Brian Will
In this episode of The Underdog Show Podcast, we feature Brian Will, a Serial Entrepreneur and leading Business and Sales Management Consultant. With a remarkable career spanning seven successful companies worth over half a billion dollars, Brian’s expertise extends to turnarounds, driving billions in sales, and agile processes. He currently owns restaurants, and real estate businesses in Georgia and Florida, and serves on Alpharetta, Georgia’s city council. Join us as we explore Brian’s insights on entrepreneurship, sales management, and agile practices.

Pamela and Brian had a deep dive and one of the most inspiring episodes to date. Some of the highlights of the show are as follows:

  • Brian’s inspiration on his journey, and why he calls himself the most unconventionally educated
  • The importance of mindset in success
  • Lessons learned in building a business, acquiring a business, and scaling a business
  • What would Brian tell his younger self based on what he knows now?

Listen to this exciting episode. Join us for the conversation! Listen to the full episode here:

If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Catch up with Brian Will here:

The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

Want to elevate and protect your hard-earned assets and your family? Tune into our free masterclass on how to protect your assets:

Click To Read The Transcript

Brian Will’s Journey to Industry-Leading Consulting Success

Pamela Bardhi
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the underdog Podcast. Today I have an incredible guest here with me, Brian, how are you my friend?

Brian Will
Pamela, I am great. And thank you for having me today. We’re gonna have some fun.

Pamela Bardhi
Yes. Thank you so much for being here. I was reading up all about you before today, obviously. And I was like, dang, he’s so badass. Like, I can’t wait to hear his story and all the amazing things that he’s been up to. And it’s just super exciting to hear inspirational stories like yours.

So thank you so much for being here. And, you know, speaking of inspiration. I’ve, I want to kind of know where this all started for you, Ryan. What inspired you on your journey to where you are today? Because you’ve had a hell of a trajectory?

Brian Will
Yeah, so I call myself the most unconventionally educated business person you’ve probably met. So I’m the guy that failed out of high school. when I was 16, managed to graduate with a 1.2. That’s a D plus, for anybody you want to do the math on that. got kicked out of the house didn’t have any place to go.

So I had to join the military needed to eat and sleep. So I did a year on active duty switch back to the National Guard. started trying to get a job, I kept getting fired. I think it’s funny because it’s a backstory today on a chain of restaurants. Well, back then I got a job as a waiter. And I got fired. Because after working a double shift for all you people. who has ever been a server before, I worked a double shift, and I owed them $6. I don’t know how that’s possible. But I owe the restaurant money at the end of the day.

So the manager, the owner was like, I don’t think this is a career for you. anyway, I finally ended up I was like, you know, I’m such a bad employee. And I have such a bad attitude and a chip on my shoulder. I didn’t really have any education. So I figured the best thing I could do is start my own business. And the easiest one to start was landscaping. because anybody can mow grass and dig a hole. that’s what I did.

But at the same time, I was reading like absorbing like a sponge. positive mental attitude books and business books and self help books. and how to be better and how to make yourself how to get what you want in life. so over the next seven years, I ended up building this company into a seven location franchise. and thought I was doing really good until it collapsed.

And I lost everything. that was two very, very important lessons in life. that I’ve carried with me throughout my business career. changed professions and got into the insurance business. And on a fluke, found out that I could sell which who knew it was one of those things. my daughter asked me once with Daddy, you must have had some skills back then. you just been able to do something. I said, you know, apparently I could sell I just didn’t know it.

So people have untapped resources that they don’t know about that they’re really good at sometimes. And apparently, mine was sell. So I went into insurance sales and year and a half later, boom was coming up. And I had good timing and sold my first company to a venture capital firm. Hmm, that was an education, started another one and sold it to a venture capital firm. started another company and internet marketing and I sold it to a private equity firm. sort of another one sold it to an Indian based call centre company went into consulting.

because by the time you sell a couple of companies, everybody in corporate America thinks you’re really really smart. I used to laugh, I remember the first time I’m standing in a boardroom talking to the C level suite people. And this is like four years after I was mowing grass. I remember thinking, I remember standing there talking to people. thinking probably used to mow your grass.

And now I’m standing in your boardroom telling you what your company is doing wrong. It was just you know, one of those surreal moments. So I consulted for a while and then bought some restaurants. I own a chain of restaurants and a real estate company, wrote my three books got into politics. I serve on city council now.

which is another interesting thing from the kid who failed out of high school. to helping manage $150 million budget 450 employees city of 75,000 people. that’s like another one that’s kind of weird in my life. So that’s kind of a two-minute journey from the start to where I am today. And now I’m sitting here talking to you on a podcast and who knew what we’d be here tonight, Pamela?

