1828 – Confronting Fear and Embracing Content Creation with Adam Strong

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Business Strategist & Speaker of The Business Strategist, Adam Strong.

Strong Wide

With a background in elite athletics and a track record of building and scaling businesses for over three decades, Adam brings knowledge to the table. He underscored the significance of mindset and skill sets in entrepreneurship, drawing parallels between the discipline required in sports and business.

Adam is particularly interested in aiding professionals in the services industry—attorneys, CPAs, IT specialists, and the like. These individuals often possess deep expertise in their respective fields but may find themselves at a crossroads regarding business. Adam's holistic approach focuses on personal growth and professional development to help these professionals scale their businesses effectively.

Adam took a deeper dive into the psychological barriers that entrepreneurs often encounter, particularly fear. Fear of judgment can paralyze decision-making and hinder the creative process, especially in social media content. Adam shared his perspective on overcoming these fears, emphasizing the need for differentiation and the power of platforms like LinkedIn to educate and inspire.

Adam also opened up about his personal experiences with fear and self-criticism, shedding light on the ongoing journey of personal growth that is entrepreneurship. He stressed the value of vulnerability and striving for excellence, not perfection.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Business growth and scaling ventures
  • Overcoming fear in entrepreneurship
  • Creating valuable content for social media
  • Challenges faced by entrepreneurs
  • Importance of mindset in business
  • Strategies for standing out in a competitive marketplace
  • Working with professionals in the services industry
  • Fear and its impact on decision-making and content creation

About Adam Strong:

Adam Strong is a multi-faceted business strategist, best-selling author, keynote speaker, and host of the soon-to-be-renamed podcast, “The Business Strategist.” From his early days as an athlete training with Sir Mo Farah to becoming a renowned international business consultant, Adam's journey is one of resilience, transformation, and pursuit of excellence.

With over three decades of experience, he excels in driving entrepreneurs toward exponential growth through accountability, clarity, and strategic positioning. Adam's approach is results-driven, combining energy, compassion, and a dash of fun.

As the creator of The Game Changers Experience podcast, he shares insights from global leaders to inspire a community of high achievers. Adam's work, especially with six-figure businesses through his Game Changers Inner Circle, challenges conventional wisdom, promoting groundbreaking personal and professional development.

Recognized for his engaging style and transformative impact, Adam values meaningful connections, whether through podcasting, networking, or storytelling.

About The Business Strategist:

The Business Strategist” aims to empower 100,000 established business owners and entrepreneurs with scalable business strategies through its exclusive inner circle mastermind program. Central to its philosophy are three pillars: human connection, collaboration, and community.

These principles guide participants towards mutual growth, fostering an environment where ideas flourish and partnerships thrive. The program is designed to be a transformative journey, offering members access to a curated network of like-minded individuals, insights from industry leaders, and actionable strategies to elevate their businesses.

Interested parties are encouraged to join the waiting list to become part of the next cohort in the Game Changers Inner Circle mastermind, a platform where ambitious entrepreneurs convene to challenge the status quo and drive exponential growth.

Tweetable Moments:

04:29 – “No one talks about the person that wins the silver medal; they always talk about the person that won the gold medal.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out The Business Strategist website at

Check out The Business Strategist on LinkedIn at

Check out Adam Strong on LinkedIn at

Check out Adam Strong on Twitter at

Check out Adam Strong on Instagram at

Check out Adam Strong on Facebook at

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Josh (00:00:05) - A thoughtful listener before we get going. Did you know that my company up My has launched more than 200 business podcasts. The host of our shows are amazing leaders and collaborators. Folks I want to connect you with. Maybe you deserve your moment in the spotlight as a guest of one of these amazing shows. Just go to up my, where you can see more than 50 shows that are actively seeking business leader guests like you to celebrate right now in front of their high caliber audiences. Just click on the podcast tab and up my, where you'll see shows like Experienced Focused Leaders Podcast. If you're seeking insights on transforming customer experiences, you can't miss the Experience Focused Leaders podcast with your host, Alex Kovalenko. Alex, the CEO and founder of relay two, brings his rich background from Stanford MBA, Wharton BSc and the University of Pennsylvania B.A.. He's a smart dude. Along with his real world experiences of building organizations across global hubs to the forefront of this engaging podcast. Now, each episode is a deep dive into the world of customer centric strategies where Alex and his guests, seasoned business owners and industry veterans, share their invaluable insights.

