Catalytic Leadership

Navigating the Highs and Lows of Entrepreneurship, with Beant Singh

January 15, 2024 Dr. William Attaway Season 2 Episode 26
Catalytic Leadership
Navigating the Highs and Lows of Entrepreneurship, with Beant Singh
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Embark on a transformative journey with Beant Singh, the entrepreneurial maverick behind Extendly, as he unveils the raw and riveting chronicles of his ascent from teenage ventures to masterful business command. With the tenacity of a seasoned warrior and the wisdom of a sage, Beant lays bare the trials and triumphs that carved his path to success. His tale is one of unyielding focus and humility, where each setback serves as a stepping stone to greater heights and where customer service isn't just policy—it's creed.

Feel the pulse of leadership as Beant elucidates the heartfelt connection between a leader's role and the collective heartbeat of their team. He paints a vivid picture of frontline engagement, where leaders don't just give orders but set the example with boots on the ground. Through Beant's lens, witness how nurturing individual dreams within a team transcends to exceptional customer experiences and discover how his insights on intentional living and fostering success in others can ignite the path to your own legacy. Join us for a session brimming with the kind of wisdom that doesn't just instruct but inspires a movement.

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About Dr. William Attaway:

Meet Dr. William Attaway, your guide to peak performance. As a seasoned Executive Mindset and Leadership Coach with nearly 30 years of experience, William empowers high-performance entrepreneurs and agency owners to conquer challenges and maximize their potential. Join him on the Catalytic Leadership podcast as he shares insights on achieving Clear-Minded Focus, Calm Control, & Confidence, helping you thrive in business and life.

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Speaker 1:

Welcome to Catalytic Leadership, the podcast designed to help leaders intentionally grow and thrive. Here is your host author and leadership and executive coach, dr William Attaway.

Speaker 2:

Hey, it's William and welcome to today's episode of the Catalytic Leadership podcast. Each week, we tackle a topic related to the field of leadership. My goal is to ensure that you have actionable steps you can take from each episode to grow in your own leadership. Growth doesn't just happen. My goal is to help you become intentional about it. Each week, we spotlight leaders from a variety of fields, organizations and locations. My goal is for you to see that leaders can be catalytic, no matter where they are or what they lead. I draw inspiration from the stories and journeys of these leaders and I hear from many of you that you do too.

Speaker 2:

Let's jump in to today's interview. I'm so excited today to have Bayon seeing on the podcast. Bayon got his start as an entrepreneur at the age of 16 with his security camera company that served as an educational platform for Bayon to learn the ropes of being a business owner. Despite his failures early on, bayon has continued in his entrepreneurial journey. He calls it entrepreneur in the makings. Today, bayon owns several successful companies, eight pizza restaurants and is the CEO and founder of Extendly, which provides 24-7 white label live chat support services to high-level agencies and their customers, where his ability to provide outstanding ongoing support has become legendary Bayon. I'm so glad you are here. Thanks for being on the show.

Speaker 3:

Thank you very much. Thanks for having me. It's exciting.

Speaker 2:

I would love for you to share a little bit of your story with our listeners, Bayon, particularly around your journey and your development as a leader.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, like you said, I got my start early on, at the age of 16. I watched my father own multiple businesses, buy and sell and develop as he was going through. That's what excited me about being a business being in the Indian family. He wanted me to be a lawyer. I said, okay, let's give it a go. It didn't work out. I ended up being a business owner or entrepreneur, like him. I'm excited to be on this journey.

Speaker 3:

It's been a tough road though, with the failures and learnings you have to do. My father passed away early on, so I wish I had a lot of learning from him to help me on this. I've had to do a lot of it on my own, but started my security company at the age of 16. Then tasted a little bit of success, thought we were doing great, and I said, okay, let's go get a restaurant out of blue no idea why, but let's go get a restaurant. Failed in that. Then, at around the same time, I got into a marketing company. Failed in that as well.

