Coaching, Mentorship, And Building Your Own Success With Carl Gould

A good coach can help you change your game in your business, but a great coach can change your life and help you sustain business growth. In this episode, host Diane Hamilton talks with business growth strategist and worldwide leading authority on business and entrepreneurship, Carl Gould, about the importance of coaches and mentorship in building your own success. Carl has coauthored with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard and has done work with Tony Robbins. Sharing some of the biggest challenges he encountered in his entrepreneurship journey, he also talks about working with coaches and the most common issues they are dealing with in building their own practice. Stay tuned to this episode to learn more about choosing your mentors and how you can stand out for clients to choose you over your competitors in this gig economy.

TTL 617 | Importance Of Coaches


I’m glad you joined us because we have Carl Gould. He has written many successful books. He co-authored with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard. He’s done work with Tony Robbins. The list of what he’s done, who he knows and his level of leadership experience is amazing. He’s got an advisor group, a company that helps people to build these multimillion-dollar businesses. He created three of his own before he was 40 years old. He’s a rock star and I’m looking forward to it.

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Coaching, Mentorship, And Building Your Own Success With Carl Gould

Carl Gould is with me. He is a worldwide leading authority on business and entrepreneurship. His company, 7 Stage Advisors, helps an organization grow to the next level. He is an entrepreneur who built three multimillion-dollar business by the age of 40. It’s exciting to have you here, Carl. Welcome.

Thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

I was looking forward to it. You’ve written some amazing books. You coauthored with Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard. I’m looking at some of the background on you and it’s hard to imagine what it takes to get to the level. Why don’t you give me a little background just in case somebody doesn’t know your back story? Would you mind giving us that foundation?

I got started in the coaching industry when coaching was in the early stages. That played a role in my career over the years. I started out as a student of Accounting and Finance at the University of Delaware. I had a serious leg injury that I had to leave school. Since I was paying my way through school and going back wasn’t an option, I had to find a way to make some money. I knew landscaping and I grew up in the construction industry. I designed and built a landscape firm and I had that business for seven years. I grew that business, sold it and started a construction company. I grew that business and sold that business in 2004.

I went to a personal development seminar in 1990, looking for other ways to grow personally, but I fell in love with personal development. I loved helping people define what they wanted to be, set their goals, pursue their dreams, and love the process. It was great to be able to pursue that as a side hustle. That’s what it was for me. We were in a gig economy, but if there was one back then, my side hustle was coaching. All through the ‘90s, I was doing coaching with Tony Robbins, Ken Blanchard in situational leadership, Franklin Covey in planning and Dale Carnegie in leadership. I was doing that as my side gig. I mentioned all through the ‘90s.

In 1996, I hired a business coach for my construction company. If there were hashtags back then, my hashtag would have been #HangUpTheHammer. I love the process. For the next five years, we positioned the business for sale and I ultimately sold the business which was great. I started the company that I have now in 2002. For the last years, we’ve helped the company grow to the next level. We worked with companies that are looking to launch, go to market and franchise. We’ve done business in over 35 countries at this point. It has been a tremendous ride.

You’ve done an amazing thing and I’m sure it probably broke your heart to give up the Covey Planner when things changed if you get so invested in doing certain things. I was looking at some of your videos and some of the things you’ve written. I love the yellow page ad story of when you were in the landscape business. Can you share that one? I thought that was a great story.

This is one of the first lessons that I learned in business and I was thankful for it. It helped me come up with the signature growth method. It’s going to be my next book called The Obnoxious Author. What I did was I went out and broke my leg three days before Christmas. I spent the next three months in a cast and three months after that in physical therapy learning to bend my leg again. Here I am in the summertime not feeling all that good about myself. I go out on my first landscaping appointment. I decided to start my business. It was a referral. I went and gave the proposal and I got it. I’m like, “That was great.” I got a lot of confidence and a little pep in my step. I’m feeling good about myself. The next day, I went to my second appointment and I got that one also. I went, “This isn’t just luck. I must be good. Forget this financing and accounting thing. I am going to do landscaping. This is like shooting fish in a barrel.”

