Welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by http://gtex.org.uk/,
I am your host, Simone Vincenzi, The Experts Strategist, and this is the podcast for experts who want to become the ultimate authority in their niche while making an impact in the world.
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Today I have the pleasure to Interview Steve Hackney
Steve was a former celebrated rugby union professional. For over 20 years since, he has applied his elite sporting attributes to growing businesses and especially helping coaches and consultants to reach their true potential and build successful businesses.
He has trained and developed over 2,000 coaches and consultants worldwide and now Steve and his team work with new and established coaches and consultants, providing them with world-class, ready-to-go client acquisition tools and coaching and consulting systems making it easier for them to succeed.
In this episode, we talk about:
- How to get Client Results First
- How to create and license Services To Deliver The Result
- Why you need a System for You AND The Client
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– Hello, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz show. I’m here with my good friend, Steve Hackney. How are you doing, Steve?
– I’m very good, Simone, how are you?
– I’m really well, thank you very much. A bit of a crazy period in this time. I’ve got a lot of speaking gigs, which I’m really happy about, but I’m travelling a lot of-
– Excellent. It’s very travel intensive, but I-
– That’s good to hear. We are here today, it’s not about me. As much as I love to talk about myself it’s about you. You’re running an incredible business, so tell us a bit more about how did you get started in this industry and what you do right now.
– Yeah, good question. So we run a coaching consulting business where basically, we work with our coaches and consultants and they work with business owners to help business owners grow their business. And we give our coaches and consultants the tools to be able to do that. How I got here. Crikey, how long have we got?
– I mean, I guess the best place to start is, I mean I was very fortunate. I was a very good rugby player. But when I started playing rugby, Rugby Union was unfortunately amateur. So we had to work for a living even though our love was the sport. So it was literally rugby was 100 percent amateur and I started playing senior rugby when I was 16, so God, that’s a long time ago. But actually, luckily enough, Rugby Union went professional in 1995. Now at that time I was 27, so those of you with a bit of maths now will know that I am just over 50 now. But yeah, so rugby went professional when I was 27. And it was a complete shock to us because even though leading up to that, there was something called shamateurism in Rugby Union where basically there was a number of players and clubs that were paying players, backhanders, all that kind of stuff. We honestly didn’t think we’d get paid to play rugby and after the World Cup in 1995, the International Rugby Board turned around and said, “Hey, we’re just going to end “shamateurism and rugby’s going from “completely amateur to 100 percent professional,” literally overnight.
– And I think Jonah Lormu, bless him, was probably very instrumental in that. Because he was probably the first mega-star in rugby and he came alive really in terms of his performances during the ’95 World Cup when he ripped England apart in the semi-finals. And I think that was quite instrumental in us going professional. But because I was 27 at the time, I’d obviously had to have a career and my career back then was I was the Sales and Marketing manager for a large commercial insurance broker. And then, like most people, I got to 27, luckily, I was at the richest club in the world at the time, a group called Leicester Tigers, based here in the UK. One of the most successful clubs, and we had a membership of about 15 to 20,000 people, paying every single year. So it was, it’s a big club.
– It’s a huge club. But because it was amateur for all those years, the club would just basically bank the money, they were obviously improving the facilities and all that kind of stuff.
– Yeah, but nothing to the players .
– No, absolutely. But obviously, when it came to professionalism, the club were probably in the best position in all the clubs across the world to be able to pay the players fairly handsomely. So we were lucky in that respect because obviously, we were at Leicester and there was some, I played with some greats. People like Martin Johnson, who lifted the World Cup with England, Dean Richards, Austin Healey, Will Green. All these players, Joel Stransky. And we were all just in the right place at the right time. But the thing is, as I said, I was 27 at the time. So my career had kind of built to the point, because obviously, I need to support my wife and my family. So what I did was, because I was 27, I’m thinking, look, if I’m lucky, I’ll have four or five years left as a professional rugby player. As it happened, I had four years. So I thought, look, I’ve got to either keep doing what I’m doing, which was pretty difficult because we went fully professional, or start a new business. So that’s what I did, I started my first business, called it Hackney Marketing back in the day. And I decided to become a consultant, as you do, and it’s the old, the e-myth thing, the entrepreneurial myth. I was pretty good at
– Myth. sales and marketing and had helped build that business, but I was one of a couple of hundred in that organisation. And then you come out and start your own business then realise oh, my God, this is so much more complicated than just being
– Yes. a technician working in a business. I guess you and all of your listeners have been through that process. The only thing is that I would say is that I was pretty lucky because normally, when people decide to start up their own business, we do it based on the fact that we know that we can be successful, but usually, we’re not well-financed. We’re taking a huge amount of risk and all those other things that come into play about. Because rugby was supporting me and my family, it kind of didn’t really matter. What mattered was I needed to build that business so when I retired, I had a kind of seamless transition.
