In Art Of Coaching Podcast

I am pleased to be joined by Alan Stein, Jr on episode 33 of the Art Of Coaching Podcast. Alan Stein, Jr. is a keynote speaker and author who spent 15+ years as a performance coach working with the highest-performing basketball players on the planet. He now teaches audiences how to utilize the same strategies in business that elite athletes use to perform at a world-class level.

Alan specializes in improving individual and organizational leadership, performance and accountability. He inspires and empowers everyone he works with to take immediate action and improve mindset, habits and productivity which is what makes him one of the top motivational speakers you’ll ever hear.

Topics Covered:

-Alan’s views on exploring all options as a coach
-What to do if you are passionate about something but your skillset isn’t quite there yet
-Is good coaching and leadership interchangeable with a good business sense?
-The importance of developing soft skills
-Using sports as a platform for leading others and improving human performance
-Using every tool in your tool box and knowing when to use them
-Alan’s early on fascination with language and the intent of words
-How comedy and improv can improve your skills as a coach
-Alan’s pieces of counterintuitive advice
-Using all platforms to add value to others
-Shifting from a scarcity mindset to an abundance mindset
-Reinvesting into your growth and development

Reach out to Alan:
Via Website:
Via Instagram: @alansteinjr

Buy Alan’s book on Amazon and leave a review:
Amazon Link:

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Brett Bartholomew  0:01  

Imagine you just found $6,000 or even $600. Whatever the equivalent of these things are in your country, wherever you’re listening to this, imagine you stumbled across that what would you do with it right now? How would you put it to use, you have to pay off loans, you want to go travel, go towards a honeymoon, new computer, a new piece of equipment $6,000. The reason I’m asking you to consider this is that’s exactly the amount of money I’m going to be giving away. Over the next few weeks. For those of you that sign up for my newsletter, and leave a rating for the podcast. Now the newsletter link is below in the show notes, no matter where you’re listening to this, Spotify, iTunes, anything like that. It’s, again, And by leaving a review for the podcast, by signing up for the newsletter, you’re automatically going to be entered into a randomized drawing, where we’re giving away over 10 online courses, all of which are $500 in value. So that’s either Bought In or Valued, you’ll be entered to win either of those, I’m going to be giving away momentous product, I’m going to be giving away art of coaching shirts, conscious coaching shirts, we’re going to be giving away a variety of different things to the tune of over $6,000 There’s no joke, there’s nothing about that. The other thing, guys is this. My newsletter is the one area that I share stuff that I never share on My Courses, on my podcasts, anything like that. And that’s not because I’m trying to hold something back. It’s just the reality is, it’s the nature of the medium. A newsletter is for those of you that you know, want to get to know me better want to engage in more discussion, all those kinds of things. And to be honest, it’s where we give our discounted tickets for live events, our future courses, everything is announced first, on the newsletter. So I appreciate all of you that listen to the podcast, I appreciate all of you that are involved with other things. But if you’re not on the newsletter, you’re missing out, I’m gonna put my favorite apps, reading lists, all that kind of stuff. So again, check it out, what do you have to lose? Literally, all you have to do is sign up for the newsletter, leave your honest review of the podcast, we’re not asking you to make something up. And you’re entered for that drawing more than $6,000 worth of stuff, guys, right. So that’s a lot. This isn’t some we’re only giving it away to like one person, I am going to announce the winners on the podcast September 22. Now, if you follow me on social media, initially, we were going to do this on September 9, but we got a great response. And we wanted to open up to the podcast audience. So don’t worry if you already entered previously, through the prompts on my social media, you’re still locked in, you’re good to go for everybody else. $6,000 plus of free giveaways. Make sure you sign up, please support the podcast I’m trying to give you guys my best in as many different ways as possible and as many different mediums as possible. And that newsletter is always going to keep you up to date first. Alright, with that aside, I hope you guys enjoy this episode. It was a lot of fun. And make sure again that you’re taking notes that you’re applying this information. Don’t get caught doing what so many other people do when they listen to podcasts. It’s just it’s mindless. It’s one podcast to the next, listen to it, apply it, make sure you email us let us know how you’re using the information. I appreciate you and on with the show.


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.


Welcome back, everybody to another episode of The Art of coaching Podcast. I’m here today with Alan Stein Jr. Alan, what’s going on?


Alan Stein Jr.  4:13  

Hey, Double B what’s good, my friend. It’s great to connect with you.


Brett Bartholomew  4:15  

It’s great to have you on guys just to introduce you. Alan is a keynote speaker and author who spent 15 plus years as a performance coach working with the highest performing basketball players all over the planet. He’s done some really unique work with everybody from Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant. The list goes on and on. And what is unique about Alan hand is we actually met through a mutual friend Jim kielbasa, so the iyc a and he has everything that Jim said he was and what I really connected with him with his you know I feel like I kind of took an untraditional route Alan after working in the team setting and private sector but man you have done that even more so and raise the game so to speak pun intended by your book which is appropriately called you know, raise your game, you speak all over the world, you’ve been featured on CNBC, the list of top reads, you speak for corporations, I think that what I want to get to here is this, Alan is, in a time when so many in the performance realm feel like there’s two choices. Am I going to open up my own facility? Or am I gonna go work for Alabama or an NBA team or an NFL team, you’ve created this third space, you’ve expanded the ambit of what I coach can be viewed at on the world stage, what you know, walk us through how that happened, and how you’d encourage people in the performance field today to not get pigeon holed in those two things. Like, can you talk about that a little bit?


Alan Stein Jr.  5:43  

Sure, no, I love the way that you tee that up. I mean, really, the, options are limitless in this space, I mean, because we get to define the term coach, we get to define the term performance, we get to define the playground at which we want to play. So I would encourage anyone listening not to put any type of limitations on and think that you have to go any type of traditional route. You know, basketball was my first identifiable passion. So I fell in love with the game, you know, it’s been for decades now, because I’m in my early 40s. But I mean, basketball was my first real true love. And as I got older and got into high school and was going to play in college, I started to develop an equal affinity for strength and conditioning and performance training. Of course, being a six foot white guy, I was obsessed with being able to dunk a basketball. So you know, everything from the strength shoes to different plyometrics. I mean, I was fascinated with. So for me, just being in the basketball performance space, was the only thing I wanted to do. Once I knew my playing days were over. And this is in the late 90s. So, you know, the options at that time were much more limited than they are now. But I knew I wanted to be in basketball. And I wanted to be doing something in the strength training, conditioning and performance field, and just kind of meandered through and found my path. And that’s one of the best pieces of advice I’d give is, to really find what are you most passionate about within this industry? I mean, is there a specific sport that you’re more drawn to than others? Is there a specific age that you’re more drawn to than others? I mean, everyone always says they want to work with professionals. But, you know, my calling was always with the middle school and high school aged kids, that’s where I got the most satisfaction. And that’s where I felt like I made the biggest impact on their lives. So these are things that I think all coaches should figure out, you know, figure out with your own,  when you self reflect and self evaluate, are you better? Being a part of a team? Like? Would it make more sense for you to go try and be the strength coach, or a college or professional team? Or do you like to kind of lead the way and call your own shots and create your own schedule? Whereas, you know, maybe being your own? Having your own training company would make more sense, you know, do you gravitate more towards the individual work, where maybe you do need a gym setting or a weight room or facility? Or do you like doing more of the group and large organizational work where you could run different speed camps and agility camps and work with large groups. So really, underneath the umbrella of sport and performance training, there’s so many different areas and niches and things you can get into. And, you know, I recommend trying as many of them as you can, if you don’t know what you love, and then start to, you know, whittle that down. And that was kind of the arc of my career. I went from in the gym and training individual players, to in the gym, training teams, to then traveling to teach coaches how to train their players and teams, to now leaving the direct basketball market and taking all of those lessons and now teaching businesses how to use those same lessons. So I know that was a lot at once. And I don’t know if it directly answered your question, but that’s kind of how I would recommend folks start to navigate the whole process.