There comes to a point that it is sexy to make people wait, but there comes a point where it’s bad. Click To Tweet

Two days later, I go on my third appointment and I got that one also. I’m now three for three and I figured, “All you other aspiring landscapers, put your tools down. Don’t even bother to go to work. I must have been blessed by the gods. Maybe I have the landscaping DNA. No need everybody. I got it.” I called my father up and said, “Dad, you’re not going to believe it. I’m three for three.” “Congratulations. Good job. Did you ask any of them why they said yes?” In my head, I’m thinking, “Why would I do that? I already got the check?” He was saying to me, “If you know why they said yes, you can repeat the process.” I replied, “Good one, dad.” I got back to each of the three people that said yes.

I thought for sure they were going to say, “Carl, you captured what our vision for the product was and you had a clever way of proposing. You use great psychological triggers.” I thought that’s what I was going to hear. I got back to them. One of the groups was a partnership and they’re standing off, talking to the side. I asked, “Why did you choose me?” They said, “Should we tell him?” “Why not? We already gave him the job. It can’t hurt now.” “Go ahead tell.” A guy walks up to me and he’s like, “You were the only one who showed up.” I said, “What?” They said, “We called five of you people. Three of you called back. You all promised a proposal. You’re the only one who came back with a proposal. You seem like a nice kid. We can afford it. We need the job done. You look like you’ll work hard for us so we gave you the job.”

I was deflated. I was like, “Really? I still suck in my life. Come on.” I got the job. I accept coaching. Maybe this is part of business, it’s getting there and beating the next guy or gal to the punch. I learned a good lesson on the hustle right there. The entire rest of the year, I kept hearing all these complaints. It got to the point where there were times when I would go to a prospect’s home, business, office or commercial building, and they would lecture me about the state of contracting. They would say, “What’s wrong with you people? I thought it was tough out there. We’re trying to give you guys money. Why don’t you call back? Why are you unresponsive?” I said, “I’m the guy who showed up. I’m happy to go back to my competitors and teach them how to do their job better. Do you want to talk about the project?” They would say, “Sorry, we didn’t mean to unload on you. It’s frustrating doing a project like this.”

I was in landscaping, it’s the last thing you do. There was a string of disappointing contracting relationships and experiences before I got there. I captured all the complaints and wrote them all down. One of the top ones was, “You people don’t call back.” I took out an ad in the yellow pages the next year because the guy was hounding me, “I see you’re in business. Do you want to advertise?” I called him back and said, “I’m ready.” He’s like, “Let’s design the ad.” “It’s going to be easy. At the top, I want my name. In the middle, I want my phone number. On the bottom, I want to say, ‘All phone calls returned.’” “What about the rest of the copy?” “I’m not thinking that I need it. That’s all I need.” He convinced me to put a tree as a logo on there. “Fine, put a tree. That’s all I want. Name, phone number and that promise.” I was overrun with leads. I had more than I can handle.

It’s something so simple that you don’t realize what it is. You say it’s what you’re selling versus what other people are buying. It is a lot about the things that we don’t think to ask questions about. My research is in curiosity so I love that you’re curious to look at the data and see, “What is this thing that we are missing?” I don’t think a lot of people ask those questions. We need to develop curiosity in people to get them to look outside the status quo thinking. Everybody else didn’t think of what you were doing. What do you think it is about you that made you curious enough to look where other people would sell landscaping?

In the beginning, it was mostly out of necessity. I was broke. I was a sponge at the time because I just turned nineteen years old. I didn’t know a lot about business. I had jobs in high school. I was asked at times to go and present proposals so I knew a little bit about selling. I knew the work pretty well because I had done it as a kid. I didn’t think about it at the time, but I thought about it when I got into my business. I’m in a truck. I was sixteen years old. I was driving down the road with my boss at that time. His name is Wes. I said to him, “Wes, how do you get customers? How does that work? How do people know to talk to you about landscaping?” He was like, “That’s a good question, Carl. See this road we’re driving down? How many buildings on this road as we pass them, you call them out, need landscaping or some form of work?” “That one, maybe not that one, that one.”

