Healthy CEOI AM CEO PODCAST

IAM1307 – Founder Helps Business Owners Achieve Peak Performance

Podcast Interview with Brad Tornberg

Brad is the founder of E3 Consulting and the author of Business Fitness Revolution (available on Amazon). He recently launched Business Fitness

University, a program designed for business owners, C-Suite Executives, and managers. 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.

  • CEO Story: Previously Brad was a consultant, then went out to start his own and really to manage his own future and time. Interestingly, his business started when technology was starting to come about.
  • Business Service: Provide business operations in technology, develop solutions.
  • Secret Sauce: Getting the physical well-being and mental well-being in alignment with the business.
  • CEO Hack: Help business owners achieve peak performance for both themselves and their businesses.
  • CEO Nugget: The power of focus. Find your passion, make it your focus.
  • CEO Defined: Have a bit of an omniscient point of view. Be a good collaborator. Have empathy. Listens more than you talk. A thought leader.  Charitable and being social.

Website: www.e3businessconsultants.com

Facebook: e3consultingpartners

Twitter: E3ConsultingInc

LinkedIn: bradtornberg

YouTube: UCFPgekTE78EuvDUOzsA_ZoA/featured

Instagram: www.instagram.com/E3help

Business Fitness Revolution book:Business-Fitness-Revolution-Brad-Tornberg


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Transcription

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Brad Tornberg 00:10

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.

Intro 00:13

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, start ups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:41

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Brad Tornberg of E3 Consulting. Brad, great to have you on the show.

Brad Tornberg 00:50

Great to be here, Gresham. Looking forward to our conversation.

Gresham Harkless 00:53

Yes. I'm super excited about it as well too and hearing about all the awesome things that you're doing. And so before we jump into that conversation, I want to read a little bit more about Brad so you could hear about some of those awesome things. And Brad is the founder of E3 Consulting and the author of Business Fitness Revolution, which is available on Amazon. He recently launched Business Fitness University, a program designed for business owners, C-Suite Executives, and Managers. And Brad has provided management consulting, business software selection and implementation for over thirty five 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 I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

Brad Tornberg 01:34

Yes. I am, sir.

Gresham Harkless 01:36

Awesome. Well, let's make it happen then. So to kinda kick everything off, I I know I touched on a little bit when I read your bio. So I wanted to rewind the clock little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

Brad Tornberg 01:46

Well, it's kind of an interesting story. I I got started when I realized as a consultant that I was getting three hundred dollars a day, and the guy that was putting me into the market was getting fifteen hundred dollars a day. That was when I decided, would I rather be the prostitute or the pimp? So, You know, I I I went out on my own with with not knowing what I was going to do, but I just knew that whatever it was that I was gonna do, I was gonna be in control of what my future was, and here was my opportunity to do so.

Gresham Harkless 02:18

Nice. I absolutely love that. And it's so funny. It kinda reminds me I don't know if you ever heard that video where it's kinda like this motivational vehicle a video where the boss is riding around in, like, a Tesla or something like that, and and the the employee is really excited. It's like, oh, how you how'd you get that? And the boss says, well, if you work really hard, you come in early, I'll get another one of these next year. So you start to get that realization of, like, who you're helping and how how you could start to help yourself and make those things happen.

Brad Tornberg 02:45

Exactly. I mean, it's interesting because I started in in this field in technology when it was just starting to to come about. I mean, you know, 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 e three does is we really provide business operations and technology consulting.

That's the overall overarching umbrella. We'll talk shortly about the book and the course that has kind of led to my metamorphosis to that. But, you know, we always work with people, process, and technology to develop solutions that'll help them continuously improve. That's always kind of been the way that we do things. And, you know, people always say, you know, what is your why? And I always like to say my why is because I understand both business and technology.

There'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, you know, find 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 succeed and 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 jiving with me. I I 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 are twenty five, thirty year clients. And they 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. You know, you're a pretty smart guy. You know? Can you help me in this area? And that's how I kind of got into the business solving everything from managing projects to a client of mine who asked me to go to Europe and find new distributors Foreman, his three largest distributors now came through me. So everything from sales to technology to all of those things is has has, over the last thirty five, forty years has kind of built that background of what I have.

