#166 – Entrepreneur Secrets with Business Coach Brian Bergford

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Brain Bergford is a Peak Performance coach at Bergford Performance. He specializes in helping motivated athletic business owners gain the tools to take their businesses and their lives further.

Brian spent the last 9 years mentoring people in mastering their relationships with their dogs. Out of that grew a clientele of people who saw Brian’s potential as a phenomenal business coach and reached out to him for his expertise on personal development and excellence.

Brian now coaches high-performing clients, who aren’t afraid to get physical, on how to scale their business and take full reigns as a successful leader.

In this podcast episode, Brian shares insight on what it’s really like to be a business owner. We talk about why the grass isn’t always greener on the entrepreneur side and things you should know before jumping into a business.

The one thing you cannot afford as a business owner is excuses. - Brian Bergford Click To Tweet

In This Episode of the Start Fierce Business Podcast:

  • Brian talks about why he is his greatest business challenge.
  • We talk about the differences between being a business owner and having a job.
  • We discuss why a lot of entrepreneurs don’t share the downfalls, so you never truly know what you’re getting into.
  • Brian talks about why at the beginning of your business unless you have a lot of capital, you’re going to be doing everything.
  • He also talks about how starting out in business, you’ll get punched and kicked in the face often and only those who learn to love that will succeed.

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Welcome to the show. Brian. Thank you so much. I appreciate the opportunity to be on with you. It’s great to have you on. Tell me about yourself outside of your business.

Yeah, outside of my business. It’s interesting. My life is all kind of mixed together. So I’m outside of my business. I love hanging out with my wife. So pretty much anytime that we can just spend time together doesn’t really matter what it is. And that’s always good time. It’s always super replenishing. For me I definitely am a bookworm. I love to read to learn new concepts. It’s just fascinating to me, the whole concept of growth in general. And so I love digesting material like that I enjoy when I can just have again, some downtime, even one just time by myself to kind of sit back and chill and decompress. Because I tend to be on the go so much that any little I can take away as a huge thing. And I also very much enjoy a swimming competing in that space. And so I love that I do that. Lots of lots and lots both five days a week pretty intensely. So that’s kind of me outside of business.

Where are you from? That you’re swimming so much

Colorado, and we have Yeah, we’ve got a great Aquatic Center. That’s a three minute drive from my house. So that’s pretty, pretty awesome. And I just enjoy it tremendously. And then, of course, in the summer, get to get out and do it in the outdoor pools, which is always nice to get some sunshine. I am very white person. So anything I didn’t do to have some semblance of a tan makes me feel better about myself. Oh, yeah, definitely. Same here. I’m in Florida. So you know, Around this time, it’s like 100 degrees. So the only thing I want to do is go Ah, yes. Yeah, so don’t blame you. I was down in Florida about a week and a half to go down and Marco Island and it was beautiful. But it’s it’s such a different climate. Because Colorado is super dry and down there is not it’s like the polar opposite, Colorado’s more like a sauna. And I would think Florida is more of the steam room.

Yeah, it’s super hot and superhuman. It’s terrible. But it’s great. I wouldn’t change it for anything. But it is like I I’m suffering walking down the stairs to go to my car. Oh, I bet. I bet. Absolutely. I felt your thing. I when I was there a week and a half ago, I was just like, holy cow. This is intense, beautiful, love the sun. But it was a little bit much.

When did you know that you were an entrepreneur. I believe probably when I was about 14, I didn’t Of course really necessarily know how to articulate that. But I just knew that I needed to really take charge of my destiny, my future a very young age. And so. And part of that was just knowing that I needed to put myself out there and take take risks. And I you know, it’s funny, though, because a lot of my the way I kind of got wired up when I was younger, there was a lot of sort of fear built into the way that I dealt with things. And which doesn’t necessarily work super well, if you’re doing the entrepreneurial thing, except that I had so much drive and desire to do more in my life, it kind of over I was able to override that and have the courage to kind of move through things. So it was pretty early age that I recognize I want to go out take charge of things make it happen. And of course, over the years, kind of got educated and like, Oh, it’s Wow, there’s a lot of work to this. And it certainly takes us a skill set that I had a lot of skill sets that I need to develop over time. But it started at a young age.

