The Inventive Journey Podcast for Entrepreneurs
Always Have A Mastermind Group
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
Get New Episodes
Get 2 brand-new podcast episodes sent to you every week!
ai generated transcription
and the one of the things that i've done consistently in my business in the last 20 years is i've always had a mastermind group and so i've always had buddies and these are people who are either at the same level as me or maybe at one or two notches ahead of me in business and we meet on a regular basis to support each other and to learn and grow from each other and so it's a bit like you know devin um you've done this what what did you do when you were faced with this challenge oh well lindsay i did blah blah blah um you know what i mean so you can always bounce off these other people and and you can say i'm thinking of doing this what do you reckon oh lindsey no mate that's a stupid idea why don't you try this instead ah and so having that um those people around me um it has really helped me learn and grow in a consistent manner over 20 years [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host evan miller the serial entrepreneur has gone several startups and seven and eight-figure businesses as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law or help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks you ever need help with yours just go to strategymeeting.com are always here to are happy to help in the chat now today we have another great guest on the podcast lindsey adams and uh is a quick introduction on lindsay so start started off his career in the uh australian tax office as an auditor and then left the tax office and went to city council and other governmental positions for a period of time and then started his own business around the the 2000's doing some public speaking um also bought a franchise i believe in public speaking but you can correct me if i'm wrong and but had a non-compete after he decided that that franchise wasn't worth it that limited the ability for him to talk on some or some areas and they'll get into a little bit of that as well and then uh from there adjusted or pivoted a bit into coaching and speaking on relationships and you know what you or what you do after you ask them on what they do or what their job is um and then when uh kobet hit um had a lot of that kind of go away or necessitated a pivot and that kind of brings him to where he's at today and i'll chat a little bit with that as well so with that much his introduction welcome on the podcast lindsey thank you devon it's absolute pleasure to be here uh uh it's great to have you on so i gave kind of the quick run through of a much longer journey so maybe take us a bit back in time to when you originally got you started uh journey started working with the australian tax office okay so uh yeah once upon a time uh left school i didn't really know what i wanted to do stumbled into the public sector and started my career in the australian taxation office had 18 years with them uh first half of my career in audit you name it i've done it serving summons as collecting debts auditing books of account all the nasty stuff you know whacking people over there with a big stick and i went on a manager development program and uh it was a very big expansive nine month program three residential workshops end of the third the first day on the third residential workshop three different facilitators facilitator says okay boys and girls we're done dinner's at seven see you at the bar lindsay you got a minute i went yeah how can i help and he said um what are you doing here you don't fit you're not like these people and devon what that guy did he held up a mirror for me and he helped me understand i was in the wrong job now that question led to a three-hour conversation with that guy and it didn't happen overnight but it did happen i an opportunity came for me to do a placement in in training and i went wow i like this i'm good at this and so i sideways out of order into training and uh i'm not i've discovered i'm not an author i'm a people person and uh i just loved working with people and so i spent the next 12 months training graduates how to be good auditors and then from there branched out into more and more generous hr stuff uh left the tax office went to queensland health i was the training manager there for three three hospitals three thousand staff and what made you just out of curiosity because you're doing auditing you know kind of expanding doing more different things and more responsibility what made you decide to leave there and go to the into the more of the health care industry well it was um i actually had a fight with my boss at the tax office and it was a clash of the titans we banged heads and fell to the ground and um i went that's it i'm out of here i i can't work with this guy and i just started applying for jobs anywhere and uh it was so funny one of my colleagues said oh you'll never get a job you'll be stuck here for the rest of your life and uh within three weeks i had had secured a position much to her disgust and uh off i went uh and so it's funny how life you know takes you on the journey um i didn't stay in that organization along was very primitive you know i often say time travel is possible because i went backwards 20 years uh it was very primitive and when i got there i looked around and and i went wow oh well i just kept applying for jobs and i ended up in brisbane city council which is the largest municipality in the world and i'm talking geographical like square miles uh anyway ended up there i spent five years there ended up was one of those senior hr people had a team of 17 uh hr consultants working for me and we had this crazy system devon where we build for our time so we worked in government for government but we build for our time and that's where i learnt the art of consulting and at the end of the first year of this i sat down and went well look at all this money i build wouldn't it be great if that was my business and at the end of the second year i went gee i reckon i could make this work and so i went to my then boss uh and i said look i i think i've done what i came for i want to i want to transition out and she went yeah yeah i i kind of agree and so on the first of january 2000 i um i started working for myself two days a week and for government three days a week and by march i knew it was going to work and by may work was getting in the way of my business and so i handed him my resignation and our new financial year starts on the first of july here in australia so i started you know the first available day in the new financial year in my own business and uh here i am 21 years later still chugging along and having good fun you know i've had some amazing rises and falls in that time