In this episode, Craig interviews Brett Campbell, a pioneer in the fitness industry and the brains behind one of Australia’s fastest growing companies.
Brett’s company Fit International grew into a fitness franchise with 35 locations in 6 months and was used by more than 700,000 people around the world. Brett is one of the first and few in Australia to have generated over $100,000 in digital product sales over a 24hr period a number of times within the fitness industry.
Author of the best-selling book – Right Now, Why not You and Why not Now? – inspirational speaker and avid educator, Brett has inspired hundreds of thousands of entrepreneurs to dig deep, lay their monsters to rest and grow into the best version of themselves to achieve success in every industry.
Brett co-founded Claxon, a multi-award winning digital growth agency which has won several awards like the Best Small Social Media Agency of the Year in 2017 for Australia and New Zealand from the Social Media Marketing Institute. Claxon has also been recognized as a superior digital growth agency worldwide and has taken home the Marketing Excellence Award from the Australian Small Business Awards.
Furthermore, Claxon has been listed as #20 in the Deloitte Fast 50 Rising Stars in 2019 and has received recognition in 2020 by appearing on the AFR Fast Starter List. The agency operates in over 30 industries and generates over $1 billion in annual sales.
Brett has made a name for himself as an entrepreneur, investor and educator. He is featured in over 200 publications including Yahoo Finance, The American Business Journal, Fox8, Channel 7 and Your Money where he shares his wealth of knowledge with all who are ready to transcend.
Brett Campbell’s Journey
Entrepreneurs are sometimes driven by passions instilled in childhood. For Brett, it was the need to protect, provide and prosper.
“It's important to set the premise of where everything starts and for me it started when I was four years old. I was living in a caravan park in Sydney and I was playing outside the caravan when I heard my name being yelled out. I ran into the caravan and I saw her standing there. My father had his hands on her and was about to throw her through the caravan window… My sister, mother and I jumped on an airplane a couple of months later and moved to New Zealand. We left my father and that was the last time I’ve seen my father.” – Brett Campbell
This traumatic experience sets the foundation for Brad’s tenacity and resilience.
“What it showed me at that very young early age was that I took the responsibility it gave me. It kickstarted that hunger inside to do whatever I needed to do to get something done.” – Brett Campbell
Brett was also inspired by his mother, who took responsibility for providing for her children and ensure they still had a well-rounded childhood.
“I was never deprived as a kid. My mum did everything she could to make that happen for us and so it instilled a work ethic within me that is unbreakable.” – Brett Campbell
To help support his mother and buy himself the occasional candy, Brett picked up the lawn mower and went about making money around town.
“Very early on the entrepreneurial journey, I’d get home from school, grab the lawn mower and I'd go mow as many lawns as I could that night for $5.00 for a small lawn and $10 for a big lawn. That was my pricing structure.” – Brett Campbell
Brett embraced the hustle, dropping out of university and taking jobs that he didn’t find fulfilling to pay the bills.
“I quickly learnt at an early age that you need to run your own race. Reflection is such a powerful practice. I feel like a natural born leader. I got kicked out of high school, became a cabinet maker and threw myself into a job that I knew from day one wasn't what I was supposed to do.” – Brett Campbell
Stirred by the desire to be more aligned, Brett moved back to Australia where he began building his fitness empire.
“In 2008, I literally made one of my biggest life-changing decisions of my life. I went back to Australia with everything in one suitcase, including my set of golf clubs, and I started a brand-new life in the fitness world by training people.” – Brett Campbell
His entrepreneurial knack allowed him to see the revolutionary potential of technology and digital content before it became mainstream, and his company exploded.
“I uncovered through the online world and the first e-books that ever emerged that I don't have to actually turn up and train a client face-to-face; instead, I could sell this online. I could sell it to you traveling around the world. So, I became addicted to it and did all I had to do to learn it.” – Brett Campbell
Since then, Brett has made a name for himself and is a pioneer in the digital growth industry, advocating its importance and raising its standards of professionalism and excellence.