Gresham Harkless 04:53

Nice. I absolutely love that. And and it It seems so, and I I don't know if you've definitely seen this, you know, over the years that, so many times people, believe there's, you know, there's business and there's technology and they're they're they're in their separate silos, but I almost feel like there's a, you know, convergence, that every business needs that technology. So it's it's really hard to kind of, You know, I think really get ahead to to progress and 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 Tornberg 05:23

All of that comes together, and that's what I try to empower the business owner with. It's like, we we have to establish where your focus is. But guess what? You know, if you think about your business and you think about your body, 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.

Well, it's the same thing with your business. If one system of your business is bad, You know? How can the business be operating at peak performance? So we take a look at all of those systems that are related to the business, the skeletal system, the infrastructure. Do you have a 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 wrong people in the wrong places.

So here I am going through human resource stuff with them. Right, without a human resource background, but having a common sense business background and having dealt with over four hundred businesses in the last thirty or so years. So that's kind of the outline to how I've kinda come to be where I am right now.

Gresham Harkless 06:26

Nice. I absolutely love that. I I appreciate you, you know, breaking that down, especially kinda like that, that analogy or metaphor just to kinda understand that because anybody who's, you know, realizing that as much as they wanna go to a goal or aspiration, but their health isn't in order or their skeletal you know, all those aspects aren't in order. It's really hard to get to where you wanna be. And we often and and the saying is, you know, you can't pour from an empty cup. It's so important to understand, like, the the 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 are the mission and vision of the organization ways, which we can often, you No. Forget about when we're trying to go from from goal to goal to go.

Brad Tornberg 07:05

Yeah. Plus your interpersonal relationships suffer when you're not taking care of yourself. Right? You get stressed out more. You start yelling and dreaming. You you have impatience and all those things. So, you know, teaching the executive that there's other people around him that he needs to be or she needs to be sensitive to. You know? So it's getting their physical well-being and their mental well-being in alignment with their business well-being. So that's the goal at the end of the day.

Gresham Harkless 07:31

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Nice. I absolutely love that. And would you consider that to be what I like to call your secret sauce? The thing you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique. It kinda seems like you To see the forest for the trees and understand that, as I said, like, people there are sometimes busy professionals there. Go go 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, you know, be at their peak selves and their team as a result of that too.

Brad Tornberg 07:54

It it is my secret sauce, and I I kinda stumbled upon on it because, you know, I I knew I wanted to get into fitness, just to know it. And then because I was so big in in the business and the consulting side, I kept thinking to myself, there's gotta be you know, after I after I saw that one guy and I wrote that one blog article, that's when the light bulb went on, that the secret sauce is combining the personal well-being. 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.

Gresham Harkless 08:29

Nice. I I love that because, again, it's kind of we're I I feel like we're living in a world where it's no longer silos. It's no longer fitness is here. Relationships are here. Technology is here. Business it it's all kind of overlapping and marrying and enjoying where if one isn't affected just like the legs of a stool, One is a little bit lower, not sharper, not as, you know, strong. The whole entire tool tool a stool can topple over. So it's so important to kinda have that ability that you have to They kinda see, you know, each of those aspects and how they're intertwined and and affect one another.

Brad Tornberg 09:02

It's optimizing you. It's really what it is, optimizing you. That that's what that's what I'm trying to do. 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 when people say to me, I could never get up to be at the gym at 04:00 in the morning, I do that for twenty one days, and you know what? Your body's gonna automatically wake up, and you're gonna go because it's now a habit.

And that's the same thing with here. It becomes an instinct to you. You do it. When you don't go to the gym on a day, you feel lousy because you missed it. There's the difference. Instead of saying, I don't feel like going to the gym, it's like, oh god. You lay in bed for twenty minutes. You're like, okay. Enough of this. Just get up. Because, otherwise, you're gonna be miserable the whole day because you didn't go. And then you go when you feel better, and then you start your day again. So It's a cycle, man. It's all a cycle.

Gresham Harkless 09:56

That makes so much sense. So that that actually, you know, might be exactly what I was gonna ask, which It's kinda 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 hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self is is that where you you would kinda land on your secrets or your, your CEO nugget is being able to kinda be around like minded individuals?

Brad Tornberg 10:19

Yeah. That and 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 is a shining object. But, you know, 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 gonna 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, 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 the customer instead of sitting in my office with my feet up the desk saying, look at how successful we are. You know how long that lasted.

