college.

00;02;10;21 – 00;02;35;17
Brad Smith

And I said I, I don’t, I’m not really interested in, in business that is. What do you think about me going into chemical engineering? And he said, it’ll be a good background. It’ll never it’ll never fail you. And so I went into chemical engineering. I spent two years in chemical engineering because of other stories. And we’ll probably get to a one or two of ’em.

00;02;37;03 – 00;03;05;16
Brad Smith

I wound up wanting to go into pre-med, pre-med, finally realized that my degree, my grades were like horrid, not anywhere close to the 4.0GPA I needed, nowhere close. So I flipped over and went into biochemistry because what I wanted to study was neuro biochemistry disease cause. So, the brain and then how that affected how our bodies create diseases.

00;03;05;24 – 00;03;41;12
Brad Smith

So that was the background. All right. My marriage wasn’t working great. I went I stopped for 11 years. I did analytical chemistry and formulation chemistry. And that period of time went back, finished my bachelor’s in business management because I wanted to manage R&D teams, which I thought was that was an exciting idea to me. Then I finished my MBA because in marketing and finance, because I wanted to understand what it took to run a business.

00;03;41;21 – 00;03;58;02
Brad Smith

The reason for that is, again, my dad, when we moved to the city, Corvallis, Oregon, where earnings state is where I went to school for my bachelor’s, I watched him start 34 different companies.

00;04;00;05 – 00;04;00;29
Anika

34.

00;04;01;06 – 00;04;23;26
Brad Smith

34. And of those 34, 30 of them failed. And 50 years later, three of them are still running and thriving. You know, a couple got sold off, but it’s like. So that was my impulse. All 34 of those stories came through the house, and we knew all the reasons they went and didn’t go. And so I got to form ideas about it.

00;04;23;26 – 00;04;54;27
Brad Smith

I’m 30 ways plugged up in the back of my mind to kill companies right it ranges from not enough money to horrible people, you know, people decisions to partners to sometimes you have no business going into a market because there’s actually the business model won’t ever work. So I have all of those plugged into the back of my mind and massive, you know, red flags pop up when I’m talking to somebody and I’m going your business model won’t work or you are this or you’re that.

00;04;55;05 – 00;05;25;08
Brad Smith

I’ve got all these different ways that business can fail so the story for how I got into coaching, that’s a big background story. My second wife, April of 1996, brought me an article in The Oregonian that talked about Coach University and the quote is You need because I was doing formulation consulting at the time with my dad and brother’s company.

00;05;26;05 – 00;05;52;23
Brad Smith

Brad, you need to call these people. You’re already doing this. You might as well get paid for what you’re doing. So that’s the quote, right? Couple of months later I got involved in the program. It was like stepping into my favorite set of shoes. It fit perfectly. I automatically knew everything except maybe the sales closing part. That was a little tough, but I learned that.

00;05;53;08 – 00;06;00;04
Brad Smith

So that was the start of it. And that was 25 years ago. And it’s automatic.

00;06;00;16 – 00;06;23;19
Anika

Yeah. It sounds like your dad didn’t just teach you how to think like an engineer, a chemical engineer, but also by sharing and being transparent with what was going on in all of these companies that he was starting. And the whole process really trained your brain to think about all of those modalities and the way things can go, right, the way things can go wrong, what’s involved in each piece of that.

00;06;23;29 – 00;06;45;02
Anika

So that’s a, I think, a very unique perspective, at least from what I’ve seen in the world of coaches, you know, because I think many of us get approached all the time by people trying to sell us stuff, whether it’s on LinkedIn, email marketing, et cetera. But I don’t think I’ve ever spoken to somebody who has been able to see that kind of overview and complexity.

00;06;47;20 – 00;07;28;19
Brad Smith

I’m an automatic strategic thinker. I think at the 100,000 foot level, it’s compulsive, it’s automatic. Because I was trained as a chemist, I automatically also think at the tactical level, too. So I’m thinking big picture and tactical, you know, events and processes and people automatically. And if you don’t connect those two so that’s part of that combination of big picture, five foot level, hundred thousand foot, five foot level automatically that’s what I teach my clients so that they can be successful.

00;07;29;12 – 00;07;31;27
Brad Smith

And that’s part of the process. I get to do it’s fun.

00;07;32;03 – 00;07;52;10
Anika

Yeah, yeah. Well, it sounds like and this actually it’s perfectly to my next question, which is what continues to inspire and motivate you about this work. You’ve stuck with it, you have stayed in it and I’m sure you’ve worked with some clients for a very long time and continue working with them on different areas of their business or what they’re what next is.