On Self-Reflection and Personal Growth
Reflection is a valuable mental dialogue that helps uncover the root causes of bad habits and the mental, emotional and physical blocks hindering us from achieving our success.
Craig’s One Shot Movement was borne from a moment of deep reflection as he held his stillborn son in his arms.
Brett also believes that reflection is a crucial practice for those who want to make the most out of the life they have been given.
“I don't think you can really uncover what you're supposed to do internally until you've actually gone back, taken a fine-tooth comb and looked at your journey, at what you've done, at the characteristics that you've built over time and what you've instilled within yourself in terms of beliefs, habits etc...” – Brett Campbell
For Brad, working on his first book gave him the opportunity to dig deep and shine the light of awareness on his life. This allowed him to live more intentionally and create his own luck.
“As I go back through it and look, I see that there is no way that who I am today has anything to do with luck, unless if luck means ‘when preparedness meets opportunity’. When you're prepared and the opportunity presents itself, you can say it’s luck.” – Brett Campbell
Craig agrees that a present and reflective entrepreneur is able to create their own luck. The key is asking the right questions and thinking through experiences.
“People haven't been asked the question or they haven't had time to think through all of the internal work.” – Brett Campbell
Just like other activities, reflection requires practice and your capacity for reflection improves the more you do it.
Brett recommends listening to teachers and others share their stories in order to find commonalities that could help empower you as an entrepreneur to take inspired action.
“It brings something out within you and you feel far more resourceful, empowered, and positive than you think you are.” – Brett Campbell
Tapping into Creativity
As an entrepreneur, you need to tap into your creative flow to help you innovate and overcome challenges.
Every person is different when it comes to activities that enhance their creativity, so stay present and aware so you can feel the moment you light up.
Craig has found that exercise, especially going for a run, allows him to access the highest form of creative energy.
“I'll just go for a run and my brain is so creative. I sometimes stop and write my ideas down. I can get really into a deep zone and very creative with what I need to do. Creativity just flows when I'm exercising effectively.” – Craig Schulze
Brett’s creative juices flow when he is in deep, meaningful conversation with others.
“There are a lot of stuff that if extracted properly can add a lot of value. I really get a lot of creative flair out of being with someone who provides another opinion or another way of thinking that I can build upon.” – Brett Campbell
Take the time to notice when you are feeling more lit up, excited and inspired. The more you spend time doing these activities, the more creative energy you are able to tap into.
“It's important to find out where your best thoughts come from.” – Brett Campbell
In addition, being clear on your purpose and mission in life inspires creativity and resilience to carry on when the situation gets tough.
“I truly want to have a positive impact on millions of people because it's the highest level I can ever get to. The defining question for me is “Would I do this for free for the rest of my life?” – Brett Campbell
Find Your Focus
Brett is a true serial entrepreneur whose brain is wired to think about and grow multiple businesses and projects at once.
“The serial entrepreneur is someone who has to be doing multiple things at the same time.” – Brett Campbell
This drive allowed him to expand his fitness practice into a business that offered e-books, certifications and retreats at a time when no one in the industry was doing it.
“We built the fastest growing fitness company! At the time we had a fitness franchise and fitness retreats before people were doing it. We just built this entire ecosystem and we were pioneering it.” – Brett Campbell
Brett advises serial entrepreneurs to focus on one project or business predominantly in order to magnify growth and achieve sustainable success.
“Focus is an important lesson I share with fellow serial entrepreneurs. It’s really hard for me to focus on just one thing. It's so hard for my brain. So, I can be doing and I could also do that but my motto is ‘just because you could it doesn't mean you should’.” – Brett Campbell
Brett also has a solution for the entrepreneurs who just can’t focus on only one thing – take part in a business or project which does not consume more than 10% of your mental energy.
“I realized that there wasn't a 100% focus on just one thing. I get more out of being able to focus on a couple of external little things part-time. Allocating 10% of the mental bandwidth requires little thinking but allows me this little escapism from the from the grind of building a digital growth agency.” – Brett Campbell
When choosing the opportunities that you’d like to commit 90% of your energy to, Craig recommends going with what aligns with your core values.
