In Art Of Coaching Podcast

Today we flip the script and my good friend Ali Kershner interviews me, asking personal and professional questions I’ve never addressed on air before.  I’m a relatively private person but for this special Q&A I air out some dirty laundry and answer a few of the tougher questions I’ve gotten over the years. 

Sit back, relax, enjoy Ali’s dulcet tones and get a glimpse behind the curtain. Just wait, she even manages to stump me with one… 

We cover the following and more:

  • My current thoughts about the S&C industry (and why I left…)
  • A sneak peak into my second book 
  • How I relax and where I find creativity (+ my go-to karaoke song)
  • Dealing with critics and bad reviews
  • Managing an increasingly public brand (especially as a dad)

If you want to ask me a question and get a response longer than 15 seconds, go to and join our all-access community. This is a place to learn about business, branding, communication and leadership then directly interact and network with myself and a wide range of professionals.

*New Sponsor Alert* 

We just teamed up with SAGA Fitness. SAGA offers premier and affordable BFR (blood flow restriction) cuffs for those who want to rehab an injury (like I did with my shoulder), build muscle and/or get a great workout while traveling. Use code: BRETT20 for 20% off!

Head to to purchase your very own set of cuffs and while you’re there be sure to check out their blog.

Oh, and one more thing…. We’re hosting an online communication and leadership strategy summit. Yeah, we’re tired of virtual events too but this one is different because we’re inviting speakers from a variety of fields to discuss tactics and strategies for navigating today’s toughest communication and leadership issues. Click here to learn more!  

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Brett Bartholomew  0:01  

So much it has to be taken so serious, right? Like between the research I do for my book and my doctorate and the business and all that. I just want to have a night where it’s probably like people with golf or whatever I want to have a night where like, I have five friends, different fields that can just go do comedy improv stuff. I do. Because it’s there’s the creativity of it, there’s a camaraderie of it. You do have to take aspects of it serious. It’s not like Whose Line Is It Anyway, like, there are some tight rules. But I just I really want I’ve never had that in my life. I’ve never lived in a city with like five or six good friends that wanted to go do something. And that’s very much something I want in my life.


Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom, and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me and now let’s dive into today’s episode


so I think it’s not a huge stretch to say that at some point, all of us have had some kind of injury at some point in our life, whether a major injury that required surgery or something minor or something that just sidelined you for a bit. What have you followed for a while I actually had surgery last November, I had a torn labrum I had one for about six years it came from just a contact base injury I was doing a Turkish get up somebody push another athlete into me from behind. Kettlebell went one way my body went another torn labrum, right things happen in life. And even though that can be frustrating, right, like we have to deal with it as it comes. So I ended up having to get surgery was in a sling for about three months experience a pretty tremendous amount of atrophy. One of the things that helped me through that were these new BFR cuffs from one of our latest sponsors, Saga. And you know, I’m very careful about making sure that anybody that we partner with in the podcast is stuff that I actually use, you’re not going to hear me touting some kind of licorice or some kind of supplement that I don’t use or some kind of like note book that has some magical powers right I use these things. So if you’re somebody that’s gone through some sort of injury or you don’t even have to have been injured if you travel a lot if you’re a fitness enthusiast if you’re in the performance world, anything like that these BFR cuffs are tremendous they can help you increase muscle strength, increase muscle size and I don’t mean like become some bodybuilder I mean it can help with atrophy situations like I had improve aerobic capacity and accelerate recovery Now if you’re wondering what BFR is, we’re gonna go through that on some more on some future episodes. But just know for now I want you to check these guys out they’re doing something really unique again  and you can use code Brett 20, b r e t t 20 on anything there. So check it out. Stay tuned for future episodes because we’re going to introduce you more to our new partner Saga. All right, here we go with today’s episode 


welcome to a special edition of The Art of coaching podcast guys. You know me I am Brett Bartholomew and I am here with Director of all sports everything sports performance, world class sports performance and more sports. Ali Kirshner of Stanford University welcome Ali.


Ali Kershner  3:41  

What’s up my friend?


Brett Bartholomew  3:42  

Listen, guys, this is the deal. If you’ve listened for a while you know that Ali has been a guest on the show this time that tables are turned. I’m a pretty private person except for what I share on the podcast. But there have been a lot of folks that ask a lot of different questions wide range. We’ve wanted to do like a q&a episode for a long time, just air out the dirty laundry talked about stuff I may have never talked about before, answer some of the, tougher questions that I maybe haven’t had a chance to answer before. I do a lot of q&a. Or at least I did on Instagram a lot of times and Instagram gives you like 15 seconds to respond, which is really poor context, which is why we started our art of coaching all access channels thing if you guys are interested, by the way go to, but we also want to do a podcast. So Ali is one of the best interviewers I know she’s a very inquisitive person. She’s a very thoughtful person. And I’ve given her carte blanche to literally ask me anything she wants. And this isn’t one of those things where I’ve scripted answers before. We have like bounced around a couple questions that were asked a lot, but she gets to freewheel and deal however she wants. So Ali, is there any context I’m missing that one?


Ali Kershner  4:55  

No, but I do think the listeners should be pretty excited because like you said I don’t know the last time you got asked any of these questions, if ever, so I think it’ll be fun to let the listeners in on some of the dirty secrets. Pull back the curtain 


Brett Bartholomew  5:10  

dirty secrets. People love dirty secrets.


Ali Kershner  5:17  

Well, you know, I was thinking about how I would want to start asking you questions. I was like, maybe I’ll toss him a softball. Maybe I’ll go right in. And knowing the kind of show that this is we’re going right in.


Brett Bartholomew  5:28  

We’re going ready. That’s a little Wayne voice. Yep.


Ali Kershner  5:31  

All right. What do you think about the strength and conditioning field right now? And why is it more important than ever before for coaches to understand the business side and quit limiting their influence,


Brett Bartholomew  5:45  

I still think the field is one of the most resistant industries there is, I think people get too caught up in, I’m passionate about this thing I self identify with this thing. You know, I’ve said it before, a lot of coaches get into it, because they liked training with weights, or they were athletes themselves, and they’re very competitive. And so, but you don’t always want to turn a passion into a profession. I think passion can join what you do from a professional standpoint, but there’s a lot of things we’re passionate about, that people aren’t necessarily good at. And so let’s imagine somebody gets into coaching because they love guiding people, well, that’s great. But it’s still a business, there are still contracts to be signed, you’re paid a salary, you have bills, you have to pay. And I think that that’s another thing is that the internships that happened in the field are very much they indoctrinate people to the training side and the coaching side, but they don’t really get people ready for the business side. And so people don’t know how to handle it, when they sign one to two to three year contracts, or, you know, the moving is really exciting when you’re young. And you know, I’ve moved a great deal for grad school and jobs and internships. But when you have a family, at some point, you need some security, and people really don’t know how to talk about what they’re worth. So, you know, I don’t think that there’s an industry out there. I mean, you’re in an industry, it is a business, being good at coaching is not enough, you need to be good at the coaching business. Because it’s hard to leave a legacy if you don’t even last long enough in that and just a lot of really, really, really, really broke coaches. And that is not a knock on their intelligence. That’s not a knock on anything. Some of them have been hit with a you know, any of us could get hit with something in a different time. But it is an issue if they’re broke, because they just thought, hey, I’m passionate about it. I love it. I’m gonna get paid. That’s not how that works.


Ali Kershner  7:31  

No, yeah. I mean, I think you hit on this all the time with your content. It’s just interesting to hear. I think, from our listeners perspective, why, maybe, or what the inspiration is for you in terms of what you’re doing now? Like, why crossover into this leadership branding, business side of things, instead of just staying where you were in strength and conditioning?


Brett Bartholomew  7:56  

Yeah, I think I remember hearing an interview from Jay Z one time when they asked him something similar. They’re like, how do you walk this line between being an artist and being this large corporation, especially because an artist he had signed Kanye West was very much against corporations. And Jay Z said, you know, I think at some point, you’ve got to be able to walk that line if you want your work to transcend. I mean, there are a lot of real, I’ve always taken a lot of inspiration from the music industry. You look at Prince and I didn’t listen to a ton of Prince’s music, but Prince owned his own catalog, you look at Jay Z, he owned his own catalog, he knew that he didn’t want to just make great art for other people he wanted to get. He wanted to have something for his family, you know, as well. And so you know, when I look at coaching, I got into coaching, because I almost lost my life due to poor medical care where I was fit in this one size fits all system. And there was poor communication. Well, how many other people have dealt with that in their life? And so for me, coaching is a vehicle and I don’t think that there’s many fields where it’s like, you’re supposed to evolve, right? Like if somebody’s like, oh, man, you’ve changed. I’m like, Well, hell yeah, I’ve changed like, what’s the point of working hard? If you don’t change, like I don’t I you know, my goal isn’t to just die on the gym floor. My goal is to open up opportunities for other coaches, you know, like, that’s one part of my life as being a coach, I can walk and chew gum, you know, I can do other things. And I think you’re supposed to do other things. If you’re to say, Hey, I’m just limited to being this. And only this in this context for the rest of my life. I think that’s doing yourself a disservice. I mean, and that’s just me, that’s nothing against coaches that made me want to do just what they’re doing now for the rest of their life and nothing is different. But I think whether you go speak at a conference or whether you mentor somebody or whether you create you know, I’m big on the concept of legacy because I you know, I want to I’d like to make a difference when I’m gone. So that was a book and now the course is these are things that will outlive me And one day, my kid, you know, he might miss me someday. And he can like, pull up one of Dad’s courses and hear my voice or hear this conversation with you. And I made a YouTube video, you know, literally for him in case I get hit by a bus tomorrow. And you know, it’s lessons from dad. And so I just think you have to evolve in what you do. And anything last is to shortchange yourself.


