How to Build Leadership Skills

Episode 1010: How to Build Leadership Skills, with Raphael Bender

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How to build leadership skills — Master practical techniques and gain valuable insights for business growth. Guide on how to build leadership skills.

How to build leadership skills — Raphael Bender believes everyone deserves the opportunity to transform into a better version of themselves. His main strength as a teacher and movement professional is the ability to distill complex research findings into a simple, science-based approach to help people move fearlessly, thoughtlessly, and painlessly. He LOVES running, weights, cycling, and Contrology.

Raph holds a Master’s degree in Clinical Exercise Physiology (Rehabilitation), a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sports Science, Diploma of Pilates Movement Therapy, and STOTT PILATES full certification.


What you’ll learn in this episode is about how to build leadership skills

  • How Breathe Education has grown rapidly in just five years, and how Raph and his team plan to achieve their powerful two-year revenue goal of a staggering $50 million
  • How Raph navigated a careful strategic pivot to adapt to the realities of the global pandemic, and how this has allowed them to outpace their less nimble competitors
  • How to build leadership skills for successful business growth.
  • How Raph learned key leadership skills at each stage of business growth, and he discusses which skills a leader needs to develop to push through their challenges
  • Raph outlines an exercise where you measure your work as $10/hr., $100/hr., $1k/hr., $10k/hr., and $100k/hr. activities to help you identify priorities
  • What Breathe Education looked like early on, and how intentionality and strategy over the last six years have helped the team enter the pandemic prepared for its challenges
  • Why Raph sees marketing and sales as key leadership skills, and why he believes business owners should learn to “think like a marketer and salesperson”
  • Why the skills and systems you developed in the “hustle and grind” of getting to $1 million in revenue aren’t necessarily the same ones that will get you to $5 million
  • Why it is important to show people how your business can help them by actually helping them, and how this can transform your business
  • Why Raph believes that being generous with your knowledge can be a powerful way to attract new customers by becoming a trusted resource


Additional Resources:



How to Build Leadership Skills: Full Episode Transcript


Get ready to find your recipe for success from America’s top business owners here at Onward Nation with your host, Stephen Woessner. 


Good morning, Onward Nation. I am Stephen Woessner, CEO of Predictive ROI, and I am your host. It is always an honor to have you here before we dive in on where I’m going to take you behind the curtain and share some context around why I invited Raphael Bender, founder and CEO of Breathe Education, to join us as our guest expert today. So I’m going to start by taking you back to episode 999, where I interviewed Brett Gilliland, CEO of Elite Entrepreneurs, Brett, and his team of rockstars. They work alongside seven-figure business owners to share insights to teach the strategy is the processes and provide leadership training, the business owners inside their elite community need in order to exceed seven figures and then reach this goal of $10 million in annual sales and above amazing. 


So, I’ve been pretty blessed to spend a lot of time with Brett over the last couple of years. And I watched how he impressively navigated that pandemic and doubled down on being helpful to his community. And along the way, Brett collected some very unique insights and perspectives around what companies did during the pandemic and what they did that led to great successes. And on the flip side, what caused some of those companies to stay in the same, or maybe even decline. So I asked Brett if he would be willing to come back for an Encore interview and share with you some of those insights and valuable lessons learned, and that is what became episode 999. 


So during that discussion, Brett shined a very bright light on companies inside the Elite community that absolutely crushed it during the pandemic and why they crushed it and how they crushed it. He broke down what he considered to be the difference, making decisions, the business owners in their teams, what they were doing and how they took action and what they took action on. Now, to be clear, Brent did not share or any company names during the interview because he wanted to protect the confidentiality of the members in his community, but in full transparency, Onward Nation, Predictive ROI as a member of the elite community. 


So I’m pretty familiar with the company as Brett was referring to during our Encore in Raphael Bender, our guest expert today owns one of those incredible companies, Breathe Education. So during the pandemic Raph and team aggressively down, they looked for new ways to be increasingly helpful to their community. They expanded departments and they added new content. They continue to perfect and refine their offering to ensure maximum value proposition was being delivered while some of their biggest competitors were frozen on the sidelines because of COVID-19 in short Raph and his team, it would be very fair to say that they seize the day. 


If you go back to episode 999, well, now you kind of know one of the secrets, one of the companies Brett is referring to is Breathe Education. So I invited Raph to share his story, to take us behind his scenes, to walk us through how they did it, what they did years before the pandemic hit in order to plant their flag of authority in the right niche. He’s also going to talk a little bit about what’s next for them. And I’m going to ask us to teach us the lesson you learned from one of his mentors, Tyler Garns that has paid dividends for a brief education today. So without further ado, welcome to Onward Nation, Raph. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Raphael Bender’s Introduction


Thanks. It is great to have you here and I’m thankful that you said yesterday, the invitation. So thank you very much for that. And before we dive in with what I’m sure is going to feel like a broad and litany of questions that I want to ask you, take us behind the curtain and first tell us a little bit more about you and your path and your journey, and then we’ll dive in. So I’m here in Melbourne, Australia, and I’m an exercise physiologist, or I’m applied as an instructor. And I guess what’s relevant to Onward Nation listeners is that around 2000 and in 2006 starts at 2007, I’ve opened a Pilates studio, a business with my co-founder, the PLI, the studio business, or in Melbourne with the key partners, ran that business successfully for almost a decade. 