as you'd imagine uh you know you know that myth they say um was uh you know if you can last seven years in business you're going to survive i look back financially in my seventh year of business devon money reigned out of the sky i could not do a thing wrong in my third year of business i almost went out the back door um and so you know some some incredible lows and some amazing highs in that in that time um and uh you know i've i've i've literally traveled the world uh uh you know in my business speaking uh training and uh you know had some incredible experiences met some incredible people now cut or follow up to that because if you're with the public speaking one of the things you mentioned they started out around 2000 doing public speaking now you got into a franchise and it sounds like you know you got into non-compete got into a franchise couple questions on that and i always try not to layer my questions but this will be a couple questions anyway what made you decide to get into the franchise and what was the experience that made you decide to exit this franchise yeah okay so one interesting question uh i had a mentor well in 1998 i joined an organization called the national speakers association of australia now uh that's that's a professional body for people who only living from the spoken word so our members speak at conferences run training seminars and workshops and in the us there's nsa national speakers association of the united states and there's one in canada there's 17 of them around the world now it's it's really you know growing autopsy um which is amazing uh so i had a mentor um the guy was the the chapter president and and i um when i worked in government i hired him and used him in in one of the you know businesses that i was consulting for and then when i left we became mates and in fact we used to sit at this coffee shop and i'd say you know jeff i really want to get out of government i really want to be self-employed and then you know years later we've we've gone remember those conversations we used to have anyway um so he was running a uh bni business now you you may or may not be familiar with bni it's a worldwide networking group uh and he eventually ended up with the master license for australia and he approached me one day and he said look there's an opportunity coming uh it's for a company called the referral institute which is a sister company of bni and i think this could be a good opportunity for you so i was already heading to the us to go to the speakers conference i met up with the principals of that company and we had a meeting and i you know they were very interested to get me to buy the license for australia and i uh i couldn't decide and anyway eventually i did and so that's how i got into it the problem was my mate jeff uh for various reasons left that organization and another guy took over and the guy who took over considered we were supposed to be sister companies working alongside each other the guy who took over he didn't think that i was a sister company he saw me as a competitor and did everything he could to block and stymied me and so it was a truly interesting interesting relationship [Music] anyway you know i don't go into too much detail on that stuff but let's just say life wasn't roses after a period of time i decided this ain't working and i got to get out and so i i moved on from that from that business and and i was under a non-compete agreement for two years couldn't talk about um referrals networking you know any of those kind of major terms now bearing in mind when i left government and started my business i did a lot of team building so i worked with organizations helping their teams work better together and then from there i morphed into manager development and leadership training and then i you know got into this franchise thing which was um teaching business owners and sales people how to do business by referral so i thought well what am i going to do i can't talk about referrals i can't talk about networking but what's the thing that underpins all of those devin it's you know if you want to work in a good team and have uh you know work well together you've got to be in relationship with your team members if you want to be a leader in an organization you've got to be in relationship to people and if you want to get referrals and do business but you know get more sales you've got to get into relationship with your prospects or customers and so i looked at this and i thought well well the thing that underpins all this is relationships so i started talking about relationship marketing it's not referral marketing it's not not networking it's relationships and so i know we're splitting hairs here but i you know i'm an honorable man and and i i signed an agreement which said i wouldn't use those terms so i didn't um and then i um i had a chance conversation with a friend one day and she said to me you know lindsay you you do that relationship stuff so well you know you're the relationships guy and i went so what did you say she said you're the relationships guy and i went oh oh oh i like that and and i went and googled and all the urls were available so i grabbed them all and then i i you know self-anointed myself as the relationships guy and that's the brand i now carry around the world and i'm known strongly around that brand all over the place lindsay adams the relationships guy and so i today i teach business owners and sales people how to get into relationship quickly and how to leverage those relationships to get more business uh and you know i wrote a book about it you can see it over over my shoulder there the um the dna of business relationships how to engage expand and energize relationships and i'm talking business here and so you know devon what i found was uh with all of the training that i'd been doing people are really good they go to a business event a networking function they're really good at saying hello my name is what do you do and then from that moment forward what happens next there's crickets you know like people struggle with what to say next and so so i wrote this book about how to how to engage somebody how to open up a conversation and then while you're doing that how to figure out could i do business with this person and if you think you could then what do you do to actually move that forward move that relationship forward so uh you know it's not rocket science it's it's a very simple yet powerful concept no and i think that definitely makes sense now one question to follow up with you on is so you've done that you got you know you did the franchise for your time you decided to exit you were being honorable so you went to you know became the relationship the relationships guy and that worked out well and you're doing that that was kind of coming along so to