– Which, fortunately, is kind of what happened. And really, I’ve been sort of consulting really since then. I mean back then, business coaching wasn’t really around. I mean you’re a bit younger than me, so you might not remember this, but sort of back in the mid-90s to early 20s, 2000s, consulting was obviously very well-known, but there wasn’t really much business coaching. And I kind of, I didn’t invent the wheel of coaching, but there wasn’t really anybody like you or like me to come to and say, “Right, okay, I’m going to be a coach, “how the hell do I do it?”
– Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– So you know, back then, there wasn’t really anything like that. So I got to a point when I was consulting that I was working with a number of clients, but the way that I see consulting, by the way, is that when you’re consulting, basically you do most of the work. And when you’re coaching, the client is doing the work, you know, gaggling through it. That’s how kind of we differentiate between the two things. I don’t know if you do the same. And the problem was, you know, I was working with say a dozen consulting clients and it was just getting too much. You know I loved consulting, but it was getting to a point where I was just working.
– Yeah, because then you were working every day almost, probably.
– Yeah, crazy hours and all that kind of stuff.
– Yeah, yeah.
– Actually, you know crazy hours doesn’t-
– Were you consulting for a major client or did you have few different clients you were consulting with at that point?
– Yeah, I was working with small and medium sized businesses. So yeah, I had about a dozen at that time when I thought yeah, I need to change something here. And that’s when I kind of got into sort of a coaching model. And as I said, it was pretty difficult back then because there was nobody really to turn to and say, “Well, how do you do coaching? “What do you base it on? “How do you do it?” So I kind of took what I did in consulting, it’s the sort of stuff that you teach your people, and kind of took what we did with consulting and then kind of created a coaching programme that would facilitate, if you like the client being the consultant in their own business, but us facilitating that process for them. And it went really, really well. And as I said earlier, my expertise is helping people grow their businesses. And so the coaching element meant that I would be doing less of the work, but I would guide the client through that process for them to become really successful. And I’d say one of the things that I first did made a huge difference and it’s something that I think, you know, the listeners would appreciate is I did something quite radical back in the day. I, because what most of us do is we copy, we copy what the best are doing. And well that’s what we should do. It’s something that I think is a wise thing to do is look at what the best people are doing and kind of model yourself on them. And back then, when I was consulting, most people would use the normal model, which is still prevalent today, which is, you know, you charge by the hour or the day.
– And obviously, the more experienced and expert you become and the more of an authority, as you tell people, then obviously, the fees start climbing up. The challenge with that is you don’t break the connection between time and money. So you’re paid by the hour or by the day. And with a couple of clients that I had massive success with, I did earn good money, but I’m thinking hang on a minute, I’ve created multi-millionaires out of these people and okay, I’ve earned maybe a six figure sum, but it’s peanuts in comparison to what I’ve helped them achieve. And so I thought there’s got to be a better way. And that’s when I created a success fee on the back end. So all the consulting arrangements that I set up and more, we basically, our coaches and consultants do is to have a back end success fee. We do it based on the increase in turnover. And because we work with businesses to help grow their business, it’s kind of a logical thing to do. So what that does, it kind of breaks the, if you like, it breaks that strong bond between charging fees for time.
– So you can get a bonus at the end of your work. It’s like “Okay, I’ve done a
– That’s exactly it.
– “Good work, give me my bonus right now.”
– So yeah, so that was a pretty significant shift in terms of how to make a lot more money for the efforts that you put in without really having to put more effort in. So kind of making money while you sleep, really. And then you’re relying, obviously, on your tactics and strategies and the client implementing those to help do that.
– And now you have created the company, Core Assets, and where you give, from what I’m understanding, is that you give those models of how you went into the businesses and teaching to other people, other coaches, other consultants so then they can go in and know what to do with their clients and get great results. Is that?