Ali Kershner  10:21  

I completely agree with you. But I’m curious, as somebody that’s still in the strength and conditioning field right now, what can you walk me through? What was that moment? Or what was the inciting incident that made you Strike it out on your own? Like you were with, you know, companies like API, and you had been a collegiate strength coach? Why leave? 


Brett Bartholomew  10:40  

I think there’s a lot of people that I don’t think I know, because I get it all the time in my DMs, people that reach out and for those of you not familiar athlete’s performance, or now Exos was really my first full time job outside of being a paid grad assistant and things like that. I used to train fighters in exchange for my boxing training when I was in college and things but my first, you know, true job training, like high high level athletes, and what have you was API. And it’s funny, people always think that when you leave, there had to be a big blowup, that there had to be an issue. And I think what’s even more uncomfortable is, I still have a lot of friends at work at athlete’s performance and Exos and what have you is, you know, all hear from them. Like, there’s rumors from people that will say this, and like, people will just like, make things up. I mean, it’s wild. And I just remember, you know, I’d been there nearly six years, I think, five and some change if we’re really counting. And, you know, I was in a position where I wanted to do more, you know, I’d been involved in coaching, I’d worked with youth, I’d worked with high school kids, I’d worked with pro football, pro baseball, UFC fighters, military, average Joes, I even got to work with surgeons that were fellows at the Andrews Institute, all these things, and then I got involved in their education. And that was great. It was awesome being able to go out in the world, and work in different countries. And we would do this typically when the facility was a little quieter, when most of the major sports were in season. So let’s call it like, September, October, if memory serves me correct. And, you know, it just got to a point where that company, there was nowhere else to go. And Liz, and I knew we wanted to have kids. And like any company, they had a limit to what they could pay. And I always made it a point, like I was grateful for what I had there. But it was just basic economics, we needed to make more money. And they didn’t really have an opportunity to be able to move me into a role where I could do that, you know, we had a lot of conversations with a lot of the leadership, they’re great people, one of them was a huge, I mean, I’ll never forget, his name’s Jeff Sesaune. Jeff would like let me come in and talk business with him weekly at one point, and he never treated me like a stupid coach. He never looked at me, like somebody that didn’t understand this stuff or whatever. He was very transparent. always had a smile on his face. I mean, yeah, just a really, really good guy. But they were also pretty upfront. Like, listen, there’s, not a lot of avenues for this. And at that time, I had started getting more people asking me to speak, you know, people had become a little bit more aware of my work for whatever reason, and I knew I wanted to write a book, and that wasn’t really going to be a possibility there for reasons that were, you know, valid for what they have to do as an organization, right. Like, if you do that, and, and other people want to do that, whatever. And they had certain kind of code of operations that that just wasn’t going to work. And so it’s no hard feelings, it was just like, okay, like, it sounds like, this is gonna be pretty tough to find a win win, you know, so there were other opportunities that came up both in the pro sports side and private sector. 


And, you know, the people that I spoke with, like, we ended on a good note, you know, now of course, there’s always hurt feelings when people leave and things and I think there’s some people, anybody that’s left a company or an organization knows that there’s some people that are gonna try to, I think, poison the well a little bit and then I’m not going to get into who those people are, because it doesn’t matter. But it becomes convenient for them. And their purpose is to make you look like a bad guy. But a lot of that falls on, it’s pretty challenging to do like when you consider my book conscious coaching and other things. When I’m pretty effusive in my praise of that place. I’m well aware that I wouldn’t be the coach that I am without the experiences I had there and what they read but yeah, it’s just funny. I think people want to make it all out to be a blow like a blow up. And there are good and bad things about every company like you kidding, like with art of coaching you’ve volunteered and done some stuff with us and what have you, you know, I’m a really hard person to work with or for because it’s a very self competitive atmosphere here and so you kidding right if I’m in this field 20 25 years more you don’t think I’ll have people that will be like that Brett guy, you know, he’s for the birds. Yeah, I think once we just kind of realized that we wanted a little bit more control over what we did. Much like The music industry example like, again, we didn’t want people there were other opportunities. But somebody was like, Ah, well, if you write a book, it’s ours, or, Hey, if you speak, you got to pay us a certain amount. And it just a lot of it came about control. Now you want somebody to have that much control over what me and my wife were doing. And so, yeah, it was a no brainer, it was just time to bet on ourselves and go a different road.


Ali Kershner  15:21  

You know, I have to imagine that a lot of coaches who are tied to organizations or big names might feel like this, because, you know, inherently going out and having a personal brand, the school the organization that they work for, they might resist that only because they’re not sure what that person is going to go do or put out if it’s tied to their personal brand. So what would you say to somebody that works within an organization that wants to write a book that wants to have a blog that wants to have a personal brand, and their organization’s coming back to them and saying, pump the brakes?


Brett Bartholomew  15:55  

Yeah, I mean, I think it depends. I think there are some people that jump into a company and are like, right now I want to be some star and I want to have a brand. And it’s like, you know, chill, like there’s a time and place for that. Now, granted, if somebody comes into art of coaching, I don’t want art of coaching to be all about me, right? Like I want to help somebody else out, or you will very much smile at the day, when somebody in art of coaching is requested to run an apprenticeship that isn’t me if somebody’s like, you know, hey, I really like Ali to do it beautiful. Like, I want to tag team partner, I want other people to do that. Now, at the same time, I want those people to play for the team, you know, I want you to shine, I want you to have a brand within our brand, for sure. But don’t be a dick, right? Like don’t go out and try to do side deals under the table. Like, I’m very much one of those people that I don’t consider our company to be successful unless you are successful as well. Like, I want you to be able to pay the bills, I want you to be able to do more than pay the bills, I want you to feel like you’re recognized and validated, you should be able to have the baton pass you so much that it wouldn’t even make sense for you to go want to do your own thing because you can have your own thing within this. I go back to record labels, right like, and you know, me like I’m a huge Hip Hop guy. When my favorite rapper Eminem was signed to Dr. Dre aftermath records, he had shady aftermath records, he was able to sign people he wanted, he signed 50 cent 50 cent created G Unit records, but G unit was under the shady aftermath label and imprint. And they’re usually signed to a record deal, right? They have a three album deal or a four album deal or whatever. And then they renegotiate the contract. And this goes back to, again, the world of performance and just basic business and economics. Me winning doesn’t mean you losing. And vice versa. You just have to structure these things in an intelligent way. But like don’t go in and try to chew that off right off the bat, like give value to the organization, learn their way, be a good representative ambassador of that, you know, and then be able to kind of carry that flag. And I think that people really don’t know how to do that well anymore. And it’s this fine balance, because I remember when I went on my own, one of the warnings I got as well, we think you’re moving too quick. And I’m like, yo, like, I’ve been here a half a decade. And I’m not saying that there’s a certain timetable. But don’t tell me that’s too quick. You know, like, I’ve thought about this, this isn’t? Hey, you know, I’ve trained some pro athletes and now I think I’m hot shit. You know, like I very much biding my time and tried to do what we could financial. I mean, we were renting. I’ve never said this, we were renting rooms. In our what was it a one, two, I think it was a three bedroom house, we had a three bedroom starter home in Phoenix, and we were renting two of those rooms out. And Phoenix has a pretty average cost of living. And so we are renting two of those rooms out pretty much in perpetuity to try to sock away extra income for that. And so, yeah, you have to be patient and pragmatic know when the time is have honest conversations. If you’ve been there a little bit longer expect some things on the back end, right. Like when our stuff did take off. Did we hear people that were very detached from certain companies that they didn’t know me and whatever, reached out and kind of threatened some things me were like, Yeah, and that was interesting, because it was like, Yeah, you think I’m gonna go for what you’re doing. Like, at least pay attention to what we’re doing. Like, we’re like, I’m not trying to make country music, you know, that’s not my bad, you know. And so, it’s just a very defensive space we live in instead of people being like, let’s find a way to do business together. You know, there’s people that I won’t mention on air yet that we’re gonna collaborate and they’re in a different space than us and but somebody could consider us competitive in some ways, and we’re working on a way to do great business together later this year. Like, I don’t understand this whole competition scarcity thing. It seems kind of like a loser mentality to me, but it is what it is. And a lot of it’s just impatience.


Ali Kershner  19:44  

I mean, Peter Thiel said competition is for losers or there is no such thing as competition, right? So, okay, you mentioned speaking and you kind of have talked about cross collaborating and getting into different fields and I know that companies like Microsoft have asked you to come and to speak. So you’re definitely, you know, you’re crossing over into a different space than most coaches do, potentially. Do you ever go into these leadership events or where you’re asked to speak and feel like you don’t belong?