Speaker 3:

Then I learned from those failures that I really need to be focused. It can't be in multiple places and doing this. So went back to focusing on my security company and did everything there, from A to Z being the sales guy, the installation person, the billing, the support department, everything and learned all of that. And that's when I saw the real success, the sustainable type of success, not just a few months of success, but the one that sustained over year over year.

Speaker 3:

Then, before I got into any other businesses, that company, I worked inside that company for 10 years Before I said, okay, now I'm ready to go explore outside. And then, because I had failed in the restaurants and marketing company and I always had that itch of well, gotta go back and see if I can make it this time. So that's how I ended up getting into the pizza restaurants and from all the learnings now we're successful on that. That's where the locations are growing, which also got me into marketing. And then marketing helped me find a high level, which then turned into this company we call Extendly. Today that helps other high level agencies provide a wide label support to them and their customers.

Speaker 2:

And it's such a fascinating journey. I would imagine if we could go back and talk to 16 year old you and say, hey, this is what it's gonna look like, thank you. Would you have believed it?

Speaker 3:

I don't think so. I think I was very arrogant early on and foolish and, frankly, stupid that I would have said oh, there's no way, I'm going to fail.

Speaker 2:

You know I think we've all been there Nobody knows more than a 20-year-old right. Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you being so open and transparent about failure, because I think a lot of entrepreneurs look at somebody like you and say, oh wow, his journey has just been up into the right, he's never had to experience failure. He's never had to experience the struggles and the challenges that I deal with, and I love that you're so open about that and so honest.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you know, the reason for that is because I actually credit my success to those failures, the learnings that I've had through the tough times that the failures showed, the humbleness that have come into me because of not being arrogant and egoistic anymore like I was when I was 16, 19. So it's going through those hardships that truly build you as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, and then you start to see things from a different light. Right, that it's not necessarily all about you. Yes, you are part of the journey, but it's also about the people that work with you. You've got to treat them well as well. Right, it's also the customers that trust you for your services and the pay you for those services. They got to be put first right.

Speaker 3:

Then you come at a later point, so you've got to take a look at it's not about making sales. It's about providing an amazing service which will lead into sales for you and generating revenue. So, as I learned that through the years, that's what really clarified for me what this journey needed to be and how I needed to approach it. But, yeah, failure is absolutely. I mean, we fail even now, not at that level, as I failed early on, but even now, today. There's smaller failures, there's things that we fail and learn from, and you learn from all of those, and they're absolutely a good part of the journey to success.

Speaker 2:

It's so important to learn from it. I talk a lot about evaluation and how important evaluation is, because I don't think experience makes anybody any better. I think evaluated experience is what makes you better. I love that you talked about that Like that. You talk about how you learn from those failures. You evaluated them and that has helped you find success.

Speaker 3:

Absolutely, because if you don't go back and learn from the mistakes you've made, then they're just mistakes and you're going to make them again. It's so true.

Speaker 2:

You keep circling the same drains over and over again. Exactly.

Speaker 3:

And that's what makes it tougher, some of the individuals that when you don't learn from those mistakes, you keep doing the same thing. And then you find yourself hey, why is this happening to me? Why am I in this place over and over again? Well, that person was right next to me and now they've run out and succeeded. And why am I still stuck in that spot?

Speaker 2:

That's so good. One of my mentors always says that you have to autopsy success as well as failure, because he says, if you don't know why it's working when it's working, you won't know how to fix it when it breaks. That's absolutely right, yeah, yeah, I've never forgotten that, and it's just so important on both sides of the equation, whether you find success or whether you fail. Why, what do I need to learn here? That teachable spirit that you bring to that, I think, is the key to so much of your success.

Speaker 3:

I agree. I agree. I remember one of the things we were at Alex's mastermind in Miami, miami or Tampa and you got on the stage and I've never, personally never had a coach, except for reading books and whatnot, and I always sort of had this just because the publishing industry has just marketed themselves. It always had this fluff mentality about a coach Right, and I'm sure a lot of people would have the same thing. But you did an exercise on the stage and that opened up my mind and it literally blew me away and you remember what the exercise was.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, yeah, here's a piece of paper the numbers.

