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IAM1860 – Coach and Author Helps Businesses Improve Company Culture, Leadership and Revenue

Podcast interview with Andy Bailey

Why it was selected for “CBNation Architects”:

In this episode of IAMCEO Podcast, Andy Bailey, founder, and CEO of Petra Coach, a business coaching firm, discusses how he improves company culture, leadership, and revenue for businesses across the U.S. and Canada. His methodology draws inspiration from principles first introduced by John D. Rockefeller.

  • CEO Story: Andy is a lifelong entrepreneur, skilled business coach, author, and contributor. He shares the background story of Petra Coach and discusses the unique strategies he uses to grow businesses.
  • Business Service: Petra Coach works with businesses to enhance company culture, leadership, and increase revenue. Their methodology is built on principles that have withstood the test of time.
  • CEO Hack: Andy recommends the application TripIt for organizing travel plans. He is also a firm believer in the power of gratitude and shares how he sent one hundred notes of thanks.
  • CEO Nugget: According to Andy, the actual product of a business is the business itself.
  • CEO Defined: Andy defines being a CEO as growing leaders who will go on to create more leaders.
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Andy Bailey 00:00

So when I found out that there were coaches, there was a group of people who went around and helped people do this, that's what I wanted to go do. Because it saves people so much time and effort and energy and, get their needs getting to where they want to get to.

Intro 00:12

Do you want to learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales and grow your business from successful entrepreneurs, startups, 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 00:39

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I appreciate you listening to this episode. If you've been listening this year, you know that we hit 1600 episodes at the beginning of this year. We're doing something a little bit different where we're repurposing our favorite episodes around certain categories, topics, or as I like to call them business pillars that we think are going to be extremely impactful for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and business owners, or what I like to call the CB nation architects who are looking to level up their organizations.

This month, we are focused on leadership, management and coaching. When we think of leadership, management and coaching, we often think of doing all of the other things, but often it's a person that's able to build up their team, that's able to cultivate a creative and innovative culture so that people can excel and actually be their own leaders. So that's why this month we're focusing on those three big topics because they make a huge impact on the organizations that we're a part of.

Now you'll hear some of those topics this month and of course, some really great perspectives on how people are even defining leadership, which I think is extremely exciting.So sit back and enjoy this special episode of the I AM CEO podcast.

Hello, hello, hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Andy Bailey, of Petra coach. Andy, it's awesome to have you on the show.

Andy Bailey 01:57

Thanks for having me, bud.

Gresham Harkless 01:58

No problem. I'm super excited to have you on. What I wanted to do is just read a little bit more about Andy so you can hear about all the awesome things that he's doing.

Andy is the founder and CEO of Petra Coach, a business coaching firm working with businesses across the United States and Canada to improve company culture, leadership, and revenue using methodologies rooted in the principles first introduced by John D. Rockefeller.

As a lifelong entrepreneur, skilled business coach and author and contributor, Andy Bailey is a recognized expert in the realm of business growth and success strategies. Recently, he released his debut Amazon bestselling book, No Try Only Do, which details the start and success of Petra Coach as well as the unique methodologies upon which it's based.

Andy, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

Andy Bailey 02:44

You do that way better than I would have done it. Thank you very much.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 02:47

Hey practice makes perfect. That's what I always say. So, the first question I had is if you could tell us a little bit more about your CEO story, what led you to start your business?

Andy Bailey 02:55

Let's see. This goes way back to college. So I started my very first business in 1993 back in the pager days. You may not remember beepers. You remember beepers?

Gresham Harkless 03:07

I've heard of beepers. I didn't really have one.

Andy Bailey 03:11

Yeah, that's the reaction I get most of the time. So we started in the paging business in the 90's transition to two-way radios. Went from two-way radios to doing some software development and cell phone business, etc, etc. So from 1993 until 2011, I grew a telecommunications business essentially from out of the attic of my home as a senior in college to an A500 business a few times over and ultimately exited that in 2011. Part of that growth period, and I call it my dictatorship period, early on, I had no idea how to run a business.

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I did everything from a command and control leadership style, and then changed after meeting a guy named Vern Harnish and reading a book called Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, which is a methodology for an operating system for your business and implemented that methodology around 2004. It changed my life. It changed me. It changed the way we ran our business. It changed everything. The essence of that was, where are you going? What does it look like? And what do you got to do to get there? And then putting meeting rhythms and a very rhythmic execution plan in place so that you can get what you want from your business and allow people to do what they're there to do.

Sold it in 2011 took about a year hiatus trying to figure out what I wanted to go do next. Worked with a bunch of my friends who are entrepreneurs implementing some of the things that we had done at our company, which was called Nation Link Wireless. And in doing so, found a lot of energy from doing that with other entrepreneurs. So I got to be with my tribe and help them build their businesses the way I had done it. Some of them successfully exited along that path as well. In 2012, the start, decided I wanted to start an actual coaching company, not just practice coaching, but a company, a team of people that went out and worked with entrepreneurial businesses all over North America.

You mentioned US and Canada. We're now in Western Europe as well. We do this exact same work, helping other people do what we have achieved in the past. That's my background, my history and grew up not knowing anything about business and educated along the path with hard knocks and bloody noses and skinned knees. You bring all that experience to the table every day for the people.