Brett Bartholomew  8:51  

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, listen, you talk about and I’ve mentioned it on the podcast before. We abhor when athletes participate in early specialization, right? We want young athletes to play as many sports as possible, develop all the motor skills, what have you, but coaches tend to or you know, niche themselves down a little bit too early in the process. And then it’s hard for them Alan, to really identify what they love, right? Because you can it’s kind of like, you know, you may think you love the first person you dated. And then you realize that was puppy love, because you haven’t been exposed to enough of life and enough of people. You know, one thing I wanted to ask you about that though is what happens if somebody’s like, hey, you know, I listened to Alan’s advice and and I love what he said there in terms of really finding something that you’re passionate about and locked in. But you know, as well as we do, like, passion can also Like sometimes you’re not good at what you’re passionate about there is that idea of like if you just stay entrenched, you’ll lock that in and everything will be great. But what what is that breakeven point, at least for you, where like somebody needs to understand if something’s really not working, and maybe it’s the way they’re doing it Alan maybe it’s not necessarily like that they miss identify their passion or whatever. Maybe it’s their approach, but you know, Sometimes people will reach out to me and I can only imagine how many people you get. And they say, Hey, I really love XY and Z. But man, like, I can’t seem to make enough money at it, and I’m failing at it and like, my, wife, or my husband’s pressuring me for a change. What about that into the equation? Has that ever happened? And do you have any advice for those folks?


Alan Stein Jr.  10:18  

Most certainly. And before I touch on that, because you’re such a conscious coach, I’m very much intended as well, what you just brought up perfectly, and I think I didn’t do it justice on my journey is I was in the general strength and conditioning field for almost a decade before I’d really whittled down and decided just to specialize in basketball. I mean, I worked with, athletes in every sport, you know, I was part of a training camp, down with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers back when Tony Dungy was the coach and Warren Sapp played on their team. I mean, this is running late 90s, if I’m not mistaken. So I certainly cut my teeth, in all of the different sports, and really had a strong appreciation for all of the different athletes. It was just over time that I realized that my main love was basketball, and that my level of performance would probably be maximized if I stayed in that, so I just wanted to touch on that, because you’re 100%, right, I’m not encouraging someone that’s just starting out, to put themselves in a very confined lane and say, Well, I only want to work with these folks at this time, you know, the more experience and the more reps you can get working with a variety of different ages, different levels, men and women, boys and girls, different teams, individuals, the more you can do, the better because it’ll help you hone your skills as a performance coach, and it’ll help you figure out what proportion, you really do like the best. So just wanted to touch on that real quick. But then, what you’re talking about, you know, it’s so interesting, because it’s kind of in parallel with what we see on social media all the time where people say, you know, never quit and grind it out. And that’s not always the best advice. I do believe that people will be most successful, and happiest and most fulfilled, when what they love does align with what they’re pretty good at, you know, where their talents lie, I call that your strength zone. You know, for me, love basketball, love, strength and conditioning. And I’ve always had a knack for connecting with people, motivating people teaching people. So being a basketball performance coach very much was within my strength zone. So you had mentioned, what do you do? If you love something, but you’re not good at it, or you can’t make money, you can’t make the money that you need to do it? It’s hard to give that a blanket answer. One, I do think most skill sets will be improved with repetition and purposeful practice. So if you’re just starting out, and you find the coaching world is somewhat overwhelming to you, and and you compare yourself to the titans in the business, and you feel really insecure, or feel like you aren’t sufficient, you may do need to weather the storm and just continue to pick away and get in those reps during the unseen hours, and work on your craft and get better at it. You know, I don’t think any of us were really outstanding coaches, when we first started, we probably had unbridled enthusiasm and a desire to get better, and wanted to help people. So we had the raw materials, and then over time honed our craft. So I would say instead of worrying about how good you are, at the moment, just make sure you have the necessary drive and raw materials, and that your trajectory is pointing up. So that you know you’ll continue to get better as a coach, that would be one angle of that. And then from the money standpoint, you know, I’ve always put coaching in alignment with teaching that if money is your primary driver, then it’s probably not the best business to be in. However, with that said, as you just brought up perfectly, you need a certain amount of money just to live. So I don’t think anyone’s saying they’re trying to be, you know, wealthy from coaching, although you certainly can, it’s more of a 10 day survive. And survival always has to be, you know, your number one priority. So if you’re finding trouble making ends meet as a coach, but you love it, and you see yourself getting better at it, then maybe you have to get a quote unquote, normal job. And use coaching kind of as your side project as your side hustle as, the thing that you do for passion and work in and around your regular job. Because I’m certainly not advocating that anybody goes homeless trying to become a coach. So those might be some routes to take. But, you know, even if you find that you’re very passionate about it, but you’re never going to coach in the NFL or MBA or you’re never going to have a million dollar facility. You should still enjoy the art of coaching. I mean, even if you’re just coaching a youth Little League team or you’re doing something like it doesn’t have to be your full time permanent vocation to still reap the benefit of a field that you and I have enjoyed for the better part of two or three decades.


Brett Bartholomew  14:54  

Sure. And you’ve done an excellent job even just summarizing right there, right the benefit of a cross disciplinary approach whether you’re We’re looking at, you know, finding what you’re passionate about being able to avoid the pitfalls of passion, which we did a previous episode on, the passion paradox and then also being able to expand, you know, the ambit of your influence and which is something that you’ve done tremendously well, you know, in businesses now, you know, like, I remember in your book you talked about in 2013, USA Basketball invited you out to work along the likes of John Calipari and Billy Donovan, and Gonzaga as you know, Marc Heu and now you’re working alongside, you know, titans in industry. And I you know, and I want you to fact check me here because hopefully, guys, if you’re listening for the first time, none of this is scripted, we try to just so if I’m full of shit on something, I encourage the guests to call me out. But I think one thing I didn’t understand early enough Alan and correct me if you think I’m wrong here is I didn’t think business and coaching had so much and you know, related to each other like I knew, like you like teaching and coaching, right, those two are harmonious. I always looked at businesses is kind of, like people just trying to make money and capitalistic and yada, yada. But like, the more I’ve gotten involved with the business out of just owning my own company and leadership, man, like, you know, and even speaking to different corporations, though not at the level you do, there is so many different times. So what I’m wondering is this this is the question is when you got to meet John Calipari and Billy Donovan and Mark Heu and now you meet leaders of industry, how synchronous are is like elements of good coaching with good business leadership? Do you view these things as interchangeable at all? Or are they completely disparate, and one has nothing to do with the other,


Alan Stein Jr.  16:30  

they’re almost completely interchangeable. The transfer and utility is remarkable. And similar to you, when I first made this leap, I was pretty sure that there was a fair amount of crossover. But everyday that I’ve been on the corporate side in the past three years, it’s cemented that fact, even more and more so that it’s just remarkable to me, in fact, it would almost be easier just to talk about the very small handful of differences than it would be to talk about the things in which they’re the same because we could have a five hour chat about that, I have zero doubt that if a guy like a John Calipari, or a Coach K, or Bill, Bella Jack, or any legendary coach could take over a business and run it incredibly efficiently and effectively. Now, the caveat to that would be, they might not know a lot about that specific business. Sure, I’d have to hire a second in command that knows the X’s and O’s of that business. But when it comes to leadership, when it comes to accountability, when it comes to creating cohesion and buy in and believe in, when it comes to establishing a culture, those things are identical from sport to business. And same said for some of these top CEOs that are leading amazing companies, I have no doubt that they could run a sports team or a sports organization, as long as they had assistant coaches that knew the ins and outs of the game. I mean, we can’t ever discount the tactical side. But what I’m finding is the most important part of coaching, teaching, or leading in business is emotional intelligence, self awareness, you know many of these soft skills that people refer to. So if you’re off the charts in those things, you can lead in any industry in any sport in any business. And to me, that’s what makes this work. So fun and so exciting, because of the high utility, and I’ll even take it one step further. Not even just business and sport, I’ll complete the trilogy with my own life, in parenting. I mean, everything that’s gone into making me what I would hope to be a better performance coach, and a better speaker and a better business owner is absolutely made me a better father to my three children. So it’s kind of like, this triangle, where if I’m working on a skill set, that’s going to make me a better father, it will probably help me in business. And on the court as well. And you could say the same for the other pillars.