Brett Bartholomew  20:13  

Always? Yeah. Especially like when I did one with Microsoft was awesome, couldn’t have been more welcoming. You know, what have you once I went into a large financial institution, and they were great to the hosts and hostesses and everything like that, but I’m in this big hotel smells like bad cologne, a lot of really nice suits, definitely like the opening scene of one of those movies that you could imagine. And you kind of have a chip on your shoulder, because the first few things are out, like I’m asked to speak on communication, behavior, you know, and this in particular, was about like, the role that AI was going to play in finance. Like, I think in the next couple of years, AI is going to replace over 100,000 jobs in the US financial sector alone. And so it was how can this company build, get their folks at better at building buy in so the human capital they have, is still able to maintain those relationships, because when people talk money, they’re still gonna want to talk to an advisor, they’re still gonna want to do those things. But the minute I was there, people just wanted to ask me like, Oh, what was it like training Patrick Chung or Richie Incognito? Or who do you think’s gonna win tonight, the Patriots or the Giants? And, or, Hey, what can I do to get a six pack again, I kind of lost it once I got in the court. And I’m like, I’m bombarded with sports performance and fitness questions. And in the meantime, like, I’m at the dinner before trying to help understand their world more, so that I can create an increasingly relevant presentation that they can apply. And so you know, I think the biggest thing that I had to learn and kind of choke back on my ego was, to my knowledge, I’m still one of the I’m one of the only strength and conditioning coaches to venture out into these other spaces. And I don’t say that as like a chest thumping thing, like I’ll ask, you know, I’ll ask when I go the hate you give me people in the performance, sports performance, and we hear a lot of like fitness or things like that. And we see military right with Goggins and Jocko willing, can we see people in academia like the Brene browns, and, you know, folks, Adam grants. But it’s very, very early on, it was very, very hard for me to pierce through certain crowds, because people have no idea what a strength coach is, and the concept of that they think we’re gym, people, it took helping them understand, yo, when I have 30 people on a field that I’m leading through a training session that collectively are worth more than $350 million in contracts. That’s like assets under management, right. And when I can start to bridge the gap with that, the conversation changes. But it did get very frustrating early on when I went out on my own, on one hand, like fighting off strength coaches saying, Oh, you’re a sellout you’re this and that and granted small contingent, right, but you the small contingent, when you’re listening to it seems bigger, because you’re more defensive about it. And then yet, they don’t know you’re trying to open up a new space for them. And then on the other hand, I’m still fighting the rebranding remarketing effort. I mean, I lost out on a $20,000 speaking gig one time, because somebody looked at my media kit, and this was in eSports. And was like, Oh, we don’t want a fitness person, like, oh, yeah, I don’t do fitness. And they’re like, well, it says training conditioning coach, like, we don’t really want that and like. And that’s where it’s like, it’s bullshit. If you tell your kids people won’t judge a book by its cover, in that in our world, people will only more and more. Of course they do. That’s why people spend a lot of money designing really great covers for books. But yeah, I’ll leave it at that. Because otherwise, I mean, I could just keep rambling. But that was the main thing that I would say, comes to mind.


Ali Kershner  23:46  

Well, you know, one of my favorite episodes that you’ve done is with Michael Tucker. And I think the thing that really crystallized it for me was when you explain to Michael Tucker, how storytelling and coaching are the same, or the same, or very similar, right, and he even said to himself, he’s like, I had never thought of it that way. And when I hear you talk about branching into other fields, and you know, putting feelers out into the business world, it’s the same thing, it’s gonna take some time, you’re gonna have to walk people through it, hey, this is how coaching and what I do is similar to what you do, and hopefully that barrier will be broken down. But you did just mentioned books and covers. So I kind of want to I want to ask you a couple of questions about both conscious coaching and the new book you have coming up. So first of all, almost four years since you published conscious coaching. Why do you think it’s continued to do so? Well, given that most self published books and self published authors tend to, you know, maybe stay at 100 copies or less?


Brett Bartholomew  24:51  

Yeah, I think, relatable character, right. I think that I very much try to show the world that I’m an imperfect leader. Ib have no problem with that. And I think that there’s so many people that have gone through their own things. I don’t think I know when that book came out and people read about my hospitalization. I heard everything from drug addicts, sex addict, and whether people think that’s a real thing or not, I’m not gonna debate right like this is these are people that reach out to me, drug addicts, sex addict, depression, suicide, you know, people reaching out to me about these things. And, you know, so I think when you have a relatable character in his story that’s gone through some things, that’s critical. I think it’s also just timely, I think that it’s one of the first books that operationalize the fact that there are people with a lot of different personalities in this world, a lot of different frames of view, and points of view, and you’re going to have to adapt to them. Because it’s not about what you know, it’s about what they understand. And that’s been written in a million books before mine, or what have you. But I don’t think a lot of them gave like tactical advice, at least not a lot of the ones that I read. And I have a pretty extensive bookshelf, although I’m not egocentric enough to think I’ve read them all. But, you know, you read a lot of these things that, you know, they give you warnings, or they give you principles or what have you, but it’s a different thing to have tactics. And I think when you look at the archetypes, and even though we make a point that they’re fluid, they’re not static hearing from other coaches who have struggled with coaches and those personalities. But hey, here’s how you can recognize them. Here’s how you can work through it, here’s how you can do that. But the number one thing seems to be the story that gets people on. So I think, just hopefully creating something that celebrates the benefits of imperfection. And the fact that like everything that is broken is not useless. Is pretty big. It doesn’t glorify it doesn’t make people feel like they have to go through some trauma to be useful. But yeah, I just think that, and to that point, much like the second book will be, it’s a bit polarizing, right? Like there are some people in the training community that got really defensive, really defensive thinking that like, since I write a book about this, it makes me and I don’t like that again, the whole I win, you lose thing. And that’s scary. I think I think that on Earth, a lot of insecurities in the coaching community. So people wanted to argue about it. And there were people that didn’t even read the book. But yeah, I would say the hospital story is my best guess, at probably why it’s done so well. But hopefully also just because it’s been useful. I hope it’s been useful to people.


Ali Kershner  27:21  

Looking back on it four years later, is there anything that you would change about it right now, if you are going to republish it as a 2.0 copy that comes out tomorrow?


Brett Bartholomew  27:30  

No, I mean, not really. I’ve thought about it, because people asked me, Are you going to update it or whatever? I’m like, yo, it’s not even five years old, you know, and other than musicians like remastering, you know, their albums. If they’re super old. It’s not like they go back and, you know, add a bunch of songs to the album. You know, I was gonna say, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is thriller, but I understand what the controversy Michael Jackson had a great example, Elvis Presley, you know, whatever, Miles Davis, use whoever you want to use. There might be bonus cuts on the album or what have you. But no, I kind of believe in that things out there. It’s done. It’s done. I don’t have a desire to add more archetypes that what I decided to do is move things to a different medium, right. So like, what I wanted to change about it, we added into bought in the online course, which is very much for all intents and purposes, the sequel. So when people were like, when you’re going to write a conscious coaching to I’m like I have it’s called bought in. And it’s an online course because I also believe that people have to, you have to learn through different mediums. You got to book Great, put the book away. Now do the online course it’s got exercises where you got to apply stuff. Great, you’ve done the online course now do a workshop. And so I just think that these things have to be sequential much like the way we consume Entertainment has changed, right? Like not many people watching VHS is anymore, right? Then they go to a DVD or Blu Ray and then it’s streaming and now it’s Oculus, and, and what have you and so engage in different mediums there doesn’t always need to be I think another thing is people were like, well, you should have been unconscious Coaching for Business. You should have unconscious coaching for golf and basketball. I’m like, gah that’s a way to milk a market like I don’t, then that just seems exhausting. Like I’m not just like an author by trade, right? So to do that, and then to just feel cheap to me. It’s not something I wanted to do.


Ali Kershner  29:20  

Oh, it turned into Chicken Soup for the coach’s soul


Brett Bartholomew  29:23  

right and like, I don’t want to ABC this stuff, you know, like speak into like rhyme schemes and lyrics like I’d much rather be like a Drake or a Jay Z or a Tupac that amigos. You know, and I want to make something that hits and sticks to the ribs a little bit more than those kinds of things.


Ali Kershner  29:41  

I think migos is gonna be offended. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:42  

Yeah. Well, if I get to the point where migos is like, hey, you know, I’ll be like, hey, amigos, come on over and let’s talk about it. We’ll do a podcast.


Ali Kershner  29:50  

It will get a retweet from migos for this episode, 


Brett Bartholomew  29:52  

tweet migos wham wham.


Ali Kershner  29:56  

Okay, so you mentioned your second book. I’m curious, I’ve heard you talk about it. Me personally, but maybe, you know, maybe tell whoever’s listening to this, you know, is this going to be similar to conscious coaching? Is it going to be different? Is there anything you could give us as like a sneak peek?


Brett Bartholomew  30:14  

Yeah, no, I don’t think I mean, similar or different, and what you know that it’ll depend on the context and people that view that. Know, this is something that’s pretty different. I think that again, it’s going to be something that I’ve called it several times I people are gonna say, it’s not as good as your first or what have you. Because guess what, like, I can’t tell the story of my hospitalization again, you know, I didn’t get stabbed since then I haven’t been shot. And so like, if somebody’s expecting some, like, really revealing life changing story for me, again, that’s not going to happen. That’s not the book, the books not about me. The book is, you know, about, you know, this idea that we live in this world, that is very gray area. Now, you know, greatness is in the gray area, yet there’s always dichotomies around us of what’s good and bad. We’ve never lived in a more polarized time. At the same time, we’ve never been told so often, who to look up to who we should respect, what we should do what’s right, what’s wrong. And a lot of it is just bullshit. A lot of it is stuff that just gives people these answers, that it’s almost like you can give somebody a template and how to be a leader now. And there’s also a lot of, I think, issues now where we criticize leaders without criticizing the lead. And leaders in general are a manifestation of the lead, right? Like, they lead with the consent of the governed. And so I think that we look at like this great man theory, and a leader should be a servant, and they should be charismatic, and they should make the right decisions. Well, what about the people that have done the quote unquote, right things for the wrong reasons? Are they any better than the ones that have done the wrong things for the right reasons? Right. And so like, I think there’s aspects of, of what I’m going to talk about in this book without giving it away that people might be familiar with, like, if they’ve read conscious coaching, they heard a little bit about dark side and leadership, and what have you, will there be some of that in there? Yeah, you know, great. I mean, leadership is a full contact sport, and you can’t lead people in a vacuum, I think there’s gonna be some people that really hate this book, I think that this book is gonna make people think probably quite a bit. It’s gonna be heavier, in a way. And so people that just want, I’m sorry, and it’s no disrespect to the guy, he’s a legend. But if people want like a John Maxwell book, or a 13 principles to lead with passion, or a five ways to be positive, and leader, like, don’t buy it, don’t, you know, run like, don’t be, don’t come to our stuff. In general, this is not that it won’t, it’ll be very, very disappointing. But if you’re an underdog, who’s made a lot of mistakes, sometimes you don’t even feel worthy of leadership. Sometimes you don’t even want to put your own self out there. Because you’re freaked out about skeletons in your closet, and whatever, and you feel like you’d be more likely to get canceled than you would to get applauded, then I think you’ll like this book, because it is about the gray area of things. And the reality that yeah, you got to do some times and leadership, sometimes that people don’t agree with, but if you want everybody to agree with you, and the sad thing is, you can’t even sell ice cream anymore. Because if you want to sell ice cream, you know, everybody like you know, well, you don’t have soy free or dairy free or you don’t have this like a it’s like effective leader. It’s effective leadership is not one size fits all. So I don’t want to give too much away. But hopefully, I’ve told you who it’s not for. Definitely not for people that want just like the daily dose of things that they can go out and tell their team. So they don’t have to question themselves. This is for a book that is a book for people that want to question themselves a little bit and have some tough conversations.


Ali Kershner  33:56  

Yeah, it sounds to me like it’s gonna make a lot of people really uncomfortable, which is exactly what we want them to do. 


Brett Bartholomew  34:03  

Yeah, otherwise, it’s not worth it like great art of any kind. And I’m not saying my books can be great, but I just mean like, great art should be polarizing. It shouldn’t not everybody should agree with it. You know, not it should even be something where like, maybe some people hate me for it for a while. And then five years later, they’re like, Yo, this was good. That happened with conscious coaching. There was a guy that I get along with really well now great guy, but I mean, he essentially call me an odd. I mean, he called me an awful person, a cult leader said my family should be ashamed, like, wrote this on Amazon. And I had a chat with him about it, because I knew somebody who knew him who knew him and I’m not above calling somebody me like, Really, dude, you know, like, what’s this about? And he was like, listen, I tried writing a book and it didn’t go well. And I’m a little pissed off and bitter about that. And I saw your book a lot and that pissed me off more and I’m like, That’s understandable. But think about where this is coming you know from and so yeah, I’m in a better position in my life to to accept that kind of criticism. I’m not for everybody.


Ali Kershner  35:03  

So it’s interesting. Obviously, you have a very well, it’s growing a personal brand book, two books now potentially coming out soon. I’m putting that out there. So you hurry up?


What did you say? I’m putting that out 


Brett Bartholomew  35:18  

i know, but what do you say probably that it’s gonna be done soon? 


Ali Kershner  35:20  

Oh, yeah, it’s gonna be done soon, right? 


Brett Bartholomew  35:22  

Yeah, I don’t know about that, like late, we might go a different publishing route with it. So later this year, sometime, it might not always be up to us. It might be like next year. So if somebody wants to write a competing book to try to shit on our launch, there you go, you know, have at it.


Ali Kershner  35:38  

Yeah, selfishly, I’m just looking for something new to read. But, you know, obviously, you just mentioned this that you’ve dealt with critics, you know, has your way of dealing with or how have you learned to deal with critics? How has that changed throughout your, evolution into this new space that you’ve been in? Yeah.


Brett Bartholomew  35:59  

So this is another one that I’ll steal as an example of, of the music industry. Because when I was trying to learn how to deal better with critics and a healthier way, you know, I tried to listen to interviews of other people that had been heavily criticized about stuff just to kind of, because again, I’ve never really had a mentor that’s walked me through this process, right? Like my, I’ve essentially had five new jobs in the last five years, just within art of coaching, and I’ve had to navigate it. And I remember one of them said something that helped me really quickly, they’re talking about, if you create an album today, let’s say you, Ali put out a music album today. A lot of reviews. Now, since the internet’s you know, advanced, or what it is, or about who’s first to review it in the past, like the New York Times or things like that would get copies of an album first, they’d have time to listen to it before the mainstream public, and then they’d put it out, right. And so what this musician had said is, you know, I can’t take critic seriously now, because it can take me three, four years to create an album, yet, they’ll have a review out that day, like that day. And it’s like, there’s no way like, yeah, you could have listened to the album in a day. But there’s no way you could have picked up on all the little musical nuances of the lyrics and the instrumentals. And the way this was threaded, and all the metaphors and what have you that I was using, that took me three years to create, and you’re gonna review it in a day, like, and so you know, that’s the same thing here, the material that has shaped this book has in some way, shape, or form been in my brain or been discussed, you know, for over four years, you know, because you, I talked about some things in presentations, and that’ll make it in there, some brand new stuff makes it in there, all that. So for somebody to try to criticize me that maybe let’s say they read a few pages of it, or they listened to a friend kind of describe it. Or maybe they listened to it on Audible once or, you know, they kind of like, are doing that thing where they’re listening three times speed, or they’re just, they’re those people that want to read a book a week. So they’re flipping through it, you can never know what that book is about. And especially if you’re somebody that’s never written a book, if you’ve never sat down, written a book, I mean, the agony of knowing what to put in what to leave out the agony of knowing what it’s like when you’re on chapter 13. And oh, shit, you just now thought of a better story for chapter five. But if you go back and change that story, in chapter five, you’re gonna have to change seven through eight. 


And that’s fine. If you’re like a George RR Martin or Stephen King or your job, you’re paying in advance, right? They’re given six figure advances just to write the best book. That’s another thing like people don’t understand like the Ryan holidays and those like people like that. They are given an advance that can be 300 500 $600,000 or more. They have a team of editors, a team of research assistants, in some scenarios, a team of graphic editor like, I am doing this, in addition to speaking in addition to having a doctorate, no advanced nothing. I can’t just go back and change all that. And so if somebody hasn’t been in that position, where they’re like juggling all these things, they’re trying to balance the research. They’re trying to do this. I think we all know, we’ve all been asked to tell a story about a certain time in our life. And it didn’t come to us and then three weeks later, we’re like, Oh, that would have been a perfect one. That’s the stuff that keeps me up at night is like when my editor is like, Hey, do you have a better story here? I’m like, shit, like, I am sure I do. I can’t think of it right now. Right? Especially during COVID where like, you’re not interacting with the world as much like when I’m out teaching and coaching and doing all those things at normal speed. stories and things in life events come to me in a flash and it’s easy to put that in there. And now it’s like, you have to do a lot of recall. But yeah, that’s why I don’t deal with that’s why I don’t really take critic seriously that much anymore because half of them have no well 99% of them have never done anything of that magnitude. They don’t read it with the same level of discernment. Or they go into it already deciding they’re not liking it. Right? That’s a lot of critics like, oh, I don’t like Ali, I’m gonna read her book. Well, I’m already now reading your book with a skewed view because something about Ali rubs me the wrong way. So people have already made up their mind half the time, whether they like by the time I announced the book, people, some people will have already made up their mind whether they like it or not, even without reading a page.


Do you buy into the idea? There’s no such thing as bad publicity?


Ah, well, not today. You know, in general. Yeah, I think it’s better. And Robert Greene talks about this, it’s better to be talked about in some capacity than to be ignored, but definitely not in today’s culture, right with the context of like, canceled culture or like some aspects of the me too movement, which is a great, you know, it’s great for many reasons, but just like anything, it can go way overboard. Just like any movement, there’s not a movement under the sun. That cannot there’s not a tool, a thing, an object, a word that cannot also be weaponized by people that don’t have all and you and I talked about this, right? Like, I’m terrified as a dude in today’s society, about this kind of stuff. And I’ve never admitted this on the air, like, I could go speak tomorrow, in Dallas, Texas. And maybe like I had to run, right, like, unfortunately, a family member of mine just got diagnosed with cancer, right. So this is a dramatic example. But let’s say I had to run because I gotta get home because I’m getting on a flight because I and this is real, we are going to try to go visit her before you know something happens. And what if all of a sudden somebody that’s read one of my books feels jilted or jaded that I didn’t sign it? Or, like, they thought I blew past them. And there was something else or like, maybe something I said was misinterpreted. And then the next thing you know, I’m on social media. I don’t think that you’re innocent until proven guilty anymore. I think that anybody can say what they want at any point in time. And the reality is, most people aren’t going to come to your defense because most people don’t want their lives to get uprooted. So in some instances, yes. In certain times, and PT Barnum was a big believer in that as well. But like, now, I don’t believe that I think that it’s okay, I’ll be very fine if I write this book and finish my doctorate and then I can kind of disappear for a while. I don’t need people talking about me all the time. I don’t want that. I want people talking about the work and hopefully the impact of made but definitely not me.


Ali Kershner  42:39  

Speaking PT Barnum quick plug the greatest showmen is hot take one of the best movies ever create.


Brett Bartholomew  42:45  

So I haven’t seen it. But not a manly thing to admit, there is a song that my wife because she lives loves it. There’s a song like when I lay me down, like I don’t know how it goes. But it’s like something that kids sees colors in his mind. And it was I heard it for the first time right when I became a father. And I was holding Bronson as a baby in my arms. And I heard that. And I like it was very much like the Grinch Stole Christmas when he like, feels tears for the first time. I bawled. And I just like, looked at my son, who I hope grows up and has incredibly big dreams. And I cried my eyes out. And so I have to see it at some point. But man, that song, if somebody if like if a movie, if I had to cry in a movie right now, hearing that song would make me tear up immediately. And I think it was just a timing thing. Like, if I heard it when I was like training, I turn this off. When you hear that when you’re looking at your firstborn child, you’re like, that’s the gas.


Ali Kershner  43:49  

Well, that’s why context is everything. But usually you’re the one giving me movie suggestions and homework. So I’m going to give you a movie homework. You and Liz know watch that


Brett Bartholomew  43:59  

when you come down and visit. You will do it. You know we’ll we’ll have a sing along. We’ll have a sing along. We’ll do it. We’ll bring your microphone we’ll do karaoke big karaoke guy. You never even asked me you haven’t asked me that question. Yeah, that’s some people don’t know. I’m big karaoke guy. 


Ali Kershner  44:15  

go to karaoke song. 


Brett Bartholomew  44:16  

Easy business. Eminem. I can’t sing for shit. But I can rap. And if you can rap you can put on a bit of a show. I won’t ever just be like, let’s go do karaoke tonight. But if somebody wants to do karaoke, and they’re like, get up there and I’ll be like, No, I eventually will. and I’ll rap but I’m not like, you know, like, look at me, I’m gonna throw down. But that or I sang one time hot take. I sang Dru Hill. How deep is your love for me at a all inclusive bar in Cancun, when I was 21. And somehow I won. I think it was a pity thing. Because I can’t sing like Cisco.


Ali Kershner  44:53  

I feel like I could see you in a future life at a piano bar just sitting there taking tips. Listening to people. And then just like pulling out some bars and just go in full rap mode.


Brett Bartholomew  45:05  

I loved 90s Hip Hop and r&b. I just did I loved like even Montel, you know, Montel Jordan and all that stuff I loved. That was like the TRL era, you know, that was TRL. And that was just like, good. There were some good soulful, like, think about that even in rap. You had artists like the brat and like Lil Kim and Missy Elliott, instead of like Cardi B. You know, like Missy Elliott was good. You know, and I want to know secretly, like, what does Missy Elliott think of like Cardi B? And the drama? And that now? I don’t know. But it’s, every genre has got its things right.


Ali Kershner  45:39  

Yeah, okay. This is actually funny, because it’s playing into my next question. So obviously, if you’ve listened to this episode, it’s pretty obvious that music has been a big influence on your life, outside of other life experiences, relationships, work, etc. What else has been an influence in your life?


Brett Bartholomew  45:58  

Aside from music? What else has been a pretty big influence?


Ali Kershner  46:06  

Or maybe here’s a better question. Like, what other hobbies do you think have contributed to skill in your domain?


Brett Bartholomew  46:14  

What other hobbies? Yeah, I mean, I think just, I mean, music was one of the definitely the biggest influences because that’s all the only thing I had control over when I was hospitalized. You they controlled what you watched, and you read, they couldn’t control what music you listened to. And so there was that. Hobbies wise, you know, I’ll take this in a different direction. If there’s one thing that I really miss right now, that was a fun hobby that it kind of rekindled, I didn’t want to be I got very tired of being in charge of a lot of things, right. Like, when you speak when you coach when you run a business or that you’re in charge a lot. And I don’t always want to be in charge. And so that’s when I did. And this was after we had created the apprenticeship. But you know, I started doing improv, and there was an improv comedy place that we’d go to. There’s another thing like if you want, if you come to a city that I’m in, and you actually want to hang out with me, don’t ask me like to come to coffee with you like coffee, I can take or leave at like, let’s go to a comedy club. It’s a surefire way to get me to hang out with you. I love comedy clubs. And so we found a little hole in the wall improv comedy place, we went to support a local theater, small business kind of thing. I mean, it was really small when you come to Atlanta. Man, I think they’re closed down now. Otherwise, we would totally take you but I think there’s probably another one that’s open. But they did like an open mic night and all this and then they did like a six week course. But I just I still wish I had that. To be honest. Like, so much. It has to be taken so serious, right? Like between the research I do for my book and my doctorate and the business and all that. I just want to have a night where it’s probably like people with golf or whatever. I want to have a night where like, I have five friends, different fields that could just go do comedy improv stuff. I do. Because it’s there’s the creativity of it. There’s a camaraderie of it. You do have to take aspects of it serious. It’s not like Whose Line Is It Anyway, like, there are some tight rules. But I just I really want I’ve never had that in my life. I’ve never lived in a city with like five or six good friends that wanted to go do something and that’s very much something I want in my life.


Ali Kershner  48:19  

Okay, so you’ve mentioned improv, and karaoke. Besides working out don’t get me that. What else do you do for fun or to relax?


Brett Bartholomew  48:29  

Well now after saving up for like five years, I’m a hot tub fiend. I always wanted a hot tub. Big hot tub guy. I don’t know what it is 


Ali Kershner  48:36  

Can I get a hot tub. 


Brett Bartholomew  48:37  

I mean seriously, and a little bit of his my physiology and everything, just like hydrostatic pressure and heat have always done really, really good things for my body. I’m a very tightly bound guy. And for all the talk of meditation and breathing, systemically, those things just don’t always have the impact on me that like taking a walk in nature does or sitting in the hot tub. And so like, literally we call our hot tub to Think Tank. Because all like stuff will come to me in that. But I think getting in nature. I’m a big as lame as it sounds. I like taking walks of course, I like reading, I think the biggest stress reliever I took up and again, this is something that is pretty uncommon. I actually started playing video games with one of my neighbors every now and then we go through streaks where we’ll play consistently for a week and then we won’t play for months or you know, whatever. We’re not like a log into World of Warcraft and let’s spend three hours it’s not like that. But just the mindlessness of, of interacting in in some thing that you can’t make work is huge. Yeah, and that’s, I think that’s another reason why like a lot of stuff out there just doesn’t resonate with me now like, now everybody’s hobbies are cold showers and productivity journals. And like, I have read something the other day about an author that everybody would know. They’re like one of the most viral authors and Ted Talk people. They literally made a comment that like no part of their day is not based around self improvement. And I just think that’s lame. I’m sorry, that’s lame. And like I feel like those are have to be, I guess I shouldn’t talk about this in the context of also talking about canceled culture and everything else. But like, intimacy is really important to me. And if every moment of your life is so concerned about self improvement, like what is intimacy, like with your partner, like, if you can’t, like, I just want you to feel like that. I’m like, What a boring person, every single part of your life in every moment is so like, they don’t watch TV, they don’t do this, literally, it’s either reading or whatever. And that’s fine, I’d been there. But like, at some point in your life, like if you’re at a certain age, and you ever you just can’t turn off ever, your wound pretty tight. And nothing, there’s a great book called greatness cannot be planned. I have to shout out to my friend, Jared Markovitz, for telling me about that. But like, and it starts off kind of slow or whatever. But a lot of things that are really well done, are not meticulously put together with rigidity, you know, their accidents, and like, I’ve joked about it, my next book could flop and then if I write a fun book about, like, people watching in airports, and maybe I write that in, like a whimsical way, and that goes on to be like a New York Times bestseller. I’ll be like, I’m not surprised. Whatever, you know,


Ali Kershner  51:09  

it’s so funny, you say that, you know, I have taken up a lot more cooking and baking recently. 


Brett Bartholomew  51:16  

I love baking. 


Ali Kershner  51:17  

I know that I know that people, you know, that’s actually a more common hobby than not, but I just find that it really brings out my creative side, like, I can kind of I’m not such a baker, because it’s so precise. And you know, you really have to follow a recipe but like cooking Oh, man, just like that’s so therapeutic for me. Just get me in front of a stove. Give me a random objects. I actually this is funny. Megan, and I will play like Top Chef or whatever that show is where you have the basket. during quarantine we would, we would go to the grocery store. And we’d pick out random special ingredients for the other person. And then we’d come home and we’d have to have like 30 minutes to put those together in a meal. Right, like chopped, I think 


Brett Bartholomew  52:01  

yeah, chops is good. 


Ali Kershner  52:03  

Yeah, yeah. And oh my god, the meal we came up with, I think there was like, it was like a cactus beat quesadilla with like, cow, your or something marinated on the side. It was just like, it was like, Fine, you know? And I yeah, I agree with you. I think that we take ourselves a little bit too seriously, these days.


Brett Bartholomew  52:22  

I think the thing that you brought up a good point, one of the things that we used to do that I missed the most, and anybody that knew me when I lived in Phoenix, will be like, hell yeah, we used to throw the most magnificent, and that’s the only term you can use for it. We used to throw the most magnificent firepit Friday’s ever. These were these things where we had this gas fire pit in our backyard and whatever. And at the end of the week, we were You were kind of too tired to go OUT out you didn’t want to go like downtown or do a bunch of bars or whatever. And I’m not like much of a drinker anyway, I like wine and what have you, but I’m not like gonna, like, go pound them, you know, and you wanted to do something social, but you didn’t want to get crazy. So we had a simple rule. Anybody could come over to the house as long as they brought something to either eat to share with the group or drink. So we would have people I mean, our and this was when I was at API, we’d have people from our HR department, we’d have coaches, we had Dan path. I think Stu McMillan came one time, we had some athletes, we had all these people that these were like adult athletes, right? Like for any people out there that are like, whoa, you know, like, we it was just a welcoming environment and our two neighbors, two of our neighbors worked for the FBI. And like we would have like a wii like the Hip Hop Dance Revolution are not like the Dance Revolution, like where you tap your feet, but like the wii dance where your arms and all that would move, we’d have that going we’d have a firepit going we’d have music going people would be in the kitchen, people would be everywhere. And sometimes you’d stay till like 3am. And you could see the night sky because of Phoenix lighting ordinance. You could see it perfect. And the International Space Station would like come over where our house was a lot you could see that. But one time I remember walking in and one of our neighbors had she had her like classic FBI hooded sweatshirt on. She was like dancing to like so funkified by the brat and like getting down and then people were out there like basically singing a sea shanty by the fire pit. I looked at Liz and I’m like, this is incredible. And I miss that, you know, like the fire pit Fridays. That was a hobby in and of itself. Just having that kind of like low key social community was huge. And I’ll do that again. we’ll eventually get to a place where you know the house we live in or our forever home or whatever will be built so that firepit Fridays can commence.


Ali Kershner  54:42  

We just got a fire pit or a fire table.


Brett Bartholomew  54:45  

And that was my route name in high school fire table


Ali Kershner  54:48  

fire table. Okay, so things are slightly different for you because you are a father these days, so Bronson will have to come out to the fire table


He’ll on the fire table.


Oh, so that’s a little dangerous. 


Brett Bartholomew  55:03  

That’s his Middle Name 


Ali Kershner  55:07  

Okay, so serious question now has, fatherhood changed you at all?


Brett Bartholomew  55:13  

This will disappoint people because like, no. And I don’t mean no, because like, I think a lot of people say yeah, because it’s made me realize what’s important. I’m more protected with my time, all that stuff. A lot of that happened for me after I got out of the hospital, right? Like when you nearly die or like you just face some weird stuff in life at a really young age. And, you know, just some stuff. My parents told me, You’re early, that really inculcated urgency. And to me, I’ve always been wired for that. I’ve always been very protective of my time. I mean, maybe it’s amplified that. But I think where it’s changed me, it’s made me a little bit softer, where so? Yes, but No, where it has, is there certain things I’m not going to do now, because I have him I’m not gonna go, like, I’m totally the guy that would go skydiving or do this. Or if I was like, you know, in Mexico or the Bahamas, and somebody wanted to go cliff jumping, or what have you like, some of that stuff I’d be reluctant on. Ironically, even though I have like kind of a little bit of a fear of heights, I was far less scared of like, jumping out of a plane than I would Cliff Diving because Cliff diving, like, you know what the hell is under there, and you could slip on the rock, there’s a lot of variables. But like, I would give a shit a lot less about that. Then when it was just me, were now I got a kid, you know what I mean? And so I have less to prove. And there were times where I’d go to military bases to work with certain units, and they’d want you to do their own course or whatever. And some of them were innocent, you know, innocent enough, like a high ropes course, whatever. But there was one where they like wanted you to crawl inverted on this cargo net over a pool were like, Yeah, I mean, it was a 40 foot fall, and you’d fall into a pool, but you still don’t know how you’re gonna fall. And there’s all this kind of shit. And they kind of give you the, you know, well, if you don’t do this, we’re not gonna listen to you. Uh huh. And I’m like, I got a kid at home, you know? I mean, that ain’t gonna happen. Like, what am I gonna do walk around with a broken neck or broke back and be like, hey, they accepted me. So I think with those kinds of things, the physical risks I take, yeah. But with business and things like that, I mean, I run a family business with no safety net, where my wife’s employed, and like, Mommy and daddy aren’t gonna come bail us out with money. You know, if that like, and we don’t want that either. Even if they had, like, they had that money. We don’t want that. And so yes, and no, but I’d say more in the physical side of things. Even with training. I’ll go Box, I’ll go spar all do all those kinds of things. Do I need to one RM squat? One RM deadlift? All that like no, because I don’t want to be so. You know, I want to be somebody that can do incredibly useful things with my son, I want to be able, at the spur of the moment be able to jump up and whatever. So I’ll still lift heavy, I’ll still do that kind of stuff. But like, I don’t have as much to prove anymore. Because like, what do I give a shit if somebody like, and that would happen? Ally because I’d go to clinics, and people are like, Oh, Mr. strength coach, and they’d want to have like a lift off, have fun. And you know, this and strength conditioning clinics, people will want to like lift at the booth and whatever. I’m like, I’m gonna go get fucking breakfast. You know what I mean? Like, I’ll do my training at home. I’m not here to compete in a powerlifting meet. This is weird, you know? And so, yeah, if that answers your question,


Ali Kershner  58:17  

yeah. Well, I was also kind of thinking about it. Because, you know, and maybe this there’s two parts of this answer. But you know, obviously, your life is getting more and more public. And maybe that’s a good thing. Because like you said, your son will have something to look back on. And there’s the public record of you. But, you know, how do you maintain that sense of privacy? And is there anything that you think about when you’re putting yourself out there? You know, like, is my family being put into the spotlight when maybe they don’t want to be or is that even something you think about?


Brett Bartholomew  58:46  

Yeah, I mean, there’s a limit now. I mean, there’s just some things that like, I get worn out like I’ve tried to do this podcast is the second podcasts I’ve done today, like all just not do podcasts for a while and that makes some people mad, because they want me to be on their podcast. And they don’t even when I say No, not right now. They don’t even, like really ask why. Right? They just get all offended that I’m not on their podcast. It’s everybody’s, you know, everybody’s cool, and encourages you to say no more, unless it’s to them. You know, I don’t put a ton of my family stuff out there. Like, I’ll put pictures of me and Bronson. And I’ll catch Liz and funny situations or whatever, because she’s a goof. But like, there’s a limit. I think that also, I’d like to think we still live in a world where if people get to know you that there should be some loyalty there. You know, I think of situations recently where certain people were accused of some stuff. And these were also people that were highly secretive in general, like they kind of were very big on Well, I don’t do interviews, I don’t do conferences. I don’t do this. And then I think they were surprised when people didn’t come to their defense. Well, it’s like nobody knew you. You know, like, how can anybody defend you If people only knew you in that bubble? I’m very open, I never once claimed to be perfect. I never once claim to have it all figured out. I never wants to claim to say things that I wish, like, you know, I could put my foot in my mouth or whatever, like, but I just, I don’t know, I didn’t have role models like that to look up to everybody put on a facade. So I would like to think me putting myself out there hopefully makes people more relatable, you know, in some way, shape or form, but I don’t know, I mean, what’s your perception of it? And you can be honest,


Ali Kershner  1:00:28  

I think that,


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:30  

do I share too much?


Ali Kershner  1:00:31  

No, no, absolutely. Not. Actually, I was asking it more, because I’m trying to think I would always try to put myself in your shoes, or whoever shoes that I’m asking the question to. And, you know, I think that it’s gonna play more into your favor than not into your favor. Because like you said, Now this stuff is gonna outlive you, right? And Bronson is gonna grow up knowing exactly how you felt about things. And there’s a very public record of what you’ve done  


Brett Bartholomew  1:01:04  

We have a  time capsule now good or bad. 


Ali Kershner  1:01:06  

So cool. I mean, we this is funny, but like, we hit a shoe box of like, you know, when I was a kid of things that were gonna be memorable to us and 20 years and still buried in my front yard, in some, you know, house in Palo Alto that we don’t even live in anymore. And I like the idea of like, going back and seeing that, in whatever it is. Now, it’s probably coming up pretty soon. It’s really cool. And if I were Bronson, knowing the integrity behind that the things that you’re doing something you’re, you know, some jackass, it’s like, putting bad stuff out there, I would be incredibly proud. So I just wonder if that’s ever something that you even think about? Or if it’s just when you have the right values behind the content you’re putting out there? It’s just natural.