That was the first iteration of my business. That was the lesson that I learned about, okay. You're not the be it all and all. You have to have some humility, and you have to work every single day like it's the last day that you're gonna have your business. And the focus comes from if you find that one thing that you're good at, like I have now, now think 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 just march forward and don't let anybody take you off your path. People are gonna try to knock you off your path. Just get right back on it. You know what? That's 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 you have to it's up to you to find that direction to keep going. So, yeah, I mean, like like someone once said to me, when I'm sixty years old, I wish I wish I was eighteen again with what I know now at sixty because I would be a lot lot wealthier. I started with a lot of guys, you know, who are now retired. I mean, the first PC Expo though I did in New York. And 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 and that was when I had an opportunity. I was the first guy in this field, and and and most of the people that were early in the field cashed out early. But I decided I'm gonna go buy another business It's called duct tape marketing, and now I'm gonna invest in this and invest in that. I lost focus. And because I lost focus, I lost direction. And I had to basically retool and start over again, which is what I did. I sold the company and then started again.

Gresham Harkless 12:53

I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on this show. So, Brad, what does being a CEO mean to you? I I

Brad Tornberg 13:02

I think you have to have a bit of an omniscient point of view, whether you're all knowing or not. You 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 in 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, there's that gap of what you said versus what I heard.

So, you know, making sure that you dot your I's and cross your T's and double check thing that's out there. I think, you know, being a CEO means being a leader. It 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.

Gresham Harkless 14:08

I absolutely, love that, definition and perspective. And, of course, I I appreciate that. I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do now was 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 can get a hold of you, get a copy of the book, find out about all the awesome things that you've been working on.

Brad Tornberg 14:27

I appreciate that. My email address is, btornberg@e3businessconsultants.com and my cell phone is, US (732) 735 6429 and I've had that cell phone for thirty years, so I'm not going anywhere if you wanna 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 available. And you can see that on the website, Right? www.e3businessconsultants.com

Gresham Harkless 15:12

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, 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 kinda 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 Tornberg 15:27

I will. But let me close with this. It's interesting that you just mentioned that last comment because 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'm I am a generalist in a specialist marketplace.

Gresham Harkless 15:46

Yes. And that's extremely powerful because I think what we're seeing now is those people are able to create those solutions are those people that are able to to not just know one silo, but are able to 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 today.

Brad Tornberg 16:05

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.

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Ontro 16:11

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast Powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five star rating. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Wed, 14 Feb 2024 03:48:02 GMT

Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2024 03:48:02 GMT, Duration: [00:16:53.13]

[00:00:00.10] - Brad Tornberg

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.

[00:00:13.69] - Podcast Intro

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, start ups, and CEOs without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, You've come to the right place. Gresham Harkless values your time and is ready to share with you precisely the information you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO podcast.

[00:00:41.00] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Brad Tornberg of E Three Consulting. Brad, great to have you on the show.

[00:00:50.70] - Brad Tornberg

Great to be here, Gresham. Looking forward to our conversation.

[00:00:53.70] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. I'm super excited about it as well too and hearing about all the awesome things that you're doing. And so before we jump into that conversation, I want to read a little bit more about Brad so you could hear about some of those awesome things. And Brad is the founder of E Three Consulting and the author of Business Fitness Revolution, which is available on Amazon. He recently launched Business Fitness University, a program designed for business owners, c suite executives, and managers. And Brad has provided management consulting, Business software selection and implementation for over thirty five 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 I AM CEO community?

[00:01:34.79] - Brad Tornberg

Yes. I am, sir.

[00:01:36.00] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Well, let's make it happen then. So to kinda kick everything off, I I know I touched on a little bit when I read your bio. So I wanted to rewind the clock little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

[00:01:46.79] - Brad Tornberg

Well, it's kind of an interesting story. I I got started when I realized as a consultant that I was getting three hundred dollars a day, and the guy that was putting me into the market was getting fifteen hundred dollars a day. That was when I decided, would I rather be the prostitute or the pimp? So, You know, I I I went out on my own with with not knowing what I was going to do, but I just knew that whatever it was that I was gonna do, I was gonna be in control of what my future was, and here was my opportunity to do so.