When we got to the red light, he looks at me and goes, “The question isn’t about who needs us. The question is what are you willing to do to go get them?” I remember thinking, “That’s a good point and I’ve never tried.” I didn’t think about it after that because I was an employee talking to his boss at the moment. When I became a business owner, I’ll drive from a proposal or quo, driving home, driving to get a cup of coffee, going to eat or whatever, and I still do it. I’m an advisor now, but I developed this radar for, “I know what I do. I know what problems I solve. Who looks like they have that problem?” When I go into a restaurant and they bring me out the wrong food or no one can figure out how to sit me down or there are an hour and a half wait. There comes to a point that it is sexy to make people wait, but there comes a point where it’s bad. You can’t manage yourself if these many people are showing up at the same time and you are totally overwhelmed.

What that little lesson gave me was to have a radar for people who will likely have the problem I can solve. After that, I validated over and over again that if I hone in the problem and I am in the places where most people would be open to talking about how to solve that problem, my opportunity for work shot up exponentially. With that line of thinking, I used to end up marketing myself in places that seemed totally counter-intuitive yet were productive. I took out a booth at the Sussex County Farm and Horse Show. You would say, “You build homes. What are you doing there?” I remember the first year, on the left was the lady who does palm reading. On the right was the family farm who won the best pig in show. There was me between those two, selling contracting services. I said, “What venues would be worthwhile where people would be willing to talk about that issue? Who comes to these types of shows?” Families. “What do families own?” Home and businesses. “Would I be the only contractor there to talk to?” I would be among the few.

TTL 617 | Importance Of Coaches
Importance Of Coaches: A part of business is getting there and beating the next guy or gal to the punch.


For novelty reasons alone, I might be a popular choice. I used to write so much business at that show every year. I was there for ten years. Everyone’s going, “Why do you keep going to this?” I’ll go, “I’m not telling you my secret. You have to figure that out on your own.” I’m killing it at these shows. I would go to these places where I didn’t even have to talk a lot about business. Since I was the only game in town, it just came up and they usually brought it up. I would come from that standpoint, “Who likely has the challenge or opportunity I can help with and where would they be likely willing to talk about something?”

I found it was almost always in the normal places of industries, events and in locations or venues where people’s passion would be on display. For example, golf shows, boating shows, hunting shows, country clubs, walking clubs, city touring groups. These people when they get out they start doing what they love, they start asking the people around them, “What are you doing? How do you do it? Why do you do it? What’s that for you? What’s new? What’s challenging?” It was a natural place for this to come out. Once I got a little taste of it, I seem to be able to latch on to where the right places would be.

You’ve obviously found the right place and did the right things if you’ve built three multimillion-dollar businesses by the age of 40. I found your discussion about intangibles interesting. You learned about what people buy that it’s more intangible that we think about. Is that what you think that led to your success?

It was helpful. I was always asking myself the question early on in my career, “Why are they choosing me?” I didn’t think I was anything special. I knew I was hustling, that part I knew. When my friends in other companies were like, “I’m 9 to 5. When I punch the clock and I’m out.” I’m like, “It’s great for me that you do that. Thank you because I’m hustling at the time that you’re not. I’m thinning the herd with my actions.” What I start to learn was that people are hiring me not because of the landscape, the home I built, or the coaching that I did. There were other reasons why.

For example, people would like to be our clients because they know that we connect our clients a lot. When somebody becomes our client, you can say, “The coaching is good, but I see his client list and I want a shot at that.” It is one of the first things we do is we say, “You’re a marketing agency. We know three of our clients that are interested in that. Let me make the connection right away.” One of our clients said, “I feel so bad about the Bahamas and what happened with the hurricane. That’s my happy place. I vacation there. I want to get involved. How do I do it?” I said, “It so happens that one of our clients is leading a relief effort in the Bahamas. Let me put two of you together.” That saved him all the research time, “Who should I go with? What’s the best way? I want to be personally involved. Will they let me?” By connecting the two immediately they were able to take advantage of that. We have our clients doing business with other clients all the time. These are intangibles that I learn are equally if not important to our clients as exactly what we do. What we do is the commodity, but our relationship with the client and how we do what we do, why we do what we do, those are equally as important to some of our clients as just what we do.