“I've always lived by ‘leverage’ so if I can't leverage something, I probably won't do it. My second core value is building sustainable relationships. I've always lived by those two things for as long as I've been making money.” – Craig Schulze
Brett agrees that core values serve as a guiding compass when it comes to how one lives their lives and where they focus their attention.
“It's living by core values and reflecting on how you want to be perceived as a person and how you want to be showing up as a person. It really comes back to that philosophy ‘it doesn't matter what you know or who you know; it's who knows you’. Do they like you? Do they see you as trustworthy? Do they see you as a person they want to engage with?” – Brett Campbell
It Takes a Team to Actualize the Dream
Entrepreneurship is a certainly a noble undertaking, but Craig reminds entrepreneurs to never underestimate how challenging opening a business is and be prepared to fulfil every role imaginable in your business in the start-up phase.
“People get into business because they want to create their own future but they don't really know what they're signing up for. There are different areas in business and if you're setting up the business for the end result, freedom and lifestyle, you are in for a shock. All of a sudden you become a lawyer, accountant, HR person, customer service representative… There're all of these different roles and different hats that a lot of people need to wear and they actually hate doing that.” – Craig Schulze
Brett agrees with Craig that solopreneurs are usually not prepared for what a business demands in terms of time, energy and expertise.
“I think a lot of solopreneurs or self-employed people have sort of fallen into something. A lot of people are getting the business but they have no idea what kind of lifestyle they even want; they have no idea what freedom looks like to themselves. So, they're in this grind and they don't know why they're doing it, they don't know the end goal; and there's no future outcome in sight.” – Brett Campbell
As such, it is crucial that entrepreneurs begin by being very clear on what they would like to achieve and what the concepts of success, freedom and happiness mean to them as individuals.
“You don't need to sit down and have a fully detailed business plan when you're trying to launch the business; but you need to have a future projection of where you want to see go and what the ultimate outcome looks like.” – Brett Campbell
Once you are clear on your goals, focus on building a team that will support your vision and handle the dimensions of the business which are not your specialty.
“It's not a business until you start building a team. A business requires other people to complete certain requirements so a business can succeed. Build a strong team around you so you can become the best version of you.” – Brett Campbell
The hack is to identify what your unique ability is and then build a team which complements and supports you.
“I like to operate on my unique ability which includes having conversations, sharing, educating, teaching, and helping to motivate the team or the prospects of our clients. That's what I would do for free for the rest of my life. So, I consider how I can be in my unique ability the majority of my time and how I can construct infrastructure to support it.” – Brett Campbell
Craig has always been a vocal proponent of networking and creating sustainable relationships which allow all parties to grow personally and professionally.
He reminisces with Brett over a conversation they shared when they were both on a business retreat in Fiji.
“I remember talking to you in Fiji and you said to me, “Craig, it's not what you know or who you know, but who knows you”. That was a really profound takeaway. I left and decided that my goal now is to get every person in the world to know who I am you and that that was like a really powerful message.” – Craig Schulze
Brett agrees that networking is extremely powerful. His winning strategy is “Being at the right place, at the right time, saying the right thing to the right person.”
When it comes to being at the right place at the right time, Brett recommends doing everything you can to put yourself in the right place at the right time – even going as far as traveling or investing in a charity.
“Let's just break it down. ‘Be at the right place, at the right time.’ Here's how we can hack that. Can you purposely put yourself at a certain place, at a certain time? Yeah. You might have to pay 10 thousand to go to a party or a ball and invest in a charity to be around in the vicinity or in proximity to it. You didn't sit and worry that it would cost a few hundred bucks. People need to start seeing what the potential future opportunity of something could be.” – Brett Campbell
He then advises entrepreneurs to prepare what they are going to talk about to the person they have been meaning to connect with.