[00:02:18.69] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And it's so funny. It kinda reminds me I don't know if you ever heard that video where it's kinda like this motivational vehicle a video where the boss is riding around in, like, a Tesla or something like that, and and the the employee is really excited. It's like, oh, how you how'd you get that? And the boss says, well, if you work really hard, you come in early, I'll get another one of these next year. So you start to get that realization of, like, who you're helping and how how you could start to help yourself and make those things happen.

[00:02:45.69] - Brad Tornberg

Exactly. I mean, it it's interesting because I started in in this field in technology when it was just starting to to come about. I mean, you know, 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 e three does is we really provide business operations and technology consulting. That's the overall overarching umbrella. We'll talk shortly about the book and the course that has kind of led to my metamorphosis to that. But, you know, we always work with people, process, and technology to develop solutions that'll help them continuously improve. That's always kind of been the way that we do things. And, you know, people always say, you know, what is your why? And I always like to say my why is because I understand both business and technology. There'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, you know, find 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 succeed and 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 jiving with me. I I 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 are twenty five, thirty year clients. And they 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. You know, you're a pretty smart guy. You know? Can you help me in this area? And that's how I kind of got into the business solving everything from managing projects to a client of mine who asked me to go to Europe and find new distributors Foreman, his three largest distributors now came through me. So everything from sales to technology to all of those things is has has, over the last thirty five, forty years has kind of built that background of what I have.

[00:04:53.10] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And and it It seems so, and I I don't know if you've definitely seen this, you know, over the years that, so many times people, believe there's, you know, there's business and there's technology and they're they're they're in their separate silos, but I almost feel like there's a, you know, convergence, that every business needs that technology. So it's it's really hard to kind of, You know, I think really get ahead to to progress and 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.

[00:05:23.39] - Brad Tornberg

All of that comes together, and that's what I try to empower the business owner with. It's like, we we have to establish where your focus is. But guess what? You know, if you think about your business and you think about your body, 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. Well, it's the same thing with your business. If one system of your business is bad, You know? How can the business be operating at peak performance? So we take a look at all of those systems that are related to the business, the skeletal system, the infrastructure. Do you have a 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 wrong people in the wrong places. So here I am going through human resource stuff with them. Right, without a human resource background, but having a common sense business background and having dealt with over four hundred businesses in the last thirty or so years. So that's kind of the outline to how I've kinda come to be where I am right now.

[00:06:26.69] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. I I appreciate you, you know, breaking that down, especially kinda like that, that analogy or metaphor just to kinda understand that because anybody who's, you know, realizing that as much as they wanna go to a goal or aspiration, but their health isn't in order or their skeletal you know, all those aspects aren't in order. It's really hard to get to where you wanna be. And we often and and the saying is, you know, you can't pour from an empty cup. It's so important to understand, like, the the 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 are the mission and vision of the organization ways, which we can often, you No. Forget about when we're trying to go from from goal to goal to go.

[00:07:05.50] - Brad Tornberg

Yeah. Plus your interpersonal relationships suffer when you're not taking care of yourself. Right? You get stressed out more. You start yelling and dreaming. You you have impatience and all those things. So, you know, teaching the executive that there's other people around him that he needs to be or she needs to be sensitive to. You know? So it's getting their physical well-being and their mental well-being in alignment with their business well-being. So that's the goal at the end of the day.

[00:07:31.80] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I absolutely love that. And would you consider that to be what I like to call your secret sauce? The thing you feel kinda sets you apart and makes you unique. It kinda seems like you To see the forest for the trees and understand that, as I said, like, people there are sometimes busy professionals there. Go go 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, you know, be at their peak selves and their team as a result of that too.

[00:07:54.00] - Brad Tornberg

It it is my secret sauce, and I I kinda stumbled upon on it because, you know, I I knew I wanted to get into fitness, just to know it. And then because I was so big in in the business and the consulting side, I kept thinking to myself, there's gotta be you know, after I after I saw that one guy and I wrote that one blog article, that's when the light bulb went on, that the secret sauce is combining the personal well-being. 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.

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[00:08:29.89] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I I love that because, again, it's kind of we're I I feel like we're living in a world where it's no longer silos. It's no longer fitness is here. Relationships are here. Technology is here. Business it it's all kind of overlapping and marrying and enjoying where if one isn't affected just like the legs of a stool, One is a little bit lower, not sharper, not as, you know, strong. The whole entire tool tool a stool can topple over. So it's so important to kinda have that ability that you have to They kinda see, you know, each of those aspects and how they're intertwined and and affect one another.