Pamela Bardhi
I know my goodness, this is so amazing. And I’m so intrigued by your story. So who inspired you at such a young age? Like when you’re young,

Brian Will
so I’ll give you two things. So originally, my grandfather who was in eighth grade education. I believe, served in the Merchant Marines in World War Two. and I used to go spend the summers with him in Mississippi and he had his own businesses. He had a couple little car lots he had a construction company. He had a bulldozer company they used to plough roads or whatever they call it.

I remember thinking when I was growing up. how cool is it that we just kind of get up? We go jump in the truck. And we go get some breakfast someplace easy. a little honeybuns for breakfast when I was like nine years old. and then we go around and do stuff all day. then I’d go home my parents had You go into work everyday back and forth. I remember thinking, I don’t want to go to work I want to do granddaddy does.

I think that ingrained in my bread very early, this entrepreneurial thing. And then by the time I got out of high school, I came from a very abusive home. bad background chip on my shoulder, no education. my inspiration was weird isn’t as to say that I needed to prove to the world. everybody else, my teachers, the people I knew in school people I grew up with. but I wasn’t the piece of garbage that everybody thought I was. So I had this massive motivational drive to go prove that I wasn’t who they thought I was.

Now, Pamela, I’m gonna guess you know, the end of the story. And the end of the story is the day you figure out. that it’s not everybody else you’re trying to prove to trying to prove that to yourself. It’s your own self-image. That’s the problem. And I had to prove to myself that I wasn’t the person. that I thought I was those people weren’t even thinking about me. They forgot about me a long time ago. but I spent 20 years trying to prove to them that I was going to be successful. I was, and then I realised it was me the whole time that had the problem. A little bit of psychology there for you.

Pamela Bardhi
Yeah. Oh, my goodness, my goodness. No, that’s thank you so much for sharing that. because I mean, they say a lot of the times that our subconscious brains are programmed before we’re seven years old. and so 95% of our conscious programming happens before that. So like 95% of what we do and think right now, there’s what we’ve learned before we were seven. unless we’ve unlearned it,

Brian Will
we call this the nursery nature and nurture. So there is a bit of nature and nurture. If you’ve raised children, you have children, Pamela,

Pamela Bardhi
not yet. Actually, I have two coming in late August. Let me go, there we go there.

Brian Will
So you’re going to experience this. I have two kids, a boy and a girl raised in the same home with the same parents. and same background, the same upbringing, totally different. It’s amazing how your two children can be exactly the same and yet be so different. that is the nature portion of it. then there’s the nurture portion about what you teach your children. and the things that they learned just by being around you.

And I call this the personal filter for everybody that understands what I’m talking about here. But you today are a product of every single piece of information that’s ever gone into your head. When you were born, your parents put information in there. when you went to school, your teachers put information. by the way, the information your teachers put in and your parents put in came from their parents. and their friends when they were growing up.

And then your peers give you peer pressure, and you go to college and your professors put information in. by the way, based on their teachers, their parents, their friends, their papers. so these millions of inputs that are coming through you at you your whole life, creates this filter. I call it the personal filter in your subconscious that literally accepts and rejects information in real time. without you even thinking about it.

And it will determine whether you’re going to be successful or unsuccessful. It determines whether you’re a jerk or a nice person. it determines how you raise your children and determines how you deal with people. Everything in your life is determined by that filter. And that filter is a product of everything you’ve allowed into your brain. that filter can change.

You’re going to listen to this podcast. I tell people that I’m somebody out there is listening to this and they’re going this guy’s full of crap. I don’t believe that. Well, that’s because your filter is rejecting it. And somebody out there is going you know what, I’ve never thought about that. That’s amazing. You’re right.

That’s because there are filters accepting it. And as your filter accepts and rejects information. it continually evolves and changes. And that’s how people grow and progress in life. If they allow themselves to grow and progress. It’s because their filter grows and progresses. On that subject.

Pamela Bardhi
No, I love that subject. Because it’s the mindset that really shifted you from where you were into getting into your first business. You’re like I’m unemployable. So you’re like I went into landscaping. And then you kind of go from there as what were some of the most important lessons you learned

Brian Will
all those books behind me. That’s probably how my children that’s my brain. My brain is a product of 250 books. that I’ve read over and over and over on success, motivation, positive mental attitude, self help, business, etc. I didn’t know anything, right? I feel that a high school. So I learned from the Masters right there behind me.

And they formed the way you think that’s just what they do. And I tell people all the time, the difference between you today and you five years from now. we’re going to be the books you read, the people you associate with. in today’s society, the podcasts you listen to. because that’s information is going to go in your brain and change the way you think. that will determine how much more successful you can be at whatever is you want to do.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely. So what early on what was some of or the most important or some of the most important principles that you learned early on. as you were getting into starting your businesses. and then getting into these mindset books as it sounds like they played a huge role in your entrepreneurial career.

