Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have Kyle Sullivan. Kyle, welcome.
Hey, Thomas. What’s going on, man? Glad to be on the show today.
Glad to have you. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Yeah, absolutely. So first and foremost a husband of almost nine years and father of two kiddos under two and a half. So we got a little girl that is two and some change and our little boy is seven months old. So, it’s a fun time in our house, personally and professionally. I run a company called Unleash the Champ for entrepreneurs to match their personal success with their professional success. So, it’s a ton of fun and I’ve been doing it for a couple of years now after being in full time ministry for 11 years before that. I love the company name Unleash the Champ. Yeah, man, it’s kind of cool story, how it happened and I feel like it just kind of dropped in my lap and so, you know, I have a strong faith and I feel like it was just like gifted to me. So it’s a super fun.
Well, the first question I was going to ask you was what is the number one thing? Someone needs to be successful, but prior to that, what does it mean to you to be successful? Oh man, love that question. So to be successful for me is more future pace. So getting to the end of my life with as few what ifs as possible, so to be successful, get to the end of your life with as few what ifs as possible. And then along the way, being able to put yourself out there put yourself out there, get uncomfortable and it’s less about the goals that you hit, but it’s about the transformation that happens within. So coming back to the question, how does how do people do that, decide first? What do you want? Yeah, that’s the number one indicator of true success and it’s the barrier most have to overcome before they can start their success journey because if you don’t know what you want, you don’t know the destination where you want, you will not be able to build the road map to get there.
I think it’s a common thing that I have on the podcast where I do ask the question, why is it that people don’t tend to know what they want. You got any theories there? Yeah man, I think it’s because we grow up and we’re told what we want, you know from, you know, like I think about my kids and you know, we talked to you got kiddos yourself, we tell them what they want. Hey, here’s a meal, here’s where you need to go, here’s where you have to go and so it at least for me, I didn’t really grow up where I had a lot of decision making opportunities, you know, our parents say, okay, here’s what you need, here’s where you need to go, here’s what you need to do, here’s how you need to act and then we become adults and it’s like, all right now go do what you want. It’s like, I don’t, I don’t know how to decide that. And so I think it happens really early on and it’s not until you have a guy at a mentor coach that can say, hey, here’s, here’s a couple options you decide, I think you decide is one of the most powerful things that you can gift somebody in their development journey is either way you decide, there’s a skill that actually hasn’t been developed, yep.
Any thoughts on how you get better at that skill, play this or that. So one of the things I work with my clients Super elementary, but one of the biggest things we work on is creating that vision, creating that dream, creating what I call the championship run and it’s going, do you want this or that Super elementary, but you know, they say, okay, I want to make more money, right? I want to make more money, okay, great, like a dollar more or a million more? Well obviously, you know like or I want a better relationship, okay, do you want a better, you know, what does that mean? Does it mean you are, you know madly love? You’re doing date nights every night or is it man, we’re connected and this is so you play this or that as detailed as you can get and that starts to build out what you actually want in life and once you want, once you know what you want, you can build the road map to get there. I actually really liked the answer and I’ve never heard it before.
I did check out your socials and I really like this and that video. And like I said, I haven’t heard anyone talk about that. And I think you did say it’s elementary, but at the same time, I mean If you, if you say to someone, do you want 100,000 or do you want a million in in, they would know what they want and that kind of helps them get that right. And, and both are okay. And I think that’s the thing that we, we get paralysed because we’re so afraid that if we say we want this, we’re missing out on something. But really it’s just going where you’re at right now to the best of your ability, to, the best of your knowledge, Do you want this or that and there’s, there’s security, there’s freedom and there’s clarity because of it you mentioned that you’ve gone from or the business owner thing is, is new when, when did it start Coming up on two years. Okay, not so new. How’s it going?
It’s the most fun and frustrating thing I’ve ever done in my life. You know, I had a lot of success in ministry and the church is that I got to work for that global reach and I got to be in front of thousands of people and all of the, this amazing stuff I got to be a part of, and I got really good at that. I was, You know, in ministry full time for 11 years and then starting this, no connections in the business world, no, no systems, no structure. You know, I came into organisations and had the playbook, okay, here’s how you operate. And, and honestly, I, I realised very quickly how bad of a boss I was when I was left alone. And so I had to, I had to grow through that and I had to grow through the systems and the, and the, the SOPs and KPs, all of that stuff I had to set all of that. And so it’s a, it’s a, it’s a ton of fun now, but what you well know, and there’s levels to this thing, I feel like every day I’m like, I had no clue that this was a possibility.
I had no clue like, man, if I do this little thing, it can affect this. And so it’s a, it’s the most fun, frustrating and fulfilling thing that I’ve done outside of, I mean, probably my marriage and being a father. So what’s an example of being a boss where you did something previously and how you would, how you would do that now, Thomas. When I first got started, I had a lot of initial success um, in comparison to income and what I was making in ministry. And then, you know, we came out of the gate and I was just super aggressive and, you know, messaging and getting on clients and getting, getting people in the program, and then I got complacent because when you have an influx of money, it’s like, this is amazing, but that money is not going to keep coming in unless you keep doing the work. And so there were times where man, we shot up and I was like, man, this is amazing. And Thomas, I’m playing golf like three days a week, I’m like, go, you know, I’m just, oh great, we have all of this money.
But I realised that the actions I do today, the return on that two, 34 months from now. So what I’m doing today will pay off because you’re building relationships, you’re building rapport, you’re establishing authority, it’s the know, like, and trust factor. And so I did not understand that I had all of this pride and I had all of this. Like, I knew I was going to be amazing at this and it was like a hit in the face and one of my favourite quotes is by Mike Tyson said, everybody has a plan until they get hit in the mouth and man, I got hit in the mouth and there was like, holy crap, I don’t, I don’t know, I don’t know where to go, I don’t know what to do. And so then I had to go back and go, okay, what did I learn from a decade plus, being in leadership and leading people and I had to build in those systems for myself and be accountable to me. And then then it started to pick up the momentum because then I had the playbook and I know, okay, I’m gonna, I’m gonna do what’s in the playbook, If I do that, then the success will come on the flip side of your example as well as if you’re spending three days on the golf course, you sort of don’t feel it until a few months later there it is, yep.
Yeah, because I just go out and you know, listeners going out and playing golf isn’t bad, but I was going by myself, I wasn’t even using it to like build relationships or deep connections. I was just like, I’m good and so it can be, but you have to make sure that’s where it goes back to your systems, your structures, your KPIs like, what is the purpose of everything you’re doing? I think that’s the biggest thing that I learned is when I sit down to do the work, do the business activities, what is the purpose behind it? What does it mean to have a championship runs? Yeah, so I think about, yeah, I played sports all my life Was did a D1 athlete and so sports is so much of my thinking at the beginning of every season, no matter if it was baseball, football, powerlifting, cheerleading that I did in college at the beginning of the season, you set goals, you set targets, here’s where I want to be at the end of the season.
Well that’s the championship run. And so most people, you know, they call it their vision or they call it their preferred future, they call it whatever. For me it’s the championship run because then you take that and you go, okay, what are the things that I need to do to ensure a higher probability that the championship run that I said, the ultimate goal is achieved. It’s so, you know, a lot of people call it vision purpose preferred future. I call it the championship run because it’s in alignment with what we do and unleash the champ. Have you got any three say stories or case studies that you’re particularly proud of? Yeah, man, it’s uh, here’s the thing because what we do is we match the personal success to the professional. So what I’m excited about is I’ve got one client, we’ve been working together for about 18 months and their marriage has transformed because they actually have date nights and they actually connect with one another. And the by-product of that is that clear in their business, they’ve made more money but that’s the secondary thing of they actually know each other got another, that things were great personally but they were not as effective professional and so we work together, create an ideal client created and launched a coaching group that is now supplementing what she does in her corporate job and gives them side hustle to be able to do more, invest more travel more like that.
I have another client that was beat down had a lot of success professionally but it was costing physical health, mental health and felt, I can’t tell anybody how overwhelmed I am. Well through us working together and building out an actual, I call it cool down and warm up routines. So your evening, your morning routines, they were able to get the clarity of you know what, here’s some pockets of my day that I can invest in me because the clients I work with, I say you have to take care of yourself before you can take care of anybody else. It’s the whole airline thing but the oxygen mask on yourself before you help anybody else. But oftentimes type a driven, successful people in business don’t do that even though they know they should, any misconceptions about what you do. Oh of course the coaching industry is saturated with, It’s gonna take 90 days.