Gresham Harkless 05:21

Yeah, it's good. That's often why you want to make sure you have an expert in your corner. Because you don't want to try to avoid as much as possible all those bloody knees, scab knees and hard knocks. But it never fails that sometimes you just have to go through that in business.

It's great that you've been able to go through that. But it sounds like you're also reaching back and reaching down to also help out other entrepreneurs and business owners through their past as well.

Andy Bailey 05:40

Yeah. Back when I self-implemented, I took this methodology out of this book and put it in myself. It takes a couple of years to change a business and a culture in that manner. I didn't know there were coaches available. I didn't know I can hire somebody to come in and help me with that. Just like I do with fitness or just like I do with nutrition or like we would with anything else.

So when I found out that there were coaches, there was a group of people who went around and help people do this, that's what I wanted to go do because it saves people so much time and effort and energy and, get their knees getting to where they want to get to.

Gresham Harkless 06:11

Yeah. And I think a lot of people and I know it is for myself as well, too, sometimes you see the creativity that it takes to run a business, you have to think outside of the box and do things like that. But you also forget like you touched on, I believe, where there's a methodology towards being successful where there are actual steps, systems and principles in place that help you to be successful.

So it's great that not only have you been able to learn that, but again you're reaching back to help others with that as well.

Andy Bailey 06:35

Yeah, it's a lot of fun today where we actively work with about 120 companies at any given time, 25 or 16 members. And we travel, as I said, all over North America, US, Canada, and Western Europe working with these businesses and we graduate them about every 24 to 26 months.

So they roll out and new companies will come on. We've got a couple of kicking off this week. So it's always, always interesting. You get to see everything there is to know about tons of different companies and every industry imaginable.

Gresham Harkless 07:02

Awesome. Awesome. And can you drill a little bit deeper and tell us a little bit more on how you're helping to support these clients? What are some of the things that you're doing and some a little bit more about that methodology?

Andy Bailey 07:10

Sure. Sure. So one of the first things we'll do is work with them on what we call foundational items. So why do we exist or what's our core purpose truly? Why do we show up every single day? What are our core values? How are we going to behave as a collective unit of people? How are we going to treat one other, customers, our community, our vendors, how are we going to act? We'll build a beehive, or a big area, audacious goal.

So what does that 10 to 30-year kind of way out there vision that is so big and scary that, but it is our North star and then we'll break it down into 3 years. So, what does 3 years look like in a very specific manner? But what are our targets, our metrics and numbers and then what are what we call capabilities? What have we got to be really good at in order to go from maybe it's 5 million data to 50 million in 3 years. What does that look like? And then we get really granular in the next 12 months. So we go from 3 years to 1 year and even really, really granular in the next 90 days.

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So everything gets broken down with key performance indicators. Everybody's got a goal, a set of metrics, key performance indicators for each person. Then we'll implement our meeting rhythms. So dailies, weeklies, monthlies, quarterlies, So we can keep all those things moving forward. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. So what is the plan? Meeting rhythms will help execute on the plan. Then we've got hiring practices and review practices and a whole lot of things we implement..

So it's pretty much a 360 view of how you run an organization. Doesn't matter if the industry business is business. There are certain components, as you said, that have to be there for it to run effectively.

Gresham Harkless 08:38

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I love the idea of, like you say, begin with the end in mind, so to speak. So looking at that vision, 30, 40 years down the line of where exactly you want to be and have such a grandiose vision for what you want to do and then break it down literally to like the daily activities for each person and how they're actually going to help you to get towards that overall goal. I love that.

Now I wanted to ask you for what I call your secret sauce. This could be like your distinguisher or what do you feel sets you or your organization apart?

Andy Bailey 09:03

I think you know the title of the book and you mentioned that is No Try Only Do. One of the things that we are really good at is not allowing somebody to be mediocre. We work with a lot of businesses, a lot of businesses who either in leadership or at a team member level, just allow mediocrity to be okay. When we show up in an organization, we want to work with those people and those teams that want to go be awesome. We'll build a plan. We'll hold them accountable.

I personally get to work with some fairly large companies and fairly large C-level executives that they don't want to get my phone call when they haven't done what they said they wanted to go do. So we're really, really good with not accepting mediocrity from a human being because we know they can perform at a higher level if they'll just get out of their own way most of the time.

Gresham Harkless 09:54

Yeah, and that's what often happens. It seems like we can be our own worst enemy, and we need sometimes people to hold us accountable for the greatness that we have within us. So it's great that not only do you see that within people, but you're also holding them in the organizations up to that level so that they can be great and be awesome as you said.

Andy Bailey 10:10

Yeah. Sometimes it's a boxing match and sometimes it's a hugging match.

Gresham Harkless 10:14

There you go. There you go. One or the other, but either way things are getting done, which is the important part.

Now I wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. This might be an app, a book or a habit that you have, or even some nuggets from your own book, but it's something that you feel like makes you more effective and efficient as a business owner.