Brett Bartholomew  18:49  

Yeah, no, I think that’s an excellent point. I think you won a lot of fans right there, just mentioning the parenting piece, right like that. I think that could be a future episode, or maybe a part two with us is, coaching and parenting the tie ins of struggles and successes, you know. So I love that. You know, another thing that I really appreciate that you talk about in your book is just the fundamentals not fluff approach, which is something that you know, I share, right, and you said that I think it was you said that Jim Rohn give you one of your favorite quotes success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the basic fundamentals. And that’s something that I think a lot of coaches do a great job adhering to more so on the training side, or at least they’re getting better at that. But here’s the thing, right with the soft skills and their importance, like you just mentioned really eloquently, a lot of the pushback there comes from like, yeah, I understand it’s important ie a fundamental, but since you can’t measure it, I just don’t know about those things. Now I call bullshit when people say they can’t measure it. There’s a reason universities have psychology and sociology and behavioral economics departments and, those things right. These people certainly aren’t wasting their lives just pontificating about things they can’t measure. There’s a reason Google Analytics exists and targeted marketing exists we measure behavior, I would argue far more accurately than almost anything else, that’s called economics. But what would you say to people that kind of just look at you and think, Oh, God, here comes another guy that’s going to talk about soft skills. Here’s another person that’s going to talk about this. You can’t even measure these things. These are wishy washy. What’s your response to people like that metaphorically or figuratively?


Alan Stein Jr.  20:15  

Well, one of the things that I’ve always liked and respect about you is, you have an incredible vernacular, I mean, you’re, the words you choose are off the charts and very similar to you. I love words, because I know how powerful they are. And even though I refer to them as soft skills, because that’s what most of the world uses to refer to them. I don’t like that word. Because to me soft skills has a double connotation. One, it has a connotation, that they’re easy. But well, if it’s soft, it’s easy. And you know, as well as I do that developing emotional intelligence and self awareness and vulnerability and the ability to regulate our feelings. That is the hardest stuff there is to do. I mean, if you think it’s hard to teach a PowerClean, that pales in comparison, pales in comparison to being able to develop true emotional intelligence. Well, I don’t like it from a soft standpoint, from that side. I also don’t like it because many people equip a, quote, soft to being weak. And that if you are vulnerable, and you are in touch with your feelings, and you can regulate them, and you are that that’s a weakness, and nothing could be further from the truth, the strongest leaders that I’ve ever been around, have incredibly high emotional fitness and emotional agility. And that’s what’s most important. So we may refer to them as soft skills, but they are the toughest things to develop. And there’s certainly nothing easy about them. You do raise an excellent point. I do think while there are measurement tools out there, that generally speaking, it is harder to measure progress on the emotional intelligence side. And to some people, it’s not always it’s not the hard data that they want to see, you know, this week, I benchpress, 185 pounds 10 times next week, I benchpress, 185 pounds 12 times, there it is, there’s proof, I’ve made progress, I’ve gotten stronger. It’s not as easy to paint that picture with, am I more, you know, self aware today than I was two weeks ago? Or have I improved, you know, these other areas of emotional intelligence. So it is harder, but it doesn’t make it less valid. And you can look at things. I mean, some of a good portion of coaching, as you know, I mean, you’ve got the art on your podcast, and you’ve got the science behind it. And part of the art of leadership in the art of relationships, is being able to feel these things and measure these things. I mean, you should know whether or not you have a strong connection with your athletes, you should be able to tell things like how much they’re buying and they’re believing is you should get the culture of what you emphasize and teach should be palpable within your team or organization, you should be able to tell by attrition, you know how many people are quitting or leaving or dropping off? How many of your former players or coaches come back? How many of you like those are all somewhat measurement tools, and they might not be as direct as how much you’re bench pressing from week to week. But if you keep your eyes and ears open, there’s plenty of feedback that showing you that these things are working, and that they’re improving. So to anyone that dismisses it, because the the black and white data is not as readily available or as easily attained. I just think that’s a lazy way of approaching it.


Brett Bartholomew  23:26  

Yeah, I think that’s the key piece, right it is lazy because I think just like strength is a skill, strength does become a skill. It’s very specific, right? Like even though, it’s our neuromuscular systems ability to produce force, like if you quit doing a certain kind of squat or a certain kind of movement. Even if you’re doing a derivation for a while, you will see a little bit of a drop off in that now you can rotate exercises and mitigate that loss but like it’s very specific and I think people they miss the definition of a skill now like this is just off the top of my head because unfortunately I had to memorize this a million times for a research article I’m writing but there are two authors Robbins and Hoon Sychar and I probably pronounced the wrong the last name wrong but they say a skill is defined as a system of behavior that can be applied in a wide range of situations now to your point, right and I hate the term soft skills as well because you know soft skills deliver the hardest results and there’s a science to the art and so I just think a lot of people not only are they lazy they don’t view it as a skill like I had one coach I remember he was like I I communicate every day and I’m like yeah even more reason why you should work on that. You know, like I think these things are hit and like it was there something that did you feel like some of these great coaches that you are around at different points in your career and feel free to expand it to the business as you’re working now if you want you can go either direction with it. Do you find any of them talked about how they tend to work on these skills and the communication element or even the leadership or the habit forming process? I mean, we’re familiar kind of with the John Wooden story of how he taught people to put on socks and stuff but like what did they do in terms of helping people raise their game from that kind of standpoint, as opposed to just the technical X’s and O’s that you saw?


The best coaches I’ve been around, I think if you really got to the heart of it, they would say that they’re in the relationship business. They’re here to connect with other human beings and raise performance. And that basketball just happens to be the platform at which they do that. They don’t consider themselves basketball coaches, they consider themselves human connectors and relationship builders. But basketball is the red thread that ties their players to them, you know, because basketball is the vocation that they’re most passionate about. So I think it’s all in how you look at it. That’s the thing. I mean, I don’t speaking is simply what I do. It’s not who I am, you know, at my core, I would like to believe I’m someone that’s a servant leader, that likes to teach and instruct and pour into other people. And speaking is just in writing is just the platform at which I express that. So to me, having the emotional intelligence and self awareness to not only lead yourself, but then to lead others is at the core of all great coaches. And then they just choose, well, what’s the Canvas at which I want to paint upon? Is it going to be basketball? Is it going to be football? Is it going to be in the weight room as a performance coach? Is it going to be in business and I’m going to run a company? Is it going to be at my church? Is it going to be so I mean, they’re these things tie everyone together? So it to me that’s what separates the good from the great is the ones that realize their true purpose. And their true calling is usually a level or two below the sport or the skill that they teach that’s just happens to be the medium at which they express it.


That’s a great answer and to go off that in your book and you divide the chapters this way you talk about, like certain characteristics that have to be a part of a great leader, a great coach, right? So there’s self awareness, passion, discipline, coachability confidence. There’s of course, vision, culture, being a servant, having a servant based outlook, somebody that empathetically listens, remains open. And is it adaptable, character empowerment? Now, is there anything that, you know, people would be really surprised to know about some of these great coaches, something that isn’t something that we consider kind of this colloquial or pervasive thing that we always associate? Like, for example, because I want to make sure I’m not asking an ambiguous question. One presentation, I give talks about dark sided elements of coaching and how there’s actually some of the world’s best coaches, who they rank astonishingly high in some clinical measures of like psychopathy and narcissism. And that doesn’t mean they are a psychopath. And this is beyond the scope of this conversation. It doesn’t mean they are a narcissist, they’re able to kind of, at times dial up elements of themselves that maybe aren’t as socially desirable, or maybe you’re just a little bit tricky, but it still helps them kind of win the locker room and adjust and adapt. Was there anything that you’ve noticed that coaches kind of do that? Like, somebody might be like, wow, like, yeah, I guess I didn’t think about that a coach has to do that every now and then.


Alan Stein Jr.  28:03  

No, the way you just eat it up is perfect. And the reason they’re able to do that is because they have the awareness to know that, hey, I do have some narcissistic tendencies or thoughts or, portions of my makeup, but I know them. So now I can control them. And I can utilize sparingly when appropriate portions of, that will help me move forward and help my athletes move forward, as opposed to the typical narcissist, who’s so unaware. And so blinded by it, that they don’t understand you know, that relationship between their beliefs and their behavior. So, to me, yeah, the ones that have the awareness to be able to use every tool in their toolbox in every color on their palette, are the ones that are the most successful. And yeah, I can absolutely see that. I mean, you know, a word that a lot of people use, and it’s an interesting one, because to me, it often has a negative connotation with me in my life, although it’s often used to describe the best coaches and the best players. And that’s obsessive, a guy like Kobe Bryant and Tom Brady, I mean, those guys are obsessive about their performance, about their growth about, you know, their legacy those things. And even though it’s a word that I don’t, I’m not readily drawn to, and I don’t want anything in my life to be described as obsessive. That’s one where I can see Yeah, absolutely. There are portions of a guy like Coach Kay and Bill Belichick that are 100% obsessive, and relentless. Although many times in society, I think people look down on some of those types, of mindset. So yeah, there’s plenty of things in people’s toolboxes that might not always be socially acceptable. But if you sparingly and use it the right time, through the filter of self awareness, can be an incredibly valuable tool.


Brett Bartholomew  29:47  

Yeah. Well, and that goes back to what you mentioned about word choice, right? I think a lot of times people react really strongly to a word that they may not fully understand the true definition of or the context in which it’s used, right like, people get really anxious or ambivalent around words like influence, persuade, manipulate shit. Like I even took a lot of heat for buy in, you know from a small like cohort of people that were like, well, coaching isn’t selling and I’m like, okay, buddy, but like, that’s the thing. And so what helped your I mean, just listening to you, and I appreciate your compliment earlier and I say it right back at you, you have a very unique way with words. And these are always the most stacked podcast when somebody is an extremely smooth communicator, because so much is packed into everything. Where did you develop this? Where did you develop kind of were your parents great at communicating? Was there a lot of you know, in terms of clarity cadence, fluency of speech? How did you hone this over time, what was kind of the nature nurture process of how you worked on your communication and became so fluent, and so much better at speaking?


Alan Stein Jr.  30:52  

Well, I’ve always had a fascination with language, you know, so I’m 43 years old. So as I’m entering junior high, this is when NWA came out. And of course, gangsta rap was brand new. And it was just something incredibly raw and polarizing. And they were using all sorts of words that everyone in society, and especially my parents, were saying, you cannot use these words. They’re bad words, it’s foul language. It’s inappropriate. It’s, you know, whatever it may be. And I had a fascination with this, because I’ve always believed in my heart, that words, by themselves don’t really carry any meaning, it’s whatever meaning gets associated with them. And to me, intent has always been what’s most important. I’m sure we could do an entire podcast on whether or not it’s appropriate to use foul language when coaching, especially at different age levels. And I’ve always thought that, you know, there’s the difference between dropping an F bomb during practice, and calling a player in effort, you know, one of them could be peppered inappropriately, to improve performance, and another one is strictly used to demean or emasculate someone. And I’ve always been of the belief that, if used appropriately, and all parties are fine, that the first version of that can be used appropriately, there’s nothing wrong with it. I would never in a million years do anything or condone anything that demeans or diminishes anyone. So I’ve always been fascinated with language and why are these handful of words so bad? Why are these words? Why are there certain words that you can’t say or shouldn’t say. So that’s where my fascination started. Then, of course, you know, growing up listening to the Jim Roans of the world and Brian Tracy’s and, Zig Ziglar, and the motivational speakers of yesteryear. I was just fascinated by the way that they use words, and they use language, and they manipulated their volume and their cadence. And they would have a long distinct pause. And the way that that just made their message resonate so much more strongly than it would if you were just reading a script on paper. And then to take it one step further. And this piggybacks on the NWA comments. I’ve always been fascinated with hip hop, as a genre. And I’ve always been drawn to stand up comedy. And I think those are two forms of being of a professional orator that I’m just in awe of, you know, the the rhythm and cadence and flow that it takes to do either one of those is remarkable to me. So I study those things relentlessly. And I do believe that they’ve helped me become a more effective communicator on the spoken portion. They certainly helped me become a better professional speaker. But then, the missing piece to all of this is I realized that the key to communication is something else that you do so brilliantly. And that listen, that the realart of coaching, the real art of speaking, the real Art of Leading, all comes down to the ability to listen and to listen, to connect, to listen, to learn, to listen and ask follow up insightful questions. I think the coach that can ask the best questions of their players is going to get the most out of their players. And same thing from a professional speaking standpoint. I was on a pre event call right before you and I turned on the mics. And I’m trying to find out about their event that I’ll be speaking at next month. And, you know, the other person spoke 90% of our conversation, which is what I wanted, I’m asking them question after question. And it’s just kind of funny, I’m a professional speaker. But during the pre event call, I consider myself a professional listener, because the only way I’ll be able to cater my talk and customize it for their audience, is if I find out everything I can from them and and I think, if you can use all of these different ways, and find what you’re drawn to, I mean, if I’m watching a you know, I was watching Dave Chappelle new stand up on Netflix last night. I mean, I love to laugh. I think he’s brilliant. So I’m enjoying myself, but I don’t realize that I’m actually getting better at my craft while I’m watching a true pro like Dave Chappelle and what he’s doing so it’s kind of neat that I can combine what I love and would want to do anyway with something that’s actually given me some professional development.


Brett Bartholomew  35:02  

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I love that. And that ties into a question I was actually going to save. You know, there was one question I was gonna save for the end of the show. But you know, you lead into it so wonderfully there. Now, first of all, before I get to the question, I didn’t know this about you. And we’ve spoken several times, comedy and hip hop are huge influences on me as well. That’s something that almost every time when somebody’s like, Hey, I’m gonna be in town or whatever. Can we grab a cup of coffee? Can we do this, you want to go out whatever I’m like, if you want to win me over, like we’re going to a comedy show. That’s the thing that my wife and I love. When we lived in LA, we did a ton of that random fact, like, we actually got to meet David Spade. And David Spade gave us tickets to go see a comedy show on our anniversary one year. And I remember we went I was like, first of all, did David Spade just give us comedy tickets? How the hell did that work out. And then we walk into this place that is just a dump. Right? It’s a dump, you would have no idea it exists if you were to drive by it a million times. And very small, very intimate. I don’t quote me on this, but maybe 25 People could fit in there. And for the next three hours, a procession of former Saturday Night Live stars come and do their bit. It ends with Bill Burr. But it’s so and so. But it was awesome for us because like a big part of our workshops like we do these things called The Art of coaching Apprenticeships is improv. We do it we put people 


Alan Stein Jr.  37:31  

Yeah,  absolutely. 


Brett Bartholomew  37:32  

We put them in constraints based scenarios. And, you know, there’s people that get defensive, and they’re like, what does this have to do with anything I go simple man, like, you know, coaching sometimes is creating something from nothing. And if you can’t get out of yourself, and I love that you mentioned listening, Alan, because those are the exercises that people have the hardest time with, we do one where literally, if two people are talking, say you were I and you know, I would ask you how you’re feeling today, and you said sore? Well, we do a game where, they’ve got to pick the last letter of that word. So that would be e right and sore. And that’s the next sentence. So I’ve got to be like everywhere or anywhere in particular. And you might you know, and so we make them have to listen at a deeper level and use that last letter of that last word, to start the next conversation and people will either love it and they’re laughing their butt off, and they’re coming up with all kinds of great things. Or people, they just kind of like freak out and they feel like I’m not in control. I don’t like this. This has nothing to do with anything. And then once they calm down, they realize like, No, this is my issue. I’m just not listening closely enough. I’m focusing too much on what I want to say. Yeah, so I haven’t even gotten to my question yet. But I just want to tell you that the comedy and hip hop thing is amazing. Was there something you want to jump in and say there first?


Alan Stein Jr.  38:45  

I do. But before you even ask your question. First of all, I mean, I do my best not to play the comparison game. And I tried to get rid of all jealousy and envy in my life because they don’t usually serve you well. But man, I’m jealous of your David Spade experience because he is one of my all time favorite stand up comics. I mean, I thought he was good on Saturday Night Live and he had some iconic characters. But his in 1999 He did an HBO special called take the hit. And then he recently did one on Comedy Central called my fake problems. And they are two of the best hours of standup I’ve seen and sometimes when I’m just eating lunch and I just need something to not really think about. I’ll pop on YouTube on my roku. And I’ll just type in David Spade talk shows. And I’ll watch when he’s guests on Ellen DeGeneres, his show where he’s guest on David Letterman. He is one of the best interviews that I’ve ever seen, because he weaves in his brilliant storytelling. And he does a great job of inserting comedic bits that are answering the question like, he’s masterful. He was one of the best storytellers I’ve ever seen. And of course, I mean, he’s got the snide sarcastic, like quirks about him, which I think is funny, but I think he’s absolutely brilliant. And then one other thing. I actually I went out with a amicably divorce just to make sure everyone listening doesn’t think I’m a jerk back in the dating world. And I went on a wonderful date about a month ago with the young lady. And it was her idea to go down to something called comedians and coffee shops. And we saw some rather immature, first time stand up comics, but then it was closed by a guy who was a professional comic and is his name’s Robert Mac and I was really drawn to his comedy. He’s very, very intelligent. I ended up getting his card and I emailed him after. And I’ve since hired him, we’ve had three or four coaching sessions together, where he’s helping me punch up my material in my keynotes and workshops, and helping me he’s not writing jokes for me. Sure, I don’t want to be jokey or hokey. But he’s showing me different areas, and different tools from a stand up comedians toolbox that I can use to make my keynotes funnier, and hopefully more, you know, connected and engaging with the audience. So I’ve got a session with him coming up this week. And it’s really amazing. But, he’s really helping me become a student of the art of stand up comedy. And, I haven’t set the actual goal yet, but I know that I’m going to want to try to do some open mics, and things into in 2020, just to get better at the craft. I don’t expect Netflix to call me and give me an hour special. And I don’t even know if anyone in the room will laugh. But one, I want to have the courage to be able to do it, you know, I have no problem getting up and giving my normal talk in front of 1000s of people. But if I had to go up on an open mic tonight, I would be pretty nervous and anxious. So I want to overcome that fear. And I just want to work on the craft, because I have such an appreciation for them. So those attuning back from what you shared. Because man is just having so much fun. Can hear it in my voice, but go ahead and ask.


Brett Bartholomew  41:47  

Yeah, no, I think you first of all, like now, this is how you know it’s a good discussion, because now it’s kinda like fuck the questions like this is where we’re going, where we’re like, my dream, I told my wife the other day I go, what I would really love to do right now is do what Jerry Seinfeld is doing Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. And so first of all, you and I need to find a way to like make that happen. You know, maybe we can like co host or collaborate on some like, because I just, it’s so fascinating, right to just talk to other people that are passionate about the craft like he does. But they’re also funny, and they don’t try to obfuscate anything. And I think that’s the thing that I started to get kind of burnout on in strength and conditioning, and I still get salty about is like, everybody’s a tough guy. Everybody’s got to do this. Everybody’s got to be so perfect. And so like now on a lot of like what I share on YouTube or anything else, I try to just show the realities of coaching and like it’s a necessary phase, I get it. It’s kind of just how our field was like, you take yourself really seriously. But you’ve got to understand, like, there’s a difference between taking what you do seriously. And of course, you want to take yourself seriously, but there’s this like, break even point. It’s just like anything, it’s a dimensional scale. Like if you can’t ever like admit your mistakes. I tell people don’t ever listen to a speaker that doesn’t at least share five mistakes. Don’t ever listen to them because of their flow. Yeah, they’re just full of it. And so the comedy and so to build off your point and why I love that you’re doing open mic and you’re looking at certain elements of that is I knew that all right, like I already run improv elements in my workshops. I’m gonna go sign up for it because I think I did it for like a one credit hour class in college, but like so now you know, for and it’s a hell of a commitment. It kind of sucks in terms of the timeframe, but it’s every Monday, for three hours for eight weeks, I go do improv and man, you’re around strange people. You’re in a weird place. You don’t know what the rules are. But like, and the first time I went, I’m gonna smash this because our job, right? If you look at it is improv like, athletes a crazy shit, right? And, but like you’re kind of playing by somebody else’s rules. And you mentioned it really well, you know, communications about the listener. And so sometimes I already have it in my mind, like what I’m getting ready to say, and that’s probably a byproduct of coaching and speaking or what have you. But then somebody will say something so wacky, and it’s not even like a normal everyday thing. Like, you know, we are doing this game called problem and solution, Alan, and it was like, somebody’s got to say, I have a problem. I got a flat tire. And then the next person might be like, Oh, no worries, I have this tool and the person’s like, Cool. I’ll use a tool to change my flat tire. That’s easy. But you know, one person, I tend to go off the rails. My partner goes, and let me make it clear. I too, am not a scumbag. The guy in charge said we could say whatever we wanted. And he said, he goes, you now need to challenge your partner. So the girl turns to me who I’ve of course, just met for the first time and she goes, I have a problem. You know, I’m addicted to sugar and I go, Well, that’s okay. I have chloroform. And she was and he said to like somebody said flame thrower earlier, so I’m like, Alright, anything’s Good. And she stammered from it and she goes, Okay, I’ll drink the chloroform and pass out so I don’t eat any more sugar and everybody laughed And nobody, like the point of the exercise is not to come up with the best solution and the best answer. The point is to turn shit into sugar metaphorically speaking. And I think that what you’re doing is awesome, like I encourage is the counter intuitive advice is so great. Like, people will always say, Oh, do this do this, but like, and that’s where the question was going. So feel free to continue as I was gonna say, what is some counterintuitive advice? You give people like not the resume shit, not the other stuff. Like what is something where people kind of look at you? And they’re like, really? And you’re like, yeah, go do it. What are some pieces of cower counterintuitive advice you’d give people?


Alan Stein Jr.  45:38  

Well, the first is what we just kind of piggybacked on which is, I believe in being a student within my specific industry, but only to a very small degree, most of what I study and try to emulate is outside of, my direct industry. So yes, I do watch and study some other professional speakers, but not near as much as I watch musicians and hip hop artists and stand up comedy. You know, I mean, even back in my basketball days, where I was traveling around putting on clinics to teach coaches, how to train their players. I viewed myself more as like a rock star going on tour, and how would a rock star, you know, and I know that sounds like I’m lacking true, I was a rock star. I was trying to say, All right, well, if Justin Bieber’s got a tour to promote his new album, he’s going to try and do it this way. And this is how we promote it. And this is how we’d organize it. And this is how, and I want to kind of put on a clinic tour in the same vein, and so I’m always trying to learn and, study outside. But I don’t think I’m unique to that. So I don’t think that blows anybody’s mind.


Brett Bartholomew  46:41  

No, and it doesn’t have to blow mine. I just mean like, and maybe it’s helpful if I disclose it first, like one thing I tell people is, you know, I think everybody says read and I love reading voracious reader, like you wrote a book I don’t you know, like, although, you know, you look at people like Walter Isaacson and what have you, I don’t look at myself as an author, like, you know, you got your guys like what those guys are? That’s what they do for a living. But what I tell people now and my 25 year old self would have said, yeah, right, like you’re an idiot, is I tell people, you know what, I know a lot of people say, Read, don’t watch TV, but I’m actually going to tell you, there’s some TV worth watching. And I tell people like, good scripts are written like TV isn’t just this medium, where people don’t put any thought into it. Like, of course, if you watch something goofy, you know that like everybody needs to turn their brain off some point. But like, don’t tell me you don’t learn anything from watching Mad Men, the wire, like even shows like Breaking Bad or like you said, great comedy specials. These are craftsmen and these like there’s a reason the credits take so damn long after a movie, you know why? Because it’s a team of people that had to orchestrate something incredibly complex, and make it happen. And that’s what the egos involved in time schedules and budget. Like, you can’t learn from that, like I watched the making of Game of Thrones. And that’s shit, like, Are you kidding? And so I that’s one piece I give, if that makes it easier, as I say, Nah, you know what, you should watch TV, it’s actually not all a waste at all, and it’ll give you some great ideas, just watch good TV.


Alan Stein Jr.  48:07  

I’m gonna piggyback on that, because we’re in so much alignment, I’m glad that you brought that up. And it’s funny because, you know, I’m, very dedicated to my craft, and I do put a good deal of focus into my work to be good at what I do. And I’m a very proud, amicably divorced father of three. So a good portion of my time, and attention will always go to my children. And there’s not a whole lot of time outside of those two things. And one of my favorite things to do is I do watch a ton of stuff on Netflix and on amazon video, or Amazon Prime. And people are always surprised by that, because most people equate watching TV with being apathetic with being lazy, with not wanting to face reality, and I do it for the same reasons you do. I’m fascinated by acting, by writing, by cinematography. I mean, all of these are forms of telling a story. And, you know, I’m really big into watch. I watch power hours. Yeah, the new season just came out. And I was watching a couple episodes last night. And, you know, I’m watching and for a moment, you know, I do love the content of I love the storyline. And as you said, I’m thinking, man, somebody wrote this. And I’m fascinated by you know, well, how far in advance are they writing? Do you write the entire first season before even know if it gets picked up? And then once you’ve written that season, and you know, it gets picked up, and you’re gonna have a paycheck? Well then how far in advance do you write and do you write for all have different characters? Or do you have different people writing for specific characters? Like that stuff fascinates me, and I’ll be watching it all. You know, they’ll show a scene and I’ll think, Okay, well, why did they show it from that angle? Like what from a cinematography, three standpoint, why did they choose to show this high wide angle as opposed to a close up? Why are they and all of this stuff fascinates me so I can watch them with an appreciation for both. I’m enjoying the story, and I’m enjoying just being a simple viewer, but I’m also trying to study The mannerisms of the actors and, you know, I think the best actors are the ones that you forget that they’re even acting. Yeah, you’re like, Wait is that he is that guy like that guy feels pain right now he is really crying. Yeah, he’s really not. He’s just he’s an actor who has been able to put himself in an emotional position that will force him to cry. And we also don’t realize that all we’re seeing are the two actors in this scene than behind the camera. There’s like 75, people holding up lights and microphones are doing. So not only do you have to memorize lines that someone else wrote, wearing clothes that someone else put on you, you know, to play a character, that’s not even you to find an emotional point. That’s not even what you’re truly feeling at the moment. I’m just blown away. And all of these things are involved in storytelling, all of them are involved in communication. So in essence, and because those things are important in coaching, I think you and I could probably create a pretty decent argument that watching the show like power could actually make you a better coach, if you watch it as a student in the right way.


Brett Bartholomew  51:03  

Yeah, I mean, this goes, this goes round. And it’s funny. It’s what great comedians do, ironically, right? They start with a joke, and it all comes back around. You just did that wonderfully. And we’re not even though the podcast is you said at the beginning, we get to define what it means to be a coach, we get to define the word coach. And so if I know like my definition of, you know, you can, but I look at coaches as teachers, coaches, as leaders, coaches, as conductors, but I also look at coaches as creators. And you have to be and that’s the thing, right? Like, it’s so funny, we don’t understand or appreciate often enough, well, hey, I’m coaching these athletes, this guy’s 18, this person is 25, this person’s got this history, or like, let’s say it’s not age related, and we look at their injury history, we look at all these different things where we have to craft and adjust and do all this stuff. But then we don’t see that in the other areas of life where like, Yeah, like that. There’s elements of that to everything you do. And you have to think about that whenever you’re enjoying a medium. I mean, I know people that have read hundreds of books, and they’re not good coaches, because they don’t ever, apply. They, don’t they just you know what I mean? Like, it’s intake, intake, intake, intake intake. And I think Alan, and I’d be interested in you, this goes into your creation process for raise your game, or even your preparation podcast for our preparation for the live events you do is, I almost feel like some people that don’t understand that they would if they created something, I know that me writing a book, like all these things that I didn’t want to do, I didn’t want to get on social media. I never wanted to have a podcast, I never, you know, I always did want to write a book. But there were a lot of things I didn’t want to do. And then when I partook in them, I’m like, Holy shit, this has taught me more about coaching than the last three, you know, whatever workshops I went to, because it’s just so there’s so many elements, now you’re connecting the dots. Now you’re a DaVinci. Not in terms of the skill, right? But like, in terms of that guy was, like, Who the hell wakes up and is like, what does a woodpeckers tongue look like? And that dude would go find out. So like, Todd, talk about that a little bit more like did the creation of raise your game, the creation of everything you’re doing? Speaking and, even like your website, which is gorgeous, and all that stuff, like, talk to me about the eye opening things that that brought to light? Was there any of that that you never wanted to do and now you’re doing now,


Alan Stein Jr.  53:25  

you know, most of that stuff I was pretty open to I mean, I was kind of an early adopter in social media because, I knew that it was a way to engage new was a way for me to learn if I was following the right people, people like yourself, and I knew it was a way for me to share. And I’ve always, you know, I’ve wanted to consider myself a sharer, whether it was in sport or in business, I always want to pay forward, anything that I’ve learned, you know, if I read a book, like yours, and I get some great stuff from it, not only do I want to recommend other people read it, but I want to actually share some of the best takeaways and nuggets that I got from it. To make other people’s jobs easier. You know, I think as a leader, we should all be doing everything we can to make other people’s lives better and other people’s lives easier with with less friction. So for me, you know, writing a book was always on my bucket list, because I’m a voracious reader as well. And so many books have had such a huge impact on my life, that I have such a great respect for authors and the book writing process. So I thought, Man, if I could leave a little piece of myself in a book, that added value to someone’s life, that would be really cool. And I’d be very fulfilling that was on the altruistic side. And then on the business side, I also realized that it would help me gain credibility in the professional speaking market, because I had none when I first started. It also forced me to curate all of my content and get hyper focused on my message on what I believe, to go back in dust off many of the old stories and lessons that I had been taught. So it was an exercise in getting organized and prepared for speaking. So yeah, writing the book just it helped me on so many different levels and you know, Uh, now that I’ve done the first one, I’m already you know, making plans to do some another book and I don’t know if it’ll be kind of a follow up like a raise your game higher type deal or if it’ll be something completely different, who knows, but I did enjoy the process of it. And then lastly, you know, I’m, a big believer in, you know, a reinvention of yourself in branding yourself, you know, so to me, I take my online footprint very seriously, you know, I try to post only positive enriching stuff on social media. You know, I may use a lot of foul language in my personal life, but I don’t ever put any of that out where there’ll be a digital footprint, I want my website to represent me and what I believe in who I am and what I can offer to the best of my ability. So I you know, I invest in, I invest in tons of coaching for myself, speaking coaches, writing coaches already mentioned my comedic coach, you know, I invest in, you know, people to steal my stuff, I invest in people to take high level pictures. I invest in copywriters to help edit my, posts to make sure they’re grammatically correct. I mean, I believe in putting my best self forward. And I know to do that, I can’t do that alone. So I need a team of people. And I take all of that stuff very seriously. As you said earlier, I don’t take myself that seriously. But I take my craft very seriously. And, I want all of these things to be the best representation of myself and my work. So yeah, I’m a pretty I was an early embrace or in social, always knew that I wanted to write a book, I always knew that coaching and speaking would be in some way, shape, or form, the platform at which I shared whatever was was on my mind at the time. So yeah, I’m 43 now and I’ve never been happier. I’ve never been more fulfilled. At the risk of sounding self serving. I’ve never been more successful than I’ve been right now. So things are all starting to line up. And I’m incredibly grateful.


Brett Bartholomew  56:56  

Yeah, I think that’s tremendous. And that too, goes back to comedy. I think coaches need to hear, you know, other coaches say like, Hey, I’m, doing really well. And I’m having fun. And I’m doing this. And what I mean by that is, there was a time, you know, one show that I love is and I think it’s called, like i The Seasons taken forever to come back around. I think it’s called, like dying, laughing or whatever. And it’s about kind of the comedy. What it was like to be a comic in the 70s. And it’s still you know what I’m talking about? 


Alan Stein Jr.  57:23  

up here dying. 


Brett Bartholomew  57:24  

Yeah. Oh, yeah. Up here. Yeah. And like, it’s basically these, it starts off all these comedians hate each other, right? Because they’re all competing for a laugh. Like, if somebody gets on Johnny Carson’s couch, the rest of them are pissed, because they’re like that, guy, you know, I’m funnier than him. And I feel like strength and conditioning is still there. And instead, like, I just feel like we’ll know when this field kind of becomes a profession when like, now you see comics, like Netflix, like more comics than ever before, are making money and successful and doing shows and have and they’ve said that, like, I think it might actually been Dave Chappelle, who’s like, this is a big difference in comedy now, where we actually want to see each other succeed. We’re not doing this scarce resources bullshit now, where it’s like, uh, and you know, I saw a coach the other day, he was on, an awesome trip. And I’m like, Dude, that looks awesome. Like, I can’t afford that right now. But like, I’m super pumped that you can because like, you want to see other people doing well, like, how do you know what success like in your domain looks like if nobody else is sharing their version of it? And like, that’s it like, you know, there’s gonna be always some people that are going to flaunt it. But you know, what, there’s people flaunting the misery bullshit stuff to like, I don’t ever do that I do this. And, you know, I just think, that it’s unique. And you touch on another piece there too, that I just want to make sure that I encapsulate for the audience is creating something in my opinion, columns, your inner critic, I think it’s really easy to criticize, condemn and complain the words of Carnegie, right? Like, if you’re not creating something, I’m always a huge advocate on like, the growth that comes and when, you know, like, there were things that I something was $300 for a clinic, and I’d be like, Oh, I can’t afford that. And then I look at all the money that I have to spend to create something that provides value. I mean, shit, like one or two YouTube videos sometimes can cost $250 For me to put 


Alan Stein Jr.  57:42  

Oh, for sure. 


Brett Bartholomew  58:38  

And so people, you know, I say this a lot. I go, Hey, just remember because, you know, even the content, we you know, there’s podcasts like it’s free for people to listen to, but I pay somebody hundreds of dollars a month to kind of get it up and do this and do all those things. Now, I could do that myself, for sure. But I also like I coach and I speak and I can’t do that. You mentioned the amount of money that you spend you you pay copywriters. You do this, you do that? What can you say? If anything, and you can plead the fifth here, you don’t want to say, but there is a lot of ambivalence in the coaching community, since not many of us make much money. I mean, I was 25 before I made even $30,000 a year, and that was after doing two unpaid internships and all that. There are a lot of coaches that are way ambivalent about spending money unless it’s like $10 for a book or you know, for this conference, what like, how can they change their attitude on that? What are the They need to learn about money and investing in any capacity, whether it’s them creating or different parts of their life that they’ve got to kind of shake that old attitude off of?


Alan Stein Jr.  1:00:10  

Well, you just hit on is I do some self reflection, as I do daily, one of the biggest mindsets that I’ve been working on because I had been aware of this for a while now, but still need to continue to level up is shifting from a scarcity mindset, which I very much had growing up and mostly through my early 30s, to an abundance mindset, from a mindset that there’s never enough or not enough to a mindset of, there’s more than enough. And I still occasionally fall back to bad habits and self defeating mindsets. But that’s one of the biggest changes that I’ve tried to make. And I think a lot of people have that limiting belief, especially in the coaching and teaching world, since neither of those vocations are usually associated with a ton of monetary wealth, or financial freedom is, I don’t have a lot. So I need to hold on to the little bit that I have. And, you know, an example would be, you know, anyone can make the decision to say, invest 10%, of whatever they make into their own professional development. So clearly, if you only make $10,000 a year, that you’re going to be having, that’s gonna be less money than someone that makes a million dollars a year. But you can still make the commitment to devote that portion to your professional development. So you know, if you make $30,000 a year, because you’re a high school teacher and strength coach, and you decide to dedicate 10,000, excuse me, 10%, to your professional development, well, that gives you $3,000 a year. So yeah, you might not be able to go to a week long retreat that cost much more than that. And you might want to decide to divide that up into making smaller purchases and getting a bunch of books and so forth, or online coaching as opposed to going to a big event. But you’re still making the decision to be intentional with that portion of what you make. And I’m a believer that when you get the coaching and you invest in yourself, in many ways, you will start to grow and expand, and many times that will happen financially as well. So I found that the more I started investing in coaching, and the more I started investing in a team around me to help me, the more money I started making, but I didn’t wait around for it. I didn’t wait to say, well, I got to start making money first, and then I’ll invest in myself. I said, I’m going to invest in myself now. And then I’ll hopefully start making more money. And you know, I mentioned this in the book because it was so powerful. When Mark Cuban bought the Dallas Mavericks back in the 90s, they were not only the worst team in the NBA, they were one of the worst professional stamp franchises in all of the four major sports. And the very first thing he did was upgrade all of their facilities and amenities and everything for the players. He got a new jet, he replaced the locker rooms. And people were like, Why are you doing this to a group of losers. And he’s like, Well, if you want them to play and train and behave like champions, you need to treat them like champions. And, you know, fast forward, of course, it’s got the Hollywood ending, I mean, they won a NBA championship, not that many years later. And I think the same thing, you may not feel like you have a lot of money now. And that may be true. But you can still invest something into your growth and development. And then when you expand the skill sets and your value in the marketplace, then you’re able to bring in more money and then that thing will just kind of dovetail up. And and I know that that doesn’t apply to every situation. You know, I know I’ve always had an entrepreneurial background, I’ve run my own businesses, it’s not the same as being a high school teacher on a set salary. So I’m not saying that my perspective is applicable in every way to every person. But I think the concept of using the invest in yourself, invest in your future, and you’ll reap the reward as opposed to waiting for that to happen first.


