Brad: So when people ask me, what is business fitness? I say we help C-level executives and business owners achieve peak performance for both themselves and their businesses. And that’s my secret sauce. Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships? Generate? And grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, and CEOs without listening to a long interview.
If so, you’ve come to the right place. Gresham Harkness values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information. This is the I am CEO podcast.
Gresh: Hello? Hello. Hello. This is Greg from. I am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Brad Tornberg of consulting, Brad.
Gresh: I’m super excited about it as well, too. And I was hearing about all the awesome things that you’re doing. And so, before we jumped into that conversation, I wanted to read a little bit more about brands. I could hear about some of those awesome things.
And Brad is the founder of consulting and the author of the business fitness revolution, which is available on Amazon. He recently launched business Fitness University, a program designed for business. C-suite executives and managers and Brad has provided management consulting, business, software, selection, and implementation for over 35 years; he has helped hundreds of businesses grow their profits by decreasing costs, increasing revenue, and optimizing employee and team performance.
Brad, super excited again to have you here on the show. Are you ready to speak to the IMCO community? Awesome. Let’s make it happen then. So they kick everything off. I don’t want to session a little bit when I read your bio. So I wanted to rewind the clock a little bit here a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story?
Brad: It’s an interesting story. I got started when I realized as a consultant that I was getting $300 a day. And the guy that was putting me into the market was getting $1,500 a day. That was what I decided what I’d rather be the prostitute or the pimps. I went out on my own, not knowing what I was going to do, but I just knew that whatever it was that I was going to do, I was going to be in control of what my future was. And here was my opportunity to do.
Gresh: Nice. I absolutely love that. And it’s so funny. It reminds me, I don’t know if you ever heard that video where it’s like this motivational vehicle, a video where the boss is riding around in like a test or something like that. And the employees were really excited.
It’s oh, how you how’d you get that? And the boss says if you work really hard, you come in early, I’ll get another one of these years year. So you start to get that realization of who you’re helping and how you can start to help yourself and make those things. Exactly.
Brad: It’s interesting because I started in this field in technology when it was just starting to come about. You go back to my high school colleges. I was doing things on punch cards. And when I first started in this business, just so you know, what does is we really provide business operations and technology consultant.
We’ll talk shortly about the book and the course that is led to my metamorphosis into that. But, we always work with people, processes, and technology to develop solutions that will help them continuously improve. That’s always been the way that we do things and, people always say, what is your wife?
And I always like to say my why is because I understand both business and techno sphere career’s people that understand business, there’s people that understand technology, but find someone who has both of them. And that was the advice I got from my dad. He was like, Find the niche between the two of them, and you’ll be able to make a living the rest of your life.
And so I did and having empathy for my clients and wanting them to such vend having been with companies that really didn’t care about the customer. Just go do what you gotta do and get out of there. It wasn’t, really. Yeah. I tend to be emotionally involved with my clients. I tend to have long-term relationships with my clients.
In fact, some of my clients with 25 30 year clients and come back, and they come back. So what’s happened over the years is it started with technology. And then as you start talking about someone’s business needs, they all of a sudden, the C-level executive, the business owner realized, Hey, Pretty smart guy, can you help me in this area?
And that’s how I got into the business, consulting everything from managing projects to a client of mine who asked me to go to Europe and find new distributors from his three largest distributors now came through me. So everything from sales to technology to all of those things is has over the last 35, 40 years has built that background of what I.
Gresh: Nice. I absolutely love that. And it seems so, and I don’t know if you’ve definitely seen this, over the years that so many times people believe there’s, there’s a business and there’s a technology and they’re there, they’re in their separate silos, but I almost feel like there is a convergence that every business needs that technology.
So it’s really hard to I think really get ahead to, to progress and get better without marrying the two and having an understanding of both those things, which I imagine is why it’s been so powerful.
Brad: All of that comes together. And that’s what I try to empower the business owner with is w we have to establish where your focus is, but guess what, if you think about your business and you think about your body can only operate.
At peak efficiency. If all of your systems are working correctly, you don’t have a broken arm. You’re eating well. It’s the same thing with your business. If one system of your business is bad, how can the business be operating at peak performance? So we take a look at all of those that is related to the business, the skeletal system, the infrastructure. Do you have good infrastructure? Do you have good systems in place your management team? Do you have a good team? Where are you missing pieces? A lot of times, they have rural people in their own places. So here I am going through human resource stuff with them, and without a human resource background, but having a common-sense business background and having dealt with over 400 businesses in the last 30 or so years. So that’s the outline, too. How I’ve come to be where I am right now.
Gresh: Nice. I absolutely love, and I appreciate you breaking that down, especially like that that analogy or metaphor, just to understand that because anybody who’s, realizing that as much as they want to go to a goal or aspiration, but their health isn’t in order.
It’s, all those aspects, aren’t an order it’s really hard to get to where you want to be. And we often, and then at the Saint, as you can’t pour from an empty cup. It’s so important to understand like the totality and the holistic aspect that we need to be able to fill up our cups so that we can show up better so that we can ultimately do what the mission and vision of the organization in ways, which we can often forget about when we’re trying to go from goal to goal.
Brad: Yeah. Plus your interpersonal relationships suffer when you’re not taking care of yourself, you get stressed out more, you start yelling and screaming. You have impatience and all those things. Teaching the executive that there’s other people around him that he needs to be. So she needs to be sensitive to, so it’s getting their physical wellbeing and their mental wellbeing in alignment with their business. So that’s the goal, the end of the day.
Gresh: Nice. I absolutely love that. And would you consider that to be what I like to call your secret sauce, but then you feel sets you apart and makes you unique. It seems like you could see the forest for the trees and understand that. As I said people are sometimes busy professionals, they’re go to this thing and that thing, they’re not taking care of their foundation and making sure they do have their fitness in order so that they can, be at their peak selves in their team as a result of that.
Brad: It is my secret sauce and I stumbled upon it because I knew I wanted to get into fitness. Just to know it then. cause I was so big in the business and the consulting side. I kept thinking to myself, there’s gotta be, after I saw that one day and I wrote that one blog article, that’s when the light bulb went on that the secret sauce is combining the personal wellbeing.
So when people ask me, what is business fitness? I say we help C level executives and business owners achieve peak performance. For both themselves and their business. And that’s my secret sauce.
Gresh: Nice. I love that because again, it’s I feel like we’re living in a world where is no longer silos is no longer Fitnesses here.
Relationships are here. Technology’s here. It’s all overlapping and Marion and joined where if one isn’t affected, just like the legs of the stool, one is a little bit lower, not sharper or not as strong. The whole entire tool, a stool can topple over. So it’s so important to have that ability that you have to see, each of those aspects and how they’re intertwined and affect one another.
Brad: It’s optimizing you. It’s really what it is. Optimizing. That’s what I’m trying to do. I look, I’ve done it for myself and I know what works. And I also know what it was like when I wasn’t doing it for myself. And I know the difference between how that feels. And I also know the commitment and what it takes to do that.
When people say to me, I could never get. To be at the gym at four o’clock in the morning. I do that for 21 days and you know what your body’s going to automatically wake up and you’re going to go because it’s now a habit. And that’s the same thing with here. It becomes an instinct. You do it when you don’t go to the gym on a day, you feel lousy because ofe you.
There’s the difference. Instead of saying, I don’t feel like going to the gym; it’s oh God, you lay in bed for 20 minutes. And you’re like, okay, enough of this, get up because otherwise, you’re going to be miserable the whole day. Cause you didn’t go. And then you go when you feel better, and then you start your day.
So it’s a cycle.
Gresh: That makes so much sense. So that actually, might be exactly what I was going to ask, which is like your CEO nugget, which is a little bit more of a word of wisdom or piece of advice. I usually say it might be something you would tell your favorite client, or if you happen to be a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.
Is that where you would land on your secrets or your CEO nugget is being able to be around like-minded
Brad: Yeah, that, and I think the biggest thing I would tell my younger self is the power of focus you see when you’re an entrepreneur and you’re starting out and every idea is the shiny object and any way that you can make money as a shining object.
But, to quote Dan Sullivan, there’s a ceiling of complexity. In the beginning. When you start out, you can keep working hard and making more money. But after a certain point, you’re going to start bouncing off that ceiling. You can’t do it yourself anymore. So now you have to build an organization behind and you have to make that transition into it.
