1838 – Building a Strong Business Foundation with Adam House

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the CEO & Host of House of Bricks, Adam House

House Wide

Adam has launched five businesses in different sectors. Each had its own set of challenges and rewards. His experiences have taught him that resilience is the cornerstone of lasting success. For Adam, failure is not a defeat but a vital part of the learning curve. He views every setback as a chance to strengthen the foundation for future projects.

Learning from failures is a lesson Adam values . He sees these moments not as obstacles but as signposts leading to improved strategies and robust business models. He believes in leveraging these lessons to ensure that subsequent steps are better informed and have a higher chance of success.

As a leader, Adam understands the importance of making quick choices. He must avoid distractions that can ruin focus. He recognizes that leadership is dynamic, requiring agility, strategy, and empathy. The capacity to adapt to new trends and foresee challenges distinguishes exceptional leaders.

At House of Bricks, Adam can work with clients. He helps them build a strong base for their businesses. He assists them in becoming exit-ready, which involves detailed planning and execution. Adam guides his clients through this journey. He prepares them to scale and grow when it's best.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Adam House's entrepreneurial impact
  • Lessons from starting five businesses
  • Leadership trends and challenges
  • Working with clients for exit-ready businesses
  • Treating life's experiences as building blocks

About Adam House:

Adam House Sr. is a seasoned entrepreneur, former professional basketball player, and team co-owner, boasting a remarkable 25-year career. As the founder of multiple successful companies, he brings a wealth of real-world business experience.

Adam is recognized for his achievements in starting, growing, operating, and selling businesses across various industries. His professional journey is grounded in values like faith, family, and personal interests, significantly influencing his accomplishments.

As a business advisor, Adam is committed to assisting others in navigating the intricacies of daily challenges, from operational management to sales strategies and handling unpredictable situations. 

Adam's coaching philosophy prioritizes the importance of avoiding shortcuts and focuses on providing blueprints for building a strong business foundation. With a dedication to sharing valuable business principles, Adam is eager to empower others with the knowledge and skills needed to achieve their goals, making him an inspiring figure for aspiring and established entrepreneurs.

About House of Bricks:​​

House of Bricks guides businesses through the critical growth phases, drawing on a successful history of launching, scaling, and exiting companies. Recognizing the binary nature of business development—either growing or declining—the firm offers expertise in establishing solid foundations to accelerate growth, gain a competitive edge, optimize resource utilization, and enhance enterprise value.

House of Bricks involves providing clients with comprehensive blueprints for building robust foundations and expediting business growth.

Founder's personal experiences of starting businesses from scratch underscore the company's mission. Balancing roles as a husband, father, and entrepreneur, the founder strongly emphasizes faith, family, and fitness. 

House of Bricks operates with a purpose: to unlock clients' full potential and facilitate their individual successes by ensuring a solid foundation, reflecting a commitment to making success achievable for those they collaborate with.

Tweetable Moments:

01:22 – “I've built my career through failing over and over again and never giving up, and now I want to inspire and empower other entrepreneurs to do the same.”

03:12 – “Every time I ask myself these four words: ‘What did I learn?' If you learn from everything, then failure doesn't exist.”

14:25 – “Your best feedback is going to come from your customers. If you can get an MVP to market and get a couple of beta customers, that's key.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out House of Bricks website at

Check out House of Bricks on LinkedIn at

Check out Adam House on LinkedIn at

Check out Adam House on Facebook at

Check out Adam House on Instagram at

Check out Adam House on Twitter at

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, it's Adam House. Adam, you are the CEO and host of the podcast House of bricks. But you're the CEO of House of bricks. Your website. Adam, is Adam House senior sr. Com Adam, thank you so much for joining us.

Adam (00:01:14) - Thanks for having me.

Adam (00:01:15) - Glad to be here.

Josh (00:01:16) - Yes. Well, please give us an overview of the work you do, like who you serve and the impact you have in the world.

Adam (00:01:22) - Yeah. So right now I have a company called the House of bricks. We're a business advisory company. So a little bit about me. I've been an entrepreneur for the last 25 years, so I've started five businesses and five different industries with no background in any of them. Just a lot of hustle, a lot of grit. And with each business, you learn more about what you need to do in the next business. So I've had mobile technology, healthcare company that recently went public, and now I'm using all of those learnings and blueprints that I've created, and it's not through,, succeeding. It's actually through failing over and over again and never giving up is really,, how I've built my career. And now I want to inspire and empower other entrepreneurs to do the same.