Speaker 3:

Yeah Right, go find all the numbers in order. And then the first time around, I think, I got to like 15 or 20 or something like that. Yeah, right. And then the second time you coached us, you said, okay, here's the trick to this, and this is how. Now I'm telling you right, this is a coaching exercise. Now I'm telling you what this is like because someone's been there, figured it out, done it already. Right, so that's what a coaching, having a coach, is like. So the second time around, when you told us the strategy, I did it and I got almost double the amount that I had originally. So that's that exercise really opened up my mind about having the right coach accelerates your path to success as well. Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

You know, before we met in Tampa, I had heard about you. Your reputation preceded you. I had heard about the support that you provide through Extendly and the leadership that you provide through your companies, and I'm so honored to meet you and that's you know. Not long after that's when I extended an invite for you to be on the show here, I would love for you to talk about being the CEO of Extendly. You started this company from scratch and you now provide support to so many people who are providing support to so many people. You provide leadership to a massive team that's leading at a different level than perhaps a lot of the listeners. What is it like to lead an organization like Extendly? That is all about providing service.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, you know, I think with leadership at that level comes a lot of responsibility. So I take it exactly that way, that I've got a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, so I've got to watch. Every action, every decision that we make has to be carefully evaluated and it can't be like the olden days anymore where tomorrow you decide to do something and you go and do it right, because it affects a lot of people. It not only affects your customers, it also affects your team members as well. Right, they're working with you, they've got a dream, they've got aspirations they want to reach as well. So the decisions you're making have to help both, and if you make a wrong decision, you're not doing it justice to help either of the sides.

Speaker 3:

So that's what I look at leadership as well, and I always use this analogy of a battlefield.

Speaker 3:

My mind always goes back to the times when the battles were done on horses, with swords and stuff right, and I always say that you've got to lead by example.

Speaker 3:

So if you want people to believe in your vision, people to buy into the reason why they should do a great job, the reason why they should trust you for your services, you've got to lead by example, and that means you've got to be on the front lines and you've got to showcase that.

Speaker 3:

As a leader, I'm not any more than you. I am there with you, shoulder to shoulder, ready to go into the battlefield as needed, and that's what will then inspire the people that are following you, so that they can go do that as well. Otherwise, why do they want to put their neck out for serving you, right? Why won't they go serve someone else who's better and have higher chances of success with them? Because everyone involved, including your team members, they're doing their job, because they want to reach their success as well, and that success may be different, right, but everyone wants to find their goal, their dream, their dream, and be able to reach their success ladder as well. And if they're following you, they're believing in you, and you've got to do the justice to them to make sure you're carving the path to help them succeed as well.

Speaker 2:

You know that people-centric leadership philosophy that you're describing there, understanding that the people on your team, they're not just cogs in a machine, they're actual people, 3d people with hopes and dreams and lives right, and seeing them and treating them that way. That is so critically important. And I see so many leaders who are acting like they can just sit in a corner office and send out emails and never care about people and find that to be effective leadership. It's just not so.

Speaker 3:

It's not. It absolutely is not. We talk about on our team meetings as well that we need to treat our team members better than we treat our customers. Right. That's the only time they will care so much about your customer as well, because they know that they're treating this company as if it's their own. At that time, right, and being an extended, we've got an even higher level of responsibility because we're not just serving our customers we're doing that as well but we're also serving their customers.

Speaker 3:

So the responsibility and liability that we've understood and we've had to share with our team members as well is that it could literally affect someone's livelihood. So if there's an agency coming on board maybe they've just got a handful of customers right you help them lose just one customer because you didn't do a great enough job of providing support services. That could mean a lot for them, right, and you don't want to be in that position. That's helping them do that. Instead, you want to be the reason why customers are staying on with you and they're raving about your support team, which you can be happy about. So understanding that depth of responsibility has helped a lot in improving our services as well, and I won't say by any means more perfect at all. We definitely do make a lot of mistakes, but it's all of a learning experience and you're constantly getting better.