00;07;53;15 – 00;08;00;18
Brad Smith

Oh, there’s, there’s two different answers to that question. The longest client I ever had was 13 years.

00;08;00;20 – 00;08;00;29
Anika

Oh my gosh.

00;08;00;29 – 00;08;34;19
Brad Smith

Right. And what when I live in it, I’m going to get emotional here. One of the things that lights me up is I know when I talked to someone about a month before they get to an epiphany that they’re going to get to the epiphany, and I lead them to the epiphany. The point of an epiphany is everything inside them winds up transformed and there’s energy in them they didn’t have before.

00;08;34;29 – 00;08;59;26
Brad Smith

I called it. I called you know, I said this for a long time. I live on epiphany juice because what happens is when someone lights up with an epiphany, they’re different permanently. It’s like it’s not if it’s there, they’re aligned. All their neurons in the brain have lined up, their emotions have lined up, and they see the world differently and they behave differently.

00;09;00;08 – 00;09;26;17
Brad Smith

And what I get to do, that’s why I named my company Stellar Insight, because I take them from insight to insight to insight. When I listen to them. I had a friend of mine early white, 40 years ago say to me, Brad, when you listen to me, you listen with your whole body. And what I do is I listen, not just with my ears.

00;09;27;26 – 00;09;38;26
Brad Smith

I saw this quote yesterday on the Internet. People have three years. They have the left ear, the right ear and the ear of their soul.

00;09;39;00 – 00;09;40;08
Anika

Oh, that’s good.

00;09;40;20 – 00;10;05;03
Brad Smith

And what I do is I listen to people. I listen to their hearts. I listen to their character. I listen to the words they say. I listen to their intent. And if their intent and their business model were the things that are doing are misaligned, I will feel the difference and then get them to get down into the articulation of what that difference is.

00;10;05;17 – 00;10;46;03
Brad Smith

So the gap between who you are, everybody has a gap I have this girl and I am not, and I’m here. My goal is over there. Sometimes there’s this big Grand Canyon between and sometimes it’s just a little step little step pieces are fun, but the big ones are huge. So what happens in that? And this is the other description of why I get lit up when I listen to someone and I take them through their epiphanies, I help them restructure who they are, I restructure, help them restructure who their business is, who their business is, not just what their business is, but who their business is.

00;10;46;11 – 00;11;11;18
Brad Smith

And then we get down into the what and what I do is I go to help them. And then we measure that by the amount of, you know, profit and over revenue, you know, for revenue. So if I can help them double the growth rate of their company, we will hit places where they’ve not just doubled their income on an annual basis.

00;11;11;29 – 00;11;40;22
Brad Smith

Sometimes I have these really crazy grants where we can double that on a monthly basis. A few of those monthly basis, right? Those are early, right? But later ones that are like, you know, ten, 20, hundred million dollars you add a zero to $100 million, you’ve accomplished something. OK, you add a zero to $1,000,000,000 company, you’ve done something significant.

00;11;41;09 – 00;11;51;25
Brad Smith

So those are- and that lights me up because not only is the business different and the person is different, everybody that that company touches is different.

00;11;54;08 – 00;11;56;04
Brad Smith

I love that transformation.

00;11;56;12 – 00;12;07;08
Anika

Yeah. Transformation and really heart centered work. You’re not just about the numbers. You’re about the entire holistic ROI.

00;12;07;16 – 00;12;07;25
Brad Smith

Yes.

00;12;08;13 – 00;12;12;03
Anika

So tell us about one of your biggest successes.

00;12;14;24 – 00;12;39;01
Brad Smith

I’ve a couple I had a client in Minnesota, and when he first came to me, it was a 12 year old company 12 year old company. There were three executives and he was the leader, president and CEO, I don’t remember. And we took them and they’d been in existence and had an average for the last ten years of two new clients a month.

00;12;39;01 – 00;13;01;10
Brad Smith

That was the average for the year, two clients a month when we finished and I took about three years, we rebuilt the executive team. We rebuilt literally every process in the company well, but at the end of that three year period, the last month I worked with them, they added 54 new clients a month, a month.

00;13;01;20 – 00;13;02;12
Anika

Oh my gosh.

00;13;02;16 – 00;13;23;19
Brad Smith

And they had been doing better, wasn’t a fluke and had been incrementally stepping up to that every month. So 54 new clients a month, the year, the month before, they’ve done 52. Right. And so we progressively added it wasn’t just the growth of the company, it was the growth rate of the company, but that was fun. And he was fun to work with.