You do a lot because you’ve mentored and launched 5,000 businesses. Is that correct?

We have.

How do you have the time to do that and cohost Quit and Get Rich podcast? You have all these things that you do. Are you working 24/7? What is your life like?

Coaches, by and large, are heart-led servants and they want to help. Click To Tweet

From the outside, it sure does appear that way. I’d love to say it was all me, but I must say that we have a great team. The secret sauce to our business is that early on in the coaching industry I became a coach. There weren’t a lot of systems at that time and there weren’t a lot of methodologies to latch on to. I found it somewhat frustrating that I couldn’t find someone who would tell me, “Here’s the binder. Here’s the bible that you use to run a coaching engagement and a coaching session. Here is how you make an impact and here are tools to help your clients grow.” I started to document what I was doing. At least I would leave a trail of popcorn so I can find my way back. What I didn’t realize that I was doing was writing an entire methodology.

In the early 2000s, I published it and started to train coaches or those who wanted to be coaches on my methodology. Over the years, we’ve trained somewhere in the neighborhood about 7,000 coaches. Since I have met them and I’ve known them, I can cherry-pick the ones that are the best pick for our firm and clients. We have a great team. It appears that I am in all places at all times, but it’s 7 Stage Advisors. That’s in all places at all times because of our team. I have been able to leverage those relationships over the years and be able to service clients because of the expertise we have. I was able to duplicate myself from that standpoint.

I’m curious about when you are dealing with these coaches. What are they looking for? What do they need most from you? What are they not doing right? What’s their biggest issue you think that’s holding back?

Coaches by in large are the species, if I can say so affectionately, they are heart-led servants and they want to help. At the end of the day, the number one thing is they want to help people. Someone in my life helped me and I want to help them. They are very admirable and all that. They will oftentimes help others in their own detriment. In other words, they won’t charge enough or not at all. They’ll be doing the work for free. The first thing that coaches sometimes struggle with is the business model, “What do I charge? How much do you charge? How often do I change it? What do I do if that becomes negotiated?” The second one is, I need a system and a model that meets my brand level meaning these are former C-Suite executives from mid to large-sized businesses and entrepreneurs that have sold out of their companies. These are people that have operated the highest level of business and they need a model that aligns with that. Meaning it has the top tools and top strategies and helps them be positioned as a high-level advisor to their clients.

Our methodology does that and I think they feel as though they are getting access to some of the best clients, to some of the best tools in order to work with us. Even more so, one of the things that we do with them is we show them how to build their private business. We use a network of subcontractors and they carve out a percentage of their business life for 7 Stage Advisors, but they also have their own clientele because they have their own practice. By helping them build their practice they are interested in working with us. We help them on two fronts. One, protecting themselves from themselves in their business models and helping them build their own practice

I am interested in the ability of them to have a financial background to be a coach. Some of these you said were former CEOs, but a lot of them aren’t. They want the culture experts that type of thing. When they are coaching, do they have to read balance sheets and financial statements and have that ability or is this something different? Is this more coaching in terms of people skills?

In an ideal world if I can wave my magic wand, yes they would be all financially savvy, but that’s not realistic. Not because they are financially savvy or they don’t understand finance. It’s more because that’s not been their area of focus in their career. They may have been an HR person, operations expert, sales, marketing or strategy. Finance may not have been their area of focus and that’s cool. Quite frankly nobody is going to be an expert in all areas. However, we believe in being functional in your blind spot areas and at least functional enough that you know what good looks like and bad looks like because you can recognize that you can ask the right questions and bring in the right resources.

Do you have them deal with personality assessment at all or are they dealing with another realm of interaction?

TTL 617 | Importance Of Coaches
Importance Of Coaches: How we do what we do and why we do what we do are as equally important to some of our clients as what we do.


