Frank Bria | How to Scale Businesses and How to Recover When the Roof Caves In on You

Frank Bria 4:48
it sounds great. Because it’s like, Okay, well, we don’t have to do a lot of product. We don’t have to build a lot of stuff in advance. We just kind of go see what people need. And you know, it’s actually not a bad way to start. You’re going to go to your Rolodex, you know, you’re going to go to the people, you know, and those people are going to be like, yeah, okay, these are smart people, like they can actually solve some problems for us. The problem is that you’re going to run that Rolodex out at some point, and then that story doesn’t play anymore, then it’s a bit of a misnomer because you, you get this idea when you start off like, hey, this actually works pretty well like I can go out and do this. And then you start getting into you know, instead of hot traffic, it’s warm traffic and this sort of warm traffic, it’s cold leads, and those cold leads are not impressed by this story at all right? You know, they don’t know who you are. And so you know, well, we don’t want a bunch of smart people just kind of digging around. And you know, it’s the old joke about consultants, right? Like a consultants gonna like you ask a consultant what time it is, and they’re gonna steal your watch and tell you the time I think you did you tell me this, like,

John Corcoran 5:53
you know, but I love that.

Frank Bria 5:54
Yeah, this is a basically that’s what they do. Right? And so no one wants to put up with that. garbage, right? So what you have to do is you have to take Okay, great, we’re smart people, we can solve a whole bunch of problems. But we got to like, pick a problem and stick with it for a little bit, at least as a beginning story and talk about you know how that problem actually solves something that someone actually cares about and is going to pay money for and interestingly enough, like when I I was flying all over the world, I was the Hey, Frank, we need you in Johannesburg in three days kind of guy. And that’s just get old gets old Really? Good. Yeah, like I had my doors one. One day in South Africa. I literally landed in the morning, did a two hour meeting and got back on a plane the after I literally didn’t even sleep in South Africa. That’s crazy. Yeah, it wasn’t it was insane. It’s totally crazy. And so you know, that got old. You know, I didn’t see my kids a lot. And I just was like, This is not the life I wanted to create for myself. When I decided to like, do a consulting for And kind of be out on my own. So, you know, I decided, hey, let’s come up with something that travels less. And, you know, so the first thing I did is I told him, my clients, I was going to travel anymore, and I lost half of them. And then the second thing I said is, well, maybe I’ll start working with small businesses, and then I lost the other half, you know, like that. So, about seven years ago, I started working with small businesses, and I realized fundamentally, you know, service businesses, we have the same problem. You know, people kind of identify themselves as, Oh, well, I’m a spiritual coach, or especially in the personal development space, we’re really bad at this personal development space, you know, and what we the jargon we use the language we use, it’s the exact same problem is these analytic guys, you know, these PhDs talking about stuff no one understands. So you have somebody who does personal development work, and they’re like, I’m going to help you center your ci to like, find your passion. Like, no one understands what you’re saying doesn’t make any sense. So it’s not because it’s not important, you know, this stuff is like really important to people. But if you can’t articulate the problem you solve in a way that people actually care about, you’re not gonna sell anything. So basically the exact same system and infrastructure I was using for these large corporations to help them productize their services and communicate what they do to the marketplace. Essentially, we’re doing the exact same thing, just a different scale. So I know it seems like a disconnect completely and, and you know what it did take me a little bit of time I started off work with small businesses and I got I got sucked into the same stupid internet marketing bs that everybody else does for a couple of years. And like it was it was like, this is not going to work. No one cares about this stuff.

John Corcoran 8:51
To see people have been doing it for a while and try and implement things that a sophisticated call overly complex in a market types of strategies that don’t work that well. So what are the what are the similarities and the differences between the large companies that you work for? And the smaller companies? obvious one would be fewer resources? Right, smaller teams, you know, what are some of the differences and similarities in terms of productizing their knowledge and expertise?