– Yeah, that’s it. So yeah, we’re very niche in terms of helping small, medium sized businesses grow. And we say to our coaches and consultants, “Look, if that’s the sort of thing “that gets you excited, that you’re helping “people to grow their businesses.” And obviously, excuse me, in the field of coaching and consulting, there’s so many different, very different disciplines that
– Are so exciting and it doesn’t have to be business growth, but that’s the thing that we do. And I know, you know, a lot of your clients are very, very varied in terms of their disciplines, but I think there’s probably a few things that I could probably, that we do that I think would maybe help a lot of people . One of the things I realised when we set this up is, the first thing is is that I’ve always said I will always coach and consult. I’ll always have my own private clients. I don’t have many, for obvious reasons, but I think that’s quite an important thing because I never want any of our coaches or consultants saying to me, “Well, Steve, you know, “what you’re talking about was fine 15 years ago
– “But like, let’s be real, you know, it’s 2019.” And so they’ll never be able to do that.
– And that helped keep me and my other business partners who also coach and consult right at the forefront of that. But I think one of the things, and I know you practise this and preach this, I think the core to building any successful coaching and consulting business is to base the entire business on getting results for the clients, whatever results mean in terms of what you’re providing. For me, if you base your business on generating results for the client and you then kind of mould everything around that, then not only you’re going to have clients that love you, but you’re also going to find it so much easier to get clients because the results you generate
– Obviously, yes. For clients, yes. So what I did, which I think was pretty unique, is certainly when it comes to coaching, obviously, with consulting it’s different because with consulting, you’re doing most of the work. So the client doesn’t need an implementation plan, just the coach or the consul-
– Yeah, you’re implementing it for them.
– Absolutely. But when it comes to coaching, what I found was, and I struggled with this early on, was I had a great sort of system for myself. So, you know, I knew every single step of the way what I’d be doing with a client. I actually even now, not that many coaches do that. So I mean a lot of coaches, as you know, will wing it with a client. The client sort of doesn’t know they’re winging it
– Because obviously, the coach has more expertise and authority than the client, but really, if the coach was being truthful to themselves, they might have maybe two or three parts to the process that they systemize, but after that, they kind of do wing it a little bit. I realised that that wasn’t what I wanted to do and because results was a big part of what I wanted to achieve, I knew that that wasn’t sensible. But I think all of us have had the challenge when you’ve been with a client, now, obviously, back in the day, back in the, you know, mid-1990s, you know, the internet was only born in 1993, wasn’t it? When CERN gave us the internet. So the internet was, obviously, not really around too much then. So all our meetings with clients would be, we wouldn’t be doing like what we’re doing now, of course.
– Yeah, yeah.
– So you’d have to meet them literally face to face. And you’d run through, or you could do it by telephone, of course, and you’d run through what you, what you wanted the client to do. You’d have a great call or a great meeting and the client would go away all enthusiastic and thinking yeah, great, this is brilliant. Problem is then that all the other business stuff took over, so you’d have their attention in that meeting and then they’d go away and then all of a sudden all the other minutiae of running a business takes over, doesn’t it? And then hopefully, if they’re following the programme, they’ll put some time aside to put in place whatever it is you’ve discussed. But by then, they’ve kind of forgot about it and they, you know, they might remember some of it, but they might be a bit to-ing and fro-ing back to the coach or consultant asking, “Well, how do we do this? “How do we do that?” And I thought, this is, there’s got to be a better way of doing it. So what I did was I created an implementation programme for the clients as well. So the coaches work with the clients and then they guide the client through the process. We call it The Core Asset Vault. It’s basically an end-to-end system based on the formula that we created, which helps business owners grow their businesses. So now when you have a call with a client, the client can actually go away and even if they’ve got, you know, don’t do anything for three days, they can then go to wherever they need, they can look at that and it’s all step-by-step and they can implement that. But obviously, everything starts with getting results for the client. So you can’t build if you
– Don’t know what the system is to generate this.
– And how many consultants, how many coaches do you have as part of the Core Asset team right now?
– Got about 120 at the moment.