And in early 2016 or sold out my interest in that business with my partners and started with education, which is a company that certifies people to become parties, and instructors. So since 2016 we’ve been certifying. Well, actually we had by education was a subsidiary business of the studio, a business that we had that was really just it was a tiny little additional income stream within, within the larger businesses was probably as less than 10% of our total revenue. And so it was really almost an afterthought and so I bought that business out in 2016 and with going strength to strength now. 


Amazing. so give us some context today. So because in five short years, what you guys have done is close to the miraculous. I mean it, and it is amazing in, and so give us, give us what, give us a view of what the business looks like today, because it’s an incredible trajectory. Oh, when we started, 1st of April, 2016 is when I took ownership of the business. We had annual revenues a bit south of $250,000 at that point. So it was me and a couple of two-day-per-week admin people in the business, and today, just over five years later, where we are at annualized revenues of being able to $6 million, we’ve got 36 team members, we’ve got currently around a thousand students in, or that I can tell you exactly how many countries, but quite a few. 


And we were growing close to hundred percent year on year. God’s amazing in it. And so would you say that you’re a flagship offering or is it the diploma course or is it others knitted together in that we have our core product or service we offer is at a certification and entry level certification to become applied to the destructor in Australia, we call the certificate for in Pilates and America. We called the same program and the certification in part is at work and a reformer. And I think that represents roughly 80% of our revenue, at this time. We have a more premium product, I guess. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Pivoting and Scaling for Success


I’m not sure a premium, it’s a follow on a product. That’s a higher level course. M high-level a program called the Diploma of Clinical Pilates, which represents probably the other 20% of our revenue. And at the moment we we just really started seriously marketing that over the last three months. So we were just starting to get some traction with that, but I expect that over the next 12 to 18 months, that product, that revenue mix will, will change and the deployment we’ll become a most significant part of, out of our product with our revenue generation. Or I’m going to ask you for permission here. 


You can, do you mind if I share the goal in and S and how it impacted me that you shared as far as your two-year goal and the last elite momentum event, you, you guys were connecting on Zoom from Australia and then some of us were in-person and Phoenix, what your revenue goal is for two years. May I have your permission to share that? Yeah. Okay. So Onward Nation where a debriefing sort of a kind of rounding out a couple of days at the elite momentum meeting and Phoenix and Raph shared what his two-year goal, as you just heard him talk about how they’ve gone from less than a quarter million dollars US to $6 million over five years, the two-year goal is $50 million. 


So to go from where they are today at 6 million, which is a very sizable business, an amazing business, a huge accomplishment in five years, and then to almost 10 X that business. So eight X that business in two years off the charts  Raph, when, when you said that, I thought, holy bananas, that is, and I have no doubt that you will do it. Yeah. I think that, that go, it was not a sort of plugged out of thin air. We’ve been incredibly lucky at this time in history, I think in our industry or in many industries, there’s a tectonic shift. And I think there’s you across a lot of these create a huge opportunity. 


And I think we’re very lucky when COVID hit that. We had some cache in the bank, we had an established brand and we had a team. We had some technology capacity already and we were in a position to pivot online. And I am very grateful, like if we had been in some industries, if we’d been the same hairdressing salons or something, just like, there’s just no way you could give it that type of business online. But having said that, like, there were many people in my industry who just couldn’t see that what we do or could be pivoting online, and I already, and the papers and you either over the year of sort of lockdowns that we’ve had, that many airlines are really struggling at one of our major airlines here in Australia, went into liquidation. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Prioritizing High-Value Activities


And then I read about, I can’t recall exactly, or maybe it was a Qatar Airways or something who had basically ripped all of the sights out of their fleet of aircraft and turned them into cargo craft. And we thought, wow, that’s making lemons into lemonade because like, what’s flourishing now is a promise. And it, you can often you cannot get something delivered from oversees for love nor money, or even, and the sort of a slight months or so I think what a brilliant what a brilliant, folded thinking strategy. So I think we were very fortunate that we’re in a position that we could take advantage of the opportunity by a provider by COVID and I think for our industry we’re very fortunate our industry, and I stole this idea from, or do you hard, you’re a fellow member as our industry is 15 years behind most other industries. 


And I say that is a blessing because it just gives such a great opportunity to learn what other industries are doing well. And to transpose that into our industry and for whatever reason, none of our competitors are doing that. And I think that creates that has created a massive opportunity for us to really upset the market. So the hints hence that goal. Okay. So that, that made me think of like six other questions or want to ask you, but I’m going to get sort of a discipline myself to not ask them yet in, in our first let’s go through the, the lesson because I think this is going to really set the stage for the balance of our conversation. 


