Doug Brown is a coach and guide to lawyers, entrepreneurs, and C-Level executives who are determined to get more done and make more money in less time and grow profitable businesses.
He is the Chief Learning Officer & Executive Coach at Summit Success.
He is a lawyer turned entrepreneur, educator, business builder, and fixer. Over the last 25 years, he helped create and turn around multiple 7 and 8 figure businesses, from law practices to not-for-profits and international companies.
His clients appreciate how he draws on his real-world experience to help them learn all of the disciplines they need to succeed, and get into action and build a business that supports their whole life.
What You’ll Learn In This Episode
- Change Management
- Getting Unstuck
- Lessons Learned
This transcript is machine transcribed by Sonix
Intro: [00:00:02] Broadcasting live from the Business RadioX Studios in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s time for Coach the Coach radio brought to you by the Business RadioX Ambassador Program, the no-cost business development strategy for coaches who want to spend more time serving local business clients and less time selling them. Go to BRXAmbassador.com To learn more. Now here’s your host.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:33] Lee Kantor here, another episode of Coach the Coach Radio, and this is going to be a good one. Today we have Doug Brown on the show and he is with Summit Success LLC. Welcome, Doug.
Doug Brown: [00:00:45] Hi, good. Good to be here.
Lee Kantor: [00:00:46] Lee, thank you. Well, I’m excited to learn what you’re up to. Tell us about some of the success. How are you serving, folks?
Doug Brown: [00:00:52] Yeah. Summit Success is a consulting organization run by Walt Hampton and Shabani and myself, and our mission is to inspire and empower business executives to achieve their highest potential and live the life of their dreams. We work with attorneys and high performing business professionals who are determined to make their life in their practice better, and with coaches, consultants and speakers who don’t really have all day to play around because they’re running a demanding business and it’s getting bigger and they want to be the very best they can be, and we have programs and strategies to help them do that.
Lee Kantor: [00:01:25] Now when you work kind of developing this concept, why did you choose to go the route of both coach and consultant? Sometimes people pick one or the other.
Doug Brown: [00:01:37] It’s a good question, you know, I I describe the coaches and consultants know what the difference is between coaches and consultants. The market often does not. What they have is they have a problem they want to have solved and they want somebody to help them solve it. And and so when we think about the labels that we apply to ourselves, I try to think about the audience. So in this audience, I can say coach and consultant. Ninety five percent of my work is executive and business coaching with owners of businesses and people who want to transition like I did from being successful in one area of their life and turn it into a successful coaching business.
Lee Kantor: [00:02:17] Now, so you’re finding that the folks you’re serving, they’re just trying to solve a problem. Or maybe they’re stuck and they want to get unstuck and what you’re doing, whether it be coaching and asking them questions for them to come up with a solution or consulting where you’re actually kind of rolling up your sleeves and helping do the work, that’s kind of a blurred line.
Doug Brown: [00:02:38] Well, it really we focus on what the individual needs to get them, where they want to go, and in most cases, what they need is they need somebody to be a trusted guide and to an advisor and to give them a framework so they can do the work and create what they want to create. And so we call that coaching and we have a program called the Consultants Success Formula, which combines the the curriculum of what you need to do step by step with live coaching and group coaching to not only teach but help our people move through the program and actually accomplish their goal. We’re not that interested in selling programs if unless the people are going to get the results.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:28] Right, so you’re focused on the outcome and the result and whatever anybody calls anything is not really relevant. Maybe it is just for this kind of conversation, but in real life, people are just trying to solve problems.
Doug Brown: [00:03:42] Yeah. And it’s so easy when you’re inside baseball, whether you’re a coach or a consultant or a lawyer or an accountant, you forget that your clients are coming to you to solve a problem or take care of an opportunity. They don’t care what you call yourself. They want the transformation. They want the outcome.
Lee Kantor: [00:03:59] So now some of your work is on this kind of transformation or change. What are you seeing out there now as we come out of this pandemic, when a lot of people are on overwhelm and they’re just kind of getting their sea legs back? How are you helping people through this chaos?
Doug Brown: [00:04:17] Boy, this is such a transformational time. The whole world is turned upside down. But as a result, there’s tremendous opportunities. And part of the work that we’re doing is helping our people get really clear on what their vision of the future is, what they want to accomplish and and what are the first steps in the structure to get there. Because even when you’re disrupted, you’re you’re your resistance to change is very high, especially when you’re stuck in this freeze fight or flee fear cycle. So if we can focus on exactly what’s wrong, what is the dissatisfaction? What is the vision for the future and what are the first steps and the change equation? We can overcome resistance to change and get people building momentum in a direction where they feel like they’re having the control they they lost, you know, in the last 18 months.