00;13;23;19 – 00;13;42;20
Anika

Yeah, but it’s obvious that you have great joy in the work that you do and you really understand it. So when somebody is looking, I think this goes on both sides, right? As the person coaching and as somebody being mentored and coached, it has to be the right fit.

00;13;42;20 – 00;13;46;07
Anika

If there’s not rapport. It’ll never work.

00;13;47;03 – 00;14;11;10
Anika

Yeah. So how do you take that from initially? You know, somebody reaches out to you or you reach out to somebody or your assistant reaches out to somebody, you get on the call. How do you tell when there’s that connection or that you can really help somebody? Because I think this is important because, you know, as somebody if somebody is looking for a coach, they need to know that it’s important for it to be a fit on both sides.

00;14;12;04 – 00;14;27;13
Anika

Because they might see somebody like you and say, Oh my gosh, I want to get to 54 new clients a month, but that might not be the right thing for them or for their business. And that they might not be the right person for you to work with. So how does somebody identify and how do you identify who you want to work with?

00;14;27;20 – 00;14;52;28
Brad Smith

Well, it’s different for how I identify and how the other person identifies. First, I require ambition, like, high levels of it. They have to have drive, they have to be ambitious and they have to be curious. If they’re not curious, coaching won’t work for them. They don’t take ideas in from outside. It won’t work for them. Every human being lives inside their own bubble.

00;14;53;03 – 00;15;28;13
Brad Smith

All of us, everyone. And the best you can do is run out to the edge of it and shove the edge of it out a little further every day. And if you’ve got somebody like that, but if you’re ambitious and you’re curious, you’re learning constantly. That’s what I require in a client now when I talk to someone or literally this is me, when I’m hearing their voice for the first time, I go through all the process they use for speaking and dissect their character just from their voice.

00;15;28;19 – 00;15;56;16
Brad Smith

And I will know from their voice whether they’re going to be a good client or not. Not everybody can do that. But for them to approach me do they like the sound of my voice? It does. It does it is it warm and inviting? And that’s how you build rapport. Listen, think about your very best friends. Your very best, best friends are people that you have rapport with.

00;15;56;26 – 00;16;19;21
Brad Smith

You wouldn’t have them as a good friend if you didn’t. Those are good friends, people that you trust with your life. But there’s a there’s a modulation in vocal tones process that makes the difference for those dear people who are out dating. Listen to the quality of the voice that you have and the quality of voice they have.

00;16;20;10 – 00;16;45;21
Brad Smith

If you think of each word as a block. Each word comes out as a block. Some people have rounded edges to their voices, to their words, and some people have really sharp edges and short gaps between them. So if there’s room for you to put a word in edgewise and there’s a reason why you have that right, there’s a reason why that’s their own right.

00;16;46;01 – 00;17;17;04
Brad Smith

If you if there’s a way to put words and start, you know, interact conversationally, then there’s a way for you to be friends. There’s a way for that interaction to work some people are so driven that they have no- and I apologize to the industry used car salesmen. If they’re really selling- push selling, they have no space between their words and their sharp edges to their words.

00;17;17;17 – 00;17;49;10
Brad Smith

So I listen to the quality of their vocal speaking, how they speak, and that’s important. And I know almost instantly within at least two or 3 minutes of talking to someone, well, I’m going to be a good fit. And then we have the adventure. So ambition, curiosity, and willing to take risks like be an adventure. Couple of my heroes from early in my life, like age nine or ten, I read Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, and they were constantly going on adventure.

00;17;49;10 – 00;18;03;22
Brad Smith

You know, they’re my heroes. Yeah, I love heroes. So I love adventures. So if you’re willing to go on an adventure and make more money and have fun, OK? All right.

00;18;04;01 – 00;18;07;11
Anika

That sounds pretty good to me. Sign me up. Oh, I already did.

00;18;10;01 – 00;18;17;12
Anika

Well, what do you see as your next step? What’s the next thing that you want to do in your life and your business?

00;18;18;20 – 00;18;41;03
Brad Smith

Well, there’s only one, Brad. Yeah, I can teach. I can teach what I can do. I can teach other people how to be that way. I can clone myself for four business coaching. I know how to do that. But for me to have impact, my next goal is and I have three things I’m working on right now. First, I have to build credibility.

00;18;41;15 – 00;19;17;09
Brad Smith

Then I have to build reputation. Then I have to build reach those three things. Well, cheap branding and marketing kind of helps with that, right? But beyond that, I’m I’m starting a podcast of my own. I’m calling it the, the Visionary Leader’s Mind. The Visionary Leader’s Mind is that’s an outreach for something that I want to do behind that, which is I’ve been studying being a human being and how all the underlying causes- core belief?