Brian Will
The big one is that you’re Future is up to you. So I’ve got my favorite business books. your future is up to you, I don’t care where you came from. or what you think your problems were, I grew up in an abusive home physical, mental sexual abuse. I was broke, I got kicked out of high school, I have no education, I failed. I had a daughter that had had open heart surgery, I had no money. no insurance, my bank cancelled my account.

because I’ve bounced 130 checks one month. I have had every single financial health and, setback in my life. And yet, I still was able to succeed. at a level far above what most people can do. It’s not about your background. It’s not about your history, it is always, always about your future. And it’s the decision you make today.

And the way you change your thinking and your perception. that’s going to allow you to progress forward. So the biggest things I learned early on were that I can do it. There it is possible, being around people that tell me, Brian, you can do this. Pamela, you can do that. There’s nothing holding you back except for how you think. if you don’t think you can, you can’t write that’s the old adage. if you think you can, you can if you think you can’t, you can’t write. there’s always a solution.

So first is understanding that you can do things being around people that promote that positive mental attitude. And by the way, interesting one, I got the majority of that. because I joined Amway when I was 18 years old. I was in it for a few years. But what they did is they launched me into this book reading thing and association reading thing. And that’s where I began that process of learning never made any money.

But man, they changed my mental thinking and an early age that allowed me to progress. So those are the big ones, you can do anything. I tell people that all the time. Can anybody be successful? Brian? Absolutely. If you’re willing to learn the lessons you need to learn. which is different than what Pamela needs. different than what I need different than what your neighbour needs. you have a set of lessons you need to learn. And if you’re willing to learn them, and not quit before you get there. you can be successful at anything you want to be successful.

Pamela Bardhi
Absolutely, absolutely. I absolutely love that. And I love that that shaped you at such a young age. because then at that point after the landscaping. you started all these other businesses, which is incredible.

Brian Will
Well, the landscaping company ended up collapsing around me. because I made two huge mistakes, which I’ve carried with me for the rest of my life. The first one was my business was 90% dependent on one contract. In other words, I had a business but all my business was going through one person. one company, one Gen big general contractor. And when they hired a new VP, and he wanted to bring his own people and he fired me. when he fired me, I lost 90% of my revenue and my company collapsed.

That’s a big lesson. The second big lesson was I was living above my income at the time. So even though I was making good money, all coming from one contract. I had multiple car payments. a motorcycle payment and two house payments, and I had all credit card payments. and gonna make when it collapsed. I have no cash, no savings, no backup, no security, no safety net.

When it collapsed, and they stopped paying me I couldn’t pay my bills. my overhead my employees, I couldn’t cover those checks that I bounced. Huge mistake, you’ve got to protect yourself. So those are two things I learned. I’ve never been in a position again, where the loss of a business. or contract can hurt me and don’t live above my lifestyle. And I never allow one source of income to be the only source of income I’ve got. that I’m dependent on it. So those are huge lessons that I’ve carried with me forever.

Pamela Bardhi
Those are absolutely huge. And it makes sense why you diversified into so many different revenue streams. because in different industries to like you’ve literally opened up your buckets tremendously. And how did you strategically decide what type of business to invest in was begin after landscape?

Brian Will
In the beginning, literally when the landscaping failed. I jokingly say I went from seven offices down to me a shovel in a truck. It was just me again, where I started just a shovel in a truck. And it was Brian out there, landscaping, and my buddy came over and he said. Hey, you lost your health and my daughter needed open heart surgery. I couldn’t afford my $130 health insurance payments, I lost my insurance.

And now she needs open heart surgery, what am I going to do? So my buddy comes over and says, Hey, man, I’ll sell you an insurance policy with Blue Cross. You have to wait two years, then she can get surgery. So it okay. He said, but really you should come sell insurance with me. I was like, Man, I don’t want to sell insurance. That’s that I’ve already started car sales did Amway.

I’m not doing insurance. That’s horrible idea. And he said, Look at this big check. he showed me his check. And I was like, that’s a big check. But I still don’t want to do it. he kept coming back every month for like six months. after about the six month. He said look at this big check. I said okay, I’ll try it. So I’ll sell insurance at night. I’ll do landscaping during the day. so I started that and six weeks later I was making more money selling insurance. I was all day landscaping.

So that was a no brainer decision. I should quit the landscaping and just do the insurance. It wasn’t because I liked insurance. I’ve never done a business I liked. I’ve never got into something because I was passionate about it. That was never a contributing factor in my life. It’s what can I do to make enough money to do what I need to do. And in this case, it was insurance, again, don’t need an education.