Lee Kantor: [00:05:11] Now you’re finding that coming out of the pandemic that people’s why has changed that they’re maybe at one point there was like, Hey, take the hill, we’re going boldly forward and I got these financial goals financial, financial, financial. And now when they’ve had this kind of big pause, they’re like, You know what? There’s some things that are more important. I’d rather kind of shift at least some of my energy into this other kind of more meaningful direction.
Doug Brown: [00:05:37] Yeah, I think this is a whether you call it why or you call it your purpose. There’s a great alignment between opportunity, I guess, for alignment between all the activities that you’re doing and and do they align with what you really want to do with your purpose of what you want to create and to have a plan to get there and people are waking up? I think in a good way that the old I’m going to just get through the day, I’m going to just get through the week. And next thing you know, a year has gone by or two years or five years or 10 years, and you’re just wondering, well, what if? And the good news today is, even if you’ve done that for five or 10 or more years, there are people reinventing themselves in their 50s and 60s and older, using all of their knowledge to turn it into a successful consulting or coaching business.
Lee Kantor: [00:06:26] So now when you’re having those conversations, what does that look like like? Are they kind of that self-aware where they can say that that’s at the heart of the problem? Or do you have to kind of go layers deep to really get them to be vulnerable enough to share that?
Doug Brown: [00:06:42] Some people are self-aware and say, I’ve got the disconnect, but most people just have this general dissatisfaction. This general idea that, hey, I’d like to do something different than I’m doing now, I’m looking for a roadmap to follow. And there, you know, if you want to go as deep as y or purpose, you’ve got to have a pretty good trusting relationship with someone. The the depth of the ask is directly proportional to the depth of the trust. So we’re starting by helping people understand and articulate, what’s your vision? What do you want to create and then why do you want to create it? And then what does that mean to you? And that’s when we get, you know, into, well, it means I have more time with my kids or I can help my grandchildren. Or maybe I just can travel the way I want to. Or maybe I still want to work, but I don’t want to work anywhere near as much. And once they get clear on that, then we can connect that to the purpose. And that’s really the rocket fuel. That’s the power that that moves them forward through the roadmap to do the work.
Lee Kantor: [00:07:48] And part of your work is kind of, I guess, you use the word unstuck. Are there people? Are the are people more stuck now? Or I would think there’s some kind of epiphanies happening out there.
Doug Brown: [00:08:01] Well, I think. There’s both. There are people who if you’re stuck, it’s you’re stuck in a way of thinking and stuck by yourself. I mean, it’s being an entrepreneur, you know, is is a pretty lonely job and there’s an easy to get yourself stuck and you need that community around you, those group of trusted advisers to help you to pull you out because sometimes you don’t even know that you’re stuck. You might be working on marketing copy. You might be writing the same copy 10 ways and just can’t find your way out of it. You might be trying to evaluate what’s my business model? How should I go to market and having a group around you to help you answer that question and find the answer is critically important. Or you might be stuck because you might be thinking you’ve got we call imposter syndrome. Maybe I’m not good enough. Maybe I’m not enough. Maybe I’m not ready. What if the people don’t want what I’m selling? And that’s almost always head trash. And if we can help them take out the head trash, then they can get unstuck and move forward.
Lee Kantor: [00:09:12] Do you find that people are kind of searching for this sense of community, maybe more now than they were a few years ago?
Doug Brown: [00:09:19] Yeah, I think so. And there are a lot of communities out there and it’s the power of community. And honestly, the power of coaching is is like never been more clear than it is right now. And in my in my life and my transformations, some of the most important moments I’ve had are with communities of people who will build you up and pull you forward, who will tell you the truth when you’re lying to yourself and you often it’s you’re not. You’ve got a lot more going for you and you’re much closer than you think. Just keep going. And yeah, they give you constructive feedback and you’re all pulling together because this is a team sport.
Lee Kantor: [00:10:03] Now, do you find that in the corporate world, in those clients that you’re dealing with, that they’re more open to coaching for more folks, not just the highest level of leadership or the high performers that they’re kind of buying into this, you know, everybody needs a coach and let’s get more of our people. It becomes more of a a must have than a perk for only a select few.