How to build leadership skills? This lesson you learned from Tyler, Garns about high-value activities vs low-dollar value activities. So can you take us through that lesson and how that has benefited you and your team? Yeah. Yeah. This has been something really pivotal for me. I think that the foundation and my present thinking came actually from the client mosque, the founder, and say out and of infusion soft or now I keep with his concept or the specific stages have small business and is basic ID. Or maybe if you, if you are not familiar with it as a listener, but you got to go and check it out, there’s got a great podcast, a way he shares that are the, I think it’s episode number 37 or 35 or something. 


How to build leadership skills — And basically, what Hayes found. So his research is, was that as businesses grow from one firm, a founder, two or three employees to 10 employees, two 30 employees to a hundred employees that go through a distinct stages. And each stage there is a different block, a bottleneck, or an obstacle to overcome, to move on to the next stage. Or in other words, there’s a different key is required to unlock each stage and saw the stage one. It’s giving you time back to the stage two, it’s the sales side streets, marketing stage forwards people in leadership. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Shifting from Hustle to Strategy


You know, I can’t remember the exact stages, but I listened to quite Mosque episode. And so I guess, the basic lesson berries that I took from that is, well, what got you here? Won’t get you there. And so I think broadly speaking in my observations to get a business, two, a million dollars is relatively easy. If you are smart and hustle and I think anybody entrepreneurial listening to this will identify with the idea of getting up early, working harder going to be in you know, the starting before everyone else and finishing after everyone else and really know hustling. And I think that kind of, that kind of drive and hustle can get you to a million dollars, but it’s actually, that’s, what’s going to prevent you from growing beyond a million dollars because you as the CEO or a founder of the business or become the bottleneck if every process depends on you, if you already, or only one who can clothes, the big deals, if you are the only one who you can create the products and et cetera then you become the bottleneck. 


Because I believe there’s a limit too, even if you get it up at 4:00 AM, there’s a limit to how much one person can achieve in a day. And I think that’s a roundabout, a million dollars a year in most businesses. And so I think ATT as in order to get a heart beyond at that point, what’s required is the opposite set of behaviors, which is actually, you have to step back and do less and move more slowly as an individual and create more space for yourself in the week where you can think strategically and think about the business rather than working within the business so much, and that you can grow your leadership team so that people can make decisions and implement things without having to consult you every step of the way. 


And that’s what’s enabled us to know to grow. I believe it and start Tyler’s guns. And actually he presented this app at LA, which really impacted me, basically the idea that it’s just a really simple activity that he took us through where you just divide like right. All of the things that you did in the last week, Dan on a note or whatever everything, everything relating to work like formatted an Excel spreadsheet, made a sales call, talking about the new ad campaign with the market of guidance, whatever you did on that in the wake and divide those up into a $10 an hour, a hundred dollars and hour thousand dollars an hour, $10,000 an hour, and a hundred thousand Miller and our activities in terms of like, what are two things? 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: The Key to Scaling Growth


How to build leadership skills? One, like if you had to pay someone else to do that, how much would it cost to pay them and stuff like formatting in Excel spreadsheet, it can literally pay someone $10 an hour to do that. And most of the, most of the time, that person will probably do it better than I would. And then there were things like a hundred dollars a year activities where the more specialized and you, or you’d have to pay someone pretty good money to do that maybe software engineering or things like that. And then there, or the, the, the, the $10,000 hours and our activities like with why make a sales call, it’s a 45-minute call and you can make a $10,000 sale off the call. Well, that’s the $10,000 in our activity. So that’s a pretty how you think, well, that’s a pretty good use of my time, but if you’re talking about getting from a million to 5 million, like $10,000 an hour is not enough, you need to do, you need to really level it up. 


Lesson on how to build leadership skills. And so there are a few things that when I think back over the last year, the that of that have been a hundred thousand dollars plus activities. And so for an example on our present, in our present situation, we’re just exp you know, we’ve, we’ve really outgrown the Australian market here, and we are expanding into the US, and we have out a full US marketing campaign. I set up, but a and with, so we were generating leads really effectively, good shape quality lays, or getting lots of, lots of leads, but they’re not converting to call with our sales team at a high enough, right? That gives us a profitable customer acquisition cost. 


But literally, we have a lead machine, dialed into the point where we can get leads in the US for about, less than a third of the price of that by cost us and Australia. So as soon as we can fix this booked call metric in our US lead funnel, wait, we can turn up the ad, and spend in the US by a 10 X. So we can literally generate an extra million dollars a month in revenue within three months, once we fix this problem. Right? So every month that we don’t fix that problem is costing us six or seven figures, so anything or I can do so and contribute to solving that riddle as well, and truly in a hundred thousand dollars an hour category. 