Frank Bria 9:19
Yeah. So fundamentally, we all kind of get this idea that, you know, the large corporations, they have like, unlimited budget, and they’re just going to throw cash and stuff. And they do throw cash at things like advertising, but they don’t. They, they, you really have to get them to think about putting money towards marketing strategy. And again, they, they have the same sort of fear of consultants that most of us small business owners do. You know, I don’t want to bring people in and then, you know, basically, you know, say, I’m going to pay you to tell me a bunch of things that we already decided we didn’t want to do that kind of go forward with it. So you know, that they have to also Think through investing in strategy. But then on the on the other side of it, you know, when you’re working with large corporations, the folks who you are working with the folks who are sort of the economic buyers, you have the budget, the sign the checks, they kind of don’t have as much at stake. You know, when you’re working with a fortune 500 company, you know, you’re you’re dealing with folks who may have bonuses that depend on the profitability of the company, but there’s not this direct win relationship. Like if we go out with a campaign and really when like, this shows up in my pocketbook, there’s something about working with small business owners and entrepreneurs were, you know, they feel it and so there’s a lot more energy invested in what’s going on now. There are also all sorts of problems with that, right? There’s all sorts of mindset issues and, and other things where, you know, small business owners we go, I can’t believe you’re making that decision. That’s crazy. But, um, but that’s

John Corcoran 10:56
not long way perhaps or less, less. patience for sure,

Frank Bria 11:01
less patience. But because they have more on the line, they win better. You know, it’s interesting, like, you know, I’ll have an entrepreneur who’s doing maybe 200 grand a year, invest $25,000 to get their business going. And then I’ll go to a bank and basically offered to completely redesign the strategy for their, you know, their branch customer operations and tell them it’s 25 grand and they choke so it doesn’t it just because they have more money and more budget doesn’t necessarily translate into investment. So, you know, a lot of things that we think are would be easier to sell to them, you know, I could charge hundreds of thousands of dollars. No, you still have to do the same work. Fundamentally, you still have to have some kind of productized offer you have to have some outcome people care about. You have to solve a seven figure problem. You know, but that people can identify and you have to be able to articulate value proposition and return on investment. So yeah, there’s a lot of similarities, actually.

John Corcoran 12:04
Now let’s get a little bit into the mechanics behind putting together a coaching program because I mentioned earlier to you, but a nickel for everyone who I know would like to have some kind of group program, call it an in person or an event or something like that I would be a bazillionaire you know, as a lot of people who would like to have that sort of thing and Who wouldn’t? Who doesn’t like the idea of Oh, my wisdom is so powerful that a group of people just shows up so I can just espouse my wisdom, they listen, and then I have to do nothing more. Right. So talk a little bit about the mechanics of, well, first of all, there’s the chicken or the egg problem, you got to build the community of people. And a lot of times people make the mistake of creating something before they build a community people may have known.

Frank Bria 12:48
Yeah, exactly. So So there’s a couple of a couple of mistakes that people make along the way. First of all, they think that product is delivery mechanism. So please I can’t tell you how many people and you told the story perfectly people come to me and say, so I want to do like two retreats in Tahiti a year. And then we want to like have one group call a month. And that’s our product. And I’m like, that’s not a product that’s like a set of delivery mechanisms. Like, that’s not you haven’t communicated to me at all, what the value is why people should participate. Like what, what, what your, what the path is, and people are going to go through this so so people confuse this and, and basically, that’s what group coaching is group coaching is a delivery mechanism. It is not a product. So that’s the very first mistake people make is they think, Oh, well, you know, everyone else is doing group coaching. So I’ll just throw up some videos in a thing and I’ll just do one call a week and then everyone will be awesome. I’ll, I’ll be able to work two hours a week and make tons of money because everyone’s hanging out with me and it just that’s not a product and it doesn’t live survived that long. And you know, we now have know because, like, I’ve been behind the scenes on dozens and dozens of these, my team’s been behind the scenes with dozens and dozens of these. Like, you end up with people complaining and you have this standard thing, which is like, I’m not getting value out of this, like, why should I continue to pay you for this? And that’s the that’s what ends up happening with those things. So it comes down to product design. You have to think through Okay, what outcome I am I trying to create this is not just me, getting a bunch of groupies together to hang out and like tell you how, you know what, like brain dump this is that’s not a product, like what outcome or recreating what are the steps to get there? And how do I create milestones along the way that build momentum so that people stick with me, you know, through that process. And once you decide on that, then there will be delivery mechanisms like masterminds and group coaching and virtual training that you have to choose to deliver that value but you have to start with the value proposition first not the delivery mechanisms that’s usually the first big error.

John Corcoran 15:06
Right? Right and and Do you find that the best way to figure out what that value proposition should be is starting with a one on one and working your way up from there one consulting coaching?