Doug Brown: [00:10:27] You know, Leigh, I’d like to believe that we’re going in that direction. I think we’re in the place where corporations and business owners are finally starting to see that you’re getting a coach because you’re because you’re doing well and you want to do better as opposed to a remedial coach. And so I think as that goes on, the executives and the business owners who have that experience will see the value and will be open to being better at coaching themselves and bringing in coaches for their for their people. It really depends. In my world. I’m working very much with business professionals and attorneys who are pretty unhappy, but they’re really busy. They want to find out how to get more done faster so they can actually, you know, go play golf on the weekend without answering their cell phone all the time or be to the kids ballgame without having their nose in their text messages.
Lee Kantor: [00:11:24] So now in your career, when you transition from law into being an entrepreneur, or you might have been an entrepreneur as a lawyer, but in this kind of more coaching wearing this coaching hat, did you go through that that imposter syndrome? Like, who am I to be giving advice to these people? You know, I was here, I was this person. Did you go through that?
Doug Brown: [00:11:45] I, yeah, you know, I think yes is the answer and multiple times, and I think it’s a natural part of the human condition, especially when you’re trying to push yourself. When I went from being in the I spent 13 years in a corporation where I did start ups and turnarounds. And then when that ended, I had the opportunity to teach in an MBA program and help build the MBA program and innovation and entrepreneurship. And so I had a lot of that like, well, I know this stuff, but who am I to to be teaching other adults and and, you know, having a community around you to help you talk through that and get to the truth of it and and get some simple first steps is critical because if you’re aware enough to to wonder the question, you know, who am I? Am I enough? And the answer is you probably are. You just need to get untangled. You just need to unlock a little bit of that courage.
Lee Kantor: [00:12:40] And did you have a coach when you were younger, are you?
Doug Brown: [00:12:45] You know, when so I’ve had I have a coach, I’ve had coaches. When I was a younger version of me, coaching wasn’t even really a thing. It was more the old school traditional mentors. You know, I remember back when I was evaluating what I wanted to do when I was moving out of the law early on, I went to a career coach and he said, there’s this thing called business coaching, and I’m like, That’s not a real job. Fast forward 20 years. I finally took him out to lunch or dinner one time, and I said, Bruce, this is the you can say. I told you so dinner because I was doing coaching and because it had become a thing.
Lee Kantor: [00:13:24] And then is it what you dreamed it would be? Is this more rewarding for you?
Doug Brown: [00:13:30] You know, I am blessed to do exactly the work that I was meant to do, I have time freedom, I have location freedom. I’m spending the summer in Orleans, Massachusetts, and I live in Bluffton, South Carolina, on a golf course. I get time to spend with my kids, and I know that when I’m working with my clients, I’m making a difference. And that was the dream for myself. I pinch myself sometimes. I’ve actually got there. And so my mission is to help other other people transition and do whatever their version of of of their dream or their successes.
Lee Kantor: [00:14:05] Now you mentioned working with lawyers and executives. Is there a sweet spot? Are you kind of you mentioned turnaround? Is that is that kind of your sweet spot like struggling or people that are looking for, you know, in the midst of change or lawyers that are have these challenges or you kind of industry agnostic or problem agnostic?
Doug Brown: [00:14:25] Well, there’s there’s two things. There’s two general groups. The first one are successful professionals that are looking to pivot and do something different. And that’s why we have the consultant success formula, which walks people through that. And so I get to to work in that program, working one on one with people. And that’s a group that’s a group and individual coaching. My private coaching is with attorneys. They’re generally about 20 years out of law school. They have tried lots of things before. They’ve got a successful practice. They’re busy. They just need to figure out how can I get it done better and faster so that I can grow without having to burn myself out? And so I can actually have a life I’ve been working for. And so they’re already successful and they they they get that the fastest way to success is to have one on one support of a trusted advisor and an expert that will help them get where they need to go. Just like a top golfer will have the golf coach to help them see what they can’t see. Give them the strategies and and help them improve their game.
Lee Kantor: [00:15:29] So if somebody wants to learn more, have more substantive conversation with you or somebody on the team, what’s the website?
Doug Brown: [00:15:36] The website is summit success. That’s assuming success. And if you put a forward slash Coach the Coach after that, then there’ll be a document to download to learn about the consultant success formula. And my email address is Doug. That’s DWG at Summit. That’s the little sign of success.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:04] Good. Well, congratulations on all the success, Doug. You’re doing important work and we appreciate you.
Doug Brown: [00:16:09] Lee, thanks for the opportunity to get out here and share my story and thank you for the work that you’re doing to help the coaching community.
Lee Kantor: [00:16:15] All right, this is Lee Kantor. We’ll see you next time on Coach the Coach radio.