This week’s Misfit Entrepreneur is Alex Kuhn. Alex is the founder of Born to Lead – a company that helps business leaders grow & lead 6,7,8...even 10 figure businesses.
Their key is helping these leaders discover their SuccessDNA and learning how to build the business model around the leaders unique, innate leadership style & talent.
Alex started his entrepreneur journey as one of the top collegiate swim coaches, turning around 2 programs before the age of 28. This helped lay the foundation for his work and Born to Lead. He went on to create and sell two other companies in the health and digital space, but his passion for helping leaders tap into their best selves is what really fuels him.
And it hasn’t gone un-noticed, Alex has been featured in Entrepreneur, Forbes, and a number of other outlets for his paradigm shifting leadership that has helped more than 200 clients at least double their business growth – and that is one of the main things I want him to share with you in this episode, how he does it.
www.Alex-kuhn.com/MisfitEntrepreneur ($500 FREE Gift, Success DNA Program)
Alex has always had a great relationship with his father, and they love to challenge each other. When Alex was 9 years old, his father told Alex he was a “follower” to push him. Becoming a leader became part of his DNA. At the age of 12, he left home to go train with the greatest athletes in the world in swimming – people like Michael Phelps and others.
He never made it to the Olympics and ended his career at age 22. Instead of taking the Fortune 500 job he was offered, he decided to take a swim coach job making essentially nothing at a tiny all girls school in Iowa. After a couple years, he got his first head coaching job becoming one of the youngest college head coaches in the space and turned the team around. He got awarded coach of the year for it.
He moved up the ranks and took his next job in California. After 7 years, he was in a position to take over a top tier collegiate swim program, but he decided not to. The entrepreneur bug had been in the back of his mind for a long time and he could not ignore it any longer. So, her retired from coaching and start his entrepreneur journey.
After a few years, he was still broke and not reaching success. He had a defining moment where he asked the question, “What was it that had made him so successful in swimming and coaching that he had not translated to entrepreneurship.” The answer set him on a path to the success he has now.
What was the answer to the question you asked that set you on your path to success?
- It all came down to leadership
- Finding the specific style of leadership that works best for you and building the business around it was the key.
How does someone break the mold and tap into this for themselves? How do they find their innate leadership style?
- The first thing is that we have to u-train themselves and unlearn a lot of things.
- Look back at your life all the way back to when you were a kid – what was it that came so easy to you? That you could just do well?
- You have to figure out what comes most naturally to you.
SuccessDNA has 4 architypes:
- Developer – The person who is really good at getting the best out of others. Think of great coaches or mentors.
- Architect – The person who looks a vision or idea and are able to put it into a sequential plan to get it done and get the right people in place to do it.
- Motivator – This person has the ability to get other people to say yes and buy in.
- Visionary – This person is able to anticipate the future. They know where things are going before everyone else.
How does an entrepreneur use their strength to the favor once they know it?
- Once you know your innate talent and archetype, you then ask what is going to work best with it in the following areas
- Marketing and sales
- Product and service Team
- If the leader understands where they are going to work best and focuses there, it makes it easy to fill in the gaps around them for the other areas.
At the 17 min mark, Alex gives some examples of this.
- Don’t fight your natural tendencies.
- Ask how can you build the business around natural tendencies.
“If a fish came up to you and ask you if it could fly. You would not tell them it is a hustle or mindset problem. You would tell them they were meant to swim not to fly. You must focus on what you were meant to do, your innate ability.”
What makes a great leader? What do they need to have to be successful?
- Honesty – Are they brutally honest with you and with themselves. Are they willing to be vulnerable?
- Integrity – How much do the believe in the message they are sharing. Can people feel it from them and know they are behind it 100%?
- Courage - They’ve got boldness and guts – courage and are not afraid to step out.
What is the process you take clients through that helps them more than double the size of their business?
- Forget the word process but look for patterns.
- It isn’t a step by step instruction manual.
- First, you have to know your SuccessDNA to setup the business structure to succeed.
- Second is Relevance, Resonance, and Response. At the end of the day, cash needs to be coming in the business.
- Is the vision relevant to those you want to serve?
- Does it resonate with them?
- Is the offer so simple and easy for a client to say yes that the response is very positive?
- Third, you have to have a leverage program/product/service on the back side that is one to many, not one to one from a sales standpoint that can scale.
At the 30 min mark, Alex gives example of how to leverage and create leverageable businesses
Are there any principles that you used to turn around swim programs that are transferrable to entrepreneurship?
Best Quote: If a fish came up to you and ask you if it could fly. You would not tell them it is a hustle or mindset problem. You would tell them they were meant to swim not to fly. You must focus on what you were meant to do, your innate ability.
Alex's Misfit 3:
- There is one thing missing in the entrepreneur world that the best athletic coaches do well.
- The best coaches fit themselves into the environment and use it to their advantage.
- The way this fits into business is to think about how you deeply connect to those in and around your business, your customer.
- How does you business best fit in with clients, employees, etc.
- Find the differences, highlight them, and use them to build your business around.
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- Listen and trust yourself first and foremost
- Understand what you want to define your relationship with others. What do you want them to walk away knowing about you.
- Find that one person that will be your rock in your life.