But I started that insurance company and boom was coming. And I just so happened to develop something that never been done before. The year and a half later, I got bought. And that introduced me to a whole new world of venture capital. So like to say, Pamela, that success in life or success in anything you’re doing is a progression. You start at the bottom, but it’s a progression to get to the top.

Nobody goes from zero to 100. In one day, we got to progress and everything I’ve ever done. I progressed, I failed, I learned it failed, I learned it progressed, I progressed, I get into venture capital. then I get to do that again, then I do private equity. and then again, IT consulting, and it’s just a progression. Who knew I’d be here today?

Pamela Bardhi
I know it’s absolutely amazing. And like, because that’s, fun. I was like I was a landscaping to software. Yeah, that happened. You know, how did that because those are totally different skill sets. Like you’re dealing with code, you’re dealing with all of this, but it’s like, no,

Brian Will
this is the key. I do not know anything about restaurants, I don’t know how to cook. let’s stove over there never been used not once ever, don’t cook, I don’t know how to make drinks. Don’t put me behind a bar, I don’t know how to run anything to do with a restaurant. don’t know how to do coding, I don’t know how to do anything on the internet. I can barely work my cell phone.

And yet I sold an internet company. Because business is not about the technical skills. Business is about business. I like to say all the time, my restaurant managers might be able to run a restaurant. but they can’t run a business. I can run a business, I can’t run a restaurant.

So if you know how to run a business. those business skills apply across the board, any business that’s out there. And if you know how to sell. you can sell anything out there by learning a few things about a product. So it’s not a stretch to go from one business to the next. Unless you’re the technician. And I’m not a technician. I’m a business owner.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that. I’d love to get in the secret sauce of that, if you don’t mind.

Brian Will
If there are three books?

Pamela Bardhi
Yes. Let’s talk about the let’s talk about them.

Brian Will
Well, the first book was my story. And there it’s called I give the dumb kids hope. And I get a lot of flack for that people either hate that, or they love it. Because some people think I’m talking about other children. I’m not talking about me. I was the dumb kid. And the quick story is my children went to private school. I’m a big believer in education. They both have advanced degrees.

But my daughter’s in high school, private school. they made these kids do four hours of homework every night. used to frustrate the heck out of me. We’d have these little arguments, honey, go to bed, I gotta study honey, go to bed. I gotta study. So one night, I get up at 1am. She’s studying in the kitchen and I said, Honey, you gotta go to bed.

She said, I have to study. I said, Honey, studying is not that important. She said, You are not supporting my educational goals. I have to get good grades, get into good college and get a good job. Honey, your education. isn’t that important? There’s no difference between A or B, I promise. She goes Yes, there is. Now mind you were living in a 10,000 square foot house.

I got an aeroplane a lake house, a beach house boat wave runners, I don’t work. I said if education is so important. How do you explain me? Huh? she set up and she goes, you know that it’s funny. We actually had a discussion about you. And in one of my classes the other day. She goes, Yeah, we decided you give the dumb kids hope. And I was like, that’s the title of my life story. it took me another 15 years.

And I ended up writing that first book. It’s about my story. then I wrote the second book was about business. it’s called the dropout multimillionaire. It’s basically a kid who has nothing who learned to succeed with no money, no education, and no clue. the third book kind of came out last week, and it’s called No. And it’s the psychology of sales and negotiation.
Because literally everything in life is about sales and negotiation. All business is about sales and negotiation. And if you can learn to do that, you can make a good living. make a lot of money, travel the world have fun. Sales and negotiation is a key to business. So those are my three books. I absolutely love that

Pamela Bardhi
you want to get well, because I want them to actually want listeners to actually buy those books. But if you can touch on, like each one and kind of like summary and some nuggets from each one. I think that’d be amazing.

Brian Will
Yeah, I mean, there’s lots of stuff in each one. My first book that I give the dumb kids hope. really was in it’s called life lessons. It was really originally for my children because I tell my kids look. I was around on earth 30 years before you were born. There’s a whole other data you’ve never seen heard of experienced. There’s another life out there.

And I wanted my children if I’m gone, think about a legacy to be able to say. well, you know what? This is my dad. I can pick up his book. I can read about it. I know about his background, my grandchildren. there’s a little bit of history on who I am. So I like to say and it’s all about raising kids and life lessons.

As I tell my children all the time, look, listen, listen, listen, listen, this is a life lesson. Don’t go outside in the rain with your socks on one of my jokes. From Happy Days, by the way, one of my favourite shows growing up. So it’s all about these life lessons.