Josh (00:02:07) - You know,, I'd love to talk about failure for a moment.

Josh (00:02:11) - , what?, so I think a lot of us, especially of us, you know, us driven, you know, kind of type a high achiever personality types where, you know, we get pretty bull dogged and, you know, laser focused and getting stuff done. And, you know, we probably have a bunch of ideas always coming in in our head. And so we're executed trying to execute on those things, you know, with our teams and so forth. But, you know, what is your like I guess, you know, what is your story around failure. And, you know, when you're working with leaders,, you know, where do you find that conversation about that topic typically going?

Adam (00:02:47) - Well, early in my career, I started when I was 19 and I was an athlete so very competitive, and I just didn't like to fail. And so a lot of my work was in preparing and doing everything I could to prevent it. And then as I matured as a leader and as a business person, I flipped the script a little bit and and not using it or viewing it as failure.

Adam (00:03:12) - But I asked myself these four words every time, which is what did I learn? And if you learn and everything, then failure doesn't exist.

Josh (00:03:22) - Yeah. So it's, you know, you're thinking about maybe your past,, what have been some of the most important failures that you've experienced and what did that give you?

Adam (00:03:36) - Well, I can bring my wife on and she'll give you a long list, but,, you know,, look, it's it's,, every day you're failing. Every day you're,, struggling. As an entrepreneur, we call it the struggle zone. And the more you can get comfortable being uncomfortable,, the more success you're going to have., but, look, I've made mistakes as a leader. I've made mistakes in product,, that we've launched,, how we brought it to market. So you name it, I've made the mistake. But I'm a very good student of life and business, and so I try not to make the same mistakes twice.

Josh (00:04:18) - , and I was just looking at what some of your content that you share on social and you were kind of talking about failure.

Josh (00:04:24) - And so what, you know, if someone wants to minimize maybe the painful aspects of failure and maximize the value that we get from, say, running a test that could, you know, be suboptimal, you know,, is there you know, is what what kind of things would you recommend that,, you know, one consider before they're venturing into some into something where there could be the, the chance for some, some fails.

Adam (00:04:53) - I always tell people that free advice is worth exactly what you're paying for it. So find someone that is where you want to be and pay them for the advice. And the reason is, is you have a personal investment capital in the outcome, and then they feel an obligation to deliver value to you. So there's two ways to pay. You either pay with your time in learning it on your own, or you can pay with your money and accelerate that process, accelerate the growth, and really make it much more enjoyable because your life as an entrepreneur, as a leader, it's very lonely at the top and the people that you surround yourself with all report to you.

Adam (00:05:38) - So you get the mirror of or the the hallway of yes men. So who's really going to tell you,, the areas that you need to grow in your strengths as a leader and areas of improvement.

Josh (00:05:50) - Yeah., Adam, what are some, you know, aside from, you know, obviously, we've been talking about, you know, importance of failure, but,, you know, in leadership today., I'm curious,, have you been seeing any trends on the topic of leadership that maybe, you know, maybe it has to do with, you know, some larger trends that are going on, maybe A.I. coming into organizations and being a tool that's more adapting and some some of the disruption that that may be causing within organizations., certainly it may be related to,, hybrid and remote teams, where maybe that's causing a little bit of friction as well. But any observations that you've seen that, that maybe leaders are coming to you more often to talk about.

Adam (00:06:34) - There's always a chance to get distracted as a leader.

Adam (00:06:37) - So whether it's AI or ten years ago, mobility, like there's always some shiny object you can take. But the trend that I am seeing and have been seeing and trying to correct in a lot of leaders is that I think leaders have become too soft. They're getting too many opinions from. People in the organization. They're lacking the decisiveness of what it takes to be a leader. Everyone can't steer the ship. And so when you're getting input from a lot of places, number one, when you ask for input and you don't act on that input, then there there's some,, frustration on the, the people giving it. And so I'm certainly not saying to run your business like a dictatorship, I, I've always well, in my last four businesses kind of shifted to more of a bottom up buy in. So there's times to get input from people. But at the end of the day, leaders are looking to their team for too much guidance.

Josh (00:07:44) - Yeah. So how do we know that we're in the right, you know, in that,, you know, that spectrum of I'm going to run our company like a dictator versus I'm gonna, you know, run it 100% in committee.

Josh (00:07:57) - How do we know where we are in the right space on that spectrum?

Adam (00:08:04) - It's test and learn. You have to set your vision,, get by in in the right areas of your vision. And part of being a great leader is also recognizing your weaknesses. Right. So we are in the process of building a group coaching course. I'm not the right guy to pick which LMS we use. And so I assign that to my team and say, hey, look at these three LMS. Whichever one you guys decide, then that's what we'll run with. I'm the content creator, I'm the leader. I'm the visionary. Yeah., you guys pick the platform.

Josh (00:08:41) - Yeah, yeah. Good. Good example., how do you run meetings?

Adam (00:08:49) - , we have our standard weekly meeting,, where we're running it off of platform. But, you know, I'll start with opening and updating the team on the vision, their reporting on their various stacks, whether it's marketing, sales, social media., so we'll run those, and then I'll try to meet with my team at least once a month, depending on the size of the team.

Adam (00:09:14) - Our team is smaller now., some of my companies have had 50, 75 people. So obviously you can't do a one on one with everybody every month. Yeah., but, you know, the standard weekly team huddle and try to get some one on ones in every month.

Josh (00:09:30) - Yeah., Adam, how do you work with your clients? What? What does that look like?

Adam (00:09:37) - That's a great question. So we're really focused on entrepreneurs that have a business, have revenue, have clients, and they're they've hit a ceiling. They they've done things a certain way. And as you probably know, and our listeners would know, you have to do business a certain way to get from napkin to reality, right? You're scrappy, you're doing everything as the entrepreneur. And then you kind of have these arbitrary buckets, okay? You do things a certain way from 0 to 1 million. Then you got to start to build a team and delegate 1 to 5 million, 5 to 10, 10 to 25.

Adam (00:10:12) - They all require different leadership strategies and the ability to let things go, because as an entrepreneur, you have you've built it. You've got it to where it is. It's very tough to let go of certain things. And that's where a lot of entrepreneurs get stuck. And our process helps them do that.

Josh (00:10:33) - Yeah., and, and maybe just a little bit more specific or tactically like how does the,, are you structurally like, how does that engagement look with that client? Yeah.

Adam (00:10:44) - So the first phase is a discovery phase., you know, it's not about you not having a business plan or a financial model or a vision, but what we do is help you tie it all together. We're going to help you build a strong foundation, making sure you have a good financial model,, a business plan, direction and vision of where you want to go. What does the future business look like three years from now? We do an investment in and cost to analysis. So what decisions are you making now that are an investment in the future business versus what's costing the business three years from now? You're taking maybe on clients that don't fit your ideal client profile, and you have to do some of that stuff, but it's just the awareness of what is costing the future state of the business.

Adam (00:11:37) - And then most importantly is we help them become an exit ready. And what that means is doesn't doesn't mean that you're going to sell your business tomorrow or a year from now, or you may not even be thinking about it, but we help you put the disciplines and strategy in as if you were selling your business tomorrow to make sure that you can exit for the highest multiple when you do.

Josh (00:12:01) - Yeah., you are a podcaster. You're how? Or your podcast is House of bricks to our friend. That's listening right now. Just do a quick search in your podcast app. You'll find it called House of bricks. Adam, what's the show about?

Adam (00:12:16) - Well, obviously it's a play off. My last name, Adam House. And what we,. Our mission is really to treat life's experiences like bricks. You can either carry them with you, right, and they're heavy and weigh you down and prevent you from accelerating your business. Or you can lay those bricks down., we talked about failure using those failures to build a strong foundation.

Adam (00:12:41) - And,, we've we've had some amazing guests,, over the last 25 years. I made really good relationships. Just being a man of integrity and character and faith., so our first 12 guests have been NBA champions, super Bowl champions,, doctors changing the landscape of health care. Top keynote speaker, CEO. So I've had an amazing first 12 to 15,, guests and plan on continuing to do that. So it's inspiration, it's business advice, tying sports and business together. There's a lot of parallels there working in a team environment and being competitive. So it's an amazing podcast. Check it out., love to have people listen to my show.

Josh (00:13:26) - Yeah. You know,, and I'm sure you've had this metaphor shared with you as well regarding bricks. I took improv for a while and kind of did some improv stuff for a little bit., and that is a fundamental in improv is that you're building a scene and it's just brick by brick. You have some idea maybe where it might go.

Josh (00:13:46) - But again, if you try to lead too much in that, that's not good improv. You know, when you have two people that are trying to build off each other. So it's like you just this one, this person offers a little bit and then again, you build the scene brick by brick and eventually have it with that same thing is in, you know, in companies like we have an idea, we got the blueprint. You know, we kind of know where it is that we want to go. But ultimately, you know, you're not it's not you're not going to show up and just put up a whole wall all at once. It's just not how it works. When you're dealing with multiple people iterations, you know, hopefully we've got some malleability, you know, when we're we are setting sail and, and and getting things executed.

Adam (00:14:25) - That's a great analogy. And that's what we tell people with their business as well. A lot of people are trying to put the roof on before they have the foundation.

Adam (00:14:33) - So it is a process. And watching a house being built, they spend months and months on the foundation and you don't see anything. It's all underground, right? And if you don't have that right foundation, I've seen it many times over the last 25 years where people are leaving millions of dollars on the table when they go to exit the business.

Josh (00:14:56) - Yeah, yeah, it's out of my just like we're in the midst of this right now. And it's interesting. Like we've had a just a higher ticket concierge type service. We've done that for years and years and years and years and years. And there were, you know, there were times where I think we could have started say, well, we're ready now for a lower ticket offering to the to the world. And it just never felt like the right time. You know, I just I really wanted to work out and just dial in some, some systems and perfect our craft. So it's almost like, and I wonder if you see this right where again, you're just like, it's almost like, you know, you're the general and you're like telling them don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes or like hold, hold, hold.

Josh (00:15:36) - And then, you know, it's like, okay, now we feel like, you know, we've got the right blueprint to go, let's say a major market expansion or a major marketing investment or play or something like that. That's where you could really experience some painful lessons if you go to market is premature and you haven't tested right. So it's like, you know, even now as, you know, as confident as we are in our service, we know without a proper beta and validation phase, like that's a fool's errand. Oh yeah.

Adam (00:16:04) - That's a great analogy. And we always coach our clients or advise them. Your best feedback is going to come from your customers, right? So if you can get an MVP to market, get a couple beta customers. Because I've watched entrepreneurs also sit in the closet, try to come up with a perfect product. And by the time they release it,, it's not even valuable to the market.

Josh (00:16:26) - Yeah, we're just guess. We're guessing like, it's amazing how, you know, I don't think this happens too much anymore, you know? But this idea that, you know, what the market wants more than the market does, like that's those are not good odds, right.

Josh (00:16:40) - To to, you know, kind of do that., you know, it's like everything I feel like, you know, it's like everything good should be directly, you know, told you from the market, the market should be able to, you know, kind of co-create with you exactly what it wants. And, and again,, there are,, lower quality ways in getting that information and then there are higher quality ways. And I like your way.

Adam (00:17:01) - Yeah, exactly. It works.

Josh (00:17:02) - Yeah. Adam. Your website. Adam house senior. Com. So it's Adam house, sr. Com. When somebody goes there, what would you recommend they do? Obviously we talked about the podcast, but,, you know, folks that have enjoyed this conversation, they want to learn more, obviously have a, you know, phenomenal background. You've worked with some big companies Rocket Mortgage, Quicken Loans, Akamai qual metrics., but, when someone where I guess basically what someone's next step after this conversation.

Adam (00:17:31) - Yeah. Go to the website., we have a get Started section, book a call directly with me or one of my team members, and we're going to talk to see if you're a fit. I'm not a fit for everybody, that's for sure. If you know you're looking for someone to tell you everything's okay and have coffee with every week, I'm not the guy., if you're looking to grow and scale your business and exit for a high multiple, and you're bought into the process because it is a done with you program which has been some new muscles for me to develop as well. So I'm not the one on the court playing the game. It's,, I'm coaching. I'm helping you drop the plays and how you're going to execute and succeed. But ultimately you have to you have to run your business. You have to be comfortable being uncomfortable and held accountable.

Speaker 3 (00:18:19) - Now. Adam.

Josh (00:18:20) - How's Adam? Do you go by Adam house or Adam house? Senior.

Adam (00:18:24) - Adam. House.

Josh (00:18:25) - It's fine.

Josh (00:18:25) - Adam. House. Adam. House again. Your website. Adam. House. Senior com Adam. Again. Host of the podcast House of bricks, which you could search for right now and again one last time. Adam. Your website Adam house senior com. Adam, thank you so much for joining us.

Adam (00:18:40) - Hey, thanks for having me.

Josh (00:18:46) - 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. Comment. 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 stop 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.

Josh (00:19:35) - Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right. Seven days a week you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. 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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