And when you look at it that way, it just seems like completely ludicrous for me to be struggling with an Excel spreadsheet format. You know, a question when, when there’s this ginormous problem there that, that I could solve to really literally 10 X the business, but isn’t it interesting, like, like not everybody who’s listening to you right now is dealing with that exact same situation, obviously, but conceptually we are in so easy to get bogged down in the, in the trap of thin things. Right. And that’s what, and isn’t that why Tyler’s less than the heat shared with you. Isn’t that why that was so impactful, right? ’cause it can lead to big wins, right? 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Prioritizing Resources in Business Growth


Absolutely. I think I’m pretty sure most entrepreneurs listening to these would identify, or you would agree that as you build a business, you can do everything all the time and you are there, or there’s some degree of sort of surfing the wave of chaos as you, as you scale. And so given that you can’t do everything all the time to the, to the level that you would like to do at the obvious sort of thought after that, it’s like, well, how did we choose which things to do? Cause we cannot do everything. So what do we focus our limited time and resources on it? 


And we have a metaphor in our business that we learned from another Tyler, Tyler Norton. Who’s also been in a mental for me that he calls at squeezing the balloon. And so the metaphor is basically the balloon is only half inflated and there’s not enough hair to feel the whole balloon in. Of course, the moldable in is a metaphor, the balloon, just the business and the heir inside of money and resource rights. And there’s not enough resources too, to expand every department and the business at the same time. So we have to focus on improving sails or improving marketing or improving customer success or improving distribution. You know, we can improve everything at the same time. And so the metaphor is Lux is you have to squeeze one, enter the balloon, you squeeze the area out of that end. 


How to build leadership skills? So you take resources away from one thing in order to increase the resource and another area. And I think that is a really apt metaphor. And then the quest, the question is like, how did you choose where to, or where to squeeze and etc. And I think that’s the best a hundred thousand dollars in our activity. That’s where the way he’s going to a year into. Yeah. and realizing that you’ll be squeezing depending on or deciding to squeeze a different one at a different quarter. Like that’s just an ongoing thing and it’s never going to be perfect. There’s always going to need to be squeezing. Right. Correct. Yeah. Isn’t it funny though? It’s like we sometimes I think that business owners get stuck in the, why should I just have to squeeze out at once? 


How to build leadership skills? No, no, no. I think another metaphor I really liked as the metaphor of the pipeline is that you’re a business and I think we’ve got this Ryan Deiss or I can’t remember when I got it from that I’m a bit hazy, but I think it was from him that basically your business is like a pipeline way made of different stages of pipes. You know, say you have like sections of pipes kind of stuck together. And the first stage is lead generation and then you have sales and then you have customer onboarding and fulfillment and distribution and finances and all of these different sort of stages. And you know, like a PYP, the throughput of the entire pipeline is only is going to be limited by the narrowest section of pipe. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: From Solopreneur to World-Class Brand


Sorry if you’ve got ginormous 10-foot diameter pipes 90% of the way, but your lead generation is only one foot in diameter. Well, you’re only going to get one foot diameter worth of water through that whole pipeline regardless of how great your sales team is, but don’t have enough leads in the open and make the sales to Gaza bag and your customer onboarding is we don’t have the lanes in the sales. We don’t have the customers. You’re not going to succeed in any stage. And so in that, and in that instance, like if, if, if marketing and a case lead generation is the narrowest part of the pipeline, well, that’s where you got to squeeze too, right? You have, if you can, if we can expand your capacity and marketing say that it is no longer this or the narrowest part of the pipe, all of a sudden, the throughput of the entire system dramatically increases. 


How to build leadership skills — Whereas if you, in that instance, you don’t have enough leads and putting, putting on more salespeople isn’t gonna solve the problem, improving your distribution, isn’t gonna solve the problem so that you could, you can double your Salesforce and double your expenses without increasing revenue at all. In that instance, you’ve got to focus on what’s the weak link, what’s the narrowest part of the pipe. Yeah. I love that finding of the constraint. Right. And at being able to solve the problem. so thank you for that in and sharing that lesson, let’s go five or six years backward. And you can think about because I think it’s really easy for us as as business owners to do a quick comparative and think, oh my gosh, what Raph is doing today is so amazing. 


Like really comparing you’re front or the stage like the forward-facing of breath and this very impressive brand. What you guys do is world-class and legitimately world-class Onward Nation. It’s amazing. It wasn’t always that way. So I want to take you back six years from now you took this sort of afterthought out of that, a Pilates studio, a partnership, and started to build it on your own. So describe what it looked like then in, and it’s been a lot of hard work obviously to build what you’ve built today. But I want to try to set the context because for Onward Nation business owners, because you guys, you guys had worked really, really hard and were ready quote unquote, ready for the pandemic before it hit, because you had planted your flag of authority six years ago. 