Frank Bria 15:19
Yeah, I mean, I think one on ones a great way to start, I think you need to know it’s temporary because anyone who does one on one coaching you know, burns out if it grows too high, and you get a little lazy with one on one coaching, you have like, five different clients and they’re all doing different stuff. And so you never really get around a product ization. So you want to at least think about product ization on day one. But that that’s the other thing is that then people will say, Well, you know, I’m just starting out. So let’s start with something cheap. You know, let’s do like a $300 a month, you know, coaching or something. And of course, you can’t sustain that as a business owner. So you got to start off with something that’s going to pay you you know, we I call it high It’s a good program and know a lot of people get their noses bent out of shape of the phrase high ticket, because there’s, you know, there’s some bad actors in our space that that abuse that term. But basically, it just means getting paid what you’re worth that’s, that’s it, you have to do the you have to do the work, you have to come up with the value proposition and the and the process. But if you start off with a few clients that you’re working with, and you’re being paid enough to have a basic business off the ground, then you have cash left over to invest in automation and audience building and all that kind of stuff. If you try to do it the other way around. Like it’s, it’s a problem, you’re, you know, you can’t it takes a lot of capital to build up something where, you know, every clients only bringing in $59 a month, you know, you you think you’re going to sell that but it’s not actually it’s harder, and then you have to grow faster, and that takes capital and it’s just a tough business model. Right.

John Corcoran 16:57
Right. Right. And then the other thing people will come struggle with that I was talking to a client earlier today about this same exact issue is making sure there’s alignment between the different offerings that you have, right, having a vision towards that, because in this case, there was someone who had, they had an online course, they had a live event, and then they had a very much more expensive back end. Yeah. And they realized, and because I asked them a simple question, right, like, the people that qualify for the much more expensive back end, do a lot of them come through the online course, knowing that the answer was no, right. So well, then what have you built here, you build something that’s not attracting the people that you want to get in the back end piece? Exactly.

Frank Bria 17:40
Yep. And so the very first thing we do when we start working with clients is we have them build what’s called the customer journey map. And we say, take your ideal client and take them on a journey for three years. Okay. Three years down the road. What What do they have? Not what have you done with them, but what do they have at the end? What’s the outcome for them? And then let’s take that three year journey, let’s break it up into a couple of milestones. And, you know, just I like to tell people, there’s no one right way to do stuff. But there are best practices there. They’re things that work better than other things. And so we just happen to know from working with a lot of these different clients and seeing it dozens and dozens of times, if you break up these milestones into like, 12 weeks, 12 months, three years, you can actually align a product strategy around those and you’ve built in the solution to the problem you just identified, which is there’s a natural transition now from 12 week course to 12 month program to three year inner circle offer, you know, we that you have connected the dots because you’ve done the work up front. A lot of people like

John Corcoran 18:49
what they thought through the different pieces that exactly that’s

Frank Bria 18:52
right, that’s right. So so there is a smooth sort of continuous connection between those because, again, this just comes down to math. You want to increase the lifetime value of a customer, you want to make sure that that’s the highest number possible. And, you know, marketing pretty much comes down to who can pay the most per lead. So if you can increase the total lifetime value per customer, you’re in a much you’ve set yourself up a terrific for that. If you keep churning people, you know, like, well, I’m going to do a membership site. And we know that the longevity of those are about like three months on average, and every three months I have to like basically replenish my entire customer base like you have a hard time building marketing infrastructure around that.

John Corcoran 19:36
Yeah. So you really have to think through how are you going to keep them stick so you’re getting good results. But what about you know, a big pain point is building that critical mass of people aka an audience, community and people that are going to be drawn into that coaching program. Is that something you work with people or is that something that

Frank Bria 19:57
Yeah, okay, but it has to be done in the right order. So this is I think, something that people try to do too early in the process, right? There’s a lot of discussion of, oh, let’s go build like a, you know, 200,000 Instagram followers or Let’s go, you know, the the problem with that is number one, unless you can monetize it, it’s expensive and getting ever more expensive, right? Even before we started this interview, and I were talking about a couple of advertising revenue, like avenues that people use it or that’s getting harder and harder for people. And it’s just going to get worse, like, yeah, burn more people are online marketing, the more expensive it’s going to get Socha building an audience is getting harder. That’s the first thing. And second of all, most people who do that find out that they built the wrong audience.