We do. Everyone is pretty well-schooled on DISC assessments. Most of our clients take the assessments on some level and our growth model is inspired by the DISC theory. Our team is familiar with that.

Are you a D?

If you know the numbers, I am 100 D, 100 I, 11 S and 6 C.

I remember being a D, but I can’t remember my numbers exactly, but mine were close I think to it. I find it all fascinating. I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence, so I got interested in personality development based on doing some of that. There is some research out there I know, Travis Bradberry posts some of it about how some CEOs have a lower emotional intelligence level as they go up in ranks. Sometimes they have fewer people skills because they are dealing more with numbers. Are you running into that at all?

In the studies that I have done, as a generality, the more somebody is outwardly successful meaning materially or financially or status and outward goals, it does point to develop a lesser development in terms of internally. Because they are less internally developed, they push for external rewards. They become goal-focused, career-focused and successful in the outside world. They often struggle with technically speaking, with the relationship with themselves.

Have you ever worked with a leader who has issues similar to Steve Jobs where they have a lot of genius, but yet people skills not so much?

All the time.

What’s the biggest challenge with somebody like that? Do they recognize it or they don’t care? Probably both.

Those who are less internally developed tend push for external rewards. Click To Tweet

Almost always they will recognize it and say to me, “I know I am not the most patient person. I know I’m not the most tolerant person. I know I should be spending more time.” They have gotten to where they are because of how they are and, “Unless you can show me a better way, Carl, I am not changing.” If I cherry-pick talking to Steve Jobs, he would say, “Carl, I grew Apple. I don’t know if you noticed, but it’s a pretty big company. Unless you haven’t noticed I got here because of how I am.” He did. I don’t know Steve Jobs personally. I didn’t know him. I read about him, but I have yet to read anything about him where he talks about how nice of a guy he was. Everything I heard and read is how ruthless and how not nice of a guy he was. I can’t say I know firsthand, but I do know people who know him and have said, “What you are reading is not far from the truth.” Fair enough, but the point being is he had been rewarded for that in his entire career. He might go down in history as this century’s Thomas Edison and one of the greatest inventors of our time. He’s sitting there open to the idea, but you better bring it.

I know this is a frustration I have, I believe in coaching, I believe in mentoring so I seek out coaches and mentors. Nine out of ten times I become their mentor, not necessarily financially or formally, but I’ll go to a doctor and I’ll say, “I am looking for high-level strategies here.” At the end of the conversation, they are asking me questions and I am their coach or personal trainer, it’s the same thing. Nutritionist, same thing. Yoga instructor, same thing. When you are dealing with somebody at that level who has been successful, the number of people who have the strategies to meet that level is sparse. Almost everyone that I have spoken to have used an advisor already and they’ll tell me about the great and not so great experience they have, but almost universally they said, “I feel like I graduated from that person. Not only their style, but I felt like they taught me all they can teach me. They challenge me and I’m grateful that they brought me to this level, but they can’t take me to the next level.” I hear that all the time. The CEOs to me have a huge thirst and hunger for learning and they know even if they aren’t self-aware, they know they’re not the most whatever in that area. You have to convince them that the juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to changing.

I had Guy Kawasaki on the show and he’s known how it was working with Steve Jobs when he was there. A lot of people won’t tell the bad stories and he was funny and went, “I’m old. I don’t care anymore.” It was interesting to me that Steve embraced the biography they wrote on him. He knew what he was and it fascinates me to see the people who make it big as he did in spite of his personality of things that he did. Others like, I had Keith Krach on my show who was the genius behind all the IPO of DocuSign and he was the Chairman and CEO there. I have had amazing people Doug Conant who turned around Campbell Soup and all these people who have these humble personalities. It fascinates me what works.

I am on board with Global Mentor Network which is a brainchild of Keith Krach. I’ve had David Novak on the show. He was the former CEO of Yum! Foods who has a similar mentoring network. You talked about mentorship and the importance in some of that, how many mentors have you had? You said you worked with these people. I know you’ve written books with Covey and Blanchard and you worked around Tony Robbins on and all these people. How do you choose your mentors and which one has impacted you the most?