And we’re really creating great content to continue to get better and better and better. So give us the history lesson. What did the business look like six years ago? It looked like most S startup businesses. It was me. At that point, I didn’t start out as a solopreneur. Like I said, I had a couple of very part-time admin people. We were, we were physically co-located at you know how we work around the kitchen table and a bar Raymond at a friend’s yoga studio and was just a pretty typical small business. That was basically, I was a chief cook and bottle washer. You know, I was writing the ads, making the sales calls, delivering the training programs, and doing all of the things and then I would like to say, I’m doing the books at 10:00 AM at my kitchen table. 


Enhance your insights on how to build leadership skills by nurturing our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Build Leadership Skills: How Engaging a Marketing Agency Transformed Our Business


That really made me feel down or I just ignored the finance chair at the bank balance or once a month or so. That’s good enough. And you know it, and I imagine that’s pretty common experience for fi sort of early-stage entrepreneurs. And so I think that the pivotal decision there was that we got right was engaging a marketing agency because I recognized that our product was good enough like it was far from great, but it was, it was good enough that people didn’t hide it. And if we, if we are recognized, if we had more inquiries, we can, we could grow. And so we engaged a marketing agency, X or a marketing agency and through blind luck on good judgment or a bit of my wife, we engaged at the great marketing agency and I’ve really, really, we still with them now. 


Ah, and if we looked at a graph of are revenue there is a very, very obvious inflection point. You know, basically the month we engaged them and all of a sudden like that first year, we went from 250,000 to a million in revenue. Wow. That’s impressive. You know, when I look back now, I think it’s like, oh, I didn’t know what the heck I was doing was just blind luck and I stumbled or stumbled, stumbled on to a good marketing agency or whatever. But I think that was definitely an inflection point. But then as, as a United Stephen and as many of you listeners know, you never get rid of all your problems or you do is we just graduate the different problems. 


So now, all of a sudden, we were a million-dollar business whereas you know, nine months ago were at a $150,000 business, and we’ve got the system’s process culture, et cetera, or have a $250,000 business. But now we’ve got a million dollars worth of customers. It’s a place and sire and we didn’t have a customer onboarding. We didn’t have a billing. We didn’t have all of those things. We had this by a marketing machine, and there were many. And you know, so that’s an example of a guy when we wound out there at the front end or the pipe and you have the backend of the pipe was the, was the blocker. And so we had to put some very quick band-aids and then proper repairs in place to solve the rest of our pipeline. 


And it’s been it’s a kind of a leap from, and once you fix out the customer success park and all of a sudden, you’ve got all this extra expense because you’ve employed all of these extra people or whatever, and now you need more leads. So it’s, it’s kind of like you said, you can just have to constantly re-evaluate. We disclose, and yeah, exactly. The squeezing metaphor, I think it’s so appropriate because it’s a different place, depending upon what the trajectory is or going back to what you said about Clate in the different stages. Writing as you go into a different stage is a different as a different constraint. One of the things that I admire about you from a distance is how much you give, how much you and your team give of themselves within the actual content. 


Enhance your insights on how to build leadership skills by nurturing our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Build Leadership Skills: The Core Skills Every Business Owner Must Master


And here’s what I mean by that. Then, not just in the full-on teaching, in full transparency and the depth in which you do it, but also in the frequency. Like I think that, I think it’s not common. My guess is you’re competitors don’t do this, or where your students get 90 minutes of you every single week. And the depth at which you teach is really quite incredible. And the frequency at which you teach is, and it’s not just you, it’s other’s. And so can you speak to that because my guess is it wasn’t that way six years ago. Still, you guys have ratcheted that up over the next several years so that you are giving this incredible experience, but really leveraging the thought leadership of not only you but also your team. 


Yeah. Well, I think there are two lessons embedded underneath that practice for us. The first one is that I learned from a marketing agency here in Australia they call King Kong and they found us as a researcher has been a mentor for me as well. So, one of the things I’ve learned from Sabri is that marketing and sales are really the core skill of any business owner. And regardless of what business you’re in, you’re in the business of selling and marketing and selling something regardless of what good. The thing is that you making if you can sell it, you ain’t going a business side, or I think sales is at the top, it’s the oxygen supply to the business. 


And I think founders who avoid sales or don’t place or sales right at the forefront of their attention, leaving great opportunity on the table. And so one of the things that I’ve I’ve really worked hard at over the last few years is to learn, to think like a marketer, like a sales person. And I think that I mean my, or maybe it’s the case of there as CEO is out there who has grown businesses who don’t think like that, but I cannot come to mind. And so I think one of the most core of lessons I’ve learned from Sabri about marketing is that you show people, you can help them by actually helping them. 