– So is there, well, the reason why I loved having this conversation with you, and so now everyone has the context of what we are talking about, is because we work on two very different levels. You go to coaches and say, “Hey, you need a better system “so then you can then get better results “and therefore get more work. “Here is the system.” I say, “I trust you that you know your stuff “and if you don’t know your stuff, “go back to work and create your own bloody system. “But I can help you once you have that “to become an authority in your field.” So that’s the kind of, the difference here in the work that we do.
– And the way I grow my company and get clients is different, probably, to the way you grow your company and get your clients. So what I would love to know is in expanding your methodology, because I’m sure there are going to be people that are be listening here and they say, “Well, I’ve got this great “methodology, I’ve created it, I’ve been “delivering it for years, had great results “with my clients. “I now want to get out there and train people “in using my methodology.”
– So what are some of the things, let’s start from this question, what were some of the things that you found out that were not expected when you set out on this course of training other people? Some of the biggest learning points that you got from this process.
– Yeah, great question. I would say the biggest thing would be something I say a lot to our guys is I think when you create systems as good as the ones that we’ve got and the ones that you’ve got, I think sometimes people take for granted that, “Okay, I’ve got “a great system, a step-by-step system now, “I don’t have to work that hard.”
– It frustrates the hell out of me. So the thing is, what I think we’ve learned, which is really back to the question, is to actually impress upon people, much more than we did in the beginning, and say, “Look, we have got a great step-by-step system that give you a massive shortcut, but it doesn’t mean, necessarily, you have to work any less hard to build a business because as we all know, building a business isn’t easy. And anyone that says building a business is easy doesn’t know what they’re talking about. And they’d never say that.
– Or they’re lying.
– Or they’re extremely- Yeah, or they’ve been unbelievably lucky.
– As you, what? Soft doesn’t work. So, you know, it- The thing is, most people look at a successful person and they see the success. They don’t see what comes before that. And behind every successful person, there is hours and hours and hours of blood, sweat, tears, you know, financial challenges along the way, all that kind of stuff. And, you know, even though we give people a really good shortcut, I mean we give them a hell of a lot of stuff to make them become really successful, that still doesn’t diminish they’re responsibility to work hard and work ethic, as I know you preach to all your guys, is so important. You know, you can definitely be a busy fool and so, you know, it’s putting the right type of effort in for the right things, but at the same time, there’s no substitute for putting the hours in and getting results. So I think that was the first thing that I think was a massive steep learning curve for me that we underplayed the importance of the work ethic and the fact that, “Okay, we’ve given you a big shortcut, “but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t “be working hard.” I would say the other thing, and I still get this a lot and I’m sure you see this with a lot of coaches and consultants, is I have a saying that I say, “Look, give the industry “the respect it deserves.” And what I mean by that is I think there are a lot of coaches and consultants out there who become good at what they do and then they kind of rest on their laurels.
– And the great thing about our business, as you know, is anybody can do it.
– So, you know, my 16 year old daughter, bless her, could literally tomorrow say, “Hey, Daddy, I’m going to be a business coach.”
– And nobody could stop her.
– So I mean- And bless her, she’d probably do a really good job at it, but what I’m trying to say by that is- So that’s a huge, massive advantage for everybody who wants to help improve the lives of other people.
– There’s no barriers.
– You don’t have to take a You don’t have to take an MBA or do a- Spend hundreds of thousands pounds and get a degree for 10 years and a Master degree and a doctorate. No. Just say, “I’m a business coach.” “Cool.”
– Absolutely. Yeah, which is fantastic. Now, the downside of that is because it’s so easy, what I’ve found is the, and I’ve met thousands of coaches and consultants, as you have, and I find the, obviously, the top one’s really do give the industry the respect it deserves, you know. People like you and I and a number of our students and people that work with us do give it the respect it deserves. And what I mean by that is, you know, you spend time learning your craft. You work hard to get results for clients. You invest in your own personal development. All that kind of stuff-
– That we know are so important. But I see a lot of people that really don’t give the industry the respect it deserves. I mean I can go to some coaches and go right, “Okay, tell me how many books you’ve read “in the last six months.” And they’ll be like, “Well, I haven’t read any books.”
– And I’m like, hang on a minute. If you really want to be in the top one percent of the top one percent, it’s surprisingly not that difficult because most people don’t give this industry the
– Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– respect it deserves. I mean you know, you know where I’m coming from here.