[00:09:02.89] - Brad Tornberg

It's optimizing you. It's really what it is, optimizing you. That that's what that's what I'm trying to do. 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 when people say to me, I could never get up to be at the gym at 04:00 in the morning, I do that for twenty one days, and you know what? Your body's gonna automatically wake up, and you're gonna go because it's now a habit. And that's the same thing with here. It becomes an instinct to you. You do it. When you don't go to the gym on a day, you feel lousy because you missed it. There's the difference. Instead of saying, I don't feel like going to the gym, it's like, oh god. You lay in bed for twenty minutes. You're like, okay. Enough of this. Just get up. Because, otherwise, you're gonna be miserable the whole day because you didn't go. And then you go when you feel better, and then you start your day again. So It's a cycle, man. It's all a cycle.

[00:09:56.50] - Gresham Harkless

That makes so much sense. So that that actually, you know, might be exactly what I was gonna ask, which It's kinda 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 hop into a time machine, you might tell your younger business self is is that where you you would kinda land on your secrets or your, your CEO nugget is being able to kinda be around like minded individuals?

[00:10:19.60] - Brad Tornberg

Yeah. That and 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 is a shining object. But, you know, 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 gonna 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, 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 the customer instead of sitting in my office with my feet up the desk saying, look at how successful we are. You know how long that lasted. That was the first iteration of my business. That was the lesson that I learned about, okay. You're not the be it all and all. You have to have some humility, and you have to work every single day like it's the last day that you're gonna have your business. And the focus comes from if you find that one thing that you're good at, like I have now, now think 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 just march forward and don't let anybody take you off your path. People are gonna try to knock you off your path. Just get right back on it. You know what? That's 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 you have to it's up to you to find that direction to keep going. So, yeah, I mean, like like someone once said to me, when I'm sixty years old, I wish I wish I was eighteen again with what I know now at sixty because I would be a lot lot wealthier. I started with a lot of guys, you know, who are now retired. I mean, the first PC Expo though I did in New York. And 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 and that was when I had an opportunity. I was the first guy in this field, and and and most of the people that were early in the field cashed out early. But I decided I'm gonna go buy another business It's called duct tape marketing, and now I'm gonna invest in this and invest in that. I lost focus. And because I lost focus, I lost direction. And I had to basically retool and start over again, which is what I did. I sold the company and then started again.

[00:12:53.50] - Gresham Harkless

I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote, unquote CEOs on this show. So, Brad, what does being a CEO mean to you? I I

[00:13:02.50] - Brad Tornberg

I I think you have to have a bit of an omniscient point of view, whether you're all knowing or not. You 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 in 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, there's that gap of what you said versus what I heard. So, you know, making sure that you dot your i's and cross your t's and double check thing that's out there. I think, you know, being a CEO means being a leader. It 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.

[00:14:08.20] - Gresham Harkless

I absolutely, love that, definition and perspective. And, of course, I I appreciate that. I appreciate your time even more. What I want to do now was 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 can get a hold of you, get a copy of the book, find out about all the awesome things that you've been working on.

[00:14:27.60] - Brad Tornberg

I appreciate that. My email address is, b tornberg, t o r n, b as in boy, e r g, at e three business consultants dot com. And my cell phone is, US seven three two area code seven three five six four two nine. And I've had that cell phone for thirty years, so I'm not going anywhere if you wanna 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 available. And you can see that on the website, Right? W w w dot e three business consultants dot com.

[00:15:12.70] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Well, 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 kinda 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.

[00:15:27.50] - Brad Tornberg

I will. But let me close with this. It's interesting that you just mentioned that last comment because 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'm I am a generalist in a specialist marketplace.

[00:15:46.00] - Gresham Harkless

Yes. And that's extremely powerful because I think what we're seeing now is those people are able to create those solutions are those people that are able to to not just know one silo, but are able to see three, four, 05:10 different silos and able to come up with a solution that can help all of those different aspects. So I 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 today.

[00:16:05.50] - Brad Tornberg

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.

[00:16:11.89] - Podcast Intro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO podcast Powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at i am c e o dot c o. I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, and everywhere you listen to podcasts. Subscribe and leave us a five star rating. This has been the I AM CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Junior. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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