And, if we can just repeatedly provide invaluable learning opportunities for people, we become a trusted brand. And then when they become problem aware like that, that don’t even go out. I mean, we’ve noticed from market research when it went out customers when a prospect’s or considering doing training, they’ve already chosen us before they’ve even decided to pull the trigger in and do it because we were, we have that trust. And so I think that’s a huge theme. And so that’s the first thing is to think like a marketer and show people that you can help them by helping them. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Building Trust and Scaling Beyond Limitations


And so I really don’t think there’s any limit to how much you can usefully share with people. And I have friends who were entrepreneurs or sometimes I even at some stage people within our business have been concerned. Like we were giving a right too much our, our competitors or it’ll just copy out or content, and I think, well now that’s so not true because I mean, anybody who’s building a business knows the blood, sweat, and tears that goes into building something that works. It’s like if you could just download PDFs of someone else’s business and then God, right, we’ve got a business at the same, it doesn’t work like that. 


I mean if we can, for instance, or download the blueprints, of all of Apple’s products, right? There’s no way we could be another apple. No, it’s like, Apple’s got a 20-year headstart on it, and I’ve got a culture. They’ve got all of this distribution expertise. They’ve got all of this stuff that we just, the intangible, we don’t have all this or this domain knowledge. So if they just totally like, if you, if they let me go in there and read everything that I’ve got a net and every meeting they’re for six months by, we still couldn’t go out and I’ve been another apple. And so that’s the same with our competitors. I mean, we’ve learned so many expensive, painful lessons along the way and so much grinding. And so, I’m a trial and error, but sharing a few checklists and PDFs, there’s not going to be a shortcut for our competitors. 


So I think there’s no problem, no problem with sharing. It’s only a plus ’cause we were lifting, lifting or a rising tide lifts all boats. And the second thing is, you know what you said, its not just me that does that now in our business, it’s we have a number of people who do that. And I think that’s a key as well. Like I said, right at the start the hustle and grind that gets you to a million dollars is what holds you back from growing beyond that you have to step back because you can’t be a one-person band at $5 million a year. You know, you just simply can’t. Unless you’ve got a Michael Jordan or something, and you are getting paid a million dollars a game or whatever. 


But if you’re on a regular business with customers, we know that the product we sell is 5,000 US. So, as you know, I guess the class is relatively hard to get sales. Sure. And you know at five and $5 million, that’s a thousand customers like, how am I going to say as personally a thousand customers, we just not going to happen. So I can’t make those sales calls. I can’t generate those leads. I cannot onboard those customers. We can’t deliver the product with him or can’t build them and I can’t follow them out when they pay or whatever, or like I need a team. It’s made out to the PO, it’s now at the point where I can’t, or you know, not only can I not service a thousand customers in my wildest dreams, I can’t even lead the team to build a thousand. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Scaling Through Delegation and Trust


I need leaders in our ad, intermediate levels of the organization who can lead the people who are doing the work. Right? Because as you get, as your scale, as we scale the last 10 people, we have 10 people reporting to me. It’s like my whole week is just having people report to me. So then when you’ve got 15 people, it’s new drowning, Andy, and you need to promote some of those people say that there you go, they’re doing some of that leadership work. And so it’s been in every aspect of the business; it’s just been a continuous process of letting go of the things that I thought that I was the best at. And I need a quite good due to the standards that are required. You know, I like the things that were easy to let go of. 


We’re like making sales calls and calling customers who you payments and filed the things I think a lot, I didn’t enjoy doing as much with the very easy ones and let go. But then some of the other things that we’re very hard to let go with core things like that, I consider his, my special skillset. Like you are creating content and think about the marketing strategy and you know, the things like that were, I thought of like, oh, well on the front of old knowledge and this area and what’s, what’s been there, the case is that actually no, I’ve actually found people who can do each of those things better than I can. I mean, it’s like a colossal hubris to think that on the only person in the world can do this to the standard. 


And so that process of new training, someone app or a hiring somebody new who already knows how to do it and just cutting them loose and you know, giving them ownership of all of the results have been amazing. Cause I say we’ve got two main products. One is our entry-level certification X one is a diploma, which is a bit of a higher level or follow-ups at a location. There’s the initial certification. It’s about apes in by revenue presently. I do not deliver one minute of that. You know, so we have nine antiques, a year of students, or roughly 70 to 80 students per intake, but I have a lecture about the way we’ve given that 59 tutorials awake masterclasses. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Generosity in Thought Leadership


And we write eight pieces of content for the coursework learning and stuff. I do not do any of that. So, I don’t make any of the sales calls. I don’t do anything to do with that. I have people, and that program continues to evolve and improve without my direct involvement in. And so I am involved at the moment and developing the diploma because with that’s not yet, and it’s not yet at a point where I work in kind of hand it over to someone who is a going concern, but with, within five or six months, we’ll be, and I expect next year if we have this own conversation again, I’ll say it to you. I’m not doing anything related to the diplomas of other people doing that. 


I’m not sure what it will be doing, but is a little bit more strategic when I’m thinking longer, the longer term. So I think it’s a very long answer to your question, but I think thinking like a marketer and showing people who can help him by helping them and then empowering people within the organization to do everything that you do, this is, this is so good for a number of different reasons. I want to key in on when you said to show people that you can help them by actually helping them. And then here’s here’s what I mean by that. So, I once watched a video where Subaru from King Kong was interviewing you about sort of your experience with a King Kong, you that kind of stuff, but, but really context like before you guys started working together, what that was like. 