Unknown Speaker 20:44
Yeah, you know,

Frank Bria 20:46
so they get this huge crowd and they’re like, I don’t know what to do with them. I can’t sell them anything. And that’s because again, we haven’t thought strategically through what’s going on. The reason people try to build the audience is because they think they need that huge audience in order to launch do some kind of internet product launch? Well, that’s again, that’s the wrong way to think about this. If you have something that’s of significant value, if you have a skill that’s monetizable, you go out to a smoker, if you’re if you’re charging 8000 10,000 $20,000 for something, and by the way, it’s not that hard to do that. You just have to think through it, it’s a lot of it is, is in knowing the problem that you’re solving. But if you’re charging, let’s say, even $5,000, right? You don’t need 5000 people in the audience, you need like, six or seven really good clients. And yeah, that doesn’t take that kind of effort. It’s, it’s a lot more about Okay, well, let’s just let’s validate, let’s actually go talk to real life human beings. Let’s get out from behind our computer. Let’s stop hiding behind the laptop, you know, and actually go talk to real life human beings validate a concept It’s that Lean Startup concept, right? Get out there and, and, and sell something, yeah, get into the market. And then after you’ve generated the cash, after you validated what’s going on after you’ve actually created a couple of really cool testimonials with sort of really dramatic, transformational results that you can talk about, then you can go and spend the money to go build an audience because now you know, it’s the right audience, you can monetize it later, etc, etc. So I people get that out of order. I think let’s

John Corcoran 22:30
talk about the personalities of the people that you see that are doing group coaching programs. Well, because one thing I’ve observed kind of interesting over recent years is that because in today’s day and age, you need to be able to master a lot of different skills which do require being behind the laptop, as you mentioned, I have actually observed that a lot of times there are people who are a little bit more introverted, who have built large communities and have group coaching programs, who are more introverted now is that is that Okay, or do you find that there’s a certain type of personality that naturally maybe it is an introverted person, but who’s the, you know, what’s the, the right personality dynamic to be successful at having a group coaching program that’s successful? Or does it even matter?

Frank Bria 23:17
So, so I think that the reason that we see this disparity of personality type is, again, comes down to design, because group coaching, again, is just a dynamic, it’s just a delivery mechanism. There are people who build masterminds who are much more facilitating a conversation, and those people tend to be a little bit more extroverted. And then we have people who are doing you know, service businesses that are that are really cranking out process stuff, like yeah, I mean, the stuff you guys do, it’s, it’s all about process right. And getting a process.

Unknown Speaker 23:52

Frank Bria 23:53
yeah. It’s, it’s, it’s really managing that so it really depends. So we see you Different things, different personality styles. But what I will say, tends to be an indicator of success for people in a service business is their ability to recognize their blind spots and to backfill them. So as you grow through that business infrastructure, something happens. It’s a curve that all of us go through every single entrepreneur, we hit a ceiling of our skill set, and then we have to decide what to do next. Right. So there are people who have enough, I think, internal confidence to say, I’m going to hire a team that’s smarter than me better than me, brings the best of the best. And I’m going to let them soar and I’m just going to sit back and watch this amazing magic happen. And then there are some people who are like, I want to bring in the Young Guns who are want to be trained by me and are going to be closing of me, and I’m going to basically teach them my thing. Those folks don’t do as well. I mean, it just is the case that we are not none of us are everything we need to build a business, we need people around us they’re going to be, you know, you know, it’s a classic. It’s a classic sort of integrator versus visionary thing. But there’s, there are also more complicated dynamics than that, though. We’re missing something. So if we kind of have our, our personality, we want this to be our personality business. We’re, you know, we’re going to end up a little bit short handed, because we’re going to be building an entire team of us, and we’ll be missing that. So that’s the one personal personality dynamic. I do see that is indicative of success. Somebody who’s confident enough to bring someone in smarter. You know, I want my number two to be smarter than me. I want them to be better than me.

John Corcoran 25:58
Hmm, good advice. All right. I want to ask about your personal history last few years, and everything you’ve been through, because it’s just incredible to me what you’ve been through that you’re still standing, you still have a smile on your face seem happier than ever. Which is great. But what what was it? You know, what was the beginning of the cracks in the wall? so to speak you, you’ve been through a divorce. Yeah. You You had a business partnership that you started and then a year or two later or something like that It broke apart? Yeah. You had all these health problems as well.