Josh (00:01:32) - They discuss the latest trends, offer practical advice, and reveal the secrets behind exceptional customer experiences and business growth. Are you a business owner who values customer experience above all? Then this podcast is your go to resource. Better yet, if you've got unique insights and strategies that have helped you stand out in your industry, we'd love to have you as a guest on the show. Share your story with a community that's as passionate about customer experience excellence as you are. Tune in to the experienced, Focused Leaders podcast for your weekly dose of inspiration and practical tips. Let's push the boundaries of customer experience together. With us right now it's Adam Strong. Adam, you are known as the business strategist. You're the host of the podcast, The Business Strategist. Which to our friend that's listening to our conversation right now, you could search around in your podcast app and you can find the show there. And then Adam, finally, your website is Adam Strong dot net. Adam, thank you so much for joining us.

Josh (00:02:43) - Appreciate the invitation.

Adam (00:02:44) - Looking forward to jamming with you, my friend.

Josh (00:02:46) - Absolutely. Well, I'll let you kind of explain the work that you do in the world, who you serve. Sure.

Adam (00:02:52) - So being an entrepreneur for the past 30 years, which is kind of cool and, uh, yeah, I guess for me, because I've had been on a bit of an entrepreneurial journey. Right? Josh? Like, I started up my first business at the age of 11. Right. And, uh, and now I'm in my 40s. I mean, I love what I do, right? Went from starting up my first business at the age of 11 and then went into elite athletics. So that's distance running. So, uh, no kidding.

Josh (00:03:22) - Well, we're going to talk about that.

Adam (00:03:23) - We'll talk about that when they're a bit of a midlife crisis at that same age, which I'll explain what that means. It's a little bit early, but um, you're kind of get it when I'll share the story.

Adam (00:03:33) - But now what I do is I use those skill sets from elite athletics, from building and scaling businesses over the past 30 years and working with many different clients and leaders. Uh, and now what I'd love to do is I'd love to work with people like your audience experience business owners and business leaders looking to disrupt what they do. You know, to challenge their mindset, to be able to create that what I call, you know, I don't know if you've ever heard it, but in soccer and football, European football. Right. There's this, um, terminology in athletics as well. And they call it fine margins. You might have heard of that. Have you heard of fine margins?

Josh (00:04:11) - Um, I'm not sure, but describe it maybe. Yes. Um, so. Or said a different way. I know what it is. Um, a friend that's listening that may not know. Go ahead and tell us anyway.

Adam (00:04:22) - Sure. So fine. Margin is kind of like, you know, you might have a well oiled machine, you might have a thriving business.

Adam (00:04:29) - Right? But how do you kind of take it to the next level? The fine margins between. It's a bit like the difference between the person that won the silver medal and the person that won the gold medal. No one talks about the person that wins the silver medal. They always talk about the person that won the gold medal. So that's what I mean by fine margins. Fine margins as in what can we do to take things to the next level? What can we do to make those subtle improvements? That's what I'm talking about.

Josh (00:04:52) - Yeah. So all those little 1% thing. So we're just kind of evaluating it could be like every step of our customer journey that we offer, for example. And we're like, you know, what could we do to improve the conversion rate here? Or just try to be empathic to friction that that may exist in a customer onboarding sequence or, you know, certainly any kind of acquisition. So, you know, a lot of the work that you do, Adam, is under the heading of growth.

Josh (00:05:20) - And so who would be examples of folks that you work with and what are some of those goals that you create together.

Adam (00:05:26) - Yeah, it's a great question. So the typical types of clients that we tend to work with are people in the professional services industry. So that could be your attorney, it could be a lawyer, you could be a CPA, it could be your IT specialists or architects could be your your tax specialist. So people that serve those particular industries. And what I have found is I found a correlation. Josh, the correlation is, is that they're extremely good at what they do. So they might have their degrees or their PhDs or whatever. It is extremely knowledgeable at what they do. They may have a very good client base, and they also have some really good referral networks. So they have good partnerships in place. All right. But what they lack is basic business acumen, right? So most of us didn't go to the school of entrepreneurship. Right? Okay. So if you're like me, I've got a bit of a head start for most people, but most people didn't go to the school of entrepreneurship.