– If all you did was read a book a week, if you, you know stuff like that where you invest in yourself and you invest in your craft, it’s surprisingly easy to become really good at this, but also to be head and shoulders above everybody else. So I think that, for me, is a constant frustration that I have with my guys and with coaches and consultants in general. And we work very, very hard to reinforce that message a lot. And I, when I say a lot, I mean virtually every time that we speak to our guys we communicate the importance of giving the industry, giving the coach and consultant industry the respect it deserves. So I think those two things, for me, are the biggies. And I do think if you do give the industry the respect it deserves, you won’t fail.
– Yeah, absolutely. So now I want to talk about how then do you protect your brand because there is also risk. I mean people say, they’re listening here and say, “Well, okay, I have this methodology “and I want to get it out there, “I want to teach it to other people,” but then now suddenly it’s not you anymore that you are working with your people and they’re not even your employees. They are independent business
– Owners. So how do you protect the Core Asset brand, making sure that the people that are there, they are in keeping alignment with the Core Asset brand?
– Yeah, that’s a really good question. I mean, well, first and foremost, in terms of the branding, we do allow our coaches to have their own branding, so they don’t have to be a Core Asset official coach or whatever. They can-
– Why did you choose that? Why did you make that decision?
– Well, we’ve done both , you know. I’m comfortable with both, but I think the reason why- So in the early days, we allowed our coaches to choose whether they wanted to be a Core Asset coach or, you know, themselves. We’ve kind of moved now where we give them much more control and authority in their own business. And I think, you know, one of the things you talk a lot about is, you know, going from expert to authority, it’s got to be built around you.
– Particularly in our game. So I think that helps the coaches and consultants to be,
– To build the experts to surround themselves rather than being around the Core Assets sort of thing, which I think is important, that. So yeah, but of course, that still doesn’t diminish the task of protecting the
– Of course.
– Brand assets that we’ve got. So I mean there’s a couple of things. I mean when I first started creating content and selling information, marketing products as you do, it was probably the guy that I looked up to most back then was a guy called Dan Kennedy, I’m sure you’re familiar with.
– Of course, yes.
– Over in the States, yeah. And I remember thinking to myself, I’m creating all this stuff, amazing IP and content, and I was terrified of letting it go out into the public domain even though people were paying for it because I’m thinking, hang on a minute. Everyone is going to rip me off and blah, blah, blah. And I was listening to a CD, I think, or a cassette probably back then when Dan was talking about information marketing and he said, “Look, one thing you need to be “not afraid of is giving yourself, “giving your content. “Don’t worry about the IP.” Obviously, put all the normal sort of constraints in place, like the copyright and all that kind of stuff, but look, 99 percent of the people in the world are trustworthy, honest people. You can’t build a business based on the one percent who aren’t.
– Yeah. That-
– And that really stuck with me there. And obviously, if we find anyone has infringed any copyright or IP, then we usually just send a cease and desist letter. But I’ll be honest with you, I think I’ve only had to do that twice in 20 years, so it’s, I mean there’s obviously people that are doing it that we don’t know about, but you know. Again, as long as you’re evolving the business and you’re developing the business, you’re leaving those people behind anyway, so I would say if you’re looking to take what you’ve got at the moment, you build your expert business and then you’re looking to get other coaches and consultants on board, which obviously is a great way to grow your business, just don’t be fearful of that factor. Obviously, put the constraints in that you normally would, but just common sense stuff and just trust people. And if a very small percentage of those people are dishonest, then just come down with them. Usually, it won’t go much further than a cease and desist letter.
– Which will cost you maybe 150 pounds from a lawyer, and the brand is protected. If, obviously, it depends on how how much you need to protect the brand identity and that kind of stuff, you know, whereas with us now, I think our most important thing in terms of protecting is just how we grow businesses.
– We have something, a formula, which we allow our coaches and consultants to use and to pass it off as their own. I haven’t got a problem with that. Where I think we are more stringent on is just making sure that they deliver results for clients. You know, after all, if you remember what I said
– Yeah, yeah.
– Way back it was if you focus the business on results, then that is going to stand in good stead. So a lot of our training is based around with our coaches and consultants just making sure that they they’ve really nailed the formula, they know exact how to implement that into the client’s business.