speak and then all of a sudden you get you know what would be covet that comes along that kind of shakes up what would be a lot of the public speaking a lot of the you know training type of things and it makes it more difficult so tell us a little bit about kind of as your as you're forced to pivot how did that go to how did you figure things out did it shut it down completely did you go virtual did you go different direction kind of how did that all play out yeah so um ironically the last uh major conference i attended was in adelaide in australia and it was the professional speakers australia annual conference in march uh 2000 what was it 20 yeah and that weekend covert hit australia now covert existed and you know it was chugging around the world and we were kind of going what's this thing how's this going to impact and we'll go you know we'll be fine we'll be fine but it was ironic on this particular weekend it just blew up and the phones are going off all through the conference and people are saying i just i've just been cancelled i've just had it i've been postponed and like our i could just see everyone's businesses evaporating overnight and it was like a 48-hour period of just everything disappeared and for me over the next week all of the conference bookings i had or the training i had booked was either put on hold or cancelled or postponed because everybody was just dead scared of what was coming and you know australia we we've done okay in terms of covert there's very little of the stuff in our country at the minute because we live on an island they just shut down all the borders and kind of locked everyone down and everyone was very compliant stayed home and you know however what that meant for business was though nothing much was happening and so my training business my speaking business just evaporated now did i go online yes of course did my clients want to go online um no yes it you know some did some didn't so i did a little bit of that work and i thought well what am i going to do now um you know i'm not going to earn the same money and i was in touch with my clients and you know having conversations and all that sort of stuff um but i had along the way i've always used a behavioral assessments in my business so when i did team building i've i've used things like the disk profile to help people understand their behaviors and i looked around for suppliers and i've used other profiling tools uh and i ended up purchasing my uh the bulk of my supplies from one of my speaker mates in the us and about three five years ago he said to me you know lindsay you refer a lot of business to us you know relationships guy uh he said why don't you become a distributor and i kind of like ah i don't know you know what's not my core business anyway i looked at it and i thought oh well i suppose i can buy them cheaper for myself you know it's a bit like amway you know join amway you get the stuff cheaper uh anyway let's not go there um and so so i took a chuck up a license and and then i encouraged some of my friends to sign up and i had a little clientele when covert came i thought well i can't i can't do the speaking and the training as much but interestingly coaching went up in uh during covert and the demand for behavioral profiles actually increased and so i'm it's almost like i've started a new business uh you know i had the thing but uh in terms of you know the theme of your podcast i was in startup mode and so i've been now scrambling running hard contacting prospects and servicing clients and building the the behavioral assessment business and so i've got a range of uh you know assessments i've got five core tools and a couple of really clever other you know tools that consultants can use to help them grow you know grow their clientele and so for me it's been a real shift in uh focus direction the whole thing and devon you know here's some interesting things i've learned in the last 12 18 months i used to fly a lot right i'd be on a plane every week qantas our national carrier the business airline and i are very good friends i i spend chunks of money with them every year but you know what in the last 12 months i've been on one flight and i haven't really missed it uh and so uh and i'm i'm married i've got two kids i've now got four grandchildren my daughter just had a baby last sunday woohoo uh so i've got two granddaughters two grandsons it's it's wonderful now in the last 12 months i've been able to spend a lot more time with my family and so in terms of business and personal life has been quite a shift in my outlook and and selling behavioral assessments enables me to stay home to spend more time with my kids and my grandkids and still earn an income and so uh you know it's been a kind of a blessing in disguise almost and um so it's been a real pivot um and uh you know i'm still in growth phase and still running hard you know chasing down new business here in australia and new zealand um but it's been a totally different experience no and i think that that that's awesome you know it's interesting how you know you don't have to travel as much you find the areas of the business so we'll do well without having to do that you can see a bit more of life and sometimes those things that cause us to pivot help us who pivoted or realize something to go in a better direction than we might otherwise not fair what then we might otherwise not have done had we not have definitely an interesting point so when that was we you know start to wrap or we kind of worked our way all the way here worked your way through your journey to where you're at today and a little bit uh kind of where things are headed and we start to wrap up the podcast i always ask two questions at the end of each journey in the end of each podcast so with that jump the first question i always ask is along your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made what did you like well the worst business decision i ever made hands down was buying that franchise business uh you know i i was unsure and uh they contacted me and said well are you going to do this and i kind of oh all right but i you know uh i i probably um you know with 2020 hindsight and 2020 hindsight's a marvelous thing i probably would never have done that you know i wouldn't do it again um and so uh that's probably the the worst business decision i've ever made um so yeah i mean i've made i've made a few of them uh but we'll say that's the worst okay no i think that uh that is something to or a mistake that's a good one to learn from so no i'll go ahead well i was going to say look um i have made some amazing connections through that business i have a dear friend in canada now she had the master license in canada i had the master license in australia we're now lifelong friends as a result of that and we both said