It will completely transform your life Or hey, here’s my 17 step process to make $1 million dollars in the next six months. There’s a lot of claims. I come from the angle and I come from the frame of, it’s gonna take about three months before we even get clear on what you want. So I’m, I’m a realist now if it takes a month and a half, great, But I tell people that’s why typically I work with clients for 6-12 months because hey, it’s gonna take us to three months before we even get the plan built out because you have to deconstruct, you have to pull back the layers. And so the misconceptions is, it’s quick, it’s easy and you’re gonna get results immediately. Now there’s portions of that, but it’s how you define results. So setting up a morning and an evening routine is a result. But the benefits of it come weeks or months later. So there’s the misconception that it’s kind of like a get fixed quick or get rich quick kind of thing. And transformative performance coaching is not that it’s submitting to somebody asking the right questions for you to go within hearing the right advice and implementing it and not just this kind of microwave mentality that I’m gonna put this in, I’m gonna get to work and boom, it happens.
It’s the consistent behaviour over time in the right direction. That’s gonna yell the results. It’s not get fixed quick type of deal. Yeah, like under promise and over deliver. Whereas most people are the opposite obviously right and regarding your, the people you work with the coaching clients, do you see that there’s any trend in common problems? Oh, they, they feel overwhelmed, but they don’t know who to talk to. That is probably the biggest because when you are driven, when you’re successful, you’ve, you’ve learned how to manage perception, which in turn makes it to where it’s not very easy for you to say, hey, I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t, I don’t know how to navigate this. And so we start to put up these masks and we start to put up these compartmentalised compartments in our mind. So that’s one thing. Um, another barrier or problem is that you think you think everything is all right?
You think everything is okay? And so when I started asking like, questions like, okay, great, you have all this professional success, you’re making more money than you ever thought possible. How’s your marriage? Oh yeah, yeah. That’s good. Would your wife say that? Would your husband say that? Maybe, maybe not. You know, and so you start to peel back the layers. But yeah, the biggest thing is successful people. Everything is always great. It’s always awesome. We’re always you know, it’s up into the right and as they build this facade that is really built on sand and not on a strong foundation, interesting and very valuable to have someone ask those questions because we don’t typically do that in society do it right. There’s a perception problem I suppose it comes back to which is if someone actually does do that, then we’ve got the perception to maintain. Yeah, you know, I call it appropriate vulnerability because what I am not telling your listeners is that as you as the leader should just be like I’m terrible.
This is overwhelming because you’re weakened, you’ll weaken your leadership. But what I am saying like everybody, everybody should know everything but somebody should know everything. And so I treated as you know, I have, I have about five people in my life that they have the all access card to the stadium that is Kyle Sullivan, they can ask me anything, they can ask me as deep of a question, they can get in my tail and say where I am not doing what I said I was gonna do. Like they have full access the whole world does not have that. And so it’s being able to have that appropriate vulnerability and you share with your team. Hey this is a challenge that we’re having, here’s the plan but before that you gotta have somebody to flush this stuff out with. He talked to me about the playbook 100%. So the playbook is a simple Yet effective way to set targets in four phases of our life.
So personally, that’s your body because you’re not gonna be any good if you don’t take care of your body, your relationships, relationship to yourself and those around you, your emotional, that’s your mindset is your limiting beliefs. That’s the things that are keeping you stuck in the ways in which you will move forward and then professionally it’s what you do for your career. So what we do with the playbook is we hand it, give it to people and say, okay in these four phases of life, personal, relational, emotional and professional, where do you need to grow? Where do you need to go? And we don’t set annual reviews. We don’t set yearlong, we don’t, I don’t have a one year, three year, five year plan. I said 90 day targets, 90 day seasons. We have four seasons in our world. We’ve got four seasons in the playbook. So when you can set those small attainable stretching Goals and targets within a 90 day period, you can start to see way more momentum because it increases your urgency, it increases clarity and it allows you to go, okay, if I have an off day, I don’t beat myself up over it.
I don’t make it to where it’s like ah what was me? I suck, this sucks, I’m terrible. You just go back to the playbook and say, okay, what did I say I would do today, I’m gonna do those things interesting. It’s um, it’s really cool that it makes me think, how did you come up with this? At what point did you think all the things that I’ve learned from sports and everything I can apply to coaching? How did that come about? And you know, time, it’s like I said in the beginning it when I sat down and I looked at the coaching industry, everybody has some kind of framework, some kind of vehicle to get their client’s success. And so for me, I I love the idea of unleashed the channel, obviously it’s what I named the business. And so I started viewing everything through the frame of sports and so I don’t say morning routine, I don’t say evening routine. I say you’re warm up and your cool death, I don’t say, you know, I don’t say vision for your life.
I say, what is your championship run? And so I took common terms in our industry and I said, what would the equivalent be two sports because the people that I serve though not professional athletes or not whatever they have a background in sports. And so it’s common language that they’re familiar with and so it allows for them to attach and say, okay, yeah, I remember like with the playbook, I remember when I was in sports and I got handed a playbook and I had to learn the place to be successful. I know man at the beginning of a game, we’d have a warm up routine and at the end we have cooled down, whether it’s taping icing, whatever. So I just took common terms and thought, what’s the sports term equivalent? And that’s what, no, that’s how it all came to be. You mentioned something and I was going to ask you about that, which is, do you attract certain people as a result of this type of, I’m not even sure you call it branding, I’m not sure your approach, but the opposite is also what I also want to know, which is, do you attract people who have no context of sports at all?
No, no, because, and I don’t, I don’t offer, I don’t offer that. So if I’m working with somebody. And, and one of the questions that I ask is like, tell me about your past. Like did you, were you involved in any team activities? Were you involved in anything? You know, tell me about the best coach you ever had. And so if they start talking about no sports, he’s talking about, oh God, I played softball and I played football, I did rugby or I did polo or did whatever. Okay. Like you get the, you’re gonna get the imagery, you’re gonna get the analogies. If they say, you know, I was in glee club probably not gonna be the best fit. So Kyle, tell me about the best coach you’ve ever had. So the best coach I ever had was Coach Eldridge. So he was a defensive coach when I was in high school and in high school I went into my sophomore year of high school about 53, About £265. I made the Michelin man look like he was fit and ready for a competition.
And I had a coach and said, hey, do you intend on playing on this team? Yeah, coach, of course, that’s where is where I’m at and that’s why I’m here, I want to do that. And he had the courage and he had the direct approached and he said, you won’t at that weight. So he set a future that was not going to happen unless something changed. And then he went a step further, he said, if you truly want to do this, meet me at the track At six a.m. tomorrow. Now keep in mind Thomas I, I did, I did not, I was not driving at that point Like 15 years old. So my dad took me and we went consistently to the track and coach always show up there and over the course that I hear that coach through his training Through his guidance, lost a 100 lb, wow. But that wouldn’t have happened unless somebody stepped into my life and interrupted, interrupted me, set a vision and said, hey, I’m gonna walk with you through that.
I had another coach that after I lost that, that he said, hey, I want you to like, have you ever thought about power lifting and I’m going, you should have talked to me 100 pounds ago, I could lift a lot more and he said, no, I’m gonna teach you. I’m gonna teach you how to lift. I’m gonna teach you what you can do. And so again, he walked with me through that and I mean Thomas, I could countless, countless people that set a vision and said, I’m gonna walk with you, set a vision gonna walk with me. And so but those are too early on that really were amazing in my life and instrumental for my growth. Do you think that inspires you for what you’re doing today? 100% 100%. You know, one of the questions I’ve gotten asked a lot is like why coaching? And it’s because I had so many people throughout my life that said, here’s where you could be, here’s how I can help, here’s where you could be, here’s how I can help, here’s your struggle.
I have a solution, here’s your pain, I have a playbook and so now I did that for 11 years in ministry, it was set of future, help people get their call people to action, help them make that. So everything in my life has been a building block to what I’m doing now and what I’ll continue to do for the foreseeable future given any thought to Because immediately what I thought at the age of 15 is that lots of, I think the perception of people at that age is that they’re actually not very receptive to that type of conversation. Have you given any thought to why you were? I think from you right time, right moment, right person. I had trust in the person that asked you know, if it was a random teacher at the school or random administrator, it wouldn’t have, it wouldn’t have had the same weight, but because this person was my coach, because this person, what I had watched him interact and he had interacted with me with a lot of times before the moment of like you gotta put up or shut up and so I think for me I craved, I craved that and didn’t know it.
I think subconsciously I wanted to change, I wanted to evolve. I wanted to do something different, but it wasn’t until it was set out before me that the discomfort of change outweighed the state of staying where I was at great answer. Coming back to the topic of learning, what have you learned in this season of life that what we think we are capable of pales in comparison to what were actually capable of, you know Thomas, I started this business, not in the, not in the start, but really in the peak of pandemic life, I quit it, quit a career. I quit, quit everything I’ve known for 11 years.
My daughter was eight months old at the time, my wife was working, but not making enough to sustain our family and I didn’t, I had a dream, I had a I had a vision, I had the championship run, That was 51% sure that it would work, that’s all I needed. And what I’m learning and what I continue to learn is that man I am is so cliche your listeners hear this and be like, okay, whatever, but like when you step out on your own, you have to level up, you have to put yourself in uncomfortable situations and I tell people, they probably don’t duplicate the way in which I did this, I got a thought two weeks later, I had quit my job and went from salary benefits the whole bit to nothing, probably don’t do that.
But for me it was the way I needed to be because it forced me take a row and I think, man, I’m just scratching the surface, you know, almost two years into this. But when I close my eyes, the vision of what I see unleash the chant becoming there’s so much more to this and I truly believe that this will be a movement, This will be an ideology that people attached to wherever they’re at and they will have this framework and this will be bigger than I could ever imagine and what I imagine is pretty big mm You said you had a thought, what was that thought too? Which made you quit? So I unofficially started this business. This idea October 5, 2019, at 12:47 AM.
That’s when I held my little girl for the first time and when I held her she’s minutes old, the nurses say, okay, Mr Sullivan, you can take your daughter to the room, your wife will be there shortly and I’m like who’s coming with me? No, no, no, you can take her, do you remember what the room is I do, but there were people in there last time and you know, I make a joke about it and I’m pushing the bassinet, my daughter’s minutes old, I’m looking at her, everything in my life has changed. I went from not a dad to a dad and I made an agreement in my mind and I verbally said it to piper, I said I’m going to give you presence of time, not just presence of things and that was the moment and then in the midst of the pandemic, we were working from home and I got used to being at home, I got used to living out the agreement that I had made in my mind and that I said with my words and so for me it was, man, I can’t imagine, I can’t imagine going back and having to be in an office and going back and working, 50, 60 hours a week, okay, I’ll do this thing and I know that there will be a moment in my life where my daughter, now, my daughter or my son will come to me and they’ll have a decision to make, they’ll be in a dilemma, and I’ll say, dad, what, what should I do?
I got this thing that’s maybe more secure, maybe more comfortable, it’s a better setup where I got this thing, I got this idea, I got this this dream, I got this thought, I wanted to give them stories of dad living it out and not just theories of what others have said, because the biggest pain for me would be somebody coming to me, my kids, close family members, whatever the case may be, and say, what should I do about going all in on my stuff, What should I do about making something that maybe doesn’t make sense, but I’m passionate about seeing it through, and I go, no, you should do it, you should do it, you should do it. And I don’t know if anybody would be this bold, but in my head, someone looks at me and says, Kyle, you didn’t, I never wanted that to be the case. And so that was really a catalyst in my head for starting this deal and leaving everything.
I had known for 11 plus years, a great story and yeah, understandable having kids can do that. Did you get any pushback from friends and family based on the decision? I wouldn’t say pushback, but there was a ton of confusion. So there was a ton of confusion because what I had set up into the point that I had left was I was always going to be a pastor, I was always going to work at churches. Yeah. Most of my adult life, after college, I worked in ministry, I worked in churches and so people were questioning and people were confused what’s interesting about when we leave something, people think you have to villainise the past for you to have done something different in your future and for me, I would, I loved what I did, it was amazing. I got to be a part of the amazing organisations that had incredible impact. It just was time for me to shift. And so there was a lot of confusion.
Wasn’t anybody necessarily verbally critiquing, I mean, they might have said something and I’d be like, this dude’s nuts, this is stupid, but it wasn’t, it never got back to me, but there was people that, you know, well intended people going, are you sure? And I’m like 51 percent and they look at me like, oh, he’s nuts. And I’m like, kinda, I feel that too, it’s so weak, we have to be, we have to be confident before anybody sees the work before anybody sees the the result, you know, I heard it said like your closest people to you want to keep you safe, they want because they care. That’s what I said, well intended people, they’ll ask questions thus, but really it’s just a projection of their own ability or inability to do something like you’re doing.
And so there’s people that I’m I used to be in close relationship with, that, I’m not anymore because we’re not, we’re in different places, be at the community that I have found that I’m walking in our community of people that go like this is just the beginning, bro, like there’s the there was this thing going around, I don’t know if you might have saw it on, on the internet, but in kind of coaching circles was in one season In one season, $50,000 a year, was an amazing year In another season, $50,000 a month is a bad month. And so it’s all about going when you start something, I mean we’ll see if it works, but then as you find your new circle as you continue to evolve and grow the challenges, they get different, some of them are still the same, but the people that you surround yourself with creates the frame for the newness and the evolution. Thank you for that.
You mentioned previously about what you see for unleash the champ, would you like to share? Absolutely, absolutely. So I’m working on a book right now that lays out really my journey, the playbook and the championship run. So working on that, I should be done with that in the next month, so that’s, that’s a big Q one target is to write the book, I’m gonna get it, gonna get it published, not really sure how, but first step was writing it. So I’m writing a book. There’s gonna be a group coaching offer that launches this year that really allows me to duplicate myself and not just work one on one, but one too many. so what we’re calling that is the locker room, the locker room is focus is going to be implementing the playbook in your life, to match your professional success to your personal success. So people that, you know, have had success, but at what cost, that’s the pain, We’re gonna implement the playbook, but they’re bigger, bigger conferences, retreats, me speaking, sharing this message.
But yeah, there’s gonna be books. My ultimate championship run is they’ll unleash the Champ Foundation where we’ll go into elementary middle school and high school students get in front of them somehow some way, not really sure how that’s not important right now, but I want to teach age appropriate leadership lessons, two kids where they’re at because if I knew that the, you know, it’s so cliche again, if I knew the things I knew now at an earlier age, I probably could have avoided some pitfalls in my life and so I’m not saying we’re gonna remove the pain, but we’re gonna say when you walk through pain, when you walk through frustration, you’ll have more tools in your toolbox to navigate it and become stronger because of it. That’s the ultimate of the, of the vision is to be able to give back two kids. and again, it’s spurred from what I’m doing with my own kids now. I can’t wait to see it. That’s right.
And I bet your little ones will have a great coach and a great dad. Is there anything that I should have asked you about today? Thomas, this has been an amazing conversation and I really do just have immense respect for how you ask the questions and the conversation we had. It was really stellar, man. Thank you. It’s very nice. If there are some people out there who are like, yeah, I definitely, definitely want to hire Kyle, where do they go? You can email me directly, firstname.lastname@example.org. I would send you to our website, but I don’t know when this gets released, but we’re probably about three weeks out from a redesign of our website, but the website is kylejsullivan.com. There’s a form, you can submit there, but if you want to take the bull by the horns, get on the field right now, email me directly, email@example.com. Are there any closing thoughts for us today? Yes, I love this question because a big lesson that I’ve learned, we’ve kind of talked about it in pieces, but if you’re listening today and you say, I know I got something more in me, I want to have this personal and professional success aligned without losing my sanity, understand that what you want in going to this or that it’s peace.
Peace follows your obedience and your action, it rarely proceeds it. So make a decision, take action and you’ll get the peace you desire.
Great close, Kyle, You’ve been a great guest. Thank you very much.
Awesome. Thanks, Thomas.