Frank Bria 26:33
Right? That all kind of happened all the same time. I think people a lot of these things are not all that uncommon to folks. It’s just that they all kind of happened and like what you’re very well, I mean, so to set the stage a little bit, because you mentioned a couple of things like me coming out and stuff like that. So, like I you know, I got married to a woman 23 years ago. I was raised in a very conservative church and That was the thing you did like there wasn’t there wasn’t there weren’t a lot of other options. Yeah. I’m also of an age where, you know, back in the in the 80s in in when I got married in the early 90s it wasn’t as there weren’t a lot of support mechanisms that that there are now not not that it’s a lot easier in the LGBT community now than it then it was them but

Unknown Speaker 27:23

Frank Bria 27:24
getting things are getting better.

John Corcoran 27:26
Yeah. I think back then, before the internet, right, you know, I think I shouldn’t be offering my own opinion here. But at least from what I’ve heard, is that if you’re LGBT, and you are, especially in a small community, and you’re surrounded by known as seems to be like you, there’s no way of knowing you think you’re the only one

Frank Bria 27:49
right? It’s it’s very isolating your pre internet, for sure. I mean, it really the internet was the first time I realized that I wasn’t like somebody wasn’t wrong with

John Corcoran 27:58
me was wrong. Yeah, exactly.

Frank Bria 28:00
So yeah, pre internet, it’s very isolating. And when you’re in a conservative religious community, it’s even more isolating. And yeah, and have a lot of people around me who were actively saying, oh, by the way, like, this is cool. Interestingly enough, I found out, you know, years later, 20 years later, my parents actually, were slowly setting the stages for me, and I didn’t even know it like, you know, mid 90s. My parents, both very religious, conservative religious folks were associating with and having great relationships with gay couples in the 90s in front of me in front of my eyes, so I grew up in an environment where that was okay. And I found out later this was like intentional. They were intentionally, like signaling and

John Corcoran 28:49
did they think that you were gay? Or did they do it because they wanted both? Both. I mean, I

Frank Bria 28:55
think they they didn’t know for sure, but I think they sort of suspected

Unknown Speaker 29:00
So what does that mean to you that your parents did that?

Frank Bria 29:04
Well, I, you know, it’s, again, one of those things you kind of like realize when you look back, I, I recognize that my parents were very much more progressive than I expected them to be on the topic and, and I’m grateful because not everybody has that experience. I mean, I, I, you know, you talk about like, how did I go through all the crap I went through and come out the other side smiling. Part of it is my family, my immediate family, my, my parents, my siblings, they all like stood by me, they all you know, kind of almost like, formed like a protective circle around me while the stuff was going on. So

John Corcoran 29:48
Tell, tell me what it was like coming out to your family.

Frank Bria 29:52
Well, so that was a bit of a process like I first came out to my family into a couple of close friends. Probably about 1314 years ago, and it was kind of like long before you got divorced, yeah, long before and and I told my, my at the time spouse as well my ex wife, I told her what was going on and we all kind of made a commitment to kind of go heads down and and keep sort of a religious perspective on it. So you know, I care way through it. Yeah. And and I did, you know, I did conversion therapy, all the kinds of stuff that I talked about in the now like we’re like looking back and I now so I have a lot of personal experience with the the damage that does I mean, I didn’t have anything crazy. There are really awful stories of physical harm and stuff like that Not none of that stuff happened to me. But just from an emotional perspective. I just realized how damaging that was. And it just took time. It took time I was wound up in a place where it was really difficult for me to come recognize what I needed to do to kind of move forward. And I just needed years and years of seeing, okay, this mental framework that I’m in, it’s just not working for me, I have to do something else. So about, I would say about two and a half years ago. I said, you know, okay, we’re, this isn’t working, I will say without, you know, getting overly personal about it. It wasn’t it wasn’t an easy relationship anyway. You know, I know people who do make this work because they’re best friends with their spouses, and we just had issues you know, and I’m not blaming her for that. It’s, it’s not easy being the straight spouse in a mixed orientation marriage for sure. So she gets bonus points for that and for sure, but it was time to it was time to separate so the hardest part was the kids it was it was

Unknown Speaker 31:53
taking me through that what was that like?