“The next part is ‘saying the right thing to the right person’. I need to know well if I am going to make the most of this opportunity and if I am prepared for this opportunity to build a relationship. You need to be prepared to say the right thing. If you're unprepared, you don't know anything and you are trying to charm your way through then it's not going to work optimally.” – Brett Campbell
Craig strongly supports that philosophy and adds that the element of persistence is key to the process of forging new relationships, especially when it comes to high profile individuals.
“I can totally relate to that and I'll share a little example with the audience. Recently, I interviewed Brad Sugars whom Entrepreneur Magazine had listed as the #1 Business Coach in the World. I first approached him by complimenting him through DM. I didn't get a response. Then I commented on his news feeds and I would receive simple responses back. I mentioned that I was interviewing a business colleague of his, Travis Bell. I went back again a month or two later and said ‘Brad, I really respect what you're doing in 2020. I have read all your books back in 2002 and ‘Billionaire in Training’ is still a formula I follow today. Again, there was no response. Finally, I sent him a message expressing my values saying, ‘Brad, I'd love to interview you for my upcoming podcast. It’s all around the one shot you got at life and going out there and giving it your best shot. I shared a story of a recent interview on Yahoo Lifestyle. He got in touch and we made it happen. So, it was a process.” – Craig Schulze
Brett adds that having the right follow-up systems in place are one of the best ways to showcase persistence and finally make that connection.
“Persistence is the key. Be at the right place at the right time, say the right thing to the right person and have the right consistent and persistent follow-up systems.” – Brett Campbell
Digital Marketing vs. Digital Growth
Digital marketing has become a buzz-word and many entrepreneurs are not sure what the difference between adopting a digital marketing strategy or a digital growth strategy is.
“Digital growth looks at your business, your outcomes, where you're moving towards and is in pure alignment with the growth of your company. We consider the KPI’s, the targets, what is needed, why it’s needed and to grow the business. It’s a totally different conversation.” – Brett Campbell
Brett’s digital growth agency specializes not only in digital marketing, but rather in aligning digital presence with the business’s ultimate objectives.
“We're a digital growth agency. What we do is grow businesses using digital technology. We don't build ads, we build businesses. We also create, design and execute advertising through: (a) a number of different paid channels like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, Spotify; (b) search engines which include YouTube, Google, and Google shopping; and (c) programmatic channels which include on-demand TV, radio advertising and so on. Then there’s the fourth pillar which is ‘data’.” – Brett Campbell
Brett is advocating development in the digital growth industry, starting by training entrepreneurs to critically assess their business growth strategies and define how expert digital growth strategies could help them achieve their targets.
“The industry right now is at the infancy stage… You need to start thinking seriously about your business and putting on what I call the ‘business builder lens’ to help you look at how to you grow your business. Then you need to start finding experts who can do those things for you.” – Brett Campbell
Some of the main things you can consider is what the brand stands for and how the brand communicates that to customers.
“There are so many things you need to think about before you run an ad such as ‘does your brand actually represent what you what you think it does?’ If you're marketing something that looksterrible or the messaging is wrong, it doesn't matter how good your advertising placements are. It doesn't matter how many leads you get if your sales team doesn't know how to convert them into paying customers.” – Brett Campbell
Brett recommends hiring experts who are up-to-date with the latest developments in digital growth strategies and are able to develop an omni-channel approach that help your business succeed.
“We now live in a different world that requires an omni-channel approach. We need to go where your customers are hanging out and we need to build individualized, customized journeys for each individual based on their online interactions. This is where skill wins and that's why you need a team of highly skilled people. We need to treat the industry with some respect.” – Brett Campbell
One Shot Movement Special – Brett’s Catalyst
Craig founded the One Shot Movement after a heart-wrenching experience that changed everything.
“I was like a tractor that would just surge forward and ahead every single day. Watching my wife deliver Ethan and then spending two days where I was just holding him in my arms… I was looking down and making so many deep pledges. The words that I spoke at the funeral are manifesting now, six years later. I became different person that day.” – Craig Schulze
Brett relates to Craig’s experience, having lost a dear loved one himself to cancer.