the only thing we got out of that investment was our friendship hey it's funny as it is you know sometimes it's that one or connection or that one friendship that makes it work sometimes it doesn't make it worthwhile you're saying i didn't get anything out of it but it's interesting sometimes you make no demonstration well you know that really wasn't what i wanted to get out of it but you still are able to make those connections and those have rewards in them themselves so i think that that is definitely something to learn from and also to look at their look or look back on second question always ask you is if you're talking to somebody that's just getting to a startup or a small business what would be the one piece of advice you'd give them yeah look surround yourself with clever people um i i've discovered i live on acreage i've got an acre and a half a ground right and uh the guy who lives opposite me has got a a modest house and he's got a tin shed garage at the back and inside that tin shed is a red rolls royce do you know how much a rolls royce costs devin a lot of money a lot i was gonna say i don't know i'm guessing two or three hundred thousand dollars but i'm making it yeah quarter of a million bucks no trouble at all right and it this red rolls royce lives in a tin shed in a modest suburb on the edge of brisbane australia right but where did that guy get enough money to buy a rolls royce so i wanted to hang out with that guy because he's obviously clever and so i you know go lean on the garden fence and and talk and i learned a lot of stuff from him and the one of the things that i've done consistently in my business in the last 20 years is i've always had a mastermind group and so i've always had buddies and these are people who are either at the same level as me or maybe at one or two notches ahead of me in business and we meet on a regular basis to support each other and to learn and grow from each other and so it's a bit like you know devin um you've done this what what did you do when you were faced with this challenge oh well lindsay i did blah blah blah um you know what i mean so you can always bounce off these other people and and you can say i'm thinking of doing this what do you reckon oh lindsey don't no mate that's a stupid idea why don't you try this instead ah and so having that um those people around me um it has really helped me learn and grow in a consistent manner over 20 years and and i've had different groups right now i have an international mastermind so i've got a guy a university lecturer who's based in los angeles uh a business person in phuket in thailand someone else in australia someone in singapore someone in india and one in the uk and we meet once a month for three hours on zoom to support each other i also have a local mastermind where people i meet face to face uh and so i've i've learned the power of these groups and um i'm you know i've always had someone and as you know over time a group peters out or you you know we we've done what we came for or people move off and go in different directions that's okay but i've always always had some some form of mastermind group and i strongly recommend that and particularly if in startup mode you know surround yourself with clever people who are ahead of you by one or two steps in the game so they can you know give you advice no i think that i think surrounding yourself with people that can better you they can provide those resources and i always look at you know a lot of times i'm i'm probably the quintessential entrepreneur that has a whole bunch of ideas most of them are bad um you know but some of them i hope forget but you know it's always nice to bounce it off someone that you know the that hasn't drink in the kool-aid that hasn't had that you know bought into the old thing and so then you can much better getting ideas okay let's hear what they have what are their thoughts i think that that can be invaluable yeah sometimes we're almost shy or bashful about asking for that feedback or asking for that you know counting it off the ideas because we don't want them to either don't want to look stupid don't want to you know bother them with their time don't want to make them feel like they have to contribute and so all of that i think you're things that pull us back from doing it but it's definitely a great resource and a great way to better develop ideas and weed out the bad ideas so i think that's a great piece of advice yeah and of course you've got to remember you always need a good lawyer and um miller ip law be a good place to start i guess all right well i i definitely appreciate that uh appreciate that the plug and i'm certainly gonna have to agree that we're good lawyers but there are a lot of good ones out there we are definitely happy to help and if we can appreciate the plug now with that as we wrap up the the podcast that people want to reach out to they want to be a client a customer they want to hire you to help them with relationships and networking in the business and or they want to be an investor they want to be an employee they want to be your next best friend any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out contact here find out more so you can find me on linkedin under you know lindsay adams uh and and you know it's funny lindsay of course in the u.s is often a female name i often arrive at hotels and they've filled in the registration card as ms lindsey adams uh anyway so it's um now my company is called 24 7 assessment so lindsay 24x7 assessments dot com dot a u so lindsay at 24x7 assessments dot com dot a u drop me an email would love to chat we'd love to share um you know um made some incredible connections around the world and have a very very big network and and i'm always happy to refer you know someone to someone else because that's what makes business go round absolutely so i i appreciate the the the help they're always being they're looking to connect people and also to provide their ways that people can connect with you so thank you again for coming on the podcast now for all of you that are listeners if you have your own journey to tell and you'd like to be a guest on the podcast feel free to go to inventiveguest.com and apply to be on the show we'd love to have you and share two more things as listeners one make sure to click subscribe in your podcast players you know when all of our awesome episodes come out and do leave us a review so other people can find out about all of our awesome episodes and last but not least if you ever need help with patents trademarks or anything else their business just go to strategymeeting.com grab some time with us to chat thank you again lindsay for coming on the podcast it's been it's fun it's been a pleasure and with the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you man