And there’s a lot of good stuff in there, it gets a little bit about the business. But one of my life lessons for children, I’ll tell you an example is when you have children. you’ll experience this Pamela, and you’ll be like, Honey, don’t do that. And they’ll do it anyway. Don’t touch the hot stove, they’ll touch the hot stove anyway. I told my daughter once I said, Listen, I’m a sophisticated educated businessman. you need to learn from other people’s mistakes, because that’s better than learning from your own.

And my daughter says, Daddy, if I don’t learn from my own mistakes. I’m never going to believe you. So I’m going to do it the hard way. And I was like, how do you as a parent, handle your child. telling you that they’re just going to do it the hard way. when you’re literally you know, what’s going to happen. you know, they’re going to make a mistake. it’s gonna go go bad.

So one of my lessons is, as a parent, you have to learn to step back. far enough that your children can make those mistakes. but not so far that when they fall down. you can’t pick them back up, and set him back on their way. because that’s our job as a parent. So that’s the little things like that in the book of that, business lessons in the second book.

the big one in the second book is, Listen, if you want to start a business. and you’ve never done it successfully. I’m going to give you a tip, you have no idea what you’re doing. Literally none, your personal filter we talked about is not capable of making the correct decisions.

because it will not process information correctly for you to make good business decisions. because it has no experience doing that. And there’s no experience you can get outside of business to help you in business. So if you can check your ego, and realise that you don’t know what you’re doing. you can check your ego. And you can find somebody to coach or mentor you to help you avoid the mistakes that you are absolutely going to make.

You are a very smart man, you’ll do things a lot faster, and you’ll make more money coaching and mentoring is like the number one thing that business owners need to do. So that’s a big premise of that book. And the third book, sales negotiation. It’s called no for a reason. Because I say no is the most powerful word in any spoken language.

Because no can stop a conversation, it can stop a transaction. it can stop things and give you time to evaluate. step back and figure out what you’re going to do next. as I like to say, and I stole this from Richard Branson. If your first offer and negotiation doesn’t insult them, you’ve offered too much. And you better learn to negotiate if you’re going to be a business person. before you run up against somebody who is a good negotiator.

Because if they’re better negotiator than you, they’re going to eat your lunch. They say a man with experience, meets a man with money. The man with the experience will get the money, and the man with the money will get an experience. And that’s the key to negotiation, you better understand what you’re doing. And the fastest way to stop things. We can troubleshoot saying no. then step back. So love that long explanation on three books.

Pamela Bardhi
No, that’s so awesome. And I mean, throughout your business journey and throughout your ventures. like what are the things that you look for? Because like you said, you’re like, I think about the business. Like, I’m not the technician behind the scenes. So it’s like, when you’re evaluating an opportunity. like what are some key things to look for? That you would advise maybe someone is interested in starting some type of business. or just like purchasing something absentee? what are your thoughts on that? So

Brian Will
we can start with acquiring a business. This is a key, I think, I’m telling you this as a key if you’re going to acquire a business. do not buy a distressed business, horrible idea, huge mistake, okay, by a distressed owner. And a distressed owner means you have a business with legs. but a person who doesn’t know how to run it, you buy a distressed owner.

you have a business that you can walk in. make some corrections, and that business will take off. If I use that restaurant as an example. I know that in a restaurant, food costs has to be 30% Liquor has to be 22%. And Labour has to be 20%. These are the three metrics. If I go look at a restaurant to buy, and the restaurants losing money. but instead of 22% liquor, it’s 30.

Instead of 28% labour, it’s 40. Instead of 20%. Food, it’s 35. I know the business has legs. but the owner just doesn’t know how to operate the metrics within it. And if I buy that business and bring those metrics back down. to where they’re supposed to be, I can calculate my profit. I knew I have a profitable business. If the metrics are right, but we don’t have enough revenue, I can’t fix that.

So if you’re gonna buy a business by a distressed owner. not a distressed business, that’s a big key. If you can start a business, never start a business in the same location. that the same business before it failed. And here’s my example. Pamela, have you ever seen a pizza place open up in the same location as another pizza place who failed? This happens all the time. Like Joe’s pizza goes out of business. Now it’s Fred’s pizza, and then they go out of business.

And then it’s Billy’s pizza. I can tell you where I live, there’s a little Indian restaurant, they went out of business. And guess what they put in NeXT, another Indian restaurant. It didn’t work, you’re gonna fail. Like, it blows my mind that you think you’re Indian foods better than the last Indian food person. It’s not right. There’s not enough market for it. That’s the problem. So those are two little tips on buying or starting businesses.