– And what kind of model do you use? Because I know that there are different models in this industry. You have a franchise model. So for example, people buy a franchise and that’s, I found, that they are the one that most of the time, they are the strictest ruled,
– In terms of “You must use “our logos, you must use our business card, “you must use our marketing material, “you cannot promote yourself outside the franchise.” So generally, those ones are the strictest one and you pay a retainer to keep using that model. Where did you go in terms of your own business model? They pay a one off fee to be part of, to be able to use your intellectual property you
– Yeah. Have created? Is there recurring revenue? Both?
– Yeah, let me explain. I mean my background as well. So there’s a bit in the middle of my career that I met one of my business partners called Pete Findlay. And Pete and I built Europe’s largest franchise consultancy group. And we sold that back in September 2007. I mean Pete is a whiz when it comes to franchising. It’s all he’s done. He’s 65 now, for 45 years that’s all he’s done is build franchising businesses and that’s how I got to met Pete. So obviously, I’ve been kind of brought up on this wealth of expertise and knowledge on franchising, licencing, that sort of stuff that Pete was heavily involved in. And we did consider franchising The Core Asset. You know, I would say, you know, a big competitor of ours is ActionCOACH, people like that, and I know Business Doctors. You must come across those
– Yeah, yeah.
– Guys. They’re good businesses. But what we didn’t want to do was prevent good people from getting on board, but because of the massive commitment, the upfront commitment, I think, ActionCOACH now are charging 69,000 and then they charge-
– Upfront and then 1500 pounds a month or whatever it may be, which is fine. It works for them, their business model, but for us, we didn’t want to- We actually- Not only do we really want to help clients build great businesses, we really want coaching consultants to succeed. So as long as the coaching consultants are ambitious and serious about working, then that’s going to be enough for us. So our model is it’s a recurring model.
– Basically, coaches and consultants pay us just under, if it’s in the UK, it’s just under a thousand pounds every quarter. If it’s overseas, it’s a thousand dollars. US dollars. And then they pay that every quarter. So that’s the model, really. It’s a recurring membership model. Obviously, they can pay it monthly as well.
– But that works well, so we’re invested in the coaches, they’re invested in us. They can cancel at any time, just like your programmes, which is the best way to run it. So it means that we’re kept on our toes to make sure that we deliver what we promised, so-
– And if they cancel, then do they keep the entire material that they have? Because someone could just, you know, sign up for a month to get everything and then cancel. Have you ever come across someone doing that? Or how do you deal with that situation?
– Well, we have our terms of conditions do prevent them from just doing that. But no doubt there will be a f- Because as you know, in the membership type model, you are going to lose people of course, and of course, we do. So again, you just got to trust 99 percent of the people are trustworthy, trusting, honest people. But I guess there could be one or two people out there that have taken advantage of that, but I don’t lose any sleep over that.
– You know, ultimately, you know, as long as they’re using what they’ve got for good, then I can sleep easy at night on that. But again, it’s not something that worries me. And, you know, if people are that concerned about ripping other people off, then, you know, let them get on with it.
– Yeah, this is something-
– There’s too many more important things to-
– To do.
– To worry about.
– To take care about.
– Yeah, and like us, most people are, almost everybody is honest. If they genuinely came into our business, and we do get people and they look at it and they think after going through our- We have a 21 day sort of initial training course. If they go through that and they genuinely don’t think it’s for them, then, you know, we just give them their money back in the first 30 days.
– I really like the way you’ve built that model because one of the things that is crucial to become an authority in your field is to be able to build your own, to be able to build your own result and to be able to build your own brand. That what makes you an authority, otherwise, if you are just tied to a franchise, you can have a good business, but then now you are tied to that
– Or to that
– I agree.
– Methodology you are associated to other people and now you are competing with a lot of other people doing the same things. While I really like the way you’re structured because definitely for anyone to create their own model, their own intellectual property, and we’ve been through that for the past two and a half years with GTeX. It’s a lot of time.
– It is.
– It is a lot of money that you put in. It is design work. It is resources. It is PDF, it is structure, it is systems. And it’s great because we have them, but man, it’s been gruelling create those resources and there was a lot of time and a lot of money spent in order to create something
– I agree.
– Of quality. It’s not just a Word document that people are going to use.
– Yeah, I agree.