Well, tell us about your current business and how you got started. Yeah, so I, I own three businesses. And so back in college, my major was psychology. And the reason being part of it is I just really wanted to understand the human psyche. And also the fact that people, whenever I saw somebody performing at just incredible elite world class levels, whether that was performing artists, or athletes or people in business, it just always inspired me so much. And, and that kind of is going to circle back around here in a minute to what I do now, like the peak performance coaching and stuff like that. But that was really my first love. And I also had a gift though, for working with animals, I figured that out. And I was just helping people out specifically, with, with dogs training and behavior rehabilitate, but rehabilitation kind of came naturally to me. And so I started helping more people. And that grew organically. And to the point where I had that took over as my full time career because I was sort of in the corporate world for a while and built up a couple really successful businesses in that space, one for training and behavior rehabilitation, the other as a daycare boarding facility, a behavior center, if you will, and got those to the point where I had people in place to kind of manage that and allowed me to circle back around to the human psychology aspect and coaching people. Because even when I was training dogs, that’s just what it’s called dog training, what it really is, as people coaching, and so I’ve always been in that, and then, you know, when I built up Burg for performance systems, to be able to specifically work, you know, either one on one or in groups with people that really do deep dives, and help them get the most out of themselves. And like, what, what do they need to take themselves to the next level. And so those are kind of the three businesses that I have. And of course, Berg for performance systems now is kind of my focus in a lot of senses, in terms of the coaching.

What’s been your greatest challenge as a business owner?

Myself, I think that I guess I shouldn’t speak for, for all business owners. But I think I think at the end of the day, it’s always if something’s not going right, in business, it’s like, I’m the last line of defense. And I have to figure out a way to grow personally, or to extend myself or to make a new have a new insight, or to get around people that can help me stretch and grow so that my business can grow with me, it’s very difficult for a business to outgrow a person in my experience. And so I certainly didn’t want to have that happen. And everything from challenges with, you know, working with people working with staff having the right balance between really, really caring about them, because I’m a naturally very caring, loving person, but also balancing that with the business side of it. And knowing you know which side to play at which time to do the right thing for both the business and your people. But all these things kind of back around to me, and needing to grow personally, so that my business can grow, and the people that I’m leading can come on behind me, and that they can reach toward their potential even more, and trying to really create that vacuum for them to have a growth environment, aside from not wanting to work for someone else. And aside from your family, what’s your why I have always, always, always always, and I don’t necessarily know why this is the case. But then it’s always been on my heart to truly do something with my life that would inspire and help other people to become their best selves. And that drive has been there as long as I can remember. I’m sure it started somewhere. I don’t know that I could pinpoint it. But that’s really the driving force that that leads me on every day.

What advice do you have for someone that is just getting started in business?

My advice for somebody just getting started in business is to know something about what you’re getting into getting started in business is not is not a is not a joke. I think a lot of people like some of the ideas of it, the fact that they can, you know, be their own boss, and have more freedom. And, you know, and as you know, that’s not necessarily something that happens right away, like, you get a bunch more freedom. No, you work way more hours. And again, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re going to love that. Because it’s like, I’m building a dream for myself. But there’s so much in business that is so different from when I used to, you know, be like in the corporate world, and stuff like that. So I’ve seen both sides of the fence. And I know for sure that there’s a lot of people out there that think they should go into business that probably shouldn’t. And I don’t want that to be, I don’t want that to be like a Debbie Downer thing. It’s more knowing who you are, and what and what you’re made of. And I would encourage people that are going into business to learn as much as they can about their space, but also to get up what kind of shoulder to shoulder with somebody in that industry, and to see the operational and so you really understand what all goes into it. And so you can master a lot of that and have a huge leg up so that when you do go into business, you can hit the ground running. And it’s not like, Oh, my God, I did it. Now what. So anything you can do, because momentum is so powerful, and business, I think a lot of that can be developed before you get started. And there’s certainly a time that you just need to like, Buck up and step over the line and get it done, too. So it’s finding that balance, it’s knowing who you are, it’s knowing what you’re getting into, and getting a head start as much as possible. And then when it’s time to pull the trigger, you just gotta go.

That is excellent advice. I see a lot of my friends on Facebook or Twitter talking about how their their dream is to not have to clock in to work anymore. Or, you know, they’ll tell me that I’m so lucky that I have my own business. But at the same time, I mean, I love it. And I wouldn’t change it. But I know that if I didn’t have to be an entrepreneur, I wouldn’t be because it comes with a lot of stress. And a lot of the stuff that we deal with. We’re, you know, we don’t put it on Facebook. We don’t, because we can’t, or because we don’t see we’re too busy dealing with the stress. Yes, yes.