And I think if I remember the story correctly and so correct me here, if I, if I get this wrong, but I think there was he was in his team were coming to you with piece after piece, after piece, after piece of helpful content in helpful lessons and that kind of stuff. And in, and that was helpful to you. You would take this and then go implement it. You’re like, wow, that really worked. And then, oh, here’s another piece. And then you’ll go implement that until one point, it’s sort of the light bulb that went off, and you’re like, Hey, wait a minute. He’s actually marketing to me, but I don’t care because he’s being really helpful to me. And then, and then you guys started working together, but that’s the point of what you’re talking about, right? 


It’s a show to people that you can help them by actually helping them. And now you guys have been working together for five-plus years, right? Right. I’m waistband $150,000 a month with them. And so that’s the point that I want Onward Nation business owners to hear from you. It’s the, let’s be super generous because that’s what thought leaders do. That’s what experts do. Let’s give of ourselves. Let’s help our audience be better and less. Give them the best stuff. Let’s not hold back and give them one-third of the good thing. Let’s give them a good thing. And don’t be worried that they’re going to take that runoff and create a competitor business using your apple example when instead, the reverse is going to be, let’s do what King Kong did with you.


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How to Build Leadership Skills: From DIY Success to Professional Expertise


You found it super helpful, implemented it worked, you kept coming back for more, and now you’ve been with them and you’re in, you’re a great client for them. So like we can all follow that recipe. Right. I think that the way you told that story was pretty spot on. And like I was as a young, scrappy, business owner, trying to grow my business, trying to figure out how to build my website and optimize it for search and get up on the Google rankings. And so I’m just searching YouTube and Google. How do I code this thing for HTML? How do I improve my page ranking on Google or something? And there was a summary on a little video as like, Hey, find ways to tact, Google rankings, without any coding knowledge, a model that looks good saw or read or watched, or, and I was like, ha you know, and I don’t need the things, and it works. 


And I thought, wow, that was awesome. What other videos as this guy, I have you known and inside there or not you had a bunch of videos that we’re really helpful for somebody who and their market, his young business’s at relatively small businesses being a sub a million dollars sort of thing who want more leads. Right. And so if you’re a young business and you’re at less than a million dollars in, you want more leads, or what are you doing when you’re out on Google going? How do I get more leads? Right. And so he’s solved a lot of those problems for me by just teaching me how to do really simple things, such as the five steps of a closing asylum or effectively whatever it was. And I tried it, and just the stuff gave was good and it was really, really helpful. 


And I thought, well, if I’m doing this myself DIY or watching a five-minute video of him on YouTube, imagine if I actually got him to do it. How good would that be? You know, I was halfway through a sales goal with their team before I even realized that they’d been marketing to me. And this was aha, you know, I was like, I was grateful for their marketing. I mean, that was one of the pivotal kinds of inflection points in my business. And would you say that, would you say that either all of it, or some of that you use with your own content and your audience where you’re giving the Q and A or you’re answering questions, or are you going to social and asking how you can be helpful? 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Building Trust and Fostering Growth


Like, you’re doing that, like, you’re living that strategy out in front of your audience too, would you agree? Right. So, our market for our Diploma our existing Pilates instructors. So whether that was certified by us or by someone else who has a skilled and confident teaching Pilates, but feel like there’s something missing for them. They don’t quite know what the next level is. They want more anatomy knowledge. They don’t understand how to work with people with injuries more confidently. And so they have those people who have particular questions like they’re in on Google typing. Like, how do I work with someone who’s got scoliosis? Or why do I do for postpartum women as a Pilates? 


And so we have a podcast that way we answer those questions, then we don’t like you said, we don’t give them one-third of the answer. We give them the full answer. They were emailed a Diploma and had paid $10,000. This is what we would say to them. You know, here are the things you do for those people. And so we share that as generously as we are able. Cause we know, and we get a daily age of DMS or every week when w when we share the stuff, people say, oh, that’s amazing. That’s amazing. What else have you gotten? You know, and it’s the truth that if you share, or an hour of a presentation and you spend 10 hours putting a presentation together. 


So it’s really well constructed and contains lots of golden platinum nuggets. And you share that with a wide audience. So we get about 1300 downloads per episode. Now, I think we’re up to roughly 55,000 downloads of our podcast. And if if we share that of those thousand people who download it, maybe I’m just guessing, but maybe 50, we will take it and implement completely. And a guy by name, I’ve got this new on. Now I own this knowledge for now, but 950 will be like, hi, can I sort of get about half of that? And I’ve implemented one or two things, but the rest is kind of hazy and need more guidance. So they’re going to come back to you and go, okay, well, that’s the ID you gave me was great. 