– So definitely, being a part of an organisation like this can give you a massive advantage on that side, but is always really important if your goal is to be an authority in your field, if it is not, that’s fine. Do whatever you want. But if your goal is to become the best of the best, then it’s really important that you build something on your own personal brand. Then whatever tools you use is fine. You can use something that you have developed, you can use something like Core Assets, that’s absolutely your choice. The most important thing is that you give the client, you pay respect to this industry , you give the clients their results that they deserve and they are expecting, and then you have also the freedom to be the total leader that you can be because that’s how you become an authority in your field is by being seen as a total leader. So it was a really insightful conversation, in particular for everyone that now is thinking, “Okay, I want to train other people. “I want to have other people, you know, “waving the flag of what I’ve created “over the past number of years.” Because then now you can have, in your case, you can have a huge ripple effect. You can impact way more businesses that you could-
– Just impact by yourself and on your own. So that’s why I absolutely love it. Is there one thing that is worth sharing or that is important for our listeners to know that we haven’t talked about that in this topic before we wrap up?
– Yeah, I think when you said to me at the start, ever think of something, whether it’s been an app or a book or a message that somebody’s said to you that you think could have an impact on the listeners? It’s a great question and one of the things that comes to mind is when I was playing at Leicester, we just won the double, so we won the league and the Cup and the club sacked the coach, believe it or not. So he’d won the double , they sacked the coach.
– I’ll tell you why in a second.
– He’s a guy called Tony Russ, who is a top bloke, really nice bloke, excellent coach. We’d just won the double and then rugby went professional and they basically sacked him. And they sacked, they got rid of him because they wanted, they felt that they needed to bring someone in who was, had a higher standing in the game. Now bearing in mind Tony Russ was, he just, he was the first ever employed head coach of a club in Rugby Union because somehow the club managed to get around the, I don’t know, some whatever legislation there was at the time so they could pay the coach, but obviously, not the players. And I think he was director of rugby for got to be six, seven, eight years through the kind of transition through to professionalism. And then literally as soon as we went professional, the club got rid of him, which was pretty shocking at the time. And all the players were like, “Oh, my God, “what has the club done?” And they brought this guy in called Bob Dwyer. Now, you wouldn’t have heard of him, but Bob had just won the World Cup with Australia. He’s a legendary coach and the club brought Bob in to obviously take us through that initial few years of professionalism. And one of the things that he said that has always stuck with me and it’s something that I talk to all our guys about. And you know the saying that practise makes perfect?
– Well, what he said was, “Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. “It’s not practise makes perfect. “It’s perfect practise makes perfect.”
– And that really stood with me. I mean I know a few people have said perfect practise makes perfect, but I think Bob in my mind. So that was back in 1995. He’s probably the first person to come up with that. I’d never heard of it before. And it really stuck with me and what he meant by that, from a rugby context, it meant, “Look, whatever we do, whatever we do, “whether on the training park, “whether you’re at home, whatever it may have been, “you’re going to do it as if you’re playing. “Okay, so everything we do, you’re going to pretend “that it’s in the heat of a proper game.” So for example, just a little thing, if you drop the ball in training, you know it’s not a time to giggle. You know, that’s like, it’s a shocking thing to do, to drop a ball, because obviously, in a game situation, drop a ball, you lose the possession. And it takes, on average, something like nine tackles to get it back, which is huge.
– And so that, for me, was something that’s really important. So bringing that into the coaching and consulting sort of situation, what we mean by that is look, so if you’re- Obviously, you should practise doing- If you’ve got a meeting with a client, it’s your first meeting with a client, you should practise what you’re going to do before that, shouldn’t you?
– Because you don’t want it be your first meeting with a client be the first time you’ve ever done that. So what you should do is, you should try and mirror as closely as you can that meeting. So, you know, get somebody else to do it with, whether it’s a friend, a colleague, or whatever. But you actually do it as if it’s a proper meeting.
– You know, do it as perfectly as you can so when you come to that meeting with a client, you’re going to deliver it as perfectly as you can. And obviously, none of us are perfect, but the premise is perfect practise makes perfect. It really has stuck with me ever since and it was massive at the time, and I don’t think it’s any different now and I don’t think it will ever change, but I think it’s a really good way to approach things. You know, kind of just be your best, you know. Do your best at all times.
– In any situation, whether is the real game or whether there is a practise, is about how you show up.
– It is.
– And I, being a professional sport person myself , I definitely can relate with that. When we are training, we are training. We are like we are in the game. When we are training, we are giving our, we are giving even more than what we have in the game, where that’s-
– Because then that’s where you know you have that extra edge to give in the game. So when we got to train, we finish the train and we got to be exhausted like it’s training time.