And the third one is make sure whatever business you start is feasible. right doesn’t have enough market that you can sell enough product. that you can make enough money that it makes work makes it worth your while. And that’s a big one. Oh, I’m fascinated when I go to the mall. I see a tie shop like you can’t sell enough ties to pay the rent.

There’s, there’s a little shot why one of my restaurants, they sell little six inch pies. I know their rents 5000 a month and the pies are $5. I mean, you got to sell 1000 pies. With no overhead just to cover the rent probably 10,000 or 2000 Pies just to cover the rent. Can you imagine selling? Let’s see, that’d be 80 Pies a day just for the rent. forget the labour and everything else that goes into it. That’s a bad business. Don’t do that. That’s a mistake.

Pamela Bardhi
Right. And those are those are absolutely brilliant points that you mentioned. Absolutely. And I mean, now this is the the hardest thing. You acquire a business, start one, whatever, then there’s the whole scaling side of things. What would be your best pieces of advice with that in your experience?

Brian Will
Well, the first question is, is it scalable? Right, so I’ll go back to my pie shop, it’s not scalable. There’s no way you’re limited in the number of people that are going to come by your pies. So here’s your business, even scalable. Let’s say it’s a service business, and, and maybe a service business is scalable.

But then you have to ask yourself, Okay, am I the technician? Am I the one doing? So if I’m a CPA, and I started an accounting business, can I scale it? I gotta hire another CPA. Or I have to hire a baseline accountant. Okay, you might be able to do that. But is your area your town big enough that you can scale that business?. If you’re an online business, those are almost infinitely scalable.

So my old partner used to say, if we’re going to do something. it has to be mass marketable. has to be a good enough price that people will buy it. And there has to be enough profit that we can make money. Those are the three things to talk about scaling a business. I met a guy the other day, he owns a pest control company. And he’s like, Well, if I scale it, I gotta move. I gotta start another pest control company, another city?

Because I’ve already got all the customers I can get right here. Okay. Do you want to start at another city? Do you want to open an office? Do you want to have to hire a manager? That’s off site? Do you there’s so many questions you’ve got to go through from a scalability factor. but the very first one you need to ask yourself is is it scalable? And that, you know, maybe it is maybe it’s not depends on the business you’re in.

Pamela Bardhi
Right? That’s totally, totally. And I mean, and

Brian Will
depends on how much of the work you actually do. Here’s another mistake people make, they buy a business. And they say, Well, I, this, this person owns the business is running it. and the business makes $100,000 a year, that’s a good business. But if I buy it, either, I have to go do all the work. which means I have to quit my job or quit what else I’m doing and I become a solopreneur.

Again, or I have to hire somebody. If I have to hire somebody to run that business. it’s gonna cost me 60 To 70 to $80,000. Now I’m buying a business, I can only make 20 grand on that enough money to be worth your while. Because if you have one bad month, you’re losing money. So again, I tell people, it gets back to coaching. Find somebody who knows what they’re doing. and have him help you make these decisions.

Don’t ask your business broker, their job is to sell you something. Don’t ask the person you’re buying it from their job is to sell it to you. because they want the hell out. Anyone out for a reason, by the way, it’s either not making enough money. or it’s way too much work.

So I understand why they’re selling before you get involved. If it’s a franchise, make sure it’s actually a viable franchise. There’s so many franchises out there that are worthless. I’m very hesitant on those. So these are big questions you’re asking it’s almost you can’t give pat answers.

Pamela Bardhi
No, no, I love it. You mentioned something about franchises. So if someone wants to do that. what have you had any experience with those. and kind of what to look out for and what actually may be somewhat good.

Brian Will
So my first company I franchised and I was a franchisor. And that was a mistake because we weren’t big enough for anybody. who wants to thinks they’re going to franchise their company. Let me tell you something, you better grow to 100 to 200 level of franchises. where your franchisees will eat your lunch. do you think you’re gonna start four or five? Forget it, you don’t have a franchise, you need to do a licencing deal.

But that’s a whole different discussion. I’ve also bought franchises, you’re gonna buy a franchise. there’s a couple of things you need to understand. Number one, you’re signing a 10 year agreement. On top of the guarantee, you have to put on the lease on the building. the franchisor says that he doesn’t care if you go out of business in five years. you’re gonna pay them another five years worth of commissions or profits.

On revenue, you’re not even doing whether you’re doing it or not. Because they don’t care if you’re profitable, and they don’t care. If you’re generating revenue, they’re gonna get their money. And if you don’t pay them, they’re gonna come after you personally. So be very, very careful with a franchise you can get into trouble with those very, very quickly.