Speaker 2:

Every company makes mistakes. Everybody's going to have that part of the journey. But the question is over time, is the trend line moving up? Are you getting better? And that's what I hear and see about extended. Some people listen and may not know what extended is what you do. What is the biggest challenge that extended solves?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So if people have heard of this company called High Level, that's an automation CRM platform right. So we're a service provider, a third party service provider to high level customers, agencies, marketing agencies that use high level, white label, high level and resell to their customers. The challenge we solve is you don't need to go out and hire an expert team of support members and put them on your payroll and pay them thousands of dollars and put a manager in charge, a training person in charge and have them learn and then get all these different softwares to be able to provide support.

Speaker 3:

We come in and plug right into your organization All of that softwares, the managers, the training, the personnel all that's taken care of literally within a flip of a switch. You're able to turn on 24-7 live chat support services to your software, to your white label version of high level, to provide that to your customers. So that's what we do and it is extremely cost effective. It's a few hundred bucks a month and you get a full, 24-7 support team right behind you, who's trained, who's managed. You don't have to worry about payrolls, their days off, you don't have to worry about hiring people, training them and days off for them and getting them up to speed on boarding them and managing their payroll, and all of that. All of that is done for you. We come in and we plug right into your organization and now, with a flip of a switch, you've got 24-7 live chat support service that you can provide to your customers within your white label of high level and training, payroll days off. All of that is completely taken care of. That's amazing.

Speaker 2:

For the price point that you're at to provide all of that. I mean, there's a lot of agency owners who are listening. You're like I'm having to do so much of that myself, now, managing and dealing with all the fun that comes with managing all of that. I can outsource that to people who I can trust. Trust is a difficult commodity for a lot of founders, a lot of entrepreneurs.

Speaker 1:

They feel like nobody will do it as well as.

Speaker 2:

I do it. When you hear somebody say that, what do you say?

Speaker 3:

Well, I say the same thing, right, and that is not, absolutely not true, because you can only be in so many places yourself and you want to put yourself in the places where you deliver the best, where your most strength is, and then you want to place others, even if they're performing at the 70% or an 80% of what you believe you could do in that position. That's a 70% or an 80% of better performance you're getting than what you would do in that position, because now you're leaving to go perform that 100%. You're leaving something else that is not performing at 100% anymore. So definitely it opens up your mind to take a look at it in that perspective, because every founder will believe that they will be 100% better than the person in the other position. And it's OK to believe. It's just not possible to do.

Speaker 2:

Yes so true, and particularly when people start businesses for a couple of reasons they want financial freedom, they want Tom freedom, they want location freedom. And then they shackle themselves into place by doing everything themselves and they don't get any of that.

Speaker 3:

Exactly, yeah, and that happens so often. We understand that when you're just starting a business, that you've got to go through that journey. But you've got to start identifying items early on that you can walk yourself out of and replace with someone else with a hire, and the faster you're going to be able to do that, the more time you're buying back for yourself to help grow your business. And the faster your business grows in revenue, in sales, in profit, the more you can afford to invest back in to putting more people in place and expand your offering, your business. And then again, every new hire comes with more time back to yourself.

Speaker 2:

You have visibility into a lot of different companies than a lot of agencies that you work with and you speak at events like the one I saw you had in Tampa. You see a broad picture of the landscape. I'm curious what do you see as some of the biggest challenges right now in the agency space?

Speaker 3:

I think one of the biggest challenges that agency owners suffer with is distraction, and that distraction comes from shiny objects.

Speaker 3:

We like to jump on everything that is new, even if it's not developed.

Speaker 3:

I'm guilty of that myself, and today the distraction is AI. Even if you don't know how to package it and deliver where it's going to provide a great outcome for your customer. We're still investing time looking into it because we don't want to fall behind, but if you look at it six months from now, it'll be better developed, there will be better use cases and you would have saved yourself a lot of time in hassle for not fiddling with it and versus instead focusing on what you're currently able to offer to your customers today and improving that, and then spending less time to learn about it and adapt that at that time and offer it to your customers. It definitely pays to be on the cutting edge as well in certain times, but that's if you're on the development side yourself. If you're not on the development side which most of the agencies are not, there are some that are and then save yourself from the shiny object syndrome. The distractions, because the more distractions you involve in your business, the harder you're making for your business to move forward and succeed.

Speaker 2:

I'm curious. You know you are leading at a different level now than you did five years ago and five years from now, extendedly. In every business that you own, that you're a part of, every team that you lead, they're going to need you to lead at a higher level five years from now than where you are today. How do you stay on top of your game? How do you level up with the new leadership skills that you're going to need?

Speaker 3:

Now, one of the biggest things I found is you're constantly being involved in learning, whether it's learning from reading books or attending events, or you know just friends or other people that are you know, five years ahead of you, have been there already and performed at that level. It's looking at what they are doing right, what they're doing wrong, the mistakes that they're struggling with, so you can help avoid yourself from those Similar to that exercise we were talking about. That you did right. Someone's already been through that. If you want to shortcut your way, first off, there's no shortcuts. The only shortcut is someone else's advice to someone, and of that person that's already been through that journey that may help you through that path.

Speaker 3:

So I'm constantly raving about staying on top by learning, and reading books is one of the things. As a matter of fact, the two books that have helped me quite a bit are the Extreme Ownership by Jego Willink, I think his name is. That was a game changer and a mind opener to know that in a leadership position you have to be able to take responsibility, and ever since then, you know, have stopped blaming others for the mistakes that have happened. Yes, they may be the one that were in charge and perhaps that mistake happened while it was on their watch.

Speaker 3:

But ultimately something wasn't done right from top down and it could have been prevented and perhaps if more attention was paid, you could have done it differently. So the blame is on you, right? You've got to take a look at and say, okay, fine, we made this mistake, not you made this mistake, we made this mistake. Now, how do we fix it? How do we go about? Because once it's already mistakes already been made, blaming someone is only hurting them more and preventing them from fixing and doing the job Instead. Let's look at it with a problem solving mindset and come up with a solution.

Speaker 2:

Now you just embodied something that I have taught for so many years, which is that great leaders don't cast blame right. They share the blame and say we need to do better at this, and when it comes time for the credit to come, they make sure that they pointed at other people and share the credit and say no, no, no, no. This person we need to do this. It wasn't me, it was all of us. I heard that in what you were just saying and I thought well, that's so good, I just wanted to call that out.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, thank you. And the second book that I was talking about that helped me is by Donald Miller, from Story Brand building Story Brand, and that's what really helped me in a very simple book and easy to understand. But it's all about how to frame things right On a website. When you're, you want to put content on the website that's going to help the person understand and feel as if you're talking to them, right, Not just whatever you felt was good.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, who's the hero of the story. That was one of my biggest takeaways from that book. If you're constantly positioning yourself as the hero instead of the person that you're talking to, that's right. That's a swing and a miss.

Speaker 3:

Yeah, absolutely, and you know. So. Inviting them into your story and by understanding that you're just the guide and they're the hero, your customer is the hero right On that journey, that was a big mind opener as well.

Speaker 2:

A lot of that. As you look forward, what do you want your legacy to be?

Speaker 3:

That's a good question, because I've dreamt of this from childhood and it's always in the forefront in my thoughts with almost everything we do, and I'm finding and realizing that I'm getting closer and closer to achieving it, and it's always been so.

Speaker 3:

Growing up, I've always thought of this big think center type of analogy, where we can help others that don't have the resources, and then, with coming into externally, we've realized well, that's exactly what we're doing today. We're helping other entrepreneurs who are in the agency space provide the resources in the manner of support services and as well as other resources like coaching not that we offer any coaching services. We provide tech coaching and sales and perspective. We bring in other coaches as well to share their visions and experiences. So we're finding that we're doing that right now, and so the goal ultimately is to help as many entrepreneurs as possible that may or may not have the resources find their success, because the more you can enable people to get what they want out of life, the higher satisfaction you're giving them and their families and the more they're able to give back. So it's a big ripple effect from that point onwards.