But can you tell me more about you and how do I do this part of it? How do I do that part of it? I’m stuck here, and this doesn’t make sense. It’s like people, or are never, endingly hungry for you. No more quality information and guidance, and you’re not going to, you’re not going to slide that thirst by giving them all you gotta do is it’s like an appetizer. It just gets me more excited for more, yeah. Of the Onward Nation, if you Raph, and I, are quickly running at a time here, let me share a resource here that reaffirms what  Raph just said with a statistic. And then also to share where you can get this, if you go to Eddleman or, in fact, just Google Eddleman or a PR agency, a 2020 coronavirus special report. 


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How to Build Leadership Skills: Leveraging Trust for Growth


I know that’s a long tail string there, but when you download that report, you’ll find that in any given audience, 85% of them want you to do exactly what  Raph just described: be their expert, be their guide, continue to feed this steady stream of super helpful content. 85% of them want to look to you as they’re experts across the industries, across countries, across industries. Download the report, and you’ll see the stats. So 85%, that is a huge number, right? 85% of your audience is looking to you, Raph and team to give them the answers, and you guys are doing it, and you’re building a scaling or as a result. It’s amazing. 


Yep. Well, I’d actually like to, also at this point, take my hat off to you, Stephen, and your team, because, full disclosure here, we have a client of yours as well. And your team has really been instrumental in us building those podcast numbers like a1300 downloads per episode, or maybe I’m not sure if that sounds like a lot to people, but that actually puts us in the top 5% of all the podcasts worldwide. And when you consider that were a podcast for a very sort of small sub-niche of the fitness industry a Pilates instructor training or a postgraduate politest instructor training, that’s pretty incredible traction that we’ve got in, you know, less than six months of running the podcast. 


So, your time has been really instrumental so thank you. You’re very welcome. And thanks very much. We’ve certainly enjoyed working alongside you and your team. Thank you for that. I know that we’re quickly running out at time, and I am very grateful for your generosity and time and for sharing your expertise before we go, before we close out and say goodbye, any, any final advice or any final insights that you’d like to share, anything that you think we might’ve missed. And then please do tell Onward Nation that, the best way to connect with you or  Raph there is a site where there’s so much the guys instead of building a business. And I feel like there’s a large development of luck involved in my case, at least. 


And I think there’s probably some things that I’ve done that I’ve contributed to our present success. And I think the book that I’ve, I guess I’ll probably, I’ll, I’ll let you share a book or a book I’ve read recently that I’ve got a lot of value from his, by a fellow called Blaire Events. He’s it’s called Price and Creativity and Blaire has a podcast, a show called Two Bobs. And he’s in the creative industry. He is in graphic design and web design, that kind of industry. And his market is owners of agencies in that industry who want to improve their business. 


Enhance your insights on how to build leadership skills by nurturing our “ROI of Community” Framework


How to Build Leadership Skills: Last Bit of Advice and Connect with Raph


And so he runs a training business about how to use pricing, particularly to impact and increase your profitability. And you run more of a bit of a business and provide better services for people. And so it’s not directly applicable to what we know, because that’s not my best, no way to their fundamentally business, whereas we’re a beta I think there are some really powerful timeless lessons. They are about pricing and are based on value rather than cost-based pricing or time-based pricing. And I really respect the guy because his book was $300. And I would say if there is a guy that teaches me how to charge Moore and his book, he’s a dollar 99, and I’d trust him or her point. 


And I would recommend that book to anybody who has a pricing problem. And I’ll say, you’ve got a pricing problem. If you are working really hard but not making a lot of money. And then you’ve got the pricing problem. And even if you’re in a completely different industry, if you make widgets or whatever, like you still got a lot of value from that book. So that that’ll be my kinda like present the table. And if you want to connect with me on socials, I’m on Instagram and Facebook, and I exist on LinkedIn, but to be honest, I’d probably log in once every six months just get overwhelmed with all of the friend requests or the connection requests have had. 


And so we don’t really, I haven’t really figured out how to use LinkedIn yet. And I noted Stephen and you’ve been on at a meeting a master of that, but that is just something I’ve been procrastinating on I think the best way to connect with me is on Instagram or Facebook. Okay, Onward Nation, no matter how many notes he took or how often you go back and relisten to Ralph’s words of wisdom, which I sure hope did you do, the key is you have to take all of this wisdom, all of this knowledge, all of the insights, the Houston generously shared with you. We have to take it and apply it to your business. And when you do, you’ll accelerate your results. 


And Ralph, thank you again for being generous with your time and expertise to come on to the show, to be our mentor and guide, and to help us move our businesses onward or to the next level. Thank you so much, my friend. Thank you, Stephen. I’m grateful for your mentorship in the room of podcast building, and you and your team have been amazing. I think this or this podcast is fantastic, or I’d say the Q and A as you do, or every week, and the interaction happens. And the light bulb moments the people are experiencing. So I’m grateful to be at work. We contribute to that. 


This episode is complete. So head over to for show notes and more foods to fuel your ambition and continue to find your recipe for success. 


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