So if you’re going to do a franchise and you need to do a lot of research. find one that has very strong background. a tonne of training, and a high propensity of success. So it’s a successful a successful franchise company. That’s something that’s a one off, right. If I’m gonna buy a franchise, I’m not gonna buy jollies doughnuts. I’m gonna buy a Dunkin Donuts.

Dunkin costs a hell of a lot more. But guess what? It’s because they’re successful. I’m gonna buy a cleaning franchise, I’m not gonna buy Susie’s cleaning. I’m gonna buy Molly maid because I know Molly Mae has got a proven history. And Susie’s cleaning. She just started that thing up. So be very, very, very careful when you buy these things that you’ve got. you know, support system, almost guaranteed success, etc.

Pamela Bardhi
Sure. And I mean, and I tell everybody, this entrepreneur assistance. I’ve been an entrepreneur by trade since I was a kid. selling lemonade when I was like, six years old. So this new era of business, like there’s no better time to start a business. And now because of the tech because of the virtual. like, there’s so many, so many different ways to start a business at this point.

And you know, with the economy being what it is, and what’s projected to come in the next two years. what would be your best piece of advice for an entrepreneur right now who’s looking to get started in any industry. or open up a business or what have you and how to navigate these interesting waters that we have these days.

Brian Will
So I just wrote an article for Forbes magazine, you can look it up. It’s called the five keys to success. which are the same five keys to failure. by the way, they go hand in hand. And the first thing that you need to do is tell me why you are starting this business. If you’re consulting with me, my first question to you is. why do you want to start a business and I will literally try to talk you out of it.

If you go read my book, The dropout multimillionaire. there’s a whole chapter on me talking you out of business. And the reason I want to talk you out of it. because I know how hard it is. I know the challenges you’re going to come up against, I know that the world’s gonna be against you. I know shits gonna happen, I know the wheels are gonna come off the bus.
Already I know that you don’t know that you have rose coloured glasses on. and you think it is going to be awesome. because you know, a guy who knows a guy who’s really successful. So I know the challenges you’re gonna go through, I’m going to try to talk you out of it. Because if I can talk you out of business. you should have never started because you’re not going to have the intestinal fortitude. to go through the crap to be successful.

you’re not going to go through the lessons you need to learn. So you really got to have a strong why. WHY ARE YOU DOING IT HAS to be so strong. you’re willing to overcome all the garbage that’s going to come at you when you start a business. and the failures and the loss of money and all that. So number one is why are you doing this? And it better be strong.

Number two, I’ll try to do these quick. Two, why would anybody buy your product? And why would they buy it from you? If you’re going to start up a little shop. there’s probably 10 More shops around town just like you. you’re gonna open a pizza place, there’s 10 More pizza places? Why you? Why your product? if you can answer those two, if you have enough uniqueness. and draw and something different and something that’s attractive to the consumer.

you might have a shot if you can’t tell me why you’re better than everybody else. You got no shot, don’t do it. Number three, who are you in the business? We talk a little bit about this and who are you not? Just because you start a business doesn’t mean you know how to be a CEO. If you’re a plumber, and you start a plumbing business. I promise you don’t know how to run a business, you know how to do plumbing.

You’re the technician, we call them the personalities within your business. If you’re not the CEO, if you’re just the plumber or the technician. you need to find somebody else that can be the the CEO or the manager or the salesperson. You need to figure out who you are in the business. and who you’re not check your ego and be willing to bring in other people. who can backfill where you’re weak. Now, if you’re just going to be a solo entrepreneur. I’m a CPA, I want to do accounting.

Okay, great, that’s good. Go do that you’ll be successful, trying to build a company with lots of employees. You got to figure out who you are and backfill your weaknesses with other people. So that is also a big one. The next one, you need to check your ego because as I told you in the beginning. you don’t know what you’re doing, and you need to get a coach. I’m telling you, I’m telling you, I’m telling you.

If you have 10 mistakes, you’re gonna Making the first year. somebody who’s been there and done that. Don’t get one of these $49 Internet certificate certified BS coaches. Find somebody who’s been successful in business who has succeeded and failed. it can walk in and say, Pamela, don’t do that. Don’t do that.

Don’t do this, here’s how you’re going to do your lease. here’s how you’re gonna sign watch out for this. watch out for that and do that. They will help you skip all the mistakes. you’re gonna make accelerate your profits and your growth. your business will be 10 times better. Yes, it will cost money. And yes, it’s well worth it. So that’s a big one.

And the last one, you need to learn how to some to do some accounting. accounting analysis, you might not, you might not need to know how to do the books. and QuickBooks and all that mess because I don’t know how to do that. But I understand the six core metrics in my business. Remember the restaurant, food costs, liquor costs, labour costs. I know that they give me these three numbers each month.