Speaker 2:

I love that and I love the other centric focus there Helping other people to succeed, pouring into them. I think that is one of the highest levels that a leader can achieve and I love that. That's your dream, man. I can't wait to see that happen.

Speaker 3:

Thank you, Thank you. I say that about everything that you want to take part of. The more you can help others, then your success is a given. It's going to be there, no matter what. When we go into launching a product or a service, that's the same manner that we're going in with. Can this service really help that business or that customer that's buying from you? And then money is secondary. Generating revenue from that service is secondary. If your service is so good, they'll pay you whatever they want for it.

Speaker 2:

This has been a masterclass in leadership in so many ways. People are typically going to walk away from an episode like this with one big idea. If you could define what you want that one big idea to be that they walk away with, what would that be?

Speaker 3:

So my biggest advice would be to help reach success. You've got to go through levels of extreme focus. If you are not focused enough, you're delaying that success from reaching you. So the more distracted you become, the more places oh this is a good idea. That's a good idea. I should do this. I should do that. The more time you're dividing into delaying that one thing, that's actually going to make you successful. Although I own several other businesses, I don't remember the last time I went into our restaurant to go focus there, and that's because I mean we've got a good management team and they're operational, they're doing well. I still check on them here and there. But the reason I say that is because my extreme focus has been on Extendly for the last six, seven months or so, and that's why Extendly is growing at the rate it's growing. If I was distracted and putting 25% of my attention here, 25% there, there's no possible way that it would have taken off as fast as this company has.

Speaker 2:

That's so good. What a great reminder about the power of focus. I know people are going to want to stay connected to you and continue to learn from you, and anyone will learn more about Extendly. What is the best way for them to do that?

Speaker 4:

Yeah, finding me on Facebook is one, and if people want to join our group on Facebook, that's at getextendlycom slash Facebook and they can join the free group there. We're there every day helping people.

Speaker 2:

And I see you there every day. I see you there, which is remarkable that you are still on the front line, not doing it all for everybody, but leading the way as a leader who's leading from the front Right.

Speaker 3:

I mean, like we talked about earlier, the more your team and your customers see that from you, they understand that you're a company that genuinely cares. There's a lot of companies out there that are just fluff. They say they care, but they don't show that in their actions, and we all know actions speak louder than words, so you've got to lead with actions as well.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, this has been so helpful. Thank you for being so generous today with your time, with the insights and the wisdom that you've gleaned so far. I've learned a lot, and I know our listeners have too.

Speaker 3:

Oh, thank you for having me. It's been an honor to be here to help educate.

Speaker 2:

Thanks for joining me for this episode today. As we wrap up, I'd love for you to do two things. First, subscribe to this podcast so you don't miss an episode, and if you find value here, I'd love it if you would rate it and review it. That really does make a difference in helping other people to discover this podcast. Second, if you don't have a copy of my newest book, catalytic Leadership, I'd love to put a copy in your hands. If you go to catalyticleadershipbookcom, you can get a copy for free. Just pay the shipping so I can get it to you and we'll get one right out.

Speaker 2:

My goal is to put this into the hands of as many leaders as possible. This book captures principles that I've learned in 20 plus years of coaching leaders in the entrepreneurial space, in business, government, nonprofits, education and the local church. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn to keep up with what I'm currently learning and thinking about. If you're ready to take a next step with a coach to help you intentionally grow and thrive as a leader, I'd be honored to help you. Just go to catalyticleadershipnet to book a call with me. Stay tuned for our next episode next week. Until then, as always, leaders choose to be catalytic.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to Catalytic Leadership with Dr William Attaway. Be sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don't miss the next episode. Want more? Go to catalyticleadershipnet.

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