Brett Bartholomew  1:03:48  

Yeah, it’s excellent advice. And listen, I don’t even think and I appreciate that you do it. You know, it goes to shows your experience and speaking to a wide group of audiences, but I don’t even think you should ever have to use a disclaimer of saying, Hey, I’m not saying this is gonna work in every situation like that goes back to what we’ve talked about this entire podcast like sometimes the things that don’t work still teach you the most damn valuable lessons and like, I think people get into trouble where they think oh, if this doesn’t even look like it works for me, I’m not even gonna try it. And I’m like, holy shit. Could you imagine when what did Elon Musk lose $100 million when one of the first SpaceX rockets blew up, and that was his own money. And somebody you know, the strength and conditioning audience would be like, Yeah, well, he has that money. You know, it’s like nah, I’m pretty sure $100 million hurts even a bit that’s kind of a lot of dough. But he could have easily just been like, Nah, I’m packing that up and even with Tesla like one thing the more I learned about that company and fascinates me because you know, he had really people with strong platforms being like this is worthless, this is stupid. Don’t do it. You know, and now even though their stock can be volatile, sometimes like the company in the cars, crush it and I just think you bring so many good points. Like, here’s the thing right? Like if people couldn’t find the excuses they want to make. Like, I talked about how I did two unpaid internships and yada, yada yada and many of my jobs and have benefits right now, like I pay for my own benefit, my wife and I both have to pay for our own health insurance, we have to pay for this, we have to pay for that. None of that’s cheap. But I remember like my father, being a financial advisor, he’s like, Put something away. And now even if people don’t want to invest in a platform for themselves, cool. There’s companies like Wealthfront, and whatever, where you can basically put 50 bucks a month or five bucks a month away in like these robo advisors and still get returns. People just have to like, I’m telling you, man, I feel like I’ll go to my grave saying it. I just think it was fascinating. And I’ll end this diatribe with this. strength coaches are in a field where delayed training effects are a reality. People suffer, right? Like you train and you depress your ability to perform in the acute sense. So that later on it can manifest itself into something great. But then they don’t look at their career investments or their financial investment. Yeah, it sucks to give this amount of money away. But you know what, like, figure this shit out? Sometimes just like, do what you tell your athletes to do. We say hey, man, like, just gotta go through it. You got to figure it out. But then coaches like don’t expect that from themselves. It almost Madden’s me as much as it fascinates me. Does that make sense?


Alan Stein Jr.  1:06:19  

It does, that might be the perfect mic dropped in the episode because you nailed it. That’s exactly what the strength and health and fitness world is all about. It’s not like you’re eating spinach and salmon. And that night, you’re slimmer. No, you have to consistently do that. If you’re trying to lower body fat. And if you’re trying to get stronger, it’s always going to be delayed gratification. And the same thing is true with our careers with coaching. You know, I mean, it’s, I want to make sure that I preface that even though right now at 43, I’m the happiest, most fulfilled and most successful that I’ve ever been. That means over the last 20 years, there have been plenty of times where I have not been happy, I have not been fulfilled, if not been successful, I have made so many mistakes that have allowed me and I’ve learned from them, so that now I can capitalize on that. And, I’ll still make, you know, they’ll still be some ebbs and flows in my life moving forward. But I’m having a much better grasp of all of this. And most of that is because of, what you just said, I understand that the things I do today, the habits that I create the mindset that I have the rituals that I have, what I’m doing during the unseen hours now, I’m not going to reap the benefits of that until much later. And that could be in two weeks could be in two years to be in 20 years. But still need to do that now. And now that I have that appreciation, I can just enjoy the process and enjoy the journey and don’t get so caught up in results.


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:41  

I love it. Well, listen, you’ve given us a tremendous amount of your time. I do want to make the last part of this a little easier for you though. And this is just so Alan I somehow I don’t know how this happens. But somehow I get asked with some frequency Hey, man, where can I buy your book. And so I want to make sure I make this really easy for everybody else guys, to buy Alan’s book, raise your game or just about any other book, for that matter. Go to the world’s largest bookstore, It’s available around the world, he’s got a tremendous amount of resources information in it. And like I say, with anything like you know, no book is going to be for everybody. But if you can at least find 5 10 15 tidbits out of this, or any other book you read, then you need to look in the mirror. So look for it, raise your game available worldwide on Amazon, don’t be a dick, leave a rating and review. Tell a friend of a friend like it’s just how people view you know, like, I didn’t know this either, right? I didn’t leave ratings or reviews for books for a long time. And then you write when you’re like, oh, yeah, it’s kind of nice to not be buried under Amazon’s algorithm. You know, because there’s big publishers out there that are publicists that aren’t so like, leave honest feedback. Help Alan out, he’s trying to do good, Alan, if people want to reach you, or there’s other places they can grab the book, or they have questions or they’re interested in having you speak. Can you lay that out for us? And we’ll be sure to put it in the show notes as well. But where can they reach you?


Alan Stein Jr.  1:08:58  

I sure can you know what this reminds me of? You know, when I started being an incredibly generous tipper was after I waited table. When I had to wait tables in college and I realized how hard and thankless that job was. Now I go above and beyond the tip as much as possible to anyone in service. And it’s the same thing. Before I wrote a book. Same thing, I was not near as you know, I wasn’t writing Amazon reviews or going out of my way to show support to people that went through it. And now that I’ve gone through it, I do that as much as possible. So I appreciate you bringing that up and for your support. If you go to There’s some free resources there. You can get a little bit more info on the book. As you said it’s on Amazon, or if you’ve been mesmerized by my smooth and silky sexy voice. I did do the read for the audiobook. You can get that on Audible or on iTunes.


Brett Bartholomew  1:09:48  

Oh don’t tell him that shit man because I get crushed for not doing my read like because people don’t know what well people don’t know what goes into that either. And that’s another episode but you’re a dick, you know? Yeah. Oh, yeah, keep going, sorry, where else can they reach you?


Alan Stein Jr.  1:10:02  

They can just go to or hit me up at Alan Stein Jr. on Instagram or any of the major social platforms. I do love engaging, you are one of my favorite follows, I get so much stuff out of your stuff. So everything that you said to me, especially about your book is equally remarkable. And I tell even people outside of the coaching profession, that they need to read it, it will help them in business, it will help them in parenting, it will help them in anything. So this has been a lot of fun man, I’ve been on hundreds of podcasts. And this is a Mount Rushmore. So I’ve had a great time. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:10:28  

Well, thank you. Likewise, this has been one of my most enjoyable and the purpose of it, you know, as the intro says, is to take lessons from the weight room to the boardroom and in between, because we’re really and you’re a huge part of this, I’m really trying to push our profession to quit limiting the view of what they do and the people they can influence and the world that they can impact, which is why we think this information, as with any of the other resources we have, like are for everybody. So Alan, thanks again for your time. And if there’s anything I can ever do to help Brother, I’m here.


Alan Stein Jr.  1:11:04  



Brett Bartholomew  1:11:07  

Listen, one more thing before you go. And I know a lot has been crammed into this episode. But I want to make sure I let you know about my YouTube channel. So I didn’t do anything on YouTube for the longest time. But per your guys’s request, and per some folks that just really wanted some more visual content, whether that be just tips, advice, strategies, or even visuals of the type of coaching that I do live events and workshops, I have created a YouTube channel that showcases even more in depth information that complements the podcast, the book and everything we’re doing at art of coaching. So if you found value in this resource, or you’re enjoying the content, please make sure you visit my YouTube channel, subscribe. And we’re gonna continue to try to put out a wide variety of things that whether you’re a coach, whether you’re a personal trainer, whether you’re a CEO, whether you’re a manager, all in some way, shape, or form, help you better interact with people and figure out how to work on bridging the gaps in your own development. So again, check out the YouTube channel, check out anything else that we do at and thanks again for tuning into the show. I appreciate each and every one of you

  • Coz

    Love the way Brett interacts with each guest and how he guides and coaches the session so we can learn and get the best material possible. A great way to learn, implement, and grow as a coach while learning from the leading minds in our industry and beyond. Definitely recommend this to anybody looking to grow as a person, not just coaches or people in the industry.

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