And when I did it to the people that I brought in, I delegated everything to them, including the things that I was strong at, which was the mistake I made. My focus should have been on sales and being in front of them. Instead of sitting in my office with my feet up the desk saying, look at how successful we are, how long that lasted.
That was the first iteration of my business. That was the lesson that I learned. Okay. You’re not the beetle, and you have to have some humility. And you have to work every single day. Like it’s the last day that you’re going to have your business. And the focus comes from if you find that one thing that you’re good at like I have now thought about how late in life I found that focus.
If I had to tell myself something younger, that’s what it would have been. Find your passion, make it your focus. And you just forward and don’t let anybody take you off your path. People are going to try to knock you off your path; just get right back on it. You know what? That’s a good sign because if they knock you off your path, they’re showing you that the direction is different.
Now you have to it’s up to you to find that direction to keep going. Yeah, like someone once said to me, when I’m 60 years old, I wish I was 18. Again, with what I know now at six days, I would be a lot wealthier. I started with a lot of guys, who are now retired.
The first PCX bowl I did in New York, I had bill gates on one side of me and I had Steve jobs on the other side of me. I was the only software guy there. And these guys were selling, operating systems and hardware and stuff like that. And that was when I had an opportunity. The first guy in this field.
And then most of the people that were early in the field cash out early, but I decided I’m going to go buy another business called duct tape marketing. And now I’m going to invest in this and invest in that I lost focus and because I lost focus, I lost direct. And I had to basically retool and start over again, which is what I did.
I sold the company and then started again.
Gresh: I wanted to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we’re hoping to have different quote unquote CEOs on this show. Brad, what does being a CEO mean to you? I think you
Brad: have to have a bit of an omniscience point of view, whether you’re all knowing or not you have to also.
Be a good collaborator in today’s society. And of course you have to have empathy and you have to practice empathy and inclusion and all of those things. I think a good CEO listens more than he talks. I think listening is a very underutilized skill with people. And if it means when you hear something saying it back to them to confirm understanding is sometimes when people don’t do that.
Gap of what you said versus what I heard. Making sure that you dot your I’s and cross your T’s and double-check anything that’s out there. I think. Being the CEO means being a leader means being a thought leader. It means being a people leader, it means being very empathetic to everyone and everything that’s around you.
And it’s also being charitable and being social. I absolutely love that.
Gresh: A definition and perspective. And of course, I appreciate that. I appreciate your time. Even more. What I want to do now is pass you the mic. So to speak, just to see if there’s anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know.
And of course, how best people could get ahold of you get a copy of the book, find out about all the awesome things that you’ve done. I
Brad: appreciate that. My email address is B Kornberg, T O R N B as in boy, E R G hat business consultants.com. And my cell phone is 7 32 area code 7 3 5 6 4 2 9. And I had that cell phone for 30 years.
So I’m not going anywhere if you want to reach me. And by all means, check out the book. And if you’re interested in the course if you hire me as a consultant, you get the course. If not, the course is also. And you can see that on the website www dot business consultants.com. Awesome.
Gresh: Awesome. Awesome.
Brad, truly appreciate that to make it even easier. We’ll have the links and information in the show notes as well too. I love that you have been able to do that reminders of how important that is, and of course do that for your clients as well too. And I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.
Brad: Okay. Oh but let me close with this. It’s interesting that you just mentioned that last comment. Cause I’ve always been told my whole life about specialization to specialize and find something and focus and specialize on it. When people ask me, what’s your strength? I tell them that I am a generalist in a specialist market.
Gresh: Yes. And that’s extremely powerful because I think what we’re seeing now is those people that are able to create those solutions are those people that are able to not just know one silo, but everybody see 3, 4, 5, 10 different silos and able to come up with a solution that can help all of those different aspects.
So I love that you’ve been here. You’ve heard that before, and I think that makes perfect sense with what we’ve been talking about.
Brad: That’s great. Gresham, thank you so much for your time today. It was really been great talking with you and hopefully we get to do it again. Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB nation and blue 16 media tune in next time and visit firstname.lastname@example.org.