Frank Bria 31:55
Um, you know, we it did not go as well as it should have gone, unfortunately, because everything was you know, we’re talking about divorce and me coming out all at the same time

Unknown Speaker 32:08
putting on them, it’s

Frank Bria 32:11
you know that it should have been a much more like united front like, Hey, mom and dad have something to kind of share with you. Unfortunately, it didn’t go that way was much more combative. And so I had to do a lot of a lot of sort of emotional repair work with the kids during that whole process. And so it was harder than it should have been. And they were they were hurt obviously like who wouldn’t be it’s it’s a it’s a really tough thing to see your parents split up and to have all this like crazy stuff, like show up emotionally and you never had to deal with it and you we try to do a pretty good job of like, you know, having the kids feel like everything was all hunky dory and things were good. So was a bit of a surprise for them for sure.

John Corcoran 33:02
Yeah. And so you tell them and your your kids are a little bit older now. Yeah, yeah.

Frank Bria 33:07
Right. So, so at the time, you know, my youngest was a junior in high school, you know, and then I had one who was an adult and out of that and, and out on her own, you know, right now my all three of my kids are in college, so so they were not little kids. Yeah. Which has pluses and minuses like you can have a much more sort of mature conversation with them. But on the other hand, they don’t have that time to grow up in a new normal, where it’s like, okay, mom and dad are in different houses. And that’s kind of normal. And that’s just the way it goes. So, and there’s, there’s a tough part as a kid, when you move out of the house to become an adult, a lot of new things you have to take on, you know, suddenly you’re responsible for yourself financially, you’re in college. So it added a lot of that additional stress for sure for them.

John Corcoran 33:51
Yeah. And so at the same time, though, you your income has plummeted because you have the health Yeah, you gotta hit play. Man, which had complications, he had to do it again. So Ted and through all that,

Frank Bria 34:04
yeah, so so right about the time that I said, Hey, I’m weird, I’m going to move out. The business partnership I was in, started to fail. And about two or three months into that I called it just wasn’t working, the dynamic wasn’t working. And I was like, Okay, well, I gotta restart from scratch now, because all that partnership income is now gone. And I got to rebuild, essentially a new service model. And so I’m like, Okay, cool. I know how to do that. Like, that’s great. But at that, like, literally Three weeks later, you know, I’m in the hospital surprise, I have to get a hip replacement at age 47. And you weren’t expecting that I was not expecting. Yeah, I mean, everyone asks, like what happened and unfortunately, I’ve got no awesome snowboarding accident story. It’s just like, as my surgeon said, bad genetics. It’s like, no one wants to hear that. But So, yes, so that happened. I had a pulmonary embolism in the hospital so life threatening complications you know, just one of those you go to sleep one night you’re not sure you’re going to wake up in the morning in the hospital. That was that was a shocker. I come out of the hospital now on oxygen not being able to walk care for myself and my entire family unit is gone. So I have like no one except for someone I started dating like right during that time