– Oh, it’s exactly that.
– Then you can sleep it off.
– I mean if you’ve got time for a very quick story just on that. We obviously used to play mainly on a Saturday. Sometimes a Sunday, but mainly on a Saturday. So obviously, the week is structured to leading up to a game, just like you with basketball.
– Yeah, yeah.
– We would then- It would take us rough- It would take about two days to get over a game of rugby, okay, just because of the physical nature of it.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– I played once rugby and man, I mean, we never met in person, but I’m small. I played
– once rugby, I said, “Never again.” “Never again.” I was bruised and battered, everywhere hurt.
– Well, I wasn’t one of the big monsters guys. I played on the wing, so I was a fast guy, not a massive guy. Mind you, now they’re massive and fast. But yeah, so we’d kind of do a swimming session on Sunday after the game to kind of rehab and then Monday would be a walk-through of the game. They’d have video analysis on all the players, which was painful if you’d had a bad game. And then probably Tuesday we’d do a full contact session. And, you know, this perfect practise makes perfect, just as you were saying with your team is the we’d do a full contact session, okay? And you’ve got people like Martin Johnson, six foot six, massive, Dean Richards, six foot five, massive. All 18, 19, 20 stone. But they would treat those sessions harder than a match. And it was fearful. I mean the amount of fights you would encounter in training, just because of the intensity of those sessions was huge, but it’s one of the reasons why we were so successful and it’s because of just the attitude of the perfect practise makes perfect philosophy. You know, training was, as you said, as close, if not even more intensive, sometimes, than the games. Because, obviously, the differences when you’re in a squad, and you’ve talked about it a lot, about being on the sidelines is so frustrating when you’re not playing. But actually, when you take that into rugby context as well, and it would be no different in basketball, the guys that are itching to get your position are going to try 15, 20 percent harder, whereas when you-
– I want that spot.
– Yeah, exactly. Whereas on a Saturday, you’re playing against the opposition, who clearly want to win, but actually, I’ve found if you’re in a situation where you’ve got elite athletes and those guys are really, really looking to get your position, those training sessions are very, very, very intense.
– And a lot of them are more intense than even the game, which was a revelation back in those days.
– Absolutely, and in particular, if you are playing in a top team. I mean that was one of the things that I found. We were the top team in the fourth division in the national league in the UK. There are four divisions. So we won the fourth one, now we’re in the third one and we were better than the majority of the team in our region. And so even when we were training, when I’m training with my teammate, for me, is actually more difficult to play with them because we are the top, than actually to play against the teams that we are playing.
– Of course, yeah.
– It is something that and you become better so fast because you are playing against the top. That’s also why it’s important to be part of an elite team, because even if you are not playing, I’m playing maybe few minutes a game, so I’m not definitely the first pick of the coach. I’m generally, the coach puts me on if we are winning by a lot or we are losing by a lot. If we are there, I’m not seeing the game even if I travel the five hours to get to the bloody game.
– Yeah, absolutely.
– But I get it because we want to win. But because of that situation, I’m giving a hundred times more just because I see everyone else which is so good and that’s the beauty of being part of a team. And we can translate this to business.
– When you are part of a team which is high-performing, you become high-performing yourself or you just leave because you cannot keep up.
– Yeah, you can’t handle it.
– Or you got to become a performer or you just leave because you cannot handle it and you feel crap about yourself. Those are the two things. So Steve, it’s been an absolute pleasure having this interview with you. If someone wants to reach out to you, know more about The Core Assets, the work that you do, what’s the best way?
– Yeah, just go to thecoreasset.com. They can, if they’re looking to get involved from a coaching or consulting point of view, there’s links on the bottom of all the pages to find out more. If they’re a client that want to grow their business, they can also look around that site as well. So yeah, thecoreasset.com.
– Brilliant. Coreasset.com, the link is going to be in the show note. Steve, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you here. Thank you very much for joining today.
– Yeah, it’s been great, Simone. Thanks a lot.
– All right, ladies and gentlemen, thank you for watching or listening. If you haven’t subscribed to this show, make sure you subscribe right now on your favourite podcasting platform, and until next time, remember that together we grow exponentially. Ciao.