And I know if those numbers are off track, that’s what I’m going to focus on. I don’t know any of the rest of that accounting stuff. I got three people in my accounting office. But I understand enough about the numbers. But I know the numbers and I know when they’re going off the rails. you’d be surprised how many business owners have no clue what their numbers are.

They don’t know what costs op X variable fixed, They don’t know the core metrics. They don’t know what they should be. They’re operating on, on fantasy land, that we’re just going to be successful Sunday. You need to know your numbers. And if you don’t guess what you need to do, get a coach. Yes, somebody to come in and tell you how to do that. So these are my five keys to success. also if you don’t do those, they’re absolutely the five keys to failure. and they will be the reason you go down.

What Would Brian Older Self Tell His Younger Self

Pamela Bardhi
I love those five keys. Oh my goodness, thank you so much for sharing that. Brian. Those are amazing. Oh, my I’m like taking mental notes. I’m like, I gotta write stuff down. Even for myself, you know? You’re good. Yeah, I’m good. Exactly. Oh, man.

And I love this question for you. Because I’m so intrigued to hear what you say. It’s one of my favorite questions. And it can be business, personal, whatever it is. Now, what would your older self tell your younger self based on what you know? Now?

Brian Will
This was an easy question. I would, I would say, relax. It’s kind of workout. Spend more time with your family. I’m divorced, one of my failures in life. Didn’t get to see my son grow up in high school because he lived with his mom. And I did that because I was 24/7.

In business I was I called it head down dark, dark for 20 years. And I sacrificed time with my family. And if I had known then what I know now I’d have spent more time with my family. a little less time on the business. because it was all going to work out. So relax. It’s going to work out spend more time with your family.

Pamela Bardhi
Amen. Thank you so much for sharing that pride. And now in your world, what is next? I mean, you’ve got so many amazing things going on so many different businesses. like what’s happening in your world. in the next two to three months and kind of be on that?

Brian Will
Yep, this one’s easy. So I made a decision about six, seven months ago. I’ve done corporate consulting to Fortune 500 companies driven billions of dollars in sales. bought and sold and built companies. I’m taking I’ve taken all that experience. And I’ve brought it down to what we call the well funded startup through $10 million in revenue.

And we’ve launched a new Business Mastermind and coaching programme. It’s called the force multiplier, Business Mastermind and coaching programme. So now working with entrepreneurs in this range. well funded startups to 10 million to teach them strategic business. to teach them high performance sales teams measured profitable growth. and what we call time travel, which is p&l analysis.
this thing was five keys I told you about. we can look at two years previous p&l. so we can track the six core metrics, bring them forward. and I can tell you what’s gonna happen in your business. In the next one to two years. we can literally predict the future of your business using historical p&l analysis.

So this is what we’re doing for entrepreneurs at this level. It’s a pretty cool programme. The mastermind is a group of people that we do a little bit of that plus of course. you know, the community aspect of the multiple business owners that are all helping each other out. I belong to masterminds, I now run my own. I belong to coaching programmes, I now run my own. So that’s what I do now.

Pamela Bardhi
I love that oh my goodness, that sounds absolutely amazing. And it’s like your forte, it’s what you built up to do. I feel like with what I’ve done, and all the businesses you know,

Brian Will
everything in life has led me to this point. to where I can now help other entrepreneurs. Do what they want to do build their businesses if they can check their ego and listen. We can I say all the time, I can make you better.

Pamela Bardhi
You are amazing. I absolutely love that. My goodness, my friend. It has been such an honour to have you like you are an absolute Rockstar. Now I know that there’s listeners that are like, Where can I find primes? Where can we find you and your awesomeness my friend?

Brian Will
Yep. So www dot Brian will Brian will is the parent company that’s got my books, my blogs, my podcasts. I run my on podcasts I’ve got podcasts on guests on and then the force multiple more. The force multiplier mastermind information is on there the coaching programmes on there. basically everything you ever want to know is on Brian will

Pamela Bardhi
I absolutely love that Brian, thank you again so much for being here. Tim, my friend you are amazing.

Brian Will
Am I was awesome. I appreciate you having me.

Pamela Bardhi
Thank you


Tune in to the episode to hear the rest of my incredible interview with Brian Will. If you found this story worth your time and made changes in your life, we’d love to hear from you! Subscribe and leave a review. The Underdog Podcast host is none other than Pamela Bardhi. She’s rocking the Real Estate Realm and has dedicated her life as a Life Coach. She is also Forbes Real Estate Council. To know more about Pam, check out the following:

If you’re interested in elevating your life 10x, and owning your power, Pamela invites you to join her for a 15-minute call to set your goals straight and get clarity. Start building your game plan now: