In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts

Are you in a job or situation where you’re feeling stuck, unfulfilled, under-appreciated or just ready for something new?  

We hear you! You’re not alone.

If you’re considering leaving and/or going out on your own, there are some essential questions to ask yourself before taking the leap.

On today’s episode, I’ll give you not only a comprehensive guide to some of the factors you need to consider,  but also some of the questions I wished someone would have asked me before I made the jump:

  • What is it about my current situation that is making me consider another option?
  • If I’ve been feeling this way for a while, why haven’t I left yet?
    • Affective Commitment
    • Normative Commitment 
    • Continuance Commitment
  • Do I have the risk/ stress tolerance to deal with the ambiguity and uncertainty?
  • What do I consider being “productive?”

This episode just scratches the surface of questions that are answered much more thoroughly in our online course Blindspot, which is ON SALE right now for a limited time.  If you are considering going out on your own, you need to check out this resource so you don’t make the same mistakes I did.  And if you’re not ready to spend the money to do your homework before taking the risk, then you are NOT READY to go out on your own!

But if you are ready, if you have a plan, if you’re ready to stay the course when ambiguity and uncertainty are at their highest, if you’re ready to weather the storms, Art of Coaching would be honored to provide you with the necessary resources to get started.  

Check out Blindspot now, and use the code GROW30 for 30% off.  Don’t wait.  The offer is for a limited time only!

Today’s episode is brought to you by Dynamic and  Momentous

Whether you’re an elite athlete, weekend warrior or just looking to improve your everyday health / performance, check out their entire line of protein and supplements at and use code BRETT15 at checkout for 15% off your first order! My personal favorites are their fish oil and magnesium, both of which I attribute to my better sleep and recovery.

Dynamic Fitness & Strength is our go-to equipment partner. Fully customizable and manufactured in the heartland of America- whether you’re looking to outfit your home gym or entire weight room, visit to get started. Tell them Brett and the Art of Coaching Team sent you!


Brett Bartholomew  

Alright, I’m excited to dive into this. Today’s episode, the idea for it at least, came from a question submitted by an audience member. And it’s worth reminding all of you that any of you at any time whatsoever can suggest ideas for episodes or submit questions by going to Again, that’s And every year, every month, we pick a wide variety of questions to answer directly on the podcast. 

These are things that I’m not going to get into on social media, because that’s not really a context rich medium. We’re not going to share elsewhere we are going to share on live on the show. We’ll always respect your privacy. We will not use your name, there’s no sweat there. Just go to


Brett Bartholomew  00:48

All right. Now today we’re going to discuss how to know when it’s time to leave your job and go out on your own. How to know when to go out on your own. This is something that I’ve gotten repeatedly asked again and again and again over the last three months. So it was impossible to ignore. 

Now for those of you wondering why I got asked that, if you’re new, you know, I went out on my own in 2017. And a little after that my wife followed me. Art of Coaching is completely family owned. We’ve burned the bridges, or not burn bridges, burned the ships and absolutely just bet it all. We are not funded by an outside investor. We are not trust fund babies. We literally quit our jobs and decided to move across the country and figure this out. 

So there is some firsthand experience shared in this. There are going to be some pieces of advice you may not agree with. That’s fine.  But we’re going to give it to you like we learned it and how we see it. 


Brett Bartholomew  01:42

Now I always try to give you guys some complimentary episodes – wine pairings, if you will. So you could go to to Episode 206, How to Tell Your Spouse You Want to Quit Your Job, and also Episode 219 Strategies for Getting Your Best Ideas Out of Your Head And Into The World. 

Because when you do decide to go out on your own, and you do decide to create something of your own, there are so many things you have to think about and so many things you have to ideate to make sure that you have your bases covered. And we’re gonna go through some of those here. 

If you’re more of a visual learner, you can also go to That’s for another immersive free resource there that is going to be more visual based. It’s a webinar that we did. We had over 1000 people on it. I think you guys will love it. 


Brett Bartholomew  02:31

All right. So let’s talk about this. Whenever I would to chat with people about going out on their own when they’d say, how did you know? how did you know? You know, sometimes people want this inciting incident. Oh, it was that moment. This happened in my job and it was clear. And usually that’s not really what happens. Usually it’s a wide variety of factors. So we’re going to talk about some of those today. 

Now you don’t have to feel all of these, you might just feel some of them. These weren’t all indicative of why I decided to go out on my own, but we just wanted to make something really comprehensive that spoke to a lot of folks. 


Brett Bartholomew  03:08

So one of the top reasons, when we looked up research that poled individuals that decided to go out on their own or change jobs, was they felt like they weren’t improving. Now, I do want to hedge this with a couple of disclaimers. We’re going to talk about things like, oh, I felt like I wasn’t improving, or I’m not passionate about the work, or I feel undervalued. 