00;19;17;14 – 00;19;49;00
Brad Smith

I believe in cause and effect. There’s an effect in the world. There’s a cause for visionary leaders. They dead flat have to have intuition and fairly high access to it. I know how to teach people how to deepen that. It takes about a minimum of two years. So it’s it’ll be a two year weekly program not cheap but I will transform the people in it, transform their character and deepen their ability to reach into intuition.

00;19;49;05 – 00;20;10;26
Brad Smith

We all have that ability, all of us. You’re a human being, and you have a brain, you have intuition available to you if you work at it. Now, I know the science behind it. So that’s one goal, right? Teach it is the second one. And then I want to coach governors. And then in order to do that, I’m writing a book, so I have a few things.

00;20;10;26 – 00;20;36;07
Anika

OK, yeah. Yeah. You have a lot of irons in the fire, but I think that’s so interesting because I think that’s something often that we don’t do. We all have. We all know what we should be doing, but then we kind of resist it because we want to stay where we’re comfortable or, you know, you get that feeling in your gut and but you’re like, no, that, that this is the right thing to do.

00;20;36;07 – 00;20;54;25
Anika

And then you go down a path and realize, oh, maybe that whether it’s in life or in business, oh, maybe I wasn’t supposed to date that person. I wasn’t supposed to hire that person. I wasn’t supposed to add this to my business at that time, or I was supposed to add this other thing that I was resisting because I, I didn’t trust myself enough.

00;20;55;05 – 00;21;08;09
Anika

So I think that’s so interesting. It’s something that you do in your regular coaching to an extent. So I’m really interested to see how this program even deepens that further. And I feel like this also all goes back to your interest in neuroscience.

00;21;08;18 – 00;21;10;23
Brad Smith

Yeah. And well.

00;21;10;23 – 00;21;12;07
Anika

Brain. Yeah.

00;21;13;11 – 00;21;36;11
Brad Smith

I’m, I’m mapping out who are the neuroscientists that I’m going to have. You can measure it physically, brain wave wise. I just haven’t got the equipment yet. So it’s not if every human being is this brilliant being, and I have deep insight into how we got to be who we are and where we could be let’s put it this way.

00;21;36;29 – 00;22;08;27
Brad Smith

If everyone on the face of the planet had self-worth, deep self-worth and deep self understanding, there would be no insecurities in the world. All of our negative, reactive emotions, including murder, were all of those stealing and whatever all comes from insecurities. That’s the foundation of it. If none of us had insecurities and we could all be authentic, with each other, wouldn’t this world be amazing?

00;22;09;09 – 00;22;11;18
Anika

Yeah. Yeah.

00;22;11;18 – 00;22;16;02
Brad Smith

I have. I have goals. I want us as a human race. To be better.

00;22;16;08 – 00;22;29;22
Anika

Yeah, yeah. I love that. I also picked up on I thought it was interesting that you’ve been doing this work for 20 years, yet you still want to increase your reputation. You know, you still want to.

00;22;30;01 – 00;22;31;06
Brad Smith

Well, I’ve been hiding out.

00;22;31;10 – 00;22;43;26
Anika

Yeah, OK, well, that, that I think those three components that you talked about are things that everybody always should strive for personally and professionally.

00;22;46;08 – 00;23;16;15
Brad Smith

Somebody said to me early in my coaching, training, it’s like when you hit a certain goal, what’s next? Mm hmm. And so I constantly have what’s next in my mind. I have goals that will reach through the end of my life, if you would. Through the end of my life for me and for other people, but specifically for me, if we get to the end of this, you know, this life and what I want is I want to grow me.

00;23;18;00 – 00;23;50;06
Brad Smith

I think of Earth as a power over dimensions. You want it certainly for but 12 I think I’ve read somewhere that some of the scientists think there’s like 12 dimensions involved. You’re amazing. If there’s 12 dimensions right this entire Earth experience is for learning. Think about the hardest things you’ve ever gone through. And when you restructured yourself afterwards, divorce, death, child loss, bankruptcy, getting fired-

00;23;50;12 – 00;24;10;12
Brad Smith

All of those really major things each one of those is designed to say those are a brick wall you didn’t learn before you hit the brick wall. So if you if you have to learn one brick wall at a time, then you’ll have to learn. Then that’s how it is. I don’t choose to learn one brick wall at a time.