“When I left New Zealand in 2008, one of my best friend's was diagnosed with breast cancer. A couple years later, she had a headache, went to the doctors and she was diagnosed with brain cancer. I rang up her husband and made a plan to go over to spend time with them in a few weeks.” – Brett Campbell
After making that call, Brett changed his mind and intuitively booked a flight a few days later.
“I'm their lounge room and she was on one side against the wall in this hospital bed. I walked up next to her and sat down beside her and held her hand which was ice cold. She opened her eyes, stared at me and thanked me for coming… Three hours later, she passed away.” – Brett Campbell
The experience was traumatizing and served as a catalyst for Brett to reassess his life and goals… To make the most of the One Shot that was given to him.
“I jumped on a plane a week later and I burst out in tears. I realised that life was so short and at any time it can be taken away from you. I was working so hard just trying to do the next thing and the next thing that I was wasn't paying attention to what I was put on this planet to do.” – Brett Campbell
Craig empathizes with Brett and his experiences, asserting that in the end, we are all given this gift of life and the opportunity to live it in joy.
“As I'm sitting here listening to your story and it reminds me of what really matters. You have one shot at life, so go out there and give it your best shot.” – Craig Schulze
Brett urges you to live every day in a way that is aligned with who you are and give love generously to those you treasure.
“I want people to wake up to the reality that life can be taken from you in the next 10 seconds or you could get a phone call in the next 10 seconds and your life can be changed forever. My own hope is that people realize that it could be anyone. I hope the real outcome that people get from this is to start paying more attention to their own loved ones and themselves.” – Brett Campbell
Brett also recommends casting regrets aside, either through making amends or letting them go.
“If you've done something in the past and it wasn't good or you've hurt people, right the wrong or just let it go because you can't let it continue to eat you up. You’ve got so many more chapters ahead of you.” – Brett Campbell
Life is a precious and short gift, and it is up to you to take steps every day to discover who you are and discard old beliefs that are holding you back.
“You can't be living this new version of you with all of the old beliefs and the old way of living. Life's way too short to be dwelling on the past. We need to look forward, move forward and live in the present. Learn to find out who you truly are because once you do that the world is yours within reason.” – Brett Campbell
If you’re finding it a challenge to move past a situation, remember that some things are simply meant to be. Reflect on your situation and find peace in the knowledge that you can always begin moving forward right now.
“Being human is understanding that every single thing happening right now is supposed to happen the way it's supposed to happen. If you feel bad, sad, mad, or angry about anything, you're supposed to be angry right now. That's acceptable, but you also have a decision to let it go. Now you've got this lesson and this is the path forward. It gives me a sense of peace.” – Brett Campbell
What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from Brett’s Story
Brett Campbell’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited by the traumatic experiences in his life. He is truly a shining example of how anyone can heal, overcome and thrive.
Here are some of the key take-aways from Brett’s journey:
- Practice reflecting consistently so you can master your personal growth and heal behaviours that are holding you back. Get insights from the stories of teachers and find inspiration to turn your life around.
- Activities like exercising and brainstorming could help you tap into greater reservoirs of creativity. Be present and identify the activities that light you up.
- Be clear on who you are, what your purpose is, and what is the thing that you would not mind doing for free for the rest of your life.
- Business requires undivided focus in order to succeed. If you’re a serial entrepreneur, consider allocating 90% of your energy into your main business and 10% into projects and activities that help you remain energized.
- Stay true to your core values when creating partnerships and growing your business.
- One of the primary milestones of your business is to hire a skilled team that allows you to focus on what you do best and supports optimum business operations.
- Digital growth strategies incorporate digital marketing but go beyond that by devising strategies in alignment with the overall business objectives.
- Remember that you only have one shot at life. Every experience holds lessons for you to grow as an individual. Reflect, remain present and never lose hope. Every step you take is a step away from stagnation.