Adam (00:06:21) - They had to learn skills. So yes, you can have a business strategy to scale up, but ultimately it isn't just about skill set. You've also got to have things like mindset in place. Like for example, if Josh, if you came to me and said, hey Adam, I want to scale up my media, my media company, right, or my podcast or whatever it is, I'm like, great, tell me more about it. But if I gave you the strategy to be able to do that because I know how to do those things right. But if you're not ready here, it doesn't matter what strategy I give you, it's not going to work. Right? I use it in the same analogy in athletics. Right. So I used to study and train with Olympians. Okay. And the form of distance running. And the former world and Olympic world champion was my training partner. Okay. Now my coach, who was that? You know, he he won all the medals back in the heyday.

Adam (00:07:13) - He each he basically what I loved about my coach is he used to work with just normal Joe public, normal Joe Public without any special skills or talents and turn them into champions. Right. That's what he used to do. Okay. But with my coach, what was really interesting is like, okay, so what do you want to achieve, Adam? Okay, I want to achieve say I want a complete ten kilometer race in under 30 minutes. Right. This is what you need to do. But if I'm not ready here, I'm not going to be ready because my belief system is going to impede me. Do you understand what I'm saying? My belief system. I'm going to start to fear. I'm going to start to judge myself. I'm going to start to compare myself to other people. And that is the reason why.

Speaker 3 (00:07:56) - Things.

Adam (00:07:57) - The world, society, everything else that goes along. That's what holds us back from what we want to achieve in life. So, you know, for me, I'm all about personal growth.

Adam (00:08:06) - I'm all about excellence and kind of thinking about this. Darren Hardy wrote a great book called The Compound Effect. I don't know if you've heard of it. Um, but he talks a little bit about if he was to make an improvement. And you talked about sales, conversion, lead generation, whatever it is. But if you were to improve your sales conversion by 1% every single week, what would that look like to you by the end of the year? In terms of revenue. That would be crazy, right? That would be off the charts. It's the compound effects. You're either moving forwards or you're moving backwards. There's no in the middle. There's no plateau, right? You mean you're growing or you're even dying, right? So that's kind of like how I feel about entrepreneurship. Anyway. Sorry, I'm rattling on.

Josh (00:08:52) - No, no, that's why you're here. We expect you to rattle on as a guest. What's your question, by the way? I don't know. No. You truly.

Josh (00:09:01) - And, you know, it's interesting because someone was just, um. And here's the reality. And I want to give hope to someone that might be a little frustrated that they don't feel like they have a great system. Like, I had just gotten a message and someone who's complimenting us on, you know, like how we work with people that kind of come into our world. It was highly complimentary. And my response to that is, yeah, but you need to know the journey to get to where we are. It's, you know, a trail of blood from my nose getting punched in for years and years and years and years. So, so here's the message of hope to our friend here. It gets better. Absolutely. Because we hope, right. If we're committed to being a lifelong learner. And like every time you know, something happens, it's suboptimal. It's an opportunity for us to learn.

Adam (00:09:49) - Absolutely. 100%. Yep.

Josh (00:09:51) - Um, and so one thing I noticed that you had talked about on your LinkedIn, which, by the way, you're a great LinkedIn follower.

Josh (00:09:57) - I'll just share that. Um, but you created a really cool kind of slide show here. And you talk about how fear can, you know, even if it's unconscious, like we might say, do you let fear control your decisions? And we say, no, I'm far too intellectual for that. Uh, yeah. No. Yeah, yeah, maybe maybe you're right. But perhaps you're not, because we think about, like, for example, these decisions we make on what we share on social or the content that we produce. Adam, would you mind maybe talking about that a little bit and, and kind of like, especially this, this relationship that we have with fear conscious or unconscious.