00;24;10;25 – 00;24;30;03
Brad Smith

I choose to learn from the whispers. Oh, Brad, you need to do this. But that’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of time. And I don’t think about it really carefully, Brad. And then then test it. Go do that for a little while, see what happens, and go do that for a little while and see what happens.

00;24;30;13 – 00;25;06;09
Brad Smith

What are the results you create in yourself so that in learning you’ve become better and different. You know, a better husband, better wife, a better parent. Those are the key pieces. A better boss, a better employee, a better business owner, a better global leader. And yes, I want people to understand who they are right now, who their whole character is, just a set of very deeply set habits.

00;25;06;28 – 00;25;41;10
Brad Smith

Each one of them can be changed there’s parts of myself I don’t like. One of them was hiding out. And so it’s taken me a year and a half to two years of hard work to get myself to a place where I’m absolutely comfortable. On your show is one of them, comfortable with the idea of standing in front of a group of people I don’t have interaction with or writing a book and putting my ideas out and having them transform in a way I’m not personally engaged in.

00;25;41;21 – 00;25;58;17
Brad Smith

That scared me. And so in order to grow my self to that place, the moment it ran across my brain, I said no. And then it’s like, No, Brad, it’s time it’s time. That’s the next thing.

00;25;58;27 – 00;26;07;06
Anika

Fantastic. How do people find you and learn more about working with you? And what you’re teaching and what you’re doing next?

00;26;07;16 – 00;26;44;28
Brad Smith

Well, everybody that calls me up and wants to maybe work with me gets a free session. OK, that’s what we’ll call it. The interview process. You get to interview me, see if they like me enough, and there’s enough if we can do enough traction in an hour. So my website is Stellarinsightinc.com. It took me a while to get to, and all my contact information a way to schedule an appointment with me is on that website. OK, so we’re inside or I’m on LinkedIn, which is how you and I connected yeah.

00;26;45;14 – 00;26;56;23
Anika

And what is your what’s your favorite quote or one of your favorite quotes? Favorite mantra, something that you try to live by that helps shape who you are?

00;26;57;10 – 00;27;14;12
Brad Smith

Well, I have several. We’ll start with one. Socrates, here’s one from Socrates. He said Smart people learn from everything and everyone. Average people learn from their experiences. The stupid people already have all the answers.

00;27;16;03 – 00;27;16;15
Anika

Wow.

00;27;19;08 – 00;27;20;05
Anika

Yeah, that’s a good one.

00;27;20;14 – 00;27;32;26
Brad Smith

So if you’re willing to learn, it means you’re and not one brick wall at a time. It means you’re in the smart category that’s. That’s one of my favorite quotes. I like that a lot. Yeah.

00;27;33;07 – 00;27;50;25
Anika

I like that, too. I’m going to have to write that down in my notebook. And look at it a few times a day to remind myself where I am on my journey as well. But thank you so much for taking time with me today on our podcast. Is there anything else you’d like to leave with the audience?

00;27;52;07 – 00;28;26;28
Brad Smith

Yes, I want everyone to. One of my other statements is best, one of my personal goals. It’s a statement. It’s like it’s a question is excellence or a lifetime pursuit. And what comes out of that is if excellence is your lifetime pursuit, think of your best self, the very best person you are, and the very worst person you are, and take your best self and grow like mad, learn, learn, learn and make your very best self, your worst self.

00;28;27;26 – 00;28;28;12
Brad Smith

Wow.

00;28;30;13 – 00;29;04;12
Brad Smith

Do that. Everyone around you will be different. Yeah, you will be eventually some way or another, happy constantly. We live our lives from the insight from the outside in. That’s what we call success. And the true measure of an adult is living from the inside out. Define yourself, define your goals, define your impact, define your emotions and your attitude because emotions your mind, your inklings, your intuitions.

00;29;05;05 – 00;29;10;21
Brad Smith

There are only tools that you get to use for being better.

00;29;11;13 – 00;29;42;21
Anika

Awesome. You’ve dropped some big gems today. I thank you so much for your time and audience you can find Brad on Stellarinsightinc.com or LinkedIn, Brad Smith, Stellar Insight and I will be back again next week and next week’s episode. We’ll build on something that Brad talked about. It is why entrepreneurs should look at book writing as a way to get word out about who they are and what they’re doing and how they can have impact in the world.

00;29;43;07 – 00;29;55;28
Anika

And with that, we will leave you for another week. And thanks again for listening. See you next week. Check out AmplifywithAnika.com or follow me on socials @AmplifywithAnika.

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