If I am looking for a mentor I am looking for somebody who has what I already have in the area that I want. One of the top lessons that I learned, and it’s a lesson gets reinforced a lot when you watch entertainment and sports. You might idolize a sports figure and they do something unscrupulous off the field or you might admire a film star or an industry titan of some sort and they do something in another part of their life that you don’t like. The reality is, your mentors are good in the area that you need them and they might not be good in other areas. You do have to separate what you are looking for and to the extent that you can compartmentalize the other parts.

It is tricky. A lot of times someone is your mentor because you like them personally and you go, “I get pretty close to them. I don’t like him all at much,” but do they have what you want? If you are trying to have a better intimate relationship and you find a mentor in that area. You find out that there is a financial train wreck and finance is important to you. They can still be their relationship mentor, but do not go for them for financial advice. If somebody is your financial mentor and you have a terrible relationship, then do not go for them for relationship guidance.

Your mentors are going to be good in certain areas, but they are not going to be good in other areas. We breakout mentors, coaches, advisors and consultants into four district quadrants. A consultant is a subject matter expert who sees it, diagnoses it and does it for you. They are a doer. A mentor is somebody who has walked the path you are about to walk and their area of expertise is to share what worked for them. They might, but they might not able to share everything else except for what worked for me. They are going to share what worked for them. Anything else you say, “What are four other ways?” “I don’t know I only took this way.” An advisor is someone who has been successful in many areas in their life. They might not be the smartest person in the room, but they are usually the most important person in the room and they were the best in marshaling the resources to get something done. There is the coach. The coach is somebody who knows the right questions to ask and will help you process through so you can come to your conclusions.

When I think mentor, I had a definition where I put them in a lane of, “You have done what I am about to do. While I would love support from you what I need is a direction.” I remember I was going to give a speech in the Middle East and I was doing a speaking tour. I was going to Oman, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Emirates and Pakistan. I found somebody who I thought was a mentor and what I asked them was, “What should I say and not say? You know me, you know my style. What words should I use? What should I?” and they gave me support. They said, “Carl, you are going to be great.” I preceded to go in and insult half of the audience in my first night by saying something. I said, “Can I say this word and you’re okay with that?” “You’ll be fine. They’ll love you.” “They would love me and they would love me more if I said the right thing. I don’t need your support right now. I need direction and guidance.”

TTL 617 | Importance Of Coaches
Importance Of Coaches: Nobody is an expert in all areas, but be functional enough to know the good and the bad so you can ask the right questions and bring in the right resources.


If I need to drive my team and get people inspired and overcome the competition, I would use Steve Jobs as a mentor. He was brilliant. If I wanted to learn about the ergonomics of a product and what people liked to buy and how they like to buy, he was fantastic. If I was looking for other areas of my life, “I don’t need to hear from you, Steve.” Those are areas that I think you can bring to the table for me, but it doesn’t belittle what you can bring to the table. When you are choosing a mentor, to the best of you can, you have to be able to be okay with the other things that went on in that person’s life.

In an interview, Jerry Seinfeld was asked about Bill Cosby and he said, “This is a hard one for me because he was one of my early idols. He was the top comedian at the time I was looking up to comedians. I still think he is funny, but the rest of his life is so bad. I can’t count him as a mentor anymore, but this is hard for me. It’s easy in a memorial standpoint what he did was abominable. However, as a comic, he was good as they came. The rest of his life has gotten so bad that I can’t follow. You can tell he was struggling with it because he was trying to separate the message and the man from what he did.” It is tricky, you have to be okay with compartmentalizing it. If you can’t, you have to find a new mentor.

I am curious what the word was you said that was offensive in Oman or wherever you were.

In one case, I did this thing at the beginning of the talk where I tell them to look at each other and give each other a high five, say this funny expression, and at the end of it you say, “I find that quite sexy.” One group was an Israeli group and they were Habbad which the men and women are forbidden from doing that. I knew that but I said to somebody that I thought knew more about it than I and said, “What are the parameters here?” They went, “Carl, they look at you as a professional. They’ll do it because it is in the spirit of whatever.” When I said it and nobody did it I went, “Great advice.” They weren’t offended in any way, but were, “Carl, we don’t do that and you probably didn’t know that.” “I didn’t know that. I should have.”