Brett Bartholomew  1:01:51  

Yeah, I mean, I there are times where I just want to be left alone. But I’m also not like famous, you know what I mean? I’m not like one of these people that I don’t I you know, I have to have like a body double or anything like that. I think there is truth that like nothing brings you peace, but the triumph of principles. At some point, I just think that having a time capsule for my little guy, and then hopefully, from people that have been there from the jump, you know, there’s people like, I mean, there’s too many to name, but there’s a lot of NFL names, some I’m gonna piss others off, so I just won’t do it. But, you know, there’s people that can go back and listen to podcasts of mine from 2011 or 12, when I was on other podcasts and 2013. And you hear me now like, I would hope that people would just be like, this dude hasn’t changed, you know, he hasn’t changed a lot. And like in terms of base principles, I know earlier, I said, Well, of course you’re going to change, there are going to be some things that change, but I’m talking about in terms of the way that I least like, handle myself, I’m just trying to figure this out. And we’ll see if loyalty really exists. I think that’s the test for me. I wonder if when, inevitably, I fall on hard times, if people will really show up for me, because I know, the first time I ever fell on holiday, like truly hard times in my life. When I was in the hospital, you know, I was homecoming royalty, and all these things. The next year is in the hospital didn’t hear from one friend didn’t hear from one friend, not one out of an entire 2000 person high school, you know, whatever. And so I have like, I think one of the most important traits anybody can have is self reliance. But I think that you shouldn’t also have to have that, like you should have, what’s the word I’m trying to say? Like, you shouldn’t have to rely on that all the time. Like, I wonder if I’ll ever be able to turn off and see see, like somebody come to my defense, you know, that, like I do want some stands, you know, again, to use another m&m reference, like people that have a healthy loyalty to something because your work speaks to them. Because I’ve never had that. There’s been a lot of situations in my life, where I’m like, really, I mean, I’ll never forget even once and I’ll call it out. That was at the US Olympic symposium and Tim polo put it on. And Tim and I have always had great conversations, right. So like, this is nothing at Tim. We’ve had great conversations, sometimes challenging conversations. But there was a guy on stage. I think his name was Dr. Nicholas Pierce, really, really good guy, man. He gave a great talk. And he was talking about the importance of branding and whatever. And I said, you know, he had asked a question to the crowd about, you know, building a brand and people didn’t raise their hands. They didn’t. I don’t care who says it. I know that people will say there’s always room for two truths. Bullshit. Nobody raised their hands. People were not buying into this concept that he was talking about. And he’s like, No, is this not important? I go when you’re talking to the wrong audience about branding. He’s like, why is that? I’m like, a lot of strength coaches are very much against that. They think branding is selling out whatever. And he was like, is that true? Crickets? Crickets, you know, and I remember Keenan Robinson was one of the like, only ones that like stood up and, and there was Dan Noble was too, and they were just like, No, this is true. And I remember there was this board To where people were writing up books that all coaches should read in my book hadn’t made it up there. And whatever, I care less, it wasn’t a crowd that was necessarily like, I was definitely an odd man out, there was no but there was not a lot of other people in that crowd that have kind of put themselves out there. A lot of them have very great positions in like, wonderful organizations and pro sports teams. And there’s constraints for a lot of them can’t have a brand. But I definitely kind of felt like the bad guy at this conference, because I had written a book and had a brand. And I remember somebody was like, This is bullshit. How like, I know at least five people in this audience that have read your book and loved it, and they didn’t put it up there. And they stood up and did like that was one of the only times I felt like alright, somebody actually saw this stuff happen. And they had enough of it. And that’s fine. Like I’m at adversity drive, I don’t give a shit. I don’t want everybody be like, oh, like breads, the best thing ever. Like, that’s a, that would scare me. If everybody like agreed with me. And everybody liked me, I’d be scared shitless. But the point is, is I think that you’ve got to put yourself out there a little bit. And when you do that, you see who will really stand up for you when the chips are down. Very much like Heath Ledger Joker, he’s like, they’ll show you who they really are, when the chips are down. These civilized people ruins your life, you know, and the Joker’s right, that’s the best damn character in any movie.


Ali Kershner  1:06:20  

You know, it’s fascinating. I was thinking, as you’re saying that, do you think that there’s any truth to the idea that when you have a lot of success, and others in your field, not that they’re not having success, but they’re having different success, they are maybe a little bit envious of the space that you’re pushing into, and maybe wish that they were? And maybe when you fall on hard times, that’s when you might actually see somebody stand up for you. Because finally you’re human again.


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:49  

Yeah, but I think that’s natural. And I’ve had that too, right. Like I’ve looked at I mentioned Brene Brown earlier on are some of these authors that like, they have literary agents that you know, like Matthew McConaughey writes a book. Matthew McConaughey is agent gets him on Rogan gets him on this gets him on that they get him on all the major podcasts, all the media tours, like, no wonder, you know, those books are always going to be best sellers. You know, these people have teams, I’ve never had that. So I’ve let me be honest, I’ve felt that same kind of envy and sometimes resentment and things like that. It’s it’s a human thing, where, you know, I remember even somebody saying like, you know, I think most self published books, most books in general sell less than, like 100 copies and conscious coaching will push, you know, a couple 100,000 Here at some point. And I remember somebody saying like, well do you have a literary agent now? And I’m like, No. And they’re like, how? And I go, What do you mean? And they’re like, Well, you usually can’t like I can’t submit, if somebody wants to write a book, they can’t just submit it to like HarperCollins, or Penguin or whatever, you have to have like a literary agent that does that. And you don’t find a literary agent, usually they find you. And they find you if you’ve had a book that did really well, or a TED Talk that went well, this is not a system that is made for like, and then a lot of these people will only work with authors, they won’t work with like authors slash academics, author slash consultants, you’ve got to be an author or nothing else. And so there’s times where like, when I write this next book, nobody’s getting me on Rogan or Rich Roll, nobody’s getting me on Tim Ferriss, nobody’s gonna get Oprah, or the today’s show or any, like, I’ve seen stuff on the today’s show about like, how to feel better dressed better, like that’s a New York Times best selling book. So I want to be very clear, I am just as petty. I am just as envious sometimes I am just as because such you know, I don’t expect the path to be easy, but sometimes you like it should be easier. Like I wrote a damn book, it did pretty well. I’m grateful for that somebody can make this money. Don’t  make me do this to say like the second book just as hard. Because I never know if my audience is going to show up, you know, and just because people have budgets, they have different things. That’s not a character thing. So I think I think it’s only natural. I think here’s the issue. And I’ll put this part succinctly. Like when people think it’s their time, or that somebody’s stealing their shine, or that, you know, this person shouldn’t have success or whatever. Like that’s a loser mentality. Like when you’re thinking of all when there were some people that were like, Oh, you’re 30 You shouldn’t have a book. You’ve only been in this field this long. like they were going through Ali, such detailed levels of thought that I was like, Yo, like, you should be using that brainpower to solve some real problems. Like I’m not your problem. Like if you’re spending that much time thinking about me and rationalizing why that book shouldn’t have done well or why I shouldn’t be speaking or whatever. Like, you need to be channeling that elsewhere. So I think this entitlement loser mentality is really scary for some people and they don’t realize they have it like you’re a coach, you’re a leader, like buck up and take care of your own shit. You know what I mean? Don’t be coming at me and saying I’m the reason for you. You because somebody read my book, they’re not going to like your book No, make something better. You know, I this is the reason why my brother and I didn’t get along for a long time is my brother like no matter when he listens to this, he’ll admit it. He’s admitted at once at our wedding was very competitive with me. I’m not competitive with my brother. You know what I mean? I’m just not like, maybe when we were little kids and playing football or whatever, I hope my brother becomes president. I hope he’s a billionaire. I hope all the he has my last name. But because little brothers are supposed to be competitive with Big Brothers, and I wasn’t whatever it like, pissed him off, you know, for some reason, and I just think if you’re competitive with me, you’re focusing on the wrong shit. Because I’m not. I have no interest in competing with somebody that wants to create coaching of art, or art of conversation or art of coaching converse, like, have at it, bro. You know what I mean? I’m sure you will get some people that follow you. And like you. That’s great.


Ali Kershner  1:10:52  

I think that was very well put, but I hope you’re not looking for easy because we’re gonna finish with some rapid fire


Brett Bartholomew  1:10:57  

rapid fire go.


Ali Kershner  1:10:59  

Rapid fire.


Brett Bartholomew  1:11:00  

I want to do this with you. I want you to wait like, God, can I just I want to reveal something, but I can’t. But at some point, you know, we’re going to I want to put you on. I want to put you on the defensive anyway, going through rapid fire because I won’t I’ll be a gentleman


Ali Kershner  1:11:16  

will do a hot seat very shortly. For reverse Hot Seat. Yeah. What’s one question you wished people would stop asking you or think more about before they did ask you?


Brett Bartholomew  1:11:26  

What books to read? Or what blank should like what paths Should I take? I think people I think it seems like a good question on the surface. But they’re not understanding there’s layers to that question. And if you ask something that broad in that general to somebody that doesn’t know you, what you’re actually telegraphing is you’re not ready. You’re not ready. Like you’re not you don’t understand what you’re asking, like, I would rather have you say, Hey, Coach, I have a lot of trouble with difficult conversations, I tend to get defensive, What books should I read? Or Hey, Coach, you know, I tend to struggle with a little bit of self awareness. For an example, I tend, there’s times where I get irrationally angry at other people, even though I do the same thing. What books should I read? Or Hey, Coach, I really want to work with paraplegics. from a performance standpoint, I want to help these people live a better life and more autonomous life within the constraints they have. What job should I take what internship but when you just come at me and say, What books should I read or what this and it’s so broad? You’re telling me that you’re not thinking like you’re showing me you just don’t think critically? And I know that’ll piss some people off, but it’s just true ask a better question. And it’s a lazy ass question to just say, What books should I read? You’re assuming I know you your struggles like how egotistical of me that would be to tell you who I don’t know anything about what books to read? What am I God. Yeah, you read this one. This is gonna change your life guy or gal. I don’t know. So ask a better question. I love you. But ask a better question.


Ali Kershner  1:12:52  

Well, it’s like when people ask you like, where should I go to eat? What’s like, what do you want to eat?