So. And I think that it’s like anything else, the grass is greener, it’s super sexy, kind of outside looking in. And gosh, you know, I don’t want to have to work for somebody else. And it’s like, that doesn’t happen. When you become an entrepreneur, you work for more people, you work for your clients. So you don’t have one or two bosses, or 10, you have hundreds, and hopefully thousands and 10s of thousands, right of people that you’re really working for. So it’s not to me that, you know, I see those things, those things out there, too. And then people not recognizing, I’m not going to publish all the like, crap that I go through. Because like, like, people don’t want to hear that. And it’s like, you do what you have to do. And like you said, a lot of it’s not stuff you can necessarily share. Because there’s confidential information in their information about other people and stuff. And so it’s, it’s just a whole different ballgame. And I’ve had people come alongside me that kind of mentoring them, and helping them come up and see, okay, you really want to own a business great, fantastic, so that they could understand what that looked like. And then coming back to me, you know, a couple months into things going, thank you so much for this experience. I thought I was totally cut out for this. And this is horrible for, right. And, um, I think being a business owner, it’s super important. Entrepreneurship, I love that I love that side of things. But you really do have to recognize that the grass is always greener, and you want to know something about what you’re getting into before you just jump in all the way and then find out like, yeah, this isn’t where I necessarily wanted to be.

Yeah, def I, I was a freelance web and graphic designer, before I became a co founder and a startup. And you know, I would design a website for someone, and a year later, they’re not in business anymore, or they would think that it’s too hard. So then they’d give up. Another thing is, some people think they can go into business, but pay people to do everything for them. And that’s fine. And that’s fine. If you have good money like I have, I still have a web customer that they do very well. And they pay me and they have amazing results. And so other people want me to duplicate that for them. But it’s like, this customer pays me over $20,000 a year to get those results. And most people don’t want to invest that much.

Yeah. And when you were starting out in the beginning, like you said, Unless you just have unless you have a lot of capital at your disposal, you’re going to be doing everything, you’re going to be everything from the CEO, to the janitor, the receptionist, to the head of sales, to operations, to accounting, you’re going to do all of it, unless you have a lot of capital. And a lot of people don’t necessarily start with that. And that’s why I think it’s really inspiring to us, the business owners and the people that launch out, and they really get it done. And they kind of come from a place of not really having much to then building these sort of empires, or at least businesses, that they’re super happy with what they’re creating in the world. And their lifestyle. That’s really inspiring. But it’s very, very, very true that it’s a lot of work. And you almost have to, and I didn’t in the beginning, I’m gonna just come out with this in the beginning, I didn’t necessarily love what I’m about to say. But you have, the best thing to do would be to start as a person who loves getting punched in the face and kicked constantly because that’s what business tends to be. And if you actually start to embrace and like that process, and the struggle and everything that you have to do to kind of like, move forward and just showing you know what, nothing’s, nothing’s going to stop me, I have the grit to do it. And I have a constitution for it. And the persistence that I’m not going to be stopped. If you like, that kind of thing, then you’ll love it. But it It comes with a whole different level of stress. And a lot of time, if you go into business for yourself, your rear ends kind of on the line. So it’s not like you can just transfer departments, right? It’s like, you’ve got to make this thing work. And it’s going to take everything that you’ve got, and then you’ll give it even more than you thought you had. And that’s what really causes people in business to grow.

I love all that you said. And one thing that I I have found myself almost on a daily basis is you have to, you know, when you are in a marriage, when you’re in a relationship, you have to choose that person every day, you have to choose to still be in business every single day. When times get hard. When times are amazing. You have to choose to stay in business. And you have to choose to show up every day.

Yeah, I love that. Because it’s I really liked how you put that very much so because it points to the fact Yeah, it’s every day. And it’s not that it’s like, if you make if you’re, if you’re the type of person can make a really quality decision up front. And like, I am totally committed to this. And then, but it’s not like you make that decision one time. And it just carries you through everything, right. Like you said, Every morning, you’ve got to be deciding who you’re going to show up as, and you have to be into your business. And it doesn’t matter if it’s raining and pouring, or the sun is shining. Because you’re like business has to move on. And circling back to the point earlier about momentum. You cannot create momentum if there’s not consistency of effort. And consistency isn’t like once in a while, it’s every stinking day. And if you’re starting a business from scratch, there’s you know, just in terms of the percentage, there’s not that many businesses where somebody just put something out and gets lucky. And it takes them to the moon. That’s a lottery mentality. If it happens, great. But for the rest of us that live in you know, like that live on the ground. We just got to put one foot in front of the other and show up as the best version of ourselves. Because our business is ultimately going to be a reflection of who we are and what we put into it and how we’re showing up. I love that if you could have lunch with one business thought leader, who would it be? I always like of thinking thinking of more than one? So I’ll give you two? Um, Peter Diamandis comes immediately to mind I don’t know why he’s just a fascinating person, not necessarily so much from a business standpoint. But just like a technological standpoint, I could listen to that guy forever. He is fascinating.