Unknown Speaker 35:33
during that time as a Greg you’re talking about right

Frank Bria 35:35
yeah my partner now Greg. Yep. So

John Corcoran 35:39
talk about trial by fire. Well, welcome to the family. I’m

Frank Bria 35:43
crisis. It was bad, right and then after go through all the emotions of the divorce, and he’s basically taking care of a 47 year old different placement. So I told him at the beginning I’d like listen, I you didn’t sign up for this like we just met like a few months ago. Like this is crazy. You like we’ve moved in together and now you’re taking care of me and, and he said, no, that I this is what I want. And he, it again, you talk about the things that basically saved, I will say literally saved my life. Greg, like definitely at the top of the list. If he didn’t have him at that time period, it would I don’t know how that would have gone. Yeah, I mean, I really don’t that it was hard enough as it was, you know, just being physically in Cape and then be at now I can’t work, you know, and everyone’s like, well, you can still work a computer, but there’s something about when your health is off, and you’re going through all that emotional stress. It’s like I couldn’t I couldn’t even prospect I couldn’t talk to clients. I didn’t have the energy I didn’t have. You know, it was it was it was crazy. So yeah, I mean, basically, I didn’t recover. The surgery was done wrong. They the actual hip came loose. So that meant that every time I was walking, it was like banging into my bone into my fever, and like causing a lot of pain, and no one knew what was going on, because that’s a weird complication to have. And so for like six months, I didn’t make almost any money. I mean, the only thing I could do was like tutor math, you know, online is kind of my, I used to teach college years and years and years ago. And so it was just tough. And at the same time, I got divorced and financial documents and, you know, depositions and, you know, where, you know, where, where’s the money, all that stuff and making money? Yeah, I mean, and I had a judge who was not particularly sympathetic to the situation. Like, you know, I’m looking at your tax returns. You’ve been a mid six figure entrepreneur for several years, and he writes on me you’re making 200 bucks a month during that, like, you look like a faker. You look like somebody who’s just trying to like step out on on your obligations and you know, mean, how can you argue with that so with the facts look like and she doesn’t know me. So it was tough. I was a lot of pressure, you know, I was given a very, very strict support order, which I wasn’t even was like 10 times what I was making at the time. And I had to, like, pull it together fast, like, I didn’t have a lot of options. So, you know, I got to a point where it’s like, you have to make a decision here, you know, like, are you gonna just curl up in a corner in a fetal position? Are you going to do something? And I always thought the thing that I needed to do was to like muscle through it, you know, push through it, like, Where’s your grit? Like, you know, go buy one of those books on Amazon about like sticking it out. But I didn’t have that in me. I literally just didn’t have it in me. And I had to do the one thing that I should have done a long time earlier, and I just didn’t think of and that was to tell everybody, that things were falling apart and asked my friends for help. And I started making phone calls. And I started to tell people like Things suck right now. And I need some help. And you know what people came through in the most amazing, incredible way. I mean, you and Jeremy, like came through and you guys were really super nice and generous and helpful stuff that you suggested There are tons of people and that energy in and of itself, put something back in me again. And, you know, two months later I was back up and running and things were were moving again. So they’re not to say that, you know, building back up isn’t work. There’s tons of work there and I don’t want to sugarcoat it or, or say it’s, you know, it’s no big deal but it that was not the thing I thought was going to get me through it. And I just to me now I have learned there’s something about the transparency of saying, you know what, I’m a human being and I am having trouble right now. Even though everyone in the world is telling you you shouldn’t be having trouble. You know that that’s something that is hard. I think it’s really hard, but it’s critical. And we’re all there with Yeah. I mean, if you thought about it from your own perspective, like what would you do if one of your friends came and asked for help you to help, you know and help them we all want to have?

John Corcoran 40:19
Yeah, absolutely. Right. Yeah, we all go through these seasons in life. So I’m glad that you did that. Well, I know that you have a hard stop in a second. So we’ll wrap things up there. Frank, thank you so much for your candor and your senior honesty thank you so much such great lessons and I appreciate you sharing them with with others. So let’s pretend run awards banquet much like at the Oscars or the Emmys you’re receiving an award for lifetime achievement. Who do you think

Frank Bria 40:46
that’s got to be at the top of the list has got to be my kids like all the way through it with every single like flight all around the world and, and faxing me their homework at hotel rooms will I was gone, like Just being there with me like, they’re, they’ve got to be at the top of the list. My, my parents, my siblings, and and, you know, especially in the last couple of years, my partner, Greg, that they’ve got to get the the awards for sure.

John Corcoran 41:16
Excellent. All right, Frank. So where can people learn more about you?

Frank Bria 41:20
Sure. So under Frank re calm. And, you know, we have if any of the discussion that we had about group coaching programs are kind of interesting, especially the operational piece, like how do you run them? As we discussed, we’ve got kind of a Best Practices Guide called the black book. It’s our it’s kind of all of our secret recipes. It’s free if you if you go to Frank slash black book. That’s like 60 plus pages of like standard operating procedures written up. So 123 guide,

John Corcoran 41:53
I love that the black book that’s great. All right, and and the podcast is the sixth seven figure show.

Frank Bria 41:59
Yep. 67 dot show,

John Corcoran 42:02
okay 67 dot show and scale how to grow your business by working less at probably Amazon and great, Frank, thanks so much.

Unknown Speaker 42:11
Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 42:13
Thank you for listening to the smart business revolution podcast with john Corcoran. Find out more at smart business revolution calm. And while you’re there, sign up for our email list and join the Revolution Revolution Revolution Revolution. And be listening for the next episode of the smart business revolution podcast.

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