You can almost do self-deprecating humor sometimes at that point, “Thank you for that one person in the back of the room clapping at the question.”

“Thank you for the feedback. I’ll take your silence as.”

You share so much great information. I’m curious because I’ve taught Covey in so many classes. How did you get connected to him and some of the other people you’ve written books with that you’ve done so many works with?

My first speaking coach was one of the people who ghostwrote Tony Robbins’ first book. I was working with the speaking coach, the ghostwriter and they turned me on to a publisher. I’m working on with that publisher and that publisher happened to be doing a book project with Ken Blanchard and Stephen Covey. The publisher called me up and said that the authors were looking for a growth synopsis, a blueprint, and a bit of a road map on how do you define success and my model is the 7 Stages of Scaling your business and growing your business. I’ve got the graph. I’ve got the seven steps and what you would do in every step and where will you put your major and minor focus. They said, “That would be super. Would you be willing to contribute a summary of that?” I said, “Summary is going to be ten pages.” They said, “That’s fine. We are willing to give you a room there. Go for it. If we get approval, are you interested?” I replied, “Are you kidding? I need four seconds. Three seconds to catch my breath and one second to tell you yes. As long as it was cool with them it’s cool with me.” That’s how I got involved in that book project.

The juice is worth the squeeze when it comes to changing. Click To Tweet

You’ve done some amazing things and I know that some of the big companies you’ve worked with Walgreens, Walmart, American Idol, USA Olympic Track, IBM, McGraw-Hill and US Army. I was looking at this going, “You really have done some amazing work and I think so many people could benefit from your work, Carl.” I was hoping you can share how they can reach you, to find out more about what you do.

At is a gateway to learn all about me and what’s going on. is my email address. My business website is and for your readers, we offer a free business analysis. It is an opportunity to spend up to two hours with a growth advisor. It is one of our givebacks to the entrepreneurial company. Anybody looking to take their business to the next level or getting started, we do a few hundreds of every year as our giveback. I would be delighted to offer that to your readers. Go to those websites, contact us, put business analysis in the subject line and we’ll make sure you get a time with a growth advisor. We’ll show you how to take your business to the next level.

Thank you, Carl that’s nice and this was fun. I appreciate you being on the show.

Thank you. We need more time next time. This was too much fun for the time we have.

I would like to thank Carl for being a guest on my show. He’s fascinating and I knew he would be. I could list the things he’s done, but we would never get off the show. He has an amazing background. There are not too many courses I teach where I don’t touch on Stephen Covey’s work or Ken Blanchard. I had his name associated with one of the universities where I work. A lot of the names he is associated with show you the level of what he is able to do. It is fascinating to see all these guests have their own radio shows and their own other things that they do. How we are helping people to learn more, to be better as an entrepreneur and business leader. There are so many people on the show that every time I talk to somebody I think, “I learned from every single person on the show.”

I’m fascinated that I got a chance to talk to him about it. He’s a visiting lecturer at MIT, Rutgers Business School and the Wits Business School in Johannesburg. The list goes on and on. I don’t know how he finds the time to do it all. A lot of the guests touch on the topics that I am fascinated by myself. A lot of it ties into my work with curiosity and with perception. I think that we know that businesses can’t do things the way they do things. As Marshall Goldsmith said, “What got you here won’t get you there. We know that and a lot of people get stuck in that status quo, “I have to do things because it worked for me in the past.” Think of thinking. That’s why I like to talk to people who do advising and see what they do to get people to the next level because it could be challenging. A lot of leaders develop an innovative workplace right now and that can be hard because we know the AIs are going to change things. We know that innovations will be completely different.