Adam (00:10:36) - Yeah. You know, it's a really interesting question. Right. So I know which slide deck that you're referring to which which was actually done this week, which was kind of cool. I am. So because I've been in the game for so long, I can live and breathe. I can say that I, I'm thinking exactly how others feel and think.

Adam (00:10:55) - So I've been there and done that, got the T-shirt, and I was actually having this really interesting conversation, and it was a show that came out this week, and we were talking about fear and where fear stems from. Right. Everyone has fear. Josh. Okay.

Josh (00:11:10) - And which, by the way, I want to normalize this. This is normal. It's normal to have fear. Fear is it's can be valuable. It's human.

Adam (00:11:19) - It's you have to be human, right? I mean, we're all human. Last time I checked anyway, um, but, like, we all have fear, right? And so one of the things that I've actually one of the things I was speaking about in the what you're referring to, which is the social media stuff, is the reasons why we don't create enough content. Right? The reasons why we don't shout about ourselves. Right. We don't like to, you know, I don't if you ask any entrepreneur, they don't like to sell themselves, right? It's just dirty, right? It's it's something that you used to do, like, you know, 30, 40 years ago.

Adam (00:11:54) - It's just not. But when someone else recommends you, it's ten times more powerful than you selling yourself. Right? So one of the things that I was referring to in the slide deck is the fear of being judged. Okay. So, you know, we're living in the digital world, right? Where, you know, we've got the TikToks, we've got the LinkedIn's, we've got the Twitters, you know, all of these social media channels. Right? We didn't have those five, ten years ago. Not all of them. Right. We we didn't like there were a few out there back in the heyday of, uh, you know, what was the platform before Facebook, I can't remember. What was it called.

Josh (00:12:35) - What Friendster or, uh, what was the, the the other one that died with the bands. Right. Ah. Right. Right, right. But but but it's Myspace.

Adam (00:12:45) - It was on Myspace. Yes.

Josh (00:12:46) - Thank you. And by the way, our audience was shouting Myspace.

Josh (00:12:49) - Thank you. I think subconsciously we just heard that. So there we go.

Adam (00:12:53) - It's interesting because we live in such a judgmental world. Josh, do you know what I mean? Like we live. Yeah.

Josh (00:12:59) - Yeah.

Adam (00:13:00) - Like we're always trying and subconsciously and it you know, if I have a conversation with someone and say, for example, they came to me and they're like, hey, so I'm not getting leads and I'm not getting sales and I'm not growing my business. I'm like, so show me what content are you putting out there? And they show me. And I'm like, well, this piece of content was done three months ago. This one was, you know what I mean? So like there's this lack of inconsistency.

Josh (00:13:26) - Yes. Yeah. And again, kind of stemming out. From from empathy. Like if we have empathy for audiences and and just people. People are busy. They're swimming in a sea of noise. So, you know, the fact that you're going to put one thing out there and all of a sudden people are going to bum rush to want to do business with you.

Josh (00:13:46) - That's high hopes. Well, I think not. You know, again, empathic to where audiences are today. So for empathic to the fact that they're swimming in offers, they're swimming in noise. And so how can we be mindful of that and how can we allow that to maybe, you know, influence what we share, how we share it?

Adam (00:14:09) - Absolutely. For me, from my perspective, it's all about what makes you unique to the marketplace.

Josh (00:14:15) - Yeah.

Adam (00:14:16) - You know, that's what it's about really. Like what differentiates me from my competitors, who rates me from people in my industry? What difference me from other entrepreneurs? Like what difference me? Is it my values? Why do you like me? Right? What? You know why? Why are you listening to me? Right? What is the problems that you're trying to solve? Like literally, what are you trying to solve for the clients? Okay, because I'm not. And it's the same for you, right? You you're not for everybody.

Adam (00:14:46) - And guess what? You have to just settle with that. Like you can't be. You know, I had someone who reached out to me. He was introduced to me in the. And we just want a good fit. Like and that's okay. Right. That's okay. And be okay with that. Um, but I feel like we live in such a judgmental world, and we're always trying to compare, you know, each other and stuff like that. But what I found going back to your question around the whole kind of, um, LinkedIn, I use LinkedIn as a is a perfect example. Josh, actually. So what I've found, especially with the world of LinkedIn and so I love LinkedIn, that's where I live, right. That's kind of like my, my that's my playground where I love to play. Okay. Yeah. But it's taken me years to establish loyal fans on that. Yeah. It's taken it's taken years. It's not like a 1 or 2 month thing. Right? You've got to be there's a few things that I've learned from being on LinkedIn is consistency.