Brett Bartholomew  1:12:57  

Julio is Bar and Grill like, what do you say? Where do you like, where should I go to eat? Got it? What kind of sushi Do you like? Well, I like this, but I like actual raw sushi. I don’t like tempera with eight pounds of spicy nail. Right? Like, Daddy wants that raw. That’s an inside joke. I don’t refer to myself as daddy. He had to throw it in there as an inside joke. 


Ali Kershner  1:13:18  

That can be the audiogram.


Brett Bartholomew  1:13:20  

Yeah. Oh my god. I just feel like that could be taken the wrong way. Oh my god. I did not cancel that. Cancel that one. We can’t edit that out. We’re not gonna edit it out. Or leave it in. 


Ali Kershner  1:13:29  

No, no, there’s no cancel. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:13:31  

There’s gonna be there’s gonna be a deep fake of that someday. Just I hope somebody turns it into a funny rap song. God, I can’t believe i just said that. We’re talking about Sushi.


Ali Kershner  1:13:44  

That’s how people know, this is real. Okay. What’s one question people aren’t asking you that you wish they would?


Brett Bartholomew  1:13:52  

What? They’re not asking you that they wish they would. This is funny. It’s my favorite question to ask other people. And I’m totally not prepared for this. Because we haven’t dealt like what’s something they should be asking me. But they’re not asking me but they should. I think a lot of it we covered in blind spot. It was just like, how to like how to get out of my own way and how to this is a tough one because I usually wait something they’re not asking you. Well, it was just definitely I think we covered a lot of it and blinds the course blind spot. And so like I’m an empty cache now, where it was just like, it would be how to build an ethics Bay, like how to market yourself in the right way. Because you for so long. People didn’t want to do that. But you have to because, you know, it’s just it’s like anything, you got to learn to fish for yourself and you got to learn how to like, nobody’s gonna just like come find you. You’re gonna have to learn to speak about yourself in an ethical way. Somebody that they’re not asked me


Ali Kershner  1:14:52  

but like, what’s the question that you would see in your DMS and you’d be like, Oh, hell yeah, I want to answer that question.


Brett Bartholomew  1:14:57  

Yeah, I’m thinking I always tell guests that it’s okay to have a little bit of silence. So let me have some silence quit peppering me. The best one that I’ve gotten my DMs recently is? Yeah, I think, how do you how do you face some of the biggest issues with yourself? You know, one guy asked me one time, How do I get the basically just like, he doesn’t like himself, you know that, he knows he does some good work. And he knows he does things that help people. But he can’t stand to hear himself and he can’t stand. And I actually understand that sometimes. And so I think anything about getting out of your own way dealing with your own demons. You know, I say one line from our book is, you know, we’re taught from a young age not to talk to strangers. It’s no reason or no wonder, we don’t know ourselves very well. So I get really annoyed when people send I shouldn’t say annoyed, sometimes I get frustrated. Because I want to help them understand a different perspective. When people say they have issues with other people. Because we all have issues with other people, that’s fine. But tell me more about like, what you’re doing wrong, like, Hey, I have this employee. He’s kind of a pain in the ass. Admittedly, I’ve addressed it in the past like this, I just want to see more honesty about people’s own stuff that they suck at a little bit. So yeah, I would say that, like how they can overcome some more aspects of their own thing, as opposed to pointing the finger all the time.


Ali Kershner  1:16:29  

What’s something unrelated to what you do for work that you’re nerding out about right now?


Brett Bartholomew  1:16:34  

I think it’s always some level of outer space. I love outer space. But I’ve gotten a lot more interested in this is like just in probably influenced my father coming on late. Man, it’s fascinating time to listen to financial market news. And not because I’m like day trading and doing the Gamestop thing. But it really is true what my dad said at a young age hit me, the stock market is a snapshot of the psychology of the world. Meaning like, if you just turn on like sometimes CNBC and things like that, they’ll talk about things other companies are doing or innovating and why you should look out for them. And then you start thinking like, why would that company be doing that at this point in time, and then they tell you what they’re doing because something’s changing in the political landscape point. And that teaches you the interconnectivity of this stuff. So I think like understanding that we live in a networked world, not networking, right, like a network world of like, the cause and effects of things are so seemingly disparate now, more so than ever. And if you just pay attention to finance and aeronautics and engineering, and all these kinds of things, you’ll start to find common tie ins and grooves with stuff. So I’m just a really big nerd. And I also went back to like a Marvel kick, Wanda vision, which is something I had no interest in watching whatsoever. But given my affinity for storytelling, I wanted to see what they were doing with this. Like, what is this thing? It’s a black and white Riera? Oh, no, no, it’s not okay. It’s a deeper thing. Like I went into something totally ready to hate it. And now I’m like, holy shit. Here’s a question you didn’t ask me this question would be if you could spend a day right now with anyone doing anything. Right now without a question. It’d be John fab Rao at Marvel Studios saying, Hey, how did you put together 20 years of stories with tremendous continuity, knowing that there’s fan people out there that are insane about comics? And what if they had to create something with the Marvel Cinematic Universe that appease people like my mom who had no idea what any of this shit was? Me to some degree, I was not an Avengers person. I was an X man person. I didn’t know a lot of these storylines. But then also comic book nerds. I want to spend a day with John fab Rao at Marvel, I want to see how their business deals go down. I want to figure out how they what their storyboards look like, that would be the best day ever. So if anybody knows anybody at Pixar, or Marvel, I will just shut the hell up. I will wear like all delivered coffee, I’ll do whatever. But like, that would be it. And also if I like had, you know, some like last thing on earth, like I would also want to host Saturday Night Live, I would want to host Saturday Night Live and spend some time at Marvel Studios just shutting up and watching how they do things. Saturday Night Live, I wouldn’t show up I’d rock that shit.


Ali Kershner  1:16:37  

What I love about all of that, is that it just you know, I’m a nerd for lateral thinking and just like getting outside of your own domain, your own profession and learning from other people learning what other industries are doing and like how much that is actually going to end up changing what you do and making you better. And you know, I was I know art of coaching is hosting this virtual Summit coming up pretty soon which is literally around this idea right? Like the speakers just like going through the list. I’m looking at them. They’re incredible. I mean, you have people from finance to strength and conditioning obviously to the military


Brett Bartholomew  1:19:58  

Or like Andy Lesley for I’m Adidas, who is working like on an innovation department of things that won’t even come to the market till maybe 2030. You know, like, these people are working on projects that are so beyond scope of things that we don’t even know. You know, Carl coward has worked with Richard Branson. And then at the same time owns like, the company owns one of the biggest landfills in the world. And then is creating one of the like, like the first like green mine, like these things, like I can’t fathom how like, What the hell are these deals like, I want to be in the room, I want that Hamilton line, I want to be in the room where it happens. Where some of those deals, you know what I mean?


Ali Kershner  1:20:40  

Well, I can’t be more excited for this thing that’s coming up, because I think it’s going to encapsulate everything we talked about today. And as we kind of wrap up this hot seat,


Brett Bartholomew  1:20:51  

it’s not like a hot seat. This was like a hot vehicle. This is like a hot plane ride.


Ali Kershner  1:20:56  

Are you do you feel like hot sweaty? Like, do you need to take a break.


Brett Bartholomew  1:21:00  

I mean, we pump in cold air, like crazy at night, because I am the warmest person on earth, if we could afford it, I would put it down to like 58 degrees, the lowest we can really go 67 68. And we also don’t want to freeze out Bronson. But I have one of those like Woollahra things so like, I’m not sweating. But mentally I am because I know that we covered a lot of stuff that like I may or may not regret saying.


Ali Kershner  1:21:28  

Well, I appreciate that. And I had a ton of fun interviewing you, I hope it was fun to listen to. But yeah, this we should do this again,


Brett Bartholomew  1:21:36  

we should I want I want people to take a keen interest in you. Because I think that you know, I’m very careful of who I cosign. I’ve learned that I’ve learned some things hard the hard way, as a mentor, there have been times where like, I thought somebody was really gonna go on to do some great things. And they did in their own context and whatever, they’re great people and whatever. But like sometimes it was a little too early to kind of like, throw my full support behind some folks in different parts of my life. Because probably if I was honest, I wish I would have had that support earlier from somebody like I never had somebody that had a voice be like this, dude, you gotta listen to this dude. So I want to do that. But I am wholeheartedly telling people that like, I’m like, I am 100% tapping you to do some ridiculous ridiculous things in this space. And if people aren’t familiar with you, they’re making a big, big, big, big, big, big mistake. You know, it’s like releasing the kreken it’s the release of the kreken and with you and your dulcet tones. So I’m looking forward to people getting to know you on a different level. And I’m grateful to know you.


Ali Kershner  1:22:42  

I appreciate it. And I’m just so thankful for our friendship and that you would trust me to come on into your Ask Me Anything episode.


Brett Bartholomew  1:22:50  

Yeah, absolutely. Guys, if you like this, let us know. Please, you know, give us a rating on on iTunes. What have you tell a friend to tell a friend. These ratings are huge. They make sure we’re not buried by some of the bigger celebrity driven podcasts. It takes you all of five seconds. Go into iTunes or the podcast app, scroll down, hit whatever stars you think are worth it. Leave us a review. It matters. It matters. It matters. Sign your asses up for the art of coaching Summit. It is If you’re listening to this a year from now, make sure you’re going to Artim Everything we’re doing is always right there. Brett Bartholomew and 


Ali Kershner  1:23:26  

AlI Kershner


Brett Bartholomew  1:23:27  

signing off. Talk to you soon.

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