I think it’d be super fun and to have lunch with like Gary Vaynerchuk, he is a pretty compelling, hilarious fellow that’s done quite well for himself. And he just thinks different. So I think exposing myself to people who have a totally different perspective really, really helps me shift things and see opportunities where I wouldn’t have before. So I’d say probably those two.

Yeah, I listen to Gary’s podcasts all the time, especially when I need some inspiration, and somebody to just tell me to not give up or to keep going, or somebody to yell at me.

It’s like you in and do it and do it in a way that is so forceful and read but loving at the same time.

He’s got an amazing quality with that. So I totally see that.

And I love that a lot of his ideas do not require a lot of money. It just requires you doing research and spending your time and that’s what a lot of all of us have to do. You know, I think like he has his eBay strategy. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, right? Like, if you need money for your business, like I love that. He says, like gold sell stuff on eBay. So you have money to focus on your business.

Yes, yeah, there’s, there’s so many things that you can the one thing that you cannot, in, in my, in my opinion, and from what I’ve seen with the clients that I work with, and coach because I I kind of specialize and business owners and entrepreneurs and CEOs that also compete in athletics, because I’m one of those people and we just jive really well together. But but all work with any person who’s super high functioning that absolutely wants to get even more out of life and give more back to life. And so the Oh, man, I went on a little rabbit trail. And I had this great point I was going to come to Ruby we’re just talking about about Gary Vee eBay.

Yeah, yeah, thing that all of the, the people, all my clients that I work with, especially in the business community that are really successful, the one thing that they cannot afford is the luxury of excuses. And that’s just a real test to me is, is if you’re entering the space excuses are not going to work because nobody cares, right? You can’t kiss up to somebody and say, you know, like, I’m sorry, I was gonna do that. But like, nobody cares, because it’s just sort of all on you. And Gary, so good at putting things out there talking about Listen, even if you don’t have any money, right? He’s giving strategies and things to help people that don’t have a lot of sort of resources on the surface, be very resourceful, and put themselves in a position to win anyway. And he’s great at eliminating excuses. I find that as a one of the most common threads of any of them that I see amongst really successful business people.

What’s your favorite business book or books.

The next one I’m reading I’m funny like that. So I am super pumped about whatever it is, I’m going to get into next. So let me look up at my I have a pile of books, it’s about 30 pounds. Um, the next business book up is the road less stupid by Keith Cunningham. I have a feeling I’m gonna like that one a lot. And I mean, just off the top of my head, like the 20th, 21 irrefutable laws of leadership is so foundational for for for leadership in general, you know, things like How to Win Friends and Influence People all that but it kind of comes back to things that are going to help me grow as a leader and lead myself really successfully so that I can lead the people around me better. And so that’s the kind of stuff on on into and what’s your favorite internet resource or app?

I one of it well I’ve been using lately is more Miller’s trial, I find that to be really helpful. It’s a great organizational thing, especially for people that are very visual and organizing things I like that one a lot. And I know this isn’t this kind of off top off topic but I love the airplane mode button on my phone because and I’ve had to learn to do that because you can only run so fast so long before you have you need to take a breather and I think finding that that mix of integrating like working working really hard but putting in little breaks for yourself and just time when I can set aside 1015 minutes where I can just go get quiet and meditate and think is so powerful for me.

Where can listeners find you online What are your websites where you add on social media?

So all the typical social media channels you can find me on probably two of the best places one is a face private Facebook group called the CEO athlete and if people want to go to that again that’s people that are competing athletics their business owners or top level executives that type of thing so so that’s a great sort of discussion group people want to get in on that also maybe the best way would be if somebody they can just shoot me a direct email my email address is info at Berg Ford Performance com Berg for it is spelled the RG like an iceberg forward like the car company so info at birth for performance calm and maybe just say, Hey, here’s like top goal right now here’s the thing that’s most important to me. And or here’s the top challenge I’m dealing with right now. And I’d be happy to have a conversation with somebody kind of work out a basic plan.

Brian, thank you so much for sharing your story with us today.

Absolutely. It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much for your time. Cindy.