There is something to be said about just making sure that you’re being an adult first and foremost. If you’re taking a job and you expect in the first 90 days that you are going to get all these benefits that you’re gonna move up, that you’re gonna get promoted, or that every single part of your job is going to be something you’re passionate about, you’re not being realistic. That is not the real world – with respect to feeling like they’re not improving. Remember, it is not solely your employer’s job to make sure you’re improving. 

Right? My wife and I own our own company. Nobody wakes us up every day and says, make sure to improve today. Make sure to do this. It is on us. You do need to be accountable. And I wish I didn’t have to say that. But there are times, and I remember talking to a friend the other day who owns a company of his own, where a staff member just felt like, hey, I don’t really feel like I’m improving. And he had said, well what do you feel like you’re doing? What’s your personal improvement plan?  And they had replied, “Well, I don’t really view that – my job is to do my job. I view it’s the job as the company and the employer to find ways for me to improve. And I just think that that’s a really bad way to look at it. 

So it’s one thing if you if you’ve been there a while. You’ve really cut your teeth. You’re very accountable. You find outside resources to continue your education and get sharper. You find a think tank of individuals outside of your job to continue to grow. You’re reading.  You’re putting skin in the game. If you’re doing those things and you still feel like you’re just in this hole at work or nothing’s moving the needle, okay, well then that’s a little bit different. But remember, it is a two – way street. But often people start thinking about this when they feel like they’re not improving. 


Brett Bartholomew  05:06

Another thing, and this one’s a little bit more black and white, is when somebody feels disrespected. Now, there are many cases and examples here and I don’t think I need to get too into them. People can feel disrespected in a wide variety of ways. Once again, this shouldn’t be something where you had one disagreement with your boss or maybe a couple of times your ideas were shot down. You need to think like an owner. Not every idea you come up with is going to be great. Not every initiative you’re passionate about is going to be improved. 

When I’m talking about you feel disrespected, I mean really unethical, talked down to, belittled, purposely embarrassed, and dressed down in front of your colleagues, no sense of empathy or compassion. You are literally in, almost kind of, this abusive a type of relationship where you’re just made to feel like you’re not really worth much. That is what I mean by disrespected. 

But once again, you always have to understand the accountability piece there. If you feel like you’re the best at a certain job and you got picked over for a project and maybe got picked over again. That is not enough for you to say, I feel disrespected. That is something where you then need to go to your boss or superior and say, Hey, I’ve noticed this is the case or seems to be the case. Could you give me some feedback? What could I do to not be in that position next time?

You do not just decide you’re going to quit your job and go out on your own because you didn’t make the starting team right off the bat. Okay, that’s the last time I’m going to hedge or anything like that. I think you guys get the point. 


Brett Bartholomew  06:37

Now, some other folks said I felt like it was time to go out on my own because the company seems to be moving in a dying direction. And what they meant by this, when we probe deeper is, or more deeply, is there’s just really no differentiation. You know, maybe they got into selling a certain kind of product. Maybe they got into a company that was really tech focused. But there were a million other fish in the sea that seemed to do the exact same thing they did. 

So whether that’s differentiation in the product or the approach or the problems that it solves, didn’t really seem to be perennial or lasting in nature. I mean, I know that was something with me. I love coaching. I love making a difference and direct impact in the lives of others. What I realized is my love for coaching superseded my love for coaching only in the physical sense. As much as I love getting athletes stronger, faster, more agile, really, I love coaching people more than anything. 

So I did, you know, the other side of that for 15 years. But at the end of the day, I wanted to be known as somebody that really helps people from all walks of life solve, or at least address, some of their biggest, most meaningful problems. So, I knew I felt like okay, I can make a bigger impact there. And that’s nothing to take away from anybody that doesn’t feel that way. You just have to figure out hey, does this really feel like it’s moving the needle for me? Do I go to bed at night and feel like I yeah, this is making a lasting impact. 

And also, mind you, that is going to change throughout your career and throughout your life. There’s going to be things that you are very satisfied with and happy with, you know, when you’re 20, 25, 30. But then as you change and maybe your partner changes careers or life circumstances change, that is going to evolve and it should. 

But you know, I’ll give you another case study. This person that reached out said, I just feel like I got into this job and had great pay. I was very passionate about it. It was related to engineering. But then I just started to feel like a cog in the machine. And I looked around and there’s 20 other companies just like ours, and I start wondering, does what I’m doing really matter? And it doesn’t matter how we perceive that. Okay, the world needs all kinds of jobs. For him, it did not feel like it. He had been there 10 years and it was time for a change. 


Brett Bartholomew  08:53

Another one people said that they felt like it was time to leave, and you have to ask yourself if this is you, was because their boss was unsupportive or didn’t listen. Now remember, this coincides with feeling disrespected or not improving. You need to remember, are you in your feelings, or is this a trend? Are they unsupportive? Okay. What way are they unsupportive? What ways are they not listening? How do you know your idea was right to begin with? Think about these things. 

But if it’s chronic, it’s chronic. And you’re not getting feedback and you’re not getting support. You’re not getting a platform. You’re not even given an opportunity. And it hasn’t been 30 days. It hasn’t been 60 days. But it’s almost been a year or it’s been consistent and there’s this theme. Then yeah, it’s time to, kind of, have that conversation or talk about those things. 


Brett Bartholomew  09:42

Some people felt like they didn’t fit the culture. Some felt they just wanted something else in life. So what I’m asking you is, when you say, how, how do I know when it’s time to leave my job? Or, how do I know when it’s time to go out on my own? Because that typically has to go together, you have to leave what you’re doing now to go out on your own, I’m asking you, well, let’s talk about the impetus of it.

Why is it you’re feeling this? Why is it you’re asking this question? And to review, do you feel like you’re not improving? Do you do you feel disrespected? Did you feel like the company is moving in a different or dying direction? Was your boss supportive? Did they not listen? 


Brett Bartholomew  10:20

Do you feel undervalued? I think I forgot that one which of course is the biggest one. And what I want to say about that is that doesn’t mean just financially. There are some people that feel like they think that value is financially related. And that can be part of it. But remember, companies are going to be constrained, you know, what they can pay you, beyond a point. 

So don’t just look at that. A lot of the research out there says that most people that decide to go out on their own because they felt undervalued, did so because of a lack of social rewards. They didn’t feel recognized, appreciated, empowered, and really one of the most important pieces is challenge. People want to feel a sense of autonomy, mastery and purpose. They want to feel recognized, appreciated, empowered and challenged. 

You know, it was a member of our team’s first anniversary this year, Ali Kershner. And you know, there are a lot of ways that we could have celebrated that. Now, in any job that I had, I’d never got a one year kind of thing. I think one company, I was there five years and I maybe got some plaque and I don’t even know where it is because it was just, it looks like they maybe ordered it for $25 offline. 

You know, and we wanted to do something personal and meaningful for Ali. And this maybe doesn’t mean anything to some of you listening, but we decided, you know what, let’s send her a nice pre-made, like she got a steak dinner and some sides. I think there was a wine pairing with it. Dinner on us so to speak. For her and her partner, just a small gesture. 


Brett Bartholomew  11:50

And, so, if you’re a boss out there, just remember it doesn’t have to be something crazy. You can do stuff that makes people feel so valued for less than $100. And sometimes it doesn’t even have to be anything like that at all. Just giving them an opportunity, even if it’s an opportunity to fail learn and grow. So, making sure that you’re really hitting that piece. 

We talked about the other ones not being passionate, not fitting the culture, so on and so forth. So do that audit. Think of why you’re thinking about this to begin with.


Brett Bartholomew  12:21

Now. Let’s say you’re unhappy, but you’re still staying and you’re like, Ah God, I know I need to go out on my own, but you’re still stuck. And this one I’m going to be brief on, because we cover this in my online course Valued, which you can find at

But when you look at the research of the rationale of commitment, and I want you to think of it this way, we all know friends of ours, or at least somebody, we all know at least somebody that stays at a job that they’re not happy with or they stay in a relationship they’re not happy with. And there’s three primary categories of why this happens. One is 

  • affective sources of commitment. That’s AFFECTIVE – and that is those people are staying somewhere because they want to. No matter what they actually are saying to you. They want to stay where they’re at. There’s an identification with the place. They want to. 
  • There’s another piece called normative commitment. That is when somebody stays because they feel like they ought to. Oh this company gave me a chance. They were the first one to pay me. They, you know, whatever, they risked it all on me. So, I feel like I ought to. There’s a misplaced sense of loyalty, beyond the point. 
  • Then the third, which is perhaps the most dangerous for your long term happiness, is a continuance form of commitment. I’m staying in my current situation because I feel like I have to. I have to – meaning I’m tied and this is why I can think of as golden handcuffs. I need the money. I’ve had friends that have stayed working in pro sport even though they’re miserable. Miserable. Because they like the recognition. They like at least the social rewards of the perception. That because they’re in that position, they’re thought of as the best at what they do. And even if you ask them, they would say if they could, they would go do something else. And again, we all know somebody like that. And it’s natural. We’ve all done it. Nobody should cast stones. But you just want to think about those things. 


Brett Bartholomew  14:27

But assuming you are past all that, and you’re like, No, like I know I want to leave. Okay, so now you’re legitimately thinking it’s time to go out on your own.  This is what I’m going to tell you. You need to weigh that up. Before you say, how do I know? And you’ve gone through all the forms of commitment. You’ve identified the source of this the things we’ve talked about. 

You now need to ask, do you have the risk tolerance to do it? Do you have the risk tolerance? Do you know what’s going to happen if things go south really quickly? You want to open your own gym? Great. What happens if it fails and nobody walks in the door? You want to open up your own whatever? What happens when, okay, all of a sudden people are pulling back and they can’t afford it. You know, they’re trying to save financially. 

You think that you want to do, okay, what happens if you’re building catches on fire? And then you literally do have to think and kind of that worst case scenario. And this really coincides with how well you simply deal with ambiguity and uncertainty. You don’t know. 

When I moved to Atlanta, we were originally going to open up a performance gym. Then, by the grace of God, my book Conscious Coaching took off, went viral, got into different marketplaces, we got into tech organizations, financial organizations, and otherwise. A friend of mine said, hey, are you sure you want to do this? I’m like, yeah, man, we’re still gonna open up this place. All of a sudden, the place we were going to open up got bought out from underneath us. A subsidiary of Coca Cola had bought it. Paid like five to 10 times more than we could have afforded. 

And then I was like, you know, at the time, I was really nervous, and somebody that we were gonna hire bounced because they were like, Oh, I don’t think this is gonna work now. I didn’t know that… They didn’t really know that this is par for the course. 

And you know, my wife and I decided, you know what, let’s give the other part of this try. I can train people anywhere. At the same time, this book seems to be doing something very unique. Let’s follow that.  A year into it, I decided to quit training athletes entirely, or at least I’ll still do it, maybe, in very limited concierge type capacity, special circumstances, because now we train executives and leaders in a wide variety of fields. And that opened up doors to a lot of new kinds of learning. 


Brett Bartholomew  16:48

So, if you have low risk tolerance, meaning you need absolute control, and you don’t deal with ambiguity and uncertainty well, meaning if something goes south, or you can’t, you know, predict the future and oh my god, my plan didn’t go well. If you don’t deal with those things well, please, you are not ready to go out on your own. Because that is part and parcel. 

There’s a reason Elon Musk said, entrepreneurship is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss. Now that’s a bit bleak. And it’s a tongue in cheek joke. He meant it, but it is all on you. It is all on you. 

There are a lot of people that complain about their jobs, and it’s just convenient for them to put the blame on somebody else. It’s what you consider an external locus of control. It’s always some other circumstance where I’m not successful or somebody else’s fault. Are you ready, willing, and able, if you go out on your own, to accept the blame, to accept the consequences, to accept the ambiguity and uncertainty? 


Brett Bartholomew  17:55

Now, mind you, chaos brings clarity. So, if you want to grow, diving into ambiguity and uncertainty is exactly what you need to do. Because the answers are in the open-endedness of things. The answers you’re looking for in terms of self-awareness, and your own growth is in the gray area. 

So, whether you go out on your own or not, you’re going to have to realize that at some point, you’re going to have to deal with ambiguity and uncertainty because life has no script. But you just got to decide if you’re ready for that. 


Brett Bartholomew  18:31

You also need to think about, can you stay focused in those moments? Going out on your own is a long play. You know, there’s a reason they say most restaurants and businesses fail within the first three to five years. You need to ask yourself, is this, do you have the patience? 

What if I told you it might take 10 years for your idea to take off? I mean, you guys are gonna have to deal with, you’re gonna have to deal with hiring, building your website, building this building, the fundamentals. 

I mean, that’s the good news. No matter how crazy the world gets. For the time being, at least gravity still works and fundamentals still matter. 

But somebody reached out to me recently and said, hey, I got mentioned in this article and I love this and I’m just trying to figure out how to leverage it. And I remember telling them, okay, well, let’s just look at the fundamentals. Do you have a website where you can even post it? Did you back link your mention in that article so that people can find your website, you get the traffic? 

You know, if all of you guys, if any of you thinking of going out on your own, if you got on Joe Rogan, you got on every news story, you got on every major thing, like, if the world knew about you in mass today, right? Could your website handle the traffic? Could you capitalize on that attention? Could you do this? Could you do that? 

Because I’ve had friends that have had that kind of notoriety. And then that moment missed them because we didn’t have enough inventory, or our website wasn’t up, or our website had an issue, or I didn’t have an assistant to field all the email. So, by the time I got to my emails, I missed this opportunity that was worth $30,000. 


Brett Bartholomew  20:08

You’ve got to get the fundamentals right. You’ve got to get the fundamentals right. And this is a big thing we talked about in our Coalition program. This is why I started it. Because these were fundamentals I didn’t always know about at first. And then once I learned them, I wanted to help other coaches and leaders figure that out. 

Don’t talk to me about your big idea if the world can’t find you. If you don’t have a website, you don’t have basic business fundamentals, you don’t have an LLC setup, you don’t have a clearly defined niche, you’re not ready. And I’ll talk more about that in a moment. 


Brett Bartholomew  20:38

Now if that is confusing to you, or overwhelming to you, relax, you’re all good. You can go to I’ve given my playbook there. All these things from root to the fruit that you can think about that can guide you through it. 

And guys, if you think that that is a low-key selling tactic, you’re absolutely right. Why would I not sell you on a product and playbook that costs you a couple $100, a few $100, but it cost me over $30,000 and 10 years to learn. Why would I not? You have to think about those things. 

I promise you it is far more expensive to get bad advice. That’s the most expensive type of advice. Screw it, that’s the most expensive thing you’ll pay for your entire life is bad advice. So, you learn it either on the front end or the back end. But I promise it’s expensive. 

I remember our friends at Versaclimber who sponsored the episode. I said, what is one of the best testimonials you ever received? And they said, well, we had people complain about the price of our product at one point in time. And I think somebody was complaining about you know $5,000, this or that. And a cardiothoracic surgeon had told the individual that was in the room, I’ll tell you what. I’d rather pay $5,000 up front than $30,000 and all the health issues that come along with a heart attack.

And that can seem extreme. But man is that the case? There’s too many people that want to talk about all these things they want to do. But really, they want to do it as long as it’s cheap, easy, predictable. And so, if that’s you, do not go out on your own. That is how you know it’s NOT time to go out on your own. 

You are going to have to pay hundreds of dollars, 1000s of dollars for legal advice. You’re going to have to pay 1000s of dollars for websites. You’re gonna have to pay hundreds of dollars for logos. You’re gonna have to figure out how to hire staff, how to find them, how to train them. You’re gonna have to figure out how to stand out in a crowded marketplace. There’s a reason we teach things like our Brand Builder events, and our Blindspot course and the Clarity webinar. We’re teaching this because most people don’t get this education. 


Brett Bartholomew  22:44

So we’ve talked about risk tolerance, how well you deal with ambiguity and uncertainty, your ability to focus and, really, on the fundamentals. What goes hand in hand with these things is your stress tolerance

Can you handle the lowest lows? Not just the highest highs. We’ve had days at Art of Coaching where, or weeks, actually, one week, one time, we made $225,000 off one of our online courses. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe that we were partnering with a company. I had worked my tail off on this thing. For two years. I had invested a ton of money into it, and we crushed it. 

But there have also been months especially when the pandemic hit where we essentially lost $250,000 out of all these workshops we had to cancel due to travel restrictions. That’s a quarter of a million dollars gone. Gone. And you have to pivot. So how will you deal with those moments? How will you deal with those moments? 


Brett Bartholomew  23:44

For us, thankfully, we had other avenues. We had other parts of our business that generated revenue and that’s when a lot of coaches who at first were like I’m not interested in entrepreneur blah, blah, blah, then came to us and said oh, now I’m interested in being an entrepreneur. So that gatewayed to our Brand Builder event, which we’re doing another one in November in Phoenix that gave away to a lot of our things.

So, the good news is, if you can handle the lowest lows, they generally take you to new highs. Which if you’re financially oriented, it’s the same thing with the stock market. We need bare markets. Yes, we need recessions. We need pullbacks. And, generally, what you see for people that can weather them and continue to invest in the fundamentals for people that can, they end up going to new highs and they end up being more successful than they would have been, you know in any other circumstance. 

But it’s your ability to really just to weather that storm. You’ve got to be able to weather that storm. And this was something I said on Instagram. You know if you’re in the midst of hard times, just remember things happen in seasons and cycles. That is true of things like farming, investing, relationships and life. 

It may not help hearing that in the moment, but perspective shows it to be true. The best antidote is to endure and remain consistent.  You have to play the long game and keep going. 

Patience. Committing to a process. How do I know if it’s time to go out on my own?  Can you be patient? 3, 5, 10 years – it’s going to take a while for your thing to catch on. 

Timing. Is it propitious for you to do that meaning is it favorable? Are you trying to open up a waterpark in Arizona or directly across from Lake Mead when the region is dealing with the worst drought in 40 years?

So, if somebody says, how do I know to go out on my own or not? I’m gonna ask them well, why do you want to go out on your own? Which we covered. Okay, then I’m gonna say, by the way, here’s how you shouldn’t go out or when you shouldn’t – if you don’t have the risk tolerance, all these kinds of things that I talked about. If you don’t have a clear idea, or your timing is off and you’re just you’re, kind of, just letting your emotions guide ya. You know, you don’t want that.

But again, if you can manage all these things, it is better to feel stressed than trapped. It is. 


Brett Bartholomew  26:00

And you need to also not worry about what your friends are going to say. I remember when I went out on my own, some quote unquote friends called me and the tone in their voice was as if I had some kind of disease. Hey man, you okay? What’s it like? How are you doing? And these weren’t people that really cared. It’s like they wanted gossip. They wanted gossip to go back and tell somebody.  

There are going to be people that want you to fail. There are. And you can’t really worry about proving them wrong, because the greatest threats come from the inside. You know, if you’re so worried about proving somebody wrong or doing that and blah, blah, blah, you’re gonna get unfocused and then you’re going to screw yourself up, screw your plans up. 

So, you know, you just need to not worry about those pieces. You need to not worry about those pieces. 


Brett Bartholomew  26:45

So, again, I think you can consolidate a lot of this. If somebody says, how do I know when it’s time to go out on my own? I could consolidate in saying okay, well, do a pre-mortem

Imagine it all failed. You went out on your own and it all failed. Or imagine that it’s taking twice as long as you thought; it’s costing five times as much as you thought. Are you staying the course? Do you have a plan? Are you going to give up? Then don’t go out on your own. If the answer is yes, then don’t go out on your own. Sorry, I should have clarified that. 

I also asked some of my friends. You know, what if another job opened up and they offered to pay you blank? Would you just sell it? 

This past year, my wife and I had another opportunity to take a job would have made us mid to high six figures. We had to think would we sell out of coaching we didn’t think for like a minute. Nope. You know, I couldn’t tell you that my first year of doing that, then, that wouldn’t have been the case because you’re still getting used to things. Now we put so much love attention and care, it would be like giving away a child. It’d be like giving away a child. 


Brett Bartholomew  27:54

And we’ve learned our true value. Because we know, and by the way, this helps, and this can help you guys as well, it makes it a lot easier for me. And this isn’t meant to sound any way other than just economically sound. So, for any of you that want to turn what I’m about to say into a privilege comment or something, well, that’s not it at all. 

When you when you put your time into it, you recognize your true value by creating something. For example, the other week, I had to turn down a speaking engagement. They quoted me and they said, hey, what would it be to have you out here for a couple of days? Blah, blah, blah. And we were super honored by it. Very grateful. We quoted them around $7,500. And they said, well, we can’t do that. 

It’s very easy for me to just say, I’m sorry, this won’t work this time. Because we know we’ve created things where we can make 10 to $50,000 in two to three day workshops. Now, there’s a lot of costs that go into that. But that also is what it takes to you know, to pay employees and grow a business. 

So doing these things helps you recognize your worth and helps you improve your understanding of economics. When people say, oh man, like how do you charge that while, like, how do you know what your time’s worth? I’m like, oh, simple. I have key metrics. It’s easy for me to turn down a $10,000 speaking engagement. You know, if somebody wants to kind of put us in this box, or not be very professional, when I know that my time can be better spent doing something that can get us, you know, three times that return and in our rules. 

Now there’s a time where if you would’ve told me, oh my god somebody turned down a $7,500 $5,000 speaking engagement. I’d be like, they must be crazy. And, but there’s just a time and a place for these things. Businesses always have to know when to say no. 

You guys need to think bigger picture. Focus less on what I just told you about speaking and think does every business say yes?  Disney needs to set their prices. They need to say no to certain films and producers that pitch them. You have to think big picture in a meta way about all these decisions. You got to be a grown up. You have to be a grown up. And you have to ask those questions. 


Brett Bartholomew  29:57

Another case study, and something that might be helpful to you, is somebody reached out and said, hey, I’m leaving. I want to start my own thing. What do I need to know? And I said, okay, well, you better be like, can you answer these types of questions? What is it you’re amongst the best in the world at? 

And I remember, shout out to Bobby Axelrod on billions. When he had his conversation. His wife had pitched somebody and she was kind of turned down and he said, well, think about that. What is it you do that you’re the best in the world at? Did you offer a service you didn’t invent, a formula you didn’t invent, a delivery method you didn’t invent? Nothing about what you do, if that’s the case, is a patentable or unique user experience, especially if you have not identified an isolated segment or hinted your concept. 

Sounds like a bunch of word soup that is basically saying, hey, you better be ready to swim in these waters. And you don’t need to worry about being the absolute best in the world. Just what do you think that you could improve upon? But you do have to think about these things. You have to think about all these things in totality. 

I’m being redundant here, because I’m trying to answer the question of, how do I know when it’s time to go out on my own, by making it clear – here’s how you know it’s NOT time to go out on your own. 

If you have not considered these things. If you do not want work on them. if you don’t want to have to worry about them. If you can’t handle the stress, don’t do it. 


Brett Bartholomew  31:25

If you can, absolutely. If you realize hey, I do. I have been at this place of business for quite a while. I’ve been accountable. I have worked on improving myself, I’ve delivered my best work, but I’m no longer fitting in the culture. I don’t feel valued because of these things, or my life has changed. And I do understand that I’ve got to put my big boy, big girl pants on and go and handle some stuff. And I’m all in. Alright, that’s a different conversation. Right? 

And sometimes it can also be that simple. With everything I’ve said, it can just be you want something else in life. You know, it doesn’t have to be – people make it seem like somebody that went out on their own was just unhappy or ungrateful. No. 

I know another thing that caused my wife and I to go out is like, you know, we want to have a little bit more freedom. We wanted to have kids. I wanted to write a book. I wanted to do that – to just make a more scalable impact. So, we don’t, it doesn’t always have to be something negative your employer did. It can just be a different season in life.  

And that was definitely the case with us and our certain circumstances. But you got to be ready for it. 


Brett Bartholomew  32:30

So, if any of these things are not clear to you, or you want kind of a step by step guide, you’re getting ready to go out on your own. First of all, I applaud you for it. I think it’s awesome. But I do urge you to go to  Right now. That’s  

Please learn from my mistakes. Please learn from a playbook that’ll walk you through it. Everything from the self-doubt, to putting a first product out in the world, to what to do if nobody buys – any of those things. They are answered in  

If you cannot pay a few $100 to do that, then you are not ready to pay several $1000, if not 10s of 1000s of dollars, to go start your own business and make these mistakes. You’re just not. You’re just not. 


Brett Bartholomew  33:19

The last thing I’ll say is this. When you’re out on your own and this is a bonus. It’s a good bonus. You’re going to struggle with some things. I’m going to be very open here. Some things I struggle with, for example, are perceived productivity. 

When I was just a strength coach, it was very clear if I was productive or not.  Did I run all my groups? Did I get my programs written? Did I do those things? Very much – same thing if I’m in manufacturing. Did I make a certain amount of x right? There’s this tangible thing right in front of you. 

When you’re an entrepreneur, productivity looks a bit different. There are days where I might be on a couple of phone calls. I have a couple of people that I have to coach virtually or in person. And I might record a podcast. And I’ll feel like I did nothing.  

There might be days, because I try to block certain days out of the week where I can just do content, whether it’s from our newsletter or the podcast, where I might do two newsletters and a podcast and I feel like I don’t even know what – I don’t feel productive compared to what I used to do today. 

But here’s the poison in that thinking. Yeah, when I was running 8 groups of you know, let’s say 20 to 30 athletes or whatever, right? We were impacting several 100 individuals. But every one of these podcasts on average reaches, right now, 4000 to 5000 individuals just in the first day; upwards of 30 to 40,000 each month. And we’re nearing the point of 2 million. 

So then think about the reach of those things. There was a day where three phone calls led to $15,000. So, it may not feel like you’re doing much. And this is what people struggle with when they’re working.  


Brett Bartholomew  34:55

And some people will get in positions, I was talking with a buddy about it today, He said I’m having trouble with a new employee who thinks that just because he’s doing some of the same jobs, on the surface, as our CEO, he should get paid the same as the CEO. And he said, what he doesn’t see is our CEO is in so many back-office meetings, doing so many other things off the books, that he has no concept of, that the CEO is doing stuff that bakes success into this company two to three years from now. 

So, you just have to understand that you are going to have to struggle with that a little bit. There’s days where you’re gonna feel incredibly productive. There’s days where you don’t feel productive at all. You have to learn how to view your work in a different lens. I really struggle with this. I really struggle with it. 

And I just remember, I’m, you know, trying to internalize it being like, man, what did I do? I remember one time there was a Friday I just felt utterly worthless. I couldn’t get any work done. I was just in this funk. And my wife was like, you know, you are getting ready to go teach a weekend workshop where you’re going to be talking for like 10 hours. Can you just like chill out a little bit? 

But I fall into this pitfall of always having to be productive. And that’s just not the case. And even if it is, productivity comes in very different ways when you go out on your own. So, you’ve got to be aware of that. 

And if you need more clarity on that just reach out, but I think hopefully I’ve made that clear. You’re going to be involved in a lot of different types of activities. And those things are, you know, I might put a newsletter out today that, you know, didn’t seem like to do much, but then all of a sudden, you know, you get 40 to 50 clients down the road. They’re like, yo, it was that newsletter that spoke to me and that’s why I say it’s like farming. You can’t let something small today, make you feel like you weren’t productive even though it leads to something huge 3, 5, 10 months or years from now. 


Brett Bartholomew  36:43

The other thing is knowing when it’s enough and this is what I’m gonna leave you with. Guys, you gotta know when it’s enough. And I’ve said this a bunch, you know, guys is an inclusive term on this. I know that basically owning my own company, there is something I could do at every moment of every day. There is literally work I could do nonstop. Now, if you’ve been in the any kind of field for a while you also know that just more is not better. Yes, I could knock out 52 emails, one for every week of the year. Tonight. I could knock out 30 podcasts in a week. If I had enough coffee in my system and everything. I could do all these things. 

But you have to ask yourself, at the expense of what? You know, batching is not all it’s cracked up to be – this idea that I’m going to build all this content at once – because some of your best content comes in the moment of those emotions. I don’t typically batch my content. If I feel something, I treat it like a musician. And I think of you know, you know I’m a hip hop head. Like, guys like Tupac – like that he had his studio in his house because when he had an emotion, he wanted that information to come out raw. He wanted it to come out raw. 

So I don’t want to batch – I don’t – you know productivity and all this stuff and doing more work – it can be really illusory because not everything you think is progress is progress. You also got to think about, what kind of life do you want to have? We all know so many people, and again, not throwing stones, that, you know, like right now there is somebody that could say Brett, piss off, you know what, I would rather sacrifice my health right now. – like not get much exercise, not get much sleep and build a multimillion dollar business. And five years from now I can go do all these things and get in shape. Cool.


Brett Bartholomew  38:28

But you’re also assuming that you’re going to have those years. You’re assuming that something isn’t going to come up. For me it’s easy to know how much is enough. Because guys, I want to be in good health. I have family history of heart disease and cancer. I want to have a great relationship with my wife. I want to be a good father. And there’s no guarantee of any of those things. 

We know with health, I could work out every day – genetics could get me. I could try to have a great relationship with my wife – no relationship is perfect. I could try to be a good dad by being there – my son could grow up and hate me. There’s no guarantees. 

But I know that those are the things that I value from now because I don’t believe I’m guaranteed tomorrow. And I don’t want to sacrifice, you know, all those things, or put more constraints up against myself now, and then bet that I have all this time and all this opportunity tomorrow because in life there’s always going to be something. 


Brett Bartholomew  39:16

So, you got to know when it’s enough. Today this will be the last thing that I do. It’s 4:47 EST as I’m recording this. I’ve had two phone calls a day, another meeting and then a casual conversation with a business associate. It could not look productive to the average person. But if this one podcast helps 15,000 people, that is productive enough for me because there’s plenty more work to come down the road. 

There’s plenty more days where, okay, now I’m stuck having to write 30 pages for my book or doing my doctorate. In three days, I’m going to be leading an Apprenticeship in Frisco, Texas, talking to people by the time of this recording, at least. So you have to look at it. Zoom out. Don’t think did I get everything I could get done today? Zoom out. 

Look at the weeks, look at the months, look at the quarters – distribute it. When you get food and it’s time to eat you don’t think, what is the most amount of food I can eat right now? You eat till you’re satiated. There’s another meal. Think about it. When you get some money, you don’t think I’m going to invest every single thing I have right now. No, you gotta pay some bills. You got to do this. You got to distribute your energy because that is the ultimate currency you have. 


Brett Bartholomew  40:30

And you don’t want to be one of those people that goes out on your own and man, you set the world on fire for 1, 3, 5 years. But then 10 years later, people are like, Hey, you remember Jamal? Hey, you remember Denise? Yeah, whatever happened to them? I feel like they were like the hot thing for a moment. Then they disappeared. 

You know, do you want to be this facade and this thing that’s hot right now? Or do you want to create something that’s timeless? Do you want to create something that’s timeless? You know, I think Jay Z said it. And the clothing is not for me, but I posted something a long time ago- Do you want to be a trend? Or do you want to be Ralph Lauren? And again, I get that analogy, lost on me as well. But there’s something that’s longer lasting there. None of you want to be a trend. 


Brett Bartholomew  41:18

Alright guys, that’s it. So how do you know when it’s time to go out on your own? Listen to this whole thing. Think about why you’re feeling this way, of why you’re thinking that way. Think about forms of commitment; what that says about you in this situation you’re in. Think about how well you do with risks, stress, patience, timing, your focus – all those pieces. Think about a pre-mortem, think about your ideas. I’ve given you several resources. And then think about how, you know, your perceptions of productivity, when is enough enough – all these pieces. 

If you have further questions, please go to  Please also pass this along to a friend. And I don’t ask this often but please leave a review. These reviews help us show up in the iTunes library, the Spotify library. They’re not for sanctimonious pats on the back. Please leave a review. It helps us. And if we’ve helped you, we just hope that that’s the least you can do. Thank you guys. Until next time Art of Coaching podcast. Brett Bartholomew. I’ll talk to you soon.

Did you enjoy the show?

Your support ensures the best quality guests and listening experience.

Leave a Comment