Adam (00:15:43) - LinkedIn loves education, right? If you're educating their audience, they're going to push you right to the top of the tree, right? They're gonna love you doing that. LinkedIn hates you selling yourself. LinkedIn hates you putting offers out there. They hate that.

Josh (00:15:58) - As does every social media platform, by the way, unless you're paying them big bucks. Because that's exactly that's where they get their money from. You think they're going to let you do that for free? Exactly. If that's what you want to do on social, you don't have to pay the piper.

Adam (00:16:10) - Absolutely. I know you're absolutely bang on. And so, you know, I say to people, well, are you being consistent? Is your content educational and inspirational? Right. Because that's what it's got to be. Is it fun? Is it entertaining? Is it got a good hook. Does it real people in? Does it entice people? Does it create curiosity. Right. So your content's got to do those things. But it also with regards to your content in particular is that it's got to be varied.

Adam (00:16:42) - So you can't just put the same piece of content or you can't use the same, you know, I don't know feature, for example, and expect the same results. And I'm a big fan of data and analytics, by the way, so I like to keep a track of what is sitting well, what is speaking to the audience. I'm not interested in vanity metrics. Yeah, they help give me an idea of if it's sitting well with the audience. Okay. What I'm interested in is quality over quantity any day long. Okay? I don't care if I've got 10,000 impressions, but I would soon have 100 engagements, over 10,000 impressions all day long. You know. But you're right. I mean, we live in a very judgmental world, and the fear of being judged, okay? The fear of comparing ourselves, the fear of not being enough. Okay. The fear of, uh. And here's the thing. Right, ladies and gents. Okay. One, I'll be honest with you, Josh, I am probably the hardest person.

Adam (00:17:45) - And literally I'm so hard on myself because that is the way that I'm wired. Yeah. Um, yeah. Like, you know, from the back in my athletic days, right? I used to beat myself up. I still beat myself up. Right. And in fact, I had I want to quickly share with you guys, I'm going to share with you a, I suppose, my story of vulnerability if you want to.

Josh (00:18:05) - Yeah. And unfortunately, we've got about two minutes left and so I, I wanted Adam is there can you, can we share that uh can you share that maybe in your social. And we can link to that because because you do have a great story. But I just want to make sure that I want to share, um, how you work with people and how, you know, someone that's listening to our conversation right now where they go from here. And I'm so sorry I feel so badly.

Speaker 4 (00:18:27) - But no, you're good.

Adam (00:18:28) - It's all good. It's all good.

Adam (00:18:29) - Well, I mean, listen, if you guys that are interested in having a conversation, uh, Josh's kindly mentioned my LinkedIn on my website. That's the best place. And we also have a a great quiz for you guys that are looking to scale up. We have it's called the Business Growth Quiz. It's complimentary and it gives you a great free report about the areas in your business of where you need to have focus and some direction in terms of moving forward in 24. So I hope that gives you some great stuff.

Josh (00:18:57) - Yeah. Adam, your website is Adam Strong dot net again, when someone goes to the website, um, certainly they can learn about the game changers inner circle. You have some great content on your website itself and then really easy to our friend that's listening to us right now, just do a search right now for the Business Strategist podcast and folks can dive in. You've got you've been doing this a while. Um, 200 nearly as when we're recording this nearly 300 episodes. So congratulations on your longevity.

Josh (00:19:28) - Uh, that's quite prolific in the podcasting world. So, Adam, this has been great. Thank you so much for the conversation again, Adam Strong dot net. Thanks, Adam, for joining us.

Adam (00:19:38) - Thanks very much, Josh.

Josh (00:19:45) - Thanks for listening to the Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up my influence common Guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our Listener Facebook group. Just search for the Thoughtful Entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love, even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community who listens and shares our program every day. Together we are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed.

Josh (00:20:43) - I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day. Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur movement.

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