Andy Bailey 10:30

It's interesting you say that because we've been working to collect entrepreneurial hacks for probably a year now. We want to put them into a book long term because I think it's something that's really important and we don't recognize them enough. We do them all the time. I'll give you an app and I use this app constantly as a hack. But trip is something that has saved me more times than I can count because I travel 100 to 150 days a year. And, that's just keeps everything running for me. My team will take and put information in there for me. So, yeah, It tells me go now, get in your car and start driving to the airport. You're not going to make it. That thing just really, really saves me big time.

The other one is probably a technology kind of, it's not brand new, but most people don't use that level of technology. The other one that I'll give you is been around forever and ever and ever and is not as popular as it used to be. It's more powerful than anything else that somebody can do. It's the power of the handwritten note of gratitude. It's one of the things that we're known for inside of Petra Coach is we teach a higher level of appreciation inside of businesses and we teach people how to do it in a sincere manner.

So writing a handwritten note of appreciation that is specific to the action and moves through what is the impact that the action had on me or us or the group or the team or the community. Telling the other person both verbally and in written form, it's just a lost art. I think we can call it a hack, but it's certainly something that the other person appreciates it. I get a lot of satisfaction in giving appreciation to the people in that manner.

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Gresham Harkless 12:03

Yeah, I love those hacks and largely because we're living in such a digital age. Nowadays, a lot of people forget to write those handwritten notes. I know as a kid, I used to have to do that whenever I got gifts and a lot of times that gives you a lot of appreciation to be able to send that to a person as much as you got appreciation for whatever they might have done for you.

Andy Bailey 12:21

I've got note cards back here that says thank you. And then, for instance, he says, this is not an email.

Gresham Harkless 12:27

I love it. I love it. I love it. Now I wanted to ask you for a CEO nugget. This is a word of wisdom or piece of advice or if you can hop into a time machine, what would you tell your younger business self?

Andy Bailey 12:39

I've often said, if any entrepreneur knew how hard it was to build a company, they would never start, which is true. There are a lot of days where you question yourself. Why am I actually doing this? I think I talked earlier about the dictatorship and then the operating system shift. So, I think I would go back and I remind myself a lot. I teach other people this. I speak from stage on this and it's a reminder for me that the people inside of the organization are the key to the success of the organization.

Another way to say the exact same thing is the business is the actual product. So we may think we sell water jugs or whatever, but it's not make the business. So that would be my piece of advice to myself. I got to remind myself of that all the time.

Gresham Harkless 13:24

Yeah, that makes perfect sense. I definitely appreciate you for reminding us of that. Now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition for what it means to be a CEO. We're hoping to have different quote and quote CEOs on the show and look at entrepreneurship and business and exactly what that means.

So I wanted to ask you, Andy, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Andy Bailey 13:41

I think this is a fairly easy answer for me, and I'm going to translate CEO to leader or leadership. The definition of that to me is growing other leaders who grow other leaders. It's one of the biggest barriers that I had to overcome, and I continually work to overcome it.

It's one of the biggest barriers I see for other CEOs or C-level executives in any business and even all the way down through, mid-level management leadership in general is we don't necessarily have the mentality of growing someone else to be a leader and empowering them to then grow other people.

So, until that thing has gone 2 layers, you're not doing your job as a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:18

Yeah, that makes perfect sense especially when everybody has their own kind of zone of genius. To be able to cultivate that and to push that within somebody so that they can lead in the way that they are supposed to lead, that truly makes you a leader. So I think that's a great reminder for CEOs, entrepreneurs, business owners, or whatever leadership role you might have. So thank you for that.

Andy, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule. What I wanted to do was pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you want to let our readers and our listeners know, and then also how best we can get ahold of you, and of course, get a copy of your book.

Andy Bailey 14:49

Oh, sure. I'll give you a little. I'm lucky enough to have sold a company or two and I get to go out in the world. I spend a lot of time with entrepreneurs and business leaders and managers and just people in general. And one of the biggest mistakes that I see, and I see it even in my own organization many times and it's something that I want people to really realize and change is they think too small.

We as a human are limited in how big we can actually think and I've got a little bit of a mantra. Just think bigger also continues on with live harder and be grateful. But that whole thing about thinking bigger, Bill Gates had a quote once and he said, we overestimate what we can do in one year and we underestimate what we can do in ten years.

That's because we have small thinking. So think bigger would be my kind of additional comment.

Gresham Harkless 15:40

I love that. And if people wanted to follow up with you, what would be the best way for them to do that?

Andy Bailey 15:44

Just email me. So obviously our website, And I'm Andy, andy@petracoach. com. Feel free to shoot me an email, books available on the website or Amazon.

Again, the book is No Try Only Do.

Gresham Harkless 15:59

Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. We'll make sure to have those links in the show notes. Andy, I truly appreciate you for taking some time out of your schedule and all the awesome things that you're doing to help out entrepreneurs and business owners, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the day.

Outro 16:10

Thank you for listening to the IAMCEO podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at IAMCEO is not just a phrase, it's a community.

Check out the latest and greatest apps, books and habits to level up your business at This has been the IAMCEO podcast with Gresham Harkless Jr. Thank you for listening.


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(, podcasts, ( and videos ( CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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