It’s fascinating to look a few years ahead at what skills are we going to need for people. That was something that was challenging when I was the MBA program chair and when I’ve done different business aspect of training in an organization especially in education trying to figure out what degree programs if any would be applicable in the future or what skills are we going to need in our people. No matter what we see with education or with technology and everything that takes advances in the world, having curiosity and building it is only going to make it better. No matter who’s on the show, no matter what their specialty if you ask them what comes first, curiosity or creativity, curiosity or motivation, curiosity or whatever, it’s always curiosity comes first. It’s soul key for leaders to develop these skills and that’s what I am doing with the Curiosity Code Index.

If anybody is giving assessments like emotional intelligence test or DISC, you go to these organizations and you want to be relevant. You want to make sure you are offering them something that can be useful to them to develop and engage in innovative workplaces. That can be challenging and I realized that a lot of people don’t want to take another test. They don’t want to do another this or that, but this is something so unique. I am training consultants and HR professionals and we’ve got all kinds of programs we are offering to get people certified. If you get certified to get the CCI the Curiosity Code Index at, you’ll get five hours of certification credit and that’s a big deal for anybody in HR or wanting to keep up with their credits.

TTL 617 | Importance Of Coaches
Importance Of Coaches: A coach knows the right questions to ask and will help you process through them so you can come to your conclusions.


It’s an important training course in so many respects. People who learn how to give the CCI, learn how to give the training to develop personal action plans and overall corporate action plans. That alone is important to develop a curiosity-based workplace. Especially when you are working with the leadership route, the second report that I mentioned for the organization. We are focusing on how do you improve engagement? How do you do innovation and prove leadership and all the issues that everybody is talking about with communication and soft skills? Everything you are hired to talk about with your consultant, that’s what we are covering in the second exercise of the program.

It’s so great because you are right into the horse’s mouth. You are going to employees in this training program and saying, “How can we make this better for you?” They are giving you the content that you need to give leadership, their report of what they need to get better. It seems simple and nobody is using that to develop curiosity. I think that it’s the key to unlocking human potential. It was a few people who reviewed my work who have said that. This could be the next big movement in human potential. What we saw in human intelligence and some of the things that took off the importance of it, I think curiosity is right at the top. There is plenty of research out there about the value of curiosity but what wasn’t out there was how to improve it, how to measure the things that keep people from being curious. That’s what I did with the Curiosity Code Index.

It is 36 questions. You can take it in a few minutes and get a report similar to what you would see if you took a DISC or an emotional intelligence test, any of those where you get your PDF report of all the things you can work on and ways to improve. A lot of people are doing and finding that it’s helpful for organizations. If you want to give a bulk of amounts to entire organizations, I have people contacting me through my site which is or It all comes to me. You can reach me also at I’m happy to answer any of your questions, but I’m happy about the work that’s going on. It’s all tying into the work that I have going with perception as well and the work is getting focused on the Curiosity Code Index and The Curiosity Code. All that is in universities around the globe and the Forbes Business School has added it and a University in Zambia has added it.

We are going to see quite a bit of similar editions when our books come out. I’m co-writing it with Jeff Bordes and Dr. Maja Zelihic who have both been guests on the show. We are writing about perception and we have an assessment about that. All of this is to help organizations tie in EQ and IQ, CQ for Cultural Quotient and CQ for Curiosity Quotient and realizing that this is important for building leaders of the future. I wanted to make sure if you enjoyed this episode, please check out other episodes. They are all in If you go to the top of the site you can see the radio link. You can find us at Echo and Google Play. We’re on iHeart, Roku, iTunes and anywhere you listen, at AM/FM stations. We are on it everywhere. You can’t miss it. I hope you enjoyed the episode and I hope you join us on the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.

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About Carl Gould

TTL 617 | Importance Of CoachesCarl Gould is a worldwide leading authority on business and entrepreneurship. His company, 7 Stage Advisors helps organizations grow to the next level. He is an entrepreneur who built three multi-million dollar businesses by age 40. 7 Stage Advisors, has mentored the launch of over five thousand businesses.

He has advised over 100 of the Inc. 500/5000 Fastest-Growing Companies. Some of the companies he’s helped are companies like Walgreens, Walmart, American Idol, USA Olympic Track, IBM, McGraw-Hill and the US Army.


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